Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Baked Chicken Thighs with Potatoes and Spinach

I am finally back to my old routine after all the holidays in between and I was desperately seeking for a baked chicken recipe which is flavorful and easy to make for a busy weeknight. A friend of mine used to bake chicken thighs for our potluck dinners which were cooked to perfection and eventually it was wiped out clean by all of us. I and my family love chicken thighs because it’s the juiciest part!!! Thanks Meena for inspiring me to try this recipe!! And I took the liberty of improvising her recipe a bit.

This is a simple recipe made with easy-to-get recipes. And the juices that come out from this flavorful chicken in the pan after its baked is just heavenly!! Smelled like thanksgiving and christmas!!

 
 
 
 

 
Ingredients

 
Chicken thighs - 10 to 12 pieces

Crushed pepper - 2 tsp.

Salt - to your taste

Chillie flakes – 1 to 2 tsp. (depending on the heat you like)

Dried Herbs (I used parsley and basil) – Parsley 2 tsp. & Basil 1 tsp.  

Ginger Garlic paste – 1 heaped tsp.

A pinch of turmeric

Olive Oil

Garlic cloves - 5

Spinach – a handful

Potato wedges

Cooking or heavy cream – to your taste

Fresh Chopped parsley leaves


 
Method

Marinate chicken thighs overnight with crushed pepper, salt, chillie flakes, herbs, turmeric, olive oil and garlic pods.

Preheat oven at 170 degrees C.

In a pan fry the chicken thighs for 2 minutes on each side and keep it aside in a greased baking pan.
 
In the same pan fry the marinated garlic cloves and spinach leaves for a few minutes and add it to the chicken.
 
To this sprinkle potato wedges and cover it with foil and bake it for 45minutes and turn around the chicken pieces in between.

Then add cream to it depending on how creamy you like the sauce to be. Since I didn’t want too much cream I just added a little. And just mix and turn around the chicken thighs and bake for 5 more minutes.

Sprinkle fresh parsley leaves and serve it hot with your favorite salad and khubus. Enjoy making it!



Tips for you

You can use mushrooms instead of spinach.

Serve with mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts/ steamed broccoli or even pasta.

Instead of dried herbs, try using fresh herbs.

You can substitute heavy cream with milk.

Use baby potato instead of wedges.

Keep the skin on the chicken if you like it crisp.






Images are clicked by me






 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Artist of the month: Ana J.

I saw Ana’s work on instagram and her gallery was filled with endless appetite for beauty through her canvas and colours. I was instantly hooked on to her work. In her amazing art work she has infused the spirit of beautiful people and nature’s beauty. I love her attention to details and the way she fills each corner of her canvas, blending each colour so beautifully, filled with grace. Serenity oozes from each one of her art work with beautiful and calm colours. Ana is based in gurgaon and in her interview she shares her passion for art and beautiful thoughts.

Let’s view her work and hear more from Ana and her journey through art
 
 






 

 
A brief about yourself

I get up in the morning, sleep at night, and in between try to make this world a more beautiful and vibrant place to live in!

 
How did your journey as an artist begin?

When you have few hours to yourself, and you are all alone, there are just windows and doors to listen to you, and you know you are a quiet kind of a person, you know you have to give form and color to your thoughts and feelings before they die with you.  

How would you define art?

Art is too fluid a concept that it could be described in few words. If I had to put it simply, I would say Art is something that makes our life abundantly rich. Just look around yourself. The clock on your work desk, the way you arrange your food, your coffee mug, the way your bonsai is growing in the pot, the way creepers grow, the space between two flowers that grow side by side, all of it is ‘art’. Now just for a second visualize your life without this, how bare and lifeless it would be.

On another deeper/esoteric note, art is definitely not an end product that is a means of pleasure. Every piece of art is a place, a point in time, a phase in life where the viewer/observer meets the artist in thoughts, experiences, and feelings. So much so, that the viewer feels the thoughts that have been expressed were his own, and feels united with the artist in thought and mind.

 
What medium do you work on? And what's your inspiration for your artwork?

I do not restrict myself with medium. The objective is to express my thoughts and feelings, and the possibilities are endless.

However, on a more realistic and meaningful note, I use best quality art supplies for the quality and longevity of the artworks.

Inspiration can come from anywhere; it could be a bird in the sky, a cloud above my terrace, a walk in the garden, something I saw on the street, or an emotion too deep. And of course, the works of known artists are the treasure house of inspiration.

 
What is the most challenging aspect about your work?

Time is the most elusive aspect to my day. It is the most precious. Having uninterrupted, long duration of time and syncing it to the right energies even more.

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

My creative process begins by centering myself, by withdrawing myself from all the worldly energies, and by creating a still in my environment. And after that it is all music, rhythm, fun and magical!

24 hours in a day, keep me motivated to make the most of them.

 
Have you had any exhibitions? What have you found to be the best way of getting your art noticed by buyers?

I have had some solo art exhibits at retail spaces. The response has been overwhelming.

I do not indulge too much in thoughts about selling art. I truly believe my purpose in life is just to create more art. And the rest of it will be taken care of by the good forces around me.

Having said that, I think the best way to get your art noticed is to create quality artworks.

 
Tell us a bit about your online shop.

It is not just an online shop; it is a philosophy, a belief, and a beautiful space, where you can enjoy “The Simple” in life!

At prettypinkpebbles.com you can pluck cherries, sleep on strawberries, run on rainbows, or simply wander aimlessly. And of course pick the piece of art that belongs to you!

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

Create more art.             

 

So if you love her work like I do, follow her on the following links
 
 
Enjoy her happiness project!
 
 
Images copyright Ana J.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Thinking of you....

Hey everyone! I find it so hard to get back to my routine, especially when you’ve had a good holiday… As I browse through my pictures I realized I have not shared any with you… nor have I blogged in a while… but I have to say…  You were always on my mind…  yup true!! Who else can I share my holiday experience and inspirations with? But for those who were following me on Instagram would have seen bits and pieces of my travels.

Europe trip gave me amazing architectural, food, wine and magical experience… and my trip to God’s own country tickled my décor bone with lots of inspirations to take away, peppered with instant soul connections and more importantly family time. I have tons of pictures to sort out while I recuperate from a nasty cold…. And indulge in the stash I got from all the shopping!
As I browse through my emails and reply… jotting down to-do lists ……I try to focus on writing some articles… … deciding on storyboards & mood boards…  and looks like I have September dedicated to organizing and writing and hopefully I will be able to squeeze in some time for painting as well.  

So here I am … and stay tuned for more!!
 
These are just a few of my stash from my recent holiday shopping : )
 

P.S.  To those who are eagerly waiting for my reply I will be with you soon!! Am still neck deep with my emails. Chat soon!
 
 
Image clicked by me
 
 
 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Choti Moti


Today we speak to a sister duo that launched their venture on a whim and for their sheer love for lifestyle products, design and décor. The Choti Moti sisters, Shalini and Saveen, based in Munich, recently launched their unique online store that caters to lifestyle products. Their products are funky, quirky, boho, chic and ethnic. And they provide a platform for different labels with a curate collection that ranges from accessories and home décor products. I personally love the distinct mood they have created with their collection. It is more like a celebration of good things in life.

Let’s hear more from the beautiful duo

How did it all start?
Choti Moti is an online store showcasing modern Indian lifestyle designs. We currently stock handmade jewellery, textiles, stationery, bags and footwear. We have consciously chosen partners, whose design process is creative as well as sustainable and helps keeps the traditional art of handmade alive.

We have always been passionate about design and decor and working together on something we both felt inspired by was a long cherished dream despite our comfortable corporate jobs in Dubai and Muscat, where we both were based for the last decade. An opportunity to move back with our families to Munich last summer was the first step in realizing our dream and a year later, here we are. 

 
What inspired you both to this venture?
The inspiration to start Choti Moti came from annual visits home to India, where we realized the indian design scene was buzzing with creative talent and amazing lifestyle products from both budding and established designers. Apart from a few renowned names that are known in the international market, there are a plethora of Indian brands that remain undiscovered beyond the local or national retail scene. We also realized that with Choti Moti, we could cater to a niche in the German market, where people, while familiar with India, its cuisine and the ever popular yoga, are largely unaware of how much India has to offer in terms of design and sustainability; something that they care deeply about. 

 
Why the name Choti Moti?

We wanted a name that had an Indian origin but at the same time would be easy for a non-indian audience to pronounce and remember. We also wanted the name to represent the range of lifestyle products we were looking to showcase; from elegant to vibrant, retro and quirky, which is why we chose "Choti Moti", a Hindi term denoting knick knacks. The words are easy to say, playful and as proven time and again, a definite conversation starter with our German customers, who are invariably curious about its meaning. Just ask the UPS guy, who delivered our first shipment of products! 

 
What is the product range that you deal with?

We have an interesting mix of handmade eclectic as well as delicate silver jewelry; some of which are set with precious and semi precious stones, block printed and hand stitched cotton duvets, table and cushion covers, recycled and upcycled stationery and a vibrant range of custom print bags, wallets and footwear. 

 
What are your dreams for Choti Moti?

We once read it's a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together and with Choti Moti we are truly living our dream. We hope to grow our brand organically and include more product categories, such as crockery, furniture and apparel. The ultimate dream is to have our own boutique store with a small cafe within, where we can offer our customers a complete Indian lifestyle experience through a seamless blend of tradition and modern Indian design. 

 
There are so many things that has caught my eye and here are a few of my favorite things

Bags and coasters

Silver Dragon fly Pendants
Love this wallet!


Beautiful Silver Necklace
 


Block printed "Royal Sultana" quilt
Funky Sandals


Beautiful Cushions
 

Wishing the Choti Moti sisters a great success in their journey!! More power to this duo!

Please click here to browse through their products, here to access their Facebook and here to follow them on Instagram.


Images via Choti Moti







 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Hello...


Hey everyone… I know I haven’t posted in a bit… which means either I was busy with some work or unwell or traveling. Well I was travelling and had a memorable family vacation and I am back enjoying the holiday blues while browsing through all the pictures. And I can’t wait to share some of my favorite pictures with you all… so stay tuned, keep reading as I bring more inspirations and beauty around! I hope each one of you is keeping well, healthy and happy!




Image clicked by me



 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

House of the Month: Bindu Joseph's Residence from Kerala

Today’s home feature is a symphony of luxury and simplicity. Bindu Joseph, based in Kerala has created her beautiful space into a retreat. It is truly a home made with a dash of colour, textures, ethnicity and lots of love. Bindu is a collector and has created beautiful vignettes in different corners of her home that blends together in harmony. Everything in her home is so neatly aligned. Even the walls in her home are sprinkled with accessories, giving character to each room and corner.

A word of caution… This home is screaming with beauty and grace as you browse these pictures!! Enjoy the virtual tour!  And let’s hear more from Bindu as she takes us around her beautiful home.

"I live in India ( Kerala ) with my husband and three kids. I am a decor addict and I love to collect things for my house where ever I go…    my house is almost thirty years old and when we wanted to renovate our house I took charge of the complete floor plan. Since I am not qualified technically I approached a qualified engineer and the result is what you see. I had a clear idea about everything…. we just broke some walls for bigger space and more light. I have been collecting artifacts for the past ten years.
Speaking about the favourite spot it's really big tough for me because I love every nook and corner of my house. I am a seasonal decor so love to change things now and then. You can't find things in one place all the time that's me..
. According to me there is no rule for decorating and I should always follow the trend it's completely upto you because it's our home and space go ahead. Thanks Rachel for giving me the opportunity to feature my house in your blog. ."


Love the fusion of colours in this room

This is an old elephant chair which she has repurposed and paired with Jaipur textiles...


the lamps and the brass artifacts gives an ethnic feel in this foyer space


A room with global décor and I love the blue and white scheme here...adorned with beautiful ceramics

Love this dreamy patio... a perfect spot to just sit and enjoy the rains

I could sit here forever with a book a mug of coffee... so cozy

Gallery wall... isn't this breathtaking?

Great idea of hanging beautiful frames with reindeer heads... and the contrast white against grey walls is brilliant.



beautiful vignette created in this corner

Home is where the heart is.... and I say Kitchen is the heart of every home... such a warm and inviting kitchen


Thank you Bindu for giving us a tour of your beautiful home.... I am so sure that we have plenty of inspirations to take away!!

If you wish to follow Bindu's décor inspirations, click here follow her on Instagram.



All images are via Bindu Joseph


 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Copper Restaurant Review

Besides good food, you get the crowd to a restaurant through a great décor and design concept. Copper Restaurant is one such destination where the design, décor and food work in perfect harmony. It is new in town and I have heard mixed reviews so I had to check it out myself. Its décor is very impressive…  It is urban industrial and minimally decorated with large spot lights with a fairly large expansive layout. Their seating plan is divided into two – one with an open area of tables and chairs and also with fairly big booths… and the second area has high tables and chairs which is closer to the chef’s open kitchen. I personally love the artwork on the wall… the display of motorbikes and bicycles… and the strips of neon lights on the ceiling… and of course the kid’s play table. My 5 year old was happy to have that table all to herself!













We – I, my family and friends… sat down at the booth, where the seating was comfortable and I had a good view of the chef’s kitchen as well. The menu is not very extensive as expected therefore we were not spoilt for choice. As starters we ordered honey glazed prawn popcorn and potato poppers and both were an absolute delight. For drinks we ordered Grape iced tea and Vanilla shake…. But I have to say that the Vanilla shake ordered by our friends topped my iced tea. As for main, we ordered straight to their signature dish, copper burger along with seafood chowder soup. I totally loved the presentation and plating… the food looked so photogenic! But I wasn’t impressed with the soup… it was runny and not thick like it is supposed to be…. And the burger was not very juicy and flavorsome as expected… maybe our expectations were way too high….  And to add the service of the waiters was quick but not engaging and warm enough. It is of my opinion that the staff’s infectious positive attitude has a huge role in meeting up a customer’s expectation. Therefore we didn’t really venture into ordering desserts.







 
 
But I will definitely go back to try out their breakfast menu and hope to have a better experience! And I have to say again that I totally loved the ambience there!

Here is their location

Copper Restaurant
Sayh Al Malih Street, Qurum
Opening Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 8am-10pm; 
                             Thursday-Saturday, 8am-11pm
Tel: +968 - 2456 4292


 
All images are clicked by me