What’s inside your Christmas Goodie Bag!

QWEEN brings to you some quirky ideas to add to your Christmas gift hamper for your loved ones! We understand its not easy to be a Santa and with your busy life, you are sure to miss out on fun if you do not have handy gifting solutions for the holiday season!

It’s that time of the year again — festive Christmas songs are playing on the radio, and the holiday mood is in the air. I hope you’re getting ready for the holiday season, because we at QWEEN can’t wait for the holidays to arrive!

The holiday season is a time of love, giving, and sharing. To help you stand out during the best time of the year, we’ve prepared a delightful compilation of holiday gifting ideas!

So leave those boring recycled gifts, and try and gift something to bring out a smile on  the faces of your loved ones!

  1. Gift a DIY cookie/ Dessert Jar- This one is our favourite. It is a lovely gift to be had and shared with family of foodies. Premixed ingredients await butter and milk and a gentle bake inside the oven, which the entire family could do together. Beautiful, loving, and involves the whole family in.cookie-jar

Photo Courtesy- Little Baking Hands

  1. A Cart load of goodies to give away- Here is one thing that your loved ones would love to do. Bulk buy little onesies, sweaters, caps, mittens, shoes and toys. Put them all in a red gunny bag and put a tag- “I gift you the gift of sharing”. Add the address of nearest orphanage or a lower income group kids school or contact details of an NGO. Urge your friend to go to the place and distribute these goodies.The smile, happiness and joy in the eyes of little ones will surely be a lasting memory for your loved one!happy-kids

Photo Courtesy- ashrayainitiave.org

  1. A full day pampering session- Your friend will kiss your feet for giving out this one! Take her kids away, book a home salon service for her and tell her that everything will be taken care of and she should just relax. Because her time to herself is the most beautiful gift you can give her.urban-clap-collagePhoto Courtesy- UrbanClap
  2. Join a cooking workshop together- QWEEN Mentor, TV Host & Celebrity Chef Rakhee Vaswani offers customised classes to suit all your requirements. You could choose your own cuisine or dishes ,select your date and time, opt for classes with your friends, and cook up your own storm in her state of the art studio! You can also gift it to a group of your friends who love to learn new techniques from the master herself..Thoughtful, isn’t it?palate-culinary-collagePhoto courtesy: Palate Cuisine Studio
  3. Gift a fitness programme- Help the person you love in making their new year resolution of getting fitter stick. Gift them a nutrition cum weight loss programme. There are many programmes that are available online, Like the ones by QWEEN Mentor , author, fitness and nutrition expert Tanuja Sodhi. Your gesture is surely going to help them stay on course, as heath comes first for all of us! Better still, join one together so the two of you can stay inspired!tanuja-sodhi Photo Courtesy- Tanujasodhi.com
  4. A cool Photoshoot with your loved ones- Christmas is the time of the year when you can let your hair down, reflect on your one more trip around the sun, and ruminate with your friends about how you would like to start your next year.. What better way than having your loved ones out for a warm sunny lunch followed by a lovely photoshoot! Sounds good? Think of the memories you will make for a lifetime.

Christmas is the perfect way to end an year and usher in the new. Make a fresh start today with these handy tips and wow your loved ones in your quirky gifts!

 

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Clarified Better- A career in cooking

From the gluttons to gourmets, fitness freaks to people having jaded palates, all of us would surely love to pamper out taste buds with some amazing tickling flavors.Do the exotic spices and the colorful sight of food fascinate you? Do you often find yourself deconstructing a dish while eating it at a restaurant and constantly feel you can do more? If yes, then “Chef” is the career for you! you can try out the specialized and amazing art of cooking.  It is all about ingredients, nutrition, techniques, recipes and flavors.

Can you be a chef?Ask yourself these 5 simple questions and evaluate if you have it in you to cook up a storm, and endure it!

  1. Do you really love cooking? And if Yes, How Much?

Seasoned chefs will tell you that cooking at home for your family and cooking for 100 people is much different, and they are right. Ask yourself what aspects about cooking you really enjoy. Is it the satisfaction of a job well done? Is it the chance to impress your friends, or show them your culinary abilities? Job satisfaction from a commercial cooking career comes from completely different places. You must get used to the idea that you won’t always get recognition for your hard work from your customers. A cooking career is a very humbling profession where you must internalize your own success.If you love cooking on a fundamental level, or have no qualms about the nature of the business, then you might be of the right cut to be successful at a cooking career. But professional or not, it’s important to remember that just because you love cooking does not always mean you should devote your life to it. If cooking is a hobby, then turning it into a cooking career means turning it into work!!

  1. How well do you handle stress?

One of the biggest factors that determines a good cook is their ability to manage stress. Cooks and chefs deal with short term stress on a regular basis. The chaos that arises on any given day can fluster even the most prepared cook. Your ability to adapt to an ever-changing set of circumstances is vital. While you may not have that skill set as a beginner, it is something you will have to develop as you get better. One should be prepared to experiment and explore varied food ingredients. You should have enough knowledge about the different kinds of cuisines not only of your own country but globally. Most importantly, a good chef must be able to deal with criticism from the customers.The good news is that cooking stress is a short term problem. It only  lasts till the preparations and will go away once order is completed and delivered. That means that you won’t be taking the stress to bed  with you and it is easy to leave work stress at kitchen counter.

  1. Are you a multi-tasker ?

A home chef must understand the importance of timing and multi-tasking is the only way to keep up! Not only do you have to multi-task incredibly time sensitive dishes, but there ends up being multiple layers upon each multi-task. If you have these skills, then you may be right for a cooking career.multi-tasking is not just about managing one or two things at once, but coordinating them so they all work as a harmonious whole. The personal attributes to become a good chef lies less with cooking and more with management. You are expected to be familiar with labor cost, food cost, fire code, public health regulations, interpersonal skills, planning and organizing the kitchen work, developing new and interesting menus, catering for those customers having food allergies and many more.

  1. Are you creative enough?

A famous chef once said that no recipe is original and that everybody steals recipes from everybody. The truth is that creativity plays an important part in whether that statement will ring true for you or not. Yes, a lot of recipes are taken, modified, and called someone else’s. But if you have the creativity to develop your own recipes and methods then you define your own career. One, who desires a bright future in this field, should have the ability to adapt to varying food habits and culture of the people. Further, one should keep oneself updated with knowledge and skills, cooking technologies and methods etc. As you develop your skillset, creativity becomes easier as you draw from experience to fill the gaps. As a cook, you will notice that the right time for creativity continually rises. Not having the creativity to develop new and exciting dishes will disqualify you from a cooking career.

  1. Can you work at odd hours?

Going for a career as a chef, is a good move but only when you are prepared for standing for long hours, enduring cuts and burns, working under pressure, working in the hot environment amidst fumes .Working –from home, you will find that you do shift work and you tend to have regimented schedule of prep time, service time, and clean up time. But it is important to understand that the more time you spend cooking, the faster you’re going to become better. If you have any desire to become a great chef, you have to put in the hours at the best training under the best chefs. Your training is only as good as whoever is teaching you. If you’re in a situation where your career is stagnant, you have to move and go somewhere you can learn more. How far you go in your cooking career is up to you. If you put in the hours needed to become a professional. Love and passion for food, service mentality, sincerity, and calmness are among the other pre-requisites

Career options

As a home chef, you could be any of the following-

  • Hospital caterer
  • School/ college caterer
  • Wedding/ event caterer / party
  • Railways /Airline/cruise ships caterer
  • Base kitchen caterer
  • Cookery show host
  • Recipe book writer
  • Restaurant reviewer
  • Food Blogger

..and many more!!

So explore an amazing career as a chef, spice up the palatable and luring dishes and make your fortune out of it. If the desire to win the hearts of the people is nurtured, by serving the mass with quality food, then a career as a chef happens to be the ideal one.

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Sweet Passion- Become a Chocolatier

“All we really need is love, but a little chocolate here and there never hurts -Charles Schulz”

Chocolates!

Nearly 85% people in the world love them. They are touted as manna from heaven. We are talking about chocolates today.

Unlike yesteryears, when chocolates were mostly used to entice children, chocolates are now a widespread phenomenon across ages.

Be it any occasion, gifting and getting chocolates has become a norm. More and more chefs, chocolatiers and food experts are revving about and experimenting with chocolates. You get chocolates as varied as alcohol based to having salt and even chilies as their core ingredient!

With growing distaste for factory made chocolates, there is a rising demand for home made /customized chocolates. Chocolate making is fun, and therapeutic too!. Most chocolatiers swear by workshops and training that they have undertaken with experienced chocloatiers. An experienced chocolatier helps you in understanding the basics, and also shares easy to do hacks for elaborate, cumbersome procedures. What’s more, you can intern with them and start your own business by supplying them for bulk orders.

Since chocolates are a gift for all seasons, this is one business which is not going out of season soon. A good chocolatier can make upto Rs 30000/- per month.

Qween presents to you, Ashi’s Creations’ 1 day Chocolate Making Course.Learn the perfect method to melt chocolate,temper them, store them and various packing styles.has tied up with a well-known chocolatier in Mumbai. To attend a one day workshop click here to register

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Diet Pointers for Pre-Marathon Week

I’m sure many of you pretty ladies would be all set to run the Standard Chartered Marathon. With just 2 days to go, there would be adrenaline rush at the thought of visualizing yourself at the start line. Your race day gear must have been sorted out and coordinated, from the sports tee, to the capris, to the running shoes, all the way down to that sweat-wicking pair of socks and a cap to match! You seem to be race ready, well…almost.

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How to start a food business from home- Become a home chef!!

You can make finger licking food. At the parties, people look forward to new dishes that you are going to serve. Your family keeps raving about your culinary skills. You love to try out new dishes, plan your menus in advance and almost always are the first choice for anyone who needs help in cooking in your neighbourhood. Have you ever thought that these same qualities can become a lucrative business opportunity? Here is how you can do this
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5 great themes for party this season

The party season is on, and you are mired with so many invites , not to mention parties thrown by you.

You have it all planned, your dresses, hair, makeup, everything, to make that party at your home memorable for yourself. Now, there are some quirky themes you can try out to make these parties memorable for your guests for years to come

Qween has some real fun and quirky ideas for you to try out as party themes this festive season
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Freedom from the ‘Maid in India’

It’s amazing how this word MAID conjures an array of emotions in our world especially those of relief and stress at the same time.

In India having maids and domestic help has been a traditional thing and even in modern times we haven’t changed as much but the maids situation has definitely changed. Right from the Maid’s monetary expectations, their timings, their attitudes, integrity and most importantly their loyalty.
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