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I am new to the cooking and baking world and thought I'd give silicon a try, as I was sick of things sticking to "non stick" pans and trays.
I bought this set from Argos for £19.99.
The set includes two sandwich tins (20cm diameter), a muffin/cake tray (28.5cm) and a loaf tin (27cm). All of which are dishwasher safe.
I first tried out one of the sandwich tins and made a frittata. I was mortified as I realised whilst it was in the oven baking that I had forgotten to put oil in the tin before putting my mixture in, as the recipe stated, and thought it would all be stuck to the tin and it would be a disaster. To my delight, the frittata came out of the tin with absolute ease, it didn't stick at all!
With having flexible sides, it makes getting things out of the silicon so easy, I don't think I'll ever go back to metal again!
I have since used the muffin tray and the loaf tin, and I am delighted with all of them.
I bought this liquidiser a few weeks ago for £9.99.
It comes in 4 parts, the base unit with plug attachment, the plastic jug, the lid, and the little extra lid that blocks up the hole at the top.
The whole unit is very basic, as would be expected with the price.
The base unit has suckers underneath so that it sticks to your work surface, which is handy when leaving the device running without holding it, as the vibrations would cause it to move quite a lot.
It works perfectly well, but is very noisy, but this is not something I find a problem.
It works well blending chunky liquids such as tinned tomatoes etc, and will grind up an onion and a few bits of vegetables etc, but it does struggle to blend anything heavier and larger than that. I tried to blend mince and stock etc to make meat balls, but with it being a liquidiser and not a food processor, it only blended the bottom couple of inches and the rest of the mixture further up the jug remained whole.
So, if you're looking for something that will blend simple smoothies, soups, sauces etc, then this will work just fine, but if you're wanting to blend larger things in more volume, go for a food processor instead.
I've noticed there have been mixed reviews on this, but I bought this product from Sainsbury's a week ago for £9.97.
I wanted it to blend fruit to make smoothies.
It was very simple to put together, just the bottom half (with the blades on) to connect to the main unit, that has the cable and plug connected to it. You simply twist it and it clips into place.
There are two speeds on the model I have, and I just used the slower speed to start with.
It did take a bit of time and effort, moving the head around etc, but it blended all of the fruit after a few minutes, and that included plums with their skins on.
There were still a few little lumps, but it worked perfectly fine for my purpose, and I have since tried it on the higher setting and it did work faster.
For the price, if you only want something for light use, I think this product is perfectly acceptable.
The lower section, that houses the blades, is NOT dishwasher safe, but when run under hot soapy water it came clean right away, and I then left it to air dry on the side.
As a self confessed chocoholic, Hot Chocolate is one of my favourite drinks.
Also, as a life long yoyo dieter and calorie counter, Cadbury's Highlights allows me to have a chocolate fix without breaking my calorie goal!
At around 40 calories per cup (when made with water), this Hot Chocolate has helped me through some chocolate cravings, where I would have normally had a chocolate bar that was 250 calories!
Although personally, I prefer making it with milk, but I always use Skimmed Milk, so it does not increase the calories too much, but enhances the flavour of the drink immensely! Especially when heated in the microwave, making it nice a frothy.
I have also noticed that Cadbury's Highlights is the brand that Costa Coffee use to make their hot chocolate! So you are buying a brand that highly successful coffee houses use. I felt a little cheated at Costa paying over £3 for a Hot Chocolate when I could get a whole tub of it and make myself many a mug full for the same price!!!
I LOVE Typhoo and always buy their tea bags for my home.
I have a special connection to this brand of tea, as my Grandma used to use Typhoo. So, ever since my first cup at my Grandma's house when I was young, the taste of Typhoo tea has transported me back to the days when my Grandma was still here, and I love it for that reason, as well as its lovely taste. Every mouth full reminds me of her!
It has a nice full flavour without being too strong and over powering like some brands such as Yorkshire Tea, but has something a little more special in its flavour than PG Tips and other main stream brands I have tasted.
This brand always seems to be part of offers in my local Tesco too, my partner and I paid £4.00 for a box of 440 tea bags this week, so at less than a penny a bag, we can't complain!
I'm some what of a cola-holic, and because of this, I always go for diet or sugar free versions of either Pepsi or Coca Cola.
In these 600 ml bottles, there is less than one calorie!!! Great news for anyone watching their weight such as me, or trying to lose weight. When dieting I always keep the "don't drink your calories" phrase in mind.
I agree with Pepsi's claim of "maximum taste, no sugar", because I cannot tell the difference between "full fat" Pepsi, diet Pepsi, or Pepsi Max!
I still get a caffeine hit and the taste of good cola, without all of the calories!
Although even though no sugar gives you the impression you are drinking a somewhat healthy drink, it is far from the truth, as their is still as much caffeine and acid in Pepsi Max as their is in the full fat version.
In other words, it still tastes great, but this drink will still rot your teeth!
But that said, I still drink it, what's a few fillings at the dentist!!!!!!!!!!
I have just reviewed the Pear Drop flavour of this cordial, and thought I would review the Lemon Sherbert one too, as I bought them both together in a "two for £1.50" offer at my local Tesco.
The flavours in this range are all sugar free, which is great, as I am currently on a diet and everyone keeps telling me "not to drink your calories", and leave that to food instead, so I wanted a low calorie alternative to plain old boring water.
This squash is definitely lemony, and it tastes nice, but I wouldn't really say it tasted anything like sherbert. I expected it to be a little more sour tasting and tangy, but it just tastes like lemon squash.
I do like it, but I think it promised something a little more "special" and it didn't really deliver on that promise.
I loved the Pear Drop one though, and I'm yet to try the Cola Bottle flavour! When I do, I'll review it!
I spotted this cordial in my local tesco, as I was looking for an alternative to always drinking cola. I wanted something better for my teeth!
I love pear drops, so thought I would give it a go, and bought it along with the Lemon Sherbert cordial in the same range, as part of a "two for £1.50" offer. This offer seems to be on most weeks that I go shopping.
As soon as I opened the bottle I smelt that devine pear drop smell! When mixed just with water, putting about 2 cm of cordial in the bottom of the glass first, and it really does taste just like Pear Drops!!!!
I have also mixed it with lemonade instead of water (yes I know that is kind of defying the object of drinking less pop by having cordial), and that is really tasty. Tastes less like pear drops that way, but still a yummy drink!
It's cheap and really does taste/smell like pear drops, so if you love them, you'll love this!!!
I visited Los Angeles a couple of years ago, and one of the things on my to do list was The Walk of Fame.
It is an iconic peice of Hollywood that every tourist must see!
The Walk of Fame runs along Hollywood Boulevard, which is also the home to other landmarks such as the Chinese Theatre and the Kodak Theatre.
When we first stepped out on to the Walk of Fame, we were bombarded with guys selling rap music CDs, the whole place is bustling with street sellers and it can get a little annoying being stopped every few steps.
However, it is worth the annoyance to see this famous site, seeing stars dedicated to legends such as Walt Disney and Michael Jackson. All of the mega famous people's stars seem to be in and around the front of the Chinese Theatre and surrounding areas, as you go further down the street the names become less and less familiar, until we hadn't heard of them at all!
Whilst there we saw a guy whose job it was to polish each of the stars by hand! What a pain staking, but quite cool, job!
We also saw a lot of "weirdos" in this area. People yelling random things in the street and preaching about the end of the world etc....we even saw a guy arguing with an apple pie in McDonalds!
So in conclusion, it's worth a look, just keep your head down and plough through the street sellers and the weirdos and you'll be fine!
I bought these scales in an Argos sale, for a small price of £11.99.
I find them really good, because not only do they weigh you down to the quarter pound, they also give you a "body analysis", telling you your BMI (body mass indicator) level, percentage of fat, percentage of muscle and percentage of water.
This can really help when trying to lose weight, get fitter and bring your BMI down. It also indicates whether you are in the healthy catagory or not, displaying your BMI in red if you are too heavy, green if you are in the healthy boundaries, and yellow if you are under weight.
When you first use the body analysis feature you program in your age, height and sex. This helps them to determine the correct results.
They scales work by you stepping onto the scales, ensuring you are bare foot, and your feet are touching the two silver circles. The scales then send electrical impules through your body to obtain the readings. This works because electricity passes more quickly through fat than it does muscle, and so it can work out an approximate percentage from that.
I love this feature because even if you are dieting and exercising and do not lose weight, you can still see results as you see your fat percentage going down, even if your overall weight does not, which is really encouraging.
They have several of these cross trainers at the local gym that I use, and they are by far my favourite peice of gym equipment.
The cross trainer feels very strange to get used to if you have not used one before. Your feet glide forwards and backwards, in a motion that makes you feel like you are walking on air. It is a smooth, low impact excersize, that makes it good for people with bad joints such as me, as it works all of your muscles, without having the pounding impact of something like running.
This particular cross trainer, and many like it, have two poles that you hold on to, that move back and too in sync with your legs. This exercises the arms and upper body.
The display enables you to see how far you have gone, how many strides you have done, the time you have been exercising for and a calorie count. You can manually set the resistance level if you wish, or use one of the machines pre set programs, where the machine will automatically change levels of resistance in a sort of interval training way.
If your thing is calorie burning, this is about the best peice of equipment to do it! At the gym I average between 120-150 calories every ten minutes, and that is with the machine set at level 7 resistance, and you can put up to level 20 resistance!
This machine feels sturdy and well made, and I have never had a problem with them and use them several times a week.
My first iPhone was a 3G 8GB, and I loved it.
That was until I had had it for about 12 months, and it started to get REALLY slow. I did not have that much music on it, and still had plenty of space. Yet when I got a text message through and clicked on it to view it, it would take about 10 - 15 seconds before the message would appear!
My applications all gradually stopped working too, despite me rebooting the phone, clearing it all and re-installing things in the hope it would help, but it didn't. It seemed it was reaching the end of it's short life span.
My boyfriend is still contracted in to a 3G 8GB, and he is having the same problems I had. It is extremely slow and some of his apps no longer work.
I upgraded to an iPhone 4S recently, and there is no comparrison, Apple have made the iPhone far more superior than the old 3G phones.
I know you can still get the 3G models on contract, but I urge you just to spend a little more and upgrade to the 4S instead, as the 3G was great in it's day, but compared to today's standards, it just doesn't live up to the great Apple reputation.
I bought this DVD after reading great reviews on every website I went on.
As I work full time, I wanted something that would fit easily into my daily routine and not take up too much time, and most importantly, something that worked!
I bought my copy of this DVD from play.com for about £5. It was worth every penny and more!
The DVD is split into 3 sections; level one, level two and level three.
The aim is to do level one for 10 days, level two for 10 days, and then level three for 10 days, thus completing the 30 day shred. However, you can quite easily go at your own pace and stay on level one for as long as you like until you feel ready to crank it up a notch.
Each work out lasts for around 25 minutes, including warm up and cool down. I thought, how hard can a 25 minute work out be?! The answer: very hard!!!
Gillian starts by warming you up for a couple of minutes, even the warm up is tough, jumping jacks and stretches and cardio. Then it's straight into the main work out, which goes by her 3-2-1 formula. It's 3 minutes of strength, followed by 2 minutes of cardio, followed by 1 minute of abs. Then this formula is repeated 3 times with different moves.
This still sounds pretty easy right?! WRONG!
It is so tiring! Gillian literally gives you no more than 3 - 5 seconds rest between each circuit, and sweat will be pouring off you by the time you are a few minutes in.
She claims that she can get the same results in twenty minutes, as "hours at the gym".
NOTE: You will need a set of hand weights (or tins of beans!) with this DVD. I got some 5lb dumbells.
An example of the strength exercises include press ups, weight exercises, lunges etc. Examples of the cardio are jumping jacks, skipping (without a rope), punches etc. Examples of the abs exercises are basic crunches, bicycle crunches and leg raises etc.
Even though it's a very tough routine, it's all over in just over 20 minutes. So it's easy to fit into your routine.
Do be warned, there are a lot of squat position moves, and for someone who suffers with bad knees such as me, it can be touch on the joints! Level two also involves a lot of exercises done in the plank position too, so be careful if you suffer from a bad back.
But it does WORK! I lost about half a stone in a couple of weeks (coupled with a good diet).
I bought the Nike + Sensor as part of a package with the Nike + Sports Band.
Before buying it, I had not realised that you had this sensor, and that it had to go in your shoe. I was then made aware that Nike make special Nike + trainers, with a built in area underneath the underlay in the shoe, where you can clip the sensor in.
I was worried I would need to buy a new pair of shoes for something I had only paid £35 for! Fortunately, after a little internet research, I found that you can buy little pouches that you can attach to your laces on your trainers, that can house the sensor, without the need for new trainers. The pouch cost me £7.99, and does the trick!
The sensor works from a mixture of GPS and Pedometer technology.
Combined with the Sports Band or the iPod technology, it measures how far you have run, the time taken, time per mile, calories burned etc. It calculates this according to your height and weight, which you input via your computer when setting up your Sports Band/iPod feature.
I find the distance calculations fairly accurate. On a route that I know to be 2 miles exactly, it calculates between 2 miles and 2.2 miles, depending on how fast I run. I think the faster you run, the more the sensor bounces, and it may think you have gone a little farther than you have. However, this may not be as bad if using the Nike + trainers, instead of the pouch on the laces.
All in all, it's a great way of getting a good idea of how far you have run and how many calories you have burnt, and it's good for keeping time so that you can see how well you have progressed over time.
After your run, you can also upload your run data to your computer and keep a log of everything, and set yourself goals, such as "run 100 miles in the next three months" etc.
I have never been much of a reader, but I am a gadget lover, so when the Kindle came out, I wanted one!
Since owning a Kindle, I have become a reader!
If you are a big reader, this device will save you tonnes of room. Just imagine all of your books, cluttering up your book cases, all wrapped up into one small tablet! This Kindle can store up to 1400 books!
The selling price is £89 for this wi-fi model. You can also get the next model up, which includes a qwerty keyboard and free 3g, which retails at £149. But, as I already have an iPhone, a lap top and a computer, I only needed the Kindle for simply reading books.
The screen is off-white, without being back lit, which really does make it look like the page of a book, rather than a computer screen. If I were to read a whole book on a back lit screen, I'd end up with a migraine!
The Kindle tells you what percentage of the book you have read, and how many pages you have to go etc.
It's very easy to setup and use, you just connect it to your wifi as you would anything else, and you can then connect to the Kindle library and download any books you wish. I recommend then switching the wifi off when not downloading books, as it saves battery power.
You can turn a page at the press of a button, they have page forward and page backward buttons on each side of the device, and the page turning speed is very good.
Downloading books is very easy, and the price tends to be less than buying the actual book in the shop as you're obviously buying a download rather than a hard copy. The speed of downloads is excellent too, taking less than 60 seconds in most cases.
Battery life is also surprisingly good. It can last for weeks at a time between charging, depending on how much you read obviously!