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Chicken And Green Curry With Coconut Milk

I love Thai food. We often eat it when out dining or as a home delivery meal when none of us feel like cooking. Couple of years ago I tried making Asian food for the first time at home. So I tried chicken curry and tikka masala, and the results were great. But it's been awhile since I cooked something different until this month. I went grocery shopping and got everything needed to make a perfect chicken green curry with coconut milk just like the one from restaurants. 

I don't quite like the look of the chicken in some of the asian dishes as it stays white. I like to have a bit of color in it so this recipe was perfect for me because it requires adding soya sauce. I skipped using fish oil because I thought the combination between both soya and fish oil would be a bit intense.

Note* The soy sauce will change the color of the green curry to a light brown. It also affects the flavor a little. You can totally skip the soy sauce if you don't mind your chicken color being white. Enjoy!




Ingredients

1 h 4 servings 472 cals

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1 inch cubes 
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce 
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 
2 tablespoons cooking oil 
2 tablespoons green curry paste 
2 green onions with tops, chopped 
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped 
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
 2 cups coconut milk 
1 tablespoon fish sauce 
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce 
2 tablespoons white sugar 
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, for garnish 

Directions

Prep 20 m Cook 40 m Ready In 1 h

Toss chicken first in 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce, then in the flour, coating pieces evenly. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Place chicken in the skillet, cook and stir chicken until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken.
Reduce heat to medium and stir in curry paste. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant, then stir in green onions, garlic, and ginger; cook an additional 2 minutes. Return chicken to the skillet, stirring to coat with the curry mixture. Stir the coconut milk, fish sauce, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and sugar into the chicken-curry mixture. Allow to simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes until the chicken is tender. Serve garnished with cilantro leaves.


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North African Fish And Chips Sauce

This is one of the lunch meals that are very popular in North Africa during summer season. I grew up eating this with other different small tapas plate of fried eggplants, zucchini, tomato, onion and cucumber salad etc.. the main thing in this meal is the sauce. because the rest of the other tapas plates are just regularly fried in corn oil. The sauce gives even more delicious taste to the fish because of the cumin spice, coriander, garlic and chilli peppers.   

For those who dislike spicy food you can reduce the amount of black pepper, choose a mild red pepper spice and skip the chili peppers if they were spicy. Sometimes I find chilli peppers that aren't spicy at all. 

We usually make the sauce first, then we fry the fish and the chips at the end so it stays crispy. We use the tomato sauce as a dip in this meal, so having pitta bread for dipping insures that the whole family going to be full. 

You can also add more fried vegetables besides the chips like; cauliflower, egg plants, zucchini .. after dipping them in a batter of egg and flour so that they don't stick and take in a lot of oil. 

I hope you like this inspiration. Enjoy! 



Ingredients 

1 tbsp of corn or olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
250 g tomato sauce can
1 tbsp red pepper
1 tsp black pepper
100 warm water
1 Garlic clove minced
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp salt

Coriander and lemon for garnish


Optional 
2 green chilli peppers

Method 

Heat the oil in the cooking pot, then stir in the garlic. And fry until golden.

Add the tomato paste, tomato sauce, add the cumin, red pepper and two green peppers and salt. Add the water if the sauce was very thick and leave to simmer.

Leave the sauce to cook until it ripens for about 10 minutes.

Serve in a bowl, and garnish with chopped coriander and drops of lemon. Together with pitta bread, fried fish and fries.


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Spring And Summer Bedroom Styling

Hello lovelies! I am finally done with all spring cleaning tasks except one thing..... the windows :-/. I had fever last week and the weather has been weird lately. The snow comes back every now and then. Not to mention the rain. The temperature isn't stable at all... last week we got only one great sunny spring day and it even got to 20 c . I really thought finally spring / summer is really here. This makes me longing more for our comming vacation. 

After spring cleaning, I like to change the decor of the house to give it the spring / summer feeling. I started with our bedroom. Changing sheets and curtains to brighter colors. I love the white and blue theme which gives the room a bit of a fresh summer cottage feeling. Below are the things I use to spring  / summer styling:


1. Bright curtains: Bright curtains means a bright room. Nothing better than natural daylight to keep your space looking fresh and clean.

2. House plants: Use oxygen supply houseplants to keep your room air fresh and clear 24 h. Here are some you might want to take a look at 6 Oxygen bomb houseplants .

3. Mattress: Spring and summer are the most seasons we spend doing lots of activities. We get to bed exhausted, really in need for good night sleep to recharge for the next day. If you need to upgrade your bed mattress. Here I recommend Leesa Bedding

4. Bed anatomy: Learn the art of bed styling following the simple bed anatomy steps in a previous post I shared in the blog here.

5. Sheets: Bright sheets are the best for these seasons. You can select from white, ivory, light grey, light blue and light green.. these isure you to have a fresh spring / summer look. Whether you like the basics or luxury sheets. Both styles need to be soft and comfortable. Elevate your sheets here.

6. Useful gadgets: My favorite useful gadgets that I like to both keep near me while in bed and to also decorate the room are: book holder, jewelry box or plate, candle, books, phone speakers or holders (in case you like to listen to meditation audios or nature sounds before sleeping). Everyday laundry basket.

7. Must have: Every bedroom needs a lovely portrait photo of self, loved one or family. A framed motivation quote to wake up to everyday. A mirror,  clothes holder, bedside tables, alarm clock 
and a dressing table. 


Bedroom Styling



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Rishda: Libyan Homemade Pasta Stew Recipe

This is one of my favorite North Africa - Libyan Dishes that I love, not only me but most of all other expats that I knew while I was living there. This is another winter traditional dish which keeps one warm during winter days. Thanks to the fenugreek and the rest of the beans that makes a perfect combination, saucy stew.  

This is by the way quite similar to the Moroccan Fava Beans Soup - Fetat Al Shitba , that I shared with you guys couple of months ago and became one of the blog's most popular recipes. 

This meal requires soaking the fava beans and chickpeas in cold water for at least 2 hours before cooking. I usually soak my beans overnight. Sometimes I even soak and boil the beans in general and freeze them for immediate use later during each month meal planning. 

In North African Traditional Cuisine we use dry meat quite a lot. Which I guess come from the Amazigh / Berber culture. This dry meat known as Gedid is meat salted and dried by the sun to be preserved for longer periods. Its often used to adds a special smoky taste to lots of traditional dishes just like the purpose of beef or chicken stock / bouillon cubes. 

I hope you guys enjoy this cooking inspiration. 







Serving for 4 people :

The Pasta: 

4 dl ,  250 g flour
2 1/2 dl,  250 ml water
1 teaspoon salt

Method 

In your blender or in a bowl mix the flour, water and salt and until you form a hard dough. Once done, cover the dough in plastic and let it rest for about 5 / 10 min.

You can either use a pasta machine or make the pasta by hand as seen in the photos below. Use flour to lay the dough make it very thin. Then roll it like a paper and cut it right in the middle horizontally.

Then start cutting it from the side to small thin noodles as you can see. Until you are done with all the dough. Cover with flour and leave on a tray to dry while you make the sauce.

The Sauce: 

1 tablespoon of glee (or Gargoush / khlee3)
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 medium onions finely chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup fresh parsley or coriander or both finely chopped
1 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
2 small or 1 big garlic clove minced
1000 ml hot water
2 cubes chicken stock / bouillon ( if you don't have glee / gargash )
1 handful of dried chickpeas, soaked in cold water for 2 hours
1 handful of fava beans, soaked in cold water for 2 hours
1 handful of peas, frozen , or dry soaked in cold water for 2 hours
1 handful of green lentil
1 teaspoon fenugreek
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon red pepper

Lemon for garnish

Ps. This can be also made with chops of Gedid (dried meat), lamp or beef pieces.

Method

Heat vegetable oil in a large soup pot . Add chopped Onions and glee / garshoush and sauté for 5 minutes until soft, add tomato, tomato paste, spices and sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Add 1000 ml hot water, 2 chicken stock cubes and bring to boil. Add fava beans, chickpeas, and peas if dry, if frozen leave them for later. Cook for 20 min until the fava beans and chickpeas get a bit soft. Then add lentils and cook for 10 more minutes until they are also cooked. 

Add the peas if frozen and simmer on medium heat until all beans and lentils are cooked and tender about 5 min. Make sure to add a little bit of hot water if the sauce thickens. 

Once all beans are cooked. Finally add the pasta, minced garlic, parsley or coriander, dill and basil. Cover and simmer on low heat until noodles are cooked for about 10 minutes.

Serve after you garnish with lemon, dill and basil. 

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Dream Home Furniture And Decor Pieces

Each year the summer gets closer I find myself daydreaming of our dream future home. Finding the right house with all our requirements has been a long journey, there was always something missing. We are almost giving up on finding the perfect house and started thinking building our own might be the best option to cut this long waiting journey short. 

What excites me the most is the interior design and styling. I am a big big fan of TM Design a Norwegian Design  / Store who has the same style like the famous TV Show Empire. If you watched the show there is no way you haven't noticed the marvelous styling and decor in each scene.



My favorite space in our dream home would be first the kitchen, than the living and dining room. The last two are the places we spend most of the time in during our gatherings and visits. This would be my main focus when it comes to decor and furniture. 

A dream living room planning begins with a big dream sofa. It is not an easy task finding an "old days charm" classic sofa / couch nowadays. I did some research and I came across ARHAUS Your Home website. They got plenty of amazing choices that matches exactly the style I am looking for when it comes to sectional sofas.

I would love to style a classic big wide sofa with couple of comfy big throw pillows; one greek key pattern, one furry, one cashmere and one velvet. A marble table is on the list together with a zebra or moroccan berber rug. A set of matching long and thick fabric curtains in ivory or light grey color. 

The rest of the coffee table styling pieces would follow. I already have lots of items but I am running out of space in our apartment. I can't wait to be able to display all my decor collections without having to worry about charging the space with too much objects. This usually a mistake all interior design lovers do. 

And the list continues..  black wide shelves, marble or greek key lamps. ginger jar, candles, big glass shape candle holders, tray, plants, vases, other decor gadgets inspired from the nature like wooden pieces, sea shells, animal horn, stones, lighter and tools box.  

You can take a look at My Pinterest Board where I save all my Interior Design ideas and inspiration. Maybe it will amuse you to create or recreate your own dream home. 



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Pomodoro Sauce Recipe

I tried this recipe by Foodie Crush Blog and I loved loved looooved it! ever since I made gnocchi quite often for my family. My little one never get enough of her usual amount of food when gnocchi with tomato sauce is served on the table.  Here are more gnocchi recipes by Foodie Crush Blog.

I usually don't recommend something until I try it. The recipe below is copied from the same source. Enjoy! 







Ingredients

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoons
4 stems fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
4 stems fresh oregano
2 stems fresh rosemary
2 stems fresh basil, plus 2 more stems for garnish
½ yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 can tomatoes sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of red pepper flakes
¼ cup heavy cream (optional)
1 package potato gnocchi
1 package cherry size mozzarella balls, cut in half
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

Add ¼ cup olive oil to a 10-inch high sided sauté pan or a saucepan over medium heat. Add the parsley, oregano, rosemary and 2 stems of basil and cook for about 5 minutes or until the herbs become crisp. Remove the herbs and discard then add the onion and garlic to the oil, lowering the heat if needed so the onions cook gently and don't brown. Cook until the onions are transparent, about 5-7 minutes, then crush the tomatoes with your hand and add to the pan with juice. Season with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and red pepper flakes and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the sauce reduces and thicken, stirring occasionally. Stir in the heavy cream and remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to a boil and add the gnocchi. Season generously with kosher salt and cook until the gnocchi float to the top of the boiling water. Drain and then place the gnocchi into the cooked sauce. Top with the halved mozzarella balls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese then drizzle the tops of the gnocchi with the remaining olive oil. Broil for 5-8 minutes or until the cheese melts and the tops become crispy. Garnish with additional basil leaves and serve immediately.

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Waffle Mornings

I am glad the morning daylight got back to normal with the spring / summer time so I feel more energized in the morning and make our favorite breakfast. Julia loves her waffles and pancakes so I try to treat her with one or two at least once a week. 

She is an early bird, very happy and full of energy in the mornings. When she wake up we do our morning routine and then we play and sing together. I try to give her small tasks to learn new things. She started getting a bit independent, she can cruise around the house and explore the rooms and get back to me wherever I am. I am often in the kitchen :-) of course! once she see me cooking or doing the dishes she seem interested in doing the same. I give her a plastic spoon and a plastic bowl and watch her copy my moves trying to whisk and look as if she is cooking. 

Her favorite new game now is trying to feed me and her dad. So she holds the spoon and she act as if she has food in it and try to scoop it from the dish into our mouths. She does it over, over and over.. I try to enjoy every bit of it because I see already how fast she is growing and how much I am going to miss this cute adorable baby games. 





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5 Luxury Mother's Day DIY Gifts

We love DIY projects and especially DIY gifts that are handmade with love for our family and friends. This DIY projects collection is especial for Moms. Moms who love to decorate their homes and adore chic home styling items. 

Here you will find hacks from affordable brands like Ikea. Add your creative touch and make a lovely gift your Mother or Mother of your kids will appreciate because you put thought, time and effort in it. You can also check other previous DIY projects Ideas that you can choose from. Enjoy!


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Sunday Detox: 10 Smoothie To Try Every Weekend

It's important to do body detox and cleansing at least once a week by making good eating choices and drinking healthy drinks. Smoothies especially homemade ones and with ecologic fruits are a good idea and routine to try every week. I selected 10 smoothies recipes to share with you today. Enjoy! 





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How I Edit My Food Photos

Hello camera and food lovers! this post is just for you. For many years I've been doing it all wrong. Photos were always either too light and lose details or dark and boring. I wanted to have a combination between dark and light and control my photo sharpness when I increase exposure but it was impossible until I discovered Lightroom in 2014.  

It took me sometime until I managed to learn Lightroom tools. I like that you can copy and paste effects edit many photos at once and a lot more tools and features that help save time and give total control of light and colors. So here I am going to share with you my food photos editing routine. 





A good basic photo is required no matter how much editing can make your photo look better. Especially the lining of the photo. So first edit by cropping and rotating your images angles and aspects. It's important that the object of the image in the middle.

I use the Radial filter tool to edit only the food ( inside the dish, bowl .. ) so I put the mask over the food spot and start changing the exposure, clarity, and saturation first and then adjust the contrast, highlights and shadows later.  Food needs warmer saturation to look attractive and delicious.. it also need clarity about 40% is good. Of course it all depends on how the original photo is like. If the photos were already too bright that it lost some details you can reduce the exposure and increase the clarity, sharpness and shadows. You can also reduce noise if needed. 




When done editing the food spot. Move to the surroundings, I usually apply a vignette medium preset  or if I wanted more control to darken the edges I use Graduated filter and set it to the photo corners.  This way I get more spotlight and focus on the food and dark vignette surrounding just like in pro food photographies.




I am not good at step by step explaining but if you are familiar to photo editing you will understand exactly what I mean. And I hope the photos below also help showing.  


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