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The Veggie Review: graze

Hi guys!

I’m sure you’ve all come across graze. I remember receiving graze coupons when I first moved into my student accommodation but I sort of forgot about them and never used them. Anyway, it’s a subscription snack service which delivers food straight to your mailbox. The service offers to deliver a box of 4 out of a potential 100 snack options for £3.99. Of course, to entice all customers, the first box is free* and you get to specify what you want in your box. What I like about graze is that it offers something for everyone, especially those watching their calorie intake or those with specific diets (veg/vegan/gluten-free…etc). Snacks include nuts, seeds, dried fruit/veg, mini cakes, biscuits, crackers, dips, and more.

Now, I rarely order food online. The only snacks I recall purchasing online are Flamin’ Hot Cheetos because you honestly cannot find them anywhere in this country. The process online is simple and straightforward with graze but when it came to actually reviewing the four snacks I received, I was met with three hits and a miss. I was left quite disappointed because the ‘miss’ was the one snack I was looking forward to eat.

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Service: graze

Type: Subscription snacks

Website: http://www.graze.com

What I’m reviewing: Herby Bread Basket, Moroccan Harissa Olives, Boston Baguettes, Beetroot Crisps

Price: £3.99 (first box is HALF-PRICE/FREE WITH MY CODE)

Herby Bread Basket: 4/5

The 90-calorie Herby Bread Basket punnet included mini basil breadsticks, oregano crackers and garlic crostini. I chose this one because it’s quite a popular selection and it’s one of the few options sold at supermarkets like Tesco. So, I thought it was worth trying. The flavours were all strong yet they complemented each other quite nicely. Crunchy, buttery and flavoursome… it was worth including in my very first graze box.

Moroccan Harissa Olives: 4/5

I’m a huge fan of olives so I had to include them in my box. There were around 16 green olives marinated with harissa, chilli and garlic in the punnet, which came with a pick-stick. They were juicy and fleshy, subtly spiced and easy to eat. I love my olives.

Boston Baguettes: 5/5

The punnet contained 8 crunchy tomato-flavoured breadsticks as well as a barbeque relish. I enjoyed eating the sticks dipped in the sweet, spicy and almost chutney-like dip. However, if you’re not a fan of chutney, you might not like the dip. I was extremely satisfied with this combination and would strongly recommend this snack to anyone. Also, it was only 84 calories so I would definitely add this in my grazebox again.

Beetroot Crisps: 2/5

Last but unquestionably least… the beetroots crisps. I was actually devastated. No lie. All I could think was, “This is what I’ve been looking forward to try for 3 days?” I’ve been a fan of beetroot crisps ever since I tried Tyrrells Mixed Root Vegetable Crisps last year. I was so impressed with them then that I was positive I was going to like the ones graze offered. But I didn’t. At all. They were dry, stale and flavourless. Nasty! The punnet also contained dry jalapeno chickpeas and sunflower seeds… which are the only thing preventing me from giving this snack a big fat zero.

OVERALL RATING: 3.75/5

Despite quite a good rating, the reality is that you’d probably save more money by preparing your own snacks at home. If you haven’t got enough time, then it is worth considering a subscription to graze… but expect to be disappointed by at least one snack. I personally didn’t love the snacks enough to buy graze boxes on a regular basis. But I will be giving it another go very soon.

Remember, you can get your first box for half-price. Or for FREE with my code!

Message me on Twitter: @sugaviolet

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The Veggie Review: Byron

Hi everyone!

Second year of uni is fast approaching so I thought it would be a good idea to resume blogging. One thing I regret is not blogging at all throughout my first year… even though I was actually looking forward to writing all about my experience! I guess I got too caught up in the new atmosphere…

Anyway, this isn’t another ‘I’m going to blog more frequently you guys, I promise!‘ post, it’s a veggie review. I’ll be reviewing a series of vegetarian options at various restaurants located in both London and Kent. I am aware that reviewing Byron may be unfair, considering they specialise in hamburgers but if there’s a veggie option, there’s a review.

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Restaurant: Byron

Type: Burger joint

Location: Covent Garden

What I’m reviewing: Mushroom burger

What’s inside: Grilled Portobello mushroom, goat’s cheese, roasted red pepper, baby spinach, tomato, red onion and aioli

Price: £7.95

 

 

Visually, the Mushroom Burger itself looked very appetising however the overall presentation of the plate was so-so. It could do without Byron’s signature wedge of pickle on the side and be replaced with fries or coleslaw, in my opinion. Moving on to the actual burger, the bun was squishy and fluffy but didn’t hold the components well enough to eat the burger without any fuss. The supposedly ‘grilled’ portobello mushroom wasn’t as smoky or flavoured as expected and was rather soggy, much like the peeled pepper which, by the way, I just had to remove. The goat’s cheese melted nicely with the spinach, tomato, onion and the hint of garlic from the aioli, but considering the main component is the mushroom, I was left slightly disappointed.

I only entered Byron with high expectations due to the hype surrounding the chain but whatever, at least the carnivores are pleased. On a serious note, I was surprised Byron even provided two seemingly appealing vegetarian options to begin with, the other being the Bean Patty, so I can’t complain that much. I just wasn’t blown away by the Mushroom Burger. I am, after all, a huge fan of mushrooms. In fact, I will definitely be trying the Bean Patty next time as the flavours in the whole burger did work quite well. If I replace the mushroom with a bean patty, I’m hoping it’ll be my preferred veggie alternative.

Rating: 3/5

 

-Lara, still alive

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Winter DIY: When Boredom Strikes…

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As you can see, I was clearly very bored. But also quite productive. I used objects and material which I thought could be revamped by colours and accessories, specifically for use during this absolutely freezing, and quite depressing, time of year. I decided to decorate my mug and beanie (yes I stayed on the safe side)!!!

Bookeater Sharpie Mug

I usually drink something hot and sweet whilst I’m reading and I thought I would exhibit my love for reading through my mug. My mug is quite messy but I love it like that because I feel that it describes moi. I mean, I love reading, I doodle a lot and I’m a fool for things which look simple yet edgy. Also, I do believe that I did my not-so-pretty mug some justice (cue happy high-schooler squeal after a drastic makeover).

What I did: I just doodled whatever (a stack of books and a huge heart in my case) I wanted on my mug with a sharpie and then heated the mug in the oven for about 30 minutes (as to set the design). Aaaand voila! I was really impressed with it, considering it was my first time permanently doodling on an object that I would be using. (Though I try to limit its usage as I am very scared the design will fade so TIP: Don’t be a Lara. Buy an oil-based marker.)

Black Beatles Beanie

Now as for my black beanie, which can be purchased anywhere, I just simply fastened a badge of the animated members of The Beatles to the side of my beanie. I thought placing the badge on the side would make the beanie look more mature, if ya know what I mean. Once again, I found this presentation of it quite simple – yet edgy.

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Song in my head: Save Tonight – Eagle-Eye Cherry

*Have a wonderful winter…*

-Lara, girl who usually loves winter but is just not feelin’ it 

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Showing off… my food?!?

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The above photos are: Spinach & Mushroom Omelette, Roast Chicken, Mash & Gravy, Beef Taco, Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls.

So this is officially the first post of 2015. Late, I know. But I mean what better way to start the new year than with food that looks like it came straight out of heaven? Okay, I’m exaggerating. However, I did want to post these pictures so I can find out what recipes people would want! (I care about y’all) There are also vegetarian options, as I don’t eat meat, but sadly I did not take any pictures. Buuuut I will be posting a vegetarian burger recipe as well as my long-awaited (as if) quesadilla recipe.

The reason for my absence was, to put it simply, mocks. Yes, I had mocks and I was busy revising SO incredibly hard And no, I did not watch Korean variety shows instead, okay?

Yes I did. And I don’t regret it. I still did well, though!!!

Happy Belated New Year… and I hope you’re looking forward to my post tomorrow, lovers…

-Lara, excited for twenty fifteen

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Pilot

Here’s an official welcome (to my blog)…

Fun Fact: This blog was meant to be called Laranotcroft …hey, I thought it was funny. Too bad it was already taken.

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Explaining its existence: This blog was created in an impulsive attempt to channel my inner writer/critic. It is not necessarily an experiment but merely a method of self-actualization.

My aim: I’ll be reviewing and exploring products of entertainment and, in accordance with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, reputational (esteem) and physiological needs. And, you know, developing my rusty writing skills and getting to know thyself.

…and a fabulous farewell (from my blog)

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-Lara Not Croft

P.S. I’m preeeetty sure that this will be novel (or food) oriented later on. It depends on what I crave. My bad.