Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Today's Review: Vimto Fizzy Balls


The Vimto sweet train just keeps on rolling. Here we have some Fizzy Balls, I figured they'd be an extension of the bon bons, which are fantastic, but it seems they're a different thing entirely. Not that that's objectively a bad thing, so let's see what's in here. These are basically Vimto flavoured boiled sweets with a fizzy centre, and also a fizzy exterior. Fizzy indeed, so how are they?

The first experience I got was a frothiness upon popping one in my mouth. It's a bit odd, and I was taken aback, but as I went on it grew on me, it's an instant frothy fizz that's pretty tart and somewhat satisfying. Unfortunately it soon fades, and what's left is a regular boiled sweet. It tastes like Vimto, so it's not awful, but it could be a bit more interesting. Once the majority of the sweet has given way, you're treated to a bit more fizziness in the middle, but it's not quite the same. A nice thing to end on, but pretty lacklustre compared to the outer layer. These aren't that great to be fair, there are better Vimto sweets out there, but they're worth trying out.

My rating: 3/5

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Today's Review: Domino's Lotta-Choca Pizza


So, you've just had your Domino's pizza, preceded by a cheesy garlic bread pizza, but there's still something missing, something sweet. So what better way to fill that void than with this chocolate pizza? Yes, completing the three course pizza trifecta, we have the Lotta-Choca Pizza. Quite simply, it's a pizza base covered in melted milk chocolate. Simple, sure, but is it effective?

I wasn't expecting the dough here to be all that well suited to a dessert, but there seemed to be a certain sweetness to it, and it provides a nice base for the chocolate sauce to be laden upon, and laden it is. This is pretty sickly stuff, a very generous coating of chocolate, and although it's pretty good quality, and it works pretty well with the base, there is perhaps a little too much of it. Besides the chocolate is all there is. This is supposed to be a pizza after all, where are the toppings? Marshmallows, cookie pieces, a caramel drizzle? A wasted opportunity. So while this is by no means a bad dessert, it could have been so much more. Less chocolate, more topping, and this would be a lot better.

My rating: 3/5

Monday, 26 June 2017

Today's Review: AUKEY Aroma Diffuser


I was recently sent this diffuser by AUKEY to try out, I can't say I've ever used one before, but it was intriguing enough to get me to have a go. For those of you who may not know (I wasn't particularly knowledgeable), this little device humidifies the air, you fill it with water, and out comes a fine mist. Adding essential oils into the mix can release some lovely aromas, which can make the place smell nice, amd give some added benefits. Now, I've never used another diffuser to compare this one to, but I have to say this is a very well made piece of kit. It's small, sleek, and easy to operate. It comes with everything you need in the box, including a little measuring jug to fill it up with. Basically, all you do it fill it with water, plug it in, and turn it on, you're good to go.


Here it is in action. You may see the fine jet of mist coming out of the top, if you can look past that lovely warm glow. Yes, this doubles as a light, and there are seven colours to choose from, which shine with varying intensities. You could probably find a light setting for anything you wish, from a calming atmosphere to a brilliant white you could probably read by. There are a few little buttons on the front, but they're all very simple and self explanatory. Aside from the light, you can change the setting on the mist itself, as well as setting a timer of one, two or three hours, or choosing continuous use. It's nice setting this up before you go to sleep, knowing it will shut off after an allotted time. Even so, if you set it to continuous, it will shut off when it runs out of water, so there are no worries whatsoever.

So besides the aesthetics and function, does it actually work? Well, I spent some times experimenting with a few oils, and I must say this does a good job. A few drops of orange helped to clear the smell in the kitchen from some forgotten potatoes, and some eucalyptus helped to clear my stuffy nose overnight, as well as providing a pleasant atmosphere for sleep. This is another appliance I can see myself using very regularly, it's nice to be able to get some nice aromas going throughout the house with minimal effort. This diffuser is definitely worth a buy. Amazon Prime Day is happening soon, so look out for discounts on AUKEY products at the beginning of July.

My rating: 5/5





Sunday, 25 June 2017

Today's Review: Chocolate Covered Millions


What is it with people trying to put chocolate and sweets together? They're separate entities in my eyes, but several attempts have been made. The Cadbury and Maynards mashup bag was just odd, and Millions have tried this before with the Millions Chocolate Bar. Seems like they were intent on breaking into that sweet/chocolate market though, as now you can get your strawberry Millions coated in chocolate. 

There's not much to say about these, they're your regular Millions, but coated in chocolate. To be fair, the chocolate isn't bad. Obviously not of gourmet standard, but it's good enough. What I have issue with is that it's covering some particularly chewy sweets. Now, these are standard Millions, so they're great, but The chocolate is gone too quickly, and leaves behind a faint taste that just sort of interferes with the chewy stuff, taking the edge off that great strawberry flavour. No one element of this is bad, I just can't get on board with the combination. Take your chocolate elsewhere.

My rating: 2/5

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Today's Review: Co-Op Benji Bears


Oh, Co-Op, you're so shameless. Percy Pigs are a national institution, but you've gone and pumped out these "Benji Bears", identical in design, but surely not in execution? Alright, let's not be too harsh right off the bat, it's nice to have a bit of competition in the market, and besides, these could be great, right?

Yeah, they're not great. I tried to be diplomatic, but these are a somewhat poor imitation. They look like a knock off version of Percy Pigs, and they taste like one too. These come in cola, lemon and berry flavours, and while the berry and lemon are actually quite alright, the cola leaves a lot to be desired, a little bitter from too many flavourings. While the other two flavours are a marked improvement, I wouldn't say they're perfect. Besides, the texture is off too, these are chewy, a little overly so. The time it takes to polish one of these off exceeds the amount of time the flavour lasts, so even the two good flavours lose their charm. So overall, a poor imitation of a classic, turns out we don't need more variety, Percy Pigs are the way to go.

My rating: 2/5

Friday, 23 June 2017

Today's Review: Not Having Enough Time To Write A Proper Review

I had a small window of opportunity today to sit down and write a proper review of something, and it turns out I've squandered that time terribly. My ability to add pictures to reviews on mobile has been severely reduced, so I'm left writing a stream of consciousness rambling while on my way out. It's all my fault really. In all honesty it takes me less than 15 minutes to knock out a regular review. But I still ran out of time to do it. Besides, if I had any modicum of forward planning skills I could have written one up a couple of days ago. But here we are, one measly paragraph of self-deprecating nonsense instead of something even mildly interesting.

My rating: 0/5

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Today's Review Coca-Cola Zero Vanilla


Vanilla Coke is great, it took a long time to come out over here, but when it finally did I loved the stuff. Nowadays though, I can't really handle the regular Cokes, they're too sugary for my liking, so it's nice to see the Zero range expanded to incorporate the other flavours. Now, despite loving cherry Coke, I wasn't fond of the Zero version, but I was hoping they'd make a change with this one. Turns out they didn't really. This is not a great Coke. There's a little hint of vanilla, sure, but it's mostly taken over by more artificial tasting stuff. I was trying to fully appreciate the flavour, but there's no way it lives up to the regular stuff. At its base is the standard Coke Zero recipe, which saves this from being completely awful, but the attempt at vanilla flavouring just doesn't work for me. It's a shame, I was really looking forward to this.

My rating: 2/5

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Today's Review: Costa Coffee Banoffee Frostino


Summer is well and truly here, and although Costa's summer drinks have been around for a while, it's taken me this long to try out the one that intrigued me the most. Salted caramel has been the flavour of the moment for a while, but it seems this season people are going crazy for banoffee. I can't say I've always been keen on it, but it's grown on me lately. So this sounded pretty good, an iced coffee and banana drink, swirled with caramel sauce.

At the first sip, I didn't think all that much of this, the coffee and banana combination was a little odd. After a few gulps though, I was hooked. It's a fresh taste of banana, with a smooth undercurrent of coffee that gives it a nice velvety kick. It's a refreshing drink, with a good amount of milk tying it all together. On top of that, there are the lashings of caramel sauce, which ramps up the sweetness, and combines with the other flavours to make this a complete banoffee experience. I reckon I'll be grabbing quite a few of these over the summer, cool and refreshing and packed full of flavour.

My rating: 5/5

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Today's Review: Hershey's Chocolate Twizzlers


B&M have stocked several varieties of Twizzlers over the years, and I can't say I've been fond of any of them. I fail to see how they're so popular in America, they seem like mostly flavourless rubber to me. But the other day I found these chocolate Twizzlers, which promised the Twizzler experience couple with Hershey's chocolate, another American delicacy that I am not fond of. Hershey's is gross chocolate, and tends to leave me with an after taste I liken to vomit. So with those opinions in mind, it's fair to say I expected nothing good from these chocolate flavoured twists.

I didn't hate these, not with the fiery passion that I assumed I would. Unlike a lot of the Twizzlers I tried, these actually have some flavour, and it is slightly reminiscent of chocolate, so in that way I was quite surprised. However, I would not say these are good. The combination of chocolate and chewiness doesn't sit right with me, and the more I chewed, the less authentic the chocolate became, and by the time I was finished I was left with that chewy lump of flavourless Twizzler that I'm used to. So yeah, chocolate chews, not awful, but not really a good idea. These ain't like Riesen, they're a pretty unholy match.

My rating: 2/5

Monday, 19 June 2017

Today's Review: Mr. Kipling Tangy Raspberry Tarts


Picnicers rejoice, the summer cakes are being rolled out. Of course, Mr. Kipling already has a wide selection of cakes that will sweeten up those hot afternoons, but they don't want to stop there, as evidenced by the release of these new tarts. I went for the "tangy raspberry", because raspberries are great. These consist of a pastry case with raspberry flavour white chocolate ganache, raspberry jam, and topped off with raspberry sugar granules. That's a lot of raspberry, and a lot of sugar.


As you can see from this cross-section, apart from my dental records, is that this is truly raspberry through and through. Basically, it's like a Cherry Bakewell, but instead of the sponge there's just more icing. The ganache is a bit of an odd thing. It's good, but the sheer amount of it does get sickly fairly quickly. I wouldn't have said it was ganache if I hadn't read it either, it's got more of the texture of icing. There are hints of both raspberry and white chocolate, so that's pretty good, but it does tarnish the rest of the tart a little. The jam is great, it's where the tanginess lies, and is the most authentic raspberry element here. The sugar granules are a nice touch, adding a bit of crunch and yet more raspberry flavour, and it's all wrapped up in a nice soft pastry case. A pretty good effort at a nice summery cake, if they'd have gone easier on the ganache I'd say it was perfect, but all that icing does lay a little heavy on my stomach.

My rating: 4/5


Sunday, 18 June 2017

Today's Review: Jack Daniel's Cider


Do you like Jack Daniel's, but find the weather a bit too hot lately to be downing shots, or worrying about mixing it with Coke? What if there was some way to enjoy that Jack taste, in a refreshing, cooling, ready made way? Well, check this out, it's Jack Daniel's cider! A combination of apple cider and Jack Daniel's. Yeah, that's pretty much it. 

Not, don't knock it 'til you've tried it, I've heard a few people complain that this is a very unnecessary product, after all, why not just drink the old fashioned Jack? Well, I'm quite fond of this. This is actually a pretty refreshing bottle, and the Jack Daniel's taste is very authentic indeed. It's not too strong, which is what you'd expect from a cider, and hey. sometimes I'm not quite in the mood for hard liquor. As for the cider side, that's what gives this bottle its refreshing edge. I can't say the apple was too noticeable, the flavour of the Jack does tend to dominate it a little, but there are some crisp notes in there that add to the refreshment. I'd say this is a pretty good combination, a fairly mild, more manageable drink that will be good for cooling off in the summer sun.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Today's Review: Poundland Smooth Fruit & Nut


Poundland seem to be putting out a lot of knock off chocolate products lately, with such truly awful offerings as the Easter-themed gritty sugar-filled Spoon It Outs, and the horrifyingly designed packaging that houses equally horrifying fake M&Ms that are Choccers. I neglected to buy up their version of Minstrels, safe in the knowledge that they would be just as inedible as the M&M attempt, but on my last trip I see they're expanded to chocolate bars, taking after some of the big name brand varieties. Now, this isn't specifically stated to be made by Poundland, instead the wrapper informs me that it's made by a company called Smooth!, although the paragraph that tells me that is Spanish, despite the company being based in Birmingham. That sort of set the tone for my assumption that this would be some very low quality chocolate. I went for the fruit and nut, because even if the chocolate was bad, at least they can't screw up raisins and almonds, right?

You know, I consider it part of my job to sometimes seek out those truly awful looking products, if only to confirm what everyone thinks and to warn off anyone thinking of picking them up. Most of the time, those foods I think look awful actually are, and I can consign them to the rubbish pile and never look at them again. Sometimes, however, I am wrong, and this is the case here. This chocolate is not awful, in fact, it's not bad. Just looking at the ingredients shows that cocoa butter is a predominant ingredient, which is something some bars are lacking these days, and that cocoa presence is clear in the flavour, this is actually quite a creamy bar of chocolate. It's not perfect, but I was extremely surprised by how much I liked it. The raisins are a good addition, a nice fruity chewiness that adds some flavour, but the almonds could use a little work, they're very soft and the taste doesn't exactly shine through. What I will say though is that this bar is thick, thicker than the Dairy Milk bars of the same size, and in my opinion, a thick square of chocolate is more satisfying than a thin, drawn out one, so that's another point for this here bar. This is some pretty good chocolate, and it goes to show that gems can be hidden in plain sight. Try this out, don't judge a chocolate bar by its wrapper.

My rating: 4/5

Friday, 16 June 2017

Today's Review: Walkers Sensations Chargrilled Steak & Chimichurri


I do like it when crisp flavour come along more than one at a time. While I wasn't too keen on the idea of the wasabi Sensations (or a massive fan of the taste, not bad though), I liked the sound of these steak and chimichurri crisps, promising a meaty and herby combination. 

I was thinking the steak would be at the forefront of the flavour, but it turns out the herbs are pretty strong, actually quashing the meaty tones a fair bit. Now, I'm not too mad, the steak isn't particularly authentic, and the herbs actually seem pretty accurately portrayed, but the balance is too off to rate these particularly highly. It's a lot of herbs with a slight steak undertone, not a bad combination, but a pretty average execution.

My rating: 3/5

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Today's Review: McDonald's Tennessee Stack


Not the most presentable picture of a burger, but hey, that's what happens when you go bun-less. At least they stacked it up and put it in the appropriate box, instead of flat in one of those breakfast trays. Anyway, here we have the last Great Tastes burger for the year, in the form of the Tennessee Stack. This one seems less ambitious than some of the previous offerings, but sometimes it's nice to have a simpler burger. This one consists of two beef patties, smoked cheese, bacon, lettuce, grilled onions and a Tennessee BBQ sauce. 

No bun for me, I know, but it's supposed to come with a simple flour topped one, so I don't think that would add much to the overall flavour. What we do have here is... nice, I'll give it that, The sauce has a lovely sweet, smoky flavour, which is accentuated a little by the cheese, although the cheese isn't particularly flavoursome. The rest of it is pretty run of the mill, no surprises. It's a decent burger, but it doesn't do anything particularly great. Compared to what else has come out over the last couple of months, this is pretty middle of the road. Not bad, but I know they could do better.

My rating: 3/5

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Today's Review: Mrs. Elswood Hot Dill Cucumbers


There was a time where I couldn't stand pickles. Pickles? Gherkins? Eh, either one is fine. Anyways, I'd be scraping those shrivelled green bits off my Big Mac at every opportunity. But, like a lot of foods, I decided to give pickles a chance, and now I'm pretty much in love. So much so that a jar of pickles is now a permanent resident of my kitchen cupboard (then fridge, 'cause I read the label correctly). Here we have some brand name pickles, or "dill cucumbers", guess Mrs. Elswood didn't want to get embroiled in the naming controversy. These aren't your ordinary pickles though, they're hot, and I definitely like hot, and pickles, so I couldn't pass these up.

Let's start with the basics, these are good quality pickles. Sour, juicy, just great to chop on top of whatever you like, or eat as a snack. But the heat element is where these shine, there are hints of mustard and pepper thrown in here, and they really give quite an intense hit of heat. There are elements of chilli and mustard in there, so it does get to work on the taste buds. It's offset a little by the sweet and sour flavours in the pickle itself, but after eating one there was a lingering heat on my tongue for some time. Not an unpleasant one, but definitely lasting. So if you like heat, and you like pickles, you can't go wrong with these.

My rating: 5/5

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Today's Review: Hoovering Up Something Important

Vacuum cleaners are a fantastic invention, a great way to get rid of crumbs, dust and other small particles with minimal effort. They end up in the bag, or the cylinder, and can be easily disposed of. Unfortunately there are several quite important things that can be covered by the umbrella of "small particles", such as screws, earrings or small toys, and it's all too easy for them to disappear up the nozzle. There's nothing I hate more during a routine hoovering than recognising an important item at the very moment it disappears forever.

Okay, maybe not forever, that instant feeling of loss and regret can be mitigated by delving into the vacuum cleaner and sifting through the mound of dust, hair and whatever else has ended up inside. Sometimes it's wet too, that's not good. Yes, while most of the time I'll cut my losses, some things I have deemed important enough to delve into the insides to retrieve, and being the owner of a Henry, getting through an old school hoover bag is not ranked highly on my list of favourite recreational activities.

I guess I could avoid this problem by being more alert while cleaning, but sometimes it happens with no warning, important things can be lurking everywhere, so I'll say that this is a very unpleasant situation to be in, and I dedicate this review to all my lost, tiny items.

My rating: 0/5

Monday, 12 June 2017

Today's Review: Walkers Sensations Japanese Sweet Wasabi & Ginger


I don't like wasabi. I've tried to get into it on several occasions, but it's just too much for my taste buds. Same with horse radish really, I can't do that kind of spice that gets right up in your nose. So I picked this bag up knowing full well that I might not like them, after all, the wasabi is right there in massive letters. But hey, it's a new flavour of crisps, I had to try it out, and maybe this would be my gateway into wasabi love.

Nope, I still don't like wasabi. The first taste you get with these crisps is a fairly authentic version of it, a fairly intense hit of spice that takes over. I wasn't a fan, but that flavour soon gave way to something else. The back of the pack actually attempts to walk you through it, saying first you'll taste wasabi, then onion, and finish on ginger. They're not too far off actually. The initial spice gives way to a much more mellow, sweet onion-like taste, and after that there is a certain warmth. It doesn't particularly taste like ginger, but it's a nice finish, and surprisingly it left me wanting to try another one. Until I tasted the wasabi and regretted that decision. It was a vicious circle. So yes, these crisps taste like wasabi, but there's more to it than that. I figured I'd hate these, but I have to admit they're not all bad. I still can't recommend them too much, but it's a decent effort with some authentic flavours.

My rating: 3/5

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Today's Review: Walkers Oven Baked Fusions Spicy Tomato & Herbs


Man, how many types of Walkers are they going to bring out? I'm sure there are only so many shapes, ridges and methods of cooking they can employ, and these seem to be an extension of the regular flavoured Baked Walkers. These ones have fancy flavours, hence the "Fusions" part. This pack has spicy tomato and herbs chucked in, which sounded good to me. The Ketchup Walkers are one of my favourites, so a spicy, more natural version had some promise.

These crisps are slightly ridged, which allows for a good coverage of flavouring, and it shows in the bold tomato that's present throughout. The herbs are more understated, but they give the tomato a bit of an edge, and it's a fairly clean taste. The spice wasn't apparent at first, but as I made my way through the pack a pleasant amount of heat built up, and overall this is a nice saucy flavour of crisps. I look forward to trying out the other varieties.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Today's Review: Heck Chicken Italia Sausages


I've liked the look of these Heck sausages for a while now, but I always opted for the cheaper stuff. They're on offer right now in Tesco, so I figured I'd try them out. These are chicken sausages, with added basil, tomato and mozzarella. Sounded pretty fancy to me, and they're also gluten free and low in fat, so that promised none of the stuff they shove into your regular sausages.

As fancy as these sausage sound, I found them to be a little bland. There's some good quality chicken in there, it doesn't taste too processed, so that makes these some pretty clean tasting sausages. As for the other ingredients that they've put in there, I can't say it contributes too much to the flavour. There's a hint of them in there, but the chicken seems to take pride of place, and I was hoping for more tomato and cheese. These aren't bad, but for the price and the promise of flavour, they're pretty middle of the road. Think I'll stick with other sausages.

My rating: 3/5

Friday, 9 June 2017

Today's Review: Tesco Goodness Cheese Dinosaur Shapes


I do like the odd cheese snack, but I don't normally consider them among the best quality foods. But then, I've mostly grabbed Cheesestrings and Babybels from the kids' stash of lunch box fillers, and those always have that slight rubbery outer texture that I guess is good at preserving the stuff. So naturally I consigned all snack cheeses to this way of thinking, until I broadened my horizons and bought up some other varieties. Here is one that we picked up recently, they're blocks of mild cheddar cheese in the shape of dinosaurs. How cute!


Yeah, literally a cheesy dinosaur. At first glimpse it looked fairly underwhelming, and that it may have that rubbery outer layer, but upon opening it I was pretty impressed. Sure, the very outside isn't the best quality cheese, but it gives way to a very decently sized chunk of cheddar that tastes like it's fresh off the block. I perhaps would have enjoyed something stronger, but hey, these are for the kids, and mild isn't so bad every now and then. These make for a good little lunchbox filler, especially if your kids are into dinosaurs. Or if you are, of course.

My rating: 4/5




Thursday, 8 June 2017

Today's Review: Voting

I voted today. Did you? Hopefully most of you will say yes, and if the answer is no I really don't know what to say. What more can be said that hasn't already been said in the weeks leading up to this election? We are fortunate to have the right to vote, to have our say in who runs this country, and voting because "it doesn't change anything" is the one way to ensure that nothing changes. I won't spout overused rhetoric, I can't change your mind, the polls have closed. So lets me focus on the act of voting itself.

Voting is easy, man. It's easy to register, and even easier to actually do the deed. Go to your nearest polling station (they even sort out all that for you), give them your name, put a cross on a bit of paper, put it in a box and walk out. That's it, it takes less than five minutes. There are things I do for a lot longer that are entirely unimportant. I probably stare blankly at a wall per day for longer than it took me to vote. It's easy, it's fast, and it's the most effective way to make sure your voice is heard, and to give you justification for your moaning over the following five years. Voting is great, and if you didn't do it, shame on you.

My rating: 5/5

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Today's Review: BBQ Sauce

I stopped using BBQ sauce when I started my diet, it contained an unnecessary amount of carbs that I could be eating elsewhere to contribute towards a balanced meal, and I thought I'd be fine without it. Turns out I was, but today I ordered some hunter's chicken without the almighty BBQ sauce, and it came out with it anyway. Instead of doing the normal thing and correcting them, I decided that today those extra carbs wouldn't be so bad, and tucked right in. Boy, was it worth it, BBQ sauce is great.

I won't delve into specific brands of BBQ sauce in this review, just the idea of it in general. There are many varieties, but I can't say I've found one I haven't liked. Heinz, Tesco, McDonald's (both regular and the amazing one you get with the Chicken Selects), they're all great. It's like ketchup, but kicked up a notch, incorporating some great sweet and smoky flavours to provide a sauce that's great with a lot of stuff. Especially ribs, man it's great on ribs. I used to be a ketchup fiend, but now if you ask me what my favourite sauce is, I'm likely going to say BBQ. No matter what form it's in, I can't say no to a bit of that sauce. Perhaps one day I'll run a dedicated BBQ sauce review week. Well, perhaps not, but that gives an indication of how much I like the stuff.

My rating: 5/5

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Today's Review: Rockstar Revolt Killer Cooler


I do like a zero calorie energy drink, so it's always nice to find one I haven't tried before, even if it is by Rockstar. Their flavours have been a bit hit and miss for me, but I was hoping something in their "zero" range wouldn't possess the sickly flavours that some of their others do.

So here's the Killer Cooler, an unspecified flavour of energy drink that's pretty easy on the nutritional stats. I have to say, this wasn't bad. I mean, it wasn't great, but it wasn't bad either. It's pretty refreshing, not syrupy or sickly like I've found some of the more sugary varieties. As for the flavour, I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Slightly fruity, a bit of citrus maybe? It's not clear, it just tastes more like that standard energy drink flavour, which isn't a bad thing, but it is a little dull. Still, it did the job, refreshing enough and with a bit of a kick to it. I won't buy it over a Monster or Relentless, but it's nice to know there are backup options out there.

My rating: 3/5

Monday, 5 June 2017

Today's Review: The Weather Lately

I live in England, so consistent, nice weather is something that could only happen in my wildest dreams. Sometimes it rains, sometimes it's just cold, rarely it's sunny. But lately it's been all over the place, more than it has before, as far as I can recall. Maybe it's because I'm caught in the midst of it, but I'm finding the whole thing very annoying.

One day it's fairly chilly, I can live with that, but the next day I come prepared with a shirt or jacket, and end up abandoning it and getting sunburn instead. But I needn't worry, because the next day I can cool it down with a nice light rain, or a thunderous downpour, whatever's the flavour of the day. It's ridiculous, I find myself dressing for one type of weather, and then being completely unprepared for what actually happens.  "You should be used to it", you may say, "it's a British way of life". But that doesn't prevent the fact that the weather sucks. At least if it was raining all the time I'd be able to prepare accordingly, but this rampant inconsistency is really getting on my nerves. Sort it out, weather.

My rating: 1/5

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Today's Review: Philadelphia Deliciously Whipped Black & Green Olives


Philadelphia is like the king of cream cheese, I can't resist a bit of Philly in any of its forms. I've tried several of the different flavoured tubs, but have never dabbled in these little pots of whipped cheese. This one contains olives, which I've also grown to love lately, so I was really looking forward to see what the combination would taste like.

The texture of this is different from your regular Philadelphia tub, which is probably given away by the name. It's whipped, for sure, and has a slightly thicker, frothier texture, but it also retains that classic Philadelphia flavour. The olives are pretty generously smattered throughout, and give quite a fresh taste, making this a pretty good creamy combination. This stuff is great whipped up into pasta (or courgette spaghetti as I had it with), adding a lovely cheesy, slightly salty flavour that'll kick your dish up a notch. A great little pot of cheese, I look forward to trying the others.

My rating: 5/5

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Today's Review: McDonald's Louisiana Stack


Just because I'm low carb, doesn't mean I can't enjoy a burger! I just have to enjoy it with no bun... So today I took the plunge and popped into McDonald's for their latest Great Tastes burger. This is the Lousiana Stack, consisting of two beef patties, pepper jack cheese, red and yellow peppers, lettuce, spicy ketchup and mayo. It's meant to come in a spicy bun, which sounded pretty good to me, but I resisted, hoping I could still get a good enough effect.

This is a good burger, but I've got to say it's largely down to the sauce. The spicy ketchup is great, it has a real kick to it, and blending together with the mayo it creates a great combination of creaminess and heat. The spice in the pepper jack cheese isn't particularly noticeable, but I guess it adds to the overall heat created by the sauce. The peppers are a nice touch, soft and with a bit of extra flavour to liven up the lettuce. I prefer the peppers to tomato, that's for sure. As for the bun, I'm afraid I can't comment, but it sounds like it would round this burger out quite nicely. I guess they could have gone a little easier on the sauce to let the other flavours shine through a bit more, but I'm not too mad, this is a good burger.

My rating: 4/5

Friday, 2 June 2017

Today's Review: KFC Nashville Hot


KFC are switching it up a bit this month. Instead of another burger iteration, they've gone for a new coating. Here is the Nashville Hot, coming with the tagline "Can you handle the heat?" Now, Zinger has been a KFC coating for a good long while, and that has a kick to it, so I was expecting something even hotter from these pieces. Also, there's a gherkin on top of each for some reason. Maybe they had some left over from their last burger. Yes, I said gherkin, that's what the website says. I know the gherkin/pickle distinction caused some debate last time, but really it's a matter of semantics. There are slices of pickled cucumber atop these pieces of chicken.

The gherkin is a bit of an odd addition, I didn't try them with the chicken, I just picked them off and ate them before getting stuck into the chicken proper, so as to fully appreciate the flavour of the coating. What I'll say from the start is that this is not particularly hot. I was expecting something with a lot of spice, so I was disappointed in that respect. It's still good though, a smoky, sweet coating that has a nice crunch and a nice undercurrent of spice that heats everything up. I can definitely handle the heat, and I wish there was more, but this is a nice change from the original recipe. Try it out while it's still around. A 2 piece meal will set you back £4.99.

My rating: 4/5

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Today's Review: Apricot Jam Tarts

I made my Twitter and Facebook pages many years ago now, and my profile picture has remained unchanged since. At that time I tended to review an assortment of things, before I fully settled into my little nook of snack food reviews. So on that one afternoon I decided to expand my social media empire (not quite an empire), I cobbled together the most random objects I could find, piled them up on my cooker and took a picture. Not the most effective, nor really representative of what I was doing, but apparently I've been so busy for so many years that I haven't bothered to update it. I think I will soon, but first, let's actually review some more of the things that are in the picture.


Man, what was I thinking? Why has this been adorning my profiles for so long? Why is there a singular jam tart in the corner? Let's focus on the latter one, apparently I just grabbed whatever cake was left in the kitchen, and so this apricot jam tart has been immortalised on the internet. But does it deserve to be?

I love a jam tart, I'm sure many people do, they're a classic cake that combines nice crumbly pastry with sweet gooey jam. That's it, no frills, just fruity goodness encased in pastry goodness. I couldn't tell you which specific brand that jam tart there is, and of course Mr. Kipling will beat a Tesco Value, but due to their simplicity jam tarts don't differ dramatically in flavour.

I like the fact that apricots are used in jam tarts. It's not a fruit you see represented much in sweets and the like, and it's a pretty decent flavour in jam form. I mean, it's not as good as the strawberry and blackcurrant you normally get in a packet of jam tarts, and depending on the brand they can be a bit hit or miss, but the apricot has held its own as a classic variety, and jam tarts just wouldn't be the same without it. I love you, apricot jam tart.

My rating: 4/5