Review of Lovemore gluten free spiced pear pies

On a recent visit to Morrisons to check out their new range of free from food section I discovered that there was a good variety of dairy free foods to choose from. This was especially true with regards to sweet treats. I discovered a packet of Lovemore spiced pear pies. I have tried a few of Lovemore products and have been suitably impressed so I decided to give them a try.

I liked the simplicity to front of the packaging with its light brown and bright colour scheme. To the bottom of the box are pictures of the pear pies showing the filling inside I just wanted to dive in and give them a try. Onto the ingredients the pies are clearly labelled as a free from product and are both gluten free and milk free. They are also suitable for a vegetarian diet. Therefore perfect for dairy free me. Egg is highlighted as an allergen in the ingredients list. It is highlighted that they are made in a factory which handles nuts.

On opening the packaging I was greeted by an aroma that I associate with fruit pies. This did not change on my famous close up sniff test. It was nothing special if I’m honest. I was hoping for a spicy fruity aroma maybe I am being a tad harsh. The pear pies are of a good size. To the top you have a slightly crunchy looking short crust pastry topped with a little dusting of sugar. This becomes thinner towards the bottom. On checking underneath no soggy bottom was noted. This got an immediate thumbs up from me as I don’t like a soggy bottom.

On biting into the pear pie I got a slight crunch followed by crumbliness from the pastry. Onto the filling this is a combination of pear pieces coated in what I would describe as a lightly seasoned winter syrup. The pear was crunchy and worked perfectly with the gluppy winter syrup. The flavour of the filling was delicious. It was slightly sweet from the syrup but this was nicely complimented by the all spice flavouring. As for its quantity this spot on anymore would have resulted in a soggy pie. I couldn’t believe just how nice these pies were.

So would I recommend these spiced pear pies if you follow a dairy free and or gluten free diet? Yes I would it is great to have an alternative to an apple pie. I liked everything about these pies from their flavour through to their texture. So thank you Lovemore for producing a delicious pear pie that I can enjoy.

Review of Kinnerton Dark & Smooth Chocolate Mints

Now I’m a lady who loves her chocolate as a guilty sweet treat. It can however be quiet difficult to get a chocolate fix when you follow a dairy free diet. So many chocolates contain milk. So I always have to a secret supply of chocolate for such occasions. One chocolate that I heard about via social media was Kinnerton dark & smooth chocolate mints. I love mint chocolate so just had to give them a try. They were quiet difficult to find so I was mightily pleased when my other half got me a box as a surprise treat.
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Onto the packaging I liked the simplicity of the design of the box. It’s brown colour with a simple green ribbon to the centre with a circle describing the chocolates inside. I also like the subtle addition of a mint leaf within the circle.
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They are clearly labelled as being dairy free, egg free, gluten free and nut free. They are also suitable for a vegan diet. Onto the ingredients list the only allergen highlighted is soya. To the back of the box the labelling also states that they are suitable for individuals who have a peanut allergy.
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On opening the box I have to admit to being a tad surprised. I was greeted by three separate layers of 9 chocolate discs. Onto the aroma I was greeted by a subtle cocoa that I associate with dark chocolate. This didn’t change of my famous close up sniff test. If I’m honest I was a tad disappointed as I hoped for a combination of cocoa and mint. Maybe this is a little unfair. On biting into the chocolate disc a nice hard crunch was noted followed by a smooth consistency. Onto the flavour my taste buds got hit by the slight bitterness from the chocolate this was preceded by a slight sweetness from mint. The mint wasn’t too strong and overpowering and complimented the cocoa perfectly. They would make a perfect after dinner mint.
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So would I recommend these chocolates? Yes I would. I loved everything about these chocolates from the simplicity of the packaging through to their subtle aroma, textures and flavours. It was well worth the wait. So if you follow a dairy free, gluten free, nut free, or vegan diet why not give these chocolates a try. So thank you Kinnerton for producing some mint chocolates that I can enjoy.

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Le Coin de Mel
My Petit Canard

Review of Newburn Bakehouse Gluten Free Crumpets

It can be very difficult to find a dairy free food to have as a light snack. A snack that I do enjoy as an occasional treat is crumpets. They are a quick and easy warm snack that can have a nice topping to add that little extra to tide you over until dinner. Sadly most crumpets contain milk and are therefore not suitable for dairy free me. So when I popped into a local supermarket I headed straight to the free from section to see if there were any I could try. Sure enough I found crumpets by Newburn Bakehouse which are made by Warburtons. They were both gluten free and milk free. So I decided to give them a try for lunch and save the rest later for a snack.
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I liked the simple clear packaging to the top allowing you to see the crumpets inside. I also liked the bright orange colour scheme with the blue section clearly highlighting that they are gluten free. Onto the ingredients list egg is highlighted as an allergen and there is no may contain warning. They are also suitable for a vegetarian diet.
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On opening the packet I wasn’t really greeted by an aroma and this didn’t change on my close up sniff test. If I’m honest it’s hard to describe the aroma of a crumpet. What I was surprised by was the size of the crumpets. They were monsters much bigger than other crumpets that I have previously tried. I would only need one of these for my lunch. Onto the texture of these crumpets they looked slightly stodgy on the top and crunchy and slightly blackened to the bottom. On touching the crumpet they were springy to touch from the top and firm and slightly hard to touch underneath.
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I placed my crumpet in the toaster and toasted it for 2 minutes. The texture of the crumpet hadn’t really changed on touching compared to it untoasted. The aroma hadn’t changed either. I choose to have a little jam on mine as a naughty treat. On biting into the crumpet I initially experienced two different textures. Initially it was light and slightly springy followed by a slight crunch from underneath. On further bites the crumpet was slightly gooey and stodgy in texture. It reminded me of rice that is a little over cooked and goes a little gooey. This wasn’t s negative for me as I quiet like this. On checking the inside of the crumpet the texture was actually quiet similar to this. Onto the flavour it tasted just like a regular crumpet. So that’s a big thumbs up to Newburn Bakehouse.
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So would I recommend these crumpets? Yes I would. The larger size is a big bonus as it meant I only needed to eat one. The combinations of the two textures worked really well together. The fact that they taste like a regular crumpet is a big plus. So if you follow a dairy free and or gluten free diet why not give these crumpets a try. So thank you Newburn Bakehouse for making a crumpet that I can enjoy.

Mummascribbles

Cuddle Fairy

Review of Sainsbury’s Free From Sticky Toffee Pudding

Now I am a girl who likes a naughty pudding as an occasional treat. One pudding I like to indulge in over the colder months are steamed puddings. Now I have to confess to not making my own and relying on ready made ones that you can ping in the microwave. Now being dairy free it’s quiet hard to find this style of pudding that is safe to eat. So when I saw a sticky toffee sponge pudding in Sainsbury’s free from aisle I just had to give it a try.
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I personally liked the packaging in their usual style of their free from foods with picture of a very inviting pudding to the front. It is clearly labelled as being gluten free and milk free. Onto the ingredients list with regards to allergens egg is highlighted. There is no may contain warning. However, the is a note stating that it is not suitable for nut or peanut allergy sufferers due to manufacturing methods.
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On opening the packaging I was greeted by the delightful sweet aroma of a toffee / sweet caramel sauce aroma. This didn’t change on my famous close up sniff test. I microwaved my pudding and let it rest exactly as per the instructions on the packet. I placed the plastic tub upside down and gently removed the tub. The pudding kept its shape and consistency which was a big plus compared to previous puddings that I have tried. I did have to scoop some of the sauce out of the pot and place on top of the pudding as not all of it made it onto the top of the pudding. Onto the aroma of the pudding this seemed to remain the same as before it was heated, a tad disappointing if I’m honest. I had hoped that smell of would intensify but maybe I’m being a tad picky as it was fairly strong and sweet prior to heating it. The aroma didn’t intensify on my famous close up sniff test. On placing the pudding onto my spoon it kept its structure and consistency. It was slightly light and airy in texture. However, sadly this was spoilt by intermittent small hard lumpy grains. As for its flavour it was ok but nothing special. The sponge itself was pretty non descript in flavour. However, the sauce on top of this made up for this. It was like a very sweet caramel. It was very sickly if eaten alone but jazzed the sponge up somewhat.

New dairy free finds in Morrisions free from range

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When I heard that Morrisons had upped their game with regards to their free from products I have to admit to being a tad sceptical. I had never found their free from section inspiring and it seemed to have very little dairy free or should I say milk free options. Like most free from sections it was aimed mainly at the gluten free market. As I was passing a store and needed a few groceries I decided to pop in and investigate to see if indeed their expanded free from section could impress me. Well, I have to admit to be taken by surprise. There was indeed a larger free from section not only filled with well-known free from brands but new Morrisons products. Not only that a lot were also milk free in the sweet treats section as I like to call it. I had to take a double take as I really didn’t expect it. After letting out a little yelp and doing a mini gig on the spot it was time to investigate this section of the supermarket in more detail. I’ve included a snap shot of some of my finds. I have focussed mainly on sweet treats as this is what I personally find more difficult to buy. They are all gluten free, wheat free and milk free.
Jam Tarts
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Pecan Tarts
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Cherry Bakewell Tarts
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Flapjack Slices
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Fruit Cake Slices
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Ginger Cake Slices
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Raspberry Macaroon Slices
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Coffee Cake Slices
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Fruit & Nut Bars
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Oh and yes I may have taken a few treats home with me for my mum and I to try. On packaging my treats the lady at the till explained very proudly that Morrisons now had a larger free from section than Sainsbury’s. So I’m giving a big thumbs up to Morrisons for providing a more extensive free from range that is milk free and suitable for dairy free me. I’m sure it won’t be long before I return to try some more treats.

Mummascribbles

Review of Alpro light soya milk

Well my mission to try some new dairy free milks has not been that successful. One of my favourite milks is soya only mainly because I personally find it easier to cook with. So when I saw Alpro light fresh milk on offer I just had to give it a try. I personally liked the packaging design with the red colouring to the side with the splattering of milk surrounded by three leaves.
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The ingredients list is on the back of the carton with water, soya beans and flavourings noted. I’m intrigued to know what the flavouring is. The soya is clearly highlighted in bold as an allergen. There is no may contain warning. The milk is labelled as being dairy free, gluten free and suitable for vegans.
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On opening the carton I was surprised that there was no nuttiness aroma to the milk. In fact it smelt pretty neutral, of nothing really. I viewed this as a positive. I’m personally not keen on milks that have a sweet artificial aroma. It poured easily into a glass it was cream in colour but slightly lighter than other soya milks that I have previously tried. It was slightly thick and creamy in consistency. On sipping the milk it was slightly smooth but not creamy in texture. There was only a very faint nutty element to this milk. I viewed this as a positive as it was nice to have a neutral tasting milk that didn’t taste artificially sweet like other brands that I have previously tried. I also warmed the milk for 90 seconds in the microwave ready for my famous Weetabix test. It microwaved well and did not separate or form a skin to the top of the milk. It’s aroma seemed to change and it reminded me of custard. Strange I know but I thought this added a nice little twist so long as it didn’t impact on its flavour. Luckily, it didn’t. It was absorbed easily by the Weetabix. It did seem to impact on the texture of my Weetabix making it slightly smoother. This made a pleasant change and made it stand out from other soya milks that I have tried. On tasting the Weetabix it tasted just as a Weetabix should the milk did not impact on its flavour. This may sound a little strange but a couple of milks that I have previously tried have made my Weetabix have an artificially slightly sweet flavour. I personally don’t like this and like to add my own sugar to my Weetabix should I want to.
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So would I recommend this soya milk? Yes I would. Its neutral flavour was spot on and made a pleasant change to the other soya milks that I have tried. It wasn’t artificially sweet and wasn’t too creamy. So if you follow a dairy free, gluten free or a vegan diet why not give this soya milk a try. So thank you Alpro for producing a soya milk that I can enjoy.

Review of Leon fast food restaurant London

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I have wanted to visit a Leon fast food restaurant for a long time. So when my mum and I recently decided to spend a lazy day at Spitalfields this was going to be part of our day. We had already done a lot of exploring with a little eating and drinking of cups of tea before we popped into Leon. I was a tad excited to say the least and I pre planned what I was going to have. On entering the restaurant we were greeted by polite and friendly staff. I asked if I could take a few photos for my blog which wasn’t a problem. The first thing that struck before the cakes was the clear labelling of all of the food. It was food heaven for both me and my mum. I choose a vegan billionaire and a banana muffin with the plan being that as they were both dairy free and gluten free we could share. This was accompanied by two nice mugs of tea. They use Clipper organic tea I love this tea so again I was suitably impressed. I opted for earl grey and my mum english breakfast. After the obligatory photos my mum dived into the vegan billionaire. I choose to enjoy a little of my tea first but oh no I soon had to stop. My mum was quickly working her way through the billionaire. She loved it from the flavours through to the textures. I had to request a piece so I soon tucked in. I could see why my mum loved it. I’m not sure what was best the combinations of textures or the flavours. It was slightly sweet and I could taste the dates which gave a slightly sticky element to the crumbliness from the polenta. This was intermingled with the crunch from the cashews. To be honest although the this was delightful it was no where as nice as the sweet caramel topping. Oh boy it was sweet silky and rich and just divine. My mum described this as a healthy delicious sweet treat and I have to agree. Onto that banana muffin. I had to fight to share this as well. I enjoyed the texture of this muffin it was crunchy from the pumpkin seeds and moist and sweet from the banana and dates. A delightful little muffin. The perfect sweet treats.
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I then persuaded my mum to have another cup of tea and something else to try. This time it was to be savoury. To be honest I didn’t have much room in my tummy but I was going to squeeze a little extra in somehow. I really fancied a finish finger wrap but was told it was quiet large and was recommended the chicken pot. So I opted for this with their fries. Both dishes were again dairy and gluten free. This was accompanied by the obligatory tea. I should point out you can have dairy free milk if you wish but mum and I both enjoy our teas milk free. My mum was more interested in the fries as it’s often difficult to have gluten free ones. So we tucked into these first. These were nice and crunchy and slightly fluffy inside. They were lightly seasoned and just delicious. My mum said they reminded her of the special fries she had in America and had more than me. I tucked into the chicken this was a simple light and delicious .
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In summary we loved Leon and wished we had gone there for lunch. The food that we tried was delicious. The staff were very polite and helpful. The menu is allergy friendly and they serve nice mugs of tea. We can’t wait to return. It was well worth the wait so thank you Leon for an enjoyable and safe experience when eating out.