Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Istanbul the Historic city.





After five days in Dubai our vacation continued to Istanbul. We reached Istanbul at around 6pm local time and was greeted with a beautiful sunset. We took the airport shuttle to our hotel and it proved to be quite expensive. We later found out that the actual price for our hotel transfer from the airport was only half the amount we paid.
Our hotel was located in Sirkeci which is about 100 meters from Topkapi Palace and 200 meters from Spice Bazaar. On the first day in Istanbul, we took the Bosphorus tour. This tour starts after breakfast, when we were picked up from the hotel by our tour guide Emut. We were taken on a short city tour and then proceeded to the mouth of the Golden Horn, to explore the bustling Egyptian Spice Market of 17th century origin - a colorful bazaar heaped with spices, Turkish sweets, dried foods and much more. Then we headed to Camlica Hills the highest point in the vicinity of Istanbul, 267 meters above sea level. It has a small teahouse in the midst of the pine grove which gives the peak its name. From here, there is an absolutely magnificent view, which makes it well worth visiting here. One has a panoramic sight of the whole city, the Bosphorus almost as far as the Black Sea, the Marmara Sea with the Princes Islands, and behind that, the great snow covered ridge of Uludag, the Bithynian Olympus. We took the opputunity to take many pictures here.

Then finally we headed to Eminonou to take our ferry for the Bosphorus tour.
We discoverd a wealth of impressive sights all along the shores in the Bosphorus ferry trip along Istanbul's famous waterway dividing Europe and Asia. The trip along this sea is about 1 1/2 hours during which we had the chance to relax and admire the shoreline of beautiful mosques, lavish palaces and decadent villas. we also got to see Dolmabahce and Beylerbeyi Palaces, Ottoman summer mansions and Ortakoy mosque, the defensive Rumeli Fortress and Bosphorus Bridge - one of the world's largest suspension bridges, all alongside passing fishing boats, yachts, huge cargo ships and tankers.Hubby mentioned that this could be one of the most busiest waterway in the world. On the way back to Eminonu it was already beginning to get dark. The temperature suddenly dropped. Thankfully I was prepared for I brought extra socks and gloves and shawls for everyone. The pictures here are of Camlica Hills, Bosphorus trip and the Spice Bazaar.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dubai in five days..is it possible??

Glitzy, glamorous, ultra modern and a dreamworld, Dubai lives for attention. This city has been 'invented as a shopping haven on earth. Although one feels transformed to another world, the feelings come crashing down as soon as you see the price tags on most things in Dubai.It is my second trip to this ultra modern city and I can tell that you will never be disappointed by this city. The Arabs here live in style and luxury and sometimes it seems to be a change looking at them for us especially when we Asian are used to see on tv the 'other' middle easterners ..Iraqis, Iranians, Afghans.. living in war torn countries with no basic amenities. It is just pride that perhaps make me go back to this city. Proud feelings of fellow Muslims who can build extraordinary structures, skyscrapers, malls and what not. Anyway here are some of the pictures of places we visited in Dubai that I had caught on camera.

The first picture is of the dhow which cruises along the creek. We took this tour and of course like everything else in Dubai the interior of the Dhow was superbly decorated with five star international buffet.

The second picture is of my son MS who insisted on buying the Arab national dress for men and was learning how to put on the "head gear" from the shopkeeper.

The third is of the Burj Al Arab. The magnificent structure standing tall and proud in this dessert land. The Burj Al Arab stands on an artificial island 280 metres (919 ft) out from Jumeirah beach, and is connected to the mainland by a private curving bridge. It is an iconic structure, designed to symbolize Dubai's urban transformation and to mimic the sail of a boat.
I was lucky to have caught the picture of one of the white Rolls Royce which is used as Limousin service for hotel guest here.

The fourth picture is my favourite place of all in Dubai.. the SKI DUBAI in Emirates MAll. Ski Dubai is the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East and offers an amazing snow setting to enjoy skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing or just playing in the snow. You don’t have to worry about ski clothing or equipment either. Ski Dubai has thought of it all and offers guests the use of winter clothing, ski and snowboard equipment and my kids had a wonderful time here. Imagine one minute we were in temperature 32c outside and the next minute we were in temperature -3c.

And finally the last picture is of the plane we took from Kuala Lumpur International Airport.. KLIA to Dubai. I will post more pictures once I have sorted all and will also post some of the beautiful pictures of our holiday in Istanbul soon Insya Allah.





Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Eid dul Adha Mubarak

Assalamualaikum one and all my friends and families. I am back in my own home and country. In fact have been back exactly for one week. It took me a while to get back to my routine though. I am sure you can imagine the amount of laundry that follows you back after a long holiday. Hmmm.... thinking about my holiday.. well that is a long story to tell. But all in all it was absolutely fun and joyous for the kids and hubby and me.I will try and share my experience on coming days insya Allah. But before that I would like to wish all my friends Eid Mubarak. May the blessed occasion of Eid Dul Adha brings happiness, joy and peace to you and family.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cream of Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup



I had a few sweet potatoes and carrots in my fridge and I wanted to cook them before going on my vacation. So after some googling I found some recipes on how to make sweet potato soup. But I fiddled with the recipe a little to get the taste that I know my kids like. This soup turned out so well that my son just did not have enough of it. So here it is..

Ingredients

1. One large sweet potato chopped
2. Two carrots chopped
3. 1One medium onion sliced
4. one clove of garlic minced
5. one celery stalk chopped
6. Vegetable stock/ Chicken Stock
salt pepper
olive oil
1/4 cup of cream or evaporated milk

Method

Heat oil in a pot. Saute the onion and garlic untill they are soft and not browned.
Now add chopped vegetables and saute till well combined with the onion. Add the stock ( I used homemade vegetable stock). Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Now let it simmer till the veges are soft. Cool this soup and puree it in a blender or food processor. Then add the cream and milk and season with more pepper and garnish with some parsley

Monday, November 17, 2008

Its the holidays!!!

Alhamdulillah the school holidays are here again. In malaysia the school term ends in mid november and only reopens in the first week of January. That means we have roughly 40 to 45 days of school break. Wheww that is long especially if you have active kids with nothing much to do in the house. There will be endless arguments: from remote controls for the idiot box, to who gets to play games first, to whom should mum play with. Thankfully hubby decided to take us for a two weeks vacation. Now that had the kids excited and made them talk and plan about this trip, which means less arguments, and more fun. So here we are all packed and ready to leave. But before that I decided to post one recipe which is Creamy Sweet Potatoes and Carrot soup. Actually there are many other recipes that I had tried out the past few weeks but Only I did not have time to post it. Anyway I will try and post them when I come back InsyaAllah. Till then Happy Holidays !!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Wisdom of Rasulullah s.a.w

The true believer treats his relatives well despite their being unkind to him.

The Greater Holy War is against the self.

Missing a prayer is like suffering agreat misfortune in one's family and wealth.

If you are negligent about your prayer, you will be more negligent about other things..

No one is a true believer until he wishes for others what he wishes for himself.

The right of the eldest brother upon the youngest is the right of the father upon his son.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Pitta Bread in Dubai




My first encounter with pitta bread was in Dubai when my family and I had gone for our holidays. After travelling for more than 12 hours ( Pen –Kul-Dubai) and checking into our hotel we realized it was an apartment complex, we found out that there was no restaurant in it or even near by it. We were all exhausted and hungry. Later we went out to look for a plate of rice which is of course Malaysian staple diet. Surprisingly the cafes and restaurant along the Diera town did not sell any rice. All the food sold was either wrapped in a pitta bread or filled in a pitta pocket. So here it is after some trial and error I finally started making pittas better than the ones sold in the supermarket. I’ve even alterd the recipe to omit as much white flour as possible and include whole meal. Both the recipes are below. Enjoy kneading!!

Pitta Bread Recipe
3 cuos of flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 10g sachet (or 3 teaspoons) instant yeast or ¼ oz / 8g active dry yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon olive oil
Wholemeal Pitta Bread Recipe
1 cup of flour
1 ½ cups of whole meal flour
½ cup of wheatgerm
1 teaspoon salt

1 10g sachet (or 3 teaspoons) instant yeast or ¼ oz / 8g active dry yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon olive oil
(Method for both is the same. Just combine all three flour first before continuing)


Sift together the flour and salt. Combine yeast, sugar and 1/2 cup lukewarm water in a cup and leave for 10 minutes until it starts to froth. Mix the yeast mixture into the flour. Stir with a wooden spoon and start kneading by handi to form a dough, adding another few tablespoons warm water as needed. Knead the dough on a floured surface for approx 10 minutes until it is smooth, springy and elastic. Put some olive oil into the bowl and place the dough back into the bowl, spread the oil all over the dough. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 ½ - 2 hours until it has doubled in size.
Punch the air out of the dough and knead briefly, then divide the dough into twelve pieces. Roll each one out to a ¾ cm / ¼ inch thick round and put on a floured baking tray. When they're all done cover the tray and leave to rise again for another 45 minutes .Preheat your oven to its highest temperature - about 220C / 450F if it will get that hot. Heat up a baking tray or put large frying pan in the middle of your oven to heat. Once the dough has risen, put one or two pitta breads onto the griddle and return to oven to cook for 2 ½ to 3 minutes until they have puffed up. Bring the bread out onto a plate covered by a damp cloth to cool off. Once cool they can be frozen in bags. Reheat under the grill or in a toaster.Pitta bread is now ready and can be eaten with numerous fillings be it vegetarian or non vegetarian,

Friday, November 7, 2008

Baba Ghanouj - grilled eggplant dip


Baba Ghanoush - also known as Baba Ghanouj in arabic – is according to Wikipedia a Levantine cuisine which is a traditional cuisine of Ottoman Syria, now usually called the Levant. Baba Ghanouj is a dip or spread made of roasted eggplant and traditionally tahini. Simply roast the eggplant, scoop out the softened pulp, and then puree with tahini and seasonings. The seasonings used in this recipe for Baba Ghanoush are garlic,ground cumin , lemon juice, parsley and salt. Dip fresh pita bread or use as spread for sandwiches or simply cut vegetables into the Baba Ghanoush for a healthy snack.

Ingredients:
1 large eggplant
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. Tahini
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. salt

Method
1. Preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit (200° Celcius).
2. Prick the eggplant with a fork. Then place on a tray put into the hot oven.
3. Roast the eggplant for about 40 minutes or until very soft inside. (you will know eggplant is done he there is no more liquid coming out from it )
4. Cool completely.
5. Scoop out the eggplant's pulp and place in a food processor. Add remaining ingredients into the food processor. Pulse until pureed, but still has some texture.
6. Refrigerate. Serve chilled with fresh pita bread.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Exams and High School Musical 3

It has been quite a while since I posted anything. The reason is because of the exam season here in Malaysia. Children in primary, secondary school and and pre-U will be sitting for their final exams in the month of October and November just before the school term break. Having kids all in primary, secondary and Pre-U can cause any mom to go nuts what with all the driving to and fro from school, tutoring, cooking balanced meal, going to school during lunch break to give moral support and the list goes on..My two daughters the eldest doing her SAM program ( South Australian Matriculation) and my youngest in year three are the most stressed out girls I have seen. The little one is ditto her big sister and a perfectionist when it comes to her work. My son on the other hand is such a happy go lucky fellow and is always cool in what ever circumstances. Looking at my children it make me realise how different and how well defined their personalities are. Sometimes the cutest of things that they say can make any mum do the craziest things. For instance, when I knew about the movie High School Musical 3 coming to my town cinemas I specifically told my eldest who is so crazy about this movie not to mention about it to the little one. My little Sofi is also a big fan of high school musical and even had performed a dance for the song 'What Time Is It' earlier this year in her school concert. While I do encourage my kids to follow their passion as long as they are good Muslims and obedient children, this HSM thing was going out of hand.So I banned Sofi from watching replay of the movie and talking about the movie. (although she begged me to allow her to listen to the songs in the weekend). So now back to HSM3 , I was quite sure this movie was out of the question and no one dared to talk about it. Until last Saturday when my eldest called me from KL asking my 'permission' to watch the movie . Her excuse was that all her room mate in the hostel will be going for the movie and she will be alone in the apartment. Sigh..! What can I do? So after consulting with her father , I allowed her to go for the movie. Now that should be it, right? Nope.. Little Sofi overheard and started sulking. When I asked her what was wrong she very timidly replied that every single girl in her class have seen the movie, except her. She also added that she feels awkward and embarassed because she was the only one who has not seen the movie, and since her exams are over and she did work very hard, we should at least consider taking her for the movie. Talk about peer pressure. Just then her best friend called to tell her that she was going for the movie, again! Little Sofi had such a miserable look on her face that hubby and I instantly gave in and decided to take her for the 9pm show. But there was one problem though. My son MS hates HSM 1, 2 or 3. He refused to follow giving all kind of reasons why he should stay at home. Finally after some coaxing he agreed to follow but on condition that he be allowed to cover his eyes with an eye patch. What a mom has to go through to please her kids. So we agreed. The movie HSM3 was not so great after all the Boohoohaa.In my opinion the movie was definitely not suitable for kids. There was too much of romancing and very little story in it. Many a time I had to distract sofi so that she does not watch all the romancing that was going on. So after the movie, I had a talk with her and asked her opinion of the movie. She agreed that it was not so nice and she wished now that she did not go for it. MS was happy saying again and again 'I told you so'. But all in all it was a lesson learnt for all of us. For me and Hubby, as parents we should say no and be firm with our answer when we are sure of something. For Sofi, she should not allow friends to influence her and for MS...ehm.ehmm advice his mom when he thinks her heart is controlling her head. Anyway no offence to those of you who enjoy HSM 3... this is only my view of the movie. Happy Days !!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Homemade Burger in a jiffy




Yesterday my son MS had a big complain. According to him I am not making any of his favorite dish anymore. He also added that everyday lunch comprising of rice, vegetable and meat/seafood so boring . So being a very obliging Mom:), I decided to prepare his two most favorite dish. That is spaghetti Bolognese for lunch, and homemade chicken burger for dinner. I’ve already entered the Bolognese recipe before. Here is the recipe for the homemade chicken burger.

500gm chicken meat
1 large onion
3-5 slices of capsicum ( red, green & yellow)
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp of fennel powder
1-2 tsp chilly powder
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend to a paste. Scoop then into several balls. Heat a little oil a heavy bottomed pan. Pat the balls into chicken patties and shallow fry them on slow fire two at a time. Your chicken burger is ready.

There are several ways to serve them. You can put them in a burger bun and top with lettuce, salad, carrots, mayo, and cheese.
Alternatively you can cut the burger into strips and put them into pita bread with coleslaw .You can also cut up these burgers and use them as pizza topping. Happy cooking
Note:
I put in the capsicum for some added nutrients,you can add other vegetable such as sweet corn, beans,chives or coriander leaves

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Biryani Recipe with Dalcha and Spicy Chicken Fry






Biryani, biriani, or beriani is a family of primarily South Asian rice dishes made with spices, rice (usually basmati) and meat/vegetables. This dish was widely spread throughout the Middle East and South Asia (and Southeast Asia to an extent) by Muslim travellers and merchants, and is very popular in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The name is derived[1] from the Persian word beryā(n) (بریان) which means "fried" or "roasted". Today there are many kinds of biryanis, Dhum Biryani, Malay style Biryani, Burmese, Indian Sri Lankan biryani, and much much more. I still remember how my mother used to take many hours to prepare the spices which firstly would be cleaned, air dried pounded before actually going into the pot. But now pre-mixed biryani spices from different commercial names are easily available in markets these days, which reduces the preparation time though the taste differs considerably.

As I mentioned earlier , the various types of biryani available now differs from one another because of the types of spices used in these dishes. The usual spices and condiments used in biryani may include but are not limited to: cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, coriander and mint leaves. For a rich taste many choose to cook with ghee. The other ingredients which is a must are ginger, onions, garlic and yoghurt. The premium varieties include saffron. For a non-vegetarian biryani, the main ingredient that accompanies the spices is the meat—beef, chicken, goat, lamb, or shrimp, though vegetable biryani varieties are also popular. The dish is served with dalcha in Malaysia, whereas in Indian restaurants it served with chutney or Raita, while some middle Eastern dining serve this dish with meat korma, curry or a sour dish of eggplant (brinjal).

My recipe today is a simple biryani. I got this recipe from a friend, who is doing catering business. She is a Pakistani and I guess this Biryani could be Pakistan version Biryani. I had opted to make it without any chicken in it. But you can still add chicken or meat in this dish. My other dish is Dalcha. The base of this curry dish is lentil/dhal cooked with utton/chicken and a variety of vegetables.It's a south Indian recipe.My Dalcha is a family recipe and no matter how many times I cook it I still think the best Dalcha is my Mom's. And finally is the spicy chicken. well this is my own concoction. I don't follow a strict recipe for this. You can add and adjust to your liking. Here are the recipes and happy cooking.


Biryani

Ingredients:
A
2-3 cm cinnamon stick
4 coardamoms
1 star anise
4-5 pieces of cloves


B
2 large onion chopped
3 large tomatoes chopped
1 bunch of coriander leaves chopped
1 spray mint leaves chopped
3 screwpine leaves
3tbsp ginger garlic paste
1/4 cup cashew nut grind to a paste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2tbsp yogurt

4 tbsp ghee
4 cups of Basmati Rice ( soak them in water for half an hour )

some roasted cashews and raisins for garnishing

Method

1. In a large pot put the ghee and fry onion till golden then add A.
2. Fry for a couple of minutes then add mint, coriander and screwpine leaves. Saute till there is a fragrant.
3. then add ginger garlic paste and all the tomatoes and cashew paste,turmeric and yogurt.
4. Now add the water,( which is 1 1/2 cup of water for one cup of rice ) and the evaporated milk. Put some salt and simmer for awhile before adding the rice. Lower the heat to a minimum and cook till the rice is well done.
5. Garnish with cashew raisins and more chopped coriander.

Dalcha

Ingredients

A
2-3 cm cinnamon stick
4 coardamoms
1 star anise
4-5 pieces of cloves


1/2 kg mutton/chicken

3-4 tbsp curry powder added with some water and stirred to a paste
1 tbsp tamarind with some water to form a paste
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
2 tbsp garlic ginger paste
2 green chillies, sliced
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1 Brinjal, sliced according to taste
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 tomato, cut into quarters
1 unriped mango, unpeeled, seeded and sliced (optional)
1/2 cup of coconut milk
1 bowl of water
1 cup full Dhal or yellow lentils, soaked in water for 30 minutes then boiled and partly mashed
1 bunch of coriander chopped
some mint leaves chopped
some curry leaves
Salt to taste

Method

1. Heat oil in a big pot, when the oil is ready add in A.
2. Add sliced onions and curry leaves, fry for a while, till onions are yellow and fragrant.
3. Add the garlic and ginger paste and fry for a few minutes. Add the mutton and the curry paste. Cover and leave it for 10 minutes.
4. Now add the vegetables except mango.
4. Add the water and cook till the vegetables are done.
6. Now add the tamarind, the cooked lenthis and coconut milk.
7. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Then add mango and seoson with some salt.
8. Finally garnish with chopped coriander and mint. Serve hot with Biryani or Pilau.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fish Curry for my daughter in KL




Ingredients

1 large pomfret/ mackerel or any fleshy fish of your choice
2 big onions sliced
2 big tomatoes chopped
3 cloves of garlic chopped
4-5Tbsp Fish curry powder ( mix this in a little water to form a paste)
lime size tamarind pulp mixed with 1 small bowl of water
5 tbsp evaporated milk ( or coconut cream )

To sauté (A)
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp fenugreek seeds
A few curry leaves

3tbsp oil
Salt to taste

Method
1.Heat oil in a earthen pot and fry the (A) well.
2.Now add sliced onions and garlic. Fry till there is aroma.
3.Then add tomatoes and the curry powder. Fry well till the oil separates
from the spices.
4.Add the tamarind juice and 1 large bowl of water. Simmer for 15 minutes
5.Now add the milk.
6.Then add the fish and your choice of vegetable such as ladies finger or brinjal.
7.Season with some salt.
8.Serve this delicious fish curry with some hot rice and popodums.

Note:
This dish improves with keeping. Green mangoes can also be added but you have to reduce the tamarind juice.

Mee Jawa ( Noodles in prawn and tomato gravy)


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Eid Mubarak !!

Happy Eid everyone. Alhamdulillah and syukur to Allah swt we have completed Ramadan. May all our fasting and good deeds accepted by the Almighty. Tomorrow is 1st of Syawal and muslims in Malaysia will celebrate Eid dul Fitri. Eid means 'a recurring happiness or festivity'. There are two Eids: Eid-dul-Fitr, celebrated on 1st of Shawwal following the month of fasting to celebrate Festival Of Fast Breaking , and Eid-dul-Adha, celebrated on 10th of Dul-Hijja, following the course of hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca )
Eid al-Fitr is the time to give in charity to those in need, and celebrate with family and friends the completion of a month of blessings and joy. Before the day of Eid, during the last few days of Ramadan, each Muslim family gives a determined amount as a donation to the poor. This donation is of actual food -- rice, barley, dates, rice, etc. -- to ensure that the needy can have a holiday meal and participate in the celebration. This donation is known as sadaqah al-fitr (charity of fast-breaking).

On the day of Eid, Muslims gather early in the morning in outdoor locations or mosques to perform the Eid prayer. This consists of a sermon followed by a short congregational prayer. In Malaysia we greet each other with 'Selamat Hari Raya' on this day. Family and friends will take this opportunity to visit each other and may also will be having ' Open House' with an array of mouth watering local delicacy such as lemang , ketupat, rendang, serunding, nasi impit, nasi bryani and various meat dishes to offer to their guests.

Well I too as usual will be having my Eid open House, InsyaAllah. I will be posting more about the Eid celebration after one week break. InsyaAllah.

Eid Mubarak !!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ramadhan Aspiration


Today is 25 Ramadhan. There is only another 5 days to go before this holy month with all the doors of blessing open, ends. The last ten night which is considered the most impotant nights of this month. Lailatul Qadar ( The Night of Power) could fall in any one of these nights. The Night of Power is full of blessings, because the Noble Qur’an descended on this night. The Qur’an is send to Rasulullah Saw. It distinguishes between the good and evil and shows to the way of peace and the eternal joy for all humanity. Being this thus, the night in which this Divine Book was sent down is worthy of great esteem. The Qur’an says:

“Surely We revealed it [the Holy Quran] on the grandest night. And what will make you comprehend what the grandest night. The grandest night is better than a thousand months. The angels and Gabriel descend in it by the permission of their Lord for every affair. Peace onto it until the break of the morning.” (97:1-5)

On the Night of Power, pray to God with all your heart and He will definitely respond to all your prayers. During this night, as quoted in the above-mentioned verse, the angels and the celestial spirit (Gabriel alaihis-salaam) descends. Its proximity to the Earth gives to a spiritual brightness to the hearts and souls of the believers. The Prophet (SAW) on this night spend time in oration and adoration of God. To that they spend his night in oration, the unimaginable experience joy, a deep feeling of great pleasure, like result of immense celestial blessings in tonight.

Recite the Qur’an, look for the pardon of Allah and pray for the good of this world, as well as in the next.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Iftaar invitation in Alor Star

Yesterday my kids and I followed Hubby to Alor star ( his office is there). They were having their annual Iftaar and all was invited. It has been awhile since I went to Alor Star, and I was looking forward to this trip. So, early in the morning we left for Alor Star. I was a little worried though because it was quite early and I did not know how long my two children can hang around the shopping mall before they get tired. But I was pleasantly surprised because hubby had arranged for the company's apartment for us to use for the day. Soon after we reached I got my two kids organize their time table so that one get to play computer while the other does homework and vice versa. Then I dropped off hubby in his office and headed straight to Star Parade which is one of the biggest shopping mall in Alor Star. The atmosphere in Star Parade was quite amazing with Eid dul Ftri songs in the air there was a festive scene everywhere. There was also scores and scores of shops selling traditional Malay dresses, Jubahs, Abaya, scarfs, hijabs and much much more. After purchasing a few stuffs, I headed back to the apartment for some rest. Later in the evening we all gathered at the Al Bukhary mosque for iftaar and Maghrib prayers. Although the day was tiring for my kids and me, I feel it was worthwhile because we get to meet my hubby's staffs and sit together (orphans were also invited) this Ramadhan and enjoy our meals. After all, what better way to strenghten our silarturrahim?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

No time to blog?





It has been more than a week since I last posted anything. The reason is because of the never ending chores in preparation for Eidul Fitr. Despite all the organizing, I think I am one of the last ones to bake cookies and sweets for this festive season. Last week I spoke to mom in law and guest what? She had already prepared 3 types of cookies and even had them posted to UK for my brother in law who is studying there. Then my sister in law called and told me she had already baked 5 types of cookies and now she is free to do her shopping and other stuff. I don't believe it. It is only 21st of Ramadhan and there is still a good 9 or 10 ten days to go. How come everyone is super fast this year. Even some of the other blogger had started to make their cookies. Sigh!! Anyway, I entered my kitchen today with zest and determination and baked 2 types of cookies, Almond crunch and Choc Rice Cookies ( Sarang semut ). It turned out quite well, after 4 hours of toiling in front of the oven that is. So now I am in the same squad or gang or whatever it is with everyone. And if anyone ask me ' Have you started making any cookies?' I can give them a brilliant smile and invite them to come and taste my cookies of course after breaking fast. As they say better late than never.

Friday, September 12, 2008

15 punshiments of missing prayer...





The one who disdains the prayers will receive Fifteen punishments from
Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala.Six punishments in this lifetime,Three while dying
Three in the grave & Three on the Day of Judgment.
I thought this would be interesting to share with all of you...

THE SIX PUNISHMENTS OF LIFE:
1. Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala takes away blessings from his age
(makes his life misfortunate)
2. Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'aladoes not accept his plea (Dua's)
3. Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala erases the features of good people from his face
4. he will be detested by all creatures on earth.
5. Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala does not award him for his good deeds. (No thawab)
6. he will not be included in the Dua's of good people.

THE THREE PUNISHMENTS WHILE DYING:
1. he dies humiliated.
2. he dies hungry.
3. he dies thirsty.Even if he drinks the water of all seas he will still be thirsty.

THE THREE PUNISHMENTS IN THE GRAVE:
1. Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala tightens his grave until his chest ribs come over each other.
2. Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala pours on him fire with embers.
3. Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala sets on him a snake called "the brave", "the bold"
which hits Him from morning until afternoon for leaving Fajr prayer,from the
afternoon until Asr for leaving Dhuhr prayer and so on. With each strike he sinks
70 yards under the ground.

THE THREE PUNISHMENTS ON THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT:
1. Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala sends those who would accompany
him to hell pulling him on the face.
2. Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala gives him an angry look that makes
the flesh of his face fall down.
3. Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala judges him strictly and orders him to
be thrown in hell.

THOSE WHO DO NOT SAY THEIR PRAYERS OF:
FAJAR: the glow of their face is taken away.
ZOHAR: the blessing of their income is taken away.
ASAR: the strength of their body is taken away.
MAGHRIB: they are not benefacted by their children.
ISHA: the peace of their sleep is taken away.

May Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala protect us and
show us the right path all the time

Ameen

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Happy Birthday G!!

That's how I call my hubby ..G. Today is his birthday and for the first time it falls in the month of ramadan. Well since everyday in Ramadan is a celebration, today will be extra special and today the kids and I will try and cook up his favorite food for breaking fast. Anyway I would like to wish G Happy Birthday!! May you have good health, long and prosperous life. Ameen.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Ramadan Feast in my home

These are some of the dishes I prepared at home in this holy month of Ramadan. As a start I"ve decided to reduce the variety of dishes on each day so that there is no wastage. Once again I would like to remind myself and all brothers and sisters out there to increase our 'ibadah i.e read the Quran and do other little things like sadaqa, help the needy, istigfar, zikir and much much more. May Allah swt grant us an easy and rewarding Ramadan.






Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Happy Birthday Shak!!






2nd September is a very special day for me. It is my eldest daughter Shak's birthday and my wedding anniversary. We used to have only one celebration, but as Shak got older and my other kids became conscious about getting treats on special occasian, they requested that we celebrate twice. " I just want to be fair. My parents get their own special day and I get mine. " assured Shak. " Yes, than we also get to eat two special meal." MS who is all in for gourmet food coaxed. My little one Sofi squeeled " Yeah...!! Than Aka will get two presents on both days." Well that's how the children get what they want from hubby and me. I call them partners in crime. When all three of them want something, they can debate, convince and assure us that it is actually good for all of us. Most of the time hubby and I let them get their way. Not because we were forced to but it is so amusing to see all three children trying their best to agree on something ( they usually don't ). Well anyway this year since 2nd September falls in the month of Ramadhan, we just decided to to have only one celebration that is on last Saturday night. We went out for dinner at Tandoori House located on Transfer road. The food there was ok. It used to be very good before. I even had Sofi's 4 year old birthday party here. But now I noticed the standard had dropped. Nevertheless we still had a good time together.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Ramadan Al Mubarak to all Muslims



Ramadan Al Mubarak to all. Once again the time is here which all muslims look forward to.. the fasting month. I pray and doa that Allah swt gives us strength to complete the fasting month and come out victorious.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

MerDeka !!!! MerDeka !!! mERdEKa!!!







Tonight on 31st August 2008, we are going to celebrate our nation’s 51st birthday or Independence Day. 51 years ago, while we were still called Malaya, our first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, led a delegation of ministers and political leaders of Malaya negotiating with the British in London for Merdeka, or independence along with the first president of the Malayan Chinese Association (MCA) Tun Dato Sir Tan Cheng Lock and fifth President of Malaysian Indian Congress Tun V.T. Sambanthan. It was decided that the official proclamation of Malaya independence would be made on August 31, 1957, at Stadium Merdeka (Independence Stadium), in Kuala Lumpur, and we are then named as Malaysia, until today.

Thus my kids and I being the patriotic lot decided to paint and express our love for our country through our art. Here are the pictures:)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Artist Extraordinaire





My family and I had just came back from Kuala Lumpur after visiting my eldest Shak whose in college there.Since it is still the school holidays and hubby is also on leave, we decided to do painting with our two other kids MS and Sofi. My children just love painting and sometimes they become very competitive and try and out do each other. Most of the time it is fun watching them but other times it can go out of control and they will end up quarelling. This time I decided to let everyone to choose whatever they want to paint without a specific title. The end result was quite amazing. Hubby Ak painted a night scenery,my son MS who is so into the Beijing Olympics, painted the logo, Sofi decided on a daylight scenery and I chose Batik design. Here are the pictures of the painting.

Buddy Award from Yasmeen

Buddy Award from Yasmeen

An Award from Yasmeen of Health nut

An Award from Yasmeen of Health nut