The Treat Kitchen , Nottingham

treat kitchen

As a child I loved going up to the shops with my big sister … we would stand and stare in awe at the rows of jars of sweets whilst choosing which treat to savour that day – rhubarb and custard , kola kubes , kali , sweet peanuts , sherbert pips ….  so much choice … but then it seemed as we grew up … the magic was lost! The jars disappeared and the sweets became smaller and pre packaged :( The age of the sweet shop had died along with our childhood dreams … so just imagine my absolute joy when I was told about The Treat Kitchen only a stones throw away from my front door in Nottingham !!!

With 13 varieties of sugar free confectionery , 36 flavours of gourmet jelly beans ( try the cranberry and apple …. delicious burst of fruity goodness) , 38 varieties of boiled sweets  and 45 gourmet chocolates to choose from you are transported back to those heady days of indecision !!!

I was very fortunate to sample some of these delicious morsels … the jelly beans were delicious … being a sucker for jelly beans I simply have to try each and every flavour so I think a trip to the shop in the near future is in order … The twins thought the radioactive strawberry sours were amazing – met with first the horrific sourness that made their tabs flap followed by the sweetness of the strawberry – many a giggle did the reaction to those bring !!! The traditional rock transported us back to the seaside …. and the foam bananas … well I simply was not prepared to share !

All of the sweets were delicious and evoked many happy memories ! Amazing how the combination of sugar and childhood memories can make you smile so widely !!

The Treat Kitchen has just won Nottingham’s Independent Business of the Year 2015 !! So very well done to all involved … a much deserved accolade!! They are having a celebration in store TOMORROW ( 25th July 2015) with all sweets being 3 for 2 !! Pop along and fill  your basket whilst revisiting the happy dream filled worry free days of perfect confection ……

The Treat Kitchen can be found at 21-23 Wheeler gate , Nottingham  NG1 2NA

You won’t regret it …

Review : Monte Giove Pinot Grigio/Chardonnay

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The other night I went to a new restaurant in town where I was given a sample of a walnut , stilton and apple salad  … I’m not going to lie it was so delicious in its simplicity I had to recreate it at home ! So I did … then sat down to eat it with a chilled glass of Monte Giove  and my goodness … what a taste sensation !!  This heady mix of Italy’s classic white grape (pinot grigio) blended with the chardonnay grape make for a delightful white wine – They know what they’re doing with grapes in Italy !!

The blurb on the bottle tells me that this wine is perfect with grilled fish  which I am sure it would be ! It also tells me that the Monte Giove goes well with salads … that my friends is so very true ! The zesty lemon hints in the wine add extra crispness to the wine which has to be chilled to be enjoyed fully  where the floral hues compliment the grape blend magnificently .

Whist the weather is this amazing you should head out to your local co-op and grab yourself a bottle or 2 of this fantastic Italian wine , retaling at £5.99 a bottle . Whist at the co-op why not grab some walnuts , stilton and crisp green apples too and have a stunning salad to compliment this fantastic drink . Invite your mates over – it’s too good not to share !

This review is part of The Co-operative’s #welikewine campaign that you can find more out about HERE

Veneto Pinot Grigio Rose

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The change in weather is so very welcome to my bones … I’ve loved being out in the garden getting all the little jobs that I’ve been planning over the dark cold winter, started and underway …. ! So when the sun is shining what better than sitting in your freshly mown garden … gazing at the freshly painted wood work …. with a cool chilled glass of pinot grigio to keep you company and cool you down in the beating sunshine !!

This Veneto Pinot Grigio Rose is the perfect accompaniment to the scene I’ve set . This wine is produced exclusively for The Co-op and is a very affordable price  at £6.99 a bottle . This Pinot Grigio is sourced from North East Italy … home of the pinot grigio grape  and is quite simply delicious . It has a melodic pairing of strawberries and peaches that make your heart glad . the dryness of the grape surrounded by this magnificent fruitfulness make this wine an absolute delight .

This wine will match perfectly with a summery pea & ham risotto  or a decadently delicious cheese board and is a must  with a fresh pasta with a delicious homemade tomato sauce sprinkled with parmesan ! This wine is also absolutely perfect for those impromptu balmy evenings of barbeques and good friends !!!

This Veneto Pinot Grigio Rose is just fantastic. An easy drinkable treat for any occasion … it certainly whispers to me that Summers coming …let’s celebrate !

This review is part of The Co-operative’s #welikewine campaign that you can find more out about HERE

Hot Cross Cookies

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It’s almost Easter and to be quite honest I can sometimes get a bit fed up of all the chocolate  (sacrilege I know ) … I think sometimes we need to break the monotony and make something equally as naughty ( and still with a bit of chocolate in it) that we can dunk in our tea over the lazy Easter weekend … So I give you my version of …

Hot Cross Cookies !!

  • 200g softened butter
  • 100g light muscovado sugar
  • 1 egg , medium free range
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 100g sultanas
  • 100 g white chocolate ,  (50g chopped )
  • 50g Dark chocolate , chopped

Heat  your oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Lightly grease 2  baking trays. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and egg until smooth. Sift in the flour,ginger  and baking powder, then combine to make a dough. Add the sultanas , 50g of chopped white chocolate and the dark chocolate, and mix to combine.

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Roll lumps of dough into balls the size of golf balls ( if the dough is a bit sticky generously cover your hands in flour to help with the rolling) . Flatten these onto the trays, leaving enough space between each for them to expand. Bake for 10 mins until golden (you may have to do this in batches). Remove the cookies from the trays and cool on wire racks.

Melt the remaining white chocolate either in the microwave or over a pan of boiling water. Using a  teaspoon, carefully drizzle a cross on top of each cookie. Leave to set before eating.

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These cookies CAN last up to 3 days … however they are pretty good so don’t expect them to hang around that long !!! Happy Easter Folks x

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This recipe is part of The Central England Co-operative Easter campaign …. you can read more about this  HERE

Sipsmith Gin Sherbert Lemon

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Well … you had me at gin … !!! When asked to concoct a cocktail I set to work … !! Gin has been a drink of choice for me ever since I was pregnant with my eldest son ( who will be 15 next week .. eek ) I craved gin and white wine all the way throughout my pregnancy … and believe me those months of abstinence were hard ….  However I also had a massive craving for sherbert lemons !!! So I guess we have my teen to thank for the advent of this cocktail ….

Sipsmith Gin Sherbert lemon  ( Serves 2 )

50ml Gin

3 Green Apples ( Granny smiths are PERFECT )

1/3 Lemon

Crushed Ice

2 Unearthed Olives with Sipsmith Gin

Chop the apples and lemon into a large chunks . Throw them in the juicer and juice at will .

Fill your glasses with the crushed Ice .

Add 25ml gin to each glass .

Pour over your juiced fruit .

Add an olive

Chin Chin xx

Easy as that … and so tab flapping gorgeous one quite simply will never be enough xx

Many thanks to Unearthed for providing the gin & olives for this recipe . All thoughts and opinions are my own .

Limited Release : Calvet Merlot Bordeaux 2013

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I’m not well known for drinking red wines … being a staunch dry white wine kinda gal … so I had to have a little help in telling you all about this wine Calvet Merlot Bordeux  …. which has been the wine of choice for the husband , brother in law and sister in law of late !  A mid range priced wine at £7.49 ( Derby prices ) it’s a weekend treat to wash down the morsels of good food placed on the table …!

The wine claims to  be a bright ruby red ( it is ! ) with purple reflections ( in some lights!) with an intense bouquet of red fruits with a hint of liquorice !! I know my husbands first sip illicited a ” ooooh ahhhhh mmmmm” so I’m imagining that’s a good thing ! ( It is !! )  The wine certainly delivered in what it promised.

This wine matched perfectly with a recent roast beef dinner that was served during a wonderful evening of wine and good friends ! Perfectly placed to enhance the intense flavours of the meat whilst bringing out the freshness and pure delight of the prepared vegetables . A splash ( and only a splash … too good to waste ) of this in the roast beef gravy was the absolute piece de resistance … amazingly rounding off the main meal with a hearty gravy of deliciousness .

This wine is also perfect to match with the wonderful cheese & cured meat board we decadently devoured …. fantastically balancing the flavours of the camembert with the tempting nutty flavour of the gouda and the tantalising saltiness of the prosciutto ! This Merlot was definitely a good all rounder and I imagine one that could quite easily be drank in a  drinks and nibbles situation with just a bowl of cashews and lots of great conversation to  wash it down with .

An absolute hit in this house !!

(Review courtesy of the husband )

This review is part of The Co-operatve’s #welikewine campaign that you can find more out about HERE

Chocolate & Marshmallow Tiffin

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The boys were on half term last week and I managed to get one day off with them ( which luckily turned out to be the one day Ted wasn’t ill after he came down with a bad case of flu the day after … and is still poorly now a week later :( !) Anyway …  the weather was remarkably mild so our full on day of making and baking became a few bits thrown together in between bike rides and games of tennis … but one thing we did make was this incredibly moreish and decadently dangerous Chocolate and Marshmallow tiffin  …  so easy to make and so delicious to eat ! Here’s our recipe

50 g butter

400g milk chocolate

150g digestive biscuits

50g dried apricots , chopped

50g raisins

50g mini marshmallows

3 nougat & caramel bars/nutty caramel bars  refrigerated and sliced in 2 cm chunks

Grease and line a 20 x20cm baking tin with greaseproof paper . place a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water ( make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water) and place the butter and chocolate into the bowl. Stir until completely melted then pop the bowl to one side to cool slightly.

Put the biscuits into a sealed sandwich bag and break into 2cm chunks ( Don’t completely obliterate into submission like the boys did !! ). Tip the biscuits , apricots , raisins and marshmallows into the melted chocolate and stir well , add the chocolate bar slices and stir well . Tip it all into your prepared tin , cover with cling film and refrigerate for approximately 2 hours. Now cut it into squares , pop the kettle on and enjoy xx

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(adapted from Holly Bell’s Award Winning Chocolate Tiffin : Recipes from a Normal Mum )