Friday, 28 March 2014

Chocolate Love Affair

The fight with my boyfriend was really bad one, the romance flew out of the window with the bitter argument. But you won’t believe the things settled down as he opened the box of chocolates lying under the pillow. And then endlessly we talked about our moments that were as sweet as chocolates. It was nothing but the magic of chocolate. “You never organize the things, i have office and kids to handle plus these daily chores. It's disgusting!”, said Ema to her husband early in the morning. And then her husband brings home the packet full of chocolates, yes something that women always crave for. So what is the chemistry behind the love? Is it chocolate?
Why do boys pamper their girlfriends on Valentine's day with the chocolates? The reason behind this is the existence of phenylethylamine (PEA), the so called "love chemical". It is related to amphetamines. With this, one gains positive feelings, feels good and contented. Recent study has revealed that PEA boosts up the love life and brings about excitement and ultimate happiness. Chocolate also contains a compound similar to the caffeine, called theobromine. It is for this reason why people are addicted to coffee. Whether it’s chocolate cakes, tarts, pies, pastries, eclairs, doughnuts, ice-cream, chocolate shake or other chocolate dessert, they are most welcomed, anytime. Ofcourse it is the bubbling brew of love and intimacy.

Chocolate is composed of 380 different chemical, these altogether are responsible for driving force behind the pleasurable effects. I believe that the message is quite clear. To add on to this, phenylethylamine, the love drug, which is a major component of chocolate is said to be an aphrodisiac. This again boosts up the brain chemistry of a person who is in love. Hence when the level of phenylethylamine is high in the body, it removes the negativity and depression from unrequited love. These are the reasons why women love chocolate. They are ultimate mood elevator. And we very well agree with the saying by Sophie Kinsella," Women need chocolate. It's a scientific fact”.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Tips for Healthy Teeth and Gums - Remedies and Food

It is often said, "Keep smiling, it costs nothing". White teeth are often associated with health and beauty. You can have a beautiful natural smile that you have always dreamt of. With just a few tips for healthy gums and teeth, you can make it possible.

Brush your teeth regularly

-The first and foremost thing that you need for healthy teeth and gums is brush your teeth twice a day
-The brush must not be too hard. Instead it should put gentle pressure on your teeth
-Keep the brush at 45-degrees angle
-Brush for 2-3 minutes

Floss regularly
Flossing means cleaning between (one's teeth) with dental floss. While to most of the people, flossing appears nasty process, it removes plaque that would otherwise stay in between the teeth and cause decaying. Flossing also removes swelling and inflammation.

Use an effective mouthwash
Good quality of mouthwash not only helps in removing bad breath, but also keeps harmful bacteria at bay.

Go for sugarless gums
It is a good practice to chew sugarless gum, sometimes for 10 minutes after eating. If we chew it for extended amount of time, it will further lead to jaw problems. Regular chewing gums (with added sugar) is not advisable since its the home for bacteria and plaque.
Use Oil Pulling
The ancient ayurvedic remedy of oil pulling is going on since ages and ages. Slosh a tablespoon of sesame, sunflower or coconut oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes. Then spit it out. This lubricates the gums and whitens the teeth.

Dentist Check-up
We must go to the dentists regularly after every six months. The visits may be frequent if we are facing problems like toothache, bad breath or other bacterial infection.

Recommended food for healthy gums and teeth:-

Milk - Milk, as we all know contains calcium, it helps in fighting against periodontal disease (gum related problems).
Salmon and Atlantic mackerel - These fatty fish are rich source of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is highly recommended for sound oral health. It helps in absorbing maximum calcium.
Orange - This may be very surprising for most of us but citrus fruits for eg. oranges keep the gums healthy. Vitamin C that is present in citrus fruits reduces inflammation.
Strawberries - Strawberries bring a big smile to our face. They too contain Vitamin C that strengthens gums, which is integral part of oral health.
Green Tea - Green tea controls bacteria. It also lowers the acidity of saliva and dental plaque. Hence it is vital tool in preventing cavities.
Raisins - Recently a study was conducted which revealed that an element in raisins called oleanolic acid, prevents bacteria from sticking on to the teeth and hence is recommended.
Cheese - "Say Cheese" for a beautiful smile. Most of us are unaware but eating cheese after meals help to remove plaque and food particles. If at all we are not able to brush our teeth after dinner, go for Swiss or other aged cheese. Cheese is made up of milk, since it contains calcium, it is good for bones and teeth as well.
Water - Last but not the least, water is a boon for our teeth. Water not only removes the minute food particles stuck between the gums but saliva itself is the best defense against tooth decay.

For those with unhealthy teeth and gums, bring your smile back right away and for those with healthy teeth, keep smiling. And yes never forget, smile is still the sexiest curve on your body.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Cheese and Spinach Lasagna

Hope you loved the rich, creamy and refreshing cocktails and shakes. Here we have some more of greeny green food to be served on auspicious occasion of St. Patrick’s Day. This is special cheese and spinach lasagna. Making a perfect lasagna is all about a harmonious blend of filling, lot of cheese, tangy tomato sauce and noodles. The rich brown and bubbly lasagna, can be served with simple salad or vegetable side for a cozy vegetarian meal.


1 large Egg,
Salt to taste,
Black pepper to taste,
Vegetable oil for cooking,
16 ounce Ricotta cheese,
10 ounce Frozen spinach,
15 ounce Tomato sauce,
9 ounce Lasagna noodles,
1 pound Mozzarella cheese,
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese,
2 pieces chopped Garlic cloves.

Preparation Method:-

1. Heat the oven to 350 D. F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place ricotta, spinach, half of the Parmesan, garlic and egg in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Mix until combined.

2. Spread 3/4 cup of the tomato sauce in a thin layer over the bottom of a baking dish. Construct the lasagna by layering 3 of the noodles over the sauce. Top with another 3/4 cup of the tomato sauce and spread it evenly to the edges of the dish.

3. Using a small spoon, dollop a third of the ricotta mixture evenly over the sauce and flatten the dollops with the back of the spoon. The ricotta mixture will spread out more when it heats up. Evenly lay a quarter of the mozzarella slices over the ricotta.

4. Make 2 more layers of noodles, sauce, ricotta mixture, and mozzarella. Top with the remaining noodles, sauce, and mozzarella. Evenly sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.

5. Coat 1 side of a large piece of aluminum foil with vegetable oil and cover the dish tightly with the foil, oil-side down. Bake until the sauce is starting to bubble around the edges, about 40 minutes.

6. Remove the foil and continue baking until the top is browned, about 20 minutes more. Remove the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes before slicing.

7. Yummy green cheese and spinach lasagna is ready to be served.
Enjoy the St. Patrick’s Day!!

St. Patrick’s Day Drinks

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated annually on March 17, across the world especially in Ireland, Newfoundland and Labrador and Montserrat. It is marked as public holiday around the world especially in Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand. It is a religious feast day for the patron saint of Ireland. The international festival is accompanied by parades, singing and dance performance, special food for the feast, green color drinks and a whole lot of green. It is believed that Saint Patrick had a shamrock, a three-leaved plant that symbolizes Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish. Wearing shamrock-inspired designed cloths has become the prime feature of the day.

Most popular of all the St. Patrick’s Day Drinks are:-
  • St. Patrick’s Day Punch
  • Shamrock Shake
  • Irish Car Bomb
  • Irish Cream Pie Shake

Dizzy Vodka Punch
The taste of Dizzy Vodka Punch is doubled by refreshing Green Apple Pucker, which is a type of schnapps for alcoholic drink. Its green color matches up with Day of St. Patrick’s theme. Lime and orange wedges keep up the citrus factor.

Shamrock Shake
Welcome St. Patrick’s Day with the kids favorite vanilla ice cream along with goodness of milk, mint extract plus green food coloring to keep up the spirit of the big day. Good news!! McDonald's is back with the elusive Shamrock Shake.

Irish Car Bomb Cocktail
This tastes like chocolate milkshake and is great beverage for St. Patrick's Day parties. With the perfect blend of Irish whiskey, stout beer and rich Irish cream, this heavenly cocktail is a must for all cocktail lovers.

Irish Cream Pie Shake
Irish Cream Pie Shake is inspired by Irish cream pie cupcakes. With the desirable brand of Irish coffee creamer, chocolate syrup and vanilla ice cream blend, this shake will certainly give an electrifying effect on St. Patrick's Day.
Enjoy St. Patrick's Day!!!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Happy Holi With Malpua

The highlight of Holi certainly begins with Rabri and Malpua. Hope you liked the delicious rabri recipe that we shared last time. Malapua is a popular sweet served on the religious festival, Holi. Malapua is an pancake served as a dessert or a snack. Let's have a look at this sumptuous Indian dessert.
For the Syrup:-
1 cup sugar,
1 cup water,
Saffron strands,
1/2 tsp cardamom powder.

For the Malpua:-
500 gms all purpose flour,
1/2 tsp baking powder,
400 gms sweetened condensed milk,
Slivered almonds and pistachios to garnish,
Clarified butter.

Preparation Method:-
1. Mix milk and 1 cup of sugar in a thick-bottomed pan. Cook to reduce it to a fourth of its original volume while stirring frequently.

2. Remove it from the fire, allow cooling and then chill it in the refrigerator. Mix equal quantity of sugar and water in a pan. Boil it until a single-thread consistency is obtained.

3. Add cardamom powder, saffron threads and mix well. Keep it aside to use later. In a large mixing bowl, blend the condensed milk, flour and baking powder together to form a smooth batter.

4. Meanwhile heat enough clarified butter in a deep frying pan to cook the malpuas. Pour the batter into the clarified butter to form circles about 4 inch in diameter.

5. Cook till golden brown. Remove from the clarified butter and put directly into the sugar syrup. Remove after 3 minutes and drain on a wire rack.

6. Now to serve, place 2 malpuas in a plate, spoon rabri over them and garnish with slivered nuts.
Enjoy Holi with delectable malpua!!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Rabri Recipe and The Festival of Colors (Holi)

Holi is one of the major festivals of India and is the most vibrant and colorful of all the Indian fests. Holi symbolizes the dawn of the spring season. It is celebrated in many parts of South Asia, covering Nepal as well. The Holi celebration start with a Holika bonfire, which is held on the night before Holi. The coming morning is free for all carnival of colors. People are involved in merry making by applying colored powder at each others.

Everyone plays and chases each other with dry powder and colored water. Some also carry water colors guns and small colorful water filled balloons. The festival also includes ‘matki phod’ (breaking the pot) competition. People sing and dance on the regional or Bollywood songs. “Dhol” or drum adds to the party mood. Rabri and malpua is the best dessert combination served on the auspicious occasion of Holi. So let’s welcome the Festival of Colors with the Rabri.

10 Cups milk,
4 Tablespoons sugar,
4 Pieces green cardamom seeds,
4 Drops of kewra essence,
1 Pinch of green cardamom powder,
1 Pinch of pistachio powder.

Preparation Method:-

1. Take a deep pan and add milk. Bring it to boil.
2. Add the sugar and cardamom seeds. Leave it to simmer over a low heat for 2 hours until the milk is reduced to one quarter.
3. Remove from the heat and add the kewra essence. Kewra essence is concentrated oil made from pandanus flowers used in Indian and Southeast Asian cuisine.
4. Sprinkle with the cardamom and pistachio powders and serve hot or cold with malpua.
Enjoy the festival of colors with sumptuous dessert!!!

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Frozen Dead Guy Days and The Refreshing Cocktails

Frozen Dead Guy Days is the most chirpy, funky and unique of all the festivals celebrated in Nederland, Colorado, USA. This year it is being celebrated from 7 to 9 March. This festival is meant for celebrating story of Grandpa Bredo Morstoel, a Norwegian who died in 1989. The festival is accompanied by number of icy and dicey events. This includes:-
  • Frozen salmon tosses
  • Polar plunges
  • Coffin races
This festival is fueled by lot of beer to boost up the spirit of the competitions. Here we have some really refreshing cocktails to celebrate this festival to the fullest.

Honey Beer Julep


1.5 ounces Spiced beer,
0.5 ounces Honey Syrup,
3 Leaves Fresh Basil,
3 ounces Honey Basil Ale

Preparation method:-

1. In a shaker pint, muddle basil leaves with the honey syrup.
2. Add Spiced beer and ice, shake well and strain into glass over ice.
3. Top with Honey Basil Ale and garnish with a basil leaf.

For the Honey Syrup

1/2 cup Honey,
1/2 cup Water.

Preparation method:-

1. Bring water to a boil. Reduce heat and stir in honey until completely dissolved.
2. Cool before mixing. Store in refrigerator.

The Eccentric Bride

6 ounces Chilled beer,
2 slices Lime,
1 pinch Chipotle rimming salt,
4 cubes Ice,
1 slice Cucumber for garnish,
1 tablespoon Chipotle hot sauce.

Preparation method:-

1. Take lime wedge pieces, and wet the rim of a tall glass.
2. Dip the rim into the chipotle rimming salt and squeeze the juice from the rest of lime into the glass.
3. Toss in the lime pieces and mix Chipotle Hot Sauce. Fill up your cup with ice, have a sip and enjoy. Garnish with cucumber!


Monday, 3 March 2014

Mardi Gras Festival and The King Cake Drinks

Hope you enjoyed my King Cake recipe. But any festival is incomplete without the last ritual, that is drink. So lets drown ourselves in the rich cocktail and shake to boost up the festive spirit. Here it goes...
Colorful King Cocktail

2 oz king cake vodka,
0.5 oz fresh lime,
0.25 oz sugarcane syrup,
1 oz grapefruit juice,
1 oz pineapple juice,
1 handful fresh mint leaves.

Preparation Method:-
1. Add the above ingredients into the shaker along with ice. Shake well
2.Take a purple sugar rimmed cocktail glass.
3. Add the drink. Garnish with a mint crown. Enjoy!!
King Cake-inspired Milkshake

3/4 cup milk,
2 cups cake batter ice cream,
2 tablespoons cream cheese,
1/4 cup whipped cream vodka,
1/2 cup crumbled king cake pieces,
Green, purple and yellow sprinkles.

Preparation Method:-
1. Add the ice cream, cream cheese, milk and whipped cream vodka into a blender.
2. Blend till the mixture is smooth. Add some more vodka or ice cream as per taste.
3. Stir in the diced pieces of cake with help of a spoon. Pour mixture into a Mason jar.
4. Garnish with whipped cream and Mardi Gras sprinkles. Enjoy!!