#blessed is one of the more popular hashtags circulating in the social media world and it is easy to see why. Choosing to count our blessings while remaining constantly grateful for this life we have, makes living much more worthwhile. Why get caught up with negativity when we can surround ourselves in positive and happy thoughts all day long? Life is surely too short for us to spend it unhappily.
Keeping true to our belief, here are 7 things that we are grateful and feeling #blessed for this week!
1. Peaceful start to a new day with our newfound breakfast routine.
2. Studio projects that have been keeping us busy.
3. Nice cool weather throughout the week.
4. Our kitty cats, even though they are covered in cat fleas.
5. Growing stronger and closer bonds with our cell group members.
6. Grateful for the kindness and warm generosity of the people around us.
7. Quiet reading time before bed.
How are you feeling this week? :)
With Love, Min+Jia.
Put your hands up if you love date nights!
Don't you agree that date nights have a way of making any relationship feel a tad more special? I tend to put in more effort with my makeup situation on date nights with a bit of mascara and blush. While there are approximately a million and one date night ideas on the internet, sometimes, the best kind of date night is one that is spent with the right person, in the comfort of your own home. Especially if you have a spanking new home.
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to date night plans and menus. Whatever you choose to plate on your date night, don't forget to throw in some magic sprinkling of effort to make it all cosy and special.
Today's post is all about putting together a romantic and cosy Spring dinner for two, featuring the decadent Miso-Poached Salmon with Garlic Mushroom Sauce that Jia and I created from scratch. If you're pressed for time, you can always order a Japanese takeaway meal and plate it with matching crockery.
Tip: It is all about the tiny details. In this case, a sake pot.
To jazz up a Japanese date night, you can consider serving warm sake in a pot. The addition of a sake pot makes a simple Japanese dinner a bit more authentic and fun! The ceramic sake pot featured above belongs to Jia's parents and we absolutely love the blend of something old and something new on the table. Before you go on a buying spree, don't forget to raid your parents' collection or a thrift store for treasures!
Tip: Keep all table decorative items in similar colour tones.
The last thing you want on date night is a splash of gaudy colours on your dining table, screaming for your attention while ruining the romantic atmosphere. To keep things simple and clean, always keep to a palette consisting of 2 - 3 colours. This way, you will be able to control the entire look of the table setting and the dishes to serve.
Tip: Prepare the salad in advance to save time.
Jia and I absolutely love this raw okra salad and would usually prepare a large portion of it so that we can eat it again the next day. Depending on what your menu is, find something that you can prepare ahead of time; it could be marinating your choice of meat the night before or preparing the dough for fresh pasta in advance. With a part of the meal prepared the night before, all you need to do on date night is to cook the mains and put everything else together.
Tip: Add a personal touch to the table.
Adorn the table with a placemat that fits the theme of the meal. Instead of buying plenty of place mats, you can consider printing designs on paper and use it as a placemat. Absolutely functional and decorative at the same time! The best part of this simple DIY is that you can change it to match any theme, every time. You can even write a love note and hide it under a plate, if you're all about small romantic gestures!
Download this beautiful Japanese Spring Placemat by clicking the image below or heading to the Downloads section. We have designed the placemat to be printed on an A3-sized paper perfectly!
Have a wonderful meal! :)
How do you make date nights special?
Oh, salmon. How I love thee.
I had been craving for salmon for the past few weeks but never got round to satisfying my craving. I am so used to being disappointed with the way salmon is handled in the cafes and restaurants in Singapore. More often than not, the salmon turns out totally overdone and tasteless.
While complaining to Min last week, she convinced me that we could create a recipe from scratch. So, off we went to the supermarket, got our groceries, and began cooking. Amazingly enough, the salmon turned out really flavourful and juicy! Thus, we just had to recreate it for this blog. Miso and salmon goes together like lamb chops with mint sauce. Just awesomely well.
This recipe is really easy to follow and fast to complete. You will be enjoying your juicy poached salmon in no time!
Miso-Poached Salmon with Garlic Mushroom Sauce
Recipe by Min+Jia
Prep time: 7 mins | Cooking Time: 20 minutes
2 salmon fillets, bones removed
12 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
4 garlic cloves, roughly minced
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of grated ginger
0.5 tablespoon of light reduced salt soy sauce
2 tablespoons of mirin
2 tablespoons of miso paste
2.5 cups water
2 tablespoons cornflour (optional)
A sprinkle of ebiko roe
A sprinkle of sesame seeds
Black pepper to taste
Sprinkle the salmon fillets with a little bit of salt and set the fillets aside. Heat the olive oil in a pan. Once the olive oil is hot, add garlic to pan and sauté. Once the garlic starts to brown, toss the sliced shiitake mushrooms into the pan and sauté along with the soy sauce and mirin.
In a separate bowl, combine water, miso paste, and grated ginger.
When the mushrooms have softened to a nice degree, add in the water-miso-ginger mixture and bring the liquid to simmer in medium heat.
Upon the simmering of the broth, carefully place salmon fillets skin-side down in the pan. Cover. Cook for 5-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of your salmon fillet and how cooked you like your salmon to be. We cooked ours for 8 minutes.
Gingerly remove the salmon fillets from the pan and set aside. Turn heat to medium-high to reduce broth into a sauce. Mix cornflour with water to hasten the reduction process, if need be. Remove pan from heat once you get the sauce to your desired thickness.
Pour garlic mushroom sauce over salmon. Serve the dish with a sprinkle of ebiko roe, sesame seeds, and black pepper to taste.
The salmon goes fabulously with a Japanese-inspired meal; eat it with rice, miso soup, and some healthy side dishes for a well-balanced and satisfying meal!
Are you a fan of salmon? Give this recipe a go, and let us know how you like it!
On certain nights when all the world is getting ready for bed, we like to unwind by surfing the web for some good and fascinating reads. There’s something about the quietness of the late nights that makes web surfing so soothing. If you are anything like us, here are seven interesting links we found around the world wide web. Have fun!
What are some of your favourite sites?
1. Have you read this book?
2. We need to save our planet.
3. Great snacks for great scribblers, no, I mean, great writers.
4. Try working with some background noise; we personally love using rain, thunder, and wind.
5. Marvel at gorgeous murals.
6. Be inspired by the massive amount of beauty that is the Soho House in Barcelona.
7. How to make the perfect buttery popcorn at home.
With Love, Min+Jia.
Hands up if you’re a fan of this year’s Pantone colour and its supporting palette! Anything that says nature and greenery sure has my attention though I admit that I was smitten and distracted by last year’s choices, Rose Quartz and Serenity. While I secretly wished for another pastel to rule 2017, I am glad that Pantone has decided on something better - Greenery. I love how Greenery reflects the calmness, vibrancy and vitality found in nature.
Being the dominant colour of nature, Greenery is easy on the eye and it brings much needed peace and tranquility to an otherwise hectic life. Perhaps that is one of the main reasons why Greenery was chosen. And since Greenery effortlessly complements muted and earthly tones, I foresee many of us drawing inspiration from nature. It seems like a Greenery theme is quickly gaining popularity with brides-to-be and event planners. Well… more on that later!
In the spirit of Greenery, I have chosen four products that I currently have a crush on.
1 // Avocado Iron On Patch
Avocados are possibly the best physical representation of the colour in focus - provided it has ripen beautifully. With this adorable iron on patch, you can casually incorporate this year’s hottest colour on a plain tote or breathe new life into an old denim. Easy peasy!
2 // Sarah's Bag 'The Adored' Clutch
Nothing says Greenery like green leaves. If you love sporting playful and arty bags, you will certainly love this minaudière that features intricately carved Monstera leaves and a pair of budgies as clasps.
3 // Sass & Belle Cactus Light
Cacti fans rejoice! Quirky and eye-catching, this cactus light with huge LED light bulbs will add a whole lot of cheer to any room or office desk space. All you need is two AA batteries and you’re all set.
4 // Stella McCartney Knuckle Sparklers iPhone Case
With this stylish and fun phone case, you get to accessorise your phone while decking your fingers with four Peridot blings! Unfortunately for Android users, this phone cover is currently available only for iPhone 6/6s. Boo.
What do you think of this year's Pantone colour? Yay or Nay? :)
The humans behind honey&gazelle Design Studio. When we are not frantically working, we share our mishmash of thoughts on design, life, and love here. Grab a cuppa and stay for a bit!