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Yummy Tesco cookies FREE thanks to BzzAgent!

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Well I am very pleased to have signed up to BzzAgent #imabzzagent. They’re a very exciting social marketing company that gets you to try out new products and services. The only thing you have to do is spread the word about the products and services on social media – perfect inspiration for my blog too!

My first BzzCampaign is to try the new cookies from Tesco bakery #TescoCookies after their recent revamp. I was sent a voucher for one free pack of cookies for me to try, along with 6 further vouchers for money off the cookies to pass on to friends and family (50p off a £1.50 pack of 4 cookies).

I must admit I ended up using one of the money off vouchers myself, as when I got to the bakery I couldn’t decide which one of the 6 new flavours to go for, so ended up with 2 packs – Triple Chocolate and Oat & Raisin.

The smell from the bakery was very tempting and I couldn’t leave the bags sealed for very long when I got home. I settled down with a cup of tea and had one of each… for review purposes only of course!

I am not sure how fresh they were, but they were both gooey in the middle, as promised. They did feel a little crunchier around the edges than I was expecting, as though they’d been out a little while, but it was about 4pm when I purchased them so maybe first thing in the morning is a better time to stock up.

The Triple Chocolate cookie was very moist and the chocolate chunks were bigger than I was expecting, but still melted in your mouth. The Oat & Raisin was a little on the sweet side for me, compared to the slight bitterness from the dark chocolate in the Triple Chocolate one. They were both very large too, but if you’re more restrained than I am half of one would probably suffice with a brew.

Overall I was impressed and would definitely buy them again as they are an excellent comfort food. I hadn’t tried the bakery cookies previously so can’t comment whether they are an improvement or not, but if you have tried both please let me know what you think.

The BzzGuide that was supplied with the vouchers had the following product descriptions to tempt you before you venture out:

Triple Chocolate – loaded with Belgian milk, dark and white chocolate pieces
Milk Belgian Chocolate – oodles of Belgian milk chocolate chunks
Dark Belgian Chocolate – packed with pieces of dark Belgian chocolate
Cranberry & White Chocolate – crammed with tangy fruit and creamy chocolate
Oat & Raisin – lightly spiced and full of juicy raisins
Fruit, Nut & Chocolate – a yummy combination of plump raisins, milk chocolate chunks and hazelnuts

What will be going in your trolley?


Best Before dates best ignored!

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While I was preparing a salad for dinner last night I was most disappointed when I picked up my pack of Morrisons vine tomatoes to find that they were very soft and furry, despite having yesterday’s date on them! I rummaged through my veg and found another bag of tomatoes that I had bought weeks before from Sainsbury’s that had a ‘best before’ date of 1st July. To my surprise, these were beautifully firm and showed no sign of deterioration at all!


I don’t tend to pay much attention to ‘best before’ dates on things, as I’d like to think I know when something is good to eat and when it isn’t, but I was astounded by the difference in the two lots of tomatoes that had both been kept in the same conditions since I bought them. Can shops or producers really get their dates that wrong?!

I am by no means underestimating the value of the ‘use by’ date as that is a matter of food safety. There is a very interesting article on the NHS website about people ignoring the ‘use by’ dates on food, suggesting that a lot either don’t understand the difference between the two dates or don’t know how harmful food can be after its ‘use by’ date.

Chicken with leek & bacon sauce

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The leek & bacon sauce below is lovely with chicken, but can also be served with a white meaty fish or other meats such as pork or turkey. It even makes a good pasta sauce, so is a very versatile and simple sauce. On this occasion I served it with pan-fried chicken breast, runner beans and Marks & Spencer’s parmentier potatoes. They are wonderfully crisp cubes of potato covered in a shallot and garlic butter. Very satisfying for just 99 pence at the moment!

For the leek & bacon sauce you will need to pan-fry plenty of leeks with garlic, some shallots and spring onions for an extra oniony boost of flavour. Add in some chopped bacon. Shredded ham hock is a good alternative to this. Once everything is cooked through, remove from the heat and stir in some creme fraiche. This will thin as it heats through so the sauce will easily coat a piece of meat or fish, or bowl of pasta.

As for the parmentier potatoes, even at their full price of £1.99 they are a very nice accompaniment and great alternative to chips or wedges.


Yummy Gloucester Old Spot Sausages

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We have had the most wonderful sausages for dinner from Rushey Hey Farm in Astbury, Congleton.


They had at least 80% meat and had a beautiful flavour that you just don’t get with mass produced or cheap sausages. Not to mention the fact that they’re helping to save a threatened breed of British pig.

They were £3 for a pack of 6 thin sausages. They were very filling as they had such a high meat content, and lost hardly any liquid during cooking. I would definitely recommend getting your hands on some Old Spot sausages from your local farm – you won’t want ordinary pork sausages again!

Lemon Roasted New Potatoes

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Quick, easy and very tasty, this recipe will go well with plenty of dishes. It would be a great side for a summer barbecue, although was very nice served with Umami Lamb.


1 bag charlotte potatoes, halved or quartered length-ways

grated zest of 1 lemon

1 lemon, quartered

3-4 garlic cloves

2 red onions, quartered

Good splash of olive oil

handful of Tesco Finest Lemon & 4 Pepper Rub

Warm the oil in a roasting tin with the garlic, lemon and pepper rub and grated lemon zest.  Toss the onions, potatoes and lemon quarters in the warm oil and bake in the oven for 40 minutes on a medium heat. Enjoy!

This recipe includes one shortcut that can be avoided if you are a purist. The lemon and four pepper rub consists of the following ingredients, some of which are easier to come by than others:

Lemon myrtle, dried lemon peel, dried garlic, black pepper, mountain pepper, dried red onion, dried tomato flake, dried red pepper, demerara sugar, pink peppercorns, dried onion, fennel seed, oak smoked sea salt, dill weed, parsley, green peppercorns, lemon oil

Umami Lamb

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Evening all!

Here’s a gem of a meal that I had a little help with this evening. I found a fantastic jar of Umami paste in Tesco which is fully of yummy ingredients such as black olives, parmesan, tomatoes, anchovies and garlic.

Although it is full of readily available ingredients it would be quite time consuming to make the paste from scratch so is a real time-saver if you have a hectic life.

I smeared the paste over a leg of lamb and baked until medium cooked. The paste caramelised and penetrated through the meat to give the whole joint a wonderful flavour. Served with some lemon roasted potatoes and buttered green beans it was a thoroughly enjoyable meal.

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