M&S’s Pan Fry Range Will Transform You Into a Super Summer Stir-Fry Chef, Plus New Street Food Wraps and Salads

Beef burrito £3.30 : Southern Fried ChiCKen £3

Beef burrito £3.30 : Southern Fried ChiCKen £3

A little bit of a mixed bag of what’s new from Marks and Spencer this month, as I like to show you what catches my eye in store from the new launches, as well as products I think are nifty. I’ve two ranges I want to tell you about, the first being found in the sandwich aisle.

Marks & Spencer’s ‘sandwich aisle’ is a bit of a misnomer, certainly an understatement, as my local Bloomfield Bangor store’s sarnie fridge is home to wraps, artisan sausage rolls, protein pots, quinoa salads, regular salads, vegan options of all of the previous, and more varieties of sushi than you can shake a chopstick at.

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The latest addition to their luncheon menu is a Street Food range. Inspired by food stalls in markets around the globe, the new items include some absolute flavour favourites like a Beef Burrito Wrap for £3.30, or Southern Fried Chicken for £3. There are also vegetarian options like the Veggie Falafel & Spinach Wrap with Feta Dressing £3, and a Veggie Samosa you could enjoy either hot or cold for lunch for £1.50.

Other Street Food sandwiches include Katsu Chicken £3, Chicken Vindaloo £3, and Hog Roast, which has a pork, sage & onion stuffing filling, for £2.80. Why I mention the stuffing is that with a little tweak at home (or your office desk!) by whipping out a jar of cranberry sauce, you could DIY a ‘Christmas in July Sandwich’.

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There are also some fresh recipes from this range if you like an M&S salad on your lunch break. Bang Bang Prawn Noodle Salad is a Vietnamese inspired dish with a spicy peanut & coconut dressing. There’s also an Indian Style Spiced Chicken Salad, Both are £4 each. Street Food also has a vegan option, the Roast Butternut & Tabbouleh Salad, for £3.50.

I also picked up a couple of their Super Waters, which are priced between £1.50 and £2 a bottle. I chose the Watermelon & Lime flavour infused with Protein & Collagen, and the Apple & Elderflower which has Vitamins C,B3,B5,B6 and B12.

Teriyaki Beef £4 : Fajita chicken £3

Teriyaki Beef £4 : Fajita chicken £3

Moving on from lunch, to dinner. I enjoy cooking, but I don’t often follow recipes, I’m very much a chef of two disciplines- 1. throw it all in the oven, or 2. throw it all in the pan. So when I was browsing the aisles of the Food Hall and spied this range, I’m not sure if it’s brand new, but I hadn’t noticed it before, and it’s right up my street.

The Pan Fry range has beef, chicken and lamb options for stir frying, which come complete with pre-cut veg and sauce and seasonings. All you need to do with the pack is follow the three or four step instructions on the labelling.

Tandoori lamb £6 : coconut & lime chicken £3.50

Tandoori lamb £6 : coconut & lime chicken £3.50

You can make a quick meal for two in minutes, and add the side of your choice. No washing and chopping veg, marinading meat, it’s all there ready to go. Ideal for busy folks, or those who just would like a hand in the kitchen.

Even better, they are really well priced. The Fajita Chicken pack is only £3, which you would struggle to find chicken, veg and seasoning for two for less than that yourself. The Teriyaki Beef costs £4, with the Coconut & Lime Chicken at £3.50, and the Tandoori Lamb Chops for £6.

A stir fry makes a great summer dinner, and with these M&S tricks up your sleeve, you’ll have more time to enjoy the sun and not be stuck in the kitchen.

A Most Marvellous Mother’s Day at M&S -plus Free Delivery For Mum’s Bouquet

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Mummies love a good trip to M&S, don’t they? So Marks and Sparks is a safe bet for a Mother’s Day present.

That could mean your main gift, like a gorgeous, sumptuous bouquet of Mother’s Day flowers, where M&S has a whole curated range to choose from, with some including a free box of Pink Marc de Champagne Truffles, and every bouquet promising free UK delivery.

Or, you might be taking Mum out for a family dinner on the 31st, and want a pretty gift to present her with as an extra ‘thank you’. 

M&S has gifts in each of their departments, clothing, beauty, homeware, and the Food Hall, and a whole online Mother’s Day Gift Guide if you want to browse for some inspiration before you step inside your local branch. 

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I visited Bangor’s Marks & Spencer to see what the Food Hall had to choose from. Gifts started from £3 for dinky and surely divine boxes of Sea Salt Caramels. An ideal choice for a little one for their Mummy.

The range of boxes of chocolates are at various price points, with something for those with pocket-money budgets, like the funky ‘Just To Say’ box which is only £5 (see image below).

Some of this selection’s sweets have striking geometric graphic designs and patterns decorating them, with other pieces being metallic dusted globes. The flavours are equally intriguing. We have a Clementine & Pomegranate Caramel and a Speculoos Biscuit Truffle amongst the offerings. Very cool for only £5, and you can choose a gift card which slides into the top of the box displaying a message for your Mum.

There are also some of the more traditional boxes like Peppermint Creams, and my personal favourites a box of Violet & Rose Creams which is £4. You can also pick from a choice of classic Belgian Chocolate Truffles. Or you can spoil your Mum rotten with one of the larger selections which is £10. I also spied the exotic Marzipan Spring Fruits, which are £4.

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Another one of my personal picks would be the £8 box of Mini Cupcake Chocolates (top photo). This dainty little selection with the cute pink bow has flavours including Mocha, Hazelnut Praline and Strawberries & Cream. 

They go very nicely with the real Mini Rose Cupcakes (very first photo, on the pink plate), which are £4 for a box of nine. Perfect for sharing after Sunday Lunch on Mother’s Day if you are all gathering together at home. Also the quintessential cupcake for putting together your very own ‘Fancy Afternoon Tea’ for your Mummy, you know with little sandwiches and cute mini-desserts exactly like these cupcakes, which have a glittery sheen to them which makes them even more special.

Lastly from my own M&S picks for Mother’s Day, I spotted these unusual biscuit tins (top image). They are tall, upright biscuit tins, something I’ve never come across before, not a strict Mother’s Day line in-store, but if you’ve got a waste-not-want-not Mum who would be doubly pleased with the Belgian Milk Chocolate Vanilla Cream Biscuits, and the handy tin for storing pasta, knitting needles, coffee machine pods, bits & bobs in afterwards- this could be your gift inspiration. The tins are only £3 and come in the deep purple/pink colour in my photograph, and also green or orange.

Don’t forget your Mother’s Day card! M&S has you covered for that too.  

Non-Vegans Are QUAKING! Dirty Fries, Cashew Mac, No Chic’n Nuggets - M&S New Plant Kitchen Range

£3.50

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I reviewed some of M&S’s vegan range two years ago, burgers and sausages, which are two of the staple foods that vegetarians and vegans get ‘recreated’ in non-meat form first. Even two years ago Marksies were ahead of the game and didn’t just have the usual reformed burger, mystery non-meat veggie burger.

They had beet burgers and crazy green sausages, and like the rest of my taste in life, I also love novelty in food, so I was more than happy to try those out. Their range back then was great and we had them around BBQ season and loved it so much I bought their vegan, golden orange, sweet potato sausages for many BBQs to come.

 

 

£3

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The vegan range expanded slowly but surely since 2017 as more and more families adopted vegetarian and vegan tastes, whether it be by moral stance, or by dietary needs (approx 20%). Someone in my close family has a dairy allergy, so I often look for vegan desserts as they are the superior option to find something that hasn’t scrimped on taste quality because they automatically start from a point of not using any dairy, rather than trying to just exclude it.

 

So here we are at the beginning of 2019, and some people may want to give veganism a go for health reasons, or for the environment.

 

Fries £3 : Mac £3 : Nuggets £2.50

Fries £3 : Mac £3 : Nuggets £2.50

M&S launched their Plant Kitchen range on 2nd January, with over 60 different products, which you’ll find easily within your local store thanks to the distinctive teal packaging. There are what they call ‘dirty vegan’ comfort food, like the Cauliflower Popcorn with Buffalo Dip & Cashew Mac, and two amazing looking, artisan, sourdough pizzas.

There are healthy versions of ‘ready meals’, using fresh vegetables, not frozen, like the Thai Green Curry, or the Katsu Curry. There are even non-chicken Chic’n Nuggets- we are living in the future, people! 

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Everything in the Plant Kitchen range is meat-free and dairy-free, entirely vegan, and made from plant proteins. There are also basic ingredients like Tofu, and Grain Packs like Non-meat Meatballs, Non-meat Mince etc, for you to make your own recipes. 

Those tasty burgers and sausages from the original vegan ranges are still around too, and I imagine when BBQ season swings by the range will be expanded even further. In store now, but ideal for picnic times ahead are the vegan Coleslaw and Potato Salad, both priced at £1.50 which I believe is the same price as the regular Deli Coleslaw.

£3.50 : £1.50

£3.50 : £1.50

The newest foodie word on the street being ‘flexitarian’, someone who occasionally eats meat. I heard it last week for the first time, but it’s been around for quite some time, being voted the year’s most useful word by the American Dialect Society in 2003. I always thought giving up meat completely would be impossible, but with ranges like Plant Kitchen, and thinking how it could expand in the future, I could see a time when I could be a No Chic’N Nuggets girl. What do you think?

Take a closer look at the Plant Kitchen range on the Marks & Spencer website. 

#MyMarksFave The Hashtag You’ll See in Your M&S Store Pointing Out Celebs’, & Staff Members’ Favourite Christmas Treats - I Share Mine Too!

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There is one thing we know to be true about braving the busy stores these last two weeks of Christmas shopping, M&S is going to be crazy, but if you want the best treats, you gotta withstand the heat!

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M&S is home to the proper party food of Christmas. Please don’t be offended, other brands and supermarkets I blog with, but everyone knows, when it comes to your Boxing Day Buffet, your New Year’s Spread, Marks and Spencer party food is just like flying first class. Yes you could get a sausage roll elsewhere and it would make do, but why, when you could get a mini-kiev? Or Thai Fishcake? Or vegan burger even though you aren’t even vegan but want to be a bit fancy and try one?

That means M&S is busy - but you better believe your trip is worth it. 

Even better, right now M&S Party food is mix and match 4 items for the price of 3, which extends to desserts too, such as mini cupcakes. 

 While you’re browsing in store you may spot some little recommendation tags beside the price tags of some products, marked with “#MyMarksFave” These are dishes handpicked by a tester team of lucky celebs who got to try out the Christmas range and recommend their favourites from the selection.

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I picked up the Truffle Mayonnaise, which is recommended by Amanda Holden, and it’s only £2.50 a jar (very top photo). The M&S Cranberry is only £1 this week, so if you love that with your turkey you could stock up now. There’s also Turkey Gravy, ready to serve. 

My local Bloomfields, Bangor Store also has Paddy McGuinness’s #MyMarksFave which is the Santa Hat Profiteroles. They are £5 for a sharing size dessert portion and are very cute.  

You’ll also see recommendations made by staff members from your own M&S store on what they love to eat at home. 

The Christmas desserts from Marks and Spencer are always wonderful, so #MyMarksFave is in fact their desserts to order.  There are only two days left to place a Christmas Food To Order order, however, I always find with the dessert I book yearly, when I do go to collect it on Christmas Eve, they are also selling them in store on the day too, on the shelves. So if you are reading this after the 15th of December and it’s too late to book a dessert in store, or online, don’t despair, you can try in M&S the few days before Christmas, they usually have the fresh desserts then to buy.

Every Christmas Day I don’t have to cook, we are guests, so I bring a cake, and this is the fourth year I think I’ve ordered a cake from M&S. This year I’ve opted for the Salted Caramel Chocolate Log, it looks like a rooftop with a little Santa’s sleigh on top. So that’s #MyMarksFave

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Of course there are a wide range of other desserts to choose from to order (click any pic below to enlarge) as well as cheeses, and all the usual savoury Christmas food, and party food. Closing date is 15th Dec so be quick. 

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There is a very good range of party food in store now if you want to buy all your Christmas goodies now and avoid those crowds of the last week and last few days leading up to the 25th December. 

The dates on the party food will be short dated to go ‘out of date’ before Christmas, however, most of the party food can be frozen on date of purchase. Even the smoked salmon blinis can be frozen and then thawed out for the big day, so technically you could go and buy all your Christmas party food now while the shops are quite so crazy, freeze it, and be all ready for Christmas when it comes. 

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The party food range is as amazing as ever this year, with old favourites like the mini burgers, and additions like a vegan burger option. The Asian Chicken lollipop favourite is back, lots of kid friendly favourites like sausage rolls, pigs in blankets, and the mini pizza platter which my son will demolish I’m sure.

 

 

 

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There are plenty of vegetarian options, but I also spotted Wheat-Free party food this year for the first time (I think) so M&S really is catering to everyone this year. My Mum is a big fan of the Indian snack party food, and I love how delicate the new wok-toasted sweetcorn cones look in the 12 piece oriental vegetable selection.

All the party food shown here is priced at either £5, or £7, and are all part of the 4 for 3 deal. The Santa plates are also available from M&S from the Food Hall and are only £2, I thought they were so cute! 

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Finally, and forgive me if this is a total faux pas in a blog post about food, but after I was picking up the blog post items, I had to go buy two packs of M&S’s super adorable Christmas loo roll. It’s £2.50 for four, which is a great price, and it’s covered in little reindeers and Santas. I’m just a sucker for novelty and I couldn’t resist!

A Trip to Dublin- M&S Summer Food Launch - Adventurous Eating Ahead! #MandSSummer

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On Thursday I took a little trip to Dublin for the evening thanks to Marks & Spencer Ireland, who invited me to taste test some of the Summer 2018 Food Hall range which will be appearing in stores very soon.

Whilst it’s backwards it begin with dessert, the most ‘kitsch’ and unusual products I spotted were from those ranges, so let me share those first. 

The Ice Cream Toffees (below) are simply delicious, very sweet and very moreish.

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The Sea Salt & Vinegar Caramels had to be the biggest ‘must try’ of the whole evening for me. I’d describe them as being like a salted caramel with a little bit of a kick. There’s definitely not a sour vinegar taste to them. Definitely one of those products I love M&S for, because I love trying new tastes and combinations and get so fed up of the same old pairings so anything crazy like this I always have to try out.

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Ditto these, Milk Chocolate Truffles infused with Oak Matured Vintage Cider, but they get even more cool points by being packaged in miniature wooden barrels. These are perfect presents for cider connoisseurs, they are just terribly cute.  

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Lots more from the Sweet Treats stand, the gourmet mallows are divine by the way, if you see them in store they are worth a try.

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Onwards to The Grill. M&S have launched a great range of affordable meat with offers across many selections of cuts.

On the night we had choices of beef, steaks, vegetarian sausages (the sweet potato is my top choice from 2017 btw), and their ever popular burgers.   

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Their picnic ranges are sublime with plenty of veggie options including the little Beetroot & Mint, and Carrot & Pumpkin Seed Veggie Bites you see at the front below.

Of course the Deli Coleslaw and Potato Salads are the stuff of legends, but if you haven’t heard they also do other low calorie options like Beetroot & Pink Apple Slaw.

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We also has some lovely cocktails to try, but the kitsch option I have to show you is the Penny Cocktail which had a delicious British Strawberry Cream Soda mixer in it. 

Of course the mixer is a non-alcoholic lemonade, so watch out for that one in store for summer BBQ parties. 

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I can’t wait to see everything start to arrive in my local M&S, there are so many tasty treats to pick up! The BBQ Grill items for this summer especially are going to be delicious. The beef was so tender it was as if it had been slow cooked for 48 hours. 

I’m hungry all over again! 

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M&S Easter Eggs 2018, A Chocolate Camper Van, A My Little Pony & The Biggest Bunny You’ve Ever Seen, Plus Dairy Free Dark Chocolate Eggs!

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Marks and Spencer always have the most fun Easter eggs, and 2018 see Trolls, My Little Ponies, Thomas the Tank Engine, and Campervan shaped eggs on the shelves.

What I’m most pleased about finding however, is a Dark Chocolate Dairy Free Easter Egg, priced at £7. It comes in blue or pink wrapping, and I picked one up for my brother who is Dairy Free and who was going to have to miss out again on another fun part of a holiday. Thanks M&S for making this egg!

The fun eggs are splendid though, for my nephew who loves cars I’ve chosen the campervan, it’s so cool.  It’s also £7.

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There are plenty of children’s eggs to choose from and the giant Percy egg is only £5 right now on offer, with selfie sunglasses too!

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There are various sizes of chocolate bunny as shown left, but check out the whopping 32.5cm cm tall Bennet Bunny below right, which you can buy online with free delivery within the U.K. What a treat to arrive on your doorstep!

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Burrowing Bunny egg and Dippy Egg

Burrowing Bunny egg and Dippy Egg

Planning an Easter egg hunt? This giant jar of eggs is £20. 

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Beautiful coloured eggs for adults, and mini chocolate quail eggs. I do adore you, M&S !

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Valentine’s Day 2018 is Super Sweet at M&S

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It’s the first of February already, and time to start thinking of Valentine’s Day, should you have a loved one. Marks and Spencer have some wonderful sweet treats this year, from the very gorgeous Pink Himalayan Salted Caramels, the more fun gift idea below like like the little jelly Turtle sweets.

There’s also the show stopping gifts like the  Large Velvet Box of Chocolates (left).

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The Marks and Spencer site has a Chocolate Shop feature in time for Valentine’s with lots of behind the scenes of how they make their finest and single origin bars.

You meet their chocolate makers and can watch videos about their invention process.

See it all here. 

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Sweet Christmas Treats & Desserts, Including a Game of Thrones ‘Inspired’ Box of Chocolates, at M&S

£6

£6

We have just about a week left to go, and Marks & Spencer still have some fantastic deals on, as well as brand new Christmas products fresh on the shelves. 

Whether you are looking for a last minute gift, party food, or a dessert for Christmas day, everything is now in store to choose from. 

One of the offers this week is this jolly little wobbling Santa biscuit tin filled with chocolate shortbread, for just £6. 

If you have a Game of Thrones fan who is a sweet tooth, I imagine these ‘Fire & Ice’ Chest of Drawers of chocolates would make a great stocking filler.

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There are lots of golden treasures to choose from amongst the chocolate gifts

I particularly love the golden cocktail shaker filled with mojito, Cosmopolitan & espresso martini sweets.

Thereis also a box of mini salted caramel pine cones, for £12.

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It’s definitely time to allow yourself to eat party food for no other reason than the time of year, and along with the savoury & chilled selections, it’s also 4 for 3 on the desserts in the Party Food Deal.

There are the cute Red Velvet Santa Hat Cupcakes, which are a return from last year, but also mini Christmas Tree Chocolate Cupcakes too, which are equally adorable. There are tiny, gold star adorned Billionaire Shortbreads, and for your gluten free chums, Made Without Wheat chocolate Brownies. There are also mini mince pies.

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If you are looking for some last minute stocking fillers, there are little crafty bakery sets, like the Decorate Your Own Santa biscuits, and a Colour In Santa Game Pack complete with chocolates.

 

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There are also fun novelty sweet gifts for the grown ups, with games that could be fun for Christmas Day. There’s a Golf Game with Chocolate golf balls, a Hum That Tune game with a chocolate prize for the winner, plus chocolate football & skittle games. They are all mix and match 3 for 2.

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I’ve already ordered my M&S Christmas cake for the big day, and there are lots of show stopping desserts to chose from. The Penguin surprise cake will always be a winner with the kids, and adults can choose from various puddings, classic cakes, ice cream cakes and mousses.

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Lastly, a quick note on the gifts. I was in my local store today and a lot of the range is already 50% off, Including all M&S beauty gifts, and the glorious Zodiac themed presents of cushions, candles, paperweights and mugs. You might even want to treat yourself, with the cushions now reduced to £3.75 and mugs £4. Happy shopping! 

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