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Happy New Year: Recipes for Holidays and Weekend

Here are a few recipes you can try at home; they are simple and easy to make



Recipes for Holidays
Source: MyRecipes

The winter is here and so are the holidays and the much-awaited second weekends of a new year. Everyone looks forward to a treat on this day. Here are a few recipes you can try at home; they are simple and easy to make

Rich Plum Cake


1 cup raisins

1 cup figs chopped

1 cup dried apricots chopped

1/2cup dried ginger chopped

½ cup candied orange peel chopped

¾ cup Brandy

225 gm butter melted

380 gm flour

1.5 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground ginger

½ tsp ground cloves

½ tsp salt

300 gm breakfast sugar

150 gm packed brown sugar

4 large eggs

2 tbsp molasses

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 cup toasted walnuts

½ cup apricot jam

½ cup warm water


Liquid fondant

Marzipan (Optional)


Stir together dried fruit, candied ginger, candied orange peel and brandy. Keep overnight. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Butter two 9/5 inch loaf tins (you can use what you have). Line them with butter paper. In a bowl mix dry ingredients — flour, baking powder, spices and salt.

In a mixer beat butter and both the sugars until smooth. Mix eggs one at a time followed by molasses and vanilla. Gradually add the flour mixture. Mix till smooth. Add the fruit mixture and walnuts.

Divide the batter between the two tins. Bake for 1 hour and 35 minutes or till the tester comes out clean. Remove from oven and brush the top with more liquor.

Remove and place on a wired rack. Heat the jam and water till smooth and glaze the top of the warmed cake. Once completely cooled you can spread some liquid fondant and decorate with marzipan Christmas cutouts.



200 gm best quality dark chocolate, (70% cocoa solids)

150 gm plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

120 gm soft unsalted butter

200 gm vanilla sugar

2 eggs, plus 1 yolk

4 tbsp freshly made strong coffee

For Buttercream

140 gm softened butter

280 gm icing sugar

Few drops of edible green color.


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line the bottom and sides of a 30 x 22cm roasting pan or baking dish with kitchen foil. Break the chocolate into pieces and gently melt in a double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.

Cream the butter and sugar for 3-5 minutes until really light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the extra yolk. Pour in the melted chocolate and the coffee. Fold in the sifted flour.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Scatter the hazelnuts over the top, gently pushing them into the dough. Bake for about 25 minutes. Test with a skewer – it shouldn’t come out completely clean but the mixture should not feel raw. (It will go on cooking after you take it out of the oven.)

Leave to cool in the tin before cutting into triangles.

Beat softened butter in a mixer till light and fluffy. Slowly add the icing sugar. Add the colour and beat till well mixed. Scrape out from the mixer bowl and scoop into the piping bag already fitted with a 4 number round nozzle. Pipe onto the triangle brownie as shown in the picture. Serve immediately.

Just because you are Diabetic doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a treat on this day. Here is a sugar-free treat for all the Diabetics out there.

Sugar-free Christmas pudding


250 gm raisins

300 gm sultanas

200 gm currants

190 gm chopped dried figs

250 gm butter

200 ml Brandy

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground nutmeg

½ tsp ground cloves

½ tsp ground allspice

½ tsp ground black pepper

Melted butter or olive oil, for greasing

300 gm breadcrumbs with crusts removed

125 ml hot milk

125 ml sweet red wine

5 eggs

90 gm sugar-free powder

Brandy butter

125 gm unsalted butter, softened 125 g

50 gm sugar-free powder

125 ml brandy


Combine raisins, sultanas, currants, figs, butter or suet, brandy, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and black pepper in a large glass or ceramic bowl. .over and refrigerate overnight. Brush a 2.5-litre pudding basin with butter or oil to grease well. Soak breadcrumbs with hot milk and sherry in a large mixing bowl. Meanwhile, use an electric beater to beat eggs, sugar-free powder and salt in a separate bowl until pale. Stir into breadcrumb mixture.

Add fruit mixture and mix well. Spoon into the pudding basin. Cover with greaseproof paper and secure tightly with string. Place the basin in a large saucepan. Add enough boiling water to come three-quarters up the side of the basin. Cover and bring water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 7 hours. Check often and top up with boiling water as needed.

Preheat the oven to 150°C/130°C fan-forced. Remove basin from saucepan. Remove the greaseproof paper and bake the pudding for 30 minutes. Boil the pudding for a further 2 hours on the day of serving. Serve with brandy butter sauce.

Brandy butter

Use an electric beater to beat butter with sugar-free powder in a bowl until pale. Add the brandy a tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Place in a serving bowl.

Remember, Christmas is a day of giving and joy. Celebrate it with family and friends.

PS: Get yourself vaccinated; stay safe, stay healthy. Maintain COVID-19 protocols. Always wear a mask properly – it should cover your mouth and nose — when out in public places.

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The ultimate kit for the body

Keeping fit during the present pandemic and increase immunity to fight the looming third wave is the best way to move forward.



two girls doing pussups
Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

We all want that perfect body. More so today due to the COVID-19 ad need to build our immunity to prevent getting infected. While there are many things that one can do, we are somewhat restricted since not everything is open – gyms with 50 per cent occupancy and swimming pools not open yet.

But this doesn’t mean that we have to totally give up on the exercise. In fact, this is perhaps the best time to put on your shoes and get that perfectly healthy body that one always wanted. Here is a list of super-easy hacks that can actually help without much hassle.

Lightweight shoes

If one is chasing something then running is a must. More so, if one wants to lose weight or clear the cobwebs — mental and physical problems. Running will help burn those extra calories that one may have put or are eating because one is at home. Early mornings are usually the most soothing time to hit the road. There are fewer people. This means that there is social distancing. A good pair of shoes can achieve mental peace and that body goal.

Hydration factor

Drinking enough water is not many people’s priority despite being aware of its multiple benefits, right from good skin to weight loss it curbs all problems. What can be better than plain water?

Doctors and nutritionists agree that drinking eight to 10 glasses of water has proven to help in weight loss much faster. Many celebs mention detox water in their diet. The digestive system is dependent on your water drinking habits. Promise the body to stay hydrated properly. Take four cups of water, add one sliced cucumber and sliced lemon. Refrigerator before drinking throughout the day.

Fitness tracker

Since the time this gadget has come in, it has changed the lives of many. However, there are people out there who don’t monitor their workouts. It is very important to have a workout journal, it helps you track down physical activity, check body composition, and have a monthly target for effective and faster weight loss.

Since many of us are still working from home, tracking workout patterns can be difficult for many. This is when technological innovations like fitness trackers can be of great help as it helps us to track heart rate 24/7, steps, distance, calories burned, hourly activity, active minutes, floors climbed.

All the busy people out there trying to strike a balance between work and gym can simply add this to keep a count on their day-to-day physical activity.


Weight always adds extra power to the weight loss journey and that is why people usually tend to join the gym. But with only 50 per cent occupancy allowed, it may not be possible to lift weights every day.

Invest in good dumbbells. They are great when it comes to curbing extra fats from the body. Buying dumbbells prevents one to spend extra on a gym subscription every month. Also, it can be an added benefit as one can do it whenever there is time — early morning or late night.

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What to do when you miss your ex

It is always tough to deal with a situation when you have to get over the ex. Here are 16 ways to move on when you still love your ex.



What to do when you miss your ex

It is always tough to deal with a situation when you have to get over the ex. You miss the closeness you shared and the love you still have for that person unfortunately the other person has moved on and so should you. Here are 16 ways to move on when you still love your ex.

What to do when you miss your ex

1. If you love a person, fight for him/her as hard as you can. No matter how strange or weird it seems, fight for the love of your life. You may not succeed but at least you tried. This will help you avoid regrets in the future that you may have with regard to that relationship.

2. If despite fighting for that relationship, the person leaves, the next step is how to let go. You must accept the reality. You need to tell your brain it is all over.

3. There’s an adage: If you love someone set him/her free, if it’s meant to be, they will come back to you. Leave everything to destiny.

4. Stop thinking about that person all the time or the good times you spent with each other. This will hurt you. Return his/her things.

5. Focus on other important things in life. Focus on your job, family, and friends.

6. Stay away from all social media accounts for some time. You may be tempted to look at what he/she is doing. This is a strict no-no.

7. It is just as important to stay away from common family and friends. Communicating with them will only remind you of him/her. If you don’t do this, it will only make it hard for you to forget him/her.

8. Always have a friend whom you can speak with regarding your ex. You need a person who can listen to you instead of pass judgment on your relationship. Look for a person whom you trust and who understands what you are going through.

9. It is important to give yourself time to get over the ex. Be patient. Don’t force yourself to heal fast. Some people take more time to get over it than others.

10. Depression is a common symptom when the ex walks out. Don’t brood. Surround yourself with people who care about you. Ask a friend to give you company. Or go stay with a friend. Take yourself out of the situation that was familiar.

11. If you don’t a family member close by, take up a hobby or an activity that will keep your mind from thinking about the ex. Take up painting or learn a new skill. A new skill can help you further your career and advance professionally. It will give you a sense of achievement.

12. Your ex is not the only person you love. There are many others who can appreciate the love you shower on them.

13. Learn to love yourself. Tell yourself that you can love yourself. You can be your best friend. Sleep properly, treat yourself well, avoid stress and eat well.

14. Don’t dwell on the pain. It will make you eat junk food and engage in unhealthy activities. Instead of developing destructive habits and up in a worse situation look for constructive things to do.

15. Find romance elsewhere. You may think that your ex was the love of your life and you won’t find anyone else. This is not true. You gave to move ahead — despite the temporary heartbreak. Love should not be restricted to any person. You can keep a pet and show it, love.

15. It is not very easy to be happy for your ex since you are miserable but it’s a sign of maturity. Love should not be selfish. It should be about being happy for others even if it is your ex. Like you celebrate your friend’s success, do the same with your ex.

16. Be happy in all situations. Life is about ups and downs. It is not all roses. It is important to be happy. It may not be possible for you to imagine that it is possible to be happy without the love of your life but this is very much doable. Remember, after a dark night, there’s bright sunshine the next day.

Disclaimer: The above list is not exhaustive. The idea of this article is to let people know that it is possible to move ahead in life. Always take professional help as and when the need arises.

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Best five ways you can charge your electric vehicle

Since the time electric vehicles have come into India, the question is how to easily charge them. Here are a few tips. Read on…



can you charge two electric cars at home
Source: @Inventya Ltd.

Electric vehicles are slowly but surely taking over the automotive market. With electric scooters joining the four-wheelers, the question is how to charge them efficiently. With their many benefits, ranging from reduced emissions to low running costs, it’s easy to see why they are becoming increasingly popular.

And while this uptick in demand is great news for the environment and our wallets, it does present one small challenge – how do we keep all those electric cars juiced up? Here are five easy ways suggested to charge your electric vehicles.

Plug into a standard household outlet

Most electric vehicles come up with a charging cord that plugs into a standard household outlet. This is the slowest way to charge your vehicle, but it’s also the most convenient one of all other options that already exist in the market because you can use normal outlets in your house. This is also known as ‘Trickle charging’.

Level 2 chargers can be used for both home and commercial charging stations

They use a 240 V (residential) or 208 V (commercial) plug and must be installed by a professional electrician. They can also be installed as part of a solar panel system. Level 2 chargers deliver 10 to 60 miles of range per hour of charging, which means they can fully charge an electric car battery in as little as two hours. They are an ideal option for both homeowners and business owners.

Charge your electric vehicle using public charging spots

This is the fastest way to charge up your EV vehicles. Several ultra-fast charging stations can provide more than 150kw of power. DC charging is 10X faster than trickle charge and can boost up your charging from 20%-80% within 40 minutes. The power does not flow continuously in this, as of the charging power gradually decreases as the battery percentage increases.

Battery swapping is an alternative

This is a good way to charge electric vehicles, which involves exchanging discharged batteries for charged ones. This de-links charging and battery usage, so the vehicle can stay in the operational mode with minimal downtime.

Induction pads

These are the breakthrough technology that will eliminate the need for charging cables but still let you charge up your car on the street outside your home? So-called induction charging pads work like the wifi charging pads for smartphones – magically charging up the unit without plugging it in.

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Photographer: Antonis Achilleos, Prop Stylist: Missie Crawford ,Food Stylist: Rishon Hanners