Thursday, 27 June 2013

How a £1 parcel tape ended up costing me £11 in Poundland !!! (Hussy turns Hissy)

A couple of weeks ago, I run out of parcel (brown) tape.
The queue at the stationery shop was too long, out of pure laziness or impatience, I crossed the shopping centre to buy the tape in Poundlands.

Poundlands tape doesn't work out any cheaper than the stationer's. You may pay less but get less metres of it. Fair enough and nothing to rant about here.

So how did it end up costing me 1,000% (One thousand percent) !!! ?

Is this what inspired the cashier ? LOL

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Tesco Entertaining Cheese : Souffle - Review

Souffles never intimidated me to make and I can usually knock up a decent one.
However, it is a fair amount of dishes to clean afterwards !

BzzAgent was running a campaign, offering vouchers for free and discounted items from the new Tesco Entertaining Cheeses.
I was very tempted to compare their soufflé to my own.

As cheese soufflés can be quite sweet, I made a quick green bean salad with balsamic dressing to add some sharpness to the dish.

You will find the entire range of Tesco's Entertaining Cheeses and another recipe in my previous post
Tesco Entertaining Cheeses

Ingredients for the salad (2 servings)

- 160 - 200g green beans
- 1 small shallot
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Salt and freshly ground pepper

How do you make the salad ?

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Le Volume de Chanel mascara - Review

Recently Chanel was offering free samples of its new Le Volume Mascara.
I have been a fan of Lancome's mascara for over 15 years and a fan of Blinc for over 3 years.
This was a good opportunity to try something new ;-)

What does Chanel promise ?

The immediate shock of volume, colour and style. 

Instant volume and intense curves from the first stroke with longer, plumper and thicker lashes. Lashes are coated in deep colour, giving eyes a wide-open effect.

A shock result produced by the perfect union of brush and formula:

The brush, creates volume thanks to its smart design of snowflake-shaped disks that are stacked and oriented for an ideal finish.

The quick-drying fluid formula helps build a customised volume result. 

A flutter of seduction beats across the eyes as they become the expression of a vibrant personality.

What do I think ?

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Lamb cutlets with 0% fat Quark cucumber and mint raita - Recipe - (Dinner parties or special supper)

Raita is usually made with yoghurt and various other ingredients.
The classic is made with cucumber and mint.
A great accompaniment to your summer barbecue or supper.

I introduced Quark in a previous recipe : 0% fat Quark lemon mousse cake with rhubarb
I find it works better for the raita as the water content is much smaller.

Please bear in mind that the lamb will need to marinade for at least 20 minutes; but this can be done overnight.

Preparation : 30 mins
Cooking time : 15 mins
Difficulty : Very easy

What will you need for 2 to 4 servings :

- 1 rack of lamb or 6 to 8 lamb cutlets
- 1 to 2 red chillies
- A couple of sprigs of thyme
- 1 cup of olive oil
- 1/2 cucumber
- 2 tbsp plain Quark from the Lake District Company
- A couple of sprigs of mint
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the sides :
- A few baby potatoes
- 200g to 250g broad beans, fresh or frozen but podded

What do you do ?

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Windsor Week-end - Household Cavalry Musical Ride - Photo Album

I always admire the amount of training it must take for this show


One of the most impressive part of the show

Monday, 17 June 2013

Win a bunch of Riso Gallo Goodies

Try your hand at my chorizo, broad beans and pea risotto or create your recipe.

The set will comprise :
2 packets of Riso Gallo Arborio rice, an apron, a cute timer and one packet of Riso Gallo risotto pronto.
The winner will also have the choice to post his recipe as a blog post here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ThePrizeFinder - UK Competitions
Superlucky blog - Competitions listing
Loquax competition forum and listing

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Sunday, 16 June 2013

New trend : The Marshmallow - Fluffy Puff Puffs review

I hope you are over cupcakes … the newest trend is definitely reaching our shores : Gourmet Marshmallow.

There are numerous smaller mail-order companies in the U.S at the moment and they are all making pretty good business.
Michelin stars chefs in London used to offer them as petit-fours but are now increasingly adding their newest creations into their dishes. Desserts AND starters.

The marshmallow world is getting creative !
Please forget the horrible foamy and tasteless pink & white stuff we only enjoyed in hot-chocolate.
The French-style marshmallow with American creativity is here ;-)

I was contacted by Fluffy Puff Puffs to try their creation.
I remember the french bakeries of my childhood offering these wonderful strings of marshmallow.
Freshly home-made with no nasty chemicals or preservatives. Can Fluffy Puff Puffs re-alight these memories ?

Saturday, 15 June 2013

0% fat Lemon Quark mousse cake with rhubarb - Recipe

Quark is one of the products I grew up with on the Continent.
The French call it Fromage Blanc and the Belgians call it Maquée.
It can easily replace cream but has a very low fat content and more protein.

I used to find it difficult to buy in UK. The best best being the Polish delis.
Supermarket sometimes used to have their own version or a lesser known brand. However, these often used to be too sour.

Thankfully, The Lake District Company has just launched with 3 new varieties of Quark, distributed in major supermarkets… and made by British diary farmers !
You can find nutritional info and other recipe ideas here : Lake District Quark

I was sent a sample of each flavours to try and maybe come up with a recipe.
A 0% fat lemon mousse cake with rhubarb ;-)
Trust me, the recipe is much easier to make than it looks. Your only constraint is the setting time; minimum 4 hours.

What you need for 3 cakes :

- A tub of The Lake District Company lemon Quark
- 50g ginger biscuits
- 50g caster sugar
- A few stems of rhubarb
- 100ml skimmed milk
- 1 egg white
- 2 sheets of gelatine
- 1 lemon
- 3 chef rings 75mm diametre or one spring-form cake mould

Friday, 14 June 2013

REN bb cream - Review

Last month What's In My Handbag was offering the new REN BB cream to try.

I have loved REN products since the early 2000's.
They understood before most most the importance of natural products in cosmetics and always come up with great quality products and they are a British company.
Their products are neither "organic" neither 100% natural but will always use products derived from natural ingredients and free of paragons, silicon, pore-clogging agents, etc.
In one word high quality and effective products.

They are not cheap but neither are they expensive. (£26 for 50ml)

So REN has now jumped on the BB cream bandwagon.

What does REN say ? 

A silicone free BB cream with colour adaptive technology. It adjust to a wide range of skin tones and leaves the skin looking flawless, even toned and luminous with a perfect non-oily, satin finish. This true multi-function cream provides flawless coverage that banishes imperfections, gives SPF and anti-oxidant protection while photo-rejuvenation technology offers a toning, firming, anti-ageing effect. 


  • Skin looks satin smooth, matte and flawless
  • Corrects imperfections
  • Protects against UV damage
  • Revitalizes and boosts radiance
  • Skin looks firmer and more toned

What do I think ?

Monday, 10 June 2013

Windsor week-end - Royal Horse Show 1

Back to Windsor.

Food wasn't the main reason I visited Windsor this year … the horse-show was a big part of it.

The backdrop to the show jumping and other events is absolutely stunning

The Band of Irish Guards Introducing the Team Services Jumping

Sunday, 9 June 2013

New range of "Tesco's Entertaining cheese" - Review and ideas

Tesco has just launched a new range of cheeses for entertaining. I must admit there are some pretty good stuff out there ! And what's even better, BzzAgent was offering a campaign to try the new cheeses ;-)

What is available ?

 CHECK OUT THE ENTIRE(LY) DELICIOUS LINE-UP The new Tesco Cheeses for Entertainment range offers something for everyone — and for any occasion!
Whether it’s a dinner party, date or football match, choose the right cheese for your next get-together:
Goat’s Cheese with Flame Roasted Red Pepper Dressing 
Italian Mozzarella with Green Pesto Dressing 
Feta Cheese with Semidried Tomato and Kalamata Olives 
Ricotta Cheese with Roasted Garlic and Herbs 
Mexican-Style Monterey Jack 
Halloumi Slices in Sweet Chilli Dressing 
Goat’s Cheese & Caramelised Onion Canapés Kit 
Feta Cheese in a Tomato & Red Pepper Chutney 
Halloumi Cheese, Green Olives & Semidried Tomato Skewers 
Cheddar Cheese Soufflé 
Goat’s Cheese Wrapped in Bacon 
Baking Camembert with a Sweet Chilli Glaze 
Baking Camembert with a Caramelised Onion Glaze

N.'s favourite cheese is Goat cheese, so I started by trying out the Goat's cheese wrapped in bacon.
I made a salad (watercress, spinach and roquette) with hazelnut oil and cider vinaigrette.

As simple as ABC, the only secret is to keep the pan on medium heat, pre-heat before you add the bacon parcels.

What do you need :

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Super low fat easy strawberry cheesecake - Recipe

Cheesecake is usually made with a mix of cream cheese and double cream … not the best pud for your diet !

However, there is a way around this and it doesn't take much setting time either ;-)
Use low fat cream cheese and 0% fat yoghurt.

Recently, I came across yet another new 0% fat greek-style yoghurt.
However, this one seemed a bit different : It is made of 100% natural ingredients, doesn't have any artificial sweeteners or thickening agent.
The reason it is thicker is that it has been strained. So, perfect if you are gluten intolerant.

It is made of 80% yoghurt and 20% real fruit.
This sounded just perfect for a fruity cheesecake !

But my favourite feature of Chobani yoghurt is that 10% of its profit goes to charity every year.
Unfortunately, it is still being produced in the USA at this point (it is the market leader over there). But they are looking into producing UK sold yogurt in the UK.

Anyway, here is my recipe

Preparation time : 20 mins
Setting and cooling time : 30 mins or more. Basically whilst you are enjoying your supper ;-)
Cost : Average

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Veet Easy-Wax electric roll-on - Review

I have dark and very thick body hair.
Tried the beauty salon for a wax before but the beauticians were puzzled by how strong my hair was. A   nightmare to be honest !

I also tried cold wax before, eveN more useless for me !

BzzAgent was running a campaign to try the Veet Easy-wax for free.
Will this new device cut it for my challenge ?

What does Veet says ?

Wax on, hair off
Waxing at home often sounds like a nightmare: trying to apply messy wax that’s too hot (or not hot enough) is enough to make any girl consider going au naturale. But don’t let your inner yeti out just yet — Veet®’s innovative EasyWax system features a one-of-a-kind device that plugs into the wall for consistent temperature and handy roll-on applicator for clean and even wax application. A dream come true for your legs, underarms or anywhere else that’s a little on the wild and woolly side.

What do I think ?

Monday, 3 June 2013

People's Beijing - Photo Album

Dongchen District
Vendors on their way to set up in public transport station

Near a Hutong

Bellies are quite a common sight in Beijing

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Keep you stainless steel appliances mark. streak and scale free

You love your stainless steel kettle, toaster, sandwich maker … ? 

But hate the marks that always appear on them ? 

I use the milk jug/frother on a daily basis. 
Unfortunately, due to the electrical component, I find it difficult to clean on the outside. 
My best friend for this problem always has been vinegar.