Day: October 31, 2017

Halloween Recipes from The Bristol, Gurgaon

Halloween Recipes

These recipes are especially curated for us by Executive Chef Anil Dahiya, Bristol, Gurgaon

Born to a royal Jaat family where men were not commonly allowed into the kitchen, Executive Chef Anil Dahiya broke the rule and entered the culinary world with great enthusiasm. He started his hospitality journey in 1996, when he got his Diploma in Hotel Management from the Institute of Hotel Management , New Delhi. He began his career under their kitchen management scheme from the Oberoi hotels. He spent several years with the Oberoi hotels, followed by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), ITC and Lemon Tree Hotels. He is currently the Executive Chef of The Bristol Hotel, Gurugram.

Chef Dahiya has amassed a great deal of knowledge and developed numerous culinary skills, having worked with many renowned chefs such as Chef Vincent Joseph, Chef Michael Beechey, Chef Marshal and Chef Sadhu Rohilla.

He takes pride in creating and experimenting with new techniques and ingredients. Chef Dahiya loves to cook food in numerous ways, utilizing different unique techniques. He has appeared on various cooking shows on television such as “KUCH KITCHEN SE” on Sahara Samay on Sahara NCR.

 

Spider Cake

Ingredients for Cake                                                                 Quantity

Unsalted Butter                                                                         110 gm

Cocoa Powder                                                                         3tbls

Chocolate Stout                                                                         140 ml

Light Brown Soft Sugar                                                          170gm

Vanilla Extract                                                                             1tsp

Large Eggs                                                                                     3

Melted and Cooled Dark Chocolate                                         100gm

Plain Flour                                                                                   280gm

Bicarbonate of Soda                                                                 2tsp

Ingredients for White Chocolate Buttercream                    Quantity

Large Egg White                                                                          3

Caster Sugar                                                                                 40gm

Unsalted Butter                                                                          360gm

White Chocolate                                                                          200 gm

To purists, this is not chocolate because it is made only from the fat or butter of the cacao… melted and cooled

Ingredients to decorate                                                            Quantity

White Mini Marshmallows                                                       100gm

Black Sugar Paste                                                                       25gm

Method

  • Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas
  • Grease three 20cm round cake tins and line the bases with baking parchment.
  • Put the cocoa in a bowl, add 280ml boiling water and whisk until dissolved.
  • Pour in the stout, mix then well and set aside to cool.
  • In a stand mixer or a large bowl using an electric hand whisk, beat together the butter, both sugars and vanilla extract until light and fluffy (about 5 mins).
  • Add the eggs little by little, mixing until fully incorporated before adding more. Once all the egg has been added, spoon in the melted chocolate and mix to combine.
  • In another bowl, mix the flour, bicarb and 1/2 tsp salt. Add this mixture to the butter mixture in three stages, alternating with the stout mixture (which will be very runny).
  • Pour the batter equally between the prepared tins and bake for 25-30 mins until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool in the tins for 10 mins, and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • To make the buttercream, put the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of gently simmering water.
  • Stir with a whisk until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch. Remove the bowl from the heat and beat with an electric hand whisk on high speed until the mixture has tripled in volume and has cooled down.
  • Slowly add the butter 1 tbsp at a time while continuing to whisk. Once all the butter has been added, the mixture should look glossy and thick
  • To assemble the cake, put one of the cake layers on a cake stand and top with a layer of buttercream. Repeat with the other two layers. Spread the remaining buttercream all over the cake, using a spatula or palette knife to smooth the sides. Chill for 1 hr or until the buttercream is firm.

 

To Decorate

  • Melt the marshmallows in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring from time to time.
  • Remove from the heat and put to one side for a few mins until the mixture is cool enough to handle.
  • Use your fingers to grab a small amount of the marshmallow and stretch it out to form long strands (dipping your fingers in vegetable or sunflower oil will help!)
  • Drape the strands over the cake in a random pattern, so it’s thoroughly covered.
  • Create a spider using the sugar paste (roll two balls, one bigger than the other, for the body, and thin strands for the legs) and place on top of the cake.

 

Mummy Dogs

Ingredients for Cake                                                                Quantity

Breadstick Dough                                                                       Package refrigerated 11 Ounce

Hot Dogs                                                                                    8

Mustard

Poppy Seed

Ingredients for Breadstick Dough                                      Quantity

Warm Water                                                                                1cup

Brown Sugar                                                                                3tbsp

Salt                                                                                               1tbsp

Oil                                                                                                14cup

Bread Flour                                                                                 3 cups

Yeast                                                                                           2 12tbsp

Method

  • Make dough using your favorite method- bread machine, mixer or by hand
  • Preheat oven to 375°F Using 1 dough strip for each, wrap hot dogs to look like mummies, leaving an opening for eyes.
  • Place on ungreased baking sheet.
  • Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until light golden brown.
  • Place dots of mustard and poppy seeds for eyes and enjoy!

 

 

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The Kiddy Hub- One Stop Shop for all your kids related shopping!

Choosing right products for our little ones always comes across as a challenging task. Whether you are buying things for your own children or you wanna gift it to someone, there is a constant tussle on what kind of product to buy, should we opt for clothes, or do we gift some educational product, do we buy some home decor stuff exclusively for kids or settle for some toys. Most of the times taking this decision means checking out number of shops, or number of websites in case of online shopping, and then comparing and going crazy on what exactly to buy.
But no more, leave your children’s shopping woes at bay, and log on to www.thekiddyhub for all your children related gifting solutions.
 
The site offers almost everything you can think of under one roof and thus saves the hassle of checking out numerous shops or websites. They offer everything from customised gifts and home decor options, to great educational products, toys and even clothes. The site also offers wide range of items you may need to plan a party for kids.
 
I was recently in a dilemma when I had to gift something to a 5 year old kiddo for his birthday and this site came as a rescue for me. I actually had in mind to give him something useful, which is both engaging and interactive. I was inclined to give story books and then while searching for books i stumbled upon this amazing thing called as a STORY BOX. The story box is a great combination of a story book along with perfectly curated activities for your little one to enjoy and understand the nuances of the story and almost live the story in real.
 
I chose two story boxes, MAGICIAN and RED RIDING HOOD. First things first, the packaging was very neat and carefully done. Before gifting it, I wanted to personally check the contents and everything and hence I opened the boxes to take a look. Each item was separately packed and the box also comes with a small bag in order to put all your contents in one place post opening the box. I would also like to highlight, that I found the boxes very reasonable. Priced at just Rs 499 for each story box, and the number of contents it has, its totally worth it.

The Little Story Box makes boxes of carefully created and curated stories, supported by activities that bring them alive for children
Each box is built around our 4R approach : Read , Reflect , Retell, Reinvent
Designed to stimulate Creativity, Curiosity and Communication skills
Like the classic tale of Little Red Riding Hood is brought to  life with the Little Red Riding Hood box! Read the Little Red Riding Hood Story with your little one , let them retell the story with DIY stick puppets , strengthen their fine motor skills as they enjoy the activity sheets , and let them reinvent their own version as they dress up in a Little Red Riding Hood cape!
Use this as an opportunity to reflect , together with your child , on the important topic of strangers and safety.

And the people behind this magnificent product are doing a fab job too. 

Smile multiplier creates children gifts that support a cause , so that you multiply happiness every time you shop for your child. . The cape in the box is made by the benificieries of the Animedh Charitable charitable trust , where less privileged women are given vocational training , to help them transform their lives.

Isn’t it a fantastic thing, I mean while you spread joys to your near and dear ones, it also reaches someone far away and make his/her life a little more meaningful.

I am totally hooked to this site and I know that whenever I have to buy something for kids, this is my go to place not just because of the products but also because I believe in the cause they are supporting.

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Common Problems with Skin and How to Solve Them

Image Credit: Pixabay

Your skin is the biggest organ of your whole body and it does a lot to keep you healthy and beautiful. Your skin is good at regulating your temperature and protecting itself from the sun. It covers you in order to keep all your guts in and yet it can stretch to be more accommodating (just think how big pregnant tummies can be!) But in spite of all these clear benefits, we are always complaining about the state of our skin and how it could be improved.

There are all sorts of small health issues that plague us from time to time that aren’t serious but just annoy you more than you need. Often there are simple treatments that can help us back to feeling normal again. Your skin is no different and there are lots of different solutions to each of those niggling issues, so you can have perfect skin after all.

Acne and spots

Spots are a natural, if very annoying, occurrence and everyone will have a spot or two every so often. They are caused by the overproduction of natural oils which fills the pores causing a small lump. This lump might turn into a whitehead, a blackhead, a tiny cyst or a red blemish but all of these are essentially just spots.Acne affects most people though it can have more severe impacts such as a rash like appearance and potential scarring. Acne is essentially the same as spots but is exacerbated by the acne bacteria which causes the skin to swell and become sore.

Try to avoid touching your face, especially when you have acne and spots so that you don’t spread any bacteria over your skin. Wash your face with mild soapy water and avoid scrubbing as that will just make you bleed and scab over. You could try face masks or other treatments to help clear acne and return your skin to its natural beauty.  

While squeezing spots is tempting, do your best to simply ignore them. A popped spot is likely to last longer than one left to its own devices because it is more likely to become infected or scab over. Similarly, using toothpaste or other products intended to dry spots out may cause further damage to your skin and leave pockmarks.

To avoid any potential scarring, be gentle and kind with your skin. Use oil-free products to make sure that your skin doesn’t become too oily leading to even more spots and as far as you can, let it be.

Image Credit: Max Pixel

Birthmarks and uneven pigmentation

The ideal airbrushed skin is even in tone, freckle-free and birthmark-free too. Most people don’t really have skin like this though and even celebrities need a bit of cosmetic assistance when they walk the red carpet. To achieve flawless skin, try using concealers and foundations to form the ideal base for your makeup. Use slightly different colours to counteract the pigments in your skin to achieve the perfect glow. So for example, if you have broken capillaries causing redness, use a camouflage cream with a yellow base it counteract the red.

Makeup doesn’t have to be restricted to your face, but if you have a birthmark in an awkward place and you just want to have an even skin tone, you could try Dore Aesthetics. They have a non-surgical treatment that will even out any pigmentation issues in your skin to create a perfect, even tone. It may take a few treatments to reach complete perfection but if you are truly self-conscious about it, this may well give you the confidence boost you need to feel good about your skin.

Dry Skin

There are few things so itchy and irritable as patches of dry, flaky skin. It might be caused by overexposure to the sun or it is possibly due to eczema making you feel raw and uncomfortable. Either way, dry skin is no fun and needs to be treated quickly to avoid it getting worse.

The best thing you can do for dry skin is to moisturize regularly. Dry skin doesn’t produce as many natural oils as normal skin so topping up with a moisturizer will help to plump your skin up for a healthy natural glow. Contrary to popular opinion, you may also find that exfoliation can help. By removing dead skin using a flannel and a toner a couple of times a week, you may actually find that your skin is more likely to take on the moisture from your other products and look all the healthier for it.

Image Credit: Max Pixel

Keeping Your Skin Healthy

Maintaining perfect skin is as much about luck as it is about understanding what your skin needs to stay healthy. However hard you try, you will always experience a spot or two every so often but if you know how to treat them, it shouldn’t be such a traumatic experience!

Being properly hydrated will ensure that your skin has the best chance of staying healthy. Like the rest of your body, the skin relies on water to get rid of toxins and stay in peak condition. Water will help you to ensure that your skin stays plump and beautiful and will reduce the instance of wrinkles.

If you spend lots of time outside in the sun, invest in a good sun hat to protect your face, neck and shoulders from overexposure. This will help to avoid getting sunburn as well as any unwanted freckling. You should also ensure that you apply sunscreen to any skin not covered by your clothes around 15 minutes before you go out. If you are out in the sun for a long period of time, use after sun body lotion to moisturize your skin and prevent it from drying out.  

Your skin is an amazing organ that does so much for you, you really shouldn’t complain about such small imperfections. But, if you are a perfectionist and you want flawless skin, these tips should help you to achieve that laudable goal! Remember that your general health will probably be reflected in how your skin looks so get plenty of sleep, drink lots of water and maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle for the best results.

 

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The Tree with a Thousand Apples- Book Review

“If the criminal was once a saint and the saint was once a criminal, then who is a criminal and who is a saint?”

Some lines just hook you, isn’t it.. these lines printed at the back cover of this book made an instant connection with me, and all I wanted to do was grab the book, a cup of coffee and just sit down in leisure to read through it, and thats exactly what I did.

Based on true events of the mishaps in Kashmir, its one of the most sensitive books I have ever read in regards to Kashmir and the issue people face there. Though the start of the book is slow and doesn’t go as expected, but if you manage to hold on for sometime, the book starts gripping you and taking a very enthralling shape.

The three main protagonists tie you in an emotional tale and take you through the ups and downs of both their relationships and life in general. How they meet after 20 years after their respective lives have been shattered, makes for an interesting yet sensitive read. From being a beautiful valley to a bloodshed valley of unpredictable circumstances, the author has beautifully captured the essence of Kashmir. Reading the book one can very well imagine and relate to the changes Kashmir has gone through over a period of time and also how it has affected the lives of people who once lived there or still continue to.

Unlike the beginning, you may find the climax of the book little rushed up, especially when the story shifts its base to Bombay. The ending also may seem slightly filmy, but yet the overall experience of reading this book has been a pleasant one. Though a work of fiction, but one knows exactly when the author has depicted true events. Normally the books that I have read in past which focus on Kashmir miseries, haven’t encapsulated a story in them, they have been pure work of true incidents much like documentaries, but this book by Sanchit, will satiate both your needs as a reader. It will give you a beautiful and emotional story to connect with and also give you a gruesome insight into the realities of Kashmir.

Definitely a must read.

My Rating 4.5/5 Stars

Its available on Amazon

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Jewellerkaka.com, the new way of jewellery shopping!

With the festivities being in full galore and the approaching wedding season, finding apt jewellery to match our clothes is always a gruesome task. We usually end up visiting multiple shops or checking out various sites till we find that one right piece of jewellery. But I recently stumbled upon www.jewellerkaka.com and instantly found my search for fine jewellery pieces ending here.

I got a beautiful pair of earrings from jewellerkaka and it totally made my festive experience worthwhile. I loved the packaging, because careful packaging is a must when sending across jewellery pieces. The finish of the product spoke immensely about its quality and craftsmanship. One look at the earring and one could gauge the dedication and detailing of work that had gone into it.

Jewellerkaka.com is your one stop to shop for best designed fashion jewellery for all your occasions. At Jewellerkaka they have the finest of jewels which do not come with the heftiest of price tags. Designed by brilliant artists and crafted by master craftsmen, Jewellerkaka is all about affordable luxury, exclusive designs, and traditional pieces that lead you to have a lavish and smooth shopping experience. They deal with exclusive imitation jewellery. It is the ideal concoction of the modern designs with an ethnic touch. It is a mixture of crafty designs, well concluded finesse with an artistic feel to it. They pay high regards to the matching preferences of the customers and hence they are bringing the ease and comfort of online shopping to find the ideal jewellery that matches both the dress and the occasion as well. The jewellery is loaded with design, so exquisite that you’d not mind giving up on the original, quality so pristine, that even the purest of metals will blush in red. With over 4 years in the business line, its growing faster than child’s hair. Spreading across the nation with its reach via e-commerce, giving customers a wide range and a variety to choose from, establishing a brand that knows that stylish jewellery is the gateway to women’s heart. If you are still not convinced, simply log on to the site once and you would know what I mean.

Founded in Year 2015 by a 23 year old Young, Ambitious & Energetic Soul, CA Vikalp Bothara who started the company with an aim to showcase the extensive designs of Indian Traditional jewellery all over the world. Currently Jewellerkaka delivers all their products globally.

USP:

At Jewellerkaka, you are not only a buyer but they make you become a seller too. They give you a platform where you can sell your fashion jewellery and make money.

About CA Vikalp Bothara:

Vikalp Bothara is a Chartered Accountant by profession and runs his own CA firm as well. A practicing Young & smart professional having various clients including corporates & High net worth individuals. He is an active investor in stock market & mutual funds. Vikalp always holds a keen interest in jewellery designing because that’s what his family had for a long time. So after completing his CA, he decided to start off a brand which will be completely Indian originated and everyone can relate to “Jewellerkaka”.

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