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Angel Chimes - Original Swedish Christmas Decoration - With 4 Candles
Angel Chimes - Original Swedish Christmas Decoration - With 4 Candles
Offered by Gizoo - Gadgets & Gifts
Price: £11.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure cheesy Christmassy nostalgia! Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!, 20 Dec. 2012
Totally kitsch nostalgia fest.

Like so many other reviewers I have childhood memories of these chimes, even down to the picture on the box.

These are quite light and therefore delicate, but they need to be so that the heat of the candles can do their job of spinning the little angels around and let them bash the bells as they speed around in their tacky splendour.

This is a lovely, quaint item, nothing highbrow, just simple happy crimble chimes in a 70's-tastic fashion.

You will either love or hate them (much as you would wind-chimes), but don't have these on as ambient lighting if you're trying to watch or listen to something at the same time.

Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding.....


3 X Beautifully Hand Carved  Olive Wood natural nut bowl/ serving dish/ rustic bowl
3 X Beautifully Hand Carved Olive Wood natural nut bowl/ serving dish/ rustic bowl

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Small and rustic, 16 Nov. 2012
These bowls are all quite small (the measurements in the description are accurate), and so possibly too small for anything other than trinkets etc.

They are also very natural in finish - not particularly polished, and not waxed at all.


Blokus to go!
Blokus to go!

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slightly fiddly 2 person travel version, 2 July 2012
This review is from: Blokus to go! (Toy)
Blokus is a great game.

This is a solid travel version, for 2 players.
The side panels that form the lid come off (by way of properly designed hinges), so that you can handle them more easily, and the pieces are marked so you know where they should go (and if any are missing).
The tiles push on firmly to the board, and you can close the lid mid-game so you can return at any time without having to pack away your pieces.

The game play is slightly different in that you start from marked spaces in the middle of the board, rather than in the corners, and the games can be quite quick as the strategy is different.

Two issues with this game (worth noting).
1) This is not a UK variant game, and is supplied with German instructions, however the English ones can be found here: [...]
2) The pieces are small and fit very tightly (both in play, and in stowage), so please bear this in mind if you or your intended opponents are less than dexterous!


No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent ice-cube tray - fun, flexible, useful, 2 July 2012
This tray is a nice sensible size, crammed full of the various shapes of space invaders that look fab as they defrost in your drinks.
The detailing on the space invaders is very good, and the very square cut edges are perfect.
It's very flexible, so easy to use (just be wary of sloshing water when moving in to the freezer).


No Title Available

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's an ice-cube tray, 2 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This makes eight small ice-cubes. Good flexible silicone, but it could be improved by adding a few more moulds in the same space.

For better 'nerdy ice-cubes' take a look at Ice cube tray Ice Invaders turquoise


Amco Lemon Citrus Squeezer
Amco Lemon Citrus Squeezer

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, effective, good quality and well priced, 2 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Cut lemon in half (also trim off and nobbly/pointy ends), place cut side down, hold over bowl, pull handle down and squeeeeeeze. Simples!

Of all the cookware items I've bought over the years, this is the only one that gets the seal of approval all round from as being 'a worthwhile deviation from the conventional type'.

This is a solid, old fashioned feel metal implement that will last you forever and is easy to clean and store.


The Icecreamists: Boutique ice creams and other guilty pleasures to make and enjoy at home
The Icecreamists: Boutique ice creams and other guilty pleasures to make and enjoy at home
by Matt O'Connor
Edition: Hardcover

46 of 56 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A triumph of modern marketing, 24 Jun. 2012
I'll start with some basics so you can accurately judge my review:

I own an ice cream maker (just the standard 'freezeable tub with a motor' type)
I've made countless batches of very varied ice creams (estimating 200+ batches based on a fortnightly concoting basis over the last 8 years)
I'm an instinctive cook, and can bake, create recipes and rarely mess things up.

I received this book from a very good friend who knows me well and is also responsible for me owning the aforementioned ice cream maker, so I feel sad that I start my review by assigning the damning 2 star score to such a thoughtful present.

I must also caveat this review by saying that I had very little prior knowledge of The Icecreamist before receiving this, and only caught a cursory glimpse of the 'Baby GaGa' article in the Metro, so feel I am pretty unbiased.

Positives:
Lots of background on the author - we can trust him as he has a long standing love and career in the ice-cream industry.
There are plenty of photographs throughout
There's a lot of recipes for ice-creams, (the much forgotten) sorbets, cocktails and other things to do with your ice cream.
There's a pragmatic hints and tips section
There's an equipment list (that shows clearly that you don't need every gadget under the sun to make something lucious).

So, as I take my cookery books seriously, I firstly read the headlines of all the recipes: concoction name and main ingredients. Secondly, I went back to a couple of stand-out recipes that appealed to me. Thirdly, I sourced my ingredients.

At this stage, what has struck me about the recipes is: They are nearly all based on the same simple custard premise. OK, simple enough - you have a formula that you know works, so base everything on that. Right?
Well no. As a (yes, previously mentioned) practiced cook, I immediately questioned this. How can an ice cream recipe that can be eaten on it's own, that contains X amount of sugar, and tastes perfectly sweet enough be able to then take the addition of yet more sweet substances without making it extremely sweet.
Well, sadly, (after testing the theory) the answer is it can't.

I was all set to give this the full benefit of the doubt as some of the flavours suggested sounded particularly fabulous, and, well, maybe the base mix wasn't too sweet (though it did look so from previous ratios I am used to).
So, on a quiet Saturday I made the base custard mix without any deviation (even ensuring that the milk merely 'steamed, not boiled'), and that I whisked to exactly the consistency stated.
The first thing that struck me was (as another reviewer mentioned), the 'spoon coating' consistency of the custard on heating was not reached. It merely reached a slightly thicker than milk yellowy liquid. I tasted said liquid and it was very sweet.

OK, as the book states clearly, patience is required, so I cooled as decreed, split the mix in to two batches, and continued my reading. By the time the next steps were to take place, I had read the whole book, cover to cover.

My poisons of choice were the jamaican ginger cake one (I used homemade cake that tastes almost identical to the standard branded one suggested, but with a lot less preservatives, courtesy of a great recipe from Nigella), and the white chocolate one, as 'Jamican Ginger cake and custard' was a childhood camping holiday staple, and the white chocolate one intrigued me as it seemed a good use for a couple of spoonfuls of horlicks!

I prepped the additional ingredients to the letter, even melting my chocolate properly rather than cheating using the microwave, and continued, making sure that before each step that my ingredients were very cold, door open to make sure amibient temperature in the kitchen remained cold... (you get the gist).
So, both batches made, they both looked reasonably liquid (and the taste test again said 'call me a dentist', but mixed and froze nicely, so trying to still be optimistic...

To the taste test:
Jamican Ginger: erm... nope! All I can taste is sugar, sugar, sugar. It's as though I'm eating pure ginger syrup with a dash of cream that's been frozen. I'm liking the lumpy remnants of actual cake, but sadly wishing I'd not wasted them in this ice-cream.
White Chocolate: Urgh. OK, so I CAN taste the malty horlicks, and it is really quite a nice thing, but that is pretty much the only positive thing.

The author talks a little about mouth-feel. This phrase is odd, but important - how things feel in your mouth. Most ice-cream should have a smooth, viscous and non-cloying texture prior to the addition of the lumps and bumps you choose to flavour with. The mouth-feel of the Icecreamists examples I have tested is somewhat lacking, as was sadly so obvious immediately at the cooled custard stage - it is smooth, it's not too fatty, but it is very thin, and as such leaves you with a very thin (and, did I mention, very sweet) base recipe that it would take a lot to enliven.

I sadly have little confidence in the actual recipes going forward, but will persist as the flavour suggestions are very appealing (apple and cinnamon... yum!), but I may combine them with knowledge of previous tried and tested base recipes.

In the book there are a few side-swipes to the likes of Ben & Jerry, but I have to say that their book is no great work of marketing gloss, it is just full of great recipes that always work. They also go through various different 'bases' on which to build, and tell you what the difference is.

So... to summarise: If you like your books all showy and shiny, get this one. If you like some great ideas and know what you're doing, get this one. If you need reliable recipes that you don't have to tweak, avoid this (and get the shine and flim flam free Ben & Jerry's one).
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 5, 2013 9:43 AM GMT


Timbuk2 Kindle Dinner Jacket with Viewing Stand and Hand Strap, Black/Gunmetal/Rev Red (fits Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle and Kindle Touch)
Timbuk2 Kindle Dinner Jacket with Viewing Stand and Hand Strap, Black/Gunmetal/Rev Red (fits Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle and Kindle Touch)

11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I so wanted to love this... and it is really good, but I just don't like it :-(, 18 Jun. 2012
I cannot disagree with any word in the first review for this product.

It's VERY well made, thoughtfully finished, and slightly quirky, and I really wanted to love it (especially as I am a Timbuktu fan), but...
the thing I love about my Kindle, is that it's small, thin and light, and putting a Kindle in a jacket goes against all those good things.

If you're the kind of person who puts their smart phone in a fold over cover, then you'll probably love this.
However, if you're a skin/bumpers kinda person... then you'll want to avoid this.


Classic Rock Presents: Apocalyptic Love (fanpack edition)
Classic Rock Presents: Apocalyptic Love (fanpack edition)

5.0 out of 5 stars Slashtastic!, 15 Jun. 2012
This new 'Slash' album is superb. Full on Slashyness to the extreme, somehow further heightened by Myles' extraordinary vocal range and the rest of the band have very obviously found their places in this second album.
Excellent riffs throughout, and the perfect antidote to the tranquil tedium that plagues our airwaves most of the time.

I rarely buy magazines, but whilst waiting at the airport I couldn't help myself...

(prudish note: I wonder how much shorter the articles in the magazine would have been if they'd done a global delete on all of the F words!!!)


Ben and Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream and Dessert Book
Ben and Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream and Dessert Book
by Jerry Greenfield
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, love it, love it!, 9 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Once again spring is here, and my ice-cream maker returns to it's rightful home in my freezer.

There is a reason that Ben and Jerry's is so widely loved - good quality ingredients and great texture, so to be able to make it yourself, for a much more sensible price, and amending recipes (and making up your own), has to be a really good thing. If like me you are fed up with nearly every tub in the shop being chocolate based, then being able to make up your own flavour combinations is perfect (and of course you can moderate the sugar and content too).

This book is full of the B&J story and makes what is a book of really good ice-cream recipes, much more enjoyable.
There are no pictures (apart from cartoony line drawings), but as we all know what ice-cream looks like, it's no big deal.
What counts is content, but just bear in mind that this is an American book, so all the measures are in cups, and there are plenty of references to Hershey Bars etc. It's no big deal (just buy yourself a set of cup measures when you order this) as the main thrust of this book is knowing about ratio, quality of ingredient, and above all adapting things to just how you like it.

It's easy to follow, there is nothing too complicated, and every recipe I've tried so far works really well. Yum!
The only bad thing... your diet may suffer!


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