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Since I was a child I have always loved cooking and this passion has followed me into adult life. I am willing to give most foods a try and when it comes to savoury dishes I would describe myself as a 'taster cook'. This basically means that instead of following measurements, I use my taste buds to tell me if something is cooked right.
From my love of food, has come the ability to cook a variety of foods that come from different continents of the world such as Asia, Europe, Africa, Caribbean and the Middle-east.
However, my love of Kidney beans comes from my Caribbean roots as I was raised on our traditional dish of rice and peas and chicken.
All the family are smitten with kidney beans as it is an essential ingredient to one of the rice and peas dishes we do, and it gives a lovely burgundy hue to the rice. As a bonus these beans are full of protein and a tasty way to get one of your 5 a day into your diet.
The Product - They come in a standard sized 410g tin and the sweet harvest kidney beans are one of Aldi's own brands. They are stored with water that has developed a slight burgundy hue due to the kidney beans which is ideal for most of the dishes I make. Some people prefer to wash the beans before use, but when I am making rice and peas or burritos I personally add the beans with the water as I love the colour and texture the beans brings to my dish.
Price -This product is a bargain at 19p and in my opinion tastes just as good as other more well-known brands for a fraction of the price.
What they can be used for?
These beans are versatile and I have also used them to make burritos, chilli con carnes and bean salads.
My whole family loved the taste and the texture of these kidney beans. They were not too hard or soft and added a nice wholesome flavour to my rice and peas dish and my burritos. I highly recommend this product and would advise people to give them a try and do not let the fact they are cheap and from Aldi deter you from buying these excellent quality kidney beans.
I invested in this cable about a couple of months ago as the pins had gone in the previous unbranded cable I had and the display on my monitor was a little lack lustre.
I spend most of my time on my laptop so I only decided to connect this cable recently as I am pursuing my interest in digital art and my laptop was impeding my creative flair.
This cable has the same connection on both ends and is a male to male cable and has 15 pins in each side. It has gold plated connectors that aid the transfer of data and I experienced no problems or glitches when working on programmes, playing online games and watching television programmes.
It has moulded thumbs screws which are excellent for connecting the computer base unit to the monitor. This feature made the connection process quick and easy and my computer was up and running in less than 10 minutes. This product has a generous 1.8m cable and I found it easy to connect my base unit to my computer screen.
I bought my product for £11.00 from a high street store and the cable came in black. However, this product can be found cheaper online.
For the reasons outlined above, I found the product to be good quality and live up to the high standard I have found amongst most Belkin products.
I liked the user friendly hand moulded screw feature and it made the connection process easy. I found this product a bit pricey on the high street, but after buying a unbranded product, whose pins broke relatively easily, I wanted to buy a brand I trusted. The online prices for this product are very reasonable if you don't need the product immediately. I experienced no problems with data transfer via this product and I was able to use photoshop with no problems and able to watch television online and play online games with no glitches.
Thanks for reading my review.
I am a lover of the ever evolving technology and the fast paced changes happening in the computer industry. I would not describe myself as a computer geek, but as I am a bit of a computer hoarder (the insides fascinate me), my co workers often come to me for advice with hardware and software problems in the hope that I can resolve them. I was therefore, quite excited when I learnt our computer systems at work were about to be updated. The systems we had were over five years old and the small 15inch computer screens plonked on my desk was beginning to wear on my eyes. I did not know quite what to expect, but must admit, that I was highly impressed with the wide sleek looking Benq screens and the excellent screen resolution. Although, I largely use my computer for typing up letters, I occasionally have to design flyers or watch videos and the vibrancy of this HD screen jumps out at me.
The product specification can be found in the technical details, but the features that I find endearing were:
The compatibility of the screen with windows 7
The wide 16:9 panoramic view
The High Definition vibrancy of colours on the screen (my desktop picture looks surreal)
The excellent response time of 5ms
I use this computer monitor largely for office tasks such as typing reading email and surfing the web. I occasionally use it for viewing videos and designing posters. I find the screen well suited to an office and home environment and I would recommend this product as I think this is an excellent product with great value for money.
*also posted on ciao under frankfemale
I am the proud owner, or should I say servant to My 18 month old cat bella and her 6 month old kitten Ana. When someone told me dogs have owners and cats have masters, they weren't kidding.
However, being in servitude to my cats is a small price to pay for the comedy they provide and the love and affection they show.
For instance, is it just me or does anyone else have a cat that thinks it's a dog?
I am a pretty new mum of furbabies, so maybe what I am calling an identity crisis is actually normal behaviour. Bella when she was in her tender months was nothing like her kitten Ana. I also grew up surrounded by cats ( all types of animals actually) and can't recall having a cat that chased thrown balls( yes you heard me right) and brought them back to me to throw again, and again and again.
Ana is definitely a character and by the way she climbs my curtains, she clearly fancies herself as a monkey too!
I have always been a cat lover and spent most of my childhood surrounded by cats. My upbringing and my overall ethos of kindness to all of creation taught me that cats in many ways are like children and need tender loving care and looking after properly.
For that reason, due to a busy lifestyle, I had never had a furbaby to look after until about a year ago when my Queen Bella and more recently her kitten Ana, joined the family.
My boys had been begging me for a long time to get a cat and promised I would have to do nothing and they would, along with other things, maintain a clean and hygienic cat litter tray and that no strange cat aromas would be fraternising with my nostril.
In the beginning they were good and became very inventive with nappy sacks. However, the washing of the cat litter trays fell firmly on my shoulders. Cats are clean animals and don't like dirty cat litter trays and my cats are no exception.
As you can imagine, constantly having to scrape the cat litter tray became a drag and that's when I discovered bob martins cat litter tray liners. In the beginning, I was very impressed, but did struggle a bit, even with the larger ones, to get them to sit right in the bottom of my cat litter tray.
They were reasonably priced, with prices as low as 99p at some retailers and were brilliant at removing the bulk of the waste in one full scoop. However, my cat was notorious for catching her claws on them and when I removed the bags to put it into the bin I was leaving a Hansel and Gretel type trail behind me.
Whilst the product helped me enormously, after a few months the fiddly and holey bags seemed like too much hassle. I eventually abandoned the bags and invested in a hooded cat litter tray with a filter, which is a must have, as amongst many things, it keeps the aromas at bay.
*also posted on ciao under frankfemale
The makers of this excellent product have been around since 1886, and been evolving and adding new products to the Johnsons baby range. Their expertise and their commitment to putting the needs of their customers first can be seen in the high quality products they sell.
Johnsons baby oil is a product that has been around since the first part of the 20th century and has taken up permanent residence in my home. Do not let the name baby oil fool you as this oil is a must for all the family.
I find this products distinct sweet smelling aroma irresistible and the way in which in this product reduces dryness and locks moisture in the skin exquisite.
The products packaging has evolved overtime but the distinct baby pink top and clear see through plastic bottle makes the product easily identifiable.
The product has become more affordable overtime and is also now competively priced and a £1.00 in many stores.
The screw top bottle that Johnson's have recently introduced is clearly a step in the right direction, and adds an element of safety from inquisitive toddler fingers. The previous flip up tops were notorious for spills if the top was not pushed down firmly and easy for a toddler to open as I learnt unwittingly when I found my two mischievous sons glistening from dowsing themselves in this oil.
I highly recommend this product for those wanting smooth soft skin for all the family.
*also posted on ciao under frank female
Now most people may have heard about or watched the programme 'pimp my ride', and of daydreamed of our cars looking like the finished product at the end of the show, I know I have. But when I came across 'pimp my walk' on dooyoo, this was a first, and as I laughed with amusement curiosity had me checking out the website. Whilst some of us may not have the money to pimp our rides, pimping our walks has got to be easy and more importantly free right?
On a bit of an aside, I must admit I do have a problem with the original meaning of the word 'pimp' and it has always had a seedy and unsavoury meaning in my eyes. So I have often asked myself the question how the word 'pimping' can mean making anything look good.
What is the website about?
As you enter the website, the Pimp my walk, logo is very impressive and I like the way in which the logo incorporates an image of a person with a hoodie. The website layout is however very basic and the colour scheme is not very appealing.
The website is about learning to 'C walk (clown walk)' and offer lessons, online of course, from beginners to advanced level. Which are easy to follow, and as they claimed, I learnt a couple of the moves in minutes. C walking is some type of hip hop/street dance style moves as opposed to walking. And for those of you who want to C walk down the streets, I strongly advise against it as I don't think you would get anywhere quick and more worryingly may have people questioning your sanity, in the UK anyway.
On a more serious note, this walk originates from the 'crip walk' and was taken to schools in America so that people could learn how to do this walk as opposed to the one associated with gangs. The dance moves are impressive for anyone looking to brush up on their dance skills.
I thought I would write a tribute to TK Maxx today. As it has become a permanent fixture and fitting of my weekly Sunday shop. The shop has been innovative in its opening times and is open to 5.30pm on a sunday, in the city of Leicester, which I think is a brilliant idea as it means I can go there when all the other shops have shut at 5.00pm.
If like me, there is nothing more that you like than snapping up a bargain, then this is the shop for you, as you will find bargains bursting through the seams.
I usually use this shop for the purchase of trainers and clothing, but I have occasionally bought bags, purses, bed sheets, perfumes and clocks.
In the current economic downturn and in the current sales it is easy to get an outfit for about a tenner and this is good quality stuff that doesn't fall apart at the seams, shrink to barbie doll size or come out the washing machine looking like a jigsaw puzzle.
It is also possible to buy a decent pair of trainers (Nike, Puma, Addidas, Ecko) for about twenty quid, which is a real bargain.
As a fan of scrabble and other brain training type games. I was pleased when I visited this website after reading an online review, and have added it to my favourites.
This website combines learning with donating grains of rice to the United Nations food programme which I think is a brilliant idea. This is a website that can be used by the whole family and the multiplication tables are great for kids or adults learning to multiply.
This site is easy to use and navigate and has simple headings and an appealing green colour scheme. You get 10 rice grains for each correct answer and within 10 minutes it is possible to get between 500 - 1000 rice grains which will make a real difference to those with nothing to eat.
There are a variety of subjects to choose from such as English, french, spanish, maths, geography, famous paintings, to name just a few.
I must admit that I found some of the words in the english vocabulary exercise very unusual and the English grammar exercise kept me on my toes. The geography, french and multiplication tables helped me blow out my cob webs and although I know very little about art, this section clearly adds variety.
It never ceases to amaze me the amount of fuss people make about immigration and asylum. This is clearly a huge topic and I have chosen to focus on the rough and unfair press and treatment received by asylum seekers and refugees as opposed to the points based system or migration from Europe, that are topics within themselves.
Unfortunately, the British Media has a habit, which borders on addiction, of 'scapegoating and villianising people. The Irish, Jewish, Polish and Ugandan, to name a few, have at one time or another been treated in this manner and arguably still are today, but that's another topic. Only if we could send the Media to rehab, their need for cold turkey in my opinion, is well and truly overdue.
What surprises me is that, people often buy into the media hype that often paints a distorted picture of asylum seekers and refugees, and do not even question whether they are wrong or right.
Apologies to those of you who know, but for those of you who do not, it is widely accepted that an 'Asylum Seekers' is someone who has fled their country because of fear of danger and have formally applied for stay in another country. It therefore, begs belief that people actually think that when an asylum seeker flees their country after watching their whole family killed, or after they have been tortured and had their house reduced to rubble that they are coming to the UK as an economic migrant to get a measly £64.50 a week. Common sense dictates, for me anyway, that the person is fleeing out of fear for their life and persecution, rather than to be a 'drain' on some distant foreign state.
The media would have you believe that the UK is swamped with asylum seekers and Refugees, when in reality the UK is home to less than 2% of the worlds Refugees and they rank 17th in industrialised countries in terms of asylum applications per head of population. 80% of the world's asylum seekers and Refugees are actually living in poor developing countries such as Africa and Asia. So what is all the fuss about?
If you are familiar with the saying ,'those who do not hear feel' this sums up my hard headedness when I did not take heed of my brothers warning not to join talk talk's internet service. I have been a customer of virgin media since the days it was known as NTL and there internet service is brilliant when you compare it to the others floating around.
My brother had warned me about the problems with his internet and the fact it kept disconnecting even though he lived close to one of the masts, but yet I chose to listen to the sales rep when they said those problems have been ironed out. As I was already with talk talk for my phone service and the cost of having internet was not much more, I thought why not? Luckily, I chose to keep my virgin media broadband so all is not lost.
Although I have only been signed up to the internet service for about couple of weeks it often hangs, download speeds are appauling and customer service is a joke. I am tied into an 18 month contract now,and clearly have no one to blame but myself.
As a Nokia fan, when my phone began to fall apart at the seams and I needed a cheap upgrade I decided to try a sony ericsson. This phone was only 40 quid and the specs weren't bad in comparision to the others in the same price bracket.
I liked the look of the phone in its cute silver body and slide up style mechanism. It had 1.3 mp camera, a radio ,blue tooth and a tetris style game built in and I thought, why not.
I've had this phone for almost a year now and it has been really reliable. The battery life is brilliant and provided I do not chat for queen and country on the phone it lasts for many days without needing a charge. It also charges very quickly. The radio when put on loud speaker also produces a good quality sound and I have often used this when doing chores around the house.
It is recommened that you cover the phone with some type of case as the body scratches easily and as i often shove mine in my bag with my keys....it looks like its been in a cat fight.
On the downside, i found it difficult to write text messages on this phone and it clearly was not as easy as it was on my nokia. Also when outside especially if the sun is shining, or the day is bright, the reflection off the screen is quite bad and instead of seeing the number I want to dial I am seeing my reflection instead! Useful if I want to check my hair and makeup, but not if I want to make a call.
Some of you may know Gipsy King for the spanish version of 'Hotel California'. However, they are largely well known for many of the songs that feature on their greatest hits. Gipsy King like Bob Marley, for me are in a league of their own and once people hear their song Bombeleo , they will realise that they have heard it before.
Although I only speak a few words of spanish, I don't beleive it is needed to appreciate the guitar mastery and the warm, acoustic tones and variety this album offers.
I remember initially listening to Gipsy King in the 90's when I worked at a restaurant that provided food and music from around the world. I now have the CD and it often keeps me company on long journeys and the drive to work.
The group has a great voice and the music often whisks me often to a a warm, meditarranean climate. I close my eyes(not while i'm driving) and can imagine myself in an exotic, hot country with the sounds of the sea and the feel of sand beneath my feet. The music is very uplighting and its acoustic excellence and dulcet tones can be appreciated by people from all walks of life .
As with any album, I clearly have my favourites and Bomboleo is one of them, which I have learnt is a song about love and living your life well and this is a very up tempo and uplighting jubilant song.
If you like the taste of hispanic latin music with an arab flavour then this music is for you.
As a child of the 80's I grew up double dutching, breakdancing and body popping and being one of the few female body poppers back then, have won the odd dance competition in my time- Honest! Being a child of the 80's also meant that I was previledged and surrounded by the hype of classic dance movies such as,'Fame' and 'Dirty Dancing' and saw some of the original breakdance movies such as Beat Street , House Party and BreakDance 2 .
I loved this movies predacessor step up and this movie was equally exciting and captivating. Its a great dance movie that combines the meeting of ballet and street dancing and like the previous step up sees a troubled teenager turn her life around.
The similiarities to the previous one stops there as this movie brings fresh and original dance moves, that I must admit at times had me tempted to give them a try, but the voice of reason prevailed and the fear of twisting an ankle , or even worse, kept my feet firmly placed on the ground and my eyes firmly faced towards the tv set leaving the dancing to the experts. The dancing in the rain at the end is a real treat and a must see, you won't be dissapointed.
The movie is set in Maryland and follows Andie West (Briana Evigan) as she pursues her dream of becoming a street dancer. Her mother died of cancer when she was 16 and she now lives with her mother's best friend, Sarah (Sonja Sohn) When the movie begins she is a troubled teen who is struggling to find out her purpose and where she belongs in life. As the movie reaches its conclusion you see a more confident Andie emerge.
Totally loved this new original movie that explored a whole new style of racing. For anyone who likes something different, the drifting within this movie is a must see. This movie brilliantly combines high speed racing and humour in a Tokyo setting and the'waboky' line is a classic. The movie was fast paced and fast moving, and like the previous movies, I have not tired of watching it over and over again.
I like the fact that the film makers have based it in another country, with amazing scenery and whilst it had many different story lines, the story of a young man leaving America to escape trouble and still finding it many miles away and having to stand up and face it gave the movie a follawable and plausible storyline. It was nice to see Han again, and the guest appearance at the end was a welcome suprise. It was nice to see Bow Wow(once well known for rapping) featuring in this movie, but did they have to give him a stereotypical role as a hustler.
Lucas Black- Sean Boswell; Nathalie Kelley - Neela; Bow Wow - Twinkie; Brian Tee - DK; Sung Kang- Han