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    • Whiskas Pouches / Cat Food / 46 Readings / 44 Ratings
      More +
      25.01.2011 20:11
      Very helpful



      Thank goodness for pouches!

      My mum is going to give you all the technical information on Whiskas pouches, but as she is not prepared (even for you lovely Dooyoo people) to taste test this product, so has asked me to give you my first hand account.

      I'm not a fussy cat, but being part Burmese, I do have a fine palate and texture means everything to me. which is why I leave birds and mice to my less well-heeled friends....I really can't abide bones.

      Mum always buys me pouches as they are so convenient, and no smelly tins in the fridge. Also my food is always served at room temperature (as advised on the label) to avoid any tummy upsets.

      So here we are, just been served a nutritious portion of Whiskas in jelly with tuna. Now the first thing I notice is the aroma.....not overpowering (apparently some people baulk when feeding their cats strong smelling cat foods)...nope, this has a just-cooked smell and looks very appetizing.

      I like to lap up all the jelly first, then eat the chunks.......this way, I don't get jelly on my whiskers when pouncing on the meat, and it's rather like a two course meal.....consomme followed by main meat course.

      The chunks are just the right size for my little mouth and the texture is moist, yet firm. The main taste sensation is meat, now I know this is tuna but mum will tell you why this may be later.....to me, the fish, meat and poultry varieties taste fairly much the same, although I must say the prawn is in a class of it's own. (I do get some tropical fish food flakes as treats when mum's feeding the fish....so I know all about the seafood varieties)

      I generally leave about 5 chunks on the plate......sometimes it's because I can go back half an hour later and enjoy the experience of Whiskas all over again......or occasionally it's because my girlfriend Partner creeps in the cat flap and I like to have something to share as a gentlemanly gesture.........you never know where it may lead.

      OK - over to mum for the technical stuff (it's really not very exciting, but worth reading as she will be claiming the dosh......I apparently get zilch)

      Hi all......I think the reason Joey's pouches taste fairly much the same is the ingredients on all the different varieties are exactly the same....with the addition of 4% of that meat or fish added.

      There's a special offer on at Sainsburys at the moment - 12 x 100 gms pouches for £3.67, but buy two packs and it's just a fiver. which works out cheaper than the Sainsburys own brand cat pouches.

      The ingredients are: Meat and animal derivatives (which then includes the 4% meat of the variety of your choice), vegetable protein extracts, mineral extracts.

      They suggest that a 12lb cat has 2 pouches and some dried cat food each day. That's what I feed Joey (not my chosen name, he's from Cat's Protection and for some reason was given the name of a budgie.....very embarrassing, but he copes with the humiliation quite well)

      I love the convenience of pouches, and you know you're feeding about the right amount. It appears to have all the nutrients cats need (although I do give Joey home cooked food as well - one those days, I leave out the evening pouch and replace with fresh).


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      • More +
        25.01.2011 16:51
        Very helpful
        1 Comment



        It's worth a try if you're on a budget

        On my eternal quest for items that are inexpensive but just as good as more expensive products, thought I'd try Sainsburys Basic shampoo.....

        I have shoulder length hair that tends to be a little on the greasy side, so wash my hair every three days.

        It costs just 22p for a 1 litre bottle.....the bottle is plastic with a screw top lid (but no squirty thing, so you pour straight from the bottle)

        The smell is very slightly floral, with a hint of plastic...which I suspect is the bottle overpowering the perfume as that is very mild indeed. But the plastic aroma isn't detrimental, kind of adds to the overall effect of a slight clinical smell.

        Now, Sainsburys actually say there is less lather...therefore leaving your hair squeaky clean.........well, they sure have good marketing people, because it actually means Basic equals less soap equals less lather.

        So although I used three good dollops on my hair, it really was not soapy enough to remove all the grease (not that I have hair that looks like it's been dunked in a chip pan, you understand)....but I'd say if you have normal to dry hair, this product will cleanse your hair quite thoroughly. If you have hair that tends to be greasy.....forget it...or grow dreadlocks.

        However not be be too critical of what is a good product, I decided to try it for some other use.

        (Yes, you're beginning to realise I'm a complete cheapskate.....and why not in these days of austerity???)

        I have mentioned in an earlier review that I'm a great believer in liquid soap over bar soaps, for a variety of reasons.

        Just mentioning the main two again.....liquid soap is far more hygienic, and liquid soaps don't leave scum around the sink or bath like bar soaps do......oh, and if you use bubble bath, liquid soap for the scrub up process means all the bubbles stay till the very end, rather than vanish as soon as they see the bar soap coming for them.

        As a price comparison, most liquid soaps start from about £1 for 500mls....and when you use them as often as we do in the bathroom and kitchen, it can be quite a luxury.

        So I filled the soap dispenser with this Basic shampoo......so it cost me 11p rather than at least one pound, and it was brilliant.

        The "lower lather" claim to fame actually was very handy in this case......cleansed well and washed off quickly. My hands can be a little sensitive to foamier soaps, but the low levels of soap and perfumes in this product was ideal.

        It looks quite nice in a see through soap dispenser too..being a pale peach colour which matches my bathroom and kitchen decor (now you really are beginning to get the idea I'm a bit bonkers in the home decor department)

        All in all I'd give this product 6/10 as a shampoo....but 8/10 as a liquid soap.


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        • More +
          11.01.2011 17:14
          Very helpful



          A quality shampoo at a bargain price

          If I can, I like to review a product just after I've used it. It's not that I suffer from terminal amnesia, but everything's still fresh in your head.....or in this case, fresh on my head.

          My hair's just past shoulder length and prone to be greasy. But my hairdresser always seems to comment how shiny it is, and in very good condition.

          I only use cheap shampoos, and never use conditioners. I have tried expensive shampoos, just to see what I might be missing, and the answer in this case, is absolutely nothing.

          Sainsbury's Family Apple Shampoo costs just 88p for a whopping 750 ml bottle. It's a plastic see-through bottle, so you'll know when you're getting near the end, and has a handly flip-top cap (saves unscrewing a lid if you have problems with this) and you can squirt just the right amount into your palm.

          The shampoo itself has just the right consistency, so none is wasted dripping off your hands, and for my length hair, two dollops (I'd guess that was about 2 heaped tablespoons) I had more than enough for a thick luxurious foam.

          The perfume is definately appley (another made up technical term) and I'd say more like a crisp firm green apple...Cox maybe - rather than a sweet heavy Cara apple, which is good as it's ideal for men too - very refreshing in fact.

          Now my hair's drying a little, there's a very feint smell of apples, but nothing to make anyone suspicious that I'd just downed a whole bottle of cider.........and is beginning to feel clean and shiny again.

          There is a long list of ingredients, I have no idea what they are all, so won't pad out this review with them. However I do know a little about allergies so here I few I've spotted that may be of interest

          Aqua - well, if you're allergic to this, you're in big trouble, as that's water to you and I.

          Sodium Laurel Sulphate - know to be a problem for some people as it causes skin irritation....but as it's used in just about every toiletry, including toothpaste, you would know to look out for this if you have an allergy.

          Citric acid - sounds harsh, but in fact it's the natural ingredient in all citrus fruits.

          Pyrus Malus extract - none other than the natural extract from the crab apple (I was close with my Cox's apple observation)

          Glycerin - it's a softener and edible, so no problems there I wouldn't have thought.

          Now although from that list it sounds like a totally natural product. It isn't - but the long names of the chemicals really would only be of interest to a research scientist, and as I got a little bit of it in my eye when I was washing my hair, I can happily announce I have not gone blind, and it didn't even really sting. So it seems quite mild, yet powerful in it's cleaning action.

          (If you do get any shampoo in your eye, follow instructions on bottle to rinse with plenty of water)

          Sometimes I like to give comparison prices......and maybe these shampoos are better quality, but maybe they're not......and as you're not going to get any nutritional value from this product, you'll just be rinsing it down the sink.

          Sainsbury's Family Apple Shampoo - 750 mls - 88p

          Alberto Balsam Strawberry Shampoo - 400 mls - 1.00

          Original Source Lime & Guarana - 250 mls - 1.49

          Tommyguns Pomegranate - 250 mls - £5.99

          Clairol Fruit Fusions - 200 mls - 1.75

          So the big 750 mls is fantastic value really.

          Tezzz's Tip of the Day

          If, like me, you prefer liquid handwashes to bar soap........buy a 500ml handwash, keep the bottle, and refill with this......it's just liquid soap....nothing more than the thickness is sometimes different, but this in case, it's the same as any other handwashes......but look how much cheaper it is. And as a kitchen handwash, has a lovely refreshing and fruity smell.....

          I really like this shampoo, and will buy again.


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          • Magic Bullet blender / Blender / 55 Readings / 53 Ratings
            More +
            09.01.2011 19:09
            Very helpful



            If you're into gadgets and love froth - this is the one for you.

            My son (then aged 11) saw the Magic Bullet on a Sky shopping channel, he thought he wanted to be a chef and was mesmerised by this magic machine that did just about everything in the kitchen in a matter of moments.

            I'm not usually taking in by ads, but the happy-go-lucky couple who were demonstrating this machine to a group of friends - who just happened to all be sitting around their breakfast bar - looked quite appealing.....and worth the money.

            They showed us how to do a complete buffet for what looked like 250 people, in 10 minutes flat.

            Place your fruit, milk, some ice cubes in the Magic Bullet.......bzzzzzzzz...magnificent milkshakes.

            Place eggs, milk, butter seasoning in MB........bzzzzzzz......amazing omelette. While it's cooking how about putting a lump of cheese in MB......bzzzzzzz.....cheese omelette.

            Hey!!! Why not put some ham and jalopinos (oh boy do they love their jalopinos) in MB.....bzzzzzzzz......cheese AND ham omelette.....with a twang of jalopinos.....


            Err. not really. Unless you want all your food to be a frothy with big lumps concoction....I wouldn't bother.

            The reality was: eggs whizzed in the MB are so frothy and full of air, they kind of melt in your mouth in a not-good way. The cheese would have to be grated before it was placed in the MB and the blades cut into the small chunks I'd put in there, which were then kind of wiped around the inside of the container. Took me ages to scoop out the mangled cheese....by which time my omelette was burning.

            Had I bought a jalopino, it would have had the same fate, caught in the blades, taken on a merry fandango, then scooped out semi whole again.

            I know! I'll ditch the omelette and make a nice fish spread (oh yes you can makes pates and spreads out of almost anything edible). Placed a can of pilchards in tomato sauce in the MB....bzzzz....frothy fish puree.

            Maybe not a fair choice......put some quartered onion in........(suppose to save chopping, crying etc)..it came out half pureed, half in chunks (yes, you're getting the drift of this) cried my eyes out mainly because onion puree is very strong on the eyeballs, and half because I was thinking how much I'd paid for this wizard of a machine, that didn't work very well.

            I eventually realised there's very little you can do in your MB, as the containers only hold half a pint of liquid, so unless you're Knobby No-Mates, always eat by yourself (and you're have a froth fetish)....you're not going to be using this at your next dinner party.

            However I will say the milkshake with big lumps of ice wasn't bad at all (if you throw away the ice)

            What it is good for....making breadcrumbs/making batter/making a tiny portion of soup/making baby food/making a noise.

            When making anything solid - and I think Happy Couple told us this, you may have to keep removing container from power base and shaking contents....often. You really don't need to do this in a conventional food processor as there's room for the contents to whizz around the larger container bowl.

            THE MAGIC BULLET

            You can now buy a 21 piece set which includes

            The Magic Bullet machine

            2 blades - one flat for cream or grinding herbs and nuts, one tall for.......making things frothy and generally liquidising

            2 cups - one short, one tall

            4 party mugs with comforters (these are brightly coloured plastic rings which screw onto your mug..(so you know which one is yours) I have no idea why a fully grown adult would not know his own drink, or why it would comfort him/her to know their beverage would be easily recognised in a crowd.

            2 tops - one shaker, and one steamer, you can put your liquidised soup in a microwave and the steam escapes through holes.

            2 stay-fresh resealable lids

            A recipe book and user guide which is actually very informative.

            The Magic Bullet also comes with a blender (why???) and a juice extractor...which I have to confess I haven't tried yet but will give you an update if I do. I have had my MB for 7 years....so don't hold your breath in anticipation.....

            THE PRICE

            When I purchased mine 7 years ago, from the JML shopping channel I paid £75 inc. postage (what was I thinking!!!!)

            I see you can now buy it directly from JML for £59.99 + postage of £4.95

            THE LOOK

            Rather a smart machine - black and silver plastic and it takes up no room at all on your worktop - so I would say this is it's biggest advantage over a food processor (but you have to be a really tiny eater!)

            EASE OF USE

            Say you're making an omelette, you just add the eggs, milk seasoning to the cup, place the blade unit on top of cup and screw down firmly, making sure no liquid is seeping out (you may not have screwed it on correctly), then turn the unit over and place in the MB power base, and simple turn to the right to engage the blade unit into the base.......and press down.

            There are no buttons or switches....just the pressure of pushing down on the base starts the blades rotating. To finish, take your hand off cup, turn to the right (the cup, not you) to disengage - and there you have it. Frotharama Delight.

            Cleaning really is a doddle, you just remove cup and blade unit from the power base and wash each separate item under the tap (it is dishwasher safe).......... (never place power unit in water)

            NOISE LEVELS

            Now this really must go under a separate heading...the noise is incredible!!!! But to be fair - so are quite a few food processors. But for some reason this small, unassuming gadget belts it out like a pneumatic drill!


            Well, after the first few days of trying everything in our Magic Bullet, and not really enjoying the experience - it has sat looking very trendy, but unused for years. Occasionally I'll make the odd milkshake or smoothie in it....but to be honest, the noise and small size of cups really doesn't allow you to do anything other than tidbits of food....I vaguely remember the happy smiley couple making pastry in it....if so, it would have made 3 tartlets, if that.

            And as I'm not really into jalopino frothy pate.........I can't say I'd really be over-enthusuastic about recommending it. I feel an absolute traitor to the couple in the ad whose whole day seem to revolve around the wonders of this little machine, but I'm sure they're over it by now and using a proper food processor.


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            • More +
              05.01.2011 18:29
              Very helpful



              Why spend more when you won't find better?

              I've always used Sainsbury's Basic Baby Wipes for many things (some I'll tell you about later, some I won't :S )...but recently they've been out of stock, so I've had to buy various makes which were more expensive.

              So now I can give you a better comparison, having tried the others.

              A pack of 80 Sainsbury's Basic Baby Wipes cost 18p compared with:

              Johnsons x 64......................£2.44

              Wet Ones x 12......................£1.00

              Pampers x 74.......................£2.35

              Huggies x 64.......................£2.45

              You may be looking at the Sainsbury's Basics and think I've got the price wrong....no, really I haven't.

              They come is a plastic pack with a resealable adhesive strip, so they stay moist to the very last one.

              So - are they are good a quality.....??? Yes, and in fact in many cases better than the more expensive ones.

              Each sheet measures 18 x 17cms, and has a light, delicate flowery fragrance, that isn't overpowering. They're strong, soft and non-slippery.

              Non-slippery you ask????? Well one of the brands I tried from Asda, the material was actually slippery, so when you folded them in half to use as a moist facial wipe, they didn't....the material stayed in the same place on your face, and the top half of the sheet just slid around on the bottom half......really useless.

              Some of the other brands were much smaller too, so if you were using as moist toilet wipes, you'd need two at least at a time, whereas the Sainsbury's Basics, can be folded in half for extra strength (if you get my drift)

              I use Sainsbury's Basic Baby Wipes for everything - except on a baby - which I don't have one of.........and they rarely give them away free with the packs.....

              For a quick facial freshen up, moist toilet wipes, for dusting around the house, placing on a radiator as instant air freshener, wiping my leather sofa if my cat jumps up with wet paws. (Needless to say, you would want to use a new wipe for each of above pastimes)

              TERRY'S TIP OF THE DAY

              Instead of buying expensive antibacterial wipes for dusting or wiping work surfaces........put a few squirts of antibacterial spray in the pack, and mark clearly "antibacterial" with a marker pen (you wouldn't want to use these on your skin by mistake) ........... you'll save pounds over the months.

              And of course, if you have a baby, you'll find umpteen more reasons why these inexpensive, good quality, gentle and strong baby wipes are one of the best on the market.


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              • More +
                04.01.2011 23:45
                Very helpful



                I don't think you can beat this ready meal for value and flavour

                Well, talk about hot off the press, I've just eaten this (home alone dinner again.....really must get out more) so can give you a blow by blow account of this ready meal.

                It costs £1 (but at the moment, you can buy 4 Sainsburys ready meals (certain varieties) for the price of 3....so actually 75p for 400 grams of sweet and sour chicken with rice.

                This is one of the best value ready meals you can buy. The chicken is real chunks of chicken, not minced, shaped morsels and I counted (I'm such a stickler for detail) 7 decent chunks of chicken which had a really good chickeny flavour. The sweet and sour sauce had just the right consistency, not too runny, nor thick and sticky and a lovely mix of not-too-sweet, and not over-acidic flavours (I'm beginning to sound like Goldilocks).

                There were decent sized diced onion pieces, a few squares of red pepper, which weren't soggy, but still retained a tiny bit of crunch, some slivers of carrot and quite a few small chunks of pineapple, which were moist and pineappley.

                The rice was cooked just right, white, separate and fluffy. Honestly, you'd never have thought this came in a box.

                I served mine with baby gem lettuce leaves and slices of cucumber and it filled the whole plate with glorious colour and aroma.

                If you look on the front cover, the meal is exactly as photographed (but more of it)....I often laugh at the front cover pics on food and once cooked has no resemblance to the actual meal (there's a couple of websites dedicated to this sort of thing - hilarious)

                Back to the meal - nutritionally quite healthy - each pack contains 446 kcals, protein 17.1 gms, fat 1.9 gms, carbs 87.7 (of which sugars 25.2 gms - now that would be 6 tsps sugar, but it's possibly partially made up with the natural fruit sugars in the pineapple)...but that's still one heck of a whack and you'd want to be aware of that when you're eating what you think is a savoury meal)

                All that for 75p...and just one plate to wash up. Actually saddo me washed the black container - they're brill for putting extra portions of stews etc, popped in the freezer, then microwaved or heated in oven at a later date.....so I even got a free handy container (and they're dishwasher safe)

                Am I beginning to sound like an obsessive....................??????? Probably :D


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                • Kenwood Deep Fryer / Deep Fryer / 31 Readings / 31 Ratings
                  More +
                  04.01.2011 18:08
                  Very helpful
                  1 Comment



                  If you're happy just cooking chips and want a spotlessly clean fryer....this is the one for you.

                  This is my third deep fat fryer. The first was a rectangular one with lid you just took off.....couldn't see how chips were doing, and had to be pretty nifty at removing lid without steam scalding your arm.

                  Second one was a close down lid - bowl was not removable and was a nightmare to clean.

                  I like Kenwood, reliable and last a long time, so I had some Nectar points and looked on the Argos website. I've had this now for 6 months, so cannot remember the exact price, but it was around the £50 mark.

                  What drew me to this model was the Clean Easy feature. Not only does the basket come out, the bowl (which is non stick) also comes out very easily, and then the whole body of the machine comes apart for thorough cleaning

                  SPECIAL FEATURES

                  I kg capacity and the basket has enough room to shake contents when cooking

                  There's a window in the lid, so you can see how food is cooking (although this can get steamed up, so I wouldn't rely on this method........)

                  All non-electrical parts are dishwasher safe

                  One click opens the lid, so no need to put your hands or arms over the appliance when on

                  The lid has a permanent filter to reduce cooking smells (to be honest, I don't find this works very well and you still get a fried smell in the kitchen that lingers, but not as much as an old fashioned uncovered chip pan)

                  Cool wall outer......which is really important if you have curious cats or young children


                  You cannot close the lid down unless the basket is in place. Very annoying really when dishing out food, as the fryer is then left open..or when you put the basket in the dishwasher, no way of closing lid unless you put a weighty object like a small bowl on the lid.

                  There are 3 heat setting - 150/170/190 degrees...however even on the lowest setting, chips do very quickly, so if you have thick chips, they're not completely cooked on the inside. I wouldn't be happy cooking chicken etc in this machine for example, as you can't get the temperature down low enough to cook thoroughly.

                  Problems with getting replacement basket (please see below)

                  REPLACEMENT PARTS

                  Easy enough to find on the net as there are a number of Kenwood agents supplying parts.

                  However, I'm the sort of person who likes scrupulously clean baskets, and vowed to put my basket in the dishwasher after every time I used it. This lapsed a bit (I only use my fryer for cooking chips) and it was impossible to hand clean the yellow oily deposits that get into the wire meshing.

                  So I looked around for a replacement basket. The average cost is £16.95 with cheapest postage I could find was £4.95.....so you're looking at around £22 just to replace the basket.

                  All sites offering this basket seem to say "delivery within 28 day" (which often means less time) so after three weeks of waiting for my basket I rang the distributor to track my order. They said it was out of stock and couldn't give me a time of delivery (I asked why they didn't put that on their website, and it's something none of the Kenwood agents do)

                  They suggested I ring after 28 days to see if it was in stock then. I would think this is the same answer you'd be given by any of the distributors as they told me it's not an "in stock item" and they have to order from abroad.

                  I wasn't prepared to wait for my little chip suppers for weeks......so decided to ditch the basket, and buy a large stainless steel straining spoon instead.

                  £4.95 in a cookware shop......and ok, takes a little while to scoop out all the chips, but at least I can wash it straight away, and will never had to go through the rigmarole of getting baskets. Also, you can stir the chips around whilst cooking for a more even browning.

                  However, I permanently have to have a bowl on the top of the lid, as it doesn't shut without basket!

                  GENERAL INFORMATION

                  There's no recipe leaflet, so apart from a description of the machine, showing to assemble and dismantle, cleaning and service.....that's your lot.......

                  There is a selection of stickers on the lid telling you what you can cook and temperatures, but remember, the lowest temperature is a little too hot.....so that's no guide really.

                  Well, when I say no recipe ideas...there's one page with 3 "recipes"...prawn balls, chicken kiev, basic batter for coating (they don't say what to coat it with though)

                  I suppose you could juggle those three ideas and wow people at dinner parties with your imagination and flare.....

                  All in all this machine is excellent for the ease of cleaning, makes crispy chips, and the basket is good while it lasts.


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                  • More +
                    03.01.2011 23:33
                    Very helpful



                    You would think these little noodles were far more expensive.

                    I mean, what can you get in life for 10p nowadays? Quarter of a newspaper, not even a third of a stamp.

                    But Sainsbury's have come up trumps again.

                    Like most people, I'm cutting corners with my budget and trying foods I probably wouldn't have bothered with...but more and more I'm surprised at just how good the basic supermarket own make products are.

                    This must surely top the list.

                    Basic packaging, no bad thing, and as you can see from the pic above, all the nutritional info is clearly shown on the front in an easy-to-understand format.

                    The image of the noodles looks like you're about to eat an unravelled orange knitted sock, but they're just fooling you....it really is nutritious, tasty food inside.

                    Just like the more expensive flavoured noodles on the market, you have a tightly knitted (oh maybe it was supposed to be a sock) block of plain noodles, and a separate sachet of chicken flavouring.

                    So, when I wanted noodles with my beef concoction last week, I just boiled the noodles, and the little sachet makes a rather tasty hot beverage on its own.

                    The pack doesn't tell you serving size, and I found it was plenty for one, doubt it would have stretched to two, but for two kiddlies, perfect.

                    You just add the chicken flavoured sachet to 400mls of boiling water (I used cold...complete maverick when it comes to instructions....) then add noodles.....once boiling point is reached, simmer for two minutes, stirring occasionally to break up the noodles.

                    That's it.....amazing eh?

                    Nutritionally each packet contains 418 kcals, 10.6gms protein, carbs 62.2 gms and 14gms fat. Served with vegetables and/or meat - you have a well balanced meal.

                    The taste is lovely, not too salty, a mild natural savoury flavour that compliments just about any white meat or fish. The texture is fine, the noodles aren't separate and stick slightly together, but it's a pleasant texture - not gloop. They have a slightly oily texture (that would be the palm oil) but that adds to the tastiness and not actually greasy as such.

                    If you're thinking of a one pot meal (as I do on home alone days when the family are out) try stir frying a mix of chicken, onions, carrots, mushrooms, peas, maybe even some brocolli and red peppers....make sure chicken is thoroughly cooked..................then add your 400mls of water with the noodles and flavour packet......simmer as usual for 2 mins..........a really tasty, full of goodness meal.

                    And only one pot to wash after.

                    I still can't believe they can make such a tasty addition to a meal for just 10p.


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                    • Twinings Pure Green Tea / Tea / 16 Readings / 15 Ratings
                      More +
                      03.01.2011 21:14
                      Very helpful



                      It's worth the added health benefits

                      Green tea? black tea? brown tea? Tea is tea, isn't it????

                      It is, but each tea has it's own health giving properties......so I thought I'd tell you a bit more about green tea. I personally use Twinings - their range just seems to have a purer taste somehow.

                      I'm no scientist, so will not reel off the health giving benefits of green tea over ordinary brown tea, but there are some things you'll find interesting...hopefully.....

                      The main health giving compound is ECGC , a powerful antioxidant...(for any techies here......epigallocatechin gallate)......which IS present in all brown and black teas...BUT......the processing is completely different. Ordinary tea is fermented and ECGC's are turned into something different and health properties are lost. But green tea is steamed, thus preserving these vital compounds.

                      So green tea really does have more benefits over ordinary tea.

                      It doesn't taste like ordinary tea either, and I can only describe it as a feint jasmine tea, but not perfumey (I've really tried to put this taste into words, but it is a unique flavour) mild, very refreshing and just as nice cold.

                      I don't add anything to it, and I would think milk and sugar would be an abomination......

                      It has a higher caffeine content than other teas (which is why it gives you more of a lift) and yet much less caffeine than a cup of coffee.

                      Interestingly, leaving any teabag in a cup of boiling water for a long time (to stew) doesn't actually give you more of a kick - caffeine dissolves in the first 10-20 seconds......so after that all you get is a stronger taste, not more of a lift.

                      So, keeping in mind that the all important ECGC's are present in green tea.....here's just a few health claims that have been made.

                      Green tea boosts metabolism, and is known as a "fat burner"

                      Green tea is a powerful antibacterial - makes a great mouthwash as it destroys bacteria and plaque...and also combats food poisoning......

                      It's reputed to be helpful in the treatment of cancer, apparently it kills some cancer cells, whilst leaving healthy cells alone.....

                      It lowers cholesterol, helps with immune function, supports the cardiovascular system.....it seems almost a miracle plant...........

                      Of course, with all research - it isn't clear how much tea you'd have to take for it to have any effect....but I would imagine even a small amount of something good, must help in some way.

                      There's a bit of a debate as to whether tea rehydrates you. Tea contains caffeine, which is a diuretic (makes you go wee), but then, you are taking in fluids whilst drinking......so I'll leave that one for you to decide.......

                      There's no doubt that ordinary teas have many health giving properties......but switching to green tea seems a good choice to make if you want to get as many health benefits as you can from your food and drink.


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                      • More +
                        03.01.2011 17:29
                        Very helpful



                        Give them a go.......a bit of what you fancy does you good.

                        Do you know, I've never tried McVitie's Hobnobs. I try and eat as healthily as I can, but without being faddy.

                        So if I have a biscuit - it's usually a wholemeal or chocolate digestive....rather than one of the more "treat" type biscuits.

                        But wherever there's a bargain to be had, principles fly out the window and I'm first in the queue.....

                        Sainsbury's are doing McVities chocolate Hobnobs, both the milk and dark choc varieties for 69p instead of the usual £1.38 for a 300gm pack.

                        So I bought 8 packs!!!!!

                        Oh boy! Am I glad I did. First of all the nutritional bit (which made me feel a whole lot better having bought half the store's stocks....)

                        Per biscuit: 93 kcals

                        Fat 4.6 gms (not too bad - will keep you feeling full for longer than a low fat biscuit)

                        Sugar 6.0 grams - that's one and a half teaspoons sugar

                        Content 45% oats and wholemeal - now that's quite a good percentage if you're into fibre
                        24% chocolate - dark chocolate especially has many health benefits (believe it or not) and as
                        we've already seen the sugar content.......we can forget about it here......

                        I could tell you all the other ingredients, but to be honest, these are the most important things when looking at sweet food products....I've never been particularly interested in exactly how much bicarbonate of soda I ingest during my tea break.

                        To the taste test. Well, the thing I loved about Hobnobs is the texture. The oats add a really interesting, almost homemade texture, and the longer you chew, the more tasty they become (they must be magic biscuits) it's almost a coconutty feel.....but not coconutty flavour.

                        Mingling with the dark chocolate is quite a taste sensation - as far as biscuits go.

                        And the chewy, wholesome nature of the biscuit means you have to chew them for longer than say, a custard cream, which gives you time to ponder the gorgeous flavour

                        They're the nearest I've come to homemade biscuits and (unfortunately) are very more'ish.

                        I was quite impressed with the ingredients, compared with "healthy" snack bars (many are not as nutritious as they appear), they are quite a healthy little snack and obviously much cheaper than health food shop bars.

                        I can hardly believe I'm telling you that bickies are healthy, but I studied Food Science many years ago, so have always had interest in "ordinary" foods versus so called "healthy". Not is all as the marketing peops lead you to believe.

                        If you've never tried Hobnobs before, give them a go - especially as they're half price at the moment.


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                        • sainsburys.co.uk / Online Shop / 17 Readings / 16 Ratings
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                          02.01.2011 23:11
                          Very helpful



                          If you're looking to do your supermarket shop online....try Sainsburys first

                          I do my supermarket shop online every week...I was with Tesco for 3 years, Asda for 3 weeks (just wanted to try them out) and Sainsburys for 4 years now.

                          I just want to say - overall Sainsbury's is by far the best supermarket to shop with.

                          With this recent cold spell, we were pretty much snowed in for a couple of weeks. I knew it was coming, so ordered a few items the week before to make sure we had some food in stock, in case of emergencies.

                          The delivery driver told me, because of the chance of snow, some people were ordering £700+ of groceries in just order....stockpiling. The delivery men must have worked their socks off that week, yet as always, was polite friendly and chirpy.

                          I hardly had any subs, and all were pretty similar to what I ordered...but the most impressive thing was during Xmas week when the snow was over a foot high in our road.....up came the Sainsbury van, like a triumphant santa battling the elements.......I'm not even sure how he got up my drive.......but there he was - happy as a sandboy......and not one substitution.

                          We very near gave him a round of applause when he arrived at the door.......

                          What is interesting about Sainsburys deliveries.....if they are so much as one minute later than your scheduled order time, they give you a £10 voucher off your next shop...yes!!! really!!!!

                          Over the 4 years I have had some reason to complain..but very rarely........poor quality of meat and potatoes being their main problem. But always had courteous customer service, and a full refund within days.

                          If they do come early, I get a phone call beforehand to make sure it's ok.......

                          And you have a one hour delivery slot...whereas most of the other companies only offer a 2 hour slot, which can be very inconvenient.

                          They seemed to pull out all the stops for their customers during that treacherous weather over Xmas......so credit where credit's due in this case........

                          So if you're thinking of shopping online, I really do think Sainsbury's are a good bet.


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                          • Twinings Peppermint Tea / Tea / 19 Readings / 17 Ratings
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                            02.01.2011 20:55
                            Very helpful



                            Apart from being a healthy option to tea, it makes a lovely change.....

                            I have to say, some of the herbal teas on the market taste like you've dipped your socks in hot water.....but if you've never tried pure peppermint tea by Twinings, you're missing out.

                            One of the most refreshing cuppas you can imagine, hot or cold (so very handy if you taken a few sips hot, then the doorbell goes, 20 mins later.....just as nice cold - how versatile is that!)

                            If you're into kitchen decor as I am (sad person) the box itself looks very fresh and stylish....so hide your full fat milk in fridge, put the Twinings on display, show everyone the "healthy you".

                            There's something about Twinings teas that make you feel kind of special.....in an upmarket way. The quality is always excellent, and apart from keeping in a cool dry place, no need to decant these into a tin....they stay fresh for months......but won't last that long.

                            Sainsburys are doing a special promo on them at the moment - Was £1.07 now 71p for 20 teabags...

                            Although peppermint tea contains no caffeine...a strong cup will give you a "lift", especially if you need to concentrate (for instance, when doing a review for Dooyoo.....)

                            Peppermint as a herb aids digestion, and you can drink as many cups as you want, there are no additives.

                            And if you're eating some dark chocolate at the same time .... well you can imagine the blend of flavours.........

                            It really is a lovely alternative to tea, and if you leave the teabag on the side instead of throwing straight in the bin, your kitchen smells fresh too........


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                          • More +
                            01.01.2011 21:00
                            Very helpful



                            For a nutritious, refreshing drink, any time of the day, this is the one to choose

                            Now, while I'm for sitting on a Florida beach, watching my oranges being freshly squeezed for me while, basking in the rays and feeling the sand between my toes (that's not my favourite bit) - the reality is I generally (always actually - who am I trying to kid!) open fridge door, reach in....and there it is.

                            You can pay a fortune for some makes of pure orange juice....and the reason is....firstly brand marketing, and secondly is it pure orange juice, or concentrate?

                            Seems to be a big issue. In fact concentrated orange juice has the H2O taken out at source, is shipped to sales destination, and H2O is added again. There is very little nutritional loss...and if you're into all things green, the concentrate costs less to ship over.

                            So at 62p for one whole litre.....thought I'd give it a go.....

                            I was really expecting to taste something similar to bottled orange squash....but was pleasantly surprised. In a taste test (performed solely by myself and using just one brand - so not the best experiment in the world) it tasted exactly like freshly squeezed orange juice.......

                            Refreshing, not too sweet.....nice, smooth consistency....nourishing.

                            In fact, my mouth's watering just thinking about it.....

                            Techie bit: one 250ml serving will give you 105 kcals, 22 gm sugar, and 0.3% fat.....(had to put that last bit - tickled me thinking of all the fat you have to drain off before eating an orange.....lol) Sorry, I digress.......
                            so when you're next in Tesco and see the "Value" box and think of passing it by for a more expensive make...think again, the "value" in this case really does stand for good value......


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                            • Frijj Milkshake / Soft Drink / 29 Readings / 26 Ratings
                              More +
                              01.01.2011 16:17
                              Very helpful



                              Fills a space in your tum that was empty before.

                              Decided to treat myself seeing as Frijj were on half price offer at Sainsbury's - normally £1.10, now 55p for 500mls.

                              I'm of the era that remembers Mickey milkshakes you could buy from street vending machines...gorgeous chocolatey flavour...and also the first "thick" American style milkshakes you could only get in Wimpy burger shops.....

                              So a milkshake isn't an everyday occurence for me.....more like an occasional trip down memory lane.

                              Have to say, was quite disappointed......gloopily thick (not "ice creamy thick)....that would be the guar gum then.....edible wallpaper paste basically.

                              Too sweet, and even me, with the taste buds any foodie would be proud of...couldn't actually discern any chocolateyness (I make up words as I go along) to get excited about.

                              So if you want a filling yet comparatively tasteless drink that'll no doubt raise your blood sugar levels....this is the one for you.

                              Nutritionally, 100mls (you'll probably have a 200ml serving) will give you 77 kcals and 11.4 gms sugar

                              So - (trying out my new calculator I got for Xmas).....your little 200 ml glass gives you 154 kcals and 23 gms sugar.

                              Taking into account 4 gms of sugar equals a 5 ml teaspoon...(I can tell you're quite impressed by my scientific knowledge of food science)...you'll be ingesting almost 6 teaspoons of sugar.....

                              On the up side, Frijj is UHT milk, so has been sterilised....therefore no need to keep in the frijj (couldn't resist that) until opened, then needs to be consumed in 3 days.


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                              • More +
                                22.05.2010 19:55
                                Very helpful
                                1 Comment



                                Wow your guests at dinner parties...

                                We picked up a sample pot of Halen Mon sea salt - variety with Taha'a vanilla at the Real Food Festival a couple of weeks ago....

                                The first thing you notice - and a real surprise, is it looks like fine chocolate flakes!

                                What a party piece if you're out to impress - or a contestant on Come Dine With Me......remember to mention you heard about it on Dooyoo first :)

                                Halen Mon is harvested in Wales and comes in a variety of flavours....this vanilla type, Organic Spiced (will try that next), Oak Smoked and Organic Celery.

                                It does what it says on the tin..(cardboard tub to be precise)..pure sea salt flakes with added 10% natural Tahensis vanilla powder. No other additives or preservatives (salt is a preservative)

                                It's extremely strong, which becomes apparent when you put a few flakes on your tongue....and it almost goes numb.....then the subtle flavour of vanilla (and I perceived feint chocolate, but that was possibly my taste buds being shocked) comes into play.

                                It costs £4.50 per 100 gm drum which although sounding expensive for salt, it really is a culinary delight and you wouldn't chuck it over your fish and chips.

                                There are quite a few food outlets which sell it on the net...unfortunately I looked on the bigger supermarket sites and couldn't fine it, but I would expect your local health food shop may well sell it.

                                So - having impressed everyone around you with the initial look of the product - what do you do with it?

                                The Halen Mon website gives some interesting recipes - pigeon stew, and some fish and chicken recipes (although I can't say I'd be too keen on fish and vanilla), but apparently it's very good shaken (small amount only I would suggest) on chocolate (?) and pineapple...now that I can imagine would be very nice indeed.

                                And for the quickie taste test, sprinkled on hot popcorn....

                                Halen Mon isn't a table salt, but certainly worth giving a go if you like to try unusual foods and condiments....

                                Thanks for looking in :D


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