Higher Living Tea

It’s tea time!

As it’s obvious from my blog I love tea.
I was so excited to try out these brand new teas from Higher Living. The flavours are so full and this is a fantastic quality product.

www.higherlivingherbs.com/tea-shop

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The selection they have is huge and they are all incredibly tasty.
The floral and fruit teas are strong and have a taste as well as a smell.

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The Earl Grey tea is amazing! It is seriously the best Earl Grey tea Ive ever had!
There is a lot of black tea packed into each teabag and the delicate rose petals with bergamot oil is somehow enhanced making a cup of this Earl Grey a part of an addiction. The Earl Grey was a family favourite straight away and we got to the bottom of the packet incredibly quickly.
I think we were all a bit high on tea for a few days we drank so much. Then we had the Earl Grey cold turkey feelings.

The peppermint and licorice tea I thought I wouldn’t like but it was so much more refreshing and had a clean taste which was lovely.
The peppermint was strong as was the licorice but they didn’t clash taste wise but worked beautifully together. A strong flavour but very nice. We would describe this one as an autumn tea for when it’s a bit cooler it will warm you up.

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Flower heaven is beautiful and every time I have it I discover a new flower in it. Trying to work out the flavours is part of the fun!
Power is a strong tea. It does exactly what it says on the label. It really is a lovely boost in the afternoon. They both work very well as iced tea too especially in the heat! Even cold the flavour is strong.The Rooibos (orange packet in the first picture) was surprising. I hadn’t tried it before and I love that it’s caffeine free and tastes very refreshing. Great for summer days.

The apple and ginger has to be my favourite one. It is sort of Christmassy and will be lovely on cold days. The ginger is strong and will also help if you aren’t feeling 100%. Like the surprise I had with other teas the apple was stronger than I thought it would be but it was perfect.

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The green teas have been a family (and friend) favourite. Lovely after meals and at night these are both wonderful to try. I really like strong green tea and these both packed a punch of taste. If you like green tea you must try these.

I absolutely love these teas and I can’t wait to try more flavours soon. Next on my list are the English Breakfast, cinnamon, mint and good mood tea.

Tea fans head to www.higherlivingherbs.com/tea-shop now!

Now I must order some more Earl Grey. My name is Sisley and I am an addict!

Brioche Summer Fruit Pudding

Summer is the best time for fresh fruit and who doesn’t love a pudding. Which this in mind I adapted a family favorite to have a more summer fruit theme. This is the fantastic brioche summer fruit pudding. Toasted brioche with hot summer fruits which is very quick to make and eat!

Here are the slices of hot toasted brioche triangles covered in hot berries. Amazing.

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 Yummy berries all getting hot and softening.

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Serves 4

Ingredients

-100g redcurrant jelly
-juice and zest of 1 lemon-2 tablespoons of Armagnac or brandy
-8 slices of Pasquier Brioche cut in half into triangles
-500g fresh or frozen summer berries (strawberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, blueberries, raspberries, redcurrants)
-icing sugar for dusting

Method

- In a large pan on a low/medium heat gently mix and soften the redcurrant jelly, lemon juice and Armagnac.
- When it’s lightly bubbling and reduced a little add the fruit and coat it in the juice.
- Once the juice the fruit is in has started bubbling but the fruit isn’t too mushy turn it down to prepare the brioche toast.
- Cut the brioche slices in half to make triangles and to get them toasted all at the right time I use the grill but a toaster would work well too.
- Toast both sides until golden brown.
- Lay the slices on a large plate and drizzle the gorgeous hot fruit over the top.
- Add a sprinkle of icing sugar and serve straight away.

Enjoy x

This takes less than 20mins to make and eat!

 For the brioche I used Pasquier sliced brioche loaf. It was lovely and toasted very well and quickly. It isn’t too sweet like some brioche but sweet enough to compliment the fruit.

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The last slices dripping with fruit juice ready to be eaten.

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A dusting of icing looks lovely and also adds a sweetness to the fruit which can sometimes be a little tart!

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Sainsbury’s Conegliano Prosecco

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This is the summer of Prosecco for me. I have really started to love it this summer, more than champagne even. I love that it doesn’t have a too strong of an alcohol taste but it’s light, smooth and juicy and makes me feel happily tipsy.

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This little bottle was a brilliant portion and served 3 of us a glass and a bit. I tried this bottle for Sainsbury’s a few weeks ago and went out out bought a bigger bottle for my birthday. My parents and I sat in the sun and drank this lovely drink to celebrate me turning 25. (I’m getting old!)

This is a special Prosecco and is now a firm family favourite. We are going to get a few bottles more to enjoy over the summer.

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Sainsbury’s also offer a huge bottle for only £19 which I’m buying for friends as birthday presents at the moment. It is a lovely gift for friends who like lovely drinks and it’s a nice item to share with others.

So if you are ever looking for a drink to buy me look no further.

Maizy Cat Litter

This isn’t a regular food related post for me but it does go on the theme of cats. If you follow my instagram/twitter accounts you’ll know that it is filled with photos of cats. Follow me at @sewwhite on Instagram and twitter. I love cats they are so cute and purring is a happy thing. The good thing about cats is the walk and use the liter box without help from us humans. Over the years we have gone through so much litter and it’s a part of having cats.

If you have cats you’ll know just how much of this stuff you can go through. Pets corner have just launched a new cat litter which is wonderful! I was given a bag of this new Maizy cat litter to try on my cats and this is all we will be buying for our cats from now on. The litter is very different from the regular clay stuff and is so much lighter and feels more hygienic too. What seems so weird is this litter is made from CORN! It does resemble breakfast cereal and also couscous – intrigued?

You can get a bag of this new cat litter from Pet’s Corner by following the link below.

www.petscorner.co.uk/cats/maizy

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The bag is huge and what I didn’t realise is how much this bag holds. I’ve barely used a quarter of it in 2 weeks. The Maizy litter which is made from puffed corn and is incredibly light. It looks like couscous which is amusing and smells clean. When the cats had used it the corn had absorbed all the smells. I was surprised how well it worked much better than other clay litters.

The reason I really wanted to try this litter is it’s 100% biodegradable. I know that a few bags of litter isn’t going to change the world but at least it’s helping in some way. I have used the wood chip litter before but it doesn’t absorb the moisture and becomes very soggy. The Maizy litter absorbs and drys out very fast meaning it doesn’t need to be changed as often. Plus most important the cats seem to like it too!

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Shadow cat has loved this litter and loves the bag too and has been rubbing herself all over it since it arrived. I think she resembles the cat on the bag pretty well.

Caravan Trail – my awesome prize

I was so lucky a few weeks ago to win a fabulous selection of the Calico range by The Caravan Trail.

Their items are gorgeous and even though I don’t have a caravan they are a lovely addition to my summer kitchen and have ventured out for a few picnics too.

caravan trail prize sewwhite

I absolutely love the place mats and coasters. They are pretty and have already been used a lot for meals.
The cups and bowls are so happy and larger than they look in the photo. The apron and bag are just too nice to use!
The apron is now a display piece more than a used piece. I love the fabric a lot.

My plan is to use these as decoration and backdrops for my bakes from now on.

I’ve got my eye on the matching napkins now.

Check out their full and gorgeous range at www.thecaravantrail.com

New York Bakery Seeded Bagels

I love bagels. They are so much more interesting too when they have interesting flavours. I am a huge fan of the raisin and cinnamon variety and can often be found having one for breakfast. Or lunch, or snack or dinner on occasion. I wish I was joking. Christmas in our house wouldn’t be Christmas without a salmon and dill topped bagel. Hmm happy food.

The New York Bakery Co make such good bagels and they have just bought out a limited edition of seeded bagels.

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The seeded bagels are lovely and make the bagels more satisfying to eat especially if you use them with something else. I have used them for poached eggs with spinach. They added a nice bite to the meal and complimented the eggs. If I had only used plain bagels and the meal would have been very plain but the nuttiness added a nice edge. I like the seeds used as they aren’t too hard but still have a good bite.

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The seeded bagels also worked incredibly well for bacon sandwiches. The bacon and seediness was so good!
BLT sandwiches worked very well too. The good, more earthy taste of the bagels really
works well with so many things and works especially well for breakfast.

I thought I would include this photo of my heart shaped egg because it’s cute.

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Avocado, Mango and Crumbly Cheese Salad

Avocado, Mango and Crumbly Cheese Salad

It is the time for summer salads full of fresh and healthy goodness.

A family favourite of ours is a mango and avocado on a bed of salad leaves, celery, cucumber and tomatoes with a sprinkle of pepper and splash of oil. It’s easy and very tasty especially with a bit of cheese, normally Parmesan, on top. This time however we tried Västerbottensost cheese from Sweden. (I hadn’t heard of a Swedish cheese either but it was good).

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Västerbottensost has been made in Sweden since 1872. It is like Parmesan just a little softer and crumbly and with a stronger taste. I want to try it in a risotto as I think it would taste lovely in it. The cheese is typically aged for 14 months, in which time it develops a unique character with salty and bitter tones.

Sew White avocado mango cheese salad Västerbottensost

Västerbottensost is available from Waitrose, Selfridges and Ocado and comes in the most lovely shiny gold wrapper. I used a vegetable peeler to make these thin slices and I think it looked lovely. I don’t have the knife skills to cut it thinly.

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Salad on the table ready for dinner. It was gorgeous.

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I was sent the cheese to try out. I was not paid for this post and all opinions are my own. x

Wine Time with Sainsbury’s

A glass of wine is a happiness and a good glass of wine is a joy!

I was so excited to be sent some fabulous wine from Sainsbury’s to try out. All award winning and all incredibly tasty.

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The red wine Chianti Riserva red wine was brilliant – gorgeous with pasta and roast dinners (I made it last for 2 meals!). Having the full bodied red wine with a roast beef dinner was beautiful. It has a strong fruity flavour of cherry, plumb and blackcurrants. It was nice to have a fruity red with a kick that went so well with meaty meals. This gorgeous red is only £7 a bottle and is well worth the price.

Sew White Sainsbury's wine review 2 chianti and Vinho Verde

I had never tried a Vinho Verde white wine before and it was lovely!

It was a Decanter Silver winner, International Wine Challenge silver winner and International Wine and Spirit Competition silver winner. Three very good awards which really show how good of a wine it is! Plus at a bottle for £4.75 you can’t go wrong!
Very fruity, with a hint of summer sparkles and a light and green taste. The green taste was fresh and clean.

To accompany the Vinho Verde we had a huge Vietnamese Pho – noodle soup. The wine worked perfectly with the dinner and the green clean tastes of the wine complemented the green and fresh salad of the Pho.

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The fresh onions, garlic, chilli, coriander, watercress and lime worked so well with the wine.

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Prosecco review coming soon. x

Wimbledon Men’s Final Party

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I was so excited to be invited to a Wimbledon finals party this year. My friends made a huge lunch for all the guests and we all ate so much!
There were gorgeous mustard sausages, new potatoes, lots of salads, bread, fruits and so much more.

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There were a few kilos of strawberries and they were good! As the final match went on for so many hours we had enough food to keep us going.

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Mustard sausages were very tasty – I ate a lot of them!

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My friends also made a huge amount of pimms and the served it in these gorgeous jam jar glasses. They were really nice to drink out of.
I’d love some of these for my birthday- hint hint :)

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I made some marshmallows  chocolate teats and they were certainly liked. They went well with the pimms.

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The tennis on the TV – everyone was very quiet which is very unlike us.

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A big thanks to my friends who invited me and hosted a wonderful party x

Sausage and Chilli Pasta

Sew White sausage chilli pasta

I love a good tomato and chili pasta and I’ve recently discovered how good sausages are in a pasta sauce. The chilli paste tastes good and packs a punch when being used in pastas.

I have a really simple recipe and a few friend have asked for the recipe I’ve decided to put it on my blog for everyone.
All credit needs to go to my dad who makes the best pasta sauces and taught me everything I know… but not the secret ingredient.

Serves 2

Ingredients

- 6 chipolata sausages
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
- 1 tin of tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon chilli paste from Sainsbury’s (less if you don’t want it too spicy)
- a sprinkling of fresh or tried oregano and thyme

- choice of pasta or spaghetti

Method

- Cook the sausages and set aside.
- Slice up the onion and soften gently in a warm pan with a little oil.
- When the onion is soft add the cut up garlic and allow to soften for a few minutes.
- Add the tomato puree and tin of tomatoes and stir in well.
- Slice up the sausages and add to the sauce.
- Mix the chilli paste in to the sauce and add the fresh or dried herbs with a bit of salt and pepper too.
- Allow to bubble on a low heat while you cook the pasta/spaghetti.

Serve and enjoy x