Product review – Tea Tourist

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So I have been lucky enough to receive some fantastic goodies in the post – a tea selection from Tea Tourist! They basically send a selection of different teas to you each month from independent, small tea businesses around the world to try. Then if you want to find out more about a particular tea you can go online to discover more. Below are a few fact and ideas from me about the packs so far:

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  • I have loved both November and December selections – great variety in types of tea and different companies. All were very good quality, fantastic smelling teas and all brewed very well with the suggested brewing times being very helpful.
  • I hadn’t heard of the tea partners before but after trying their teas and seeing bit of information about them on the back of the packet I then went on instagram and found their link to follow and learn more about their businesses/tea prices etc. I liked the fact that they were small, varied businesses with interesting stories behind them and the fact that they were so varied in their locations.

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  • I love the boxes! It is so exciting to come home to a special delivery like that – it really perks up a long day after arriving back from work. The box signifies ‘me time’ as a cup of tea always helps me to relax and it’s exciting to see what is in new box each time. Additionally, it is good that the boxes can fit through letterbox so no faffing about with signing or having to pick up from post office if I am not in etc.

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  • It’s exciting to discover new teas each time and the vast expanse of different varieties is fun too. For example, I am a lover of obscure herbal teas so am really enjoying the varied selection. I also liked the fact that the December box had some selections with a hint of Christmas in them i.e. Rooibos with Marzipan, Gingerbread chai and Scotch Acorns.
  • The sample sizes are just right so you can have 3-4 cups of each to ensure you like the flavour/try it different ways.
  • I like the fact that you can sign up bit by bit and postpone/cancel subscriptions at any time so it works in with a busy lifestyle too.
  • I have got a discount code which saves 30% off first subscription – just type GOODLIFE30 in discount space for the discount.

Take a gander on http://www.teatourist.co.uk/ for more information.

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Overall, a fabulous product and concept and I look forward to experimenting with the teas more.  The December one only arrived yesterday and I sat down last night and tried 3! Back to my tea drinking!

Katy, The Good Life In Practice xx

Recipe: Gooseberry Chocolate Cake

So this was a bit of an experiment – I didn’t follow a recipe I just sort of went with an idea I had and mixed in ingredients! Weirdly it turned out well – I put some in freezer for when its a wintry, cold day but also ate a chunky slice before that! It was basically a fluffy, very light chocolate sponge with a Gooseberry sharpness to make it not heavy. The combination actually worked as the Gooseberry flavour was subtle and light but just added another element to the cake. I loved mixing in the pink Gooseberries from my parents garden as it was such a bright, pink colour juice.

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Easy recipe and instructions:

Ingredients: 

-4 eggs

-plain flour

-1 teaspoon baking powder

-dairy free margarine

-sugar (your choice)

-2 tablespoons cocoa powder

-Third of a punnet of Gooseberries

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180’C.
  2. Simply weigh the 4 eggs and crack into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Weigh out the equivalent weight of each of sugar, flour, margarine. Then mix into bowl and eggs.
  4. Add the cocoa powder and mix together.
  5. Wash and drain the Gooseberries through a strainer. Push the juice and flesh through the strainer holes – this will be squishy and bright pink!
  6. Mix all ingredients together.
  7. Put mix into baking tin.
  8. Bake for approximately 50 minutes – check with a knife in the middle to ensure it is cooked through. It will feel fluffy and soft.
  9. Serve with custard or fruit compote to really make a filling pud!

Let me know what you think of this, Katy, The Good Life In Practice xx

Product review: Herbarium Book

So I was lucky enough to receive a very exciting, new book through the post the other day- Herbarium by Caz Hildebrand for Thames and Hudson. I unwrapped it and found this below!

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So with enthusiasm and eagerness and flicked through the book! It is a very useful guide to all things herbs and I think it will be a quick reference book for me to use both in the garden and in the kitchen. I first noticed that it looks modern, crisp and has bold, bright pictures that add to the book. Then once flicking through it in more detail I realise that it is going to be so helpful for my foraging for herbs (such as Dandelion) too! It has a very easy reference section to use and lots of interesting snippets of quotes and historic facts to add to the reading experience.

One of the main things I loved about it was that it not only provides you with ideas for the kitchen and how to cook with the herb; but also it has information about how the herbs can be used medicinally or for beauty reasons.

The section at the back entitled ‘Everyday Herbarium’ is very informative and easy to access including sections on the symbolism of herbs, herbs for well-being and more importantly herbs which taste perfect in accompanying cocktails!

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Overall, I thought that this newly published book Herbarium was a fresh idea for a reference book with more substance than a classic gardening or recipe book – I will be using it a lot for smallholding, the garden, the kitchen, beauty, remedies and more.

If you want to learn more about this book or other books by Thames and Hudson (such as the Geometry of Pasta) click here: http://www.thamesandhudson.com/Herbarium/9780500518939

Katy, The Good Life In Practice xx