Category Archives: LIFE STYLE

Shahi Tukrae- A Royal Dessert

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This is what you will need

  • 1 liter Milk
  • 1 medium can of condensed milk or left over 2-3 Barfee Pieces
  • 4-5 slices Bread pieces
  • 2-3 Cardamom
  • 2-3 Strands of Saffron for color or yellow food color
  • Almond and Pistachio to garnish on top

Lets get cooking…

Cut bread pieces in half (diagonally)

Pour 2 tbsp of oil in a flat pan. Fry bread pieces till they are golden brown from both sides. They should be uniformly golden color. Take them out and put aside. Bread becomes crispy.

Boil milk in a wide mouth pot and add one medium can of condensed milk. If you don’t have condensed milk, add 3 pieces of Barfee.

Add crushed green cardamom to milk. Let it simmer till the milk has thickened and reduced almost 3/4 of initial quantity.

You should taste the milk to check the sweetness level. If you like desserts very sweet you might want to add sugar.

Now carefully dip the fried bread pieces into the milk. Let it simmer for 5 minutes or till the bread pieces have soaked milk well.

Take the bread pieces out carefully and put them in a flat serving dish which is 2-3 inch in height from the edges (as seen in picture).

Take 3-4 strands of Saffron and put them in the remaining milk.You can use a pinch of yellow food color too.

The milk should be 1/4th of liter by now. If not let it simmer more.

Now pour the thickened milk on top of the bread pieces.

Garnish with nuts.

Put it in fridge and let it cool down well before you serve.

Zee’s Zinger

Zinger

Zinger Recipe:

Ingredients

  • Boneless chicken breast  – Half per burger
  • Black pepper 1 tsp
  • Salt 1tsp
  • Red chilli ¼ tsp
  • Ajinomoto 1.5 tsp
  • Worcestershire sauce 2tbsp (if available) else Soya sauce ½ tsp
  • Oil for frying
  • Flour 2 tsp
  • Baking powder ¼ tsp
  • Cornflour 2 tbsp
  • Egg 1
  • Rice flour 2 tbsp
  • Corn flakes 1 cup
  • Breadcrumbs 1 cup
  • Halved Buns (One per burger)
  • Lettuce leaves (One per burger)
  • Mayonnaise (As rquired)
  • Cheese slice (One per burger)

Zinger – Instructions

Mix all of the spices and Worcestershire sauce and keep them in a bowl. Take another bowl and mix salt, black pepper, flour, baking powder, corn flour, egg and rice flour.  Take a third bowl and mix bread crumbs and corn flakes in it. Now roll the boneless chicken breast in the bowl of spices and ensure its heavy coating. Then dip it in the paste prepared in the second bowl. Remember that we added salt in the second bowl to make sure that the coating it not left pallid (pheeka). Once done roll it into the third bowl and ensure whole coating of bread crumbs and corn flakes. Again dip in in the second bowl of paste and then again roll it in the third bowl. Repeat this step for the third time if you want more thick overall coating. Deep fry the now coated chicken until golden brown. Its color would automatically make you realize that its ready to eat.

Apply mayonnaise on both sides of the bun and place lettuce leaf on one side. Place the fried chicken over it, apply mayonnaise over it and top it with a cheese slice. Cover it up with rest half of the bun. Press a little from above so that the bun holds the ingredients intact. Since the traditional Zinger only has a fried chicken that’s why I kept it simple. If you want you can add onions, tomatoes and jalapenos as ingredients of the burger. Enjoy!!

Preparation Time: 15 mins

Cooking Time: 15 mins

Easy dessert recipe: Pineapple & apricot empanadas

Pineapple-Apricot-Empanadas

By Kate Aquillano

When most people get a sweets craving, they picture desserts covered in chocolate or caramel. Yes, those things do work, but there are some other options. These pineapple and apricot empanadas are the perfect combination of sweet and savory. Do not be intimidated by the amount of ingredients or steps. The empanadas are easy to make and actually really fun. And for an alternative, mix and match different fillings.

Pineapple & Apricot Empanadas

1 C Whole-Wheat Pastry Flour
1/2 C Cornmeal
1/4 C Granulated Sugar
1 1/2 t Baking Powder
1/2 t Salt
2 T Reduced Fat Cream Cheese
2 T Low-Fat Milk
1 1/2 C Chopped Fresh Pineapple
1/3 C Apricot Preserves
2 T Plain Dry Breadcrumbs
1/4 t Ground Cinnamon
2 T Canola Oil.

Whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add cream cheese (cut into pieces) and oil. Then blend with your hands. Add milk to the mixture and knead in the bowl until the dough begins to form. Place the dough on a well floured surface and continue to knead. Once the dough comes together, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Bake this too: Healthy Cookie Recipe!

Combine the chopped pineapple and apricot preserves in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat stirring continuously. Remove from heat and stir in the breadcrumbs and cinnamon.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

On a well floured surface, roll out the dough until it is 1/8 inches thick. Cut circles of the dough using a cookie cutter. Place a spoonful of the filling at the center of each circle. Fold in half and press the edges together with a fork. Continue until all the dough is used. Bake the empanaditas for 12-15 minutes.

Ginger bread cookies

gingerbreadcookies

Have you made your ginger bread cookies yet! Hurry this is a very easy recipe.

Ingredients:
125g butter, softened
1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar
1/2 cup (125ml) golden syrup
1 egg yolk
2 1/2 cups (375g) plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves

Royal icing:
1 1/2 cups (230g) pure icing sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 eggwhite, lightly whisked

Method:
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 oven trays with baking paper.

Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add egg yolk and beat until just combined. Sift over the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, cinnamon and cloves; use a wooden spoon to stir to combine. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until smooth.

Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to 3mm thick. Use 5cm snowflake and star pastry cutters to cut out shapes from dough. Place on the prepared trays

Bake in preheated oven, swapping trays halfway through cooking, for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and set aside on the trays to cool.

To make the royal icing,
Sift the icing sugar into a small bowl. Add the lemon juice and enough of the eggwhite to form a firm paste. Place in a piping bag fitted with a 1mm nozzle. Pipe royal icing onto the gingerbread biscuits. Set aside for 1 hour to set. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Make Your Baby Smarter

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For most parents, the cutest thing in the world is their baby sitting quietly, entertaining himself with what seems to be pointless play. What parents might not realize is that this play is actually an important part of a child’s development.

Play is the baby’s way of understanding the world around him. It is the baby’s “work” to develop different skills through daily play. For example, what seems to be a baby’s silly attempt to put his toe in his mouth is actually an exercise in hand- eye coordination and problem solving. The baby develops coordination by repeatedly attempting to grasp his foot, and though he may fail a number of times, he tries to correct what he’s doing wrong to complete the interesting adventure of tasting his own foot. When parents learn which kinds of play and toys build a child’s skills, they can create a stimulating learning environment at home.

Different kinds of play

Individual play is when the child is left on his own to explore his surroundings such as sucking on thumbs. Parents should encourage this kind of play and make sure the child is given private time on his own without interference. Individual play is active learning where the child depends on his own brain to make sense of things, and this greatly develops the child’s senses and his perception of what things in the world are and what their purpose is.

On the other hand, “adult-assisted play” develops a child’s social and interactive skills. For example, playing “Peek-a-boo” with a child can teach the baby “taking turns,” which is a basic element of human interaction. The mother hides behind her hands and then “surprise!” she reveals herself. When this activity is repeated, the baby learns to wait for the surprise and laugh or express joy when it happens. Of course, adult-assisted play also helps enhance skills the baby may be trying to develop on his own, such as hearing and perception. Furthermore, playing with Mom and Dad, with physical closeness and praise from them, helps the baby feel loved, which has been proven to increase a child’s motivation to learn and interact.

Which toys are learning toys?

The first thing to remember is that everything is a toy. Mom and Dad are toys, safe household items such as colorful plastic containers are toys, and even clothes are toys. All of these help the child explore his world and learn. However, when purchasing toys, here are some guidelines for your baby to get the most benefit out of play.

Toys: 0 to 6 months

The notion that babies can’t see or hear when they are first born is incorrect. Babies can distinguish certain bright colors (red is usually the first color the baby can see) and can definitely hear sounds around them, despite the fact that they may not interpret these sounds correctly. So it’s very beneficial to attach a brightly colored, musical mobile to the baby’s crib from day one. The more enriching the baby’s surroundings are, even in those first few days, the more potential brain development.

By three months, your baby will be able to recognize favorite toys and attempt to reach or grasp for them. It is important that these toys be of varying colors, texture and shape to promote the baby’s sense of distinguishing objects through, vision, touch and sound (if the toy creates sound) For example, colorful rattles and soft toys that squeak or make music are stimulating at this age. At this stage, babies often put toys in their mouths as a method of distinguishing what they are, so parents should be careful to purchase toys that do not have any detachable parts that can be accidentally swallowed.

Toys: 7 to 12 months

The older baby is normally able to remember simple ideas and identify himself, his body parts and familiar people. Toys at this stage should encourage the development of these newly emerging skills. Toys that can be pulled, stacked, moved back and forth or that encourage basic color and shape matching are most useful. Cloth or plastic picture books that have large, simple illustrations that can be grasped, shaken and chewed upon are often very stimulating. They can also be used in adult- assisted play, where the mother can point and explain to the child the names and functions of the objects in the illustrations, to help enhance the child’s language skills and understanding. Stacking blocks has been proven to promote a child’s problem solving skills. The variety of toys available on the market is large and fun for both parent and child. Be sure to purchase toys that are appropriate for your child’s age to ensure the most benefit, and to ensure safety.

What can working moms do?

If you are a mom who has to return to work after three months, plan a daily, uninterrupted time to play with your child. The father and grandparents can alternate with you to help ensure that this aspect of your child’s life has not been neglected. Also, if you are going to have to place your child in a nursery, make the effort to choose one whose staff is aware of and trained in child-development, or leave the child with a family member who can be a positive influence on the child’s growth.

Pre-planning can help alleviate your stress and fatigue during the first few weeks after delivery. Arrange to have a helping hand when you need it. It could be from your mom, mother-in-law, sister, aunt or best friend. They can help with bathing, changing or burping while you put up your feet or get some shut-eye for a while. Accepting help does not indicate a dependant or weak personality. On the contrary, it will help you to cope better and will decrease your feelings of stress and helplessness.

It would also be a good idea to cook several meals before your delivery and store them in the freezer. This way, you will not have to worry about who will feed your husband and other children after the delivery. Having good help around the house would definitely be a plus. You can depend on this kind of help to keep your surroundings clean and well-kept while you tend to the baby. Do not o verload yourself by receiving visitors all the time. Your top priority should be you and the baby. When you feel you are ready both physically and emotionally to have guests, make sure you have a helping hand for the preparations.

Sleepless Nights: Tips for Parents

babysleep

 

Some babies can drive parents crazy when it comes to falling asleep. Parents might go as far as putting their baby in a car seat and driving around at 1 am! But beware, whatever habit you get your child used to is what you’ll be doing repeatedly for many months, so be sure to choose a reasonable routine.

The root of the problem
The problem often begins during early infancy. Most parents of young babies will feed them at night while rocking them to sleep. They will then quietly and gently lay the baby down in his crib, praying that he does not wake up. This bedtime routine is common and perfectly appropriate for a very young baby.

Unfortunately, many parents mistakenly continue this same technique as their baby grows older. The problem arises when the baby no longer knows how to fall asleep without going through the same procedure. The end result is constant crying and an inconsolable baby who must be repeatedly rocked to sleep all night long.

The solution to the problem
Babies need to learn to associate going to sleep with being alone in the crib, as opposed to being fed or rocked to sleep.
Once the baby is put down to bed and you leave the room, expect your baby to cry. The first time he cries, you should immediately respond by coming back into the room and soothing him by voice and touch. However, you shouldn’t pick your baby up or feed him. Instead, stay with him until he falls asleep. At the next awakening, wait one minute before responding, at the third, wait three minutes, and so on. Keep in mind that you are suffering more from your baby’s crying than he is. Every few nights you should increase the amount of time it takes for you to respond to your baby’s crying (during both the initial bedtime and at each of his awakenings). Eventually, your baby will simply fall asleep without you.

Doctor’s note:
The best sleeping position for your baby is on his side. Researchers believe this sleeping position may decrease a baby’s chance of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Sleeping on his back is not recommended as there is always the risk of choking from regurgitation (spitting up). Sleeping on his abdomen is also not safe because the mattress can cause him to suffocate.

How to deal with receding hair

men-hair-loss

By: Hugh Wilson

Losing a little on top? Receding at the sides? Don’t panic – here’s how to deal with thinning hair.

The bad news is that, if your hair is not thinning or receding already, there’s every chance it will be in a few years’ time.

That’s because 40% of men already have noticeable hair loss by the age of 35. According to the hair loss centre the Belgravia Clinic, British men are the most likely in Europe to worry about balding and also the least likely to do anything about it.

But there’s also some good news. It is possible to do something about thinning or receding hair, whether that means hair loss remedies or just a creative way with the wax. So if you’re getting a little sparse on top, read on and we’ll outline your options.

Hair-loss treatments

According to research, a quarter of British men say they won’t seek help or advice about hair loss because they don’t think anything works.

And, well, they might be wrong. Though it’s true that a quick internet search will uncover thousands of snake oil solutions with grandiose claims and no scientific backup, one substance has been given scientific approval.

The European Dermatology Forum recently convened an international expert group to conduct its first ever evidence-based analysis of all therapeutic options to treat hereditary hair loss. Its new guidelines recommend just one over-the-counter treatment option for men and women, an active ingredient called minoxidil.

Minoxidil is found in a number of hair loss treatments, including Regaine For Men foam. In tests, nine out of 10 men said they kept or regrew hair using Regaine.

“Hair loss in men still carries a major stigma,” says Nicola Reid, a Regaine brand manager. “Men should take heart however, as they’re not alone. On average, hair loss affects 40% of men under 35. There is a myth that nothing can be done for male pattern baldness but there are clinically proven treatments that can help keep and even regrow hair.”

Minoxidil works by increasing blood flow to the hair follicles, which in turn strengthens existing hair and stimulates new growth. When using a product like Regaine it usually takes between eight and 16 weeks for hair regrowth to occur.

Cutting it short

But using Regaine or any other baldness cure is not an easy option. You have to apply Regaine twice a day forever. Stop using it and it stops working. Nor is it cheap, at about £70 for three months’ supply.

So an anti-baldness regime might not be a road you want to start travelling down. You may think your own receding hairline doesn’t warrant such a drastic and expensive solution. You may think it best to embrace your thinning mane.

If so, there are a number of other options. The most obvious is to crop your hair short and keep it like that. The buzz cut is an easy-maintenance solution that can look good and disguise thinning or receding hair. Short hair is less tapered than long hair, making it look thicker. Short hair also has lift, which again disguises its lack of density. And if you’ve ever seen a bald patch in long hair, sticking out like an egg in a nest, you’ll know that it’s not an attractive look.

Oh, and short-cropped hair is also eternally fashionable. Because quite a lot of men lose hair, cropped cuts never go completely out of style.

Should you shave?

Another option is to head straight past close-cropped and go for clean-shaven. This goes beyond easy maintenance to almost maintenance-free. You can wash your head with soap, and never worry about having a bad hair day again. And again, because so many men – including celebrities – sport this non-cut, it’s never unfashionable.

The downside? You’ll need a hat. It can be cold in winter and you should never forget to cover your unprotected pate when the sun shines. A burnt scalp can be painful.

If you have a bit more hair

If you are thinning a little or receding but still have a reasonable thatch, there are hairstyles that will make the most of what you’ve still got.

Perhaps the most popular is the short Caesar cut, which is named after the Roman emperor Julius Caesar and is sported by, among others, George Clooney. According to master stylist Dave Alexander, in this style the sides and back are clipped short and the top is left a little longer and brushed forward, using gel or wax if necessary. It’s great for concealing a receding hairline or a thinning top.

Alternatively, go shaggy. This works best if you’re just starting to thin. Get your hair cut quite short, then apply wax, gel or paste and just mess it up a bit. This rough-and-ready look is surprisingly stylish and also gives the most coverage for a thinning top.

If you’re losing a little more, think of a crew cut – shorter on the sides and slightly longer on top, but not pushed forward Caesar style. This mixes thinner and thicker areas, creating the illusion of a more full-bodied mane.

Alternatively, you could try the comb-over, a style sported by stars of a certain age and also known as a Bobby Charlton. Here, thicker hair at the sides is allowed to grow long and then combed over the balding top and middle. This cut deceives absolutely no one, and is probably the least graceful way to go bald ever devised.

Whether you want to try regrowing your thinning locks, or you just want a style that makes the best of what you have, the main thing to remember is that thinning and receding is natural, common and really nothing to be embarrassed about. Disguise it or embrace it, but don’t, whatever you do, sweat it.

Prawn Tempura

Prawn Tempura

There are two tricks to get the best tempuras- one is to prepare a very light batter and second is to create temperature difference between the battered prawns and the oil in which they are fried. This temperature difference makes a really good crispy tempura.Keep the batter cold and you will have the best tempuras ever!

Ingredients:

  • Prawns 10. Deveined and with just the tail intact. (Marinate on Soya Sauce for 1 hour for flavor)
  • 1 cup oil for frying
  • ¼ cup Flour to sprinkle on prawns.
  • For Batter: 
  • ½ cup Flour
  • ¼ tsp Soda
  • 1 cup Iced Water
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • ½ tsp salt and black pepper as seasoning

Batter Preparation

  • Sift flour and soda in a bowl
  • Add egg and mix lightly with flour.
  • Slowly add ice water and mix. Don’t make the batter into a smooth paste. Add more water if the batter is thick-it should be slightly runny.
  • You can also add ice cubes in the batter to keep the temperature of the batter really low or place batter over a bowl of ice to ensure that the temperature doesn’t increase.

Frying Tempuras

  • Add ½ cup oil in a pan. Heat oil to a medium-high temperature.
  • Lightly sprinkle some flour over all the prawns.
  • Take one prawn by its tail and dip it into the batter. Coat it well.
  • Now place the batter coated prawns in the hot oil.
  • Fry till both sides turn golden brown.
  • Spoon them out on a paper towel.

Chicken Kachori

For the dough 

  • 1 cup flour (maida)
  • 1 tbsp oil (i used ghee)
  • 1 tbsp Yogurt
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp Soda
  • Water

Sift 1 cup  flour in a bowl, add all the above ingredients. Rub the oil and yogurt with the flour. Add water by table spoon till there is no dry flour left. You will need around 2-3 tbsp. Knead the dough well for about 2-3 minutes. Let the dough rest (preferably for 1-2 hours) and meanwhile start making the filling.

For the filling 

  • 1/4 kg Chicken Minced (You can also take chicken boneless pieces and chop it finely in a chopper)
  • 2 tbsp Soya Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Ginger/ Garlic Paste
  •  Salt and Black pepper to taste

Add 1 tbsp oil in a pan/ wok. When oil is medium hot add ginger garlic paste. Now add minced chicken and the rest of the ingredients.  Cook the chicken till its thoroughly cooked. Set aside in a bowl.

Lets get rolling 

Take dough and divide it into 4-6 portions. Now take one portion, round it and roll it with a pin. Roll it enough so its thin.

imageDough being rolled

Now fill the center with chicken filling leaving space on outer ring of the rolled dough.

Take all the ends and join them on the center (top of the filling).

imageThe edges joined in the center

Make the rest of the Kachori’s the same way.

Deep fry them (or medium deep fry) them till all sides turn light golden color. Serve them hot!

One bite Open Sandwich

open-sandwich--1024x683

Ingredients

  • 1 Tomatoe- chop them finely removing the seeds
  • 2 Hard boiled eggs. sliced thinly in round shape.
  • 2 Cheese slices
  • Cucumber slices (optional)
  • Mayonaise
  • Mint leaves for decoration
  • Bread- fresh from Bakery (don’t use stale bread)

Instructions

  • Take a glass with a round mouth. Place it on a slice of bread upside down and twist to cut out a round portion off the bread.
  • Cut 8 slices of bread in same way
  • Now on each slice spread around 1 tsp mayonnaise, place a small piece of cheese, top it with a slice of boiled egg, diced tomatoes, and top it with mint leave.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

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