- Premium reviews
- Express reviews
- Reviews rated
- Ratings received
I like to give my children a varied selection of breakfasts. It is the meal of the day that ALWAYS goes down a storm. It has to be a healthy cereal, I'm not totally anti sugar, but I am not the a Coco-pops or Frosties advocate. My youngest adores Oat So Simple, and tha Apple and Blueberry flavour is his absolute favourite, even over something sweet like the Golden Syrup variety, sence my choice to review.
What is it?
Basically its porridge, but in very convenient, ready measured out servings that are ready to empty into a suitable bowl, add milk, and ping into the microwave for 2 minutes.
Each sachet contains 36g of instant porridge oats, apple pieces cut into little cubes, dried blueberry which I think has been dried perfectly so it is similar to a raisin rather than some that are dried to the consistancy of a bullet in a game bird!, sugar, salt, and lecithin (soya) and sunflower oil.
You empty the sachet into a microwave safe bowl, then the water resistant lining of the sachet has a measuring line to fill with milk, we use semi-skimmed. In the Opinion of Quaker provided the optimum consistency of porridge. Then Microwave on full power for 2 mins (Based on an 800w microwave oven)
In my opinion, this amount of milk makes the porridge a bit on the runny side. I prefer mine a bit pastier, as does my 3 year old son (easier to shovel in greedy guts!)
The flavour is fantastic, I do have rather a sweet tooth, and it is a bit sweet, but not over sweet. The apple flavour comes through nicely, and you get the odd hit of sweet blueberry. The texture of the apple is slightly dry with a bit of bite, which I like.
I find the portion size perfect for me, although my 3 year old son easily eats 2 sachets...but it is his favourite meal of the day and only ever eats a light lunch afterwards, so I let him get away with it.
Now then, a pack of 10 costs £1.99 each in Waitrose. Often are on offer at 2 for £3.00, and very very occationally, buy one get one. Considering we go through 2-3 boxes a week, it is expensive, but very quick and easy. In the coldest winter months when we are all eating porridge, I do tend to half and half one sachet of Oat so Simple, with standard porridge oats to bulk it up and cheapen it down, it really is sweet enough to di this without compremising the taste too much.
Also, at 216kcal when made with 180ml of semi skimmed milk, its great if you are on a calorie controlled diet as it is low GI so good slow release energy which SHOULD keep you satisfied until lunchtime.
Also, nice warm start to these cold wet mornings!!!
Overall, a lovely breakfast, if not a bit sweet.
I can honestly say, I have over 80 cook books, and this is by far the one I use the most over the last couple of years since having had children.
It offers a fantastic balance of recipes, sweet and savoury, simple and impressive, dinner party and family. In my opinion, perfect.
I like cook books with pictures, every simgle recipe, however few the ingredients in Negella Express has a beautifully taken, simple picture adjacent to it. Prior to the list of ingredients, Nigella offers an anecdote as to where the recipe perhaps originated from, perhaps where she ate it, where she pinched it, or simply whether she eats in in her bath robe or as a naughty breakfast/bedtime treat!
There are 13 contents sections as follows:
1. Everyday easy-speedy suppers day in, day out
2. Workday winners-Weekday entertaining made easy
3. Retro Rapido-Time warp favourites
4. Get up and Go-Breakfast at breakneck speed
5. Quick quick slow-prepare ahead to save time later
6. Against the clock-No time? No problem
7. Instant calmer- Superfast Soul food
8. Razzle dazzle-Give a party pronto
9. Speedy Gonzales-Mexican inspired moments
10. On the Run-Food for eating on the hoof:packed lunches and picnics
11. Hey Presto-Instant Italian
12-Holiday snaps-Christmas Quickies
13-Storecupboard SOS-How to cope when there's no time to go shopping.
My favourite recipes are Crab and Avocado salad with Japanese Dressing. Its outstanding. It does take quite alot of store cupboard investment, such as Mirin, wasabi paste, sesame oil and rice vinegar, but once you have this Japenese core or stock, there are many Nigella recipes that use these, and makes a healthy instant dressing for many things. Its a real winner in my house, but does work out expensive as crab meat simply is costly!
From the above ingredients, Mirin Salmon is a wonderful sticky sweet recipe that is again a favourite of mine, a lovely quick hot filling but healthy supper. Served with rice.....yummy.
The maple chicken 'n' Ribs are outstanding! The very best rib recipe I have ever ever tried. I also often make her breakfast bars, Lovley dryish flap jacks that all my family adore, I have learned to adapt the ingredients to fit what we have at home and what is on special at the Supermarket.
Her cocktail sausages with soy, honey and sesame oil are stunning to say the least. Very popular at parties.
Cannot write about a Nigella book without highlighting that her puds are stunning. Amaretto Syllabub, banana butterscotch muffins and rocky road crunch bars to name but a very very few that I would recommend.
If I had a negative about the book, and Nigella in general, is that her ingredients are fairly high cost, although you can shop savvy and freeze when things are on special or reduced. She also has a massive reange of larder ingredients that not everyone tends to keep, I do, simply because I cook at home alot as I love cooking and food.
Overall, a wonderful book.
Cover price is £25.00. But often half price on Amazon.
Not her latest, but definatly her best!
I bought a Mr Kipling Christmas pudding today on tesco for half price at £2.49. Looks nothing like the graphic pictured on Dooyoo, its a single pud, and is 400g in weight, not massive for a pud.
I know it seems a bit odd, but I can home with it today and my husband 'just really fancies Christmas pud' really???? you just fancy Christmas pudding???? Weirdo....
Do he popped it in the microwave for 5 mins and dropped the simple plasic container onto a plate. One small slam and out popped this dry brown..almost burnt looking cake.
To me, it didn't look one bit like a nice moist Christmas pud....I couldn't see any nice plump cherries or big old saltanas poking through the surface. It simply looked like a processed cake thing. I couldn;t really identify any of the ingredients, no almonds,nuts or booze that was clear, no nice moist fruite. I was dissapointed to say the least. Not because of the price, you can't really expect much for £2.49, but from Mr Kiplin, I do want a bit more. I have never ever bought a big name pud before, always one that is half price from the Finest at Tesco Range, or a Fortnum and Masons one when we have had more money to spare...so perhaps my perceptions are much higher and tastes more rich.
I am thankful that I didn't put this bland cheap copy for the mass market of a Christmas pudding blazing with Brandy on my Christmas Table.
Avoid. Save and get the Tesco Finest one at the moment at Half price for £4.99...its amazing!
The only reason it got 2 stars is becuse it cost £2.50!!!!
It was with happiness that I bought my Jamie's America at Waterstones for £10.00 on the very day the premier of Jamie Olivers brand new series was due to be aired! So I sat (sad I know) with my beautiful new book and a note book (its just me and my note taking during cookery programs) .......Oh how disappointed I was with the first program. There was absolutly not cooking at all! It was basically Jamie Oliver with ex cons and gangster Mexicans calling them Bruv......hmmmmm. After Jamie at Home and pottering in 'his' Essex kitchen garden, it felt like a bit of a slap to me.
I am not however reviewing the accompanying Channel 4 TV show, but the book.
I have many Jamie Oliver books, that I use regularly at home for dinner parties and family meals alike. He is passionate about food, and has a real energy, this shines through in his food.
The book is split into American regions.
This is by far the least used of all of my Jamie Oliver Books. This is largly because recipes are full of odd and somewhat unappealing ingredients. Aligator tails for instance, Also the titles of the recipes can be a really odd, so flicking through the book is a nightmare. I like to sit with a book on my lap in the evening and be inspired to create a menu for the family, or for a dinner party...what on earth is Muffuletta? Mad Dog salad? Egyptian stuffed flatbread? La Brea salad??? You get my point.
So I am reviewing a handfull of recipes from a book that I simply don't like much or get.
I have made the Chilli cheese cornbread.
It is very very simple to make and tastes amazing, packed full of green chilli, fresh corn, polenta. Its fantastic. Goes well with stews, and we also had it toasted days after with scrambles eggs. It kept beautifully for a week. My husband even made sandwiches with it. A great recipe.
My other winning dish was the New York Cheesecake, it is outstanding. A bit fiddlely, only because it has a layer of meringue topping....genius! Give it an amazing new dimention. It really tastly, the basis is ordinary cheesecake, but it is laced with limes, and coconut. Its wonderful...look it up online and make it (not worth buying the book)
That is all I have made....they all worked beutifully, so the book gets a better rating than it would have done. I have a couple of recipes I have my eye on, Stuffed tomato tortillas, fiery shrimp cocktail, peach cobbler and Mexican Breakfast (hot chilli eggs)
My overall view is that Jamie Oliver has made a road trip/rough guide/cook book love child and it hasn't really worked. Some good recipes hidden deep deep south.......but overall not really usable and what we have grown to love from Mr O.
Buy it cheap cheap cheap, but certainly not for its £26.00 price tag.
I was recommened this book by one of my mummy friends who used it all the time. I was very sceptical to buy a celebrity Chefs wifes cook book! talk about a career on the back of your husband!!! I have however used this book many many times more than I have the 4 or 5 Gordon Ramsay books I have on the kitchen shelf. I have found it a real winnner with the my kids, the family and also when I have done a massive 1 pot supper for lots and lots of people!!!
The contents is broken down into the following caterories-
*Tea time treats
*Trying new things
*Cooking rom the cupboard
*Cooking in advance
A nice easy to follow index that for me works really well. Now, I am mindfull that the Ramsays have a truck load of money behind them, and that is a little evident in the very first recipe. School rush smoothies. The very first is Mango mania...while is yummy, it contains 1 bango, 1 banana and orange juice. My kids would love it, but I canlt afford to spend £3.00 per child knocking up smoothies for them as well as a fibre-full breakfast!!! Max and Lara would wolf down a tenners worth without batting an eyelid!!! They are wonderful, Berry blast (also witha whole mango in it!) Green monkey which is 4 kiwi's, 1 banana and apple juice. I think these will be a real treat. I think I would rather give the kids the actual fruit, but mine are fruit lovers and I simply don'e struggle to get the 5 a day down them.
The rest of the breakfast stuff is lovely. Full of home baked scones, cobblers, mushrooms on toast. Nothing out of the ordinary, but simply puts the ideas as the front of your mind!
Another fave in our house is Ham and cheese muffins. chock full of paprika, mustard, honey roast ham and mature cheddar. they are lovely, and can be frozen for a simple snack, supper and even a breakfast!
The absolute winner that we have tried, that is a total faff, its tasty, flavoursome, but better if 2 of you make it together is the stuffed potato cakes. Flour, potato and salt. Its stuffed with a pine nut maroccan lamb, cinnamon, tomato and apricot to name but a few.....its then fried. its the most amazing flavoursome thing ever!! Worth buying the book just for them!!! I warn you, its really hard work, an evening cooking and preping, but if you follow the recipe to the letter, you will not be disappointed!!!!!
Tana also touches on classic baking, bikkies, flap-jacks, cakes and even party cakes. It really has something for all abilites.
The layout is clear and easy to follow. Each recipe has a picture to accompany it, which I think is very important!!!!
I have not had a failed recipe from this book. Great to flick through on a Sunday to plan the weeks family dinners and lunches. Even gives packed lunch advice, freezing and cooking in advance tips.
Go line the Ramsays pockets a little more with this family essntial cook book!
List price is £12.99. so not a bad price, Amazon at the moment have it at £6.93 new.
Since having had my 2 tiddlers, I have had alot more of a chance to really develope my home cooking skills. I work all weekends, so I never get to see one of my favourite family home cooks, Rachel Allen. She really hasn't reached 'celebrity chef' status, I sort of think almost thankfully. Her food is fantastic home cooking with a modern twist. I have reviewed her 'bake' book which for me has been a fail safe when it comes to baking, so I have been looking at her range of books with real hope and knowledge that her recipes work well!
I got a paper back version of 'Food for Living' for £3.99 from Costco. List price is £14.99, so I think I got a reall bargain.
The book is split into chapters entitled:
Food for Soul
Something to Celebrate
The Lazy Sunday
Am elegant Afternoon
Pleasure without the guilt
Food for Romance
Fot the Love of Chocolate
A really lovely index, its split really well. Although is you are jvst flicking through the book, you do get a pud next to a savoury.
What have I tried?
Italian Baked pancakes. Its like a really scrummy lasagna inspired by Aldo Zilli. Instead of pasta, these light and flavousome pancakes make the basis for this very Italian home table dish...its lovely...very very cheesy, very garlicy and very Italian. Its proper Italian home cooking as far as cam concerned.
The Bacona nd sausage stew, its wonderful! very much the food I have knocking around in the ladar or fridge. Its flavoursome and wholesome. Yummy!
Spagettini with cavier and creme fraiche.
My Husband is Swedish, so we have caviar (ish) in the fridge all the time, so this was a great dish in our house. Its so simple, just a few ingredients!
And my very fave,its so easy its silly,
Bakes Eggs with Chorizo, cream and cheese.
So very simple, and choc full of flavour, simple and perfect for a fancy breakfast or brunch with friends.
So as you can see, its all very simple food, but its well thought out, well layed out and full of flavour.
She also has many classics that are a little more complicated or time consuming like Lamb shanks, Irish stew, full detailed guide into how to make 'A Big Sunday roast' its all got a great twist. Lemony breadcrumb stuffing,root veg mash, glazed carrots, honey roast parsnips with seasame seeds, broccoli with garlic, lemon and parmesan, slow roast chicken with lemon and chilli.....yummy! Slow Roast Spiced Lamb with Roasted root veg....double yummy!!!!
Buy it, its a great little everyday, and special day book that works!
My husband laughed at my buying of Economy Gastronomy......its £20!!!!
Economy Gastronomy was a BBC2 series that was very very short, but complelling to watch. I hae bought this book as I was very inspired to try to feed my family very very well for less. So far, it hasn't really worked for me.
Written by Allegra McEvedy and Paul Merrett
They each put a 'p' or an 'a' next to each recipe denoting who wrote which.
the ethos is simple:
*Plan ahead for your meals
*Shop wisely and keep your supermarket bills right down
*Cut down on waste food
*Stock your cupboards so that you always have a meal in the house
*Get two or three meals out of one
*Make the best choices for your trolly at the supermarket
*Imaginativly transform leftovers into new and exciting dishes
*Freeze and store food to make what you've got last longer
Essentially, eating better and spending less.
The book starts by giving you advice and tips as to the things you need to have in your larder, the kitchen equipment you should try to own over time, a couple of pages about building your resources. types of oils and vinegars one should have, grains, spices, herbs. This is broken down in shelves, fridge and freezer. Some things are a little cheffy...like int he freezer, filo and puff pastry and lime leaves.....I cook alot and don't have these as standard...
The next few pages highlight how to store things and more importanly how NOT to store things. Tips on rotation, sorting, not storing tins in the fridge etc. Keep a big stock of freezer bags. Also whats good and bad to freeze. Although the example used it lettuce (bad) and peas (good) Granny and egg sucking springs to mind!
The main thing it talks about is meal planning. Plan everything in advance, and shop accordingly.
I tried this, and found that I was wasting far more as I discovered that actually things changed during the week and we are fairly spontanious, have friends pop over regularly and also do go out for cheap eats sometimes like meatballs at ikea. So needless to say, my freezer is chocker!
It does offer meal planners based on an intire week...infact, it give you two full weeks!!!! Not for us.
I have tried a fair few recipes from the book, and they have been extremly hit and miss. I have worked as a chef, so I know about flavour and how to make the best of things, so have managed to turn most of it around......however if I was following some of these recipes to the letter they will have tasted poor.
I started with what they called 'bedrock'
Basic items such as 1 chicken that can be made into 3 meals.
I poached my chicken. I did get a lovely stock, and the meat was lovely. very very soft and fell off the carcus beautifully. With that I followed the recipe for Chicken pie with sweetcorn, mushrooms (I left those out as I hate shrooms) and tarragon. It was very very good, although increadably fattening, shop bought puff pastry, double cream, 4 tablespoons of butter....need I say more!!! It worked very well. The instructions were clear and gave good tips on how to do everything. The pie itself was very labour internsive and took an aweful long time to put together give cooling times etc.
Tasted great, but lardy lardy lardy!
From the same chicken came Coronation chicken. This again was labour intensive, and actually tasted not good at all. Was bland, very very creamy and again fattening and rich! Will not make this again!
Finally from the chicken was Hot and Sour Chicken broth. This was lovely. However, Economy it isn't. It contains 3 red chillies-99p, Fresh ginger-50p, 8 raw tiger prawns-£3.00, Shitake mushrooms.....left these out!, 50g palm sugar - a special purchase at £2.99, a fresh bunch of corriander at £1.49 for a small plant, I had fish sauce, limes, lime leaves and lemon grass, but think if buying these would have been another £3-5!!!
So that is the only bedrock item I have made...everything else I have made I have picked out and made as a singular recipe. the pork and Ginger stir fry was lovely as was the Mac and Cheese. Again, economy it was NOT. it contained 300g of cooked artichoke hearts...they cost £2.99 from the deli counter!
The part I loved the most about this book is the methods of cooking all the old fashioned forgotton cuts of meats that are making a massive comeback at the moment, and really thinking about how to make the most of things, turning leftovers into something lovely.
One thing I have hated, is the minced beef section. It advises one to braise your beef basically with garlic, tinned tomatoes, fresh herbs etc, then splitting the beef into 3, freezing the cooked meat then turning it into either Spag Bol, cottage pie and Chillie con carne. I found that this meant that I was wasting alot of time. You still really had to do the methodology of making the meals from scratch anyway, but STILL had to be organised enough to remember to deforost the cooked meat. I also prefer to make lots of things like Chilli con carne and Cottage pie and freeze the ready made dish. I felt that it is slightly dodgy to re-freeze the then made meals.
This book is good, but not great. If you are an accomplished home cook and like to collect cook books like me, its good to have. I feel that is you think, like th book suggests that it will save you money and give great food, I don't think its worth it.
I got my copy from Amazon for £10.00.
Thanks for reading!
The reason I come to be reviewing this is a little odd. I was in Tesco with my 22 month old and nearly 3 year old looking not only for the basics, but also good keeping kids quiet food that can be popped into my handbag that won't leave a sticky mess at the bottom, and one of my other pre-requesits is that they are non chocolate, non clothes staining and individually wrapped.
I spotted these go ahead bars on special offer. Buy 2 for £2.00. The usual price is £1.99 for a pack of 6 (2 slices in each).
I bought blueberry and strawberry flavour, as both are mine and the kids favourite.
I opened the pack and was greeted with 6 metalic kermit green wrappers. Openied one and handed them to the kids in the trolley, they quitely (and non clthes staining) ate them. It look them at least 10 minutes to do so, great!
The only way can discribe them is like old fashioned garibaldi biscuits. they are hard wheaty pale coloured biscuit bars with dried fruit speradically popped through them. It is not fruity in abundance at all. A few hard sweet dried fruits peppered through. There is also a thin-ish layer of very pale matt 'yogurt' over the top. This looks a little like icing. It is indeed also very sweet. The biscuit itself is not terribly sweet. It more hard and crunchy and somewhat dense. Very very like a garibaldy.
They are a nice snack. My children are not keen unless they are very very hungry. They wouldn;t for instance enjoy them as a little pudding after tea. I do however like them very much as they are not too sweet overall, but have a really lovely coating. I think this is the very best bit!
These are advertised as a diet-ish product. Low calorie. Each large slice contains only 74 calories......so go ahead! Each pack also contains 15% of the recommended daily requirement of calcium.
Nice, but certainly not my favourite!
I am constantly cleaning the kitchen floor. I have a very very naughty little boy of 22 months who keeps throwing food around!!!!!! Its a dreadful nightmare. Imagine having to at at least dust bust and wipe your kitchen floor 3 times a day....it draining and very very annoying. So, I get through alot of floor cleaners in an average month. My prefered choice is Cif Ocean, it smell lovely, and really does the job. However, while in Tesco doing my massive monthy pay day stock up, I found a 2 litre bottle of Flash one for all on special for 99p!!!! Bargain I thought. Litre for litre, at the time it worked out a quarter of the cost of my fave.
As I mentioned, this is a massive 2 litre bottle. The bottle is semi opaque clearish. I bought the 'Clean Cascade' fragrance, which is a really nice mid blue colour, with a similar blue screw top lid. The bottle has a really handy carry handle to the side.
Clean cascade....it smells of nothing specific. It has a fairly strong fresh odour. Nothing offensive but nothing specific.... I guess hence the name. What is clean cascade? The graphics on the bottle show a water fall type thing with a star fish and some sea weed....it smells nothing like seaweed thankflly, and even more thankfully star fish!!! Its a pleasent, no discript clean fresh smell.....sorry I can't be more acurate. It does get up your nose in with chemically lingering whoosh...made my noce run a bit.
How to use
It states in a universal cleaner that can replace everything under the sink. Doesn't give any more information than that. Nor terribly useful. It advises to dilute 2 capfuls in 5 litres of water. No need to rince after use. It also shows a picture of a sponge, with 3 drops of the product being dropped on it.
It does not in any way however advise what you can and can't use the product on. for example, mirrors? Glass? natural stone floors? granite? baths?? Nothing at all.
I used it on my temporary lino floor (temp as I really want my kitchen done, and we chose a cheap covering till we renovate!)
I diluted 2 caps in a bucket of boiling water, as I usually do. The smell filled the room with that nice clean, but slightly chemically smell. I mopped over the floor, and it seemed to do a good job. The floor was not filthy, but did have some food stains under the table from little man throwing food, they came off just fine.
The floor dried easily as normal, it didn't leave any streaks at all, just a nice clean floor. No shine. It did however leave behind the nice clean smell. Very pleased......until.....I walked on the dried floor with my sock covered feet. It felt sticky! Almost like it had left a residue. Not good at all. I had to run the mop over again with just hot water.
Very very dissapointing, as it clearly states no need to rince.
I notice from other reviews on this product it scores very highly. Not from me 2 and a half out of 5.
Better products available.
I hadn't had fish fingers in years until 3 years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter. I had a major craving (my one and only) for a fish finger sandwich. Not any fish finger sandwich.....a Jamie Oliver style fish finger sandwich!!! Tar tar.....ketchup....freshest of fresh french bread.....mmmmm....unfortunatly I went into labour as my best friend was loading the afore mentioned fish fingers(and hot curry,but that was for that evenings plan...wink wink) into the back of the car! I never got my craving fullfilled on that occasion, but they remained in my freezer to be enjoyed on a later date. They now are always in my fridge. Always Birds eye, always whichever type are on special offer!!!!
Today, my children enjoyed a feast of Omega 3 fish fillet fingers, petit pois and mashed sweet potatoes.....wolfed them down.
So, to the fish fingers. We had a pack of 10. Both my 2 year old and 3 year old had 3 each. So I needed to cook the whole box, as I can wasily eat the 4 remaining ones in a fresh baked baguette. I tip them onto my baking tray and am greated in fairly orangy looking fish fingers with a fine crumb coating. It doesn't in any way look like breadcrumbs I have ever made at home. Looking at the ingredients, there is nothing sinister here, mearly turmeric and paprika. But it doesn;t look like fresh breadcrumbs which is a shame!
To cook, I did them in the oven as advised on the back...they advise the tastiest way is to grill them, but I cannot be bothered to keep an eye on the grill for 12-15 mins. So slammed in the oven it was. Very very hot oven 230, or 210 for fan ovens, this is gas mark 8. 12-15 mins in a pre heated oven from frozen. I lay them in baking parchment so as to get them off nice and easy.
When they came out of the oven, they were a much more appealing colour, seem to have lightened in colour. they did have a slight watery-ness oozing from the edges. Again not terribly appealing. Came off the baking parchment very easily, I know they would have stuck to to baking tray as no fat came off them at all.
They are not massivly fishy. They taste like any firm white fish, the coating is crisp, yet has a good amount of it to give it some depth. It is clear that it is made of whole fillets, you can see when you cut into them the ridges of the natural fish, rather than re-constituted stuff that the cheaper varieties are. The fish filled the whole finger, by this I mean not big gaps between the fish and the coating, so not too much water.
They turmeric and paprika listed in the ingredients do not come through at all, clearly very little goes a long way in colouring food. The coating is well seasoned and flavoursome.
Whats in it?
Alaska pollock fillet (58%), breadcrumbs, and batter.
Wheat flour, water, paprika, salt, yeast, turmeric.
What flour, water, potato starch, salt, refined fish oil.
Per 3 fish fingers they contain 190 calories.
I paid £1.00 for my packs on special offer. I have checked the current price on Ocado (who price match Tesco) and are £1.96.
I wonderful quick and easy lunch. Lovely in sandwiches with tartar sauce and ketchup. A great simple lunch for kids. I tend to put them with sweat or regular potato mash, peas or broccoli. I avoid baked beans unless I'm out of anything fresh as I have a little rule to only give the kids 1 processed product in a meal (thats just me!!!)
Buy and enjoy with gusto!
Boots advantage card is the most generous reward/loyalty card on the market I believe.
What is it?
Every time you shop in Boots the chemist, you are asked whther you have an advantage card. It is a totally free to join reward scheme. It looks like a chip and pin credit card. It is available to pick up in most larger Boots stores and come on a leaflet explaing the card with a tear of slip that you can register your card details to get sent information and special offers and indeed discount coupons and extra reward points with certain purchases.
So, every £1.00 you spend instore you receive 4 points, the equivelent to 4p.
You can however boost this in many ways. I am a member of the Boots mother and baby club, so I receive double points in certain products like Avent and Johnson and Johnson to name a couple. However the very best way to boost those points is to look out for the reward point machine dotted around larger Boots stores. They look like payment machines, they are generally pink. You pop your card in, and gives you several options like, your deals, baby products etc. I always click on 'show all offers'. The offers vary. You can get an extra 50-300 (50p-£3.00) in reward points for buying certain products. Always different, sometime newly launched items from premium cosmetics to own brand shampoo for instance. But also, the have additional points for spending a certain amount. For instance, the last time I shopped, I popped my card in the machine, and was offered an extra 350 points if I spent £25.00 instore in one transaction. It is easy to spend this in Boots, especially if you have small children in nappies or simply need to stock up on cosmetic basics. On this particular day they had 3 for 2 on ALL non premium brand cosmetics. Brilliant!!!!
I couple of years ago, I was in Boots in Bluewater shopping centre in Essex and they had a special promotion on after 4pm, that every £50 spent instore, you got 1000 reward points!!!! Thats £10!!!! Brilliant. We spent over £150 and bought every single Christmas present we could.
How and where can you spend the points?
All points need to be redeemed instore or at Boots.com. You have to have enough point on your card to buy an item outright. For instance, if you want a particular shampoo and it cost £4.50, you would need to have 450 advantage card points. This can be redeemed at the till if you have enough points.
I save up my points in order to treat myself you something extravegant like perfume. I end up with a nice £60 bottle once or twice a year! You can redeme them for anything, even a sandwich meal deal for lunch if you have no money!!!
Get one, its fantastic.
I love crisps, they don't however like me! I am a total poligamist when it come to crisps and indeed flavours for that matter. I am not loyal to a brand or a flavour. I pretty much like all flavours, my least favourite I suppose would be meat flavoured crisps, no idea why, with the exception of Walkers smokey bacon....those rock!!!
I rarely buy crisps in the supermarket, as I am a savoury fiend and would eat a family size bag or a 6 pack without flinching much!!! So, I'm in Asda after work last Sunday becuse its the only supermarket thats open until 5 near my office and we had run out of the kids milk. I was tired, fed up and hungry, so in went these walkers baked crisps in a 6 pack, on special offer at buy two packs for £2.00. The individual price is £1.37. The pack contains 6x25g packs.
The crisps themselves are very different to regular crisps. They are hexagonal in shape and lightly ridged in texture. They are very very crunchy, almost hard to bite into. i don't find this unpleasent....just very different. I can mearly discribe them as a crisp and cracker lovechild!!!
The flavour, I went for 2 six packs of entirley cheese and onion. One opens the packet, to be greeted by a very strong cheesy savoury smell. Very very strong indeed. A very good start as far as I am concerned. The crisps seem to hold the flavour very well, I guess thats because of the ridges holding the seasoning more evenly...if it is it certainly worked!!!! Every single crisp was packed chock of strong savourly oniony, cheesy yummyness. All of the crisps are large and curvy shaped, you need to bite into each one otherwise one ends gurning to get them in (even me!). As I have already stated they are very very crunchy, almost hard in texture, walkers state on the packaging that this is becuse they have been 'twice baked for crispy crunchyness'.
The crisps state on the packet that they are 70% less fat than standard walkers crisps, obviously as they are baked rather than deep fried.
Each 25gram pack contains:
of which sugars 1.9g
of which saturates 0.3g
equiv as salt 0.36g
Also available in Ready salted, salt and vinegar and Sour cream and chive flavour.
In my opinion, they are a great alternative to crisps. They did give me the salty savoury fix that I needed. I didnlt feel at all cheated by the low call, low fat alternative as I usually do, probably because of the flavour backed yummyness!!!
5 stars from me.
I honestly thought I would breast feed. So I only bought a cheap microwave sterilier for the times that I would of course express easily and simply and be able to go out for the odd occation.
I was delighted to see the Tommee Tippee Microwave and cold water steriliser hald price at Mothercare. RRP is £19.99 and I paid £10 for mine. It came complete with 2 wide necked tommee tippee closer to nature bottles, tongs for lifting the teats out and pulling them through without touching it. A double ended bottle brush and detailed yet simple instructions advising how long to sterilise for according to your microwave wattage. I thought this was a wonderful buy for the occational use I had planning.
Oh how a pregnant woman has her ideas about how perfect and easy things will be, and oh the reality. I didn't get on with Breast feeding at all, it wasn't for me, hated every second of it....even stayed in hospital an extra night in order to try to establish breast feeding!!! I have up after a very distressing 28 hours of a screaming little lady....and an unhappy baby too lol.
The hospital provided ready mixed bottles with ready sterilised teats.
Once we got home, I had to speed read everything on formula feeding and sterilising! We realised that the bottles that had come with the steriliser were only suitable for babies older than 1 months and were not the right ones. Also discovered that 2 bottles are about a quarter of the very minimum required for a day with a new born as they have soo little so often.
Out we went. We ended up with some Tommee tippee bottles and some Avent ones as well.
The first time we used the unit, we had not a clue how to use it. We followed the instructions on loading the bottles,but found the Tommee tippee ones simple didn;t fit easily or well, the neck was very very wide and they jarred with each other, so a absolute maximum of 4 would fit. Avent went in a treat, and 6 fitted easily.
The base of the steriser as you can see from the picture is a large clear plastic flat bottomed bowl, much like tupperware. The tip is a solid with plastic with is attached half way down the side of the bowl creating a flat tray that sits opens onto the kitchen counter or another flat surface providing a nice clean sterile area to assemble your bottles.
I have a 900watt microwave and it instruted me to load my bottles and teats which have been washed in water and washing-up liquid in the bast unit with 180ml of cold water and microwave on full power for 6 minutes and leave for a further 2. It is very very hot when it come out so I would say leave for a few more minutes prioer to opening as the steam can scold.
The unit is large, its 12" wide and over 8 inches high. My microwave is fairly large as its over 10 years old. I would suggest a quick meaure prior to buying as the more compact modern microwaves are powerful but fairly small. A girl friend of mine returned hers for the Avent much smaller counterpart.
I used this for both my children every day for 2 years. It lasted for about 19 months perfectly, then the tiny little plastic bits that hold the lid in place with the base clicked off after this point. It still worked OK ish....but given my 2nd child was nearly 10 months, I decided not to replace it, but microwave it for a few minutes more instead.
A good value and very effective sterilier. Great as it can be stored out of sight in the microwave when not in use unlike the electric counter top ones that are large and would need to stay out or go in and out of a cupboard on a daily basis.
4 stars simply becvse it came with level 2 bottles rather than new born and it broke after 2nd child (Picky!!!)
After having my childrens Godmother babysit for an unexpected event, she didn't fancy what I had prepared for her for her Dinner, and went rummiging around and found that we offer absolutly no convenienve food in our house at all!!!! She is a veggi, we are so far removed from veggi I cannot begin to tell you. We had nothing other than a freezer full of meat, or various home made meals that had been bulk cooked and frozen...MEAT again I'm afraid.
Next time I was in Tesco I decided to pop a few easy and quick veggie options in my larder for Aunty Paw Paw (Kids!)
She had mentioned that she liked the Dolmio Stir in sauces, so I hunted these out. I chose a couple, one of which was Slow roasted Garlic and tomato. The tiny 150g tub states it serves 2.
It doesn't look anything like the picture stored on this site. It is a round squat plastic tub, hard ish clear plastic. It has a deep purple cardboard sleeve covering it, round and fully covering the top and a thiner strip around the back. Sliding it off to reveal a silver pull back top like a yoghurt pot. Very neat.
Tomatoes 58%, tomato puree 14%, Onion, sunflower oil, Oliver oil 4%, modified maize, starch, Sugar, basil, salt, Roasted garlic, garlic, chilli paste, milk protein, lactic acid, Black pepper and stabiliser (xanthan gum)
of which sugars 6.3g
of which saturates 1.3g
So, whats it like and how do you use it. I looked at the cooking instructions on the packet and infact found that there are no cooking instrutions. You simply stir it into 300g of hot pasta!! Stir in sauce...ta da!
It is a rich dark red colour, with a few chunks of tomato in it, but fairly smooth. It smelled like any other generic pasta sauce from a jar. It had flex of dried herbs running through it, which I found fairly unappealing.
The taste. I wasn't really eating the sauce, gave it to the kids on a fresh chorzo and manchego pasta from Waitrose. They wolfed it down at a rate of....hungry toddlers!!!!! They loved it.
I tasted it, it was a nice strong rich flavour, like an intencely redvced sauce. It definatly didn't taste in the shighted bit home-made, but it wasnt unpleasent. And my children who love home made food, loved it!!!!
It didn't taste very strongly of garlic, but I do cook with it alot, so I am not the best garlic judge. However, my little ones absolutly stank of garlic after eating it, even after brushing their teeth 3 hours later.
I will be buying it again as a store cupboard emergancy item, I do think they are very very expensive for what they are, and I could make something similar for pennies.....but its not at all bad.
4 stars because of the toppy price tag.
I love bread...Toast.......and lashings of butter....and cheese...jam...peanut butter!!!!!! Oh the list is endless. I love the stuff. I Always buy the family seeded or wholemeal breads. I now only buy Hovis seed sensation breads. There are two kinds:
Light and nutty, which I haven't tried which is the one pictured, or Rich and Roasted which is the one I am addicted to. Its the same packaging as in the picture, but its a rich dark purple back ground.
The packaging tells you its bursting with the flavour of eight varieties of roasted seeds including over 8000 poppy seeds (Have they counted???? hmmmm)
The seeds it contains are:
Roasted brown linseed
Roasted sunflower seeds
Its amazing. Its wonderful. The bread is full of flavour, wonderful and soft and visably chock full of the seads listed above. Its not got one predominant seed, its a lovely mix. Its made from Wheat flour, malted barley flour and barley flour. So the flavour is very very rich and flavoursome, its wonderful in sandwiches, but I love it the most when its toasted. My children adore it and wolf it down happily.
From a slimmers point of view, its not. its 112kcal per slice which is about double standard wholemeal bread. It is however good calories. The seeds provide slow release energy so should keep you full for the whole morning. It is also chock full of dietry fibre which is fantastic to keep your bowels healthy and moving regularly.
Its not the cheapest bread, its around £1.59 on average (Waitrose today) But often is on offer at 2 for £2.50 (Waitrose again today!!)
Worth it, buy it and ENJOY it!!!!