Monday, February 20, 2017

No Bake Lemon Cheesecake

The weather continues to be gorgeous in our part of the world… cool…windy… cloudy and sunny in between….

But today’s recipe is a perfect summer dessert. The chilled sweet creamy cheese and the freshness of lime is a beautiful combo and this drove me to make a Lemon Cheesecake. Last weekend my gorgeous friend decided to make a traditional Kerala meal (comfort food!!) and brought it home to treat us!! There was Chicken fry marinated in traditional Kerala spices… and steamy hot Puttu (rice steamed cake) with spicy chicken curry… It’s so wonderful to feel pampered once in a while…. And we did justice to the yummy meal and ended with my No Bake Lemon Cheesecake… it was my way of showing gratitude to her thoughtful gesture (Thank you Zanam!)… Cheesecake is pretty much my life! I am the kind of gal who ends up having a snack related day dream that is to bake and eat cheesecake all day long… undisturbed…. No harm in day dreaming right?
Like all my recipes… this cheesecake is easy to make, high in flavor and all you need to do is mix… so enjoy the no-bake situation! It can’t get any easier than this and it’s delicious and light!

Ready for some no-bake cheesecake?  









Serves 6

 
Ingredients

Base:
Digestive Biscuits crushed 150gm
Unsalted Butter 75gm
Sugar 3tblsp

 
Filling:
Philadelphia Cream Cheese 250 gm
Lemon juice and zest of 2 lemons
Castor Sugar – ½ cup (add more if needed)
Whipped cream – ½ cup
Gelatin – mix 2 tsp powder mixed with 1 tblsp warm water and set it aside

 
Loose bottomed cake tin

 
Method:

1.       In bowl mix together the crushed biscuits and butter till all the crumbs are coated with butter. Spoon the crumbs in to the cake tin and press down and refrigerate it while you make the filling.

2.       In a large bowl beat the cream cheese till creamy. Then add sugar and whipped cream and beat again until its combined well.

3.       Then add Lemon juice and zest and beat again just for a few seconds. Do not mix too much else the cream mixture will split. If needed add more sugar depending on your sweet tooth! Then add gelatin and mix to combine. Please make sure the gelatin is cool before combining.

4.       Pour this cream mixture into the refrigerated biscuit base and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set before serving.

5.       Garnish with whipped cream or mixed berries or lemon wedges and sprigs of fresh mint.

 
Tips:

·         Cream cheese must always be in room temperature

·         You can skip Gelatin if you wish… the cream cheese will be firm but not as firm as a baked cheesecake.

·         This is a dessert you can bake way ahead.

·         You can substitute sugar and whipped cream with condensed milk.





All images are copyright Ticked by Inspirations







 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Indian Weave

A shared love for travel, a need to explore and eye for art led Jean and Puneet create a label called The Indian Weave which is popular among all décor lover and collectors. Their passion for great craftsmanship has led them to handpick products straight from the craftspeople to bring dignity of ethnic and vintage craft to the world through their online store. As I browsed their online store I could sense Jean and Puneet’s commitment to discover timeless classic pieces. Each piece that are collected reflects the legacy of the craftspeople and the charm of their work.



This is what Jean and Puneet had to share about their journey with Indian Weave in their own words

“With a passion for textures and great craftsmanship, our vision is to bring lesser known Indian crafts to the forefront by curating a collection of well crafted, beautifully designed lifestyle and home accessories that stand out and capture the heart, color and life of our country.

Each piece is personally chosen by us personally. We travel across India from time to time visiting artisans and finding authentic sources for our products that you see in our store. 

All products are handmade; hand crafted and is sourced most often from the artisans themselves who are making them as per age old traditions / practices.

In this New Year, we shall be featuring a festive collection which shall include art and décor items, handicrafts, a selection of batik and handblock printed stoles and scarves plus bed linen not forgetting exquisite brass vintage collectibles.

No matter which state we visit, we find local handicraft which is unique to the state / tradition. We try and identify what will be appreciated by our customers especially Indians living abroad which will make them feel closer home - India. And not forgetting foreigners who love everything Indian. We understand the process and the history behind each item, meet with them one to one and since it is not possible to travel back each time, we correspond via WhatsApp which is the most preferred form of communication with them to get updates on new products / ordering / etc.

We ship through India International speed post which is most reliable and economical and delivers practically all over the world India post normally take 12 to 14 days for delivery to anyplace across the globe. One can track the shipment through India post site.”

So let’s browse through some of my handpicked products from their gorgeous store and get ready to just sigh away…

 
Kum Kum Box 9 compartment

 
Brass Peacock for Arti
 

12" Red Kavaad Wooden Story Book... isn't this interesting?
 

Brass Incense Holder


Tribal Men Door Handles


Jaipur Quilt with Elephants and Floral print


Kutch purple Stole with mirror work and Block printed cotton silk red scarf


Framed wooden printing blocks



Telegana Blue Yellow handmade rug


Indigo bedcover and pair of black & white cushions





Vintage Iron with emedded stones


There is good news for my readers …The Indian Weave has offered 10% discount for all your purchase from their store!!! All you need to do is enter the code TBI10 at the time of checkout. And this is limited to one time use, so readers please make the most of it.... Excited??? … yes so am I !!! This offer is valid from today – 15th February to 28th February. So hurry up and grab your favorite before they run out of stock!! Have fun shopping!!!

Click here to stay tuned to their updates on Instagram and here on Facebook. And click here to browse and shop through their website.

Thank you Puneet and Jean for this wonderful offer to my readers!!! Wishing you both a fabulous journey with The Indian Weave.





Images via The Indian Weave





 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Penne Pasta with spicy, creamy tomato sauce

I love Middle East winter and I totally love this change of weather… its sunny at the same time chilly and windy, where you need to wear some winter clothes. And this cool weather has a tendency of bringing friends together for barbecue… camping… impromptu café hoping… sheesha time….

And in my kitchen I find myself making masala chai, soup or warm bread pudding … and other comfort food… so here I am soaking up this gorgeous weather and sharing the joy through the beauty of food…
Today’s recipe is a simple, no fuss pasta recipe which is spicy… perfect for this weather… and easy to whip up for your family, friends or for yourself!

 
 

Ingredients

1 onion finely chopped
3 garlic cloves finely chopped

¾ cup any bottled pasta sauce
2 cups of dried penne pasta - this needs to be cooked as per the instructions and while cooking please reserve a cup of cooking water.

Grated mozzarella
Grated parmesan

Salt and Black pepper
Chillie flakes – to your taste

4 tblsp finely chopped capsicum
Cooking cream

3 tsp Olive oil

 
Method

Heat Olive oil and sauté chopped onion until softened. Then add garlic and continue to fry for 2 minutes.

Pour in the pasta sauce, chopped parsley, reserved pasta cooking water and season with chillie flakes, salt and pepper.

Bring the sauce to a simmer till its thickened and a little cream to it.

Add cooked pasta to the simmering sauce and sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese on top and garnish with parsley leaves.

Serve it hot!

 
 
 
Tips

  • You can add mushrooms or chicken to this recipe.
  • Instead of parsley, try using basil.
  • You can replace the penne pasta with any other pasta.
 
 
Images are copyright Ticked by Inspirations
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

How I keep my creative flame alive?


 
I am blessed to have set aside some time to keep my creative flame alive and people often ask me how do you do it? It’s not easy especially when you have to allocate time for yourself in your busy schedule…  I am a firm believer that there is inspiration everywhere…. It comes and goes and it exists everywhere you seek… And creativity happens only when there is some form of inspiration.
 
Here are some of my ways of keeping myself inspired…
 
1.       Nature espresso shot: Nature provides me instant inspiration like an espresso shot!  … Plants, flowers, birds make me appreciate the beauty around. We, me and my family, are blessed to have a small beautiful garden and every day, especially when the weather is good, it is mandatory that we sit out for some time and embrace nature’s beauty. It also helps us to achieve some family time.

2.        Journal: I keep a small journal where I write mundane things and draw and doodle…it’s my way of documenting my life… And it’s fun to look back at these pictures and notes…. It also helps me be grounded and grateful for everything.

3.       Books: Reading is another way of keeping my inspiration and creativity alive… I have books everywhere in my home, from my living room, kitchen and my night stand…. Even though I don’t get time always to read, just flipping through it makes me feel rejuvenated!

4.       Photography: Capturing memories through my camera lens is another way of journaling everything I do and I tend to lose myself in this art. And thank God for Instagram where you can share your daily journal and connect with people all over the world who share your love for creative art and other passions and thereby inspiring each other.

5.       Painting: To me blending and splashing colors on a blank canvas is therapeutic… it gives me a wave of stimulation and emotional energy.

6.       My blog: Through my blog I am so fortunate to have met virtually many artists who have inspired me and allowed me to soak up their creativity. Their journey has given me strength especially when I felt disconnected from everything around me. I guess the key is to allow yourself to open to inspiration and influences around you and have the courage to be creative.

7.       Digital Detox: To make myself a better me, I try to digitally detox from everything once in a while (which is rare!) even though I find it so hard especially when you are  digitally dependent!! The key is to set boundaries so that you strike a balance somewhere between your family, art and work.

 



 
I would love to hear from my readers on how you stay inspired to keep your creative flame alive…. It is a beautiful day here and I wish I could share this beautiful weather with you all… Nevertheless I wish each one of you a Happy and Blessed day!!!


 

All Images are copyright Tickled by Inspirations






 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Vignette Inspiration from my Home

Decorating your home with fresh flowers gives an instant make over by creating an oasis of comfort in your space. My chrysanthemums are blooming away making my garden so beautiful and I couldn’t help myself bring these beauties inside my sanctuary. Flowers are the key to any beautiful vignette because it creates the most impact while styling. I paired these gorgeous flowers with books to bring in character, a tealight holder to bring warmth, my favorite birdie to add charm and a little antique box to add glamour to the whole styling…. Voila!!! Enough to bring in a glow to my space…








What are some of your favorite elements in your arrangement? If you wish to share your favorite vignette or styling, please get in touch with me at tbinspirations@gmail.com 
 
 
 
All Images are copyrighted Tickled by Inspirations
 


 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Artist of the month: Mona Biswarupa

Mona Biswarupa, a Dubai based artist who I accidently bumped into on Instagram, allured me with her fabulous artwork. Her artwork is striking and there is a celebratory mode in each of her work. And the colors she uses are radiant. Most her work centers on female figures and silhouettes dedicating to women’s beauty and grace. And my personal favorite is the Sufi Series… those pieces are just breathtaking!

Have a look at some of her best art work and let’s get to know more from Mona herself…



 
 






Artist Mona at work
 
A brief about yourself
A small town girl from Odisha, with a small dream of living a life doing what I love and to leave the world with something others would love.

My dream took me to various places through various professions. Fashion design, Textile design, Graphic design, Academics and finally art! I am an introvert with a big volcano of ideas bubbling inside. I tried various languages to express them but could not.. Art is the only medium that understands me. So I am here to devote the rest of my life …understanding it.

 
How did your journey as an artist begin?
       Just like my father, I wanted to be a poet. But I didn’t know how to write…

       As a three year old little girl, I saw something beautiful in the alphabets, in the words and sentences.  I admired the way lines formed different shapes and stopped at various lengths meaning different things.. The beauty of those alphabets, the rhythm and melody in those words inspired me to draw some lines on a paper..  I stole my dad’s inkbottle and mom’s ‘Aaltaa’ to draw poetry on paper. But they didn’t look anything like my dad wrote.. They looked more like things I saw around me. Trees, the sun, birds, sky and the moon..  Sitting in the middle of my courtyard I watched the clouds changing color… My household was bustling with musicians and artists. Poetry, dance, music and literature were as natural as breathing in that house. Sitting in the middle of its courtyard, I saw seasons changing…I don’t know when I grew up. I travelled various countries for higher education and work. Lot of inspirations I drew from various cultures and people.. But somewhere I felt I am leaving something very precious behind. There was a big void. A recent trip back home changed many things… It was a monsoon night and I sat with my mom, two sisters and father around his old wooden table reading and humming his poetry.. It felt as if the world has stopped rotating.. We sat till daybreak reading, talking, singing and breathing poetry.. The simplicity in his words, the lyrical images that he had painted in those pages again stirred up my soul. With my husband’s support and encouragement I decided to quit my day job. I realized how far I was from my art, from my poetry.. ‘Art will not pay your bills!!’ Many well-wishers said many things as I walked out the corporate door.. But I smiled. That closed door opened a new door for me to a vast open sky. I wanted to write poetry in that big blue sky with my brush.

       The artist was always inside me.. Just that I never gave it a chance to talk.  Recently I stopped doing everything I was doing to listen to its muffled voice from deep within. I quit my 20 years old fashion career to give a voice to that artist. My journey has just begun and I am ready to go wherever the roads take me...  

 

Did you have any formal training or is it self taught?
For many years I kept painting without any guidance.  At the age of 13 I was fortunate to get the encouragement from my Guru, who spotted my talent and offered to guide me. For about six years I spent understanding free hand sketching and one of the most beautiful medium in painting, ‘watercolor’. I learnt a lot about life through those paintings. When water and color mix together, there is not much that you can do, the painting paints itself, and you are just a medium. I learnt to let go when a painting is beyond repair; I learnt to start allover again. I noticed, when I was painting, I felt an unique sense of nothingness at the same time a strange sense of being complete.. I realized, I needed to be in a creative profession. Got through the most prestigious fashion institute in India. I had some of the most wonderful teachers in the world who honed my artistic skills further. Many eminent artists visited as guest lectures to the institute sharing their knowledge and wisdom with us. . Learning for me has been an ongoing process. I learn each day. Till now I keep attending workshops in various institutes and art hubs to acquire new skills in different medium. And of course in today’s world of technology, learning is just a click away.


 
 How would you describe your art style?
 Not everything could be described, not everything could be defined… that’s why there is art !

My art is like a wild brook at the moment. . There is a long journey waiting ahead .I don’t want to direct it anywhere. The only thing I want to do is let it flow. I just want to paint, draw, scribble, spill, smudge and overwrite. . I myself am curious to know what my style would be in 5 years from now

If you talk ‘technically’ about my art, yes it is contemporary and probably would border Neo–Realism. Visually I would call it an act of balancing perfect and imperfect, reality and fantasy, chaos and control, expected and unexpected.

 
What's your inspiration for your art work?

Nature, both around and within, inspires my work. Amalgamations of these two forces reflect in my art. At times rhythmic and sublime, and yet another time a fiery duel.  The interaction between these two forces forms the vibrancy of colors, strokes and texture in my work. My roots, my culture, Poetry, music, my heritage, the tribal influence, my memories, my travels, my friends, the strangers I came across on the unknown streets ,the faces that I could never forget, the everyday mundane.. I see an inspiration in everything!!
 

What is the most challenging aspect about your work?
Since childhood I have had a special affinity towards Japanese culture and arts. There is a constant duel inside me between my love for the Indian Opulence as well as the Japanese minimalism. Though femininity has always been a common factor in my works, I am still searching for that middle ground where both my sensibilities are at peace with each other.

 
What is your creative process like? And what keeps you motivated?
Solitude inspires me. I am pretty happy with a cup of tea and my art materials. At times I keep staring at a blank sheet or canvas. Figures and forms as if appear and disappear on it inviting me to pin them onto it. Many times my hand just follows those silhouettes. Some other time while reading, listening to music or being in the middle of nature, some ideas come to my mind. At that time I get so impatient to give shape to that idea that few times I have ended up painting it on the back side of and in few cases on top of another painting. J  

 
Do you commission different projects?
Yes I do. Some of my best works are small in size. Many times I get requests for recreating similar ones on a bigger scale. For commissions I prefer the brief to be open-ended. Very strict guidelines and brief from the buyer restricts my imagination and takes the whole fun out of the creative process. 

 
What is your favorite art piece that you have done till date?
I have many pieces that are very dear to me. Some of them are with me and some are in their new homes. But I don’t know why, ‘Elephant in the Indian Monsoon'. A small piece of work in Ink and pen on Aquarelle paper remains very close to my heart. Each time I look at it, it fills me up with joy. Happy, carefree, in its own world… imperfect yet unique.

 
 

Thank you Mona for inspiring me and my readers with you art journey and your fabulous work!!! You have definitely inspired me to pick up my paintbrush again!! Keep it going and I hope to see your work in person.
 
 

If you wish to get in touch with Mona please write to

And click here to follow her on Instagram and here on Facebook.
 
All images are copyright Mona Biswarupa
 





Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The best homemade brownie

Since Christmas I am so obsessed with baking these addictive brownies! It is incredibly rich….full of chocolaty goodness that need no frosting at all. And I have to claim that I am so smitten by this easy recipe. The whole process of putting together the ingredients is so easy and hassle free. And you will find me baking more of these in the near future…. For now I am forgetting about the calories and going with the flow!




So here goes my first recipe for this new year! Enjoy making it!

The recipe is adapted from here

Ingredients: 
·         1/2 cup butter (100gm)
·         1/2 cup white sugar
·         1/2 cup brown sugar
·         2 eggs
·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·         1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
·         1/2 cup all-purpose flour
·         1/4 teaspoon salt
·         1/4 teaspoon baking powder
·         1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions: 
1.       Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees Celsius) and line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.

2.       In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup flour, salt, and baking powder.

3.       Fold in gently chocolate chips and then spread batter into prepared pan.

4.       Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overcook.

5.       Once it’s cooled, slice into pieces and if you wish you can serve it with ice cream or whipped cream, or even dust it with icing sugar or cocoa powder.


 
 



Tips

  • Add walnuts or pecan for the nutty crunch. ( I sprinkled a handful of chopped walnuts)

  • If you like coffee flavor, add a teaspoon of espresso along with cocoa powder.
 
 
 
 
 
All Images are copyright Tickled by Inspirations and clicked by me