Thursday, 21 April 2016

Degustabox April Review & Discount Code: Featuring new Popchips & Milkybar Chocolate


The latest Degustabox arrived this week and as always it was full of foodie treats, including a new and limited edition flavour of Popchips. 

Degustabox is a subscription service that promises to send out a big box filled with a surprise selection of groceries each month. Each Degustabox costs £12.99p but you can still get £6.00p off using the discount code below. Delivery costs are included in the price and there is no fixed contract involved - you can cancel at any time.

£6 Discount Code: BLDEG15

Degustabox have kindly provided my readers with a massive £6.00 off, bringing the cost to £6.99 delivered. Enter the Discount Code: BLDEG15 

Here's a quick round up of all the products I received in April's Degustabox (there are a LOT of photos!):


Popchips Limited Edition Sea Salt, Garlic & Rosemary: A large bag of new Popchips Sea Salt, Garlic & Rosemary. There is also a limited edition Popchips Sea Salt, Caramelised Onion & Thyme flavour, which some Degustaboxers may have received instead.


I'm a big fan of Popchips and this new flavour is just spot on. All the elements of sea salt, garlic and rosemary work together to create a delicious flavour. I especially love the strong rosemary combined with the garlic - just snacking perfection.


Veetee Rice: Two packets of microwaveable rice from Veetee in Wholegrain Brown Rice & Quinoa and Basmati. I do buy this brand of easy to make rice packets every once in a while. They're just so useful to have in the cupboard for those super busy days.


Levi Roots Jerk Coat 'n Cook Sauce: My son is already a fan of Levi Roots sauce so when he saw this packet he wanted to make it straight away. Since it's an instant sauce and doesn't need marinading I decided to give it a go with some chicken breasts. 



We had the chicken sliced with a colourful salad and sweet potatoes. The chicken only took about 25 minutes in the oven and was lovely and juicy. I'm always sceptical about instant marinades but the flavour worked well here and the chicken was delicious with a real spicy kick. 


Pimm's Cider Cup: A summery English Cider flavoured with Pimm's and a hint of strawberry and cucumber. It's great to enjoy now that the days are getting longer and warmer!


Bebeto Fruit Strings: This fruity snack has been awarded a Product of the Year award for their innovative use of fruit juice. They're also suitable for vegetarians and vegans. 


These are so cute! There are 7 packs inside, each printed with a different day of the week. This will appeal to any kids (like mine) who like to keep things in order. I'll definitely get in trouble if I put in a Tuesday bag into the lunch box if it's actually Friday!


The flavours in the pack are Raspberry (2 bags), Apple (2 bags), Blackcurrant (1 bag), and Strawberry (2 bags). The texture is soft and chewy and all the flavours were really tasty - very sweet and fruity.


Green Lady Sparkling Tea: This is an interesting drink. It's a lightly sparking tea, made with Green Darjeeling tea leaves and the finest all natural ingredients. I like the fact that the ingredients list is so simple and includes flavourings such as nutmeg. 


Canderel Sugarly: This is described as a zero calorie sweetener that looks like granulated sugar and tastes like sugar. It can be used in hot drinks, on fruit and cereals and for baking. I'll be giving this a go for baking some low calorie banana bread. 


Smarties & MilkyBar: I'm always pleased to find some chocolaty treats inside the Degustabox and this month was no exception as I haven't tried either of these. 


Smarties Sharing Block:  A bar of sweet and creamy milk chocolate packed with colourful mini Smarties. This is a super sweet bar and definitely one for anyone with a sweet tooth! I could only eat a small amount of this at a time but I have to admit I did like the texture of the crunchy Smarties in the creamy chocolate.


Milkybar Milk & Crunchy: This is a new chocolate from Milkybar, a small sized bar for kids, in a fun cow shape. Each bar has a creamy and crispy centre covered in a layer of white chocolate. I couldn't resist having a sneaky one of these myself and I really enjoyed the creamy and sweet flavour.


Rejuvenation Water Apple & Mint: Rejuvenation is a spring water drink enriched with amino acid glutamine which has been shown to have benefits for the immune system and for stress, depression and anxiety. I can't speak for any of the health claims but I did enjoy the flavour of this drink. The apple and mint is an enjoyably sweet combination and a very refreshing one too. 


Parle: One of the things I love about writing this blog is discovering brands from around the world. I hadn't heard of this Indian brand before but apparently Parle-G are the largest selling biscuit brand in the world. 


Parle-G Biscuits: These biscuits are made with milk and wheat for 'all round nourishment'. They're simple biscuits with a sweet flavour and golden, buttery texture. These are lovely with hot drinks and a nice treat for little hands too.


Parle Rusk: These rusks are enriched with cardamom and have a surprisingly sweet flavour and light texture. I really enjoyed the flavour here - they're light and sweet which makes them absolutely perfect with tea.  If you've never tried these before then you should definitely give them a go.


Overall, I was delighted with the impressive selection in this month's Degustabox - it's one of my favourite boxes so far. I was especially pleased with the Popchips, Levi Roots sauce, Parle, Bebeto Fruit Strings and the Milkybar Milk & Crunchy.

For more details:
Degustabox website: www.degustabox.com
I received a Degustabox in order to provide an honest review.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Chocolate Review Megapost: Gnaw Peanut Butter, Deluxe Banana Milk Chocolates & More!


A massive thank you to the wonderful +BringBack Banjo who recently sent me a massive box full of delicious chocolates and treats. Running the Bring Back Banjo Chocolate Bar takes a lot of time of effort but somehow BBBC manages to also keep her eye on spotting interesting new products. I always love her selections and this time was no different! 

Inside the parcel I found an awesome banana spread called I'm Bananas from The Wild Peanut, a Gnaw Peanut Butter chocolate, Snyder's Pretzel Pieces in Honey Mustard & Onion, a Twix Cappuccino, Chewits, Oh So Good Chocolate (no added sugar or dairy and with a boost of friendly bacteria), Tago Chocolate Muse (from Poland), Deluxe Banana Coated in Milk Chocolate, and Maui & Sons Dark Chocolate Coconut Chips.


Maui & Sons Dark Chocolate Coated Coconut Chips: Even though I love coconut, this isn't the sort of product I would usually go for. I think I would assume that the flavour would be a bit dry and boring, but I was happy to find that that's not the case!


Each dark chocolate coconut chip has a lovely crunchy texture that gives them an almost caramelised taste. The dark chocolate coating is really sweet but still has a strong chocolate flavour. Of course, the best part is the coconut flavour that comes through with each crunchy mouthful - it's sweet and just delicious. Even my kids couldn't get enough of this snack and they don't usually like coconut. I would definitely buy these in the future. Rating: 9 out of 10.


GNAW Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate: Gnaw is a range of handcrafted chocolates made in Norfolk. I love just how extensive the range is in terms of different flavours. As a fan of peanut butter I was excited to give this particular one a try. 


The Gnaw Peanut Butter is described as a milk chocolate with ground and chopped peanuts. There isn't any peanut butter as such in this bar, just little pieces of peanuts. The milk chocolate itself is very tasty, with a creamy flavour, but the little peanut pieces just provide a salty, peanut flavour rather than a 'peanut butter' one. It's still a tasty enough chocolate bar, especially for any peanut fans. Rating: 7 out of 10.

  
Lidl Deluxe Banana Coated in Milk Chocolate: I've often been tempted by the range of chocolate covered fruits in Lidl (such as the Deluxe Cherries Coated in Dark Chocolate) but I've never tried them before. I don't think I've ever seen this banana version or I would have snapped them up!


I'll be honest, I was quite shocked that these chunky chocolates were so dark inside - I was expecting a yellow coloured centre! Thankfully, the flavour is much tastier than I was expecting from appearances. The centre has a softly chewy texture and the whole thing has a deliciously sweet and ripe banana flavour. I really did enjoy these! They taste quite rich and satisfying, and the chocolate is very sweet, so I only eat one or two at a time, but I'll still be stocking up if I ever see these instore. Rating: 8 out of 10.

If you've tried any of the snacks in this post (or any of the products in the first photo) then I'd love to hear from you in the comments below. Look out for the rest of the reviews from this parcel soon.

Another big THANK YOU to the wonderful @BringBack_Banjo 
Don't forget to take a look at the Bring Back Banjo Chocolate Facebook Page and please sign the petition here. There seems to be a trend for bring back retro snacks and chocolates so let's make it happen for Banjo Chocolate Bar too!

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

New Instore: Asda Celebration Cakes, Mr Kipling Bumble Bee Slices & More


A few more new finds spotted instore.

Asda Una the Unicorn Cake (above): Asda always has the best celebration cakes but this unicorn cake might just top them all. It's so cute! £10.00p at Asda.


Asda George the Corgi Cake: This one just makes me smile. A cute little corgi cake topped with a crown. I think Asda have released this one with the Queen's upcoming 90th birthday celebrations in mind. £10.00p at Asda.



Asda Smash Cake: This is a new concept to me but it looks really fun. This large Smash Cake features a hollow chocolate dome, on top of the cake, which can be smashed to reveal lots of sweets. It's available in white chocolate or milk chocolate. £13.00p at Asda.


Asda Baby Elephant Cake: It was hard to get a good picture of this but it's a lovely looking cake - I really like the simple design and pretty pastel colours. £9.00p at Asda.


Barbie Party Cake: This is a super bright and colourful cake. Is it just me or is the design quite retro and 1980's looking? I missed the price on this one!


Batman Vs Superman Celebration Cake: There are two Batman Vs Superman themed celebration cakes available at Asda. This is the simpler one and features a fairly basic printed design on top. £10.00p at Asda.


Batman Vs Superman The Ultimate Showdown Celebration Cake: There is also this impressive looking, and much larger cake, with a chocolate logo on top and black and red capes to decorate. £20.00p at Asda.


Mr Kipling Bumble Bee Slices - Chocolate & Honey Flavour: This is such an interesting new flavour from Mr. Kipling. I love the dark brown and yellow striped pattern on each cake which is similar to the previous Mr. Kipling Tiger Slices. £1.50p at Asda.


Barny ABC Bears: These mini bear shaped biscuits look just as cute as the Barny Bear Cakes. They're available in Vanilla or Cocoa flavours. £1.00p at Asda.


Maryland Creations Choc Dipped Cookies: Maryland speciality cookies are being rebranded as 'Maryland Creations', alongside this new addition to the range, Choc Dipped - Dark Choc Chunk Cookies. £1.00p at Asda.


Asda Carrot Cake Puds: There lots of new cake themed desserts at Asda which come in twinpacks. Thank you to Fran T. who spotted the delish sounding Carrot Cake Puds. There are quite a few other varieties in this range also such as a Gingerbread Latte and Blueberry Muffin. £1.50p at Asda.

Asda Coconut Sublimes & Dessert Islands: These tropical flavours from the same range look delicious too!  £1.50p at Asda.

Many thanks again to Fran for the photo. If you spot anything new instore and fancy sending me a photo then let me know via email: grocerygems@gmail.com or Twitter: @grocerygems.



Tuesday, 5 April 2016

New Instore: M&S Spirit of Summer range & Rasberry & Coconut Cuppa Bakes


A couple of new finds from Marks & Spencer. A big thank you to Fran T. for the first two photos!

M&S Raspberry & Coconut Cuppa Bakes (above): M&S has launched a new range of microwaveable mug cakes, although since this is M&S they're not 'mug cakes' but Cuppa Bakes. The range is available in three flavours; Raspberry & Coconut, Salted Caramel & Chocolate and Lemon & Poppyseed. £2.25p at Marks & Spencer.


M&S Blueberry Pancakes: A new blueberry flavour in the M&S pancake range. Last year they released the Strawberry & Dorset Clotted Cream pancakes. I wonder if that flavour will stick around? £1.60p at Marks & Spencer.


M&S Mexican Chipotle Chilli & Ecuadorian Dark Chocolate Cookies: These cookies are part of the new Spirit of Summer range at M&S. I haven't been able to take many photos of this new range but you won't be able to miss the bright, vibrant packaging and new flavours. £2.00p at Marks & Spencer.


M&S Spirit of Summer Peanut Butter Cookies: I love peanut butter so these cookies are certainly very tempting! If you've tried this new range then I'd love to hear from you in the comments below. I'll try to update here when I take some more photos. £2.00p at Marks & Spencer. 

Many thanks again to Fran for the great finds (especially the new Cuppa Bakes!). If you spot anything new instore and fancy sending me a photo then let me know via email: grocerygems@gmail.com or Twitter: @grocerygems.


Friday, 25 March 2016

Spotted Instore: Easter at Marks & Spencer


I've been meaning to post these photos for ages but I hope they're still useful for anyone who's left their Easter shopping until the last minute. I was in my local M&S yesterday and they still had most of these products available (actually all apart from the Disney ones). I realise some people are eating Easter chocolates already but I'm a bit of a traditionalist so for me it isn't time for chocolate eggs until Easter Sunday!

Percy, Penny & Piglets - £10.00p (above): This one is so cute, from the pigs holding hands to the bright packaging! There are two medium shaped chocolate characters and a bag of Piglets sweets too. 


The Orange Carrot - £6.00p: A large carrot shaped white chocolate, orange flavoured egg. This is such a simple idea but it's still a very striking looking egg.


M&S Hen House - £10.00p: This one is really cute too - although it's a bit pricey for the size. It's a white and milk chocolate hen house with hollow milk chocolate chicks. 


M&S Eggsplosion - £6.00p: This is a fun and colourful new Easter egg from M&S. It features two of their new Crazy One chocolate bars with a matching medium egg containing popping candy and popcorn.


Star Wars R2D2 - £7.00p: The Disney tie-in Easter eggs are just perfection this year. This R2D2 is a medium sized milk chocolate figure and is fully detailed and decorated with white chocolate highlights. 


Disney Frozen Arundelle Castle - £8.00p: This white chocolate castle is so pretty. I love all the little details and the blue colouring for the turrets and door. Perfect for any fans of the Disney Frozen movie.

  
Spiketail The Dinosaur - £6.00p: Again, this is such a gorgeously detailed chocolate figure, even though this dinosaur is menacing rather than cute! I love the fact that it comes with speckled 'dinosaur eggs' too. 


Colin the Caterpillar, Colin's Apple - £8.00p: How cute is this? My kids are far too old for this one but it would be my number one choice for any younger kids. The large milk chocolate apple is decorated with a green leaf on top and holes for the caterpillar jelly sweets. 


Chirpy Charlie Chick - £12.00p: A large white chocolate egg. This one looks quite simple and plain so I'm not sure why it's so expensive. 


Beehive Honeycomb Egg - £8.00p: I love the fact that so many of the M&S Easter eggs are not actually egg shaped. This one features a whole beehive shaped chocolate with chocolate bees and  8 smaller eggs filled with Scottish honey. 


M&S Coffee Lovers Egg - £8.00p: Of course M&S also has a range of elegant, grown up Easter eggs too. I'll be honest I find the brighter, fun ones much more interesting! This Coffee Lovers Egg is certainly majestic looking.


M&S Single Origin Cocoa Pod - £12.00p: A distinctive chocolate that is shaped as a giant cocoa pod. It's a hand painted dark chocolate made with cocoa from the Dominican Republic. 


M&S Sculptured Column Egg: Not sure on the price for this one. It's more of a traditional looking Easter egg but with a sculptural twist. I like the gold decoration and the fact that the chocolate looks super thick!


M&S A Constellation of Assorted Eggs: M&S has an awesome range of space themed Easter eggs. This constellation set is my favourite Easter product I've seen so far and the whole reason I'm even doing this post (I couldn't find any photos of it online!). It's an assortment of hollow and filled eggs featuring milk, white and dark chocolates. I'll hopefully have a review soon. 


M&S Saturn Egg with Marc de Champagne Chocolates - £18.00p: This egg is simply stunning! I actually would have been tempted to buy this one, despite the pricetag, if it was a different flavour. I'm not a fan of dark chocolate or Marc de Champagne so I was able to resist!


M&S The Giant Cosmic Egg - £40.00p: Funnily enough, the most expensive egg in the space-themed range, is also the least impressive to me. Yes, it's very large but each one in my local store looked quite ropey with half the smaller eggs falling out of their holes in the large egg. I much prefer the look of the previous two sets above. 

If you've tried any of these M&S Easter eggs then I'd love to know whether you enjoyed them in the comments below - thank you!


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