Review of Peanut Hottie, the new peanut butter flavoured hot drink

Peanut butter lovers everywhere, take that spoon out of the jar; you no longer have to feel guilty when you’re scraping the last remnants of peanut butter off the side of the jar, 3000 calories later.

We all know peanut butter is a good fat, and great in moderation. However, if like me you keep a jar in your desk at work for the odd spoonful throughout the day (does anyone else actually do that?) then this new product on the hot drink market will make your day.

Being the peanut butter addict I am, when I read about a new, hot peanut butter flavoured drink called Peanut Hottie, I was ridiculously excited to try it.

I was lucky enough to get a sample sachet sent to me to review, and my colleagues can vouch that I was possibly slightly over excited when it came through the post. I may have even let out a small yelp.

Peanut Hottie

Being the good friend that I am, I reluctantly let my friend Lucy have a mug since she might even be more of a peanutbutter-holic than I am. (We once spent the evening sandwiching giant chocolate buttons together with peanut butter until we felt sick.)

Peanut Hottie

It smells just as it should, a lovely peanut buttery scent, and it isn’t like any hot drink I’ve tried before. It’s quite sweet, yet has a salty roasted peanut taste. It tastes indulgent like it should contain more than 83 calories.

My only criticism would be that it is slightly thin in consistency as it is only mixed with water. I think with the added creaminess of milk it would be perfect, more hot chocolate than tea.

Peanut Hottie

If you’re a peanut butter fiend and add it to everything from bagels to stir-fries you will love this new drink. It’s also caffeine free, suitable for vegetarians and contains no artificial ingredients. One sip of Peanut Hottie and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it before… or why you never thought of such an ingenious invention yourself.

No grandes, no talls just big coffee…

I love relaxing in a nice coffee shop with a hot coffee and a piece of cake, but let’s be honest, my usual hangout Starbucks is overpriced and the coffee is nothing to write home about! It was after spending almost £10 on a frappuccino and ordered in cake that I decided to find a new coffee shop to spend my time!

Couch is a coffee shop on Ecclesall road with a branch on Campo Lane in Sheffield City Centre. When I walked past and saw it was open I thought I would give it a try. The interior is amazing, think patchwork antique chairs, big comfy leather sofas, wooden booths and mismatched dining tables and chairs. The cakes are all served under bell jars, and books and board games scatter the book shelves along the walls. It has a lovely homely feel to it, and it would be easy to lose yourself in a good book whilst watching the busy traffic on Ecclesall Road pass by.

The first time I went I ordered a snickers brownie and a cappuccino for well under £5. The brownie was a huge slice (I asked for the biggest bit) and it had peanut butter running through it and of course whole peanuts. It was beautiful and moist, and so chocolately and rich, but in no way too sweet or sickly. Let’s be honest, peanut butter and chocolate is the best combo ever. They have loads of different flavours of brownie to try, such as Double Decker and Mint Aero which are all on the ‘to do’ list! They also have a huge selection of cakes, but when it’s between a brownie or cake I’m always going to go for the brownie!

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Brownie and Coffee

We took our brownies to our table and waited for our coffees, promising to only take a little nibble and to wait for our hot drinks to arrive. Needless to say the brownie was all but gone by the time our drinks arrived. (This isn’t a bad reflection on the staff who made the coffee in a perfectly acceptable time, but more a reflection at my lack of self-control and greediness).

The coffee is smooth and drinkable, and doesn’t leave a bitter or unpleasant taste in your mouth like some other coffees from certain chains can. It’s served in cute tea sets in all different colours; say goodbye to coffees the size of your head, “no grandes, no talls just big coffee” as their website says. It also says “our mum says our coffee is the best, and mums don’t lie” and their momma definitely didn’t lie! It’s as good as any coffee I’ve tried in Italy or the south of France. So far it’s the best coffee I’ve found in Sheffield. The best bit? You can get one of these lovely hot drinks for £1 between 8-10 in the morning!

I went for a second time for a bank holiday brunch. The breakfast menu is extremely reasonable with a bacon sandwiches for around £3.50. I went for a smoked ham eggs benedict for under £5. The food comes served on chalk board like slates, which to be honest I think is a little bit unnecessary but it does go with the decor. The eggs benedict was amazing, it was the perfect hangover treat, they were very generous with the ham, and I had two thick slices on my English muffin, with two perfectly poached eggs and just the right amount of buttery hollandaise sauce. My friends who both got bacon sandwiches watched on in jealousy at my brunch, food envy etched onto their faces. My only complaint would be that all the food was on top of half a muffin and I think it should have been served over 2, but then again I’m greedy!

Smoked Ham Eggs Benedict

Smoked Ham Eggs Benedict

I paired this with a caramel cappuccino, and I was not disappointed.

If you’re a coffee lover but you’re fed up of spending almost £5 on your morning caffeine hit, then stop by at Couch. I mean, for £1 during happy hour it would be stupid not to!

L’As du Fallafel Review; The Best Falafel This Side of Israel.

I’m pretty lucky that my mum lives in Paris, it means I regularly get to visit one of the most beautiful cities in the world. One of my favourite things to do there is visit all the amazing places to eat! Parisians do food well, from warm freshly baked croissants in the morning, to crusty home made French bread sandwiches with soft, melting French cheese and paper thin ham… I could go on and on. However, if you want to try somewhere a little different, with fresh food and huge portions all at a reasonable price, then look no further than L’As du Fallafel.

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After strolling through the picturesque cobbled streets of Le Marais and spotting Sasha Baron Cohen and Isla Fisher casually walking by, we stopped at L’As du Fallafel for some lunch. This is one my favourite places to eat in Paris; an Israeli falafel restaurant in the heart of the quaint Jewish district. This is a MUST try during your time in Paris and is inexpensive when compared to many other tourist traps close by.

If you want to avoid the queue I would recommend sitting inside to eat for lunch. At dinner time you can sometimes be waiting over an hour for a table, and to takeaway at lunch time the queue is fairly long (although quick moving), but pop by at lunch time to eat in and you shouldn’t be waiting more than 20 minutes for a table.

If this is your first time then you have to try the falafel, there are several other options on the menu such as chicken liver and schwarma all served in a warm pita bread, but the falafel is a good place to start. The pita comes stuffed with salad, red cabbage slaw, grilled eggplant and tzatziki; their homemade harissa is to die for and not too spicy, so make sure to add a generous helping!

falafel

The hustle and bustle, and authentic Israeli cuisine transports you to the Middle East. The falafel is light and packed full of flavour and spices, made using a secret recipe making this the best place for falafel in Paris, if not Europe! I mean what other food still looks amazing half eaten?

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You can forget fine Parisian dining in this place, food is served on plastic plates, with plastic cutlery and eating with your hands is acceptable, if not expected! Pair your meal with a glass of their fresh, pressed lemonade and you have a pairing made in chickpea heaven.

L’As du Fallafel is closed on Friday evenings and Saturday’s due to the Jewish Sabbath so make sure you visit during the week or on a Sunday, you don’t want to miss out!

 

A Chocoholics Dream: Review of Chocolate House in Luxembourg

Whilst visiting the beautiful but tiny country of Luxembourg I came across a stunning little cafe that I just had to share with you!

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I’m the epitome of a chocoholic; If you ask my friends to tell you a trait about myself (apart from awesome, funny etc…) chocoholic would definitely be up there. Therefore as I strolled past a bustling little cafe called the Chocolate House I dragged my boyfriend inside to see what they had to offer. My jaw dropped as I walked inside and saw the hundreds of what they call chocospoons on display; solid blocks of high quality chocolate set on a wooden spoon that you melt in milk to create a beautiful hot chocolate.

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The flavours were endless: milk chocolate, cookies and cream, chili and orange, stracciatella, (I could go on and on). The cake display was full of giant, decadent cakes making me feel like I was attending the mad hatters tea party. Unfortunately after eating a ridiculous amount of food at the hotel breakfast buffet, the humongous slices of cake were a bit daunting, but we did try three of the chocospoons.

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The flavours we picked were Baileys, Hot Chili and Black and White. You pick your spoon, take a seat and then the waitress brings you a big mug of steaming hot milk, the rest is pretty self explanatory. As the chocolate melts it was quite difficult not to just eat it straight off the spoon, but the wait is definitely worth it! My boyfriend chose the Black and White one which was a bit too sweet for my liking, but the Hot Chili was beautiful; it was smooth, creamy and intensely chocolately and then the heat from the chili came through long after the warm milk was gone. The baileys complimented the milk chocolate resulting in a sweet yet more grown up drink.

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If you ever happen to be in Europe and pass through the charming little country of Luxembourg I would highly recommend visiting this chocolate gem. It also gave me an idea for a healthier version which I am going to share with you when I am back from my travels, so watch this space!

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My Egg Free, Gluten Free and Vegan Chocolate Brownies

You will be mind blown when you bite into this moist, gooey and rich chocolate brownie, you will be even more surprised to learn that they contain no eggs, flour or butter. No one will know these are a healthy alternative! After experimenting with butter beans in my secret ingredient cookies I decided to try using chickpeas in my next recipe.

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The best bit about this recipe is that it is SO easy to whip up, it takes minutes. After browsing other chickpea recipes I found an amazing recipe for seasalt blondies here, which is where my inspiration for this recipe came from.

Not only are these brownies egg free and gluten free, if you substitute the chocolate chips for dairy free chips they are also vegan!

Recipe (makes 14-16):

♥ 1 1/2 cup of tinned, cooked chickpeas, drained.

♥ 1/4 cup unsweetened peanut butter

♥ 1 tbsp coconut oil

♥ 3 tbsp cocoa powder

♥ 1/3 cup maple syrup

♥ 1 tspn vanilla extract

♥ 1/2 tspn baking powder

♥ 1/2 cup chocolate chips of choice

Here comes the easy bit…

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°c.

2. Whiz everything except the chocolate chips up in a food processor.

3. Mix in chocolate chips.

4. Put mixture in a greased and lined baking tray and bake for 18 minutes.

I first discovered chickpeas made an epic brownie during the obligatory taste of the batter mix. As this is a vegan recipe there are no uncooked eggs to worry about so you can eat this ‘raw’ (not that it ever stops me anyway)!

Again, these taste incredible straight from the oven but you should probably leave them to cool before you try and cut them.

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These come in at around 90-120 calories a piece depending on the thickness and type of chocolate chips used, but they taste so indulgent and naughty, when they’re secretly good for you!

After taste testing these on two of my friends neither could tell they weren’t a traditional brownie, and both wanted another piece (to which I had to swat their hands away and hide my wonderful creation out of reach from prying hands).

One bite of these bad boys and you will be transported to chocolate, dessert heaven! The chickpeas give the finished brownie a beautiful nutty texture, and they’re packed full of goodness and nutrients. Enjoy!

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My Gluten Free/Guilt Free Cauliflower Pizza!

I am here to make your day.

I have a recipe for you that will allow you to have pizza EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK without consuming an outrageous number of calories.

This pizza could probably serve 2, but I’m going to call it a single serving since I ate it all myself.  As it’s made from VEGETABLES it would be silly not to eat the whole thing (got to make sure you’re getting your 5 a day)!

I’ve attempted to make this pizza a few times and I think I’ve nailed it with this recipe. It’s chewy, packed full of flavour and can be picked up like a good pizza slice should be.

I mean… does this look healthy to you?

cauliflower pizza

Pizza Base Recipe:

♥ 1 small cauliflower head

♥ 2 tbsp almond meal

♥ 1 egg

♥ 2-4 tbsp grated parmesan

♥ 1 tsp garlic powder

♥ Small bunch of basil (or to taste)

♥ 1/4tsp oregano (or to taste)

♥ Pinch of salt and pepper (to taste)

Tomato sauce recipe:

♥ Half chopped onion

♥ 2 tbsp tomato puree

♥ 1 can chopped tomatoes

♥ 1 tsp chopped garlic

♥ 1/2 tsp oregano

♥ A few leaves of ripped up basil

♥ Pinch of sugar, salt and pepper (to taste)

Tomato Sauce:

1. Put chopped onions and garlic in a pan with olive oil and soften.

2. Add tomato puree to the pan and lightly fry.

3. Add chopped tomatoes along with herbs and spices and leave to simmer whilst the pizza base cooks until reduced.

Pizza Base:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°c.

2.  Put your cauliflower in a food processor and blend until rice consistency.

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3. Put cauliflower rice into a tea towel and SQUEEZE as hard as you can to get all the liquid out.

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4. For a chewier base put the squeezed cauliflower in an oven for 10-12 minutes to dry out a little.

5. Mix all the ingredients together. It should hold together in a ball.

6. On a greased tray or piece of baking parchment shape the dough with your hand into a pizza base shape. image(5)

7. Put into the oven for approximately 20 minutes flipping half way through. (If it starts to go too brown cover with foil.)

8. Add tomato sauce and toppings of your choice to your pizza base and cook until ready. image(6)

From vegetable to an italian thin crust and healthy pizza in around 30 minutes!

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If you’re craving pizza this hits the spot. The base has SO much flavour because it’s packed with seasoning and herbs. You can add any toppings you like, and since the base is pretty much like eating a vegetable you can go crazy with your toppings, cheese it up!

 

 

To graze or not to graze?

If you’re unsure about whether to subscribe to graze box or not then read on for some helpful information:

I have a huge appetite and have to make sure I have my drawers stocked full of snacks at work otherwise I’m a bit of a nightmare to be around. As it’s Easter season (or as I like to call it Creme Egg season), I frequently find myself falling for the tempting, and oh so evil 3 Creme Eggs for £1 offer. As much as I love Creme Eggs and take advantage of them for the short and sweet time they’re around, this isn’t the healthiest snacking habit. I do bring healthy snacks into work with me such as almonds, dates and peanut butter, but it’s very easy to overdo it as they’re difficult to buy in single portions.

creme egg
Due to my uncontrollable sweet tooth I decided to sign up for a free trial of the graze box and have been hooked ever since! You can browse all their snacks on their website and pick which ones you definitely want to try, which ones you wouldn’t mind trying, and which snacks you never want to see in your box!

My ‘Love’ list contains mostly chocolate based goodies, however we all know dark chocolate is good for you (meaning you can eat as much as you like right)?

Graze Box
The graze box comes with a little menu with all the nutritional information of your snacks and full list of the ingredients so you know exactly what’s inside. All their food is natural and clean meaning guilt free snacking.

They have so many options to choose from, so if you think some of the snacks are slightly too calorific you can sign up to the light box with all the snacks coming in at under 150kcal. I have also recently discovered there is a CHOCOLATE BOX which I might have to switch to in the near future.

The snacks are conveniently packaged in individual portions, and you can get them delivered as often as you like to your home, office, or any address you choose!

Graze Box
graze has put together some really clever combinations of all your favourite treats such as rocky road, sticky toffee pudding, jaffa cake and many more, meaning you can enjoy some of your favourite flavours minus the carbs, added sugar, chemicals etc.

If you’re still not sure whether to try graze then they always have amazing offers which allow you to try a free box! I’m currently on an offer which gives me a free box, and then I get my 1st, 5th and 10th free. If you would like the same offer then here is a code for you to use (uk only):

D7YHNHGJB

Even if you decide you don’t want to continue you can cancel at any time and you’ve still had a free box.

Some of my favourite and recommended snacks:

The graze brownie: only 110kcal for three pieces of brownie and approximately 69% less saturated fat than other brownies!

Dark Rocky Road: With pecan nuts, dark chocolate buttons and cranberries it’s sweet yet tart, crunchy and satisfying.

My Thai: Sweet chilli sauce with baked soy bites and only 84 calories per portion!