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Roland Cassard (London, UK)
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Eat Istanbul: A Journey to the Heart of Turkish Cuisine
Eat Istanbul: A Journey to the Heart of Turkish Cuisine
by Andy Harris
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.60

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real taste of Turkish cookery, 15 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I don't know why Turkish food isn't as popular and as ubiquitous in Britain as, say, Italian food is. I have been to Istanbul once and other places in Turkey a number of time and the food is outstanding: simple, tasty meals made with the freshest ingredients and flavoured with a number of spices (like sumac) which are a little tricky to source but getting easier to find in larger supermarkets. Indeed, I saw sumac in my local supermarket only this morning, which surprised and pleased me.

This cookery book is also part travel guide, with lots of interesting information on Istanbul and some well-chosen photography of the city that gives the reader an idea of the colour and bustle. It is a modern cookery book, so often the photographs are chosen, I think, more to give a general feeling of the kind of food you're making rather than illustrating exactly what a finished dish should look like. (A double-page spread of the typical Turkish breakfast laid out in an Istanbul café is mouthwatering, but not particularly useful for the home cook.)

But the recipes are truly the best of Turkey: samphire and pomegranate salad, pide, imam bayildi, all wonderful, and there is a recipe for the divine Turkish pancake, gözleme, which really should be available to buy in kebab shops across the UK! I am a vegetarian and, although the book is not vegetarian (by a long way!), the veggie-friendly recipes are many and wonderful. Dishes like the green beans stewed with tomatoes and the börek really bring back happy culinary memories of holidays in Turkey and I look forward to making my own gözleme this weekend (washed down, naturally, with some pomegranate juice).


Brooks Men's 5 Inch Essential Running Shorts - Black/Nightlife, Small
Brooks Men's 5 Inch Essential Running Shorts - Black/Nightlife, Small
Offered by The Running Outlet
Price: 26.39

5.0 out of 5 stars These running shorts are streets ahead, 15 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Excellent shorts! They are a short (but not too short) length, coming half-way up my thighs. They are comfortable to run in, without the need for any additional underwear... although I might add an extra layer come winter. The strip of bright yellow makes them very obvious to cars, ideal when running at night. I bought them to match the Brooks running shoes I have that are the same fluorescent colour. I would not hesitate to buy another pair of the same shorts if I need to replace any of my current running gear.


IMEDEEN Tan Optimizer
IMEDEEN Tan Optimizer
Price: 34.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to know how effective these pills are, but they shouldn't do you any harm!, 15 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Do these pills work? It's almost impossible to tell, as there's no way to compare and contrast (unless you have an identical twin and can use them as a control subject!). They are, essentially, vitamins. They contain carotenoids which can be used to treat skin problems caused by sun exposure, and vitamins E and C which are both antioxidants. If you have a healthy diet, you probably don't need to take these in addition to your normal food, but I appreciate that people are keen to prepare for their holidays so that they are beach-ready. So, along with waxing, exercising and perhaps a bit of fake tan before you head to the sun, these might appeal to the sun-worshipper looking to get the best tan possible.

I used these before and on holiday recently; they were pleasant to take and I tanned without burning. I am not a massive sun-seeker, so my tan is more a glow! (I was also the only one of the group I was with that didn't get bitten on holiday, I am not sure if that's because of the Vitamin E? Certainly Vitamin E is quite effective when used topically on the skin to treat bites.)

If you're a healthy, non-pregnant adult, the pills won't do you any harm, although you could probably buy a multivitamin with the same range of ingredients. I certainly felt no side-effects and am pleased with the tan I built up, which seems to be fading very slowly now that I am back home.


Braun TS755 Iron, 2400 Watt, White/ Blue
Braun TS755 Iron, 2400 Watt, White/ Blue
Price: 69.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A pleasure to iron with (truly!), 1 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I like a lot of steam when I am ironing clothes, especially when tackling cotton shirts or linen trousers, and the extra-large water tank is one of the reasons I was attracted to this iron. I was impressed with how tough and well-made this iron seems: the plate is, apparently extra-hard and it certainly made for much smoother ironing. I liked the handle, too: my previous iron had a more cumbersome handle, and this open design made ironing between buttons and the like much faster and much more effective. The pointy precision tip also made ironing tricky items much simpler. It didn't drip, even when the tank was full, and the anti-calc system is a boon if, like me, you live in a hard water area.

Yes there are cheaper irons, but if you care about the neatness of your clothes, it's a worthwhile investment to make.


Pasta: The Essential New Collection from the Master of Italian Cookery
Pasta: The Essential New Collection from the Master of Italian Cookery
by Antonio Carluccio
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expand your pasta horizons!, 1 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It's a brave man who dares to contradict Sophia Loren. Loren believes spaghetti should be inhaled (i.e. slurped up) which Carluccio thinks is a no-no in the section of this book about pasta etiquette... but he also concedes that La Loren can do what she wants because she is La Loren.

That pretty much sums up this book: Antonio Carluccio wears his incredible pasta knowledge lightly: he patiently guides you through the different types of pasta and how they should be used, offers mouthwatering recipe after mouthwatering recipe, but I read through the book with the feeling that, really, all Carluccio is doing is being a patient guide, and if you prefer, you can mix whatever type of pasta with whatever sauce you want... as long as it's cooked correctly!

The recipes are wonderful, including some sweet surprises: there's an Italian take on rice pudding with pasta that I cannot wait to try once the weather gets colder. It's wonderful to see a pasta cookbook that treats its subject with the seriousness it deserves. I especially liked the fact that if a recipe comes from a particular region of Italy, there's a little map on the recipe's page to locate where the recipe was born. Some of the recipes include ingredients - including various obscure pasta shapes - that would not be on the shelves at your local supermarket, so you may have to seek out some of the more unusual foodstuffs with your nearest Italian deli, but at least this book, with its comprehensive indices and thorough explanation of every sauce and strand of spaghetti, will give you the confidence to ask about the availability of maltagliati or risoni.


Rapesco Heavy Duty Punch, Hole Punch, P1100
Rapesco Heavy Duty Punch, Hole Punch, P1100
Price: 52.13

5.0 out of 5 stars Sturdy, robust and precise: you get your money's worth!, 16 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I had always hoped that by 2014 I would be operating in a paperless office, but this is not the case. So much of what businesses do now can be digital and stored on the cloud, but there is something reassuring about having paper copies of invoices and sales reports. When it comes to filing all that paperwork, however, I am very impatient and have broken a couple of standard-size hole punches trying to get too many pieces of paper punched at once.

I am happy to report that this hole punch is as heavy duty as it claims! It's a sturdy, strong piece of office equipment, allowing the user to punch holes accurately and quickly. It has saved me a lot of time already in my weekly filing and I look forward to many more years of robust performance.


Bibetta Wet Bag (Blue)
Bibetta Wet Bag (Blue)
Price: 7.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent quality and so very useful, 2 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is such a useful bag! I have used it to keep wet swimming things separate from the rest of my dry bag, and I can confirm that the bag is completely waterproof and big enough to take a few items of (adult) clothing. I was away for business at the weekend and took my running gear with me; I was able to use the bag to keep the sweaty running clothes separate from my work clothes on the way back.

It's a fantastically bright blue colour and the strap with the popper is incredibly useful for attaching to your wrist or on to other bags, prams etc. I am planning to take this with me on holiday next month, to keep my book dry at the beach and then transport any wet swimming costumes home at the end of the holiday. This has quickly become an indispensable item to carry!


NuForce NE600M In-Ear Stereo Earphones with Microphone 16 Ohms with Spare Ear Pads - Black
NuForce NE600M In-Ear Stereo Earphones with Microphone 16 Ohms with Spare Ear Pads - Black
Price: 29.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent quality for a mid-range price, 29 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought these after reading various rave reviews and I have to say I am a big fan. They are the best earphones I have tried in this price range, and I have been through various earphones over the years! The fit is good (there are spare buds supplied depending on the size of your ears). The sound is also exceptional, given the price and the fact that they are only small earphones. I found them almost noise-cancelling in their abilities to block out all sound around you. The sound doesn't leak either, people sitting next to me cannot hear the music I am listening to.

The control on the cable works well with my Samsung Nexus S: I can stop and start music and podcasts and skip to the next track without fumbling for my phone. I cannot control the volume with the cable control, though this may be down to my own inability to click the control correctly.

I wear these every day and also run with them in; they stay in my ears without hurting or irritating. If I ever lose them, I'll certainly be replacing them with the same model!


Mens 1 Pair John Smedley Briers Sea Island Cotton Wide Striped Foot Socks Navy / Pimento 6-8
Mens 1 Pair John Smedley Briers Sea Island Cotton Wide Striped Foot Socks Navy / Pimento 6-8
Offered by SockShop
Price: 18.00

5.0 out of 5 stars A treat for your feet, 29 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Excellent socks! Yes, they are pricier than other brands, and you could probably buy a pack of perfectly decent socks for the same price, but the quality and fit of these John Smedley socks make them worth it. They fit perfectly, which if you're used to one-size-fits-all socks will come as a pleasant surprise. The design is lovely (I must admit to having a John Smedley jumper with the same colours and stripe design, and yes, I do wear it with these socks) and the socks wash well (I wash them at 30 or 40 degrees with no colour bleed or shrinkage).


Rapesco Supaclip 60 Dispenser with 8 Clips
Rapesco Supaclip 60 Dispenser with 8 Clips
Price: 5.75

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use and less likely to get tangled up than standard paperclips, 29 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I had received documents in the past with these kinds of clips and always wondered what they were and how they worked. Now I know, and I am impressed! The dispenser is easy to use and refill and I have used it to bind together up to about 50 sheets of paper together easily and securely.

What I particularly liked was that the clips don't get tangled together: if you have a pile of papers with various paperclips attached, the paperclips sometimes get tangled up with each other. This doesn't happen with these Supaclips which is a massive bonus for keeping your papers in order.

Replacement clips are available (you can reuse them again and again) and the multicoloured clips are particularly useful for marking and identifying different papers.


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