Thursday, 21 September 2017

London Cocktail Week and Discover Kale Review

Say the word  'Cocktail' and you have my attention ! Who does not like the idea of that fancy little drink which is normal sporting a mini umbrella or fancy fruits.  So when I got the chance to try making cocktails at home to help celebrate London Cocktail week (2nd-8th October ) I was in.
With the help of  Discover Kale , a really fantastic site with tons of ideas to use the yummy vegetable Kale I was on my way.

Now I know normally you would not think of vegetables as being great in a cocktail but I was so surprised about how many ways you could use them. Plus Kale is one of my favourites so I was keen to find out more.
I also got to use a really lovely Gin that is new to me called Pin Gin, made by the Lincolnshire Premier gin company Bottomley Distillers.
First I got to taste the Gin and was surprised by its lovely smell and taste. You could taste cucumber and spice and every time I tried it I could pick up another yummy ingredient.

We made a Kale Collins which is like A Tom Collins but with kale.
We used our juicer which I have to be honest in saying its not been out in the light for some time !! We juiced a pack of kale down , the added in cucumber, ice, a teaspoon of sugar syrup, lime , and gin.  Put into our shaker and then a quick jig and it was ready. Strain into a glass and fill to top with soda or tonic water. Garnish with cucumber and you have all set. It was such a surprised as it tasted really fab. Refreshing and tastes great.

We also made some little shots Blue is Gin tonic and blue curacao
Red is Gin tonic bitters and Italian aperol
And Green in Gin lemonade and peppermint liqueur.

You must visit Discover Kale and it is such a great item. I was amazed at all the properties it has.

Anti Inflammatory
Omega fatty acids
Immunity and sustainable

 So I hope you will join in with London cocktail week and Discover Kale you will not regret it!

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Aldi Summer Wine Festival Review

Very exciting if you enjoy a glass of wine, and the last few weeks of summer, Aldi is launching a limited edition range of 24 wines from the 3rd August.  Wonderful wines from all over the world.
We got to try one bottle in the range.

Painted Dog Chenin Blanc Viognier £6.99
Available in store and online

A really yummy fruity and crisp, creamy wine perfect to go with any meal or just to enjoy. Best part about this wine is 5 % o the profits from every bottle sold goes to the Tusk Trust Conservation Fund to help protect South Africa's endangered animal - the wild dog.

There are so many in the range get along to the store or look online at all the others!

Please note I was not paid for this review only receiving a sample of the product 

Summer Baking At Aldi Review

I love to bake when I can its a small pleasure that I found fairly late in my life. I am always looking for new products at good prices, and also fun things to do with my grandchildren.  Aldi have a great range available in store from the 27th August so excite everyone who bakes.
I was lucky to get to try one of the range out and I had a little helper who was very excited as well.

The Aldi Sweet Treat Maker (19.99) helps to take out any stress from making yummy homemade goodies. In the range are a teacake maker, mini pancake or waffle maker. The latter is the one I got to try. I have to say I was impressed by its style mine was in a lovely cream, and its functions. It features temperature control, auto lock and a great cord wrap for upright storage. It seemed to give great value.
We were excited to open it and see what it could do!

 I was impressed as it came with inter changeable plates to make waffles, donuts and mini waffles. Also came with a recipe booklet and full instructions.

It was super easy to use and gave yummy results. Excellent value for the money. Now would also be a great time dare I mention it to add this to Christmas gifts!
There are lots of other great ideas to choose from so get into store after the 27th.

please note I was not paid for this review just receiving a sample of the product 

Monday, 7 August 2017

Bullying and its Effects

I had a wonderful childhood. My parents were hardworking Londoners from good sturdy stock. They moved us to Essex when I was four and as my mum worked from home I had her company all the time. She was the best mum a kid could want and as we were together all the time our bond grew and grew. My brother was 10 yrs older so most of the time it was me and mum.
I was tiny when I was a toddler and so much so my mum was very worried. As I grew though I developed a weight issue. Mum would take me to doctors to be told it was an hormone problem , but no one could offer advice. We knew it was not from what I was eating as my mum was an excellent cook, of very healthy food.

All was fine and I started school and was doing so well I went into junior school (age 7-11) when things changed. At that point the bullying started.  I wasn't very big but the bullies would use it to make my life hell. I got through but in my last year I got a teacher who hated fat kids, simple as that. It was so well known other parents would say to my mum ' Hope Jill does not get  Mr X he hates kids with weight issues' ! He would not pick on me as such but he made sure I did not get the same chances as others. He had favourites where sporty and fit and anyone else fell by the wayside.

When I moved to senior school at 11 my parents were confused I was not in a higher class as I was bright. We later found out he had sent my report which was very bad and mostly lies, which meant the new school thought I had educational issues.
Senior school was ok at first but the bullying continued, and as we were older it got nastier . I loved my class and my friends but a year in they moved me up to another class. I hated it!! My old class mates didn't want to know and my new class mates didn't care either. The work was harder and life was bad. I was lonely and sad and the bullies knew it and used it.
I couldn't walk past boys without comments and some of the girls were as bad. I couldn't wait to leave but although I got away from the bullies, the effects on my life stayed.

I am now 59 years old and I think I still suffer the bully effect. It made me into a different person I believe, and I often wonder what my life would have been like if I had been bully free. I still lack confidence even today and still have weight issues even though its more medical today.
I wish anyone who has bullied or put someone down even in fun could know what its like. It can leave someone with long term issues they may never get over.

I am a good person and have a wonderful family which I am very proud of. I try not to think about the past but as bullying is always in the news in different forms, So I thought I would share my experience's with you.
Be kind and think before you speak please .

Thursday, 27 July 2017

New Friends and old

I have been blogging for a few years now. I swear I have no idea where the time went and the years seem to fly the older you get. I fully believe you are never to old to learn and I still feel I am doing that. I have made plenty of mistakes with blogging, and to be fair I am, and will do ! There is still a ton of things I still do not get, and know I should be doing more.
Having said that I have 'Met' some great people along the way. Some I have had the pleasure to meet like Jaime and Cathy and some not as yet.

I recently got into instagram and love being able to share pictures and snapshots of my life. I am also enjoy chatting when people go live. I regularly chat and enjoy hearing stuff from David and Donetta  over at Dadvworld and Mumvworld.  I am old enough to be their mum but it does not stop us having a chat and a laugh. I have also picked up hints and tips re blogging which I am trying to put into action. It only took a second to listen and I am very glad I did.

Your age is just a number and I think we can all learn about the world and stay in touch. I hope when my grandchildren are older they will be impressed nan can keep up with them.

Until next time xx

Aldi Eco-Friendly Wines

In this day and age it does well for us all to think about the environment and the foot print we leave behind.  Earlier this year Aldi launched two 100% carbon neutral wines, made in a way the eliminates any negative impact on the environment during every stage of the winemaking process. Made by Wakefield, a family vineyard in Australia who are behind Aldi's multi-award winning Exquisite Collection Clare Valley Riesling.
Well worth a try even though I am no expert in wines.

80 Acres Carbon Neutral Shiraz Virognier 2015  Priced at £5.99

Yummy delicious red and with plum and blackberry flavours, and dark chocolate notes. It really is a very deep flavour and really sturdy wine. Would be great with any meal or just by itself. I can imagine on a cold winter night snuggled up with a glass by the fire. Can't wait to try it with Sunday roast as I am sure it will make the meal. A fair price for a rather tasty wine.

80 Acres Carbon Neutral Cabernet Shiraz Merlot 2015 Priced at £5.99

Really yummy shiraz merlot which is made up of three classic red grapes. Cabernet, shiraz and merlot. With those same chocolate and blackberry notes, it has a lovely warm taste which would be great with red meats. My husband really enjoyed this and said it had a really lovely flavour and loved its warming feeling.

Both are suitable for vegetarians.

Hope you will check out this new range and all the other fine wines by Aldi at :-

Please note I was not paid for this review just receiving a sample of the product 

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Santa Maria Latin American Kitchen

In my house we have lots of favourites but one brand we really love it Santa Maria. A vast range of products all designed to delight the taste buds.
So knowing they have a new range out got us very excited indeed.

The new Latin American Kitchen range brings dishes from the length and breadth of Latin America.
If you close your eyes and think of Latin America are you like me and think of jungles and beaches or smart cities. I know it makes me think of partying ,  salsa dancing  and music and fun.

More and more Latin American restaurants are popping up all over the UK, Santa Maria invites you into their kitchen with a wonderful range of sauces, rice , seasonings, tortillas, toppings and sides.
There is a range of 19 cook in sauces to pour over meat, fish or vegetables and serve with Santa Maria Latin American Rice. Its all quick to make and will disappear from your plate even quicker .

Santa Maria Caribbean pineapple and chilli Sticky Sauce

A Chinese-Caribbean fusion. In the 19th century workers came to the plantations and their food ideas combined with local ingredients gave us exciting food.  This is a yummy sticky sauce with just the right amount of heat to make your taste buds sing. This super tasty recipe uses the sauce.

Caribbean Pineapple & Chilli Sticky Sauce is typical of Chinese - Caribbean fusion cooking. Enjoy this sauce with Coconut & Chilli Rice.

1. Heat 1 tbsp of cooking oil in a frying pan. Add 300g diced chicken breast and fry over high heat until well browned.

2.Reduce the heat, add the contents of this sachet and stir well.

3.Simmer for 2 minutes, or until fully cooked. Serve with rice from Santa Maria Latin American Kitchen range and salad.

Vegetarian? Replace chicken with stir-fried or steamed vegetables.

No of portions
Caribbean Pineapple & Chilli Sticky Sauce
1 tbsp Cooking oil
300 g Diced chicken breast
1 sachet Santa Maria Caribbean Pineapple & Chilli Sticky Sauce
1 pack Santa Maria Arroz Con Coco y Chile Coconut & Chilli Rice

There are so many sauces and seasnings mixes I would have to write about 10 blog post to cover them all, the range is vast.
We loved the creamy chicken curry seasoning mix lovely rich flavour so yummy.

I love the range of Rice packets. Cook in a flash and already spiced and seasoned to say you time.
We loved the Spicy Red Rice which had a lovely rich taste.  This recipe uses the rice and it tastes great.

A satisfyingly chunky tomato sauce with garlic, paprika & peppers, served with spicy red rice. Just add your favourite vegetables!

1. Heat 1 tbsp of cooking oil in a frying pan. Add 300g raw peeled king prawns and fry quickly over high heat.

2.Reduce the heat, add the contents of this sachet and stir well.

3.Simmer for 1 minute, or until fully cooked. Serve with rice from Santa Maria Latin American Kitchen range and salad.

Don’t like prawns? Replace them with chicken.

No of portions
Peruvian Garlic & Tomato Sauce
1 tbsp Cooking oil
300 g Raw peeled king prawns
1 sachet Santa Maria Peruvian Garlic & Tomato Sauce
1 Pack Santa Maria Arroz Rojo Spicy Red Rice

Both of these ideas would be great with the perfect little soft tortillas . Irresistible little taste delights a perfect item to have along side your Latin American meal.

To finish off there are a great range of those finishing touches such as Salsa and sour cream to name a few. And the regulars like Guacamole and refried beans

Santa Maria's New Latin American range will be out in sores nationwide over the summer, beginning in Morrison's in June.  We will be doing just that and we can't wait to cook some more yummy food with these excellent products.

For lots more information and more wonderful recipes why not visit the Santa Maria web site at