Saturday, 18 November 2017

Being Supermum with a little help from Field Fare ! (review)

I know I've mentioned this already (several times in fact - looking for sympathy? me ?!) but the week  before last was an absolute killer at work. With two parent-teacher evenings and a school board meeting, plus Sophie's parent-teacher evening, all in the same week, I was leaving home at 7am and getting back about 8.30pm most days. The trouble when you're a busy working mum is that the kids don't care about things like that - they still want to do baking with you at the weekend and, even if frozen pizza is fine once in a while, I don't want to serve it every day. Luckily, Field Fare had come to the rescue and sent through some of their wide range of frozen food that left me feeling like Supermum !

So what do the words "frozen food" conjure up for you? Bland ready meals that wouldn't feed a sparrow, soggy veg and mushy fruit? Yep, me too, if I'm honest, but Field Fare have made me have a total rethink. I'm very late to this party actually, because Field Fare have been trailblazing since 1977 and, 40 years ago, launched a pioneering idea in independent retail : high quality fresh fruit, vegetables and baked goods, frozen direct from the field and sold loose by the scoop from branded freezers. As well as being eco-friendly in terms of food waste and packaging, this also means you can see exactly what you buy.

The first thing that caught my eye in my mystery package were these cards, describing a range of gourmet cookies, including Chocolate Chip, Double Chocolate Chip and White Chocolate & Pecan Cookies (55p each). I couldn't get my head around frozen cookies - how would that work?

Well, it's actually a stroke of genius and something I'd never even considered as possible before. The cookie dough has been carefully prepared, rolled into a cylinder, cut into individual servings then frozen.

You just take them straight from the freezer, pop them on a baking sheet and shove them in the oven. (The website was a bit sparse on cooking advice so I assumed they should be cooked straight from frozen, although it didn't actually say so.)

After the suggested cooking time (15-20 minutes at 150°), they still looked a bit weird so I left them for an extra five minutes.

They came out absolutely beautifully - I don't think I have ever managed to create such perfectly round, regular cookies before.

They tasted as good as they looked too, with a lovely soft, chewy texture and a generous amount of chocolate chips and nuts. There is no way you could tell these weren't freshly made and freshly baked. They reminded us all of Millie's Cookies, that we sometimes pick up as a special treat in town, so creating these at home was fabulous. The only bad news was I barely got a look in as as they were all munched very quickly !

There were also some bags of mixed fruit. I'm never very keen on frozen soft fruit because it invariably turns to mush when it's defrosted, but this was a total game changer. As I poured it out of the bag onto a baking sheet to defrost, I could see that each piece had been frozen separately, rather than unceremoniously dumped and frozen into one congealed lump, as is often the case.

I wasn't sure how long it would take to defrost so I pulled the bag out on a Sunday morning and left it on the side as I prepared the Sunday roast. By the time we were ready to eat, so was the fruit.

We love fruit salad in the summer months and managing to find fresh tasting strawberries in November was a real treat. It wasn't quite as firm as totally fresh fruit but it is still in a totally different league to tinned fruit and I would never have guessed it had been frozen. It's tasty, vibrant and healthy as a no-fuss dessert for the family or for a special occasion - even something like Christmas, if you want a lighter option to the traditional Christmas pudding. I still have a bag of Summer Fruit (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants - 53p per 100g), that I am going to use as the topping for an indulgent cheesecake. There's something extra special about eating fresh-tasting summer fruit in the middle of winter !

We also received some of their single-serving ready meals, which can be cooked from frozen. We started off with Chicken à la King - chicken breast in a cream, white wine and sherry sauce, with mushrooms and sweet peppers.

Here's how it looks when you pull it out of the freezer. You can see it's been freshly made with "real food" - proper slices of chicken and fresh vegetables. There are even some chives artistically arranged on the top to show it's in a different class to the usual supermarket offerings.

And here it is straight out of the oven, after a quick stir for the sauce - it smells homecooked and very tempting.

We added a side serving of veg and had a delicious, filling meal that genuinely tasted homecooked. I thought the £4.99 price tag was a little on the expensive side, but having seen what you get and the quality of the ingredients, I actually think it's not bad value at all. The price is on par with a takeaway and is undoubtedly a healthier option.

The next night, Madhouse Daddy was a total lifesaver and proudly served up a delicious Coq Au Vin, with a pouch of microwavable rice, when I came home from my final late-nighter. Even better than having a meal ready and waiting in the slow cooker after a long day at work because it came as a surprise !

It was a total eye-opener for me, proving that frozen food does not necessarily equate to mushy vegetables and cardboard-tasting pizza. Field fare have a range of over 50 one and two portion premium ready meals, including authentically spiced international cuisines and sophisticated vegetarian options, as well as desserts and, new for 2017, gluten free dishes, including award-winning gluten free pies. The loose range now stands at over 80 products - from sweet potato chips to cinnamon swirls – and is available in over 400 independent garden centres, farm shops, delis and butchers, spanning the Shetland Isles to Jersey.

Whether you need a quick option for extra busy weeks, something special to impress on an anniversary or special occasion or you want to pick-and-mix the exact quantities of fruit, vegetables and more (I highly recommend the cookies !), it's definitely worth checking out what they have on offer.

for more information :

Disclosure : I received the products in order to write an honest review.


  1. You're a Supermum. Hope this week will be less hectic. I haven't heard of this brand. Those cookies look excellent. I occasionally buy supermarket own cookie dough, but it usually comes as one block, which you need to slice.

  2. Sounds good. Great that fruit is frozen separately


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