Christmas Recipe: Luxury Gingerbread Trifle

I received a box of Christmas foods from Creamline Dairies and I was asked to cook nice things with it, this gingerbread trifle one of the nice things.

Growing up, Christmas wasn’t Christmas without a sherry trifle made with so much sherry you’d fail to pass a breathalyser test on the way home. Trifle was always sponge fingers soaked in about half a pint of sherry, jelly with tinned fruit in, custard, cream and sprinkles. It’s a classic, and a classic for a very good reason.

These days, as much as a hanker for a traditional trifle, sometimes I like to mix things up a bit. The year of the black forest trifle was exceptional, but this year I’ve decided to serve up a gingerbread trifle. With all new things, it’s good to do a test run so you can tweak it to perfection on the big day. I have to say, there’s very little I’d change about this.

Christmas Recipe: Luxury Gingerbread Trifle

This week I received a Christmas food box from Creamline Diaries. I chose a selection of foods from their Christmas range and it was delivered direct to my door, with no queuing or faff of any kind. The box is packed with brilliant locally produced food from independent producers. The meat is from my local butchers, the bread is from a fantastic local baker and fresh fish from the fishmongers. The fruit and veg are fresh from the market each day and you can even stock up your store cupboard. 

My Creamline box was brilliant and contained pretty much everything I needed to make this delicious gingerbread trifle. It’s just the thing if you want to shop local, but don’t really have the time to visit all your local shops, or if you just can’t carry all your shopping home. It’s also a boon at Christmas, saving you slogging around a supermarket, or queuing up for ages in the cold outside the local independent shops you love best, who are all part of this scheme anyway!

creamline dairies

Gingerbread Trifle

4 Christmas Morning Muffins, or Jamaican ginger cake
Gingerbread syrup, approx 50mls
2 pints of custard, cooled
500mls Jersey double cream
Half a packet of ginger nuts, crushed
Some gingerbread men to decorate
Optional – a drop of rum, spiced is nice!

How to make your gingerbread trifle:

This is quite quick to make once you have everything assembled in front of you. So before you begin, make you custard an chill it thoroughly, whip your cream and crush your ginger nuts. Find a nice trifle dish or glass bowl and roll your sleeves up.

Take your Christmas Morning Muffins out of their wrappers and cut into three equally thick slices. You’ll need two muffins for each layer. If you can’t get hold of Christmas Morning Muffins, then a good substitute is slices of Jamaican ginger cake. Arrange them in the bottom of the dish and drizzle approximately 25mls of the gingerbread syrup. If you’re also using rum, now is the time to drizzle over some of that too!

Christmas Recipe: Luxury Gingerbread Trifle

Spoon over half of your cooled custard and smooth the surface. Give the bowl a gentle shake so it can fall into the gaps between the cake layer. Next, carefully spoon over half of the whipped cream and smooth that layer out too.

Next take about 4 biscuits worth of crushed ginger nuts and sprinkle them evenly over the top of the cream. It’s now time to repeat the process.

Lay another layer of Christmas muffins or ginger cake and drizzle over the with remaining gingerbread syrup and a bit of rum if you’re using that. Then spoon over the remaining custard, then the cream and make sure your top cream layer is nice and even. Sprinkle over some more crushed gingernut biscuits and then decorate with your little gingerbread men. I used three and propped them up together on the top. Feel free to let your imagination and creativity run wild at this point!

Christmas Recipe: Luxury Gingerbread Trifle

I left my gingerbread trifle to sit in the fridge for a few hours before serving and by gosh, it was delicious. If you really love ginger, you might want to be a bit more generous with the syrup, but it’s a great trifle. It’s rich, its delicious and it’s a real crowd pleaser! Everything you need this Christmas!

Big thanks to Creamline Diaries who saved me having to carry a heap of shopping home, for supporting local businesses and for having an excellent selection of great quality, locally produced food.

Christmas Recipe: Luxury Gingerbread Trifle

Pizza Express delivered to your door by Deliveroo

Pizza Express is one of our favourite restaurants to eat out at as a family. We all love pizza and pasta, the dough balls are to die for and they are really child friendly. Pizza Express is now available to be delivered straight to your door by Deliveroo, so we decided to put them to the test.

This weekend was an incredibly busy one for our little family. I spent most of it out of the house working and the boys spent most of it in the park running about. We all arrived home on Sunday evening, tired, hungry and in need of a lazy few hours cuddling on the sofa in front of the TV. I was in no mood to cook, so we decided to order Pizza Express and have it delivered to our door by Deliveroo.


I’d downloaded the free Deliveroo app a few weeks ago and every so often I had a little explore of what was available in our area. The app is really easy to use, choose the restaurant you would like to order from and just select what you want to order, pay for it and it’s delivered to your door by a friendly chap on a bike.

We ordered the Etna Pizza – a succulently spicy Romana recipe, where nduja sausage is paired with sweet and spicy roquito chilli peppers. The Etna is exclusively available for Deliveroo customers.


I went for the Padana Pizza – goat’s cheese, mozzarella, tomato, caramelised onion, spinach, red onion and garlic oil. And the small boy had the Piccolo American Set Menu – dough balls, pepperoni pizza and a little brownie. We grabbed a side of crispy, fluffy Potato Nocciola too – we were hungry!


The Deliveroo app helpfully has a countdown clock to show you where your order is up to – once it’s out for delivery you can even track your delivery on the map. I thought this was cool and my husband thought I was some kind of psychic – “our pizza is at the lights outside the nail bar in the village” etc.

Our meal arrived piping hot, I was impressed at how hot it was actually. The delivery charge is £2.50 and on a cold night when you’re all tired, I think it’s worth paying for delivery. The convenience of having someone hand you your meal half an hour after ordering it is a nice treat, and it’s always good to eat something I’ve not had to cook myself.

We all sat quietly munching through our pizzas. The small boy had the dough balls (always excellent), an American pizza, which was essentially a pepperoni pizza and a small brownie. He polished off every scrap and asked if we could have it for tea again – yes!


My Padana was very filling, loaded with toppings but I thought it could have done with another few minutes in the oven to really crisp up the base.

Hubs had the Etna. He loves spicy things so this was perfect for him. He polished it off in double-quick time and like me his only criticism was it needed a little longer in the oven to crisp the base.

If I’m being picky – my favourite pizza wasn’t available (the Soho if you’re asking) and I couldn’t see a way to customise your order; so you can’t ask for no mushrooms for example. But we were all impressed and we would definitely order Pizza Express delivered by Deliveroo again.

The spicy Etna pizza is exclusively available for Pizza Express customers to order by Deliveroo mobile app, through the Deliveroo website or through the Pizza Express website.

This is a collaborative post.

Unboxing my “festive” Degustabox November 2015

I am seriously enjoying receiving my monthly Degustabox. It’s pretty exciting to be sent a box of nice things to eat on a regular basis, especially as right now I’m feeling really burnt out and lacking culinary inspiration. 

This month I was told to expect a box of festive treats, and they weren’t wrong. My idea of festive treats are some nice nibbles and something a bit special for the cheese board, and I was not disappointed.

You can watch me unbox my Degustabox November 2015 here –

The Degustabox November 2015 contained…
Britvic – Gourmet Coffee Drops
Ryvita – Crispbread
Branstons – Chutney
Butterkist – Popcorn
Bourne & Wallis – Pickles
Nim’s Fruit Crisps – Mango & Pineapple Fruit Crisps
Ryvita – Crackers
Hartley’s – Jelly
Belvita – Soft Baked
Divine – Chocolate

Including some special Degustabox Discoveries…
Jim Jams – Choc Spread
Williamson Tea – Lemon Sunshine
Tuckey’s – Digestives

Degustabox November 2015

There were some real treats in this Degustabox, I loved with salted caramel popcorn and really need to get my mitts on more. The Jim Jams chocolate spread was a hit with both the boy and me – you can’t beat chocolate spread on a toasted bagel!

I loved the Riveta crackers (both kinds) as I’ve already started to nibble at the Christmas cheese stash, likewise the Branston chutney and Bourne & Wallis pickled onions have been excellent accompaniments, as have the Tuckey’s Digestive biscuits – I love digestive biscuits with cheese and these have a slightly more savoury note, and are less sweet than the brand leader.

I’ve also been enjoying the gourmet coffee drops from Britvic – if you like flavoured coffee these are great, just a few drops in you mug of coffee or hot chocolate and you get a lovely vanilla or caramel hit. 

There are lots of lovely treats in this latest Degustabox – lots going on and lots to enjoy. A merry Degustabox for a Merry Christmas!

Grab your discount! If you’d like to try Degustabox for yourself, you can get£6 off your first box with this discount code BLDEG15. You can find out more about Degustabox on their website.

Note: I was sent this Degustabox free of charge for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Unboxing my Degustabox October 2015

A couple of days ago we received our Degustabox, a box of interesting food and drinks, this month there were slightly fewer sweet treats and drinks than in previous months, but there were plenty of interesting things to munch on, you can watch me unbox my October 2015 Degustabox below….

This month the box contained the following goodies…

9Bar – Carob covered healthy snack bars, 5 bars £3.49
Cirio – Classic passata and chopped tomatoes £2,25
Lorina – premium French lemonade with coconut and lime £1.49
The Snack Organisation – Freeze dried apple pieces £1 per pack
The Snack Organisation – Sweet chilli rice crackers £1
Liberation Foods – yummy fairtrade oven baked peanuts £2
Kabuto Noodles – tasty noodles in a pot £1.99
Chip Strips – New style crisps, 2 packs in the box, £2
A full value voucher for President butter

For the Db’s Discoveries this month there were-
Provena – gluten free oat muesli £3.79
Appy Drinks – Juice drinks for kids £1.99

We’ve previously tried the Appy Drinks which were a big hit then and remain so today. The juice boxes contain no added sugar or preservatives and are made from natural ingredients. The small boy loves them and they’re a nice after-school treat.

It was nice to get the passata and chopped tomatoes, both store-cupboard ingredients I usually use a few times a week, but my favourite things in this box were The Snack Organisation sweet chilli rice crackers – really tasty crunchy crackers which are lovely on their own or with dips, and fairly low calorie, I’ll be buying these again!

My other favourites (yes I am a snackaholic) were the Chip Strips, these are really hard to describe, like wafer thin pieces of poppadom but in cheese and barbecue flavours. Both the small boy and his Grandad enjoyed these lovely snapable snacks, though I did wonder if they’d be structurally sound enough to hold big dollops of dip. They didn’t last long though, good snacks never do!

An honourable mention must go to the Liberation Foods fairtrade peanuts. Little 40g packets of peanutty joy. Oven baked and liberally dusted with flavour, these are excellent snacks to munch through while watching TV with a drink.

I am reliably informed that the next Degustabox is a festive box of treats – so I can’t wait for that!

Degustabox October 2015

Grab your discount! If you’d like to try Degustabox for yourself, you can get£6 off your first box with this discount code BLDEG15. You can find out more about Degustabox on their website.

Note: I was sent this Degustabox free of charge for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Degustabox September 2015

We’ve been receiving our monthly Degustabox for 5 months now, and I really look forward to seeing what goodies I’m sent each month. We’ve discovered some pretty good stuff through getting the Degustabox, and this month was no exception. There were some familiar favourites and some new things we’ll be looking out for. 

If you don’t know what a Degustabox is, it’s a box of food and drink goodies you get sent every month. It costs £12.99 but the contents are usually worth more than that, plus you get to try new things that you might not have tried otherwise.

Degustabox September 2015
My September 2015 Degustabox, well packed, the bottles all individually bubble wrapped and the whole box protected from bumps etc.

In the September 2015 Degustabox there was…
– Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, 2 packets, 85p each
– Mallow & Marsh mini box of raspberry marshmallows, £2
– Maynards Red and Black Wine Gums, £1.50
– Bassets Jelly Babies Berry Mix, £1.50
– The Olive Shop Extra Virgin olive Oil, £5 (Db Discovery)
– The Good Cider of San Sebastian, 2 bottles, £1.50 each
– Kent’s Kitchen Spicy Szechuan Posh Noodles, £1.86 (Db Discovery)
– Up & Go (nutritious breakfast drink) 2 cartons, £1.39 each
– COMPLETE Energy Bites £4.49
– Sweet Sally Tea, £2.40

I thought this month was quite an interesting box, with a hefty nod towards sweet treats (Reese’s are the very best thing in the world. Fact.) and some useful kitchen staples (how did they know I was down to my last drizzle of olive oil?).

Between us we shared out the sweet treats, the small boy loved the Mallow & Marsh raspberry marshmallows and hubs went a bit bonkers for his favourite childhood sweets, Jelly Babies which have been given a modern update with the berry flavours.

A surprise hit were the Up & Go breakfast drinks which the small boy had and we will have to buy these again. I like to have a drink to give him when I pick him up from school, slurping a drink also encourages him to walk nicely, so it’s not altogether an altruistic move on my part.

This month the DB Discoveries were The Olive Shop Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Kent’s Kitchen Spicy Szechuan Posh Noodles. These were two of my favourite things in the box, I love a good extra virgin olive oil and I slosh it on almost everything, and the posh pot noodles were a lovely lunchtime treat I’ll be looking out for in the future. 

Degustabox September 2015

Hubs enjoyed the cider, we are not big cider drinkers, but he said it was both fruity and refreshing, I had a sip and thought it’d be nice over ice. He also liked the COMPLETE Energy Bites, he loves mocha flavoured things and they’ve helped to pep him up in the mornings ready for work.

I can’t wait to see what’s in next months box!

Grab your discount! If you’d like to try Degustabox for yourself, you can get £6 off your first box with this discount code BLDEG15. You can find out more about Degustabox on their website.

Note: I was sent this Degustabox free of charge for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Degustabox August 2015

We’ve been receiving the Degustabox for a few months now and each time we get a box of interesting new things to try. In the spirit of interesting and new, I thought I’d try my hand at making an unboxing video, which you can see below. It’s basically me unpacking my Degustabox August 2015 and seeing what’s in there. I’d like to say it’s more interesting than it sounds, but who am I to judge?

My Degustabox August 2015 contained…
+ Dr Oetker Mug cakes – Rich Chocolate, Chocolate Chip & Lemon
+ Life Tonics – Coconut Water with Mint
+ Ryvita – Cracked Black Pepper & Sesame Crispbreads
+ Bahlsen – Pick Up! Dark Chocolate & Choco Leibniz White
+ Barilla – Penna Rigate & Arrabbiata Sauce
+ Walkers Biscuits – various kinds
+ Scheckters Organic Energy Drink
+ Little Miracles Drink
+ Williamson Ginger Tea
+ FRU Snax – peach and yoghurt flavour

As well as the monthly Db Discovery – Delicious Alchemy Brownie Mix. This is an easy to make gluten-free and dairy-free chocolate brownie mix. I confess at the time of writing I’ve not yet made it as we didn’t have any eggs in the house, but it looks really simple and it’s pleasing to me that it’s gluten and dairy free, meaning when I have GF friends round I can offer them a homemade treat.

Degustabox August 2015

It seems like a really big box this month, packed full of goodies. The Bahlsen and Walkers biscuits were naturally the first things to be demolished by me and my two hungry boys. The pasta and tomato sauce from Barilla were a hit, pasta is always a popular meal though.

What I was most interested to try were the Dr Oetker Mug Cakes – these were ridiculously easy to make and you had an actual cake to eat which took less than 2 minutes to make, which is ideal for those times when you just need emergency cake. The rich chocolate cake was by far the best, and tarted up a bit with some fruit and maybe a dollop of ice cream you could easily pass it off as a posh pud.

Degustabox August 2015

If you’d like to give Degustabox a try, I have a discount code giving you £3 off your next box, just enter 8MDEO at the checkout, this code is valid until 31st October 2015. You can find out more about Degustabox on their website.

Note: I was sent a Degustabox free of charge for review purposes, all images and opinions are my own.

Degustabox July 2015 PLUS Discount Code

Towards the end of each month I get a lovely text telling me that my Degustabox is on its way. It’s a lovely tombola of a box, filled with new, interesting, exciting and limited edition foodie treats. It’s a chance for me to discover new things all for the princely sum of £12.99, though the contents are worth more than that.

Of course, the law of averages means that I probably won’t enjoy everything in my foodie Degustabox, but the boys who have wildly differing tastes to me happily hoover up the things I’m less keen on, and vice versa.

The July Degustabox contained something very new, in some boxes they’ve started to include a special item for families with small children, this month the “Db’s Discoveries” was a pouch of Quinola Mothergrain. I have seen these before and they seem like an interesting quick ready meal style option for those times when you need a quick meal for your little one.

Degustabox July 2015

We were sent the Quinola Mothergrain Mediterranean Quinola to try, these 150g packs cost £1.99 each and seem like a healthy option, being organic, gluten free and packed with slow release carbs. The Mediterranean Quinola contains tomato, courgette and carrots. I served it with a side of meatballs. As you can see it doesn’t photograph particularly attractively, but the small boy cleared his plate.

Degustabox July 2015

The Degustabox July 2015 also contained…
Weetabix on the go (£1.49 each) two bottles
FRU Snax (£1.25) two packets
So Strawberry Lambrini (£3.29)
Say Yes to No (£1.49)
Newton’s Appl Fizzics (£1.20)
Tasty Little Numbers (£3.49)
Taking the Pea (£1.50)
Jele Vitamin Jelly Drink

Degustabox July 2015

My favourite new discovery was the Newton’s Appl Fizzics, which is a fizzy apple juice. I chilled mine, as per instructions and poured it over ice. I love apple juice and a fizzy apple juice is something of a rare treat. This was zingy, refreshing and full of crisp apple flavours, and perfect to drink on a hot sunny day.

I also enjoyed the “Taking the Pea” which was a crunchy dried pea snack, along the lines of the wasabi pea, but with different flavours. As a lover of a wasabi pea these were a very welcome addition to the box.

Another big hit were the “Tasty Little Numbers”, two 200 calorie ready meals. We had the chicken tikka masala and the beef sausage and beans. Both hubs and I are on the 5:2 diet and sometimes it’s easier to ping a low calorie ready meal than faff about counting the calories in everything. There were a tasty little solution, leaving me with 300 calories to play with the rest of the day.

If you’d like to give Degustabox a try, I have a discount code giving you £3 off your next box, just enter 8MDEO at the checkout, this code is valid until 31st October 2015. You can find out more about Degustabox on their website.

Note: I was sent a Degustabox free of charge for review purposes, all images and opinions are my own.

Degustabox June 2015 plus Discount Code

In May we got our very first Degustabox. For those who aren’t in the know, a Degustabox is a monthly food parcel delivery service. Each month you receive a box of new or special edition items from a range of different brands. It costs £12.99 each month and the contents are worth about double that.

degustabox June 2015

The Degustabox June 2015 had a slight picnic theme and contained the following items…
Rekorderlig – Strawberry & Lime
Coconom – Organic Coconut Sugar
Zeo – Zesty Lime and Peach & Grapefruit
Kallo Corn & Rice Snacks – Salt & Vinegar Flavour
Kallo Rice Cake Snacks – Belgian Milk Chocolate with Caramel Pieces
ICYCL – Vodka Icepop
Brioche Pasquier – Chocolate Chip
Brioche Pasquier – Chocolate
Melba Thins – Multigrain
Vybe Coconut Water
Love Chin Chin (biscuity snacks)

This is only our second box, but already we have fallen into the pattern of immediately ripping open and devouring at least one item from the box. In this box it was the Kallo Belgian Chocolate rice cakes. These were the business. Just 65 calories per rice cake, they were smothered in chocolate and liberally sprinkled with crunchy caramel pieces, even the small boy was shouting for more. They really seem like a guilt-minimal treat, I’ll be looking out for these again!

I wasn’t completely in love with the Kallo salt & vinegar rice cakes, but I think that’s because none of us like salt & vinegar. If we’d had a different flavour they would have been fought over I’m sure. They do a tomato and herb one which sounds delicious and I think would be great with some cream cheese.

Both kinds of Brioche Pasquier were eaten for breakfast the over the following few days. We’ve bought these before, they’re a handy little snack to take out with you if you need to. The small boy also loves individually wrapped things, so he enjoyed them, as he usually does. We’ve bought them before and loved them, so we’ll get them again.

Regrettably the ICYCL Vodka Icepop burst and leaked over the contents of the box, not sure how it happened, nothing was ruined thankfully, but everything was sticky and I didn’t get to try the icepop, which is a shame because it sounded the kind of thing I might enjoy.

I love baking and I was pleased to be sent a packet of Coconom Organic Coconut Sugar which I’m hoping I’ll be able to have time to bake with soon. I’m not sure what I’m going to make yet, but you’re supposed to be able to use it as a direct replacement for ordinary sugar, but it’s supposed to be better for you. Anyway watch this space, I feel an experimental pineapple upside down cake coming on!

I was interested to try the Love Chin Chin snacks which were cinnamon flavoured biscuits which apparently taste like cake. I wasn’t convinced by these in their original form, but I crushed them and sprinkled them on some ice cream and they were very enjoyable. I think they’d be good added to the biscuit base of a cheesecake too.

Hubs is a big fan of coconut water, I can take it or leave it, so he drank the Vybe Coconut Water and liked it. I do know that coconut water is great to drink in hot weather, keeping you hydrated which is really important. I drank the fruity Zeo drinks over ice, they were cool and refreshing, the zingy zesty lime was my favourite and it’d be nice with a splash of gin.

There’s always so much to try in the Degustabox, it’s a good chance to try new things. I’m definitely be searching out a few of the things which came in the Degustabox June 2015.

If you’d like to give Degustabox a try I have a discount code giving you £3 off your next box, just enter 8MDEO at the checkout, this code is valid until 31st October 2015. You can find out more about Degustabox on their website.

Note: I was sent a Degustabox free of charge for review purposes, all images and opinions are my own.

My first Degustabox – May 2015

For a while now I’ve been Degustabox-curious, peering at pictures of their contents online and feeling pangs of temptation. For the uninitiated a Degustabox is a monthly food parcel subscription service. Each month you’re sent a box of goodies which are often brand new products, limited editions or just something just a little bit special. It costs £12.99 per month and the contents are usually worth about double that. It is a bit like playing lucky dip, so what did my box contain and what did I think?

My May 2015 “here comes summer” Degustabox contained –
Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce (43g)
Sweet Baby Ray’s Squeezable Honey Barbecue Sauce (510g)
Slim Pasta Lasagne (270g)
Maggi So StirFry Oriental Three Spice Chicken Noodles (185g)
Maggi So StirFry Singapore Curry Chicken Noodles (185g)
Schwartz Grill Meats Marinade in a Bag – Honey & Soy Flavour (200g)
Sarson’s Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (250ml)
Fuel10 24 Protein Boosted Wheat Biscuits Breakfast Cereal
Green Coco Kids Organic Coconut & Banana Juice
9bar Fruity mixed seed energy bar (4 in the box)
Daelmans Stroopwafels (8 per box)

The box had a general barbecue theme which I thought was interesting, they don’t always have themed boxes but I’m a big fan of barbecue flavours so I was very happy. The box was well packed and protected with bubble wrap so the contents arrived in excellent condition. I thought there was a good mix of products in the box, the things I probably wouldn’t eat I know the boys would love.

My eye was instantly drawn to the Daelmans Stroopwafels which are lovely waffles with caramel in the middle, if you rest them on top of a hot drink the caramel is meant to soften and be all extra delicious. Regrettably I opened the box in front of two hungry boys and very quickly all 8 of them waffles disappeared, we will be buying those again! I also really liked the barbecue sauces and the 9bar fruity seed bars which are great for throwing in your bag when you’re out and about.

What I especially liked was that it genuinely was like a lucky dip. If you’re a bit bored of cooking the same meals for your family week in and week out, then subscribing to Degustabox is a really good way of mixing things up and making you try new things. There are a number of things in this box we’ll be looking out for in the future.

If you’d like to give Degustabox a try I have a discount code giving you £3 off your first box, just enter JQAMO at the checkout. You can find out more about Degustabox on their website.

Note: I was sent a Degustabox free of charge for review purposes, all images and opinions are my own.