Category Archives: Food

Universal Yums: November 2018 Box – The Netherlands

November’s box came from The Netherlands. The moment I realised where it was coming from I got really excited. My dad is Dutch and I grew up with snacks sent to us from my Oom Coe and Tante Zus (my great aunt and her husband). I have also been to Amsterdam and loved the food. I was not disappointed as this was one of the best boxes we have had so far.

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RECIPE: Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

My friend M recently posted on Instagram about some chocolate chip cookies she made. M is a regular baker with high standards so when she raved about them I decided that I better try them myself to check if they lived up to the hype. They did.  I did the  24 hour “prove” of the cookies as suggested and I think it made a difference to the outcome. So if you need these cookies for a specific day make sure to start them off at least the day before. 

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Universal Yums: October 2018 box – Russia

This month’s box came from Russia, which is somewhere that both frightens and fascinates me. There were some really nice things in the box and some fairly run of the mill ones. All in all a pretty average box.

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RECIPE: Chocolate fudge birthday cake

Yesterday was my birthday and I am now officially 38 years old. I had a really lovely day and was showered with gifts, cards, messages and attention. A writer friend of mine even wrote me a poem. I felt extremely loved and very lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life. I have made some great friends at work so I decided to bake a cake that would be big enough to share with them but also for us to have at home. With that in mind I made this chocolate fudge tray bake, which is perfect for big birthday celebrations.

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RECIPE: Leftover Halloween pumpkin cake

Mr O and I are big Halloween fans. We love all the silly traditions from pumpkin carving, to getting into fancy dress to preparing for trick or treaters. This year Little O was old enough to help out with the carving and he is old enough to go trick or treating with the neighbourhood children.

After seeing a friend of mine’s post, I decide to get in on using the leftover pumpkin to bake a cake so I thought I’d share the recipe for anyone else who might be considering doing some carving over the next couple of days. This cake is super easy to make and reminiscent of a carrot cake. Little O loved helping out with the baking although he declared the cake “yucky”, like almost everything we offer him to eat.

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Universal YUMS: September Box – Thailand

I have never been to Thailand but I have always liked the food. It’s really exciting how Thai food balances sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavours so I was very excited to taste what was in this month’s box.

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Universal Yums June 2018 box: Brazil

Last month’s box came from Brazil, which is somewhere I am very keen to visit. One of my most beloved colleagues from my previous job is a Brazilian chap and he told me the most wonderful stories of his life there. It seems like such an exciting melting pot of a place. In terms of snacks, it too was a really mixed bag. There were some great things and some not so great things but definitely enough unusual flavours to keep me intrigued.

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Universal Yums May 2018 Box: The Philippines

This month’s snacks came all the way from The Philippines. I was really excited to try this box because I have never had food from The Philippines before. While the western European boxes are nice, it is much more exciting to taste foods from less familiar places.

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Universal Yums March 2018 box: Poland

Despite the fact that my company has an office in Warsaw, I have never managed to go to Poland, something that makes me rather sad. I have heard good things and I really would like to visit one day. In the meantime I am going to settle for some snacks. Read more…

RECIPE: Carrot cake tray bake

As those who know me on Facebook and Instagram will be aware, I am leaving my job after almost 14 years. I have worked in a number of different roles for the same company but it finally feels like it is time to move on and try something new. So in a month from now I will be starting over. Yikes! When I announced to my team a few weeks ago that I was leaving, their biggest concern seemed to be who was going to feed them. I bake a lot for work. To make them feel better I agreed to bring something in weekly… and to take requests. I have been delving into my old faithful recipes but someone requested a carrot cake recently. I do have a carrot cake recipe but it’s a layer cake and transporting a layer cake across multiple train journeys at rush hour is not easy. Instead I decided to go for a tray bake. It was very popular and I will definitely be making it again.

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Universal Yums February 2018 box: France

I wasn’t massively excited when I found out February’s box was going to be France. I reckoned it would be a bit boring but I was totally wrong. Pretty much everything in the box was delicious and quite a few bits were things I had never eaten before. The flavours weren’t crazy or anything but they were still great. The French are, of course, known for their cuisine so I probably shouldn’t have been surprised that they pulled it out of the box (see what I did there).

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Chocolate from New Zealand

It was my birthday earlier this month and one of the best gifts I got was a care package from my friend, J, who lives in New Zealand. J and I have been friends for over 10 years and initially met when we both used to blog on Windows Live Spaces (yes, that was a thing). We hit it off so much that we took trips to visit each other (she was living in Australia at the time) and even ended up working together for a year.

J has gotten on board with my love of eating on camera so she sent me chocolate from New Zealand to try, along with a new pin, which is my latest obsession. You can check out J’s current blog here. And you can see what I thought of the Kiwi chocolate below. Read more…

Tastes of Israel

I have been having such a fun time sharing my stories and posts of trying food from around the world that some of my friends have started joining in and helping me get my hands on new flavours.

I met Y, through Instagram when we both did a challenge to post a selfie every day for 100 days. Since then we have chatted regularly through Instagram and gotten to know each other through our stories and posts. Y lives in Tel Aviv in Israel and is a computer science student. She was recently kind enough to send me some Israeli snacks, which I have documented tasting below. I also sent her some British things which I can’t wait to see her reaction to.

This is what I tasted. Read more…

RECIPE: Mac n cheese with bacon, broccoli and sweetcorn

I don’t get to cook that much these days. When I get home from work I spend time with Little O and then bath and get him to bed. It makes sense for Mr O to cook while I am doing bed time so we don’t end up eating really late. Every now and then though, I sneak in a recipe and this one is a new favourite. It’s perfect for cold winter nights, doesn’t take very long to make at all and you can feel good about eating it as it’s full of veg. Read more…

Universal Yums October Box: Belgium

In October Mr O and I tasted snacks from… Belgium! Normally what makes the Universal Yums boxes really exciting is that we get to taste stuff that we have never tasted before or possible even heard of. Even with the South Korean box that we didn’t really like there was a weirdness factor that made it cool.

Unfortunately this is kind of where the Belgian box fell down. it wasn’t that the snacks weren’t nice. It was more that Belgium is maybe a little bit close to home. There was nothing in the box that I hadn’t tasted or seen before, especially since I have quite often traveled to Belgium for work. It just didn’t pack a flavour punch and most of what we tasted was very sweet. Anyway, this is what we had. Read more…