Sunday, 9 March 2014

Review: TAJ Foods Aloe Vera Juice

I love a fruit juice, smoothie or shake. There's a lot to be said for a zingy refreshing drink on a sunny day... and as I peeled back the curtains this morning and was met with the warm air that had been gathering like a cloud behind the window, I thought Yes, today is the day!

A while ago I was asked to review an Aloe Vera based drink from TAJ Foods, and they have been nestled nicely in the fridge until today. I received a 500ml bottle of Original Aloe Vera flavour and a 500ml bottle of  Strawberry flavour.

I must admit that the pulp floating around didn't look too appealing to me, and I was really hoping I couldn't feel it in my throat. It's in little squares, and is very slimy, and in fact it keep straining through my teeth so that I was left with a mouthful. Not too keen, but better than I expected.

The original flavour was my favourite, although it was definately too sweet for my taste. It was much more fruity than I imagined, I think I was expecting it to taste green if that makes sense?! It's very smooth and would probably be great on holiday of your partial to a sweet drink by the pool. Overall too sweet for me, but my boyfriend really enjoyed it and would have it again, comparing it to "tiny fruit cocktail in a drink".

The strawberry flavour was even sweeter still, and it reminded me of a melted strawberry ice lolly. It was a true strawberry flavour, however just so so sweet and sickly. My notoriously sweet-toothed boyfriend couldn't even manage it.

Both flavours claim to contain 46% of Aloe Vera (30% June and 16% pulp) and to contain low sugar, to aid digestion, boost immunity and energize. Obviously I can't review these claims on the strength of 2 bottles, but I certainly didn't feel any worse for having drank it.

Just click here to view the full selection of aloe vera juices. All of which contain the 46% of Aloe Vera. It should be noted that these juices aren't suitable for pregnant and breast feeding women, as well as children under 3.

You can view the rest of the TAJ Foods website here. They offer a large range of  "Ethnic Foods" on their website, and supply a huge number of supermarkets and independent retailers. I'm pretty sure you'll find something new that you're desperate to try, and even though the juices weren't to my taste, there's plenty of other items I can't wait to try!

Katy x

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

The Great Pasta Disaster

I shouldn't really tell you this, but I pride myself on my brutal honesty, so here goes...
My snazzy pasta machine

My middle sister got me a pasta machine for my birthday- fancy attachments and all- and I've been dying to use it. I googled countless recipes, asked a multitude of friends/family for ideas and then finally settled on a basic Jamie Oliver pasta dough recipe.
Dough a la Jamie 

Now let me tell you, despite his often cringeworthy exterior, I'm a big Jamie fan. I like the ease of most of his recipes and his chilled out make-do attitude. However... I have never had such a culinary disaster in my entire life. I'm no Nigella, but I pride myself on my cooking skills. I can make a mean almost anything (except cakes) and I have a bit of a creative streak when it comes to the kitchen. My family and boyfriend love my food- or they at least tell me they do- and I can be a bit boastful if I think I've created a masterpiece. 

All this just made the "Pasta Disaster" worse! I'd been talking about it since Friday- I rang my mum whose on holiday just to tell her my marvellous plan, I told my colleagues at work and an old school friend. I made a 30 mile round trip for the £18 worth of pissing ingredients, and worst of all I could already imagine what it was going to taste and look like. I'd pretty much written a majorly big-headed post about how gorgeous it was and how fabulous I am.

I should have known really shouldn't I... 

It should have been prawn and smoked salmon tortellini with a lemon cream sauce. 
Poor, wasted prawns

HA! It wasn't! What is was, was a lovely creamy, fishy filling, encased in a flabby mass of chewey white... rubber, that took two and a half hours to make. You know in zombie films, those pieces of "flesh" that adorn all the extras to make them look more dead and falling apart? Well it would have been amazing for that! Or when a paddling pool gets an annoying tear that renders it useless, TA-DA, I've invented a fantastic paddling pool repair kit. And the best, most helpful use of my new invention? A hammock! I'm pretty sure if it had been long enough it would have held my weight and been pretty comfy. Durable bloody stuff it was!

The only real blessing in the whole saga, is that I hadn't made the lemon cream sauce yet. Which means there is currently a tub of cream sat nicely in the fridge! I was so disheartened last night that I nearly downed the lot, but it'll be a wonderful addition to this weeks coffees, naughty.

Please let me know if you've had any similar disasters, I can honestly tell you that sharing the shame helps, even the man in the takeaway at 10.30 last night was sympathetic!

Katy x

Friday, 24 January 2014

A Girl Got Issues

Okay, so I'm exaggerating. But there is a little something that's bothering me, it begins with W and ends in ORK. I know almost everyone would rather not work, but seriously it is having a negative impact on nearly every aspect of my life! I've been working at my current job for nearly three years, Monday to Friday nine till five, and I'm already ready to retire! My biggest issues are...

Sleep- if it wasn't for work I'd do more of it and in return be a nicer person. The 7.40 alarm is becoming the bane my life, and I don't know how much longer I'll man it before I end up hurting my phone.

Eat- I'm obviously not starving, I get enough food daily, but I'd love to be able to cook more! Normally by the time I've finished work I just plain can't be arsed to do anything fancier than a chilli... Pathetic.

Blog- Having been to work all day, after cooking and eating the afore mentioned chilli then washing the pots I'm normally just a bit fed up! My creativity is at it's daily low and I just KNOW I'd make a better job of the blog if I had all day in bed to think about it... HA!

Craft- I'm grumpy enough after doing everything else, but the thought of having to tidy up the mess I'll inevitably make is enough to tip me over the edge and resign myself to Celebrity Big Brother for another night.

Shop- okay, this ones hugely contradictory of itself. If I didn't work then there'd be no shopping at all! But that kind of makes my point, yes working/having a job is necessary, we all need money. But when the money rolls in at the cost of almost everything you love in your life... There's a bit of an in-balance.

I don't yet have an answer. Maybe part time work, whilst putting my hobbies to good use to make me some dollar on the side, but then if it was that easy wouldn't we all be doing it?

Gahhh, I don't know. What do you think?I'm gonna have a glass of wine and forget about it for now, it's the freakin' weekend after all!

Katy x

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Get To Know Me part 5- THE FINAL CHAPTER

So you think you know it all? You don't. This is the final chapter of my Get To Know Me series and after this, you'll know almost everything that's worth knowing about me! Lucky you...
17. List your top 5 hobbies and why you love them.
Cooking- It's creative, I'm very much in charge and of course you get a meal at the end of it! 
Nail Art- On other people (I bite my nails, shock horror) Again, it lets my creative juices flow, but it's also a bit more challenging than just painting a picture.
Reading- Because my over-active mind can really turn-off when I read a book. It makes burying my head in the sand a little more possible.
Making Cards- I like to give things to people I love, and there's nothing more special than a hand-made gift or card.
Bad TV- If a hobby is something you do to relax, then I'd be lying if I didn't include TV, particularly bad TV. I like it because you can just watch, you don't have to concentrate, or invest into it emotionally, just watch...
18. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be & what would you eat?
Okay, so I probably wouldn't have dinner with this person, and strictly speaking he isn't yet part of history... But it'd be interesting if I did... Kim Jong Un, the current North Korean leader.
I know, I know, you expected me to say Marilyn Monroe or Mother Theresa, but that's boring and I'd like my little jaunt into history to have a bit more meaning. You see, having lived in South Korea for a while, the whole North Korea thing fascinates me. I genuinely think I could make a difference! Kim Jong Un was educated at a prestigious European independent school -as was I- which means that we probably have some common ground (laughable, no?) that I could win him over with, not to mention his fine (and ridiculously hypocritical) taste in European wine and cheese. Secondly, any man with such a huge bloody chip on their shoulder probably just wants a bit of attention and a proper good telling off. I could do that. Not to sympathise you must understand, just to work my way in. You see, for some reason many Asian people (in my experience) love a Western friend. Our accent, our 'big' eyes and our funny smell (sour milk) all win them over, and given Kim's secret love for all things Western, I don't see why I would be any different! In fact, given that there is already a Spanish fella by the name of Alejandro Cao de Benos, in Kim's inner circle, I'm pretty sure he'd like me. And now comes the fun bit, after dining on a feast of South Korean Bulgogi (he'd love that) and worming my way in, I would go on to tell him the hard facts about his beloved countries sickening ideals, and their dire consequences. I know it might not make a difference, I know he might not care, I also know he might enjoy knowing the suffering that he and his deplorable family have caused 'their' people. But I genuinely believe his head is so far up his own arse, that no-one will have ever actually told him before!
Dear Kim Jong Un, if you are reading this, please know that you are the worst kind of human. You are in no way divine, just as your father and grandfather weren't. Your hypocrisy is hilarious and your chubby little face even funnier. There is NOTHING Democratic about the DPRK, if you like I can send you the definition, I'm guessing they didn't teach you that in Switzerland? Your people are slowly gathering a connective hatred against you, and soon- within my lifetime- you will have an almighty revolution on your hands that you will do well to survive. They have radios, DVDs and cellphones, but most importantly they have courage and a newly realised right to free-will. If I was you (God forbid) then I'd be scared. It isn't too late to be a hero, because unlike those before you, you DO know better! Oh, and before I forget... your shit stinks just like everybody elses. 
(If you are interested in North Korea, PLEASE PLEASE let me know, I'm slightly obsessed and desperate to do something for those poor people. If you aren't interested, that's fine, but know that between 1995 and 1998, as we were all learning how to use the internet and getting mobile phones, approx. 2.4million North Koreans died of starvation, and many more are still dying to this day. This isn't a problem like Africa, where environmental factors make growing enough food impossible, this is due to the abhorrent mis-use of power) 
19. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?
God it's deep today! I think it's becoming less and less 'popular', but the fact that so many people are still offended by homosexuality really pushes my buttons. Firstly, what a person chooses to do in their own bedroom has NOTHING to do with you, absolutely nothing! Secondly, why are you even interested you perverts! Being gay doesn't make a person less of a person, in fact it doesn't change them in any way, other than who they are likely to fall in love with- it doesn't make them a bad person. Whereas judging people on their sexuality does make you a bad person. It makes you a bitter, ignorant and backward individual that would probably make great friends with my old fave (NOT) King Jon Un.
20. What is your favourite part of your body and why?
Ahhh, back to pure BBlogger territory. It's my eyes. They never have bad days, they don't wobble and without them I'd be pretty lost... literally.
Well that turned out deeper than I thought.
So that's your lot lovely people. I hope it's been insightful and at least interesting in parts. If you know me in Real Life and you learnt anything you didn't already know, then tell me what! And for my blogging friends, have I surprised you with anything?
Thanks for reading peoples,
Katy x