Wednesday, March 8, 2017

March 2017 Desktop Calendar- Colourful Fun!!

The past month (February) has been a little overwhelming...
what with the UP elections (which my family is deeply into) and the kids' never-ending stuff and some pending works that HAD to be finished because of our coming relocation to a new place....
And then at the end of it... I had absolutely no desire or energy to give some TLC to my blog or art or anything for that matter.
I feel guilty.
Real guilty.
But its never too late.
And getting back to blogging after a month loooooooong gap (with all thats still going' final exams+packing the house+last minute dinners and get togethers) took some will power and a serious kick in the butt-by self.
You do need that sometimes to get the groove on!
So here's to starting the colorful month of March with a bang!!
This month's calendar is dedicated to rang-birangi Holi....
and as its Women's Day.... to all the women out there who are strong-yet tender, rebellious-yet rooted in tradition, feminist-yet feminine, who break all barriers and bring a unique color to everyone's life!!
Go on...
Be colorful...
Be unique...

and one for you phone/tab too :-)

HAPPY WOMEN'S DAY everyone...
And a HAPPY and Safe HOLI!

I have another image of this illustration that I have saved just as a HOLI card....
Will put it up on the eve of Holi, so you all can download it and send it as a holi greeting.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Friday Food for the Soul: Thai Chicken Satay

Thai food is my weakness...
The sweet, the savory, the lemony flavors... the zing of heat!!
It has it all.
And of course the simpleness of the recipes.
I love making Thai for my guests especially during summers because the flavors are fresh, they are light on the palette and they use a lot of pineapples, and lemons and mangoes which are a delightful change from the heavy, masala rich, Indian cuisine.
I have a few Thai recipes on my blog and I will be putting some more up, soon.

Chicken in Thai Green Curry (click here)

Sweet and Spicy Thai Grilled Chicken (click here)

Thai Mix Veggie Stir Fry(click here)

Raw Mango Salad with peanuts (click here)

And now for the Thai Chicken Satays in Peanut Sauce.
This can be served as an appetiser as well as part of the main course.
Its really easy to make and will have your guests licking thier fingers and asking for seconds!

4-6 skinless boneless chicken breasts
20 satay wooden skewers (soaked in water for minimum one hour if grilling)

2 tsp fish sauce (optional)
1 tbsp minced garlic+1 inch ginger grated
3 tbsp soya sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp of turmeric and cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
salt and pepper to taste
(soya sauce and fish sauce have salt, so be a bit prudent)
2 tsp preferably-Masaman Curry Paste or if not available then Thai Red Curry Paste
1 tbsp sesame oil/ vegetable oil
1/3 cup coconut milk

Peanut Sauce ingr:
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp Masaman Curry Paste
1 tbsp minced garlic OR 1/2 tsp garlic powder
3 tbsp tamarind juice
3 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp red chilli powder or paprika
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup crushed roasted peanuts 
juice of 1 lemon


  1. Slice the chicken breasts lengthwise in long strips, about one inches wide.
  2. Pulse the marinade ingredients in a blender. Keeping a little aside for basting when grilling, pour the rest into a ziplock bag and add the chicken pieces. Shake well to coat, and marinate minimum for 3 hours but preferably overnight.
  3. Add all the ingredients of the peanut sauce in a frying pan, stir on low heat to combine and mix well. Turn off the heat when the sauce thicken and coats the back of the spoon.
  4. Keep aside to cool. If thickened before serving just add a tbsp of warm water and whisk well.
  5.  If you are ready to cook, then thread the chicken pieces into the soaked wooden skewers, zig zagging them and making sure to secure the ends. Then baste the pieces with the remaining marinade, and grill them on the medium hot grill for 5-7 minutes on each side.
  6. Alternatively you can even cook them on a stove top... cooking a batch on medium high heat, and flipping them on the other side when golden on one side.
  7. You can even broil them in an oven after lining the tray with an aluminium foil, and spray coating the chicken pieces with oil. Turning them after every 5 minutes and re spraying till cooked through and golden.
  8. Serve with a dash of lemon juice and a drizzle of peanut sauce with a side helping of the peanut sauce garnished with crushed roasted peanuts.
Yum! yum!

For your pinning pleasure!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Wednesday Watercolor: A demo

Been doing a lot of drawing, sketching, watercolors and started with my patiently waiting canvas.
But for your Wednesday I have a watercolor demo to enjoy..
just a teenie video on Youtube.

and here is the Youtube video:

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tasty tuesday: Thai Mix Veggie Stir-Fry

Thai Mix Veggie Stir-Fry

2 tbsp vegetable oil
4-5 cloves of garlic, crushed and minced
1/2 inch ginger minced
2 green onions, green part sliced diagonally and white part cubed
5 shitake mushrooms (preferably)/ or 7-8 button mushrooms if easily available 
1 large tomato cut into medium wedges
a  medium head of broccoli, divided into small florets
1/2 green capsicum-cut into small cubes
1 red bell pepper cut into cubes
7-8 string beans- cut into 1 inch pieces (blanched)
1/2 tbsp soya sauce
1 and 1/2 tbsp of oyster sauce (for vegetarian option read TIP at the end)
1/2 tsp of brown sugar
a pinch of pepper powder and salt (because the sauces have enough salt already)
a couple of tbsp water or more as needed

garnish: a handful of roasted and crushed peanuts.

  1. Heat oil in a big wok or a kadai at high heat.
  2. Add garlic, ginger and the white of the onion.
  3. When the garlic gets fragrant (not brown) and the onion slightly transparent, add the mushrooms and stir fry on high heat for 30 seconds.
  4. Now add the rest of the veggies in this order-broccoli, beans, capsicum, bell pepper and tomato, and the greens of the onion- making sure to give each vegetable 15 seconds of frying before adding the other...
  5. Add the oyster sauce, and the soya sauce, brown sugar a bit of water.
  6. Make sure not to over cook because the vegetables should have a nice crunch to them
  7. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
  8. Garnish with peanuts and serve immediately...accompanied with either steamed rice or noodles.
Try and use a biggish wok because you dont want to crowd the vegetables when they are being stir fried, and also the heat should be high, and keep stirring them while cooking.
NEVER over cook the veggies in a stir fry because they need to have a crunch to them and always always add salt at the end because that makes the veggies soggy very quickly!

The Oyster sauce is important in this stir fry because its smokey, earthy taste takes the flavor to another level , so I would highly recommend it.... but you can't use it if you are a you can either use the oyster mushroom sauce or hoisin sauce and mayb add a bit of barbecue sauce to increase the smoky flavor.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Monday Moment with my sketchbook

Been trying to make a few videos for my students so they can follow step by step easily.
This teenie tiny video attached video is a Work-in-Progress of a quick fashion sketch that I did today.
I hope you like it!

and this is the finished product... a peek into a quick sketch that I have done after a real long time!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

January 2017 Desktop and phone Calendar

Just got back from a rejuvenating and relaxing holiday in Goa and still got the beachy- hangover!
so this month while everyone is freezing in the biting cold, or engulfed in foot high snow...
enjoy the warm, balmy breeze of Goa and relax the month away!


and this one is for your phones :-)

I hope this warms you up in this chilly month! 

Friday, December 30, 2016

And its a wrap, 2016!!

The very eventful 2016 year has finally ended!!
and man what an year this has been!!
With lots of things happening worldwide as well as at the home turf in India.
some good... some bad but all in all an extremely eventful and surprising year!
So now its high time we wish 2016 just got over and we move onto a fresh start with hopefully fresher perspective and a cleaner, happier, empathetic and more tolerant 2017.

My life in my little corner of the world, the past year, has also been quite eventful....
And this post is a small round-up of all that I learnt, experienced, and shared!!

1- We said goodbye to the deserts and our regimental family for 3 years, and moved onto a new place..Rajasthan you are missed... your gentle winds, vibrancy, solitude, and beauty cannot be compared.
and my family for 3 years.... the wonderful and fun girls of my Regiment, you have been my backbone and strength- May you grow in leaps and bounds and shine always and wherever you are!

2- We welcomed a new member into the family (my one and only brother got married) and I personally was astonished and amazed at how well the new bride and sister settled in and bloomed!! I guess she realised we were all as crazy as her ;-)

3- I made fresh friends and caught up with some old familiar ones in the new place that we call home now...
I learnt to work hard and party harder! heheh!!

5- We went on a visit to the beautiful Japan and the amazing Hong Kong....
visited family and had fun in Macau...
An absolutely memorable visit!

6- Professionally I saw myself grow as well...
learnt a couple of new softwares and techniques...
tried my hand at making a video tutorial, and still have got to refine my technique.... and learn, learn learn!!

7- Also made some new connections that hopefully will bring a couple of my dreams to fruit (will disclose them in a while coz they are still in the nascent stage)

8- I tried a new technique in painting and am loving the way that it has defined my style...
Got a couple of half finished painting still to go and put up, then I can really see if I have evolved or not.

9- I felt amazed and humbled at people meeting me and recognising that I am "that Maryam" that they have been following and reading for so long!! That has definitely been the high point of the year gone by... the feeling that u are just not writing and drawing for yourself... there are living-breathing people out there who follow you and wait for your next post, calendars, recipes and tips!!
I makes me want to better myself and my craft... just for your appreciation and accolades!

10- I still feel surprised and humbled once more at the write up that came out in an annual Army Magazine (2016 edition) about me and my creative journey....
I hope it can inspire and motivate other young Army wives who have sacrificed their jobs to follow their hearts and their man across the countryside: that all is not lost if you have the passion and determination.... and that everything falls in place eventually....
you just have to stick to your guns and work real hard.

11- Learnt a new craft: Mosaic... and did some fun DIY mosaic stuff on old pots (click here)!

12- And how to Recycle old Jam bottles (click here)

13- Threw some fabulous (if I may say so) parties for my kids as well as a farewell to our commander's wife...
here are their links:

14- And how can a foodie like me, end the yearly round-up without mentioning the many new recipes that I tried.... some were successful but there were also some humongous failures...
the failures of course will not be mentioned here ;-)
but here are some successful recipes that I loved:

a) Lauki ke Kabab
b) Whole Grain Banana Pancakes
c) Easy Chicken Pot Pie
d) Fun Mocktail: Miami Beach
e) 3 Ingredients Mango Ice-cream
f) Whole Wheat and Oats Chocolate Crepes
g) Chicken Cordon Bleu with Pesto sauce (stuffed chicken breasts)
h) Egg and Alcohol free- Easy Tiramisu
i) Sweet and Spicy, Grilled Thai Chicken

I have been pretty satisfied with how this year has gone by.... I could have done better, maybe put in a more concerted effort, but it wasn't too bad was it?
So tell me, how did your year go? Are there things on your to-do list that you feel you definitely will get around to do in the coming year?
do drop in a line and let us know. :-)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...