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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.
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
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.
Leftover curry Biriani
Lamb Rogan Josh
Chicken Tikka Masala
Thai green curry
Light and fluffy rice
Spiced variations of rice
Dressed Green salad
Jam jar dressings, (French, yoghurt, lemon and balsamic.)
Green chopped salad
Spring veg and bean soup
Leek and potato
Sweet potato and chorizo
Pea and mint
Lentil and spinach
Parsnip and Ginger
A Cracking burger
Meatballs and pasta
Minced beef wellington
Pot roast meatloaf
Chilli con carne
Mince and onion pie
Beef and ale
Chicken and white wine
Pork and cider
Lamb and Red Wine
Perfect roast Beef
Perfect Roast pork
Perfect roast chicken
Perfect roast lamb
Roast poatoes, parsnips and carrots
Consistently good gravy
Sage and onion stuffing
Roast dinner sauces: Apple, bread, horseradish, Mint
Best new potatoes
Broccoli with asian dressing
Best ever French beans
Baked creamy Leeks
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
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
Salmon fish cakes
Smoked mackerel Pate
Salmon en croute
Prawn and sweetcorn Chowder
Kick start Breakfasts:
Healthier Full Monty
Pancakes with yoghurt and mango
Frozen fruit smoothies
Vanilla Cheesecake with Raspberry topping
Ice cream with topping suggestions
Steamed microwave puddings
Banana Tarte Tatin
Chocolate fudge cake
Cheats sponge cake with summer berries and ice cream
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.
£15 at Amazon
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.
active area of 203 x 152mm
movement resolution, 5080 dpi
Accuracy, 0.25 mm
Features, 8 programmable buttons, 2 scrolling strips
pressure sensitive: 1024 levels
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.
Brand new these go for around £200 but second hand can be around £150- £175.
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
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
disturbing octopus scene
If you haven't seen this film and don't mind reading subtitles I would highly recommend it.
Uncharted 2 for the PS3 is one of the greatest games ever made, I cannot think of a bad word to say about it.
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.
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.
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.
Top quality again, brilliant voice acting and a great musical score all add to the adventure'
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.
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.
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
Each plain Oatcake has around 100 calories but this can vary from store to store as each place will have there own special mix.
£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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.