Chicken Curry

Curry is such an easy and delicious dish. I often buy the pre-made curry pastes as I find them tasty and convenient. The addition of turmeric to this recipe ensures a rich golden colour and adds depth to the flavour. You can add different vegetables or omit the chicken and add more vegetables in it’s place. I am sure it will become a favourite for you as well.

yeloe curry

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 500g chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons yellow curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon finely diced ginger
  • 400ml coconut cream
  • 80ml (1/3 cup) water
  • 150g green beans, topped, halved
  • ½ red capsicum, halved, deseeded, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 1 carrot, cut into strips
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 cm cubes
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • Fresh coriander leaves, to serve

Preparation

  • Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium-high. Add the chicken and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the curry paste, turmeric, ginger, garlic and onion. Stir-fry for 2 minutes or until the onion is soft.
  • Add the coconut milk and water. Bring to the boil. Add the potatoes, carrots, beans, capsicum and peas. Cook for 30 minutes on a low heat, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Just before serving add the lime juice, brown sugar and fish sauce, stir though and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Serve with steamed rice and sprinkle with coriander leaves.

Shabby Chic Stand

This little stand was quite ugly but had a nice shape and detailing on the base. It had olive green fabric and dark wood, not a look that fitted in with my decor. I gave it a transformation and now it takes pride of place on my bed stand.

 

stand 1

 

I painted the whole stand with a waterproof stainer/blocker and then gave it two coats of matt Antique White US.A. I then gave it a coat of water based matt polyurethane. I had a collection of scraps of vintage fabric and used some of them to construct a skirt. The flower band was from my first holy communion veil, it’s almost 50 years old. The necklace is made from an old 18 carat chain piece and an antique watch that I picked up in Sri Lanka almost 40 years ago. For me it’s a nice way to showcase some of the things that I treasure. It now takes pride of place on my bed stand.

 

watch

Here is a close up of the watch. It is exquisite.

 

wardrobe 6

If you look closely at the top left hand corner you can see the original stand. I got carried away and forgot to take a close up pick of it before I started the transformation.

Locquat Chutney

The locquat is originally from southeastern China. It was introduced into Japan and became naturalised there in very early times, and has been cultivated there for over 1,000 years. The fruit has a high sugar, acid, and pectin content. It is eaten as a fresh fruit and mixes well with other fruits in fresh fruit salads. The fruits are also commonly used to make jam and chutney. The fruits are the sweetest when soft and orange. The flavour is a mix of peach, citrus and mild mango.

I planted my tree three years ago and I have had abundant fruit in season for the last two years. It is definitely an acquired taste, my husband loves them but he is away and the locquats are ripe and they don’t store well.  I made chutney with the ripe fruit. It is hot and sweet and very yummy! I cant wait to try some on toast with eggs tomorrow morning.

loquat

Makes 3 small jars.

Ingredients

  • 350 grams locquats (after removing stones and membrane, then diced)
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 150 grams dried apricots, diced
  • 40 grams ginger, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 250 g raw sugar
  • 400 ml cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons crushed chillies

 

Preparation

  •  Put all the ingredients into a large pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for an hour and a half or until the apple is cooked to a pulp. Stir occasionally so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  •  Heat clean jars in a hot oven to sterilise them.
  •  Pour the hot chutney into hot jars. Put the lid on while still hot.
  •  Store in a cool dry place for up to 6 months.
  •  Once opened store jars in the fridge.

chutney

Shabby Chic Chest of Drawers

I picked up this faded beauty at a garage sale for $20. It was in dire need of a makeover but it was solid and very well made… worth spending time on. It is now a real beauty.

chest

 

I gave it a good clean and then a coat of primer. I then gave it two coats of matt Dulux Antique White U.S.A . Next step was to rub it back a bit with sandpaper before giving it a couple of coats of matt water based clear polyurethane. I primed and then painted the handles in a grey paint and lightly brushed them in white.

 

chest 2

 

It is now a beautiful piece of furniture. I am going to use it in my office for storing stationery. So worth its cost of $20 and some paint and elbow grease.

 

 

 

chest 1

Shabby Chic Table Makeovers

I love the shabby chic look…. it is so soft and romantic. It is easy to change old and tired furniture into appealing new pieces. I have picked up a number of bargain priced pieces of furniture and given them a new lease of life with paint and elbow grease.  I never get tired of painting and sanding and creating something beautiful.

 

 

 

wp1

I purchased this hall stand for $80. It was that typical brown colour you see everywhere. It is now so pretty.

 

 

hallstand 2

This is an identical hall table that I have owned for years. I gave it the same treatment. It now houses some of my blue and white china collection.

 
table 1

This $5 purchase from a thrift shop is now functional and fabulous.

 

table 2

This little butlers table is now so sweet after a makeover.

Shabby Chic is very popular and many people are using their creative talents to transform and reuse items that might otherwise have been discarded. Why buy new items when with a bit of time and effort you can create your own masterpieces.  I hope you enjoyed having a peak at some of my makeovers. Here is a selection of wonderful shabby chic tables other DIYers on Hometalk have created. I hope you enjoy browsing through them and taking inspiration!

 

 

homeinthealice0210

Banoffee Bites

This is an easy to prepare,  sinfully delicious dessert. I do dare you to stop at one though…they are so moreish.  You could cut preparation time  by purchasing a pre made can of caramel such as Nestle Top’N’ Fill.  I don’t think this product tastes as good as caramel you prepare yourself though. You could also use Dulce de leche as the caramel filling,  but that requires a lot of thinking ahead in terms of preparation time. Check one of my earlier posts on making this caramel deliciousness https://homeinthealice.wordpress.com/2014/06/19/dulce-de-leche-electric-pressure-cooker-method/.  The shredded wheat meal biscuits make a great base. They are a firm, crunchy and not too sweet biscuit that is a perfect foil for the decadence on top.  If you don’t have Cottee’s Vanilla pudding mix you can leave it out, but it is a great stabiliser for cream and adds a nice vanilla flavour.

 

banoffee

 

Makes about 25 bites

Ingredients

Base 

  • 1 packet Arnotts Shredded Wheatmeal biscuits (250 grams)

Filling

  • 100 grams butter
  • 100 grams soft dark brown sugar
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (395 grams)

Topping

  • 600 mls thickened cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 tablespoons Cottees vanilla pudding mix
  • 4  medium bananas
  • 25 grams coarsely grated dark chocolate

Preparation                                                                                           

  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and stir in the sugar. Cook over a low heat as the sugar dissolves, stirring constantly until the butter and sugar look smooth. Add the condensed milk and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring constantly. Cook for three minutes, stirring until the mixture turns a deep, creamy caramel brown colour. Let the mixture cool down and get thicker.
  • Cover each biscuit with a tablespoon of the caramel mix
  • Slice each banana thinly and place 3 slices on top of each caramel topped biscuit.
  • Whip the cream, vanilla essence and pudding mix until it thickens.
  • Pipe or spoon the cream on top of the biscuits and sprinkle with grated chocolate.

 

banoffee 1

 

Banoffee Bites before the cream is added.