Coconut Chia Muffins by Ugg Foods

Although I’m not a big fan of Ugg Food’s packaging (I prefer a gentler,’friendlier’ style but hey, that just personal preference) , I wanted to try this mix for Coconut Chia Muffins, as I really liked the bread a made from another packet mix of theirs (see previous review). As the name suggests, they contain chia seeds which are loaded with nutrients and have many health benefits.
The packet states that it either makes 9 large muffins or 18 cupcakes, but my cake tray was for 12, so that’s how many I made. The instructions are very easy and mixture hardly takes any time to prepare. There are two ways to make up the mix, the regular or luxury version (by adding slightly different ingredients) I chose the regular way.
I did wonder whether they needed any frosting, particularly as I overcooked them a little and I thought they would be really dry.
They were delicious though and very moist and great for lovers of coconut.
No frosting needed.


Pasta senza glutine by Dialcos- Review

Since avoiding gluten, I really miss good pasta. Although most gluten free pastas serve the purpose, they just don’t cut it when it comes to a satisfying texture. They can be either a bit grainy or too chewy, so I was super excited to try out some pasta by the Italian company, Dialcos It was bound to be good as Italians are the pasta experts. I wasn’t disappointed, the tagliatelle was wonderful, with a wonderful rich pasta flavor and smooth texture. I added Amatriciana sauce to it and it was just perfect. The difficult part was not eating too much- it was that good!

“Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.”
― Sophia Loren

Smooze Ice Lollies

Summer seems to up and left England all of a sudden and thoughts are now turning to warm Autumnal dishes rather than crisp fresh salads.
There’s never a bad time for an ice-lolly though they are guaranteed to get your mind back to those sunny summer days.
The Smooze Fruit Ices, in my opinion are quite special. They are made from freshly pressed coconuts, real fruit juices and purees, and are dairy, gluten and soy free, and they contain no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, and they certainly give other fruit flavoured lollies a run for their money.
There are 4 different Smooze flavours to try: Real Coconut and Mango, Real Coconut and Pink Guava, Real Coconut and Pineapple and Simply Coconut. They are so creamy and my favourite is Simply Coconut, which tastes really good.
They come in a small packet, but are very satisfying. The really great thing about is that they can be found on the ambient shelf, so you only need to freeze as much as you need. They can be used in all sorts of ways and there are a few ideas on their really cute website.

Puddings by Pudology

I was really excited when these little gluten and dairy free puddings arrived; they looked really good and came in some great flavours.  I tried all 4 flavours; Chocolate Orange, Chocolate, which are like a mousse and Banoffee Pie and Strawberry, which had a biscuity base, similar to a cheesecake.
My favourite flavour was the Chocolate Pud, although they all tasted fantastic, and were not too sweet and rich. I really like the packaging, it’s really simple and the main pot isn’t covered with labels and stickers, so you could serve them as part of a smart picnic, and even at the table. Yum!
(I did ‘share’ them by the way- I didnt eat them all myself- honest!)

Chia Seed and Nut Bread- Ugg Foods

I don’t use packet mixes as a rule, preferring to cook from scratch, but this bread mix from Ugg intrigued me.
The bread mix can be used as a base for pizza bases, pastry, dumplings amongst others and there are some recipes on their website.  
I chose to make the Olive oil bread, as sometimes gluten free foods can be a bit dry and crumbly, and I thought that adding oil would make the loaf more moist.
The instructions are very quick and easy to follow; the only lengthy process was baking it in the oven, which takes 50 minutes.
The resulting loaf was delicious and had a cake-like texture; if you were expecting it to be similar to regular bread you would be disappointed, but I really enjoyed it.  It was neither dry nor crumbly and went perfectly with soup.  It also made nice toast.

Tony Tobin’s Seared Scallops @ Oxted Food & Drink Festival

Sometimes a dish is so good that it remains in your memory forever, either for the occasion, the company or the food itself.

Quite a number of years ago, to celebrate a ‘big’ birthday (I fail to recognize which one!), I was fortunate enough to dine at The Dining Room, a Reigate based restaurant owned by Tony Tobin. What really stuck in my mind about the meal (apart from the fact that my husband had a broken nose and was sporting a black eye, following a game of rugby that afternoon!) was the starter of scallops served with a beautiful tomato based sauce. I had never eaten scallops before, so I didn’t know what to expect.

They were truly delicious and I’ve remembered them ever since. I can’t actually remember the rest of the meal- just the scallops.

For one reason or another the opportunity to return to The Dining Room has never arisen.

My opportunity to have some of Tony Tobin’s scallops was presented to me at the Oxted Food and Drink Festival. Although there were some other gluten free choices available, there was no other choice for me! I wanted to see whether they lived up to my memory.

They were seared to perfection and were served with tiny potato cakes and delicate stir-fried vegetables. It was sublime. The scallops were so tender, they could almost melt in your mouth and the potato cakes and vegetables added a great contrast of textures.

If you ever visit The Dining Room in Reigate, order the scallops, you wont be disappointed!


The Oxted Food & Drink Festival -21st June 2014

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What better way to spend a summers day, relaxing in the sunshine, enjoying delicious food and drink, a game of cricket being played close by. How quintessentially English.
Food festivals are popping up everywhere, and a new foodie destination this year was The Oxted Food and Drink Festival, held right in the centre of town in the park.
Unlike some similar events, the tickets were reasonably priced and children went free. Included in the VIP admission price was a glass of Prosecco, Strawberries and access to the VIP tent, so you could enjoy your lunch in comfort.
There were plenty of food stalls to chose from and a good selection of items if you couldn’t have gluten. One of the lovely organisers, Nelly gave me some suggestions of gluten free choices (I contacted her prior to the event, via Facebook). It was a fantastic afternoon; a great family activity and I can’t wait to go back next year!