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I must admit that it is my husband that does the fancy cooking in out house. I don't mind doing the everyday meals during the week but if we have guests then the kitchin is his.
I bought him the Jamie Oliver Flavour Shaker after he saw it advertised on the television. We were really impessed with just how versatile this little gadget is. Its not really much to look at and there is not much to putting it together. There is a base and a lid and a small ball that goes inside the two halves.
They come in the standard grey or 4 colours which are red, blue,olive and berry. They also have a special edition one in stainless steel which comes with its own base in case you want to keep it on show.
The unit will crush whole spices, herbs, garlic, nuts and citrus rind. You can add liquids such as oil or cream to make delicious marinades or salad dressings, and the beauty is you can make a small amount and use it while it is fresh.
USING THE SHAKER
There are four easy steps:-
1) Add ingredients
2) Screw two halves together, making sure the arrows are lined up
3) Give the whole thing a good shake
4) Open up and either pour your dressing or scoop out your home made rub
One recipe i got with ours was this one which may give you an idea of how creative you can be:-
Basil, Balsamic Vinegar & Pinenut Dressing
Handful of toasted Pinenuts into shaker, shake until turns to paste
Add basil leaves and shake again
Add 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and pepper to taste.
Give a last shake and there you have your own fresh dressing in a matter of moments
Now think how creative you could be!
The Daily Bread Co-operative Ltd is based in Nortahmpton and Cambridge. It was established by 9 christians in Northampton in 1980 and then in Cambridge in 1990.
They work and live by christian values, supporting fair trade.
Their business is not run in the normal way and they pay by means and not status. They claim that the packer at the till could be earing more than the manager of the store because they have a larger family to look after. Some of the profit goes to third world causes.
The shop is a treat to walk round for anyone who values good and wholesome foods. They have an array of dried fruits, pulses, flours and a lot more besides. They cater for those with Diabetes or those that are wheat or lactose intolerant. You can even order online or just view the website to see the list of produce sold.
They also now run the Phone Co-op service where they guarantee to save you money on your phone bills. See website for more information www.dailybread.co.uk
I love most of the Olay range and this one is no exception. It is an easy to use everyday moisturiser. Olay state that it protects from the premature signs of ageing caused by UV rays. Only time will tell you if that it true for you.
They state that it absorbs quickly..yes that is true! it not greasy at all and leaves your skin feeling lovely.
They state that it gives you all day hydration...well when i use it first thing in the morning i do not feel in the afternoon that it needs re applying.
The Olay range is great and they have products for all skin types. The other benefit worth mentioning is the Olay club. If you go online at www.olay.co.uk you can join free of charge. They advise you of any new products, you can send for samples and they sometimes have great giveaways or competitions. Well worth a look!
We recently decided that our garage was just a dumping ground and in its present state a complete waste of space. We are always very cautious about tradesmen and only ask for quotes from those companies that are recommended to us. Unfortunately, none of our friends had entertained the notion of converting their garage so no recommendations! However, my husband was watching one of those home makeover programmes on television and the Garage Conversion Company was used. The finished effect was amazing so we asked one of their representatives to come and see us. What a breath of freash air!! The man who initially came to see us was professional, very friendly and the quote was a little less than we had anticipated.
We accepted the quote, which when it was received was the most comprehensive one i have ever seen, detailing all materials to be used and the quantities.
A date was set for the work to begin and as promised, on that date two men arrived, with the original contact and begun work at 8am on the dot.
The work was faultless and completed in a very quick time frame.
After the work was completed we did not receive the final invoice until a couple of weeks afterwards. We were told that they wanted us to be totally satisfied with the finished room. We were! there was not even a crack in any of the plaster (which is very common).
In this time of uncertainty in the property market, if you are looking for that extra room, consider whats in your garage, we found that a conversion is actually cheaper than moving! If you think that this sounds a good idea then give the Garage Conversion people a call or look at their website at www.garageconversion.com
Yes they are expensive and yes if you just want something to chop your carrots on a sunday then these may not be for you!
However, if you love cooking and spend quality time in your kitchin then i cannot recommend these highly enough
They were first designed in 1985 and are crafted by hand in Yoshikin's factory in Nigata, Japan.
There is two distinguishing features to these knives:-
The Edge - The edges of these knives are ground to a point instead of having a bevelled edge as most knives have
The Balance - Their hollow handles are filled with just enough sand to create the perfect balance.
Their continuous, seamless design is also good for safety and hygiene. No more bits of food stuck in the groove between handle and blade!
They advise that these knives are not really dishwasher safe. The very high temperatures may damage the steel.
They have a vast array of different knives to choose from and also have a good range of accessories such as knife blocks or wall mounted magnetic holders. The range also has fish tweezers and they make their own knife sharpeners.
To view the range visit their website at www.globalknives.uk.com
I hate ironing!. I would do anything to avoid it. Then my husband treated me ( if you can call an iron a treat) to the Tefal Pro Express Turbo. Now you can all bring your shirts round if you want!
Seriously though this iron is amazing.
It has a maximum wattage of 2260 and has 4 bars of steam pressure. There is a built in lime scale preventer which means that you use ordinary tap water. The water tank is detachable for easy filling and when it requires refilling during ironing you do not need to turn the iron off first. This guarantees continuous ironing. Unlike an ordinary iron with a steam button this one gives you continuous steam so cuts ironing time dowm by half. The power cord has an auto rewind cord for easy storage and the iron has indicator lights to show you when the iron is on, when the water tank needs refilling and when the unit requires cleaning. The cleaning is very simple. You wait until the unit is cold and there is a hose which attaches to the iron and a tap to help flush the unit out. The iron can also be used vertically for ironing curtains or special items on hangers. All in all you cannot go wrong with this particular steam iron.
NB: Although i had to rate it this iron does not have a battery!
I love Olay products and have a good range of the day and night cream, the everyday moisturiser and some of the makeup.
I have used the face wash and was really pleased with it.
It is for normal, dry, combination skin and contains witch hazel. You only need a small amount, about the size of a 50p as it lathers up really well. The best way to apply is if you wet your face first, then apply a small amount, lather up and gently rub over your face and neck in a circular motion, so as not to stretch your skin, then rinse well. It leaves you with a lovely fresh feeling and it does not dry out your face as other products do. It can cost between £3 and £4 but as you only need a small amount each time i find that it does actually go quite a long way so works out to be quite cost effective.
If you are looking for a change to your usual face wash then i would recommend this one
I first found Debbie & Andrews sausages at the food show in London. We go every year and it is great to try new products that are coming onto the market that under normal shopping circumstances you probably would just pass.
These are now our favourite sausages. You can really tell that they are made with quality products. They cook really well and you do not end up with a frying pan full of white salty water.
They originate from Yorkshire and one of the main supermarkets to stock them are Morrisons, although Asda and other shops are now beginning to stock them as well.
They come in 7 varieties:-
Great Yorkshire ( Apple & Sage)
Park & Apple
Park & Mustard
Harrogate (Pork,Herbs & Spices,Balsamic vinegar)
Perfect Little Pork ( just the right size for the kids)
I could not tell you which is my favourite because i love them all, it probably depends what mood you are in as to what flavour would suit.
If you have trouble finding them locally never fear!! you can also order them onlline, just go to firstname.lastname@example.org
It is said that tea is the second most popular drink after water. The tea plant or Camellia sinensis (camillia taken from the Latin name of Rev. Georg Kamel S.J. a Czech born botanist and sinensis which means chinese in Latin)
The Camillia sinensis is native to mainland South and Southeast Asia, although today it is grown across the world in tropical and subtropical regions.
It has such a wide variety of uses from medicinal to just enjoyment of a good beverage.
The leaves have been used in Chinese medicine to treat various ailments from asthma to coronary heart disease and today is sold to us as a drink which is high in antioxidants. Green Tea, in particular has been claimed to aid dieters because it apparently speeds up the metabolism without speeding up the heart rate. A common side effect of some weight loss suplements. Speeding up the metabolism is also thought to reduce your cholesterol. Green Tea is also said to aid skincare, especially the treatment of acne. Although most of the claims are still just claims Green tea is refreshing to drink, can be drunk without milk for those that are intolerant and if only half the claims actually prove true is still a very healthy option
I am 47 years old and have spent a lot of my career in enforcement of one type or another. I was learning the parts of the law that went with whatever my job was at the time. I realised that i loved the law and learning it but thought that i was too old to actually do anything about it. I then read about Ilex Tutorial College at the solicitors i work for now. They are based in Bedford and are very recognised in all legal organisations.
As i had not seriously studied for some considerable time, i did panic slightly that it would be too much, but the assistance you receive is amazing.
The courses are broken down into manageable sections and cover all the basics such as criminal, family, civil litigation, employment, property and so on. In order to achieve a Professional Diploma in Law and Practice you would need to complete 10 units from the list which can be found on the website. Once this level has been completed you then progress to level 6 which is where you work through 6 further units to become a Legal Executive. I chose to do mine by distance learning as i have a full time job. You are sent the relevant pack to work through, you are designated a tutor who you send your assignments to, who then marks, gives valuable feedback and returns. This mark does not go towards your final exam so its all helpful . There is also an online student forum where you can ask questions and receive answers from tutors online. On some courses they provide a virtual practitioner online where you can follow a case from start to finish completing legal documents by dragging answers into the relevant spaces etc. This is such a fun way of learning or maybe revising. There are exam centres across the country so hopefully one is not too far from where you live. The actual course is not too long, is written in everyday language that makes the law seem more common sense. I have now completed 3/4 of the level three course and am so pleased that i have passed all sections so far. If anyone is considering the law as a career change but cannot take the time to attend college then this is worth considering. www.ilex-tutorial.ac.uk
In these days of "healthy options" i think that this is one staple product in your fridge that you cannot argue with. I have tried other butters or margarines but i'm sorry they just do not compare!. Lurpak has such a distinctive flavour that immediately lets you know that you are eating luxury. And that is the same whether you like the original or the one with less salt. Unlike its margarine substitutes this is great in cooking or sauces. Margarine or cheaper butters just dont add the same flavour. If you have gone to the trouble of cooking yourself a jacket potato in the oven, so that the skin is nice and crispy, why would you spoil it by putting on something that tastes like plastic. No! Lurpak it is! Ok so if you want to be healthier then don't put quite so much on your jacket spud or don't spread quite so liberally on your bread, and also remember that not all fats are bad for you!.
Trebor extra strong mints are definately the best mints on the shelf!. Not only because of the really strong taste of mint and the fact that they are a decent size so last longer than others, but the texture as you suck the little blighters is great on your tongue!. On a serious side i suffer a lot with heartburn and food alergies. Some foods can immediately give me heartburn and make my stomach swell so that i look 6 months pregnant!. I used to rely on things like Gaviston but found that i was taking more and more of them. Because mint as a herb is good for these ailments i started having mints in my bag. Nowadays though it has to be Trebor extra strong mints, they immediately start relieving my sysmptoms, especially with the heartburn which can be very uncomfortable. So don't just view them as a refreshing little treat they can have medicinal value as well!
Breakfast is the most important meal of ther day, thats what they tell us. I must admit that i have never been a great breakfast eater but after deciding that i needed to be healthier i had to find something for breakfast that i liked. After looking for ages down the cereal aisle of my local supermarket i noticed how healthy the Bran Flakes were, low in fat, high in fibre. I tried the supermarkets own brand but they tasted awful and had the consistency of cardboard. I then tried Kellog's and the difference was amazing. They had more taste, were crispy and did not taste as though i was eating the lid of the box. As i said i am not a great breakfast eater as i cannot stand eating a bowl of soggy flakes, but do you know what i do?...i eat Kellog's Bran Flakes on their own as crisps. I just take a small amount in a plastic bag to work and have them as a snack, much healthier than a bag of crisps!. But i have found that Kellogs is the only brand i can do this with
I have been using Schwarzkopf Poly Color Tint for about a year and can honestly say that i would not change again. It is simple to prepare with just a bottle and a tube to mix together. Your protective gloves are included. The odour is not overpowering as some can be, but the best part has got to be the price. I pay about £1.90 in Body Care which in this time of recession is excellent value. The results do not match the price, my hair always feels in much better condition and has a lovely shine to it. The formula itself is nice and creamy which does not run, making the 20 - 30 minute waiting time easier, with no mess. The only downside i have found is that i do not think there is a vast colour range, but if you are just looking for more natural colours then this is the one to try.
Warner Leisure Hotel breaks are designed for couples, no children allowed! Some are based in hotels and historic houses and some are more like a holiday camp, but higher calibre. They can be found over most of the country with some being by the coast. The service is excellent and there is enough going on daily to keep you occupied if you wanted to chill and not travel too far once you have reached your base.
The last one i stayed at was Sinah Warren in Hayling Island. When you arrive you are settled into your room..a good choice is available from well maintained standards to something more luxurious with maybe a four poster bed! Some rooms come with a small patio on request. All rooms are well decorated with a tv, tea and coffee making facilities and good sized bathroom. You then make your way to the restaurant where you can choose the table you want, this table is then yours for the duration of your stay, your waiter remains the same, which means that they quickly get to know exactly what you like and how much time you like between each course. This is such a great service because you can eat when you want without worrying about if you are going to get a decent table or end up in that cramped corner that nobody wants. The food is excellent with such a wide variety to suit all tastes. There is a full buffet breakfast or certain items that the chef will cook fresh for you such as kippers or omelletes or maybe a nice soft boiled egg. There is snacks available during the day at a small cost, if you wish but save room for the amazing three course evening meal which, along with the breakfast is part of the cost of your holiday.
A beauty salon is available for the ladies with facials, waxing and massages, this also available at a reasonable charge. Some of the centres cater for hobbies such as art or fishing, the website will give all details and dates. (warnerleisurehotels.co.uk). There is evening entertainment each night from music, dancing and comedy
The reception staff are available all day and are extremely helpful. They can arrange day trips which collect and drop you off at the hotel. There are activities on site such as archery, bowls, air rifle shooting, pitch & putt,outdoor and indoor swimming, sauna and a gym. Some indoor activities are also available including quizzes, snooker, pool,darts or dance classes for the energetic. I cannot recommend this type of holiday highly enough so please have a look at the website and have a great holiday!