Dr Oetker Ristorante Pizza Review

We’re huge fans of the Dr. Oetker pizza range in our house – where I’m more than a little bit addicted to the Pizza Mozzarella one – so when we had the chance to review the pizza we obviously accepted!

Dr Oetker Ristorante Pizza

Dr. Oetker pizzas became popular on our weekly NCT group meets, when we’d often have a couple of the varieties to share – from the vegetarian Pizza Mozzarella to more meatier options like Pollo, Speciale or Hawaii. They’ve a very slim base and cook nicely – you know how some bases get soggy if they’re overloaded with fillings? That’s absolutely not the case with these pizzas – they cook straight on the oven shelves and are ready within ten minutes.

For review we went with my old favourite Pizza Mozzarella – a tomato base with mozzarella cheese on top, plus several dollops of pesto around it. The base cooked brilliantly, stayed nice and crispy and most importantly of all didn’t have that annoying too-much-topping problem some pizzas have, when they dribble all over your oven – everything stayed intact.

Dr Oetker Ristorante pizza

Would I buy this brand of pizza again? Absolutely! They’re light enough you don’t have that stodgy feeling afterwards like with some pizzas, while still being filling. While I’m a sucker for the Pizza Mozzarella, there are a lot of varieties available and a decent vegetarian choice.

The pizzas are available from all supermarkets – and are just the right size to fit in the freezer too.

We received a voucher for the purpose of review, all opinions are our own 

Review – Good Natured Salad

Being asked to review a salad is an excellent thing – while I love my chocolate and pizza and food which isn’t always the best for you, you can’t beat a nice fresh salad made with all the best ingredients – so I headed to my local Asda to pick up some ingredients to follow one of Good Natured‘s tasty recipes.

However, I was left disappointed. Our Asda didn’t have anything from the range in stock – at all.

I tried again two weeks later with a little more success, but again – not everything was available. In the end I bought some Tantalising Baby Plum Tomatoes, some Neat New Potatoes, an Awesome Aubergine and finally some Succulent Strawberries.

Good Natured Fruit and Veg

This meant we couldn’t really follow any of the recipes, however, that didn’t stop us having a fabulous salad – the potatoes were really fluffy and light and had a great taste to them – the aubergines were really nice and tasty too, the tomatoes were pretty damn fine as well. For afters we had some of the Succulent Strawberries with vanilla ice cream which were beyond delicious – they tasted so fresh, like they’d been picked that day – and it’s rare I’ll taste a strawberry quite so good.

Good Natured Succulent Strawberries

We were both impressed that each label had where and when they were picked – and are pesticide free. Good Natured use only natural predators (good bugs) to control pests (bad bugs) and disease, so you can be assured that the range is grown in tune with mother nature, completely pesticide residue free.

In conclusion, I wish my local Asda had stocked more of the brand so I could have reviewed this more accurately, though the food we did try was good, tasty and fresh. I’d definitely buy this brand again, especially the strawberries. I often try to buy my fruit on good deals, but I’d be willing to pay full price for these, they’re that good.

I was provided with a gift token to purchase the items for review – all opinions are my own

It’s also worth mentioning that from 30 July until 31 August, two lucky winners have the chance to win a luxury Glamping holiday for the family at one of the Feather Down Farms – see packs for further details!

Choka Blok Chocolate – Review

So I’m approached to review some chocolate – of COURSE I’m going to accept! We came across the Choka Blok brand last Christmas when I picked up some of their peanut butter ice cream – for that exact reason – wouldn’t you? It was delicious, but as we don’t get to Tesco very often (it involves a long-ish drive), we didn’t have an opportunity to buy more.

ChokaBlok bars

ChokaBlok bars – attacked by a toddler

We were sent four bars and a gift box and I’ve had to hold back, ration myself and sensibly eat one bar every few days (so as to keep in with my Thinking Slimmer SlimPod and eating less sugary things).

Oh boy. They’re good. We’re talking thick chocolate with plenty of chocolatey toppings. You know when you have chocolate and it looks like it should be too much and you’ll have a sugar overload? That’s what this looks like, but actually it felt like just the right amount – and it felt like a proper treat too.

There’s four kinds of chocolate you can get

ChokaBlok bars Cookie Crumb Mon-Star
Reach for the stars in every bite. The perfect combination of smooth and creamy white chocolate with a swirl of milk chocolate, loaded with crunchy shortcake biscuit balls, and finished off with dark cookie crumbs and milk chocolate stars.

ChokaBlok bars

Gold Digger Dynamite
Set your taste buds alight with this explosive treat. Chok-full of milk chocolate caramel cups and chunks of sweet honeycomb surrounded by milk and white chocolate, swirled together in a chunky blok.

The Chocolate Extremist
Indulge your inner chocoholic with The Chocolate Extremist. Not for the faint hearted, this chocolate blok is crammed with smooth milk chocolate swirled with rich dark chocolate, crunchy brownie pieces and milk chocolate malty balls.
ChokaBlok bars
The Rocky Road of Love
A blok for true romantics, the ChokaBlok chefs have created a divine mix of milk chocolate loaded with dark chocolate hearts, crunchy shortcake biscuit balls and mini marshmallows finished with a drizzle of dark chocolate.

ChokaBlok Gift Box
The ChokaBlok chefs introduce the perfect gift for that someone you love, even if that person is you. A bite-size selection of mini bloks has been created from a combination of our favourite ChokaBlok bloks. Each blok is hand topped with sweet treats and has a soft mouth-watering centre. Once you’ve tasted the best in mini bloks, it might just be time to treat yourself to the full-size ones.

ChokaBlok bars
ChokaBlok chocolate bloks and gift boxes are now available at Tesco stores (RRP £1.59 for the bloks and £3.99 for the gift box) – and for chocolate this good it’s not breaking the bank either. Give them a try! We’ll definitely be buying more.

We were sent the chocolate to review, all opinions are our own.

Llama’s Baked Bites Review

Okay, so now I’ve got your attention, allow me to draw your attention further to some new snacks launched recently, Llamas!

Llama's Sweet Chilli Baked BitesThey’re made from whole-wheat and are oven baked for plenty of crunch – then finished off by being a llama shape, which amused the toddlers no end.

There’s three flavours – BBQ, tangy cheese and sweet chilli. We really liked all of them – there wasn’t one that stood out over the other (the BBQ and Sweet Chili ones go nice with wine, btw) – and they come in handy 150g bags.

Llama's BBQ baked bites

What appealed to me the most is that it’s a snack you can share with your little ones – plus of course you can persuade them to help you put the llamas in places around the garden for a photo shoot…

Llama's Snacks

A Llama on a motorbike, H giving that “don’t touch my llama” stare, two llama’s on the seesaw and one llama thinking about a swim…

I like snacks that I can share, and don’t have to hide (like say, chocolate) – and this is perfect. They were tested by three mums and three toddlers plus one almost-toddler, and everyone gave them a big thumbs up.

Llama's Cheesy baked bites

Llama’s available from Tesco stores nationwide, priced at £1.69 for a 150g bag.

Aside from all this, check out the Llama’s YouTube channel where you can see some football predictions – I can only hope the Llama is back in action for Team GB soon…. we may need him/her!

For more information on Llama’s plans for taking over the snacking world, read his crunch time blog at www.llamasnacks.com or join the herd @llamasnacks on Twitter or on Facebook.

We were sent a pack of each flavour to try, all opinions are our own.

Mum’s the Word with Tilda

Tilda Pure Basmatic World Food ProgrammeTilda Rice is encouraging mums to help mums around the world with it’s partnership with the UN World Food Programme.They’ve recently launched the Mums Helping Mums campaign which will benefit WFP’s Mother and Child nutrition programmes over the next three years.From April to July the Mums Helping Mums logo will feature on Tilda’s Pure Basmati 1kg packs, and every pack sold Tilda will provide one nutritious meal to a new or expectant mum.The Tilda Pure Basmati Mums Helping Mums pack is available in all major supermarkets priced from £4.49.About Tilda

Tilda Pure Basmati is the UK’s number one Basmati brand by volume and value. With over 40 years of experience in buying, importing and selling the highest quality Pure Basmati Rice, it’s a name that you can trust.

Tilda has a wide range of products ranging from Pure Basmati Dry Rice through to Tilda Steamed Basmati, available in a wide variety of flavours.

Basmati remains at the heart of Tilda and the company is committed to preserving the authenticity of the grain. It refuses to blend with inferior grains, carefully removes broken grains, DNA tests every batch, consistently ages the rice for at least 9 months and works hand-in-hand with the farming community to ensure the quality of the final product.

Tilda remains a family business, employing over 200 people in the UK, and is proud of its reputation for uncompromising quality and commitment to sustaining the legendary status of Basmati.

About World Food Programme

WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Each year, on average, WFP feeds more than 90 million people in more than 70 countries.

WFP provides RSS feeds to help journalists keep up with the latest press releases, videos and photos as they are published on WFP.org. For more details see: http://www.wfp.org/rss 

About the Mother & Child Nutrition Campaign

Scientists now know that malnutrition in the first two years of life (the first 1,000 days from conception) can affect mental and physical development into adulthood. Undernourished children are more likely to get sick, have trouble concentrating in school, and may earn less as adults.Mothers who were undernourished as girls are 40 percent more likely to give birth to children who do not survive to age five. And malnourished mothers are more likely to die in childbirth. This is called inter-generational undernutrition – a cycle that’s hard to break.WFP provides good, nutritious food and specialized nutrition products to pregnant women and young children, to ensure that whole families reach their physical and mental potential. And pass on a good start in life – to the next generation.

Discovery Fajita Kit

We’re fans of Mexican food in this house – it’s easy and doesn’t take too much time to prepare which suits our busy lives right now. We were sent a Discovery Fajita Kit to try out, and having used the Discovery brand a lot, we were more than happy to!

Bearing in mind it was me cooking and I’m vegetarian I switched the meat suggestion for Quorn, and didn’t use the amount suggested (it felt like a lot for three of us) – I padded it out a bit with some edamame, sweetcorn and kidney beans.

You get one sachet of seasoning in the kit, one large salsa sachet and eight wraps. It’s suggested you use two peppers and an onion, but we left out the onion thanks to having a cranky nap-free toddler who was getting angry about everything.

It was simple enough – cook everything, add the seasoning, heat up your wraps (they’re microwaveable as a lot in 45 seconds, or otherwise warm in a grill or in a dry frying pan), add the filling to the warm wrap and serve.


PicMonkey-Collage-300x300The great thing about it is choosing your filling – with only getting the seasoning it’ll suit everyone. I’d have probably put a bit less in there (as I used less Quorn than their suggested meat amount), though I enjoyed it – H found it a bit too spicy at times for that reason. Also, I’d recommend having some guacamole or soured cream to go with it – I wasn’t prepared at all (see, Nick from The Apprentice’s business idea would have saved my memory here  – he’s still doing it – excellent!)

Anyway, to sum up, it probably took around twenty minutes to get ready – another perfect post-work food when you’ve got limited time. What impressed me the most was the tortilla wraps were really lovely and soft, and came rolled – so they pack into the cupboard (and space is limited in our house) not taking up much space at all. Everything is recyclable too.

There’s four kits in total – three Fajita Kits (Original – medium heat, Crispy Crumb – mild heat and Mexican BBQ – mild heat), and one Enchilada Kit – all have a rrp of £3.19 and are available in all good supermarkets.

Excuse the photos, they were taken on my iPod!

Grazie Mille, Carshalton

Having a two year old means stopping for a coffee can be a difficult task if there’s no incentive for them. Fortunately H’s incentive is a “cup of coffee” which Grazie Mille in Carshalton serves just perfectly for her – in a proper cup, frothy slightly warmed milk with some chocolate on the top. She’s happy and I’m happy, and the cafe is (probably) happy as she can get fidgety at times – there’s space for buggies (to the counter, and storage-wise), we’ve already been twice in the last week. Highly recommended if you’re in the area, anyway, and everyone there is so friendly!



The Sun, Carshalton

The Sun in Carshalton is a fantastic family pub. Nothing else compares – the pub has great food, plenty of highchairs (though it is popular, so if you have your own portable kind it’s always worth bringing it) and at the back there’s even Baby Changing (sharing the toilet area with disabled facilities).

There are also games, crayons, books – basically it’s the sort of place run by people who have children and who know that occasionally children need extra entertainment.

Outside there’s a play area with more activities, though unfortunately it’s a bit too close to where the smokers are – but go there on a quiet day and it’s great.

I’ve been to other pubs in the area, and none provide any kind of baby changing – so have had to change my baby on a table in the dining room! (their suggestion – not mine) Also, the majority of the pub is accessible by buggy – there are steps to the sandpit area, though there’s a gate from Mill Lane which means you can get to the lower level.

The pub is part of the Victoria Battersea pub group, and was refurbished in 2009 – since then it’s definitely the most family-friendly pub I’ve ever encountered.