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uncle barbar (Essex, England)
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The Natural Cook: Eating the Seasons from Root to Fruit
The Natural Cook: Eating the Seasons from Root to Fruit
by Tom Hunt
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.60

5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational seasonal cooking, 18 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I like to cope with plain and simple seasonal, if possible homegrown, ingredients -- so this book seemed right up my street. The recipes are extremely straightforward and each one is beautifully photographed. I like the way that it is sectioned into Seasons, then into things I'm actually growing in the garden and what I can do with them. Featured ingredients are courgettes, broad beans, aubergines, apricots, tomatoes, beetroots, fennel, sweetcorn, apples, mushrooms, carrots, celeriac, pumpkins, leeks, winter greens, turnips, cauliflowers, oranges, asparagus, rhubarb, new potatoes, broccoli, spring onions, watercress, radishes and strawberries. So basically, you can pick the food from your garden or source from your local market and lookIn this book for inspiration.

Many of the recipes are vegetarian or include fish and seafood such as squid or crab. There are only five or so that include meat: lamb shoulder, shoulder of pork, pork belly, chicken and bavette steak. I didn't find this mattered as a non-vegetarian though, because some of the recipes I just paired up with a roast chicken.

It's not low-calorie including ingredients like Greek yoghurt and mascarpone cheese but, from my point of view, high calorie natural ingredients are fine once in a while. That said, I didn't really fancy the Spanish inspired ox cheek and mushroom stew with chocolate and orange picarda. That's probably an acquired taste

My only slight criticism is if you do happen to have a lamb shoulderYou have to flick through the book in the hope of finding a recipe for it. That said it is included in the index

This book has a lovely feel to it – is quite heavy with huge thick front and back boards.


Beyond Judgment (Brainrush Book 3)
Beyond Judgment (Brainrush Book 3)
by Richard Bard
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.64

4.0 out of 5 stars Exuberant, 18 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I hadn't read Bards two previous books but had no trouble following the plot of this one. I say plot: it's more of a flight of fancy. It's Jason Bourne meets James Bond meets… HG Wells…? I don't think you are supposed to take it too seriously. Bard adopts a punchy, exuberant style and has fun with syntax: he doesn't always feel the need to include a verb or subject in his sentences. Would the original bard have approved of such shenanigans? Yes, he probably would have, actually.


1Byone Portable Recordable Touch Control Wireless Door Chime, 100m Range Wireless Doorbell, Perfect for Recording or Downloading Your Own Favorite Songs, Type QH-0003
1Byone Portable Recordable Touch Control Wireless Door Chime, 100m Range Wireless Doorbell, Perfect for Recording or Downloading Your Own Favorite Songs, Type QH-0003
Offered by 1Byone Products Inc
Price: £17.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun - have the tunes that YOU want when someone comes a-calling!, 17 Sep 2014
I've often been disappointed with the choice and quality of "tunes" on doorbell chimes, so when I saw this one allowed whatever tunes you wanted recorded onto it, I jumped at the chance of reviewing one and was sent one to review for free. It takes three AA batteries or you can plug it into an adapter but this is NOT included in the pack.

You can record up to 4 of your own tunes/songs/alarms (changed by the "Selector" button.) You need to chnage the lever from 'In' to 'Rec' on the side of the unit.

To record your own song the easiest way is to just attach the audio-in cable to the "input" hole in the side of the machine and then fix that into the headphones socket on your pc or other audio output device (phone, tablet, tv, radio etc). Press the "Rec" button on the receiver unit for 2 seconds (you will hear an audible "beep" and a blue light will shine on the front of the unit) and the play button on your audio device.

It says that it will record for 30 seconds but it was around 24 seconds in each of the trials I did. You can then repeat this as often as you like - recording over any tunes that either you recorded incorrectly or have got bored with.

Depending on my/our mood we have the unit set to something raucous or something nice and gentle - with "Troika" awaiting us when we hit the xmas period!

Post recording, you can adjust the volume by pressinmg the "Selector" button (to incresae volume) or "Rec" (to decrease volume) whilst the tune is playing. And you can play back any of the tunes at any time by pressing the 'Play' button.

It's no big deal for us that the speaker is on the back of the unit as we have it on our telephone table - but if you have it attached to a wall, then the sound may be slightly muffled.

One more thing to add: this chime does NOT have a sync button, so you can't sync it with a second chime in another room.

Until you get round to recording your own tune, there are four pre-set tunes to fall ack on: the first is simply doorbell chime, second (titled 'New Year') is "Oh my darling Clementine", the third (titled 'Christmas') is "Jingle Bells" and the fourth (titled 'Halloween')is "We Wish you a Merry Christmas"

All in all this chime is great fun and we've enjoyed the unit immensely!


Salad Love: How to Create a Lunchtime Salad, Every Weekday, in 20 Minutes or Less
Salad Love: How to Create a Lunchtime Salad, Every Weekday, in 20 Minutes or Less
by David Bez
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.89

5.0 out of 5 stars A huge hit with me and my loved ones!, 17 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a great book! If you are in love with salads then you will most especially love this book as salads is what it's all about (unsurprisingly given the title).

It is almost 300 pages of pure salads - there is a huge variety to choose from here and David Bez has made it almost into an artform. He is passionate about salads - almost obsessed with them and it comes through in this book - in spades (or should that be ladels).

As Bez says this is NOT a cookbook - Salads are all about the ingredients and the author gives us lots of details about the four main (six in total) "layers" to a salad and what can go into each of these layers. They are:
1) The base - normally leaf based, grain or pulses etc
2) Vegetables and fruit
3) Protein - whether this be meat, cheese, eggs, chick peas etc
4) Toppings - nuts and seeds and the like
5) Fresh herbs
6) Dressings and spices
After that you get page after page after page of glorious salads - one per page with a large and beautifully put together and photographed plate of salad with the ingredients of the salad and the dressings.
All of them are split into the four seasons.
It really is a mouth-watering book!
I've tried three of teh salads so far - "Parma Ham, Parmesan and Cherry Tomatoes" (p. 39), Carrot, sugar snap peas and avodaco ( with violet flowers as garnish - p. 84) and Roasted chicken, couscous, pear and dried apricots (p.178). All three - particularly the last one were delicious and I cannot wait to try some more!
What I particularly like about the book is that I think "what have i got in the cupboard and fridge?" and then find a delicious recipe that includes all of those ingredients - ok so sometimes I have to compromise (I can't eat raw onions so often have to put chives or similar in as a replacement) but they all still taste wonderful.
A huge hit with me and my loved ones!


1Byone Type QH-0016 Portable Cabinet Wireless Doorbell Door Chime Kit and Push Button With LED Indicator, Wireless Remote Control Doorbell With 36 Different Chimes Polyphonic Melodies To Choose
1Byone Type QH-0016 Portable Cabinet Wireless Doorbell Door Chime Kit and Push Button With LED Indicator, Wireless Remote Control Doorbell With 36 Different Chimes Polyphonic Melodies To Choose
Offered by 1Byone Products Inc
Price: £12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Portable 1btone chime can sync with existing 1btone chime for use in an outhouse, kitchen or conservatory., 16 Sep 2014
I love this handy portable door chime which I was given free of charge to review. Everything you need is included in the box save the 2 AA batteries. I used AmazonBasics High Capacity 4-Pack AA Ni-MH Pre-Charged Rechargeable Batteries, 500 cycles (Typical 2500mAh, Min. 2400mAh) which worked fine.You need to unclip the back of the bell push and fit the lithium battery (which is included). Once the AA batteries are fitted into the portable chime, you can place it on its stand or you can wall mount it, if you prefer.

You can select between red flashing light, flashing light and doorbell or just doorbell. I opted for just doorbell to save batteries. There are three volume options medium, loud and very loud. I found the choice more than loud enough for my needs. The decibel rating is listed in the instructions as 'more than 70dB. I only use the second loudest setting. You then have the 36 polyphonic ring tones to choose from. I chose Greensleeves to match the one played on my plug-in 1Byone Wireless Doorbell Door Chime Kit With Sound and LED flash, 36 Melodies Tunes To Choose.

I wanted to sync it with my mains plug-in 1byone door chime: I brought the bell push and the two chimes together. I pushed the bell push and then pressed the 'sync' buttons (which is a silver button on the back of the unit on the portable door chime, along with the 'sync' button on my plug-in door chime). Now both chimes to play simultaneously when the doorbell is rung. It's quick and straightforward to do. Now I have my main plug-in doorbell by my front door and this useful, portable unit in my conservatory. It plays simultaneously with the main door chime and the signal goes through the closed patio doors with no problem.

Conversely, if you want to sync a single chime with a couple of bell pushes, say one for the front door and one for the back door, you can also do this by pressing both bell pushes and syncing the chime by pressing the bell pushes and the sync button simultaneously.

This portable little chime is a great asset, because now I can have my doorbell ring in the garden or the conservatory or wherever I happen to be.


Mathilda Savitch
Mathilda Savitch
by Victor Lodato
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.72

5.0 out of 5 stars A truly distinctive voice, 11 Sep 2014
This review is from: Mathilda Savitch (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This was a real find for me. I loved it. The author is entirely believable as a teenage girl and it really kept me on the edge of my seat. I stayed up all night finishing the last few chapters -- and that practically never happens. I very much look forward to more of this author's work.


The Vanishing Witch
The Vanishing Witch
by Karen Maitland
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.09

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A gripping yarn, 10 Sep 2014
This review is from: The Vanishing Witch (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Shall I confess? I could not get on with The Owl Killers. It was an interesting period of history and beautifully written but I just couldn't get into it and gave up. No doubt the fault lies with me. Perhaps I should have another try. I am pleased to say I got on better with the author's latest offering. Initially, I was a little confused with all the different characters, until I found a page at the beginning which lists them for the benefit of the forgetful. The book is very thoroughly researched and I was also pleased to find a useful glossary and historical timeline at the back which I could refer to if need be. The writing style itself is sumptuous and atmospheric, which I found most enjoyable. It is a long book and does represent quite an investment of time, but this time it paid off for me. Highly recommended.


VonShef Electric Pasta Maker, Red
VonShef Electric Pasta Maker, Red
Price: £42.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great pasta maker, so long as you monitor the overall dough quantity, 10 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was impressed with the sturdiness of this machine. It's an attractive metallic red. The body of the machine isn't actually metal just sprayed to resemble it. It comes with a three-pin European plug. The instruction manual is quite comprehensive and easily understood. There are clear instructions on assembly (but not on disassembly). To dismantle, pull forward gently on the two tabs on the front top construction and the lid hinges upwards. The dough container then pulls forward and you can access the mixer spatula from there.

There is a little plastic measuring cup. The measuring cup is labelled in millilitres and the recipe is in grams, so I wasn't entirely sure how that was supposed to be used. There are seven attachments. One attachment is labelled noodle - and that came ready attached to the machine. The other attachments are labelled angel hair, linguine, fettuccine, spaghetti, rigatoni and tagliatelle. There is no facility to make sheet pasta as in lasagna pasta. The machine comes with a nice little hardback book entitled Pasta 100 everyday recipes.

Having glanced over other reviews, I noticed that one or two people had had issues with the mixing spatula snapping on its first use. On page 8, the instructions state that the fill level per operation should not be more than approximately 450 g. On page 15, the recipe suggests 400 g of flour to be combined with four eggs. I was a little anxious that this may result in a larger mass than 450 g, so I made my first batch with 250 g of flour and two egg yolks, one whole egg and a touch of olive oil. The motor groaned a bit and was quite noisy but, after 30 seconds, the dough was mixing smoothly and from then on, there was no problem. (If you find you have problems with the dough not mixing or the machine labouring, switch off the device immediately and remove some dough. If this does not rectify the problem, try removing a little more dough, or try adding try adding a touch of water or oil.

So far I have made angel hair and rigatoni, which both turned out great. The rigatoni is a little thicker than I'm used to and therefore took a little bit longer to cook. I have also made perfect, gluten-free fettuccine.

All the accessories can safely go into the dishwasher - which is good news since most time-saving, labour saving gadgets take an absolute age to wash up and dry. This one is no exception, I'm afraid. The shape attachments need to be done by hand and are quite fiddly to clean. The booklet gives a good tip of allowing the dough to dry before cleaning. This makes it easier to remove.

Lastly, it's a deceptively heavy machine, which you may want to bear in mind if you're planning on whipping it in and out of a high cupboard when you want to use it.

With regard to getting hold of replacement mixing spatulas, the machine is made for VonShef, which is a registered trademark of Designer Habitat Ltd. It is guaranteed for 12 months.


Dynamic Fat Burner 800 mg Coffee Bean Extract with GCA Natural Weight Loss Supplement - Pack of 60 Capsules
Dynamic Fat Burner 800 mg Coffee Bean Extract with GCA Natural Weight Loss Supplement - Pack of 60 Capsules
Price: £13.13

3.0 out of 5 stars No extra weight loss yet..., 8 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm at least 3 stone overweight if you read the "your ideal weight" charts so I was interested to see if these tablets could start me on the road to slimming down a bit (a lot!). With this amount to lose I would hope that these "Dynamic fat burners" would have a rather easy time of doing their job... I've been taking these tablets for about a week now and so far cannot say they are helping me to lose weight. But maybe they are a slow burner so I will update in another two weeks.

They are certianly ok to take - haven't any particularly nasty after effects - and you wouldn't really expect them to have as they are just coffee bean extracts.

There are 60 in the pot - so last 30 days. That is probably a fairer trial... be back soon!


1Byone Wireless HDMI WiFi Dongle iShare Videos Images Docs Live Camera Musics from All Smart Devices to TV, Monitor or Projector
1Byone Wireless HDMI WiFi Dongle iShare Videos Images Docs Live Camera Musics from All Smart Devices to TV, Monitor or Projector
Offered by 1Byone Products Inc
Price: £36.99

5.0 out of 5 stars This turned my non-Smart TV into a Very Smart TV!, 8 Sep 2014
The 1ByOne Wireless HDMI WiFi Dongle is a great little piece of kit!

In layman's terms it enables you to look at anything on your device (phone, tablet etc) on your TV screen (or monitor or even a movie projector) or browse the internet likewise with the minimum of fuss or outlay!

So, how do you get it set up? There are plenty of other excellent reviews and youtube videos on line telling you how to do this and I'd advise you to look at these as, although there is a 12 page English manual (the other 12 pages are oriental) it's not incredibly easy to follow.
Here is a summary of the steps you need to take:
Hooking up the dongle to your tv is straight forward in that you just plug it in with the lead that comes with it (the one with the end designated "wifi").
Then download the EZCast app from Google Play store on on-line if going via your PC (or wherever you get your software/apps from normally)
Click on this app and it will guide you through setting up the tablet to TV interface
You will need the SSID code and its password to connect your tablet (or similar) to the TV and view things on the TV from it.
You will also need your wireless broadband name and password to browse the internet on the TV.

I watched videos which were on my tablet, looked at photos on my mobile phone, listened to music on my wife's tablet (not recommended if you don't like her choice of music...). I also played some games via my tablet and trawled a number of YouTube videos via the internet link.

These all worked seamlessly and turned my non-Smart TV into a Very Smart TV! I was offered this device free to review and I am really glad I was. I've been looking for a device like this for ages and this ticks all of the boxes for me. It is a great piece of kit for a very small wodge of cash - making it great value for money.


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