Little yummy snippets …
Happy 120th birthday to Lavazza who have these rather stylish designer tins and matching coffee cups to celebrate. Lavazza is a family firm, now run by the fourth generation. The tins contain a special blend of 100% Arabica coffee, nicely smooth with notes of chocolate and caramel, although the coffee is an espresso blend we found it worked very well when brewed in a pour-over cone. For more information and love coffee containing recipes pop over to Lavazza. Twitter @lavazza
We’ve tried the excellent charcuterie boxes from Carnivore Club before, and love that they support small scale artisan producers. This month’s box was made by Cobble Lane Cured and contained spicy, soft and spreadable ‘nudja, fully flavoured coppa, a thin spiced kabanos which was perfect for nibbling with a pre dinner glass of beer, as well as two herbed salamis. I’d be delighted with the gift of a box anytime. £29 a month. Twitter @carnivoreclubuk
Christmas is long gone, by the core range of Godiva chocolates is available all year round and both Easter and Mothering Sunday are creeping ever closer. We found the Christmas box had a good balance of white, milk and dark chocolates, although all of them are quite sweet. My favourites were the dark raspberry, containing a fruity raspberry granache, the coeur noir – with an intense dark granache, and the Croustine containing praline, shortbread and nougatine. We also loved the art deco inspired moulds for the chocolates. Twitter @GodivaUK
Dehydrating has a bit of a hippy vibe, but it’s a great way to make healthy snacks – dried apple or mango, for example. But like all kitchen gadgets, once the initial enthusiasm fades does a dehydrator earn its place on the countertop or does it get relegated to a dusty corner of a top cupboard because the results are too small a return for the labour needed? This new book, Dehydrating at Home by Michelle Keogh aims to widen our dehydrating horizons, and keep the machinery humming away in the kitchen. There are fourteen chapters in all: basics, fruits, vegetables, leathers, jerky, nuts and seeds, crackers and flatbreads, herbs and seasonings, breakfast, entrees, desserts, main meals, pet treats, and other household uses. It’s once the basics have been dealt with that the book gets interesting; recipes that I like the look of include blueberry and lemon curd leather, almond cherry leather, peanut butter and jam leather, teriyaki beef jerky, salt cod jerky, chipotle lime cashews, walnut and cranberry crackers, onion and garlic powder, lemon cookies, and pecan sandies. Recipes are generally written for the more sophisticated dehydrator models with adjustable temperature, but the writing is straightforward and clear, with many full page pictures and small technique pictures. Both preparation and drying times are included. Preparation times are generally quite short, in the 15-20 minutes region. For things like the leathers, a food processer or blender is needed as well as the dehydrator. At the moment, our dehydrator rarely makes its way out of the cupboard. I think that some experimentation inspired by this book may see it getting much more use. £12.99. Twitter @Quartoknows
We hosted a wine tasting a few weeks ago where we tried a £23 six bottle case of Crisp Whites & Fruity Reds from Aldi. We were blown away by the quality and price. The case is very well put together, with a great mix of styles, and there is not a dud bottle in it. For the price you really cannot go wrong, and I’d recommend buying a case and gathering your friends together for a tasting, or simply enjoying with of a weekday evening. Importantly none of these wines are that high in alcohol content, which lead to clear heads the next day. Win win. Read our full review here. Twitter @AldiUK
Many thanks to the brands mentioned for samples. Mention of Aldi wines is a sponsored insertion. All opinions our own.