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K King "kathy8904" (UK)
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Good Food: 101 Budget Dishes: Triple-tested Recipes
Good Food: 101 Budget Dishes: Triple-tested Recipes
by Jane Hornby
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.99

65 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the better budget recipe books available, 29 Mar. 2009
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I eagerly awaited the arrival of this book to add to my collection of other BBC Good Food recipe books. I have never had a failure with any of the recipes and this book is no exception.

There are six sections in the book:

Feed the family for less
Weeknight wonders
Entertaining on a budget
Money saving lunches and leftover ideas
Thrifty soups and side dishes
Value cakes, bakes and puddings

There are loads of tips to accompany each recipe and each recipe has its own glossy photograph. All the recipes are designed with economy and healthy choices in mind; today I made good for you bolognese sauce using 1lb of mince, 2 courgettes, 4 carrots, mushrooms and gravy granules - I ended up with at least 6 to 8 portions, perfect for freezing.

The recipes make good use of healthy convenience foods such as tomato pasta sauce, tinned lentils, tinned beans etc. A lot of the recipes use basic ingredients you probably already have in your cupboard and fridge.

Today I made sticky chicken stir fry with sesame seeds - it was a big hit with my teenage children, it was great making a simple stirfry sauce from cupboard ingredients plus carrots, and I followed the recipe's recommendations and used turkey to reduce costs further. As a avid soup maker I am thrilled with the soup sections: how about leek, bacon and potato soup, onion soup, carrot and coriander soup, pumpkin soup, tomato and pesto soup? The tomato soup uses 3 cans of plum tomatoes - not expensive fresh ones.

The bake section is good too; I have made plain unadorned chocolate cake using good old fashioned cocoa, nothing about "use 80% cocoa solids etc". The cake was light, moist and tasty.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 14, 2010 3:48 PM BST


Firm: Cardio Inferno [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Firm: Cardio Inferno [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Artist Not Provided
Offered by passionFlix UK
Price: £4.88

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A really good all round programme, 27 Mar. 2009
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If you are looking for a high intensity, high achievement workout this probably won't be your cup of tea, something like Amy Bento's High Low workout or bootcamp will probably do the trick. This DVD is a moderate workout.

Like Tina Smalley's power workout, this was a slow burner for me as it took me quite a few times to get the moves properly - only then did I start to enjoy it. The instructor, Sue Mi, does appear a little awkward, but I just thought she was trying to do her very best.

This DVD is a little different to the other Firm DVDs: the warm up is followed by 2 x each of cardio and toning followed by a cool down. Each chapter is written across the screen, so beginners could do 1 section of each of cardio and toning and forward it to the cool down. The exercises themselves are the usual Firm mix of lunges, squats, bicep curls, aerobic routines etc, but in a more time efficient way. I used 3lb weights and really felt the benefit in my shoulders afterwards (as though I have had a really good stretch and eased a lot of tension).

What is good about this workout is that in the space of 30 minutes you will have completed a thorough whole body workout (minus abs). I will continue to use this DVD as the actual workout itself is highly worthwhile. Ignore the irritating music!


The Firm Power Ball Kit [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
The Firm Power Ball Kit [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Tina Smalley

5.0 out of 5 stars Be prepared to sweat buckets with this fun workout!, 20 Mar. 2009
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I bought this after enjoying Tina Smalley's Fat-Burning Sculpting Ball Workout. This DVD and ball is an absolute bargain - I think it would be a great present for a home exerciser. When I first got the ball out the box the smell of the rubbery plastic ball hit me, and it still smells! However, this wasn't a problem for me. The ball is very good quality. After buying quite a few of "The Firm's DVDs I now realise that they are not designed for you to accomplish perfectly the first time. Tina Smalley is one of the better instructors because she doesn't go so fast you can't keep up (I'm thinking of Emily Walsh's DVDs where I simply didn't have the foggiest what was going on!). Notwithstanding, most of the Firms DVDS do take me 5 or 6 times to learn the moves, but I then started to enjoy this DVD it as I could follow it properly. I am so pleased I stuck with it and didn't give up because this is a brilliant, fast paced, energtic and challenging workout that accomplishes alot. This is an intense, work you hard DVD incorporataing great toning and cardio routines - there are loads of new and innovative routines. My heartrate was up after the first 15 minutes. .

The aerobic sections are not so much high impact, but using the ball whilst squating, pliés, lunging, balancing on one leg, jumping jacks, marching, a football type of ball tapping exercise ,burpees etc - you do burn loads of fat. Its all good. There are beginner modifications from the start and you do get an express 20 minute workout plus a 8 min ab workout (feels a lot longer though).

If you are looking for a total body workout that works your body from top to toe, (with an emphasis on working all areas of the legs) this is a great choice. I really feel it in my thighs the next day, plus I am starting to feel better too.

Note, I took a chance and bought this from Amazon marketseller - it was advertised as region 1. I only have region 2 at home but it worked perfectly!


Slow Cooking Properly Explained (Right Way S.)
Slow Cooking Properly Explained (Right Way S.)
by Dianne Page
Edition: Paperback

144 of 148 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best slow cooker recipe books available, 18 Feb. 2009
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I have many slow cooker recipe books - but this one is the one I use the most. Simply, I like it precisely because the recipes are not sophisticated and posh. Flicking through you it you won't see many recipes that require fresh herbs to finish the recipe off - so no throwing out half used tubs of wilted fresh herbs in the bin. A lot of the recipes use store cupboard items such as dried herbs and pulses. A favourite recipe of mine is Winter Pea soup using dried split peas. Alongside my breadmaker I can produce tasty, cheap, nourishing meals with little cost in terms of my time and energy.

I have made the steamed pudding from this book - the result is a light, moist sponge. One of my favourites is fricassee of Turkey - a supposely old fashioned recipe, but nevertheless a really yummy dish using chopped up turkey, lemon, mushrooms and onions.

However, there are a few duff recipes - I have found potatoes turn out watery and unappetising. If a stew recipe includes slow cooked potatoes I just tend to cook them separately, or just serve the dish with rice instead. The beef in beer recipe is wonderful (called Geordie stew with dumplings) - but I omit the dumplings. It cooks in 6 to 10 hours - it is great to come back home to a cooked dinner after a day's work.

I would recommend this book just for the soup recipes alone - once you have tasted how good the soups are you will want to keep on making them!
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 28, 2015 10:50 PM GMT


The Credit Crunch Cookbook
The Credit Crunch Cookbook
by Hamlyn
Edition: Paperback

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some delicious recipes and loads of good moneysaving tips., 9 Feb. 2009
Even though I have loads of books similar to this one, I thought I'd better get this book in case I missed out on some exciting new recipes! I was mainly looking for some new quick and easy dinners to cook from scratch after I get in from work. In general, despite my best intentions, I tend to only ever use the same few recipes from each cookbook - but even knowing this I still had to buy another cookbook!

Firstly, this book has no glossy photographs so beginners might be put off by not seeing a photo of the end result. The very good BBC Good 101 Cheap Eats Tried and tested Recipes manages to do this admirably - and at a very good price. Secondly, the text is hard to read as most recipes are written on a coloured background.

There are loads of useful little tips packed throughout the book: ie how to use leftovers, planning ahead, ideas for lunchboxes, feeding kids, storecupboard basics, how to judge quantities, cooking beans and pulses, eating seasonally, saving energy, slow cooking, stocking a freezer, toppings for jacket potatoes, make a shopping list/tips on shopping etc. Although I have read alot of these sort of tips before, it is useful to dip into and have them in one place.

Some of the recipes are really good, others not so impressive. However, other so called "cheap" recipes made me laugh: how about a roast beef and stilton salad using 1lb of rare roast beef and 5oz of stilton cheese, or a pudding consisting of a pancakes with fresh summer fruits using strawberries, raspberries and blueberries? I think most people on a budget would make a simple ham or cheddar cheese salad and simple pancakes with either jam, lemon and sugar or syrup.

Although alot of the recipes are quick, cheap and healthy, (for instance delicious carrot and lentil soup) some of the others are less healthy as they use deep frying methods: tempura vegetables, samosas, homemade fish and chips, cinnamon doughnuts. Who has the time and inclination to make those?

My children enjoyed a lot of recipes - especially stuffed pot roast chicken in cider, tandoori chicken, kashmiri chicken, tinned tuna fishcakes, Banoffi pie and chocolate refrigerator cake. They were all easy to make without having too long a list of ingredients.

All in all, a good book with some tasty recipes that I will use on a regular basis.


No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars A great product to get the condition back into your hair, 2 Feb. 2009
I have salon coloured and highlighted hair - resulting in dry ends, especially after blowdrying. Despite using deep conditioning masks my hair still looked dry and brittle. The recent cold weather made it as dry as a bone.

Anyway, I have spent the last two weeks slapping deep conditioning treatments on after washing, attaching this cap to my hairdryer and giving my hair 10 minutes of medium to low heat (I tried it with a hot heat - my ears felt as though they were burning!) After rinsing, blowdrying and styling, my hair looked 100% better. As I said, I didn't get immediate results, but now my style looks much better, my hair is thicker, smoother and looks healthy. I now have hair that swings! I can't remember the last time it looked so good.

Never mind that you have to sit there for 10 minutes with this device on, (I usually read a magazine whilst it is on) the results are well worth it.


Kathy Smith - Total Body Lift [DVD]
Kathy Smith - Total Body Lift [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kathy Smith
Price: £6.00

88 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get inspired by 57 year old Kathy's great looking body, 29 Jan. 2009
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As the title suggests this is a purely toning DVD. What a joy it is to workout to a DVD where it shows that the presenter has spent years presenting her craft. You just know its not been cobbled together, the production level is great, the exercises are up to date and innovative.

I really enjoyed this DVD - its just over an hour - you can select each section individually. Kathy has 2 people working out with her. Kathy constantly walks around assisting and correcting their positions - so you know you at home if you doing it correctly. After a short warm up its followed by:

Upper body lift: designed to give you long lines and sexy shoulders - you will need light hand held weights to complete.

Leg lift: one of my favourites as it includes exercises that you don't usually get with fitness DVDs. You shape and tone your legs holding onto the side of a chair (think ballet type exercises!) You will need a towel to place between your legs to assist with the squeeze and tuck type exercises.

Butt lift: exercises designed to lift and tone that bum, you need a chair, mat and towel. It feels great to lift your leg out behind you and lift and stretch. I was begging for mercy after all the different squeezes, lifting, holding and pulsing. According to Kathy the last few reps make all the difference!

Tummy lift: A mixture of Kathy's favourite tummy exercises, again you need a towel and a mat. These exercises are slow and controlled with a pilates influence, again, Kathy gives lots of advice on the perfect form. You can choose the level you are capable of. There is even cycling in the air type of exercise - but its a killer as its done slowly.

Throughout the DVD Kathy is very encouraging saying things like "you will get results if you stick with it" One look at her body says it all!

I wish more DVDs were like this, to the point, effective and inspiring.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 16, 2012 6:04 PM GMT


10 Minute Solution - Pilates Perfect Body [DVD]
10 Minute Solution - Pilates Perfect Body [DVD]
Offered by BTR Direct Ltd
Price: £4.89

364 of 369 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great DVD for reducing your wobbly bits and flab, 28 Jan. 2009
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I haven't been to any pilates classes so I can't compare this with organised classes, but this DVD seems to be a mixture of ballet dance, yoga and strength training. Each 10 minute section uses standing and mat work to target a specific body part:

Arms: you will need light hand weights - this will work your arms, shoulders, upper back and chest.

Perfect belly: lots of original moves here, lots of twisting while you strengthen your core.

bums and thighs: lots of bum lifts and leg raises to tone and lift those problem areas.

Pefect silhouette: a 10 minute section using a mix of the instructor's fav moves to create sexy curves

Perfect stretch: this is designed to make everyday movements more easier and improve your whole posture.

Everytime I use this DVD I am tired afterwards (but in a good way!) - its tough and challenging. Even though you only use light hand weights I am thankful it is only 10 minutes - its that challenging. This presenter is fast becoming one of my favourites as she is so friendly, professional and clear. She emphasizes the correct body position - but without too much chatter. Theres no unnecessary faffing around - you just get on with the exercises.

I think the 10 minute solutions series are ideal for anyone who wants to get fit but hasn't got the time. You can create your own custom workout by programming any of the segments in the order you select. I never get bored as I am always doing something different.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 16, 2012 6:09 PM GMT


10 Minute Solution - Hot Body Boot Camp [DVD]
10 Minute Solution - Hot Body Boot Camp [DVD]
Price: £5.99

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for advanced exercisers, 27 Jan. 2009
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I was really looking forward to receiving this DVD to add to my library of other excellent 10 minute solutions DVDs, but after completing I am disappointed. I should have taken more notice of the title of this DVD - it really is a fast and furious bootcamp. I really wanted to like this DVD, but I didn't. I don't mind moving quickly to keep my heart rate up but the moves in this workout are way too fast. As a runner and avid DVD exerciser I consider myself pretty fit.

For instance, in one section (where you need hand held weight)s, the instructor literally lifts the weights up and does 3 reps, then puts the weights down again. I simply couldn't put my weights down quick enough. In the Butt Blaster segment you literally do 3 leg lifts on the hands and knees before you have to turn over onto your back and do 3 bum lifts, and then back to the leg lifts. I enjoyed the stretch exercises - there are some effective moves here - great for people who do sports.

The whole feel of the dvd is slightly chaotic, and some of the exercises look and feel difficult to execute. Its like the instructor is trying to show us how great she is coming up with these new exciting moves - whether or not they are effective or not. Overall, this DVD might be good for a competitive sports person to get some cross training in if its too cold/icy outside. Having done loads of different DVDs I know I won't get used to it, and I don't want to persist with it - so its back to the DVD shelf!


10 Minute Solution: Blast Off Belly Fat  [DVD]
10 Minute Solution: Blast Off Belly Fat [DVD]
Price: £5.00

166 of 189 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful DVD - a serious workout for those who want to get rid of their belly flab, 30 Dec. 2008
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I loved this dvd. The instructor is very down to earth and friendly, yet very clear and professional. She explains each exercise really well, giving modifications for beginners. However, she doesn't waste time talking too much.

You get straight into the exercises without much of a break in between - the 10 minutes will fly by. The exercises themselves are really tough and challenging - after the 50 minutes I could really feel my muscles complaining. This is a DVD that I will continue to use on a regular basis, as I feel it really does work.


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