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since 17/07/2004


Jacobs Creek - Shiraz Cabernet 2003 22/12/2005


Jacobs Creek - Shiraz Cabernet 2003 The lodger borrowed a bottle of my cheap Tesco red wine on Monday of this week and promised to replace for the weekend, what a surprise I got then when he produced a bottle of Jacobs Creek Shiraz Cabernet. Thanking him with a huge grin on my face, I proceeded to hide the bottle in my bedroom under my bed - why cos hes cheeky enough to ask to borrow a bottle again, knowing that he'd then have the pleasure of drinking the Jacobs - method in his madness hahahaha. Anyhow Friday of the same week, the lodger was out with his mates, perfect for a girlie night in. After having a lounge in a Lush bubble bath, reading the book of the moment, with my dog layin next to the bath, I got my PJ'S on and arranged the candles in the living room, popped the cork of my Jacobs and settled down to watch a DVD - Bridget Jones ok so its predicatable but hey its feel good. Back to the wine - the subject of my review - Jacobs Creek Shiraz Cabernet Vintage 2003 (South Eastern Australia), the bottle in front of me is a a 750ml bottle with a alcohol volume of 13.5%, there are 10 UK units in this bottle, so If you finish the whole bottle, no driving home!!! I believe it usually retails for about £4.99 in most supermarkets or off-licenses, but mine was a present so Im not too sure, as the Netto at the top of the field usually sells Jacobs Creek quite cheaply at around £3.00 a bottle, which is possibly where this bottle came from. The front label is white, the writing is predomintly black with the ...

Weetabix Ready Brek Original 12/11/2005

Turn up the heat

Weetabix Ready Brek Original Wandering round Tesco last Sunday with the bessie mate, I was looking for a breakfast cereal I could take to work in little sachets or individual packs. The bessie mate is an air hostess so she is really good at individual everything for any meal. 'Try ready brek' she suggested 'yer but you have to measure it out n mess' I replied 'Nope they do individual sachets' replied the bessie mate launching an orange box at me(bit ironic really) 'MMMM but its a kiddies cereal, even says so on the pack' I windged. Looking closer at the box and reading the pack brought back happy memories of cold school mornings and a raging coal fire, My Mum used to prepare ready brek every morning during the winter months, I felt a lovely warm glow and placed the box in to my trolley. Best thing its buy one get one free at the mo in Tesco. Half a box gone and its time to write a review me thinks. The Box - The whole box is different shades of orange and bits of blue, on the front left is the Wheetabix Family logo of a sheath of corn with wholegrain goodness written underneath, in the right corner is Microwave in only 90 minutes. New and Ready Brek is splashed across the middle with a two figures of children crossing above. Original Hot oat Cereal is written lower down the pack with a pciture of a sachet. There are three ticks on the left bottom corner with WHolegrain No added salt and No added sugar. On the left side is all the Ingredients and nutrients information, it actually ...

Riverside Cafe Bar, Sheffield 09/11/2005

Messing about on the River Don

Riverside Cafe Bar, Sheffield Sheffield is under going massive development (new build & reclaimed apartments, a new ring road and new businesses moving in to run down buildings) at the moment especially around the Neepsend (once known as Bridgehouses) area of Sheffield, which is were the Riverside Pub is located. Years ago Neepsend was a dirty industrial area with lots of engineering work shops and forges. The river Don runs through this area and was once a dirty forgotten river. Over the past few years, the river has been cleaned up mainly due to the loss of engineering companies and forges. During the twilight hours, ladies of the night plied their trade, using the alleys and poorly light streets to slink away into. Neepsend has always had a good few bars, with dodgey reputations, but over the last few years many of these pubs have seen a steady growth in clientel of a different kind - the real ale drinker. The famous Kelham Island brewery is located in Neepsend along with the Fat Cat , Gardeners and the Kelham Island pub. A plotted History of the Riverside and the area - The Riverside pub began life as the Brown Cow, and nestled in a small hamlet of cottages and shops then known as Bridgehouses, this was due to the wooden bridge which was built to allow access to and from Sheffield, the wood bridge was replaced in 1815 with an Iron one, again replaced by the Borough Bridge in 1851 when Corporation Street was opened, this bridge was washed away when the Dale Dyke dam burst in 1864. Another Iron ...

Princes Sliced Tinned Peaches 29/10/2005

peachy treat

Princes Sliced Tinned Peaches In the darkest corner of my tin cupboard, I found a tin of Princes tinned Peach Slices in light syrup. MMMM a Sunday afternoon tea favorite when I was a child. Brought back memories, of Potted meat sandwhichs without the crusts, fizzy pop and Blue Ribbon biscuits followed by shaky milk (carnation) and tinned slice peaches. So why write a review - well As soon as I found the tin, it was opened and the contents emptied in to a glass bowl, I popped the bowl in the fridge and drove off to the local supermarket for some shaky milk(carnation). Well we all like the comfortable feeling we get from some thing that reminds us of our childhood. And on this occassion I wasnt to be dissapointed. I must have bought the tinned peaches at christmas when it was my intentions to make a trifle from scratch just like Mum. But for one reason or another (proberbly alcohol related) I never got round to it. So the tin was pushed further and further to the back of the cupboard. On my return from the supermarket with my tin of shaky milk(carnation), I got out my electric hand held whizzer, tipped the milk in to a deep bowl and whipped it until it went thick. I portioned out the peaches in to 2 bowls (might as well share with the lodger, as I had thefted his baked beans) and topped with the whipped milk. My first impressions of the light syrup, is a very sticky, thick clear liquid which smells like - peaches!. The sryup is made up of water, sugar and citric acid. The peaches themselves ...

Harpic Powerons Gel 29/10/2005

power to the loo cleaner

Harpic Powerons Gel If you have read some of my other reviews on cleaning products then you will know Im a sucker for all things lavender. Harpic Powerons Gel been my newest find and the subject of my newest review. I spied the purple bottle on a shelf in Wilkinsons the other week, I think I paid £1.09 for a 750ml bottle. Since the first purchase I have been hooked. Why you might ask, well I dislike toliet cleaners which smell of lemon, ocean or pine - how revolting! I only use bleach, no smells no nothing, until I found Parozones lavender bleach and now Harpic Lavender and Gardenia toliet gel and other lavender cleaning products. Harpic Powerons Gel is a thick pale lilac coloured liquid with purple/blue bits in that clings to the inside bowl and slowly runs down to the waterline. The smell is very fragrant and fresh with a hint of the usual bleach. I would recommend this product, I have used cheaper versions of gels and just bog (excuse the pun) standard toliet cleaners including the powder formats such a Vim and Jif (now cif) and I find these products to be less effective and do not leave your loo smelling fresh for very long. The Harpic gel smell lingers for longer making the loo room seem fresher longer too. I do believe a clean loo is one that not only sparkles but smells nice too, not too over powering though or I wonder what smells are been hid. I always pop some gel under the rim just before I go to bed at night, and if I am lucky to be the first up, the liquid is still glued ...

Branston Pickled Onions 25/10/2005

Pickled by vinegar

Branston Pickled Onions Having purchased some extra mature cheese, I was scouring the shelves for an dip or something you know yummy - there in front of me was a jar of BRANSTONS - Pickled Onions (in malt vinegar) Mention Branston and immediatley you think pickle - the brown chunky tangy sweet sandwich spread. The name Branston comes from a village near Burton upon trent. Crosse and Blackwell first produced pickles under the Branston name in 1922, diversing in to pickled onions a few years later. Now produced by Premier Foods in Spalding, Lincs the freefone number for further information is 0800 0327111. My experiance - I bought my 454g jar from tesco for £1.65, a bargin. Reading the reverse of the label the onions are hand peeled and chosen for their extra crunch. And crunch they do, they literally bite back. Even on opening the jar you are aware of the very strong smelling vinegar, sniff the contents of the jar and it brings tears to your eyes (well it did mine) which should be a warning, that these little beauties are not going to come out of the jar with out a fight. Having speared one on a fork I popped it whole in to my mouth, WOW - very acidic, bitter, spicey and oniony, gorgeous. Sets off the mature cheese perfectly. Very recommended. Apparently you can buy some in extra strong vinegar with chillies and spices - OUCH. Enjoy and thank you for reading my review ...

Galaxy Instant Hot Chocolate Drink 25/10/2005

A Galaxy of chocolate fantasies

Galaxy Instant Hot Chocolate Drink Out shopping this morning and feeling very sorry for my self due to the toothache and earache I have been suffering since last Friday, I spied a jar of instant chocolate drink, not just any instant choc drink but the king of king - GALAXY, so right in the basket it went - comfort drink just what I need. Once home I read the instructions on the label - 4 x heaped teaspoons of powder in a mug topped up with boiling water - easy and yes it is a very lovely drink even if it is a bit sickly (or was that the half dozen choc digestive biscuits I dunked in???) The taste is a very rich choccy flavour and creamy texture. The smell, well personally I have never liked the smell of chocolate, but this drink really is a chocohlics paradise. For me personally I think it is too rich and sickly. I think this jar will remain in the back of my cupboard unless I take it in to work for the girls. My 200g of instant heaven cost me 99p from the Netto, the label has the Galaxy name scrolled in a choc like font on a creamy, caramel swirled coloured label. At the bottom of the label it states think chocolate, think indulgence, think Galaxy Hot Chocolate. On the reverse of the label are the instruction to make a drink plus the nutrient values, ingredients and gaurentee, plus the ever popular web address - Nutrients per 100g energy 411 kcal (a whooping 115 killer calories per standard mug) protein - 7.0g carbs - 68.7g (again wow huge) Fat - 12g Wished I ...

Heineken Lager 24/10/2005

refreshers the parts others beers can't ?

Heineken Lager Saturday night and I decided to stay in, so I went to my local supermarket - the Netto, for some alcoholic inspirations - there on the shelves were trays of green cans - Heineken - I havent drank that lager for a few years, so with out further ado I pick up two packs of 4 x 500ml cans and headed for the checkout, it cost me £5.98 for 8 cans which I didnt think was to bad. I popped the cans in the fridge until later. Around 6ish I decided to crack a tinny (as they say) I poured the amber liquid in to a pint glass, mmm not too bad, bit of a head, fizzy too. But all too quickly the liquid lost its fizz n went flat - the taste deterorated too. I wasnt impressed, the glass has those glass wiget things in the bottom(and was provided free of course by my local pub) So the lager should have stayed fizzy longer, helping maintained its taste. The can - bright green with an oval silver line round it stating Premium Lager Beer and underneath Brewed in Holland. In the middle is Heineken in white on a black background and a red star above. Heineken s 5% vol so its quite strong. Heineken was first brewed under license by Whitbread in 1968, but I believe it is now imported by the Interbrew group. Heineken is drunk in 170 different countries around the world and is the best lager in the world. Well if it is the best I would really hate to taste the worst. Staying in on a Saturday night is managerable when you have a decent lager. I know one trhing for sure I wont be buying Heineken ...

Asda Feta 24/10/2005

Not just any ordinary cheese

Asda Feta Feta cheese reminds me of long hot summer nights sat on my balcony over looking the Mediterranean sea in Cephalonia, the crickets playing softly in the background, glass of ice cold Robola wine in one hand and cheese and olives in a dish, soft greek music drifting up from the tavernas below. The cheese not just any old cheese but fresh made greek feta mmmmmmmmm. But what is Feta cheese ?? it is one of many native cheeses of Greece and is possible the most favoured as Feta is the main ingredient of Greek Salads and the Cephalonian Cheese Pies. Feta is made from Sheep or Goats milk or a mixture of both. Feta is white and soft with no rind. It has a solid consistency with only a few small holes, sometimes none at all. The taste is slightly acidic with a salty flavour . Feta cheese is aged in a brine bath for up to a month before it is ready for sale. Feta cheese can be traced back to the 17th century, when the Venetians ruled Greece. The name Feta is derived from the latin word 'Fete' and refers to the cheese been cut in to slices in order to fit in to wooden barrels. Today Feta is still matured in wooden barrels as is tradition. There are many countries that make Feta today, but use Cows milk, which they artifically whiten, as cows milk has a higher fat content and has a more creamy yellow tinge then Sheep or Goats milk. Authentic Greek Feta cheese will never turn yellow. My favorite use of Feta is in the greek salad, chopped tomatoes, cucumber and onion, ...

Rennie Rap-Eze Assorted 24/10/2005

eze come eze go

Rennie Rap-Eze Assorted Is it something to do with age or just that in todays society we do everything at twice the speed ???? Over the last few months I have been suffering with indigestion quite a bit, I keep asking my self is it the spicy foods, the speed in which I eat (which some friends may say yes too) my food or just that im turning 40 soon and my stomach is telling me to change my eating/drinking habits??? I really dont know, but even the most bland sandwhich can have me doubled up in agony with in half an hour of eating. Even my doctor says to slow down my eating, chew things more and to change my diet to a more conservative one (is this a new diet I havent heard of??) Any how on to the choosen subject of my latest review - Rennies Rap-eze. (part of a range of indigestion relief from Rennies) I was dashing through town the other day with two of my friends after just polishing off a full english breakfast, when here we go - a fire starts burning in my chest and throat. I shouted to my friends to stop as I needed to pop in to the local Superdrug for some water and someting for my indigestion. As I was in a rush I asked the counter assistant to recommend something, she came back with Rennies Rap-eze fruity squares, they will do I said, parting with my cash, I believe for 4 strips of 8 it cost me £2.59 - pricey but hopefully they will help. On opening the outer cardboard packet I was meet with a very pugent fruity smell, mixed of blackcurrents, strawberies and orange. MMMMM ...

Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup 24/10/2005

Soup de Loop

Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup One of my favorite soups of all time is Heinz Tomato, I can remember my Mum giving me tomato soup for lunch when I was off school poorly, it reminds me of coal fires, crusty bread and gives me a comfort feeling. So tomato soup is set to become the subject of my new review. Tomato soup - Only Heinz will do mind - Cream of Heinz Tomato Soup - On opening the can with the pull ring, you are met with an orangy/red thick liquid and a strong smell of tomatoes. The soup pours smoothly if not a little slowly in to my pan, and I am required to help the remaining contents out using a spoon. You can tell Heinz soup is good quality because of its richness and its thick texture. Placing the pan on the heat I stir the soup until I can see steam rising and small bubbles popping to the surface (reminds me of molton larva in a volcano - not that I have ever seen one up close like, but you know what I mean) I pour the soup in to my warmed bowl and scrape out the pan (waste not want not) riping off a chunk of uncut bread I dunk it in to the soup MMMmmmmmmm, be back in a tick >>>>......... Right Im back and now I have eaten the soup, I am better equiped to complete my review. The taste was delcious, creamy and tomatory (no basil required thank you). So what makes Heinz the best - well the tomatoes are specially selected and grown in places such as Portugal, Greece and Italy. Once at the Heinz factory in Hayes they are pulped, blended and mixed up with the secret Heinz ingredients which ...

Knorr Honey and Mustard 24/10/2005

honey who stole all the mustard ?????

Knorr Honey and Mustard One of my favorite sauces from the Knorr Chicken Tonight range is the Honey and Mustard. And now even better there is a low fat version too. So this is to become the product of my new review. I first noticed the Knorr range of Chicken Tonight a couple of years ago and poo pooed the idea of using these as a cheats way to cooking, however in my ever changing lifestyle, These sauces have become common place in my tin cupboard, as a quick and speedy solution to a meal at night. The jar in front of me is a 525g jar which will provide a descent meal for 4 people or 2 people 2 meals each. The glass jar has a green lid and a green label which wraps run the centre of the jar exposing the creamy coloured sauce which has bits of mustard seeds, carrots and onions mixed in. The nutrient values of the jar per 100grams are as follows Energy - 80cal Protein - 13.8g Carbs - 10.5g with sugar at 2.3g Fat - 2.3g with saturates at 0.4g Fibre - 0.8g and Sodium - 0.50g So all in all not a bad low fat sauce. I purchased my Jar from Tesco and paid around £1.19, but I do know some supermarkets have special offers on Jarred sauces i.e buy one get one free or buy 2 for £2.00. I do believe these sauces are value for money and offer a great range of flavours which can lead to wonderful and varied meals. The label has details of how to cook using the sauce , which can be heated either by microwave, hob or oven cooking. Serving suggestions are to serve with a jacket potatoe and green ...

Oxo Gravy granuals 10/10/2005

join the gravy boat

Oxo Gravy granuals Oxo gravy granules are a staple requirement in my cupboard. In its little plastic jar with the red top, I know this is for meaty dishes such as beef stews or steak. By adding 4 heaped teaspoons to 1/2 pint of boiling water I can have instant gravy. But where did OXO come from ?? It was the German chemist Baron Justus von Liebig and the Belgian engineer George Giebert who developed a technique to extract large quantities of beef extract from carcasses. Together they established the Leibig's Extract of Meat Company which later became known as 'Oxo'. OXO was originally a cube and wrapped in tin foil to ensure the contents were kept dry. The cubes were placed in a cardboard box, The white OXO lettering on the red background design is very simple but effective. This design has barely changed throughout the last hundred years. During the First World War the cubes were sent out to British troops and over a 100 million cubes were consumed from 1914 to 1918. Today more than two million OXO cubes are sold each day and more than half of all British Households use them. With todays focus on convienance, the cube was brought up to date in the form of granules stored in plastic jars, with different coloured tops for different flavours, but the name OXO is still there in white. The jar in front of me is 170g, the label mainly brown with a picture of bangers and mash on the front and the nutrient values on the reverse with details of how to use and how to contact for further ...

Heinz Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce 10/10/2005

meanz beanz makez ur bottom burp

Heinz Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce The other night I felt a bit peckish, I was searching through my cupboard for inspiration and there in the darkest furtherest corner was a lonely tin of Heinz baked beanz, must be my lodgers me thinks as I only ever buy HP (the best by far), any how I didnt hesitiate, the can was opened, emptied, heated and eated. Baked Beans, the staple of any well stocked pantry or tin cupboard, regardless of the make. The Heinz label is a aqua green colour with the usual black and white heinz label stating est 1869 and that the beanz are in tomato sauce. On the reverse are the usual contact and nutrient details which in the case of Heinz include a free telephone number and web address should you require information on promotions, and for the purpose of this review I have been on the web site, its not bad gives links to other web sites one of which is targeted at children. Web address - Telephone - 0800 528575 The nutirents on the can are as follows - Energy - 72 kcal per 100g Protein - 4.6g per 100g Carbs - 12.9g per 100g Fat - 0.2g per 100g Fibre - 3.7g per 100g Sodium - 0.3g per 100g Salt equiv - 0.9g per 100g Beans are good for us, they are good for the heart, they may help fight against cancers, are low in fat, salt and high in fibre, but were did the humble Bean come from ?? From Michigan USA, the bean we know as the baked bean is actually called the Navy Bean, which does not grow very well in the UK. Similar beans grown in the UK are ...

Wall's Magnum Uncovered Chocolate Ice Cream 02/10/2005


Wall's Magnum Uncovered Chocolate Ice Cream I was in the Netto the other day when a cute little tub of icecream caught my eye. MMMM chocolate toooooo, well I popped it in to my basket and headed for the checkout before I changed my mind. Once home I banished the dogs out to the garden, locked the doors and drew the curtains, settling my self down on the settee, I took the tub lid off and the paper seal - to my surprise there was a layer of thick hard chocolate covering the icecream. I pushed my spoon through the chocolate with a delicate crack, the chocolate cover broke exposing the brown icecream underneath. I wasnt disappointed either when I put the first spoonful in to my mouth, mmmmmmm velverty, creamy rich chocolate tasting icecream, oopps another surprise - blobs of caramel - chewy - mmmmm. Very nice. The tub is oval in shape and a dark chocolate brown colour, the Walls heart is pictured just over the top of the Magnum name and ''intense'' written just below, the background fades out in to a pinkish/purpley explosion of colour. Written in cream is chocolate chocolat. On the reverse of the tub is the nutrient facts. As with all icecream it isnt the most healthy option in the freezer, however in 100ml of ice cream there is 192 kcal 9.9g fat 23g carbs and 2.8g protein so even on a low carb diet this tub of icecream is a big no no. There is also a web address -, Ive not checked it out at the time of writing this review. Would I recommend it ??? YES from the Netto it cost me ...
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