Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Brew Perfect French Press Coffee ft. InstaCuppa

Who doesn't love the rich taste in a cuppa? Espresso, Mocha, Cappuccino or French Press; whatever is your favourite style, but coffee brewed to perfection is liquid wisdom ;)

I'm more of a tea-person, but if I have coffee that has to be deliciously strong. Frankly speaking, I never considered myself too good to prepare coffee as good as we enjoy in parties and that probably stopped me be a coffee-lover. But over the past few months, what changed the entire scenario at my home is InstaCuppa French Press Coffee Maker.
This french press coffee maker features an extra tough and heat-resistant, cylindrical pot made of borosilicate glass that doesn’t break as easily as the others and lasts for years.  Look at the grace it has. :)
The pot's outer holder made with highly polished stainless steel accents a classy look to the appliance. The spout on the pot helps to pour the beverage without spilling. 
You would find a plunger piston and built-in mesh filter screen that presses hot water through the ground coffee. Both the components that is plunger and filter are made of high grade 18/8 stainless steel that keep rust at bay. The pot handle is heat-resistant and causes zero heat-transfer.  
Now here is the secret to utilize the coffee maker to optimal use. It's an open secret that a good cup of coffee starts with the beans. The freshly roasted and ground beans immediately before brewing do magic to bring aroma your flavourful drink. Make a point to grind the beans to medium size with uniformity and consistency throughout, because coarsely ground beans may clog the filter, while very fine grinds may pass through the filter.

Coming to the not-so-tough task of brewing, start by cleaning the pot thoroughly since you last used it and pour ground coffee into the pot. 
Now pour hot water (or probably milk, if you like it) into the pot and gently stir with a long spoon.
Wait for a while to let the hot water help release aroma from the grinds. Then firmly hold the handle of the pot, insert the lid back into the pot and press the plunger all the way down to filter the grounds from the coffee. (check out our Instagram Stories for a hint of how we used it)
As seen in the image below, the mesh filter generally does a decent job to hold back the grounds; but if a small quantity of fine grounds gets mixed in your beverage, it would barely affect the taste.
This InstaCuppa coffee maker can hold an ample quantity of 600ml that eases your effort to serve almost 5-6 cups in a single press. Looking at the awesome features of this durable appliance, a price of INR 1499/- is a steal deal giving you an off on MRP 2000/-. Available to order from brand website or from Amazon. 

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Whip-up Lip-Smacking Recipes at Home This Month of Love

Historically, St. Valentine is known to only spread love amongst humans. Nevertheless, what if this was extended to one’s love for food? Cupid might as well strike a juicy burger or a sumptuous brownie! The opportunities are endless. Prepare to fall in love forever as you celebrate this Valentine’s Day with a lot of love and some beautiful flavours. Chef Gaurav Chadha, in-house Chef Dr. Oetker India, Chef Nader Shaikh, Executive Chef at Sheraton Grand Pune Bund Garden Hotel and Chef Shreyas Gharat, Sous Chef, Le Meridien Mahabaleshwar Resort and Spa will help you make your Valentine’s Day special at home.

Chocolate Cake with Raspberries: (Recipe courtesy: Chef Gaurav Chadha)
Servings: 2
Level: Beginner
Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
Baking Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients:
250g Dr. Oetker FunFoods Eggless Bake Mix 11 Cakes
100g Butter, melted
75ml Full Cream Milk
100ml Water
30 g (2 tbsp) Powdered Sugar
30g (2 tbsp) Cocoa Powder
200 gm Whipped Cream
100 g Raspberries, frozen

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 180°C.
  • Mix bake mix, butter, milk, water, sugar & cocoa powder until batter is smooth.
  • Grease and flour heart shape-baking pan & pour batter in. 
  • Bake for 30mins or until a toothpick inserted in the center, comes out clean. Let it cool for 10-15 minutes and then cut it from center, into two parts.
  • Take one piece of cake and spread half of the cream in the center, place another piece of cake on top and spread rest of the cream. Decorate the cake with berries and serve.

  • Ginger Berry Passion: (Recipe courtesy: Chef Shreyas Gharat)
    Servings: 2
    Level: Intermediate
    Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
    Baking Time: 4 hours

    Ingredients:
    50g Fresh Strawberries
    50g Fresh Raspberries
    50g Fresh Red Currants
    50g Sugar
    150g Cream Cheese
    50g Milk Maid
    50g Whipped Cream
    2g Agar-Agar
    50ml Passion Fruit Puree
    100g Heavy Cream
    2g Agar-Agar
    20g Soften Butter
    50g Ginger Cookies

    Directions:
    • Wash and clean all berries and cook with sugar for 10-15 min on slow flame add agar-agar.
    • Using hand whisker combine cream cheese, milkmaid & whipped cream.
    • Add puree and mix well.
    • Line heart shape mould with ginger cookies.
    • Pour mixture in mould set it in refrigerator for 2 hours.
    • Boiled passion fruit puree & agar-agar.
    • When coming at room temperature add heavy cream, soften butter, and blend it nicely.
    • Pour it the mixture in half hemisphere mould and freeze it for 2 hours.

    Red Velvet Cheese Cake: (Recipe courtesy: Chef Nader Shaikh)
    Servings: 2
    Level: Advanced
    Baking Time: 8 hours

    Ingredients: 
    1 1/2 cups vanilla biscuit crumbs
    1/4 cup butter, melted
    1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    300g packages cream cheese, softened
    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    4 large eggs, lightly beaten
    3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
    1-cup sour cream
    1/2 cup whole buttermilk
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
    2 (1-ounce) bottles red food coloring
    1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
    1/4 cup butter, softened
    2 cups powdered sugar
    1-teaspoon vanilla extract
    Garnish: fresh mint sprigs

    Directions:
    • Stir together vanilla biscuit crumbs, melted butter, and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar; press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan.
    • Beat 220g packages cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar at medium-low speed with an electric mixer 1 minute. Add eggs and next 6 ingredients, mixing on low speed just until fully combined. Pour batter into prepared crust.
    • Bake at 160°C for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 145°C, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until center is firm. Run knife along outer edge of cheesecake. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven; cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes. Cover and chill 8 hours.
    • Beat 80g package cream cheese and 1/4 cup butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth; gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth. Spread evenly over top of cheesecake. Remove sides of spring form pan. Garnish, if desired.

    Friday, 16 February 2018

    Herboveda Hair Care Products Review

    Switching shampoos after a few weeks is recommended for everyone by many beauty enthusiasts and I definitely follow this recommendation. Be informed that it doesn't cause hair fall or any other issues, just make sure you choose products that lead to healthier hair and scalp.

    Today, I'm sharing my views on Herboveda's Anti-Hairfall Hair Oil and Shampoo that my family is using for past few weeks.
    Anti-Hairfall Oil With Olive And Rosemary Oil
    This premium hair oil contains essential oils which are proven to prevent hair fall and stimulate hair growth. Rich in Almond and Olive oil, it provides full protection from UV rays & harmful radiations of the sun. It contains orange, lavender, rosemary and chamomile blended with the goodness of palmarosa oil that gives longer hair full of life. With no added perfume or paraffin this hair oil is a herbal cure for all your hair problems.
    This oil is an infusion of plenty of essential oils, all added to provide nourishment to your hair. Rosemary oil benefits your hair by trating dandruff and relieves common hair care issues like flaky scalp. Lavender Oil is used to soothe the scalp and stimulates growth. Almond oil is well known for containing healthy ingredients for hair like Omega-3 fatty acids that strengthens hair and has also got conditioning properties.
    The oil is not thick in consistency and gets absorbed properly when massaged onto hair. It's recommended to keep the oil overnight and wash it off the next morning. The fragrance of the oil is certainly not-so-mild and may be overpowering for some, but for me it's stress-buster and like a natural remedy to cure a bad headache after a hectic day at work. The positive results of the oil might be noticed after a continuous use of atleast two consective months.
    The 100ml bottle of this oil is priced at Rs. 399 which is bit expensive, but worth the price if suits your hair and brings results.

    Hairfall Control Shampoo with Bhringraj And Jatamansai 
    This is a formula fortified with  Bhringraj And Jatamansai herbal extracts that help in strngthening the hair from roots. It also contains D-panthenol with Hydrolyzed Keratin. It treats hair that have been damaged due to perming, chemical straightening, bleaching or environmental stress. Finally it makes the hair stronger and prevents hair fall.
    The shampoo is of golden yellow color and has medium consistency. A dime sized shampoo lathers well and does it work to cleanse your hair off all the dirt, oilyness and pollutants. But if you use it on oiled hair, it would require shampooing your hair twice for effectively taking out the oil. The shampoo doesn't dry my hair, but the frizz is somewhat not controlled.   
    The shampoo has herbal fragrance that is not bothersome and doesn't last for long after a headbath. Once my hair dry, it looks lusturous and is easily manageable. I'm neutral to the claims of the shampoo to reduce hair fall as it has neither increased nor reduced the issue. The ingredients list on the shampoo bottle mentions SLES, Paraben Sodium which disappointed me to certain extent as I prefer using SLS-free products. Despite having many herb extracts like, Amla fruit, Jatamansi, Brahmi, Reetha, Aloe Vera etc, I probably won't be recommending this product :(
    The shampoo is yet to be placed on the brand website. I'll be updating the Buying Link as soon as it's available. 

    Sunday, 11 February 2018

    Denim Midi Dress for Valentine Outfit Inspo + Contest ft. Triveni Ethnics

    Are you one of those women who advocate a no-fuss look over everything in hot pinks and ravishing reds even on the day of love and romance?? Are you the one who wonder why to paint the town red and not any other colour? Are you the one who would please herself more by looking 'uniquely dressed' in a crowd of rosy reds?

    Well! As long as you feel this matter requires resolution, we've got you covered. Go for a denim midi dress for something a little bit more unique this season.

    Practically, I'm obsessed with denim and my obsession is not only confined to denim jeans, skirts and jackets; the one-piece denim dresses are my absolute favourite. My closet probably have a few already, still I couldn't resist owning one more from Triveni's Blue Trunk Collection:)

    How about checking out how I portaryed my classic favourite in an approachable, easy-to-carry way!!
    Wearability is certainly the factor that attracts me the most in a comfy denim dress. And this cotton dress is all about the chic button-front details that beautifully pops against the light wash tone of the fabric. I usually tend to wear tones of true blue when it comes to denim in my outfits and even in shoes. Other shades somehow don't dictate denim culture to me (may not be true for you though).
    I'm styling the dress with on-trend heels for Valentine party season, but of many ways that denim dresses let you be more flexible with your style, you may pair it up with high-top canvas sneakers, pointed pumps, ankle boots or quirky flats for more of masterful dressing.
    I'm probably sold on the fact that pocketed dresses are my best picks ever. And the denim dresses with pockets are big this season and look so extra trendy. While I liked a few more options from the Blue Trunk collection, the adorable waistline pockets pulled my heart <3

    A front slit on this dress shakes up the modest style that particularly brings in that missing sex appeal to the complete look specially when you aim to be someone's cupid ;) 

    To conclude the curation, minimal makeup and luxe accessories helped me keeping this denim outfit actually on the casual side of things. So I ditched gold toned accessories without having people thinking I'm overdone rather opted for a pendant and a swipe of lipstick to keep the understated dress effortlessly chic. 

    Click for an exciting Valentine Contest happening on our Facebook page for a chance to win a saree.

    Monday, 5 February 2018

    Herboveda Skin Lift Anti-Wrinkle Day & Night Creams Review

    Today I'm introducing Herboveda Care, an initiative towards combining the benefits of naturally obtained herbal ingredients and the age old magical beauty secrets to transform the entire idea of beauty and beauty care. Living in the present times of stressful life styles, hectic work days and this super polluted environment, Herbovedacare aspires to provide your skin a relief from the pollutants and the intense sun. With the soothing herbs and natural oils from pure plant extracts, Herbovedacare promises the best of care for your skin.

    From the herbal product range that the brand has to offer, I'm reviewing a combo of Anti-Wrinkle Day and Night Creams meant for Skin Lift.

    Packaging
    Both the day and night cream come in elegant white tubs. The packaging is sturdy enough and has got the key ingredient printed on the top screw lid. This light-weight packaging is easy to carry around. The ingredient list, usage instructions, price, quantity etc is labelled on the pack as well. 
    Day Creme With Pomegrenate And Rose Hip Oil
    This cream completely replenishes your skin. It deeply moisturizes and prevents ageing. The active ingredients work naturally and activate the cells. Thus, the premature ageing of your skin is prevented. It's a perfect day cream.
    Looking at the pomegranate infused cream at the first sight, it reminded me of using pomegranate peel powder in my younger days when such good products for skin care were not accessible to everyone :)
    The texture of Herboveda Day Cream is light, thin and smooth. The moment you massage it on the skin, it is absorbed as if it was there ever. But the skin gets a boost of hydration instantly that feels really good to touch without oilyness. The beauties who are battling with dryness of skin will definitely love the plumped skin what they crave for.
    Pomegranates in the cream help delay the signs of aging being rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants. Another active ingredient i.e. Rosehip Oil is loaded with anti-inflammatory fatty acids to repair damaged skin. Rosehip Oil also helps to tighten your pores due to astringent properties. The rosehop oil renders light fragrance to the cream that is pleasant to smell and won't be irritating anyone. Just ensure to give your skin the suppleness of this cream whenever you cleanse your face and neck area (I do it twice a day). I'm liking using this cream for it's hydration but would have loved it if were SPF rich too for everyday protection of skin from any and all sun damage.
                                                                            ***********
    Night Creme With Veg Squalene & Grapeseed
    The anti wrinkle night cream vitalizes, regenerates & improves the elasticity of the skin and aids your skin to fight against free radicals & ageing process. It also boost skin cell renewal system while smoothening up fine lines & wrinkles.
    The Herboveda Night Cream is similar to its day cream in color and texture, but it has lighter fragrance. This cream infused with grape seed oil and veg squalene tends to sink in the skin very easily. It's a non-irritating formula that would be suited to people with sensitive skin type as well. Squalene is effective to reduce redness, stinging of skin due to it's anti-bacterial properties. Grape seed oil is packed with Polyphenols that are anti-inflammatory antioxidants and hold up the aging process. 
    Even the beauties who are skeptical to pick a night cream for themselves dreading acne breakout may try this formula and may nourish their skin. I personally like creams that are light to the touch, quick to absorb and don't leave skin feeling heavy or greasy. Herboveda Night Cream ticks all these pros for me. I would especially like to mention here that grape seed oil is well-known for skin balancing so even if you have oily skin, you're in for this treat for your skin to treat oily patches too.
    Daily use of both these creams will help your skin regain elasticity and be firm-looking by fighting signs of aging and dull wrinkled skin.
    For a price of INR 325 each, the 50gm pack with a shelf life of 36 months is a must-buy.

    Wednesday, 31 January 2018

    InstaCuppa Polar Edition Fruit Infuser Water Bottle Review

    For last few weeks, the InstaCuppa Classic Fruit Infuser bottle has been accompanying me wherever I go and I swear, carrying this stylish bottle has actually garnered me more compliments than for my stylish looks. Also there have been queries like "Can we pour warm water in it?", "Is it safe for use by the children?" "Does it keep the liquid cool?" etc.

    I satisfied all the queries of my friends and colleagues with my answers except for cooling of water. So if you're also wondering what's my solution to carry along cold water in my bottle during hot summery days, my answer is InstaCuppa Fruit Infuser Water Bottle in 'Polar Edition'.

    The Polar edition fruit infuser is an innovative version of classic fruit infuser water bottle by the brand. The bottle includes an exclusive Gel Freezer Iceball which is actually a small detachable container fixed at the bottom of infuser rod. 

    This iceball can be unclipped by pulling away gently and is to be placed in the freezer for atleast 4 hours. Fix it back to the infuser rod before you step out and enjoy your cold infused water/any other drinks while you are out.
    The infuser rod in Polar edition bottle is bit smaller than classic version to make space for freezer ball at its rear end, but may hold enough fruits to flavour your plain water.
    The bottle is made of top quality TRITAN material. Tritan is a recyclable, eco-friendly and BPA-free plastic and so is non-toxic to be used by any of your family members including kids.
    Tritan is also impact-resistant and frees you from the fear of shattering, if you drop the bottle by mistake. It also extends the life of the bottle.
    Talking about the looks of this infuser, the glass-like clear and stylish look of the bottle makes it look really classy. The superiority of the bottle is that it won't lose its gloss and clarity after many washes. 
    You may easily throw it in your college backpack or handbag (like I do everyday) and it won't get scratches. Sturdy enough!! And mind you, the bottle is travel-friendly due to it's light weight (much lighter than glass) and leak-proof design.

    The complimentary add-ons with the bottle include an anti-sweat, insulating sleeve containing thousands of tiny air pockets to absorb bottle sweat and offer you cooler drinks. 
    You also get a shaker ball to mix protein powder (if you use) in your drink. So, the ones who love protein shakes can utilize this bottle as a protein shaker. This shaker ball made of rust-free stainless steel will easily stir your shake mix without leaving any clumps.
    For the cleaning of the bottle, handwashing is recommended. A spongy cleaning brush provided within the bottle starter-kit lets you easily clean the bottle walls from inside. For those using advanced technology for utensil washing, they may wash the top rack of the infuser bottle in their dishwasher as well and it's durable plastic won't warp or crack.
    Impressed enough? The bonus point here is that the InstaCuppa Polar Edition Fruit Infuser is priced at no additional cost over it's classic variant. You may buy it for INR 999 from brand website or from Amazon.
    P.S. If you don't know many recipes of preparing your infused/detox drinks, you may scan the QR code given with the bottle to download the ebook and master the art of preparing tasty and healthy drinks for yourself.

    Thursday, 25 January 2018

    Why One Cannot Ignore The Need For Water Purifier?

    Basic hygiene matters above everything else. If you are not healthy, having a social life, interacting with people, having a successful career is simply impossible.

    Water is a basic component to survive for anyone. If it’s not clean, it’s not the same water. Purification standards across India are not uniform, which is also due to the different sources of water. Hence, a water purifier becomes all the more important in Indian households.

    Let’s try to understand the source of your domestic tap water. It is either a nearby lake or river; or the seawater. Although the government tries its best to ensure the safe passage of water through extensive pipelines and advanced treatment plants, there is a high chance of water undergoing contamination till the time it reaches your house. That is mainly due to weather, quality of pipes and various other factors. This is why getting the best water purifier is of extreme importance.
    Water purification technology has come a long way. The initial purification methods were just simple hacks like using a filter to eradicate the impurities. But with time, many improvements took place, paving the water for RO water purifiers.

    RO stands for Reverse Osmosis. It is the most widely accepted technology to give you pure drinking water. It uses a semipermeable membrane that helps to eliminate the finest traces of impurities such as heavy metals and pesticides as well as disease causing microbes. Doesn't it remind you something that we learnt in high school, but never thought how it could make our home water fit for consumption. This technology can eliminate various dissolved and suspended species from water including bacteria. Also it can be employed for both industrial as well as domestic purposes. 

    RO technology differs basis the level of product testing and the quality of filters used while assembling the purifier. Choosing a purifier for your tap water depends on what type of technology you are looking for. That is where the water purifier price comes into the picture. Prices along with the quality determines how should one select the best RO water purifier in India.

    Livpure
    has an extensive range of RO purifiers that not only makes sure that your family stays healthy with no possibility of water borne diseases, but also offers you competitive pricing. Find a few recommendations for Livpure RO purifiers - 

    Livpure Envy Plus RO Water Purifier: 
    Livpure Pep Plus RO Water Purifier:

    Livpure Magna Pro RO Water Purifier:
    You can explore the entire range and check the RO water purifier price from their website and decide what variant suits your needs best.


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