Sunday, December 23, 2018

Recipe for the festive season: Chocolate Crinkle Cookies


Holidays and traditions go hand in hand and baking will always be my favorite tradition in our household. But I think the tradition is not much in baking but rather the memories and love wrapped up in all those baked goodies and I will keep baking every year to share my love.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are my family’s current favorite this Christmas…. It’s soft, tender, mildly fudgy and covered with snow dust… and that crinkle on that cookie makes it look so pretty, festive and a crowd pleaser. The dough for this cookie can be easily made but I have to warn you that it’s fairly sticky dough so you have to roll the cookie dough into the powdered sugar and shape it so that it doesn’t stick to your hands. This cookie is a winner and I hope you get to try it out. 
So here is wishing all my readers a Happy and Merry Christmas and a Blessed 2019!! Lots of love and hugs coming your way!!



Please click here for the recipe. This recipe was super easy for me and I hope you enjoy making these!! Enjoy the chocolate goodness!!


Above pictures are copyrighted Tickled by Inspirations 



Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Recipe for Brown Butter Cream Cheese Apple Cake


Browning the butter for baking is the latest trend now and this takes your baking to another level! And to have it combined with cream cheese, cinnamon and apple took my taste buds to another level of high! The texture is soft and creamy… the fragrant that oozed out of my cake just made my home smell Christmassy! "Brown Butter Cream Cheese Apple Cake" can be served as a dessert or a breakfast coffee cake. And it is best served warm and served with whipped cream or a small scoop of vanilla ice-cream. This cake is our current family favorite and tasted… HEAVENLY!!


The recipe is adapted from my current favorite baking blog called Baking a Moment and you can click here to read the whole recipe. Thank you Allie for this gorgeous recipe!






The countdown to Christmas is on and I want to know what everyone is baking!!



Above pictures are copyrighted Tickled by Inspirations






Monday, November 26, 2018

Home Tour: Residence of Keerat Kaur



After a long break I am back with a beautiful home tour of one of my favorite gypsy soul, Keerat. A beautiful home filled with fascinating and tiny vignettes.. She has put together her curios that she has picked up with love during her travels and created charming vignettes in her space. With an aptitude for sourcing the right pieces and an eye for arranging them, infused with her personality, she is able to put everything together with grace. The walls in her home are artfully arranged. Keerat is no stranger to many travel lovers in the insta world. She blogs about her travel adventures, art and culture. I adore her pictures of each city she has visited and  the way she has documented her travel.

Let’s hear more from Keerat and learn more about her source of inspiration for decorating her home and browse through her pretty home.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am an Army brat married to a Shippy! I’m a writer with a love for travel, literature, art and culture. I’ve lived all over the country, having ping-ponged all over India thanks to my father’s postings every two years. We actually shifted from Ladakh to Chennai, with boxes full of woolens. Marrying a sailor allowed my gypsy soul to truly come out. I’ve been with my husband several time on voyages and have explored everything from Australia to the Far east to Europe to South America. And my house is an amalgamation of all these experiences. Everything in my house has a story or sentiment attached to it – a lot of things have been picked up in woebegone parts of the world, haggled for in flea markets, bought from kindly strangers on the road side, scored from auction houses and even antiques that have come with their own share of sacrifices.

Where do you get inspiration to do up your home?
My biggest inspiration, as clichéd as it may sound, is my Mother. She had this innate ability to turn ramshackle Army houses into beautiful and cosy homes. It is her passion for home décor and keeping a beautiful house that inspired me. And having travelled all over the world, I do realize there’s nothing like home. Which is why I like doing up my home – it needs to be my sanctuary, my refuge, my comfort and something I’m proud of!

What's your favorite décor style?
I would define my style as eclectic, with a steady mix of English countryside with Bohemian touches. I love originality and don’t restrict myself to a particular style. My house is a constant work in progress, with me changing things up pretty often. I am a self-confessed hoarder and I have several collections in my house – Blue and white chinoiserie, Touristy wall plates, Masks, Art collected from my travels, Shot glasses, Nautical items as a homage to my husband’s profession and my time on the ship,etc.

What's your favorite décor element or accent in your home?
This one is tough to answer because there are too many things I love. A lot of things in my house may appear ordinary but have such extraordinary stories attached to them. The blue and white ginger jar is one of my favourites – picked it up as a steal in China, then it travelled all over the world onboard the ship and still managed to make it intact back home; the colourful carved door in my gallery wall in my living room – it was one of the first things I picked up for my home, many years before my marriage, in Kathmandu; the two intricate Russian plates in my foyer, bought from an auction house in Australia and so many more.

Do you have a favorite corner or space in your home? And why is it your favorite?
I think my blue and white corner is my favourite. It combines two of my passions – books and blue and white ceramics. This particular corner took years to come together and has treasures collected from Netherlands, Uruguary, Hungary, Czech Republic, Australia, Argentina, Italy, Brazil, Spain and even India. My guest bedroom comes a close second because of its Bali vibe.

Any tips or advice for décor lovers out there?
Don’t follow trends – have a style of your own.
Colour and type groupings is a thing I tend to follow and it works for me.
Don’t be afraid of white – it can really elevate a space.
Don’t be afraid of colour – it too can really elevate a space.
Decorate your home so that it reflects your personal taste and tells your story, don’t try to make it look like an impersonal hotel.
Living Room: The Gallery wall is the focal point with art collected from the world over

Living Room

Dining Room with a wall filled with plates from different counrties
Dining Room: Shot glass collection display
Bookshelf filled with blue and white ceramics... aren't they gorgeous?

Foyer: a beautiful console table with  Moroccan lamps
Foyer: 
Kashmiri settees handed down by my mother adorned with Kilim cushions from Turkey. I have also displayed masks from Brazil, Africa, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

Bedroom: a beautiful four poster bed with a gorgeous dream catcher hanging.
Kicthen Vignettes: gorgeous colourful elements put together
Nautical corner: Beautiful artefacts collected from different ports

Thank you Keerat for sharing your inspiration with us! Keep traveling around the world and continue to share your travel adventures!!


Click here to follow her on instagram and click here to read her blog. 

Stay tuned for more décor and interiors inspirations!! Enjoy your week!


Above pictures Via Keerat Kaur


Monday, October 29, 2018

Autumn Mood


It was pouring cats and dogs last night… a much awaited rain after 2 years that was spiced with thunder, lightning and wind… and the mild chill this morning was just amazing, gradually setting me in autumn mood. Everything in my garden is washed and looks vividly green. It is the perfect weather to grab a cup of coffee, curl up with a book with music playing in the background… bliss. Today’s autumn vignette elements consist of lavender scented candle, books, an artificial plant and layered with my favorite throw.






Leaving you now with many more vignette fantasy as I get ready to do some sketching!



Above pictures are copyright Tickled by Inspirations

Monday, October 22, 2018

Autumn Vignette Inspiration


My autumn vibe series are all about fun, easy and charming vignettes. You would’ve noticed by now that I am a huge vignette fan because it’s quick to create one and it’s your way of adding your seasonal charm to your space. It is all about beautiful Fall goodness! While sipping my ginger tea, I always imagined what it’s like to experience the joy of autumn… the joy of walking through the forest of autumn patches and feeling the fresh crisp air. And I love how the season brings a nice warm and soft palette.

Today’s vignette elements consists of dry autumn foliage, branches, a vintage pickle jar, a book, a tealight holder and crockery while keeping in mind the colours that define autumn. You can even use a glass jar or vase to hold the leaves and branches.









 What do you think of my vignette? Do you have any vignette Fall decorating ideas? I would love to hear them. 



All the above pictures are copyright Tickled by Inspirations




Monday, October 15, 2018

Autumn Vibes and Cheer from my home

It is cloudy today in our part of the world and I spent this breezy morning with several cups of tea while waiting for some sign of rain. And the hope still remains strong.  Even though we never experience autumn or fall, through the power of home décor I have set in with autumn vibes and cheer. It’s that happy season when you know the best is yet to come…  the weather is going to get better… and the anticipation of festivals and holidays! Today’s vibes is all about simplicity for my tablescape. The elements I used are pretty simple. I used the available fruits that I had and paired it with a small cake stand, a nice scented candle and a good coffee table book. You can even pair different fruits together to give a more colourful look. What do you think of my vignette?





Stay tuned for more Autumn cheer and tips!




All above images are copyrighted Tickled by Inspirations








Thursday, October 4, 2018

Vibes and Cheer

It’s been a quick and tiring week that I could use some tea with love or a glass of wine, lots of music, a scented candle burning and snuggle with a book or watch TV. And at the same time I also wanted to bring in some autumn vibes in my home space even though we never experience it here in the Middle East. Cheers to the power of home décor and pretend the season is setting in!! So stay tuned for some autumn vignettes and vibes. Meanwhile I am leaving you with a little warmth through my pictures. Have a fabulous day everyone!



Do you have any simple autumn décor? Or have you made any changes in your décor lately? Please share if you have any, I would love to share it with my readers. Please email your pictures to tbinspirations@gmail.com .




All above pictures are copyrighted Tickled by Inspirations




Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Artist of the month - Ajit Thomas, an artist with perfectionism

Ajit Thomas, a practicing dentist to many… but to me, his family and many close friends, he is as an exceptionally talented artist that the world needs to know. His realistic portrait sketches are remarkably real. Each one of his work is a master piece highlighted with perfection and are detail intensive. He also juggles with clay modeling, cartooning and caricature. For Ajit, art is a family affair. He grew up watching his father’s creative art work and there was no turning back since then. Ajit kept his art inspiration alive while juggling with his profession. And now he has produced some brilliant portraits that the world needs to see. Let hear more from Ajit and view some of his spectacular work. 
Ajit's latest portrait work



·         A brief about yourself
Saving the world from cavities is what I do to earn a living. I am a trained Dentist, all the way from India, working in the Middle East.

·         How did your journey as an artist begin? Did you have any formal training or is it self-taught?
I have been fascinated by art and craft from as early as I can remember. A fascination for colors started with my first Lyra 48 color pencil set that my father gifted me for topping in class when I was 8 years old.
My father was an exceptionally talented untrained artist, and unimaginably creative. It was watching the artist in him that set off my passion in art.
I have not had any formal training; it has been just observing and DIY all the way. 



·         What is your medium for your art work? How would you describe your art style? 
I have no idea about various art styles. I just enjoy doing whatever helps excite the senses.
I am into Pencil sketching, Water coloring, Clay modelling, Cartooning, and Caricaturing for quite some time now. Recently I tried a hand in color pencil portrait sketching. And when I liked what I saw, I decided to take it to the next level. Social media has been of great help in getting exposed to ‘detailing’ in art: and I must say there are a lot of incredible artists out there who do exceptional art work.



·         What's your inspiration for your art work?
Art runs in my family. And I am just an extension of the big tree. I hope to keep creating using whatever talents I have.  The genes seem to have passed on to my children too. Inspiring through art is the best inspiration! 
Would like to mention an artist friend Hemanth, for inspiring me with his mind blowing portraits

·         What is the most challenging aspect about your work?
Detailing in portraits requires a lot of patience. Bringing life into the eyes of the subject and replicating skin tones are the toughest for me. Am I allowed to mention material costs here??? (Ofcourse! :D)



·         What is your creative process like? And what keeps you motivated?
The only time I have an artist’s block is when I am asleep. When you are into sketching portraits, you tend to observe every face you come across. So there never is a dearth of subjects and motivation to sketch. And if I ever get saturated sketching, it is then cartoon or caricature time. When creations strike a chord with people,  that is motivation enough!

·         Do you commission different projects? And how can people purchase your work?
Yes, I do accept commissioned projects which are requested either directly through social media or through friends and family. I have not ventured into selling my creations. But maybe I’ll break into the commercial scene someday. 



·         What is your favorite art piece that you have done till date?
Difficult to pinpoint one particular favorite …but if you insist, the Dark Knight in modeling clay (A lot of work went into the detailing. I hope to one day convert that into a more durable material using 3D printing) and the Amitabh Bachchan portrait which I managed to get autographed by the great himself along with a small note of appreciation. 



·         Any tips or words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career.
Yes……with great powers come great responsibilities!!!  No, just kidding…there are no definitions and destinations in art… it is what you see and pick up along the way that makes the ride enjoyable. Expose yourself to creations of both masters and amateurs. Learning is a continuous process…..take risks and experiment…, if you succeed, let the world know and if you fail, do not tell anyone …!


Thank you Ajit for sharing your work and your art journey with me and my readers. Looking forward to seeing more of your work and an exhibition in the near future.
If you wish to get in touch with Ajit, please email him at drajitthomas@yahoo.co.in  and click here to follow Ajit on Instagram.


Above pictures are copyrighted Ajit Thomas.





Thursday, September 27, 2018

Chocolate Tiramisu Layer Cake

I am an advocate for simple recipes with easy ingredients and high in flavor. But this recipe is not an easy one but the effort and hard work is all worth it if you are baking for a special occasion. I baked this cake for my husband who was traveling on his birthday… it is a 4 layer cake vanilla sponge cake soaked with coffee and Kahlua, crushed chocolate, cheese frosting, and soft dense chocolate cake. The flavours of chocolate and coffee go so well together… It took me 2 days to make this and to make it look sophisticated and a show-stopper, I wrapped it with chocolate lace and topped with raspberries and icing sugar! This is seriously one of my kitchen pride moment!!.... And the result is utter bliss!! I couldn’t think of a better cake for my birthday boy, who still has a huge grin on his face and hunts my fridge looking for leftovers…. 








If you have any love for chocolate coffee Kahlua cake and cheese frosting, this is the cake to go for!

Ingredients for plain sponge cake

§  Sugar ¾ cup

§  Vanilla 1 tsp.

§  Plain Flour 1 ¼ cup

 Baking Powder 1 1/2 tsp

§  Corn starch 1 tsp.

§  Eggs 6


     Ingredients for chocolate cake

·         3/4 cup Cocoa Powder
            ·         2 cups sugar (I used brown sugar)
·         1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
·         1 teaspoon salt
·         2 teaspoons vanilla extract
·         1 cup milk
·         1 cup water boiling mixed with 1 teaspoon of espresso powder
·         2 eggs
·         1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
·         1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
·         1/2 cup vegetable oil

Ingredients for Cheese Cream Frosting

·         Heavy Whipping cream 1 cup

      ·         Mascarpone cheese 16oz or Philadelphia Cheese

       ·         Powdered sugar 5 tbsp. or more as per your taste to sweetness



C     Coffee Or Espresso  1 cup (1 or 2 tsp. instant coffee powder mixed with water) with Kahlua (optional)



Servings: 10 to 12

       Method

T      To make chocolate cake

  • Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
  • Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of electric mixer 2 minutes. Stir in hot coffee mixture (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
  • Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks.


To make the sponge cake

1.     Beat 6 eggs until foamy. Then slowly add the sugar and vanilla while beating the egg mixture.



2.    Now to add the dry ingredients. Sift the flour and cornstarch and fold it into the beaten eggs using a whisk.



3.    Prepare 2 round baking pans (9 inches in diameter) with parchment paper and grease it with butter. Pour the batter evenly between the two pans.



4.    Bake in a preheated oven at 176 degrees Celsius for 28-30 minutes. Then transfer to a cooling rack to cool to room temperature.



6.    In a small bowl mix together the coffee and Kahlua and keep it aside



T    To make Frosting
Whip heavy cream in a bowl until stiff peaks are formed. Refrigerate this bowl of whipped cream.  In a separate bowl beat the mascarpone cheese until smooth and add the powdered sugar and beat well till its smooth. Fold the mascarpone mixture into the whipped cream with a rubber spatula until no white streaks remain. If this mixture is a bit runny refrigerate it till its set.



L     Layering

·         Start layering the cake in this order: a layer of chocolate cake, top it with cheese frosting

·         Then top it with a layer of sponge cake, pour a bit of coffee mixture on it. Then spread the cheese frosting. You can also add a bit of coarsely crushed chocolate like KitKat or Maltesers.

·         And continue the layers in the same manner till you spread the cheese frosting on top and sides.

·         Sprinkle Cocoa powder and garnish it with berries and dusted icing sugar.

·         I managed to make a chocolate lace to cover the sides. Please click here for the tutorial or you can pipe any icing and decorate the sides.



Tips:

  • Bake the cakes in advance – preferably a day
  • If you want to make this recipe kid friendly - minus the Kahlua. 



All the above pictures are copyrighted Tickled by Inspirations. 





Thursday, September 13, 2018

Wedgwood – the Vibrance

The latest collection of Wedgwood had me swooning for more. Wedgwood trinket box and photo frame are one my priceless collection that I love. I think I have a love affair with fine porcelain and fine bone china. But when I saw the latest collection of Wedgwood, all I could see was elegance and the vibrant colours. 

Iconic English lifestyle brand, Wedgwood unveils Vibrance, a tableware and gift collection featuring designs directly inspired by the Wedgwood archive. Skillfully engaging a riot of colour with stylized florals and elegant gold, the collection represents the perfect fusion of style and functional design for the contemporary, bold consumer.


Reflecting current interior trends, Vibrance pays tribute to past, present and future expression through colourful tableware and beautiful, one-of-a-kind functional giftware. The collection’s aesthetic mixes floral design elements re-drawn and updated from Wedgwood’s impressive 250-year archive with modern, functional shapes to create timeless pieces for the contemporary home. Modern functional shapes to create timeless pieces for the contemporary home. A modern classic, the collection is perfectly suited for any gifting, dining or entertaining occasion.




For the bold and expressive consumer, the Vibrance tableware collection elegantly brightens contemporary living spaces with its array of eye-catching, heritage inspired florals and vibrant colours on a range of mugs, teacups, plates saucers, platters and bowls that will stand out in any interior setting.


Colour is the key in this collection as turquoise contrasts with black, white and gold for a modern update on statement tableware. The striking yet refined accessories collection comes in four distinct hues – deep magenta, canary yellow, rich tangerine and bright turquoise blue – all highlighted by gold mica detailing and finished with a decadent hand-gilded banding.




Each accessory item can be styled individually or displayed as a collection whether to complement a vivid living space or add a touch of colour to a neutral room setting.
The collection’s fine bone china and lacquer giftware range adds flair and charm to any style of home, combining striking geometric designs, luxurious gold and bold blocks of colour on parred-back, functional shapes. Black and white geometric patterns enclosed by the collection’s vibrant, animated hues create modern home décor pieces that are perfect for consumers looking to make a bold design statement. From picture frames and lidded boxes to trays and vases, the giftware range features decorative interior pieces that are beautifully boxed, offering the perfect gifting solution for any design enthusiast.


Check out their collection and click here to read more about Wedgwood.




All the above pictures are copyright Wedgwood