# Monday, August 23, 2010

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Twix have recently launched a lighter version of their chocolate bar. The new bar which is called Twix Fino has lost its crunchy biscuit base instead containing a wafer. As a result it contains  48 less calories having only 94 compared to 142 calories in a standard bar. It is aimed mainly at women who want to enjoy chocolate but might be worried about the calorie content. It seems to be part of a growing trend with Galaxy and Mars also selling lighter alternatives.

posted on Monday, August 23, 2010 1:11:07 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

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This is interesting its the world’s first glass bottomed hot air balloon. It recently took off on its first flight as part of the 2010 Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. Passengers are able to see the view right under their feet. I’m not sure I would fancy it.

posted on Monday, August 23, 2010 1:08:13 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, August 22, 2010

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A fisherman in the Ukraine got a surprise when upon catching a fish a large frog jumped into his net and swallowed it. He managed to get this picture of the frog but was unable to save his fish.

posted on Sunday, August 22, 2010 12:04:20 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

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A scheme to reintroduce beavers to Scotland appears to be meeting with some success as the first beaver kits have been born in the wild. It is thought the kits are around 8 weeks old and belong to two different family groups. 11 Beavers in total were released into the wild as part of a scheme to reintroduce them. They appear to have settled in well with two beaver kits an encouraging sign for the species.

posted on Sunday, August 22, 2010 10:57:18 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, August 21, 2010

Lavender Biscuits This is one of my favourite recipes for using up the lavender in the garden. It makes about 40 biscuits.

Ingredients
125 grams of butter
100 grams of caster sugar
1 egg
150 grams of self raising flour
Four or five lavender flowers depending on taste

Method
Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth. Beat in the egg. Add the lavender flowers and mix well. Add the sieved self raising flour and mix until it is all incorporated. Grease the baking trays. Use a teaspoon to take out a teaspoon full of mixture. Mould the mixture into a ball and squash to form a small biscuit shape. Be careful not to place the biscuits too close together on the baking trays as they will double in size during cooking. Cook for 170 degrees Celsius/ 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes until just starting to turn golden brown around the edges.

posted on Saturday, August 21, 2010 11:18:27 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

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Sainsbury’s are launching new eco friendly milk bags and jugs as an alternative to plastic bottles. The move comes as they try to reduce the carbon footprint of milk consumption. They have partnered with Dairy Crest to launch the products which should soon be on sale. They will start by stocking a whole milk bag which will be followed by semi skimmed and skimmed milk bags next year. The new product contains 75% less plastic than the plastic bottles and they take up less space when disposed of. The product is also 6p cheaper to buy. There have been reports that some customers have found them difficult to use and have experienced leaks and spills but it will be interesting to see if people switch from plastic bottles. Tesco are also planning to launch a similar product in their stores.

posted on Saturday, August 21, 2010 11:13:29 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, August 20, 2010

It’s not often I write about cleaning products but this one deserves a mention. I brought it to use on our shower screen as it quickly gets covered with lime scale. Usually I use vinegar and an old toothbrush to clean the screen which takes several hours and is a rather tedious job. On the off chance that it might be better I brought Ecover Limescale Remover and to be honest I wasn’t expecting great things.To use you spray it on the surface you want to clean, wait a few minutes and wipe it off. Surprisingly it left the shower screen almost completely free of line scale. What’s even better is that it took me just 20 minutes to clean the whole screen, much less time than usual. I’m not too keen on the smell of the product but this will certainly be a regular buy for me just because of the time it saves.

posted on Friday, August 20, 2010 8:39:29 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article people are increasingly moving away from the humble biscuit onto more premium alternatives. It seems the rich tea, custard cream and digestive biscuit don’t quite hit the spot anymore when it comes to choosing a biscuit. Figures from market research company Nielsen have shown that people are instead buying more indulgent biscuits such as cookies and extra thick shortbreads. Sales of basic biscuits have fallen by 4.5% of the last year whilst sales of gourmet biscuits have increased by 20% in the same period. It is previously popular biscuits such as nice, jammie dodgers and custard creams that appear to be suffering as people demand better quality more premium biscuits.

posted on Friday, August 20, 2010 8:36:26 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, August 19, 2010

Running Oscar I was trying to take a picture of Oscar the other day. Unfortunately every time I crouched down to get a shot he thought I was calling him to come to me. The resulting pictures are all of Oscar running towards me. I did manage to get one before he got too close but I think Oscar misses the point of photographs. 

posted on Thursday, August 19, 2010 8:48:12 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

This is an unusual story, its a case where a man was found to have a pea growing inside his lung. When Ron Svedenwas was rushed to hospital with breathing problems an X-ray showed up what looked like a growth on his lung. However, when it was later removed it turned out to be a garden pea rather than a cancerous growth as was first thought. It seems the pea simply went down the wrong way and ended up in his lung. What is surprising is that the pea had started to grow and had spouted a plant about 1.25cm in size.

posted on Thursday, August 19, 2010 8:41:15 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, August 18, 2010

BobotieMy husband who is from South Africa is always going on about how much he likes Bobotie so to keep him quiet I thought I would give it a go. I found this recipe for Bobotie the other day and it turned out quite well. You can see the results pictured to the left. Below is the recipe in full so I can locate it easily next time I want to use it.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, peeled and sliced
2 1/4 pounds good quality lean ground beef
1 thick slice of white bread
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon medium curry powder (or hot for the hale and brave)
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
freshly grated pepper (about a half teaspoon)
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 tablespoons malt vinegar
1/2 cup seedless raisins
2 tablespoons strong chutney
2 bay leaves (or fresh lemon leaves if available)
2 medium eggs

Method
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Heat oil in medium sauté pan. Stir in onions. Cook over medium heat until transparent. Add ground beef. Cook until lightly browned and crumbly.

Soak bread in half the milk, squeeze out excess milk and mash with a fork - DON'T TOSS SQUEEZED OUT MILK! Pour it straight back into remaining milk. Set milk aside, and ad pulled-apart bread to the meat mixture.

Add curry, sugar, salt, pepper, turmeric, vinegar, raisins, chutney to the beef mixture. Spoon the mixture into a greased baking dish, and place bay leaves on top.

Bake for 50-60 minutes in preheated 350°F oven.

Beat egg with remaining milk and pour over mixture approximately 25 - 30 minutes before end of baking time.

Serve with steamed rice (traditionally yellow!) and extra chutney.

Serves: 6

posted on Wednesday, August 18, 2010 11:54:04 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

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This cute little guy is Luntik. He is unusual because he has an extra pair of ears in front of his regular ones. The ears don’t have any canals so unfortunately the cat is not blessed with super hearing but it does make him look a little unusual. The cat was pictured at a service station in Russia and other than the extra ears appears perfectly normal.

posted on Wednesday, August 18, 2010 11:45:42 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, August 17, 2010

If you are a bit short of cash it might be worth looking down the back of your sofa. According to this article there could be as much as £42.9 million of coins hiding in our sofas. That’s according to research carried our by Halifax. They found that two thirds of people regularly find money which has dropped down the sofa. Based on the fact that the average person finds £1.61 there could a collective wealth of £42.9 million hidden away. I’m not convinced, having just checked my sofa I didn’t find anything.

posted on Tuesday, August 17, 2010 10:37:22 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

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If you have a few million to spend and fancy a flat in town then you might be interested in this one. On the market for £140 million this is One Hyde Park. The flat has a prime location in Knightsbridge,Central London with views over the city. It has a private wine tasting facility and an underground passage to what will be Heston Blumenthal’s new restaurant. The flat itself is a two floor apartment with floor to ceiling windows. It has its own car park and panic room. Security features include bullet proof windows, SAS trained security guards and an air purifier to counteract poison gas attacks. It also has access to spas and squash courts. Whoever buys it will need to pay a massive £5.6 million just in stamp duty.

posted on Tuesday, August 17, 2010 10:30:31 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, August 16, 2010

21 Cranes will soon be released into the wild in an effort to reintroduce them into the British countryside. The bird has been absent from Britain for around 400 years with the last known sighting back in 1583. In April a clutch of eggs was shipped in from Germany and hatched at the Slimbridge Wetland Centre in Gloucestershire. The birds have been put through a realistic upbringing programme which has included being taught how to avoid predators. They have now been released into a temporary enclosure and are due to be released into the wild next month. The birds have been fitted with GPS satellite tracking devices so that they can be monitored after release to see how they get on.

posted on Monday, August 16, 2010 11:56:00 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

The National Trust has recently launched a bid to buy a stretch of coastline in Wales. The coastline which is part of the Llyn Peninsula in Gwynedd will cost around £3 million. A fundraising appeal has been launched to try and raise the money so that the site can be protected. Under the plan a new visitor centre would be built but the land would be protected from other developments. The National Trust have said that if successful it will ensure the protection of endangered wildlife, flora and fauna as well as the local way of life.

posted on Monday, August 16, 2010 11:54:13 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback