• Apr
  • 22
  • 2014

{giveaway} submit your creative work!

 

I absolutely love creative work! Drawings, paintings, model making, soap making, digital illustrations, photography, patchwork etc- pretty much anything pretty gets me excited. I also love seeing creative designs out there and encourage everyone to get crafty and imaginative.

So… I thought hey won’t it be cool to showcase your work with in my studio! If you’ve got talent, and would like to share your creative work, please email or message me your photos and you’ll be entered into our competition for a chance to win 2 wall decals courtesy of Simply Impressions! It doesn’t matter if you don’t have any background in design! You can be a mum, a student, a lawyer…everyone’s invited to participate. Lets make this fun! So what are you waiting for? Look through your art piles or creative something new; you have until Sunday 27th April to send in your work to me. All the best and I’m super duper excited to see your creations xx

PRIZE INFO

Winner will receive 2 wall decals, chosen by Simply Impressions worth up to $30. This prize is not redeemable for cash. This competition is sponsored by www.Simplyimpressions.com and is not affiliated with Facebook.

 

SUBMISSION

Terms and conditions:

Submissions are open from 22nd April to 27th April 2014. You MUST own copyright to the work, meaning, the work was made by YOU and not someone else.

All submission photos must be emailed to iva [at] inmystudio.com.au OR send via Facebook message.Do not upload it on Facebook and tag us. Strictly via email or message.

Entries are open worldwide. More than 1 entry per person is welcomed.

 

VOTING

Terms and conditions

Voting will commence on 28th April to 2nd May 2014.

All photos will be published on In my studio’s Facebook page  and the public may vote.

The photo with the most amount of ‘likes’ will win the prize.

Only 1 Winner will be chosen & will be announced on Saturday 3rd May AEST.


  • Apr
  • 17
  • 2014

creamy garlic butter prawns


When you have 3 small kids, making dinner can be quite tough when you have 1 clingy baby, 1 throwing tantrum toddler and 1 demanding little girl. Some days, I just want to get dinner over and done with, so this is a perfect meal to make in just under 15 minutes.  Although it looks simple, its packed full of flavour! If I find I have a bit extra time, I’ll make some steam veges on the side, or whip up a quick soup to go with it.

 

RECIPE FOR CREAMY GARLIC BUTTER PRAWNS

Servings: 2
Cook time: 10-15mins

Ingredients
2-3  clove garlic, crushed
1 – 2 tbsp butter
20 prawns, deveined (about 200g)
1 cup thickened cream (or less)
1 tbsp cornflour
2 tsp stock paste (if you’re using a liquid stock, you might need more cornflour to thicken it up)
Salt & pepper to taste

Method
1. Saute butter and garlic for a few minutes then add the cream and stock, cover and bring to a boil.
2. In a small bowl, mix 1 tbsp cornflour with 1 tbsp water then gradually add it to the cream mixture.
3. Add prawns in a single layer and cook for a minute on each side. Stir until sauce thickens.
3. Finally, serve hot with some white rice*

*Making rice will also take approx 15 minutes, so make the rice first before making your creamy garlic butter prawns. Your rice will be ready just in time when you finish cooking the prawns :)


  • Apr
  • 02
  • 2014

malay chicken curry

I love curries. Especially Malaysian curries. There are so many curry variations out there but the ones I love most is this malay curry and mamak curry. Mamak curry is basically Indian curry but the difference is that mamak’s version is darker and spicier whereas malay curry is a lot more creamier and sort of yellowish in colour.

Malay curry goes really well with pulut kunyit (yellow sticky rice) but I didn’t have time to make it, so we just had white rice instead, with some prawn cracker and steamed pumpkins on the side. This recipe was kind of put together instinctively, so hopefully I can do justice with measurements because it tastes absolutely delicious. Its great for those who dont like their curries too spicy and want a creamier texture.

 

RECIPE FOR MALAY CHICKEN CURRY

Servings: 2
Cook time: 45mins

Ingredients
1/2 small onion, diced
1 tbsp Babas curry powder
300grams thigh/maryland pieces (use boneless if you wish)
1 clove
1 star anise
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 potato, quartered
2 tsp chicken stock paste/cube ( I use homemade asian stock paste)
½ cup coconut cream
1/2 cup water (more or less)
Salt to taste (be careful with salt if you’re already using stock)

 

Method
1. Heat oil and saute onions in a small to medium size pot. Add the spices and fry until fragrant for a couple of minutes.
2. Add the curry powder and chicken and cook until chicken is just cooked.
3. Add water, stock and potatoes. Cover and cook on medium heat for 15-20 mins.
3. Pour in coconut milk and season with salt. Simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Finally, serve with rice or pratha (roti/bread).


  • Mar
  • 30
  • 2014

homemade chicken nuggets

I was making chicken stock paste today when I realised I minced more chicken that I actually needed so I instantly thought of making some quick, homemade chicken nuggets using the extra chicken mince. Because why not? My kids love them. You can bake it if you want to opt for the healthy version but today I felt a bit naughty so I shallow fried them ;)

But please do not use chicken breast. Its dry! Use boneless chicken thigh or boneless maryland  fillets, please… with a bit of fat :)

Since this recipe was made up by me, I basically just used my cooking instinct and whatever I had in the kitchen to put together this batch of nuggets, which surprisingly turned out better than what I had expected. Its full of flavour! Let me try and put the recipe into proper quantities…

 

RECIPE FOR HOMEMADE CHICKEN NUGGETS
Prep & cook time: 30minutes
Serves: 10 round patties (roughly 6cm diameter)

 

Ingredients

2 stalk spring onion (white part only)
1 clove garlic
1/2 carrot (you can add any type of veges you want)
1 inch leek
1 egg (halved in separate bowls)
300g boneless chicken thigh/maryland
1 cup Breadcrumbs mixed with 1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tsp mixed herbs (optional)

 

Method

1. In a food processor, add chicken , spring onion, garlic clove, carrot and leek and process until evenly minced.
2. Add add in half egg and salt & pepper then pulse until combined.
3. Heat some oil in a medium sized pan. (If baking, see method below**)
4. Roll and shape the chicken mince into nuggets. I made it into balls and gently flatten them with my thumb.
5. Dip all sides into the egg and then quickly cover it in breadcrumb mixture.
6. Lay them in the hot pan and slowly shallow fry the nuggets until golden brown.

**For a low calorie version, Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Place nuggets on a non stick baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes at 220 degrees Celsius.


  • Mar
  • 29
  • 2014

salted caramel popcorn

 

When my sister in law came over tonight and suggested we make ‘caramel popcorn’, I was reminded of my childhood days in Malaysia when we used to go to the cinemas & buy caramel popcorn. I don’t know why in Australia they only have 1 flavour – only salty popcorn, but in Malaysia they have a few different flavours, chocolate coated popcorn, caramel popcorn…mmm! This recipe is just a basic recipe my sister in law found, but its so gooey, crunchy and delicious!

 

RECIPE FOR SALTED CARAMEL POPCORN
Adapted from this recipe, with modifications

Ingredients
5 tbsp oil
1/2 cup popping corn

caramel:
100g butter
3/4 cup sugar
salt (to sprinkle over)

Method

1. Line a tray with baking paper. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 pieces of popping corn. If corn slowly turns around in a circle then oil is hot enough.
2. Add remaining popping corn. Cover with a tight-fitting lid. When corn starts popping, shake saucepan gently. Remove from heat when corn stops popping. Transfer to a large bowl, discarding any unpopped corn.
3. Make caramel: Combine butter and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 to 7 minutes or until sugar has dissolved. Bring mixture to the boil. Boil, uncovered, without stirring, for 5 to 8 minutes or until light golden.
4. Remove from heat. Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and stir until popcorn is coated. Sprinkle some salt over caramel. Set aside to cool. Break into pieces. Serve.


  • Mar
  • 25
  • 2014

carrot soup

When my dad brought out his carrot soup over the weekend when we had dinner at their place, I thought I wasn’t going to like this. I was wrong! I loved it. I think its the suttle spices that are sauteed that make it so flavourful. So I decided to make this for dinner tonight, the perfect entree to our ‘vegetarian dinner night’. Dinner was spinach & ricotta lasagne which is another favourite of mine.

RECIPE FOR CARROT SOUP
Recipe from my dad
Serves: 4 entree bowls

 

Ingredients
1/2 medium size onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
400g carrot, roughly chopped (about 5-6 carrots)
1 tsp cummin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
3-4 cups liquid stock (I use homemade veg stock)
salt & pepper to taste

Method

1. Saute onions and garlic in some oil until soften but not burned.
2. Add in spices then saute until aromatic for about a minute or two.
3. Put in the chopped carrots and stock then cover, bring to a boil.
4. Put stove on low, seasoning well with salt and pepper. Leave to cook for another 15minutes
5. Turn off stove and leave to cool for an hour. Once cooled, blend mixture in a blender.
6. Return soup to saucepan and bring to a boil. Serve hot with some bread.


  • Mar
  • 02
  • 2014

blueberry lemon buttercake

Every Saturday, I try to make an effort to bake with my eldest daughter who is nearly 4 mashallah.  So this morning we made a buttery blueberry lemon pound/loaf cake. Its very soft and moist, absolutely delicious! Dare I say much better than bought ones!

I love mine with a cup of tea but my husband thinks its better with a glass of milk. What do you think? A slice with tea or milk?

 

RECIPE FOR BLUEBERRY LEMON BUTTERCAKE (POUND CAKE)
Adapted from this recipe
Makes: 1 loaf
Bake time: 60 mins

Ingredients
1 cup fresh blueberries
113 gram butter (1 stick)
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup caster sugar
3 large eggs
2 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ cups plain flour (all purpose)
½ cup sour cream (or yoghurt)

Method

1. Put the berries in the freezer for about 30 minutes to freeze – this will help keep them from staining the batter.
2. Preheat oven at 325°F (160 degrees fan forced)
3. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and lined with baking paper.
4. In a stand mixer with the paddle attached, cream the butter and salt.
5. Slowly add the sugar and continue beating for another 3-4 minutes.
6. Add the eggs one at a time letting the mixer go for 30 seconds after each egg. Scrape sides of bowl often.
7. Add the lemon juice.
8. Scrape sides of bowl and add baking soda. Stir well.
9. Add flour and sour cream (or yogurt) alternately to batter, stirring until blended. Remove bowl from the stand, toss the frozen blueberries in the remaining batter.
10. Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
11. Bake the cake for 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake is clean.
12. Set the cake on a rack to cool for about 10 minutes.
13. Turn the cake from the pan and let cool completely.


  • Feb
  • 12
  • 2014

brownie butter cake

I love designing. But it is really hard to get that time alone to sit in front of a computer when I have 3 little ones at home. I tried a few times, with my 18month old switching the power to the computer off! So I never, ever work while the kids are around. And you wonder how did I get this post up? Well my eldest is in kinder, my middle child is having her afternoon nap, and here I am rocking my 2 month old baby to sleep  in the swing while I type on my Macbook beside him…ahh the joys of a SAHM :)

So anyway, I guess for now my love has shifted towards baking. As my eldest is nearly 4, she loves helping me in the kitchen. Lately we’ve made blueberry cheesecake, carrot cake, banana cake, chocolate cake and this yummy brownie butter cake. I actually came across this recipe via Rasa Malaysia on Facebook and it looked absolutely delicious that I just had to give it a go, and boy was I glad I did.  This is by far the best butter cake. Its so soft, buttery and the brownie is moist & chocolately -two of my favourite ingredients, butter and chocolate. You can’t go wrong there!

 

RECIPE FOR BROWNIE BUTTER CAKE
Adapted from Rasa Malaysia
Makes: 1 loaf

Bake time: 55 mins

Brownie:

140g (5oz) Dark Chocolate (broken into pieces)
50g (¼ cup) Butter
50g (¼ cup) Brown sugar
1 Egg
35g (¼ cup) Plain flour

Butter cake:

120g (½ cup) Butter
100g (½ cup) Sugar
2 Eggs
120g (1 cup) Plain flour
2g (¼ tsp) Baking powder
50ml (3 ½ Tbsp) Fresh milk

 

Method:

Grease and line a 10cm x 20cm (4×8-in) loaf pan with aluminium foil.

Preheat oven to 180C/350F.

To make brownie, melt chocolate and butter over low heat. Remove and leave to cool slightly. Stir in brown sugar until blended.

Add in egg, mix well. Fold in flour, mix until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove.

To make butter cake, beat butter with sugar until creamy. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Fold in sifted flour and baking powder, alternately add in fresh milk, mix to form batter.

Spread the butter cake batter over brownie, bake in oven at 160C/320F for 25-30 minutes or until cooked. Insert a cake tester in the middle to check doneness.


  • Jan
  • 27
  • 2014

laundry > love or loath?

Hello & Happy Monday all!

Its hot here in Melbourne with temperatures soaring up to 35 degrees celcius today so lets do the laundry…yea? I for one absolutely loathe doing the laundry! I dislike anything to do with clothes: washing, scrubbing (especially when you have toddlers), folding, ironing etc…Ironing is probably the most hated chore lol, and I’m sure you ladies agree with me on this one. Anyhow, we recently renovated the laundry…yes after I gave birth! I seem to love renovating during/after birth. When I had my firstborn, we renovated our kitchen. When I had my second, we renovated the bathroom. Now with number 3, we’ve just finished doing the laundry. Reason being: hubby gets a lot of time off-supposedly ‘paternal leave’ to look after his child & I…and since he just stays home, might as well be productive! Although the renovating part is finished, the decorating part is still in progress, so once its all completed I’ll snap photos and share it with you guys.

So hopefully by having a new laundry, I would enjoy doing it more…especially ironing (we bought a second hand wall mount ironing board/centre so it makes ironing a lotttt more convenient) Anyway the reason for this post is to share with you lovely readers a fabulous funny freebie I came across on Facebook. I extracted the quote and designed one to match my laundry decor. Click the link below to download the PDF, print and put it up in your laundry. Happy washing ya’ll!

*Printable is in A4/8×12″

 


  • Nov
  • 17
  • 2013

{collaboration} DIY Candle tutorial & a fabulous FREEBIE!

When my friend Pik from Sakina Design emailed me a month ago to do a free monthly collaboration for our fans, I was so excited to get right in as I was already planning to do DIY soy candles for myself! I told Pik I was giving birth early December so I could only do 1 collaboration (instead of monthly) before I my due date and then perhaps next year, I’ll jump back again on the bandwagon! Pik was excited about my idea of DIY soy candles and we decided that I’d do the tutorial step by step whilst she designs the labels and these labels are very customisable and will be FREE PRINTABLES for all you lovely fans. The download link is at the bottom of this post!

I have always been a soy candle lover! I love the smell, the sight and the whole ambience it creates. I light up my candles mainly at night, after cooking- to neutralise the house from any food smell and just to relax and wind down whilst the kids are in bed. The important thing about candles for me are 1- natural and 2-the smell… and probably cost as well lol!

So after years of buying candles, I thought, hey maybe its time I explore my other creative side and start making my own DIY homemade soy wax candles! I started just by googling ‘natural soy wax candle supplies’ and after a few Youtube videos, here I am to show you how I made mine. All you need is a beginners kit. My kit comes with everything you need to make your own candles, along with 6 glass jars (so they will keep you lighting for a while!) and with 3 choice of fragrance that you can choose from hundreds of scents, so I chose my favourite top 3.

1. Coconut & Lime

2. Sweet Pea & Vanilla

3. Lychee & Black Tea

I do love other scents too, but for now this will suffice. But I know what I want next time, strawberry, watermelon…mmm…basically anything fruity!

 

STEP BY STEP DIY NATURAL SOY WAX CANDLE MAKING TUTORIAL

 

Items you will need (all included in this beginners kit)

*the image above just shows half of the beginners kit.

First, place the wick stickums (these are adhesive double sided) on one end of the wick.

Just before placing them in the glass jar, remove the other end sticker and firmly press it down the middle of the jar.

Place the wick holders (wooden stick) in between the wicks.

And now, peg each wick carefully positioning them in the middle of the glass on top of the wick holders.

In a double boiler, put the 100gram soy wax in and let it melt slowly. You can also do this in a microwave, but I’m not a fan of microwaves, so double boiler it is! Ensure that the wax reaches a temperature of around 80 to 85 degree Celsius – use the thermometer for this.

Once melted, pour the wax into the pouring jug and mix the whole bottle of fragrance in, stirring quickly but carefully with the bamboo stick. Note: You can also add colouring in this stage but since the beginners kit did not come with colouring, I didn’t bother. To me, smell is more important than colour, don’t you think? :)

Once mixed, pour the contents into each glass jar. This mixture will be enough to make 2 medium oxford candle jars. (remember, if you bought the beginners kit from this supplier, you still have 4 more glass candles and enough candle making supplies to fill up the rest of the 4 jars)

Now, leave it in a secure place and let it cool overnight before burning.

Your candles should look like this once cooled. Yay, we’re nearly there, just need to dress up these babies with Pik’s amazing labels!

Now, print off the labels here. But wait, before you do that, Pik has so kindly made these labels customisable just for you. You can write your own short text or quote on them via your PDF reader, how amazing is that? So even if you don’t wish to use them for candles, you can use these labels as gift tags, or gift cards, or anything you want! Simply write your desired text in the textline box and print! *You can only do this through a computer/laptop-not compatible with mobile phones*

And now stick the label on your candle. These labels are really adorable!

 

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