• 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.


  • Sep
  • 14
  • 2013

eggless tiramisu

Tiramisu is an all time favourite in our house. I don’t drink coffee (yes I’m weird), but I can certainly wipe off a whole tray of tiramisu! This recipe was passed from an old friend 5 years ago when I told her I don’t consume anything with coffee! So she gave me a tray of tiramisu and since then, I have made this countless of times and it has always been a crowd pleaser. Her original recipe has eggs, so I had to modify it because when you’re pregnant, you can’t eat raw eggs. And it tastes amazing with or without eggs! Give it a go and let me know!

 

RECIPE FOR EGGLESS TIRAMISU
Adapted from an old friend, with modifications
Serves: 12
Prep time: 30 mins
Chill time: min 6 hours (preferably overnight)

Ingredients for Tiramisu

1 large packet of sponge fingers (500 grams)
3 tablespoon of boiled water
5 tablespoon of coffee
1 to 1.5 cup milk
1/4 cup caster sugar
250g tub mascarpone cheese
300ml whipped cream (I use thickened and just whip it)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder for dressing

Method for coffee mixture (to dip sponge fingers in)

In a medium sized bowl, mix 3 tbsp of boiled water with 5 tbsp of coffee until dissolved. This becomes really thick, and then reserve in 2-3 tbsp in a small cup (this is to add to the cream mixture later). With the remainder coffee mixture, add milk, stir and keep aside.

Method for cream mixture

In a mixing bowl, whisk together mascarpone and cream. Slowly add in the coffee mixture that you reserved earlier and incorporate it into the cream mixture. Whisk until becomes a nice smooth, thick cream.

Method for assembling cake

1. You will need a rectangle serving tray 9×13″ (23x33cm),  at least 2″ deep (5cm).
2. Dip the sponge fingers in to the coffee mixture, quickly turning both sides and layer them onto the tray.
3. Add the cream mixture on top of the biscuits and then sift the cocoa powder evenly.
4. Repeat step 2 & 3.
5. Chill for at least 6 hours, or preferably overnight. I like to chill mine 24 hours before I serve.


  • Sep
  • 11
  • 2013

middle eastern rice + fish

I’m married to a Lebanese, but I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t really cook Lebanese food. Maybe because its not spicy enough for me? Though, this would have to be my favourite Lebanese dish. I tried it once at tayta’s (grandmother) and I absolutely loved it. I love fish, so this goes down really well. The Lebanese eat it with yogurt, but being the malay that I am, I have it with sambal! I think you can use any fish you want really, I made this with spanish mackerel and trevally, and both are nice.

RECIPE FOR LEBANESE SAYADIEH (FISH & RICE)
Adapted from Tayta and my Mother-in-Law
Serves: 4
Cook time: 45 minutes



Ingredients for sayadieh

2.5 cups uncooked long grain rice (I use basmati)
500g fish
2 tsp cummin powder
1 medium onion (diced)
2 tbsp pine nuts
Salt to taste
Yogurt (to serve)



Method for Sayadieh

1. Marinate fish with a bit of salt and turmeric and deep fry. Then de-bone and tear into into small pieces-set aside.
2. In a medium pot, saute onions in some of the leftover oil from the fish. Saute until onions are crispy and brown then add cummin powder.
3. Meanwhile, wash the rice and then add it into the pot along with the fish pieces. Cook for about 45minutes until rice is done.
4. In a small saucepan, lightly fry the pine nuts in a bit of oil until golden brown and set aside.
5.  Once the rice is cooked, topped with pine nuts and serve with yogurt.

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