Category Archives for Product Reviews

Slovenian Wine – World In Bottles

world-in-bottlesHave you ever heard of Slovenian wine? Up until a couple of weeks ago I had not. Rach and I love wine and make a point to try and have a different bottle every week. Going through the shelves and picking one that we have never tried before.

A friend had told me about Slovenian Wine and introduced us to World In Bottles. World In bottles is a website that sells Slovenian Wine straight from the award winning wineries. All of the wines available are exclusive and are hand picked by their buyers to ensure they are the best quality.

What I really like is the fact that each bottle of wine that is sold online is produced by small family run vineyards. The wine is not mass produced and is often made in Slovenia using many traditional methods.


I also like the fact that you are not restricted to what wine you can buy. They do have pre-made boxes of the Slovenian Wine but you can also buy individual boxes if you want. The actual price of the wine is also decent. It’s not as cheap as store bought, but then again that is mass produced and how much quality are you getting for your money once you take VAT etc away.

What Wine Did I Try?

Regardless of the type of wine you like, you will find a bottle from Slovenia. Whether you’re partial to a nice full bodied red, a dry white, a sweet rose or even a Slovenia orange wine!!

Rach and I originally just drank rose wine. More recently over the past few years have been enjoying some nice red wines. We do have the odd white wine but we don’t tend to like the dryer varieties

I was gifted 3 bottles of wine to try from World in Bottles and I have to admit all 3 of them were great!.

Pinot Gris By Batic – Orange Slovenian Wine

Batic Orange Slovenian WineI have never experienced orange wine. It’s important to note that it’s not orange in flavour, but orange in the actual colour of the wine. They do say that it’s a wine for a special occasion, making it a perfect wine to try on Valentine’s day.

I do often try to make Rach a romantic meal on valentine’s day and this year was no different. We enjoyed scallops for a starter and grilled salmon for our main. The wine suited both of them perfectly. At the same time I do believe the wine can be enjoyed without food as well as with food.

Whilst drinking I imagined having it in the summer, whilst in the garden with friends having some food alfresco style. It taste fresh and is a refreshing wine, to enjoy anytime.

I would say it’s in the middle of being dry and sweet, which should cater for most palettes. When tasting it you can get the flavours of apples, pear and honey. Smelling it you get hints of all the flavours with a little smokiness.

At 14% volume it’s a decent strength but not too much and is a very enjoyable wine to drink. It is certainly one that I will be ordering again and would recommend giving it a go. Afterall have you ever had Orange wine from Slovenia before??

Check out this amazing wine here – https://shop.worldinbottles.com/products/pinot-gris-by-batic

Merlot By Scurek

Merlot  Slovenian WineIf Rach and I fancy a red wine, we usually go for a Merlot or a Malbec. I was more than happy to have received this Merlot to give it a try. Red wines for me can vary, some are a little too heavy and I can only manage 1 glass. Some like this one I can drink glass after glass and it being a really easy drinking wine.

We enjoyed this Merlot with a beef wellington that I had made and it went incredibly well together. I recently made a duck with a plum sauce and this wine would have also gone well with that.

The wine has hints of plum, raspberry, blackberry and blackcurrant smells and flavours. Making it an all rounder and perfect to be enjoyed with any Sunday Roast. As I said it was a easy drinking red, I could have happily drank it without food whilst enjoying a good film.

Strength wise it’s 12.5% and is made 100% from the merlot grape. It’s reasonable in price at only £14.90 per bottle. When you think it’s made by an independent wine maker and not mass produced, it’s a very good price.

Check out this amazing wine here – https://shop.worldinbottles.com/products/merlot-scurek

Rose by Batic

This was the 3rd wine that we enjoyed. It was nice although probably my 3rd favourite. This is a rose wine, which we do usually enjoy. The wine did have a slight fizz to it, which was a surprise. We enjoyed this wine with a nice sea bass dish with a scallop starter and it matched really well.

It is a refreshing wine and think it would be better suited to be drank in the summer months. Like the orange wine, I could imagine having it during a BBQ.

Its 12.5% alcohol and is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. It has a hint of raspberry, strawberry, cranberry and peaches smell and taste, with an additional flavour of cream.

Check out this amazing wine here – https://shop.worldinbottles.com/products/rose-batic

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Pizza Stone For Oven

Pizza Stone For Oven - Make the very best stone baked pizzaPizza is one of those meals that suits many occasions. Imagine you’re having friends round, a nice selection of pizza’s is perfect food to put on. Pizza is also perfect when enjoying a nice glass of wine whilst watching a film with a loved one. If you have kids then it’s also a perfect meal to get them involved and get them having fun in the kitchen.

The taste of pizza does however vary depending on what base you use, whether its own made or not and how you cook it. Have you ever wondered how you can get that nice stone baked pizza that you get in Italian restaurants without needing to have a big clay pizza oven?

A Pizza Stone for oven will do just that for you!

Click here to learn more about the Savisto Pizza Stone

What is a pizza stone?


A pizza stone is often known as a baking stone. The stone can absorb high heat without breaking as well as the food less likely to burn. Pizza stones are used as they help to mimic stone pizza ovens and give your pizza base a nice stone baked taste.

Pizza stones are incredibly easy to use in your home oven. The main thing you need to remember is to put the stone in your oven whilst the oven is cold and allow the stone to heat up with the oven. You want to put the oven to its highest setting and allow the pizza stone to heat for between 45-60 minutes before using. When you are finished you also want to leave the pizza stone in the oven to cool properly. If you do suddenly put it into a hot oven or cool it down quickly then it can crack.

Usually pizzas will take around 15-20 minutes to cook on the pizza stone.

When putting the pizza onto the stone or taking it off, be careful as the stone will be incredibly hot!

Benefits of using a pizza stone for oven?

  • Give Your Pizza That Restaurant Stone Baked Taste/Texture
  • Evenly Cook The Pizza (No Soggy Middle)
  • Incredibly Easy To Use
  • Low In Cost

Click here to learn more about the Savisto Pizza Stone

Where to buy a pizza stone for oven?

There are a number of different pizza stones available on the internet, some are round whilst others are square. It is also possible to get metal ones, although i’d be tempted to stick with the stone ones.
Savisto are well-known for providing good quality kitchen products. I have recently tried their cocktail making kit and also recently received and used their Pizza Stone for oven.

The pizza stone comes with a chrome stand, although I have not personally used this as tend to transfer the pizza straight to the plate. There is also the risk of burning yourself if you place the pizza stone on the table.

The Savisto pizza stone kit also comes with a nice pizza stone cutter with a good quality wooden handle. This was actually ideal and received just in time for my previous pizza cutter to snap…which was a pain!

What Are My Final Thoughts Of A Pizza Stone For Oven?

Pizza night on Saturdays have gotten even better since I brought a pizza stone. The flavourings really come out and I really like the stone baked tastes and textures. You can use a pizza stone with store bought bases but there is nothing better than a nice home made base.

A pizza stone is not essential when it comes to having nice pizza, I do however think they do enhance the taste of the pizza.

Believe me if you use a stone for the pizza, I am sure you will not go back to store bought pizzas or take out pizza.

Click here to learn more about the Savisto Pizza Stone

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In-depth Beer52 Review & Voucher – Monthly Beer Subscription Service

Review of Beer52 - Beer subscription service. Great service with some excellent beers. Get your exclusive Beer52 Voucher for £10 off

£10 Beer52 Voucher – AMATEUR10 – Click here for more info

An honest review of Beer52 and a Unique Voucher to get £10 of your order…

Over the past couple of the years I have gotten more and more into trying different beers. My love for trying different beers started in Cornwall. I had come across some unusual beers such as Betty Stogs and Proper Job (one of my favourites)


For some time now I’ve been looking at monthly subscriptions for Beer for some time now. I have tried a few for food so thought i’d spend some time looking into the drinks. Beer52 contacted me and offered me a free box to try out and therefore jumped at the chance.

Even though I was given a box for free, my Beer52 review is based on my honest impressions of the service. This review has not been influenced by being gifted a box.

What is Beer52?

Beer52 is a monthly beer subscription service. It’s the perfect subscription or gift for beer lovers. You can try 8 different small batch craft beers from a wide range of breweries. Their team of experts will select craft beers that are tailored to you and your taste. Each month you will receive your selected 8 beers, monthly magazine and snack.

A great feature is that all the beer is sent to you fresh. They claim that it is in the bottle within 4-6 weeks of being brewed!

Beer52 costs as little as £24 a month, although with this Beer52 voucher you can save £10: AMATEUR10

What Beers did I receive in my box?

As I said I did receive a box from Beer52. Even though I have had a number of craft beers, I had not had any of these 8 before.

Rogue Santas Private Reserve – ABV: 6%

This beer is a red ale that is double hopped. It has a nice roast and malty flavour. An American ale that is brewed in Oregon. This is a Christmas variation of their classic ale Saint Rogue Red.

If combining with food then it goes really well with pork or beef.

Beer52 Review - Rogue Santas Private Reserve

TO OL Fuck Art The Heathens Are Coming – ABV: 5.4%

A orange gold Belgian beer. The Heathens Are Coming is one of the beers from TO OL in their Fuck Art range. It has a nice aroma of fruits with a fruity yet spicy taste. It’s quite a dry beer and very drinkable.

Beer52 Review TO OL Fuck Art The Heathens Are Coming - ABV: 5.4%

Wiper And True Mimosa – ABV: 3.6%

This English Beer is brewed by micro brewery Wiper and True in Bristol. It is a fairly low alcohol content when compared with other ales. It uses a soft malt base and has fruity notes. It’s a tart yet refreshing beer.

Beer52 Review Wiper And True Mimosa - ABV: 3.6%

£10 Beer52 Voucher – AMATEUR10 – Click here for more info

Brewdog Santa Paws – ABV: 4.5%

Introducing a nice christmas scotch ale to enjoy over the festive period. Id consider it a mid strength beer at 4.5%. I have had a few Brewdog beers and they continue to bring out beers that taste great. It reminds me a little of honey and caramel.

Beer52 Review Brewdog Santa Paws - ABV: 4.5%

Mordue Brewery Krampus – ABV: 5.5%

Krampus in folklore is a half goat and half demon. Punishing children who have misbehaved. If you have a bottle of this you will think of it more of a treat than a punishment. Its a nice winter blond ale with hints of caramel, oak and sherry. A nice strength ale, perfect for the Christmas period.

Beer52 Review Mordue Brewery Krampus - ABV: 5.5%

The Flying Dutchman Nomad Flower Power Hippy Dippy All Things Pretty – ABV: 4.7%

With a name like Flower power hippy dippy and all things pretty, it makes you think of flowery, peace and love symbols. It’s a cloudy orange colour with aromas of caramel, fruits and as you would expect flowers.

The Flying Dutchman Nomad Flower Power Hippy Dippy All Things Pretty - ABV: 4.7%

Mikkeller Session IPA Mosaic – ABV: 4.5%

This Belgian beer is the brainchild of Mikkeller and Beer52. A beer with a nice Alcohol content. Golden in colour with the aromas of citrus. I found it a little bitter but also had a nice sweet aftertaste. I also found that it had a nice fruity finish, very drinkable.

Beer52 Review Mikkeller Session IPA Mosaic - ABV: 4.5%

Aegir Littlebro IPA – ABV: 4.7%

Brewed in Norway by the award winning brewery Aegir. Littlebro IPA is a pale ale with crisp flavours that go well with spicy food. I found the aroma and taste reminded me of tropical fruits with a hint of pepper.

Beer52 Review - Aegir Littlebro IPA - ABV: 4.7%

Ferment Magazine

As well as the beers and a free snack, you also get a copy of the Ferment magazine. The magazine is a good read for all beer fans with news pieces, gift guides, cocktail recipes. Well worth a read when enjoying one of you 8 great beers.

Final Thoughts of Beer52

Overall Beer52 and the beers are impressive as well as the service you get. I am really happy with all 8 bottles that I get to try. They seemed to be a nice mixture of strengths and flavours. I do think it will be a service I will continue to get, allowing me to experience even more small batch beers.

If you are a fan of beer and want to experience a nice variety, then i’d recommend giving it a go.

Beer52 Voucher – Save £10

We are all looking for a good deal and a way to save a little money. Beer52 have been kind enough to provide me with a unique Beer52 voucher code to save you £10! Simply visit their website via the URL below and input the voucher code: AMATEUR10

£10 Beer52 Voucher – AMATEUR10 – Click here for more info

If you are planning to sign up and have any questions please feel free to ask in the comments below and ill try and answer. If you have already signed up then let me know what you think.

Have a friend that loves beer? Share this review with them! I really appreciate it 🙂

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Savisto Cocktail Making Kit

Savisto Cocktail Making Kit - Excellent cocktail kit with everything you need to make the best cocktails - http://amateurchef.wpengine.com

Savisto Cocktail Making Kit

I have been wanting to spend more time on a drinks section on AmateurChef, which would feature different cocktails I have made. I have therefore been on the lookout for a nice cocktail making kit, luckily Savisto offered to send me one if I am willing to post my honest thoughts of the kit.

Here is my honest review of the Savisto Cocktail making kit, even though I was sent it for free this will not alter my thoughts on it.

My first impression on when it was delivered was “wow”, it came well package and in a nice black box. Each of the individual parts of the kit were in their own space and nicely wrapped to ensure they were well protected during delivery.

What is Included In The Kit


The Savisto Cocktail making kit comes with everything you need to get you started. Each element of the kit fits comfortably in its own slot in the box that it comes in, allowing you to easily store it when not in use.

The kit uses a Boston shaker which means it comes with the metal shaker bottom and then you use the glass. You

800ml Stainless Steel Cocktail Shaker

The shaker is used with the 450ml glass to either shake the contents or can be used without the glass to stir or muddle the ingredients. The shaker feels great in the hand, made from good quality steel and is easily cleaned.

450ml Glass

The glass is used along with the shaker and fits perfectly into the steel shaker. I like the fact that it is glass and not plastic as it makes it feel a bit better quality.

Hawthorne Cocktail strainer

The Hawthorne cocktail strainer is placed over the top of the shaker and as you pour the liquid it keeps any mushed bits out of the drink. If you are using ice to help make the drink cool then it also prevents this from going into the cocktail.

25ml & 50ml Stainless Steel bar measure

You need to know the amount of what you’re putting into your cocktail right? The kit comes with two bar measure’s, a 25 ml (single shot) and a 50ml (double shot).

Stainless Steel twisted bar spoon

The bat spoon is a typical twisted spoon that you will see behind a bar, it’s used to help mix the drink as well as layering the mixed drinks.

Wooden Muddler

The muddler is basically the pestle of the cocktail world 🙂

You place any fruits, herbs or spices at the bottom of the glass and used the muddler to mash them down to release the flavours.

Savisto Cocktail Making Kit - Excellent cocktail kit with everything you need to make the best cocktails - http://amateurchef.wpengine.com Savisto Cocktail Making Kit - Excellent cocktail kit with everything you need to make the best cocktails - http://amateurchef.wpengine.com Savisto Cocktail Making Kit - Excellent cocktail kit with everything you need to make the best cocktails - http://amateurchef.wpengine.com Savisto Cocktail Making Kit - Excellent cocktail kit with everything you need to make the best cocktails - http://amateurchef.wpengine.com Savisto Cocktail Making Kit - Excellent cocktail kit with everything you need to make the best cocktails - http://amateurchef.wpengine.com

I have the kit but what cocktails am I supposed to make?!?

I have never really made many cocktails in the past….even though I have drank my fair share 🙂

Luckily Savisto had me covered!

Included with the box is a cocktail recipe book, it features an impressive list of 500 cocktails!!

More than enough to get a budding cocktail maker to start experimenting with the new kit.

Savisto – Who are they?

Savisto are a online store that focuses on homeware and accessories, they are based in the North East of England. Savisto have a wide range of products to make it easier in the kitchen or when preparing meals.

The types of products that Savisto have on offer are a wide variety such as Ice Cream makers, mixers, blenders and many more.

If the quality of these are as good as the Savisto cocktail making kit then I expect them to be of good quality for a very reasonable price.

Click Here to take a look at the Cocktail Kit

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Apple and Blackcurrant Granola By Sown & Grown

Sown & Grown Granola 1 - Apple and Blackcurrant Granola - perfect healthy breakfast and tasty dessertI was recently offered a sample of Granola from a new start up company Great Little Grains, they released their range  under the brand Sown & Grown. I took up the offer as I do like Granola and love the idea that it is made from 100% British grains as well as being made in small batches and ensuring it is high in nutrients. All of the muesli and granola comes package in a unique tube which contains 450g, the unique tube takes up less space in the cupboard whilst also has an air tight lid to ensure the contents stays fresh.

What’s In the Apple and Blackcurrant Granola?

The Granola that I received crunchy oats and wheats along with pumpkin seeds, almonds and linseeds. These are all coated with honey to give them a extra bit of sweetness, they are then baked in batches. Chopped apples and blackcurrants are then added. Rach and I both enjoy a bowl for breakfast from time to time and also enjoy adding it to yogurt for a nice tasty dessert, so we have tried a number of brands in the past. I found this Granola to be very crunchy and the addition of the honey gave it an incredible sweetness which really added to the taste. Sown & Grown Granola 1 - Apple and Blackcurrant Granola - perfect healthy breakfast and tasty dessert I also found the apple and blackcurrant to taste really fresh and didn’t taste artificial like some of them have that I have had in the past. There are a number of different flavours available;

  • Nuts and Seeds  – featuring almonds, brazil nuts, pumpkin and linseeds.
  • Three Grain – wholesome mix of barley, spelt and oats with almonds, linseeds and pumpkin seeds
  • Mixed Berry and Nut Muesli – Oats, wheat, barley, spelt and rye combined with brazil nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, sultanas, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries.
  • Four Grain Muesli – mixture of oats, wheat, barley and spelt which has been combined with sunflower oil and pumpkin seeds.
  • Apple & Raspberry muesli – nice mixture of oats, wheat, barley, spelt and rye. This is combined with raspberry, apple, sultanas and pumpkin seeds.

Sown and Grown Collection If you are interested in trying any of the Granola or Muesli then the Sown and Grown collection can be purchased from Sainsbury’s. Each tube costs £3.95 for 450g, which roughly works out at 11 servings if each serving was 40g. As I said granola is a perfect and tasty breakfast as it releases energy slower so you stay fuller for longer. I also find it can make a really tasty dessert, below you can see a recipe for a nice and light dessert using Sown & Grown. Find out more about Sown & Grown from their official website – http://greatlittlegrains.co.uk/launch-range/

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Sown and Grown Collection
Print
Apple and Blackcurrant Granola By Sown & Grown
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins
 
Yummy granola and yogurt dessert, fresh and tasty. The key is good quality granola.
Servings: 2
Ingredients
  • 400 g of yogurt
  • 4 Tablespoon raspberry coulis
  • Hand full of Granola
Instructions
  1. Put 100g of yogurt into a glass
  2. Place half a hand full of granola on top of the yogurt
  3. Top with 2 tablespoons of raspberry coulis
  4. Add 100g of yogurt on top
  5. Top with the other half of the Granola
Yogurt and Granola Dessert, easy and quick dessert that is also low in fat. A nice healthy granola dessert - it is yummy - http://amateurchef.wpengine.com  Yogurt and Granola Dessert, easy and quick dessert that is also low in fat. A nice healthy granola dessert - it is yummy - http://amateurchef.wpengine.com


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Breville Blend Active Review

Breville Blend Active Review

Breville Blend Active Review - Read this product review of this excellent Smoothie Blender - http://amateurchef.wpengine.comRach and I usually struggle to have breakfast on weekdays as we both leave early in the morning for work. The downside to that is that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, going on a health kick we wanted to find a way to get breakfast into our daily routine.

As well as wanting to get breakfast into our routine, we also wanted to try and increase the amount of fruit and vegetables in our diet. We do have a lot of vegetables in our evening meal and some fruit, however it cannot hurt to add more into our diet.

This is when we thought about having breakfast smoothies, they are healthy as well as quick to make.


I have not been asked or paid to do this Blend Active Review, I have purchased the blender and use it on a daily basis. This review is based on my own personal experience with the blender and what I personally think about it.

Click here to Buy Breville Blend Active From Amazon

What Made Me Pick Breville Blend Active?

Breville Blend Active Review - Read this product review of this excellent Smoothie Blender - http://amateurchef.wpengine.comThere are so many options on smoothie blenders, it is important to make sure you pick a good blender though. I have had a couple in the past that just didn’t blend everything or was a complete pain to clean. I even used a food processor…that was a mistake as it didn’t blend very well at all 🙂

When I was looking for a smoothie maker/blender I was debating over 3 different smoothie blenders. The 3 were NutriBullet, Nutri Ninja and Breville Blend Active, I spent some time reviewing them to see which would be more suitable for what I was after.

One of the main reasons I chose the Breville Blend Active was because of the price. I have only recently gotten into drinking smoothies and felt that the price of NutriBullet and Nutri Ninja was a bit high for something that I didn’t know if I would stick to.

The Breville Blend Active that I purchased was only £19.99, which I think is a really good deal for a smoothie blender that is actually really good quality. The other two are also great brands and have had some excellent reviews, however I have not used them myself.

What Comes with Breville Blend Active?

There are two Blend Actives that can be purchased, the personal one and then the family blender. Both actual smoothie blenders are the same the main difference is the family one you get some smaller bottles.

As it’s just Rach and I that will be using it, the cheaper of the two is enough as you get enough bottles for 2 people to use it.
Included in this package is;

The Smoothie Blender with the removeable blade section
2 Smoothie Bottles
2 Smoothie Bottle Lids

Breville Blend Active Review - Read this product review of this excellent Smoothie Blender - http://amateurchef.wpengine.com Breville Blend Active Review - Read this product review of this excellent Smoothie Blender - http://amateurchef.wpengine.com

Click here to Buy Breville Blend Active From Amazon

Pros To Breville Blend Active

  • Great quality product that is low in cost
  • Very easy to clean
  • Quickly blends frozen fruit
  • User friendly
  • Blends directly into the bottle

Cons To Breville Blend Active

  • Bits can get stuck so may need to remove from the blender and shake

What’s my personal views of the Breville Blend Active Smoothie Blender?

After using it for several months now, I can say that I am more than happy with my purchase. The blender itself is actually really good quality for the price and getting two bottles included is really nice.

The smoothie blender is really easy to clean, I simply unscrew the blades from the base and put under the tap and it clears the smoothie right off, give it a quick dry and place it back on the blender.

I also like the fact that you blend the smoothie straight into the bottle, this saves you having to blend it into a container, transfer it and then wash the surface (I always used to spill some!!) The Breville Blend Active is also very simple to use, it has one button “blend” (pretty simple hey!!)

Another feature I like is the safety aspect of it, if the blades are not in place and the bottle is not locked in place then the blend button doesn’t work – protecting you from any potential accidents!

My Final Conclusion….

This is an excellent smoothie blender that is not only powerful but very user friendly, for the price I don’t think you can really go wrong with this. If you are looking to add smoothies into your diet or looking for a new blender, I would recommend this one.

Breville Blend Active Amazon

Click here to Buy Breville Blend Active From Amazon

The links above the go to Amazon if you are looking to purchase, these are affiliate links. If you do purchase then I do get a percentage as a commission, however this does not reflect my views of the Blend Active.

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Beyond Brilliant Book Review

Beyond Brilliant Book Review

Beyond Brilliant Book Review 1I have never really tried to make any Indian myself, I was always a bit scared to do a  curry as I thought they would be very complicated with the wide variety of spices.

I do love Indian food, there are always so many different levels of flavour that just makes it so tasty.

After interviewing Dipna Anand, I learnt that she had published Beyond Brilliant. A great book that features over 40 recipes from the actual kitchens of The Brilliant Restaurant.

As I don’t have any other Indian Cookbooks, I thought id buy it and try a few of the recipes myself.

The book arrived at work and as soon as it arrived I opened it up and had a quick glance through the pages. Each page is filled with high quality and colourful pictures.

Beyond Brilliant gives a good introduction to the history of brilliant so you can earn how it got started in Kenya and how it became the great restaurant it is today. There is a section on Dipna being a student and then taking the role of a teacher, she does many lectures or food demonstrations.

Beyond Brilliant Book Review 3 Beyond Brilliant Book Review 2

Click Here to find out more

Its in this section that you learn a bit about basic preparation, how to make a green chilli paste, different ways of cutting/chopping an onion and then toasting and crushing spices.

There is then a section on the Brilliant Restaurant where you can read about Dipna’s farther Gulu Anand and the restaurants head chef Jasvinderjit Singh. Its a good to hear that they want to stick to authentic Indian food and only serving food that they would want to eat themselves, you can really tell they care about their food and customers.

Beyond Brilliant Book Review 6

Later in the book there is a section on the Brilliant family where Dipna writes about her mother and her brother. Its interesting to read that her mother didn’t know how to cook but with time and practice she now cooks and even says she could teach her husband a few things. Dipna’s brother has been in the restaurant for 10 years as well as working hard in the restaurant he is working on finding new new clients and bringing in new business.

One thing you can really tell from the book is that the whole Brilliant business is a family business and that family means a great deal to them, which I think its excellent! There is then a final section on the Brilliant Wedding, giving a bit of information on the wedding as well as Dipna’s Involvement in it.

Beyond Brilliant Book Review 12 Beyond Brilliant Book Review 13

Click Here to find out more

I really think these bits of information really add to the recipes of the book as it helps you understand where the passion comes from, passion to me is very important when it comes to food and cooking. Its obvious that Dipna and the entire Brilliant family have a to of love for what they do and passion for Indian food.

Now onto the recipes….

Beyond Brilliant Book Review 7There are over 40 different recipes in the book, all from the kitchens of the actual Brilliant Restaurant so you know they are all tried and tested. One of the things I love about the book is that each recipe covers two pages. One of the pages has the ingredients and the method, the other page has a picture of the dish that covers the entire page.

The book features a nice mixture of recipes ranging from starters, mains, sides and desserts. I love the fact that it features desserts as I personally haven’t seen many recipes for Indian desserts so it would be nice to try and make some. I had some Indian Desserts when I went in 2014 and they are very nice!

Each recipe clearly marks what ingredients you need and the method is very clear, helping amateurs to Indian cooking like me to make a nice tasting dish with little worries 🙂

Beyond Brilliant Book Review 8At the moment I have only made the Palak Chicken, which tasted amazing! It was that nice that my wife wanted me to make it again 2 days later, I would recommend it!.

There are a few dishes that I am looking forward to trying such as;

* Paneer Croquettes

* Bombay Alu

* Gajar Ka Halwa

* Masala Lamb

* Malai Kulffi

* Tandoori Salmon

* Mango Lassi

Beyond Brilliant Book Review 10Another thing I really like about this book is the focus on healthy options as well. More and more people are looking to go for more healthy options, in my house we tend to replace certain things with others so that it is more slimming and less syns 🙂

Dipna has put a lot of focus on offering healthy options, helping to get rid of the myth that Indian food has to be unhealthy as it really doesn’t.

I really would recommend checking out Beyond Brilliant if you want to learn how to make tasty authentic Indian dishes from a family that has a real passion for the food they produce.

Click Here to find out more

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Hello Fresh Review

Hello FreshI have seen Hello Fresh advertised a couple of times and was always interested in trying it out, I have tried a few subscription boxes in the past and do like the way they work. One of the things that got me interested in Hello Fresh was I tend to work lat some nights, therefore deciding on what to eat can sometimes be a pain. I also tend to have bigger portion sizes and having something like Hello Fresh means that my portions are a little more controlled.

I tend to also stick to the same types of meals and even though I am venturing out a bit more and trying new things, Hello Fresh forces me to try new dishes and I find this exciting 🙂

Hello Fresh provide a number of options for sized boxes, giving something that is suitable for all. You can choose between Classic box, veggie box, family box or your can try their trial box out which allows you to give it ago without subscribing.


Once you have chosen which box you want you can then pick the size, whether its for 2, 3 or 4 people. You can then pick between having 3 meals or 5 meals per week, the more you chose the more expensive it becomes. I chose the 3 meals a day for 2 people which doesn’t force me to just eat these meals every week, I can follow my own recipes as well. The cost of 3 meals a week for 2 people works out at £39.00, which I don’t think is too bad for a total of 6 meals.

What was the delivery Like for my Hello Fresh order?

hello FreshWhen I chose my box I selected the available delivery day that this and all future boxes would be delivered on. The delivery slot was between 9 and 5 so ideal with my work and is delivered via Yodel, which I have had bad experiences with before but after having several boxes from Hello Fresh they have always delivered them.

The boxes are always cold when received and undamaged.

What is the Hello Fresh box contents like?

One of the things that impressed me about Hello Fresh was the box contents. On one side of the box you have the meat separated which was then in a cooler bag to keep it cold and fresh, even having it in the office all day it was still cool when I unpacked it at home in the evening. On the other side of the box the vegetable items can be found along with any sauces, creams or spices that are needed in their own packaging.

On the top of the box are a few offers along with the 3 recipe cards.

It looks as though a lot of care goes into the packing of each box!

What are the Hello Fresh recipes like?

I love the recipes that come with Hello Fresh!

Each recipe comes on a card with a nice image of the meal to wet your appetite, it shows what ingredients it needs and on the other side step by step method with nutrition details.

The recipes I have tried so far I found where very easy to follow yet still allowed you to adapt them slightly to suit your own tastes.

The ingredients I felt where of great quality and this resulting in the food tasting excellent!

Here are a couple of things I have made so far

hello Fresh Meal Hello Fresh Meal 2

Click here to find out more 


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Westin Gourmet Order #1 Review

Westin-Gourmet-OrderHow Did I Find Ordering From Westin Gourmet

I found the website very easy to navigate and find exactly what I was looking for. Along the navigation it had special offers and then was split into the types of meat IE Beef, Pork etc. It then had additional items if needed from the Delhi and then other options.

Placing my card details and address information was quick and took next to no time at all.

What Was Westin Gourmets Delivery Like?

As it was mid month I didn’t need to place a large order, therefore I didn’t qualify for free shipping. If however you spend I believe over £75 then you do get free shipping.

I made my order of Westin Gourmet on the 11th of October which was a Saturday and the next available delivery slot was the following Wednesday, which I think was very quick.

What Did I Order From Westin Gourmet?

Westin-Gourmet-BeefMinceExtra Lean British Beef Mince – 400g

I ordered the extra lean and it was below 5% fat, which is perfect as I sometimes aim to have slimming world meals which when using mince should be below 5% fat. It came packaged perfectly and looked as thought it had a lot of taste.

Westin-Gourmet-FilletSteakFillet Steaks – x2 5-6oz

When I have received fillet from other companies in the past it always looked smaller than I was expecting. These two were a decent size but also have nice marbling on them, so they should taste very nice!

Westin-Gourmet-PorkBritish Pork Loin Steaks

With Pork Loin I will usually buy a joint and cut it into steaks as I can have them whatever thickness I like, plus it often works out a bit cheaper as well! I would say I was a little disappointed with them as some to me were very thin. This wouldn’t however put me off from ordering from Westin Gourmet again, I might just take a look at what other pork they offer.

Westin-Gourmet-BaconRindless Smoked Back Bacon

I love bacon….bacon…hmm bacon. I eat a decent amount of bacon as I really enjoy a mid-week and weekend breakfasts with bacon. I have tried this meat and it tasted really nice, it wasn’t too salty which I often experience with supermarket bacon.

Westin-Gourmet-ChickenRed Tractor Whole Chicken

It was a bit smaller than I expected but I think thats because its vacuum packed and more importantly not injected with water to make it look bigger. I am looking forward to trying to recipe with this chicken over the weekend!

Westin-Gourmet-chikenbreastChicken Breast Fillets – 2.5kg

Westin Gourmet certainly know how to impress me with chicken breasts! The box was large and had a good amount of breasts in them, but what I really liked was the size of them. They are nice and large and more importantly the same size, there is nothing worse than getting a pack of two breasts at the supermarket and one being much smaller!

Westin-Gourmet-duckBarbary Duck Breasts

I love duck, its got such a nice taste to it. These are of a good size and there is not too much skin on them. Now I know the skin is important as the fat will render out, however some I have gotten in the past just had too much where as these look perfect!

What Did I Pay?

The entire order came to £45.80 with £4.95 shipping as I didn’t qualify for their free shipping, which I think is pretty damn good for what I got. Which when doing a rough calculation was cheaper by £15 than if I was to go to the supermarket, and it looks better quality!

Would I Order Again?

Yes, I think Westin Gourmet not only offer great value for money but the quality of the meat is excellent. I do plan to order from other companies as well so I will be able to review them as well as compare their meats. Overall thought I am VERY happy with the order that I received and would recommend them.

I do hope this review has helped if you were thinking about ordering from Westin Gourmet and hopefully when I do receive another order in the future, ill review that one as well!

Click here to take a look at Westin Gourmet

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Lakeland Digital Ice Cream Maker Review

Lakeland Digital Ice Cream Maker Review 1I have wanted to get an ice cream maker for some time now, as I wanted to get into making usual flavoured ice creams or sorbet. I didn’t want to spend to much money but still wanted value for the money spent.

I went onto Lakeland to see their range and found the Digital Ice Cream Maker. They have a range of makers the cheapest is ideal for the one person but it can only produce 500ml, which for me was too small.

Others are more expensive and in my view a little over kill, I therefore chose the Digital Ice Cream Maker which came in at £44.99.


Key Points;

* Capacity: 1.5 Litres

* Produces Ice Cream & Sorbet in 30 minutes

* Easy To read Display

* Includes 7 Recipes

Click here to visit LakeLands website

The Lakeland Digital Ice Cream Maker comes well package to keep it protected and includes everything needed to get started. It comes with an instructional manual which features ice cream and sorbet recipes.

Its worth noting that before you are able to use it you do need to put the base in the freezer for a good  12 hours, which for me was a pain as I was wanting to use it the same day I received it.

Overall the quality of the product is great and I do believe at the price you are getting more than what you pay for. With this ice cream maker you are able to produce 1.5 litres worth of ice cream/sorbet, which I think would be more than enough for 4.

The digital screen is fairly small and I at first thought it would be hard to see the times etc but it lights up and I found it very clear when reading the remaining time.

How Easy Is It To Use?

The machine is actually very simple to use, like most things I took very little notice of the instructions and just went for it and got it working very quickly..the results tasted like sorbet so I must have done something right 🙂

My Rating: 4/5

What have I made with it so far?

So far I have used the Lakeland digital ice cream maker to make apple sorbet and raspberry sorbet. Both of which turned out great and only took 30 minutes to get the right constancy, I did place in the freezer as I wanted to save it for later that day.

Lakeland Digital Ice Cream Maker Review 2 Lakeland Digital Ice Cream Maker Review 3 Lakeland Digital Ice Cream Maker Review 4 Lakeland Digital Ice Cream Maker Review 5

Click here to visit LakeLands website

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