Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Tasty Tuesday: Sweet and Spicy-Grilled THAI Chicken

Today's Tasty Tuesday Recipe was a lot of fun when I made it this weekend with my son, (we try and cook together on Sunday afternoons) with some ingredients that I have been itching to try out... namely the very pungent and savory Fish sauce (Nam Pla) and the Chinese Rice Vinegar.
Its easily available in gourmet stores and though I was a little reluctant to try it once I opened the bottle because of the strong smell, I needed to get over my mental block and give it a shot.
And believe you me, if you can kind of ignore the initial smell when you pour it out of the bottle... its no longer there after the cooking, just a lovely earthy taste!
But in case you are reluctant to be adventurous or you want to make this dish NOW without waiting for your trip to the gourmet store... well I have an alternative for you...

Note: You can use Worcestershire sauce or even soya sauce with a little lemon juice.
But if you can get your hands on Fish Sauce- nothing like it in Thai cooking!
Another special ingredient that I used in this is the Thai sweet chilli sauce that is easily available in all supermarkets... even with Funfoods brand.
Okay so lets get started with this lip-smacking, finger licking delicious chicken.


I kg Chicken-skinless (preferably thighs+legs and wings)
2 tbsp oil for basting.

If you can get 1 fresh lemon grass stalk (white part finely chopped) or you can use dried lemon grass like me and discard it after cooking.
1 full bulb of garlic, crushed and minced
3 tbsp fish sauce (look up the note above for alternatives)
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp rice vinegar
4 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt.

For garnish:
lemon wedges
small thai red chillies, finely sliced
coriander leaves, chopped

1. Make slits in the chicken thighs and legs. Place it in a ziplock bag and pour the marinade over it.
Rub the marinade well into the chicken and then leave overnight or at least 3 hours.
2. Remove the chicken from the marinade and keep the marinade aside for basting. along with oil.
3. If grilling over an outdoor charcoal grill- grill as you would any marinated chicken.
4. If there is no grill, you can even cook it in a deep pan, covered, along with the marinade and its juices till the chicken is cooked through and browned on both sides.
Then if you do have a grill pan, grill it on that so that you get the nice grilled lines on the chicken..
I grilled mine later in a panini maker coz I was too lazy to take out my outdoor grill.
It can also be baked in the oven at 180C for about 40 minutes (esp if boneless) while basting with the marinade and turning it over once, half way through.
5. Serve over steamed rice with lime wedges, chopped fresh coriander and thai chilli.

Enjoy licking your fingers!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Saturday Stylista... a painting.

I havent really updated you all on how things are on my paintings front... just finished one, although as things are with oil paintings: you sometimes dont know when to stop.
As is with this one...
I feel its finished, tho there are still a few more things that I could've done...
or mayb will do so, a little later... because I am itching to start with my other one and somehow not getting around to it.
My background as an illustrator (fashion and children) has somehow formed this style of painting that I am following right now...
Its not really realistic but somehow more on the fashion illustration genre, though its done in oils and acrylics as well as mixed media....I love portraits and figures and good looking people and colorful art that makes me happy.
I just cannot stand gloomy, death eaters type of paintings or themes that depress you or make you think hard as to what exactly has been portrayed in this painting in front of me.
We have enough drama and depression and gloom all around us, and I wouldn't want to be surrounded by it in my home as well.
I also cannot be pretentious... I love making beautiful people and the more stylised, the better.
Don't go looking for some profound, deep theme or story behind my paintings....
They are just happy paintings and made because I liked/ loved making them....
that I would love to display in my home.
Although I would love it if you would like to display them in yours.  Just saying!  ;-)
So another sultry, tho' happy-colorful painting that I am sure you would like adorning that dull corner of your home.

and here's a sneak peak into the whole process as well as moi photo bombing.
And this is for you to put up on you Pinterest Board.

Really happy with how its turned out, tho its still looking a it unfinished....
but now I've gotto start with this one below- all sketched and ready and waiting for me.
Remember I had made a coloring book kinda Desktop Calendar for this month of November?(click here to see) and I was wanting to start a painting with the same pose?
Well here it is.
Will keep you updated on how this one turns out too!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Monday Moods: Lets go Graphic Black and White!

My Monday Mood today is very graphic and bold...and not everyone's cuppa tea!
I haven't done a decor post for a loooong time and have been toying with a decor idea for my home (particularly living room) for sometime.
 Now, I have big black leather sofas that kinda dominate my space which I combined in the last posting with splashes of red and gold...
This time the combo is black sofas with blue and gold and a surprise splash of fuschia....(view here)
It seems to go really well and looks elegant,
but I am sort of bored with it now, and thinking of changing it in a few months when we get posted to a new place.
So this time why not go all black and white??
with mayb a relief of just gold?
How do you think it'll look?
so to pep myself up, as well as start preparing for my next makeover.. here are some ideas that are bold, graphic and and totally black and white.
And there are ideas for all of your rooms in this blogpost!
to just. maybe. inspire you to do a makeover? what say?
Now I am not suggesting that you start with the "poore ghar ke badal daloonga" enthusiasm, but mayb start with just your kitchen, or your bathroom?
So here is the Monday Mood Board for black and white inspirations!!

How about we start with the bedroom makeover if we want to do it up in stark black and white...
stripes, dots, zigzag and any kinda graphics... thats the idea!!
go bold in the framed prints as well.

How about these amazing cushions?
The bolder the print... the better I say!

And a study table and curtains of your bedroom done up in bold graphic prints. 

If you dont get prints but you come across some nice design on a cloth or even wrapping paper... have it framed and put it up to jazz up that wall.

and to go very bold... how about painting an entire accent wall black or dark grey to go along with the black bed post and the fantastic mirrored side table!
do you think this looks a bit much? I kinda like it.

Now that the inspiration for your bedroom is done- we move to the washroom or the powder room...
An extreme change would be to make one whole wall as your statement... with matching cabinets and lamps... dont you think this looks fabulous? 

or paint a wall black with a pretty black art print to jazz it up?

 This one is pretty too! with the brass fittings, pretty lamp and of course the red flowers! 

Black and white window as well as shower curtains + some graphic towels to up the design.

 This pretty bathroom shelf adds a lot of character to the room too.

If you want to add a bit of relief to the starkness of black and white... this turquoise does a fabulous job, dont you think?

We now move onto this beautiful living room done up in shades of black and white with an accent wall of grey, which looks not just elegant but very simplistic too... I love the play of the different mirrors on the grey wall!

Maybe one can have a focal point in one corner of our living room that is highlighted with fun art prints, graphic chair and elegant cushions.

or how about this side elegant settee, done up in black white and gold?

This one is exactly what I want... a beautiful combination of black white and gold.
It looks elegant and glamorous.
I think I'll go for glamour rather than  simplistic this time!

These black and gold lamps are sooooo gorgeous...
Where can I get them??

Or these beautiful silver candle stands balanced out by the black ones.... 

Another way to add a graphic feel to your room is to go all black and white in your favourite photos and frames... and put them up on the wall shelves.

How about a sparkling  clean Kitchen done up in simple monotone colors?

I would love to cook up a storm in a kitchen like this!

Maybe have a small elegant french toned sit out near the window?

Or a country-home feel in this white kitchen with accents of black?


How about this elegant black and white Dining Area?

And before we leave the graphic home...how about some striking planters to add some interest to you exteriors?
You can paint your normal pots in black and white like I did with my old pots (here)

So did I inspire you enough to get you itching to start a color makeover in one of your rooms?
Do let me know if I did.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

November 2016 Calendar: Coloring Special.

I am in love with the whole concept of Adult Coloring Books that has taken the publishing world by storm, especially the ones by Johanna Basford- They are absolutely exquisite!
And they are available on all major bookstores, if you are interested. Just saying.
If you are fond of coloring, need a destresser... buy one and get started!!
Believe me, all your stress will just melt away, because this color therapy is considered as good as meditation and touted as the next big thing on the things-to-do list!

So this month's calendar is dedicated to my Coloring Book fascination.
This will also be the inspiration of my next oil painting... hopefully.
Just the thought is getting me all excited and dancing.
Will keep you all updated as it progresses.

So for this illustration... just download and set as desktop picture.
Aaaand... take out a print out on a decent paper, and color it in the colors that you want!...
Do send me a picture once you'v done!!
would love to see everyone's take on the color combinations :-)

One question: would you all be wanting more coloring pages on my blog?

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