XL Subway Style Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hey guys!

For those who don’t know me, I sell my baked goods as a part-time job. Since it’s vacation time, the orders are flowing in like crazy. Most recently, I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies to sell. My customer wanted chewy choco chip cookies and my inspiration was Subway.

Why?

They’re ginormous cookies laden with heaps of chocolate chips. A hot cookie can transport you to ecstasy in one bite alone. After a little tweaking and a lot of temperature experimentation, I found my perfect recipe.

XXL Subway Style Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes around 15 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, salted
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp almond essence (optional)
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup  chocolate chips

Procedure

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Keep stirring and let it brown. It takes an approx. of 6 minutes to do so. Take it off the burner and into a large bowl.
  2. Add the sugar and mix with the paddle attachment on an electric mixer. Keep aside.
  3. In another medium sized bowl, mix the flour and baking soda. Set aside.
  4. Once the butter cools, add the egg and beat it in. Add the vanilla and almond essence. Add the flour mixture and mix until it is combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. From here, you can go two ways.
    You can either chill the bowl for a minimum of 3 hours and scoop and bake, or you can freeze it for 30 minutes, scoop 1/4 cup size balls onto a lined cookie sheet and chill it covered in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours.
  6. If you haven’t scooped and chilled the dough, take the dough out and let sit in room temperature for about 20 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F or 176°C. Scoop 1/4 cup size balls and place of the sheet. They spread about 1/4″ while baking, so space them out accordingly.
  8. Bake them for 20 minutes. It’ll be soft, don’t worry about it being under-baked. Let them cool for 5 minutes before taking them off the pan.

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Depression: Let’s Talk

322 million people.

5% of the population.

In India alone, more than 58 million people, that is, 1 in 20 people.

Why?

This World Health Day, WHO has taken up Depression as the theme. Why is depression such a big deal that we need to talk about it? It’s a medical condition and it can be treated, no big deal, right?

No.

Every year, 788,000 depressed people who haven’t been treated have taken their lives. Every 45 second, somebody dies due to depression. Depression has become the 10th biggest cause of death in India. Who’s responsible for this? Us. Every human on Earth who turns a blind eye to the sufferers are the reason the world is like this.

Anything can trigger depression. In fact, it’s very communicable. A depressed person can end up affecting those around him/her.

If you see anyone feeling low or having a very poor self-worth, give them the encouragement they need. Disturbed sleep and change in appetite along with fatigue, listlessness, short temper are a few of the symptoms. If they last for over 2 weeks, you need to get them professional help.

People with depression are often in denial. They won’t accept any external help. So, seek help for them, don’t wait for their consent. They will be mad at you, but it’s okay.

It is important to spread awareness about this because depression happens to be one of the the leading causes of human rights abuse in India. Affected people are locked up, tied to beds and kept isolated. This is because there is a lack of public knowledge on what to do.

Shock therapy used to be considered as a method to cure depression. Now, it has been banned for children and adults need to be administrated with anesthesia. Evidently, India is developing, but it is far from developed.

Urbanization is a root cause of depression. With the on set of new technology, people are drifting apart. There’s a lot of inactivity since city life doesn’t have a lot of physical exertion. Most employees have desk jobs and tax themselves mentally. The mental exertion and stress leads to depression.

Glued to our gadgets, we don’t communicate with our friends a lot. Everything is virtual. We lose touch with emotions and there’s a lack of empathy now. We forget how to show how we feel anymore. We hide behind the screens of our computers and mobile phones.

Depression is very common among students. Parents, teachers and even students themselves, don’t seem to realize how skewed our system is. Parental pressure into acing every exam, teachers dumping pointless homework and unrelated assignments onto students and students being influenced by peer pressure to become “cool”.

Start working on making the world a happier place, depression will fade away soon enough.

Everything You Need To Know This Holi

What’s the most obvious thing that comes to your mind when we say Holi? COLORS! Duh!

Well, it might be the festival of colors, but in the fun and frenzy of the color fights, we tend to oversee the minor detail of looking after ourselves. Follow our tips and you’ll do fine ^_^

  • If you’re prone to skin allergies, check with a dermatologist first.
  • Go for organic colors. They’re easy on your skin and you wont have an allergic reaction to them.
  • Grandma’s tips of oiling your hair and body is a foolproof, tried and tested method of ensuring that the colors wash away after the gala. If you don’t want anything that drastic, just applying a thick lotion and you’ll do well. Don’t forget the ears.
  • Lip balms on those pucker-uppers please.
  • Braid your hair or put it in a bun. You can also use a scarf or bandana.
  • TAKE OFF YOUR CONTACT LENSES! (This is coming from personal experience. Please.)
  • Stay away from all facials treatments until after the celebrations. Your skin’s more prone to allergy if you have a clean face.
  • Girls, nail polish. Preach it because it’ll protect your finger and toe nails.
  • Guzzle down loads of liquid. Dehydration dries your skin and the colors can seep into your skin easily.
  • Stick to old clothes that you’re ready to part with. That way, you don’t have to worry about taking off the stains later.
  • The roads will be filled with celebrators. Keep your car windows closed and avoid mobs of people.
  • In case you’re the victim of an over-enthusiastic players, be blunt and tell them to back off.
  • Permanent dyes can be removed, but wait for it to dry and don’t use water. Use a cleansing milk or any other soap-free cleanser or you’ll be left with horribly dry skin.
  • Use cold water, since hot water can make the colors stick to your skin instead of removing them.
  • Slather on oil or moisturizer after cleaning up, you’re skin is thirsty for moisture.

#BeBoldForChange

 

 

Why have we been fighting for women’s right for over a 100 years with hardly a step forward? Why doesn’t the highly male dominated world broaden their minds and see that women are not inferior to them? Why are we still fighting for our rights despite being a “modern” society?

Questions, questions, questions.

The day a girl is born into an Indian household, she is basically born with cuffs on her hands. In our history textbooks, we learn of several dozen kings of the medieval ages. We also learn about the riches they bring into our country. Yet, for some reason, we don’t really talk about their wives. Even if we do, it’s in a romantic context where the kings have showered their queens with riches and monuments. Have we ever stopped to think that women are actually the reason most men are who they are?

Women are the birth-givers. They hold you in their womb for nine months and all they expect in return is some respect. Women were forced to live behind closed doors and watch their sons and husband earn a name for themselves. Books and history have shown us how women were being suppressed in terms of education and livelihood.

In a world that deemed a woman as nothing without his man, shining out and being recognized was just a dream. In witch hunts in Early Modern Europe goes on to show that men were, in reality, afraid of women. When women started using medicines and herbs to help cure people, men started seeing that women were becoming self-sufficient. They came to see that women have minds of their own that they can use for more than just cooking and taking care of their children. History doesn’t state any man being accused of witchcraft.

In pre-independent India, widows were pushed into their dead husband’s pyre. WHY? They don’t have a life without their male counterpart? After years of standing up for our fair share, we have rights to vote now.

All the old reasons that women have fought for have almost disappeared, but new ones have sprung up now. Most women in urban households have no reason to worry about not getting an education or a job, but in rural India and several other backward nations, they are still viewed as unpaid servants who stay at home and look after the household only.

Why do women pay dowry to men when men are the so-called “money earners” of a house? When they have a job and earn a living, why do they take money, jewels and other “gifts” from their wives’ family?

Urban women are constantly living in fear of getting sexually harassed. We’re humans too. Our bodies are our own. Why are we living in a world where men assume that they can gawk at us and strip us naked with their eyes?

Showing even a small percentage of skin makes us think thrice. Every week, a new article or story comes out about women being used and abused. Baring our bodies isn’t the reason is it? Women in burkhas are assaulted too. Age doesn’t seem to make any difference either. Months old babies and 80 year old grandmas are ruthlessly violated.

Tens of thousands of women are victimized in our country alone. Yet, not many open up about it. They’re scared of being shamed. This is such an obvious example of how screwed our society’s thinking is. Men force you, men rape you, men touch you and feel you up, men leer at you. But for some reason, YOU get humiliated and looked down upon at the end of the ordeal.

Why do men think that it is okay to step into any woman’s personal space without consent? What gave them the idea that we belong to them for their entertainment? Why are we considered as eye candies and objects?

Women today are doing beautiful and powerful things. Many are CEOs of companies, so many are strong sportspeople, they are pilots, fighters, boxers, singers, actresses, teachers, tourist guides, writers, bloggers and so much more. Women are making the world a better place, consciously and unconsciously.

It is time for a change. IWD shouldn’t be the only day to see to those changes. Use today as a day to reassess the importance of the women in your lives and give them the respect and reverence they deserve. #BeBoldForChange.

City Red Riding

Happy New Year readers!!!

2016 is all winded up and tucked away in the attic. Sayonara to a roller coaster of a year and Hola to a new year. The depressing part is, winter’s still here. I know.. I know.. it’s winter during New Year’s every year, but that’s not going to change the fact that it’s still winter!!!

How were your Christmas vacations? We didn’t have any 🙂 Nice college, we know. Well, that didn’t stop Neeti from taking a short trip to Delhi and tasting the crisp winter air of India’s capital.

The weather in Bangalore sure is chilly, but Delhi’s 10°C can put Bangalore’s 15°C to shame. A difference of 5° can make a difference! So pull out your beanies and scarves and huddle up with a warm cup of cocoa!

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What’s Neeti wearing?

  • Red Sweatshirt
  • Black Fleece Lined Leggings
  • Grey Boots
  • White Knit Beanie
  • Deep Red Sunglasses
  • Grey Gloves

What’s your favorite look for winter? Let us know in the comments and share your outfits with us @4urbanroses on Instagram!

Lavender Shower Steamers

Winter’s all about huddling up in a blanket and sipping Hot Chocolate and drifting off to sleep after that. Need a little help falling asleep? Step into the shower and soak in some lavender laced steam.

Lavender has properties that can assist you to hit bed and helps detox too. It can treat restlessness and depression as well. The essential oil has soothing properties that can de-stress you and prep you for a good night’s rest.

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Ideally, a soak in the bathtub with essential oils in it is my go to method to unwind. Unfortunately, this isn’t suitable everyday. For days where you dont have enough time on hand, use this DIY shower steamer and keep it some place where the water can touch it, but not where it can wash it away. As the baking soda melts, it’ll release the dreamy lavender smell into the air and release those tense muscles.

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If you make these, show us your version @4urbanroses! We’d love to know what other shapes they look good in!

DIY Lavender Shower Steamers

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Materials

  • 1 cup baking Soda
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 15-20 drop lavender essential oil

Procedure

  1. Mix everything in a bowl and smush into silicon molds. (I had heart shaped ones on hand so that is what I used. It made 5 hearts)
  2. Let it dry for 2 or more days and pop it out.
  3. To use it, keep one steamer just out of reach of the water while you’re in the shower. An ideal place would be some counter near the shower head where the water can hit it once in a while, but not all the time. If the water is in direct contact, it’ll wash it all down the drain.

What’s your favorite fragrance to fall asleep to? Do you like using essential oils?