Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thursday Thought: ENOUGH is ENOUGH!!

For the past nearly 3 weeks  I have been in no state to do any work- professional or otherwise...
tried to blog a bit, but my heart wasnt in it....
I have been just glued to the social media and the T.V for the latest updates on the horrors unfolding all around us... from the bombing and crashing of the planes to the bombardments and massacre in Palestine.
And praying hard.... praying all night for this senseless killing to end...
And hating the feeling of helplessness and despair....
Not wanting to see the graphic images splashed all over, and feeling guilty of having the luxury of a roof over our heads, full tables at iftaar and electricity in our homes while our brothers and sisters and little children have lost everything in the bombardments...
I saw this image given below of a little palestinian girl closing the eyes of her little doll to protect her of the horrors all around her...
and it moved me more than I can say...





Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thrifty Thursday! Giving a new life to an old window frame! a DIY project.


thrift |θrift|
(noun)


1-the quality of using money and other resources carefully and not wastefully : the values of thrift and self-reliance
"in simple words- to try and re-use things and NOT let them go waste!"



Last week my crafty soul-mate, my dear friend Bazma, shared with me some pictures of what she had done to an old decrepit window frame that she found lying around neglected in her store.
and man hasn't she done a beeaauutiful job of it?
Its got a wonderful distressed look to it, with no particular effort that has gone into it...
just with two colors, a sandpaper and a brush.
So I asked her to explain the full process with me so I could share it with my readers.



So here goes...
1- Bazma took an old dilapidated small window frame, hammered a piece of wood at the base of it, to make a small shelf. 
This is how it looks closed.



And this is how it looks open.



2- She took two colors- a bright blue and yellow, a 1 inch basic brush, sandpaper to rough in the edges, and kerosene oil to thin the paint and also to clean the brushes with.



3- Though the old window had some kind of a greyish paint on it, Bazma didn't really remove it, she just sanded the peeling paint off as much as she could..
4- Then she gave the whole window a bright yellow coat, not worrying when the dry wood kind of soaked the paint in, coz there was going to be a blue coat on top.
And as it is, she didnt want an absolute perfect finish.





5- Now was the turn for some blue fun!
This time the brush was kept a bit dry, as in, not too much blue paint was taken at a time and then applied on the yellow... leaving patches of yellow where the dry brush didnt apply color.



6- She finished painting the entire window with the blue color, with a dry brush, so that the yellow peeks out here and there.
Once dry, she took the sanding paper and rubbed on places to add a more distressed look.



Here it is with a small succulent plant in a teenie tiny pot.



And here Bazma has given the plant arrangements a nice whimsical touch with the blue window frame peeking out and holding a cute little tea-pot!



Doesnt it look pretty?.
Thank you Bazma for being the inspiration behind today's thrifty/recycling post.
For any of YOU who have had the "aha" moment when you've felt that yes I can make that sad looking so-n-so thing in to a something beautiful, and you want to share it with me, please do get in touch with me, either here on this blog or at my email: scorpio1576@gmail.com
Who knows- you and your wonderful DIY project might get featured here! 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Yummy drinks to quench your thirst in the summers and my Ramadan favorites!




Since the first day of Ramadan, we have got addicted to these extremely simple to make and so very refreshing drinks to have at iftaar, (when we break our fast at sunset).
These cool sips can give the best drinks in the world a run for thier money!
I am sure all of you have had lemonade or nimbu-paani?
but have you made it with fresh mint?
I have bunches of fresh mint that are just waiting to be used, in my teenie tiny vegetable patch.



So I put a big handful of mint leaves, some sliced lemons, crushed them together with the back of a spoon so that the mint flavors mingle with the lemon slices...

added lots of ice-cubes and then poured the fresh lemonade (of just lemons+sugar
+water) that I had made earlier.
Leave it to chill a little in fridge, and the flavors to really seep in.



and voila- you have fresh minty lemonade to quench your thirst with!!



Another drink that is a must have at my Iftaar table is freshly made watermelon juice.
doesn't it look pretty?
with no added sugar, refreshing cool and sweet!



So, for this drink, just take chunks of freshly cut watermelon, put in the blender... give it a whizz.
No need to strain, coz it becomes liquid in no time.
Keep in the fridge to chill for a couple of hours, then pour in individual long glasses with ice-cubes, garnish with a wedge of watermelon and a slice of lemon.
Just for a variation, I also like it with a sprig of mint and a dash of lemon, sometimes.




Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers







So enjoy these refreshing drinks in the summers and stay cool and hydrated!









Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Art School: How to Draw a Dinosaur Cutie!



Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers


ummmm... I know its Sunday, and my tutorials are usually on Saturdays... but nevermind!
So its sunday and today is the time for a requested Art Tutorial!
My sister made my day yesterday when she showed me her little boy making a penguin from one of my tutorials and he sent me the cutest voice message thanking me for it!
Muuuuaaaah!
U are adorable sweetiepie!




It certainly gives me a high when I see that people are actually enjoying my tutorials and my recipes.
thank you everyone for putting your trust in me and my blog.
And this tutorial is my little nephew's request- he loves Dinosaurs...
and I hope your little one enjoys making it too!




STEP-1



STEP-2



STEP-3



STEP-4



 STEP-5



STEP-6



STEP-7



STEP-8



STEP-9

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Foodie! Thai Chicken in Green Curry and Raw Mango Salad.

Ooooff!! Another week gone by!!!
I just dont know how my days are going... with the fasting and the prayers, and the kids' homeworks and some freelance workload, I am just not being able to sit down and pay attention to my blog or even to trying out too many new things because I am way too stressed out.
So though I have tried a few new things, I think today's Friday Foodie Recipe will be slightly different-
Thai.
Thai Cuisine is another cuisine that I absolutely LOVE.
Its light, fragrant and as spicy as I want it to be and the raw mango salad that accompanies it, is
To.
Die.
For.
And the best part is that though it seems daunting and exotic, its actually quite simple to make.
and you usually get a standing ovation!!



so, here goes for the Thai Salad:

THAI  RAW  MANGO  and PEANUTS  SALAD
(serves 4)

ingr:
3 cups julienne's of raw green mangoes.
1-2 spring onions, greens cut into 1" pieces and white bulb into rings
Or if you dont have spring onions- use half an onion and half capsicum cut thinly
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
2 tbsp sweet mango chutney- you can use store bought.
1-2  dry chillies- coarsely crushed (use depending on the heat you want)
3 flakes of crushed garlic
1 tsp soya sauce
1 tbsp powdered sugar.
salt and pepper to taste (I didn't put any salt or pepper coz the chutney had enough)

1- Mix all the ingredients well except the peanuts, and leave in a bowl, covered for approximate 2 hours in the refrigerator for the flavors to combine well.
2- At the time of serving, when you take the bowl out of the fridge, you'll see that the salad has a lot of water at the base.
So take the complete salad out of the bowl (leaving the  excess water behind), into the serving dish, and sprinkle some roasted peanuts on top, garnish with mint leaves and serve.
So very eeeaaasy and isn't it pretty?



Now for the next dish on my Thai menu:

 THAI  CHICKEN  in  GREEN  CURRY
(serves 4)





ingredients:
(for the green curry paste)
Roast 1 tbsp coriander seeds+1 tbsp cumin seeds till fragrant (not brown)
1 cup coriander stems
1/2 onion chopped
5-6 green chillies
8-10 garlic cloves
1 tsp crushed pepper corns
1 inch piece of galangal root ginger
a few slices of galgal lemon
1 tbsp white vinegar
3 lemon leaves or 1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 stick lemon grass (only the lower portion) discard after cooking

1- Add 3 tbsp coconut milk to make paste of the above ingredients except the lemon grass

 Other Ingredients for the Chicken:
2 chicken breasts- cut into cubes
2-3 small aubergines (brinjal) cut into thin slices and sprinkled with salt.
3 tbsp oil
1 tin coconut milk (about 1 and 1/2 cup)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp basil leaves or tulsi leaves
2-3 green chillies (slit) and 5-6 lemon leaves for garnishing 
thankfully our neighbor has a lemon tree and he is very accommodating!

1- Heat oil in a pan, and add the green curry paste and the leon grass stalk......roast for 2-3 minutes.
2- Add the chicken and fry for 5 minutes and then add 1/2 the coconut milk and simmer, on low heat for another 5 minutes.
3- Add salt and sugar, basil leaves, and the rest of the coconut milk. 
Let it come to a boil. Remove the lemon grass.
4- Add the washed brinjal (aubergine) slices and cover and simmer on low heat for another 15 minutes till you think the chicken is cooked.
5- Garnish with fresh basil/lemon leaves, galgal lime and slit red or green chillies.
6- Serve with steamed rice with a side serving of the yummy mango salad.




So, are YOU ready to floor your guests and get a standing ovation for yourself??
Do let me know if you do!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Saturday Yumminess: Stuffed Pizza Balls for your Iftar!



Like promised earlier I have another treat for you, that you can have for your iftaar and also for any tea party, or even as a variation for your children's lunch-box.
It tastes and looks yum and you can change the filling to suit your tastes and moods...
These are Chicken Pizza Balls but you can stuff them with Spinach and Feta cheese, or cottage cheese and capsicums, or even a mish-mash of patato+cheese+sweet corn stuffing!
Its a really versatile recipe and there is another thing- this is the same dough that I use for my sweet cinnamon rolls/orange rolls and strawberry rolls! (The recipe will be put up soon)
you can make a batch of this dough... use half and save half for iftaar/lunch box for the next day.
But make sure to keep it covered.
So, without further ado... here is my recipe for Chicken Pizza Ball which is a big hit with the kids!

Chicken Pizza Balls
(makes about 20 balls)

ingredients for the dough:
2 tbsp dry yeast
1 and 3/4 cups of luke-warm water
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter
5 cups flour
1 tsp salt

1- soak the yeast in the luke-warm water and 1/3 cup sugar for 15 minutes.
2- Take flour, eggs, butter and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast mixture and beat with a dough beater for 3 minutes at medium speed.


3- Cover the dough with a cloth and let it rest for 10 minutes.
4- Now the dough would have doubled up in size in these 10 minutes...Kneed the dough again for 3 minutes and rest it for another 10 minutes.
5- It rises again after 10 minutes, so you kneed it once more for 3 minutes, and rest to rise again for 10 minutes.



6- kneed again and divide onto two halves.
7- Now divide them into 10 little balls each.


Ingredients for the filling:
2 cups pre-cooked chicken breast that has been shredded.
1 cup steamed sweet corn kernels.
1 and 1/2 cup grated cheese (mozarella if possible)
2 cups pizza sauce
(pizza sauce is made by cooking 3-4 cloves crushed garlic with onions and tomatoes with a dash of paprika and oregano and salt)
1 egg white
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds (optional)

8- Sprinkle a clean working platform with some flour and flatten the little balls with your hand to make small flat circles.
9- Add some cheese, then some chicken, then pizza sauce, top it with corn kernels and then some more cheese...
I tell you with all that cheese- it is quite yummy!  :-)




10- Fold it over the filling like shown, pinching the opening close.



11- Lay it, pinched side down, on baking tray lined with foil paper that has been lightly greased with oil.( I line it so its less messy-just crumple and throw away!) 

12- coat the top with egg whites.



13- Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, and leave for 15 minutes to rise and fluff up some more.



14- Bake at 200C for 15 minutes or till golden brown on top.










16- Enjoy with Tomato sauce or spicy mint-coriander chutney.


Do tell me if you try this recipe at home and believe me- they will turn out much better than the local bakery products... :-)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Mommy I can Swim!!! My FREE July Desktop Calendar :-)

"Mommeeeee  I can swim!!!"
yes darling... just a little bit more...
c'mon, I got ya!!




This month's Calendar is inspired by our cooling off sessions every evening in the pool!
and the best part is that my li'l one learnt to swim- just a coupla breaths before he starts drowning- but its a start!!
And I am one proud mom!
I hope seeing this every day on your computer brings a smile to your face and virtually cools you from the heat outside!

Just right click on the image and save, then set as desktop image.
easy peasy!



Saturday, July 5, 2014

Saturday Art School- A cute Giraffe!

Here I am!!  Back with my Saturday Art School...
this time its for the really li'l ones who are learning to draw and would like to make this cute little Giraffe as a card? or as part of thier room decor?
So, enjoy the steps and for more tutorials on cute little animals or cars, or even a painting or two,
please visit here


STEP-1




STEP-2




STEP-3




STEP-4




STEP-5




STEP-6




STEP-7




STEP-8




STEP-9


And this is how you color it!!

this color image via google





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