Best books for me are:

  • Red dragon - Thomas Harris, by far the best book I've read, gory, inhumane, and unputdownable

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Kit list

As many of you know I have a Sugar and Spice page for my healthy meal kits on Facebook. Over the last few days I have had an enormous number of requests for price lists and order instructions. So much so I have decided to post my list on here, to try and save some time. If you have any questions then please contact me.

Kit list 
The kits are herb/spice packs that include a recipe and instructions. You provide the fresh ingredients. 
The packs only contain herbs and/or spices, no oil, additives or preservatives. You use extra lean meat and vegetables in the recipe. 

They are aimed at all that wish to eat healthily, and meals for all the family, and provide healthy alternatives to popular classics.

I have had fantastic feedback from these kits, we as a family eat them also.  

The following items are £0.60 each

Spicy carrot and coriander soup mix
Butternut squash and cumin soup mix
Moroccan Squash and Bean soup mix
Tasty vegetable soup mix

The items below are £1.50 (each), each kit serves four unless otherwise specified

Onion bhajis - makes 12 - 1 each
Beef Kofta Curry - meatballs in a curry sauce
Beef madras
Andhra Chilli chicken – very hot! 1/2 per portion
Lamb Rogan Josh
Pork Vindaloo also hot!
classic chicken curry – a favourite, can be made with vegetables 
Tandoori masala for bbq's 
chicken jalfrezi
Shahi Murgh - mild and fragrant
creamy chicken Korma - again very tasty mild and fragrant
shami kebabs
Shish patties
aloo gobi - potato and cauliflower curry
bombay potatoes
taste tempting spicy potatoes
Tikka masala sauce (not as gravyish, more cling to your meat)
Cochifrito - spanish smoked lamb casserole
smoked sausage casserole
beef Stifado - 1/2 per portion
Hungarian Goulash
chilli beef
chicken biryani
Chicken dopiaza
Kheema Curry – mince beef curry
Quick Curry – made with either cooked meat or cooked prawns
Paella - 1/2 for whole recipe
chicken seasoning (tastes like KFC)

The following items are £1.00

pilau rice 
Saag aloo – spinach and potato side dish
Curried Sauce for meatballs
Herby tomato sauce for meatballs or chicken
Tasty bolognaise - 3 for whole recipe

The following items are £2.00

Stew and herby or plain dumplings (dumplings 2 1/2 each)

If you decide you would like to order some, return the email with your list and i i will let you know how much including a delivery charge ( I try and keep this to a minimum).  Dont forget to give me your address for postage.  

You can then pay my email address through paypal

Or if it is easier, I can let you know how much it will be and you can post me a cheque or postal order.  I will wait for the cheque to clear before sending out any items.   

My website is under construction, but will probably take another few weeks.  

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me.  If I dont get to the phone straight away, I will call you back.

I hope to hear from you again.  

Diane Prince 
Sugar and Spice 

Tel: 07411 283161

Monday, 11 April 2011

Health Benefits of ............................Turmeric

Here begins my postings on 'Health Benefits of'. 

You all know that I love my herbs and spices, but some of you may be unaware of their health advantages!

My first post is about Turmeric.  Which is the yellow powder we use to colour our curries or other dishes.  I would describe it as a very earthy smell, thats maybe not correct but it is how I describe it.  Turmeric has been used in India for over 2500 years, its first use was that of a dye, which it is still used for today (or a food colouring). 

This spice has been long known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which can relieve the aches and pains in arthritis.  It is increasingly becoming one of earths natural wonders by proving beneficial in the treatment of many health conditions as well as being a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent.  It is also a natural liver detoxifier, so watch this space for me, as I will certainly be making curry and pilau rice a regular on our monday food plan!

The health benefits of turmeric lie in the active ingredient called curcumin. This powerful compound gives turmeric its therapeutic benefits, its yellow colour, and its pungent flavour.  It is also said to induce the flow of bile which breaks down fats in the body.

Indian people a well aware of its health benefits and there is hardly any dish in which they don’t put a little bit of turmeric.

I even found on one source that by taking turmeric powder and little salt with hot water with 1/2 tsp honey gives relief in a cough and eliminates congestion and will help a runny nose!  Its the first time I have been looking forward to catching a cold! As I can't wait to try that one out!  Not sure what the kids will say.  Their clothes will be like tie-dye when they spit it out!

Anyway, turmeric can be found in capsule form, but I suspect its like everything else, if we ate it in moderation we would be getting the goodness from all things!

Please also remember that as with everything there will be some disadvantages to taking turmeric, and before embarking on a turmeric mission, you must consult a health professional.

As ever, if you feel the need to explore your health advantages with a curry then either email me at and I will send you a list of my kits or alternatively have a look here

Please feel free to tell me what you would like to see next in 'Health Benefits of'

Friday, 25 February 2011

That was the week that was!

Ive been really busy!  I really wanted to write this a lot sooner than I have but never mind, its here now. 

Healthy meal kits are taking off a storm.  I am at the moment looking into creating a website, which is a pretty mega thing for me!  There is about 30 kits now in the collection and it is being added to each week!

Well anyway, the week started off with winning a competition on Twitter!  I love Twitter, it communicates friends and celebrities.  There are lots of competitions, of which you really dont do anything only 'follow' someone and 'retweet' their tweet.  Well thats all I did for MOMA - the breakfast people.  I then received an email saying I had won breakfast for a month!  Whoop Whoop.  Only then to read on, it asked me which London train station I travelled through each day!  I had to email back, as I live in the North it was a bit of a trek to collect my breakfast!  Trust me!  Feeling that I had lost my winnings, I then was contacted again to say that they were prepared to do an online shop for me every friday for four weeks!!  How good is that!  So now I receive five pots of MOMA's oatie breakfast on a friday morning from Ocado!  The delivery man thinks Ive gone mad, after all its cost nearly £20 to deliver it.  Im not complaining.

MOMA pots are absolutely delicious.  I was in desparate need of a breakfast shake up.  Regularly leaning towards bad habits.  I am converted.  My favourites are Banana and Strawberry and Wild Berry.  It is a pot of oats with yogurt, fruit and maybe a little juice.  They are thick, gloopy and very delicious.  They also do smoothies and yogurt pots, which are well worth a try!  Healthy breakfast (but for any time of day) and especially good before a night on the town I believe!

The second thing that happened (again through Twitter).  I answered a tweet from the BBC and Claudia Winklemans Art Show which is broadcast on Friday nights.  The question was, had any piece of art, poem, book etc had a big impact on your life and if so why.  Sat at work it didnt take much thinking.  My favourite poem is 'Funeral Blues' by W H Auden (commonly known as 'Stop all the Clocks').  I first heard it on Four Weddings and a Funeral.  I then got a phone call from Jessica Rickson, the producer of the show to see if I would like to record my 'big impact'.  YES I said, initially without thinking. 

Jessica rang me back on the Friday evening, put me right at ease and had explained how she wanted me to start.  I found it easy to write down all my thoughts on the paper, but oh dear!  How nerves took over!  I was so shaky!  It came across I am sure about that!  But whatever, I have done it now.  Jessica was pleased with the recording (which is yet to be aired, it may be tonight 25th February).  All I could think about was how dreadful my voice and northen accent would sound!

Doing this recording made me think of a couple of things.  Firstly, I didnt know this show existed.  I decided to listen to it as they leave it on iPlayer for a week afterwards.  I was very surprised, what a fantastic programme.  Not at all out of my reach and brainpower, which is what I thought!  I am now a regular listener.  Secondly, the amount of work that goes into these programmes.  Research and planning etc.  One or two people fronting the show have a team of hard working people behind them that we tend to forget, as on the radio we dont see the credits at the end of the show!  So well done to the producing teams, an excellent job you do. 

I am sure that something else happened this week?  Ahh yes!!  Again on Twitter I answered a tweet from Stephen Fry and applied to become a Giver for World Book Night (I am aware that this has been advertised on the TV).  1,000,000 books are being given away to celebrate reading!  As I was one of the first to answer I was chosen!  So I have now received 48 copies of my chosen book which is 'A Fine Balance' By Rohinton Mistry.  A very moving book about how 4 unlikely people find themselves thrown together.  Through days of bleakness and hope their circumstances and their fates become inextricably linked in ways that no one could have forseen. I did some research, and decided that I would rather pick a book, with some meaning, that I hadnt previously enjoyed.

Apart from finding lots of other fascinating people, through Twitter and Facebook, receiving emails for large orders of kits, thats about it!  Fantastic couple of weeks, and long may it continue. 

Again, I have included below a link to my ebay shop to show you some of the kits.  If there is anything I can help you with then please ask.  If you write a food blog, get in touch with me on if you would like a free kit to sample and write about.  Please provide me with the name of your blog and I will add it to the pot!

Hope you enjoyed, I certainly did! 

Monday, 31 January 2011

Lets start this party!

Well, this is my first blog post!  As you can see I haven't even finished designing the page yet.  Impatience!! I get that from my husband.  Funny though, because Im not that impatient about the housework or the ironing.

If you have read my profile you will know that I am passionate about food.  In all its forms and glory!  I enjoy culinary creations alongside 'jam butties'.  However, as always with having two children, I try to teach and give them a good start and inform them of the benefits of healthy eating. 

I have a husband that is crazy about curry, the hotter the better!  I have never been able to satisfy his curry craving until recently.  I was using shop bought jars and packets to create the dishes for him and whilst I am not critisizing them at all, they just weren't right for us.  Somehow I felt them missing something, and they certainly weren't hot enough for Mark. 

This made me think about the kits.  I had also decided to lose some weight and with the encouragement of some friends I created the kits to create healthy, delicious meals for the whole family.  It started off with a couple of curries and starter dishes.  However this has now grown to over 20 dishes which are all very popular. 

One of my new kits last week was a request, beef chilli.  This I usually find myself making as an easy meal, however now much easier as I can grab a kit, throw it in with the other ingredients and bish, bash, bosh. Done.  All in the name of making life easier, to spend more time doing the things you enjoy, rather than thinking you have to spend ages, following intricate recipes to get healthy food. 

I am blowing my own trumpet but these kits are the best ever, no additives, no preservatives just goodness!
They are packaged in cellophane with simple printed instruction.  No fancy jargonistic recipe to follow and costly (moneywise and environment wise) packet. 

If you wish to look at one of my curries a link is supplied to ebay below as no website is available yet.  However this is being worked watch this space!