Thursday, December 29, 2016

Another year has passed by....



Wishing all of you out there a Happy New year.  2016 for me was a mix of joy as well as sadness. Praying that the new year would be better,brighter and cheerful and hoping to be a good one.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Korean Sheet masks



I have heard about sheet masks but never really got to try one until I got a couple as gifts. The sheets masks are from a company called Nature Republic and one was the green tea mask and the other was Lavender mask.The packaging is very cute.


The other side of the mask has a lot of writings in Korean :) but the instructions on how to use the mask is given in English too.

'1. After washing the face, apply toner to clear up the skin.
2. Open the pouch, pull out the mask and place it on the face using the eye area to align correctly.
3. Remove after 20 minutes and gently pat for better absorption.'


There is a cut given and one has to tear it through to open the pouch. That is how the sheet mask looks like once removed from the pouch. The sheet masks is in two pieces - one piece covers the forehead till the nose and upper part of the cheeks; the second piece to cover the lower part of the cheeks and chin. And of course the eye area and mouth area is open.The sheets are actually placed in between two plastic sheets. So a bit of peeling and viola you have the soggy masks out.

The sheets are soaked in the serum. Aligning the mask correctly on the face can be quite tricky for a first timer. Ah that cooling sensation - it is so relaxing. I have read that some people leave the masks on overnight and I am perplexed as to how. The mask can easily fall off when you toss and turn na. 20 minutes is more than enough for the goodness of the serum in the mask to penetrate the skin. Do not wash it off then. Leave it overnight and wash it off the next day. My skin was definitely hydrated and plumper the next day. There will be a bit more of the serum left in the pouch and you can use it the next night too. :)

Love the whole idea of sheet masks. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Rimmel haul


 Products: Rimmel the only one matte lipstick 'The matte factor'
                 Rimmel Scandal Eyes waterproof kohl kajal (001 black)
                 Rimmel soft kohl (011 sable brown)





The lipstick in encased in an attractive red tube. There is a band around the tube to indicate the color of the lipstick inside. The slanted lipstick bullet makes it easier to apply. The lipstick has a fruity smell of water melon but it just goes away once you have applied the lipstick. This is one lippie which although being matte, does not dry the lips. It is also highly pigmented and I didn't have to reapply for a good 5 hours. The lipstick can settle into the fine lines of the lips at the end of the day but it isn't so bad either [just rub the lips together and you are ok]. The lipstick costs 4 KD. So this is one lipstick which is affordable,pigmented, nondrying and long lasting.



I am equally happy with the eye pencils as well. 
The black kohl pencil is jet black and glides on the eye like a dream. The brown eye pencil is also good. They didn't smudge and make me look like a racoon at the end of the day. The kohl pencil is waterproof and not oil proof which means that if you have oily eyelids, they can smudge. A solution to this is to apply a good generous coat of compact powder on the eyelids before using the eyeliners. I, for one, do not line my waterline so I do not know how it will perform if you do so. 

The black liner is a pencil and has a transparent cap. The brown liner is also a pencil but the cap is a normal brown colored cap. The price of the black eye pencil is 2KD while the brown one costs 2.6KD. Both were really good and held throughout the day. 





Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Paneer masala




Ease of preparation: very easy
Taste: Delicious

I didn't have heavy cream at hand so I just used an equal amount of cow milk :)

An ideal dish during christmas lent and the winter season.

Recipe adapted from http://atastychallenge.blogspot.com/2011/04/paneer-masala.html

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Milk Peda Recipe

Milk Peda
I saw my friends Instagram post on Diwali and then realisation dawned that pedas can be made at home too :). A search on the internet and stumbled upon this easy recipe from Sharmispassions.
She has very clearly written down the step by step instructions and also pics to guide the cooking process. My pedas were a tiny bit sticky but tasted good...as good as store bought ones. Ah well, it was the first time for me. This is definitely a keeper recipe.

Monday, October 31, 2016

An easy dip recipe

This is an easy and tasty dip recipe. 

Goes awesomely well with any chips. Nachos are my favourite.

Ingredients:

1. Labneh - 1 packet
2. Cream cheese - 3 or 4 tbsp
3. Garlic pods - 2 or 3
4. Pepper - as per taste
5. Salt- as required
6. Tabasco sauce -1/4 tsp {optional; add before serving}

Blend.
Pour the mixture into a small bowl. 
Dip the chips in it.
Enjoy.

Recipe courtesy:  a friend

P.F. Changs

Dynamite Shrimp

Lemon with mint

Rainbow Sushi

Kids Lo Mein


Mongolian Beef and rice

Tiramisu


A very tasty and satisfying lunch at P.F. Chang's. 
The sushi is a new addition to their menu and it indeed was tasty. You should never miss trying out the dynamite shrimp [it is a must have on our list when ever we visit].It is served in a tall glass and if you look around, dynamite shrimp is one dish common to all the tables. lol

The restaurant is always packed and it is an indication of the good food they serve :)

Friday, September 16, 2016

Beetroot pachadi(kichdi) recipe no. 2

Recipe courtesy: Mrs. Lakshmi Nair's cookery show

Ingredients:

1. Beetroot - 1
2. Coconut (grated) - 1.5 cup
    Cumin seeds - 3/4 tsp
    green chillies -3
3. Curd - 1.5 cups
4. Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
5. Dry red chilli - 2
6. Curry leaves -  a sprig
7. Oil - 3 tbsp

Method:

Boil the beetroot in lots of water and grate it.

Make a paste of items in 2.

Combine the beetroot and the coconut paste in a bowl. 
Add salt to taste.
To this add 1.5 cups of curd and mix well.

In a small pan, add oil, splutter the mustard seeds,add red chilli and curry leaves. 
Pour this over the beetroot-coconut-curd mixture.


Beetroot pachadi recipe


Ingredients:
1. Beetroot(grated) - 1 cup
2. Yoghurt - 1.5 cups
3. Shallots - 5
4. Green chilli - 3
5. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
6. Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
7. Coconut oil (preferably) - 3 tbsp
8. Curry leaves - a sprig
9. Salt - as required

Method:

In a deep pan, add the oil and when it is warm add the mustard seeds. When it splutters, add the cumin seeds, then the green chilli and the curry leaves. Give a stir and add the shallots. When the shallots turn translucent, add the beetroot and saute it till its 90% cooked. Allow the whole mixture to cool down and add the yoghurt and salt and mix well.



Monday, September 12, 2016

Adayar Ananda Bhavan restaurant

I had been wanting to try out the food and snacks in AAB ever since they opened up in Salmiya. But never could. The place would be full every time we passed by. AAB had a small outlet in Salmiya and now they have opened a second branch in Salmiya itself (opposite to Al-Qabass arabic school; the bestow bakala lane). 



This place has more seats since there is no snacks section.We checked in for a brunch :). The decor is nice and there is three kinds of chutneys on the table - red ,green and white [coconut and onion, corinader, simple coconut]. Very pretty colors indeed.


That's the plain dosa I ordered. It was crisp and light and tasted good.

Masala Dosa
The masala dosa came folded in a rectangular shape.


The filter coffee was served in bronze utensil(I am guessing it's bronze). It was sweet and tasted so good.
Now I am pretty impressed with the food except for the sambar. The sambar isn't suited to my spicy-tamarindy-asafoetidy-dark colored sambar I am used to. This sambar had lots of dal in it and much less spicy. But people will like it and I am sure they do; the crowd in the restaurant speaks for itself.

I have also tried the jangri and boli from AAB. They were lip smackingly good. I am a hardcore boli fan and the boli from AAB was by far the best I have had in Kuwait. And the portion size was big too.

Do give AAB a try and let me know of your thoughts.


.

Muringa ela (moringa leaves) koottu curry

muringa ela koottu curry
I came across this recipe in Vanitha magazine. It was an easy recipe and tastes good and not to forget the health benefits of muringa or  moringa leaves. A simple search on the internet can give you an idea of the health benefits associated with the whole moringa  plant. And my favourite body butter from TBS is the moringa body butter.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Shop fresh fish online in Kuwait


Now one can order fish online in Kuwait :)

They have cash on delivery and also a 5% cash back policy if you pre-order your fish.
I thought they had free delivery but read in 248am that they charge 750fils for delivery.
They have fresh fish, live fish (limited options when i checked website) and cooked fish.

I for one would be hesitant to buy fish online but when you are hard pressed for time or due to some reason  can't visit the fish market, this is a great option.


Their website is www.kuwaitfreshfish.com and facebook page is also there.




Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Corn and paneer chaat

Corn and paneer chaat

This is a colorful chaat. A bit sweet, a bit tangy but tastes good nonetheless. 
This can be a mid-morning snack or an evening snack. 
It is easy to prepare and healthy as well.

Ingredients:
1. Corn - 2 cups
2. Paneer-15 cubes 
3. Red onion - 1 
4. Tomato - 1
5. Salt- as per taste
6. Pepper - as per taste
7. Lemon juice - 1/2 of a lime 
8. Chaat masala - as per taste

Method:
Steam the corn.
Pan fry the paneer
Chop the onion and tomato
Mix everything together. Add the salt, pepper, lime juice and chaat masala. Toss well. 
Enjoy.

Recipe adapted from indian healthy recipes



Sunday, August 21, 2016

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Green grapes juice

Green grapes juice


You need to eat fruits.

Everyday.

That's what moms and health professionals scream out every day; day in and day out.

So now what to do when you bought some seedless green grapes and you  end up with some left over sitting in the fruit bowl the second day also? think think....juice them off course. Put the grapes in a blender (no hassles of removing seeds since they are seedless) and done.  You can add a little water if the consistency is too thick for you. There is no need to add extra sugar; the sweetness of the grapes suffices. But if the juice isn't that sweet, add a bit of sugar.

Add a couple of ice cubes and enjoy the drink. Alternatively you can add the ice cubes into the blender along with the grapes instead of adding water.

A healthy drink which is tasty is a sure winner.

Ingredients
1. Green grapes - 1 cup
2. Water - 1/4 cup (optional)
3. Sugar - 1/2 tsp (optional)
4. Ice cubes - 2

Method
Blend. Pour into a glass. Enjoy!









Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A very berry cherry milkshake



Ingredients required:

1. Cherries (pitted) - 1 cup [I used fresh cherries; no, none of those frozen stuff for me]
2. Milk - 1 cup

That's it.

Put everything in the blender and wham,a tasty milkshake is ready. For those of you who will not be satisfied with the sweetness of the milkshake can add teaspoon of sugar or a couple of pitted dates.

There are a zillion other ways to make a smoothie or a milkshake but I prefer mine clean - meaning no sugar,ice cream, chocolate etc.

Now the downside is (if you think it is) is the time in spending pitting the cherries, but consider that as therapeutic :) :P and also a bit of staining on the finger nails.

Cherries are available only for a short season and so make the most of it while its still available. 


Saturday, August 13, 2016

The INGLOT event

INGLOT had organised an event exclusively for their social media fans to celebrate 10 years of beauty. It was an invite to their store in Avenues Mall to experience their latest collections and makeup applications on Wednesday August 10, 2016. The invite was only to the first 200 who RSVPd to an email ID they had posted on Fb. I have always passed by their store and admired the colorful display of nail polishes and eye shadows but never really ventured to walk in and try the products. 

Inglot store in Avenues

We were received with a welcome drink and donuts :). I had fun walking around and swatching and trying again the lip shades, eye shadows and foundation. The crowd was huge. Hmm..who would want to miss to be a part of such an event.



That display of nail polishes. It is sooooo tempting :P


Oh those limited edition nail polishes!!!! Wanted to buy all of them...


The invited social media fans were given a free goodie bag worth 15KD. The goodie bag had a lipstick and a beauty blemder. I got the lipstick in shade number 422 (a neonish purplish shade). The sales assistant told me that this was one of their best selling lip shades. 


No, this lipcolor is not for me. :)



The free gifts


Thank you INGLOT for a wonderful evening and free goodies.



Friday, August 12, 2016

Breakfast101

What to make for breakfast? A nerve wracking thought for all moms (everyone). Especially when you are hard pressed for time. And you had enough of boxed cereals and oats. Come on, even those 'healthy' cereals are loaded with sugar. 

Steamed plantain is one of those easy breakfast items , as long as I can remember. It can be eaten just like that or with a chutney of crushed shallots, green chilli and salt in a bit of water. Oh nostalgia. But, I always felt hungry after an hour. A chit chat with my friend over this topic and she suggested having a boiled egg and a piece of toast (or plain bread) to go with the plantain. And yes, you have a delicious, filling and nutritious breakfast. And doesn't take much time at alllllll.





Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Paniyaram


Well, paniyarams are not exactly a new invention :) only thing is that I never really ventured to try out this recipe. What you need is just some idli batter and viola, a delicious and healthy evening snack is ready. There is spicy and sweet versions of this. Here goes the spicy version of paniyarams.

Ingredients:
1. Idli batter - 2 cups
2. Shallots - 6
3. Green chilli - 1
4. Ginger paste - 1/2 tsp
5. Urad dal - 1/4 tsp
6. Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
7. Oil (Coconut/sunflower) - as needed
8. Curry Leaves - a sprig
9. Coriander leaves - 2 Tbsp (optional)

Method:
In a pan, add about 1.5 tsp of oil and when it is hot, add the mustard seeds. When they start crackling, add the ginger paste and chopped green chilli. Saute for a minute; and then add the chopped shallots. When the shallots are slighltly browned, add the curry leaves. Switch off the flame and add the coriander leaves. Let this cool off and add it into the idli batter. Add enough salt. Viola...paniyaram batter is ready.

Now you need a unni appam chatti to prepare this. Add few drops of oil into the unniappam chatti and fill the holes upto 3/4th with the prepared batter. Close with a lid and cook on medium flame. After about 4 minutes, open the lid and flip over the paniyarams, close the lid and cook for another 4 minutes. 

There, paniyarams are ready. Serve it warm with sambar or chutney and a hot cup of tea. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Five Guys Burger

It was a lazy saturday evening and we were wondering where to go out for dinner. And we finally ended up at Five Guys which is located in Al-Tijaria tower (opposite to Al-Shaheed park). Man, the crowd there is insane. I have not seen such a busy burger joint; other than the ones located in the malls. One of my friend, whose office is in the same building, was telling me that the queue will be well outside the burger joint on most days.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sunshine Pudding




This recipe was taken from Vanitha magazine (forgot which edition though). I had put my name for a cooking competition held by one of the associations in Kuwait and guess what, this pudding won the third prize :) :) :). 
Thanks to Vanitha and the author of this recipe.

Here is how it is prepared:


INGREDIENTS:

First Layer:
1. Apricots – 20
2. Water – 3 cup
3. Sugar – 1 cup

Second Layer:
4. China grass – 8gm
     Water – 1 ½ cup
5. Condensed milk – 1 tin
     Milk – 5 cups
     Sugar – 5 tbsp
6. Vanilla Essence – 1 tsp

Third Layer:
7. China grass – 7gm
    Water – 1 ½ cup
8. Fresh Orange juice – 3 cups
    Lemon juice – a little
    Sugar – as required

METHOD:

1. De-seed the apricots and cook it with water. Add the sugar after the apricots are   
    cooked well and mix it well.

2. Once the above sauce is ready, let it cool and pour it into a glass dish.

3. To prepare the second layer, soak the china grass in water for 10 minutes.
    Melt it on a medium flame.

4. In the same time in another pan, add the milk, condensed milk, and sugar and
    heat it. Keep stirring continuously.

5. Once the china grass is melted, pour it into the milk mixture. Remove from flame
    and add the vanilla essence, stir well, and let it cool a bit.

6. Pour the china grass mixture over the apricot sauce layer and keep it in the fridge
    to set.

7. Melt the china grass for the third layer.

8. Mix orange juice, lemon juice and sugar and heat it. Once the china grass is  
    melted, add it to the orange juice mixture , mix well and remove from fire.

9. Keep the orange juice-china grass mixture in the fridge and when it starts to set,
    using a spoon , spread it over the pudding as the third layer and allow it to set.


10. Decorate with cherries, oranges and caramelized nuts.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Vegetable Biriyani recipe (Annie's Kitchen)

INGREDIENTS
    1.    Basmati rice - 500gm (soaked and drained)
    2.    Onion - 6 big
    3.    Carrot - 2 big (julienne)
    4.    Beans - 2 cups
    5.    Cauliflower - ½ cauliflower
    6.    Tomato - 2
    7.    Chana dal - 3 tbsp
    8.    Ghee - a lot
    9.    Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tbsp
    10. Green chilli - 3 or 4
    11. Cashews - ½ cup
    12. Raisins - ½ cup
    13. Coriander leaves
    14. Rambha leaves
    15. Chilli powder - 1 tsp
    16. Coriander powder - 1 tsp
    17. Turmeric powder - ¼ tsp
    18. Cashew nut paste - 4 tbsp

Garam masala
1.    Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
2.    Cloves - 8
3.    Black pepper corns - ¼ tsp
4.    Cardamom - 6
5.    Cinnamon- 1 small piece
6.    Khus khus - 1 tsp
7.    Star anise - 2

METHOD
Add 4 tbsp ghee to a hot pan. Add 2 pieces of cinnamon, 4 cardamom, 2 star anise, 4 cloves (to give a flavor to the rice). Next add the soaked and drained rice and fry it. Add enough water and salt and cook the rice.

In another pan, add 2 tbsp ghee. Add 1 cup of sliced onion and fry it.
After that fry the cashews and raisins.
Now add the onion, ginger-garlic paste, 2tsp of chopped green chilli.
Add the carrot, beans, cauliflower, add turmeric powder (1/4 tsp), 1 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp of garam masala and salt. Add the tomato, stir well and add the Rambha leaves. Add cashew nut paste. Let the veggies cook.

Once they are done, add enough masala to the rice, mix well and garnish with the fried onion, cashews and raisins. Serve with raitha and pappad.

A twist to the traditional raitha recipe: Add some finely ground coconut paste to the raitha. This indeed was tasty.



Athapookalams 2017

Onam was celebrated way back in September and there was a Pookalam competition also held then. My post is a bit late and but none the less ...