Saturday, 8 September 2018

Travel diaries- A nostalgic trip to my village

hi readers!
I am back with yet another blog. I hope all of you are doing well in your lives. I have been to many places which I want to tell you guys about. I have shared few travel blog posts before as well. Today, I thought why not talk about my roots and by roots I mean the place where I belong to. 
So last month I went to my village with my family and it was a fun trip like always. I went there after two years which is quite surprising because when we were kids, we used to spend entire 3 months of summer vacations there though we used to get bored because there was no internet or cable on TV . But now I miss going there often :(.
Breath-taking view near our ancestral home
On the traveling day (BTW it was a damn hot day of July), we filled our backpacks with chocolates, chips, cold water bottles and not to forget chewing gums (It is necessary for me specially when I am travelling to the mountains because I have issue of travel sickness). I was excited as a child that day.
This is a view from our ancestral home. I have heard this spot was a mini water fall hundreds of years ago
My village (Nanyah) is somewhere near Kotli Sattian. You can say it is some what near Murree. It is a refreshing place with breathtaking recreational beauty. On my way to village we pass by Nilore Atomic Factory and then by Simli Dam. 
A view of our ancestral home after rain
This place has become a picnic spot for the tourists as you guys are aware that Murree is overly crowded in summers. It has various hiking points and few rest houses for the tourists. 
Magnificent door of a room (Just look at the wall and door)
View in the rain
We stay there in our ancestral house which is about 100 years old and let me tell you it is a great piece of architecture. You will get to see all of it in the pictures. Walls of the house are made of hand designed pathar (stones) and roofs are made of wood and covered with metallic sheets just like the hotels and rest houses in Murree. 
Hiking track (This is what I call it) and grazing land for cows and goats
I remember going for hiking with my cousins in summers. There is no proper track for hiking but still it is a great spot for hiking and trekking. 
Ten years old lily plant

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Thursday, 30 August 2018

Visiting Monal DownTown for the first time

I have been enviously looking onto Monal Downtown since long because everyone around me had been posting stories and pictures of Monal Downtown, be it of Centaurus or Saddar branch! 

I'm glad I finally tried it- thanks to bunch of the friends I have in university. Though Monal is far-off from my home but I had to give it a try! 

Credits: The Savy Reader

When I entered the restaurant, I didn't know from where to enter from (lol, I do act dumb at times), but my friends who had arrived before me guided me or else I would have embarrassed myself- no doubt on that. 
Credits: Lovethispic.com
The first thing that attracts me when I enter a restaurant or a home for the first time is obviously the interior, and there are very few buildings that have left me in awe. Monal Downtown, Saddar was one of them.

So, the floor of Monal was the chess pattern- yeah that balck and white cheque boxes and I found it cool 😌. There were few plants, not the artificial ones, used to decorate the restaurant and a wooden carving wall piece grabbed my attention! I forgot to take the picture, I'm sorry πŸ˜’. Hey, but I have this picture of thier roof xD

Oh, and I have a picture this plant too which was placed at the entranceπŸ˜€

Let's come to the food now. All four of us ordered Italian Platters which had Spicy Fettucine, Sole Medditerranean Fish, Morrocan Chicken, Beef Stake and Brownie. Ain't this enough for one person? But what if I tell you that more than enough if you are not a fan of meat, like me? πŸ˜’
All of this in one plate, at a time does sound awesome, no?
Since, I am a huge pasta fan so I ate it in first few minutes and loved it. It had all the sauces, fully balanced and I wanted more of it πŸ˜›.
Morrocan Chicken was no less in taste, because it was tendered well and juicy. I enjoyed every bite of the chicken piece.
It was the first beef stake that I tried, and it wasn't a bad experience though. Beef was cooked well and all of the spices were in accurate quantity. It was a bit hard but that's how a beef is, no?
Coming to the Mediterranean Fish, I didn't like it at all. I usually love fish that's home-made. But, this fish was of no match to the one my mom fries. I guess this was the reason I didn't enjoy it and had to pack it and bring home.

Serving the platter with a piece of brownie loaded with chocolate sauce was not a bad idea. It took me a while to finish it, probably because I was full but my friends love brownies and they appreciated the taste. It was all soft and moist, the chocolate sauce was definitely cherry on the cake.
This go-ey-ness might drive you crazy

You'd be surprised to know that it costed me only 760 PKR including taxes. I leave it on you guys to decide if it is economical or not.

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Monday, 27 August 2018

Miracles of Apple Cider

Hi guys!
I am back with my another blog. Today I am going to tell you about the uses of 'Apple cider vinegar'. Apple cider vinegar is not like an ordinary vinegar, it has tremendous health benefits. Other than health benefits, are you guys aware of its beauty and other household uses? No? I will tell you all about it.

 How's my photography? 

At my home, it is commonly used for salad dressings, in soups and sauces. Home-made salads with apple cider vinegar dressing are healthy and a clean option. It tastes different than salad with ordinary vinegar.
My mother is a diabetic patient. Doctor has adviced her to consume Apple cider vinegar. She takes Apple cider vinegar every night before going to sleep for lowering blood sugar levels. I think it has helped her alot.

Adding gif can never be a bad option

Apple cider vineger is also helpful for weight concious people. It helps in lowering body fat. Consuming Apple cider vinegar helps you feel full and you consume less or small amount of food which is helpful for weight loss and helps in reducing belly fat. It reduces your daily intake of calories.
I have also heard that it is a great pickling agent and also helps in preserving food but I haven't tried this at home. It deactivates enzymes and kills any bacteria that may cause spoilage of food.
Apple cider vinegar is known to have antibacterial properties and beacuse of it is used to eliminate bad smell from the house ( you can make deodorizing spray by mixing apple cider vinegar with water).
Apple cider vinegar is a popular home remedy for sore throats (mix apple cider vinegar with water for gargling).
It is also said that massaging diluted Apple cider into your scalp may help you get rid of dandruff.

It also lowers the risk o cancer. Studies have shown that it reduces esophageal cancer.
You can also use Apple cider vinegar to make a skin tonic that also reduces the signs of aging. Here is the recipe of skin tonic:

Add 1 cup of Apple cider vinegar in 2 cups of water. Apply it using a cotton pad. If you have a sensitive skin, make a more diluted solution.
It can also be used as a weed killer. Here is the recipe to make a weed killer:
Mix undiluted vinegar with soap and lemon juice to make a homemade weed killer.

I hope this is helpful for you. Do share your experience of using Apple cider vinegar.

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Thursday, 9 August 2018

Nocciola- The Chocolate Heaven

The first ever tasting was hell of a experience!

"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy a chocolate"

Last week I was invited by Noociola Chocolateri to taste their food. They have a unique name which is quite difficult to pronounce. They mainly deal with desserts and trust me its a dessert heaven. They were previously known as Nutella spot but now they have changed their name to Niccolia chocolatire. They have two branches in Islambad, one in F11 Markaz and the other one in Bahria town phase 4. I went to Bahria town branch.

To begin with, it has a beautiful minimal interior with elegant Italian touch. It was quite good but it was a small outlet. I didn't expect it to be that small though but I like such settings.

Anyways, I did like their walls and that brick style appearance. I am a fan of such walls since forever. All those nutella jars had me drooling! It had artistic touch with a beautiful digital potrait on the wall.

Do you see those white bricks?
I don't know the history of this potrait, though!

Walls also had interesting quotes related to chocolates. The one I mentioned was from that! Lol xD
Here's another!




When we went there, there was only staff and no one else. I think they shall put a board of their restaurant somewhere on the main road too because it was difficult for us to find it in first place. It serves a peaceful ambience with soft light music. If you are the person who doesn't like hustle and bustle of the crowd then this place is made for you!

Staff is very coperative there. I went there with my family and we ordered four different items. They dodon give menu cards on every table instead menu is displayed on the digital screens. This created quite a problem. I didn't had my glasses at that time and I couldn't see the menu. I know this is sad. Unfortunately, the staff didn't had the menu on thier monitor. So, I took out my phone, captured the menu and saw it. Quite a job, no?

Then, I ordered single scoop of both Belgian chocolate ice-cream and oreo ice-cream which were very tasty and were loved by my parents.
I know they are plain.
I liked oreo ice-cream more. You know why do they look plain? Because, I didn't know I
had to mention the toppings separately. Blame my eyesight and waiter's ignorance! 

We also ordered hot chocolate chip cookie with vanila ice-cream and trust me was the best cookie I have ever had.
Nutella filled- cookie slice with Vanilla ice-cream

And last but not the least we ordered volcano monster shake- Nutella Volcano shake. It was very very yummy with hot gooey brownie at the top and bottom as well. It was so heavy that my sincere efforts were put in to finish it but I loved it.πŸ˜„πŸ˜‰

Everything was up to the mark at Niccolia. It is a best place to satisfy your sweet tooth. Do give it a visit with your friends and family to enjoy chocolate fanticies in a comfortable environment.

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Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Minced Peri Bites with Mayo

Who loves Peri Bites? What! You don't? Then, you haven't tried minced peri bites yet. Follow my my costumized recipe and try them right now because I guarantee, you won't regret!

Isn't this picture tempting?


Let's start with the ingredients:

½ kg mince (keema)
2 teaspoon chilli garlic sauce
1-2 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoon grated cheese (cheddar or mozzarella or one tbsp each)
10-12 green chilies (approximately 3 inches in length)
2 eggs
2 tablespoon flour
2-4 tablespoon cornflour
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch of pepper
1 cup bread crumbs (for coating)

And that's hit! Try this simple method now. Calling it simple, because it only involved frying and mixing! Watch out:

Put cooking oil in a frying pan, add the mince and the chilli garlic sauce, and cook until the mince is tender (approximately 80% cooked). Add pepper salt and vinegar.
Using a knife, carefully make a cut perpendicular to the base of the chilies, 1 to 1.5 cm in length; remove the seeds with caution without tearing the chili surface
Insert one little amount of mince into each chili followed by a small quantity of the cheese using your hands.
Keep these chilies in the freezer for 1 hour
Now mix the egg white in a separate bowl and pour it on top of the chilies; also mix in the flour cornflour, salt and pepper into the mix and coat all the chilies evenly
Roll each chili in bread crumbs, followed by a dip in the milk and back into the bread crumbs for a nice, thick coat
Once all chilies are done, put them in the freezer for another 15 minutes so that the coating can settle properly
Deep fry in very hot oil until they have a nice golden coat

Tad'da! Go try them and let me know how did they turn out.

Serve immediately with tomato ketchup or mayo sauce.

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Monday, 16 July 2018

Book review-Like the flowing river


Whenever I am free, I love to read books. I love reading books since I was a child. I read books regardless of their genre and author. Today, I will review my latest read that is "The Flowing River". The author of this novel is Paulo Coelho and he needs no introduction. One of my favorite novel "The Alchemist" is written by Paulo Coelho. He writes about smallest and simplest things in a beautiful manner that is mesmerizing for the readers. 

Some chapters of this novel "The Flowing River" are very short, merely a few paragraphs. When you are done reading those chapters, you may feel empty – as if a story is suddenly cut short half-way through. Yet as you let the minimal words sink in, you realise you were meant to fill in the empty spaces yourself – with your own thoughts, your own reflections, meanings and dreams.
Every story in this book has a meaning. If it is openly shown, then you will enjoy the read and take away the meaning easily. If it’s hidden, then you will enjoy the search to find it and take it away. They’re not complex  meanings, but mostly simple ones that we can try. They might not seem realistic, but they’ll give you a sense of belief. They are beautiful because of that.

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Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Coffee cake topped with wafers and smarties


Hello everyone!
I hope all of you are doing well in whatever you are doing. I took a short break from writing. I was busy with my work. Today, I will be sharing the recipe of my favorite ‘Coffee cake topped with wafers and smarties’. It is quite easy to bake but definitely the yummiest one. 



Here is the recipe:
Ingredients:
2 cups of plain flour
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup oil
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
6-7 teaspoons coffee
3 teaspoons coco powder
½ cup smarties
Wafer biscuits
1 packet cream
Procedure:
First of all you need to preheat the oven at 180o C. Grease the pan with oil so that the batter doesn’t stick to the pan. Whisk the eggs well in a bowl with the electric blender so that they become foamy. Add 1 cup sugar in eggs and blend them together. Now add oil and blend the three ingredients together. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, coco powder and 2-3 teaspoon coffee. Add egg mixture in it and mix well. Pour the batter in the greased pan and pop it in the oven. Bake it for half an hour. After half an hour check if the cake is baked by inserting a match stick in it. If the match stick comes out clean, cake is ready but if it does not come out clean bake it for another 5 minutes. Your cake is ready. Take it out of the pan and let it cool down. 
Now for the topping, whisk cream, add grounded sugar and coffee in it and whisk it to make it foamy. Pour this mixture on the cake and garnish with wafers and colorful smarties. Your scrumptious coffee cake is ready. Serve it with coffee or tea. It also tastes yummy with vanilla ice-cream.

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