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since 21/05/2003


Everything that starts with M ... 18/03/2004

Milleniumzeus's Challenge - my take!

Everything that starts with M ... Body of review removed as it is way out of date and no longer relevant. There isn't much more to say but I need to keep typing a bit more before ciao will consider thsi is enough words to publish. la la la la la la MOre words needed... not much to say... sorry for the drivel. ho hum... la la la la la la la la la........ am I there yet? Nearly I hope. blah blah blah. Not quite. la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la Toodle pip and all that. ...

Cadbury Dairy Milk with Shortcake Biscuit 26/11/2003

A Modern Classic of the Chocolate World!

Cadbury Dairy Milk with Shortcake Biscuit If you are a connoisseur of fine chocolate, you can’t have failed to notice that Cadbury’s Dairy Milk have expanded their range of delicious chocolate to include several other mouth watering “must try” variations including crispy, bubbly Turkish Delight and the one I’ve just munched my way through, Shortcake Biscuit. ~~ What is it? ~~ Well, take a bog standard delicious Dairy Milk bar, add a generous helping of delicious little shortcake biscuit balls which are hidden away with the chocolate bar and you’ve got the idea! ~~ Where can I get them and how much are they? ~~ I bought my 49g Dairy Milk with Shortcake Biscuit bar in Sainsburys for 36p and from what I’ve seen this price is fairly standard, although obviously if you buy from your local shop you may end up paying a bit more. You can buy these is most places that sell chocolates. It is also available in a 200g bar (for those of you who will be sharing it with family or are just having a really foul day!) from around £1.19 upwards, again dependent on where you shop. ~~ What should I look out for? ~~ The chocolate comes in a bar measuring approx 16cm x 4cm and comes in a foil wrapper. Any good chocoholic, and in fact just about anybody anywhere will recognise the familiar purple and white Dairy Milk packaging. The Dairy Milk Shortcake Biscuit wrapper is very similar to the original Dairy Milk bar that we all know and love with the primarily purple background ...

Vegetarian Recipes 19/11/2003

Delicious Vegan Bolognese Sauce

Vegetarian Recipes I’ve been vegetarian for around 8 years now, and was a strict vegan for around 6 months of that. I have never felt healthier than when I was a vegan, but the obvious problem was that eating out was almost impossible. Short of having a plain side salad with olive oil, I basically had no choice but to cook for myself every single meal and after about 6 months I had had enough and went back to being veggie (the dreams about Stilton cheese may had something to do with it as well…) I do still really enjoy vegan food – when done right it can be wholesome, tasty and very filling without being fattening – and this is one of my favourite recipes. It produces a lovely vegan bolognese sauce which is delicious poured over pasta, used as a sauce over steamed vegetables or just eaten on its own. The quantities given here are enough for two people, but you can easily scale up or down as appropriate. If you make too much, don’t worry as this freezes really well. ~ Ingredients ~ A little olive oil 1 small onion or half a large onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, crushed 1 medium/large carrot, grated 1 stick celery, chopped 1 small tin chopped tomatoes 1 tbsp tomato puree ½ pint vegetable stock (I use a stock cube but you can make your own) ½ cup dry red lentils a few cherry tomatoes, cut in half (optional) Salt and pepper to taste You will need a medium sized saucepan. ~ Method ~ Pour a little olive oil into a medium sized, ad the ...

Minstrel's Milk Chocolate 18/11/2003

Dreamy, Creamy Chocolate Drops

Minstrel's Milk Chocolate Chocolate is one of my little indulgences in life, one of those things that makes a bad day seem bearable. I’m a self-confessed chocoholic – I love the stuff – and one of my favourite little chocolate treats has to be Galaxy Minstrels. ~~ What are they? ~~ Minstrels could probably be most easily compared to a Smartie, except that they are bigger at around 1.5cm in diameter and they are all dark brown in colour. Like Smarties, they are shaped like discs or flying saucers. The sweet itself is similar to Smarties – it consists of delicious galaxy milk chocolate covered in a dark brown crisp sugar shell. ~~ Where can I get them and how much are they? ~~ You can buy Galaxy Minstrels anywhere that sells chocolate – I have seen them in Boots, Superdrug, Woollies, corner shops… etc. They are readily available at a shop near you! A 42g bag will set you back anything from 30p to 40p depending on where you shop, but I promise you it is money well spent! Larger bags are also available, but less widely so. Unfortunately I have never seen a multi-pack! ~~ What should I look out for? ~~ Galaxy Minstrels come in a mainly dark brown plasticy/papery bag which measures around 8cm x 12.5cm. There are thin gold stripes on the left and right sides of the bag and between them a gorgeous looking brown background which has cleverly been given the visual appearance of silk and straightaway makes you salivate for the smooth, silky chocolate that ...

Walkers Sensations - Four Cheese & Red Onion 14/11/2003

Overpowering cheese and onion breath!

Walkers Sensations - Four Cheese & Red Onion Anyone who reads my ops will know that I enjoy junk food – crisps, chocolate, fizzy drinks.. they rock! In fact I consider myself something of a connoisseur and as such I have been slowly working my way through the delightful treats that are the Walkers Sensations Range. This review of the Four Cheese and Red Onion flavour Walkers Sensations will be my last op on this range. I cannot face the thought of the chicken flavour and I can’t find any small bags of the tomato and red pepper flavour and I have already written about all the others! Oh the hardship… ~~ What are Walkers Sensations? ~~ You mean you haven’t noticed them around yet? Seriously?! OK, in short, they are a posher, more upmarket version of Walkers crisps. Walkers have clearly spent a lot of money getting us to believe that this is a luxury item, a higher class of crisp. At first I took the view that this was just a bit of clever marketing to get me to part with more cash for my beloved crisps but having worked my way slowly through the range, I am sold – these are definitely better quality crisps! ~~ What flavours are there? ~~ - Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper - Oven Roasted Chicken and Thyme - Thai Sweet Chilli - Four Cheese and Red Onion (the subject of this review) - Slow Roasted Lamb and Mint Flavour - Tangy Tomato and Red Pepper Salsa ~~ Where can I buy these and what should I look for? ~~ You can buy the Walkers Sensations range anywhere ...

Palmolive Aroma Therapy Shower Gel Anti-stress 06/11/2003

Bliss in a bottle

Palmolive Aroma Therapy Shower Gel Anti-stress As anyone has been following my profile will know, my life has been fairly stressful over the last few weeks – I’ve been moving into my flat and work has been mad. I’ve been getting home very late most evening, surrounded by boxes and have just needed to chill out so that I can get some much needed sleep! This shower gel from Palmolive contains pure essential oils of Lavender (relaxing), Ylang Ylang (reduces stress) and Patchouli (balances moods) and is perfect for washing away the stresses and strains of the day and emerging relaxed and tranquil. Lavender is a traditional aromatherapy ingredient which has been used for centuries and is attributed with the ability to calm and relax the body and mind. I’ve had this shower gel from Palmolive knocking about in my bathroom for sometime and until the past few weeks I only ever used it as an occasional de-stressing treat, but lately I have been using it frequently and so now feel better placed to comment on its ability to relax and reduce stress! ~~ The bottle ~~ Palmolive’s anti-stress shower gel comes in a bright purple, transparent bottle in the usual Palmolive shape (oval) with the Palmolive logo in white against a green background and the words “Aroma Therapy Shower Gel” below that. It then says, in small print, “Pure essential oils of Lavender, Ylang, Ylang & Patchouli” followed by a yellow square, then “Relax your senses & soften your skin” and at ...

Wrigley's Airwaves Chewing Gum 30/10/2003

Instant mouth freshener for curry breath!

Wrigley's Airwaves Chewing Gum Anyone who has read my op about the Chicken Tikka Masala crisps will know that my one reservation about them is the fact that they have a nasty habit of leaving you with pretty authentic curry breath, which lets face it, is never a good thing! I like sugar free chewing gum – a lot and any product that tastes nice and freshens my mouth without rotting my teeth simply has to be a good thing. ~~ Where can I buy it? ~~ Wrigley’s Airwaves with Menthol & Eucalyptus is now firmly established in the chewing gum section of your local corner shop/chemist/supermarket – just about anywhere really! A packet of 10 pieces will set you back something between about 35p and 45p although multipacks (of 5 packets, I think) are also available in supermarkets and these seem to represent better value for money. Airwaves can be bought in Menthol & Eucalyptus flavour (blue packet), blackcurrant and Vitamin C (purple packet), honey and lemon flavour (yellow packet) and there is also a new Cherry flavour (red packet). Of these, my favourite is the Menthol & Eucalyptus flavour which is what the bulk of this op is going to be about. I have tried both the blackcurrant and honey and lemon flavours and wasn’t particularly keen on either. I’m yet to sample the cherry flavour! ~~ What does it look like? ~~ The Menthol & Eucalyptus flavour comes in a mid blue packet of a comparable size to other chewing gums with the word “Airwaves” written across ...

Walkers Chicken Tikka Masala crisps 27/10/2003

Curry on the go!

Walkers Chicken Tikka Masala crisps You’ll all no doubt be pleased to learn that this is my final op on the Walkers Great British Takeaways range of crisps! No, I haven’t gone on a huge health kick and given up on yummy crisps but there are simply no more flavours in this range for me to report back to you on! In case you have somehow managed to miss this latest offering from Walkers, then just to fill you in, they have been around pretty much everywhere for almost the entire summer, complete with cheesy adverts starring Gary Lineker! Walkers do seem to periodically bring out a new flavour or flavours to tempt us all into buying more crisps and the Great British Takeaways range has certainly done this for me! Not that there’s anything wrong with the standard Walkers varieties, but it is always nice to try something new and there are some tasty offerings in this range. The Walkers Great British Takeaways range is available in the following flavours: - Chicken Tikka Masala – purple bag – the subject of this op - Chinese Spare Rib – brown bag - Sweet and Sour – orangey bag I left the Chicken Tikka Masala flavour until last to try. For starters, I am a veggie and am never overly keen on the idea of crisps that are meant to taste meaty (although, to be fair they usually turn out to be delicious!). Secondly I have never, ever been keen on chicken flavour anything – even when I was a meat eater – and I was concerned that these would just taste like ...

Mars Maltesers White Chocolate 17/10/2003

White chocolate snowball fight anyone?

Mars Maltesers White Chocolate In a, dare I say, cynical move to cash in on the Christmas market, the makers of the wonderful Maltesers that we all know and love have brought out these new Winter Edition White Chocolate Maltesers. “What do you mean cynical?”, I hear you cry! Well, let me explain… As I’m sure just about everybody will know, the original Maltesers are small balls of crisp honeycomb (maybe 1.5cm in diameter) covered in delicious milk chocolate. The difference with the new Winter edition is…(c’mon, I know you’ve guessed it!).. that the milk chocolate has been replaced with white chocolate. Not a bad thing in itself, but these are obviously designed to be thought of as snowballs and to appeal to kids in the run up to Christmas. ~~ Where can I buy these? ~~ So far, I have only been able to find them in my local Woolworths and there only in a 37g bag. However, I am assured by one of my colleagues that she has seen a large-ish tub for sale in the Christmas gifts section of our local Sainsburys. I will investigate and edit with what I find! The 37g bag, the same size as the normal Maltesers bags that we all know, cost me 39p in Woolworths. I haven’t seen any evidence of multipacks yet. ~~The Bag ~~ The bag, as I have already said is the same size as the original Maltesers bag and it doesn’t look dissimilar – you will certainly recognise it when you see it. Like the original Maltesers bag, these can be found in a foil ...

Walkers Chinese Spare Rib flavour crisps 14/10/2003

Chinese Spare Ribs in a convenient bag!

Walkers Chinese Spare Rib flavour crisps These new Walkers Great British Takeaways crsisp are everywhere at the moment aren’t they? This is clearly the latest thing from Walkers to make us all buy more crisps and obviously no new product from Walkers would quite seem right without a truly cheesy advert involving Gary Lineker and these are no exception! I like crisps a lot (as anyone who has read a few of my ops will know!) but I have to confess that I find normal Walkers crisps a little on the greasy side and I find their fat and calorie content scarily off putting. However, like anyone else, I sometimes get peckish, and it was in one of these moments that I decided to give the new Chinese Spare Rib flavour a try. In case you haven’t encountered the Walkers Great British Takeaways range yet, they are available in the following flavours: - Chinese Spare Rib – brown bag – the subject of this op - Chicken Tikka Masala – purple bag - Sweet and Sour – orangey bag ~~ The Bag ~~ They can either be bought individually for approximately 30p for a 34.5g packet pretty much anywhere that sells crisps, or in supermarkets you can buy multipacks containing 6 bags (2 of each flavour) for around £1. If these are your thing, then shop around as these seem to be on special offer a lot at the moment. The Chinese Spare Rib Flavour comes in a brown coloured bag, which is similar to the usual foil type Walkers bags. The bag itself has the usual red and yellow Walkers logo at the top ...

Kinder Maxi 07/10/2003

Pocket sized chocolate treat

Kinder Maxi I am a massive fan of any Kinder chocolate and these little Maxi bars are just wonderful. At only 21grams and a mere 10x2 cm I am not exactly sure how Kinder came up with the name Maxi for them as they would be better described as pocket sized, but never mind! You can buy Kinder Maxi as small single bars in most (but not all) places that sell chocolate – I have recently bought them in Sainsburys, Woolworths and my local corner shop – for around 20p. These are small bars, but nevertheless I feel that this represents good value for money. You can also find multipacks of these in Woolworths containing (I think – I haven’t been able to find any for a while) 6 of these small bars for around £1. You will find the single Kinder Maxi bars in the chocolate section, as I have already said these bars are quite small at only 10 cm x 2 cm but they should be easy enough to find as the packaging is the typically Kinder white and orange with Maxi written in large, pale/mid blue lettering on the front of the wrapping. The back of the wrapper gives contact details in absolutely miniscule writing: Ferrero UK Ltd Awberry Court Watford WD18 8PA The multipacks come in a rectangular cardboard box which is again the typically Kinder orange and white with a picture of a young child smiling. I find these absolutely ideal as a small chocolate fix when I need chocolate but want to avoid the calories and fat that a normal sized bar contains. I don’t know ...

Walkers Sensations - Thai Sweet Chilli 29/09/2003

Hey Chilli.. you're sweet!

Walkers Sensations - Thai Sweet Chilli I love hot and spicy food and am a particular fan of chilli in various forms – I love that distinctive kick that it gives to all kinds of foods. However, am not particularly keen on Thai food (to be honest, I hate it!), so I was curious as to whether I would love or hate these new Thai Sweet Chilli Sensations Crisps from Walkers. Basically, the Sensations range is just standard Walkers Crisps taken slightly upmarket – in my somewhat cynical view a shrewd marketing ploy to up the price of a bag of crisps! Having said that, some of the new flavours are really rather good and the Thai Sweet Chilli is no exception. They can be bought for approximately 40p - 50p for a 40g bag, pretty much anywhere that sells normal crisps. There is also a larger 150g bag available for between £1.20 and £1.50. Other flavours in the range are: - Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper - Oven Roasted Chicken and Thyme - Thai Sweet Chilli (the subject of this review) - Four Cheese and Red Onion - Slow Roasted Lamb and Mint Flavour - Tangy Tomato and Red Pepper Salsa The different products in the Sensations range all look pretty similar – each flavour comes in a fairly similar white foil bag with a different picture on the front of the bag according to the flavour. The top left corner, carries a small Walkers logo with the word “sensations” in large white letters against a black background across the top of the bag. Beneath that is a black and white picture ...

Walkers Sensations - Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper 18/09/2003

Would you like salt and pepper?

Walkers Sensations - Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper We’ve surely all seen the Walkers Sensations “posh crisps” by now. It all started with those fairly cringe worthy adverts with the queen of posh herself showing us that these were a better class of crisp and I have to admit that I have gone from seeing these as a cheap marketing ploy to get us to pay more for our crisps, to thinking that actually these really are superior crisps! Walkers have no doubt spent a lot of money building up this brand and for the sceptics amongst us, yes these really are different to the good old fashioned Walkers crisps that we have all grown up with. They are thicker cut (think kettle chips, but slightly less greasy), crunchier rather than crispy as is the case with the standard version and with stronger flavours with posher names! Take the Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper flavour for example, no simple “salt and pepper” here – the very name is evocative of a blend of the highest quality products. They cost around 40p to 50p, depending on your choice of retail outlet for a 40g bag, so they are approx 10p per bag more expensive than standard Walkers crisps. They can be bought almost anywhere – supermarkets, newsagents, corner shops - anywhere that sells crisps really. You can also buy larger 150g bags for around £1.20 to £1.50, which seem to be available mainly in supermarkets. Each of the flavours in the Walkers Sensations range comes in a fairly similar white foil bag with a different picture ...

Recipes for Sauces 17/09/2003

Quick,cheap and easy homemade pasta sauce!

Recipes for Sauces I’ve just discovered the recipe section on Ciao and so thought I’d begin sharing some of my quick and easy recipe ideas. I’ll start with this cheap, low fat and incredibly quick and easy pasta sauce which can be made in minutes at very low cost and tastes delicious stirred through any pasta. It’s perfect for students going back to University or for anyone who likes pasta really! ~ Ingredients ~ I am not going to give quantities, as this is dependent on how much pasta you have, how many people you are cooking for, how thick or how creamy you like your sauce… etc… but you will need: Tomato puree Philadelphia Light (any soft cheese will do – when I was a skint student I used to use Dairylea) Water Basil (dried stuff is fine) Salt and pepper (optional) ~ Method ~ Couldn’t be easier really, squeeze some tomato puree (I use the stuff in a tube as it keeps in the fridge for weeks!) into a small pan, add water and stir to the desired thickness. If it is too thick add more water, if it is too watery add more tomato puree! Once you have the right consistency, heat gently on a very low heat. Now slowly stir in some Philadelphia Light – as a guide, I use a fairly average teaspoon full for one person but obviously add more or less depending on how creamy you like your sauce. Keeping the pan over a gentle heat, stir the soft cheese in until the sauce begins to look paler in colour. Try not to let the sauce start to ...

Walkers Sensations - Lamb and Mint flavour 05/09/2003

Crunchy, Posh Roast Lamb Crisps

Walkers Sensations - Lamb and Mint flavour I have been veggie for almost 8 years now and the one thing I miss more than anything else is the taste roast lamb, the very thought of it makes my mouth water, so when I first spotted these Slow Roasted Lamb and Mint Sensations Crisps from Walkers, I just had to try them. Walkers have worked hard to market their Sensations range of crisps as “Posh” crisps and in a way, I guess they are a slightly more upmarket version of the good old Walkers crisps that we all know and love. At first I thought it was nothing more than a fairly cheeky ploy to simply make us pay more for our crisps (outrageous!) but actually they really are different – thicker cut, crunchier and with stronger flavours. Yum! They can be bought for approx 50p for a 40g bag, pretty much anywhere that sells crisps. There is also a larger 150g bag available for between £1.20 and £1.50, and I have seen some good special offers on these recently. Apart from the Slow Roasted Lamb and Mint Flavour, other flavours which are available are: Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper, Oven Roasted Chicken and Thyme, Thai Sweet Chilli (my personal favourite), Four Cheese and Red Onion and Tangy Tomato and Red Pepper Salsa. Each flavour comes in a pretty similar looking white foil bag with each flavour having a different picture on the front, and yes it does look posh compared to a normal Walkers bag! They all carried the Walkers logo in the top left hand corner just before the word ...
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