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This week I’m trying to use up everything in my fridge/freezer/cupboards to allow for some more space, both in my kitchen and the budget.. Surprisingly I only had to purchase the sugar snap peas and coriander for this chicken laksa, so I’m well on track for meeting the budget this week (so far). The best thing about laksa is that you can be creative and mix it up according to your preferences or whatever vegetables happen to be in season. Here’s my recipe for tonight’s chicken laksa, followed by my review of the George Nelson exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney.

Thai Chicken Laksa

200g vermicelli noodles

2 tbsp red curry paste

2 chicken breasts, sliced

400g light coconut milk

2 cups chicken stock

1 tbsp fish sauce

1 tsp sugar

2 big handfuls sugar snap peas

1 big handful fresh coriander

Juice of 1 lime

*Serves 2

Before you start cooking, place the dry noodles in a bowl and have some boiled water ready to cook them, but don’t cook them just yet. For the chicken mixture, fry the curry paste in a little oil for a minute or so. Add in the coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce and sugar and heat for another  1-2 mins. Add the chicken pieces and bring to the boil. Once the mixture has boiled, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the sugar snap peas. Simmer for about 3-4 mins, then turn the heat off. While the mixture is simmering, pour boiling water over your noodles and soak for 2 mins, then drain. Once you have turned the heat off the chicken mixture, add in the juice from your lime. Then simply divide the noodles into bowls, pour the laksa mixture over the top and garnish with the fresh coriander. Bon Appétit!

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If you are in any way interested in interior design and architecture or just design in general, then I would highly recommend a visit to the George Nelson retrospective at the Powerhouse Museum, on show until 10 January 2014. The exhibition showcases some of the best of Nelson’s designs and provides a comprehensive overview of his life and works. You may think that you’re not familiar with Nelson’s work as a designer and architect, but a lot of the works are surprisingly recognisable and it’s increasingly apparent as you walk throughout the exhibit that he has made an undeniably significant contribution to modern American design in the 20th century.

Featured works include the Marshmallow Sofa and Coconut Chair (personal favourites of mine), the swaged leg furniture collection and the instantly recognisable Bubble Lamps. The exhibit includes a partial model of Nelson’s Jungle Gym, which was built to illustrate how exhibits and photos would be presented at the American National Exhibition in Moscow in 1959. Taking place in the middle of the Cold War, the exhibit was a diplomatic attempt to improve cultural and political relations between the Soviet Union and the United States, and was matched by a similar Soviet exhibition in New York city in the same year. Regarded as a mutually beneficial form of cultural exchange, the American National Exhibition has been considered one of the most extensive and costly displays of American culture ever undertaken on an international level.

If you’re not familiar with Nelson’s work and you’d like to get a better idea of his style, you can check out a collection of his designs here. I was particularly taken with the clock wall and am thinking maybe I could start a clock wall of my own in the Balmain Kitchen!

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Marshmallow Sofa in the Jungle Gym

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Storage Wall

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Clocks! Apparently Nelson believed that the increasingly prevalent fashion for wrist watches lessened the need for letters and numbers on wall clocks, and also that most people noted the position of the clock arms rather than the numbers themselves. I’m won over by the designs either way!

It was Nelson’s firm belief that ‘Total design is nothing more or less than relating everything to everything’. I felt this was a perfectly apt quote to finish on because I happened to buy this placemat on my way home and did not even realise until later on that the Marshmallow Sofa had clearly influenced this spontaneous purchase!

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Entry to the Powerhouse Museum is $12 for adults and $6 for children. There’s plenty of other exhibitions that are also fun, exciting and definitely worth seeing, but time only allows for me to write about one tonight..hope you enjoyed it!

Until next time,

Trini xo

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