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I enjoy working in my garden and am slowly getting a good set of tools together. I have quite a large patio area and find it hard work to keep in looking good and weed free. Until this summer I had a cheap patio weeder bought from Tesco for around a few pounds. The tool was quite flimsy and so I wasn't too surprised when the handle came away from the blade. I decided that I wanted to spend a bit more and buy something that would hopefully last.
I found what I was looking for during a visit to my local garden centre; a patio weeder made by Draper. Draper is a family owned business and have been making tools for nearly 100 years. They are known as a company that makes quality products. I paid £5.50 for the weeder and was keen to try it out.
The weeder is made from mirror polished stainless steel and has a well padded,soft grip handle. There is a hanging hole at the top of the handle,although this is not something I have bothered to use. The tools has a right angled Sharpe blade designed to fit between paving slabs. This tool feels and looks like a quality piece of kit that is designed to last.
I find it really easy to use this tool. Simple pull the blade along any crack where weeds lurk. The blade quickly cuts through any roots making it easy to remove weeds from even the smallest of cracks and crevices. I really don't like using chemical weedkillers and so this tool is the ideal solution for me.
The Draper patio weeder is also available with an ash handle. This is a more expensive option and does look lovely! The weeder is available from Amazon for just £4.95; an absolute bargain!
I don’t tend to wear a lot of make up but I do like to use lipstick and gloss. I often wear a lip gloss on top of my lipstick to give added shine to my lips. I shop in Boots on a regular basis and therefore accumulate lots of loyalty points on my card. I like to use the points to treat myself and recently opted to use my points in exchange for an L’Oreal glam shine lip gloss.
I am a fan of L’Oreal products and have used their lip glosses in the past although my one complaint is that they never last very long. However this one claimed to last for 6 hours! I really liked the choice of colours on offer and after a lot of deliberation opted for always pink as I thought it would go well over my Yves Saint Lauret lipstick.
The lip-gloss comes in a thin 6ml clear plastic tube with silver lid. The lid contains the shaped sponge applicator. On the positive side this lip gloss is really easy to apply and the applicator delivers the right amount of gloss. The sponge applicator is specially shaped to make it easy to follow the contours of my lips. The colour looks great and suits my complexion.
On the negative side the lip gloss feels quite sticky and leaves a heavy feeling on my lips. Although I was sceptical about that 6 hour claim, I was hopeful that this gloss would at least last longer than other lip glosses. However to my disappointment it really didn’t last for long at all. I find I still need to reapply after eating or drinking and at best it only lasts for about an hour.
Overall I would buy this again as I love the colour. I do think the £8.69 price tag is a bit steep for a lip gloss that really is no different to others on the market.
We eat a lot of pasta as its something everyone likes,is cheap and I can add sauces with lots of veg. I recently shopped in Asda and decided to try their value pasta shapes in a bid to cut my shopping bill. A 500 gram bag cost just over 30p. So how does it compare to my usual more expensive brand? The pasta took slightly longer than normal to cook and was a darker colour. When cooked and with a tomato based sauce added it tasted ok but was more chewy than it should have been. Overall this is not a value product I will be buying again as I simply don''t like the texture.
I really enjoy reading travel books, especially if they also make me laugh. I have read all the books by Bill Bryson and have enjoyed them all. A recent trip to my local library looking for something to lift my mood, I came across a travel book about New Zealand written by Joe Bennett. The information on the back of the book promised that this travel book would have me laughing out loud as well as discovering facts about New Zealand. The cover was also inviting and overall I had great expectations for this book.
Joe Bennett was born in England and graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in English. He went on to teach English travelling around the world. He arrived in New Zealand with the intention of taking a 1 year job, but ended up staying. He has now been living in Lyttelton near Christchurch for 15 years where he writes a regular column for a local newspaper.
The book is based on a series of newspaper articles about the author’s travels around New Zealand. The book begins with a synopsis of the authors life to date , We learn that he lives alone with his two dogs and that he intends to hitch hike around both Islands to re-discover what it is that keeps him in New Zealand.
He begins his travels in the cold and wet winter months and paints a depressing picture from the start. He sets off from his home town on the South Island describing the characters he meets who are kind ( or stupid) enough to stop and give him a lift. His first overnight stop is in a small town called Geraldine. He then travels down to the bottom of the South Island.
The second half of the book deals with the North Island. The author arrives into Palmerston after a short flight from the South Island. He travels up to the furthest northerly point meeting lots of interesting folk along the way.
New Zealand is a country that really fascinates me and I had been looking forward to feeling I had got to know a lot more about the country. However the book gives little in the way of description of the landscape and left me feeling frustrated. The author seems to spend a lot of his time visiting pubs, watching the all blacks play ruby on oversized TV screens, reading and staying in dingy depressing motels.
I was particularly interested in his visit to the thermal region of Rotorua and would have enjoyed reading about the Maori culture. However the author has nothing but contempt for this area. He visits a Maori village where two young boys are lounging in a hot thermal pool. He is very cynical about this, believing it to be done for the benefit of the visiting tourists and therefore degrading. That may well be the case, but I would have liked information about the sights in the area.
The book promises to have me laughing out loud, but in the end it only managed to raise a few smiles. The author’s love of dogs is clear and there is one amusing part involving a large dog that befriends the author as he walks around a near deserted, cold, wet town on the South Island.
Overall if you buy this book expecting something along the lines of Bryson travel book you may well be very disappointed. The book is 314 pages long and to be honest I found a lot of it a real slog. I am frustrated that the book missed an opportunity to describe the beauty that is New Zealand and captured little of its culture and heritage. The author treats many of his fellow citizens with little respect and tries to gain cheap laughs at their expense. I am pleased that I borrowed this book at no cost! If you do fancy reading it for yourself then it is available from Amazon. The cover price for the paperback edition is £12.
I have recently been taking part in the John Frieda frizz ease campaign.I suffer from frizzy,unruly locks so this was the perfect one for me! One of the products I was asked to test was a tube of frizz ease secret agent creme.
The creme comes in a toothpaste style plastic tube designed to stand on its lid. The information on the tube claims that this product contains avocado oil and is designed to seal hair to help eliminate frizz and flyaways.It also contains a UV filter to help protect the hair against sunlight. So hoe well does it perform?
The creme is easy to use and has a pleasant sweet smell. It is not overwhelming and does linger for ages once applied. The instructions advise that you rub a little of the creme into your p[lams before applying to dry hair. The creme should be pulled through the hair concentrating on the ends.
Having been disappointed in the shampoo and conditioner from this range I am very impressed with this creme. It is really easy to use and a little goes a long way. The smell is very pleasant and lasts well. Best of all the creme really does help to smooth my unruly locks and means I don't have to wash my hair every day as it is designed to use on dry hair. In the past I needed to wash my hair as it was the only way of getting rid of the dreaded frizz!
I will definitively be buying this creme in the future and have no hesitation in recommending it.
I have unruly, frizzy hair and am always looking for products that will help tame my unruly locks! I am a BZZ agent which means I get to test products for free in return for writing reviews and spreading the word- both good and bad about the products I test. My most recent box of goodies was a range of products by John Frieda designed to help control frizzy hair. I have chosen to review the hair serum, as this was by far my favourite of the products I tested.
The original hair serum comes in a cylindrical, clear plastic bottle with pump action dispenser. Through the outer casing you can see what looks like a red plastic test tube. The packaging has been cleverly designed to look like it contains something scientifically formulated.
The information of the front of the bottle claims that the serum has 6 effects against the dreaded frizz. It claims that it will *eliminate frizz, protect from heat, smooth hair and hydrate and tame*.Having been a bit under whelmed by the shampoo and conditioner in the range, I was not expected much from this serum. So was I right?
The serum is designed to be used on soaking wet hair . The instructions indicate that you only use one pump and rub the serum into your palms before massaging into your hair avoiding the roots. The first time I used the serum I made the mistake in using too much and ended up with limp, greasy looking hair- you really do only need one pump to give good results! Once you have massaged the serum into your hair you are ready to style. It really is very easy to use.
I really like the scent of this serum. It is difficult to describe but it smells clean and natural with no nasty chemical scent as with some hair care products. The scent is very subtle too, something I like!
I tend to leave my hair to dry naturally although do occasionally use a hair dryer. Using the suggested amount of the serum left my hair looking noticeably less frizzy with a great shine. Best of all my hair stayed looking a lot smoother all day! I have had the same good results after using a hair dryer to dry my hair.
John Frieda frizz ease range is widely available and the serum is available from Boots for £6.29 for a ml bottle. Overall I would highly recommend this product, if like me you suffer from frizzy, unruly locks!
From time to time I suffer from indigestion. This is usually related to overindulging on fatty or rich foods. When I know I am likely to be eating too much of the *wrong* foods I always buy a pack of Rennies. The last occasion was just before Christmas as I knew I would be suffering from indigestion!
Rennies have been around for as long as I can remember and has always been by chosen brand. The information on the pack states that Rennies can be used for indigestion,flatulence and upset stomach. Each tablet contains calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate, these are known as antacids and work by reducing the acidity of stomach juices. I usually buy a large pack containing 72 tablets costing around £5. The tablets are widely available without a prescription.
The tablets can be sucked or chewed and taste of peppermint. They do tend to leave your mouth and lips coated in a white chalky substances so you might want to have some water handy!I don't mind the taste of the tablets and find them easy to take. The recommended dose is 2 tablets about an hour after eating. The dose can be repeated up to a maximum of 16 tablets in a 24 hour period. The tablets are not suitable for children under 6.Children under 12 should only take 1 tablet with a maximum dose of 8 tablets in 24 hours. Rennies are suitable for pregnant women who often suffer from heartburn.
I find that taking a couple of Rennies brings quick relief from heartburn and indigestion. Luckily I don't suffer very often but when I do the burning symptoms and general discomfort can be awful! I rarely find I need more than a few doses to feel better !
If you find your symptoms don't improve or are getting worse then you should consult a GP.
I am a fan of the Florence and Fred clothing range from Tesco as I think it is well priced and mostly of good quality. I really feel the cold and living in the *frozen north* doesn't help! A few ago whilst doing the weekly shop, I noticed a sale in the clothing department. Never one to miss a bargain I decided to browse. I already have a few pairs of F and F pyjamas and have been really impressed with them,so I was happy to find a very attractive pair of checked P.J bottoms reduced to just £5.
The bottoms I have are a mix of pink and purple checks with a silky pink bow at the front. I already have a 3/4 length sleeve grey top which goes well with the bottoms. The bottoms are made from 100% cotton and are machine washable. They have a seam just above the ankle with pink stitching detail to match the silky bow. The waist is elasticated for comfort. The bottoms come in sizes 8- 10, 12-14 and 16-18. I am a size 12 and found the 12- 14 size fitted well. The length is perfect for my 5 foot 5 inch frame.
I find these bottoms really comfortable to wear . They have now been washed numerous times and still look as good as new with no loss of shape of colour fading. Overall I think these checked P.J bottoms are excellent value for money and wish I had bough another pair!
I really enjoy going for long walks with my children and dog. As we often walk in our local woods which although beautiful, can also be very muddy, Wellington boots are needed. I find walking any distance in Wellingtons can make my feet both cold and uncomfortable. For Christmas I was given a couple of pairs of David James Wellington boots socks and was keen to try them out.
As these were a gift I had no idea how much they cost, but can see they are on sale from Amazon for £3.49 a pair. The socks are available in a range of colours including blue, pink, red, green and purple. I was given one pink and one green pair. The information on the cardboard sleeve states that the socks are soft touch, calf length and cushioned for comfort. The manufactures also claim that the tops of the socks are *gentle grip* to ensure they don't pinch your legs. The socks are made from 90% acrylic and 10% polyester and are machine washable. They are available in sizes 4-8. The socks are also available for men in larger sizes.
I would agree that the socks feel soft and the foot area is well cushioned. However although they are advertised as calf length, they only come half way up my calf. I would expect socks that are designed to wear with Wellington boots would come to the top of the boot so your legs are protected from rubbing.
My second complaint is that although the foot area is padded there is a prominent seam that runs along the top of the toe area. I find this quite uncomfortable as the seam often ends up under my toes.
On the positive side the socks do keep my feet warm and dry. The gentle grip elastic keeps the socks in place and doesn't pinch my legs. I have washed the socks several times and they do wash well and dry quickly.
Overall the short length of these socks means that unfortunately I wouldn't recommend them as there are other much better buys available. I would also prefer socks that are made from natural fibres such as wool.
For Christmas I treated my 12 year old son to a pair of skull candy aviator earphones. He had been previously owned numerous pairs of cheap earphones that never lasted long and had poor sound quality. My son takes good care of his belongings and so I was happy to spend more money to get him something that would not only last, but would give much better sound quality. As I had quite a bit saved up in Amazon vouchers this is where I began my search. My son had told me that he would prefer to have a pair of over ear phones and so this narrowed down the search. After looking through numerous reviews, I decided to buy a pair of Skull candy aviators as these had positive reviews and were smaller than many other brands so would be more suitable for a child. I paid £34.99, but see they are now on sale for the increased price of £44.99. The headphones are available in several colour choices including all black, black with blue ear cups, black with pink ear cups and white. I opted for a black pair as these were the cheapest option.
What you get for your money.
I was suitable impressed with the smart slide open white box that the headphones were packed in as it promised quality. Inside is a cloth storage bag and instructions for use. On Christmas morning my son was thrilled to open his new headphones and couldn't wait to try them out.
They really do look very stylish in black with a silver metal frame. The headphones are quite small and light and the ear pieces are shaped giving them an* aviator look*.
The design is robust and shouts quality. The ear pieces are made from soft touch memory foam so mould to your ear shape making them really comfortable to wear. The headband can be adjusted and they fit my sons head perfectly without pinching. We recently took the headphones with us on a long haul flight and when not in use my son was able to wrap the headphones around his neck without discomfort.
The headphones have an inline microphone that works with any Ios operating system. My son likes to talk to his friends on Skype so a microphone was something he wanted his new headphones to have. The inline microphone controls enable you to change tracks as well as take phone calls.
Obviously the sounds quality of any headphones is of paramount importance and these don't disappoint. Compared to the cheap earphones he had experienced in the past these are streets ahead! The sound is crystal clear with excellent bass. In addition these headphones cut out nearly all exterior noise. I have used the headphones to listen to a film on my Ipad and was really surprised at just how good the sound quality is.
Another big positive is that these headphones come with a 1.3 metre cord length that doesn't get tangled! Overall I think these are superb headphones that are well worth the money.
I love the sanctuary range and treated myself to a large tin full of products in the January sale in Boots. I can't remember exactly how much I paid but nit was around £13. The tin contained several full size sanctuary products including a bottle of body lotion. The body lotion normally retails at £5.50 for a 250 ml bottle and is available from several shops including Boots.
The lotion comes in a tall plastic bottle with pull off orange lid. Inside the lid is a second flip up lid. The lotion is dispensed by squeezing the bottle. I find it really difficult to get the lotion out of the bottle and find I often have to result to unscrewing the top and pouring the lotion out. The information on the bottle tells me that the lotion contains ginger root extract, Jojoba and pro vitamin B5. It claims to be a 24 hour moisturiser.
Like all other sanctuary products I have tried, this one smells gorgeous! I am not sure I would be able to identify the scent and find it difficult to describe. Suffice it to say it really is a lovely, long lasting scent. The lotion is no where near as thick as body butter, but neither is it runny. I like to apply the lotion after a bath or shower as I find it absorbs more quickly when massaged into warm, slightly damp skin. It does take a while to rub, but once it has been absorbed my skin feels really soft with no hint of any greasy film. Not only does this lotion smell great and leave my skin feeling soft and hydrated, but it also gives a slight feeling of warmth after it is applied.
Overall I really love this lotion and would definitely recommend it!
I seem to have been suffering with a cold since the autumn and a few weeks ago a close friend suggested I try taking a vitamin supplement to boost my immune system. She swears by Berocca tablets and so I decided I too would start taking them.
I decided to start by buying a small tube of tablets as they are not cheap. I paid £4.60 from my local Tesco for a tube containing 15 tablets. The tablets are also available in several other size packs including 30 tablets ( £8.50) and 45 tablets ( £12.00). At present Tesco have these on a 3 for 2 promotion. The tablets are available in several flavours including orange, mixed berry and tropical. I opted for the mixed berry option. The information on the pack proclaims that this is an effervescent energy drink .A closer look tells me that each tablet contains a range of vitamins and minerals all essential for good health.
The instructions recommend that you take one tablet dissolved in water every day. It is best to take the tablet first thing in the morning. The tablets are recommended for adults and children over 12. There are no contra indications although the manufacturers suggest that if you are pregnant or breast feeding you check with your GP. Each tablet contains Vitamin B and C, both of which help support the immune system. The body cannot store these Vitamins and so it is important to ensure we take in enough every day. The tablets also contain a range of essential minerals such as magnesium- important for the health of the nervous system, Zinc - helps support the immune system, Folic acid - helps support blood cells and Calcium to help ensure strong bones and teeth.
I have now been taking these tablets for over a month so feel able to give my verdict! The tablets are pleasant to take and dissolves quickly in water. They leave no nasty aftertaste either; something I have experienced with other tablets that dissolve in water. I can honestly say I feel a lot better since taking the tablets and the everlasting cold seems to have gone at last! However it could be argued that my health would have improved without the need to take a supplement and there is no way of testing this. I certainly don't think it has done me any harm taking these tablets and I am planning to continue for another month or so.
I should mention that taking these tablets will make your wee turn a very bright shade of yellow! This is because they contain Vitamin B2 ( Riboflavin). This is a water soluble Vitamin and as any excess cannot be stored by the body it will be excreted in the urine.
The green and orange packaging makes these tablets easy to spot on the shelf. They are widely available for supermarkets and chemists.
My 11 year old son has been interested in photography for some time now and when he knew I was planning a trip to Australia he was really keen to save for a decent camera. The trip involved diving on the Great Barrier Reef so an underwater function was important. I promised to match any money he saved so that he could buy something decent that would advance his skills. After a lot of research we opted for the Pentax optio WG-1, as this camera had good reviews and most importantly could take underwater stills and video to a depth of 10 metres. The camera was purchased from Amazon and cost £199. It is still on sale at this price. The model he has is predominately black with blue accents and this was the only option from Amazon although I think other retailers offer other colour combinations.
What's in the box?
The box contained -
The 14 MP camera.
Wrist strap and additional carabiner strap for use underwater.
A/v and USB cables.
Comprehensive instruction booklet.
What can it do?
I really don't want to regurgitate the instruction booklet here! The first thing to note is the cameras unique *butterfly* shape. It looks and feels really sturdy and my son loved it! The camera is indeed very robust and can withstand a free fall of up to 1.5 metres and is crush proof up to 100KG, so if you accidentally sit on it no harm will be done. The camera is designed for use it extreme temperatures down to -10c. The most important element for my son was that it can be used underwater to 10 metres. The battery and memory card are enclosed in a sealed, waterproof compartment at the base of the camera.
The butterfly shape may look a little odd, but both my son and I find it makes holding the camera comfortable. To the side of the camera is a silver eyelet to fix the wrist strap. The strap is not adjustable. The second strap is thicker with a clasp designed to clip onto a rucksack or belt. Although my son tried to use the strap when he was underwater he found it didn't work well and preferred to use the wrist strap.
The on/off button is located at the top of the camera next to the shutter button. The camera has a large 2.7 inch LCD screen that makes viewing your pictures clear and bright. To the right of the screen is a slider to zoom. The camera is capable of up to x5 wide angle optical zoom. The menu button displays the menu on the screen. Here you can set the time, date and language for example. You can also adjust the sharpness, saturation and contrast of your image.
Underneath the menu button is a small square with timer, flash, macro and mode options. The macro function on this camera is excellent allowing you to focus down to 1cm. When this function is selected the 5 small LED lights around the lens light up illuminating your subject to give a good, clear image.
This camera has numerous modes to chose from including--auto, programme, night scene, movie, movie underwater, microscope, landscape,flower,portrait,digital SR ( higher sensitivity reduces blur),surf and snow,kids,pet.sport,fireworks,candlelight,night scene portrait,text,food,digital panorama(stitches images together), frame composite and report. When you select a mode a really helpful explanation of when to use the mode appears on the screen.
Taking shots underwater is great fun. You will need to ensure you select the underwater function before you dive as this *locks* the battery cover and ensures no water gets into the camera. After you have finished you will need to rinse the camera is clean water to get rid of any salt or chlorine. This does take some getting used to!
Viewing your images is easy using the playback button. There is the usual delete function conveniently located at the bottom of the camera. Before an image is video is permanently deleted you will have to click *ok* to ensure you don't delete anything my accident.
As this is my son's camera I think it's important that he gives his input. In short; he loves this camera! The images he has taken are clear and sharp especially the underwater ones. He really enjoys making short videos and is becoming quite artistic in this area. The downside of using the video function is that it quickly drains the battery. However in normal shooting modes the battery lasts well and when it does need charging I tend to leave it on charge overnight to ensure a full charge. The manufacturers claim that each full charge will give you around 350 shots.
The camera is compact and weights just 145 grams and measures 2.8 x 11.4 x 5.8 cm, so can be carried in a pocket. He has managed to drop the camera a few times and it came to no harm. My son says that he finds many of the mode options fun to use and he is now very competent at knowing which mode to use in different situations.
I have a canon SLR with a large telephoto lens. I love the camera but it is cumbersome. When we were on holiday I tended to rely on my sons camera as it was so much easier to carry. I also used it underwater on the Great Barrier Reef and really enjoyed doing so. My results were no where near as good as my sons however!
I think this is an excellent camera for a keen older child or anyone looking for a point and shoot camera with a bit extra. However it does have its limitations and if you like to get creative then this may frustrate you as you will not be able to adjust the aperture or shutter speed.
Although there is a night mode this does not give good images even with a steady hand. There is a tripod mount underneath the camera body and I would recommend you get one if you want clear images.
The camera does not come with a memory card and I suggest you buy a large capacity, high speed card if you intend to take videos. I bought a 32 GB sandisk ultra from Amazon for around £20. I also highly recommend you buy a case to protect the camera, I bought a case specially made for this model for under a tenner from Amazon and it is excellent! I also bought a spare battery for £8.99.
On the downside I find the rubberised on/off button fiddly to operate, although my son seems to have no problem. There is no designated video button and you will need to chance the setting to video via the menu. This is not a huge issue but it does take a bit more time to activate.
The supplied wrist strap cannot be adjusted and this would have been useful when securing the camera during diving.
Overall we both love this camera and think it is well worth the £199 we paid for it. It is easy to use, gives excellent images and will hopefully last.
I really enjoyed watching celebratory chef Jamie Oliver's recent TV programme; Save with Jamie and was keen to get a copy of the accompanying hardback book. Although the cover price is an expensive £26 I got a copy for just £7.99 from the book people on line. The book is also available from Amazon for £9.00.
When the book arrived I was initially disappointed by the lack of glossy photos. Although the book does have numerous photos of the food they are all a bit dull in my opinion. However with 120 *money saving recipes* to try I was keen to start cooking!
The book begins with a section on how to store food efficiently including freezing leftovers. I really didn't find anything new here and many of the *tips* are probably what most of us already know such as make a list before you shop and use budget supermarkets. Next comes a double page telling and showing you what equipment you will need to get started.
The fist food section deals with vegetables and has a helpful index. My favourite recipe in this section is a simple to make Sicilian squash and chickpea stew. I have always struggled to prepare and cook butternut squash but following Jamie's instructions I now simple roast whole in the oven and then cut in half and discard the seeds- simple! I also love the puffy pea and potato pie that is simple to make using ready made puff pastry and frozen peas. There are several really different recipes such as the one for veggie korma that uses cauliflower to make the *rice* base. It really does work!
Like all the following chapters the vegetable section shows 4 ways with a vegetable on one page. I love celeriac but have only ever boiled and mashed it. Thanks to Jamie I now have other recipes to try!
The next section deals with chicken and includes a brilliant Sunday *mothership roast*. The following pages denoted with a chicken leftover symbol have several ideas of how to best use the leftover chicken. Jamies top tip is to buy a large chicken to save money. I really love the chicken with dumplings. I have always made dumplings using suet but this recipe uses flour and butter to make the dumplings. The results are much lighter and a real hit with my children.
There are clear instructions showing you how to joint a chicken followed by recipes showing you which cuts are best for each recipe. Another favourite recipe is one for sticky chicken Chinese noodles. However like several of the recipes in the book I was unable to find any black beans that didn't need to be soaked overnight. Next time I make this I will be more organised!
The next section deals with beef. This is not something we eat often as a family as I try to avoid red meat. However there is a recipe for a Sunday roast using a brisket; a cheaper cut of beef and just as good according to Jamie. Like the chicken section the following pages give you ideas of how to use the leftovers. I have tried the recipe for the individual yorkies but used them with quorn sausages. They were easy to make and turned out well. I would also recommend the beef Mexican chilli- delicious!There is a page devoted to how to find secret stakes and argues that cheaper cuts such as flank and feather steaks can be just as good if cooked well. I am yet to try so cant comment. The accompanying photos do not persuade me however!
The next section deals with pork and follows the same layout as the previous chapters, starting with a recipe for a large mothership roast pork. I have tried the recipe for American hot pizza pie as my children love pizza. It turned out well and I thought it tasted great. However my children were less impressed and it was very time consuming to make. The slow roasted pork ragu was more successful!
The next chapter is devoted to lamb. I am not a fan of lamb so will not be trying the recipes. However the king of all burgers looks good. In the middle of the lamb section is a double page spread dealing with preserving herbs. This is something I have found useful as I grow several herbs and they often go to waste. Now I will be keeping bags in the fridge when the summer arrives.
The fish section is one that will be well used in my kitchen as we all love fish. I have tried the salmon roast and the salmon tagliatelle;both were really yummy. The salmon filo pie was also a winning recipe and easy to make too. Another recipe I would recommend is the one for sweet pea fish pie. I have always make fish pie using fresh fish but Jamie's recipe uses cheaper frozen fish. The topping uses frozen peas. The results are amazing and using frozen fish makes this a cheap meal. In the middle of the fish section there is a double page showing you how to use stale bread. It includes making and storing croutons and breadcrumbs. I always make breadcrumbs to keep in my freezer and use then for coating chicken and fish.
The books ends by showing you a few bonus recipes that can be made for less than £1 a portion. I have not tried any of these yet but am tempted by the recipe for carrot,orange and ginger soup.
Each recipe includes the number of calories per average portion and I find this really helpful as I am trying to watch my weight. In addition the full nutritional value of each dish is given at the back of the book.
The book contains many excellent recipes that are simple to make. However most recipes do call for the addition of herbs and spices so you will need a fairly comprehensive supply. Although there are a few recipes for using left over fruit, there are no desert recipes included.
Overall I am really impressed with this book and although it won't save me a fortune It does have some good ideas to help me waste less food.
Last year I went to India with a friend. I planned to take a comprehensive medical bag with me and the first item on my list was something to help stop diarrhoea. I opted to buy Imodium classic capsules as I had used them before with good results. The capsules comes in several sizes including a pack of 12 that I decided to buy. They are designed for acute bouts of diarrhoea in addition to helping to control irritable bowel syndrome.
The capsules come in cardboard pack and are individually wrapped in a plastic bubble inside. There are full instructions of how to take . The capsules are not suitable for children under 12 and you should not exceed the maximum dose of 8 capsules in any one day. The instructions advise that you take 2 capsules initially ,followed by 1 capsules after each loose bowel movement. If the symptoms persist for more than 24 hours you should consult a GP. The capsules contain loperamide that helps to calm the digestive system .
As predicted I started to experience sever stomach cramps after a few days in India followed by the dreaded diarrhoea. I took the capsules as directed and felt a lot better the following day. The stomach cramps were helped really quickly after just one dose and although the diarrhoea persisted for the rest of the day it was manageable! It is important to stay hydrated if you are suffering from diarrhoea as you will lose salts and fluids. I stuck to drinking bottled water and avoided alcohol for a few days. It is also important to try to eat small meals if you can to help replace lost salts and nutrients. I had taken a pack of plain biscuits with me and nibbled these avoiding the spicy curies on offer for a while.
I found the capsules really easy to swallow and suffered no side effects . I cant remember how much I paid but can see Boots are selling a pack of 12 capsules for £6.39. I think this was money well spent and would advise anyone planning to travel to take a pack with them. They certainly helped me to recover quickly so I was able to enjoy the rest of my holiday in comfort!