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Francisca (Cardiff)

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World Food: Tapas (The Australian Women's Weekly)
World Food: Tapas (The Australian Women's Weekly)
Price: £10.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Shod editing!, 25 July 2016
I found this book quite cheap in a charity shop and as I would love one day to own my own inspirational B&B and offer tapas, meals or cream teas I decided to give it a try! This is a book that has a lot going for it like lovely photos and the recipes are quite straight forwards (I haven't tried any yet, just read the book from cover to cover). One thing I didn't like: some recipes are written in such a font that is very difficult to read even by good light, especially the ones written on a coloured underground. I wonder why? It is not more expensive to print the recipes in a font most people can easily read? This is a problem I come across in many modern cookery books! Take into account that this is an Australian book that hasn't been adapted to the British terminology so you will find a lot of rather odd names but there is a glossary at the end. I find this a bit irritating but well, many people won't, so it shouldn't be a problem! There are a few pages with variations on a theme, for example Olives but the recipes have no names, which will make it more difficult for you to file them if you, like me, make your own indexes or to find them in the books index but if you go to the Index they do appear under a certain name so what I did was to add the name of the recipe by hand, which is rather odd. I also found a couple of recipes that don't appear with the metric conversion so all in all this is a bit of a shod editing!

Still, despite some misgivings, I think that I will have a lot of fun making and sharing these recipes! My dream is that one day I will become an editor for a publisher of cookbooks and I am sure that it would be worth it for one to hire me as I am very thorough when I work through recipes!


PASTA SAUCES
PASTA SAUCES
by MARKS & SPENCER
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars This is a nice book. I saw it in a charity shop ..., 21 July 2016
This review is from: PASTA SAUCES (Hardcover)
This is a nice book. I saw it in a charity shop and as a friend has given me a lot of pasta she is not going to eat anymore due to health problem, so I decided to give it a try. There are many recipes, all of them very simple, but which will make a change to your pasta dishes so all in all I think that this book is worth buying. There are sauces with seafood, fish, meat and just vegetables and cheese, etc. You will find recipes for well known dishes like Spaghetti Carbonara, or Spaghetti Bolognese. This is a simple book but I am sure that I will enjoy trying out many of these recipes!


Andrew James 4 Slice Belgian Waffle Maker In Metallic Red, 1200 Watts With 2 Year Warranty
Andrew James 4 Slice Belgian Waffle Maker In Metallic Red, 1200 Watts With 2 Year Warranty

3.0 out of 5 stars Thin wafflels, 17 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A friend asked me a while ago to order this waffle make for her on Amazon because she wanted to make waffles for her B&B guests' breakfast. She ended up offering it to me and I was all too happy to have it as I also want to start a small scale B&B. I tried it today for the first time and it is ok, the only thing I didn't like is the fact that the waffles are quite thin but that seems to be a problem with most European waffle makers. Other than that the waffles were good. It is also not easy to fill the four waffles without having the batter overflow and make the machine and the work surface dirty so in fact you never really make four waffles. If you go on Youtube you see that the American waffle makers are quite a bit deeper. I would have preferred one of those but I don't think that you can buy them here. Anyway, I am happy with my gift!


Lakeland Digital Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker 1.5L (7 Recipes Incl.) 1200w
Lakeland Digital Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker 1.5L (7 Recipes Incl.) 1200w
Offered by Lakeland
Price: £44.99

3.0 out of 5 stars It doesn't make 1.5L of ice cream!, 17 July 2016
I bought this ice cream maker after doing a lot of research because after reading so many reviews of people who had problems with their ice cream makers I preferred to be able to go to the shop and speak to them. My main criterion was that the ice cream maker had to make 1.5L of ice cream. Of course I was quite surprised when I saw the box as it looked rather small but I trusted Lakeland. Still… I shouldn't have. This ice cream maker makes 1.1L of ice cream at the most, and by that I mean that it is really filled to the brim after churning, making the down bit of the motor very dirty. As you can imagine I was very disappointed, especially because I missed out on much cheaper ones of this size because I specifically wanted a 1.5L. Lakeland offered to give me a refund but that wouldn't have brought the cheaper machines back, so I decided to keep it. I was also disappointment that they never apologized for the false advertising. This machine also has another problem which is that you put the inner and outer bowl in the freezer as they are made into one, meaning that it will take up more space than others where you can separate both bowls and only keep one in the freezer. All in all I am disappointment but that said this machine does make good ice cream but then most ice cream makers of this type do as they all work in the same way! The opening to add the ingredientes is tiny! Actually, I had rejected a cheaper machine based on the tiny opening and ended up buying one with the same problem, just paid more money for it! I really expected more from Lakeland.....


Tea and Treats - Over 60 recipes matching teas and sweet treats
Tea and Treats - Over 60 recipes matching teas and sweet treats
by Liz Franklin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book, not amazing recipes!, 16 July 2016
Oh boy, I didn't know whether to give this book three or four stars. Most definitely not five…. This is a lovely looking book, really pretty, very much like a Victorian tea party but does one buy a cookery book so that it can lie prettily on a table? I don't! I prefer a great cookery book to a very pretty one! But if you are looking for a coffee table book… this is most definitely for you!

The teas are not very inspiring. The stories about the teas are very interesting but then the only thing the author does is tell you to get the leaves or a tea bag and add some sugar or honey. Well… that we can all do without a needing a book…. The recipes… So far I have read it from cover to cover and tried one recipe which I think will be very nice but needs a bit of tweaking. I tried the Orange and Rosemary Cake. Getting the orange flavour is not difficult, but the next time I will infuse the rosemary in the milk to make sure that one really tastes the flavour. Most recipes are not very inventive. That was the reason why I ended up deciding to give this beautifully presented book three stars and not four. I have another book by Liz Franklin in my house in France, a book called Ice Cream and it is a great book. This one could have been far better if the recipes were more original and the same went for the teas. I have a book on tea in France, which would go very well in this book because it has truly amazing recipes, many of which also have health benefits.


Aroma Diffuser Anjou Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser (Ceramic Design, Continuous & Interval Mist Modes, Auto Shut-Off Function, 9H Working Time, Therapeutic 7-Colour LED, 100ml) - Black
Aroma Diffuser Anjou Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser (Ceramic Design, Continuous & Interval Mist Modes, Auto Shut-Off Function, 9H Working Time, Therapeutic 7-Colour LED, 100ml) - Black
Offered by Sunvalleytek-UK
Price: £59.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great quality!, 12 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The vendor Anjou, asked me to test this Aroma Diffuser and I was very happy to do it. By coincidence, when it arrived I was really will with the flu so I could put it to work right away with some Lavender essential oil.

The diffuser arrived very well packaged. In the box there was the diffuser, an instruction booklet, the power adapter and a measuring cup to measure the water. The first thing I did was to measure 100ml of water, then, after removing the cover of the diffuser I unscrewed the top or the water reservoir, added the water and a few drops of essential oil Then I connected it to the electricity. Once that all was done I went about trying out the misting options (one keeps the mist going the whole time, the other one has intermittent mist, sometimes on sometimes off) and the lighting (you can choose one colour or have the seven colours change the whole time, which is rather pretty especially if you have the diffuser in a room that is not too brightly lit). The functioning of the diffuser is really simple and it is very silent too. On intermittent mode the diffuser will work for 9 hours, which means that you can use it in your sleeping room and will be assured of the right amount of humidity and essential oil in the air.

Once the water is gone the diffuser will turn off automatically, which is great because you would want to be keeping an eye on it the whole time….. Please note that one should only use natural essential oils, not synthetic ones. After use wash is with warm water and a detergent. Also dry it and I would say don't cover it until it is completely dry so that you don't get funguses growing inside of the device. Never use the diffuser without water. This is not one of those diffusers that work with only essential oils but for me it is important to have enough humidity in the room as I suffer from dry eyes.

All in all I am very happy with this product. This is my first diffuser but I have wanted to have one for ages as I love essential oils and I believe in the health benefits of Aromatherapy!
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"Green and Black's" Chocolate Recipes: From the Cacao Pod to Muffins, Mousses and Moles
"Green and Black's" Chocolate Recipes: From the Cacao Pod to Muffins, Mousses and Moles
by Caroline Jeremy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Not really the best book on Chocolate in the world!, 11 July 2016
I found this book in a charity shop quite cheap and thought that I would give it a try but I have to say that I was quite disappointed. The recipe that caught my eye and actually gave me the idea to buy it was the Gorgonzola Dolce with Dark Chocolate. Don't get me wrong, there are a few nice recipes but when you advertise yourself as the best chocolate book in the world people do end out expecting more than you get in this book. Many of the recipes are very basic and there aren't many photos either. Most recipes were sent to them by people who use their chocolate, so it is not really as if they sat down and thought about the recipes themselves. Also they talk a lot about being green, and that is great but then use a microwave! That is something that I will never use, ever! Somehow the recipes seem to be aimed at people who want to feed a lot of people with their creations. Were they expecting to get people to buy a lot more chocolate? Especially when you are trying out a recipe you don't want to make a huge cake so… I will be scaling down most recipes. The story of the ins and outs of making chocolate is very interesting but all in all, if I hadn't bought this book very cheap I wouldn't have bought it at all!


Portugal (World Cuisine, Vol. IX)
Portugal (World Cuisine, Vol. IX)
by Fausto Airoldi
Edition: Paperback

2.0 out of 5 stars Very poor quality!, 8 July 2016
I bought this book in a charity shop for very little money so I thought that I would give it a try because I am Portuguese but have no Portuguese cook books here in the UK. I have to say that I was a bit disappointed. Many recipes use cod, although they don't specify whether it is the salted one and I wouldn't know where to buy it here in the UK. Then they don't tell you how to soak it or even if you have to soak it. The translation is also not very professional. There are hardly any desserts although Portugal has a huge amount of traditional desserts. Even for the main dishes, there are so many recipes you could easily make abroad but salted cod will be difficult to find. I also find that the recipes are not well explained. I can go online and find Portuguese versions because I can read them but foreigners won't. In the strawberry dessert they mention "pastry" to make the base to hold the sorbet (it is not an ice cream, as mentioned in the recipe) but they don't say what kind of pastry. By looking at the photo it looks like filo pastry but the recipe should specify the kind of pastry. In the recipe of the Stuffed Pork Chop, they mention a fennel and Orange Salad and Potato Gnocchi but there are no instructions of how to make them. In the recipe of the Almond Cake they mention syrup but there are no quantities to make it? I am sure that I will be trying a few recipes but all in all this is a very poor book. I am amazed at how big chefs accepted to be included in a book without checking its quality. I hope one day an editor of cook books will want to use my cooking skills and will ask me to edit cook books for them. There so many cook books being published every day but often the quality is quite poor!


[Top Rated Solar Charger] RAVPower 24W Solar Charger with Triple USB Ports (Most Efficient, Smart IC Chip, Lightweight, Waterproof) for Phone, Tablet, Gopro, Battery Packs etc
[Top Rated Solar Charger] RAVPower 24W Solar Charger with Triple USB Ports (Most Efficient, Smart IC Chip, Lightweight, Waterproof) for Phone, Tablet, Gopro, Battery Packs etc
Offered by Sunvalleytek-UK
Price: £135.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing if you do a lot outdoors!, 7 July 2016
The vendor, Ravpower, asked me to test this solar charger and I was thrilled to do it! How many times are you somewhere with no access to electricity? The way we live our lives nowadays requires all kinds of devices to be charged quite regularly and in case we can't do it we can have serious problems. Of course there are now external batteries you can take with you (and Ravpower sells quite a few great ones) but the sun light costs nothing and anyway, if you were away for quite a few days in the wilderness, for example, a battery wouldn't be enough for all your needs anyway. This way you know that even if the sun is not shining, as long as you can get the solar charger exposed to day light, you will be able to charge all your devices!

This charger has four solar panels and 3 USB ports, where you can connect your devices. I tried it out with my Android phone, a Motola MotoG on an overcast day and it charged really fast. I think that I will probably use this charger while I am at home and therefore have access to electricity just because it will cost me nothing! This is the second one I test and they were both awesome!

This charger uses a new technology 24W SUNPOWER®, meaning that it is 23% more efficient than other solar panels. That is why I noticed that although the sun wasn't even shining my mobile phone charged quite quickly. It is also quite light in weight meaning that you can hang it on your backpack while you walk or on your tent with the hooks provided. There is a pouch where you can hide your devices so that they are not under direct sunlight, which wouldn't be a good thing and could even damage them. It also detects exactly how much charge your devices need so that you never get problems with over charging.

The dimensions are 86x30cm open and 30x16.5cm closed. Although this is not something you can leave in the rain it is quite water tight so a bit of humidity or even some rain drops won't damage it. The warranty is of 18 months which shows the trust Ravpower puts into its devices! They also have a great costumer service!
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Ice Cream Made Easy: Homemade Recipes for Ice Cream Machines
Ice Cream Made Easy: Homemade Recipes for Ice Cream Machines
by Annette Yates
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Great ice cream recipes!, 7 July 2016
I found this little book in a charity shop at a very soft price. Normally speaking this book is not what I would be going for because it has no photos at all. Being a photographer myself I am very much inspired by great photography but I am so glad that I gave it a chance….. I have just bought an ice cream maker and I am starting to make ice cream again (my previous ice cream maker is in France… lost it during my divorce so it took me two and a half years to get a new one). The recipes all seem rather lovely and very simple, although I haven't tried any yet. Annette is a very enthusiastic writer and she gives you the choice of making your own custard or else using a good quality shop bought one. I have to confess that so far I have always made my own but I will give the shop bought one a try because one doesn't necessarily always have a lot of time to make and cook custard. At the beginning of the book she talks you through all you need to know when you make your own ice cream, including tips for storing, etc. The only thing I won't be using is a micro-wave because I don't agree with its use but I know that many people will. She also seems to be a bit pro-low fat ingredients, which I am not at all but again this is a choice! This book must be quite a few years old, maybe from the time Britain had just got into metric measurements so you will find out that the recipes use cartons of cream and other ingredients which are not sold anymore so if you want to buy cream and use it all you will have to make your sums as cream now is sold in 300ml or 600ml containers, not 142ml or 284ml but that is a minor detail. Or else you can use what is left over for something else! The recipes are well laid out and well explained.

At the end of the book you have a number of recipes for frosty desserts, like Sundaes and Bombes, then you have recipes for sauces to go with your creations and drinks, smoothies, etc. I am not at all a smoothie person but I will surely be trying some of the boozy drinks, especially when I have friends who come for a meal!

This is an unpretentious little book that does what it says on the tin! All in all worth buying, even if like me you have already made dozens of batches of ice cream!


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