Friday, 11 January 2019

Saying Goodbye... at least for now

Hello lovely readers.

Thank you for reading, commenting and being involved with me and my food for the last decade. I've loved reading every one of your comments, suggestions and when you've taken the time to contact me personally it's made my day. Thank you too to all the companies that supported the blog. Because of you, I was able to continue to buy ingredients to make and write free recipes for everyone to enjoy. 

From now though, I'll be taking a (probably quite long) break from the blog. All the posts will stay up, but there won't be any more new ones. And for now, I'll check in from time to time at the back end of things and delete all the spammers!

I'll still be active on Instagram, because at the moment it's easier for me to manage and is also more spontaneous, which works well for me at the moment, so if you'd like to keep in touch, come along and give me a follow. 

As I said, you'll still have access to all the recipes here - just head on over to the Recipe Index and cook up what you fancy. 

Although I have the greatest respect for the paleo and AIP diets - they helped me gain a better quality of life than I would have had otherwise. Now, I dabble in a more varied, pretty much gluten free diet. I'll have a bit of chocolate as a treat. Or some fried halloumi in a salad. But I still eat a load of veggies for my dinner. 

The paleo, health and AIP blogging communities have been a huge source of friendship and comfort over the past few years and I'm so grateful for that. My health has to come first though and I need to prioritise that before I can move forwards. I'm getting the help I need, so here's hoping I'll be back to fighting fit in no time.I need to figure out where I stand and what's happening with me in the future and to do that, I need to turn the blogging side of my brain off for a bit. I'm hoping I'll figure it all out and be back again soon.

Thank you very much again, for all your support. I really mean that. 

Now feel free to dive in and find what you need.

All the very best, and huge hugs to all of you. 
Thank you for everything,

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Review of Deep Heat's Muscle Rescue

Stiff neck and shoulders? I try Deep Heat's Muscle Rescue cream and patch to try and soothe them and let you know what I think. 

A day of blogging doesn't come without some pulled and tight muscles here and there. Cooking - stirring, blending, pulsing, mashing - twisting your body into weird positions to photograph (yes, that happens) and then sitting for an hour or few editing, writing and organising the blog post and then sharing it on social media. 

Phew. It's fair to say I've had my share of tight shoulder and neck muscles during my time here at Comfort Bites. 

So when Deep Heat asked if I'd like to review their Muscle Rescue products I gave my painful left shoulder muscle a little massage and said I'd love to. 

My husband is a fan of Deep Heat from his rugby days. I'd never used it before, so when I told him I was trying it out he gave me a knowing look and said, 'Careful. It gets warm.' 

Undeterred by his playful (hopefully) jibes, I opened up the pack after an especially difficult day hunched over the computer and set it to work. 

The Muscle Rescue cream is developed especially for tight neck and shoulder muscles (hurray) and is described as a 'warming cream to ease everyday muscular tension.' It gets to work by warming up the tight muscles, allowing them to relax and un-stiffen. You just pop off the lid and there's a sponge applicator underneath. You squeeze the tube and out comes the cream, meaning you don't need to get Deep Heat all over your hands just to work it into the areas you need. Brilliant. 

I applied to my shoulder, and the beginning of the side of my neck. It took a little while to take effect - maybe a minute or two - but soon I had that warmth that hubs had warned me about. It wasn't overbearing, or too much - it was just right. The herbal, slightly menthol-like aroma was soothing, too. I loved it. The warming effect lasted a good couple of hours at least - and I'm sure it did soothe my tight muscles. 

Along with the cream, there's the Neck and Shoulder Heat Patch. It's a slightly padded, papery patch with an adhesive strip that keeps it in place on your skin. Sensitive and ageing skins, you need to apply the patch over clothing in case your skin gets irritated. The patch warms up on contact with the air, so you open the air-tight pack, peel off the strip and apply to the part of your neck and shoulder that's tight and needs some relaxing. 

I found this had much more of an effect than the cream. It warmed up within minutes, and it felt just as if there was a warm hot water bottle there. The patch keeps warm, so the pack says, for 8 hours, but don't sleep with it on. I kept mine on for about 4 hours until I needed to go out. It did work, and I would buy these again. They're good after a long day to put on while you watch TV or settle down for the evening (remember to take it off before you go to bed). The patches are odourless, and single-use. You can't heat them back up once they've cooled down, you have to discard it (one pack gives you two patches). This was the only thing I wasn't 100% comfortable about - as we're trying to limit our disposables as a family, I was reluctant to use a product again that was single use. Perhaps Deep Heat can come up with a reusable patch that you can somehow reheat again - that would make me feel lots better. But the patch itself was very effective and did soothe my tired, aching muscles and I'd definitely consider it again for occasional use.

I received the Deep Heat patches and cream from Deep Heat for the purpose of this review, and all comments and opinions are my own. Visit the website to find out more about Deep Heat's Muscle Rescue products

Tried Deep Heat's Muscle Rescue yourself? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below. 

Friday, 14 December 2018

Paleo Almond Christmas Cookies

Easy to make almond cookies - totally gluten free and paleo - and egg and refined sugar free. 

This post contains some affiliate links. This means that if you decide to click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) that goes back into helping me keep the blog going. Thanks for your support. 

If you've seen me over on Instagram, you'll have seen something like these before from a few weeks ago. I actually made a version of these cookies when I experimented with an ingredient from Waitrose, called Mango Dust. It's basically just freeze dried mango ground into a powder, and you can use it in your cakes, bakes, smoothies, sauces and icings. Whenever you want a slightly tropical, sweet flavour, you just sprinkle a bit in. 

Amazing stuff. Fun to experiment with. 

These don't have any Mango Dust. They're traditional almond cookies, which are ingrained into my DNA at Christmas time. My Mum loved marzipan, and she'd eat literally handfuls of the stuff throughout the Christmas period. I remember she had a bowl of marzipan fruit - apples, oranges, pears and a banana - that I think she won in a raffle at the school. I didn't believe her when she said they weren't real fruit. But then I was about 6 years old at the time. 

So, anyway, almond cookies. 

These are egg free, paleo and refined sugar free. And they're so easy to make. I got the idea from a recipe on the Power Hungry website, where almond flour is mixed with coconut sugar and water to make a paste, which is then baked. And no egg. I was wondering how they would bind, but they worked really well. I tried lots of flavour combos before I settled on this one. I've also used rougher, ground almonds for a more rustic texture and used a little less sugar. These are super easy and quick to make. You can get up off your chair and have warm cookies just out of the oven in 15 minutes flat. 

And the sugar dusting, that's paleo, too. Feel free to use regular icing sugar if you like, but I've used this combination of coconut sugar and tapioca starch. 


Paleo Almond Christmas Cookies
Adapted slightly from a recipe on Power Hungry
Makes 8 small cookies
100g (1 cup) ground almonds 
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
half teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon almond extract
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons room temperature water

For the snowy dusting: 
half a tablespoon tapioca starch
half a tablespoon coconut sugar

Preheat your oven to 180ºC/350ºF and line a baking tray with a piece of baking parchment. 

Mix together the ground almonds, coconut sugar, bicarbonate of soda, almond extract and the pinch of salt. Trickle in the water - don't be tempted to add any more. Mix well, mashing a little as you go, until a soft paste forms. It'll look like you need more water, but you won't - just keep mixing. Pinch little balls of the mixture, roll and place on the baking sheet. Press down with the back of a fork to flatten slightly and then bake in the oven for 10-13 minutes, or until golden around the edges. Take out of the oven and allow to cool. 

Once cooled, mix together the ingredients for the snowy dusting and sprinkle over the top of the cookies. 

Made this recipe? I'd love to see! Tag me in at @joromerofood on Instagram!

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