Hi everyone. This is My Kitchen Sink where I tell you all about the products that I’ve been sent to try out this month. I’m so pleased that our new kitchen is FINALLY finished so I have a lovely space now to cook in at last. It has been four months of using a rather makeshift kitchen so I’m thrilled with our new space. You may catch a little glimpse of it in some pictures and blog posts.
Here are my thoughts and reviews on some products that I’ve been sent lately!
Morphy Richards Brita kettle
I used to religiously use filtered water, but I seem to have fallen off that bandwagon. I live in the south west so we have very hard water and limescale is a constant battle. So, when Morphy Richards sent me this electric kettle that has a built-in Brita filter, I was keen to try it out. We’ve been using stove-top kettles for years now, since we lived on a boat and it was the only option. But our ten-year-old Le Crueset one is starting to look a bit worn, plus it’s red and doesn’t match the green walls of the new kitchen (until Christmas!). It’s quite strange to get back to the convenience of rapid-boiling electric kettles, but we’re definitely used to it after trying out this kettle for a few weeks. The filter means that the boiled water seems clearer – which is noticeable more when you don’t add milk to hot drinks. It has an illuminated water gauge so you don’t boil too much and it has a cartridge replacement countdown. It’s a nice kettle that helps with hard water issues and retails for about £30.
I love cast iron and have a full set of cast iron pans that we use daily. We’ve had them for a decade and it looks like we’ll have them forever. But with that quality comes heaviness. A full pan has quite a weight to it and I worry about them battling against the porcelain of my Belfast sink. I have a very heavy cast iron grill pan that we use quite a lot – from quick flatbreads to cauliflower steaks, there’s a lot that can be cooked in them.
Linea at House of Fraser sent me this ultra light cast aluminium 28cm grill pan to try out and it is FAR lighter than my standard one, plus it’s a bit bigger. It’s ceramic-coated aluminium interior means I didn’t have to season it with oil. It’s fine for all hobs (including induction), and can be used in the oven, but can’t go in the dishwasher. The coating is very non-stick though so you don’t need it to. It seems to have a good, even conduction of heat and heats up quickly.
This pan is 50% lighter than cast iron, but still feels very sturdy – it looks strong so when first picking it up you expect it to be much heavier. Weighing 1.4kg means it isn’t flimsy-light at all and is still robust. Like cast iron, it retains the heat so you can cook at lower temperatures or turn off the heat and let the food cook in the residual heat. This pan has a 25 year guarantee and is available for £50 at House of Fraser.
This haul of vegetables is seriously the way to my heart. I was positively giddy when I opened the parcel from the lovely people at Barfoots Grown with Love. This parcel has formed the basis for many meals and everything has been so flavourful. The sweetcorn was a particular hit with my kids – my three year old daughter called them vegetable sweeties. We’ve made soups, grilled the asparagus on the above grill pan, roasted the sweet potatoes with sumac, and had those lovely green spears of broccolini with most meals – which the kids have loved. There’s just something about the long, easy-to-hold stems that are more appealing to little ones than standard broccoli.
Jelly Juice! These sachets are filled with a thick jelly-like juice that is gelatine-free. They’re a bit like slightly unset jelly and have kid-friendly natural fruit flavours. They contain no added sugar (and no nasty sugar substitutes) and are simply juices thickened with gellan gum. My kids were divided on these. My son (5) went nuts and LOVED them. He tried all of the flavours and really liked them all. My daughter (3) wasn’t so sure. She didn’t seem to like the thick texture of them and gave hers to her brother.
I like that they aren’t overly sweet (any sweetness is natural from the juice) and have no chemicals. I’d get these again for my son; they’re filling without any rubbish and seem like a treat but are actually healthy. Naturelly Jelly Juice has recently launched so is only available in some health shops, but you can buy them online at 12 for £8.40.
Check out all this juice! The Juice is a new company who make 100% natural, pure cold-pressed juices that aren’t from concentrate. No additives, preservatives or anything but fresh juice.
The 3L bag-in-a-box packs are like wine boxes for kids (and adults!). They have a spout that my little ones have loved learning to use. They call these ‘magic juice machines’ and ask for magic juice, helping each other to work the spout.
The juice tastes really lovely and fresh, and not overly sweet. The boxes are a bit big though, so it’s tough to get through a whole three liters in the 10 day shelf life that they have once opened. But the juice is really nice so we’ve been drinking it straight, adding to green smoothies and freezing it into ice lollies.
I like the simple ingredients lists. The Semi-Sweet Apple juice contains 27 cold pressed apples. Nothing more. We also tried Chokeberry and Apple which was delicious. The Blackcurrant and Apple again isn’t too sweet, but is sweet enough to make the kids beg for more constantly. So much nicer than blackcurrant squash.
There are loads of flavours and the large packs would be great for parties. For an instant cocktail bar, you’d just need alcohol, ice and a few flavours of The Juice. Or if you have houseguests, then breakfast would be quite special with a box of Carrot and Apple. Buy The Juice Premium.
Rockface sent me this MASSIVE parcel of man smellies for my husband to try out. It was perfect timing as the shopping list had a few products for him on it. He’s enjoying the products, likes the scents of them and, well, he smells nice. What more can we ask for? The products include post-shave balm, shower wash and shave butter. Rockface products range from £2.99 (deodorant) to £5.99 (anti-ageing moisturiser) and are available in Sainsbury’s, Superdrug, Waitrose and more.
Galt sent this bird bath toy for my kids to play with at bathtime. This simple toy was originally designed in 1969 based on Eskimo bone carvings in the British Museum. The ergonomic toy bobs and floats around the bath and is smooth and quite sweet looking. My kids enjoyed making it swim to each other. My first though was ‘so what does it do?’, but the real beauty of the toy is that the only thing it ‘does’ is unlock your child’s imagination – which is far better than any noises, bells or whistles. It sells for £9.99 and is suitable for ages 18m+.
Back to some food. I’m very familiar with Merchant Gourmet’s lovely puy lentils, so I was pleased to be sent this package. The freekeh is lovely and we put it into a hot salad with butternut squash. The puy lentils are also great for hot kale salads with roasted veggies. These lovley grains are excellent for padding out vegetable-heavy meals and making it more filling. Follow Merchant Gourmet on twitter for more ideas.
Sheppy’s sent me these sweet, fruity ciders. They’re apple cider with blackberry and elderflower flavours making them a lovely, crisp treat. Sheppy’s are local to me, in Somerset so it was nice to get to try them out. Sheppy’s are a family run craft cider company who have been making their cider’s for over 200 years. Follow Sheppy’s on twitter.
I was sent this lovely selection of Wonderful pistachios, almonds and pomegranate juice. The salt and pepper pistachios were lovely and perfect when we had friends come over for drinks, as were the sweet chili pistachios. I love the Pom pomegranate juice, with it’s pleasantly strong and very refreshing taste. These products are all available at Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and other shops. Follow Wonderful on twitter.
Disclosure: I was sent these products to review. I was not paid and all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.