11.4.14

Refresh your home with PoorWall.com

Are you bored with your surroundings at home? Looking for an inexpensive way to spice things up?
Nothing does it like wall decor! Walls, when left plain, make a good house look uninviting. Even if you spend a lot of money on fancy furniture, your home will not look it's best without wall decor.
And if you don't have a lot of money to spend on decor? Wall decor is still the best way to go, it will instantly liven up the room & change the whole mood of the place.
I know what you're thinking- but where do I get reasonably priced wall decor? Well allow me to introduce you to PoorWall.com! This site is dedicated to providing the most trendy wall decor on the planet, run by a bunch of photographers, interior designers and bloggers who are working 24x7 to build quality in wall decor.


The photos are divided into categories and themes such as architecture, landscapes, or floral art. All these photos are not available for sale elsewhere. There's also a top 100 wall decor photos section where you can find their most popular prints.

PoorWall also has a modern wall art section with vibrant and colorful vector art (like the picture above). They're the only website in India to offer this, certainly a fun break from the usual stuff.


They're also currently running a 'first frame free' offer. If you're new to PoorWall, you can choose from one of the three given picture & have it framed free! That's a good way to test out the quality of their prints for yourself. 


If you're looking for a quick way to refresh your surroundings, try PoorWall! I'm thinking that it's about time I set up a gallery wall, since I've wanted one for years now.
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This post has been written by me in association with PoorWall.com

1.4.14

Understand the difference between champagne and sparkling wine.


For a longest time, all sparkling wine was referred to as "champagne" until some countries chose to apply the "rules of appellation". This restored the technical designation of champagne so that it referred only to those sparkling wines grown and made in the town of Champagne in the Northeastern region of France. Champagne from the Champagne region continues to be the gold standard of sparkling wine because the climate is nice & cool and combined with the chalky soil to produce very acidic grapes, ideal for making sparkling wine. Moreover, champagne from this region tends to be aged for years rather than the months of ageing allowed for most other varieties. In other regions where sparkling wine is produced, it tends to be referred to as: Cava in Spain, Sekt in Germany, Spumante in Italy and sparkling wine in Australia, the US, New Zealand and South Africa. Visit Jim's Cellars for French Champagne!
Different methods can be used to achieve sparkling wine, including the méthode champenoise, charmat, or cubé close, which require varied lengths of time of fermentation in the bottle. A less time and labor intensive process is that of carbonating a still wine (known in some places as "carbonated pop wines"), which can still produce a pleasant sparkling wine. Most, but not all, sparkling wine is white and dry (brut) following the French Champagne style, while others are sweet in the Italian Asti Spumante style. I personally prefer my wine dry. Historically, champagne was a sweet wine but with changing tastes, the drier variety won greater favor; today, there is no right or wrong about preferring either style, it's a personal choice.



26.3.14

Severin Waffle Maker (from Zansaar) Review + Recipe #Waffleweek

In case you missed it, I flagged off #Waffleweek yesterday. The first post had a chatty video with me talking about waffles, why I love them & showing you my new waffle maker. I promised to go into more detail in subsequent posts, so today I will be reviewing the Severin Waffle Maker from Zansaar.
So, I'll start at the beginning- late last year I decided to buy a waffle maker. So I started to search on online, I was pretty sure there would be a good selection. But all I could find were these two- Bajaj Majesty SnackMaster Super Dlx Grill // Morphy Richards Toast Grill Waffle. Bajaj & Morphy Richards are owned by the same people in India, so these are essentially the same thing, just that MR would be slightly fancier looking & pricier. I put that on hold & went to Foodhall in Mumbai that stocks a lot of imported kitchen appliances (like the Kitchenaid). I was really looking for a good quality waffle maker, preferably something heavy & well made that would last. But I was disappointed to find they had the same Morphy Richards one mentioned above so I just came home & ordered the Bajaj one online.
It came a few days later. As I'm not reviewing the Bajaj waffle maker in this post, I'll just give you a brief account of how that one was. The plates are metal, of course, but the exterior feels like a very cheap, flimsy plastic. Parts of it just warped the first time I used it, from the heat. It doesn't have a temperature control & obviously didn't get hot enough. Even after 15+ minutes, the waffles were always so light in color & very soggy. Not to mention, it felt like it would fall apart every single time I used it (it hasn't yet, though) I used it three to four times for waffles, trying every trick I could think of, really wanting to like it but I just didn't. It wasn't money completely wasted though, because I found I really like the grill function for sandwiches / bagels. But I knew I would have to keep looking for a better waffle maker. I mentioned waffles a few times then & some of you asked me to review the waffle maker but since I wasn't happy with it then I didn't.
That's when I found the Severin Waffle Maker on Zansaar. It's not the cheapest device (but not expensive either, I'd say mid-range?) so I did my research first. It's from Germany, so the voltage is already right (220V). I've bought baking supplies from Zansaar before & have been satisfied with both the products the quality of products they stock & their quick, efficient customer service I decided to give it a go.
I was on pins till I received + tried it, I really didn't want another dud waffle maker. But, (& I don't mean to sound cheesy here) it pretty much turned out to be the waffle maker of my dreams. 
It's made of mostly plastic with teflon coated plates. Parts of the exterior are plastic & the top is brushed aluminium. It feels sturdy & well made, both inside & outside. And no warping, thankfully! It also has a handy temperature control. I couldn't find any documentation on the maximum temperature it heats up to, but I once (mistakenly) had it on the highest setting from the beginning & my waffle got burnt in three or four minutes, so I'm guessing it can get pretty hot! I like keeping it on medium & it gets done it about ten minutes, if I am in the mood for a more brown, extra crisp waffle I turn up the heat in the last couple of minutes.
It's very easy to clean, just wipe with a paper towel! I've found only two 'cons' as of now. Firstly, the power cable could have been longer. If the table you're keeping this on is not close enough to an outlet, you'll need an extension cord. And the second is less con & more personal choice. The waffles this thing makes are on the thin side, much thinner than classic or belgian waffles. Mom & me like this kind best, but my dad prefers Belgian. Overall I am very happy with this waffle maker!

Easy Waffle Recipe-

It's super, super easy (pretty sure even a kid could make it) & basic. And it's not like baking a cake (i.e. it doesn't need precision) so you can play around with it in many different ways. Think of it as a starting point. And if you're more visual, you can see the recipe in action in this video (post 6:06).

Ingredients:
2 Cups All purpose flour (Maida)
2 Cups Milk
2 Eggs
40 gms (approx) Butter
1 1/2 Tbsp Baking Powder
1 Tbsp Sugar
Pinch Salt
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
Optional:
1/2 Tbsp Cinnamon
Pinch of Nutmeg

Equipment:
Large mixing bowl
Whisk (if you don't have one, a fork will do.)

Procedure:
Before you start, it really helps to warm the milk ever so slightly, also please take the butter out of the fridge so it'll be soft & mix well.
Crack open the eggs & beat them till they're fluffy. Add the flour & mix.
Now add the milk & mix. Add the butter & mix. Add the baking powder, sugar, salt & then mix.
Next, add the vanilla extract, cinnamon & nutmeg & mix.

Your all done! Now just preheat your waffle maker, pour & wait! I find that I prefer slightly runnier batters as opposed to thick since runny ones self-level, which helps in the whole thing being even. As you can tell, I'm not used to writing recipes, but this one should be simple enough to follow. :)

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me! The review of the waffle cookbook goes up tomorrow.