Did you know…the benefits of Ghee range from building stronger bones to enhancing weight loss AND if you're lactose intolerant, have a dairy sensitivity, or just choose to limit your dairy intake, ghee is a practical alternative to butter?
Meet Happy Butter!
A small Devon based artisan company producing delicious, organic homemade Ghee the traditional way. This fabulous little company source the best organic ingredients and hand churn their Ghee to the highest standards. So high in fact, that they’re now multi award winners and recently (2018) bagged themselves a GOLD award for BOTH of their products from The Great Taste Awards!
Ghee is known in Indian cooking, but you can add Happy Butter’s grass-fed Ghee to stir fry’s, dressings, soups and even stews. You can use this rich & creamy Ghee as a substitute for coconut oil when baking. Alternatively, simply use as a spread for your toast. A little bit of fat goes a long way in boosting your energy and keeping hunger at bay.
Happy Butter’s Ghee is a deliciously natural alternative to butter (with a much longer shelf life to boot) with both Organic Ghee and Turmeric infused Ghee available to buy online, both being suitable for Keto, Paleo, Fodmap, Ayurvedic and Banting Diets.
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Got myself in a right old flap this week when these fabulous looking, little bottles from the award winning Yare Valley Oils, landed at HQ. My difficulty was trying to decide which flavour to try first...
The oak smoked or perhaps the garlic & rosemary infusion or maybe the vinaigrette or honey and mustard dressing...?
You can buy on line, there's some fab gift packs & special offers available.
A pretty perfect gift for many a culinary occasion if you ask me, BUT! if you're stuck for ideas then Yare offer a brilliant recipe page to help inspire you!
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I stumbled across this company whilst visiting the Devon County Show and boy....what luck that was!
Dirty Old Goat Soaps are handmade in Devon using raw milk from Myrtle (head goat) who is hand milked every day the good ole' fashioned way by Tracy the general dogsbody to the herd.
You may ask yourself, why buy goats milk soap?
Well, yes, you can always buy a cheap, mass produced bar of soap BUT these contain horribles, such as synthetic additives. This acts like a detergent and strips your skins protective layer and causes dryness & irritation.
The best selling, original unscented Dirty Old Goat Soap is perfect for those with allergies and sensitive skin. Other soaps within the range have added olive, grapeseed, coconut or essential oils such as Lemongrass & Ginger, Rose Geranium, Lemon Myrtle, Orange & Patchouli to name but a few and each and every bar contains properties to help with all skin types or complaints.
Here's the thing...I don't just like this soap, I love it.
I love the sweet smelling & natural quality of the soap.
I love the fact that Myrtle and her buddies are PETS.
I love that Myrtle has her own Twitter page.
I love the branding.
I love the whole Britishness of this company.
Yep, as a consumer, I'm buying into this and I'm keeping a beady eye on dear old Myrtle, this girl is going places!
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On my travels, I came across this...
Got my feathers all in a flap with excitement today when I stumbled across this risotto range from the award winning Fruity Foods!
Gary from fruity foods, is a professionally trained chef & has created some amazing recipes, not ONLY easy to cook risotto's, but jams, chutneys, marmalade's and other wonderfully tasty, edible delights.
I decided to sample the Pumpkin & Courgette Risotto and wow!
All that I was required to do was to tip the contents into a saucepan, add 600 ml of water, simmer for 20 mins, stir occasionally and hey presto! Even I can do that and being a somewhat lazy cook & to save on the washing up, I measured the 600ml of water using the tub itself (twice).
This creative food company have come up with a healthy, quick and easy meal with the added bonus of being very tasty, seriously, whats not to love?
There's more in this fabulous range including, Tomato, Basil & Roasted Garlic & Garden Vegetable & you can even buy online.
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On my travels, I came across this...
Black Bee's raw (or unprocessed) honey is not only ridiculously finger lickin' good, it’s a super food that packs a long, long list of health benefits. With its high level of antibacterial properties, raw honey contains antioxidants which can help with digestive issues, reduce the intensity of acne, soothe a sore throat and even help heal wounds! (oh & did I mention it's finger lickin' good?)
The name Black Bee comes from the original British honey bee which very nearly died out a century ago but is now having a resurgence. The Black Bee Company work closely with local beekeepers to create 3 great products, all jarred in batches straight from the hive.
This really is a taste of summer in a jar, in fact, it takes me right back to my childhood! Summer Honey is created by bees from a wonderful mix of wildflowers & this honey has a rich golden colour and a heady, floral flavour.
There's nothing added & nothing taken away from this delicious jar of loveliness...no additives, no preservatives, dairy and gluten free. This, combined with the floral aroma & flavour makes it a great addition to your morning cuppa or pouring on your porridge.
A healthy source of natural sugars and vitamins to boot!
The delicious British Heather honey is made by the bees in Exmoor National Park.
Known as the British Manuka, it's bold and pretty darn beautiful & I can taste the sweet
heather subtly coming through in the background whilst pondering, if there are any other foods that tastes THIS good that's also GOOD for you?
You'll struggle to go back to mass-produced honey after you discover this, "the nectar of the Gods".
Just the best tasting, raw British honey. Simple as that and I quite agree with Black Bee’s mantra….....when it comes to honey, the bees know best!
You can buy online here OR find your nearest stockist here
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On my travels, I came across THIS...
I'm always on the hunt for something 'a little bit quirky' and whilst perusing Manor Farm Shops cheese counter a little black shiny boulder caught my eye...I'd stumbled upon the first to market, completely black cheddar cheese!
Produced by Michael Lees fine cheese in Yorkshire, these novel little black waxed cheeses certainly are quirky and are actually made using charcoal from the mines in Yorkshire, mixed with a creamy mature wax coated cheddar.
On returning home, I'm keen to have a closer inspection and I soon realise that this cheese is playing with my mind. It really DOES look like a lump of charcoal & I feel as though I shouldn't really be eating it & I'm pretty certain that I won't enjoy it, but once I get around that mental barrier and actually taste it, it fills my mouth with a deliciously creamy, smooth, mature cheddar. I bought this for the novelty, but this is way more than that. This is delicious!
I immediately started thinking (wickedly) of all the fun dishes I could create with black cheese. It sure would be a unexpected twist at the dinner table or an amusing addition to the cheese board. I'm already thinking of Halloween and cheese on toast for tea..
This semi hard mature cheddar challenges your perception & has rightly won itself awards.
I guarantee, you'll be pleasantly surprised as to just how good it tastes!
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On my travels, I came across THIS...
Driver's Pickles have been synonymous with the great British Fish and Chip shop for over a hundred years but now they offer a full range of condiments after launching their brand new deli range!
Pickling from their Leicestershire kitchen, ALL of Driver's products are free from artificial flavourings & additives....
There's no better snack than good old fashioned cheese 'n crackers, right?
Being a bit of an old stick in the mud, I've always spread & stuck with the usual 'high street' brand of chutney. I'm not easily swayed and I like what I like. I mean, who's ever heard of apricots & dates in their jar of chutney?
Chutters for Cheese had to prove itself and I can honestly say...
... I'm converted.
This jar of yumminess is handmade with love by the wonderful (and already multi award winning) company Ajar Of.
Based deep in the heart of Dorset, in a converted cowshed, Ajar Of pride themselves on the quality, integrity & originality of their products and being inspired by nature, use only natural and locally sourced ingredients. Yep, they certainly are 'keeping it real'...
The combination of dried dates, prunes, apricots, figs, sultanas and raisins makes this the perfect chutney for cheese!
Chutters is deliciously & delicately spiced. It goes hand in hand with the fresh 'n fruity, zingy taste.
Chutters for cheese is just one of the many Ajar Of products. They have created some truly wonderful and unusual jams, marmalade's, mustard's and sauces. You should check them out HERE.
How does Red Plum and Cinnamon Jam sound? Or maybe Dorset Sea Salted Caramel Sauce?
There's a great range of both sweet & savoury & all sauces contain little or no added sugar, preservatives, colouring’s or any of that other unnatural stuff.
The only negative point I have to write is that I'm all out.....Chutters is no longer with me. I'm sorry to say, Chutters only survived 3 days in my nest (I even tried to hide it, too)
Still, on the upside, I can buy online AND get free delivery if I select 5 or more jars and that's no hard task, I can tell you!
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The creative in-house butcher at Manor Farm Shops has obviously been given a free rein,
as when I recently made a flying visit, I picked up these (out of pure curiosity)...Pork, Cranberry and PROSECCO sausages.
No, that's not a typo.
The butchers counter at Manor Farm Shops in Leasingham is, quite frankly, darn excellent. There's lots of 'mix & match offers making their meats really good value.
As I'm always on the lookout for something a little different, I was intrigued to find not only pork, cranberry & Prosecco sausages but Christmas pudding, toffee apple and pork & stuffing flavoured sausages too!
Once I got these beauts home and before I had even started cooking, I smelt a gorgeous sweet aroma, almost fruity. These are 'proper' sausages, thick n' chunky and nicely seasoned with a coarse texture...100 % meat here with no gristle whatsoever!
There's very little fat as I grill (always a good sign don't you think?) and I have to be honest, I'm pleasantly surprised. I can taste all the wonderful flavours stated on the pack, not overpoweringly so, just a tasty, subtle sensation.
Best of all, I LOVE the slightly 'boozy' aftertaste and I'm kicking myself for not treating myself to the Christmas Pudding flavoured sausages earlier...
Simply put, what I thought would be just a novelty sausage, isn't.
I want more and I'm keen to see what this creative butcher will come up with next!
Chop! Chop! :)
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On my travels, I found THIS...
Clever old Barrie Gibson began making cider 15 years ago purely for himself, his family and friends. Of course, word quickly spread about his delicious homemade tipple & he was suddenly inundated with apples, requests and potential paying customers all wanting more of his hand crafted, liquid gold.
THAT, as they say, is history!
Today Fowey Valley Cider is produced in a small cidery in Cornwall, using traditional expertise & fresh apples from their very own orchard & nothing else...sounds idyllic doesn't it, any jobs going Barrie?
The current range includes Sparkling Vintage Brut Cider, Castledore Cider, Vodka, Gin, an apple digestif, a delicious Pommeau, cider chutney & even cider vinegar (to complement this Fowey Valley also imports & bottles Sicilian Extra Virgin olive oil)
Being somewhat of a cider connoisseur myself, I believe I have a most excellent understanding on what is a good cider, or rather... a PROPER cider. This Castledore Cider sure has my feathers ruffled & I totally get why & how this scrumptious, light & refreshing, medium dry crafted cider (with just the perfect amount of fizz) has been awarded a 'Taste of the West' GOLD award..
You all know the benefits of apple cider vinegar don't you?
No? Well you should do...the antibacterial properties found in Fowey Valleys 'top notch' cider vinegar (made from their vintage cider btw) can be used to help with weight loss, can lower cholesterol, whiten teeth, keep acne under control, can boost energy levels, relieve cramps & indigestion...you can even cook with it apparently!
Fowey Valleys apple cider vinegar is unfiltered, unpasturised and has no preservatives added, so you're looking at the real McCoy here!
You don't have to go all the way to beautiful Cornwall (tho, it is a mighty good excuse) to get your supplies from Fowey Valley. You can find Fowey Valleys products STOCKED in numerous farm shops, country stores and restaurants (told you they were good) you can also buy via their super-duper, user friendly online shop.
On my travels I came across this...
This weekend I won the lottery, well not really, but close enough...I had a HUGE delivery from Surrey Spice arrive at my tree house. Brilliantly packaged in a freezer cool box, full to the brim with award winning, delicious looking, home made curries. I considered gathering my feathery friends for a indulgent evening but decided this was a product review I was willing to take on alone...
These authentic Indian meals are handmade in small batches using fresh produce, family recipes & lots of love. There's something for everyone's taste, chicken and fish dishes, vegetarian and side dishes galore and they're all gluten free. Heat them up easily either in the microwave, in the oven or on the stove. I opted for the microwave (for speed & greed purposes) and once warming, the aroma was so spicily incredible and my mouth so watery, I'm ashamed to admit, I ate straight from the container.
Welll, saves on washing up, it's a double whammy.
I tucked straight into the fish dish with its inviting rich red colour, it was full of flavour with just the right amount of spiciness. It's called 'Meen Moilee’ but I can assure you, there's nothing mean about this dish!
Onto the ‘Chicken Xacuti’. Yummmm, this was incredibly tasty too with a great texture. Loved the flavour of the roasted, freshly grated coconut! They say it originates from Goa. It sure was goa goa gone all too quickly.
Loosening my belt & onto the ‘Chicken Biryani’, a tasty, boneless chicken rice dish. The hint of mint and rose water makes this the most wonderfully aromatic meal, which serves two.
IF..... you like to share.
All in all I had the most marvelous (albeit friendless) evening dipping in and out of an excellent selection of freshly made, home cooked, authentic creamy, mild & spicy foods.
If you fancy treating yourself (you so should) OR maybe planning a dinner party, you can hand pick your dishes and have your meal delivered freshly made, frozen & FOC to your door!
This surely is a brand new twist on ordering an Indian takeaway.
On my travels, I found this...
Launching in 2013 the Seedball founders were originally conservation scientists & researching on how to save the world! Yep, conservation is well & truly embedded deep in heart of Seedball and they quite clearly want to fill the world with wildflowers and help save the bees and the butterflies...starting with your garden!
The Seedball itself is made from seeds (obvs) but also peat, compost and chili powder, thus preventing the seeds from becoming tasty 'lil snacks for the birdies and the insects. And not only that...the seed is responsibly sourced in the UK from accredited suppliers & they only EVER use peat-free compost. Even the funky little steel tins are made in London with help from a solar farm!
There's 20 balls in each tin and around 30 seeds per ball. Just throw the balls onto soil or compost in a garden bed or planter. The Seedball has everything it needs to grow. No expert knowledge needed, DEFINITELY my kind of gardening...
Winners of The Gift of the Year Award 2017 (well deserved, what a great gift!), Seedball has grown (s'cuse the pun) from strength to strength and has the most brilliant range of tins to suit pretty much anyone's taste or outside space, including a Herb mix, Tea mix, Salad mix & a Poppy mix, to name but a few...
On my travels, I came across this...
Who'd have thought you could receive BY POST, a 'typically British' afternoon tea, packed neatly in its own cool gift tin?
And can you imagine a chilled, luxury cream tea hamper box arriving by courier to your door?
No, me neither, BUT guess what?
....The English Cream Tea Company do just that & it's not only cream tea's they offer either, no sirreee.
There's bake at home kits, jams, scones, specialist tea tins, even Prosecco hampers, you name it!
Brilliant if you want to recapture that childhood picnic experience (in the drizzle obvs) or you're really stuck on what to give Auntie Flo for her Birthday?
I'm treating the love of my life to an award winning, Valentines Brownie heart kit. It's definitely NOT for the 'chocolate' faint-hearted & sure to get her all in a flutter!
These handpicked hampers are freshly made & packed to order by gnomes.
Honest. Check their website.
You choose your date for dispatch and even add a personalised message, making this a super duper thoughtful gift for all the tea lovers in your life!
Come onnn....what could be nicer than traditional, afternoon tea with friends?
On my travels, I came across...
Utta Nutta...The Nuttiest Peanut Butter Around!.
Now this isn't any old supermarket, mass produced peanut butter, OH NO!
This gorgeous, scrummy jar of loveliness is handmade using, yep, you've guessed it, BUT there's no additives, no added sugar not even that nasty palm oil!
Found it incredibly difficult to choose from smooth & Cashew nut butter so I plumped for the ''Extra Crunchy'' and BOY they ain't kidding, what a crunch!
Yes, I'm a PB addict but this is a meal in itself!
It's a wholesome, earthy, filling, crunchy munch, packed full of protein & healthy fats AND WHOLE nuts!
How can Utta Nutta peanut butter deliver a flavour like no other?
Wellll...Utta Nutta's freshly roasted peanuts are milled whilst they're still toasty warm & the word is, that this process retains the natural sweet nutty flavour without the need for added sugar...all that is added is a pinch of Himalayan salt!
You might think the only way to eat peanut butter is on a slice of toast?... (that's so last year, seriously) Utta Nutta have loads of amazing recipe ideas.
Personally, I like to eat mine straight out the jar.