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Mana

Freddie.

By September 3, 2015 Life
Freddie

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A year ago, if you’d told me I’d be mothering a dog, I would have called you crazy. The people around me would have surely questioned your sanity.

But from the moment I held this little one in my hand at a shady, underground, medicine-scented vet’s clinic—I knew I’d fallen. Freddie is now our very new, very familiar family member. And here’s a little update on what the lil munchkin has been up to.

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For the first few days, we only stared at him sleeping, curled up either in my lap or under his blanket. Then he puked and our entire house got prepared to battle a very unfamiliar sickness.

Now, he chews up shoes, wants to play at odd hours of the day and loves to wake people up in the middle of the night. He doesn’t like hugs and cuddles, but will crawl up to my ear silently while I’m working and give a lick-of-approval. Fetch and hide-and-seek are his favourite games. He’ll find his toys from the most obscure of places and throw them at your feet…ready to play.

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Freddie loves water. He’ll create a little pool around his water bowl and sleep in it. Adorable doesn’t even cover the way he eats water. If you want to see him at his goofiest, turn on the pipe and wait.

He’s got the puppy dog eyes down pat and one look will melt even the most strictest of mummies (namely: me). When he’s teething, he snaps. This, is what I imagine the teenage phase of any child is—difficult and exhausting. But the look on his face when you come home or the way he satisfyingly tucks next to you with his chew bone is enough to get us through the day.

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As he hovers around our feet right now, 6 months and growing, we try to imagine a time when we didn’t have this fur-ball in our life.

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Cooking Healthy in Style! | Cookfresh and Canola Oil

By August 27, 2015 Food
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I am not what you’d call a whiz in the kitchen. Sure, I bake often, but I put random ingredients in my soup and almost always make undercooked pasta.

Part of my apprehension with cooking full, fancy meals is the list of varied ingredients. After I cook the latest dish that’s making the rounds on Pinterest, what am I supposed to do with the rest of the fish oil or this mountain of cilantro?

Meanwhile, I will admit to not knowing what some of the ingredients listed in popular recipes actually are, or where I might find them in the local supermarket. If a recipe has more than a handful of ingredients, it’s usually not for me.

So Sunday afternoon, my dad and I decided to give our cooking brains a rest and try out Cookfresh, a food delivery service that provides you with the exact amount of ingredients you will need to make a given meal for two. I got the Citrus Chicken Quinoa Salad and a Moist Chocolate Mug Cake. My meals came neatly packaged in a cardboard box with all the ingredients measured out, divided and fresh!

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We also got packs of Canola Oil with the meal, one of the healthier cooking oils in the market. My recipe called for cooking the chicken in a wok with the oil and some spices and I could actually taste the difference. The chicken cooked really well and did not feel oily at all. Some of the oil was also added to the dressing and I honestly could not have made a better dressing.

Incidentally, the oil is free of trans fat and contains zero cholesterol. It is also a good source of vitamins E and K.

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As far as the food goes, my Citrus Chicken Quinoa Salad was tasty and simple-two things that I love! I have never cooked or tried quinoa before so this was a great experience! The Mug Cake was decadent to say the least and took us barely any time to devour it. Basically if you can follow a recipe card, you can make a pretty fancy meal with no real hiccups in 40 minutes or less.  This meal was a serving size for two, but it was so hearty we ended up having leftovers.  No complaints over here.

If you enjoy cooking and trying new foods but often don’t have the time to plan and prep all your dinners, this meal subscription service might be for you.

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**This post is in alliance with Canola Oil, but all opinions are my own.

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In The Kitchen | Caramel Popcorn

By August 20, 2015 Food
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I consider popcorn to be my ultimate guilty pleasure. The extra salted goodness accompanied by chilled cola in a movie theatre or a huge batch of warm, home popped corn—I can scarf down popcorn in any shape or form. So imagine my delight when I came upon a few recipes that attempted to make caramel popcorn at home!

I can now. very easily, say that homemade caramel popcorn beats the hell out of any other popcorn. I have almost (almost!) come close to finishing a whole bowl myself.

And when a party rolls around, I shall be the perfect hostess welcoming you with your own bag full.

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You need:

  • 1 Tbs Vegetable Oil
  • Popcorn Kernels
  • 125 gms Butter
  • 170 gms Sugar

Mixing things up

Make the popcorn. Warm 3 corn kernels and the oil in a large lidded saucepan over medium heat. When the kernels pop, add the rest of the corn kernels to the pan, shake to coat with oil, and put the lid on the pan. Pop the corn, shaking the pan occasionally, until the popping slows. Empty the popped corn immediately into a large heat-proof bowl.

Make the caramel sauce. Melt the butter in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Mix in the sugar until the sugar is completely moistened. Increase the heat to medium high and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, boil for 3-4 minutes while stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan continuously.

Combine the caramel sauce and popcorn. Slowly pour the caramel sauce over the popcorn while stirring the popcorn (it helps if you have a partner for this step — one person pouring while the other stirs the popcorn). Continue stirring the sauce into the popcorn until all of the kernels are coated.

Let cool completely. Let the popcorn cool completely on the baking sheets. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to a week.

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STYLED | Mcleodganj

By August 13, 2015 Style, Travel
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Last month, while strolling through the verdant hills of Mcleodganj,  I found myself in the most unfamiliar of situations. Camera pointed straight at me and not a soul around—how rare is that? Taking full advantage of the solitude and the blissful mood that followed, we decided to snap a few pictures of what I wore on this spectacular holiday. Granted, what started off as a spur-of-the-moment session turned into a full blown dramatic shoot with abandoned roads and broken benches as backdrops. But, with props like these, who am I to complain. :)

I almost always pack easy-to-carry clothes for any vacation. The less space my clothes take, the more room for souvenirs (and food!). My go-to holiday style is loose, airy and comfortable, with a few accessories to tie the look together. I am in love with hats these days. This one was rather cheap and perfect for the afternoon sun.

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TOP FROM SAROJINI NAGAR,
HAT FROM LAJPATH NAGAR, PANTS FROM WESTSIDE
EARRINGS FROM COLABA, MUMBAI


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TOP FROM SAROJINI,
SHORTS MADE FROM OLD JEANS


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LACE TOP FROM GK, CAMISOLE BOUGHT LOCALLY FROM MCLEDODGANJ
BANGLES FROM COLABA, MUMBAI
EARRINGS FROM LAJPATH NAGAR


What’s your go-to holiday style? I’d love to know!

Photographs: Arzan Antia

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IN THE KITCHEN | THE RED COOLER

By August 5, 2015 Food

Yikes! Is the weather really as melting as I think it is. Raise your hands if you’re currently seeking shade in the corners of your home, with the AC on full blast and a couple of ice cubes to keep you company.

I know I am.

When the weather turns sunny, I crave for cool drinks like nobody’s business. Roohafsa has always been a part of my childhood. It’s a flavour I grew up with–in milk, in water and sometimes in sweets. Till date, there is always a bottle tucked away in the corner-most cupboard of my kitchen.

So this post is less of a recipe and more of a refresher. Go grab that bottle and cool away. For those of you that haven’t sipped on a Roohafsa yet, well…drop by!

I love how the lemon adds just a little extra oomph to the fruity flavor! And since I’m such a lemon fiend in the summertime, this cooler is right up my alley.

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