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Tanita HD386 Small Compact Digital Scale
Tanita HD386 Small Compact Digital Scale
Price: £23.26

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent: very portable, accurate and consistent., 28 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A fantastic little scales. I have professional, medical scales at home (worth about £200) and the measurements on these match with the much larger ones. Also if you step on the Tanita four or five times in a row, you will get consistently the same measurement, which is not always (not even often) the case with non medically certified scales. They are light and really easy to carry around.

Please note that they need to be initialised the first time: you turn them on, nothing happens (at this point I started to think they were defective!). You need to step on them until you hear a strong beep, and then step off and leave them be for 20s. After that they switch on automatically when you step on them. You need to stay until you hear a double beep (about 5s) and then the reading flashes on the display for about 20s. Don't try to read them while standing, your feet will obscure the display!


Quest Nutrition Quest Bar Peanut Butter Supreme 12 bars
Quest Nutrition Quest Bar Peanut Butter Supreme 12 bars
Offered by fly eagle
Price: £29.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best compromise between nutritional profile, palatability and effectiveness. These really make a difference., 28 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There is no doubt that Quest bars are the best quality protein bars around: they are high in fiber (about 17% on average, all soluble fiber which is preferable), relatively low in fat (8-10%), and high in protein (about 20%), with no Maltitol or Sorbitol (these are very common in protein bars and can cause severe stomach pain and very unpleasant flatulence). I have tried a lot of bars and don't see any with this sort of nutritional profile.

However I confess to disliking many of the Quest flavours, either because they taste too strongly of Stevia (the new, 'all natural' range) or because the flavour is rather sickly. A lot of people on the internet say that if you microwave them they are much better but the point of having a bar, for me, is that I can take it anywhere with me and eat it on the go (for example instead of the biscuits or sandwiches that are so ubiquitous at meetings), so the need for a microwave rather defeats the purpose.

The Peanut Butter Supreme is amongst the exceptions: the sweet/salt balance is just right, and it tastes of... peanut butter. There are small chunks of peanuts in it and it's not rock solid like the Double chocolate bars for ex. There are two more peanut butter types in the Quest range and this is by far the best in my view, although Peanut butter and Jelly is OK. The other bars which in my opinion gets the balance of salty and sweet right (which is very important, otherwise the bar tastes sickly sweet) are Vanilla Almond Crunch and Cookie Dough and Chocolate Chunks (the latter has really big chocolate chunks and a very good texture). Finally, Cookies and Cream is different because it has a more tender and crumbly texture. It has pieces of what looks like Oreo cookies in it (but it's not really Oreos) and that gives it a really nice texture. The taste is also OK.

Hunger-wise they are quite amazing because contrary to many protein bars (such as Atkins, for ex, which gave me terrible wind and caused cravings), they really do fill you up. I don't react to them as I do to candy bars or other (palatable) protein bars in the sense that I find it easy to stop after one, or half one. You need to drink a lot of water with them (the fiber) but they keep you full for a long time and prevent uncontrollable feelings of hunger. I am not diabetic and thus do not have the equipment to measure my blood sugar but based on subjective experience I am pretty sure that they do not cause any spike in insulin, neither immediately after eating them, nor 1 or 2h later.

Finding these has made a real difference in the management of my diet (I'm neither overweight nor a body builder, I'm just trying to eat in a way that allows me to keep the weight I have and not feel deprived).

I hope that this helps.


Alessi Cactus! Stand for Oil & Vinegar (MSA28)
Alessi Cactus! Stand for Oil & Vinegar (MSA28)
Price: £45.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal oil/vinegar stand, 25 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Perfect little stand, light, easy to move and elegant. Other items in the same range, or the 'Mediterraneo' range complement it nicely.


Fool's Assassin (Fitz and the Fool, Book 1)
Fool's Assassin (Fitz and the Fool, Book 1)
by Robin Hobb
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very moving and yet not maudlin at all: a book to learn from, 25 Aug. 2014
This is one of the best in the Far Seer series. Hobb excels at psychological characterisation: her characters are realistic without being boring, complex and nuanced. She also has the art of expressing much by saying little. Classical soberness and great dramatic tension. I did not like the Dragons series (much too coy) but this is a return to the Hobb of the first Far Seer trilogy. The sort of book that teaches you something of human nature, regardless of whether the setting is in the 'real' world or, as here, in a fantasy world. Amongst fantasy writers only the early Guy Gavriel Kay, in my view, has this talent too. Anyhow, this is a book you can learn from while being gripped by it, and very few books fill that bill.


Clearspring Organic Corn Germ Oil 500 ml
Clearspring Organic Corn Germ Oil 500 ml
Offered by Best4Deals
Price: £6.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing to write home about, 20 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Disappointing. The taste of corn is mild and not particularly sweet (contrary to the description). It's perfectly edible but nothing special, and not worth the money. Other Clearspring oils (in particular Japanese Toasted Sesame, Toasted Pumpkin and Argan) are much superior -- really special. But not this one.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 1, 2015 6:03 PM GMT


Clearspring Organic Argan Oil 250 ml
Clearspring Organic Argan Oil 250 ml
Price: £13.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you don't like Argan oil, try this one..., 14 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I had tried Argan oil before and thought that it was horrible: thin and bitter. But this is gorgeous. The oil is very light in clear, has just the right viscosity and a very subtle taste. It is nutty (the argan nuts are toasted prior to the oil being extracted) but not overly so, and it doesn't leave a bitter aftertaste at all. I also use Clearspring Japanese toasted sesame oil (wonderful in dishes, a little bitter on its own but just so clean and refined) and toasted pumpkin seed oil (another great oil: very dark, very nutty and toasty, excellent with tomatoes in particular). This Argan oil goes excellently with carrots, for example, and of course lettuce. It is supposed to be very rich in vitamin E but you can't taste that, so I can't comment!


Chef's Choice 316 Asian Electric Knife Sharpener
Chef's Choice 316 Asian Electric Knife Sharpener
Offered by Harts Of Stur
Price: £69.06

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best I have tried so far - excellent product, 7 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I only have Japanese knives, mostly Tojiro and Global, with a Kai Shun in the mix. Apart from their specific profile and edges, part of the trouble with these knifes is that because they are very hard (at least Rockwell 61) they are also very difficult to sharpen well (the benefit being that they keep their edge for longer). I have tried several methods for sharpening them: specialised ceramic stones, traditional and ceramic steel, even a special Tojiro sharpener. I got OK results only and with a lot of effort.

The Chef's Choice sharpener is different: you do need to re-hone (in slots 1) the Tojiro knives for a while as I believe that their angle is slightly different (16° instead of 15°) but once you've done that and done the polishing in slots 2, you do get razor sharp edges with comparatively very little effort. Global knives are dead easy to sharpen and in most cases do not need re-honing. The sharpener itself is very solidly made and quite heavy, which means that it does not move. it does not seem to wear out the blades (which is why I stayed well clear off popular sharpeners with a V cut: they work, but they also damage your knives very quickly). The diamond abrasives do the trick even on the Tojiro and the Kai Shun.

I leave the sharpener plugged in in my utility room, this way when a knife needs sharpening it's done literally in under 30s (once they have been re-honed, maintenance is only a matter for 3 x 3-5s pulls on each side in slots 2, depending on the length of the blade, and then about 3 quick pulls. Obviously for one edge blades you only use one of the two slots for each stage.

Try it, you won't regret it!


ASUS USB AC56 Next Generation AC Dual-Band Wireless AC1300 USB Adapter, USB 3.0, WPS, USB Cradle, 1x Detachable Antenna
ASUS USB AC56 Next Generation AC Dual-Band Wireless AC1300 USB Adapter, USB 3.0, WPS, USB Cradle, 1x Detachable Antenna
Price: £39.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, especially with Asus router, 25 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This both very easy to use and very powerful. To install, load the CD and install the driver, then plug the device into a USB port. After that you can go to its control center but to be honest I found it quicker to just use the Windows usual LAN icon (at the bottom of the Taskbar). Right click on it, choose your router and connect. I have a -ac ASUS router and have gained significantly both in speed (20%) and coverage (2 more bars) compared to what was available from my laptop Wifi card. The litte UBS dock makes it easy to tuck away the receiver, which is smart but not small!

By far the best external wifi receiver I have seen so far.

PS: I have a complicated set up, with two different extenders (Billion and Netgear) due to the house being very long and on two different mains circuits. This works beautifully with everything, not just the ASUS router (itself fantastic, by the way, see my review if you're thinking of buying it).


William Bounds 9.5-inch Hm Proview Pepper Mill, Red
William Bounds 9.5-inch Hm Proview Pepper Mill, Red
Price: £45.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent both in terms of function and design, 21 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Excellent pepper grinder. Good ergonomics, easy to hold even for small hands, not too heavy. I find most pepper grinders rather ugly, and there aren't that many adjustable ones. But the proportions on this one are pleasing. It's tall enough to be easily grabbed, but not so tall that it would be unstable. The adjustable collar is both precise and easy to operate (easier than adjustable mechanisms located under the mill, which you can't adjust without getting pepper on your fingers and can't vary easily). It's very simple for each guest to select the desired grind. Having a viewing window is also useful.

It is very solidly made too. We have had a William Bounds pepper mill for about 10 years and are replacing it because the varnish on the wood has become sticky (I made the mistake of trying to clean it with a spirit based product and that softened up the varnish), but there is nothing wrong with the mechanism even though it sees hard daily use.

One note of caution: I had ordered two, one black and one red. The grinding mechanism on the red was, for some reason, better than on the black (a little less stiff). If I wanted to order another one I would order two again, to be able to compare.

Finally, it's a detail but it comes loaded with good quality pepper. Doesn't make much difference to the bottom line but it's a nice touch.


Clearspring Takemoto Toasted Sesame Oil 150 ml (Pack of 3)
Clearspring Takemoto Toasted Sesame Oil 150 ml (Pack of 3)
Price: £10.47

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Head and shoulders above the rest, 20 July 2014
This is head and shoulders above all the Chinese, French and UK sold toasted sesame oils I have tried. It makes them taste greasy and heavy. By contrast, this is incredibly strong flavoured and yet at the same time light, clean tasting (I know, 'clean' is difficult to understand in the context but it does fit: the oil is like the essence of toasted sesame). It is the only toasted sesame oil I have ever been tempted to drink by the teaspoon (and I wasn't disappointed! I still do it). It compares, in refinement, mouth feel and subtlety of taste, to the finest Sicilian olive oils.

The bottles are small but it's actually an advantage as it means that the oil stays fresh for longer. They have a useful dropper top which prevents the oil from flowing out, a good thing given its strength. And (as all quality oil bottles should be) they are tinted glass.

Do not fry with it (nor with toasted sesame oil in general, it will burn -- but in this case it would be a terrible waste): add it at the end to salads, stir fries, noodles, rice, or use it as a dip (it is that good). It is so strong that just a little will transform your dish, which is good for the calorie conscious as you don't need to use much (!).

It's not cheap, although Amazon has a good deal here. But it's totally worth it, once you've tried it you won't want anything else.


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