I´m the girl you see lingering at the grocery store, looking oh so happy at the aisles, reading through labels and picking items with a smile. Grocery stores are my kind of wonderland! Here are the goodies I´ve brought back from my trips to the grocery, because, really, good stuff are meant to be shared!

Sunday, 31 May 2015

What I Bought With My 20€ at the Marks and Spencer Food Hall

It´s June! And in a perfect world,  the sun shines with exuberance as we transition from spring to summer.   But  I am told that that summer does not really come to Holland.  And so, maybe that is why,  despite our best hopes,  it rained over the weekend.  To be honest, it isn´t as terrible nor as dreary as  London´s rainy weather.  Sure, the skies go from ochre to grey to muddy throughout the day, the streets are wet and the air misty with tiny water jets. But it´s not too bad, it´s the perfect weather to loll around in bed, read books, watch movies, and let my secret sloth have her day.

But I had to go to The Hague today, despite the bed weather, for an important errand.  It took me an hour and a half of travel,  but the errand itself in The Hague, I completed in less than ten minutes. I figured, I´ll do a bit of window shopping to pass the time before traveling back to Rotterdam so I walked around, checked out stuff at Zara ( OMG! So expensive! I need to make another trip to Madrid to have my fill of my favourite Spanish brands! ).  I also went inside Primark and H&M but came out empty handed.

But what really made me happy today was discovering the big, badass Marks & Spencer store in Den Haag with a big food hall. Ah, it  was a slice of British food heaven!

                                      Image from www.coconutsnl.wordpress.com

Surprisingly,  the prices of the goodies at M&S Netherlands are reasonable.  Sometimes, even cheaper than the prices of comparable items at the grocery shops.  I  just wanted to buy a pack of the  M&S lemon and white chocolate muffins that a friend brought last week on our road trip to Germany, but all the goodies on display looked scrumptious so I was panicking because, being a grocery hoarder,  I wanted to buy soooo many things!  Sadly, though the spirit was willing and my wallet is poor haha!  So I talked myself a 20€ budget for today´s  M&S food spree.

Here´s what I got for less than 20€ from M&S:

2 bagfuls of goodies for less than 20€

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Smith´s Ringlings Onion-flavored Snack

I was in search of a new snack to try, something beyond potato chips, nacho chips and cheese curls.
I espied this at the grocery store and I thought, hmmmm, onion with fine herbs, that sounds fine by me.
     My weekend snack: a bowl of Ringlings and a mason jar of mint and cucumber-infused water

What I like Ringlings is that although it has that telltale onion zing, the herby flavor (garlic and parsley, I think) and a very gentle hand at salt makes this a surprisingly mild flavored snack.  Mild enough to find me eating the whole bag in a span of two hours.  Addicting!

At the moment, this, and another Smiths NL snack, are my favorite nibbles of sort.
   Yum!  Bugles!  The best flavor for me is the Nacho Cheese variant.

Ringlings Product Information:
Made by Smiths Netherlands
Available in 125 gram bags
Price in the Netherlands:  about 1.30€ per bag

Saturday, 9 May 2015

GU Chocolate and Vanilla Cheesecake

I have loved Gu desserts eversince I tried them in Paris a few years ago.

What are Gu Desserts?  It´s a line of premium individual sized desserts , mostly puddings and cheesecakes,  made in the UK by Noble Desserts Inc.  They are packed in reusable, pretty ramekins and jars.

These were not available in Spain where I was based  for the last two years.  But I now live in the Netherlands and I am happy to discover that Gu desserts are usually stocked at the big supermarkets (Albert Heijn, Hoogvliet).  This morning,  as I did my grocery-shopping for the coming week,  I saw that a particular variant of Gu was on sale at 30% off.

And here´s what happened next:

Someone bought a box  of 2 Chocolate & Vanilla Cheesecakes in reusable ramekins :-)
    A jar of beauty

    Look at the layers and that crackly chocolate top!

    In the end,  I had my moment of Gu indulgence!

The Verdict:
This chocolate and vanilla cheesecake variant is still delicious,  with a crumbly chocolate cake base, a vanilla cheesecake layer, and a chocolate mousse top but it is a bit too sweet for me.  Of all the GUs I´ve tried, my favorite is still the Speculoos Cheesecake which I have written about here.

I have tried a few supermarket desserts and Gu comes on top by a mile.  It is not cheap, at about 3.5€ for a box of 2, but it is still cheaper (and more delicious) than buying a cake slice from the bakeries here.

Allergen Alert: Contains sugar, eggs, lactose, chocolate

Recommendation:  Delish!  Must-try.

Availability:  Available in big supermarkets in The Netherlands