SpiceZ Chicken Curry


This is an excellent curry kit, with fresh ground spices in one sachet and dried herbs and spices in another. I added some yoghurt to the standard recipe, and after eating this meal twice, a week apart, I rate it very highly.

I used 12 ‘Chicken Lovely Legs’ from the Woolworths deli  –  they are much better value than standard chicken legs, and I followed Lena’s  Chicken Vindaloo recipe – http://shed.robhealey.com.au/cooking/chicken-vindaloo-amazing/ substituting the Maharajah’s Vindaloo paste with the fresh herbs and spices of the Spicez Curry kit.



Early Simmer3821


Here are the Chicken Lovely Legs simmering in the electric frypan. They have the knuckle cut off which makes them better value than standard chicken legs and you can fit more into the pan.


I have cooked Lena’s Chicken Vindaloo well over 50 times. It’s my guaranteed great tasting curry. This Spices Kit is every bit as good as the Chicken Vindaloo, and having fresh ingredients must logically be better. I would like to know which curry I prefer and so far I can’t decide- they are both so good!

I may have to try both at the same time to make a decision  heheh   that will be no hardship!

UPDATE: August 2014. Since I wrote this 4 years ago, I have tried both the Spices Chicken curry spice mix and the Maharajas Vindaoloo paste at the same time and there was very little difference. Since then I’ve only used the Spicez Chicken Spice mix because I know it has fresh ingredients and no preservatives. The recipe has been updated and is even better and I have probably had over 400 meals, it’s my favourite curry.



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Mosquito trap


I’m trying out the The Neo-Photo Catalyst Insect Trap. It’s similar to many electric mozzie/sandfly traps but also has a unique way of attracting the insects by producing carbon dioxide through a reaction between a Titanium Dioxide metal plate and an ultra violet light.

The Neo-Photo Catalyst Insect Trap represents new technology in Australia. Insects – even in the dark – can easily locate where a person is by sensing the carbon dioxide and heat they emit. Insects also react with extreme sensitivity when near ultraviolet rays and carbon dioxide. By emulating these conditions, the trap can decoy and capture insects in daylight or dark, and outdoors or indoors.

The free-standing trap is highly effective in keeping mosquitoes, sand flies, midges, moths and other insects at bay in a domestic and commercial environment. The many benefits  include low running costs (equivalent of two cents per day), no ugly zapping noises, no attracting Gecko’s under a traditional “zapper”, low noise emissions, scientific testing and environmental safety. Add to these, simultaneous purification of air and neutralization of odours. It also has an antibiotic effect by killing bacteria and suppressing its growth by the strong oxidization and decomposition capacity of the unit.

The upper part of the unit features a Titanium Dioxide plate which reflects the ultraviolet light emitted by the trap. The combination of the light with the Titanium Dioxide plate promotes the process of photo catalysis. This in turn, produces heat and Carbon Dioxide emulating a human being and luring insects into the trap. Alsowhen small amounts of sunlight or ultraviolet rays and organic matter are combined on the surface of the Titanium Dioxide plate, it purifies the air of unpleasant odours by sterilizing sundry bacteria through decomposition – thus cleansing the area.

This is the outside portable traps that covers and protects an area of 120 square metres and sells for $99.95. there is also an indoor model for $69.95.

This is a better alternative to high voltage zappers which simply cause the mosquito to explode on impact, atomizing and spraying blood and intestines in to the atmosphere to be breathed back in by adults, children and pets.

The video was taken after 3 days use and shows that it has collected a reasonable number of insects which represents closely the ratio of insects here at the moment. The benefits of being cheap to run, silent and working 24 hours a day will in time reduce the local insect population resulting in less bites and itches.

I bought mine from Omega Innovation, they have a shop in Cairns.
Here’s the link www.theomegagroup.com.au


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Marinades Indian Restaurant


Unsolicited reviews about Marinades Restaurant Spence St Cairns go something like this –


Andrew 19th Dec 2006
Marinades remains not only Cairns or Qld’s, but Australia’s finest Indian restaurant. It is wonderful to know that each time we go back, the standard of food and service will be superb. My wife and I have both lived in India, and are on an eternal quest for quality Indian food, so having Marinades so close to home make our life alot easier. 3/3. Excellent!

from http://www.cairnsdining.com/venue_47261


So it’s no surprise I have been eating Marinades Curries for many years, such a long time in fact that I finally managed to convince the owners, both Indian, to give me a sample of their spice mix for my favourite dish, Lamb Vindaloo. Over the years I have often asked them questions about how they make this dish, and they have always been very genrous with advice, but to actually be given some of their spice mix was a real honour.

Of course the curry I made from it turned out really well – a very good curry. But it did lack a certain signature flavour that their Vindaloo always has. I asked them today what the secret ingredient is; I found out a couple of things it isn’t but no luck in revealing the secret to their full flavoured curries. Apparently the chefs, ‘add things’ after the spice mix – well they certainly add GOOD things!!

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The Shed – we can make a difference


Un-reliable products are becoming the norm. We all complain to each other about what products are un-reliable when they breakdown, but that doesn’t spread the word very far.

Here at The Shed, I can air my views to potentially the world. It might help someone and it might make me feel slightly better.

I started making blogs well before the term ‘blogging’ was invented. I’m not a big fan of the word, although it is now in common usage. So I call this blog, ‘The Shed’ – it seems entirely suitable.

WE are now the quality control testers. It is so much cheaper for products to be returned and replaced than it is for the producers to test them for quality- and not everyone can be bothered to return faulty items, which is another win for the producers.

Here at the Shed I will feature GOOD QUALITY products, that I am using, ocassionally I may even rant on about something that was bad quality. We all complain about items that fail well before their time. Our last two microwaves have both failed inside the first 12 months, then failed again 18 months from date of purchase.

Recently an Mp4 player died after a mere 3 months, I returned it for a refund and bought a better one from the same store and IT failed after just 6 months. Both were BASE brand from Target. I contacted Target after the second failure because, excuse me, I can’t keep running back to the store every few months, however much they would like to see me – not to mention having to download 6-8 gb of music each time. Customer Service must have been on holiday- the response was, “go to the store and get a refund” – yeah it often seems like I already spend my entire life doing that. I did, and won’t be back.

You could say it is my fault for buying cheap, but I don’t think $80 – $100 (on special) is cheap for Chinese products that very likely costs Target around $20 to buy.

If you want to rave or rant about a product, you are very welcome to do that here, in the comment box below –  it will make you feel good and may help someone else.



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TR3A – a Young 21 year old Rob and his car


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Give it to me Hot Curry Video


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My Corvette Video

My 1988 Corvette

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Gluten Free


My wife is Gluten intolerant and tries to eat Gluten Free.

buy these gluten free stickers at Zazzle.ca

From Wikipedia – “Gluten (from Latin gluten “glue”) is a composite of the proteins gliadin and glutenin. These exist, conjoined with starch, in the endosperms of some grass-related grains, notably wheat, rye, and barley. Gliadin and glutenin comprise about 80% of the protein contained in wheat seed.” 

Gluten is life threatening to people suffering from Coeliac disease. For others it cause a variety of problems including headaches, allergic responses, dermatitis, difficulty breathing during exercise and gastrointestinal symptoms.

trying to avoid Gluten is not as easy as it seems – Gluten is used as a stabilizing agent in products like ice-cream and ketchup. We’ve even discovered it in salad dressing. Of course it’s in fish batter, but even if you ask for no batter, the fish is cooked in the same oil and many people are sensitive to even the slightest trace.

Since about 2006 we’ve noticed, an increase in the ‘Gluten Free’ labelling on the supermarket shelves and more and more chefs are aware of Gluten sensitivity and we now find that checking with ‘the cook’ is always worth doing. Gone are the days when the Chef has taken it as a personal insult and come storming out of the kitchen to be rude to us!!

I don’t like the taste of most gluten free food. GF pasta tastes rubbery. The bread tastes like cake etc. GF pancakes can turn out OK and even be tastier than ordianary pancakes.

Gravox make 2 GF gravies – Roast Meat & Traditional – these taste fine, I can’t tell they are GF.


I will be posting more recommended Gluten free products here, in the meantime please use the comment form to let me know of any Gluten free products you recommend.


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Rice Bran – good for Diabetics


I’ve started taking Rice Bran daily.

It supposedly lowers the bad Cholesterol – LDL, and can lower blood sugar levels in Diabetics. It decreases degenerative diseases by combating free radicals which can lead to heart attack, stroke, and cancer and contains over 100 antioxidants including tocotrienols, slowing the aging process.

Sounds GREAT to me !!!



I use the trusty old Bamix to make a thickshake  of rice Bran with soy milk and a banana. Looks like 20grams is the average daily dosage.


One of the many compounds in Rice Bran is  Lipoic acid, which  increases the efficiency of Vitamins C & E, glutathione and improves metabolism. 

I read this as a perfect complement to MAX GXL Glutathione Accelerator – the Max produces the Glutathione and the Rice Bran ensures the Glutathione is as efficient as it can be – plus there are so many other benefits that Rice Bran gives.

The Lipoic Acid  is a powerful compound for producing energy in muscles and is an important link in the vital antioxidant network. It is an essential key that unlocks energy from the food we eat. This energy is available for everything we need to do.

Lipoic acid normalizes blood sugar levels and reduces glycation. Glycation is the damage done to the body by excess sugar.   Glycation leads to accelerated aging, heart disease and diabetes complications. It has been used for nearly thirty years to treat neuropathy, help regulate blood sugar and prevent diabetic cardiopathy and retinopathy.  Lipoic acid protects the nervous system and may be involved in the regeneration of nerves.

For decades, lipoic acid has been used to protect the liver and to detoxify the body of heavy metal pollutants such as cadmium, lead, mercury and excessive iron and copper.  According to Dr. Richard A. Passwater, Ph.D., one of the most exciting recent developments is that lipoic acid appears to help slow the progression of HIV infection to clinical AIDS.

Known as the metabolic antioxidant, lipoic acid regenerates other antioxidants.  Antioxidants help protect the body against the damage that can cause heart disease, cancer, aging, strokes, arthritis, cataracts and most degenerative diseases.

Stabilized Rice Bran has all Essential Fatty Acids, great for skin disorders such as eczema or psoriasis; absolutely necessary for normal function and development of the brain.  Deficiency of EFA’S leads to an impaired ability to learn and recall information.

It contains all Essential Amino Acids.  Amino acids act as precursors to neurotransmitters. They are necessary in order for the brain to receive and send messages.  Unless they are present together, in the correct proportion, almost anything can go wrong with the transmission of the message.  Amino acids enable vitamins and minerals to perform their jobs properly; even if they are absorbed and assimilated rapidly, vitamins and minerals will not be effective unless amino acids are present.

High Potency Antioxidant Enzymes aid in tissue growth and repair, development of nerve cells, and proper metabolic functioning. Enzymes help prevent digestive problems. Enzymes are essential and play a role in virtually all body functions- life could not be sustained without enzymes.

CoEnzyme Q10 is a powerful antioxidant; it activates beta receptor cells which allow the body to recognize the insulin it produces, protects the brain from free radical damage, helps reduce clogged arteries of the heart and is beneficial for heart disease. It is a vitamin-like substance that resembles vitamin E, but may be an even more powerful antioxidant. It declines naturally in the body as we age and needs to be supplemented. The New England Institute reports that coenzyme Q10 alone is extremely effective at reducing mortality in people affected with tumors and leukemia. It has the ability to counter histamine and is valuable to allergy and asthma sufferers.  It is beneficial in aging, obesity, candidiasis, multiple sclerosis, periodontal disease and diabetes. Because of its immense effect on boosting the immune system, AIDs is a primary target for research.

Phytosterols are natural phytonutrients which help to modulate hormone levels. At any age, hormones are involved in nearly all our bodily functions. They carry messages to cells all over the body, influencing activities such as growth, metabolism, cholesterol transport, bone building and sexual development. Phytosterols are natural plant compounds that are converted into hormones during the normal digestive process.

A healthy cell knows precisely how to grow, when to divide and when to stop. But if the genetic information within the cell is injured or altered, the cell may begin to behave erratically.  This often leads to cancers and tumors, which can grow malignant and spread throughout the body. Researchers have discovered that phytosterols may help manipulate the hormonal environment in a favorable way, and by doing so, may help prevent hormone related cellular changes from occurring. 

Glutathione and Glutathione Peroxidase are high detoxifiers of free radicals and are critical for overall health maintenance. Known as the ‘triple threat’ amino acid, glutathione is found in the cells of nearly all living organisms on earth, and its primary job is waste disposal.

When free radicals are lurking about, threatening to start an oxidation reaction, Glutathione catches them, neutralizes them, passes them on to another antioxidant (such as vitamin E) and begins the cycle anew. In the liver, this powerful amino acid latches onto toxic substances and binds to them, so the liver can excrete them without being damaged. It also prevents healthy red blood cells from being damaged by neutralizing unstable forms of oxygen.

Medical research in Abundance –

This Link to approx 50 PDF’s of  Stabilised Rice Bran Research  http://www.stabilizedricebranresearch.com/

Other Research papers –

1.  Kamen, B. 2001. Stabilized Rice Bran. Alternative Medicine, 2001 Jul:53-66.
2.  Qureshi AA, Sami SA, Khan FA. Effects of stabilized rice bran, its soluble and fiber fractions on blood glucose levels and serum lipid parameters in humans with diabetes mellitus Types I and II. J Nutr Biochem 2002 Mar;13(3):175-187.
3.  Xu Z, Hua N, Godber JS. Antioxidant activity of tocopherols, tocotrienols, and gamma-oryzanol components from rice bran against cholesterol oxidation accelerated by 2,2í-azobis(2-methylpropionamidine) dihydrochloride. J Agric Food Chem 2001 Apr;49(4):2077-81.
4.  Qureshi AA, Sami SA, Salser WA, Khan FA. Dose-dependent suppression of serum cholesterol by tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF25) of rice bran in hypercholesterolemic humans. Atherosclerosis 2002 Mar;161(1):199-207.
5.  Ref: Cheruvanky et al., “Methods for Treating Joint Inflammation, Pain and Loss of Mobility,” U.S. Patent No. 6,902,739, Nov 2001.
6.  Ostlund, Jr. R. E. 2003. Phytosterols in Human Nutrition. Annual Rev. in Nutrition, 22:533-49.
7.  Jones, P J H., Howell T., Natanios FY., Raeini-Sarjaz M, Vanstone CA., 1999. Cholesterol lowering efficacy of a sitostanol containing sitosterol mixture with prudent diet in hyperlipidemic men. Am.J. Clin. Nutr. 69:1144-50.
8.  Berges, K A.,Senge, T. 2000. Effect of Beta-sitosterol on transforming growth factor-beta-1 expression and translocation protein kinase C alpha in human prostate stomal cells in vitro. Eur. Urol., 37(6): 735-41.
 9.  Gupta, M B., Nath, R., Srivatsava, N., Shankar, K., Kishor, K and Bhargava, K P. 1980. Anti-inflammatory and anti-Pyretic effect of beta-sitosterol. J. Medicinal plant Res. 39:157-163.
10.  Awad, A B., Downie, D., Fink, C S. 2000. Inhibition of growth and stimulation of apoptosis by beta-sitosterol treatment of human breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells in culture. Int. J. Mol. Med,5:541-545.
11.  Awad, A B., von Holtz, R L., Cone, J P., Fink, C. S., Chen, Y-C. 1998. Beta-sitosterol inhibits the growth of HT-29 human coloncancer cells by activating shingomyelin cycle. m Anticancer Res. 18:471-479.
12.  Awad, A B. and Fink, C. S. 2000. Phytosterol as anticancer dietary component: Evidence and Mechanism of action. J.of Nutrition 130:2127-2130.
13.  Bouic, P J D., Estebeth, S., Leibenberg, R. W., Albrecht, C. F., Pegel, K., Van Jaarsveld, P P. 1996. Beta-sitosterol and beta-sitosterol glucoside stimulate human peripheral lymphocyte proliferation: Implication for their use as an immunomodulatory vitamin combination. Int. J. Immunopharmacology 18: 693-700 (Medline).
14.  Minhajuddina, M, Begb, Z, Iqbal, J. 2005. Hypolipidemic and antioxidant properties of tocotrienol rich fraction isolated from rice bran oil in experimentally induced hyperlipidemic rats. Food and Chemical Toxicology J. 43(5):747-753, May 2005.
15.  Iqbal, J, Minhajuddin, M. 2003. Suppression of 7,12-dimethylbenz[[alpha]]anthracene-induced carcinogenesis and hypercholesterolaemia in rats by tocotrienol-rich fraction isolated from rice bran oil. European J. of Cancer Prevention 12(6):447-453, Dec 2003. 



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Enlarge Screen


If you need to enlarge the screen to read small fonts or look at a picture more closely –

Hold the CTRL key down and use the scroll wheel to zoom in and out.

Look at the bottom right hand corner in Internet Explorer to see what percentage you are viewing at and to reset.


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