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Like all the best ideas in the world Mikado biscuits are wonderfully simple things. They are really thin stick-like crunchy biscuits that are covered with milk chocolate. They're not completely covered though, there is a little section at the end of the biscuit that is chocolate free so that you don't get melted chocolate on your fingers while you're eating them (a nice touch!).
They come in a nifty little packet with a foil inner bag to help keep the biscuits fresh and crunchy.
A think one of the current selling points for Mikado is that they are just 11 calories per biscuit. This obviously sounds like excellent news to the calorie conscious weight watcher, however beware, there really isn't much eating in these biscuits. You might find yourself eating many more of these than you would of any other biscuits and undoing your good weight watchers work!
Mikado boxes are currently on offer in Tesco at half price (I'm afraid I'm not sure of the exact price) and due to the foil wrapper they will keep for a good few months if you were inclined to stock up.
Essentially these biscuits are nothing ground breaking or new but if you can manage to control yourself and only eat one or two at a time they will make for a nice tasty snack that you can nibble at without getting melted choccy on your digits!
It's not always easy fitting in time in your busy morning schedule to get a suitable bite to eat for the most important meal of the day. That's why so many of us end up eating on the run, and one way to do this is with a cereal bar. My current cereal bars of choice are from the Harvest Chewee range. You can get milk chocolate, white chocolate or toffee varieties, but it's the toffee one I'm specifically reviewing today.
The bars come in boxes of 9, and are currently on offer in Tesco's for £0.79 per box (that's less than 9p per cereal bar!!) though this is half price.
The bars aren't very big, but they are only 89 calories each so anyone watching their calorie intake may want to consider these as a diet option.
They really do have a sweet toffee taste to them, so anyone with a sweet tooth wanting that sweet hit should find that Chewees will hit the spot. They are actually so sweet that I find I don't want to eat more than one bar in a sitting which is good for watching my weight.
They're not called 'chewee' for nothing though, they do give your jaws a bit of a work out, so I don't know if I'd recommend them to owners of dentures.
Pringles are crisps (or potato chips as our friends from across the Atantic would say) that originated in America and are now massively popular all over the world. They come in a cardboard tube (or "pipe" as Alan Partridge would say!) and have a resealable lid so you don't have to eat the whole tube in one sitting, though it's hard to stop eating them as they are incredibly morish - Once you pop you just can't stop!
So the crisps are similar in their make up to Disco's, only Pringles are bigger and curved in shape like a saddle. They come in a whole variety of flavours but the one I'm reviewing is my favourite, Sour Cream & Onion.
You could argue that Sour Cream & Onion is just a slightly fancier name for Cheese & Onion, but it's not as you can taste the sour cream flavour in the Pringles (plus Pringles do make a Cheese & Onion flavour!). Each and every Pringle has the right amount of flavouring as to not over power the eater, nor leave them disappointed and unsatisfied. The flavour does linger in the mouth too, with a lovely oniony after taste. I like to eat more than one Pringle at a time to maximise the taste sensation.
So, health wise these aren't great for you as there is a relatively high saturated fat content (for crisps), plus they're so addictive you'll end up eating many more than you should in one sitting (if you're anything like me!).
They are readily available in any supermarket, newsagent, in pubs or even at the cinema.
Eastenders is a British soap opera that is broadcast on BBC1 four times a week, and then repeated on Sunday afternoons.
The show is set in Walford, a fictional borough of East London, and follows the lives of the residents of Albert Square. A lot of the characters work in and around the square in the Queen Victoria pub, the cafe, the market, the nightclub, the car yard etc.
Eastenders is a gritty soap. It has elements of comedy now and again but on the whole it is a fairly dark show with lots of murder, corruption and dodgy dealing.
There are too many characters to mention, but there will always be a few rough ganster type characters, who are a bit dangerous and 'not by the book'. Then there will be a few dimwitted idiots who the viewer feels sorry for, but also laughs at the scrapes they get themselves into. There are always a few pin up girls and rugged hunks that are easy on the eye, who invariably end up in the red top tabloids with their off screen antics. It also has it's fair share of more mature characters, which I feel keeps a more realistic feel to the soap.
Like all soaps the storylines are largely unbelievable, but they have to be to keep us viewers interested. It's ben part of everyday culture in the UK for over 20 years and doesn't look like it'll be going anywhere soon!
Many people have a preference for thin and crispy pizza or deep pan. I think both styles are equally nice, with deep pan being my choice when I'm really hungry as there's always more eating in them. My deep pan frozen pizza of choice is normally one from the Goodfella's pizza range.
You'll find these pizzas in the freezer compartment section of the supermarket (naturally!) and they normally cost between £2.00 and £2.50. I find Tesco and Asda often have them on offer too.
So when it comes to the actual taste test, Goodfella's normally score fairly highly with me. The quantity of topping is just the right amount for me, not too sparse, and not over loaded too (though I suppose that wouldn't be the worst thing in the world - but I do hate wasting food if I'd need to pick extra topping off my pizza). The flavouring of the tomato sauce is richly tomato-y and not spicey or with a barbeque flavour which you can get with some other brands (I really hate that!). There is a good quantity of cheese on their pizzas whixh I also think is important. I know cheese is bad for you, but when I'm eating a pizza I like to taste the unhealthy cheese!
So health wise this isn't good. For example, half a pizza with a ham and pineapple topping has almost 500 calories and nearly 5g's of saturated fat. So bearing in mind that a lot of people eat a whole pizza at a time, not a half pizza, you can see that these pizzas should be a once in a while treat, not a regular meal.
The only downside for these pizzas for me is that they are maybe a little too bread heavy. I mean they can be a bit too deep pan, which can ake them a bit dry around the crust area. As long as you have something to dip the crusts in you'll be fine, though this can also lead to extra calories!
I suppose most people my age tune in to Wogan when thet're travelling to work in the morning, but there's something about him I just don't warm to. I prefer the rolly polly shock jock on Radio 1 - Chris Moyles.
Moyles is one of those characters who a lot of people put on their 'people I'd like to punch in the face' list, and I can understand why. When I first listened to Moyles years ago he reallt annoyed me. He would be rude to the other 'less important' people on the show and also some people who would call in. He was an arrogant, not that clever big mouth. However, there was always something there that made me continue to listen to the show. So after a while Moyles seemed to calm down, he was less arrogant, less abusive to the other members of the team, plus he was definitely funnier.
The show also gets a-list celebrities on it these days. I'm talking Elton John and Will Smith standard of guest. Plus Moyles is suitably genial these days he gets on with practically all of his guests well, and this makes for an entertaining listen.
There's more to the show than just Chris Moyles though, there are other regular daily contributors in his team:
Comedy Dave - Moyle's loyal sidekick. He write song parodies and is there for added comedy - just don't ask him to do maths!
News Reader Dominic Byrne - He's got no hair and he reads the news - he's also my favourite member of the team as he's very funny.
Producer Rachael Jones - She's from Birmingham and produces the show. She contributes nothing of substance and is often irritaing.
Aled Jones - He's a general lacky and sometimes produces the show (poorly). He quite annoying, but not as bad as he used to be.
Sports reader Carrie Davis - She's massively irritating, knows practically othing about sport and is clearly ony there as she's a blode haired girl. The show would be better without her.
I know I really like the show because when Chris is on holiday and other DJ's fill in it ruins my morning. He's very funny and the best DJ around at the moment.
I'll be honest with you, I did get some good help from two of my nephews to write this review, though I have played it myself quite a few times too, so I can write an honest review!
So this Mario Kart series has been about for years on a whole host of different Nintendo formats, so it was always going to make it to the Wii some time. It's a racing game where you control either a famous Nintendo character or your own Mii (a character you can create on the Wii which physically resembles yourself) on either a kart or a motorbike.
This Wii version of the popular Mario Kart series makes great use of the Wii remote so drivers can turn the remote (or the wheel accessory - available at an extra price) to steer left and right, just like a real car. You accelerate with one buttn and brake with another. In addition to the driving you can pick up items that you can fire at your opponents to help you work your way through the field.
There are a whole series of different courses available, with some of them copied from previous editions of the game. This give you some retro moments (well if you've payed the game previously on a DS or an N64 - apparently).
You can also play with friends (or strangers) from around the world via wi-fi, so people with no friends get to race against real people. This can only be a good thing - helping lonely people through out the globe.
I love the fact that complete novices like me can have fun playing this game practically instantly. There are literally hours and hours of fun to be had here for the whole family.
This a Friday night chat show on BBC1 hosted by Jonathan Ross. He meets and interviews various famous people, normally from the upper levels of celebrity, plus the show always ends with some live music.
Jonathan Ross was in the headlines a few months ago because of of some stupid phone calls he made with fellow comedian Russell Brand, and he was suspended from the BBC for three months. He's done his time and he's back and all is forgiven (I thought the whole Brand/Ross thing was massively over the top anyway).
The show starts with a little bit of stand-up comedy style introductions before we meet Jonathan's live band the 4 poofs and a piano, who sing a quick snippet of a song. Then we go live to the green room to meet tonight's guests. All the guests sit here during the show and chat to each other, plus we get to see them every so often laughing along with Ross.
The success of the show is based around Ross's cheeky funny personality and his banter with the guests. The fact the bookers get Hollywood A-listers most weeks helps with the ratings. They get to plug their film and we get to laugh at Ross talking about some fairly inappropriate things with celebs who aren't normally put in such positions.
The fact that Jonathan Ross comes from a comedy background makes for a consistantly funny show, and he is so quick to bounce off the interviewees, always adding to the show.
The fact that the BBC didn't sack Ross after the over-the-top Sachs-gate nonsense shows just how valuable he is to them, and you can see why watching this show.
This is a game show where celebrities can win money for charity by wearing very tight lycra suits and squeezing through holes in polystyrene walls.
The show is shown on BBC1 at tea time on Saturdays and is hosted by the camp legend that is Dale Winton.
The celebrities are split into two teams of three, captained by Darren Gough (a former cricketer and strictly come dancing winner) and Anton du Beke (a professional dancer from Strictly who seems to be making a name for himself as bit of a TV presenter) and take it in terms to fit through the wall. I should maybe explain a little more about the wall. It moves towards the contrstants with a different shaped hole in it each time. The contestant has to strike the necessary pose to get through the wall because if they don't the wall will force them backwards into a pool of water.
The show is really just a silly bit of fun with Dale giving the teams points for each attempt they make to get through the wall. The celebrities aren't really proper celebrities, we're talking about Vanessa Feltz, the Cheeky Girls, Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills, all very sub z-list stuff. That's not really the point though, this is a show aimed at kids really, good old fashioned family fun that shouldn't be taken seriously. Just enjoy laughing at the depths some people will go to for a bit of television exposure - it's for charity after all!!
A good loaf of bread is important to me. I make sandwiches for myself and my family most days so good quality bread is an essential item in my kitchen. I used to always buy tesco stay fresh white bread as my standard loaf, but increasingly I felt let down by the quality. I started my search for a replacement and the winner was Hovis Soft White Bread.
What I look for in a good loaf of bread is softness and long life. Hovis gives both. It's consistantly soft on purchase and stays soft for days providing a high quality of sanwich for a week's worth of lunches.
I've seen the bread available in every major supermarket so it is readily available.
It costs around £1.20 per loaf which isn't the cheapest on the market by any means. In fact you could buy a supermarket brand for half the price, but in my opinion this is a false economy as it won't be fresh enough to use for sandwiches after a couple of days and you'll be forced to toast it, feed it to the birds or even just bin it.
Hovis white is worth paying that little extra for to have lovely soft sanwiches all week long, rather than just for a couple of days.
I make no secret of my devilish sweet tooth. I like most convectioneries and one of my favourites over the last couple of years is Mars Delight. It consists of crisp wafer folds wrapped in a soft caramel cream, covered in smooth milk chocolate. Like a Bounty bar it comes in two smaller bars in a packet rather than one big bar.
If you bite into a Delight it crunches because of the wafer, but it quickly softens in the mouth. The sweet caramel is absolutely delicious, and combines with the wafer and milk chocolate for a taste sensation. I especially like that Mars don't skimp on the milk chocolate, so there is a chunky mouthful with every bite.
These will set you back the same amount as ay chocolate bar, 40 - 60 pence depending on where you buy it. Personally I buy mine in bulk at the supermarket to save money, as I know I want to have a supply in the house!
A standard packet (with two small pieces) with cost you about 200 calories, which isn't too bad on the chocolate bar front. It's not health food, but it's not too guilt inducing!
These won't be for everyone, they won't fill you up like a Snickers or a Mars bar, but they do taste great and you can have them in two sittings if you are watching your weight (like I always am) but I will warn you if you have one piece, it'll take some willpower not to continue on with the second piece right away!
Location, location, location, that's the top three things to remember when buying a new house, as the hosts of this show, Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer will tell you. LLL features a couple of different people buying a new house and takes you on their journey looking at prospective new homes under the guidance of Phil & Kirstie. The movees give Phil and Kirstie there list of new home requirements and they find them a list of potentials in their budget. They even phone up the estate agents and put in the offer for them when they're ready to make their move.
I think the success of this show rests on two key factors:
1. People are generally nosey and want to look around other peoples homes and see what they are like - and possibly pick up a few interioe design tips for their own pads.
2. The two hosts are wonderfully genial and ooze house buying knowledge, meaning the viewer (and movee) has complete confidence in what they say and do. They always tell people to buy run down houses so they can add value to them, but people often igore them and buy fully renovated places much to the experts dismay!
This show is shown on Channel 4 and More 4, though with the current housing market there hasn't been much chance for them to make any new programmes. Luckily the old ones are regularly repeated so people can get their Phil & Kirstie fix! Kirstie is a bit of a lad's favourite (posh totty my son says!) and Phil is the perfect gent for any lady!
Come dine with me is a cookery programme shown on Channel 4 or More 4. I'ts been o our screens for a couple of years now and has picked up quite a few followers. The show has either 4 or 5 contestants who are all complete strangers at the start of the week and they then each host a dinner party, and the other contestants score them out of 10. The contestant with the highest score from their peers at the end of the week is the winner, and they win £1,000 (on the celebrity version the money goes to charity).
The show has come in a few different formats; the original 5 half hour episodes (with 5 contestants), 1 hour long episode (with 4 contestants), 1 hours long episode (with 4 'celebrity' contestants).
The cooking on the show is really irrelevant, it's more about the personalities of the contestants and how they they interact. Generally the people on the show are fairly entertaining, but what makes the show that little bit more special is the narration from comedian Dave Lamb. He likes to make sarcy comments and make fun of the contestants, and is very funny.
Some contestants get very competitive which makes for better viewing. I like it when someone takes the whole show very seriously, is overly competitive and spends a fortune on ingredients, only to be beaten by someone with microwaved veg and chicken kiev's who has a much better personality and is only doing the show for a laugh.
I know I said the cooking was irrelevant, but there are some recipe ideas to pick up when watching the show too.
This is the most stressful game show on television!! Well that's what they keep saying during it, and I suppose it seems fairly stressful, here's what it's about...
There are 20 boxes, sorry, screens not boxes I must of been thinking of Deal or No Deal - I can't think why - and each box is named after a different colour. In behind each screen is an amount of money ranging from £1,000 to £20,000 (a different amount in each screen). So the contestant picks a box and the amount is revealed. However the amount isn't revealed straight away, it starts at £1000 and slowly goes up to the amount in the box, sorry screen. The contestant has to say "stop!" before the amount reaches the predetermined amount in the screen. You following? Anyway, the contestant gets 10 goes at saying "stop" before the amount is revealed, and every amount the they stop at in time gets added to their running total. If they don't stay stop in time they get nothing. So what's the point? Well, what I didn't say was at the start of the game the contestant picks a swipe card from 3 options which has a target amount that they have to reach to win that amount. If they manage to get to the amount in 10 goes, they win the money.
The show is hosted by Chris Tarrant who is annoying as ever, but I suppose that's what he's famous for, hosting quiz shows and being a bit of a prat.
The show is reasonably entertaining, although the contestants are very annoying when they stand watching the money go up on the screen and beg a tv screen to have a large amount of money in it.
The whole colour thing is a rubbish gimmick to try and make the show seem less like Deal or No Deal and really is not relevant at all. The contestants have 3 friends or family with them to give support and they shout out what colours the contestants should go for next. "I'm being drawn towards teal...", "I woke up this morning and had my cereal out of a tangerine coloured bowl...", "My pants are brown..." - no I think that was one of the contestants, it is the most stressful tv show on television after all...
I've always been a big soup fan (with some nice fresh bread and a decent amount of real butter on the side of course!) and when I'm feeling particularly fancy I head over to the chiller cabinets in Tesco and purchase a New Covent Garden Soup Company carton of soup instead of my standard Heinz tin.
These soups come in a fairly wide range of flavours; minestrone, tomato and basil,butternut squash, leek and potato etc etc. Basically there is a large enough selection to keep most people happy. Three flavours I had enjoyed in recent weeks are Vegetable, Chicken, and Chicken Mulligatawy.
The Vegetable one was very nice. The sort of soup where you can taste real veg, and real goodness going into you. The consistancy was not to thin, and not too thick.
The Chicken Mulligatawny was my first venure into the world of Mulligatawny, and I was pleasantly surprised. It seemed to me like the Weight Watchers Chicken Curry, only in a soup format. It even has the rice in it!
Now my favourite of the three has to be the Chicken soup. It is luxuriously creamy (however it does has a fairly high saturated fat content - half a carton gives you nearly 40% of your guideline daily amount) and comes complete with succulent chunks of white chicken. On first tasting it's clear that there are potatoes in there (sure enough, it's second on the ingredients list after water) and these help add to the 'filled up' sensation the soup gives, but certainly doesn't take away from the flavour.
The soups are often o offer in Tesco's, though they can have certain varieties on offer at different times, so my advice is to stock up when your favourites are on offer. The prices can range from £1 to £2 depending on the offers. A standard carton is enough to share between two, as long as you've some nice bread!