Thursday, 26 October 2017

Jack Daniel's Barbecue Sauces #vegan

Jack Daniel's do an amazing range of barbecue sauces and glazes, with lots of vegan varieties available. Perfect as a dipping sauce, a glaze, marinade or as an ingredient, the Jack Daniel's sauces add the taste of authentic Tennessee to everyday dishes. 

vegan, barbecue sauce

There is a Jack Daniel's Barbecue Sauce to suit every taste from Smokey Sweet to Extra Hot Habanero. Whether you want a warm, smoky hickory flavour or a spicy, fiery kick added to your meals, Jack Daniel's has a barbecue sauce that's right for you, each with an added touch of Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whisky.

At this time of year, I think the Jack Daniel's Barbecue Sauces make the perfect addition to winter warmer recipes. They add that delicious warmth and authentic barbecue flavour to dishes, making you feel all cosy and comforted. For example, the Extra Hot Habanero sauce is great to add to a five bean chilli, giving a lovely depth of heat and flavour, while the Smokey Sweet glaze makes a delicious marinade for chunky cut roasted vegetables or tofu.

My favourite recipe using the Jack Daniel's Barbecue Sauces is a super quick and easy seitan 'rib' roast recipe (inspired by a recipe I saw on This plant based recipe makes a hearty, 'meaty' and filling main, with a smoky, sweet, sticky barbecue glaze. The texture is chewy on the outside and succulent in the middle. It's perfect served with chunky chips and peas for a winter warming vegan meal.


Jack Daniel's Smokey Sweet Seitan Ribs


1 cup of wheat gluten *
2 tbspn nutritional yeast *
1 tbspn chickpea flour *
1 tspn smoky paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tbspn Jack Daniel's Full Flavour Smokey Barbecue Sauce
1 tbspn soy sauce
3/4 cup of cold vegetable stock
4 tbsns Jack Daniel's Smokey Sweet Barbecue Glaze


Combine all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
In a jug mix the stock, soy sauce and the Jack Daniel's Full Flavour Smokey Barbecue Sauce.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well to form a dough.
Knead lightly for 2 minutes then shape into a flat rectangular shape.
Put into a greased ovenproof dish and put into a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and glaze with the Jack Daniel's Sweet Barbecue Glaze.
Return to the oven for 5 more minutes.
Remove the 'ribs' from oven and put onto a chopping board.
Cut into slices and serve.

* Find these ingredients in health food stores.

Jack Daniel's Smokey Sweet Seitan Ribs, vegan

You can find the Jack Daniel's Barbecue Sauces in supermarkets nationwide. They make a really versatile store cupboard staple. Find out more about Jack Daniel's Barbecue Sauces at

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Anki OVERDRIVE - a groundbreaking AI battle-race game

Freddy has got a new favourite toy, one that combines all the excitement of a car track racing game with cutting edge robotics and artificial intelligence. Played using a physical track and cool supercars via an app on a smart device, video gaming, toys and robotics come together to create one of the best and most advanced family games that we have seen in a long time - Anki OVERDRIVE.


Anki OVERDRIVE is bringing consumer robotics into everyday life, creating an entertaining and unique experience using today's technology. It's exciting and impressive!

We've all enjoyed playing car track racing game in the past, but they have limitations. The need to plug them in, the trailing controller wires, the fiddly track construction, bulky storage, unreliable cars, frustrating handling and the repetitive game play have made these games feel very old and tired. Anki has revolutionised this genre of toy, blowing these predecessors completely off the track, bringing track racing games into the 21st century.

The Anki OVERDRIVE Starter Kit contains everything needed to begin your exciting adventure into the battle-race arena, you just need to download the free app to get started. The kit contains two very cool supercars, Skull and Ground Shock, along with a four car charger and enough FlexTracks to create a number of customised battlefield tracks. The sturdy packaging is so well thought out, storing everything neatly and easily inside the box after each use.


To begin, you download the Anki OVERDRIVE app and synch the cars to your device. This then becomes the controller for the physical cars. You can play against each other, or against the AI commanders in various modes such as race or battle. The set up is simple to use and seamless. The design is just so well conceived.

The modular track is lightweight and has magnetic connectors making it so easy to snap together. There are bridge adapters allowing you to create figure of eight style tracks that cross over. I love how simple and quick it is to build or change the tracks, it literally takes just seconds. There are eight recommended track designs that you can make using the starter kit. As there are no wires or power supply to the track, you can set it up anywhere, limited only by your imagination!

As you play, the cars learn the track layout. If they spin off, they will right themselves and continue in the right direction. They avoid collisions and take corners with impressive speed, choosing the most effective route. The undertaking and overtaking is so fast with the cars able to switch lanes! The more you play, the better the cars become. Your self-aware AI opponents learn tracks and strategies to keep the race and battle action fresh and competitive. You can upgrade and up level your vehicle, unlocking and customising  weapons making the gameplay evolve each time you race.


The app is really well designed, adding excitement to the game, using a futuristic interface, immersing players into the world of the epic driving battles.  In battle mode, you can shoot your opponents, disabling them or slowing them down on the track. It adds to the fun and keeps you thinking strategically.

The gameplay is very intuitive and Freddy was able to build the track and race his car against the AI commanders using his iPad independently. It's great to have some tech that can be enjoyed by Freddy on his own or played together with the whole family.


You can add to the starter kit with various expansion kits, adding in more track for extra twists, turns, banked corners, deadly intersections and even epic launched jumps. You can also buy new cars, each with their own weapons and skills or buy Supertrucks, which are three times bigger than the cars and come with access to a new game mode. Anki OVERDRIVE has the potential to grow and expand as desired and software updates keep the game fresh.

The Anki OVERDRIVE Starter Kit retails at £149.99 and is available from Argos or directly from overdrive with free shipping.

Anki OVERDRIVE would make an excellent Christmas gift for children aged 8 and up, but equally for adults who enjoy cool gadgets, racing games and technology. Anki even have a Fast and Furious edition that will appeal to fans of the high octane franchise.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Awesome Little Green Men - collectible toy soldiers

Kids have enjoyed playing with toy soldiers for generations, from the lead soldiers that my own dad used to play with to the Toy Story style soldiers that my son Freddy has.

Awesome Little Green Men is the brand new collectible toy to hit the UK, and its fresh approach infuses battle game play with the collecting of unique characters to bring the toy soldier genre into a whole new age. There are 100 figures to collect in Series 1 including four super rare characters in both green and blue armies.

Little Green Men

Each individual soldier has its own expression, weapon or vehicle and has unique stats, allowing players to build the strongest troops to win battles. The figures are cartoonesque and quirky with oversized heads and helmets.

Awesome Little Green Men

We received two sets: the blue Marksmen Squad and green Ranger Unit. Each includes four soldiers, one of which comes in a blind, top secret box and one in a rare vehicle, along with four dog tags on a chain. There is also a collector's poster and a game guide in each pack.

toy soldiers

Basic gameplay is quite simple. You set up your armies on a smooth surface about six feet apart, using the soldiers in formation to protect and guard a chosen object. Soldiers each have a number of power points printed on their bottom, so you can build an equal army to your opponent. You then use a coin as a slider, which you flick up the battlefield to march your soldier forward or to attack your opponent. The aim is to capture your opponent's guarded object. Each soldier has a number of hit points and when they have been used up, your opponent can capture that soldier.

Awesome Little Green Men

It's a fun game to play, but if you prefer simply being a collector, the soldiers each have their own appeal with names such as Colonel Sonic, Captain Quiver, Sergeant Sure-Shot, Major Attack and Private Matters and each have their own individual personalities. Children will enjoy collecting and displaying them. Find them in Smyth's Toys or find out more at

Friday, 20 October 2017

Bonieri Sugar Free Luxury Chocolates

Bonieri chocolates are made with authentic Italian passion, using traditional recipes and highest quality ingredients including the Piedmont hazelnut. They produce a great range of delicious dairy free chocolates including their delicious vegan friendly gianduja pralines. They also offer a luxury sugar free gianduiotti chocolate for those following a sugar free diet.

vegan, sugar free chocolates, gluten free

Free from dairy, gluten and sugar, the Bonieri Sugar Free Gianduiotti offer a delicious chocolate treat for anyone with specific dietary requirements or for those looking for a healthier choice. There is no need to compromise on quality or taste. In fact, they have won a gold star in the Great Taste Awardswhere judges were "so impressed" that they were sugar free.

I received a Diva Box of the Bonieri Sugar Free Gianduiotti to try out. They come beautifully packaged in a sturdy tray style white box, tied with a black and gold ribbon. Inside, there are twelve individually wrapped chocolates.

vegan chocolate, sugar free chocolate, gluten free

Each triangular shaped chocolate is dark and glossy with a melt in the mouth velvety, smooth praline texture. The earthy, roast hazelnut flavour is balanced against the rich, fruity chocolate notes.

Bonieri Sugar Free Gianduiotti Diva Box

Bonieri chocolates are available online at or you can now get the Bonieri Sugar Free Diva Box from Holland and Barrett stores. The 110g box is £11.95. A perfect Christmas gift for anyone looking for sugar free chocolates for a loved one this year.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Num Noms Surprise in a Jar - new plush, scented Num Nom toys

Num Noms have added an exciting new product to their range of collectable, scented toys. The new Num Noms Surprise in a Jar sees the brand introduce huggable plush toy versions of favourite Num Nom characters that come squished into a cute, reusable, plastic mason style jar.

Num Noms Surprise in a Jar

The plush toys have the same delicious, food inspired names and fragrances as the original Num Noms. We received a jar containing the lovable Sadie Seeds, the pink strawberry scented Num Nom who wears a silky, green bow in her foliage! The plush toys are visible in their packaging, peeking out through the jar, so you know which one you are going to get, making it easier to collect the ones you want.

Num Noms Surprise in a Jar

Once the plush toy is out of the jar, it's surprising just how big and cuddly it becomes. (In fact I'm not sure you could never get it back inside the jar!) The toys are well made using soft materials and have the same detailing as the original Num Nom toys. With button eyes and nose, embroidered lashes and seeds, velvety leaves and silky bow, Sadie Seeds looks very sweet and her strawberry scent is very fragrant. Children will love to hug them and sniff these plushies!

Num Noms Surprise in a Jar

They will make ideal Christmas presents for Num Noms fans this year. The sweetly scented toys are perfect for little ones aged 3 and up or are a lovely, novelty gift for grown ups too. Num Noms collectors will enjoy adding these big cuddly Nums to their Num Noms collections. For play or display, these toys are an exciting addition to the ever growing range.

Num Noms Surprise in a Jar

As the jar is reusable, children can use it as a storage container. There is a coin slot on the front of the jar making it a lovely money box  to encourage children to save their pennies. It would also be perfect for using as a sweetie jar or for storing treasures. However, it made perfect sense for Freddy to use it as storage for his favourite little Nums!  I really like that the packaging is completely reusable rather than something that just gets thrown away. That is a real plus.

Num Noms Surprise in a Jar

You can find the Num Noms Surprise in a Jar toys at The Entertainer, Claire's, Toys R Us, Tesco and Amazon retailing at around £10.  Other plushes available in the Surprise in a Jar range include Sara S'Mores, Sprinkle Donut, Bella Bubblegum, Pinky Puff and Mint Cream.

JooMo Body Wash - healthy skin in 2 weeks

The JooMo brand has a new product which joins their range of 100% natural skincare. JooMo Body Wash is a 100% all natural product designed using skin bacteria (MIRR) technology to restore your skin's natural biodiversity and mobilise your natural defences to fight off disease and help prevent allergies. It can help solve skin problems such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis or roseacea and restores your skin's natural eco-system to promote healing.

Free from any nasty chemical additives and 100% preservative free, every ingredient is taken directly from nature. The 3 in 1 formula can be used to cleanse and moisturise the skin and for shaving, providing an all round skincare solution. It is suitable for all ages and skin types including sensitive. It is great for teenagers who will love the quirky design and the simplicity of the product.

The lovely all natural scent of the product comes from the orange and cinnamon ingredients, no artificial fragrances are used. It's easy to use - just pop a blob on your hand, rub gently into the skin and then wash off in the shower. Don't expect foam or bubbles, instead expect a wash with a soothing texture that leaves you feeling cleansed and soft. It doesn't strip away natural oils or cause any skin tightness or itchiness after use. You can see results in two weeks as your skin's healthy bacteria is restored.

natural skincare

There are many products on the market that claim to be 'natural' but shockingly they still contain harmful, synthetic ingredients such as parabens, perfumes, glycerin and preservatives. JooMo are challenging the skincare industry to clean up their act and stop misleading customers, while staying committed to producing 100% truly natural products with ingredients taken from nature without any chemical or physical changes made.

The 250ml bottle of JooMo Body Wash is £23.50 and is available online directly from JooMo.


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