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Musings: News and views from January & February 17

Since the start of 2017 we’ve been in our final trimester of pregnancy and it’s been a bit busy to say the least (I’m now only 3 days away from due date, eek!). So there’s not been lots of time to keep up with my foodie explorations but I have found a few new discoveries that I wanted to share.

Steenbergs Organic herbs

Steenbergs is a family run company that sells organic spices, loose leaf tea and organic cooking ingredients. I have two different sets of their herbs, the thai set which is great for trying out different thai recipes, especially as it contains some more unusual and difficult to find herbs and spices. The set includes 8 mini jars such as freeze dried lime leaves, cassia and galangal. I also have the Arabic set which has been brilliant for exploring middle eastern cooking which is one of my favourite cuisines. I’m particularly struck on the harissa which I used to make a very tasty chicken dish, which I’m planning to  blog soon.

True Foods beef stock

We’ve been shopping with Ocado for many years now and about 2 years ago were invited to be part of their reviews panel. Every month we are sent codes to try out new products for free, which is a great way to discover new foods and household items that we love (and those that we don’t). One of our most recent reviews was for True Foods beef stock, which we used to make a stew. The stock is fantastic quality and tastes delicious, and made the stew full of flavour.  We enjoyed it so much that we reordered this the following week and will definitely be buying it again in the future. I love that all of the ingredients are natural, and how a real stock would be if you made it at home. Sadly I just don’t have time to make stock at home, so this really is the next best thing.

Dryck Blabar blueberry syrup from Ikea

I had visited Ikea to buy a bookcase as we’re having a big sort out ahead of baby’s arrival, and couldn’t resist a look around their food market. As well as a ridiculously large bag of mini Daim bars, I picked up a bottle of their blueberry syrup drink. I had originally chosen the elderflower syrup, but the main ingredient is sugar. Yes, the blueberry syrup is still very high in sugar so it is a treat rather than an everyday drink, but the main ingredient is blueberry juice at 50% of the contents. Topped up with sparkling water this is a fruity and refreshing alternative to alcoholic drinks.

CafeDirect Machu Picchu Peruvian coffee

I am a coffee lover and although I’ve hugely reduced my intake during my pregnancy I still have indulged in a cup every now and again. We have an Andrew James coffee machine which we have been pleased with, particularly its grind feature as both my husband and I think freshly ground beans have the edge over pre-ground coffee. We discovered the CafeDirect Machu Picchu coffee after I was given a bag at Christmas and it has become our firm favourite since. As well as the rich and indulgent flavour, I appreciate the fairtrade ethics of the product.

That’s the round-up of my favourite discoveries from the start of 2017. What are your latest finds?
Sarah

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