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Border Reiver (Berwickshire)

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Linkword Welsh
Linkword Welsh
by Michael Gruneburg
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Build a basic word list painlessly., 30 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Linkword Welsh (Paperback)
All good teachers have used variations of the Linkword technique. I am new to learning Welsh and have found this book a quick and cheap way to extend my vocabulary. The technique will be extended to include groups of nouns that are useful to me and can devise my own links. Given the secondhand price, this is an excellent investment to give beginners confidence. Unfortunately no CD available to help with pronunciation.


New Middle Eastern Street Food: Snacks, Comfort Food, and Mezze from Snackistan
New Middle Eastern Street Food: Snacks, Comfort Food, and Mezze from Snackistan
by Sally Butcher
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.18

5.0 out of 5 stars American reprint of a British book., 12 Jun. 2015
I don't know what this book is doing on the UK version of Amazon. The page does not make it clear that this is the American version of Snackistan, so someone might buy it in error. Amazon is so dishonest about not alerting people when British publications have been retitled. Snackistan is a great book and there are plenty of reviews on the Snackistan page, where you can see the types of recipe. The original book gets 5 stars for the contents. It is engagingly written and well-researched, as are all her books. The recipes always work.


Braun Face 810 Facial Epilator and Facial Cleansing Brush
Braun Face 810 Facial Epilator and Facial Cleansing Brush
Price: £41.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Goodish in parts., 7 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Given the price, the design could have been much more sensible. The instructions are poorly printed and the diagram small, confusing and badly drawn. The battery is awkward to fit and it got me several goes to get the thing to switch on. The plastic groove to undo the battery part at the bottom of the handle is awkward and the plastic slightly soft there. Not very durable. The top has an asymmetric fit inside which is difficult to place because there are no arrows to match it up. The device has a tinny whine when in action. The switch goes 2 ways, allegedly to allow for different hair directions. However, results are patchy and there are some hairs (not mini stubble either) which it doesn't get at all, whichever way the switch has gone. Nevertheless, it gets rid of a lot which would be daunting to attack with just a pair of tweezers and is better than nothing. However, it is very overpriced for what it is and the brush attachment is nothing amazing, so doesn't justify the cost, either. Strangely, although I have sensitive skin, didn't find it very painful and there has been no reddening. This is a welcome time saver but doesn't do a total job.


Alessi Acacia Honey Dipper in 18/ 10 Stainless Steel Mirror PolishedSilver
Alessi Acacia Honey Dipper in 18/ 10 Stainless Steel Mirror PolishedSilver
Price: £27.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Realloy good quality., 7 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I ordered this as a last minute birthday present. It arrived within 48 hours, even though I used the snail mail option. The packaging was sturdy and the item was exactly as described online. Husband (not normally a luxuries man) thinks it is fantastic to look at but, more importantly for him, practical and durable - bit ;like me, really.


Wrapped - Crêpes, wraps and rolls you can make at home
Wrapped - Crêpes, wraps and rolls you can make at home
by Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.94

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rapt by Wrapped., 13 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In the UK, wraps are most frequently experienced as the drearily dank offerings lurking in supermarket chiller cabinets. Such items are light years away from the delights offered in Wrapped.Gaitri Pagrach Chandra is a Guyanese of Indian heritage married to a Dutchman and her writings cover food from around the world with a depth of knowledge together with a sound practical understanding of the home cook.
The book has 7 main chapters:bases and batters; wrapped rolls, pastries and stuffed snacks; savoury cakes and fritters; pancakes and griddle cakes; relishes and accompaniements; sweet suggestions. There are also appendices on ingredients and equipment. As ever, her instructions are clear, generous and eminently practical, right down to the tip of avoiding soggy piles of freshly cooked flatbreads by raising the cover with an upturned spoon. The items offered range from European to Asian to North African and South American. Hungary, Korea or the Phillipines anyone?
Many meat and vegetable fillings are described, with their appropriate breads. The chicken ones in particular sing out to me. In a couple of deft sentences she explains the tradition of the Caribbean curry whereby curry powders and garam masala were distributed as rations to the indentured workers, spreading into usage across all cultures. Her Guyanease chicken curry recipe is the only one I have ever found which specifies the type of curry powder to be used (Madras). For UK readers, try the East End brand mild Madras because the filling is delightful.Among the superb array of kebabs, the Balinese minced chicken satay sticks and the Moroccan chermoula skewers make delicious meals.chickpea flours and buckwheat flours appear as Nicoise socca (simple, cheap and utterly delicious), while the galette Bretonne makes a superb light meal.
Gaitri's sauces afre to die for if the tamarind sauce and the peanut sauce are any indication. Her mango chutney is a taste sensation, too. As for the sweet stuff, Gaitri's chocolate roulade would make Mary Berry weep with envy. Her version of the filling for Moroccan beghrir with katayef substitutes a ricotta mixture for the impossible to obtain cream used there. The Greek almond filo flutes are worth investigating, too.
In all, this book has a great variety of bases and fillings whichare leading to many happy hours of cooking and eating the delicious results. Gaitri's intelligence, practicality and warmth shine through the text. Unlike many other modern cookbooks it does not obfuscate by the use of inappropriately coloured text. Everything is clear black and white in a legible font, while the photography is a cut above the average, too. The size and shape make it easy to use in the kitchen. I have versions of some of the recipes in other books, particularly the breads, but always find that Gaitri's version comes out best, which is why I wish she had included her version of Turkish gozleme. Nevertheless, my rare 5 stars go to this inspired and inspiring book.


A Lighter Way to Bake
A Lighter Way to Bake
by Lorraine Pascale
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.00

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars All smoke and mirrors., 19 Feb. 2014
This review is from: A Lighter Way to Bake (Hardcover)
Sure, there are several usable recipes but to claim that they are a lighter way to bake is as honest as the average supermarket price drop claim.Lorraine is a lovely person and I do like her but Don't want a book about food to be strewn with numerous puics of the writer. Either this is a book about food or her former model status is being used as a sales gimmick. The art work is the other major stumbling block for this book. Some of the cake pictures are so amateurish that they make me wonder whether the recipe is worth doing - e.g. the madeleines pic. There are certainly too many pics and not enough recipes.The biggest problem is actually being able to read it because of the gimmicky red font - a coloured overlay can make this a little bit better, but not much. When will art editors take on board that many fonts actually interfere with the legibility of a recipe because of the font itself or the colour. Even though I got this very cheap at a suopermarket I feel distinctly robbed. The book contains slightly gussied versions of fairly undemanding recipes falsely claiming to be lighter. The adjective "light" on supermarket foods is generally misleading - the same principle applies here. Very disappointing.


Saved by Cake
Saved by Cake
by Marian Keyes
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.59

3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An endearing book with tasty, exciting recipes., 13 Mar. 2012
This review is from: Saved by Cake (Hardcover)
I had a quick flip through this book because it was going cheap - very cheap - in the local supermarket, and there were a couple of recipes in it which took my fancy. This book seems to have been made for the novice baker, although it doesn't say so anywhere in the book. Nevertheless, there are plenty of items to tempt and all recipes have at least been tested.
The book is divided into sections on classics, cupcakes, cheesecakes, liquid cakes, pastry, meringues and macaroons, biscuits, fruit and veg, finishing with chocolate. Neither the cupcake nor the cheesecake chapters tempted because I am not fond of either. However, the wasabi and white chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel icing tempted even this hardened cupcake hater and the flavours really work. The cheesecakes largely don't attract because they mostly seem to involve Kraft Philadelphia cheese - not to my taste. Thankfully, substitutes can be devised and both the lavender cheesecake as well as the individual amaretto ones attract. The latter recipe can also be used as a template for other flavours.
The liquid cakes appeal the most and Keyes has a whole new take on coffee walnut, making hers with oil. Irritatingly, the cola cake does not specify the size of tin. The barm brack recipe is actually a tea loaf identical to the unyeasted form of bara brith, but worth making nevertheless. Lovers of bundt cakes and ring tins will find a couple of good recipes, including coconut milk cake, although no substitute is given for the impossible-to-source shredded coconut.
The pastry section is a touch perfunctory, although the chocolate hazelnut torte intrigues. However, the "chocolate" baklava recipe featuring Nutella (NOT my thing) is for afficionados only. Meringues and macaroons should kick-start any macaroon virgins. The macaroons pictured are not intimidatingly perfect but look plain delicious and do-able. This chapter features another delicious Serbian cake but, again, irritatingly does not specify the size of tin. In the biscuits chapter the Armenian biscuits made with ghee come out superbly. However, the tin specified is "a 20cm loose-bottomed square" - ever sourced one of those? Tin size, particularly for tray bakes and larger cakes, can be a bit of an issue and you will really need to read carefully through a recipe before starting.
This book is worth buying for the fruit and veg cake section alone which includes one bundt recipe for an orange and cashew cake made in the Barbara Maher central European style with egg whites, providing a rather lighter cake than those clunky pound cake recipes favoured by Nigella. Bring on the tamarind, date and sour cherry muffins which could disarm even the most stubborn muffin hater. The book also includes a few waste-of space recipes (blueberry mess, simple chocolate mousse, etc) but overall has so many more to recommend it than any baking publication I have seen in a long time. I would have loved some savoury baking items.
The art work is irritating in places, particularly the persistent use of red font against a pink background. Difficulties with this can be reduced by the use of a suitable coloured overlay. The cakes pictured all look do-able, although the persistent retro `70s use of differential focus by the photographer (clear foreground, blurred background) palls after the first few pics and reduces the impact of the items.
Ms Keyes mentions her depression, although trying the range of remedies she did in a relatively short space of time is not to be recommended. Some of her turns of phrase in the short introduction will tug at the heartstrings as do the pictures of the humorous, chirpy and attractive lady with the soulful eyes. To present her issues in terms of depression alone rather fudges them but her disclosures to people who have not followed her biography will encourage identification and tempt people into kitchen activity, building up confidence as they go. This book has plenty of recipes for home cooks and plenty of flavours to engage even the snootiest palate. It is well ahead of any other celeb cookery book or, indeed, any baking book I have read in a long, long time. With some careful and rigorous editing of details, the next one will be even better...........and you WILL produce a follow-up, , won't you, Marian?
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 5, 2012 7:08 PM BST


Kenwood CH180 Mini Chopper - 300 Watt - White
Kenwood CH180 Mini Chopper - 300 Watt - White
Price: £14.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great idea - shame about the bowl, 27 Dec. 2011
I have found this chopper excellent for many things, be it vegetables, nuts, chicken, bacon or whatever. It is the only device ever to chop herbs without mushing them up. I have just bought my second one because the plastic bowl is not very robust and somehow the little lug at the top (which is needed to click the bowl in place so the motor can be activated) has snapped off. It is a very, very useful little device but needs to be made of sturdier stuff. This is not up to the usual Kenwood quality so treat with kid gloves. Thanks to a helpful little video uploaded by one of the reviewers here it is simplicity to operate although getting the bowl in place can take a little juggling.


Torchwood - The Collection (Series 1-3) [DVD]
Torchwood - The Collection (Series 1-3) [DVD]
Dvd ~ John Barrowman
Price: £23.40

9 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Conned by the title, 2 Jun. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Good reviews of the content have appeared above. Wish I'd understood that the so-called Series 3 was actually Children of Earth and is only a couple of CDs. No wonder Google couldn't find me series 3. I have only seen a few episodes in the past, thoroughly enjoyed them, and wanted to catch up on the series. As another reviewer says,, it would have been rather cheaper to put together the set as individual series. The addition of a box does not justify the price difference. Usually it is more expensive to get things individually. Not in this case.The advertising is thoroughly misleading for Torchwood newbies like me. This is NOT a good deal.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 21, 2011 11:33 PM BST


The Turkish Kitchen
The Turkish Kitchen
by Ghillie Basan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.54

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An extract from an earlier and better book, 30 April 2011
This review is from: The Turkish Kitchen (Paperback)
This book contains some of the information and rather less recipes than Ghillie's earlier and far more comprehensive The Food and Cooking of Turkey.There are plenty of photographs of the food plus some relatively unexciting stock pictures.It's not that much more to get a very much better book than this by the same author.


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