Quite possibly my favourite time of the month is the unboxing of my Degustabox! I love the element of surprise of receiving a box full of both savoury bits to get experimental in the kitchen, and sweet treats to try out. June’s box has a good mix of the two, and as ever, I don’t have a single complaint about the box or the service. It arrived via DPD, exactly within the scheduled hour time slot, everything well-packaged as usual. I am always impressed when glass bottles or jars arrive completely intact, so top marks to Degustabox on that side of things!
Now, given that I am back on WeightWatchers plan, I can’t do my usual and scoff the whole box in one over-indulgent sitting. Instead, I’ll be giving first impressions on the items and trying them out as and when my points allows. Onto the contents, which this month are all about the BBQ…
Bakedin Chocolate Mug Brownie Mix (£1.50)
This tiny little tub of brownie goodness is absolutely genius! A brownie baked in the tub in under two minutes, all you need to do is put 15g of butter in the bottom of a mug and give it a quick zap in the microwave. Then add 30ml of milk or water along with the brownie mix, and heat for a minute – couldn’t be simpler! I had this as a post-night shift treat (aka reward for making it through the night awake!), with a healthy dollop of Ben & Jerry’s on top, and it was insanely good! The mug mixes come in some other flavours and I’ll definitely be trying some others.
Destrooper-Olivier Belgian Butters Waffle Crisps (£1.10)
Any sweet Belgian treat gets a thumbs-up for me, given the quality of their chocolate! These waffle crisps are an interesting hybrid of biscuit and waffle – like a waffle to taste, but much thinner and crunchier in texture, like a cracker. On the whole though, absolutely delicious! These will also go perfectly with a bowl full of vanilla ice cream and lashings of caramel sauce. It is suggested that these will go great with tea or coffee, but as someone who absolutely will not go near either brew, ice cream is the way!
Miracle Noodles Angel Hair (£2.49)
Quite pricey for a packet of noodles, however these Miracle noodles are low calorie, soy-free, gluten-free, vegan, and non-GMO, so they tick the boxes for a whole host of for intolerances. I’m looking forward to knocking up a Thai green curry to accompany these noodles, and am intrigued to see whether they taste all that different to usual noodles.
Heinz Amoy Rich & Creamy Coconut Milk (£1.99)
Coconut milk is one of those ingredients that is so handy to have in the cupboard; whether it’s to put together a quick curry, help to make a sauce go that little bit further, or simply experiment with other cupboard ingredients, it’s a versatile one which won’t go to waste. I’ve used Amoy coconut milk many times and it’s always been a hit. This will form the basis of my Thai green curry to go alongside my angel hair noodles – yum!
Sacla Pesto Pots – No.1 Classic Basil (£2.79)
Pasta is my number one comfort food, and I’m sure I’m not the only one! I usually have it with pesto, thickened up with a generous helping of cream cheese, which results in a deliciously creamy sauce. Although I usually opt for the red pepper or tomato varieties of pesto, these classic basil versions will definitely come in handy. A small amount of pesto goes a long way and I often end up having to chuck away half-finished jars of the stuff, so I love the idea of having four individually sealed pots of pesto. Great idea Sacla!
Schwartz Grill Mates American Smokehouse Homemade Burger Mix (£1.49)
Homemade burgers are always worlds above any restaurant burger, in my opinion. You know exactly what’s going into them and you can make them exactly how you like, to your exact specification. I’m quite a fan of turkey burgers, but usually keep them fairly plain other than a small amount of seasoning; I’m therefore very intrigued to try out Schwartz’ burger mix; it seems easy enough, just get your mince and other ingredients and mix together with the sauce, before placing under the grill. I’ve got high hopes!
Branston Spicy Tomato Relish With Chilli & Jalapeño (£1.65)
No burger would be complete without a good bit of sauce, and although I’m a bit of a wuss when it comes to anything remotely spicy, I’m going to brave this chilli and jalapeño tomato relish, which looks delicious, and may just turn my sloppy homemade burgers into works of art rivalling restaurant-quality offerings.
Haywards Medium & Tangy Silverskin Onions (£1.89)
Pickled onions are not my thing, so I won’t be trying these. They are supposedly a great accompaniment to a cheese board or a BBQ salad, and although I don’t personally like them, I think it’s great that Degustabox offer so much variety with their product selection each month.
Smooze Coconut + Mango Fruit Ice (£2.50)
I am pretty excited to try these fruit ices – if you remember sun lollies (retro!), these are the same concept, but are a fruit ice alternative made entirely from natural ingredients. I am concerned about the 40% coconut milk contribution, as I can’t stand the taste of coconut. However, as I have learned from trying coconut oil in cooking, sometimes the taste is bearable. I’ve got these chilling away in the freezer ready to try out tomorrow – fingers crossed I’ll like them!
Wychwood King Star Craft Lager
A lager is a lager, and there’s not much to say other than that! This one has quite a high alcohol percentage of 5.6%. I’m absolutely certain I’ll have no problem finding someone willing to test this out!
Zero Cloudy Lemonade (£2.75)
I’ve tried quite a few Zeo drinks previously and loved them all, so thought this would be really nice. I was hugely disappointed though, because I thought it was revolting. The only way I can describe it is as Smirnoff Ice, without the Smirnoff and with a slightly bitter, unpleasant edge. Supposedly one of the plus points is that each 250ml serving has only 28 calls and 1.5 teaspoons of sugar, as this carbonated lemon drink has been sweetened with stevia and beet and cane sugar; I don’t know if it’s just me being picky, but to me 1.5 teaspoons of sugar per 250ml seems like an awful lot. Anyway, long story short – this was disgusting.
Butterkist Yoghurt-Coated Popcorn (£1.49)
I love popcorn, and I love yoghurt, but combining the two is just too much for me. Butterkist popcorn is fairly sweet anyway, but the yoghurt just makes it far too sweet for me to the point that I didn’t enjoy this at all. As someone with a sweet tooth, it’s rare to find something sweet that I don’t like, but sorry Butterkist, this just doesn’t do it for me.