Friday, September 27, 2013

DIY Tassel Throw Pillow

It seems like it took me forever to finish this throw pillow.  
The original plan was to just attach one tassel on each corner of the pillow. First, I had to make my tassels but I couldn't decide on a color so I made several pieces to help me decide, which lead to make a tassel necklace. Since I had already made quite a lot of these tassels I thought I might as well use them all on a pillow just like one from Anthropology.
Then apparently I didn't have enough so I had to make more tassels.
Now isn't this a perfect example of how one thing can lead to another?  

Sunday, September 22, 2013

DIY Refrigerator Make-Over

Trust me, I never thought I'd ever consider giving our refrigerator (or anyone else's for that matter) a make over. Call it a spur of the moment thing. You know that split second what your mind kind of drifts off to an abyss of nothingness then suddenly a realization hits.
That's exactly what happened one late night as I was halfway through a reaction paper for my research class the next day. It's not like I tore the refrigerator door off and replaced it with paper mache (hahaha!). However, the inspiration came so suddenly and it is quite an unusual idea to give your refrigerator an unplanned facelift so it is pretty understandable that hubby had the surprise of his life to find our plain, gray unit the next day all dotted up! 

The dots are actually only label stickers that I had left over from last Christmas and it would be easy to take off when I have to. I'm really loving how whimsical and playful our refrigerator turned out (it never fails to make me smile when I'm in the kitchen) and have no plans of peeling them off anytime soon!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Pan Fried Curried Fish Fillet with Grilled Vegetables

A Nepalese classmate way back from my residency days taught me a recipe almost just like this. Her recipe, however, requires garam masala and lamb. The contents of the spice jar that she gave me has long been consumed and I have tried to concoct my own version of her recipe. I'm not as crazy about lamb as my husband so I have always tried it with chicken. Anyway, my husband just recently had one of his occasional craving for anything with curry. We ran out of chicken so I tried using cream dory fillet instead. It turned out a little dry and will have to remind myself to lessen the cooking time next time. Other than that I think it is a good alternative to chicken.      

Fish fillet
Garlic, minced
Curry powder
Lemon juice
Olive oil
Cilantro, chopped

Combine yogurt, garlic, spices, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  
Pat fish fillets with a towel and marinate for 15-30 minutes.
Heat olive oil in a pan. Slide in fish fillets. Turn and remove from pan when cooked.
Garnish with chopped cilantro.
Serve with yogurt-garlic dressing* and grilled vegetables.**

Yogurt-garlic dressing:
Combine yogurt and minced garlic.
Season with salt.

Grilled vegetables:
Pour olive oil over mixed vegetables (mushroom, zucchini, eggplant, bell pepper, onion).
Season with salt and pepper.
Insert barbeque sticks through vegetables and grill.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

DIY Tassel Necklace

Remember the tassels I made a couple of days ago? These are intended to be used for a throw pillow project. Well, can we say that I got a little carried away (see photo below)?
Anyway, my throw pillow project was put on hold for a while as my attention was a little diverted by a buzzfeed article that prompted me to create this tassel necklace. I added a little twist to the design by adding a strand of friendship bracelet.
Materials needed:
Canvas cord
(I had a few meters left from my popsicle chain necklace and hex bolt bracelet project)
Crochet thread
Beads (optional)
Friendship bracelet (optional)
Step 1: Insert beads through canvas cord
Step 2: Attach tassels and friendship bracelet by winding crochet thread around loose ends of the tassel head and canvas cord
Step 3: Use the same method to connect loose ends of the canvas cord

Saturday, September 7, 2013

DIY Toy Blender

Alonzo always gets excited whenever we visit his cousins. Not only because he seldom gets to see them but also because he gets to play with their toys! His absolute favorite of all his cousins' toys would have to be their little microwave and blender. He also likes to play with their pretend little stove oven but since he has one at home he doesn't get too crazy over it. 
Anyway, here's a random project that I made for the little guy. We came home from his cousins' house and he asked for his own pretend microwave and blender. He was satisfied by the clear, plastic shoebox that I presented as a microwave but I had to be a little more creative with his pretend blender.     
  Materials needed:
small box
old sippy cup
bottle caps
Step 1: Trace the base of the sippy cup on the box
Step 2: Use the tracing to cut a hole through the box
Step 3: Cover the box with paper

Step 4: Insert sippy cup through the hole
Step 5: Attach bottle caps with glue  

Instant toy blender...Tadaa!
I apologize for the poor quality photos. As I said earlier, this was a super random project and the photos were taken from my low-tech camera phone!  

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fish Fillet with Ginger and Caramel Sauce

I have to admit I was hesitant to try this recipe. The photo on the cookbook really does look yummy. However, I easily get turned off by recipes that are too lengthy and those that require too many pots to prepare. Well, to make a long story short I actually tried it out - twice. Hubby loved it and requested to have it again for dinner the next day with my in-laws. I followed the exact recipe on my first try but tweaked it a little the second time in an attempt to simplify the recipe. In terms of taste and flavor there doesn't seem to be any difference however which way it was prepared. So here you go, I hope you'll love it.         

Fish fillet, 1 pound
Ginger, 1 tablespoon, minced
Cilantro, chopped
Fish sauce
Oil, about 3 tbsp.
Garlic, 3 cloves, minced
Onion, 1 small, minced
Lemon or lime juice
Sugar, ½ cup
Marinate fish in pepper, ginger, cilantro and fish sauce for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare caramel sauce by combining sugar, juice of 1/2 lemon or lime and 4 tbsp water. Stir and bring to a boil. Turn off heat when thick, pour on to a small bowl and set aside.  
On the same pan, heat 2 tbsp oil and sear fish on both sides, reserve the marinade. Remove from heat.

Add a little more oil (if needed) ,add onion and garlic until light brown. Pour in marinade and caramel syrup. Stir together.
Add fish and let simmer for a few minutes.
Add juice of remaining half of lime or lemon and turn off heat.
Serve and garnish with cilantro.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Reurposing Wine Corks

A couple of pieces wine corks have been lying around one of my drawers. I didn't exactly collect them for a specific project until the other day. While waiting inside the car parked along a sidewalk I chanced upon a piece of wine cork partially hidden among dried leaves in a plant box. I deliberated for a few seconds on whether I should (or could) pick it up. The gross factor was also something to consider since a piece of tissue lay a few centimeters away (eww). However, I hate things going into waste (probably why I can't seem to throw anything away -- ask my husband). I was also instantly reminded of the eraser stamp project that I made before. So without much more thought I quickly extracted the said cork off the ground. The term "basurera" literally come in mind...
Anyway, here is what I turned the wine corks into. 
Materials needed:
Wine corks
Pencil or pen

Step 1: Draw out any shape or figure you want on the cork
Step 2: Carefully carve out the design with a cutter