Can’t garden? Won’t Garden? Don’t worry @suttons_seeds is here to help and make gardening super cool! #garden #gardening #home #lifestyle

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Fancy yourself as a bit of a green fingered god or goddess? Or are you like us and find it difficult working out your sunflowers from your pansies? Well as more and more of us start to buy our own houses and inherit a mud pit that we would one day like to turn into a garden  that is sharp, contemporary and something to be proud of,  we’re all asking what is that quick fix?

Well unless you’re willing to bring in the professionals, which could cost a pretty penny, the best thing you can probably do is take matters into your own hands. This is where Suttons Seeds comes in. Based down in Devon, this gardening company prides itself on quality and innovation, and see us, the twenty something’s as the next generation of gardening maestros (sure!) so they’re bringing out some great products, and prove that they’re way more than just a seed company, that helps us get up and go in our gardens. From beginners vegetable planting guides through to handy seeding packs that make planting minimum hassle, these guys really are on our young side and might just make gardening cool (again!!).

Here are some of our top picks from Suttons Seeds : 

A Fusion Of Colour And Musical Romance From Suttons Seeds 

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Suttons new Floral Fusions Flower Seed Mixes are  a great way to transform gardens quickly, easily and successfully.  Each mix contains up to 20 different varieties of seed as well as an inert natural buckwheat to assist with the sowing of the seed.  The collection includes six different varieties to meet consumer demands; from brightening a shady corner to super-quick blooms, Suttons new Floral Fusions has it all!

To make sowing your seeds even easier, Suttons new Floral Fusions are packaged in a ‘shaker’ style pot with a built-in sprinkler that enables you to sow your seeds quickly and evenly over their beds and borders in a matter of minutes! Plus its only £5.99 (bargain!).

Microgreens Windowsill Allotments are Healthy Fast Food, Full Of FlavourScreen Shot 2014-01-29 at 10.43.42

Continue 2014 with a healthy addition to your diet! With resolutions being made to get fit and eat healthier food, many of you will be trying to continue on with your New Year diets. So why not help make a healthy change today with Suttons Microgreens!

Easy to grow, nutritious and full of flavour, these groovy tasty leaves really are a 2014 ‘must have’!

Each box includes everything you need to grow, plus a tasty recipe to try! They are quick and easy to grow – great for children and novice gardeners, with colourful and attractive packaging which is easy to understand.Screen Shot 2014-01-29 at 10.43.53

There are 8 delicious varieties to choose from, and as microgreens are harvested younger they contain more nutrients, vitamins and protein. Finally, these kits can be grown at any time of year and are all grown indoors for a thrifty £3.99 per kit.

And finally, it’s not all about seeds you know…it’s about community too!

A New Way To Fundraise For Schools With your Little Green Sprouts!

‘Little Green Sprouts’ is a brand new fundraiser scheme designed specifically for primary and junior schools.

This soon to be launched scheme will help schools to fundraise, provide a central resource hub for teachers and also a one-stop shop for schools to buy all their gardening necessities.  Games for the children and some useful home activities will also be included.

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Suttons will be instrumental in helping schools set up their own microsites and will provide them with marketing materials for distribution to teachers.  For every £10 that parents spend, the school earns 1 sprout.  This sprout can be redeemed against a list of set products all designed to meet the horticultural factors in the national curriculum.

So there you have it, lots of ways to get excited about your garden in the coming months, so even if the rain is pouring, you don’t have to stop gardening, you can at least make a start! Enjoy!

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Why sip tea when you can chew it? @chewtea #foodanddrink #drink #coffee #tea #soho #london

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Recently launched in London’s Soho area is a new tea and coffee revolution. Forget Seattle and its Starbucks, its all about the Far East and the rise of Bubble Tea and now for the first time in the UK, Bubble Coffee, housed by brand new franchise Chew.

Where can I Chew?

You can’t really miss the shop if you walk past it, its neon orange lights will be a beacon of hope for those walking the streets upon night fall, and a nightmare for anyone with a hangover!

This first site has been fashioned by Afroditi Krassa, the award-winning designer who created the brand identity for Itsu and was later appointed Creative Director by founder Julian Metcalfe – who also started sandwich chain Pret a Manger. Chew is aiming to pioneer the next step in the bubble beverage evolution by kick-starting the next big drink trend.

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So what is Chew?

Chew, so called as it is literally the drink that you can eat, will be serving adventurous Soho residents not only a new take on freshly brewed coffee, but will also be offering over 30 fruit and milk-based bubble teas. Tea has be reimagined and given the Chew treatment. A variety of black and green flavoured teas have been ‘sexed up’ with the signature bubble tea ingredient, jelly-like tapioca balls – which are freshly prepared on site, and have the strangest, yet most addictive texture!

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Where did Chew come from?

The Bubble Tea phenomenon originated in the streets of Taiwan in the 1980s and the trend has slowly been travelling West ever since. 30 years on the bubble tea movement is far from middle aged and in the UK it’s still in its infancy. Over the last couple of years various concepts have introduced the Far Eastern inspired refreshment to British palettes. Chews founding owners, husband and wife team Karim and Sara Hemsi first came across bubble tea in San Francisco, fell in love with the concept and then travelled to Taiwan to be trained in the art of modern tea making!

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How did it hit the streets of London?

In 2011 Boba Jam in Chinatown claimed to be the first bubble tea parlour to open in Central London. Bubbleology launched the same year and now has six outlets. Bubble tea appears to thrive where trendy young people converge however it would seem that the Chew brand aims to brew tea of the bubble variety not only for Soho hipsters, but also for the Great British tea-drinking public.

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So how much will this set me back?

Bubble teas are available in two sizes

Medium is 500ml and is £3.45

Large is 700ml and is £3.75

Bubble coffees are available in two sizes

Medium is 500ml and is £3.55

Large is 700ml and is £3.85

I’m sold, lets chew! You can follow chew on Twitter @chewtea and find out much more about the company on its website! 

Forget your Christmas Cooking disasters 2014 is a new year to cook with @smeguk #cooking #recipe #food

 

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So did you to cook the turkey to perfection this year? or did you get ribbed by your family around the table for that slightly over smoked bird? Oh well, either way 2014 is a new year with new goals in work, life and well…cooking! And in terms of the latter, award winning appliance manufacturer Smeg (yes, the one with the uber cook refrigerators everyone wished they had) you can create a new, exciting dish a professional chef would be proud of, from succulent roast pork to melt-in-the-mouth extra lemony sponge cake all because of its brand new recipe card collection? 

 Recipe Cards?? Old School….

Yep, old school style, modern means, via Smegs website,  you can concoct nine delicious, classic British recipes which have been cleverly designed by a qualified home economist to help you produce the tastiest dishes using Smeg’s top-of-the-range, built-in or freestanding cooking appliances (or of course, your own!). SFP390X

The last recipe from this collection, Rotisserie sweet chilli chicken, has just been completed and is now available online. Simply go to www.smeguk.com now where you can download each recipe card and 26 other online recipes from around the globe, which range from party food and starters to sweets and desserts.

 But I just want to start cooking right now…

Oh, ok then, well here’s the recipe just for you!! x

 

Rotisserie sweet chilli chicken

Rotisserie chicken

SERVES 4

Ingredients:

1.6kg whole fresh chicken, finely grated zest 1 lime, 2 tsp dried chilli flakes,1 tbsp sunflower oil

2 tbsp runny honey, flaked sea salt, freshly ground black pepper

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180C on the Rotisserie Grill setting. Place a baking tray lined with foil on the bottom shelf of the oven. This will collect any juices that drip from the chicken.

2. Mix the lime zest with the chilli flakes, a good pinch of salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Stir in the oil and honey until combined.

3. Place the chicken on a board. Do not remove the string holding the chicken together. Carefully thread the rotisserie rod down through the centre of the chicken.

4. Skewer each end with the clip forks and secure by tightening the screw on each fork. Brush the chilli mixture all over the skin of the chicken until it is evenly coated.

5. Place the rotisserie rod securely on to the rotisserie support according to your oven manual. Spit roast the chicken with the oven door closed for 1 ¼ hours or until the skin is deep golden brown and the chicken is thoroughly cooked. The juices should run clear.

6. Carefully remove the chicken from the oven and transfer to a board. Remember, it will be extremely hot and juices could splash. Loosely cover the chicken with foil and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Remove the rotisserie rod and carve the chicken to serve.

Rotisserie works in combination with the grill element whilst constantly turning the food

Plan ahead and sort out your new years hangover RIGHT NOW!! @verywisenutri @nutricentre #health #hangover #newyears

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 13.11.23Do you remember the morning of January 1st 2013… we assume it came part and parcel with a stinking hangover right? Then your family came round wanting to spend New Years day together and all you could think of was crawling under your duvet praying that the room would stop spinning, and knowing that there is not enough paracetamol in the world to stop this pain in your head. 

Well to stop this happening all over again, our friends at Very Wise Nutrition have been doing their research and have some handy hints to get you back to your A-Game come 2014. 

So here we go…. Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 13.10.21

When it comes to drinking, it’s all about damage limitation, look after your body and your body will look after your hangover.  Shona Wilkinson, Head Nutritionist at www.nutricentre.com shares her top tips to hangover-proof your Christmas!

Power on with Protein!

“Before heading out, make sure you eat a meal containing lots of protein (fish, meat, nuts, seeds, eggs, tofu) before you go out. Protein takes a long time to digest so it helps to line the stomach. Also as a preventative measure, take a milk thistle tincture before you party as this helps the liver deal with the toxins that will be introduced to the body.  Before bed, have a snack to help balance blood sugar levels – try marmite, humous or peanut butter on wholegrain toast, ‘’ explains ShonaScreen Shot 2013-12-16 at 13.12.07

Face facts!

Woken up looking like the bride of Dracula with last night’s make-up smeared all over your face?  Let the power of fruit enzymes get your skin glowing in no time!  MyChelle’s new festive White Cranberry Cleanser, £8.50 from www.nutricentre.com naturally exfoliates, cleanses and brightens.  Willow Bark and Totarol™ help bring balance to oily and blemish-prone skin conditions. Pomegranate, a super fruit rich in antioxidants and naturally exfoliating fruit acids, protects against environmental aggressors, while keeping pores clear and skin calm.

Get juiced!

Resist that fat Cola and try a natural nutrient booster instead.  Shona suggests ‘’In the morning, have a smoothie made of banana, kiwi, flaxseed, cinnamon and spirulina and omega 3. This will ensure a good supply of vitamins and help balance blood sugar levels.’’ Add some Omega 3 to make for the ultimate hangover smoothie, VeryWise’s new OmegaWise with mango and peach tastes great and contains your RDA of Omega 3 and Vitamin D, £8.80 from www.verywisenutrition.co.uk

B Prepared

According to Shona, ‘’Alcohol destroys your body’s vital energy boosting and nervous system protecting  B vitamins.  Ensure you keep your B levels topped up the day before a big drinking session with a B complex’’Quest’s new Mega B 50, £6.69 for a month’s supply from www.nutricentre.comScreen Shot 2013-12-16 at 13.12.22

We asked Shona some questions on hangovers to help separate the fact from the fiction…

1. Can food really help with a hangover or is it a myth?

Hangover symptoms show that the body is suffering from dehydration, mineral loss and low blood sugar, as well as the presence of toxic metabolites of alcohol. We can use food to prevent or reduce hangover symptoms, because certain nutrients are used for the body’s detoxification processes. We can use food and drink to counteract dehydration and nutrient loss caused by drinking, as well as to support balanced energy levels.

2. What should you eat before you go out and why?

The best foods and drinks to focus on are those which promote liver function. Firstly ensure you have protein (eggs, meat, fish, beans and lentils) because some amino acids facilitate detoxification, particularly of acetaldehyde which is thought to be a cause of unpleasant hangover symptoms. Secondly ensure you have antioxidant-rich fruits, fresh vegetables and leafy greens because they offer protection from free radicals which are considered another cause of hangovers.
Overall, it’s important that you do eat before drinking to slow the absorption of alcohol and additionally reduce the irritation that it causes to the stomach. Include healthy fats such as an olive oil dressing to slow absorption of alcohol, thereby slowing the work for your liver.

3. What should you eat the next day and why?

Start the day with a protein- and nutrient-rich breakfast.  Ideally choose eggs, because they are rich in cysteine which is needed to break down acetaldehyde. Try a healthier cooked breakfast of poached eggs, green leafy vegetables, grilled tomatoes and wholegrain bread. Keep your energy up by having plenty of slow release carbohydrates from wholegrains and vegetables.
Keep well hydrated by drinking plenty of water, or even better drink coconut water as it’s naturally rich in electrolytes which helps to better hydrate you – like a sports drink but without artificial sweeteners. You could also have a fruit smoothie. Alcohol consumption results in dehydration which contributes to symptoms such as headache and fatigue, so this is very important.

4. What foods and drinks should you avoid (before and after drinking)?

Before, during and after drinking it’s best to avoid sugary foods and drinks, because alcohol consumption tends to play havoc with energy and blood sugar control. Refined sugars will compound this problem so it’s better to focus on protein and unrefined carbohydrates which release glucose slowly.
After drinking it’s best to avoid caffeine because it could worsen the dehydration.  Finally, after drinking the stomach may be irritated so it’s best to avoid very spicy or fatty fried foods.  It’s not wise to start drinking alcohol the next day because it prolongs the period of time for which your liver is processing alcohol.

So there you have it, get yourself ready for a new year without the hangover hang-ups!!! 

Dish up dreamy desserts this Xmas with @BaileysOriginal Christmas Creams #baileyschristmascreams #food #drink #christmas

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Ever heard of the phrase “cant cook, won’t cook?” Yes, well it very much applies to us, the idea of a takeaway as the far easier option always comes to mind at around the 7pm timeslot, and the thought of hosting a group for dinner fills us with fear…until now.

With a little help from the latest Baileys Christmas Cream collection, this week we were taken on a culinary cuisine cruise around Les Atelier Des Chefs in London, to get ready for the Christmas season in style, and iron out any doubts we may have had about our cooking (or at least baking) abilities.Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 18.09.18

Luckily for us, in just a couple of hours, what we found, is that actually cooking is not only hugely fun and rewarding, but it also can be incredibly simple and yet produce results that even Mary Berry would be proud of. Oh and the fact that all the food we made had Bailey’s in it REALLY helps!

So where did this culinary cruise start?

Well as any good Christmas party host knows, it started with a nice glass of Prosecco… just to ease us into it of course! Now we would also recommend a quick pit stop before you get started, alongside a bowl of Baileys Original Sauce (£2.35 300ml) which you dip some yummy strawberry’s and marshmallows into as a pre dessert nibble!

Then with our advice, you skip the main meal and head straight for dessert!!!

Dessert you say…already?

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 18.12.45Well isn’t this splendid, who said Christmas isn’t about indulging yourself entirely. With the help of a fantastic Food Innovator called Janey Greene, (who taught us everything we needed to know on the day) Baileys has mustered up some fabulous dessert treats that have convinced us that we could pose as master chefs in no time at all!

All you literally need is a little bit of Baileys very own Christmas Cream selection and you will have a unique recipe or two to impress your friends with in no time

Here’s what we made on the day – oh and a little look at us in action….

Baileys Creamy Custard Fruit Brulee – by Janey Green

Apples and Dates infused with Tangerine and Basil, topped with Baileys Cream Vanilla Custard and finished with a Brulee toppingScreen Shot 2013-12-05 at 18.17.03

Baileys Cream with Chilli Chocolate and Sour Cherry

Warm dipping sauce served with Filo Pastry ‘cinnamon sticks’Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 22.24.26

For these recipes, make sure you visit Janey’s wonderful blog A Slice of Slim.

 It really is that simple!

We cant express enough how easy these recipes were to make, and just how unique they all taste with a yummy Bailey’s twist. Even if its not your immediate top tipple, the addition of this to any dessert at Christmas is really worth it.

It’s guaranteed to make you fall in love with puddings all over again! Here’s some ideas for you…

Try classic Baileys Original Irish Cream with gooey chocolate cakes and tortes, while Baileys with a hint of Crème Caramel is the perfect accompaniment to warm sticky toffee puddings or fresh fruit crumbles and tarts. You can even use it to add a little extra luxury to recipes that traditionally use chilled cream, such as trifles or tiramisu.

The list is endless, and the taste is priceless! So what are you waiting for, its time to get in the kitchen, pretend you’re Nigella (in better times) and become the hostest with the mostest this Christmas! Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 22.30.06

Need to find the UK’s best bites? Then @europcar has just the map for you #travel #map #food #drink #foodanddrink

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Ever wanted to take a trip around our great British Isles and find out where the best food from each region comes from? Then forget your conventional map because Europe’s leading car hire service Europcar has the solution – its a map called Britain’s Best Bites.

Whether you’re packing a picnic or shopping for the best ingredients for the Christmas table, you won’t go hungry with Europcar’s map of nibbles. so not only can you rent a cool car to see more of Great Britain, you can now enjoy the food along the way too!

So what is this map really like? 

Europcar’s Britain’s Best Bites is a scrolling parallax map which allows customers to take a journey down the country, from John O’Groats to Land’s End. Charmingly illustrated, with famous landmarks and images of the food in each region, the map features a green Europcar car, which can travel from place to place, unveiling gastronomic delights on its trip.

The route is 874 miles in total and covers key areas, including Edinburgh, the Highlands, Carlisle, Manchester, Stroud, Bath, Exeter and Cornwall.

Here’s some of Europcar’s top tip locations for yummy cuisine! Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 22.55.35

Caithness Smokehouse

At the tip of UK mainland, you’ll find the award-winning Caithness Smokehouse. Sample the mouth-watering smokey flavours of its locally sourced North Sea fish.

Tebay Services

In rural Cumbria, even the motorway services have farm shops. Stop at Tebay to fill up on hand-reared meat, homemade pies and relishes.

Lancashire Cheese

A trip to Lancashire isn’t complete without tasting the creamy, mild, crumbly cheese. Travellers looking for something to showcase on their cheeseboards should head to

Dewlay cheese-makers of Gartang, who have been making award winning Lancashire cheese for almost 60 years.

Stop for a coffee

Exeter’s Exploding Bakery is an original, no-nonsense bakery.  Order one of their ‘full-on-flavour’ tray bakes made with local Devon butter and free range eggs served with a relaxing cup of coffee.

With over 250 locations across the UK, there’s a Europcar branch along the whole of the Britain’s Best Bites route, meaning travellers can book a vehicle, wherever they are. It’s flexible and affordable car hire saves wear and tear on the family car, as well as added comfort for longer journeys. With additional items, such as baby seats, additional drivers and GPS, Europcar caters to every traveller’s needs, with the widest choice of vehicles, all on average less than six months’ old.

To find out more visit http://www.europcar.co.uk

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If your New Years resolution is going to be a health kick – you’ll need a shot of this! @verywisenutri #health

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Already planning your New Years resolution? If so, maybe a health kick is top of your list, and we’ve found a brand new product that may be able to help you start 2014 with a healthy bang!

We hear all about the health benefits of omega-3, we think we know where it comes from, fish, oily food etc, then we get told something different, and basically we get all confused…one of  the biggest problems is knowing how much makes a difference to our lifestyles? I mean, do we need to eat ten fish a day to get enough Omega 3 in our diets? Who knows, its all a very big head ache!!

Luckily, one brand of health oils has done all the thinking for us (phew!) VeryWise is new range of delicious tasting multi-nutritional health oils, which are designed to deliver high levels of omega-3 goodness, in a convenient and great tasting shot.

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How does it all work?

VeryWise oils use a proprietary process called WisdOM-3TM, where the omega-3 fats are broken up into tiny droplets, mimicking the action of the digestive juices. In this form, they have been found to be much more absorbable– even up to 100%. VeryWise oils are the only products on the market which are manufactured using the unique WisdOM-3™ process, which make it ultra absorbable in the body, more so than any other omega product on the market.

Right.. thats the science bit, now how good does it taste? 

They are then flavoured with natural fruit extracts to make creamy and tasty syrups that have no fishy smell or taste, but provide all the same benefits as fish oil. VeryWise supplements therefore provide an excellent alternative for children and any adult who finds it difficult to take standard fish oils, particularly those who may have issues with absorption of fats. Unlike some health oils, which taste less than desirable, all VeryWise products have been carefully flavoured, to ensure that they are great tasting for both adults and children when taken directly as a shot (or from the spoon) – or added to any cold drink such as water, fruit juice or milk.

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So what do we get in the pack and how much do I need to fork out?! 

The VeryWise range includes six oils which are all individually targeted towards specific health needs (e.g. brain health, joint health, heart health, metabolism, energy, and general health) and accordingly have their very own prescriptive mix of added nutrients including vitamins, minerals, natural extracts, plant sterols and energy boosting natural additives. The VeryWise range can be a great ‘all-in-one’ answer for those of us who don’t want to take several different supplements.

The six VeryWise products in the range include:

  • OmegaWise, omega-3 fish oil, plus vitamin D for general wellbeing, £8.80 for 150ml
  • JointWise, omega-3 fish oil, plus vitamin D, glucosamine and rosehip, £9.80 for 150ml
  • BrainWise, omega-3 fish oil, plus vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, K and folic acid, £9.80 for 150ml
  • CardioWise, omega-3 fish oils, plus plant sterols, vitamins, CoQ10, £12.90 for 150ml
  • MetaboWise, omega-3 fish oils, plus plant sterols, vitamins, CoQ10,  £12.90 for 150ml
  • EnergyWise, medium chain triglycerides, B vitamins, cartanine, taurine and caffeine,     £4.95 for 150ml

When can I get hold of some?

Verywise hits health food stores nationwide in January 2014, perfect for that post Xmas health kick. Need to keep up to date with when it officially hits the shelves, or want to find out more? Then click here.