Oumph! Kebab Spiced

Oumph! Kebab Spiced strips really do taste like Greek or Turkish kebabs made with traditional spices.

I’ve used them to add texture and protein to a salad; I’ve had them in a wrap with fried onion, mushroom and bell pepper with a little yoghurt sauce and thinly sliced cucumber and as a simple burger replacement topped with melted cheese, tomato sauce and lettuce.

The first word that comes to mind when describing the texture is chewy. ‘Very resilient hot dog sausage’ is a fair comparison. Be aware that this does not change, no matter how much you fry them.

I love them for their authentic flavour, versatility and yes, even the texture. A girl can only eat tofu for so long without wanting a change.

Rating 5/5

Chrissie

Ben & Jerry’s Vegan Coconutterly Caramel’d Ice Cream

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That’s quite a name isn’t it! I absolutely loved those caramel and coconut flavoured Bon Bon’s as a kid, so I was proper chuffed when The Bloke came home with this from Tesco.

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The two main flavours were perfectly balanced and the added chocolate chunks were huge! I didn’t notice the cookie content so I wished there were some little caramel chunks in there as well as it being swirled through, instead.

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You would never know that this is vegan ice cream and the flavour of the almond milk it’s made with isn’t noticeable.

Rating 4/5

Chrissie

Perfect World Caramel Pecan Vegan Ice Cream

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I came across this in Tesco and recognised the Perfect World logo (although it’s changed a little) from some of their ice cream I bought from Co-op a while back so I’m hoping Perfect World is now widely available.

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It’s a bonus that it has lots of vits and minerals in but let’s be honest, who worries about that when they are eating ice cream, eh? I also like that they haven’t gone over-board with the calorific content as I’ll be eating a LOT of it!

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The caramel is on the more saltier side, which I love and the pecans compliment it really well. I just wish they’d left them chunkier for added texture, rather than really finely chopped and blended in. As well as just eating it with a spoon out of the tub (me), this is also a nice alternative for people who normally eat dairy ice cream with desert.

Rating 4/5

Chrissie

Gluten and Dairy Free Crisps from Aldi

I think I’ve found the Holy Grail of crisps for people with dairy and gluten intolerance!

Wait, what actually is a food intolerance?

Food intolerances, although not as dangerous as some allergies, can have a very real and detrimental affect on daily life. Sometimes causing severe bloating/water retention, facial redness, shortness of breath, bad skin, serious gut pain, bowel problems and fatigue. As a result of the body seeing this food as alien, it not only raises histamines (very stressful for our immune system) but the body doesn’t absorb much goodness from the food so vitamin and mineral deficiencies are common.

Can’t you just avoid cheese, milk, pasta and bread then?

This is exactly what I thought at first, until I discovered that Lactose (a milk sugar) and Gluten (a grain protein) are often used in flavourings to bulk them out and to get them to stick to the snack. I’ve honestly been in so many supermarkets where I couldn’t buy ANY crisps or flavoured rice cakes or popcorn, not even trusty Salt & Vinegar flavour sometimes because of either Lactose or Gluten in the flavouring. The big bags of ‘posh crisps’ tend to be a little better I’ve noticed but they are so dear!

So do they taste any good?

All of these flavours taste unique and wonderful. Ranging from sweet but spicy Serrano Chilli & Yucatán Honey along with Tomatillo Salsa, to the spicy, smokey but slightly sharper Chipotle and Lime, to traditional Sea Salt and Black Pepper and the more unusual, zingy Sea Salt and Lime. My fave surprisingly.

Any other good stuff?

Both ranges are pleasantly affordable and the textures are crunchy but not too hard, a lot like handmade tortilla chips you would get in a hipster bar.

The Specially Selected range contain 2.5% seeds, including Golden Linseed, Sunflower Seeds, Brown Linseed and Millet. The Tortillas With Spirit are made from Whole White Corn and Green Lentils.

Nom, nom…

A big handful of these dipped into hummus, chunky salsa or dairy free yoghurt are so filling and energy giving that I’ve been having them for lunch (on slower days) rather than just as a snack. Also, very nice crushed and sprinkled over salad for extra protein and texture.

🖤Chrissie🖤

September – Monthly Round-up

Food & Drink

My Bloke got me these posh teas from Twinings so I can have hot drinks that aren’t builders tea (strong, milk, two sugars) which I’m not overly fond of. I can’t attest to their waking and sleeping powers as my brain seems to function in any other way possible, than what’s expected; I can say they both taste lovely though. Fairly subtle and fresh in flavour and not too perfumy.

We are successfully growing chillies! The plant is both male and female so you get a really soft and narrow makeup brush and act like a bee and go around all of the flowers pollinating it. We planted it at the start of summer and now have seven decent sized chillies, with lots of tiny little green globes that will hopefully grow bigger.

I’ve figured out the perfect way of making a vegetarian Roast ‘Chicken’ Salad & Fahita Filling.

Style

This is the one of my trusty styles for autumn, along with a more dressy look I’ll post next month.

Of course there had to be something Halloween related as we near October. Unbelievably some of the things I wanted to include in Halloween Fashion were already sold out!

I’ve never been a big Disney Princess fan, in fact the words used to make me shudder as a kid BUT I’ve always loved a good baddie. Perfect for Halloween Disney Style.

Beauty

Here’s why this GOSH BB Cream was both a hit and a miss.

Ooh pretty! See what I thought of the Barry M Holographic Eye Toppers and what look I created using the green one.

If you want an everyday mascara which will be kind to your lashes and the environment then PHB Natural Mascara is the one you need.

Random

Even though my Bloke has never watched friends he has somehow picked up on the recent resurgence of it and has started saying Joey’s expression “How you doin’?” to me. He started off enthusiastically (and hilariously) saying “How ya doing!!!” while wiggling his eyebrows up and down. Bahahaa! Nope. I told him it’s “How you doin’?” with one eyebrow raise to accent the word ‘you’, that makes ALL the difference. He is now utterly and disarmingly brilliant at it! I seem to have subconsciously picked up on the Joey look too.

Squirrels hate me. Yup. On three separate occasions I have been screamed at by a squirrel. Walking by one on a footpath, walking under a low hanging branch and yesterday one was on a tree, next to the window and I was inside the flat! I’m starting to agree with Carrie Bradshaw that they are indeed ‘Just rats in cute outfits.’ Although, that may be an injustice to rats.

Here’s an honest and lighthearted list of 15 Relatable Ways Brain Fog Effects People. You might think of someone or even yourself as rather ‘ditzy’ or sort of ‘head in the clouds’ but it could be brain fog if they/you have chronic fatigue or various other conditions. I’ve come out with some great one-linners and wonderings while feeling brain-fogged however.

 

Chrissie

What’s In My Fridge

Often when I explain to people that I’m veggie and have a gluten and dairy intolerance, they often ask “Then what do you eat then?”

Top shelf: Chilled Water; Burger Sauce (this is as close to prawn cocktail sauce I’ve found and I love it on salad); Spanish Tortilia.

Middle shelf: Giant Green Olives; Organic Humus; Quorn Smokey Ham Free Slices; Violife Block Original (dairy free cheese, which is great for gooey toasties).

Bottom Shelf: Humus, Artichoke hearts in oil, Sacla Free From Green Pesto, Tahini (perfect for making your own humus by adding the tahini with tinned chickpeas, garlic paste or fresh and olive oil and blending); Gosh! Veggie Moroccan Spiced Koftas.

Salad Draw: Usually iceberg lettuce, rocket, tomatoes, onion, bell pepper; Mixed pickled veg which I love as it’s so crunchy!

Top door shelf: East End Very Hot Green Chilli; East End Hot Mango and Chilli (can’t taste any mango but it is very refreshing, used sparingly); Pitted Black Olives x2; East End Tamarind Sauce (sweeter than the original paste); Sriracha Hot Sauce (sweeter and less vinegary than Tabasco).

Bottom door shelf: Tyskie (not mine, I prefer Peroni – gluten free);OKF Farmer’s Aloe Vera with Water Melon (tasty and so hydrating); Vita Coconut Water (er, so hydrating); Alpro Almond Milk (great with coffee or for making ‘cheese’ sauce).

I’d love to hear if you have any questions or if there are other ways that you would use these items?

Chrissie

July Monthly Blog Round-up

Turns out I’m still figuring out how to get my eye makeup to show up under my glasses. I’ve tried black eyeliner on the top and sparkly gold colours on my lids and lower lash line. This is the amazing result – oh. I’m going for masses of metallic blue and green liner next time, maybe a bit of pink!

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Ordered from Zad’s in Chorlton as I really fancied some veggie junk food. It did not disappoint – OMG it was lush!

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I reviewed the Pixi Strobe and Sculpt palette. It came out at just the right time when I needed to restock a few things, which all happened to be included in this palette! Read my review here.

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Not so great timing was finding this yellow colour corrector by Nip and Fab which you can mix with foundation that’s too orange – when I’d just thrown out three foundation which were, yup, too orange. Still, useful for that in the future and I can use it under lighter coverage foundation to tone down any redness I have.

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I found some really nice firm tofu called Toofoo. It’s great grilled with a coating of chilli oil or some BBQ sauce.

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When I heard that LUSH were releasing a solid foundation called Slap Stick and that it came in 40 shades with three undertones, I had to try it. See what I thought here.

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After half a year of summer I’d gotten a bit fed up coconut water or almond milk based smoothies. I chucked a load of blueberries and raspberries and water into a blender and blended thoroughly, then I added around 10 ice cubes and pulsed to create a slushy . It tasted wonderful!

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I bought some amazing unicorn inspired brushes and realised I couldn’t fit them into any makeup bags I own. I saw this sparkly pencil case in Tesco and they fit great…Now that I’ve sawn off the giant pointy bit at the end. I actually think they look better now and are easier to use.

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I have combination hair, y’know oily roots, meh mid-lengths and frizzy ends. I can’t tell you how many pre-wash treatments or overnight treatments I’ve used and two thirds of my hair LOVED them but my roots looked like I’d been at a festival – for a year. So I thought I’d share these two products that have solved the need for all of that, read the post here.

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This has been my fave outfit since the heatwave broke and I can stand to wear trainers – rather gladiator sandals – again. Doing outfit flatlays is hard! I miss Polyvore.

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Chrissie

 

 

Monthly Round-up June

Style

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Find this in a pile of the Bloke’s old clothes and ‘adopted it’.

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I finally found two dresses, that hide my pizza handles; are a practical but un-frumpy length (at least for me) and aren’t too prom-dressy. Both from EMP.

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When you can’t be arsed hiding your natural resting bitch face, ha! This Casual Urban Summer outfit felt surprisingly cool (before the heatwave) and also worked well with gladiator sandals for casual evenings.

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I’ve been trying to find sunglasses like these very old ones but haven’t been having much luck, as I guess they are very early-2000’s in style. I’m also learning how to take selfies with a point and shoot camera…I need more practice.

Food and Drink

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Someone gave us an Aloe plant about a year ago and this is the first time that I used it in a drink. It tastes so bitter but if you only use half a finger, somehow that tartness goes away when you mix it with anything sweet, like perfectly ripe strawberries.

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The Bloke has bringing me veggie koftas by Gosh from the ‘posh’ Tesco in Didsbury. I don’t always have enough energy to make and fry my own falafel or to get to the deli before they close so these are a great alternative and last for ages in the fridge.

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We bought some chilli seeds around two months ago and now we have this lovely gangly thing. In the morning it raises it’s leaves and then bends toward the sun in an arch throughout the day. Just after sundown, it lowers it’s leaves again and stays still. I’ve just pollinated it, with it’s own flowers but I can’t see any yellow pollen so I have no idea if it worked and we will get chilli’s.

Beauty

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Hempz, Herbal range are some of the best products I’ve ever used to style my crazy, frizzy natural hair so they were a joy to review.

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These three are the most borrow-able items in my blokes bathroom and they smell great too so I thought I’d review them in Pinching My Blokes Skincare.

Lifestyle

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I was offered a free star map from Modern Map Art and chose to get one done for my Dad for Fathers Day. Here’s my review if you want to know more.

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I found this, which made me laugh as it was so appropriate at the time ^_^

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I’ve nearly finished series 5 of Gotham. It has it’s usual gangster slant and a new intelligent baddy for young Bruce. They’ve added more of a horror element this series and also the violence is less comic book and just plain graphic. I’m not a big fan of either of the above. Poison Ivy and Butch aren’t pictured here, probably for good reason, so as not to spoil the surprise of how they look.

I made this using the Geek Alphabet created by The Nifty Nerd. Such a great idea!

Chrissie

An Afternoon in Manchester’s Northern Quarter

 

I think the reason me and the bloke haven’t gone on more city breaks for long weekends is that living in Manchester can sometimes feel like a city break in itself.  It has a vibrant city centre including shops, bars, restaurants and unusual fun things to do, axe throwing, climbing, trampolining, mini golf with cocktails, Crystal Maze and Escape Rooms anyone? It has little mini town centre’s like Chrolton, Didsbury, Fallowfield and Denton with high street clothes shops, quality charity shops and independent cafe’s. For a city it also has surprisingly large parks like Alexandra, Debdale and Heaton park.

It was my birthday recently so we went to V Revolution again. Is it possible to get tired of yellow stretchy cheese, too many sauces at once and fried/pickled things? Probably not.

If you ignore my double chin, I swear this burger was as big as my head. The Bloke commented ‘It’s a shame that your jaw isn’t hyper-mobile as well’ with a wink. I tried my first ever Long Island Iced T and was a little disappointed it didn’t taste anything like traditional iced tea but I did like the watery raspberry flavour. It would certainly do the trick on an empty stomach, even if you did eat a literal tower of food afterward.

I nipped in Forbidden Planet and the ever-friendly Travelling Man to pick up some comics thanks to Free Comicbook Day. I chose these four as I thought they were all pretty individual and something I might want to check out further.

 

I could have spent hours documenting the cute and sometimes thought provoking, wheat-paste art that was on every lamp post and bollard. But you know when you’d rather enjoy the feel of a place, rather than obsessively recording it?

I decided to try some new things and the lady who works at McCall’s Organics is so friendly and knowledgable about everything, you don’t feel silly asking for ‘kefoocha?’ and ‘Kimishi?’

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I bought Kingfisher Aloe Toothpaste as my teeth are getting more sensitive. My gut is also on the sensitive (read big giant diva) side so I got the above drinks and kimchi which have live cultures that help digestion.

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As the queues for gelato were astounding, I decided to treat myself to these dairy free dreams that McCall’s keep in their fridge.

 

 

 ❤ Chrissie

 

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Chaophraya – Thai Restaurant – Manchester

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It was the Blokes birthday recently and he chose to go to Chaophraya (named after the longest river in Thailand). We’ve always found the decor, the atmosphere, the food and the staff to be lovely so it’s always been a treat to eat there. I was a little disappointed there were no gluten free beer options and that they only had Singh beer on offer but the cocktail menu more than made up for that. The Banana Daiquiris were as amazing as they sound, although the Bloke wasn’t quite as keen.

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I’ve always appreciated that the chefs at Chaophraya know how to cook veg so it’s almost al dente but not a challenge to bite. They also use the lightest tempura batter and make surprisingly thick pancakes which taste more like comfort food, rather than part of a starter.

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We have started our own trend of ordering a starter or a big main salad, as a side that we can both share. The shredded papaya salad with peanuts, veg, lime, chilli and sugar sounded appealing. All of the flavours combined to make it the tastiest and most refreshing salad I’ve ever eaten.

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We both love the creamy, spicy Masaman curry but they had it with lamb on the menu so we asked if we could have a veggie version. They said no problem and even asked if we wanted to include tofu. We also ordered coconut rice as we thought it would go well with the curry and the lime flavours in the papaya salad, which it did.

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Note: In some areas of the restaurant they have soft banquette seating and some are much lower than average chairs with no back support. So depending on your needs, it’s worth noting when booking if you want to sit at the many tables and chairs.

Chaophraya

19 Chapel Walks, Manchester M2 1HN
T: 0161 832 8342
E: manchester@chaophraya.co.uk

Chrissie