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Suzy Wozy (London, UK)

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Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Cookery Course
Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Cookery Course
by Gordon Ramsay
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 5.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Hits the mark with easy dishes to make, 24 April 2014
I tested half a dozen recipes from this book - as I read the ingredients and the method and they seem simple to do and they were! The flatbreads went down a storm at a dinner party I was holding, people were impressed with how quick they were to make, from being a dough to flatbreads soaking up hummous. You definitely won't buy them in the shops aferwards.

The beef empanadas had a lot of ingredients that I have at home which meant that I didn't have to go shop for ingredients. They were very tasty and had Morrocean favours though the olives didn't hit the mark with me.

I would definitely recommend the chocolate tart - I made one individual large tart rather than little ones as I didn't have the small tart tins, which worked out well. You just need a sliver as it's very rich.

All in, this book gives you loads of tips from buying the right equipment to the right ingredients and techniques that will improve the way you prepare/cook things. The photos ring out to me, begging me to try and make them and as they've been straight forward to make - no over-the-top, fancy chefy lengthly style techniques here. It's a great guide and reference book and good for a beginner or cook who likes trying new things but not spend ages in the kitchen.

The Rosie Project: Don Tillman 1
The Rosie Project: Don Tillman 1
by Graeme Simsion
Edition: Paperback
Price: 3.80

3.0 out of 5 stars Read it for something a little bit quirky from the usual romances, 16 Feb 2014
The blurb on the back of the book attracted me to this book - that Don has never had a second date and devised a project to find a wife. Within the first chapter, I kept thinking of Sheldon from the comedy show, "The Big Bang Theory" as he has a similar viewpoint and reaction to life as Sheldon, reacting more like a robot than a human.

Rosie blasts into his life and turns it upside down, that he is unable to keep to his normal schedule and funny things happen to him as she involves him in her hunt to find out who her real father is.

But as the book processes, Don becomes that little bit more human and likeable, that you end up fancying him and cheering him on. The way he thinks is original, that he goes the whole hog and throws himself totally into the situation - like learning the contents of a cocktail book in order to be a waiter at an event.

I enjoyed the quirkiness of this book - that for a change, it's a guy who's finding it hard to find a mate, but because he's not capable of empathy or reading people's faces/reactions, that they lose hope in him. Though his interactions with Rosie, he faces the challenges and slowly turns himself into someone that she can call a partner.

I can easily see this being turned into a film - go read the book before this turns into a reality!

The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul
The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul
by Deborah Rodriguez
Edition: Paperback
Price: 3.85

3.0 out of 5 stars Lighter read than Hosseini's books, 13 Jan 2014
I brought this on the strength of the author's other book - Kabul Beauty School, though I've not read it but heard a lot of positive comments. Judging from the cover of The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul, it looked like another chick flick story but set in the more gritty world of Afghanistan. It is a much lighter read than A Thousand Splendid Suns (which left me depressed and jaded after reading it).

The cast all bond through the coffee shop and it's owner, Sunny and follows their life in the city. I found the storyline predictable especially towards the end, and the characters on the stereotypical side - you have the mother, the rebel, the narcassist, etc. The characters aren't developed much and this can be frustrating at times when you want to get to know them better.

It does gives you an insight into the life of women in Kabul and this novel did make me think more about circumstances there. That life is a struggle but people try to make the best of their life.

Emjoi MICRO Pedi Portable Pedicure Device
Emjoi MICRO Pedi Portable Pedicure Device
Price: 19.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Effective in between podiatrist appointments, 23 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was a bit sceptical about this but read through the Amazon reviews to get a general overview of whether this would be an useful piece of equipment and though it was worth a go. I seem to grow hard skin quicker than I can remove it and I go regularly to the podiatrist who removes my hard skin and makes my feet nice and smooth. I've tried different instruments like the diamond skin remover, pumice stone etc but nothing really works for long.

I tried this before my shower and was delighted to see flakes of dry skin come off. It's like it shaves it off. It doesn't hurt if you try it a few times over the same area as I thought it might burn like an instrument the podiatrist uses to smooth out the skin. It was awkward doing the more rounded areas of my feet so they weren't as smooth. I used it 3 times that week and then left it a few days to see if my skin would produce more skin which the Micro-pedi removed with no problem. It could do with a harder roller for tougher skin on feet as the blue roller was a moderate skin remover. Also I think if the batteries aren't brand new, the device is less effective as the power feels like it's fading.

I reckon my podiatrist will be happier to see that he doesn't have to work as hard to remove my hard skin and it makes me feel more in control of the situation.

Just wondered how long a roller will last before it needs replacing.

Siege: (Scope 1)
Siege: (Scope 1)
by Simon Kernick
Edition: Paperback
Price: 1.99

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not one of Simon's best pieces, 17 Dec 2012
This review is from: Siege: (Scope 1) (Paperback)
I was fairly septical when I saw the name of this book - Siege as I could already visionise what would happen, what kind of characters were involved and it was very predicable. Think of movies about guests being taken hostage and that's about the plot. The pace was a lot slower than Kernick's other books, there's a heaviness that I have not experienced in any of his other books which didn't motivate me to read quickly. It involved way too many characters to keep track of, so it was difficult to engage with them.

There was a welcome return of Tina, who has been in several of his other books and though she played a small role, she bought about a sense of adventure and excitment that was sorely lacking.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 13, 2013 8:32 PM GMT

POLPO: A Venetian Cookbook (Of Sorts)
POLPO: A Venetian Cookbook (Of Sorts)
by Russell Norman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 17.00

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you love the restaurant, then it's worth buying the book, 6 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having visited Polpo the restaurant, and loving the food, I was delighted there was a book available so I could make the dishes at home. Inspired by what I ate, I invited one of my Italian friends over and we tried making a few dishes. The tomato sauce could not be easier, a lot of tomatoes, both canned and fresh, some oil, garlic and oregano boiled down.

To go along with it, we made the lamb and pistachio meatballs, as they were a little unusual and putting them in the oven took out the messy job of frying them off in a pan. They are moreish bite-sized of yummyness. Definitely worth making.

We also made pizzetta and made a version of the blanca, with asparagus and courgettes. Make sure that you roll it out very thinly as if it's too thick, it won't cook in the middle, though that didn't put my friend off!

Also on the menu were the prawns - we could only obtain frozen raw prawns with no shells on, which just didn't work, as there was too much water content that oozed out. It tasted nothing like the ones I tried in the restaurant, so it's worth shopping around for fresh raw prawns.

The mozzarella bocconcini - mozzarella dipped in breadcrumbed and deep fried were interesting. The mozzarella just melted out and I had to cut the ball in half as it was quite chewy.

All in, the dishes were tasty and it saved me a lot of money from returning to the restaurant. The photos are beautiful food porn and really makes you want to make the items. It's bounded in such a way that you don't have to press the book down and ruin the spine, which is exposed to show the workmanship. The instructions are easy to follow, so if you're a completely new starter to cooking, it's straight forward.

My Italian friend said some of the dishes weren't really Italian but i'm not complaining and it does say "of sorts".

The Night Stalker
The Night Stalker
by Chris Carter
Edition: Paperback
Price: 3.86

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A rollercoaster ride,. hang on tight!, 29 May 2012
This review is from: The Night Stalker (Paperback)
I go through a phase of reading book genres and criminology is my current on. I just read the back cover and decided to give "The Night Stalker" a go as the author is a psychologist and I was hoping he would add some bite to the characters.

He takes us on quite a ride, one that made me consume this within 4 days, not because it's action packed; it's more subtle, it makes you think and gives you an insight into criminologists' or psychologists' thought process. I found it fascinating and it's a little different from a straight forward crime book, this was more into the going-ons of a disturbed mind. If you enjoy Silence of the Lambs or Sev7en, then this would be up your street.

Philips Sonicare HX6411 Hydroclean Toothbrush - Compact Size, Ideal for Travelling.
Philips Sonicare HX6411 Hydroclean Toothbrush - Compact Size, Ideal for Travelling.

3.0 out of 5 stars Compact and convenient., 24 Mar 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Like the review below, I also found it difficult to find a battery operated toothbrush. I was keen to buy a Sonicare for it's sonic action - having used previous electrical versions which at some point, had to charge for longer times and give out less power. the battery versions are much lighter in weigh to hold though the power depended on how fresh the batteries were as I felt that the power deceased after a week of use and my teeth didn't feel as clean. But for convenience and price, it's a great buy.

Me Before You
Me Before You
by Jojo Moyes
Edition: Paperback
Price: 3.50

4.0 out of 5 stars What a story!, 24 Mar 2012
This review is from: Me Before You (Paperback)
I honesty didn't expect much from this book, having never read any books by Moyes so I was pleasantly surprised by this. Not many books touched me but this proved to be an exception. You can't help rooting for Lou and her mission to save Will from himself. You want to give her a hug or high five for every step she makes whether a success or a failure. For every smile or laugh that was hard won.

I felt like shaking Will when he being stubborn, like he was like any other guy! But I could see it was a difficult life to lead after being an active and adventurous achiever. It was a great insight into the harsh lifestyle of a quad and it made me appreciate the hardship and struggle they have to retain their dignity and what independence they might have. No wonder he puts on a brave face so that they can't see the pain he's going through. I loved that he tried to help Lou expand her world and better herself by improving her confidence.

Yes, this book is a keeper, just don't expect to have dry eyes at the end.

The Kitchen Diaries
The Kitchen Diaries
by Nigel Slater
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 20.40

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cookbook to savour, 6 Jan 2012
This review is from: The Kitchen Diaries (Hardcover)
This is my cooking bible! By far, my favourite Nigel Slater book as you can either choose a dish from what's in season that month or via the index if you wanted to cook with a particular ingredient. What makes his recipes great is that they are simple, easy and tasty just by reading the method and ingredients, you can envision what the dish would end up like. You don't need to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen to achieve great results.

I read the book like a normal novel and enjoy his descriptions and findings - like when he joined a crowd in Chinatown and ended up wolfing a box of luscious lychees. The book is also fantastic for the senses, from the beautifully bound hardback to the Italian creamy paper used to create the book to the stunning photography.

I have made quite a few of these recipes; the strawberry cheesecake is a firm favourite, it has demanded complete silence (whilst they finish the cake, then look to see if there is anything left before demanding that I make another one the following day. It has incited orgasms from some of my friends, prompting me to ask them to move to another room. Another friend said if he was going to get married, he would ask me to make this cake! But I'm afraid his wife would be abandoned whilst the cake is in the room.

Also recommended are the delish pork ribs that beg for you to bite into them; the bolognaise sauce which is full of favour.

There may be lots of new chefs on the block, but Nigel's books/programmes are hard to beat.

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