17 November 2008

Hubby's Movie Treat La Pulok!

Hmmm... Kak E was quiet again.... Well, a lot has been going on for the past 2 weeks- rather a hectic & busy week...
Nevertheless, there's a slot for hubby's birthday!! Kids decided to give their ayah a movie treat. So off we went that Friday night to see Madagascar 2! What a great good laugh we had!! Hillarious!! A must-see for all stressed out people! (ooo..... k emy....)....
Owh, earlier in evening, Kak E made mee bandung & choc cake with choc buttercream icing.... yumyumm... (but this was all that's left during the 'photoshoot'....)

29 October 2008

Kids' Movie Treat

Kak E's kids' been longing to watch High School Musical 3: Senior Year. Since they were having their year-end exams last week, the movie was postponed till yesterday. Kak Long invited 4 of her friends. Treated them pizza. Popcorn too! So there was Kak E, with 7 children at the movie... P/s... actually Kak e wanted to watch the movie too, as much as they do! Been getting flashbacks of schooldays lately....

27 October 2008

To Eat, or Not to Eat, That is the Question...

Again, the openhouse story. Something Kak E worries about every year when it comes to attending open houses: How much can your tummy take in a day?.... Do you eat 'till you get sick?
The thing is, you have so many invitations of which you just can't refuse (so as not to hurt anyone's feelings), and when you are at each of these houses, you have to taste at least a bit of something (again, so as not to hurt anyone's feelings), no matter how full you were!! Worse still, when you go to the first house with a hungry tummy and the host served quite a variety, your tummy suddenly insisted you try a bit of everything....
Last week, Kak E's hubby got sick. All due to a variety mixture of ketupat palas & rendang, barbeque chicken & beef, potato salad, pasta, carbonated drinks, triffles, cakes, fruits, noodles, nasi beriyani and "satay kambing".... All consumed in one day, from 4 houses, in one tummy!!!...
The next day, he seemed to be better, so off we went to another 4 invitations. Well, lessons learned, we adopt these principles:
1. Only eat one type of main meal at one house.
2. If it was lunch, take as much as you usually eat for lunch.
3. If it was tea time, do not consume heavy food, eat light snacks or desserts or fruits.
Followed the lessons well yesterday, so, Alhamdulillah, nobody got sick.
But today, Kak E can't resist her temptations, and broke the rules: mihun goreng, nasi dagang, soto, mee goreng, apple flan, mee goreng again, fruits, mihun sup, mee hailam, rice & sup tulang... all in one day, from 5 places, in ONE tummy.... As I write, it's a whirlpool in this tummy... uurrrgghhh......

21 October 2008

Old Friends and Common Interests

Ever since Kak E met her old school friends again, there were a lot of catching up to do. The 20-years gap has lead us to separate paths in career, the only thing we have left in common were memories of the good-ol-days and of course our passion in cooking and baking! To all my ex-TI friends out there, i dedicate this new blog to you, and will compile all our recipes that we shared through emails before. As for others, feel free to try these recipes, some original, some modified, and some extracted from other resources, known and unknown.

14 October 2008


Seems like a tradition most Malaysians HAVE to do an open-house during ALL raya celebrations... When klang valley folks started coming back from their kampungs, friends will ask "When's your open-house?", and we'll be busy having our raya feasts for the whole month! There's invitations every weekends for the whole of Syawal... Back in the kampungs though, celebrations fade after 1 week of raya, isn't that so?....
Kak E invited friends every year, for a JAMUAN RAYA. Don't really fancy calling it OPEN-HOUSE as we don't usually OPEN our house, but instead, prefer to invite smaller groups of friends. No tents were put up, no furniture moved against the walls, the house is as is (this very small house). No buffet involved, guests take turn to eat at dining table.

While waiting, one of us will entertain them in the living room, let them have a taste of our raya cookies (ehemm... home-made this year!). Though we often had to do it for 3 days (meaning 3 times preparing, cooking and cleaning up), it's worth the hassle. Food are cooked in smaller portions. Alhamdulillah, so far, no wastage. Most importantly, we have more time to chat with friends who came. We used to have one of those big one-day-open-house-event, but I end up not knowing who came and who did not. Some just came to eat in the tent area and left without seeing the host.... of which we only found out after being informed by another guest!

06 October 2008

Back Home...

We arrived nearly midnight on Saturday. From Terengganu, took the Ajil-Jerangau-Jabor route. Not much traffic, except for one long queue before the Ajil junction, where many cars pull over to do some last-minute shopping along the street stalls. From there on, the road was quite clear. The heavy downpour however, did slow us down a bit, with frequent stops (4 times!) to release our bladders... The usual 6-hour drive became 8 hours! But Alhamdulillah, we are safely home.
Next story:
1. 1st thing's first, laundry: 5 persons x 5 days + 4 nights worth of clothing. Sent 3 pairs for dry cleaning.
2. Hello, in-laws' place, remember.... that was the whole of Sunday.
3. Today, kids go to school, hubby go to work. Kak E is still home, making a list of things to buy & arranging cookies in containers...
4. Grocery shopping in a while... about time to refill the fridge & freezer!

29 September 2008

Balik Kampung

Today is the last day we'll be here, at home. Tomorrow is 'balik kampung' day. This year, my kampung first. Well, parents' kampung actually. They are staying here in Klang Valley, so we are going back together. Kelantan first two raya, then Terengganu next two days. Saturday will be back, and off we go to hubby's kampung in Klang.

Yesterday, after distributing home baked cookies to my mum, my sis & my mother in law, there were only a few jars left for our own raya! Oh, not forgetting the kids had munched some! So, Kak E made a final visit to the baking supply store, and made 4 more jars yesterday! Here's biskut batik, revised edition. More yummy...

After terawikh, Kak E packed the cookies nicely, to give as gifts for all my mokcik & pokcik at kampung... The first 4 rows of cookies (from below) were the ones made yesterday. Choc chips, nestum crunch, biskut batik & coffee crunch. The top row was peanut cornflakes made last week. Waa.... am getting better at this....

Hmmm... sudenly have plans for early retirement....

For those yg balik kampung, hati2 di jalan raya. take care all.

24 September 2008

Pizza & Selamat Hari Raya

Well, well, well... a proud mum bakes again... Err... did i bake because my kids said they loved the food? or did they say they loved the food because they want me to bake more? Hmmm....

Anyway, a few nights ago, a 'square-pan' thick crust pizza came out of my oven! To make it, took more than an hour. To swallow it, within minutes!

Yesterday was the last batch of raya cookies i made. Wouldnt want to have too much variety. Expecting exchange of cookies with Opah, Umi, etc.... So, here are mine (with additional 3 types, on top of previous posting):


22 September 2008

It's Baking Time!

Santai at home this weekend! The festive mood is in the air! Got myself a new electric breadmaker oven! So, to prove that this new equipment is worth buying, Kak E & kids began to utilise it on Saturday. The first trial was chocolate chips cookies. Owh, the smell of vanilla....
Perfecto! Nice crunchy choc chips cookies. Very2 nice... Made 2 containers, and guess what? One container gone by last night! Want to try? Recipe here, in my other blog. I have modified the original recipe a little. See under 'comments' in that posting.
While waiting for the cookies being baked, we made other treats as well, which do not require baking & easy to make. This is the Honey Cornflakes. It turned out too sweet, so if you were to follow the recipe here, reduce the sugar to half its suggested amount! And add a little more honey to it... Also commented my own recipe....
Another non-baked cookie is the Biskut Batik. Something a bit like brownies... Very easy to make as well. Just mix cocoa powder, milo, condensed milk & butter over low heat in a pot, then add 'biskut marie'. Recipe here. Again, I amended my own recipe...

The most challenging task for the day is: make my own white loaf bread, for the first time ever! And it did turned white! You see, the breadmaker function is quite a straight forward function in the oven, but Kak E decided to play around a bit with the recipe, and some oven functions (a.k.a. trying to be smart!)... so, the loaf was finely cooked, only that it didn't brown enough, perhaps due to the low temperature used. Anyway, the texture was just nice, if not perfect, and most importantly, it was edible, and unlike the white loaf we used to buy, this was gone in less than 48 hours! Tasty, puffy, dense white loaf, "so good, you can eat it on its own.. " hmmm... where did I here that before?

Great cookies, (not so) great bread, seems like Kak E is motivated to do her own Raya Cookies this year, unlike other years, it was all 'biskut tunjuk'. Going to try a few other recipes today. After all, practice makes perfect!

01 September 2008

Ramadhan Al Mubarak

Today is 1st Ramadhan. This year, my 7 year old kak ngah is trying to fast for the 2nd attempt. She made it thru 10 days last year! Ever so excited to fast, she woke us all up at 4am for 'sahur' though my alarm was due 15 minutes later. After sahur, she slept again and woke up at about half nine this morning. She then came downstairs and asked me, "What's for breakfast, Ma?" She totally forgot she is fasting today, but Alhamdulillah, she's still hanging on there and will try to fast til maghrib....

'Selamat berpuasa' to all Muslims. May this Ramadhan brings you His rahmah and baraqah.

24 August 2008

MAHA2008 with AROCKV (unofficial TT)

Yesterday, we went to MAHA again, on its closing day. This time, we offered some AROCKV members to join us. Despite the heavy rain, the turn up was quite good, though it's not an AROCKV official TT (teh tarik) event.

Unlike any other expo's and fairs in Malaysia, I will have to say that MAHA is the largest (that I have attended to so far). But the problems observed here is quite similar to others- litter!! I can't figure how organizers who manage to hold big events, can't even manage litters.... hmmm...
More pictures here.

21 August 2008

Taiping, Kuala Kangsar, Lumut & an Elephant Ride

Saturday 16th

It’s the school holiday and this time, santai-santai was in Perak Darul Ridzuan! We started off with AROCKV's Anniversary/Family Day/Grand Tour to Taiping. It was a bit different for us this time- we didn't go in our Alfa!! Though we have two of them, both had to stay home due to their 'unfortunate' conditions: one can’t seem to get into gear and the other is like a mobile heat sauna! So, there was the Camry, apprehensively volunteered itself to become the 'sweeper' of the convoy- behind the official sweeper!.... But the uneasy feeling quickly vaporized when we then realized the privileges of being an Alfa driver with a Camry skin- we can overtake the lead marshal!! Hence, made us a self-elected 'media car' who's free to move anywhere in between the convoy... apart from having a great photo collection of those sturdy Italian bodies on the road...

Taiping is a beautiful town with visible considerations for heritage and conservations of historic buildings. Our lodging was at Taiping Golf Resort in Kamunting, a tranquil little town adjacent to Taiping, surrounded by hills of greens... serene, indeed...

That night, after the anniversary dinner, speech & cake cutting ceremony, we treated the kids a tour of the Night Safari. Seems rather scarry to take a walk in the dark, with background sounds of wild animals (especially the lions!), but the train ride appeared to solve it all...
More pictures here.

Sunday 17th

The whole of the following morning was dedicated for time at the swimming pool, a necessity on almost every holiday now! From Taiping, the convoy moved on to Kuala Kangsar to savour gulai tempoyak ikan patin near the riverside. Fresh terubuk bakar with air asam was also a favourite, along with a bowl of cendol.... what a divine afternoon meal... if only this tummy have more space for laksa kuale....

After lunch, the convoy made their way back to KL, but off we were to Lumut, as the fun is yet to begin.... The trunk road from Kuala Kangsar to Lumut via Manong offered refreshing views of traditional Malay kampungs, with lots of fruit trees alongside the route. The road blends with the topography of the place, thus travel is less boring. Should be a good stretch to show off what Alfa’s can do, but, hey, Camry’s not bad after all....
More pictures here.

Monday 18th

This day really reminded me of UK.... gloomy, dull, downpour and we’re stuck in the air-conditioned hotel room for the whole day!! Lunch was at the hotel as well. We stayed at the Orient Star Resort Lumut. Nothing much to do but TV, newspaper, a Sudoku puzzle & a doze in the late afternoon... The kids finished up the hotel room’s memo pads and were about to grumble over boredom when suddenly.... out came the sun!! Woo-hoo.... off to Teluk Batik for a splash in the waves... Everyone had fun, except for my youngest 4 year old boy- he never liked sands in his slippers!!
Dinner was splendid- not only we enjoyed the seafood steamboat, it was with the company of a long-lost school friend (and his family) whom I haven’t met in 20 years!!

Tuesday 19th
Well, so much of Lumut, Teluk Batik, Sitiawan & Sri Manjung.... as usual, there was a swimming pool slot before checking out. By half past 12, we were off to KL, with a drive-thru lunch....
The drive back had everyone smiling, a sign they enjoyed their break. Again, except for one- the 4 year old. He remembered my promise in Taiping, and demanded for the reward of being a good boy! Something I almost forgot, as there was change of plans in Taiping- instead of going to the zoo in the day time, we went to the night safari instead, so he missed his elephant ride!!
He’s not going to be quiet about his mum’s promise, so after reaching home, getting ample rest & freshened up, off we went, in search of “the elephant with a seat on his back” as he described it...
Fortunate enough, there was MAHA2008 nearby, a place we were sure there will be some kind of animal ride, hoping that any animal would do, to compensate with the elephant. Should have seen the excitement on his face when he spotted the elephant “with a seat on his back” as he had imagined! So the boy got his elephant ride (though a bit nervous when the elephant started walking), and so did his 2 sisters. Not only that, they each had a pony ride and some fun time in the “do-what-u-like-with-the-rabbits” den...Putting all the 4 days holidays together, the kids said they enjoyed the last two hours the most...

So, for those who haven't been there, you only have until this weekend to go on animal rides, savour some great snacks and food (fruits, especially). And of course for plant lovers, I saw some beautiful species of orchids there... Ha'ahh...

More pictures in My Fotopage...

08 August 2008

Too busy to santai?

This morning, i got a 'wake up call' from our dear RoyalTLady. I just realised i haven't been writing here for exactly 2 months already!! How time flies... Yup, i'm rather busy lately with my research and thesis, and have not been 'santai'ing for quite a while. Except that there were other forms of santai: we had old friends over, there were weddings almost every weekend for the past 2 months, and i'v started going to the gym once or twice a week to boost my stamina, release some stress, and of course to get rid of a few bulges here n there.... ummm..... I needn't blog about that, need i?
Our next santai will be next weekend... stay tuned!!

08 June 2008

UK Holiday- Part 2

We're home on Thursday night. Coping with jetlag is tougher when travelling east! And who says unpacking is easy?
So, back to the itinerary.... On the way to Aberdeen, we stopped over at Crathes Castle. Beautiful gardens, only that it rained!
We then visited Ayah's ex-school, RGU, must've been so nostalgic that Ayah smiled the whole day.... The following day, we continued our journey to Edinburgh. Very nice of Joe to serve us lunch there! Thanks Joe! Edinburgh is a beautiful and vibrant city. Though we only manage to have a short visit, it was a splendid experience.
By 7pm we moved on to Newcastle Upon Tyne, via the highlands roads, with spectacular views! Arriving rather late, Yazid still served us dinner! Thank you Yazid!
The next day, Friday 30th May, we dropped by Fashie's place in Newcastle before visiting our dear friends Abg Mill & Kak Fida in Nottingham. It was nice of them to offer us a room at their place, though our original plan was to drive back to my sis's place in Birmingham that night.
Saturday we travelled to Oxford, the place where i used to stay while studying at Brookes. So it was my turn to smile as we passed by the nostalgic path of series of houses that i've lived in! we visited the school, but since it was a weekend, nobody was around, obviously.... The city centre is still the same as it was 14 years ago! Only that some roads were converted to one-way streets.

Sunday 1st June we went to London, dropping by Atok's house in Reading for breakfast of yummy nasi lemak. Thanks Atok.
Lunch was at Mara House and me & hubby did some souvenir shopping at Harrods and in Bayswater while mok & abah attended the kids at Hyde Park. The rest of the day was spent touring London in the car (taking advantage of no congestion charges on Sunday!). Monday, we toured London via tube using a one-day travelcard. Visited most places other tourists normally do. we even took a cruise on River Thames from Westminister to Tower Pier. Lovely, though the weather was a bit dull. Late evening, we visited a family friend, Pak Mat, an expat, in East Ham and had a lovely dinner of laksa.
Tuesday 3rd June we headed up north again, after receiving an unexpected text message from a long lost friend. 20 years of lost contact, i didn't want to miss this opportunity, so we drove up to Northwich to meet her! It was wonderful to finally meet Ana again, and of course I must thank Ana for the delicious meal! We headed back to Birmingham that evening, realising that our holiday was over! How time flies, though in the long days of summer, time was short on us! The next day was our final day in UK- a day of intensive packing for me, while the kids enjoy the sunlight at the park, the sunlight which came out finally on the day we are departing home....
Owhhh... we missed UK...

P/s: there were so many pictures- i will try to upload as many as i can, but not here, they will be in my fotopages.

28 May 2008

UK Holiday- Part 1

Greetings from Scotland!! Am now in Glasgow. So this is the 'big holiday'!! We took Emirates at midnight on Saturday 24th and arrived Dubai about 3.30am. Transit for 5 hours before boarding next flight at 8am to Birmingham. Alhamdulillah all's well at arrival, greeted by sunny spells with temperature at 15 degrees! We stayed at my sis's place in Birmingham for 2 nights (it rained for the whole day Sunday..), then Monday 26th, began our journey up north. Shop at Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet and rest at Travelodge Burton-in-Kendal, near the Lake District. Tuesday 27th, visited Lake District. Beautiful view but 10 degrees is a little cold for spring. Later on at noon, we left for Glasgow, checked-in Travelodge Paisley Rd and had dinner at an Indian Restaurant. Today, will leave for Aberdeen. Will feed on the details later. Check out pictures in my fotopage. Cheers.

18 May 2008

Go Carting in Shah Alam

This morning Kak E joined AROCKV for a go-cart ride in Shah Alam. Though it's an unofficial event, it received a good turn up.

They thought Kak E was just there to take pictures (like usual), but no, this time, Kak E brought a helmet and taking a ride! Not bad for a makcik, huh!
When we arrived at 11.30 am, the place was already booked by another group (our slot has been rescheduled due to early morning downpour - track became wet and we had to wait until it dried), so we went for early lunch nearby while waiting for our turn at 1.30pm.
Wow!! What a marvelous time Kak E had. Got to do it again! Come to think of it, it was a good form of slimming exercise, better than those 'i-shake' machines! After a good adrenalin rush, we had the best Kuay Teow in town- in TTDI Jaya, yumyum...

More Pictures HERE.

Upadate & Charity

Hmmm... been a month since Kak E last blogged. So many things going on (in n out of my head). Been busy with my research for the past month, apart from planning for the 'big holiday', which will be this weekend. Since it's a long weekend this week, so here i am, blogging an update!
So, what got me occupied? Let's see... there was ex-students' dinner, MIL's here for a week, shopping almost everyday (hey, it's only during lunch break! for preparation of the 'big holiday' and MIL's room makeover- a Mum's Day surprise....), birthday party n weddings on weekends, breakfast with AROCKV, and oh yes, we also visited Darul Atiq Shelter in Hulu Selangor last 2 weeks.

It was a pre-visit to discuss with Ustadz Nahar on the upcoming AROCKV Charity Drive event in June and to survey the area (plus info on current occupants). The shelter will accept anything in donations, including food, clothing, even toys. The youngest now is 3 yrs old and there are only 3 of them below 5. Most are poor school children whom are taught there under the tahfiz program. The sheter also housed troubled teens, single parents and also abandoned kids.
The location of the shelter is somewhere in between pekan Rasa and Kuala Kubu, near Pakman's cendol. (yumyum...). The place is so serene, in the midst of greens/hutan. The cluster of houses built are in a livable condition, not as bad as some foster shelters i've seen before.
In my opinion is that their infra is quite acceptable, they only need donations to sustain the occupants there, especially food, clothing, utility bills and medicines. By the way, they only had water and electricity supply fully on all premises since the past 2 years. Before that, only the main house has electricity and water, others use lilin/pelita and water from stream nearby. Currently they are not receiving any fixed funding from any agencies or bodies. So, I would like to take this opportunity to offer anybody who wants to donate cash, you may do so by transfering it directly to Ustaz Nahar's account. Below is a copy of their letter. Many thanks.

More pictures here.

Ustaz Nahar Afandi Bi Ghazali,
Pusat Tarbiyah Islamiyah Darul Atiq,
Batu 3 1/4 Rasa, 44200 Hulu Selangor,
Selangor D. E.


Saya seperti nama di atas mewakili Madrasah Darul Atiq memohon sumbangan ikhlas/ jariah dan wang zakat untuk menampung madrasah kami yang do'if. Kami menjaga anak-anak yatim, ibu tunggal, muallaf dan pelajar-pelajar miskin.

Sumbangan ikhlas/ zakat dari pihak Tuan/ Puan kami akhiri dengan syukran jazilan semoga Allah membalas segala kebajikan yang telah Tuan/ Puan berikan.

Sumbangan ikhlas/ zakat dari pihak Tuan/ Puan boleh dimasukkan ke dalam akaun Maybank 1620 7652 1382 atau CIMB 1256 0000 791 528 di atas nama Ustaz Nahar Afandi Bin Ghazali.


Yang menjalankan amanah Allah,

(Ustaz Nahar Afandi Bi Ghazali)
b/p: Ustaz Ghazali Hasbullah,
Ketua, Pusat Tarbiyah Islamiyah Darul Atiq Rasa.

12 April 2008

Alfa Photoshoot at Taman Perdana Putra, Putrajaya.

Got hold of a Nikon D80 today. Wow... wish it was mine!! It'll be a dream come true.... Since it was a beautiful day, we decided to go out and do a photo-shoot.

We agreed on one subject matter- test it out on our Alfa 164 Super and 146 Boxer. Who knows this amateur may one day do free lance for Top Gear or Autocar!! Location: Taman Perdana Putra, Putrajaya- the first place that crossed my mind that has some greens for background....

As usual, more photos in My Fotopages....

P.S., Yang, my birthday's coming (*hint*hint*)....