My Kitchen Antics: Christmas specials

New Tea Capsules from PG Tips

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I got a swanky new Nespresso machine and i love the occasional cups of delicious coffee i get to enjoy. I also do enjoy a goo cuppa tea every evening and these new tea capsules from PG Tips helps me put my Nespresso machine to full use. The innovative, colourful pods are compatible with almost all the Nespresso machines and deliver a consistently delicious cup of tea, brewed to perfection in an instant. Works exactly the same way the coffee pods work. 
There are 4 desirable flavours- caramel and vanilla, green tea, peppermint and raspberry and apple. I have been thoroughly enjoying these on a daily basis and the raspberry and apple is my absolute favourite. Follow PG Tips on Twitter to be update on all the news.

Get your Perky on
These quinoa and sprouted grain oat bars from Perkier are the perfect snack bars, made with natural, whole food ingredients that have a lot of health benefits. They come in four flavours:
– Cashew, chia and pumpkin seed quinoa bar
– Goji and cranberry quinoa bar
– Cacao and cashew quinoa bar
– Cranberry and cashew oat bar enhanced with sprouted buckwheat

They are all gluten, wheat and dairy free and suitable for vegetarians and vegans. the new range is available at Sainsbury’s, Asda and Wholefood stores. Join the conversation and share how you ‘Get Your Perky On’ via Twitter and Facebook.

Nudo Adopt this Christmas

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Nudo  Adopt is a collaboration of small scale artisanal producers aiming at bringing high quality, speciality food to a wider audience. Nudo helps give security to the farmers by making the link with the customer which in turn helps to keep traditional farming practises alive.
Nudo has brought out a few unique Christmas gift ideas, and if you have a foodie friend to impress, then this is the deal. You can adopt an Italian Olive tree and give them either a gift pack of 3 stylish tins of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, right off the tree or give them an annual subscription with 4 deliveries a year, keeping their olive oil stash going all through the year. If you need an under tree gift, or a stocking filler, then the new sage infused oil from Nudo is a pure winner. I tried it on my fish a couple of days back and loved it. No Christmas is complete without a Panettone. If its infused with Nudo EVOO, even better! Its super moist and absolutely delish. For more gift ideas check out their unique gift section 

Festive recipes from Neil Rankin

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I’m definitely not new to mulled wine and cider, but mulled beer is something I’ve not really come across. I guess its for people like me that Neil Rankin has partnered with AB InBev to create 2 perfect winter warmers using beer- Mulled Thai Spiced Lager and Mulled Ale. He has picked some of the nation’s favourite beers and turned them into mulled drinks using ingredients that are easily available at home, but brings together different flavours altogether.

I was a bit doubtful after reading the ingredients in his mulled Thai spiced lager. Coriander stalks and mint leaves with beer?? Wasn’t too sure how it would taste, but it wasn’t that bad. Of course if you are not a fan of lemon grass, then this drink is a not for you. Also, the spice does really kick in once warmed, so be sure to not go overboard with it. Get both his recipes here.

Borderfields Gift Packs

Borderfields is the UK’s biggest cold pressed rapeseed oil brand and only uses the finest quality rapeseed, all grown in UK. I guess by now everyone knows that rapeseed oil is one of the most healthiest oils to use with a near perfect balance of essential fatty acids, omega 3, 6 and 9. I do cook a bit with rapeseed oil and in the new year i shall try and do a lot more baking and Indian food prep using rapeseed oil.

I’m a sucker for anything infused, be it alcohol or oil or cakes or whatever it is. So when Borderfields sent me a gift pack with a range of infused oils, i was pretty happy i could use most of them while entertaining during the holidays. The Borderfields British Infusions Cold Pressed Rapeseed oil gift pack range includes Basil, Garlic, Chilli and lemon infusions and can be picked up exclusively here.

Do share your Borderfields’ festive creations on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Lactofree

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A couple of weeks back i attended a small Christmas do hosted by Lactofree at the really charming Bake-a-Boo tea shop in Hampstead. Done up in pretty pastels and laces and flowers, it was almost like walking into an Alice in Wonderland enchanted tea party. Amidst chit chatting with fellow bloggers, we got to enjoy some incredible treats using products from the Lactofree range. From smoothies to sandwiches, to turkey meat balls to pita Christmas trees to scones to mince pie cupcakes to Irish cream and truffles, we were stuffed to the gills, and had to sadly leave behind a gorgeous looking trifle. I have to also mention the impressive collection tea’s this lovely lil place had. I tried the strawberry and kiwi and kept stealing sips from the almond tea (this was like having marzipan) and rose tea my blogger friend Suchi had ordered.

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I put my Lactofree cheddar to good use the very next day in a posh version of the mac & cheese and then some in a chilli cheese toast. The Almond milk (very impressed with the semi-skimmed version) is currently being enjoyed in different versions of winter warmers, precisely hot chocolate. Below is my favourite version using my favourite dark cocoa, honey, a generous pinch of cinnamon and the secret, a good sprinkling of fleur-de-sel right at the very end before pouring it into your mug. I am loving the addition of salt and Ive ended up adding it in all my hot chocolate versions. Really! try it!

Schwartz
I’m a big fan of the Schwartz products. In preparation for winter and the holidays, Schwartz has introduced 2 new products to their vast range- Mulled Cider and Mulled Wine spice sachets. For lazy bums like me who love mulled drinks but cant be bothered to put together the spices and make them, this comes as a saving grace. They come in sachets and are pretty easy to use- much similar to tea bags.


Chia Bia

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Not one for healthy eating, but I was given the task of taking the Chia Bia challenge and see how it does good to your system, and so i decided to give it a go. I admit, it was a bit of a struggle to get the ball rolling when trying to use an ingredient that you have no idea about. Chia seeds are high in fibre, protein, calcium, omega 3 and so on; and with Chia Bia, you only need 2 tablespoons a day to get you feeling tip top.

I used them in a lemon drizzle cake and proudly took it to work the next day much to the disappointment of my health conscious boss who as it turned out was a big fan of chia seeds. She told me that baking it or cooking it kind of defeats the whole purpose of using a super food like this and insisted i try it out in salads, smoothies and drinks.

I took the chia berry mixes- cranberry and blueberry to her place soon after and i tasted one of the most amazing smoothies there. I honestly had no idea kale could taste so nice in a drink. She made a green smoothie with broccoli, apples, oranges, kale, banana and some chia cranberry and also sprinkled some whole chia seeds on top for good measure and promised me it would taste good. Of course, nothing green could ever taste good was my reply but i had to change that soon after my first sip. It was delicious. Ever since, ive been motivated to try vegetable smoothies at home and have quite succeeded in making a few using Chia Bia. I still have plans to try it out in a cookie or a snack bar, but i think for now I’m thoroughly enjoying them in my smoothies. You can seriously consider these smoothies as a detox option after all that binge eating and drinking during the holidays.

With thanks to all the brands mentioned for gifts and event invites. 

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