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.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Reflect on this

Don't be Sad is a book I'm currently reading. There is a particular paragraph in this book which I have reproduced below to allow others to recite this as their Do'a/prayer and ask Allah swt to grant us a good life and success in the world and the hereafter. I write this doa/prayer in a clean sheet of paper and keep it in my handbag. This gives me a sense of security and feeling of protection from Allah. Try writing it down and you will know what I mean.

" There is none worthy of worship except Allah, the Ever-Forebearing, the Most Great. There is none worthy of worship except Allah, the Lord of the Tremendous Throne. There is none worthy of worship except Allah,the Lord of the Heavens, the Lord of the earth, and the Lord of the Noble Throne. O'Ever-Living, and O'One Who sustains and protects all that exists, there is none worthy of worship except You and by Your mercy do we seek Your aid."
O'Allah, Your mercy do I hope for; so do not leave to myself, not even for the blinking of an eye. and make well for me all of my affairs. There is none worthy except You."
" I seek forgiveness from Allah: none is worthy of worship except Him. He is the Ever-Living and the One ho sustains and protects all that exists, and I turn to Him in repentance."
" There is none worthy of worship except You, and how perfect You are: verily; I am among the wrongdoers."
" O' Allah, verily I am Your slave, the son of Your slaves; my forelock is in Your hand. Your order concerning me will be executed and just is Your judgement upon me. I ask You by all of Your names that You have named Yourself with, have revealed in Your book, have taught to one of Your creation, or is in Your knowledge only (from the matters of the unseen)-make Qu'ran the spring of my heart, the light of my chest, the remover of my sadness, and the purger of my anxiety."
"O' Allah, I seek refuge in you from anxiety and grief, from inability and laziness, from avarice and cowardice, from being engrossed by debt, and from being overpowered by men."
" Allah (Alone) is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs (for us)." Ameen

Monday, August 18, 2008

Doli Kuew Teow



Last weekend hubby AK and I decided to visit his Mom who is staying 80km away from us. You see we did not visit her on her birthday because it was a working day, so last Saturday we packed all the presents, bought lots of durian ( her favourite and mine too) and went to visit her. Coincidentally AK's other brother was also there. So it became like a family gathering with lots of tea, durians and rojaks. Later that night mom in law suggested that we go out for dinner in this new restaurant in Taiping. Being a small town, Taiping does not have many restaurant to boast, so the locals were a little excited when this new Malay restaurant opened a few months ago. It is called Doli restaurant, located near Tupai opposite the new Taiping Polyclinic. According to mom in law their special dish is Fried Kuey Teow and it is individually prepared for customers. There was 12 of us and one of Ak's aunt had gone earlier to book a place for all of us. Everyone ordered the Fried Kuey Teow, except for AK and Sofi, they had Chicken Rice. My son MS had Curry Mee and I ordered an extra plate of Mee Rebus (Noodles in spicy Sweet potato and prawn gravy) just to taste. The Kuey Teow was very nice with lots of shrimps and vegetables. A little salty for me though. The Chicken Rice was unique because instead of the usual boiled roasted chicken this was chicken roasted and served with peanut sauce. Very nice. Ms enjoyed his Curry Mee. Since MS is the biggest food critic around I was surprised that he ate his noodle quietly. Later he acknowledged that the noodle was very good. The Mee Rebus was also good. But Ak did not like the strong dried shrimp smell from the gravy. But then you have to be a through and through Penangite to savor the taste of Mee Rebus and I give them the Thumbs UP! The restaurant also serve a variety of fruit juice. You have to come early though in the weekend because the place will be full. The picture above is only of CUrry Mee and Mee Rebus. I actually forgot to take picture of the Fried Kuey Teow but will do so another time. Restaurant Doli will be opening their new branch in Taman Tun in Kuala Lumpur soon according to the Proprietor.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ouch!! My leg Hurts

When I tell people my legs can act as the weather man, I usually get the disbelieving look, or an annoyed look and sometimes teasing remarks. But really I am telling the truth. When there is a change in the weather, somehow my legs seems to get the signal first. Way before the rain comes, I will be telling my hubby AK to drive carefully because it will be raining InsyaAllah shortly. Ak did not believe at first. After sometime he admitted that my legs did indicate the rain.
I started noticing it myself in the late 90s. My legs will start to cramp and I will get pain in my calf just before it rained. The pain will subside as soon as the rain stops. Just before Tsunami in year 2006, I was having severe leg pain for a couple of days. It did rain at that time where I was staying. And I sometimes do wonder if the severe pain in my leg was any indication for the devastation that took place. But of course I can’t go telling people that there is going to be a Tsunami just because of my leg pain ! This will probably put me in a lot of trouble for causing anxiety, unrest, turmoil, apprehension, disorder, disturbance……..to society at large and I might then be on the Wanted List !! God Forbid! Now back to my leg pain , I did finally meet someone who had this ability (or disability because you will be unable to move about freely ) to forecast the weather with the condition of her legs. She is Kak A as I call her. We used to stay in the same neighborhood when I was staying in Kuala Lumpur. One day when she came for a visit, she casually told me that she had to do her marketing fast because it might be raining later today. When she saw the look of dismay in my eyes, she started the lengthy explanation of how her legs can forecast the weather. Then she started to utter apologize for frightening me. I on the other hand was shocked to see somebody else who had the same ability as me. Soon we became good friends and used to exchange weather notes with each other until she moved to Cheras and I to North.
But lately for the past few days I have been having leg pain but I did one mistake. That is, I went for a foot reflexology and it had aggravated my pain and my ankle is a bit swollen now. Sigh!! All I can do is put on my Super Socks and mooch around the house. But hey!! It did rain this morning not heavy but just a drizzle..

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

To pressure or not to pressure



It had been a long time since I last cooked mutton. This is because when I was staying in Kuala Lumpur, I could not buy any local mutton. Mostly Australian lamb was available. This Australian lamb has very strong smell and does not taste very good with Indian or Arabic style of cooking. But last weekend my sister offered to buy me some local mutton from her regular butcher. I was of course delighted because I really do not know how to buy mutton, for example, which part is good for curry, or to make meatball on so on. So at 12 noon on Sunday morning my brother in law brought fresh mutton to my house. After deciding what to cook I realised I had one big problem."Where was my pressure cooker." I got my son MS to search for the pressure cooker. After all he wanted to eat mutton so much. After a while we found the pressure cooker but now the weight which controls the steam was missing. SIGH!! It was a Sunday and here I am looking high and low for the weight and I have not even started lunch yet. Finally hubby had an idea. You see, my hubby Ak who was the eldest in his family used to help his mom a lot when he was small.
( Another reason was because mom in law has no daughters). So with his vast experience and knowledge, he advised me to use the pressure cooker as normal. Wait for the steam to build then put a thick wet towel instead of the weight on the cover. So I obediently did what was told and to my surprise in less than 20 minutes the mutton was cooked to a nice tender and juicy texture and my house was filled with the aromatic smell of cardamons ginger and all the spices which was in side the pressure cooker. After whipping up a simple vegetable dish we all sat down for one of the most delicious and satisfying home made lunch. So if you have pressure cooker at home and you have lost the weight like I did. Don't despair, just put a wet towel and you will be surprised of the result. HAppy cooking

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Arab Bread with Sardin gravy



When I was staying in Alor Star a couple of years ago, I used to buy roti Arab or Arab Bread. This bread is available all the time in their night market. I used to buy and freeze them and it use to be so easy to just pull out an arab bread and prepare some gravy and dinner or breakfast is ready in a jiffy. Now in Penang, I can't find this bread anymore. I have tried in most of the night markets, frozen food stores, but still nobody even knows what this roti arab is in Penang. After some googling I found one recipe for this delicious bread. But of course, being a little health conscious, I have altered the recipe and in future I even might try to substitute the white flour with wholemeal flour. I will give both the original recipe and my own version of the Arab bread, but seriously there was not much difference in taste, but calories wise, mine is much lower than the original recipe. Here it is.

Arab Bread (My recipe)

500gm bread flour/high protein flour
1 tbsp canola spread
5 tbsp olive oil
1 packet Mauripan yeast
2 tbsp brown sugar
250 ml warm water
salt to taste

Method

In a bowl mix the yeast, sugar and water. Leave it for about 15 minutes until it froths. Now mix flour salt and the oils. pour the yeast mixture slowly kneading all the time. Add more water if necessary. Knead well for 20 minutes and let it rest for 30 min or until double the size. Punch down the dough. Divide the dough to about the size of a tennis ball. Pat the dough to a circular shape of 10 inches. Leave it rise again for 15 minutes. Now put the bread on a non stick pan and cook it on a very slow fire for approximately 3 minutes on each side. (Do not use any butter or oil).
Take out the bread and serve immediately with meat gravy or sardine gravy.

NOTE:

If you are not going to eat immediately, than microwave it for 30 sec before eating. You can even freeze the bread and heat it on pan before eating.

Arab Bread (Original Recipe)

500gm bread flour/high protein flour
6 Tbsp Vegetable Shortening
1 packet Mauripan yeast
4 tbsp sugar
250 ml warm water
salt to taste

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Caramel Custard


My daughter Shak is coming back today fo r a visit. Thus I have decided to make her favourite dessert caramel custard. My version of caramel custard is extremely simple but satisfying. You don’t have to worry about calories because there is no eggs. I personally do not like the original caramel custard recipe which uses a lot of egg making it look more like an egg custard. Here is the recipe.


Ingredients

For the caramel
1 small bowl of sugar
½ bowl of water

Mix water and sugar in a pot simmer till it becomes thick syrupy and golden brown. Pour 1cm high in individual containers.

For the custard

1 liter of low fat milk
6 tbsp custard powder

Mix the custard powder with ½ a cup of milk until it becomes smooth. Now pour the remaining milk into a pot and bring to a gentle boil. Lower the heat and pour the custard mix slowly into the hot milk stirring all the time. Simmer for about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and pour the custard into the containers with caramel. Cool and chill them for at least 2 hours before serving. For variety you can cut some fruits like strawberries, peaches, pineapples on top with a little squirt of whipped cream.

Note

It is important to buy good quality custard powder to get a rich custard. You can also add vanilla or rose flavour in the custard for a change. The caramel can also be flavoured with cinnamon . Just drop in 2cm cinnamon stick when making the caramel. Remove when it is done.

Buddy Award from Yasmeen

Buddy Award from Yasmeen

An Award from Yasmeen of Health nut

An Award from Yasmeen of Health nut