Must Have for Christmas List No:1 Baileys Chocolat Luxe
Just a sniff of the bottle was enough to get a wild response! This drink is something else, a perfect blend of Belgian chocolate and Irish whiskey.
Oh My God, just doesn’t sum it up! It’s deadly for anyone on a diet we think. Perhaps a thimbleful at a time would be best! (That’s once a day mind, make it last!) In fact 100 ml adds up to 371 calories (16g of fat, 27g carbs, 3.5g protein) … you can work a daily dose out for yourself!
The result of a three year project this is a chocoholic’s dream. Anthony Wilson is the son of the man who led the team behind Baileys Original Irish Cream some 30 years ago. So you can expect this chocolate offering to be in the same league of lusciousness.
This chocolate indulgence makes it impossible to envisage ice cream without it. We are putting together a list of other luscious items that would take a good dribbling – how about chocolate eclairs, meringues, jam doughnuts, shortbread and strawberries, cooked pears … the list could go on and on. Must stop fantasising, work to be done. Husband has hidden the bottle … but I will soon find it!
There is a video on the Baileys website link
Baileys Chocolat Luxe is available from October with an RRP of £16.99 for 50 cl. More info at www.baileys.com.
Val Reynolds, Editor
In Our Shopping Basket This Week
Sometimes a plant comes on the market with a unique universal appeal, one many of us would love in our gardens.
Lady Marmalade, a rose, falls into this category. Soft, sweet scent, beautiful colour, classic flower shape, with modern disease resistance and repeat flowering throughout the summer. What’s not to like! To cap it all it has just received the RHS award of Rose of the Year 2014.
We’re pretty sure it’s going to be a real winner and if you love the look of it as much as we do we really think you should order it straight away!
Here’s a link to the Thompson and Morgan web page giving full details
Just so you know, we do not receive any kind of remuneration for any of the products we recommend in our magazine. Every product reference is made purely based on what appeals to us and in almost all cases, from our own experience.
We are very attracted to this rose and thought our gardening readers would like to know about it as soon as possible and before supplies sell out!
We notice The Telegraph is selling the same plant in a 4 litre pot for £17.99 whereas Thompson & Morgan are offering a bare root plant for £14.99. Full details for planting and aftercare are on their web page.
This beautiful floribunda rose would be an ideal plant as a gift … Especially to a rose lover – what a lovely surprise!
Elizabeth Gunn, Gardening journalist
Food, Glorious Food!
I am often invited to press events featuring new food lines. The most recent was the M&S Delicious and Nutritious introduction.
Persian Duck with Basmati Rice, roasted butternut, spinach with pomegranate dressing. £4.49 (350g). One of a range of eleven to choose from, this is the one that hit my tastebuds. Stunning!
Then Mini Macaroons – six flavours: pistachio, lemon, raspberry, vanilla, strawberry and passion fruit. 12 in a packet £1.50 144g – really great flavours, very very moreish!
And this, the Summer Fruit Tart, that really ticked all the boxes. The most delicious tart I have ever come across. Crisp all butter pastry, filled with lemon and vanilla custard, topped with a summer fruit compote. A really piquant fruit mix, I detected cherry, raspberry … at £4.99, 530g. It deserves a drum roll! I will be looking for this every visit to my local M&S!
I was specially impressed with one of their ales, Citra IPA Ale. It was light, flavoursome and satisfyingly alcoholic without being heavy.
As you can imagine there was a lot more to try – you can see more on their website. Some are ideal as picnic food, or sitting out in the sun in the garden. Do give them a try … we can’t rate them highly enough!
Val Reynolds, Editor
Organic, tasty and colourful soups and sauces
I really like to add fresh ready made sauces to my cooking but making my own is sometimes difficult to make small enough quantities for a meal for two. As I look for as many organic ingredients for our meals as possible discovering some new additions to Tideford organic soups, sauces and a pudding were welcome finds especial for anyone wanting products that are gluten-free, low in salt, low fat, with mainly vegetarian & vegan products and no additives or preservatives.
Of this new summer range the Westcountry Cheddar Cheese Sauce went very well with ham steaks, and the Carbonara with Bacon and Nutmeg was excellent with chicken breasts, new potatoes and broccoli. Both sauces are made with organic, vegetarian Westcountry cheese.
Others to choose from include:
Jalapeno Salsa Mediterranean Vegetable Sauce Tomato & Basil Sauce
They all retail at £2.59 with the Ragu a la Bolognese £2.99 and Basil Pesto at £3.75.
Of the two new soups our favourite was the Pea & Mint Soup. There was some left over so next day we added a few frozen peas, grated cheese and more mint and hey, we had a light starter for lunch. The other soup, Minestroni with gluten-free Pasta went down well with the men, can’t imagine why! Must be the chilli!
The tasty soup range includes
Farmhouse Chicken with Lemon & Thyme Italian Tomato with Lentil & Red Pepper Beetroot with Crème Fraiche & Dill Spicy Butternut Squash with Sweet Potato All retailing at £2.79.
We absolutely loved the new Chocolate Rice Pudding, suffice it to say we have tracked it down and it seems to regularly appear on the shopping list! It’s delish hot or cold. We love the Classic and Butterscotch Rice Puddings which are also gluten and wheat-free and oh so creamy.
All these super products can all be found at Ocado, Waitrose, Sainsburys, Abel & Cole, Wholefoods, Booths and independent retailers.
It’s possible to follow Tideford on Facebook Tideford Organics Ltd and Twitter @TidefordOrganic.
Have a look at their very informative website. You will get a good look at their products and an insight into their ethos.
Charlotte Singer Guest Cookery Journalist
How to Keep Warm and Well in this Bitter Winter Weather
It’s so important to be warmly dressed when out in the bitter cold especially if out for more than half an hour. It’s essential to have the right clothing.
Sheepskin – gloves, hats, boots – all help to keep out the cold and keep us active. We have never really found man made material to be as warm as natural fibres. Expensive, but really easy to pick up a bargain on eBay. We will be writing about our experiences soon.
And a hat, woollen, silk, sheepskin, whatever, essential to keep the heat in and your scalp warm.
Finally a real silk scarf wound round the neck, even covering the ears, is a must – warm, colourful and snug.
Sniffles, especially when going into a warm building from a cold outside, seem to happen all the time and a sore throat sometimes follows. We carry around with us little honey and menthol sweeties. They are very comforting and certainly clear a blocked nose – the menthol has anti-bacterial properties, naturally killing of micro-organisms that might lead to a throat infection. Jakemans original Throat and Chest Sweets are delicious, reminiscent of those we sucked on our way to school on cold and frosty mornings. Recently launched in bags of ten sweets, handy for keeping in coat pockets, they are available in most supermarkets and pharmacies.
And, what about aches and pains? We found Deep Heat Patches, activated when you strip off the sleeve, placed in strategic spots worked really well – they are self adhesive and easy to apply. This worked especially well for Jane who had hip pain and found real relief within 20 minutes – the heat lasted for more than eight hours! These were so good we are keeping some in the medicine cupboard. Deep Heat is available as a Rub and a Spray.
Then for those days we were hanging around the football pitch waiting for the young ‘uns to finish their game we used little Hotties, put them in your footwear and warm feet are guaranteed. You can get similar pads for gloves. Look for them in pharmacies, sports shops, some supermarkets.
A strong cold wind can really dry out your skin – we swear by Lotil Cream for our face and hands, it’s so rich. It will give relief for the pain of cracked or fissured skin on feet as well.
We always have a little tube of lip balm in all our coat pockets, handbags, sports bags and this year we have been using Lotil Lip Care SPF30. It has kept our lips moist and free of chapping and splitting that often comes from exposure to bitter winds.
And socks … We have tried about six different types of sock in the past six weeks and can honestly say the only ones we found that really kept our feet warm in the bitter weather we have had lately have been natural fibre, more particularly goat wool. This is what our reviewer said: These impressed as soon as I saw them! Well, it WAS a cold day! Full calf length, but not too grippy. That is, no powerful elastic to give those horrible rings round your calves (ie good for those with circulation problems). They stay fresh for a long time too. They have a good cushioned sole, perhaps the only downside, might be if you wear tight shoes or boots, you may need to up your size a little! They make wonderful house socks, toasty, with a fully cushioned sole! There are four sizes available; they may seem dear, but boy, they are warm! Nice colours too! Available from the Wiggly Wigglers website.
And, of course, thermal underwear – we find silk or merino wool the best – having used and loved Icebreaker for the past five years. Their garments are warm, can be worn for ages and never pick up body odours – long distance sailors swear by them! This Icebreaker sleeveless top is five years old and shows no signs of wear and is just as warm as it was originally. Great value for money.
So keep as warm as you can and if you come home really chilled through have a bath. Why not try an Olbas Bath? Absolutely fab! The mix of clove, juniper and eucalyptus really made us feel we were in a hot tub with vapours all around to help with our breathing. Available in supermarkets, pharmacies and health food shops.
Keeping warm reaps benefits, it makes you more resistant to germs of all kinds.
Yours in health,
Val Reynolds, Editor
Protect Skin from Winter Cold with Creams
One of my most enduring memories of a year long stay in France, as an au pair, was a hot drink made from verveine, a plant we refer to as lemon verbena. It was wonderfully comforting, had a familiar lemony aroma and sugar really enhanced its flavour. So when I heard about a hand cream with that wonderful scent I just had to try it out.
Winter time is one when my cuticles have a tendency to crack, resulting in that really long period of pain. The lemon verbena hand cream has a 20% shea butter base. It’s creamy texture is easily absorbed, leaving hands soft and supple and I find especially effective when rubbed round the fingernail.
On my desk at the moment are the final contestants in my Strictly Skincare hand cream choice. I started with about 20 different products. The five are, in no particular order of preference – they are all used regularly:
Energizing Verbena Hand Cream – Panier des Sens, en Provence that comes with very pretty packaging
Morrisons Unscented Hand Cream, Concentrated – a glycerine based cream it is useful when you don’t want to wear a second scent that might conflict. It is very creamy, softening dry skin and useful to add before you start to work in the garden.
Q10 by Pharma Nord is another hand cream that conditions and protects at the same time. It contains ginkgo Biloba, Pycnogenol and Vitamin E. All ingredients considered highly beneficial by skincare aficionados.
Lotil Original is specifically designed for cold weather and I always check there is a small tube in my handbag at this time of year.
On a recent visit to The Dales I took my tube of English Weather Cream. I always use this in cold weather because my face dries out in cold windy weather and this cream works absolutely fantastically. However, it has been recently discontinued … Made by Lotil it is no longer available – such a shame. I’m looking for a replacement product and will let you know if I find one.
Wearing silk lined gloves helps to keep my hands warm and in conjunction with any one of these handcreams I’m able to keep them in good condition, safe from damaging cold weather.
All are available online but of course in store is always a good place to try them out!
Kate Campbell, Health Editor
Kate has worked with editor Val Reynolds since 1996 and they are constantly looking for top quality, effective skincare products. Do you have a favourite? Do let us know and we will pass on your recommendations.
In our Shopping Basket: Some Favourite Buys
Morrisons have created the NuMe (pronounced new me) range of prepared foods. Chilled, frozen and store cupboard products all offer lots of health benefits. With 300 lines to choose from and new ones being added all the time they are great for those following a low fat and calorie controlled diet and anyone wanting to know the ingredient content.
We tried the Beetroot yogurt and mint dip – very tasty – great to eat on crispbread or add to a plain salad £1.19/70g.
The Pea and Mint cuppa soup was surprisingly tasty – we added a few frozen peas to give us something to chew on! 69p – four portions.
Sea Bass with Spinach and Parmesan Risotto £4.99 – 2 portions, married with Italian Bean Stew £1.75/400 g was delicious.
The whole range is innovative – the ones we have tried very tasty and reasonably priced – highly recommended – look out for them when next you visit Morrisons. We’ll be writing about their Christmas range of foods soon – well worth waiting for!
BerryWhite – an innovative organic range of flavoured teas – we tried Pomegranate and Blueberry with White Tea – a still fruit drink with white tea – which we liked very much. Why white tea? It is the least processed form of tea, made from the youngest silver buds which are gently steam, then dried and thereby contains more nutrients than other teas. Launched this year by Andrew Jennings there are several more drinks to try, see their website for details and where to buy.
Owen Potts has been an inventor of inspired recipes for over 15 years. He has developed recipes for supermarkets, household brands, farm shops over the years and in 2010 alone he developed over 1,000 recipes!
We love the Owen Potts’ range and recently tried the Maple Chipotle Barbecue and Grilling Sauce … Yum, great for indoor and outdoor additions to food. Try it on sausages, meat, anything actually – the older kids loved its spicyness mixed in with familiar flavours!
Available in most supermarkets – see the website for specific stockists.
And finally, Weightwatchers. Such a range, but we were specially taken with their biscuits. We tried the pack of 5 Chocolate Biscuits – amazingly good! We will definitely be putting these in our trolley on our next visit to the supermarket. Coated with thick Belgian milk chocolate, 89 calories, 4.2g fat, wrapped separately – excellent we won’t be tempted to eat the whole packet.
We also tried the Fruit Crumble biscuits – apple, blueberry and raspberry – crumbly biscuit base, topped with crunchy flakes. A very definite thumbs up from our tasters who all said they would buy them. Again separately wrapped, 89 calories, 2.4g fat.
Dare we tell you about the new Milk Chocolate Digestives? Have a look on their website to see the other 12 varieties!
As you would expect with such a popular range of foods, they are available in all the major supermarkets.
Kate Campbell, Contributing author
Favourite Best Foods for Health : Honey
Honey: We love Honey and we really love Manuka honey. It has quite a strong flavour but one it’s easy to become accustomed to. Used for a lot of skin problems there is always some in our bathroom cabinet.
Manuka honey mostly comes from New Zealand and has a guide as to its strength, you will see UMF 16+, 25+, 10+ included on the label. UMF stands for Unique Manuka Factor, used to indicate how bioactive it is. So which to buy for what?
We keep a pot of Spirit’s Bay Manuka Honey UMF25+ in a kitchen cupboard for burns and cuts. It really works, I wish I had known about it when I badly burned the inside of my wrist some 15 years ago. I still have a scar, whereas now whenever I burn myself – and how easy it is in the kitchen – I quickly dab some on, cover it with a piece of lint and tape to keep it in place and within 12 hours you wouldn’t know anything had happened. It’s that good.
For general wellness we keep a pot of Goldenhills Manuka Honey UMF16+ to eating on bread and butter, or with a hot lemon drink for sore throats.
For particularly sore throats we have some Comvita propolis herbal elixir in the medicine cupboard. It includes Manuka Honey UMF10, multiflora honey, apple cider vinegar, Vit C, and peppermint.
All in all, honey is a unique food and Ogilvy’s are able to provide really unusual honeys – Balkan Linden honey, well known for its lightness and woody scent, is especially good in tea. Other unusual honeys include one from the Himalayan Highlands – light and delicious, remarkably floral. Another we tried comes from the Zambesi Plains. Different again in flavour due to the plants the bees gather the nectar from, this is gathered at the head of the Zambesi River by local beekeepers.
Ogilvy honeys are a special gift for any honey aficionados – yes there are lots of them! You might be surprised if you asked around. Widely available – their website most interesting.
Spirit’s Bay 25+ and Goldenhills 16+ are widely available in health food stores and their websites.
Joan Marshall, Contributing author
Just irresistible! Clotted Cream Ice Cream from Cornwall
Can you imagine missing the chance to try some mouthwatering brandy butter ice cream? We did!
We were sent vouchers to redeem for ice cream and mislaid them. By the time they were found the brandy butter ice cream season had passed … So instead we went for the plain clotted cream variety. Oh dear! Big mistake! Why? Because we now are besotted with clotted!
We have always managed to squeeze in a small portion of something sweet after our dinner and now the clotted cream ice cream is central to our desire.
We swirl some fruit juice, or alcoholic concoction such as cointreux, or even tia maria, or sloe gin, over a small dollop, add a little unsweetened low fat greek yogurt for contrast, and on a special occasion add a chocolate or shortbread biscuit. The mixes are endless, we sometimes add fresh fruit, stewed fruit especially apricots, toasted sliced almonds, crunchy chopped hazelnuts that only heighten our anticipation.
OK, so we’re nuts! So what! We make the portions as small as possible, and we use a teaspoon to eat it!
So there you have it. Two very happy, clotted cream addicts, nearly every day.
We’re looking forward to next November when the brandy butter ice cream will be available once more. Think we’ll stock up with a tub or two, or more!
In the meantime the next visit to the supermarket will include buying another flavour – Clotted Cream and Strawberries. Oh God … there’s even another one – Clotted Cream and Honeycomb.
Not sure we should tell you this, the ice cream is made in Cornwall. The website has lots of recipes. Leave some for us!
By the way there is a competition to win some Devon made Raspberry Lemonade …
Val Reynolds Brown, Editor
What is it about chilli that polarises opinion?
A quick survey of friends and colleagues showed that more men than women like chilli.
Some men were quite adventurous and consumed meat dishes containing large amounts of chilli. We wondered whether there would be any taste in the dish apart from chilli, so why such a volume?
We guessed it might be the endorphins that are stimulated, so chilli gives a kick, or perhaps it’s something else …
Another question is what positive benefits are there to be gained?
Searching Google with chilli+stomach we found:
- Chili stomach ache
- Chili stomach cancer
- Chili stomach ulcer
- Ghost chili stomach pain
- Chilli and stomach ulcerts
- Stomach pain from chilli
- Stomach pain after chilli
- Chilli burning stomach
- Chilli and stomach cancer
We didn’t go any further.
We then entered chilli+stomach+healthy and found many websites with advice for all kinds of ills, including cancer, from all kinds of self-appointed experts.
So, what should the discerning enquirer do?
Our advice is to follow the old adage of a little of everything does you good and, if you like chilli make sure you which find out which are the most reliable websites to refer to.
Websites providing reliable health information we recommend are:
- www.mayoclinic.org – very interesting
- General advice on using the web … www.gosh.nhs.uk/EasySiteWeb
www.justanswer.com/health is a website where you can pay to talk to a doctor direct
Val Reynolds Brown, Editor