Saturday, 18 October 2014

Little Miracles Organic Drinks (Degustabox)


Little Miracles Organic drinks are blends of organic tea and fruit juices, full of antioxidant ingredients, that are sweetened with organic agave and free from artificial colours flavours and sweeteners. I was sent two of their drinks in this months Degustabox (see post HERE) and was keen to give them a try. I do like tea based cold drinks, like iced tea, but they're often full of nasty ingredients, and it's great that Little Miracles offer this all-natural alternative.



I received two varieties: Lemongrass Green Tea with Orange Juice, Ginger, Ginseng and Agave, and also a Green Tea with Ginseng, Pomegranate, Açai, and Agave. Both varieties surprised me with just how refreshing they are - very thirst quenching and light but still with a lovely flavour. I wasn't sure if I would like the lemongrass drink as I'm not fond of that particular ingredient, but here is provides a mild hit of citrus that is very pleasant. The flavours in the green tea with pomegranate are also quite delicate, and I like the fact that the fruity flavours are more prominent than the actual green tea. I would definitely choose these drinks again if I was out and about, I felt like they gave a real boost of hydration and energy.

Little Miracles bottles are sold in some supermarkets (they're in my local Tesco), convenience stores, gyms, delis and many other locations. You can find your local stockist here:  http://drinklittlemiracles.com/stockists

Grocery Gems Verdict: Little Miracles Organic Drinks

Rating: 9 out of 10.
But it again?: Yes.

Friday, 17 October 2014

New Instore: Lidl Halloween Range & Lidl Nespresso Compatible Coffee Capsules


A few interesting Halloween items that I spotted in Lidl today. I haven't tried any of their Halloween range before and I was really impressed with the products available. I ended up buying quite a few different Halloween treats, much more than I have from any of the main supermarkets, and they were all great value too!


Lidl Halloween Snacks: This was the first product to catch my eye. It's a large sized bag of sour cream flavoured corn snacks - in spooky spider and cobweb shapes. I can't wait to serve these up on Halloween! Great value at £0.89p for a 100g bag.


Lidl Halloween Iced Cake Bites: This looked like a biscuit decorating kit with the icing mix and pumpkin decorations included. £1.49 each.


Lidl Halloween Cupcakes - Bubble Gum Flavour: This was the one my kids were most excited about so I had to buy a set. It's a mix for chocolate flavour cupcakes with bubblegum flavour icing and includes sugar coated cereal balls to decorate. I'm not sure how tasty these will actually be, but it will certainly be a fun activity to do during the half-term in the run up to Halloween. £1.49 - makes approx. 12 cupcakes.


Cake Angels Halloween Sprinkles: If you prefer to do your own baking then these decorative sprinkles are great value. Each tub has four different Halloween themed sprinkles; green sugar pieces, orange sugar pearls, bat and ghost sugar shapes, and black and orange sprinkles. £1.49p for 81g tub.


Lidl Halloween Milk Chocolate Balls: Large nets filled with Halloween foil wrapped solid milk chocolates. There is a generous 200g in each net (over 20 balls) so these would be good for kids Halloween parties. It's hard to tell from the photo but the wrappings look really good - either scary pumpkins or a dark blue sky with a witch on her broomstick. £0.99p for 200g.


Trolli Magic Horror: Apologies I forgot to make a note of the price for this (if anyone know please leave a comment below!). It's a large 1000g tub of Halloween shaped sweets. The individual sweets in this tub looked really big - there are some massive shapes in there! It even had full Frankenstein figures and large spiders. I've never heard of the Trolli brand but I really regret not buying one of these tubs!


Lidl Halloween Tricolore Pasta: If you'd prefer to keep things a little bit healthier this Halloween, then these Halloween Tricolore Pasta shapes are ideal. I love the mix of black and orange pasta with all the different Halloween shapes; bats, spiders and pumpkins. I did buy these! £0.99p for 500g.


Lidl Espresso Coffee Capsules (Nespresso Compatible): Also a quick heads up about the Lidl Nespresso pods which are half price this weekend - only £0.89p for a box of 10 capsules. I bought these a few weeks ago and honestly, I didn't expect them to be any good. Well, they are fantastic (the Ristretto ones at least), making a smooth strong cup with a lovely robust flavour. My husband couldn't believe they were from Lidl. Stock up! 

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Oishi Fun - Japanese Candy & Snack Box


Oishi Fun is a surprise subscription based candy & snack box, that ships direct from Tokyo, Japan. Each month Oishi Fun send out a box crammed full of different treats and goodies, often with limited edition and seasonal products included too. The boxes cost $25 (around £15) and unlike some other subscription boxes, you don't need to sign up for a set number of months - the subscription can be cancelled at any time. More details: http://www.oishifun.com


It was exciting to be asked to review the October Oishi Fun box, and once it arrived, I was staggered by just how many items were crammed into the medium sized box (it was like the Tardis in there!), including some awesome Halloween and kawaii items. There were plenty of full sized products along with lots of individual sweets and snacks. I've already decided to sign up for a few more boxes because the selection was just amazing and I can't resist the lure of these limited edition items. Check out the photos below for all the items. A little warning here - there are a LOT of photos!


Lotte Koala Halloween Pack: I'm going to jump straight in with the seasonal items that I was delighted to find included in the box. Lotte Koala are little biscuits with a chocolate fillings. This limited Halloween pack is not just cute packaging as the little biscuits are also printed with Halloween images. I've been eyeing this up on Facebook recently so I was thrilled to find it in the Oishi Fun box. I'll have a review up soon!


Kit Kat Pumpkin Pudding Bake-able: These look like the same Pumpkin Pudding flavour that I reviewed last year HERE but this time they are also bake-able. Take a look at my review of these baked Kit Kat HERE and you'll get the idea! As such a limited and coveted item (these sold out really fast last year), I was very surprised to see them included in the Oishi Fun box! Having such limited edition items really puts the Oishi Fun box ahead of other subscription boxes in my opinion. 


Halloween Treat Bag: There were also more sweets and chocolates included in a little cello treat bag put together by the lovely people at Oishi Fun. I loved the Halloween cello bag used  here - it's so cute. 


Inside were even more Japanese treats. I couldn't quite believe just how many were in this little bag, and amazingly there was another Kit Kat Pumpkin Pudding in here! There were also two Halloween themed lollipops (these are so cute!), some Hello Kitty sweets, Banana Milk Caramel and other candies.


A very scary looking gum. Okay, so here's the spooky thing - this gum has gone missing. I know it was in the box earlier today, but when I went back to write this review... it's gone. I have a feeling I'll find it on top of my pillow one day. It's seriously creepy looking but perfect for Halloween. Once I find it I'll update with more details!


Calbee Jagarico Crunchy Potato Sticks: These crunchy Jagarico potato sticks are so tasty, they have a deliciously buttery and salty flavour.


Tirol Chocolate Mix 9 Pack: This is an adorable box of nine different chocolate each with a unique flavour, including; Strawberry Jelly, Hot Cake, Coffee Caramel and White Cookie Crunch. I was so surprised to find this is in a subscription box, it's just fantastic!


Glico Collon: These were also wrapped in a cello gift bag (which you can see in the top left corner of the above pic) - it was lovely to find these individually wrapped items in the Oishi Fun box. 


Baby Star Ramen Chips: These are a classic Japanese snack that have been around for many years. They're chicken flavoured dry ramen noodle chips - I'm looking forward to trying them.


Kanro Puré Fruit Gummy: I've been wanting to try this range for quite a while. There were two different flavours included in the box; Lemon and Grape. 


Umaibo Pizza and Umaibo Corn Potage: Umaibo snacks are really tasty corn snacks that come in lots of different flavours (see my previous review HERE).  I always make sure to include a few different varieties whenever I order from my favourite online Japanese stores. However, I've never tried the Corn Potage flavour before so I was pleased to find these in the Oishi Fun box.  


Riska Choco Snack: These are chocolate biscuits in a long tube shape. I haven't tried these yet but they look like a sweet version of the above Umaibo snacks! :)


Glico Watering Kiss Mint: This is an interestingly named gum! Going by the packaging this one is pear flavoured but if you know more about this product then feel free to leave a comment below!



Morinaga Milk Caramels & a Popcan Disney Lollipop: I've reviewed the Morinaga Milk Caramels before HERE - they're deliciously creamy, soft caramels. The lollipop is so cute because it's shaped with two ears like Mickey Mouse. It looks like something that would be quite expensive to buy.


Meiji The Chocolate: Two individually wrapped Meiji chocolates. 


Even more Japanese candy!: And these are the rest of the smaller candies that were in the box. There are several different jelly based sweets, mini chocolates from Lotte and Meiji, a Fujiya grand nut and just too many other sweets to mention. There are actually a few chocolates missing from the picture above which gives you an idea how much was in the box! 


There was even this cute little kawaii cat in the bottom of the box (I seriously don't know how Oishi Fun managed to fit everything in). This cuddly cat is actually a small bag as there is a long strap that unfolds from the back and it has a little pouch too. Just adorable!

Overall, I'm extremely impressed with all the items in the Oishi Fun box. Not only is it stuffed full of exciting products, but it also has the feel of a gift that has been packaged up and sent by a friend. This is not something I've come across with any other subscription box before and I really can't wait to see what goodies the next Oishi Fun box will include! On the basis of this October box, I think the Oishi Fun box would make a fantastic gift too. 

Subscription Box Details: Oishi Fun

Rating: 10 out of 10 - I'm signing up!
Price: $25.00 each month (just over £15).
Delivery:  Free shipping. Parcels are sent out on 15th of each month.


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Hema Dutch Breakfast Cake


Quick review of this Dutch Breakfast Cake from Hema. If you haven't heard of Hema stores before, check out my previous post here. If you're lucky enough to have one near you (or ever go through Victoria station in London) then it's definitely worth checking out their food section. I've picked up this Dutch Breakfast Cake a few times now. It's a cinnamon spiced bready cake that's a bargain at only £1.00.


The cake is also presliced which I find very useful (pictured above is only about half the cake). The texture is nice, it's not moist but it's not dry either, it's a bit bready. It's not a super sweet cake either, but it has a lovely flavour from the cinnamon and a little bit of extra sugar sprinkled on top. The cinnamon flavour is strong all the way through and makes this a firm favourite with Mr. Grocery Gems. It's lovely with a cup ot tea or coffee in the morning. 

Grocery Gems Verdict: Hema Dutch Breakfast Cake

RATING: 7 out of 10 - good value.
Buy It again?: Yes.
Purchased: Hema.
Price: £1.00p.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

New Instore: Pumpkin Soup, Desserts & more Gingerbread products UPDATED


Häagen-Dazs Vanilla & Florentine Limited Edition: This is such a sophisticated sounding combination from Häagen Dazs. It's a vanilla ice cream with orange flavoured caramel swirls and orange flavoured almond florentine biscuit pieces. £3.20 at Waitrose (special introductory offer).


Carte D'or Raspberry, Vanilla & Biscuit: The photo does this no justice at all. It's a large (about twice the size of a Viennetta) celebration ice cream with gold decorations. It looks absolutely gorgeous! £4.00 at Waitrose. 


New Covent Garden Soup Pumpkin Ghoulash: I've been waiting for the Halloween themed soup from New Covent Garden to appear instore and it's great to see that it's once again pumpkin inspired. This Pumpkin Ghoulash soup is a vegetable soup made with tomatoes, carrots, pumpkin, red and green peppers, and smoked paprika. I don't think I tried this one when it was around in previous years but I've already bought a pack this time. Review coming soon. £1.50p at Sainsbury's. 


Rachel's Organic Apple & Butterscotch Yogurt: Rachel's Organic always come up with interesting seasonal limited edition flavours for their yogurts, and this Apple & Butterscotch looks very appealing. £1.85 at Waitrose. 


Sainsbury's Cappuccino Swiss Roll: I couldn't quite get a decent photo of this but it looked interesting - a cappuccino flavoured sponge roll. £1.50p at Sainsbury's.

A big thank you to Lucy W. who sent me some the following photos of products that she spotted instore and also a few that she bought. Thanks Lucy!


Tesco Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Muffins: Tesco has a new range of muffins in a few different flavours. The muffins come in packs of two for £1.50p which is quite expensive for supermarket branded muffins.  They look good though, especially with their coffee-house style brown muffin wraps, and I'm keen to try this Salted Caramel variety. 


Tesco Raspberry & White Chocolate Muffins: I like the sound of this flavour too! Lucy also spotted Lemon & Poppy Seed and Mississippi Mud Pie flavours in this range. Also £1.50p for a twinpack at Tesco.


Philadelphia Duo Cremoso: Available in three varieties: Garlic & Fine Herbs, Vine Ripened Tomato, and Cracked Peppercorn. The Duo Cremoso range has a dual texture with creamy Philadelphia on the outside and a softly whipped flavoured centre. £2.50p at Tesco.


Tesco Gingerbread Cupcakes: I remember buying these last year but I didn't actually review them. They're gingerbread flavoured cupcakes with a gooey sauce centre. They reminded me of a similar gingerbread cupcake that appears in Costa Coffee around Christmas time. 


Gü Hot Chocolate: These new ready made hot chocolates from dessert makers Gü are currently on a 2 for £3.00p offer in Tesco. There are three varieties of hot chocolate: Gü Mocha, Gü Chocolate, and Gü Salted Caramel.


Gü Maple & Pecan Pies: Mr. Grocery Gems is a fan of pecan pie so I'll be tracking down this dessert version from Gü for him. £3.00p at Sainsbury's.


Gü Hot White Chocolate Melting Middles: These are coconut and white chocolate! Yes, pretty much my dream combination. I love the idea of the melting middle too.


Gü Salted Caramel Melting Middles: And if coconut is not your thing then there is also this Salted Caramel version.  I'm still fully onboard with the salted caramel trend, and it doesn't look like it'll be ending any time soon...


M&S Salted Caramel Brownie Slices: These look good too! I love the idea of a salted caramel and brownie combination.


M&S Tiramisu Cream Liqueur: Oooh this is like Bailey's meets dessert! I think M&S will be selling a lot of these in the run up to Christmas. If you've tried this one then I'd love to hear from you in the comments! 

Thanks again Lucy for all the brilliant photos!

Now for a few products that should be available instore soon:

Ready Brek Gingerbread: My kids pretty much start every day with a bowl of Ready Brek and even though I don't usually buy the flavoured versions, I'll have to make an exception for this Gingerbread variety - it just sounds so warming! £1.99 at Tesco.


Walls Gingerbread Sandwich: This gingerbread ice cream sandwich looks awesome. If you spot these instore anywhere then please let me know! 
Oreo Chocolate Ice Cream Cones with Oreo Biscuit Pieces: I really enjoyed the original vanilla version of these cones. Asda now has these new chocolate versions in store for £1.50.

As always if you spot any new products instore do drop me a line - grocerygems@gmail.com


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