Genius Tricks: How to Remove Excess Salt, Unpleasant Smell and Unruly Nail Edges

Do you have any genius tricks you swear by? I love to read tips and tricks people know about especially went it’s related to cooking and cleaning. Usually, the best place to find out these tricks is from mothers. They always have one or two mind-blowing tips and tricks that you would be glad to know. For this post, I asked my mother about her go to tricks. From about a dozen or so that she shared with me, there were three that are not commonly known so I decided to share it here after testing them out.

The easiest way to remove excess salt from anything you’re cooking without adding anything extra is to make a small dough ball using just plain flour and water and adding it to your sauce, stews or rice. Leave it in for a few minutes and remove once you have checked the salt level is perfect. The dough ball absorbs all the excess salt and leaves nothing behind so you don’t have to compromise on taste.

The best way to get rid of any unpleasant smell in the refrigerator or kitchen cupboard is by leaving an open bottle of distilled white vinegar in there for a whole day. The vinegar will absorb any unpleasant leaving the place smelling like nothing or regular clean refrigerator, whichever you prefer.

The last one is a beauty hack, but fear not, it is nothing bizarre :) This hack is for unruly dry nail edges. If you suffer from dry and peeling nail edges, butter it up. Yes, massage the area with a little bit of unsalted butter, cover them with cotton gloves and go to bed. You will wake up with nourished and soft nails edges.

I’d love to hear any hacks you swear by.

Photo via Getty Images.

A Trick to Make Foolproof Naan in the Oven

Naan is just the perfect type of bread- soft yet slightly crunchy, not too thick and not too thin, and it goes with anything. From curries to cheeses and even with desserts! I have yet to meet anybody who dislikes naan, it is impossible to not love something so humble yet so delicious. I love Naan so much that is one of the three things I would wish on a deserted island. The best type of naan, in my opinion, is tandoori naan, made in a traditional clay oven. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find authentic tandoori naan in the U.S. that tastes great. Of course, there are many places you can find tandoori naan, but it’s just not the same. It is fine fresh but cools down to have the texture of rubber (have you noticed?).

This is why I have been attempting to make own naan at home, minus the tandoor. If I could get a traditional tandoor I would, perhaps someday when my kitchen is much bigger, but for now, my oven is the only resource. I have been trying to figure out if my oven could replicate a tandoor. Both the top and bottom burner are gas flames and the best part is the top burner flames are visible. So I started thinking of a plan to use the visible flames to my advantage.

This visible flames on its own would just burn the bread without cooking it so I thought if I could get the oven to be very hot and then switch on the top broiler, it might work. Because this way the oven is very hot and there is fire, just like a tandoor. Excited about this, I kneaded some chappati atta (flour). After proofing for 6 hours, I shaped it into a round, put it in the hot oven and crossed my fingers. The naan came out hard as a stone. Gutted, I thought maybe I was putting it in the oven for too long so, I tried again, and this time decided to take it out just as it was about to turn brown but when I took it out, the inside was raw. I quickly blamed the oven and swore to never bake anything in it.

Then, a few weeks later I was making homemade pizza in the oven and noticed how the pizza dough would always come out having a beautiful brown colour yet soft and pillowy inside. This got me thinking, is it possible to make naan using pizza dough? I tried it and it worked! I have made naan in my oven using plain pizza flour multiple times, and every time it is a hit. Hence, why I am calling this the foolproof way to make naan in the oven. Here is how I make it.


300 grams or 2 cups of 00 flour
2 grams or ¾ teaspoon fresh yeast or instant yeast
8 grams or 1 teaspoon salt
4 grams or 1 teaspoon olive oil
A little less than one cup or 200 grams of lukewarm filtered water


In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, yeast, and salt. In a small mixing bowl, stir together water and olive oil, then pour into the flour mixture. Knead with your hands until well combined, approximately 5 minutes, then cover the bowl with cling film and let it rest for 6 to 12 hours at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 480 F with a baking sheet inside. Knead the rested dough for 2 minutes. Cut into two equal pieces and shape into a ball. Place on a heavily floured surface, cover with damp cloth and let it rest for 30 minutes or until the oven is very hot and ready to be used.

To make the naan, place each dough ball on a heavily floured surface, use your palms to first flatten it and then your fingers to gently stretch followed by using a rolling pin to shape into a round. Place the dough on the back of the sheet pan and using a fork pierce a few holes on the surface of the dough. Place the sheet pan back in the oven for 2 minutes. Switch the oven to the highest broiler setting. Take out the naan once its brown, approximately 5 minutes.

Snow Day in Northeast

We are having a big snow storm and I couldn’t be happier. There is something about waking up and rushing to the window to see everything covered in snow. It is always such a beautiful soothing sight. What are your plans? I am having an off day so I am spending the whole day indoors. I am also going to make the creamiest very chocolatey hot chocolate, and if you would like to join me here’s how I plan to do it.

Recipe: The Creamiest & Very Chocolatey Hot Chocolate


1½ cups of whole milk
½ cup of cream
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
A big bar of your favorite dark chocolate cut into small pieces
Sugar to taste (usually a tablespoon)


Combine milk and cream in a saucepan and heat gently. Add the cocoa powder, chocolate pieces, and sugar and whisk until it is all combined. Remove from heat, pour into a big mug, top with whip cream and dusting of cocoa powder. Settle with a book and enjoy!

Photo by Betty Petrella.

Have a Wonderful Holiday!

Happy Holidays! Hope you are having a good time. I am going to be spending my holidays cooking and baking from my favorite cookbook. I am not really a great baker, it is always a hit or miss, but I am keeping my fingers crossed this time. For Christmas day I am planning to make roasted rack of lamb, celeriac puree (from this cookbook), fennel risotto and tabbouleh salad. New Years day is going to be more relaxed with a big pot of pasta, a simple salad and finish off the day with hot chocolate :)

Photo of me in Washington D.C.

Gift Guide Part III: The Fun-Loving Person

Utowa Eyelash Curler, $22, the iconic Japanese beauty tool that delivers a natural lift and curl.

Stripped Cotton Pyjama Set, $30, a classic set that’s a must-have. This one with a longer trousers is also great.

Hi Bye Gloves, $48,  Hi Bye Gloves are saying hello with one hand, whilst waving goodbye with the other. 

xo necklaces set of two, $59, the dainty necklaces are the perfect way to your love and gift to any special woman in your life.

Fingerprint Bookmark Band, $7, cleverly designed Fingerprint Bookmark Band slips onto a book and has a hand shape with a pointing finger to mark your place on the page.

Square basket, $25, for their things.

Boy Hat, $25, because she’s a master at puling off any look.

Duralex Glasses, $36, set of six glasses in six colors: crimson, mint, yellow, lavender, gray and cobalt.

Peace sign, $50, bold and modern, the peace sign will catch the eyes of many with its brass shine.

Indoor Plant and Planter, $52, with a 1-year guarantee to replace dead plants, this gift will be a massive hit.

Inner voices notebook, $20, writing as a therapy journal.

P.S. Parts I and II here and here.

All photos via websites linked for each product. Hi Bye Gloves via Swiss Miss. Fingerprint Book Mark band via  A Cup Of Jo.