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Noodle!: 100 Amazing Authentic Recipes (100 Great Recipes)
Noodle!: 100 Amazing Authentic Recipes (100 Great Recipes)
by MiMi Aye
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.09

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does exactly what it says on the cover, 26 May 2014
This is perhaps the best book on cooking noodles that I've yet found. It gives a run down of the types of noodle used in cuisines from Burma to Japan; from Korea to Indonesia with descriptions as to their appearance, how they're bought and how they should end up looking/tasting once they're cooked. The author then goes on to talk about making various stocks - vital for noodle soups - but also gives her recommendations for instant alternatives to making it at home.

The book's recipes are divided into Stir-Fries; Soups; Sauces (for noodles); Salads; and Snacks. Some are straightforward, some are more involved but none read as actually being difficult. With the Soup recipes in particular, the greatest investment is likely to be time: for example, the Tonkotsu Ramen recipe (Japanese) calls for the stock to be kept at a rolling boil for 7-8 hours! (I've tried it - it's well worth taking the extra time.)

A word of warning: a lot of the recipes call for ingredients you will need to buy from an Asian grocer as they aren't generally available in supermarkets. However, if you are a keen cook of Chinese/South-East Asian food (like me!) you'll probably have a lot of the longer life ingredients used in the recipes in your fridge/larder already.

This is definitely one of the more interesting pan-Asian cookery books I've found recently mostly due to there being so few concessions made to changing the recipes for English cooks. Because of this, it's possibly not a good first purchase for someone who has only just decided it's time to experiment with cooking something beyond noodles with "Chinese style stir-in sauce", but if you're a confident cook or have done some Chinese (Thai/Malaysian/Japanese etc.) cooking before, this book is highly recommended.

Preseasoned Cast Iron Cooking Grates for Spirit® 210/Genesis® Gas Grills (Set of 2)
Preseasoned Cast Iron Cooking Grates for Spirit® 210/Genesis® Gas Grills (Set of 2)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pimping my BBQ!, 2 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have a Weber Spirit E-210 which I have happily barbecued with for the past couple of years - the only issue I've had with it has been the porcelain enamel cooking grates which, though easy to clean and care for, have lead to hotspots on the grill meaning cooking is uneven and they make it difficult to get the trademark sear marks you want when barbecuing.

I'd checked to see if Weber did a cast iron alternative for the E-210 (they don't, but I think there are cast iron alternatives for the larger grills) then looked around for a third party alternative. Craycort seemed to have received positive reviews for their products so I took the plunge. My new cooking grates arrived within three days and are a perfect fit! They are heavyweight cast iron and, while cast iron will require more care than the porcelain enamel to remain in good condition, they're solid enough that they should outlast the BBQ!

Japanese English Bilingual Visual Dictionary
Japanese English Bilingual Visual Dictionary
by DK
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.24

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 4 Feb 2012
Having been very impressed with the French/English Visual dictionary, I had high hopes for the Japanese/English version. Unfortunately, and in contrast with the previous reviewers, I have been more than a little disappointed.

My main cause for complaint is the number of things the dictionary doesn't include which I would have taken as obvious inclusions for a Japanese/English visual dictionary - things unique to Japan and Japanese culture. The sections on food, drink and eating out are particularly poor is this regard: translations are offered for a wide range of western dishes but the only Japanese dish listed is Yakisoba (and that is misspelled). The vegetables are likewise those available in a western supermarket with names and pictures of typically Japanese vegetables entirely absent - and the picture used to illustrate the "Supermarket" section can be clearly seen as having been taken in Tesco!

Clothing likewise excludes traditional Japanese wear - the only item of Japanese clothing to be seen in the book is the lady wearing a kimono on the spine of the book! Hotels likewise refer only to western-style hotels - no mention on Ryokan or Onsen.

That said, the sections on illnesses, parts of the body, geographical features, names of animals etc. where the material is by nature fairly generic are well laid out and easy to use.

My overall impression is that this book could be very useful for a Japanese person living in the UK as the vocabulary that is given is much more relevant to day to day life in the UK than day to day life in Japan.

Bill's Everyday Asian
Bill's Everyday Asian
by Bill Granger
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.60

5.0 out of 5 stars Easy Asian Cooking, 28 Dec 2011
This review is from: Bill's Everyday Asian (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've always enjoyed South-East Asian food and already have a number of books on the food of the region. Everyday Asian is so far proving to be a very worthwhile addition to that collection.

The recipes are predominantly Vietnamese and Thai, but recipes from Japan and Korea through to Malaysia and Indonesia also feature. Few of the recipes call for specialist ingredients that require access to Asian supermarkets - nearly everything can be bought at a decent supermarket. The very few ingredients that you are unlikely to find at a supermarket are all storecupboard (rather than fresh) ingredients so if you do decide to shop for those, they will last a long time in the cupboard.

This isn't really a book for someone looking to try to recreate 100% authentic Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian cooking - that's not what this book sets out to be. But based on the recipes I've used so far, it looks like being a wonderful resource for creating straightforward and tasty South-East Asian food.

Modern Cookery for Private Families (Classic Voices in Food)
Modern Cookery for Private Families (Classic Voices in Food)
by Eliza Acton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.89

5.0 out of 5 stars A 19th Century Classic, 28 Dec 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Eliza Acton's Modern Cookery is, along with Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, one of the seminal Victorian household advice books. Unlike Mrs Beeton, Eliza Acton's Modern Cookery is firmly focused on its subject area: cooking.

Types of food (fish, sauces, forcemeats, game, pastry etc.) are dealt with in turn as are cooking techniques (boiling, roasting, preserving etc.). There are several pages on cooking curries which make fascinating reading compared with modern Indian cook books! A later chapter skims over Jewish cooking and add few more Anglo-Indian recipes as well as one or two recipes of French, German, Syrian, and Italian cooking (or more accurately, the 19th century English versions of those dishes!).

What I did like about Modern Cooking are the little comments and observations appended to many of the recipes which stops the book from being a heavy, prescriptive tome and made it much more readable and accessible.

I doubt I'll be using it too much as a recipe book (except maybe for preserves), but as a snapshot of Victorian cooking, it makes for a fascinating read.

Norton Antivirus 2011, 3 Computers, 1 Year Subscription (PC)
Norton Antivirus 2011, 3 Computers, 1 Year Subscription (PC)

4.0 out of 5 stars Computer Security, 13 Feb 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm no computer expert but Norton Antivirus 2011 was a quick and easy install on my laptop (running Windows 7). It took about 15-20 minutes and uninstalled the previous year's version without any problems.

Installing on a second laptop (running Windows Vista) was slightly more time-consuming as the previous version of Norton seemed to cause problems. Instead of relying on the 2011 version to uninstall the older version, I had to uninstall it manually. However once this had been done, the 2011 version installed just as easily as it had on my other laptop.

The Middle Class Handbook: An illustrated field guide to the behaviour and tastes of Britain's new middle-class tribes
The Middle Class Handbook: An illustrated field guide to the behaviour and tastes of Britain's new middle-class tribes
by Not Actual Size
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.60

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stocking Filler, 31 Oct 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Middle Class handbook is a light hearted look at the attitudes of various groups of today's middle class, their likes, dislikes and outlook. It's a compact book describing characteristics of about a dozen social Tribes of the middle class. Each so-called tribe is essentially written up as a stereotype, so don't expect incisive social commentary - that's certainly not the objective of this book! A more in-depth (and to my mind, much funnier) analysis of English attitudes can be found in Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour.

That said, the Middle Class handbook makes a reasonable stocking filler being a lightweight, quick and easy read.

Speak French with Confidence: Teach Yourself
Speak French with Confidence: Teach Yourself
by Jean-Claude Arragon
Edition: Audio CD

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Refresher Course in French, 22 Oct 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As a couple of other reviewers have commented, this 3 cd set seems best used as a reminder for French learned long ago at school. I'm not sure how easily a complete beginner would manage, but someone with a basic understanding of the language should find it useful.

What I did like about it was that the language in the conversations seemed more casual - and more relevant in a day-to-day situation - than the more formal French learned at school. The included booklet offering a vocabulary list plus a transcript of the conversations in French (with English translation) is useful, but I would have preferred a bit more grammar to be included.

Player's Handbook 3: Dungeons & Dragons Core Rulebook (4th Edition D&d)
Player's Handbook 3: Dungeons & Dragons Core Rulebook (4th Edition D&d)
by Mike Mearls
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £21.72

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite more of the same..., 1 April 2010
Perhaps I was overly optimistic expecting a book of the overall utility of PHB2, but I admit I doubt I'll be using PHB3 anywhere near as much as its predecessor.

As you would expect from the PHB format, PHB3 introduces several new PC races including Githzerai, Minotaurs, Shardminds and Wilden; and several new classes - many of which have been previewed on D&D Insider.

Much as Primal heroes were introduced in PHB2, the headline power source for PHB3 is Psionics which gives us the Ardent (Psionic Leader); the Battlemind (Psionic Defender); the Monk (Psionic Striker); and the Psion (Psionic Controller). If you haven't seen the D&Di previews, the Psionic power source operates slightly differently from other power sources in as much as it has "augmentable" at-will powers rather than Encounter Powers. (Monk powers operate slightly differently having combined attack and move options.)

Other new classes include Rune Priests (Divine Leader - arguably a variant of a Strength-based Cleric with alternate class Features); and Seekers (Primal Controller - ranged control effects that function through the use of a ranged weapon).

Another new option for 4e is the concept of Hybrid classes - in effect creating a new class by combining abilities from two other classes. This is one of the parts of PHB3 I'm least comfortable with: an inexperienced 4e player may end up creating a very under-powered character while some other hybrid options can create characters whose abilities far outstrip those of a regular single class PC.

My main criticism of PHB3 has to be that Power Creep is definitely setting in - more so than has been apparent in previous 4e supplements. PHB3 includes too many examples of "broken" powers and feats - several of them good enough that they render earlier feats/powers obsolete. The problem is that in amongst all that there are also a lot of good ideas and additions to the rules and this leads to the problem of deciding which to keep and which to disallow: a difficult call for any DM.

Overall, I can't honestly recommend PHB3 without voicing a few reservations. There are certainly a lot of interesting and viable options in there, but also too many game breaking options for me to say it's a "must buy" book.

Divine Power (Dungeons & Dragons)
Divine Power (Dungeons & Dragons)
by Wizards of the Coast Team
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.85

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Divine Power, 25 July 2009
For anyone who is familiar with the layout of WotC's earlier releases: Martial Power and Arcane Power, there are few surprises in the format of Divine Power. It takes the four divine classes - Avenger, Cleric, Invoker and Paladin - and expands on them. Each gets a new optional Class Feature and a new Build. We now have the Commanding Avenger; the Shielding Cleric; the Malediction Invoker; and, for Paladins, the Ardent Paladin and the Virtuous Paladin. Each class also has a good selection of new Paragon Paths and there are about ten new Epic Destinies.

A new addition to 4e is the inclusion of Domains. These are available to any divine class and are an extension of the feats rules. Each domain has its own Channel Divinity feat and also a domain feat offering a benefit appropriate to the domain. The new selection of feats are, for the most part, race and class specific, so there's few generic divine feats. Unsurprisingly there's also a new selection of multi-class feats.

Aside from that, there's a section describing the core D&D deities in more detail along with suggested traits/attitudes for each of the divine classes that follow that particular deity. The optional backgrounds rules presented in PHB2 has been expanded with new backgrounds skewed towards divine PCs. The book is rounded out by a small selection of new rituals.

My main reservation though is that on reading through the book, some of the powers did make me concerned there was a limited amount of power creep nudging in here and there. I haven't yet had the opportunity to use any of this new material in play yet, so whether that's true or not still remains to be seen.

To summarise, if you found Martial Power and Arcane Power useful additions to your game, then Divine Power offers a similar expansion of options for divine PCs.

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