kitchen bites

Kitchen Bites #16: Aug & Sept 2016

This months edition of Kitchen Bites is a bit of a bumper edition! Due to the arrival of our baby foodie at the beginning of August, I just didn’t find time to club together a post for the end of August, so here we go, 2 months of new stuff all in one!

First up this month, our most trusted Pizza Take Away company, Papa Johns. We got the chance to sample  a couple of new pizzas from them recently. Firstly we tried out their new ‘lighter’ pizza, featuring their lower fat cheese. This claims to have one third less fat than regular cheese, meaning those more health conscious among us can continue to enjoy a Papa Johns pizza whilst being that bit more virtuous (well, as virtuous as a pizza can get!). We tried it with both a meat feast pizza and a veggie one, and can honestly say we wouldn’t have known any different. Which I guess is as high a praise as you can give.

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We also sampled the new Arabian Pulled Lamb Pizza. With strips of pulled lamb, a pepper confit and sliced pepperoncini this sounded right up my street in the flavour stakes and it didn’t disappoint – it was suitably spicy and I loved the confit pepper and pepperoncini. Probably the best Papa Johns Special to date in my opinion. As it’s a limited edition pizza – try it now or miss out – it’s only available until mid November!


Next is a new range from Mrs Crimble’s – their Home Bake range has recently launched and comprises of several gluten free mixes suitable to quick and easy home baking. I tried out the Pastry mix, Pancake/Batter mix and also the Sage and Onion Stuffing.

I am lucky enough not to need to use gluten free products on a regular basis, but with 1 in 4 consumers now buying free from foods according to Mrs Crimble’s stats then these mixes need to be readily available and taste good!

dsc_0109We thought all three mixes were really good, giving a great end product, and all are simple to use, only needing to add basics like milk and eggs. We were particularly please with with the batter mix and our American Style fluffy pancakes!

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They retail at £1.99 from all major supermarkets, with their Ready to Use Breadcrumbs coming soon too.


Being a fan of all things gin, my husband was particularly pleased to try some Tiger Gin.

The gin is premium quality gin, distilled in Shropshire using pure English water blended with the finest quality botanicals, spices and grain that is carefully selected and sourced each season from the best harvests around the world.

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It got a big thumbs up from us. Follow them on twitter to find out more – @TheTigerGin.


Popcorn is still all the rage at the moment and has been now for a couple of years. New brands and types keep popping up and we were asked to try Willy Chases Fit Popcorn. Made on his farm in Herefordshire, this popcorn is all air popped and free from gluten, wheat peanuts and MSG.

 

They come in some interesting and unusual flavours including Salted Honey, Cider Vinegar, Goats Cheese Red Onion & Thyme, Smokey Bloody Mary and Nearly Naked.

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The packing is bright and inviting and I really enjoyed them – particularly the bloody mary ones! There’s a lot of savoury popcorn on the market but these could really stand out with their guilt free principals and quirky flavours.


I was particauly excited recently to hear about the launch of the Birmingham Cookbook. Unfortuntaly due to the tiny foodie, we weren’t able to attend the launch night, but were happy to get a preview hard copy of the book to have a look at. The book celebrates all things Birmingham and the surrounding area, with recipes from the cities best street food vendors all the way up to michelin starred restaurants.

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The recipes look fantastic, and I’ve been starting to try some out recently. Next up to try are the Original Patty Mens Cheeseburger with Chorizo Jam and a Kung Pow Pastrami Bao from Loaf which both sound mouthwatering!

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The Birmingham Cook Book retails at just £14.95 and will be available soon in all of the businesses featured in the book as well as select local gift shops, book shops including Waterstones and online at http://www.amazon.co.uk.


A new brand to me is Deli Kitchen – they have launched a new range of flat breads and flat ‘buns’ as an alternative to traditional sliced white bread. The flat breads come in both plain and seeded version and are only 107 calories each.

The flatbun is a circular flatbread, perfectly shaped for a burger and comes in plain or a harissa flavoured version.A lovely lighter option to a heavy burger bun.

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I’ve been really liking using the flat breads for lunchtime sandwiches recently and the harissa in the flat bun is a great twist and makes for a great change to normal bread – we’ve made great chicken burgers using them with grilled chicken breast, red onion and avocado. Look out for them in shops near you for a tasty lighter option to your usual bread!


Lastly this month, but certainly not least was a lovely box of meat from Macbeths – a traditional Scottish Butchers which is based up in Forres in the north of the country and family run by  Jock and Fiona Gibson.

The family have a farm which supplies their beef, and also recently have had sheep arrive and are planning on pigs next too.

We tried a sample box of their meat, which included rump and fillet steak, bacon, pork chops, version sausages and a venison escalope.

We’ve already had the sausages in a good old Sunday morning sausage sarnie and they were great quality, as was the beautiful fillet steak which I treated us to the other night.

The butchers send their meat all over the country by courier and have a huge selection. You can buy the meat separate or choose one of their meat sections such as the Game section pack containing Venison Haunch Roast, Casserole Venison, Venison Escalope, Venison Sausages, Mallard Duck, Venison Burgers, Pheasant and a Pair of Duck Breasts or the Quick Grills pack with lamb chops, pork chops, steaks and burgers.

It’s a great way to get quality meat at a good price which you don’t always find at your local supermarket.


Disclosure: Samples above were sent for consideration of review. All opinions and words our own. If you are a brand that would like to feature in Kitchen Bites, please get in touch at thefoodiecoupleblog@hotmail.com

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