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Spot Light

Witnessing victory the Sheraton way

There's no better way to watch any sort of sporting finale than to watch it on a big screen, with lots of good food and a crowd to cheer the game on. That was probably what hotel Sheraton had in mind when they hosted Cricket Mania- a full-blown event arranged to witness Australia quite predictably lift the cup again. And to enjoy the repetition of history once again, Sheraton invited a handful of their most coveted clientele, and the press of course. And to top it all off, they even provided all their guests with complimentary rooms to stay the night followed by a buffet breakfast.

Well planned from the start, the event began in the afternoon when guests were entertained by a pre-match musical extravaganza where Close-Up One stars and Musique Sense, a Philippine band, performed. This was followed by dinner as guests waited for the Barbados rain to stop and the match to begin. Dinner was a lavish buffet arranged in their two halls, Bakul and Chameli and although we went down to it towards the closing hours of the meal, a strong sense of hospitality was evident right from the beginning.

And finally, in getting to the core purpose of being there, the game itself was unfortunately rain delayed for almost three hours which dampened the enthusiasm of the guests by a notch or two but when it did begin, Sheraton's provisions were nonetheless commendable. Arranged at the same venue as mentioned above, when the players eventually got to the crease, the rooms were swiftly cleared of the dinner tables and seating arrangements were made for the viewers. Even though a hefty proportion of the guests had already checked in to their rooms by then, what with no game seemingly due to start, the hotels preparations turned out to be just as promised-elegant room, big screen TV, spacious seating arrangements all in place.

Shock victories, untimely exits of the Sub-Continental heavyweights and of course a murder right at the centre of it all meant that this proved to be a very dramatic, if not favourable, World Cup. At the end of the tournament even if the cup rests in only too predictable hands, the thrill of the final was heightened by twofold by Sheraton's inviting package and for them, the final of 2007 will always be an experience and not just a match.

By Subhi Shama Reehu and Tahiat-e-Mahboob

Local Delights

Say cheese

Just the word “cheese” brings “cheese” on many peoples faces. Yummy in taste, great in smell and snowy in colour is what makes it so mouth-watering.

Cheese is a fermented solid food made of milk from as diverse mammals as cows, sheep, goats, horses, mares, camels, water buffaloes and reindeer. The ancient Greeks consumed the milk of mares and goats; camels' milk was favoured by the early Egyptians and Laplanders preferred reindeer's milk.

Cheese is a great source of calcium, phosphorus, proteins and energy. The origin of this heavenly food is still not certain. There is no conclusive evidence indicating when cheese making originated but the practice had started within Europe prior to Roman times and had become a sophisticated enterprise by the time the Roman Empire came into being. The earliest archaeological evidence of cheese making has been found in Egyptian tomb murals. It is widely believed that it began as a way of preserving soured and curdled milk through pressing and salting.

There are hundreds of types of cheese found worldwide with each specially savoured by a different nation. As for Bangladesh, the roadside cheese- Bangladesh's very own specialty- is the way to go! This cheesy delight is available at various locations in Dhaka city such as the Lalmatia Aarong corner, next to the Shobahanbag mosque and in New Market. Another great shop famous for our own deshi cheese is Yusuf Bakery. Established in 1932, Yusuf Bakery has been selling this cheese for the last 40 years. While roadside kiosks sell both high and low salted cheese, Yusuf only specialises in medium salted cheese priced at Taka 280. This cheese is made primarily in Mymensingh's Astagram and also in Faridpur.

For those of you who have a great craving for cheese and want every bit and piece of it, just blame it on your need for calcium or energy- whatever suits you best!

By Nazia Atique


Death by chocolate

Ok sometimes I seriously wish that I owned a chocolate fountain, oozing non-stop rivulets of delicious, silkily sensuous, soul-stirring chocolate. And apparently some highly intelligent homosapien with an above average IQ actually designed such a contraption. But since I'm a long way away from owning such a thingamajig I find other routes to indulge my choco dessert fantasies. And for all you fellow chocophiles out there, here's a recipe for a fatal dessert you can indulge in:

First the Deadly Deep Dish Brownies…

? 3/4 cup butter, melted ? 1 1/2 cups white sugar ? 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract ? 3 eggs ? 3/4 cup all-purpose flour ? 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder ? 1/2 teaspoon baking powder ? 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch square pan. In a large bowl, blend melted butter, sugar and vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Gradually blend into the egg mixture. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let brownies cool, then cut into squares.

Now for the Main Killer…

? 1 (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix ? 1 2/3 cups milk ? 3/4 cup strong instant coffee ? 1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed ? 6 (1.4 ounce) KitKat Chunky chocolate bars, frozen and crushed.

Make pudding, according to package directions, with milk. In a large trifle or other glass serving bowl, place half of the Deep Dish Brownies. Pour half of the coffee over the brownies, and spread half of the pudding over that. Top with half of the whipped topping, sprinkled with half the crumbled candy bars. Repeat layers in the same order. Also, Oreo cookies placed on the top and middle layer for decoration also meld in nicely for a wonderful flavour. Sprinkle some cocoa and a few coffee crystals as topping. Refrigerate until serving.

Now that you have successfully prepared this sinful aphrodisiac for your untimely demise (and what a way to go!) just start digging your grave…

Compiled by Simin Sifuddin


Honey: A gift of nature

Honey is broadly used as an anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal remedy. Honey has wonderful wound healing capacities. It can cure burns, ulcers and wounds and is used as an antiseptic curative agent. Honey improves blood quality by keeping a check on the free radicals. It relieves nasal congestion, helps digestion, gives relief from cough and helps in conjunctivitis. It acts as a sleeping aid when taken with a hot mug of milk. Honey is known to soothe tissues and helps retain calcium in the body. It is also known to be effective in countering anemia. Consumption of honey can rev up your immune system.

Honey as a beauty aid

Pat your skin with honey while you go for a shower and keep patting till the honey gets really sticky, this helps improve blood circulation and lends a glow to the skin. Rinse your hair with honey and lime; this will add shine to your hair. Add a quarter teaspoon of honey to your bath. This will bring a glow to your skin. Mix honey with oatmeal and ground almonds- this will make for an excellent face cleansing scrub. When apple and honey are blended together and applied on the face for about fifteen minutes, it acts as a brilliant moisturiser while also making the skin firm and soft. For a facial mask, mix two teaspoons of honey and two teaspoons of milk and leave it on for ten minutes. This will get your skin glowing. Honey acts as a lotion for dry skin. So mix a quarter teaspoon of lemon juice, with one teaspoon of vegetable oil and one teaspoon of honey and leave it on for 10 minutes.

Buying honey and storing it

Buy honey that is labeled 100% pure. The darker the color of honey, the better will be the flavour and quality. Buy honey that has not been pasteurised, clarified or filtered. Get it straight from the farm. Honey should be stored in airtight jars lest they absorb any moisture from the atmosphere. Store it in a cool dry place. Honey exposed to cold temperatures tends to thicken. Honey exposed to high temperatures tends to get darker in colour.

Honey is a wonderful gift to human kind no doubt. But parents should be careful of honey for infants. Honey goes well with adults as they have mature stomach acidity. On the other hand, it is advised that not only honey but also any other sweetener is strongly prohibited for infants, as infants' digestive exertion is non-acidic. But honey's benefits are never-ending.

Recipe for a quick dessert With honey Fried bananas and honey

Bananas cut lengthwise
Almond flakes
Clear honey
Lemon juice

Drizzle lemon juice over the bananas. Melt butter in a frying pan and cook bananas till brown on both sides. Transfer to serving plate, add almonds to the remaining butter in the pan and cook till light brown. Mix honey, heat a little and spread over the bananas. Serve hot.

By Sadeka Sultana


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