Reviews

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Nigella Christmas

Nigella Lawson has written as many as 10 best selling cookery books. 

These books, together with he TV series have made her a household name. 

Nigella Christmas is a festive must, saturated in mouthwatering recipes that are sensible and above all reliable. Like all of her books, she writes as she cooks with no holds barred, so well in fact that you can understand her reasoning and taste whilst reading about the delectable items she is producing. 

Full of intrigue and with a pinch of make-believe, Christmas doesn’t get much better than this. 

The photography contained within the covers is both professional and instructional. The cookbook contains all the elements required for that perfect Christmas, even what to do with the leftovers.   

If its indulgence that you seek, there is no better Christmas cookbook on the market. It would also make the perfect Christmas present.

Rating: ***** A Cookery book with jaw dropping results for everyone
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Bob
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Rangemaster 110 Elan

Rangemaster has been making cookers since 
1830. They are still manufactured in Royal 
Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, benefiting from over 200 years of manufacturing excellence. 

Great cooking requires a great cooker and the 
new ranges still share the original dedication to quality, design and innovation.

The Rangemaster Elan is a top quality cast iron range cooker with high gloss finish, beautifully designed for a traditional look but with up to date features. The mains ignition gas hob has 6 gas burners, including 2 at 3.5kW, a half ribbed, half smooth non-stick griddle and a warming plate. Beneath the hob is a separate dual circuit electric grill, storage drawer and 2 side by side ovens – one fan, one multifunction with programmable timer. The ovens have self-cleaning catalytic liners. The cooker is height adjustable to sit flush with your work surface. However, the cooker does require a 30 amp power supply. This piece of kit looks and appears to be sturdy and precision built but don’t get carried away with its lustre. Having used this appliance now for some 12 months there are areas that Rangemaster could improve on. 

The style of shelving appears to differ depending on what oven you use. Why they have done this is a mystery but this difference does affect your cooking width. Also the aluminium burners on the hob discolour badly during use therefore constant cleaning is required. And by the way, it may say self cleaning ovens but my experience is that no such oven exists. In fact you could well do with investing in oven base liners which are much easier to remove and clean should you suffer a spill. Regularly cleaning the inner side of the doors is also a must. 

By far the worst feature is the grill. Apart from the stainless steel rack in the grill pan there is no way to adjust the food you are intending to grill. This results in either items burning because they are too near the element or getting caught on the upper door frame.

As this cooker retails at around the £3k mark, it’s good but it’s not that good and I question it’s value for money. 

Rating: *** Brilliant piece of equipment but requires practical refinement.
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Bob
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Kenwood Chef Classic

Brand: Kenwood

Capacity: 4.6L 

Dimensions: H30cm x W43cm x D30cm

Dishwasher Safe: YES 

Power: 1200W

Speeds: Variable speed, pulse and fold Weight 

Information: 8.1kg Working capacity (dry) 2.72kg cake mix, 2.18kg dough Working capacity 
(liquid) 4.6 litres

Whether you’re braving a brand new recipe or preparing a family favourite, the Classic Elite Stand  Mixer from Kenwood is sure to spark your creativity in the kitchen.

By combining innovative Total Mix Planetary Action with Kenwood's range of dedicated bowl tools, 
this smart kitchen accessory offers complete control over every last detail. The exclusive folding tool will incorporate heavy and light ingredients to make airy and fluffy mixtures, while the K beater will help you produce perfectly kneaded dough with no effort.

With exceptional results every time, the Kenwood :Chef will give you the confidence to try something new. You can even update your mixer with a choice of over 20 specialised accessories, and leave your imagination to do the rest.

Accessories Included 
4.6 litre capacity stainless steel bowl, splashguard, spatula Attachments: K-Beater, Balloon whisk, Dough hook and Splashguard 

Rating: ***** Truly a remarkable piece of equipment.It is so versatile, I cannot imagine a kitchen without this vital piece of equipment.
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Bob
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Whirlpool Solo Microwave 38

This Whirlpool Max 38 has been created with space saving in mind.

It has a curved back which allows it to fit snugly into corners without compromising on accessability. It is stylish with a highly glossed finish and the controls, although reasonably basic, cover most household requirements which include:

Auto Cook, Touch Control, Programmable, Timer, Child safety Lock, Jet Defrost, Digital Display and an Internal Light. It has a 32cm Glass Diameter Turntable, able to accommodate a full size dinner plate. It also comes with 3D microwave distribution for perfect results.

The touch controls are clear and easy to understand. The auto-cook function allows for items to be cooked for the right amount of time and at the correct temperature. There is also an auto steam function but you will require the steamer accessory in order to use it.

Power rating 700w
Power Levels 5
Energy Efficiency Class A
Product Dimesions: H 36.1cm, W 39.2cm, D 35cm
Product Weight: 16kg

All in all this is a cute piece of kit. I have been using it now for 3 years and it acts and looks as good as it did when first purchased. If like me you just use the microwave as and when you have to for speed, and are not interested in all the whistles and bells that come with most premium microwaves, this certainly would be the one for you.

Rating ****
Bob
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Bosch Tassimo Vivy Hot Drinks and Coffee Machine

There are quite a few automated family coffee and hot drink machines on the market. They all basically do the same thing but at an incredibly diverse price range.

I suppose you have to ask yourself, “why do I want one”. Is it because you want your hot drink to be prepared quickly or does the finishing appearance become more of a major concern. Perhaps it’s to do with the strength of product or maybe, just maybe, a status thing.

Well what ever rocks your boat, like all hot beverages, they have to comply to your personal taste.

So I bought Bosch Tassimo Vivy. Why?, well retailing at about £60, it ticked all the boxes for me without breaking the bank. Cartridges cover the complete hot drink spectrum with 35 to choose from and it is simple to use. Fill it with water, slip in your cartridge and just press one button. 30 seconds later I have a perfectly palatable hot drink. In terms of running costs, a lot less expensive than boiling the kettle. It is a neat design, weighing only 2.5kg, looks classy and is small enough not to look too conspicuous. It even has an automatic cleaning and descaling program and the detachable parts can be put in the dishwasher. The coffee machine operates at 1300 watts.

The only downside for me is that the water tank only holds 0.7 ltr so if like me you take your hot drinks in mugs, there will only be enough water for 2.

Quite honestly, for the money, this hot drinks machine does what it says on the box. For a single person or couple, this machine is ideal.

Rating ****
Bob
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Breville VBL062 Blend-Active Blender

What a brilliant piece of kit this is.

Incredible for all those blended drinks with the added advantage of the on-the-go dispenser.

Check out the video!!

This cute mixer makes healthy and nutritious drinks in seconds. It is powered by a 300w motor and is so strong it will even crush ice.

It comes with 2 x 600ml bottles with spill-free lids for travelling about, fits on your bike and ideal for use at the gym.

It is quite flashy and retailing at about £20, what more could you ask for?

This mixer definitely gets my “thumbs up”.

Rating: ***** Absolutely Incredible - you will not be disappointed.
Bob
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Jamie's Comfort Food

If you like me get great pleasure from eating - this surely has to be the book to inspire you.

Filled with mouthwatering recipes  for just you or the entire family.

Whether sitting at the table or costing up in front of the telly, there has to be something here for everyone.

This book is unbelievable. Jamie has the knack of making everything look so easy without any fuss and to be honest, it is. It's just most of the time we either can't be arsed or we think we''re incapable.

Jamie is a bit of a cheeky chappie but he knows his stuff. He has been at the forefront of many campaigns and has changed the way we look at food and the goodness it provides. Long gone are the times where ignorance is better than bliss. Jamie has made it perfectly clear that what we eat does matter. He manages to conjure up those delectable morsels made with nourishing ingredients that make you want to come back for more. As I went through this cookery book I became hooked by the attention to detail and the passion he shows about his trade.

You have to try some of these recipes to realise just how good they are. Whether you feel nostalgic, need a lift, in a good mood or like the same old things, this book has it all including variations on a theme.

Even if you're looking for some sweet indulgence or those good old guilty pleasures, Jamie can show you how it's done.

 To be honest, you cannot go wrong with this cookbook and retailing at only £7.99 it's a must-have cookery book.

Rating: ***** Well worth the money
Bob
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