Comfort Zone

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I love being at home, catching up on my weekly dose of sitcoms or watching movies and binging on comfort food. One of them is Mac and Cheese and I just love it, everybody loves it actually, one bite of it in my mouth and I melt into a puddle.

Making it is very simple just a milk based sauce with lots of cheese and tonnes of pasta. Since a couple of months I am trying to watch what I eat and am trying to make things healthier. Now here is my way of making this sinful dish which is less on calories. Over the years I have tried different versions of Mac+Cheese. But this one is top favorite, its creamy and adding cream cheese enhances the taste though have used it just a wee bit quantity of cream cheese. The combination of cheese could be of one’s choice, anything would work.
By using more milk I have made this sauce thick and creamy. You can also add mustard and spice it up but I love the touch of nutmeg in my recipe also a lot of freshly crushed pepper.

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I have incorporated broccoli and cauliflower so this way I end up using less macaroni and more veggies and sneaked in some more milk into their diet as kids usually shy away from drinking milk by itself. Am sure kids would love this one. Here the dietary needs of a meal are balanced out for them. My nephew he skips milk so we make this one for him often, with his high metabolism he can afford to eat this one and burn off calories at his football practice.

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In this recipe I have used Mother Dairy toned milk which I tried for the first time, the packaging was quite attractive. And I did notice the slashed price while paying up the bill which was a surprise. Yes its two rupees lesser than what it usually was. It sure seems #TooGoodInTwoLess!  Mother Dairy Milk is quite popular in India which has been into existence since 1974 and most trusted when it comes to quality.

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As a side with this dish I would have it with a salad or a tall glass of coke with lots of ice. Enjoy.

Guilt Free Skinny Macaroni

Ingredients:-
1 cup elbow pasta
1 cup chopped and parboiled
¼ cup chopped and par boiled broccoli
1 tbsp. cream cheese
1 cup cheddar cheese grated
2 ½ cups of Luke warm milk (I used to toned Mother Dairy milk)
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. butter
¼ tsp nutmeg powder
1/2 cup Bread Crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

Pre heat the oven to 350
In a large pot boil water with lots of salt and once the water starts bubbling add the pasta and cook it according to the instructions on pasta packet.

In a sauce pan melt 2 tbsp. butter and once it melts add the all-purpose flour and cook it for 2 minutes add the milk slowly and stir continuously while adding the milk.

Add ½ cup of water and the cheese with salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne pepper and let it thickens.

Once the sauce is thick turn of the heat and add fresh parsley
Add the cooked pasta and the veggies and mix until all is coated and transfer it to a baking tray

Top it with more grated cheese and bread crumbs and cook it in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and cheese is melted.
Garnish with parsley and serve hot.

Note: Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s Recipe with a little changes

Maharani Experience

Monisha Jaising a pioneer in Indian Fashion needs no introduction. In the year 1990 Monisha launched her label through a Retail Store “Ensemble”, 25 years now in business, she is one of the designers who consistently has been redefining Indian Fashion.

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Graduate from American College of Applied Arts (London) with honors in Fashion Illustration, Monisha had launched her first,  modest collection with a mix of jackets, dresses, tunics etc. and made a name for herself among the fashion elite.

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Her clothes have a very inert character and are not defined by global trends. Celebrities have graced the red carpet in Monisha’s fabulous designs. The designs are contemporary, edgy combined with the finest of fabrics, intricate techniques and uniquely draped silhouettes. She reinvented the Indian wardrobe staple ‘kurti’ a whole new avatar by giving it an edgy feel , combining it to be worn with pants or as a dress.

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In October 2008 her first flagship store opened at Pali Hill, Mumbai, followed by a  second store at the DLF Emporio  Vasant Kunj, Delhi in 2012.

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Today the multidimensional brand encompasses into luxury sportswear, resort wear, kids wear, bridal couture wear to name a few. The T-shirt from her sportswear collection has been a staple in my wardrobe.

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As she completes over 25 years in the industry Monisha Jaising makes her entry into E-Commerce “The E- Boutique” luxury shopping at your fingertip. Can’t get any better her entire range has never been so accessible, wonderful offers on sportswear and kurtis while the couture line can be made -to-order.

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This year also marks the launch of her exclusive “Maharani Service”  named after its renowned “Maharani” polo T-shirt. This one is a unique shopping experience wherein they bring the brand at one’s doorstep.

“There is no distinction between clients and all are equally prized. “  Mr. Kunal Naringrekar  (Head and Sr.Manager at Monisha Jaising) explained to me the details of this service while we chatted at the plush Mumbai store.

So how this works ??
You fix up an appointment and the MJ brand ranging from their Couture wear, Resort wear, Luxe Sportswear, MJ essentials will be at your doorstep, at no extra cost or no strings attached. There is no minimum buying required here. This one is great for trousseau shopping; you can customize your outfits according to your needs and enjoy “The Maharani Experience”at the comfort of your home. A super relaxing experience dedicated to crafting the perfect look, currently they are servicing  clients in India on one-to-one basis, but now the brand is working on logistics as they want to offer this customized shopping experience in different parts of the world, sounds so tempting.

For more information on “Maharani” Service you can

Mail – maharani@monishajaising.com

Contact Number- +91 98332 99076 | +91 9717810033

E- Boutique link: http://www.monishajaising.com/

Photo Courtesy : Monisha Jaising

Asilo Brunch

Asilo the very popular and luxurious bar located on the 40th floor of the Palladium Hotel for the first time ever has introduced “Monsoon Brunch”

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Last Sunday I joined my wonderful friend @brandedbawi aka Zenia Irani to check out the launch of the brunch. This  was a perfect Sunday Plan… breathtaking views paired with good food and drink, what more can one ask for.

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Managed by the JSM Corporation Asilo is a wonderful space offering the most scenic view of Mumbai city.  The warm wooden floors and the all white decor are very inviting. Black and White umbrellas adorned the bar space and were a perfect addition to the monsoon theme. Live Saxophonist and DJ created a wonderful vibe for Sunday afternoon.

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One can enjoy the Mumbai monsoon at its best over bubbly drinks and the perfect brunch menu created by Chef Cyrus and his team. The menu has all the classic brunch staples.

We started with the salad bar with chip  dips and salads . In addition there was Cheese platter with a variety of breads. paired with live food station that  had lo to offer from Satays,  Eggs , Waffles , Pancakes , Flat bread Pizzas and Jambalaya. Along with lots of  Dessert to choose from . We tried quite a few things and they were good in quality and taste, overall it was a well compiled menu.

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One can also book the Cabanas for a small celebration over brunch with the added butler service.

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Monsoon Brunch at Asilo every Sunday
​(till September end)​

​ 12:30 pm Onwards

​Prices:

Unlimited ​​Non Alcoholic Brunch  Rs 1850/- plus taxes

Rs 2950/- plus taxes for sparkling brunch and full buffet spread.

Rs4950/- plus taxes for the champagne brunch & full buffet spread

For Reservations, Pls Contact:

022-61628031

asilo@jsmcorp.in

Check Branded Bawi’s post on Asilo Brunch –  http://www.brandedbawi.com/2015/07/presenting-asilos-monsoon-sunday-brunch.html?m=1

Cabana picture courtesy : Asilo

 

Monsoon Prints

Creo Lifestyle launched the Limited Edition Umbrellas to brighten up the dull Mumbai Monsoon.

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The Umbrella is quite unique and a collaboration of signature prints from various designer’s who stock their collection at Creo.

Designers Anupama Dayal, Babita Malkani, Salita Nanda, Duet Luxury, Nisha Sainani, Farah Sanjana and Arunima Majhi’s signature prints are featured on this trendy umbrella. My Favorite was Nisha’s Coffee and Donut print , so adorable :)

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The design is fun and quirky as different prints are combined together,the result is a wonderful product with mismatched prints that perfectly stand out.

Chilled Sangria and yum appetizers made the event even more fun.

Surely going to be a best seller, So get one soon from their store located at Kemps Corner or log on to http://www.creostore.in for more details.

Wok it Up !!

After a successful run at the Bandra and Pedder Road outlets. Loco Chino is now open at Oshiwara , This one opened in May and unlike the other branches this one is bigger , accommodates up to 35 people.

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Spacious setting very clean and well-designed with a big open kitchen and a make your own wok and burrito counter.

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We went for lunch one afternoon, Brightly lit space I liked the accents they have used to highlight the restaurant, Had a lot of Mexican and Oriental influences . The walls had these wonderful cut out  caricatures, colorful and cute they   added a fun element. Lots of ceiling hangings and Chinese wind chimes added the quirky element which lifts up the mood of the casual setting.

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The staff polite and service was prompt. I have been to Loco-Chino in the past and have tried and liked the variety of Dim sum, Nachos, Burritos and Enchiladas. This time was looking forward to try the new addition from their menu “Walk the Wok”

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Now this is a pretty fun concept only at their Oshiwara Outlet where they have a live wok station.

So the customer is given an option where they can customize their wok meals with an extensive rice or noodle base along with sauce and topping of their choice.

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We opted for a Rice based Wok

3 Types of veggies (peppers + broccoli + baby corn)

Choice of 1 protein (tofu)

For the sauce I picked the Black Pepper Sauce

And for toppings it was crushed peanut+ spring onions

The dish was perfectly spiced and well made, The two of us couldn’t finish our portion as generous in quantity also we  had no space left hence couldn’t try the noodle option.

For dessert,  it was Tres Leche not very authentic, but tasted good.

The vegetarian Wok is priced at 179/- and 189/- for Non – Vegetarian. The Sea Food one is priced at 229/- Highly recommend one should try this one out.

(Was invited for Review )

Nadine

A couple of months ago Nadine Dhody launched her clothing label NADINE.

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Having been exposed to fashion at a very young age , Nadine had a sense that she would be soon working in the industry.

The young and effervescently stylish designer is a Graduate in Fashion Management from the London College of Fashion. After graduation, she interned at her mother, Rita Dhody’s export house. Her design philosophy is an extension of her own personal style which is class but edgy and experimental.

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Nadine’s new collection is contemporary Indian and Western wear. As she describes it’s made for the modern woman, elegant and easy to wear. The silhouette is simple but sharp, clever use of embroidery techniques like mirror work, resham, lucknowi chikan and zardozi are used to highlight each garment. Embroidery is the USP of her collection in fact, it doesn’t overburden the garment, but used in the best way to highlight making the garment look dressy and easy. Light flowy fabrics like tulle, georgette and chiffon in lush shades ranging from pastels to jewel are used.

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As Nadine says ” I love to create clothes that celebrate the femininity of women The clothes you choose to wear reflects one’s personality. The NADINE woman exudes style , confidence and understated elegance.”

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The collection has lots of cocktail dresses, floral and embroidered lehengas and elegant Indian wear .

Nadine currently retails her collection at Bandra 190 which is a one stop luxury concept boutique in Mumbai and also at Ogaan in Delhi.

On 20th June Nadine will be showcasing her collection at an exclusive trunk show in London. Save the Date :)

Details of Trunk Show

Date :- 20/06/2015
Venue:- 20, Berkeley Square, Mayfair. London.

Timing :- 11am – 7pm

Photo Courtesy : NADINE STUDIO

Samatvam

Delhi based designer Anjali Bhaskar launched her label Samatvam in the year 2010

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Anjali is trained by mentors Shantanu- Nikhil and Suneet Verma , where she gained immense in depth knowledge about  the Fashion Business.

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Over the years Samatvam has established itself , the label focuses on Indian and Western clothing. The garments are high in quality and has a perfect balance of subtle and glamour.

Anjali has drawn her inspiration from the Indian and Western culture. Clothes are a beautiful fusion highlighted using ancient Indian embroidery techniques like zardosi and pitta work. For the summer collection primarily Georgette is used as its light weight, she has also combined lace very well in some of her garments.

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The collection comprises of  gowns, crop tops, dresses and jumpsuits .

Samatvam is having a small exhibition on 13th June 2015 in Mumbai.

Time – 11am – 6pm

Venue – 16 A Anita , Mount pleasant Road, Malabar Hill. Mumbai

For more details call – 09871536006 

Pictures Courtesy – Samatvam Clothing