Food

Shelton's Coffee - Coffee Hearts

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For us a day without coffee is a day wasted! At The Amazing Blog ever time poor, we were thrilled to receive the rather special Shelton’s instant Coffee and their Coffee Hearts have since become a bit of a life saver here at the office. We don’t know about you, but sometimes during the week we’re just too busy, to even dive into the local café to pick up a quick caffeine shot.

Shelton’s Coffee is a family owned business based in UK, where they have focused their expertise in Colombian coffee for the past 40 years. Founded by Ximena Shelton (hence the name of the brand) whose Colombian background has helped in the brand’s mission to source 100% single origin Arabica Colombian coffee. This coffee is very high-quality, all sustainably grown, ethically farmed and artisan roasted. Direct from the crop to the cup, they use two different types of roasting one is the dark roast a perfect match for an espresso because of its creamy body; and the other is medium roast which is smoother and silkier. Like us, Ximena has a hectic lifestyle too. this is why she developed Shelton’s Coffee Hearts. With Coffee Hearts, they’re so easy that all you have to do is pop one heart into a cup with hot water and let it dissolve; they are convenient, practical, and easy, revolutionising the art of instant coffee.

While the Mocha Coffee Hearts are the most popular variety out of the 6 available, we kept flitting between the Classic Colombian giving us a taste of smooth, medium roasted coffee with fruity notes, and the Cappuccino Hearts which provided us with the intensity of an espresso combined with the taste of a creamy milk foam. Far too difficult for us to choose a favourite!  All hearts come in boxes containing 10 servings individually wrapped to retain freshness and each of them is only 5 calories. We loved Shelton’s Coffee because unlike most instant coffees, they took away the bitter after-taste, maintaining the true fresh coffee flavour. They are allergen free, and don’t contain any added sugars potentiating the natural ingredients.

Shelton’s Coffee Hearts was highlighted by Mintel UK for ‘The best convenience innovation in the coffee market’ and was selected to co-exhibit with the Department of International Trade at IFE2019 as well as being shortlisted for the 2019 CHS Awards. If you are unsure about what flavour to try, why not purchase the Assorted Coffee Hearts which contain one of each of the coffee varieties, then you can decide which one you like the best. Purchase your Shelton’s Coffee Hearts box here at only £5.00, not only are they delicious but uber time-saving too, we like that!

Friday Favourites - Summer Cookbooks

 

Today The Amazing Blog wants to share with you some of our #amazingfinds with four new cookbooks that have encouraged us to create some fantastic international dishes for our friends. Our gastronomic journey starts with India moves onto to Morocco and then the Philippines and returns back to the UK just in time to put the BBQ on!

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Let’s kicked off by something of a whirlwind of inspiration in the culinary prowess of Asma Khan, who moved to the UK in 1991 from Calcutta without any knowledge of how to cook, but a firm belief in the power of food to bring people together, and the opportunities created through this to forge new friendships, learning of different cultures and traditions along the way. Although it was British constitutional law which focused her attentions to begin with, having finished her doctorate in 2012, she turned her entrepreneurial talents towards the kitchen, and has been gaining awards and garnering attention ever since. As a descendant of the ancient Rajput Suryavanshi Bargujar clan on her paternal side, and pioneering tea planters in Darjeeling from her maternal ancestry, Asma’s heritage is undisputed, and her book ‘Asma’s Indian Kitchen’ is a delicious romp through India’s rich history, and culinary voyage. “Your food should feel like an embrace” she tells us, and such warmth emanates from the pages. Beautifully photographed and with anecdotes peppered throughout, her book really is a delight to enjoy in and out of the kitchen! Her Shahi Kofta - or lamb meatballs in a rich gravy - are a sensation, as are her stuffed bell peppers - or Bharwa Simla Mirch to use the correct terminology … useful to know, especially if you fancy trying out her award-winning restaurant Darjeeling Express in Soho. Published by Pavilion Books for £14.99  and available here .

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If Morocco is more your thing, then Nargisse Benkabbou is offering up “Casablanca - My Moroccan Food” to encourage us to whip out that tagine, and start making magic with the amazing flavours of her culture, but often with a mix of Western dishes too. Again, here we don’t just have a culinary manual to enjoy, but rather more an introduction to how these foods fit within the gloriously colourful culture and traditions. Nargisse began sharing her feasting knowledge originally through a highly successful blog, ‘My Moroccan Food’, and this book is the natural result of those posts. If you are partial to a spot of marinating - and who of us aren’t - then try the Sweet Chermoula Seared Beef, which promises a ‘flavour bomb’, and we love the idea of a dish taking us to far-flung places with the aromas of Casablanca which are promised in the Amlou Rolls.So many temptations to try, and written with a warmth and friendliness utterly reminiscent of Morocco herself. Octopus Books have brought us this one, priced at £20 and available here 

 

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Perhaps the Philippines as a gastronomic destination gets your taste buds going? The New Filipino Kitchen is another huge spectrum of different tastes and flavours from the myriad of islands with so much to explore, and brought to us digitally thanks to Jacqueline Chio-Lauri who has edited a collection of fascinating stories, giving extra meaning to each recipe from a wide ranging assortment of cuisine masters - and all for us to try from the comfort of our laptop. Describing the chapters under the heading of simply ‘seafood’, ‘meat’ or ‘desserts’ feels a little like short-changing this extensive jaunt around those 7000 or so islands which make up such a vibrant nation. However, the ‘New Filipino Kitchen’ is a serious contender for our attention if culinary escapism is your thing. Quite unique with the information it relays, this book could send us into a frenzy - imagine if you will ‘Stuffed Fish Grilled in Banana Leaves and Eggplant Salad with Toasted Pancetta’, or to translate that properly and pay due homage, ‘Inihaw Na Isda At Ensaladang Talong’ … Well Imagine it no longer, simply turn to page 36, and enter Tasting Heaven! Both digital and hard copies are available on Amazon here from £15.18

 

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Now, it would seem churlish not to include a cookbook with origins a little closer to home, and of course there is an enormous library of titles to choose from, but one which stands out with an irresistible edge is the “Fresh Veggie BBQ” by David & Charlotte Bailey,encouraging us to embrace the outdoor option of serving up a meal from a vegetarian friendly barbecue menu. Completely eschewing any notion that vegetarian food has to be less colourful or indeed tasty, David and Charlotte give us 60 recipe options like ‘Caramelized Bananas with Vanilla Ice Cream’, ‘Rosemary Sweet Potato Chips’ or - and this one is seriously tempting ‘Wild Mushroom & Artichoke One-Pot Pie’ to dispel those myths completely. However, this time of course our kitchen is found in the great outdoors through the tradition that is ‘barbecue’ which of course is a culture within itself. With advice on the different options open to us, from using dutch ovens to the very impressive discipline of burying our ingredients in hot ash and embers - otherwise known as ‘rescoldo’, we have an encyclopaedia of vegetarian goodies to try out -and with the weather back here at home offering us it’s most favourable conditions (Ok well that was in July perhaps not August!) We can’t be the only ones twitching to get those charcoals burning! Published by Pavilion Books with an RRP of £14.99 here the ‘Fresh Veggie BBQ’ is a must.

…And with all these delicious ideas, we’re preparing to cook up a storm this Bank Holiday weekend!

Collagem – Beauty Supplement

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While explorers never found the infamous ‘fountain of youth’, we at The Amazing Blog are ever hopeful that we’re one step closer with our latest discovery of Collagem. This beauty supplement has 12 active ingredients from collagen to vitamin C , all effective at delaying signs of ageing and improving the skin from within. They refer to it as: “ Your daily beauty dose”.

Kasia Devraj the creator of the premium Collagem supplement brand and owner of Beauty Boosters Ltd decided to create a collagen supplement after being unable to find one that would encapsulate all that she wanted, bioactive collagen peptides, low molecular weight collagen and antioxidants to help combat anti-ageing. More importantly, it had to be free of artificial preservatives and flavours, added sugars and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). She partnered with scientists and biotechnologist to launch Collagem initially into Poland and then the UK earlier this year.

Collagem is a powder supplement that comes in small packets with an orange flavour. The key ingredient is hydrolysed marine collagen. The other ingredients, bioactive collagen, beta carotene, hyaluronic acid, bamboo extract, CoQ10, and selenium all of which have properties to prevent premature signs of ageing and retain moisture. Additionally, the vitamin C helps boost the immune system while the MSM detoxifies and improves skin texture. When you pair the two together, they also help rebuild new cell tissues and r-alpha lipoic acid (R-ALA)stimulates bio-energy production in each cell. The formula not only has multiple ingredients working together to help create a more youthful looking skin, but has vitamin B complex that strengthens hair and nails as well as decreasing cellulite. We liked the taste, however, felt that we needed to take it for a longer period of time (3+ months) before we could see any real improvement in the skin or nails. Unfortunately the 14-day trial which we were sent was not long enough for us to see any visible results. What we particularly liked was that there are no added sugars, sweeteners, colours, preservatives, GMO, alcohol or caffeine.

The Collagem individual packets are a real plus, perfect for keeping in your handbag. Each box comes with 14 sachets (200-250ml)with the correct dose of powder in each. They recommend mixing one supplement package in water or juice after a meal daily for optimum results. We preferred to start our day with it at breakfast. You can buy a box here for £45.

Together Health – Complexes and Boosts Food Supplements

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While we at The Amazing Blog try to maintain healthy and balanced diets, London has delicious food on practically every corner. So, to fill the gaps in our diets, we often take vitamins, but many vitamins are hard to travel with and contain harsh preservatives. That’s where Together Health ’s all-natural food supplements, packaged in portable sachets, come in. 

The brand was launched in the UK by two brothers, Lee and Daniel Robertshaw, who found it difficult to sustain a healthy lifestyle amidst busy schedules and unhealthy yet conveniently located food. They partnered with health and nutrition experts to develop food supplements that ‘support as many people on their own journey to find a path to health that works for, and not against, them’. The company is 100 per cent transparent about the supplements’ ingredients that are naturally derived from the ocean and plants and contain no artificial additives or processing aids. We tried eight of the different supplements Together Health offers, four from the Boosts collection and four from the Complexes collection .

The Boost supplements are designed to give you extra vitamins and antioxidants in your diet. The four we tried were Curcumin & Turmeric Complex (helps reduce inflammation), Marine Magnesium contains five natural forms of magnesium minerals), Plant Based Coenzyme Q10 (generates energy in cells), and Vegan Vitamin D3 (helps absorption of calcium and phosphorous from food). One of our favourites from this collection was the Curcumin & Turmeric Complex, which contains organic turmeric root and 95 per cent curcumin extract. These two ingredients have been used for centuries for their natural healing properties as they are antioxidant-rich, neutralise harmful free radicals, and have anti-inflammatory properties

The Complex supplements target specific needs for you to live a healthier life. We tested the Joint Aid Herbal Complex (helps reduce inflammation in joints), Multibiotic Fermented Food (improves digestive and general health), Night Time Complex aids sleep onset and duration), and Stress Aid Complex (reduces stress with food-based vitamins and ocean minerals). Our favourite of this collection was the Night Time Complex. It contains five forms of ocean-sourced magnesium: oxide, hydroxide, sulfate, carbonate, and chloride. Since the magnesium is naturally derived rather than synthetically made, it allows your body to absorb it faster. The supplement also has 5-HTP from Griffonia extract to synthesise serotonin and hops extract to regulate inconsistent sleep patterns or inability to fall asleep. We found that taking two capsules 30 minutes before bed had us sleeping better throughout the night and waking up well-rested. 

Each supplement comes in a ‘vegecap’ made from Pinus Elliottii tree plant cellulose, and you can take it apart to mix into food or drink if you don’t like taking pills. There are approximately 30-60 vegecaps packed in each resealable sachet that can last for two months and is travel-friendly. Together Health has a helpful product recommender here if you aren’t sure what kind of supplement would be best for you. You can buy the supplements here starting from £6.99

Mon Dessert - Macaron Masterclass

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Regular readers will know that at The Amazing Blog we love trying new foods from superfoods to protein-filled snacks. But what we especially love are desserts because life is about balance, right? Since it’s a Friday, we decided to treat ourselves to the highly anticipated Mon Dessert Macaron Masterclass. Being surrounded by the aroma of dessert and freshly made macarons is honestly the ideal way to spend two hours of a Friday night in the heart of London’s food network: Borough Market.

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During the Masterclass, which has a different seasonal theme each month, you learn how to make macarons from scratch following a recipe straight out of Paris. You also gain first-hand knowledge of tips and tricks that you can bring to your own kitchen if you’re brave enough to try making them on your own. The class has a wide variety of flavours and colours for you to create a box of personalized macarons that will impress your family and friends when you leave. Overall and most importantly, the class has a fun, light, and uplifting atmosphere that radiates from the delicious desserts to everyone baking in the kitchen.

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Mon Dessert is a luxury at-home dessert company that holds classes like the Macaron Masterclass and sells kits to make your own desserts at home. Macarons kits allow you to take your skills from the class into your own flat and provides the necessary ingredients, recipe, equipment, and fashionable storage tin for you to be successful every time. The company also offers a delicious-looking speciality dessert kits, which help you make a professional-looking and tasting éclair, cannoli, and crème brûlée with ease. Vegan-friendly recipes, kitchen appliances, and many flavours from caramel to rose are available.

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If you’re an avid foodie or someone who doesn’t shy away from desserts, the Macaron Masterclass is a must for you. It runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Le Pain Quotidien every second Friday of the month and is £50 per person. You can sign up for a spot in the class here.