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When I was young and was in India, my mom used to cook in pressure cooker for cooking most things including rice, dal and curry. But I had not seen one sold here in UK until recently. In the recent years shops and supermarkets are selling slow cookers and pressure cookers. I bought Tower pressure cooker from Comet last year on sale for £20. It generally retails for around £40. Cooking in pressure cooker is a very healthy option as it keeps all the nutrients inside. It is also a faster option of cooking as it takes minutes to cook in this rather than hours in open pans. For example, lentils gets cooked in 5-10 minutes but in a saucepan it takes about 30-40 minutes. Therefore it saves your gas/electricity consumption too. You can steam vegetables easily too. This is a 4 litre cooker- good enough to cook for a medium sized family of four. It comes with a steamer plate. It is made of aluminium. The cooker's lid has the pressure whistle. When you put food in the cooker you need to align and turn the lid clockwise to lock in position. Once the pressure inside builds up and reaches its max, the indicator switch closes. The whistle keeps whizzing and releasing pressure while the food is getting cooked. To make sure the food is getting cooked properly, you will have to simmer or increase the gas so that the whizzing is neither too fast nor too slow. But do bear in mind that if you cook for longer, then the food will be literally mashed! While cooking, do add adequate water, if not the food will burn. But if the food leaves some water itself, then there is no need to add water or add minimal water, for example - meat. Although not non-stick, I'm impressed that generally the food doesn't get stuck to the base. This makes it easy to clean too. I'm not sure if they are dishwasher proof but I have been using them in the dishwasher and they seem to get cleaned fine. They can be used on gas hobs and electric hobs. I would definitely recommend people to try pressure cooked food and Tower brand ones are affordable and easy to operate.
I have never had a playstation before. But did have a Wii console and a Xbox. The only reason I went for a playstation is that it can play Blu-rays. After buying it and connecting it to my LED samsung TV the picture clarity was such that it felt you were actually there (a marked difference from my DVDs) It could be said it was just because of blu rays. But even my old DVDs looked very much different and crisper!! Then I went for games on the PS3 which was another revelation the graphics were so real. The other useful function is the catchup TV service. It has BBC iplayer 4OD and the likes. The PS3 also has wireless capability so you can position it anywhere in the house and stream videos or watch TV. The USB slot lets you watch divx movies from an USb stick. The built in hard drive is handy to use if you want to download movies or store music bought on line! You can play games, watch movies including blu-rays , watch photos, play music, browse internet and catch up on television programs. The sound is excellent- dolby digital sound. 80 Gb hard disk space allows me to download many games. The design is nice and sleek. It can be kept flat on the TV stand drawer or upright by the stand side to save space. It comes with a wireless controller which is well designed for gaming. It cost me £199 almost 2 years back during Christmas sale but today you even might be able to buy it for a £120.
This unit replaced my other tomtom software that I used on a HP iPaq. Boy was it a difference - The feel when you take it out of the box was so great that you feel immediately that this has to cost more. The colour the feel and finish were just amazing. The screen size was BIG I mean real BIIIIG- it is about 4.3 inches The box also come with a car charger and windscreen mount , very handy. The battery life a full charge was about 3-4 hrs. This was enough generally over a day if used judiciously. Also the maps were rich and colourful, the lane assist was OK (not that great). The maps are clearer and sharper. They are clearly visible while driving- both in day mode and night mode. If you miss out a road, it recalculates new roads immediately. Also the box comes with a code that allows you to update your maps to the latest available at the time you buy it. So basically it may be really old hardware but you can update it for free with the latest compatible software for free (within 2 weeks of buying it). You can download various voices including Homer Simpson. It has a voice recognition feature- so just say out loud where you want to go and it will direct you. It has bluetooth connection, and you can transfer or receive information via bluetooth. If you connect your mobile phone via bluetooth, then you can answer phone calls or read messages via this. The speech recognition even reads out messages if needed. The GPS fix time was greatly reduced in comparison with the older models I used. It was particularly quick even in the narrow London streets with tall buildings so it doesn't spend ages to get a fix and you do not end up waiting or driving in circles!!
I have had this little marvel from the start of the year. Was a free upgrade from my USB modem from "3". It can be bought these days for less than £50. I left it in the drawer for over a month without realising it's potential. Then when I saw a friend using it I took it out and use it now pretty much everywhere while on the move. I connect 2 netbooks and my son's ipod to it as well. It is blazing fast I have had skype video chat with someone on the other side of the world while my wife was driving at over 70 miles an hour... Better than that I have had a facetime call my son's ipod in HD quality again on the move. The battery life is excellent on a full charge it lasts more than 5 hours. Also the battery can be kept charged in car with a run of the mill usb power outlet and a mini usb cable. Mine is locked to three but there are others that are unlocked and can take any sim card - just take out your sim card form your old usb modem and slide it in - thereby sharing your internet connection - and yes it does have a password so any evesdroppers can be shut out!! Awesome piece of kit.
It was time for my son's birthday and just when I was looking for something for his present I found this on sale in Argos. It is normally around £75 but Argos had this for just £15. I couldn't believe that this big toy was just £15. I even saw this in ToysRUs for £50. Feeling very thrilled and lucky about my buy, I gave this to my son. He has an iPod and loves listening to music. So I thought this would be the ideal birthday present. It is a media desktop where kids can play games, learn and also connect their iPod to listen to music. It comes with a monitor like console, wired keyboard, wired mouse and a wire to connect iPod to the console. The console is fairly large although it looks like a flat screen in the pictures and on the box. It is quite thick and tapers slightly upwards. It has two speakers and a very small black and white display screen. My son first connected his iPod and listened to music- this was relatively easy- just plug in and listen. Surprisingly the sound was pretty good and loud. But the connecting wire is so small and flimsy that it kept coming off the console. The console has a space in it to keep the iPod but it is designed badly. The wire to iPod connects on the base of it and hence can't keep it upright on the docking space in the console. It is not wide enough to keep it flat, so you will have to hold it or rest it on the console. It teaches many languages like French and English. It also teaches Maths, Science etc. It has about 60 activities including games. It kept my kid entertained for hours but because of its size, I have to keep it in a different room. Also, it would have been helpful to have a larger screen.
I bought this in 2004 for nearly £20 from Comet store. It is a great fan heater. It is very pale grey in colour with dark grey front panel. It has vents on top and 2 knobs on the top right side- one for heat or cold setting and the other for the heat level which is marked from 1-6. It's heating capacity is 3 kw. It heats the room efficiently and very quickly. It takes about 10 minutes for a bedroom to get heated. I use this to heat the room instantly especially after coming from a long holiday and house is very cold. It can also be used as a fan because of its cooling function- although i don't see it's need much in this country!! I have another heater from Currys but it doesn't live up to the standard of Delonghi. It does make relatively loud noise but not much when compared to other heaters of similar kind. I can still sleep with this sound or even watch TV. The inside coil/fan tends to get red hot when the heater is ON- I am guessing it is normal but seems a bit dangerous. It is well guarded though but I still keep it away from papers and clothing items. I haven't had any problems because of this but still better to be careful. It is light weight and easily carried to any rooms. Can be taken even in cars to take on small winter breaks. It's thermostat functions makes it shut off automatically when the room is heated and turns on if it gets colder- thus maintaining an almost even temperature throughout. It was a very good value for money. I have been using it for the past 7 years and haven't had any problems. I would definitely recommend this.
My husband is crazy about anything LED- lights, screens....but I was shocked when he bought Samsung 46 inch LED TV for £1300 last year i.e Feb 2010. When you could buy same sized plasma TVs for around £800, I didn't find the necessity of buying such expensive one. But once the TV was turned ON, I never blamed him again. Appearance- It was black, sleek to look at with a very thin flat screen. The base was a big rectangle made of hard tempered black glass. It looked more like a huge photo frame. It really went well with our living room furniture. The screen can be swivelled on its base. The picture is very clear, especially with the digitalised programmes, it's even better. It is a 1080 HDTV- which means it would upgrade any lower resolution picture to full 1080 p quality. The images appear crystal clear. The LED technology means that the TV uses LED backlighting. This in turns means that we use less electricity, get ultra slim screen and better images. The lighting in this model is around the rim of the screen which gives the rim a bit of reddish tinge. When the television in ON, there is a meter which says how much less energy we are using with this TV. It has 4 HDMI ports, USB ports and 2 speakers with woofer. The audio component is fabulous. Its HD surround makes the movies come alive. For best results, you need to connect this to good blu-ray players and watch. You will almost forget going to cinemas. I even connect my camera to watch photos and videos and they look amazing on the huge 46 inch screen. The features and the menus are easily accessible. It was easy to set it up. It was definitely worth the money. You can buy this TV today for around £1000 and if you can afford one, then definitely buy this- it will not disappoint you
I recently bought the Tesco's Cranberry and raspberry juice drink on offer of 3 for £4. It is available in the refrigerated fresh juice aisle. Tesco has a lot of flavours in this range. It is available in a 1 litre carton with a cap opening on top. The cap can be easily opened and poured without any spillage. The carton is made of cardboard and can be recycled. It has a picture of juicy raspberries cranberries on them- this was the tempting factor for me to buy this juice. Ingredients- Water, Glucose Fructose syrup, Cranberry juice from concentrate (6%), raspberry juice from concentrate (6%), sugar, malic acid, natural flavourings, Vitamin C Colour- The juice is transparent red in colour- similar to some red wines or pomegranate juice. They look vibrant in a glass too. Taste- It tastes really nice- obviously you can taste the berries, but it is nice and sweet without actually overpowering the fruit taste. They can be mixed with other drinks like apple or orange or even alcoholic drinks to make great tasting ans great looking cocktails. It tastes better when served chilled. Storage and shelf life- It has to be kept refrigerated. They usually have expiry dates of a month or so which is much shorter than longlife fruit juices.But once opened it hasto be used within 5 days. They taste a little sweeter and better than similar drinks from the longlife range. good facts- A glass of 250 ml of juice contains 125 calories and 29.5 gms of sugar. But also has the goodness of cranberries and raspberries. They are great alternatives to fizzy drinks or alcohol. If you don't have time or are too lazy to take fruits, at least substitute them with healthy fruit drinks like this.
My son got diagnosed with Leukemia last year, he was 4 years old then weighing approximately 14 kgs. But this is treatable in his case and it takes more than 3 years to treat this. In the meantime he has or will be having lot of trouble walking. Normal pushchairs can only hold children up to a certain weight. Maclaren's Major Elite buggy is specially designed for older children with special needs or for disabled kids . My son was around 15 kilos and he was out of his pushchair habit already. But Leukemia changed everything. His treatment included taking steroids which meant he would increase wight by 2-3 kilos in a very short time. His chemotherapy meant he was too tired to walk or sometimes even lift his leg. I was carrying him to hospitals sometimes and just then I saw somebody in the ward using this pushchair. I thought that could be ideal for us. But it was nearly £250 to buy. It is not easily available in baby shops. It is generally available in online shops. Some hospitals or charities usually give them to be used when your child is in need. I was lucky to get one from chidren's cancer charity for free. If you can't buy one, I think you can contact one of the charities or your social service centres to try and get one for you. It is a godsend for us. The buggy is quite lightweight- about 7.5kgs with footrest and 6.75kgs without it. It is tall in its height. It is suitable for kids from 2 years to 12 years, about 50 kgs. Parts- It comes with a detachable footrest, raincover, sunshade. Shopping basket attachment can be bought separately. The footrest can be put at different levels according to the child's needs. It has a 5 point seatbelt for children's safety. It is a four-wheeled pushchair and each set of wheels are paired to withstand the extra weight of the child. Front wheels swivel 360 degrees for easy manoeuvering. Both the back wheels have brakes. It is easy to assemble and to fold it back. It fits in easily in both my car boots but mind it! it is a long buggy when folded. Attaching the footrest can be a lengthy job everytime. The quality is great. It is made of washable material- and with the treatment my son goes through, it needs to be washable. Colours- Red and grey Black The buggy is easy to manage in cities and shopping malls although it is a little bigger in size. It does turn eyes probably because of its size. My son is five now and still using it. Hopefully there won't be much need of this for us in future but for now, it is a must have car accessory for us!!! It is taking most of our burden from us!
When my trusty food processor broke down, I started looking for a good one. I tried and returned a few but since I needed the one with dough tool, liquidiser and I like black kitchen appliances, I bought this one. Disadvantages- I saw this in Comet on half price and it looked beautiful on the shelf with black and red colour combo. But I have to say that this was one wrong buy I made. However good it looks, it works equally bad. The first feel when you work with this makes it feel so plastic. The whole is designed very badly. The blades and tools are made of very cheap material. The slicing tool is very thick, i can make thinner slices better with our simple knife. There is a plate that holds the blades and dough tool onto the bowl. In most machines, this plate covers the whole bowl but in this, it leaves a gap of 1 cm on the side between the bowl and the plate. This makes the big chunks of vegetables/fruits fall throw the sides into the bowl before getting sliced. Most of my salad was chunky than being thinly sliced- very disappointed with this. . The bowl has a hole in the middle to accommodate the holder to the machine. When I tried to add flour into the bowl, so much of the flour fell through the hole and went all over the base. The liquidiser works even if you don't close the lid. It is one of the safety features that is missing in this. None of the bowls or parts are dishwasher safe- this means you have to wash everything by hand. Although the manual says- just rinse with soapy water but when you make soups, the liquidiser becomes quite oily and wont get clean with just a rinse- you need to wash it thoroughly with a sponge. Too much work i think!!!! Advantages- Good size bowls. I didn't want the main bowl to be too big that I will never use them. So this 1.5 litre capacity bowl was perfect for me. The liquidiser cup is 1.5 litre too- so can do 4-5 cups of soup easily. The main bowl's lid has the safety lock- that means if the lid is not put properly or not on it, then it wont turn on. Has dough tool and whisk. While using the tools including while making dough, the base is quite stable. It doesn't wobble. Has a range of items in Russell Hobbs Desire range- so if want to match things and want the appliances to look good on our kitchen worktop, then it is really good as they look fab.
I bought this 2 months back in Costco on offer for £25. It generally retails at £40-£45. I had a supermarket's value range toaster before, so this was a good change. I don't use toaster much nor do I need a big one but because it was Tefal and because it was £25. I bought this. And it is pretty good for this price. It is black in colour with aluminium top and silver buttons. Body is made of plastic. It can toast 4 slices of bread at the same time, which is usually better for bigger families. It has a curvy top, with the top panel curving towards the front which apparently is to see the bread slices easier but I don't think this feature makes a big difference to me. I think it is more of a design feature than for functionality. The buttons and knobs are in front which is helpful rather than finding them in the side. The toasting can be done in 6 positions and each pair of toaster sets have different knobs. This means you can toast 2 slices to different browns. It toasts bigger slices of bread too like the Worbuton's ones. It heats up and toasts quickly. It can defrost bread too but I haven't tried this. It has 2 crumb trays and it is very easy to clean. Even outside body cleaning is easy- just wipe with damp cloth and it looks new everytime.
I am in fact an hater of apple products due to the high costs BUT this one although a bit expensive is a great(cheap) toy. It cost us £189 as we bought it as soon as it was released in fact as a pre order. The touch is obviously great. The camera is High Def. The facetime app is wonderful. We use it to talk to family from around the world- US, Australia and India. The picture is crystal clear! The other apps are great too my 5 year old plays on it a lot in fact we bought it for him. There are hundreds of free apps available - some teach you languages and other are pure fun. My son got used to the controls in less than 2 hours. Specially that an iphone costs you about 4 times as much the this is cheap in comparison. The apps/ games even if you want to buy them costs you from 69p to say £1.99 and about a £50 woth of itunes card will keep you going for a year. For example the cars 2 game costs 69p in itunes but about £20 for a Nintendo wii !!! and if you count 100s of games over a year the wii will cost you so much more. for the same type of games. It is of course tiny and portable. The battery life could have been a bit better.
Name- Fellowes P-45C cross cut shredder Cost- £45-£60 Type of shredder- cross cut Colour- Black My opinion- I bought this shredder for my home office use. The number of official documents started piling up and my cheaper straight cut shredder wasn't enough for this. I bought this 2 years back for £50. It said it takes 6 sheets together to shred but when i tried to shred 6 together, the shredded bits used to be stuck together in many places making the document still in readable condition. It used to take this bundle and put it in the shredder again. Also the paper moves very slowly when put in bundles. But the shredder works fine when u just use 2 sheets. It actually says that it can shred credit cards too but every time i tried they were getting stuck and had to turn the shredder blade from inside and remove it. Also sometimes when the papers get stuck inbetween the blades it was very difficult to remove it. It was very annoying. The capacity of the bin is quite large. One way it is good because you don't have to empty it so many times. But the downside is that it takes quite a bit of space. It has an auto start and stop function. The motor works for 5-7 minutes when it is on but it gets over heated when continuously shredding. Mine was going off by itself and I had to wait for a few minutes before turning it on again. Within a year's time, it broke. The motor stopped working completely and I just couldn't be bothered to go through the warranty process. I dont think I even wanted a replacement of a similar kind. For £50 I was expecting a good shredder from fellowes but this one totally disappointed me.
One hell of a printer. I am wrong not just a printer ALL IN ONE. And does the job extremely well. The print quality is excellent I mean for home use or even an office I would have thought. The Copy and scan is quite quick as well. The faxing has not let me down as yet. The setting up of the FAX was a bit challenging for me. But I am not an expert - once you follow the instructions to the T it is no problem at all. The wireless is very stable especially that it is a N enabled one I have - be specific when you buy as there is a lexmark 405 that looks identical to this but is only b/g wireless enabled. It's ink cartridges costs more than £20, and therefore i think it is easy to replace the printer itself than buying ink cartridges. Oh did I mention it cost be less than £30 to but one new from Viking. On full price it can be bought for about £50-£60. And yes it a "green" as it automatically can be set to print on both sides. It fills me with warmth!! I have had it for the past year and now it seems that its ink needs replacing- and I print very rarely. I think its life span that way is a bit short. When the printer starts to print, it makes a loud noise. It sounds like someone is dragging chairs on the first floor. Since it is very close to the bedroom, i would have preferred if it was quiter.
After 30 long years of brushing hard with different normal toothbrushes, I finally gave into the electrical toothbrush. I had been brushing with the battery operated ones and thought that they should probably work similar but only after I started using this, I realised the difference. Now I keep thinking, why do we have to waste an extra minute morning and evening when you can brush with this brush for this electric brush in just two minutes and this being more efficient. Oral B Professional care 500 is made by Braun and is one of their best selling brushes. I bought it in sale for £20 but generally retails for £40. It is easily available in shops like Tesco, boots, ASDA, Sainsburys etc. Although the brush is avaiable for this price, its replacement heads are quite expensive- but I guess all good things come with a price tag. Its replacement heads generally retails at approx £12 for a set of four. But when you buy the pack, it comes with one replacement head and one flossing head. The brush pulsates 20,000 times per minute and rotates 7600 times per minute- which is impossible to achieve with the manual toothbrush. It cleans really well and it is easy to reach even the back molar teeth . This is usually the place where most food debris is collected. Dentists always recommend brushing in circular and up and down motion. And I honestly have to say, with the manual brush, I used to brush in all directions. Since the Oral B's head rotates, you have to just hold it against the tooth and the brush rotates without much effort. Continue with all the teeth in a similar way and you will have clean teeth. It has a built in timer which indicates with a pause every 30 secs and finally a long pause after 2 minutes. This is an important feature because if we overdo the brushing, it could be harmful to our gums and teeth. It is charged through mains charger and the cordless toothbrush has to be charged approximately every week. The red light on the brush flashes when it need charging. When fully charged, it turns green. The main plug is the one that needs to go into an electric shaver plughole which was very annoying as I didn't have any shaver points in the house. I had to buy and adapter to use with this. Overall it is a great brush and brushes efficiently with less effort. An expensive way of brushing but better than paying huge bills at your dentist.