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memine
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Member since: 10.04.2010

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      15.04.2010 17:27
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      Brilliant

      This is the follow on book from the popular Channel 4 program.

      Anyone can learn to cook in 24 hours is a bold statement to make but with this book providing you follow what you're being told youll be knocking out quality meals in no time at all.

      I have been cooking for about 5 years now and was given this book as a present. I had absolutely no problem in cooking any of the recipes as I already had most of the ingredients in my cupboard and the recipes are written very well so that anyone can understand them even if they had never cooked before in their life.

      The book is mainly aimed at people who don't cook so if you're thinking of starting to make your own meals you cant go wrong with this.
      Although the meals are simple enough to make, the results are very satisfying and some are very impressive especially when given to friends who know you don't cook.

      The book is broken up into 16 chapters. (Beware Huge list follows, don't feel the need to read it all unless you want to know exactly what's in it.

      Introduction.

      Essentials: a main list of ingredients to have at all times in your cupboard and basic kitchen equipment.

      Twenty minute meals: These are all quick meals for two people including,
      Butterflied steak sarnie
      Spicy Morrocan stewed fish with couscous
      Quick salmon tikka with cucumber yoghurt
      Prawns and avocado with marie rose sauce
      Chicken and leek stroganoff
      Asian chicken noodle broth
      Chicken fajitas

      Quick Pasta:
      Classic tomato spaghetti
      Baked camembert pasta
      Broccoli and pesto tagliatelle
      Macaroni cauliflower cheese bake
      Pasta al pangrattato
      Pasta with a creamy bacon and pea sauce
      Cherry tomato sauce with cheats fresh pasta

      Tasty stir fries:
      Chicken chow mein
      Sweet and sour pork
      Prawn stir fry
      Beef with spring onions and black bean sauce
      Salmon stir fry

      Easy Curries: most of these are made using Pataks spice pastes but he also tells you how to make the pastes yourself if you want to, I have made these pastes myself and they are almost identical to the jars that you can buy.
      Chicken Korma
      Vegetable Jalfrezi
      Leftover curry Biriani
      Lamb Rogan Josh
      Chicken Tikka Masala
      Vindaloo
      Aloo ghobi
      Thai green curry
      Vegetable bhajis
      Light and fluffy rice
      Spiced variations of rice

      Lovin Salads
      Dressed Green salad
      Jam jar dressings, (French, yoghurt, lemon and balsamic.)
      Poato salad
      Tomato salad
      Cucumber salad
      Carrot salad
      Green chopped salad
      Rice salad

      Simple soups:
      Spring veg and bean soup
      Leek and potato
      Sweet potato and chorizo
      Pea and mint
      tomato
      Cauliflower cheese
      Lentil and spinach
      Parsnip and Ginger

      Homely Mince:
      A Cracking burger
      Meatballs and pasta
      Minced beef wellington
      Pot roast meatloaf
      Bolognese sauce
      Lasagne
      Chilli con carne
      Mince and onion pie

      Comforting stews:
      Basic stew
      Beef and ale
      Chicken and white wine
      Pork and cider
      Lamb and Red Wine

      Family Roasts
      Perfect roast Beef
      Perfect Roast pork
      Perfect roast chicken
      Perfect roast lamb
      Roast poatoes, parsnips and carrots
      Consistently good gravy
      Sage and onion stuffing
      yorkshire puddings
      Roast dinner sauces: Apple, bread, horseradish, Mint

      Delish Veg
      Baked carrots
      Dressed Asparagus
      Best new potatoes
      Buttered spinach
      Broccoli with asian dressing
      minted peas
      Best ever French beans
      Baked creamy Leeks
      French potatoes
      Cauliflower cheese
      Braised bacon cabbage
      Mexican style corn

      Quick cooking meat and fish:
      Pan fried glazed pork chops
      Griddled Beef fillet with horseradish sauce
      Spanish style griddled steak
      Pork kebabs
      Crunchy garlic chicken
      Parmesan chicken with crispy posh ham
      Lamb chops with chunky salsa
      Morroccan lamb with couscous
      Salmon baked in foil with green beans and pesto
      Asian style steamed salmon
      Grilled trout with mustard and oats
      Pan fried trout
      Baked Cod wrapped in bacon with rosemary
      Pan fried curried cod
      Griddled tuna and asparagus
      Italian pan seared Tuna

      Classic Fish:
      Salmon fish cakes
      Smoked mackerel Pate
      Fish Pie
      Kedgeree
      Salmon en croute
      Paella
      Prawn and sweetcorn Chowder

      Kick start Breakfasts:
      Healthier Full Monty
      Porridge
      Pancakes with yoghurt and mango
      Frozen fruit smoothies
      Boiled Eggs
      Fried Eggs
      Scrambled eggs
      Poaches Eggs
      Omelettes
      Granola
      Stewed fruit
      Fruit Platter

      Sweet Things:
      Vanilla Cheesecake with Raspberry topping
      Ice cream with topping suggestions
      Fruit Scones
      Steamed microwave puddings
      Banana Tarte Tatin
      Cookies
      Chocolate fudge cake
      Cheats sponge cake with summer berries and ice cream
      Baked Apples
      Chocolate fruit and nut tart
      Sweet shortcrust Pastry

      As you can see there are a lot of recipes in this book, many of which I have tried and found them all to be delicious, especially the roasts and the stews.

      A good thing about the family Roasts section is that even though the meat recipes and the veg recipes are on completely different pages,the book will tell you when to turn the page and give the page numbers for the vegetables or the gravy which makes the timing of your meals so much easier.

      If you've never cooked before but are looking to give it a try this is definitely a book that I would recommend as there are a hell of a lot of recipes and many different styles of cooking to choose from

      There really is something for everyone in here, even the people who think that they don't have time to cook anything.

      All the recipes are well laid out and easy to navigate, the photography is excellent with many full colour photos, and the writing style is great which makes even the more demanding recipes easy to follow.

      359 Pages
      £15 at Amazon

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        12.04.2010 19:01
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        amazing

        The Wacom Intuos 3 A5 graphics tablet is something that I have used many many times since purchasing it well over 3 years ago, as a bit of an amateur illustrator this has given me the ability to draw, paint or do a bit of graphic design without the hassle of setting up vast amounts of different materials, pencils, paints, water, paper and the likes.

        Details.
        Tablet
        active area of 203 x 152mm
        movement resolution, 5080 dpi
        Accuracy, 0.25 mm
        Features, 8 programmable buttons, 2 scrolling strips
        wired USB

        Pen
        pressure sensitive: 1024 levels
        wireless
        interchangeable nibs
        2 buttons
        eraser

        Uses
        Great for use with any graphics based software package such as Photoshop, corel painter, Freehand and many others, this product greatly improves workflow and image generation.
        The tablet itself has programmable buttons on the side that can be configured to a wide range of commands but as default are set to very common keyboard buttons such as shift, ctrl and alt.
        The touch strips are also fully customisable and as default are set as a zooming function.
        The pen is incredibly accurate and comfortable to use with alt click and double click buttons built onto the side and also has an eraser on the reverse end of the pen.
        Using the tablet in Photoshop and Corel Painter really unlock the full uses of the brush tools within the software ( this is even more apparent in Painter) features such as line thickness, controlled by pen pressure and tilt, controlled by yep you guessed it tilting the pen.

        Note that I did not give any details on the included mouse as it is completely useless and have never heard of anyone who has actually used it other than to try it, this is because it can only be used on the graphics tablet.

        Cost
        Brand new these go for around £200 but second hand can be around £150- £175.

        Summary
        This A5 version perfectly suits my needs as someone who enjoys to do digital art but does not do it professionally.
        Professional artists should look into buying the larger versions, A4 or A3

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        • Old Boy [2003] (DVD) / DVD / 43 Readings / 41 Ratings
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          11.04.2010 19:12
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          One of my favourite films of all time.

          Oldboy is a revenge thriller from Korea

          The storyline follows Daesu Oh, a man with a talent for offending people, one rainy night in a phone box Daesu is using the phone while his friend waits outside, then all of a sudden he is gone and no-one sees him again, that is until fifteen years later.
          Daesu had been kidnapped and imprisoned with no explanation as to why he was being held captive or how long he would be held for.
          Fifteen years later he is released, still without any explanations and from then on tries to remember everyone that he has wronged in the past, so that he can finally figure out who imprisoned him and why.

          I cannot say enough good things about this film, the story is excellent, the script well written, acting is brilliant and there are some very memorable scenes (octopus springs to mind here), also the fight scenes are some of the best I have seen.

          Lots of strong violence
          some nudity
          bad language
          disturbing octopus scene
          subtitled
          R 18

          If you haven't seen this film and don't mind reading subtitles I would highly recommend it.
          5 Stars.

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          11.04.2010 16:40
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          Buy this game.

          Uncharted 2 for the PS3 is one of the greatest games ever made, I cannot think of a bad word to say about it.

          Plot.
          Nathan Drake and his friends go off in search of the legendary lost city of Shambala to find what remains of Sir Francis Drakes lost fleet which is said to have been carrying the cintamani stone, but later realise that the actual treasure is in fact the mythical tree of life.

          Gameplay.
          3rd person perspective shooter, lots of running and jumping, shooting, taking cover, treasure hunting and puzzle solving.
          The gameplay mechanics are very well implemented with Drake being very responsive to every command, the shooting is satisfying and accurate, the hand to hand combat looks very painful for the person on the receiving end and the puzzle elements are well balanced, the levels are huge and the main story took me about 11 hours to complete, this can be done a lot quicker but I was trying to find all of the secrets, which I failed at so there is good replay value.

          Graphics.
          Amazing easily the best next gen graphics so far, characters look great, textures are sharp, light and shadows are very impressive and the draw distance is huge. I never noticed any screen tearing or slowdown either.

          Sound.
          Top quality again, brilliant voice acting and a great musical score all add to the adventure'

          Multiplayer.
          The online aspect of Uncharted 2 was a real pleasant surprise for me, the maps are all very good, all the gameplay variations are superb and there are loads of things to unlock, which means you should still be playing this in months to come.

          Final note.
          If you own a PS3 but don't own this game go and get it, you wont be disapointed, unless there's something wrong with you.

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          11.04.2010 13:45
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          Oatcakes I love you.

          Oooooatcakes, the best thing to come out of Stoke since Stanley Mathews.

          Seeing as the majority of people who will read this probably do not live in Stoke On Trent and therefore have very little chance to purchase these wonderous little beauties I shall now attempt to explain them.

          Similar to a pancake in appearance but savoury rather than sweet and made from oats and yeast the oatcake is cooked on griddles up and down Staffordshire in wait for it.............Oatcake Shops, yes you heard me correctly whole shops dedicated to the little blighters.

          The oatcake I would say is mainly a Sunday morning breakfast food and are especially good when recovering from a night of drunken nonsense, filled with melted cheese and then rolled up like a tortilla is the classic way to eat them but you can really put anything in them that you like: Bacon, bacon and egg, cheese,bacon and egg, sausages or even if you are so inclined Jam.
          By the way that picture really doesnt do the proud oatcake justice, it looks like a pile of cardboard.

          So if you are in Stoke at any time give these a try, you can buy them ready filled and cooked while you wait or on their own in packs of six or twelve.

          As a cautionary note don't get the thick oatcakes from supermarkets as these have a very rubbery texture that I do not like

          Calories.
          Each plain Oatcake has around 100 calories but this can vary from store to store as each place will have there own special mix.

          Price.
          £1 for six plain oatcakes, this also can vary depending on the shop
          Filled oatcakes also vary depending on the filling chosen

          If you do a Google search for "Staffordshire Oatcakes" you can find sites that will deliver fresh oatcakes to you anywhere in the country but the price is hiked up, one site had 6 plain oatcakes at £3.
          And if you fancy having a go at making your own oatcakes the recipe can be easily found, but make sure you type in Staffordshire Oatcakes otherwise youll end up with Scottish Oatcakes which are more like biscuits.

          Final note, there is an excellent oatcake shop on High lane.

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          • More +
            10.04.2010 21:50
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            simply Brilliant

            The Playstation 3 system is a lot more than just a games console, it has been used non stop in my living room since I bought it in 2008, yes mainly for games but also for listening to music, streaming movies from my pc watching bluray films and accessing the internet.

            The system itself delivers stunning graphics and incredible sound quality especially when plugged into a HD tele and surround sound setup.

            The games catalog is now up there with the XBox 360 and continues to grow and also has a growing number of exclusive titles that always seem to impress.

            The XMB (navigation page) is very good and easy to use and find everything you want as its all on one screen.

            Creating your online account is a simple step by step process so you can be playing your favourite games online in a matter of minutes (online play is free by the way) also the online games capabilities of the ps3 has greatly improved since the consoles launch and seems to continue to improve with regular system updates.

            The ps3 network store is also very good with previews of up and coming games demos wallpapers trailers and now movie downloads as well, on top of all this you have access to the BBC iPlayer from the xmb.

            Improvements and new features are being added all the time through system updates or PSN downloads.

            This 80gb version has sufficient hdd space for all of your game data, saves, pictures and music and if connected to your computer through a media server network the uses become even greater, such as streaming full hd movies with surround sound watching videos and enjoying all of your photographs that are stored on your computer.

            With a Bluray player, wireless controller, Hdmi cable and a very simple setup process the PS3 is well worth the money.

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            • The Witcher (PC) / PC Game / 16 Readings / 12 Ratings
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              10.04.2010 20:32
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              Fantastic RPG

              All the monster slaying, magic and womanising that any bedroom warrior can handle, and that's womanising without any of that unnecessary baby dilemma thanks to the Witchers special infertility perk.
              This truly is a great game, brilliant graphics for an RPG, good combat system, great story, many quests and side quests, hours of gameplay and an awesome update tree with loads of upgrades. There are lots of choices to be made in this game that all affect the outcome which is another reason to get it as this brings with it a high replay value, (I am currently on my third play-through). Saying all this though, the load times can become very tedious especially on slower systems, but that problem has been fixed in the enhanced edition, along with new dialogue and an improved inventory screen. If you are thinking of purchasing this title I would definitely look into buying the enhanced edition which will only cost you a few pounds more but the vastly reduced loading times alone are worth the slightly bigger dent in your wallet.

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            • Bayonetta (PS3) / Playstation 3 Game / 11 Readings / 10 Ratings
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              10.04.2010 19:46
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              Very enjoyable

              This game has one of the best combat systems that I have ever seen in a video game, it is definitely not one for the button mashers out there and can take a lot of time to master but only a short time to get used to, but when you do get good at it, the crazy combos that you can pull off become very rewarding. recent updates to the game which is a download when you log into the playstation network drastically reduce loading times, increase the frame rate and reduce frame tear which all combine to make a great game even more enjoyable. As for the story or lack of it, the whole thing is completely bonkers and doesn't really make any sense. Also some of the camera angles in the cut scenes are a bit on the pervy side with many close up crotch shots which can be a plus or a negative depending on your views on such things, this however does make this game one that you wont want to play in front of your girlfriend, wife, parents, nan or anyone else for that matter if your brain is capable of being embarrassed. On the whole though I really did enjoy this game and if you liked the Devil may Cry series you should definitely check this one out.

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              10.04.2010 18:54
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              One of the best games Ive played.

              This game is graphically one of the best on the Playstation 3 system, take control of Kratos in this final instalment in the God of War franchise. The game has an excellent combat system with a great range of weapons and tactics, completely brutal game play and a great story line. Some reviewers have said that this game is too short but I did not find that to be the case, they said that you can finish this game in about four hours, maybe you can if you play it on the easiest difficulty setting and have already completed it once so that you know exactly where you are going and don't try to find any of the unlockables or secret items. I completed the game in around ten hours on normal difficulty settings and I am now on my second play through on titan mode, also there are many unlockable making of videos and challenges once you have completed the main story so we can probably expect to see download content in the form of extra challenge maps. Brilliant game

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            • Creative Zen 4 GB / MP3 Player / 17 Readings / 17 Ratings
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              10.04.2010 18:32
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              Excellent

              I have currently had this product for just over a year now and I have to say that it is excellent, it holds just about all the music, photos and video clips that you could ever possibly need, its small and thin so can be carried about easily and discreetly wherever you go.

              build quality overall is excellent, in a year mine is still looking brand new even after a few drops to the floor.

              The display is very good with fast response times and very easy navigation. The 2.5 inch screen is just the right size for showing off all of your photos to friends and family or watching video clips.

              The product itself has great sound quality with many pre-set sound settings built in and the head phones that come with it are better than a lot of other ones that I have used in the past.

              All the software that you need comes included on a CD, this includes a file manager, playlist organiser, add media function and a video converter.

              Connectivity is via mini USB.

              Battery life is very good, I have worked 10 hour shifts and played this right through.

              The only negative that I can think of is that the radio function isnt very good as it struggles to find any channels and when it does the sound is fuzzy.

              Overall this product has never failed me and is still as good as when I bought it.

              5 stars.

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