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jo_ce2001

jo_ce2001
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Member since: 12.02.2012

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      09.03.2012 14:42
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      allow people the right to walk down the street without inhaling second hand smoke

      It's true i'm a non smoker, i've never been a smoker and clearly have a slightly biased opinion. I'm always quite balance in my views usually though and I do truly believe in the freedom of choice.

      For me the banning of smoking in bars, restaurants etc has been a great thing. Now I can go into bars and not breathe in smoke against my will, my clothes don't stink of stale smoke after a night out. I choose to be a non smoker, and therefore this is my right -by not smoking I am not endangering anyones life.

      A smoker has the right to choose to smoke and accepts all the risks that this brings to their own health and to a certain extent i'm fine with this (although I do have some feelings about the costs of treating smoking related illness to the NHS). The problem is that by smoking in a public place a smoker cannot help but spread the dangers of cigarette smoke around. I don't want to be a passive smoker.

      Whilst the idea of smoke free bars and restaurants is great, i'm still very often faced with a face full of smoke whilst walking down a street. Why is it fair that someone can assault me with their smoke - if i hurt them by punching them in the face that would be illegal.

      I think we are a little way off of a total public smoking ban, but it needs to happen. Society needs to allow people to be able to not be exposed to passive smoking against their will.

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      • What's In Your Bag? / Discussion / 14 Readings / 12 Ratings
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        09.03.2012 13:51
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        I wish I had mary poppins bag!

        It's true that a girls bag is a private place and that it feels like an intrusion even when there is nothing to hide. A discussion about this in my office revealed that many of my female colleagues feel the same.

        My boyfriend just doesn't 'get it' though. He says what's the problem when he delves into my bag to get something i've been carrying around for him. True it's his stuff...but still.

        So what do i have in there? Well, a purse stuffed with a loyalty card from every shop that ever offered me one. I have so many that just now when I was fishing in my purse to get my Subway loyalty card I had to prise open the card slots and take out another 5 from it's slot just to get to the card I actually wanted. I keep receipts from everything and only clear out when it becomes physically impossible to close my purse! I don't tend to carry much cash around and prefer to use my debit card. I find spare change just gets spent without regard otherwise!

        I had a little notebook listing everything that i'm spending money one - literally everything! i'm saving to buy a house with the other half and therefore trying to get better at budgeting. Noting literally everything down really makes you think about what you spend.

        A diary/address book - i do have the ability to have a diary on my iphone, and have switched to pretty much everything digital, but I can't quite do it with diaries!

        Then there are the sundries...phone, pen, small packet of tissues, lip balm, paracetamol, lipgloss, small umbrella, more pens...and at the moment I have some cough sweets and a packet of cat milk drops that someone gave me for my cat because their cat doesn't like them...i really must take those out!

        All in all, nothing remarkable or exciting...but it's still private boys!!

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          08.03.2012 19:31
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          A good value restaurant if you like no frills

          I just returned from lunch at the portsmouth branch of Frankie and Benny's. I've been a few times before and now feel I can write a rounded review!

          I'm struggling between deciding whether I like Frankie and Benny's or am slightly disappointed by it. It styles itself as being an American/Italian restaurant. The decor from branch to branch is quite frankly very sameish. In the Portsmouth branch it's walls are covered with photos of men from the 1950's which perhaps look a little maffia-esque. I noticed today when I was looking around that many of the pictures are actually the same. I can't help wondering why they bothered - just leave the wall blank if you have to put the same photo on both sides of the restaurant.

          Last time i went the greeting staff member couldn't actually be bothered to show me to our table and I was actually left wandering around a very busy restaurant asking at least 4 staff members where we were supposed to be sitting. It was really quite shocking, i've never experienced anything like it! On my visit today the waiter was quite attentive but had literally no concept of personal space. He stood so close to me whilst taking my order that it actually made me feel uncomfortable. I was with two friends who hadn't noticed but he then did it to them and I realised it wasn't me being a bit paranoid!

          The menu varies between pizza, pasta, burgers etc and is actually quite reasonably priced. Today I had a two course lunch which consisted of hot dog and fries and chocolate brownie and ice cream which came to £7.95. A diet coke cost £2.35. I would say that despite anything else it is quite reasonably priced. The atmosphere is slightly dull at times except in the evening when someones birthday becomes apparent by a birthday cake being delivered to a table with a crowd of waiting staff singing happy birthday whilst looking slightly bored and unenthused. I appreciate waiting on tables is not the most fulfilling job maybe (i've done it) but i've found the staff don't seem to hide it very well! On at least two occasions i've had to send back plates and cups because they are still dirty - and i'm really not a clean freak they really were quite noticeably dirty!

          I've also tried breakfast at Frankie and Benny's which for a full cooked breakfast and a cup of tea or coffee is 2 for £10. It seems fairly quiet if you go on a sunday and I would say that the breakfast does represent fantastic value for money and is really quite tasty.

          My overall opinion is that Frankie and Benny's is a good cheap restaurant, but don't expect the best service!

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          • More +
            08.03.2012 17:49
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            I heart dooyoo!

            Ok, so the title might sound a bit mad, but there is a theory behind the madness. I've taken up dressmaking classes in the last 6 months which i've been really loving. I've wanted to learn for such a long time and finally i'm fulfilling a long standing ambition! So what does this have to do with Dooyoo miles you might ask?! Well i just got my very first amazon voucher for £25 and couldn't be more excited! I just placed an order for some sewing books. I've long wanted to be able to have a creative job and i'm hoping to be able to be able to make some extra money doing something I love.

            Alternatively my other passion in life is baking and I also ordered a book which I hope will also help me made a bit of extra money on the side.

            All this extra hobby money hopefully will help me in my saving so that my boyfriend and I can buy our first house together....ahhh...that just sounds a bit slushy doesn't it!

            Thanks Dooyoo!

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              01.03.2012 20:39
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              A nice foundation!

              I'm never happy with foundations. I can never find anything that has good coverage of the right shade.

              I've never actually tried a mx factor product and since this one one of the few foundations left that I haven't tried I figured I had nothing to lose!

              The packaging is nice, but nothing amazing. It is essentially a see through plastic container which is oval shaped if you are looking at the width of the product. But it is quite a good size and containts 34ml.

              Max Factor call this colour adapt and say that it evens out skin tones and gets rid of imperfections. it comes in 6 shades which should suit most skin tones. I am quite pale skinned and really struggle to find shades that don't look silly on me. I therefore plumped for 'natural' which was actually perfect.

              It applies nice and evenly with a little product going quite a long way. Even when i'm lazy and apply this with my fingers and not a proper foundation brush it still comes out well. I'm impressed that when Max Factor say that this evens out skin tones and imperfections that it really does!

              The product lasts quite well when applied and doesn't seem to streak or transfer and easily will last a night out. It isn't too badly priced either as it retails for around £9.99 which for a foundation is quite reasonable since there re many more expensive ones out there!

              All in all i'm quite pleased with this foundation and if like me you aren't sure with shades and are fairly light - medium toned start with the natural first. I would definitely re-purchase.

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              01.03.2012 20:08
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              a budge lipstick, ok for short periods of time

              I wanted to try this liquid lipstick because it just seemed a bit different to the ordinary.

              One of the major draws of this product was that it really seems to be quite a bargain. At only £1.50 you can buy this and not too feel guilty! Catch one of e.l.f's sales which are frequent and you could pay even less - i paid just 75p for mine during a 50% off sale!

              The lipstick itself is in a clear container and is quite long and thin. You don't get loads for your money I have to say, however for £1.50 it would probably be quite unreasonable to expect too much! The applicator one end is a sponge tip shaped like the top of a regular solid lipstick and is covered by a see-through lid. The product is dispense through the sponge tip by twisting the other end. Despite being a budget buy, the packaging is quite nice looking and doesn't look 'cheap'. You can easily see how much product is left which is a nice idea when you are dealing with a liquid product.

              The sponge applicator is quite firm so it allows easy application and whilst it seems like a nice idea it just really doesn't feel very hygienic too me. Each time you reapply there is residual product form last time and i'm not keen on that.

              The range of these lipsticks currently has 12 colours and they are all really nice shades in addition they have a fragrance to them. They are described as 'vanilla mint' and it's a bit strange to have fragranced lipstick to me, i more expect that from a lip balm of gloss. I don't really think it's necessary if i was going to be super picky and i can't say that I can smell the vanilla in the mint!

              In terms of coverage I don't think this is very long lasting. I actually only find it lasts one or two hours and even then that depends on whether you are planning to eat or drink. I only have one of these and to be honest I probably won't buy any more because I do think that e.l.f have better lip products.

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                01.03.2012 19:39
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                A nice book if you regularly cook for lots of people!

                I bought this book because it was Jamie Oliver, not because it was 30 minute meals...and this is my slight niggle with this book.

                It's a nice idea...basically Jamie has come up with who menu plans in this book which in theory should take approximately 30 minutes. The premise being that whilst things are cooking you get on preparing other items and so on. I'm a fairly competent and experienced cook and I'd say that yes, these recipes are possible in that amount of time. If however you are not a confident cook then the 30 minutes idea does go out the window a bit.

                I do however like the menu idea, he gives main meal idea, side, dessert...drinks in some cases and it does somewhat take the thinking out of cooking an entire meal. I've used the Curry Menu on many occassions (Butternut squash, chickpea and spinach rogan josh, rice, carrot salad, poppadoms, flatbread and beer) and if you are cooking for a dinner party this book is a great idea.

                I do have another slight niggle with this book if i'm honest and that is that most of the menus serve 4 - 6 people (some 8). I only have to cook for me and my boyfriend and i'm quite used to scaling down recipes meant for 4, or there are never problems with a couple of leftovers...but it would be crazy to cook a meal meant for 6 and have so much left over!

                I therefore think this is only a good book if you either have a large-ish family or regularly entertain and have friends over. I do like the book, but for me its one of the weakest Jamie books I own for that reason.

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                • More +
                  01.03.2012 19:28
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                  A good introduction to chinese food.

                  Chinese food is definitely by far my favourite takeaway. I'm quite a confident cook and have a vast array of cook books..but chinese cooking had always escaped me. Somewhere between not thinking I could make good tasting chinese food and being somewhat mystified by it I just never got around to giving it a go.

                  Then along came Ching. I caught her 'Chinese food made easy' series on the BBC quite by accident and hadn't really ever heard of her until then. I was instantly hooked though and went out and bought the book. I really wasn't disappointed. The book is well laid out, clear ingredients list and very simple instructions. There aren't photos for every recipe however.

                  The book is split into chapters which are as follows -
                  Takeaway favourites
                  Spicy Sichaun dishes
                  Dumplings, dim sum and noodles
                  Fish and seafood dishes
                  Street food
                  Celebration food for family and friends
                  Desserts and Drinks
                  Side dishes

                  The takeawy favourites is of course one of my favourites and although it is essentially what you might find in a takeaway, some of it i'd argue not - for example Chings recipe for sweet and sour pork as it has a slight twist on the normal. I can't of like it like that though! Expect to find the usual chow mein and beef in oyster sauce etc. I can't criticise Ching for including crowd pleaser dishes - it's what we like to eat!

                  I like the noodles chapter simply because i'm always clueless about noodles and just make the same old things which do get a bit boring so it's nice to get some inspiration! The street food chapter is also quite nice for something a bit different - for example mango chicken, but you will find some familiar favourites in the chapter

                  The desserts menu is ok, the chinese aren't really big 'desserty' people as a general rule so there is a bit less scope with this chapter and as a once and a while recipe I might use one of these recipes if i were doing a chinese food dinner party.

                  I do really like the 'sides' chapter however. Here you will find how to make various rices, pak choy and smoked paprika roast sweet potatoes. I really do wish the sides chapter was just a little bit bigger!

                  All in all i've conquered a few of my chinese cooking fears with this book and i'd suggest it is a good book to start with if you are new to chinese cooking!

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                  29.02.2012 19:45
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                  The most basic sewing book, but really not the best!

                  I had high hopes for this book. I'm a relative beginner in terms of sewing and everything I knew, i'd taught myself. I got this book really hoping to be able to get on with some projects in order to gain more know how and experience.

                  It is split up into some helpful chapters which are as follows -
                  1 Stocks and sharesies (what you need and why you need it
                  2 Stitched up (all you need to know to get started)
                  3 Bags in hand
                  4 Skirting the issue
                  5 All dressed up
                  6 Fripperies and fineries
                  7 Cheap tricks
                  8 Knit girls

                  The book is written in a fun style and has an original layout. It's not just straight text but is illustrated with pictures of 'makes' with bigger than average text and to the point! It is really good at explaining the basics and what you need and Chapter 1 goes into a bit of detail about what things actually are what they do.

                  I'm also quite liking chapter 2 which explains stitches and sewing machines (until recently i'd never operated one much less owned one!). In this respect this book is one of the best i've seen at explaining the basics.

                  The bags section is not too bad, nothing that stylish, but easy to understand. It would be nice for this book to have had diagrams about how to do things. Yes it does explain things, but if you've never made these things before then you are less likely to have a clue about what things should look like!

                  The skirt section is ok, and I really mean just ok. They are very basic looking and quite frankly although good for explaining purposes i'm not sure how they would look worn! But for me by far the worst chapter is the 'all dressed up' chapter. I can't believe anyone would be seen dead in these dresses. I'm no fashionista, but my goodness I was shocked about the amateur look about them! Think pair of curtains sewn into some sort of dress and you'd be close. Just awful

                  Fripperies and fineries is fun, and shows you how to print your own fabric using potatoes (i think i did this in infant school though! Though there are a few pages in how to make silk roses which for me is one of the most useful bits in the book!

                  The cheap tricks section actually suggests that you do make a dress out of curtains - and shows a dress made out of an awful 70's print - i love vintage...but come on! The quick felt flowers look so amateur that it would appear that a child has made them. I'm confused!

                  Knit girls shows how to make pompoms which if you are even slightly crafty you probably already know, tassles out of wool and also some basic instructions on how to knit. I can't knit so i'm not sure how good this section is , but I don't think that this is the right book to learn!

                  All in all i'm not very impressed with this book, i can't say that I would dare wear anything from this book because I honestly think people would laugh at me. It is fun in places and good to get an idea of things, but then buy yourself a proper book in order to learn properly.

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                • Mollie Makes / Magazine / Newspaper / 6 Readings / 6 Ratings
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                  28.02.2012 23:25
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                  A nice magazine for those who are interested in the crafty life

                  I have no idea who Mollie is, but she does make a great magazine! Ok, so I don't think there is an actual Mollie, but i've fallen in love with this magazine. It really is something quite different to average craft magazine. It is aimed towards those who like to make, re-use or thrift.

                  For a start it often features people and their homes who are either designers, artists or crafters in some way. However it does it in such a way that it doesn't really become a lifestyle magazine. It has a nice balance of project ideas and these can be anything from little felt animals, re-purposing clothing into new things or knitting and crochet projects. The knitting projects are one of my niggles with the magazine purely on the basis that I can't knit and most people i know can't and it's a very specific craft that will mean that many people have no use of the project ideas - knitting is hardly something you can just have a go at without the learning process!

                  The magazine is monthly and is quite pricey at £4.99. It does come with a free gift (project to make) each month, though quite frankly I really feel that it's unnecessary, especially if it meant that they could reduce the price of the magazine!

                  It is a nice magazine just to flick through with lots of inspirational design, photos, illustration and featured crafters and their online stores and homes or studios. I can see that as a craft magazine this would not appeal to everyone and you either love it or hate it. You are unlikely to find the sorts of projects that you would find in other craft magazines such as card making or other papercrafts.

                  Personally, I love it and look forward to the next issue! I'm going to mark it down one star though because the price is just so steep for what it is.

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                  • Home Cooking - Rachel Allen / Cookbook / 6 Readings / 5 Ratings
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                    28.02.2012 19:15
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                    A great home cooking book!

                    For me the only person that can rival Nigella is Rachel Allen. I'm a relative newcomer to her work, but since i discovered her various tv series i've been quite a fan.

                    The great thing about this book in particular is that it is such a good 'basic' cook book. It's full of real food, not the sort that intimidates the heck out of you, but the sort you'd happily make for your family and friends. The layout is easy to follow, easy to read instructions but there aren't photos for each recipe.

                    I really like the fact that the book is split into courses as chapters - which are as follows -
                    Breakfast
                    Lunch
                    sunday lunch
                    dessert
                    snacks, treats and sweets
                    baby purees
                    basics
                    The breakfast chapter is a really nice idea. It's something that most books ignore - why?! Breakfast is a meal too!! Rachel covers so many dishes in this chapter, porridge, yoghurts, granola, waffles, muffins...you name it, it's there. It makes a real change from my usual cereal or toast!

                    The lunch section is where I discovered brussels sprout soup - yes really. The sprout is so under appreciated and makes an amazing soup! Mt work colleagues laughed at me until they smelt the lovely aroma and tasted some! Yes, there are a fair few soups in the chapter, but also salads and ideas about food on the go.

                    Sunday lunch is fairly self explanatory but i would say that its best part is the recipes for all the trimmings, sauces and stuffings! It just makes a real change from the usual gravy. But do try the creamy gratin of butternut squash if you can!

                    Supper is altogether a bit more basic but Rachel has the best and only pasta sauce recipe that i'll ever use - don't buy jars! Buy real tomatoes and make it yourself - so easy and tasty! There are recipes for meatballs, home made pizza, noodles etc and a really handy guide to home freezing. Perfect if like me it's easier to make up batches for another time.

                    Desserts, well...not much to say except you'll find the sort of homely desserts that you'd expect to find in a home cooking book like this...fruit tarts, crumbles, banana splits, syrup puddings, rice puddings and ice creams.

                    The snacks section really is that dips, sandwiches, chicken goujons...just lots of lovely things to snack on. However there are also cake recipes, fudge, cookies and some nice ideas for gifts.

                    I can't really review the baby purees section - i don't have a baby! However I like the idea because it's all good home cooking and you'd probably expect to have to get these sorts of recipes from a specialist book.

                    All in all this is a really nice book, one that I refer to often and I think over the years it will become even more used! I'd really recommend this book.

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                  • Apple iPhone 4 16 GB / Smartphone / 10 Readings / 10 Ratings
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                    27.02.2012 22:29
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                    The best phone ever!

                    I've never had a phone that I loved as much as I do my Iphone 4.

                    Generally speaking every phone i've ever had i'm always on the look out for the next phone I want. Since i've owned this phone I could honestly never consider going back to an 'ordinary' phone. I couldn't ever conceive of changing to a non apple product and for once I'm completely ok with being tied in to a 24 month contract!

                    Firstly this phone can be addictive and is great in every way. It's so much more than a phone! The only thing that is 'standard' about it is the actual phone facility - I mean, i'm not sure even Apple can change how you make a phone call!

                    However I was genuinely shocked at how good the camera is on this phone. The pictures come out clear and with the ability to upgrade the picture to 'hdr' (high dynamic range), it has a flash that you can set to auto or turn on and off as you wish. For a while I was in between digital camera and seriously considered not bothering with an actual digital camera.

                    There is internet capabilities which is great whilst you are on the move and if you are in a free wifi zone it allows you to browse the net easily. The map app is ideal also which lets you pin point where you are whilst connecting to 3g (brilliant if like me you get lost in london sometimes!).

                    Game wise it's also perfect for little games like angry birds and my own particular favourite plants vs zombies. The app store is already on your phone and you can download games and 'apps' from as little as 69p! These games are brilliant when you are at a lose end - i spend my fair share playing these games in between waiting for meetings or appointments!

                    As a music player this is also going to suit all your needs and 16gb is plenty storage for keeping a reasonable music collection for on the go. The quality is good, my only issue is with the earphones that are supplied, they are quite bad quality and i'd suggest investing in some decent ones!

                    All in all i'd never be without this phone, and although the 4s is tempting, it really is unnecessary since it offers virtually all of the same features. You'll be amazed at how much you can do with this phone once you have found all the apps that are on offer. With this phone I can check cinema timetables, download films, music, games, surf the net, keep in contact with friends via facebook, twitter and skype.

                    I recommend that you consider the Iphone 4 as your next phone!

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                  • Bake - Rachel Allen / Cookbook / 11 Readings / 10 Ratings
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                    27.02.2012 20:50
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                    A great all round book that you'll keep going back to!

                    If you were thinking that this book is only about baking cakes, biscuits or bread then you'd be wrong.

                    Admittedly the title 'bake' would probably lead you down that path of thinking, but it's so much more than that. There are chapters covering anything you can think of that might be baked. To give you an idea, the chapters are as follows -
                    Sweet mouthfuls
                    Cakes
                    Puddings
                    Breads and savoury bites
                    tarts and pies
                    breakfasts and patissiere
                    baked meals
                    holiday and celebrations
                    Basic recipes and techniques

                    Yes, there are plenty of sweet things there, but the baked meals for me was the star. I have made the baked butternut squash risotto so many times now that I know the recipe by heart, I've made it for people and passed the recipe around to encourage people to buy this book because it is so good. It is easily one of the most used books in my very (very!) vast collection of cookbooks.

                    For me the book is somewhat of a baking bible, it might be disappointing for some because there are not photos for every recipes, but it really is crammed with some basic but great recipes. Some are classics, but quite a lot of the recipes I haven't really seen elsewhere. The honey loaf is yummy and always goes down well when I make it!

                    But don't forget the savoury baking, there are some delicious recipes like spicy bacon and gruyere scones, corn bread and a recipe for sourdough bread. I also love the recipe for the gingerbread house, so cute! One of the great things about this book is this book is the basic recipes section. There are a whole heap of recipes for jams, icings and basic sauces such as toffee, hot chocolate, raspberry etc which so often are the sorts of things left out of cookery books. I just like the fact that this is really homely basic cooking, the sort of cooking you'd do for your family and friends.

                    I'd thoroughly recommend this book to anyone (and frequently do!).

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                  • More +
                    27.02.2012 20:30
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                    A great introduction to Indian cooking

                    Not only is this the best Indian cookery book I own, it was also the first I owned from Anjum. It's so good that i went on to get more books written by her because they are just so darn good!

                    I watched the 'Indian food made easy' series on the BBC and loved Anjum's style of cooking and the accompanying book did not let me down. Full of basic but delicious recipes, for a relative beginner to Indian cooking like me it was just what I needed.

                    There are a fair few chapters to this book which are as follows -
                    Light meals and snacks
                    chicken
                    meat
                    fish and seafood
                    vegetables
                    lentils and beans
                    bread and rice
                    raitas and chutneys
                    drinks and desserts

                    The staple foods of Indian cooking are all here and are so easy to achieve. The spices are all quite easy to find these days and supermarkets are getting better and better world food sections, there may be a few things that are a little harder to come by but they can be substituted or left out in most cases.

                    There aren't photos for all the recipes sadly for people who like those sorts of cookery books. However the recipes are so well laid out and clearly written that I do think that its not too hard to follow and make something that will stun everyone.

                    The title of the book certainly isn't a lie, Anjum really has made these recipes easy and uncomplicated and many of these recipes have become staple recipes of mine now. The north Indian lamb curry page is the most well used and the classic northern chicken curry is also great.

                    For me the star of this book is the recipes Anjum includes for all the side dishes, raitas,breads and lentil dishes. I'd never have thought I could make Indian cheese so easily (it really is!) and apart from a naan i'd never have considered making flat breads or roti's - but I do now!

                    You could easily do a 3 course dinner party from this book from starter to desserts with Indian drinks too, and you could find something to satisfy everyone. If you want to try Indian cooking i'd really suggest getting this book first.

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                  • Marks & Spencer Percy Pigs / Sweets / 6 Readings / 6 Ratings
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                    26.02.2012 17:19
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                    The only pig shaped sweet you'll ever need!

                    Percy Pig sweets have achieved something of a cult status. Everyone loves them, and for Marks and Spencer they have been a run away success story.

                    The sad part is that you can only get these sweets in Marks and Spencers - though I would argue this is a good thing as if access to these sweets were too easy then i'd be wolfing down bags of these every week as opposed to the odd bag when I happen to be near a marks and spencer. If I did eat tonnes of these then it wouldn't be so bad as they are only 30 calories per sweet and no fat!

                    The sweets themselves are shaped like a pigs face and are pale pink with slightly darker pink ears and is a jelly type sweet. The flavour is a mixture of elderberry, grape and blackcurrant thought it also has strawberry, cherry and grape flavourings. The flavour when eating is something of an 'all round' fruit flavour and is really quite yummy and not synthetic tasting. This could be down to the fact that they are made with real fruit juices and I have to say that best of all is the fact that there are no artificial colours or flavourings. The sweet itself is also easy to chew unlike some jelly type sweets which can be hard work on the teeth! I should warn that vegetarians should steer clear of these particular ones because of the fact it has pork gelatine in it, however clever Marks and Spencer have already thought of this and there is a vegetarian version of Percy Pigs for sale in their range of percy products.

                    There are other sweets in the Percy Pig range such as 'reversey Percy' and my own particular favourite 'phizzy pig tails'.

                    These are so moreish and I love them. Long live Percy!

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