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since 28/07/2000


Tesco Value Plain Chocolate 28/10/2002

makes great value brownies -now with RECIPE

Tesco Value Plain Chocolate Recently I took up the hobby of baking Brownies for my family. Well, since it takes 200g of plain Choc each time, I thought i'd try the Value range from Tesco. WOW. it makes FAB brownies, let me tell you. (try using ground almonds instead of flour, if you can eat nuts o' course). The savings in terms of money must amount to quite a bit, since the brownie business is in high demand at the moment. they are so delicious if I do say so myself! :) (scan to the bottom for the recipe). Close your eyes and you won't even realise you're eating a VALUE product at all. Looks, smells and tastes like most other dark, plain chocolate. It is not quite as bitter and intense as the 70-72% cocoa solids stuff you can get, but it is an excellent choice for baking and just shovelling in your mouth! Looking at the ingredients there really is little difference with the normal brand name plain choc. There is a lot of sugar in it though, and no fancy real vanilla flavouring, but for 28p, I'm happy! 503 cals per bar(100g), regular malarky. There is also a milk variety available which I have tried. The taste is a bit sickly sweet and without a certain something. I dunno. it needs a little more pep to it, but it is a value product. Melted and used to coat home baked biscuits it is delicious though, as is the plain choc. Suitable for vegetarians, and a good job too :)May contain nut traces too. The bar is slightly slimmer than regular brand bars, but it only comes in 100g. I don't know why ...

Tesco Value Soya Milk 28/10/2002

Get that cow out of my tea

Tesco Value Soya Milk Well, I was very happy when I realised Tesco had a much cheaper soya "milk" than the brand names, and even cheaper than their own regular sweetened and unsweetened ones. Soya milk can cost anywhere between 69p and over a pound, depending on what you're looking for and where you shop. The Value version is only 65p, and is unsweetened. I did not notice any difference in changing to this carton from the regular tesco/sainsbury's soya milk. There is no detectable decline in quality or taste. The only difference I noticed was that there are a couple less calories per 100ml (26/100ml). This drink is UHT, long life, and is not fresh milk so it seems to be placed in the wrong category, along with a few others too. Draw backs with soya drink are that you cannot use it in coffee. At least with me, it always curdles quickly. Any other drink and it's fine. It doesn't make a very good custard though, or cheese sauce. I don't think it thickens very easily and doesn't taste of much. The taste it does have can be off-putting to those first trying it. That and the smell! There is practically no smell once the carton is open, but when you first open it there may be a cardboard/strong grass-like smell. It will pass, I promise. The taste is very light and fresh, some would say watery (this variety has 95% filtered water/5% hulled soya bean, tesco sweetened has 7% soya). There is an almost grassy taste, but I don't find it offensive. When I have dairy milk in my tea now, I turn my nose ...

Matthews Pure Dairy free soya spread 19/10/2002

Pure Goodness

Matthews Pure Dairy free soya spread This is a health-friendly spread that I have been using on and off for years. Recently the packaging has changed, and now it is bolder and more modern looking. Colourful and easy to spot on the supermarket shelf. I would only buy this product from supermarkets as the price almost doubles when I have looked for it in speciality/health food stores. Typically it's a mere 68p in Tesco. What a really good price for 500g of margarine substitute that isn't full of all the crap that's in normal margarine and spreads. Crap? you ask... Well, by that I mean: artificial preservatives, hydrogenated oils/fats artificial flavours, colours. You will see a list of "FREE FROM" additives on the side of the tubs. The reason I first tried this spread was that I was looking for something that wouldn't eat too much into my food budget, pardon the pun :), and would be good for me. I'm vegetarian, so not vegan (this Dairy free spread is certified vegan friendly), and usually I buy olive spreads, when I can afford it or they're on special offer. Unfortunately these tend to be more expensive. My search for a spread that didn't have hydrogenated oils in it; for cooking and spreading on my toast, led me to this tub. Although there is also a sunflower variety available, I ususally go for the soya as soya products are good for balancing hormones, and I have problems in that area. I try to eat as many soya products as I can now. More of the health benefits are the vegan acceptable ...

McVitie´s Biscuits 07/05/2002

What a Disappointment

McVitie´s Biscuits This is the first time I have written an opinion about being disappointed in a food product! McVitie's original Ginger Nuts are the biscuit in question. I have been eating ginger biscuits for a few months now, as I find them nice and warming. I bought 2 packs of the McVitie's ginger nuts, as they were on special offer (buy one get one half price). Now I'm wondering if it was a false economy, as I am very reluctant to finish the packets! Not like me at all. Other ginger biscuits I have tried have always had a nice tang to them, a heat from the ginger that makes your tongue tingle and feels very refreshing when eating with a hot drink. Not these ones though. WHERE IS THE GINGER??! I can't taste it anywhere! Just non-descript crunchy, tasteless biscuits. What a let down. Even dirt cheap brands, that I can't even remember the name of now, had more flavour! What's going on? A real disappointment from a so-called quality brand. Here are the facts - if you are brave enough to invest in a packet yourself (normally about 79p each, for 300g): per biscuit it's about 56 calories, 2g of fat. ingredients: wheat flour, sugar, oils (some hydrogenated), sugar syrup, molasses, raising agents, salt, AND GUESS WHAT, RIGHT NEAR THE BOTTOM ..... ginger extract and lemon oil. hmmmmmmmmmmm. I'm not impressed. Vegetarian friendly, but I won't be buying them again. ...

Peppermint Tea 03/05/2002

Pep up your gut

Peppermint Tea I was surprised to see Tetley getting in on the herbal tea market. Thought I'd give them a try, and I bought a few boxes of their peppermint, drawstring, tea bags. I do get through quite a lot of herbal, especially mint, teas; so i feel i have a bit of experience with tasting the different types on offer. (Twinnings make an excellent mint cuppa). Tetley have a decent bag here, up to the standard of even the premium branded/herbal companies. It is refreshing, well balanced and not too overpowering. The ingredients are peppermint leaves and apple pieces. Don't expect to taste the apple, however. I think it's there to give the tea a gentler tang to it, without freezing your mouth off! You know how mint can be sometimes. The drawstring bags are handy, although I have never found them essential. They don't squeeze the bag enough, and it's still soggy when you go to put it in the bin. I guess it just adds to the price of the tea, and I may not have bought it if it wasn't on special offer (39p for box of 20). You can also buy peppermint leaves mixed with black tea, so you can add a little milk if you like. Strange I know, I think it was pg tips! If they still make it. Peppermint tea is very good for reducing nausea (especially if you add some fresh chopped ginger), use the same recipe for headaches too, as ginger helps reduce inflammation. Irritable bowel syndrome is one of the main problems that peppermint is good at easing. Although minty things are marketed to ...

Cadbury Luxury Milk Chocolate Cookies 27/04/2002

Pure Luxury

Cadbury Luxury Milk Chocolate Cookies I don't know why I have'nt tried these before. As usual it was a special offer price that drew my eye to them. I went off cookies for a while, probably because I had tried a few bland varieties that did nothing for me. These on the other hand are VERY creamy, buttery and above all CRAMMED with large cadbury's milk and plain chocolate chunks and chips :) (21% milk choc, 16% plain choc). The packet is a white and dark metallic purple colour, as you would recognise from Cadbury, and boasts: "Luxury milk chocolate cookies... baked with generous chunks of cadbury's chocolate." In my mind the biscuity part of the cookie can really let the whole experience down, regardless of the quality of the chocolate chips. This is where these cookies do cadbury's proud. The buttery cookie part is very smooth and creamy, melts in the mouth. You will also be very surprised at just how much chocolate is in each one too. They haven't skimped there, I can tell you! Fantastic with a cup of tea, packed with flavour. The ingredients: CHOCOLATE CHUNKS (in proportions listed above), wheatflour, butter oil, sugar, DESSICATED COCONUT, sugar syrup, whey powder, raising agents and salt. So there aren't any artificial flavourings or additives, which is good. Of course sugar and butter aren't that healthy, but who cares. That's not what you're thinking about when you're buying cookies!! Still, for those who need the reference: per biscuit = 86 calories (4.5g of fat). Yikes :) You get 9 ...

Wrigley's Orbit 17/04/2002

Chew This One Over

Wrigley's Orbit I find chewing gum a daily habit of mine. It serves at least 3 functions that I can see: 1. keeps breath fresh, 2. Keeps plaque from building up, 3. burns off about 10 calories, eventually :) Chewing gum used to have a bad image and reputation. It looked a bit "common" or even American, but recent publicity about the research into the health benefits of "chewing" have changed this quite a bit. Wrigley's Orbit contains Xylitol, which is a naturally occuring sugary substance found in plants, especially the birch tree. It helps retard the growth of bacteria because the bacteria in your mouth cannot make use of this sugar to make plaque, and therefore prevents the formation of cavities in your teeth and protects your gums. Another function of gum is to keep a gentle flow of saliva in your mouth. This helps to wash away any debris left from a meal, or sugary snack and the minerals naturally found in saliva help to keep your teeth strong. Wrigley's Orbit SWEET MINT comes in packs of 10 little pellets (which I find more convenient than sticks). Only difficulty is getting the last 3 or 4 out of the packet! You have to squeeze them to the top. Each pellet has about 2 calories and contains: xylitol (for sweetness), sorbitol, mannitol, aparatame, along with the ingredients that form the gum base. So, as you can see there are a lot of artificial sweetners in there. The possible laxative effect is mentioned on the packet, but I think you would need to eat dozens of packs ...

Cadbury Snowflake 13/04/2002

It ain't crumby

Cadbury Snowflake mmm, snowflakes. When I first saw this choccie bar in the shops I was a bit reluctant to try it. I find that most of the white chocolate available is too sickly and sugary. I love the CREAMY tasting stuff, but to find it's few and far between. I was very happy to find that these "snowflakes" fingers are very creamy and yummy. Not much like a regular flake at all. It is white chocolate (made like a TWIRL bar) and coated in milk chocolate. I dunno why they decided to coat it in the brown choc. Maybe it was to reduce the shock value of seeing an all white flake!? :) It is a bit higher in calories (200)than the similar looking milk chocolate bars (flake = 170-180), but WORTH IT! It is some of the best white chocolate I have tried in a long time. Cadbury's sent me a trial size of their new DREAM bar, and I was to tell them what I thought! pah, it was sugary and mostly tasteless. I was hoping for more of the same of what I get from the snowflake. no fear :( SNOWFLAKE - 60% white choc, and the milk choc is 14% milk solids, so the emphasis here is on creaminess! Crumbly white flake?? not exactly crumbly, but it's fantasticly addictive. shame about the 31% fat content though. Now available in packs of 4. ...

WS_FTP Pro Complete package 06/04/2002

Free and Useful

WS_FTP Pro Complete package WSFTP is not a very catchy name for a good piece of software that makes transferring files easy and painless (most of the time). I've been using it for about a year now, and I wasn't that experienced with computers, or FTP (file transfer protocol) when I started. So, I did find it a little confusing at first: to fill in all the remote site details etc. There are a few fields that look like they need to be filled in, but are unnecessary for my needs. Though, I did find it the most thorough and reliable way to send files to a server to create a website. The prog is customizeable. You can choose how you want to view the files (details, icons etc) and what tools you want displayed. You can create directories (folders) on your hard disk from the interface, and manage/arrange all your files very quickly and easily. programme a schedule of events, or even encrypt data! There's lots on here. You see a list of the files/folders on the remote server and you can browse to a folder on your machine, in order to send files (upload) or choose where you want to download files to. The buttons are mostly self-explanatory, but for a complete novice I would suggest a much simpler programme, like FTP commander which is just grass-roots basic stuff, really easy. One bonus for beginners with the wsftp is that you get a load of sites already programmed in (for games, software, and others), and you can have a bit of fun raking around there to get the hang of things :) WSftp is free to ...

Clipper Green China Tea 22/01/2002

sweetly fragrant

Clipper Green China Tea I have gotten into trying out Green teas after reading about the health benefits, and they are low in caffeine. First I tried the green tea mixes and have worked my way on to the real thing! Clipper Green China Tea is a good place to start with them, as it isn't too strong and has a nice sweet aroma - like a mix of citrus, flowers and very sweet tobacco! Since the leaves are loose I use a caffetiere or a little infusion pot in my cup, so it is quite simple to make. Some people just put a sprinkle of leaves straight in their cup. You will enjoy the light and subtle flavour and the health benefits. Here are some of them: protects you from heart and liver disease, Lowers your blood sugar levels, controls high blood pressure, fights viruses, suppresses ageing and fights cancers (through the action of antioxidants), supercharges your immune system, and it contains calcium (drinking lots of caffeine actually causes the body to lose vital calcium through the urine, so since this tea has a little caffeine, it probably balances itself out). **I forgot to add that it raises your metabolism without speeding up your heart, and to get the best of the benefits you should drink about 3-5 cups a day** Most of these findings listed above are taken from recent research done in the US. The variety of tea used here is Chun Mee, which is thought to be one of the world's most refreshing. Green tea is still the same tea bush that black tea is made from, but the leaves are not ...

Olivetti JP-192 17/10/2001

cheapness at a price

Olivetti JP-192 Olivetti JP192 black/mono printer is a cheap to buy printer, that is lightweight and easy to use. I got it for just under £55 on sale. The ink, however, is a different matter, being well over £20 a cartridge/printhead. Also on the down side is the print quality and lack of convenience. Only one printhead can be used at a time, so the colour or black that is taken out must be stored in the little container provided, and you must keep changing them as needed. Although this process does only take a minute, and is very obvious and easy to do. The printing is slow, and the colour images produced are very poor at times. I did not get this printer looking for superior print quality. I just wanted a cheap printer that would hopefully be cheap to run and to replace when the time came. It is mostly for text printing; essays and the like. I didn't realise how expensive the ink was to buy, and have found a company that sells refills for this model (you can buy bottles and syringes of ink to refill the printheads/cartridges). I found it very difficult to find shops that sold the cartridges, and more importantly I didn't find any on special offer. I couldn't find any cheap versions of the ink either. Performance, well, often it gives me error messages that I am out of paper when I'm not. I have to make sure the paper sits exactly in place, and the guide at the side is quite tight against it at all times. The ribbon cable that connects to the printhead has a habit of coming ...

Mudd Sensitive Mask Hypo-Allergic 08/10/2001

sensitive features

Mudd Sensitive Mask Hypo-Allergic Mudd's Sensitive Mask is a very gentle cleansing face mask. The pure clay is so soft when it goes on your skin, it's just like silk. Because you have to dampen your face first with warm water, I wasn't convinced that the mask would dry - but it did. It smoothes on even more easily than normal, because of the pre-dampened skin, and I found it a little difficult to get any thickness of the product built up. I read that you are creating a barrier between your skin and the air, so that the circulation is increased to your skin's surface therefore the efffectiveness of the mask is increased. So, I was surprised at how satisfied I was with the end result. My skin was smooth and more refined. It felt very clean without feeling tight or sore, and my spots seemed smaller!! I would hope that most people, even with the most sensitive skin (my sister being one - and she was happy with the mask) could give this mask a try. They are a bit expensive, but I get them when they are on offer. ...

TV listings - 29/05/2001

TV listings and info on your pc

TV listings - digiGuide is a good idea for those of us who want lots of info on our tv listings, and don't fancy any of the magazines available. It is software that stays on your pc, and updates all your local tv channels (and satellite, digital and radio) from the internet when you tell it to. You can highlight all your favourite programmes with the coloured tag of your choice (although it only customizes one tv prog at a time, you'll need to go thru them all one at a time unfortunately), and you can get info that some listings magazines leave out. This includes the episode title, which is handy for fans of the show that are recording the episode. It updates itself constantly (even offline) as to what time it is, and how long until the programme you have the pointer over starts! It is good as you choose your local stations, and it isnt' London's listing by default! I hate looking in the off-to-the-side small print for Scottish channels. If you right click on a chosen prog. you can get more info on this show from the internet site. Very interesting. You can also set the software to remind you of when a programme starts, so you won't miss it! this can be a one off alarm, or a weekly event. If you have any problems using the software, then their website has lots of links and help pages. For convenience the time slots are along the top of the screen and a red line goes down through the listings and this line symbolises the current time. The main bonus of it for me is that the TV ... 11/05/2001

Free Cheers updated I have only one bad thing to say about Iceland’s home delivery system, and that is just a personal experience that I had the first time I used it. My order was misplaced, and so I had to wait in all the afternoon it was due, and wait for the next day to receive my shopping. I got a phone call apologising though, telling me that they could not explain to me why my order had been “overlooked”, it all ended up ok though. **(I must admit that, although I want Iceland's internet service/delivery to be good, it just isn't. I've had it up to here with them, and unfortunately won't be using them again. I have had problems with that last 6 orders from them!!, yes! and now i have to hike up to the far side of town to sort out the latest mix up. Problems have included the offers not being updated on their site, so the receipt charges me full price. Items missing from my order, and overcharging. this is more than a habit now. So I will have to retract some of my praises, below...) Now for the pluses- (??) There were no errors in my order, it all arrived, just as the products were described online. all multi savers were noted (on my second order i got my receipt and checklist, very handy). If they cannot find an alternative for you, for an out of stock item, you will be refunded. The price was what I was lead to expect. Online you have to be careful when your browsing the site though. When you want more info on an item, and click the “previous” ... 26/04/2001

I WON This is a new free lottery site for the uk, and although you have less chance of winning than you do with the national lottery, it's FREE. the odds are against you, but I WON! not the £1 million unfortunately, but £25, and I've only been playing for a couple of weeks. I matched 4 numbers to get that prize, and I've never matched 4 numbers with the national lottery in all these years of playing! To win the million you have to match 6 numbers out of 64. 5 numbers gets you £5,000. I am certainly going to keep trying. They have a new added draw too, called the ACCUMULATOR. They add up how many numbers you matched altogether, in the last week, and for every 6 you matched you get an entry into an additional draw. The prize of which is a weekend of "millionaire luxury". Strange that you only get £250 spending money, but you do seem to get the lifestyle of a millionaire for 2 days! The main game is quick and easy to play, and the accumulator is calculated for you automatically. So you don't have to work hard at this site. It loads quickly, and you can chose random number or last selection to speed up the process further. Once you click on an ad banner you will be transported to the ad site (there will still be a dailydraw window open behind it though, and a little window will validate your lottery entry. Voila, youre done! the registration process was also simple and quick. so - easy peasy, free, and I'm waiting for my cheque now :)
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