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elliesmom2010

elliesmom2010
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Member since: 04.01.2010

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      17.06.2010 13:24
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      A great toaster that does exactly what it is supposed to do.

      DeLonghi 4 slot Toaster ~

      Model ~ CT04 Argento ~ 1600w


      I have had my DeLonghi toaster for a good 3-4 years now and as it has never let me down I felt justified in giving it a review.


      Looks ~ This is quite a 'boxy' looking toaster that is quite large in comparison to most on the market, measuring in at approximately 11" x 11" and by about 8" in height. It is quite square but with slightly rounded off corners and is quite attractive in appearance. It has 4 slots for toasting, with the toasting slots being about 15cm in length allowing most large slices of bread to be toasted.

      It comes in a lovely brushed silver exterior with what appear to be, shiny steel knobs and wing like levers, for pushing the toast down, .... I say appear to look like steel as they are in fact plastic. This toaster is now available in cream (model number CT04E) too.



      Functions ~ The four slots are separated into two sections which are both independent of each other, in other words you may have two slots working on cooking toast to well done and the other two can be independently toasting on very light.

      The two 'wing like' levers at the top of each side push the bread down to toast but also they can be lifted when the toast is done to allow you easier access to your toast, without you burning your fingers.

      There are 2 dials on the front of each side, inside little glass screens that have 'toast colour' written inside them, and the numbers from 1 - 6 indicating the degree of browning required, with 1 being very lightly toasted and 6 being almost burned. Under the screen there are 3 very small buttons on each side of the toaster ....

      The first being a defrost button for defrosting frozen products.
      The second, a stop/cancel button,(self explanatory).
      The third being a one side toasting button which is useful for toasting bagels or crumpets on one side only.

      At the base of the toaster there are also separate crumb trays which can be pulled out very easily and independently to remove all the crumbs.



      Opinion ~ This is the best toaster I have owned and have had it for over 3 years now. It allows you to toast lots of bread at the same time at different browning levels. My hubby likes his very well done (no.5), whereas I like mine very lightly toasted (no.3). It is wide enough to take such products as bagels, crumpets and pop tarts etc, easily, although these products are not so easy to extract once the toasting is complete. The levers that lift the toast out doesn't lift high enough to be able to reach them easily without getting your fingers burned and you have to use some sort of tool to help (once the toaster is unplugged of course)! It toasts very evenly on both sides of the bread and quickly.

      It looks good in the brushed silver and is very easy to just wipe clean with a damp cloth. Mine is over 3 years old and looks as good as it did when it was new, and it has never let me down or needed any kind of repair.

      All in all it does exactly what it is supposed to do, I am very happy with it and I can highly recommend it. Had it been easier to access the likes of the crumpets etc, I would have rated this toaster as 5/5, however due to that being a slight problem I have deducted a point.

      This now retails at a cost of anything from £43.50 up to £70.00 so it really does pay to shop around if you are interested in buying this particular toaster.


      For more DeLonghi products and specifications visit: www.delonghi.co.uk


      Thank you for reading my review, which may also be posted on Ciao.

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        17.06.2010 12:28
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        A nice little sausage !

        Morrisons Meat Free 6 Glamorgan Sausages ~


        I am slowly working my way through various Quorn and meat free products of late, mainly due to having a desire for more healthy meals. Also the fact that I have recently lost 7lbs in weight in my quest to eat more healthily is spurring me on even more to continue on this path, as I have proved to myself that meat free products with a much lower fat content do seem to be working for me.

        I am not a vegetarian but I often do prefer vegetarian products as some of them have been really lovely and the health benefits far out way the high fat content of red meats. Most of the products have been really nice and I would buy them again in the future, however a small few leave a lot to be desired.

        These meat free sausages are convenience foods aimed mainly for vegetarian consumers as the products are made from potato, leek and cheese. They are quite small and short compared to other vegetarian sausages, but they are very tasty and healthy.


        Packaging ~ These sausages come in a fairly bland and plain box, with the only attraction being the photo on the front, of the sausages on a plate along with mushrooms, hash browns, scrambled egg and tomatoes as a serving suggestion. On the box we are also given the nutritional values which are as follows per 2 sausages:

        Calories ~ 205
        Sugar ~ 2.9g
        Fat ~ 11.3g
        Saturates ~ 2.2g
        Salt ~ 0.8g

        They also tell us on the front of the box that they contain no artificial colours, flavours and preservatives and no hydrogenated fats.

        They are easy to cook too and very quick, simply heat in the oven at 200c/400f or gas mark 6 for 16-17 minutes, or grill under a medium heat for about 14-16 minutes.


        Taste and Opinion ~ I actually really enjoyed these little sausages. They have no resemblance whatsoever to meat, as they are made up purely of cheese, onion, dried potato and leeks, they only resemble sausages in their shape. The smell when they are cooked is lovely and cheesy and you can smell the onion too. They look a lovely golden brown colour when cooked and look and smell delicious. The taste is very pleasant, not as cheesy as I would have liked as I love cheese, but you can really taste the leeks and onions, which again I like so am happy with that.

        The only downside if there is one is that they are a little too soft in texture for me. Some people may prefer this but I like to have something a little more substantial to chew on. The only thing holding them together seems to be the dried potato, without which I don't think they would keep together at all. Although having said that the outside is quite nice and crispy even though they are too soft in the middle.

        Great for vegetarians and great for slimmers too!!

        In conclusion though I am really happy with these and I would deffinatley buy these again, especially as they are very reasonably priced at £1.59 per pack of 6 sausages or on offer at £3.00 for 2 packs.

        Available in Morrisons !


        Thank you for reading my review!

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          17.06.2010 11:29
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          A quick, healthy and tasty alternative to the real thing ~ 4/5 stars!

          Quorn Peppered Steaks ~


          First of all I have to say that I am not a vegetarian but a few weeks ago, while having a very off and sluggish day, I made the decision to start eating a little more healthily.

          So I have been slowly working my way through various different Quorn and meat free products in general, making a note of which I like and those I wouldn't bother with again, and I am very proud to say that I have now lost 7lbs in weight in the process........... Happy Days !!

          So although I hadn't intended to prove anything to myself, weight loss wise, I have inadvertently shown that there are definite health benefits to eating these products.

          Quorn products are convenience foods aimed mainly for vegetarian consumers as the products are made from Mycoprotien which is a nutritious member of the fungi family and which is naturally low in fat and high in protein and fibre.

          One of the products I was impressed with during my quest was these peppered steaks from Quorn.


          Packaging ~ These come in a black plastic tray covered with a clear plastic sealed covering and inside a cardboard sleeve. The sleeve shows a very tempting photo of the steaks covered in finely chopped red and green peppers, and served with potato wedges and tomatoes as a serving suggestion. We are also told on the cover that the steaks are low in saturated fats and high in protein and we are given the following nutritional information:

          For each 98g steak:
          Calories ~ 107
          Sugars ~ 2.2g
          Fat ~ 3.7g
          Saturates ~ 0.5g
          Salt ~ 1.0g

          And for those interested in the allergy advice they contain egg, milk, barley and wheat gluten.


          To cook ~ These steaks are convenient in that they are so quick and easy to cook. These are the times from chilled, just add a couple more minutes to each if cooking from frozen.....

          Oven ~ 220c/425f/gas 7 for 14 minutes
          Grill ~ Medium grill for 12 minutes turning occasionally
          Microwave ~ Cook in tray with pierced film lid on high power for 2 minutes and stand for 1 minute, based on an 800w oven.
          BBQ ~ Brush steaks with a little oil and cook for 12 minutes turning frequently.


          Opinion ~ Well I have to say that these are not as peppery as I would have liked but they do have a very pleasant taste. The taste really can't be compared to a thick juicy steak, but of course the health benefits are the reason for my choosing these as opposed to having a steak and so I have to compromise. The peppers really do not taste as strong as you may expect but you can taste them and it is pleasant and the steak is quite juicy and tender. The texture is a little on the soft side, in fact a little too soft, I would have preferred something a little more chewy, something to get my teeth into. Having said all this they are very pleasant and a far healthier option to meat all the time and when served with mashed potato, veg and gravy, they do make a tasty meal that I really enjoyed.

          All in all I would deffinatley buy this Quorn product again and probably quite regularly due to their health benefits and the fact that they are also quite cheap at around £2.00 for the pack of 2 steaks. And also that they are great for slimmers!!


          Thank you for reading my review !!

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          • Candy Futura CFM226AA / Fridge / 64 Readings / 61 Ratings
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            16.06.2010 14:16
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            A good home appliance that does the job.

            Candy Futura CFM226AA ~


            We have recently moved into a new property and the previous owner was a dear sweet elderly lady who was moving into a warden controlled property, as this house she was leaving was becoming too much for her, due to its size.

            Unfortunately for her the house she was moving into was very much smaller and therefore she had a lot of furniture and kitchen white goods that were surplus to her requirements.

            As we had only just returned from living for 2 years in Spain, we had nothing to put into a property, except the clothes we were wearing, so we came to an agreement whereby we could purchase the items she no longer needed. It worked out mutually beneficial for us both.

            One of the items we bought from her was this fridge freezer made by Candy. This is the CFM 226a model and comes in a choice of white or silver. It is called the Futura and is a frost free freezer which pleased me greatly as it saves a lot of hard work defrosting.


            This fridge freezer stands at around 4.5 tall with the fridge section sitting on the top of the freezer, and the fridge section being the largest of the two. It is quite a nice modern looking appliance.


            The fridge ~ contains a decent sized pull-out salad drawer standing about 7" in height by about 18" wide and about 12" from front to back. On either side of the inside of the fridge there are four sets of shelving slots approximately 2" apart to give you a choice of different heights for the 2 glass shelves. The glass shelves themselves have a hard plastic surround on the outer edge for protection. There are added small shelves on the inside of the door which again are height adjustable for your milk, eggs, and butter etc.


            The freezer ~ has an ice tray at the top and the 3 pull out drawers have a hard plastic transparent front to them allowing you to see at a glance what is contained within the drawers. There is plenty of space in each draw too as they all sit about 7" in height by about 18" wide and 12" deep, more than enough for my hubby and I.

            The manufacturers stats ~

            Refrigerator type ~ Bottom Freezer.
            Installation ~ Built-in.
            Total volume ~ 210 litre.
            Fresh food volume ~130 litre.
            Freezer volume ~ 80 litre
            Total shelves ~ 2
            Ice maker ~ no
            Number of motors ~ 1 Motor.
            Fresh Food Compartment
            Fresh food shelves / bins Dairy Center, Gallon Storage.
            Light ~ Yes.
            Freezer Compartment
            Shelve / bins Ice Trays, Bin x 3.


            Opinion ~ The size of this fridge freezer, although it is quite small, is more than sufficient for just my husband and myself. Having said that they are both always full. It looks good, being a fairly modern looking appliance and fits well anywhere in any kitchen as it has a versatile door that can be fitted to open one way or the other, whichever suits.

            It is extremely economical as it is has an A+ efficiency rating and does its job of self defrosting beautifully, leaving me with no hard work to do. It is large enough to suit a couple or a very small family and all in all I am very happy with it.

            If there is one downfall to this appliance it is that I find it a little noisy and it can be heard while sitting in the next room. It has a permanent very loud buzz and I cannot say whether it is just this particular appliance or whether it is a trait of this model generally but it can be a bit annoying at times. As we didn't buy this from a store I cannot say for sure how much it cost, but looking at various websites for the sake of this review it appears to retail at around £300 - £350 in general, but like everything in general it will pay to shop around!

            To conclude, it's a good fridge freezer with ample space for two people or a very small family and I would recommend it to others.


            Thank you for reading my review!

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            • Quorn Cottage Pie / Ready Meals / 99 Readings / 97 Ratings
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              08.06.2010 10:16
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              A disappointing vegetarian option. 3/5 stars!

              Quorn Cottage Pie ~


              I am slowly working my way through various Quorn products of late, mainly due to having a desire for more healthier meals.

              I am not a vegetarian but I often do prefer vegetarian products as some of them have been really lovely and the health benefits far out way the high fat content of red meats. Most of the products have been really nice and I would buy them again in the future, however a small few leave a lot to be desired.

              One item I am sitting on the fence over is this Quorn Cottage Pie. At 500g this is supposed to be enough to serve two people, ........ well two very little people maybe! I am not a big eater by any means but a whole one of these with added vegetables as an accompaniment just about does me.

              The outer cardboard wrapper shows us a very tempting looking picture of the pie with little pieces of carrots and peas in a rich sauce and topped with a generous amount of mash potato. The reality though is very different!

              When you slide the plastic tray out of its wrapper the look of the pie is somewhat disappointing and resembles nothing of what is shown on the outer pack.

              This pie can be cooked in two ways. In the microwave for 8 minutes, based on an 800w microwave, or oven baked for 40 minutes at 90c/375f/gas 5 in the oven if cooked from chilled. For speed on this occasion I chose the microwave way.

              Once cooked, I served it up with some florets of broccoli and some carrots. I tried to take the pie out of its tray in my usual way but found it very difficult due to its total lack of consistency, it was just a sloppy mess, and I ended up pouring it out onto my plate. The topping of mash potato was so thin that you could see the rest of the sauce, carrots and peas straight through it.


              Taste and opinion ~
              The one thing it did have in its favour was that the taste of it was actually quite nice, a little on the salty side, but not too bad at all, which is why I said I am on the fence with this one. The peas and carrots were a little bland but the gravy sauce and the Quorn itself was actually ok. The mash potato topping tasted as thin as it looked and was, quite frankly, a waste of time being there. But the taste was reasonable and considering the health aspects of this pie, being very high in protein, and that it is very low in calories and saturated fats, it is something that I may consider buying again in the future.

              Based on half the pie:

              Energy ~ 147ckals
              Protein ~ 6.3g
              Fat ~ 3.5g
              Saturates ~ 2.3g
              Salt ~ 2.0g

              Allergy: Contains Celery, Egg, Milk, Sulphite, Barley and Wheat gluten.

              To summarise ~ This is a disappointing product but has very obvious health benefits.

              This can be found in all good supermarkets at a cost of around £1.50 but can also be found in Iceland at usually £1.00.


              Thank you for reading my review!!

              This may also be posted on Ciao.

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                03.06.2010 20:53
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                A lovely sweet treat from weightwatchers! 5/5

                Weightwatchers 6 Chocolate Mini Rolls


                I have been feeling very poorly this last couple of days with having swollen glands in my throat and a very sore, scratchy throat, so I have been consoling myself with only eating things that I really like and that I find really yummy.

                Having said that though I have also tried to be really good as yo-yo weight gain for me is a big problem. So soup has been on the menu as it is nice and soft and not harsh on my throat, and for my pudding I have been treating myself to these lovely mini rolls from Weightwatchers.

                These can only be described as chocolate covered mini chocolate swiss rolls but without the jam. They are very similar to the Cadbury's version except perhaps slightly smaller and quite a bit cheaper at around £1.00 for these as opposed to around £1.50 for the Cadbury's version.

                They come as a pack of 6 rolls that sit in a plastic tray, for protection in transit, and then individually wrapped in brown wrapping which displays the familiar Weightwatchers logo on and tells us that these have a Weightwatchers points value of just 2 points.

                For those who don't follow the Weightwatchers plan and wish to know the nutritional value 'in old money' they are as follows per mini roll:-

                Energy ~ 111 kcals
                Fat ~ 3.3g
                Saturated fats ~ 1.8g
                Salt ~ 0.1g

                They also contain Wheat, Gluten, Milk, Egg, Soya and are made in a factory that handle nuts. They are suitable for vegetarians.


                The taste of these little rolls is just so sooo moreish they are deliciously chocolatey with a good covering of crispy chocolate on the outside, and a sweet vanilla cream filling in the centre. The sponge of the cake under the chocolate outer is so soft and gooey with a really strong chocolate flavour and the vanilla cream filling is sweet enough to hold its own against the chocolate. And at only 2 Weightwatchers points per roll they are not at all bad for the waistline either.

                All in all these are a lovely sweet snack or something light when you fancy a real sweet chocolatey treat but don't want those extra calories added. I would highly recommend these whether you are watching your weight or not as they are totally delicious. If I do have a gripe about them it's that it is extremely difficult to limit yourself to one !!!

                These can be found in all good supermarkets at a cost of around £1.00 or just over depending on where you shop.


                For more products and information visit: www.weightwatchers.co.uk


                Thank you for reading my review!

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                  03.06.2010 13:41
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                  A soothing lozenge for a scratchy throat ! 4/5

                  Strepsils ~ Honey and Lemon


                  A couple of days ago I came down with swollen glands and a very sore throat. That afternoon my Hubby came home from work with a pack of these Honey and Lemon Strepsils for me to try.

                  They are so effective in soothing my poor throat that it prompted me to write this short review on them.


                  Unlike the pack of sweet lozenge Strepsils that come in a tube these come in a box. The box is simple in design, being white and having 'Strepsils' in bold black lettering across the top making them easy to recognise. Inside the box you get 3 blister packs of 12 lozenges in each.

                  The lozenges themselves are about 3/4 of an inch in diameter and are a delicious looking bright yellow in colour.

                  The box tells us that each lozenge provides effective relief from the discomfort of sore throats and contains a combination of 2 different antiseptics to help fight infections.

                  When you pop one into your mouth you could be forgiven if you thought they were actually sweets. They have a lovely lemony taste that isn't too sweet and has a very slight bitterness to it. It is only when you have been sucking it for a short time and your tongue starts to get a numbness to it that you begin to know that it isn't just a sweet but something more medicinal. At first it numbs the centre of your tongue and then it moves to your throat where it is supposed to be working and very effectively numbs that too. It is actually a very welcome relief to that harshness and soreness that my poor throat was suffering. They are so nice in fact that you may be tempted to take more than the recommended one lozenge every 2 - 3 hours, but as with all medicines they can have an adverse affect and the box gives us the following warnings:

                  * Remember young children can choke on lozenges.
                  * If you are allergic to any of the ingredients listed, do not use this product. This product is unsuitable if you are intolerant to carbohydrates.
                  May occasionally cause allergic reactions, including asthma. This is more common if you are allergic to Aspirin.
                  * Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you take too many lozenges, if symptoms persist, or if anything unusual happens.
                  * Do not use after the expiry date.


                  All in all I can highly recommend these lozenges if you are suffering at the moment with a bad throat. They have soothed mine beautifully and made my swollen glands and sore throat much more bearable to live with. In fact it has almost gone now only two days later. So perhaps this product is one of those that you should always have a fresh stock of in your medicine cupboard.

                  These can be bought in all good supermarkets and chemists for around £2-3 depending on where you go for a box of 36 lozenges.


                  Thank you for reading my review.

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                    02.06.2010 13:35
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                    A very nice, tasty, fat free pudding ! 4/5 Stars.

                    Weightwatchers Dessert Recipe Yoghurts


                    I saw these in Tesco last weekend and as I am constantly trying to lose a bit of weight for the summer I thought I would give these a try as they were new to me and as the flavours sounded very tempting.


                    These four little 120g size pots of dessert come in small cardboard containers that each have a small picture of what is contained inside. So the lemon cheesecake flavour has a picture of a slice of lemon sitting on a biscuit base, and the toffee apple flavour shows a slice of apple with soft toffee dribbling over it, and so on. The pots are then wrapped inside a cardboard sleeve that contains all the nutritional information and ingredients etc.


                    Lemon Cheesecake ~
                    The first one I tried was the lemon cheesecake flavour. When you peel away the lid the aroma of the biscuit and lemon was really nice, it really did smell like a lemon cheesecake. The taste was very good too, a slight taste of tangy lemon, which was not too strong or overpowering and the lovely taste of the cheesecake biscuit which again was just right. The only disappointing thing about this yoghurt was the consistency. It was a little on the weak and watery side and could have done with being a little thicker. The small bits of biscuit in it were also too soft and soggy, though to be fair, I guess you could expect no less really as they were being soaked in yoghurt.

                    Rating 4/5


                    Strawberry Tart ~
                    The next one I tried was the strawberry tart which I found to be much more creamy and thick, in fact the consistency was just as you would expect from a good yoghurt. The taste was really very strong of strawberries and it contained nice sized pieces of strawberry that you could chew on. Again the bits of 'tart' were soggy but still very tasty nonetheless.

                    Rating 4/5


                    Toffee Apple ~
                    This one was a touch disappointing in my opinion. The consistency was very good and it looked extremely appealing with good sized pieces of apple in it showing lots of promise. The taste however was all apple. You could not really distinguish the toffee flavour from the apple, and although I love the flavour of apple I would have expected it to be more the other way around having it being more toffee flavoured. It was still very pleasant however and I did enjoy it.

                    Rating 3/5


                    Raspberry Tart ~
                    Last but not least we have the lovely raspberry tart flavour. This was quite a strong pink in colour and seemed full of raspberry seeds. The yoghurt itself was of a very thick and creamy consistency and although it didn't have the same larger chunks like the strawberry one did it still did not disappoint with the flavour. This was not as sweet as the strawberry yoghurt it had much more of a sharpness to it and it didn't appear to have any of the soggy bits if biscuit in it either. A really lovely yoghurt!

                    Rating 4/5.


                    Nutritional information ~
                    The strawberry and raspberry yoghurts per pot contain:-
                    Energy ~ 56Kcals
                    Fats ~ 0.2g
                    Sats ~ 0.1g
                    Salt ~ 0.2g

                    Lemon Cheesecake:-
                    Energy ~ 58kcals
                    Fats ~ 0.3g
                    Sats ~ 0.2g
                    Salt ~ 0.2g

                    Toffee Apple:-
                    Energy ~ 62kcals
                    Fats ~ 0.3g
                    Sats ~ 0.1g
                    Salt ~ 0.2g


                    All these yoghurts contain milk, egg, wheat and gluten for those who need the allergy advice.


                    All in all these yoghurts are surprisingly tasty considering they are a dieting product. They are all quite thick and creamy with lots of lovely flavour to them and at only 1 WeightWatchers point per pot they are extremely beneficial in helping to keep a trim waistline too. I would deffinatley be buying these again and I can recommend them to anyone to give them a try whether they are dieting or not.

                    These can be obtained in any good supermarket and they range in price from £1.00 to £1.30 generally.


                    For more products and information visit: www.weightwatchers.co.uk


                    This review may also be posted on Ciao.co.uk under the name of vickymason9000.


                    Thank you for reading my review!

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                      01.06.2010 15:29
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                      Makes for a hearty winter warmer. ~ 5/5 stars

                      Coleman's Sausage Casserole Recipe Mix


                      My girls really like sausage casserole and have done since they were very small. So whenever they come over to visit me I like to give them whatever they like. As neither of them tend to have the time for cooking casseroles this has now become a bit of a treat for them.

                      For ease and convenience I often use Coleman's packet sauce mixes as they are cheap and easy to use and also have a very long shelf life so I always seem to have some in stock.

                      Coleman's of Norwich was founded over 180 years ago and they have become a household favourite producing such things as mustards, sauces and a wide range of packet sauce mixes. Their range is very extensive and includes sauces like sausage, beef and chicken casseroles, hot chilli sauces, bread, cheese and fish sauces and also pasta sauce mixes to name just a few.

                      The sauce mix comes as a very fine powder which is contained in a red, sealed plastic packet that has the familiar 'Coleman's of Norwich' logo across the top. These packs contain 40g of the sauce mix which is supposed to serve 4 people when made up.

                      When you open the pack to make up the sauce the smell of the powder mix is very strong having a spicy tomato sort of aroma and the powder is very fine so is extremely easy to mix.

                      It is very simple to cook with this sauce. Firstly you need 1lb of sausages, which I usually brown off under the grill for better results, although you don't need to do this. Place your sausages in a casserole dish and add 2 medium sized onions finely sliced, 115g or 4oz of sliced mushrooms and 1 finely sliced red pepper. Then simply pour your sauce mix over the ingredients and place the lid on the dish and pop in the oven and cook on gas mark 4, or 180c (350f) for about 1 hour.

                      Once cooked serve immediately with freshly cooked vegetables and/or creamy mash potato for a really delicious meal.


                      This packet sauce mix contains no artificial colours or preservatives and no MSG's. The nutritional values of the mix per serving are as follows:

                      Calories ~ 388
                      Sugars ~ 11.4g
                      Fat ~ 22.1g
                      Sats ~ 7.3g
                      Salt ~ 2.44g

                      And it contains traces of egg and milk for those who need to know the allergy advice.


                      It tastes really delicious with a nice tangy tomato base with a hint of herbs and a real winter warmth that makes for great tasting comfort food.
                      If, as I do, you brown the sausages off first under the grill, the sausages take on a more crunchy consistency making them a little more chewy rather than the very soft texture that is produced if they are not browned off. I prefer them that way but it's down to personal choice. The sauce when cooked becomes quite thick and leaves a nice rich coating on the onions and red peppers and really soaks into the sausages leaving them so tasty.


                      All in all this packet sauce mix produces a really lovely tasty casserole dish that is so easy to cook and very convenient. Just mix together and pop it in the oven and go and put your feet up with a cup of tea. It tastes really delicious with a nice tangy tomato base with a hint of herbs and a real winter warmth that makes for great tasting comfort food. A packet sauce mix that I would highly recommend!


                      These sauces can be found in all the good supermarkets at a cost of around 70p each or you can usually get them on offer for 3 packs for £2.00, which is a wonderfully cheap meal for 4 people.


                      Thank you for reading my review!

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                      • Young's Admiral's Pie / Meat / Fish / 52 Readings / 49 Ratings
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                        01.06.2010 12:55
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                        A really tasty fish pie!

                        Young's Admiral's Fish Pie.


                        Admiral's Fish Pie is something that I buy on a regular basis as I really do like fish and this is a quick and easy option. It is just the right size at 300g for a meal for one person on its own or with a few green vegetables, carrots or sweetcorn added. It is quick and convenient, needing no preparation, you just pop it into the oven at 220 degrees or gas mark 7 for 45 minutes, serve and sit down to enjoy.

                        It can also be cooked in the microwave for between 6.5 to 8.5 minutes depending on your wattage, but I prefer not to do it this way as I find the fish pieces can become a little tough and rubbery.


                        The pie is made up of:-

                        Potato Topping ~ 45%
                        Butter Sauce
                        Alaska Pollock ~ 18%
                        Cheddar Cheese ~ 2%

                        The allergy advice tells us that it contains Fish, Gluten, Milk, Wheat and Yeast.


                        The pie comes to us in a very distinguishable blue and white box with the familiar logo of 'Young's' across the top and 'Admiral's Fis Pie' written underneath in large dark blue bold lettering. At the base of the box we are told that the pie gives us the nutritional values of:-

                        Calories ~ 304
                        Sugar ~ 3.6g
                        Fat ~ 11.4g
                        Saturates ~ 5.3g
                        Salt ~ 1.9g


                        When this pie is cooked it gives off the most wonderful aroma of fish and cheese. It looks very appetising with its lovely thick layer of potato and browned off cheese topping. It has a wonderful texture, with it being a creamy and rich sauce. It contains reasonable sized pieces of the fish that are soft and succulent and very tasty. The potato on the top is light and fluffy and that is then topped off with a reasonable strong tasting cheese that has a nice crispy texture once cooked.


                        All in all this is a delicious fish pie that is quick and convenient to prepare and cook and is great value for money at around £1.00 to £1.20 at most supermarkets. It is reasonably low in calories especially if only accompanied by fresh vegetables that have few or no calories and so is very good for you too. It is a pie that I would deffinatley recommend to anyone who likes fish but doesn't want the inconvenience or the smell of having to cook fresh fish from scratch and is a pie that I buy and will always buy for the taste, health benefits and convenience. It really is very nice!


                        For more products and information visit: www.youngsseafood.co.uk


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                          11.05.2010 16:08
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                          A fantastic health supplement that really works for me! 5/5.

                          Nature's Best Glucosamine ~ 1000mg


                          For the last 5 years or so I have suffered with very painful knees and elbows and even my wrists on occasions, leaving me with searing burning pains when I first stand from a sitting position or when I am using the stairs.

                          At first I used to take anti-inflammatory drugs such as Aspirin or Advil which were quite successful at relieving the pain and making me more comfortable. However these prescription and over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs are reputed to have dire long term effects including, the erosion of your digestive tract, internal bleeding, liver failure or even death, to name just a few. In fact these drugs are reputed to cause over 16,500 deaths and over 103,000 hospitalizations per year in the US alone - information source: A review article published in the 'New England Journal of Medicine'. So an alternative and more natural remedy was needed to get me off these drugs.

                          One alternative recommended to me by my GP was Glucosamine Sulphate which I have now been taking for approximately 2 years. This review is for Glucosamine in general and not specifically for that shown in the picture above.


                          ~ What is Glucosamine?
                          Glucosamine in our bodies: is an amino sugar compound produced by the body and is found mostly in cartilage, although it can also be found in our liver and kidney in smaller amounts. It is formed naturally in the body to aid in the repair of damaged cartilage, build new cartilage, cushion joints and to reduce inflammation.

                          Glucosamine supplement: is derived from the tissue of shellfish such as crabs and lobsters and they have been shown since the first clinical studies in 1980 to be hugely beneficial for easing the pain and discomfort associated with osteoarthritis.


                          ~ What sorts of Glucosamine are there?
                          Glucosamine comes in various forms which can leave the purchaser very confused.

                          * Glucosamine Sulphates ~ These are synthetically produced salts derived from natural glucosamine, and are often combined with Chondroitin to add extra aid in the relief of osteoarthritis and any other painful joint conditions.

                          * Glucosamine Hydrochloride ~ This form is the newest and purest form of Glucosamine and is now allegedly the preferred type offered by the medical profession for long term use.

                          * Glucosamine & Chondroitin Liquid or Tablets ~ This combination works in exactly the same way but the liquid variety is deemed to be more beneficial to those who have difficulty in swallowing tablets and capsules. It is also reputed to be more effective too as it can be dispelled into the system far quicker and easier. The addition of the Chondroitin (found in the cartilage of sharks and cattle) is reputed to be more beneficial than the Glucosamine on its own.


                          ~ Why do we need Glucosamine?
                          By the time we reach the age of around 40+ the natural wear and tear on our bodies may cause an imbalance in our ability to repair the damage caused and the natural Glucosamine we create becomes less effective. This means that our joints start to knock and rub together, as the cartilage keeping them apart starts to disintegrate, causing extreme pain and discomfort. Glucosamine will assist in the repair of that cartilage therefore relieving the pain caused.


                          ~ What are the side effects?
                          For the unfortunate few there can be a few side effects and if they do occur they are usually quite mild. They can include such things as:

                          * Nausea or stomach pain
                          * Diarrhoea
                          * Constipation
                          * Rash
                          * Headache
                          * Hair Loss.

                          However I would like to emphasise that these side effects are very rare and the symptoms usually stop as soon as the supplement is stopped or changed for a different form of Glucosamine.


                          ~ Results
                          Well as I said previously I have been taking these religiously for about 2 years now and they have made a huge difference to the pains in my joints. I do still get the occasional twinge in my knees especially if I have been walking Ellie (my dog), for too long during the day, they will play up occasionally on that night. But for the most part I can now run up and down the stairs again and I get very little pain at all in my elbows and wrists, even if I have spent the day writing for many hours. I am totally impressed with this supplement and I would highly recommend them to anyone to try if they are suffering from similar symptoms. Obviously I would say to anyone who has symptoms to visit their own GP before starting on any kind of supplements but if you would rather not be dependant on prescription or over the counter drugs and would prefer a more natural remedy then these are the way to go!


                          These are available in all good health stores, chemists and many online sites for varying prices, but please be careful to choose reputable and trusted sellers.


                          For those who are interested in purchasing these tablets you may be interested to know that I buy mine online from a website that I found recently www.simplysupplements.net, and they have an offer on at the moment on these where if you buy one pack you get another free. I pay only £3.32 for 60 tablets and get another 60 free so to clarify that's 120 tablets for £3.32 ..... the cheapest I have found.

                          Because I have really bad knees I take 2 tablets a day which is 2000mg, taken with food. I usually have mine first thing in the morning with my breakfast, that way I avoid forgetting to take them. I hope this helps!



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                            10.05.2010 17:17
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                            For those who are just not quite sweet enough! 4/5 Stars!

                            Mr Kipling Cherry Bakewells


                            I adore Bakewell tarts, so much so that once, Hubby and I made a special trip to Bakewell in Derbyshire just so we could try 'the real thing'

                            Anyway a little closer to home and one of my favourite little cakes has now become these Cherry Bakewells by Mr Kipling.


                            These are 6 small cakes made of pastry filled with a layer of plum and raspberry jam and almond flavoured sponge and then topped with a covering of fondant icing and a half of a glace cherry on the top.

                            Each of these cakes come in its own foil casing and they each sit in a plastic tray in their own little compartment, so that the cakes don't all slide about in the box. The whole lot are then wrapped in a clear plastic bag to help keep them fresh and are then encased in a bright red and very attractive cardboard box. The front of the box shows us a tempting picture of the cakes and gives us the nutritional information, that being:

                            Calories ~ 198
                            Sugars ~ 18.1g
                            Fat ~ 8.5g
                            Saturates ~ 3.6g
                            Salt ~ 0.18g

                            They contain no hydrogenated fats and no artificial colours or flavours.

                            For those interested in the allergy advice they contain nuts and gluten, wheat, eggs and milk.


                            Opinion ~
                            When you first bite into these the first thing that hits you is the lovely sweet fondant icing and then that wonderful almond flavour kicks in. The golden pastry is light and crumbly and is just the right thickness to balance out the sweetness of the icing. The whole cake feels quite thick and gloopey in the mouth and the fondant icing is so thick it seems to stick slightly to the roof of your mouth. The jam has a lovely flavour that is not too sweet and compliments the almond flavour in the sponge beautifully. The sponge itself is soft and moist and then you have th glace cherry on the top, which I always take off and eat on its own afterwards.

                            All in all a lovely little cake that I would highly recommend to anyone who just fancies something nice and sweet. A lovely treat to go with your cup of tea while you have your feet up in front of the tele!


                            These are available in all good supermarkets at a cost of around £1.00 to about £1.50 depending on where you shop.

                            For more products and information visit: www.mrkipling.co.uk


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                            • Pedigree Large Breed / Dog Food / 68 Readings / 68 Ratings
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                              10.05.2010 11:38
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                              A great complete dry dog food! 5/5 Stars from me!

                              Pedigree Large Breed Complete Mix ~ Joint Health


                              My dog Ellie, is still very young at only 17 months, and she is quite a large dog at around 30 kgs. She is very active as you would expect from such a young pooch and therefore has a very good appetite.

                              Along with her tinned food which she has twice a day, she also has a bowl full of dry food which she loves, and one of her favourites is this beef and vegetable joint health from Pedigree. This joint care food contains Glucosamine and fish oil to promote healthy joints.

                              I choose the joint health food because, although she is still quite young, I really don't think that she can ever be too young to start with such things as Glucosamine in her diet, especially as the joints in larger dogs are put under a lot of pressure and therefore need special care.


                              Packaging ~
                              This dry food comes in a large bright yellow plastic bag with the familiar logo of the red rosette, with Pedigree in large bold white lettering across the rosette. The information on the front of the bag tells us that there are no artificial colours, flavours or sugars added and that it is good honest food.

                              Contents ~
                              Inside the bag there are 3 different looking types of food ...... large, squeezable squares in dark brown, and smaller pieces in carrot colour and biscuit colour. These combined give the benefits of ..... quote:-

                              Good Digestion - Rice, whole grains and naturally sourced prebiotic fibres help keep her insides healthy, so she's happy, comfy and regular.

                              Toned Muscles - High quality meat proteins help her stay in great shape, giving her the strength to run, jump, dig and explore.

                              Vitality and Fitness - All the essential vitamins and minerals to keep her healthy and full of energy, ready for lots of good walks with you.

                              Strong teeth and gums - Specially designed large kibbles and plenty of specially shaped crunchy bits will help keep her teeth in top condition for all the games of tug-of-war. Plus there's no added sugar.

                              Healthy joints - Fish oil, a natural source of Omega 3, and Glucosamine from a natural source help keep her joints healthy and supple giving her a head start whenever you throw the ball...... unquote!!


                              Result and opinion ~
                              Well all I can say about the result of this dry food is that it seems to go down very well. Ellie is far too young yet for me to be able to comment on any of the health benefits, although I really do believe that the earlier you start with good health foods for your pet the better start they can have in life. But what I can say is that she thoroughly enjoys this dry food and her bowl is always empty after each meal time, so I would take this as an indication that it is very tasty for her.

                              Therefore it is a food that I would recommend for anyone to try for their pets if they haven't already done so. It is certainly popular with my Ellie!


                              This food is available in most good supermarkets and pets stores for around £6.00 per bag for the 3kg size. It also comes in Turkey variety too however I have not tried that yet for Ellie as she seems quite content with this beef and vegetable flavour.


                              For more products and information visit: www.pedigree.com



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                                07.05.2010 09:57
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                                Another wonderful product from the Sanctuary Spa range!

                                Sanctuary Luxury Bath Float


                                I shower every morning but occasionally at night I do like to have a nice long relaxing soak in the bath, complete with oils, book and candles ...... a little 'Me time'!

                                One product I do like to use on such occasions is this luxury bath float from Sanctuary Covent Garden's Spa range.


                                Sanctuary are based in Covent Garden in London and they base their products on the idea that you can have your own spa treatment while staying in the comfort of your own home. This obviously saves you time and money on expensive spa treatments and visits.


                                This bath soak comes in a small clear plastic cylindrical tube, which is very slightly squeezable. The liquid inside it is orange giving the impression that the bottle is orange and the screw on lid is orange too.

                                When you open the lid and have a sniff of the soak it has a wonderful orange peachey fragrance that is unique to this product range. The liquid is not too thick so you can pour it out of the tube with ease but isn't too thin either so you don't lose too much when pouring, and it has a gloopey, sticky texture to it.


                                What the Sanctuary say about this soak: .... "This decadent bubble bath will fill your bath tub with a cloud of super-rich bubbles and fill your bathroom with our sensuous oriental fragrance. Enriched with antioxidant Vitamin E, hydrating Freesia and moisturizing Baobab extracts, skin will be left nourished, velvety smooth and softly scented whilst you unwind and let your troubles drift away".


                                To use this soak you simply have to pour it under hot running water into your bath, a cap full is just about the correct amount for the average bath.

                                Once your bath is ready and you sink yourself into it, the feeling is just lovely. The fragrance of this soak is extremely pleasant however is a little too delicate for my liking. I do like a strong smell that gets absorbed into the skin and lasts a while and this one is a little too light for me. But it is pleasant enough and it can be detected on the skin once you have dried yourself.

                                The results of this bath soak are just wonderful. I always come out of my bath feeling totally relaxed and refreshed. My skin always feels very soft and smooth and nourished, and I have a lovely delicate fragrance on my skin that lasts for a short while after. I feel totally relaxed and when I bath at night I find that I sleep so well that night and feel totally refreshed the following morning. This bath soak is a real treat and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to spoil themselves with a little 'me time'!


                                For further products and information, visit: www.thesanctuary.co.uk


                                This bottle I have is the 75ml size and was given to me as part of a gift set, so I have no idea of the cost of this size, however for a bottle of 500ml the cost is around £8.50 and is available from Boots and online from their website www.thesanctuary.co.uk



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                                • Adios Max / Diet & Weight Loss / 98 Readings / 97 Ratings
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                                  06.05.2010 16:11
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                                  The weight loss aid that didn't work for me! 1/5 stars!

                                  Adios Max


                                  Well there isn't much I can say about this product really, although I feel so compelled to put pen to paper, or should i say fingers to keyboard, because I feel slightly outraged by this company's claims.

                                  The girl who dances around in her knickers on our tv screen and has probably never had a weight problem in her life is supposed to be indicative of how we can look after having taken this product as part of a calorie controlled diet.

                                  They appear to target people like myself, who have probably tried one diet after another, with little success, by offering what seems to be a wonder product. And to add insult to injury I was a complete Muppet and daft enough to go out and buy a second pack. My thinking being that I needed more time for them to get into my system.

                                  These tiny white tablets come in a small white, plastic pot with a flip up top. There is a bright pink label across the front giving us the product name and telling us that they are maximum strength slimming tablets that can help speed up weight loss naturally. The pot contains 100 of the tablets and you are given the instructions to take one tablet 3 times a day, usually at mealtimes, as part of a calorie controlled diet.

                                  Well the result of this weight loss aid is ........ absolutely nothing! These tablets, for me, just do not work and I feel quite annoyed that I was daft enough to actually believe in the hype and fall for the advertising. They didn't work at all for me after using two packs and, in my opinion, are a waste of money. They are a complete waste of time and I would say to anyone who is thinking about purchasing them to keep your money in your purse and stick to the more traditional ways of weight loss diets.

                                  If I had the choice I would give these no stars as a rating but since I have to rate for Dooyoo I will give this a star for their advertising, simply because I was daft enough to believe them!


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