Monday, March 30, 2020

Churros Recipe to transport you to Spain and Mexico




Churros will always be my favorite comfort sugary snack. It not complicated to make… pretty straightforward. And it’s best to have it fresh and slightly warm! They are made with simple pantry-staple ingredients and fried to perfection…  And don’t let the deep frying scare you. Unfortunately I couldn’t take a video on how to fry it but do check online on how to do so. As long as you have a piping bag, a metal star tip and the enthusiasm to make a great treat, then you can make churros at home without breaking a sweat. So here is the recipe 


Ingredients

·         1 cup water

·         1 cinnamon stick

·         1/4 cup unsalted butter, diced into small cubes

·         1 Tbsp  granulated sugar

·         1/4 tsp salt

·         1 cup all-purpose flour 

·         1 large egg

·         1 tsp vanilla extract

·         Vegetable oil, for frying

For coating

·         1/3 cup to ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar

·         3/4 tsp ground cinnamon





Method:


1.       For the coating whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon in a shallow dish, set aside.


2.       Heat about 1 1/2 inches vegetable oil in a large pot or deep skillet over medium-high heat to 360 degrees Fahrenheit. While oil is heating prepare batter.


3.       Add water, cinnamon, butter, half teaspoon of vanilla extract, sugar and salt to a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.


4.       Add flour reduce heat to low and cook and stir constantly with a rubber spatula until mixture comes together and is smooth (a few lumps in it are fine).


5.       Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and let it cool for 5 minutes.


6.       Add the rest of the vanilla extract and egg to flour mixture then blend immediately with an electric mixer. Blend until mixture comes together and is smooth (it will separate at first but keep mixing it will come together).

7.       Transfer to a 16-inch piping bag fitted with a rounded star tip (no bigger than 1/2-inch). 


8.       Carefully pipe mixture into preheated oil, into about 6-inch lengths, cut end with clean scissors.


9.       Let it fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towels to dry briefly then transfer to cinnamon sugar mixture and roll to coat.


10.   Repeat process with remaining dough (frying no more than 5 at once). Serve warm with chocolate ganache or caramel sauce for dipping if desired.



Above pictures are copyrighted by Ticked by Inspirations











Sunday, March 15, 2020

Creamy Garlic Salmon with Spinach and Sundried Tomatoes

This pan seared Salmon in a creamy garlic sauce with sun dried tomatoes, spinach and parmesan is packed with so much flavour, looks fancy and is quite easy to make! And the best part of it is, it’s all cooked in one pan. This is one of the best salmon recipes I have tried and came out so well. And I can vouch that this dish will be wiped out clean!!




The recipe is adapted from here and I have tweaked it a bit from the original... so here it is and I hope you try it out!


Ingredients


§  3-4 salmon fillets

§  2 teaspoons olive oil

§  2 tablespoons butter

§  5 cloves garlic, chopped finely

§  1 small yellow onion, chopped finely

§  1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable broth

§  4 to 5 ounces (150g) jarred sun-dried tomato in oil, drained of oil

§  1 cup heavy cream or light cream or add more depending on how much sauce you want

§  Salt and pepper, to taste

§  2 cups baby spinach leaves

§  1/2 cup grated Parmesan

§  1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped






Directions


1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the salmon filets on both sides with salt and pepper, and sear in the hot pan, flesh-side down first, for 5 minutes on each side, or until cooked to your liking. Once the salmon filets are cooked, remove from the pan and set aside.


2. In the same pan, melt the butter in the remaining leftover cooked juices. Add in the garlic and fry until fragrant (about one minute). Add onion and stir fry until translucent. Then add the sun-dried tomatoes and fry for 2 to 3 minutes so they release their flavors. Then pour the vegetable broth, and allow the sauce to reduce down a bit. 


3. Reduce heat to low, add the heavy cream, and bring to a gentle simmer, while stirring occasionally. Season the cream sauce with salt and pepper to your taste.


4. Add the baby spinach and allow it to cook in the sauce. Then add the parmesan cheese (the best part to take the sauce to the next level). Allow cream sauce to simmer for a further minute until cheese melts through. 


5. Add the grilled salmon filets back into the pan; sprinkle with the parsley, and spoon the sauce over each filet. Serve the creamy garlic salmon over steamed veg, brown rice or cauliflower rice or pasta, simple quinoa or just bread. Enjoy!


Notes:

  • You can add a dash of white wine to the sauce for more flavor, instead of or along with the vegetable broth.
  • You can substitute cream with coconut cream or light cream. 
  • And instead of sundried tomatoes you can roast capsicums and add to the cream.





Above pictures are copyrighted Ticked by Inspirations









Thursday, February 13, 2020

Artist of the Month - Naila Al-Mamari


Naila Al-Mamari, a prominent Omani artist who made her mark with her abstract paintings. Most of her paintings have broadened the understanding of Oman Culture and values. Her art is innovative and has evolved over the years. I happened to meet Naila at the recent Oman’s Affordable Art show and I was instantly glued towards her paintings because of the soothing and rich colours she used. And all her paintings evoked a sense of curiosity within me to understand more about the traditional Omani values and culture. She is a trained artist and was involved in the operations in Omani Fine Art Association. She has held several solo and group exhibitions locally and internationally. And she was awarded and recognized for her work at several local platforms and international as well.



Let’s hear more from Naila herself and understand her journey as an artist and view some of her beautiful work....











How did your journey as an artist begin? Did you have any formal training or is it self-taught?

I was blessed to have had a formal training in art. I studied BA of art education and graduated in 1997 from Sultan Qaboos University, and I graduated in 2015-Master of Art in International Contemporary Art & Design Practice, from Limkokwing University of Creative Technology – Cyberjaya, Malaysia.



How would you describe your art style?

I was considered a second-generation artist in Oman, because I started the real beginning in fine arts year 1993. I have a special style of using various artistic materials on the surface of the painting. I like to keep my painting in rich colors and showing the texture, and expressing my identity on it.
As far as I know, most of the artists in the Sultanate distinguish my work for its unique style.



What is your inspiration for your art work?

My inspiration is my identity, nature and everything around me.



What is the most challenging aspect about your work?

The most challenging aspect is to continue my work as a real artist, through awareness, technical capabilities, and specialization.



What is your creative process like? And what keeps you motivated?

Sometimes the idea of my painting leads me to use the appropriate materials to get it done, and sometime the material drives me to the idea. Basically life and day to day actions (events) make me excited.



Do you commission different projects? And how can people purchase your paintings?

Yes I do, they can get in touch with me via phone or by sending an email (gasansan75@gmail.com ), my website or Instagram account.



What is your favorite art piece that you have done till date?

A realistic painting of “The Fort of Nakhl”, Sultanate of Oman, in oil colors and its size is 200 x 200 cm. Because the first day I started to draw it, a man came to see me and asked me to marry him, and that man is my husband. The painting has been hanging in my house from 17 years, and I have not sold it till date.



Any tips or words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?

They have to start with realistic and life drawing, Practice drawing with reading and arts books, Participate in many workshops and learn technical experiences, watch tutorials and visit exhibitions and museums showcasing art.


If you wish to get in touch with Naila, please email her at gasansan75@gmail.com and follow her @nailaalmamari on Instagram. 



All above pictures via Naila






Monday, February 3, 2020

Tips to Revamp your Deskspace

After a long and hectic week, it is always good to revamp your desk to make an environment that is functional and motivating. My desk was cluttering up with papers, documents that needed filing and books. And the whole cluttering process affected my work progress, productivity and balance. So I finally sat down to clear up my desk and revamped it by de-cluttering, filing and throwing away papers that I don’t need and I set the vibe with some fresh flowers and Indian basil arranged in a vase. And my desk got an instant makeover! What do you think of my desk space?


This was how it looked!... Can you see the stack of papers and books piling up?
And this bunch of flowers and basil, just changed the vibe



Here are some tips to revamp your desk and set it in the right tone:


Create a Mood-board:

Treat your desk space as your mood board. Use calm colours or black and gold or even browns by using books, desk accessories, your brand posters or art and motivational quotes.  And the best part is you can keep changing your desk look. There are no rules here.


Always de-clutter:
My desk always keeps piling up with books, papers, documents that needs to be filed and bills! Towards the end of the week it’s always good to de-clutter so that you can start the new week with a clean desk. File away papers and throw away things that you don’t serve any purpose.


Good Lighting: 
To boost your productivity, you need good lighting, be it natural light or artificial. Use warmer hue desktop light and adjustable light levels to avoid eye strain. Invite as much light as you can to make your space look bigger.


Green or flowers: Fresh indoor plants or flowers instantly set the vibe for your work space. It instantly sets a zen vibe to your space.





I hope you get to revamp your desk space and if you do, please keep me posted on how it goes!




Above pictures are copyright Tickled by Inspirations






Wednesday, January 22, 2020

A Glimpse of Lyla John’s Gorgeous Apartment


This is my first official blog post for 2020 and the best way to start the year is with my favorite segment, home tours and today’s is more of snippets of a cozy home. Lyla John, an interior designer by profession based in Kochi, has created a tidy, serene oasis for herself. It is a beautiful apartment that has a view… There is a striking mix of simplicity and beauty, topped with a perfect balance of functionality and aesthetics.  I just love the serene, uncluttered vibes of minimalism, ethnicity and eclectic. To save space she has converted the alcove into a smart storage unit which serves as a bar as well. Her collection of gorgeous classic wooden furniture speaks volume when it comes to style. And what struck my attention is her collection of beautiful illustrations and décor accents.


Here is a snippet of her beautiful home and let’s hear more from Lyla herself.










Tell us a bit yourself.

I am Lyla John and I have been an interior designer for 30 years. I predominantly work on interiors for homes and small hotels. I find that my passion revolves around working on small projects where I have a close relationship with the people who will end up inhabiting the space I create. Talking with them, understanding their quirks, likes and dislikes and designing a space with them is deeply satisfying. 



 What is your décor Inspiration for your home?

I have inherited a lot of the big pieces of furniture in my home from my husband’s family as well as mine. So while they are big, traditional and wooden, I try to offset those by using classic colours combinations for my upholstery and curtains, accents are a mix traditional knick knacks and quirky of off pieces.



Tell us a bit about your Décor style

I would say my decor style would be eclectic at its best. 



What is your Favorite Space or part of your home?

The favourite space of my home is my balcony. After spending many decades living in an individual house with a large garden around it, it was an adjustment for me to fit all my favourite plants into a tiny balcony. But having my green oasis when I sit for my morning coffee or evening tea is one of the best ways to unwind and gather my thoughts. 



Any décor tips for my readers?

I would suggest - invest in your home- all the time. Don’t think to do up your home in one shot and assume you are done. Be slow, be deliberate in the furniture and accessories you pick for your home. It should reflect you and not just the latest trends. When you sit in your home, it should make you feel warm and comfy.

"Thank you so much Lyla John for opening up your doors to me and my readers and sharing your décor inspirations with us all!! You home is just beautiful"


If you would like to share your home space or favorite space with me and my readers, please write to me at tbinspirations@gmail.com . Meanwhile stay tuned for more!!!




Above pictures are via Lyla John







Sunday, December 22, 2019

Recipe of the month: Triple Chocolate Trifle




Christmas celebrations are not complete without a trifle. And any kind of trifle will always look smashing on your Christmas table that has layers of goodness and cream! Trifle recipes are great to have in hand especially when you have to feed a large crowd. You can make it boozy or non- boozy which is purely your choice. As always I chose a hassle free and stress free recipe that’s tastes divine and looks gorgeous. This year I decided to stick to Chocolate trifle…. Because you can never go wrong with chocolate!! I was so happy the way it turned out and how it was wiped out clean. So this recipe has layers of brownie and dark chocolate cake, chocolate pudding, crushed chocolate nibbles for crunch and whipped cream. Try and bake the cake and brownie in advance to save time and trust me the rest will fall in place.


 Look no further if you are searching for a dessert recipe for your Christmas table. Here is the recipe for my favorite Chocolate Trifle



Ingredients


Baked brownies (Click here for my recipe) – cut into small squares


Baked dark Chocolate Cake (Click here for my recipe) – cut into small squares


I box of instant chocolate pudding


1 pkt of Maltesers or Mcvities Chocolate Nibbles


2 cups of whipped cream (already whipped stiff and kept aside)





Method


1.       Prepare your pudding as per the package directions.

2.       Crush the Maltesers or the chocolate nibbles but make sure they don’t turn too mushy.

3.       Layer about 1/3rd of your cake cubes (dark chocolate and brownies) in your favorite trifle dish.

4.       For your next layer add a huge scoop (about 1/3rd) of chocolate pudding over the cake pieces.

5.       Sprinkle the crushed Maltesers or chocolate nibbles on the pudding.

6.       And then spread whipped cream over it (again 1/3rd of it).

7.       Repeat this process of layering two more times, ending with whipped cream. And garnish it with Maltesers and Chocolate Nibbles.

8.       Refrigerate it for at least two hours before serving.


Tips

  • If you want to make it boozy, drizzle Irish cream liqueur on the cake.
  • And if you do not have the time to bake brownies and cake, buy them and use it for the recipe. 
  • This recipe can be made a day before and this saves time!



How easy was that?? I hope you enjoy making it! And if you do make, please email me and keep me posted. I always love to hear feedback. I hope you are enjoying the countdown to Christmas!!



Above pictures are copyright Tickled by Inspirations





Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Artist of the Month - Rebeca Nigrinis

I have had the pleasure of knowing Rebeca Nigrinis, a prominent artist in muscat, whose work has bloomed over the past couple of years. She started off as a mural artist and she had started making her mark since then and evolved to where she is today. And it is all because of her sheer hard work. 


Rebeca Nigrinis is a Colombian artist whose paintings are well known by the bold lines and amalgamation of bright colours. She developed a unique art style combining the vibrant culture of her Latino and Caribbean background, with the Middle Eastern exotic beauty. She is an industrial engineer by profession but she followed her passion for art. Over the years she has diversified her work from canvas painting to art on wood and has launched a line of décor items like wooden coasters, trays, placemats and lazy susans with her beautiful artwork on it. She has held several  solo exhibitions locally and internationally and particpated in group exhibitions as well, where she is known for her unique style of art and for her choice of vibrant colours.  

Here are some of her beautiful work

Golden Diva 
Acrylic on canvas
90x60 cm
Blue silver Arabian diva
Acrylic on canvas
60x40 cm

Camel with flowers
Acrylic on canvas
60x60 cm
Frida 
Acrylic on canvas 
80x80 cm
Recently Rebeca was honoured with an opportunity to showcase her project, called the Buddy Bear, at the German Embassy in Oman. Buddy Bear is known to be an art project that is popular in Germany where artists paint on life size bear sculptures to indicate friendliness and optimism. There was an open call for artists that was published on their website and Rebeca was chosen after she submitted her proposal. Her work on the Buddy Bear represented the unity of Oman and Germany, where she included their flags, Omani icons like royal palace, incence burner, dhow boat, mosque and forts. The work was completed in 5 full working days at the Embassy.

Here are some pictures on her Buddy Bear project






If you are in Muscat, stay tuned for Oman Affordable Art Show which will take place on December 5th and 6th, 10am to 8pm at Bahja Hall, Qurum, and you can view and buy Rebeca's beautiful work. And if you wish to follow her on Instagram please click here to access her page. 

Lets get to know more about Rebeca's creative journey:

How did your journey as an artist begin? Did you have any formal training or is it self-taught?
I’m a self-taught artist and my talent is a gift from God. After completing my degree in Engineering I got married, and soon after that, we moved to Saudi Arabia. Once there I started to paint, eighteen years ago. We had moved many times and lived in different countries and my art travels with me everywhere we go.

Has your artwork evolved during the last couple of years? How would you describe your art style?
Usually when I look back at my old work I don’t like it, and I think that’s good because it means I’m improving. Only few pieces will be forever in my favorites list. I think I’ve done a good job trying to create my own style which I honestly can’t find a single word to define, but I know I like to create people stories represented on a canvas. 

What's your inspiration for your art work? 
My travels are a huge inspiration for me. Each time I go to a new place I come up with a new series.


Initially as you started as an artist, was your work rejected at any point? If yes, how did you deal with it and overcome?
Yes! My work had been rejected of course! There were tears shed but now I understand it was part of my process. 

What is the most challenging aspect about your work?
Personally I find it very challenging to work on a single piece. My studio is full of pieces I had started and kept aside until I feel like completing them. But every single day no matter how tired I am I’ll work on one.

What medium do you use? What is your creative process like? and what keeps you motivated?
I started painting with acrylics, then I jumped to oils for a while and now I’m back to acrylics. Motivation comes when I look back and see how far I’ve got and also how far I am from where I want to become. Then I feel like I should get to the studio and get some work done. 

Do you commission different projects? And how can people purchase your paintings?
I do commissions and people usually contact me through my social media pages. I also love to attend art fairs and meet art collectors in person. 

What is your favorite art piece that you have done till date?
That’s a difficult question to answer because each piece is like a child for me. I love them all! There’s a story behind each. 

Any tips or words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?
I would like to say to young artist: work on creating your own style. Use others work to get inspired but never try to copy them, that will totally ruin your process. 

Rebeca, on behalf of my readers, here is wishing you a successful creative journey and lots more projects. We look forward to seeing more of your work!





All the above pictures are copyrighted by Rebeca