Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Grilling Essentials


Grilling is not just a way of food, but also defines the time spent with family and friends cooking that food. The grills are pretty much responsible for making weekends at home so delicious. Once a staple of summer, these can easily be seen at work in fall and springs too.

And when you are in the mood to grill, we don't want you missing out on the essentials. So here is a check list of the items that need to be ticked-off before the grill is set on fire.

(In case you are looking to purchase one, we can help you get into the details of Buying A Grill.)


The Grilling Essentials:

Fuel the Grill

Chimney Starter

  • This type is only needed to fire the grill that is powered by wood and charcoal. Gas and Electric do not need a chimney starter.

Grill Light

  • Grill Lights make sure you don't have to cook in the dark after sunset.
  • These may come integrated to the grill or can be a separate purchase to be clamped on the grill. 
  • Recent grills have solar powered grill lights/ flashlights.

Grill Wire Brush

  • To make sure the grate is clean to cook.

Basting Brush

  • Needed to apply sauce during the last few minutes of grilling. Can also be used to apply grease.
  • Invest in purchasing a long handled silicone bristles basting brush to withstand the heat.

Thermometer

  • An instant heat thermometer to gauge the heat of food (in case required)
  • Also you may choose to invest in one more thermometer to be placed on the grill to know that surface cooking temperature.

Spatula 

  • Invest in one that has a off set handle to help you slip it under food with ease.

Tongs

  • Avoid the grilling fork that pierces the meat only to loose its flavorful juices. Instead opt for a pair of tongs that have a good gripping power and sturdiness.

Fire Extinguisher

  • Grease flareups can become dangerous. Keep an extinguisher at hand for emergencies.

Paper Towels

  • Keep a roll at hand for wiping spills, grease and sauce.

Aluminium Tray

  • To help you cook small foods which may otherwise fall from in between the grates into the fire.

Trash Can

  • For that quick clean up.



Information Credit:
http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/organizing/organizing-more-rooms/essential-grilling-tools-checklist

Icon Credits:
Wood Chips: Juan Pablo Bravo from Noun Project
Brightness: Hea Poh Lin from Noun Project
Brush: Daniel Ghinaglia from Noun Project
Basting Brush: Bucky Clarke from Noun Project
Thermometer: Anton Gajdosik from Noun Project
Spatula: Leandro Mello Honda from Noun Project
Tongs: Hino Naoya from Noun Project
Fire Extinguisher: Delwar Hossain from Noun Project
Paper Towels: Filippo Gianessi from Noun Project
Aluminium Tray: Enrico Magistro from Noun Project
Trash Can: Joana Pereira from Noun Project

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Books for Young Adult

Young Adults fill a good part of the reading pie graph. These are people roughly aged between 20 to 40 years.
So what is it that sticks them to reading all the time, so much so for 20 years? And what do they read?
Below is a small compilation of books that according to The New York Times (determined for the weekly sales for the week ending on August 8th, 2016) that make the best sellers for these category of people.

Top 15 Young Adult Books... decoded!

1. Paper Towns




Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew.

2.Looking for Alaska



Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (François Rabelais, poet) even more. He heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same.

3. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl



Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.

4. The Book Thief



* as on 8th August '2016

It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

5. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children



A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

6. The Fault in Our Stars



Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

7. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian



Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

8. An Abundance of Katherines



When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.

On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun--but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl. Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.

9. Eleanor & Park



Eleanor... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough...Eleanor.

Park... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises...Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. 

10. Thirteen Reasons Why



Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.

11. The 5th Wave



After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it's the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth's last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie's only hope for rescuing her brother-or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up. 


12. Hollow City



'Hollow City' is a sequel to 'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children'

This novel begins in 1940. Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.

Complete with dozens of newly discovered (and thoroughly mesmerizing) vintage photographs, this new adventure will delight readers of all ages.


13. Will Grayson, Will Grayson



Will Grayson meets Will Grayson. One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two strangers are about to cross paths. From that moment on, their world will collide and lives intertwine.

It's not that far from Evanston to Naperville, but Chicago suburbanites Will Grayson and Will Grayson might as well live on different planets. When fate delivers them both to the same surprising crossroads, the Will Graysons find their lives overlapping and hurtling in new and unexpected directions. With a push from friends new and old - including the massive, and massively fabulous, Tiny Cooper, offensive lineman and musical theater auteur extraordinaire - Will and Will begin building toward respective romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history's most awesome high school musical.

14. If I Stay



Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it's the only one that matters.

15. Red Queen



This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart. 

Happy Reading!

Credits:
Information Source: The New York Times Best Seller Books for Young Adult
Snippet Credits: Goodreads
Icons:
Man - Arthur Shlain from Noun Project
Helping Friends - Arthur Shlain from Noun Project
Two Parts - Arthur Shlain from Noun Project
Three Parts - Arthur Shlain from Noun Project
Girl - Copus Delicti from Noun Project
Aperture - Lance Weisser from Noun Project
Quotes - Megan Mitchell
Clapping - Yamini Aluwalia
Trophy - Creative Stall
Question Mark - Lauren Gallagher
Dialogue - Andrey Vasiliev
Person - Devis Sazhin



Wednesday, 27 July 2016

How To Read Faster

As the production rate of new reading matter has increased and people read on a growing array of devices, the lure of speed reading has only grown stronger.
Reading faster isn't about plowing through books or texts without comprehension or enjoyment, it is about learning to pick up the speed and still take in the information in an enjoyable way.

Let's see how!



1.Improving Your Reading Pace
To improve pace, start with doing a little everyday. A lot of skills necessary to improve reading may not come naturally to you, so you may need to train yourself for this marathon by following these simple ways:

1.1 Practice A Little Everyday
  • Improving speed may take time as your are learning to read in a whole new way. Be patient. 
  • Time yourself. This will help you track your progress everyday. The more practice, the higher number of words per minute.
1.2 Start With Easy Subjects
  • Select something that you enjoy and can gain immediate value from. Start with something like a travel book or a memoir of a famous figure, for example.
  • Once your skills improve, dive deeper into longer and more complex material. 
  • Determine which techniques (mentioned below in detail) works best for you and which part of the text are most important.

1.3 Use A Pointer

  • Use your index finer, pen or an index card to mark your place on the page.
  • Using a pointer will help you set the pace you wish to read at, as your eyes will be forced to keep up.

1.4 Change Your Attitude Towards Reading

  • Look at reading as an opportunity to learn something new, to expand horizons and to be entertained.
  • Approach your reading material with an open mind and with the will to learn something from it.
1.5 Know When To Slow Down
  • Recognize that there will be times when you need to slow down and really make an effort to fully comprehend what you're reading.
  • There are certain types of texts that should never be skimmed through or glossed over too quickly. This includes works of fiction, classic literature, poetry and plays.

2. Breaking Incorrect Habits

To develop the ability of reading faster would need you to undo a few of your previous habits to make way for new ones. The following may need to be looked on:

2.1 Undo Subvocalization (avoid sounding out words in your head or by lips)
  • Sub-vocalization only allows you to read the words as fast as you can say them -- which isn't very fast at all.
  • You can avoid mouthing the words by keeping your mouth busy -- chewing gum, humming, or doing anything that suits you.
  • Preventing yourself from hearing the words in your head can be achieved with concentration, practice and the art of mindfulness.
2.2 Avoid Reading Verbatim (Avoid Reading Word+by+Word)
  • Try reading in chunks instead of reading each individual word separately. The brain has amazing ability to fill in gaps of missing information.
  • For Example : 
    • Most inexperienced readers will read the phrase "the horse is in the barn" as "the" + "horse" + "is" + "in" + "the" + "barn", thus processing each word individually. 
    • Train your brain to process the sentence "the horse is in the barn" as a single piece of information containing the key words "horse" and "barn", your brain will fill in the rest.
    • That way, you can get the same meaning from a piece of text while only reading about 50% of the words. This speeds up reading time considerably.
2.3 Undo Inefficient Eye Movement
  • Eyes are capable of taking up to 4 or 5 words at a time. Try to absorb them as a chunk, before moving to the next.
  • Utilize your peripheral vision as you read. This will allow you to read the end of sentences, without having to fix your gaze on them.
2.4 Eliminate Regression
  • Regression is the practice of reading the same sentence or section two or three times over, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
  • Actions that you need to take to avoid regression:
    • if you loose your place in the text, you may need to go back to the start of the paragraph or page. Use a pointer to mark your place as your read.
    • if you feel you haven't really grasped the meaning of the text and need to re-read to understand. Ensure that you are really concentrating the first time round.
    • if you haven't absorbed each individual word yet understood the basic concept of a sentence or paragraph, avoid re-reading.
2.5 Avoid Distractions
  • Eliminate both external and internal distractions by-
    • read in a quiet, peaceful environment where reading is your only focus.
    • shutting down your internal monologue. This requires focus and concentration.

3. Changing the Way You Read

Effective and efficient reading is not about reading+word+by+word. Below are a few changes that may help you read faster and better.

3.1 Preview the material 
  • To preview the material, try reading the entire first paragraph, the first sentence of each successive paragraph and the entire last paragraph -- this can help you get a sense of what the text is about.
  • In between these items, look at headings, bullet points and highlighted words. This won't give you all the details, but it will help you to identify the most important parts to go back to and what you can simply skim over.
3.2 Scan for the most important words
  • Simply scan the material and pick out any key words. 
  • For example
    • In the sentence "the fearsome lion stealthily hunted its unsuspecting prey -- the antelope," it is not necessary to read every single word in order to grasp its meaning. By skimming the text for key words you can come up with the phrase "lion - hunted - antelope", which communicates essentially the same meaning. 
3.3 Read the first and last sentence of paragraph
  • If the article, book or paper is reiterating information that you already know, then a handy technique is just to read the first and last sentence of each paragraph.
  • This technique goes well with non-fiction work, newspaper and magazine articles.
3.4 Skip over the parts you already know
  • You can decide which sections are worth reading by skimming the text for key words or reading the first sentence of each paragraph. 
  • This also goes for things that you're not interested in. If you're reading something like a memoir or historical account, it's fine to skip over the parts you're not interested in reading about. 
3.5 Retain the most important information
  • Link concepts in the book to things you already know. Linking complex ideas to a personal experience, memory or emotion will help you to access the information more easily. 
  • Highlight important information and write summaries. Use a highlighter while you're reading (or just dog-ear entire pages) to highlight important concepts or ideas. 
  • Try making a 200-300 words summary of the book using the highlighted information. This will help you commit ideas to memory, faster.


Credits:
Information Source: http://www.wikihow.com/Read-Faster
Vector : Designed by freepik.com

Friday, 8 July 2016

Young Adult Books

A young adult is a person within the age bracket of 20 to 39 years (or even 40). So what made them laugh, cry, reread, stay up late and for a handful few - bring about the change in them.

Take a look!


More About Each:


1. Paper Towns | Mystery | John Green 


Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life–dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge–he follows.
After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues–and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.

2. Looking For Alaska | Young Adult Novel | John Green


Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words–and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the “Great Perhaps.” Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.

3. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl | Young Adult Novel | Jesse Andrews


Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics. Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

4. The Book Thief | Novel Historical Fiction | Markus Zusak


It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

5. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children | Young Adult Literature, Horror Literature, Dark Fantasy | Ransom Riggs


A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.
A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.


6. The Fault in Our Stars | Young Adult Novel, Realistic Fiction | John Green


Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.


7. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian | Young Adult Fiction | Sherman Alexie


Story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.
The book is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.

8. An Abundance of Katherines | Young Adult Novel | John Green


When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.
On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun--but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl. 


9. Eleanor and Park | Young Adult Novel | Rainbow Rowell 


Eleanor... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough.
Park... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises.
Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

10. Thirteen Reasons Why | Young Adult Novel | Jay Asher


Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.

11. The 5th Wave | Science Fiction | Rick Yancey


After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it's the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth's last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie's only hope for rescuing her brother-or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

12. Hollow City | Young Adult Literature, Horror Literature, Dark Fantasy | Ransom Riggs


This second novel begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.
Complete with dozens of newly discovered (and thoroughly mesmerizing) vintage photographs, this new adventure will delight readers of all ages.

13. Will Greyson, Will Greyson | Young Adult Problem Novel | John Green, David Levithan


Will Grayson meets Will Grayson. One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two strangers are about to cross paths. From that moment on, their world will collide and lives intertwine.
It's not that far from Evanston to Naperville, but Chicago suburbanites Will Grayson and Will Grayson might as well live on different planets. When fate delivers them both to the same surprising crossroads, the Will Graysons find their lives overlapping and hurtling in new and unexpected directions. With a push from friends new and old - including the massive, and massively fabulous, Tiny Cooper, offensive lineman and musical theater auteur extraordinaire - Will and Will begin building toward respective romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history's most awesome high school musical.

14. If I Stay | Young Adult Fiction | Gayle Forman


Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?
Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it's the only one that matters.
If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.

15. Red Queen | Young Adult | Victoria Aveyard


This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.
The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.
That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.
Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.
Red Queen


[Best Seller's Methodology followed by The New York Times]

Thursday, 23 June 2016

How To Buy A Grill


There are just too many grills to buy from. And to add to them, are the many more that enter the market regularly.

So, how do you decide which is the best for you? Listed below are a collection of bits to keep in mind before you invest in one.


Let me explain!

Size

  • Determine the number of people that you would want to serve at once. Multiply that number to the size of a dinner plate (8"x 9", 72"roughly) to get the primary cooking surface area.
  • Also, keep in mind on how would you create a 2-zone setup (explained in detail below) within the grill.

Budget

  • Know what you are willing to spend. It is advisable to add a petty amount to include a grill cover (outdoor units) and minimum two thermometers (explained in detail below). But keep in mind, quality does not necessarily increase with price.

Head Space

  • Make sure to have enough room to smoke a turkey. This will need a minimum of 12" of head space between the cooking grate and the inside of the lid. Consider having a removable warming rack.
  • This bit is not for you in case you are looking to cook by portions only.

Fuel

  • There are 4 basic fuels to choose from namely, charcoal, wood, gas and electric. For a better narration refer to Barbeque Types

Temperature Control

  • Not all cooking can be done at the same temperature all the time. To control this, grills may have to be operated in a 2-zone setup, zone one - placed right above the fuel used to cook and zone two - next to zone one with no fuel beneath. This would require placing the fuel in half portion of the grill only.
  • To retain the heat, in case of charcoal and wood, tight lids and dampers are required. When gas, a minimum of two burners (one on and one off) would be necessary.

High Heat and Smoking

  • High heat (when cooking steaks frequently) can be attained by lowering the grill near the fuel or in gas grills this can be considered by having infrared and sear burners. The distance of food from the fuel is important when high heat is needed.
  • If smoking food is a regular feature consider the grill doing smoking or else a stand alone smokenator is also an option.

Starter / Igniter needed to start

  • Choose between Chimney Starter / Lighter and Battery Starters. Except for electric grills make sure to always posses long wooden matches.

Grates

  • These are dual functional. They prevent small foods from falling into the fuel and are also responsible for creating grill marks. These can be made up of cheap iron or extruded aluminium and can be hinged and have access doors.
  • Apart from what is available with the grill, it is easy to purchase them separate and replace or keep as an option.

Rotisseire

  • It is for cooking whole (chickens and turkeys, for example) by continuously rotating the meat above fire. 
  • These are spear type (which pierces the meat) and basket type (which holds the meat without piercing) and would need access to electricity to run its motor.

Thermometers

  • It is better to budget extra for a minimum two. One on the grilling surface, other to check the food temperature. 
  • Thermometers that come fitted to the grill are on the lid and may give a slightly incorrect impression of the actual temperature of the primary cooking surface.

Dual Fuel

  • There are options such as: natural gas and liquid propane, or charcoal and gas. These are to have the advantage of both fuels at the same time or to be able to use one at a time. However make sure that they do not compromise on any front.

Ease of Cleaning

  • Ash collectors for charcoal and grease collector for gas grills would be desirable and a wire brush for cleaning the grill grates (expect electric)

Materials and Durability

  • The best grills are made from cast iron, powder coated steel, vitreous enamel bonded to steel, cast aluminum, and high quality stainless steel. Heavy steel holds and distributes heat better than thin steel or cast aluminum.
  • Stainless steel and aluminium will discolour with age and use, thus they may never look the same as on the day you bought them.

Workmanship

  • Pay special attention to any sharp edges, heavy duty hinges and latches, welds, screws and material sag before actually buying the grill you set your eyes on.

Carts and Wheels

  • Be sure to have sturdy wheels, large enough to be rolled smoothly on rough surfaces, pavers and lawns.

Warranty and Support

  • Make sure that the people you turn back to are helpful and good.

Apart from these a few ad-ons bits that need to be considered are:

Side Shelves
Side Burners
Grill Cover
Easy Assembly
Working Manual
Cookbook
Child/Pet Safety
Granted Grill Permission in a condo/balcony
Other Minimal Accessories
Color of the Grill


Happy Buying! and then... Happy Grilling!


Credits:
Based on: 
How To Buy A Grill, AmazingRibs.com

Icon Credits:
Plate : Tim Jager from Noun Project
Currency : Nimal Raj from Noun Project
Roasted Turkey : Creative Stall from Noun Project
Chicken : iconshock Roasted Chicken Icon
Handshake : Gilbert Bages from Noun Project
Tools : Marie Van den Broeck from Noun Project
Sparkles : Lala Phunkhang from Noun Project
Link : iconoci from Noun Project
Barbecue : Luis Prado from Noun Project
Stove : Arthur Shlain from Noun Project
Rock : Anuar Zhumaev from Noun Project
Speedometer : Prerak Patel from Noun Project
Barbecue : Luis Prado from Noun Project
Fire : Ashwin Dinesh from Noun Project
Flame : Jesse Jacob / iBureauet / Information Daily from Noun Project
Grill : Design GigaSavvy from Noun Project

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Types of Barbeque


Knowing Your Barbeque

Is there a difference between a hamburger or hot dog made on a charcoal barbeque vs that on an electric barbeque? 
If these details matter, consider taking a deeper look on the barbeques and their fuels. Just maybe we realize that food is flavored not only by its spices, but also by the type of barbeque it is cooked on. Decoding them one by one.

Charcoal Barbeque
If you are in love with that smoky grilled flavor and enjoy smoking meats, the only way to achieve it is by using charcoal.

Quick Facts:
  • Charcoal Briquets and Lump Charcoal can be used as fuel. Wood too is added occasionally.
  • Charcoal is for heat and smoke and wood is used for flavor.
  • Charcoal burns at a higher temperature and hence it is easy to sear food on the grill.
  • If you add a firebox to the side, it would become ideal for cooking meat at lower temperature for longer durations.

Wood Barbeque
Of the variety of woods available hardwoods, deciduous tree woods (fruit and nut woods) are ideal for cooking due to their compact cell structure. Fresh cut hardwood has a lot of water content (sometimes upto 50% by weight) which produces a lot of steam putting off the flavour during combustion. Hence make sure the wood is air dried before putting it to use.

Quick Facts:
  • Industrial type of barbequing is done by logs and chunks (working with these at the backyard requires a fair amount of practice and skill, else it is very easy to get the meat ruined) Backyard cooking is done using wood chips, occasionally chunks, bricks, briquettes and sawdust.
  • The same barbeque equipment as for charcoal can be used to barbeque with wood.
  • The flavor generated by wood is governed with the climate and soil conditions in which it is grown. Meaning, hickory grown in New York and that grown in Arkansas have a variation in flavor. 
  • Wood burns slow and this property is used to provide in-depth flavor.
  • Of all the variety of wood fuels, saw dust burns relatively faster and can be used effectively on thin fast cooking foods like fish.

Gas Barbeque
Best for impatient chefs. Abstains from firing the grill and cleaning it later.

Quick Facts:

  • Works on bottled propane or gas from utility provider. 
  • Bottled propane can be used for dine outs whereas in case of backyard cooking, gas from the kitchen can be extended. It is fairly easy to toggle the barbeque between the two, based on usage.
  • Grills are provided with small smoker boxes, to give a hint of smokiness but not comparable to charcoal barbeque.
Electric Barbeque
Best for city dwellers who live in confined spaces and fire regulations. A pair of electrically powered grill plates.

Quick Facts:
  • Powered by Electricity.
  • They can produce similar results when it comes to grill marks, but they are no where a replacement to traditional grills.
  • No hint of smoky flavor.
Icon Credits:
Log : Ronald Cortez from Noun Project
Power Plug: Creative Stall from Noun Project
Gas Container: Thomas Uebe from Noun Project

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Coffee Brewing - French Press Way

A French Press is a coffee brewing device patented by Attilio Calimani in 1929. Ever since then, it is considered to be a foolproof method for brewing coffee without any complex machinery.

This French Press Plunger, goes by various names around the world. In New Zealand, Australia, South Africa it is known as a Coffee Plunger. In France, as Cafetière à piston, in the UK and the Netherlands known as Cafetière, elsewhere as French Press or Coffee Press.

Requirements: 
A French Press, Coffee Grinder, Water Boiler/Kettle, 25 grams of Coffee Beans, Water and your Coffee Mug.

How To Make A French Press



Few Steps Explained:

1. We recommend boiling the water first and allowing it some sitting time, as the combined temperature of water and freshly grounded coffee would not be beyond 200 degrees.

2. Preheating the French Press is done to make sure that temperature of water and coffee grounds are maintained same.

3. The coffee grinds have to be medium course. If they are too fine, the coffee would be too strong and bitter. If too course, it may turn out to be watery and weak. Play around with the setting of your grinder to get the perfect grind.

4. The by-product of roasting coffee is carbon-di-oxide gas. Pour enough water to cover the grinds initially, to allow the CO2 to escape and water to get in. During this process a white foam would be visible (called bloom).

5. After pouring the remaining water, put the plunger but do not press it down. Pressing would not give and extraction time and would leave a weak coffee behind. Stay still for 3.5 minutes.

6. The grinds of the coffee beans are put to test when the plunger is pressed down. If they are too fine, the resistance would be higher and thus pressing the plunger would be difficult. If they are too course, the resistance would be less and the plunger would be pushed easily. Remember the resistance level this time, to be able to alter with the grinder settings for your next brew.

7. Once the plunger is down taking the coffee grinds with it, do not let the coffee sit there for a long time. Else extraction would continue to happen and the coffee would end up tasting bitter.

Happy Brewing!


Credits:

Information Source: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-French-Press-Plunger-Coffee 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIKr2EMkm48
Icons By: https://thenounproject.com/