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Assasin

Assasin
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Member since: 12.10.2009

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      20.03.2010 22:20
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      Not one I would buy again

      New Covent Garden Wild Mushroom Soup

      Description: Food / Enjoy the aroma of wild mushrooms and crisp white wine. Made with all natural ingredients.



      I think that most people would probably agree that home made soup is the best, and usually quite easy to make too. However, if you don't have the time, then it is often more convenient to pick up some ready made from the supermarket to use as a quick meal instead.

      The New Covent Garden range is possibly the best way to buy ready prepared soup because they use tasty and natural ingredients. Unfortunately, this is reflected in the price, so that you will usually have to pay around £1.70 for a 600g carton. This will serve two people or one as a lunch two days running. It is common to see these soups being sold on special offer in the supermarket, so you can sometimes buy them for less. An example of this is the tomato variety which is currently being sold in my local Morrison's for just £0.38!

      The soups are found in the refrigerated section of the supermarket and also available in 300g (one portion) cartons. They can often be frozen too which is useful. Because they come in a carton, there is no need for a tin opener to get into them, and the carton then folds shut, keeping the rest of the soup fresh until required.

      The soup can be warmed gently either in a saucepan or in the microwave for a couple of minutes. Stir half way through cooking and ensure that you don't overheat.

      The soup doesn't look appealing, it is a unappetising brown colour which is thick and stodgy looking. It doesn't smell particularly tasty either and is a bit lumpy and odd looking.

      The taste was nothing to write home about either, it certainly wasn't anything like the home made mushroom soup that I had hoped for, instead, was more like a cheap tinned brand. There wasn't enough of a fresh mushroom taste and although the soup was thick, it wasn't very creamy and needed quite a lot of seasoning added to it too.

      Overall, this wasn't a great variety from New Covent Garden and not one that I would recommend that you try, only two Dooyoo stars for the convenience, none for the taste!

      Ingredients;

      Water, mushrooms (18%), onions, cream, wheat flour, white wine, salt, dried wild mushrooms (0.6%), parsley, garlic, black pepper


      Nutritional information;

      Fat 4.8g
      Sat fat 2.7g
      Sugar 2.7g
      Salt 2.1g
      Calories 115

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        09.02.2010 13:13
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        Well worth buying

        Mccains Original Homefries

        Description: Crispy delicious chips.


        We don't eat chips nearly as often as I would like to in our house. Don't get me wrong, it is good to be health conscious and I understand that it is important to get the right balance of foods along with your five a day of fruit and vegetables, but let's face it, sometimes, there is nothing better than a plate filled with decent chips and served with some bread and butter, oh and some salt and vinegar and ketchup of course!

        Now there is absolutely no substitute for home made chips which should always be cut chunky, but sometimes there just isn't enough time to make these and so frozen chips are a great stand by to keep in the freezer and throw into the oven as and when you need them. I have tried many different brands and there is something about these ones which is a little better than the rest.

        A 2kg bag costs around £2.50 and can be found in most supermarkets in the freezer section. They come in a blue plastic bag with the McCain logo on the front and a picture of the chips.

        I prepare these by putting them into a preheated oven for around 15 minutes. Check the back of the pack for precise cooking information as this will depend on the kind of oven that you have.

        Per 100g, these chips contain;

        181 calories
        3.1g of protein
        6.2g of fat

        These chips are a decent size and a great combination of crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside, making each one a tasty mouthful. They are an enticing looking golden colour and cook very evenly too. As far as frozen chips go, these are possibly as good as it gets and certainly worth trying, if you haven't already!

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          20.01.2010 13:30
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          Best avoided!

          New Covent Garden Broccoli & Stilton Soup

          Description: Manufacturer: New Covent Garden / Food Type: Soup


          I think that most people would agree that home made soup is the best, and usually quite easy to make too. However, if you don't have the time, then it is often more convenient to pick up some ready made from the supermarket to use as a quick meal instead.

          The New Covent Garden range is possibly the best way to buy ready prepared soup. Unfortunately, this is reflected in the price, so that you will usually have to pay around £1.70 for a 600g carton. This will serve two people. It is common to see these soups being sold on special offer in the supermarket, so you can sometimes buy them for less.

          The soups are found in the refrigerated section of the supermarket and also available in 300g (one portion) cartons. They can often be frozen too which is useful. Because they come in a carton, there is no need for a tin opener to get into them, and the carton then folds shut, keeping the rest of the soup fresh until required.

          The soup can be warmed gently either in a saucepan or in the microwave for a couple of minutes. Stir half way through cooking and ensure that you don't overheat.

          Unfortunately, this isn't one of the best flavours from New Covent Garden. In fact, it is rather weak and disappointing. I had high hopes that it would be tasty, but ended up feeling rather let down.

          The consistency is quite thin and instead of chunks of broccoli there are only very little pieces which look a bit lost in the thin liquid. There is hardly any taste of stilton, and what you can taste is slightly bitter and certainly doesn't complement the broccoli.

          I also felt that this soup was a little salty, and overall, it seemed like a poor tasting vegetable soup, rather than the treat that I had been anticipating. A bowl of this lost its appeal after around two or three mouthfuls and certainly isn't one that I would buy again.

          If you are buying ready made soup, do yourself a favour and avoid this one!


          Nutritional information as follows:

          Fat - 11.1g
          Sat fat - 6.9g
          Sugar - 3.3g
          Salt - 1.8g
          Calories - 167


          Ingredients as follows:

          Water, broccoli (35%), potatoes, cream, onions, Stilton cheese (3%), milk, butter, salt, concentrated lemon juice, black pepper

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            04.01.2010 14:54
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            Well worth trying

            Yankee Candle in General

            Description: A US leading designer and manufacturer of quality fragranced candles since 1969.


            www.yankeecandle.co.uk


            Yankee Candles are on of the things that I like to indulge in now and again and also love to receive as a gift. I was very lucky this Christmas and have received three new ones which I will be reviewing at some point soon so please watch this space!

            There are different options available to fragrance your home, along with the more traditional candles. My favourites are the glass candle jars because they look so great and provide a really gentle candlelight which is lovely to relax by.

            Yankee Candles are a bit more expensive than some brands, but they do offer a long lasting and deliciously scented fragrance for all over your home. I find that most scented candles only retain their smell the first couple of times that you light them but these ones smell great, right until the end. They also provide more burning time that other candles.

            The fragrance from Yankee Candles is also something special. They have a wide range of different scents which are natural and very enticing. They don't smell at all artificial but do linger in the room for hours after you have put the candle out, and because there is such a great range, there is likely to be a scent that appeals to everyone.

            You can buy products from this range in quite a lot of places but if you are unable to find them locally then you can also buy them online. They arrive within a few days and are well packaged to prevent breakages.

            If you have never tried these then why not treat yourself to a few of the smaller ones (or maybe tealights) to try them out, I am sure that like me, you will quickly be hooked and keen to try more!

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            • McCain Smiles / Ready Meals / 48 Readings / 44 Ratings
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              29.12.2009 17:25
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              A tasty alternative to potato

              McCain Smiles

              Description: McCain Smiles - Frozen Mashed Potatoes.


              I believe that these potato shapes are actually marketed towards children but I love them and have been buying them for ages.

              They come in a red bag with the McCain's logo on the front and pictures of the smiles. A 454g bag will cost around £1.25 and can be found in the frozen section of most supermarkets.

              To cook, you just have to pop them into a preheated oven so they are really easy and ready in around 25 minutes (check instructions to ascertain cooking times as these will vary). You can tell when they are ready as they turn a lovely golden shade of brown.

              The smiles are lovely and golden and have a delicious crispy coating with a light and fluffy potato centre. There is something really tasty about them and because they are so light, they don't seem stodgy or too filling.

              They can be served with most foods, and make a change from the usual boiled potatoes or chips. I like them with chilli (instead of rice) or dishes with sauce that they can help to soak up.

              Ingredients;

              Potatoes, Dehydrated Potato (Turmeric), Sunflower Oil, Potato Starch, Salt, Stabiliser (E464), Pepper Extract.

              Nutritional info per 75g serving;

              7.6g fat
              1.0g saturates
              0.4g sugar
              0.7g salt

              I definitely recommend that you try these if you haven't already, they may be designed for kids but trust me, they are pretty good for adults too!

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                26.12.2009 16:50
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                A lovely treat

                Yankee Candle Sweet Strawberry Housewarmer

                Description: Candle / Burning time: approximately 110-150 hours.

                http://www.yankeecandle.co.uk


                If you haven't tried the Yankee Candle range then you may be a little put off my the prices. A large jar candle will cost around £18 which does seem a bit expensive but in my opinion, they really are worth the extra money.

                There are heaps and heaps of different scents (and also different sized candles and other scented products available) on offer, and if you cannot find your favourite one for sale locally then don't panic, you can buy them all online too. My last order arrived just a few days after being placed, was correct and very well packaged.

                The sweet strawberry scented candle is a firm favourite with me. The smell is gorgeously sweet and lasts for ages, even after the candle has been blown out. It doesn't overpower you but is subtle and fragrant and really does smell like fresh strawberries.

                Yankee Candle last for ages too, they seem to be a lot longer lasting than other brands and the scent lasts well too. Unlike some brands where the scent disappears as soon as the candle has been lit, these ones smell fab right until the end.

                If you are a fan of strawberry scents then you really should try this candle. I like to relax in a warm bath by candlelight and this is one of my favourite scents to chill out with. Why not pour yourself a glass of wine, switch off the lights and let yourself be lulled into relaxation with the smell of fresh strawberries - delicious!

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                • Lush.co.uk / Online Shop / 44 Readings / 43 Ratings
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                  20.12.2009 17:32
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                  Well worth checking out

                  Lush.co.uk

                  Description: Online shop selling natural products with no unecessary or harmful chemicals used.



                  Lush are famous for their hand made cosmetic products which contain only natural ingredients and are never tested on animals. I have sensitive skin which means that I have to be careful what I use, and find that Lush are gentle and rarely irritate. They sell a wide range of things from lip balms, shampoo, shaving products and solid perfumes, to bubble bars and soaps.

                  I use a lot of Lush products and frequently buy from the website and in my local store. Personally, I prefer to go into the store, simply because then I can smell the products and select the ones that I like best. Often though, I am unable to get in to the shop and so order online instead.

                  The website is extremely easy to navigate and very user friendly. You can browse the categories or use the search box to immediately find the product of your choice. You can find your closest shop on the website and also detailed information on all the products and ingredients.

                  Lush also do a lot of work for charity and you can find full details of this online, helping you to understand where the support is going. You can also nominate a charity for support which is a great way to highlight a cause that matters to you.

                  I always find that orders taken online arrive within 3 or 4 days, and instead of using polystyrene packaging, they are tightly packed in popcorn, so more environmentally friendly. My orders are never incorrect, and on the one occasion that a wrong item was sent, they sent the correct one immediately along with a free one to make up for the inconvenience!

                  You can order great gift boxes too, ranging from inexpensive to extravagant which are a lovely surprise for family and friends. Lush are a little more expensive than some brands, but they are so great that it is worth spending the extra and treating yourself.

                  I love the Lush website and use it quite a lot, not just to place orders but also to check what's new (they do seasonal ranges so there are always different things to try along with old favourites) and what the company have been doing. If you have never tried it then I really recommend that you log on and check it out, be warned though, you are likely to want to spend money!

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                • Kraft Philadelphia Light / Cheese / 32 Readings / 32 Ratings
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                  19.12.2009 22:00
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                  Well worth buying

                  Kraft Philadelphia Light

                  Description: Brand: Kraft / Cream Cheese.


                  I must confess that I am a bit of a convert to Philadelphia Light. I have been a fan of Philadelphia for ages but for some reason, never bought the light version because for some reason, I had assumed that it would be a little tasteless in comparison.

                  I stand corrected, in fact, the light version of this soft cheese is delicious and since trying it, I have been buying it quite regularly as I am trying to watch my weight.

                  The cheese comes in a white a blue plastic tub with a clear plastic lid and is foil sealed for freshness. It has the brand name on the front and the Kraft logo in red. You can find it in the chiller section of most supermarkets and shops.

                  A 200g tub of this cheese costs around £1.30 but can often be found on offer, I paid just £1 when I bought it last so it is worth keeping your eyes open.

                  The cheese is really thick and creamy and certainly doesn't taste like a low fat version. It has quite a distinctive taste that I associate with Philadelphia and has a slightly salted and very creamy aftertaste.

                  Nutritional info per 100g is as follows;

                  Energy 156 kcal
                  Protein 8.3 g
                  Carbohydrate 4.0 g
                  of which Sugars 4.0 g
                  Fat 11.5 g
                  of which Saturates 7.6 g
                  Fibre 0.4 g
                  Sodium 0.4 (Equivalent as Salt: 1.0 g)

                  I like to use this cheese to make a quick and simple pasta sauce with ham and mushrooms, and because all I need to do is stir it in, it is incredibly easy and convenient. It also goes really well with bagels and smoked salmon, on baked potatoes or biscuits.

                  If you like cream cheese but want a lighter alternative then look no further, this is a fantastic way to save calories without compromising on taste.

                  I am awarding this cheese 5 stars because it is so good - well worth trying!

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                    19.12.2009 21:40
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                    Well worth trying

                    Tesco Value Chopped Tomatoes

                    Description: Vegetables.


                    The Tesco Value range is a really great way to save yourself some money from your shopping bill. Basically, they don't spend extra on fancy packaging, which means that we don't have to spend extra on it either, which makes perfect sense, since it only gets thrown away anyway.

                    These tinned tomatoes are packaged like all goods in the range, with plain and functional white packaging, which has red and blue writing on it.

                    A 400g tin cost me just £0.34, which is significantly cheaper than the competing brands.

                    I used these tomatoes to make spaghetti bolognese and was pleased to find that they were really good. They come in quite a rich and thick sauce, and there are lots of tomatoes in the tin. They have a slightly sweet taste and a decent and plump consistency.

                    There is no pull off lid on this tin, which means that you have to use a tin opener to open them up.

                    If you are eating them alone, they can be warmed in a pan or in the microwave in just a couple of minutes, and I recommend trying them on toast as a tasty and quick lunch.

                    Eating these tomatoes can also be a good way of getting one of our 5 a day, along with being a healthy and almost fat free lunch. They work well in a pasta dish or on their own and are tasty and easy to prepare. If you are a fan of tinned tomatoes then it is definitely worth trying these and saving yourself some money!

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                    • Heinz Spaghetti Hoops / Ready Meals / 39 Readings / 38 Ratings
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                      16.12.2009 21:07
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                      Well worth buying

                      Heinz Spaghetti Hoops

                      Description: Food Type: Ready Meals / Manufacturer: Heinz.


                      I do like to try and save money and that often means buying cheaper brands, but spaghetti is one of those products that no matter how many cheaper varieties I try, I keep returning to Heinz. The reason for this is simple, it is the nicest brand and has the best tomato sauce. Heinz have been making this spaghetti since 1926 so they have had plenty of practice!

                      These spaghetti hoops are the same as Heinz spaghetti, but easier to eat! You can just fork them up which is great if like me, you have a tendancy to spill things and also much easier for children to manage.

                      These tins come in 2 sizes, 400g or 205g and are easily recognisable by the bright yellow label with an orange front and the Heinz logo. You can also buy microwave snap pots, which come in packs of 4 and are designed to hold one serving and quickly heat up and be ready to serve.

                      These spaghetti hoops can be warmed on the hob, or you can do what I did and just pop them in a microwave dish for a couple of minutes. The can comes with a handey pull off lid so you don't need to search for a tin opener.

                      The tomato sauce is quite thick and tangy with a slightly sweet aftertaste and the spaghetti is soft and delicious. These hoops make an excellent and convenient lunch served on toast (with black pepper), or as good side to a main meal.

                      Per 200g serving (half a large tin), this product contains the following;

                      Calories - 104
                      Sugar 8.3g
                      Fat - 0.5g
                      Saturates - 0.1g
                      Salt - 0.8g

                      These hoops are reliably good and a great stand by to keep in the cupboard. A 400g tin costs around £0.40 and you can find it in most supermarkets. If you are a fan of spaghetti then this is definitely a brand that you should try.

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                        15.12.2009 16:39
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                        Well worth buying

                        New Covent Garden Carrot and Coriander Soup

                        Description: Manufacturer: New Covent Garden / Type: Soup.

                        http://www.newcoventgardenfood.com


                        I love soup and prefer to make my own where possible. Lately though, I have been really busy and so have found that I am buying it quite often as a quick and convenient lunch.

                        In my opinion, cartons of fresh soups are so much nicer than tins, and New Covent Garden is quite possibly the best of the lot.

                        A 600g carton costs around £1.95 so it isn't the cheapest brand that you can buy but it can often be found on offer so it is worth keeping an eye out for it. It can be found in the chiller section of supermarkets and usually keeps for at least a couple of weeks. You can also usually freeze it which is really handy.

                        You can either warm this soup in a pan or use the microwave to heat it up (which is what I usually do) within a couple of minutes.

                        The soup is a gorgeous colour, a warm and enticing looking orange shade and quite thick. It tastes creamy and has a slightly sweet taste along with a hint of spice. It is well seasoned though I like to add a grind of black pepper just to finish it off.

                        Ingredients are as follows;

                        Carrots (42%), water, onions, cream, wheat flour, butter, salt, coriander leaf, garlic, ground coriander, nutmeg.

                        Nutritional values per 100g;

                        Energy 180kJ/43Kcal
                        Protein 0.6g
                        Carbohydrates 5.2g
                        Fat 2.2g
                        Fibre 1.2g
                        Salt 0.7g


                        There is something really satisfying about this flavour of soup. It looks and tastes warming and comforting and the slightly sweet taste goes really well with the hint of coriander. The texture is creamy yet has plenty of substance as the carrots are quite roughly chopped and it is filling without being heavy.

                        This is a great flavour especially for the winter months so if you see it in your local shop, I definitely recommend that you pop some in your shopping basket for a quick and delicious lunch. Oh and healthy too!

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                        15.12.2009 14:21
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                        I wouldn't rush out to buy this

                        In the Dark - Mark Billingham

                        Description: Genre: Crime / Thriller / Author: Mark Billingham / Hardcover / 384 Pages / Book is published 2008-08-07 by Little, Brown.


                        I have been a fan of Mark Billingham for quite a while and read all of his books containing DI Tom Thorne. This book is not part of the Thorne series though he does feature very briefly.

                        The book tells us the story of an off duty policeman who is killed in what appears to be a gang initiation gone wrong. The police officer leaves a heavily pregnant girlfriend (also in the police force) who is keen to discover what really happened to her partner.

                        When you first begin to read the book, it seems to focus on gang crime in London, but the story soon takes a different twist and you realise that there is a lot more to this situation than meets the eye.

                        I will not say anything more about the plot, as I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't read it, and in my opinion, there is nothing worse than knowing what is going to happen before you start reading a book!

                        This book is well written and gritty but to be honest, I found it a little disappointing. The story has a few too many twists and turns and becomes a bit unlikely as a result.

                        I also found the ending a bit disappointing, I had hoped for a gripping climax but instead, felt like I was left with too many unanswered questions and a vague feeling of "oh, is that it?".

                        In my opinion, this wasn't the best by Mark Billingham which was a shame because I had high hopes for it. It was an okay read but nothing special and I probably wouldn't recommend that you rush out and buy it.

                        3 stars from me - must try harder next time Billingham!

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                          14.12.2009 14:55
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                          Well worth buying

                          Boots Reviving Foot Spray

                          Description: Brand: Boots / Type: Foot Deodoriser / Spray


                          A 150ml foot spray currently costs £2.99 from Boots stores. It comes in a clear plastic pump action spray with a mint green label. The label has the Boots logo on the front and a picture of a mint leaf.

                          This spray is antiseptic and medicated and contains mint, witch hazel & cypress. It is designed not only to deodorise but also to cool hot and aching feet.

                          To use, all you have to do is to hold the pump spray 6 inches from your feet and then spray.

                          Boots tell us that this product is flammable so be very careful not to use it near fire or flame.

                          I don't get smelly feet but I do find that they get very hot, tired and sore, especially in hot weather, or when I have been walking a lot. This product gives a lovely cooling effect which happens immediately after applying. It cools feet down and has a slight tingle which is really refreshing and reviving.

                          The product has a lovely fresh scent, which is quite subtle and not overpowering or sickly. One bottle lasts for ages because you only need a couple of sprays each time.

                          There is something deliciously indulgent feeling about being able to refresh hot and tired feet so quickly. I like to keep a bottle of this in the car so that as soon as I get in, I can use it and feel the effects. It genuinely makes a difference and the cooling effect is fantastic.

                          If you walk a lot, or just have smelly or aching feet then I really recommend that you give this product a try. I have previously used gels which are a bit fussy as they need to be rubbed in. Because all you need to do is spray this product on, it is much more convenient and easy to use. It offers immediate relief and decent value for money, especially as it lasts for ages.

                          5 stars from me - and I would give it more if Dooyoo would allow it!

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                          • More +
                            14.12.2009 14:24
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                            Well worth buying

                            Asda Smartprice Peanut Butter

                            Description: Manufacturer: Asda / Type: Spread.


                            If you are someone who has read any of my earlier reviews (thank you very much!) then you will probably know that I am a fan of supermarkets cheap packaging ranges. These allow me to save money because I am not wasting it on posh packaging which then gets chucked out anyway.

                            One of my favourite products from the Asda Smartprice range is their crunchy peanut butter. I love peanut butter and this one is really, really tasty!

                            The packaging, as with all items in the Asda Smartprice range is plain white and red, with the brand name on the front. A 340g jar cost me just £0.69 which is quite a lot cheaper than other brands.

                            The peanut butter has a delicious consistency. It is smooth but with heaps of crunchy peanut chunks. It has a great combination of sweet and savoury tastes in every mouthful and is every bit as good as its higher priced competitors.

                            Ingredients are as follows;

                            Peanuts (84% of which 17% are granulated peanuts)
                            Sunflower Oil
                            Dextrose
                            Vegetable Fat
                            Salt

                            Nutritional information per 100g is as follows;

                            610 calories
                            23.2g Protein
                            16g Carbohydrates
                            6.6g Sugars
                            50.4g Fat
                            9.9g Saturates
                            6.2g Fibre
                            0.8g Salt

                            Unfortunately, peanut butter is quite high in calories and fat, but I do find that if I have a sandwich of it, it is really filling and I don't find that I am hungry again for ages afterwards.

                            If you are a fan of peanut butter than you really do need to try this brand. It tastes just right, not too sweet, not too smooth, just perfect! It is great on sandwiches, toast, smeared on celery or used for baking.

                            I am giving this product 5 stars because it really does deserve it, in fact, you'd be nuts not to try it (groan!)

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                            14.12.2009 14:03
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                            Worth trying for the price!

                            Tesco Value Yogurt - Strawberry

                            Description: Manufacturer: Tesco / Type: Yoghurt.


                            The Tesco Value range, how could anyone not love it? It means that I am not spending extra money on glossy packaging (which only gets chucked away anyhow) and the standard of the actual products tends to be a lot better than I used to expect. In fact, I have become a convert to these ranges, which may look cheap and nasty, but usually hide pretty good products inside.

                            On this premise, I bought the Tesco Value strawberry yogurt which cost an astounding £0.09. Yes that is right, it isn't a typing error, it genuinely did cost just £0.09!

                            The Tesco Value range uses the same plain white and blue packaging for all its products, so it is quite easy to spot on the shelves.

                            When you first open the foil lid, you will notice that the yogurt inside is quite pale. It isn't as pink as I had expected, more of a rose white shade. The smell isn't very strong either and smells more of plain yogurt in my opinion then strawberry.

                            The consistency is actually quite thick, and it tastes creamy too which is nice. There are no big chunks of fruit though, just little pieces which was a bit disappointing.

                            Nutritional information per pot is as follows;
                            Calories - 100
                            Sugar - 18.6g
                            Fat - 0.9g
                            Saturates - 0.6g
                            Salt - Trace

                            I found these yogurts to be a little bland and not as strong as I would have liked. They were nice enough, and because they are thick and creamy, go well over chopped fruit, but alone, they are a little boring.

                            I would probably buy these again, but perhaps along with some strawberries to give them a bit more flavour. It is a shame that there isn't more chunks of fruit in them because that would have made them more exciting. Having said that, if you are a fan of quite plain yogurts then you may find that these appeal to you.

                            3 stars from me because these could have been better!

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