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Dario "Dario" (Essex England)

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Lighting EVER LED Lantern, Ultra Bright 300lm, Home, Garden and Camping Lanterns
Lighting EVER LED Lantern, Ultra Bright 300lm, Home, Garden and Camping Lanterns
Offered by Neon Mart
Price: £39.99

5.0 out of 5 stars This lantern has absolutely amazed me. It is extremely bright for such a ..., 7 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This lantern has absolutely amazed me. It is extremely bright for such a small unit. I tested another battery operated lantern that cost four times as much as this one and it was a whole lot bigger and heavier too but this light was actually brighter!!!
The manufacturers claim that with three D type standard batteries you should get 3 Days of continuous light on high power, and 6 Days on low.

I've read here that one reviewer slated the light because he found it very difficult to get the screw base back on to the bottom of the unit when replacing the batteries. I personally haven't found this a problem at all. Lining up the red 'arrows', which are shown inside the unit and on the base was very easy and it just screws back without any issues.

Regarding the flashing Green LED on the front? This is for locating the unit in dark places but it cannot be switched off. Personally I think that it's a very useful feature but an on/off switch for it might be useful. According to the manufacturers, the batteries will last for up to 2 Years powering this green LED alone when it's in storage! So, just remember to test the lantern from time to time when its not being used for some while, after all, if you drive a car you need to remember to keep a check on the oil, water, tyre pressure etc so why not the lantern too?

All in all it's a fantastic buy and like some others have said, I may even buy a second one!

Chef Works Total Vent (keep your head cool in the kitchen) Beanie White - Great for increasing hygiene levels in your kitchen
Chef Works Total Vent (keep your head cool in the kitchen) Beanie White - Great for increasing hygiene levels in your kitchen
Offered by Rinkit Ltd
Price: £9.52

3.0 out of 5 stars Condition of item on arrival, 11 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I received the Chef Works Total Vent in impressive time. But when I removed it from the packing, which was an over sized box, I saw that it did not have that crisp white appearance which you would expect with a brand new product, it actually looked as though its been worn by somebody else and is a bit tatty.

I really should have sent it back there and then but I was not in the mood to have go through the ordeal of a returns process etc, instead, I put it into the washing machine and washed it. After a few hours of drying it looked crisp and white as it should have been on arrival but it still looks worn.

From a practical point of view it is very well made and of good quality material. However my buying experience has made me feel somewhat dubious ordering any more of these Chef caps from this company.

Magimix 11619 Satin Stainless Steel Le Blender
Magimix 11619 Satin Stainless Steel Le Blender
Price: £161.99

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Blender, 29 Jan 2014
I have had this Blender in my kitchen since summer 2013 and I use it a great deal and I have never had a single problem with it so I am very surprised to hear that another user had such a bad experience with his and gave it such a bad review.

I also have the Mill attachment. As a blender its brilliant. NutriBullet were boasting very powerful performance with their 600 Watt blender the Magimix Le Blender uses a 1200 Watt motor. I love the programs that you can dial up using the rotary wheel selector and one of these programs makes great smoothies. You can also have manual control over this product by using the pulse button. I think that its an excellent buy and confidently will recommend it.

by Annette Yates
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A really good book for bread machines, 6 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have made bread with the recipes in this book and I can honestly say that they have all been successful and have worked out very well.
I use a Panasonic bread machine and whilst I have had to make one or two changes with the type of program that Annette Yates specifies for example in one of her recipes, white with rye, she says to use a rapid white program with a dark crust but unfortunately my Panasonic machine doesn't permit crust selections or size selections with this particular program so I decided to use her recipe but the Panasonic white with rye program to do the bake instead, the result was wonderful.

Over all its a great little book and extremely useful and I heartily recommend it.

Rayners Essentials Malt Extract 340g
Rayners Essentials Malt Extract 340g
Offered by Activecare Online
Price: £3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really good Malt Extract, 12 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I like this particular malt extract for its taste and flavor its also particularly good with home baking. The order took some time getting to me and went awry with postage costs but the retailer was swift to refund the added fees plus he gave me a little extra as an act of good will.

Delia Online 1lb Loaf Baking Tin
Delia Online 1lb Loaf Baking Tin
Offered by Harts Of Stur
Price: £12.00

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As used in Delia's Cakes - Confused?, 7 Nov 2013
I became very confused when I bought this tin as advertised with Delia's cookware. In her book 'Delia's cakes' a Silverwood 2LB loaf tin is recommended for the loaf cake recipes and this is the tin that comes with the complete cookware or you can buy it here on Amazon but it turns out that this tin is a 1LB loaf tin so you are probably confused?

Here is the answer and it comes directly from "Delia Online" by a lady called Doreen who is their board moderator. She provides an explanation for the difference of tin sizes. Date of post 16th March 2013.


"The Delia online loaf tin is a 1lb Silverwood loaf tin not the 2lb Silverwood loaf tin.
Silverwood call it a 1lb tin because it makes a 1lb loaf of bread, however it is the equivalent of a 2lb tin because it holds 2lb of cake mix...."

And there you have it the 1LB Silverwood loaf tin is an equivalent 2LB cake mix tin. I just thought I'd post this to help out I hope it does.

Now for the white pleated tin liners shown in photographs for her loaf cake recipes seen in her cake book you can find these at:


As far as I can tell Amazon UK do not appear to sell these cake liners.

The tin is excellent and worth getting.

The Neat Bread Slicer - a slicing guide which easily cuts even slices from a loaf using any bread knife
The Neat Bread Slicer - a slicing guide which easily cuts even slices from a loaf using any bread knife
Offered by Neat Designs (UK)
Price: £64.95

5.0 out of 5 stars A great product from the UK, 5 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
From a practical point of view this is a well made solidly designed product especially for use with home baked bread but it doesn't accommodate all sizes of bread, for example an extra large 600g loaf made with a Panasonic Bread Maker will probably be too large to fit into its container otherwise its a lot better than the plastic versions currently available and it looks good.

I think that there is an issue that should be addressed. When the blade of a bread knife reaches the bottom of the cutting guide it will mark the wood and over time the wood will not look as clean as it did when new. Some form of protection to prevent marking ought to be considered especially since the makers went to so much trouble to make it look so perfect.
I know that one reviewer said that he uses a piece of wood to fit over the bottom of the base to protect it from being scratched but many of us simply haven't got the time or resources to do the same.

Over all this a very useful product and I think that its well worth having.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 3, 2014 11:06 AM GMT

Kitchen Craft Expanding Stay Fresh Acrylic Bread Keeper
Kitchen Craft Expanding Stay Fresh Acrylic Bread Keeper
Price: £14.76

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great idea but thats all, 21 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This product is a good idea. I originally purchased it for a friend who had difficulty slicing bread. The box container is in two sections and is made out of plastic. One section slides into the other making it possible to adjust for moderate sizes of bread BUT there are NO HANDLES to open or lift the box which makes it awkward to pick up. There is no lock to keep the side sections together when you lift it so it can easily come apart and fall out of your hands.

The Bread guide is also a good idea but this should have been made of metal. The individual guide posts are fragile and molded to the base, being plastic its flimsy and weak.

Unfortunately this gadget was of no benefit to my friend and was not used.

If the product had had some metal to make it stronger, some handles to open and lift it, a lock to keep the side sections closed without coming apart, and was a bit bigger to accommodate larger sizes of square loafs then I'd have given it five stars.

WMF Ultra Pressure Cooker, Stainless Steel, 6.5 litre
WMF Ultra Pressure Cooker, Stainless Steel, 6.5 litre
Price: £182.49

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top quality pressure cooker and not a toy with bells and whistles, 14 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have not used a pressure cooker for a considerable time and lately I have been hearing a lot of good reports which justifies using them with your cooking and how much better the food can taste. These cookers are also considered to be cost effective because once a pressure level has been reached you can turn the heat all the way down and the food will continue to cook correctly.

The old outdated Pressure cooker that I had was a Tefal Sensor and it was put away in a store cupboard and left there for many years. Recently I started using it again but I found it to be a "hit and miss affair" when getting the pressure level to stay constant and I could never tell what pressure level it was at, its also a noisy beast so I decided to check out present day pressure cookers to see what I might replace it with.

I read reviews about all sorts of cookers and even bought a couple of books on the subject. Then I decided to go with the WMF Ultra Pressure cooker because it had so many useful innovations. I also chose the 6.5L version because I intend to do bulk cooking for myself and this will allow me to prepare several meals which I can freeze and put away. Its also a more cost effective way of cooking plus I like making soups so this size of pot is very useful and will not be restricting. If there is one downside to this size its the weight. This utensil is not a toy it is very solidly built and makes you feel safe to use but its heavy even when its empty. Put food and liquid inside and the weight goes up proportionately so the 4.5L might be better.

There is a built in electronic timer which allows me to use my regular timer for other cooking jobs. This timer also doubles as a valuable pressure indicator as it actually bleeps when the steam pressure comes to the right level.

All pressure cooker recipes tell you that cooking begins when the cooker gets to the right pressure and not before. With my old cooker it started venting steam and making a lot of noise but there was no way to know what pressure level it was at or what it was doing, as I said before it was "A hit and miss job" for me.

The WMF has two systems of pressure level indication. The first is in the timer which turns on a red light to let you know that its building pressure and that it has engaged the safety locking mechanism so that the lid can no longer be opened. The second indicator is a gauge which is built into the lid and rises as it reaches pressure. The gauge has two orange rings on its body. The first ring signifies pressure level one which is used for gentle steam cooking and the second ring indicates pressure level two which is a much higher pressure level for cooking. BUT how do you keep the pressure level constant? Here is where the WMF Ultra stands out from the crowd and I loved this.

You start your cooker by selecting what pressure level you want to use. Its a control that is built into the lid handle and you turn it to set one of the levels I or II. Once the pressure level has been reached it will stay constant and it remains constant by releasing excess steam automatically - really cool! You will still have to manually adjust the heat and lower it to stop the excess steam from venting but its easy and simple to maintain and you always know exactly where you are.

But how do you know when the cooking starts? Here is another great WMF innovation. After the red light indicator comes on and the pressure is building, a few minutes later three bleeps are sounded and this means that the cooker is now at the right pressure level and the timer is automatically switched on for you and starts counting down from the preset cooking time. You didn't have to do anything! Its all done for you BUT as mentioned before you will still probably have to lower the heat or raise it manually whatever is called for, but what could be easier because you know what's happening.

I think that the WMF Ultra is beautifully built and feels absolutely solid and safe and it looks good too. If something can be compared to a high class car then I think that this cooker is the Mercedes of Pressure cookers. Its expensive yes but what you get is quality and robustness plus lots of good innovation and it will probably outlast me. Bells and Whistles? I don't think so; Useful additions? Yes!

Panasonic SD2502 Stainless Steel Bread Maker
Panasonic SD2502 Stainless Steel Bread Maker
Price: £134.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Bread Machine, 12 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Today I made a 70% Wholemeal loaf of bread by following the instructions in the Panasonic reference guide. I made a couple of substitutions with this recipe for example I used honey instead of sugar and Olive oil instead of butter but for the rest of it I kept to the Panasonic menu. What came out was a truly excellent loaf of bread which tasted wonderful and it was almost faultless. I say 'Almost' because the crust color was a bit too light for my liking. Unfortunately the Whole wheat programs do not give you 'crust' options for making a lighter or darker loaf.
I think that this an oversight because there are programs for Whole wheat recipes which include a 70% and a 50% loaf meaning for example, that for a 50% medium sized wholemeal loaf you would use 200g of Wholewheat flour and 200g of White flour, the crust result for this recipe is obviously going to be lighter in color than their 100% whole wheat program so being able to chose a medium or darker crust setting would have been very useful, even essential according to your taste.
But there is another program which will make a darker crust for a 70% wholemeal loaf (Program 08 French Loaf White/Whole wheat) and may sort the problem out, I am going to have to experiment.

Overall the Panasonic SD2502 is simple to use, is well built and looks stylish with its stainless steel finish. Most of the time its a quiet machine but it does get noisy when it dispenses yeast from the yeast dispenser. According to the reference guide grains of Active Yeast can stick to the sides of the dispenser when there is a build up of static so it probably needs to shake them free hence the loud noise. I wonder if a negative charge of electricity or something like a degausser could have done this instead? Only a thought I'm a layman at this. However, the noise only lasts for a few seconds so its tolerable.

I found the machine simple to clean. If you can't remove the kneading blade from the bread pan after cooking because its got stuck, fill the bread pan with a little water just enough to cover the kneading blade and leave it to soak for a few minutes then the blade will come free easily.


Some of my earlier bread making attempts were a bit of a disaster. The bread didn't rise evenly or it was lumpy and sometimes a skin formed over the top which collapsed after the bread cooled. All of this turned out to be a problem with the flour. Using the right flour is crucial for bread machines. Adverse weather conditions in wheat growing seasons will likely effect wheat crops and the flours produced may not be very good for bread machines so try using different brands of flour. If you get bad results with the bread machine, before you go blaming the machine check out the quality of the flour first. Panasonic recommend Canadian 100% Strong flour, wholemeal or white, I found this brand in Waitrose.

Another thing worth mentioning about this machine, when used for bread making, is that you can use it to make your own dough and then prepare it to go into a bread tin and bake the bread in your oven. Who said that bread machines are restrictive and you are at the mercy of their programs???

Overall, the SD 2502 is an excellent product. Expensive yes well made with attention to its programs and numerous other features such as checking the room temperature to keep the dough warm whilst the dough is rising all adds up to a first rate kitchen miracle. I am very happy with this product and I will be using it a great deal from now on. I will also be experimenting with other recipes in the reference guide and moving on to ones found in good bread making books - Finally, I might open a bread shop :)
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 17, 2013 5:07 PM BST

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