Yummy

Løwlander Winter IPA Beer

Lowlander Final Blog.jpg

At the risk of igniting your fire, The AmazingBlog  is going to mention the ‘C’ word - no, not that one, but with a certain type of pie and pudding now gracing the supermarket aisles, we feel we can mention ‘Christmas’ without too many crossed expletives being hurled into the atmosphere. Too soon? Ok, what if we mention the aftermath of that certain season which will be with us before we know it? Still too much? Ok, let’s expand this to a more general point of what happens to our Christmas Trees once they have decorated our homes so splendidly? Recycling is of course the go-to choice, but what if we were to tell you that you can now actually be drinking your redundant branches in a new beer brought to you by Løwlander, in their delicious new Winter IPA Løwlander are quite literally bottling unwanted trees and turning them into an amazing white nectar, affording us the opportunity to enjoy the magic of a certain season all year round!

Løwlander we’ve featured before see here and we’re always impressed with their stylish branding and delicious offerings.  The spruce beer is actually not a new concept, but perhaps in our more enlightened times, the sustainability of such a beverage is ever more poignant. The process appears to be quite a simple one - taking the neglected needles off their branches, brewing them up with those stalwarts of the drinks menu, juniper berries and literally turning waste into something extraordinary - a light beer who’s citrus and hoppy aroma naturally recalls evergreen forests, and much more besides. Aligning the perfect botanical normally saved for the gin label, with the pine needles delivers all kinds of interesting characteristics, and at 5% alcohol, we have a libation to suit all palates.

Being around £2.70 for a 330ml bottle, the cost is also something to celebrate, and at the moment only available from online suppliers, of which there are many – give Beer Wulf  or 31 Dover a try, or indeed Løwlander themselves. If you enjoy an evening at The Botanist or Harvey Nichols in London, why not search out a festive tankard, as it sits proudly on their drinks menu. Scrooge would be proud, and he may have enjoyed the prospect of ‘Christmas Past’ a little more had a bottle of Løwlander’s finest been included!

Bee Approved - Vegan Honey

Bee approved amended temp.jpg

Veganista is a new company that we at The Amazing Blog  have discovered on our continual quest to search out healthy and nutritious options. And they have an absolute belter to tempt us with … especially if we have opted for the vegan route to our nutrition, in the form of  Bee Approved  their alternative to honey.

Being an animal product, honey of course is not suitable for the vegan diet, and therefore Veganista have come up with Bee Approved Honey as the go-to alternative for those people who wish to avoid animal products where possible. Now our first question - probably like yours - is: how? Step forward the often overlooked brown rice to take a bow, for it is this humble larder staple which when cooked and with its starch broken down, gives us brown rice syrup with easily digestible sugars. Not only is this particular nectar mushy, sticky and thoroughly delicious, but when you consider the vast range of uses that honey gives us, then the field opens up completely for Bee Approved Vegan Honey’s versatility, since it can be used in as many and varied ways itself. It can be used raw, cooked, as a garnish or indeed as the main ingredient in a plethora of dishes from desserts to cocktails, and much in between.

With the Certified Vegan Trademark  behind it, each pot of goodness is authenticated by an acutely experienced team of professionals ensuring the high standards as set down in 1944 by The Vegan Society are continually met adhering to the strict code of total exclusion of any animal products, either in manufacture or final product. All BeeApproved foods are also Certified Organic and Gluten Free.

The primary supplier of Bee Approved Honey is Veganista’s own online shop here, for 150g, we won’t be breaking the bank at the competitive price of £3.49. Larger jars are also available in 250g and 500g sizes as well as the incredibly travel friendly 10g tube for just 50p! So, these jars of golden goodness tick all the boxes - not least of all giving all those hardworking bees a thoroughly well-earned day off the perpetual round of honey production!

Shelton's Coffee - Coffee Hearts

shelton temp.jpg

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!

9781911595687.jpg

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 .

book jacket.jpg

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 

 

9781572842588.jpg

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

 

9781911624653.jpg

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!

FITCH Brew Co - Cold Brew Coffee

fitch temp.jpg

We are heading up to Yorkshire for The Amazing Blog this time - and happily so, for some of the best things come out of this glorious part of England AKA ‘God’s own country’, and we are never slow in jumping forward to celebrate it. But we aren’t talking ubiquitous puddings, or dales here, but coffee - deliciously smooth, and naturally sweet, cold brewed coffee to be exact! The secret of cold brewing we learn, is that it takes longer for the flavours and aromas to extract, and therefore keeps the acidity low. The Fitch Brew Co have taken this concept and added their own roasting technique and grind profiles to create a superb range of refreshing and totally delicious coffees for us all to enjoy.

Founded by young pioneers Andy and Emily who knew that there was more to soft drinks, more to flavour, more to brewing techniques and more to transparency! All coffee used in cold brew here is from using single origin, Rainforest Alliance coffee where they apply their own specific roast and grind profile. The cooler the water the slower the flavours and aromas will extract. It also has a limited acidity thus providing a naturally sweet and smooth taste. The names of each coffee are themselves a magnet for our tastebuds. Here are our favourite three: Coffee Infused With Sicilian Lemon, or perhaps the Blood Orange Infusion  will tempt you? Delve a little deeper and we find Dark Fortune Cold Brew Coffee with Amber Tonic which definitely gives a good zing! It is well worth checking out to see their full range, and to read the background story to this creative team, who also pride themselves on their sustainability through a collaboration with Bio-Bean to recycle their coffee waste into high performance products, displacing conventional fuels and chemicals.

Each coffee is brewed in-house, with all-natural ingredients, no refined sugar and all vegan friendly - giving every one of us a drop of Yorkshire magic in each can, along with the required caffeine hit to brace us for the morning. Each can is 330ml, and depending on the flavour, they range in price from £1.99 - £2.20, but let’s face it, none of us will be opting for ‘just the one’ option, so obviously there are multipacks at £8.50 for a pack of four cans. All the ranges and much more merchandise besides are available here.