Monday, December 20, 2010

Yup, I'd found Facebook....

*head hung low*...and this blog has been neglected! I'd been refraining myself from FB but hubby opened an account for me and the rest is history. So it's his fault. I write this post to kickstart blogging again!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Water babes

We didn't hit the pool for two weeks due to flu bugs attack, coupled with El Nino;). The weather does not really bother the kids but it is just too hot for mama who prefere to stay out of the water.

Last sunday, we finally did and here are some pics, not in particular order.

It's normally hard to snap a pic of all 5 together.

It's the very first time I let Atef in the water 'on his own'. I imagine he said "I really like this, mama!". I just replid "Enjoy, baby, enjoy!".

Bea3 looking at her 'food'

Adel making funny faces for the camera

Bea2 eager to 'serve' drinks for everyone.

Bea3 chasing Adel with some water...

Bea1 being 'served'. No wonder we never have enough plates and cups in the kitchen.

Atef under a shade when it's too hot!

More funny faces...

Bea1 teaches Atef splashing water, as if he does not know it already!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A wedding.... lot of pics and not too many words, I hope.
I start off with the hantaran. Kak long decorated all dulang for both sides. Such tedious work! According to her, the cage-like thing is a new trend.

Thought she ran out of sticks (3 sticks for the square). She insisted, it is a trend!

Thought of attending a class for kek hantaran, then bring the cake home and claim to orang kampung I made it hehe...but of course, I where got time wan! So, I just left it to the expert. Generous me contributed cakes for both sides.

Hijacked some pics from my brother's FB page. Dad's hard work in some old oil palm estate to get the 'umbut' of an old oil palm tree. I just have no idea what that's called in English. It is the inner part of the lower trunk. This is the first time I got to know that the one from oil palm is also used. I knew about those from coconut. My brother said oil palm is better. That combined with beef (only the head shown here....ewwwww) produced gulai kawah....yummmm!

The colour theme was blue and white. Suddenly we saw bright yellow seating area for the 'makan beradat' that made my sister freaked out...muahahahaha!

Mandatory pics of kids playing on the 'pelamin',

a sleepy, moody kid that didn't want to be part of anything,

a baby that was just too tired to bother!

The youngest in the clan, my parents' 30th grandchild. We managed to snap a pic before the drool dropped;). Nice!

Let me tell you about 'ngele'. In Kelantan, when you are invited to 'doa selamat' or 'baco doa' ceremony for a wedding, you are not expected to contribute money or gifts. But if you are invited for 'ngele', yes contributions are welcome. The differences are, invitation for 'ngele' is always done with cards, but only verbally for the other. 'Ngele' is normally more exaggerated than 'doa selamat' and, small gifts (called 'siso') are given (normally bunga telur) to guests. So, baco doa is always like free meals for the kampung folk. And, money is always given in a subtle (or very sopan) way, you see in the was handing a bunga telur, and at the same time receiving money (of course not visible) from the guest. And yes, definitely, I was shooed away for being a busybody, snapping pics of hands away hehe!

Adel's act for the camera.

I just love this pic. It was almost over, mom was alone under the tent, almost smiling. She looked tired but content, maybe she was just being grateful that everything went just well.
And finally the pengantin...I'm sorry sis, you got to know this from my blog. Frankly the fake eye-lashes made your eyes BIG and diminished the soft look on your face, and the make-up made you look older;). Anyway, I wish you all the happiness in the world. I remember saving RM3 when I was little just to buy you a baby doll in a red overall that closed her eyes when laid down. I was always trusted to feed you when mom's busy. Can't believe you are a wife now. I hope you will realise that it does not really matter if the freaking bright yellow does not match your colour, the thought of the people who made the effort that counts. Looking at the trend in the family, in a year's time you will bring a baby to this world, and another two years after that....then only you know what a marriage really means...*evil laughs*.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Girls' wardrobe

Got so excited with the Ikea sale, went there on the first day and loaded the MPV with the girls' new wardrobe.
Off course, earlier they wanted these

but I had to give lectures on why they could not have those. For the price of one cartoonish Mammut, I could get two tall Trofast that comes with bigger space. And Hensvik looks too flimsy, to me.
And more importantly, pine Trofast goes well with the Vikare beds (that I got from the As Is many months ago for only RM190 with the mattress, I still can't get over it).

Loved to have all red, but they had ran out of it. Bought the blue ones as the staff could not confirm when the new stock of the red doors comes in. That's a total of RM430 saving with the sale. Please ignore the artwork on the wall, still can't bring myself to get the painting done.
For some fun, I stitched the Kallt stars on the Minnen mirror (also from As Is) and the girls were so pleased with that. Ok, the boy too;).

I can't stay away from Ikea. For this sale alone, I had made 4 trips. The first one to get the furniture, the second, on the next day to get some points for the card from a friend's purchase, the third on Sunday to return shelves (of the wrong size) and get the right ones, plus some shopping at the Curve to fill the wardrobe a bit;). Yesterday, went there to get the Kallt lights. All are very fast visits, the last one is only half an hour while waiting for Bea1 to finish school. And I still have a voucher from the shelves return. So, definitely there will be the fifth...see, that's how crazy I am!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Some modification and late night therapy

Some of my cuppies never made it to the table and stay dormant for a while in the fridge. I copied a recipe of some muffins with ground almonds. I was excited when I looked at them rising in the oven. Minutes after that I was not so sure if I was really happy as they just continued rising. The moment they came in contact with the cool air, some sunk right away, producing something like a huge caldera in the middle, others erupted like some mini volcanoes but without the lava and the volcanic ash.
Think since I grinded the almonds myself, it was not properly done resulting in a mixture of inhomogenous coarse and fine grains. The coarser grains might have provided too much spaces for the hot air to fill but the cakes later collapse when the air was forced out. I got muffins with crispy texture and filled with vesicles LOL;).

So what do I do with them?

This is how one of them looks first

I removed them from the liners and grinded in the dry blender and they turned like some bread crumbs. I modified a choc cake recipe by replacing some of the flour and cocao with them. They rose beautifully like the morning sun and the best part is they didn't collapse...yay! The first batch of 20 was gone in a few hours. Hubby had two of them. That means they were ok.

Made the second batch to finish off my volcanoes;) but reduced the amount of batter in the liners.

After some swirling and sprinkling, they were ready as buah tangan for a visit to my brother's.

I even love doing that!
And tonight since I'd stay a bit late to prepare for tomorrow's lecture, I might as well bake too. I had leftover pumpkin, looked for some recipe and we now have some yummy cuppies. I had forgotten the eggs but they turned out well. The recipe asked for some cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger powder, and I added some choc chips. Bea2 stayed up late too as she had a late afternoon nap and helped me. She already talked about bringing some to school.

That's her with a hand in a cookie jar;).

I just love baking and constantly trying to improve. But at the same time refraining myself from attending classes as I think I just have no time for all this. Such dilemma!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Since a girl is 6 only once....

...and wanted a princess cake for her birthday, mama had to look for ideas and came up with this:

I choose a dark pic purposely so that the not-so-smooth fondant does not look that obvious. Anyway, it was only my 3rd time 'playing' with it. It was 6 am with Atef staring at me with please-pick-me-up look on his face. And it was supposed to be Cinderella, but I just could not figure out how to get her hair in place. I let Bea1 and Bea2 did some finishing touch to it while I got myself busy in the kitchen.

The birthday girl

She was very pleased with it, but the first thing she said was "This is not Repunzel!". I guess she got that idea from Bea1, who else.

One thing that I would always remember about her is, one night when all of us still sleep in one room. Everybody was already quiet except for her. Bea1 was tired of listening and asked her to continue the next day. She was quite frustrated with that request and said that she just could not stop. What she meant was it was beyond her control that she must talk. I could not help but to laugh at that.

Most of the time I love listening to her stories, but sometimes I just got to ask her to stop;). She talks about everything to tiny details. She is also the drama queen in the family;). Hubby said obviously she inherits that from me!

The party
We made it like any playgroup gathering at our place except for no potluck this time. I asked everybody not to bring gifts as not to get others to feel left out. We just invited the same people that used to come over, and Bea2 also said she just wanted to have the same friends over. We let the kids play at the pool after eating and continue eating after that. So we had 4 of my friends and their 7 kids, and the babysitter with her children and my sister with her fantastic 4.

The food

I planned to have it simple. Bought an Ikea 365+ 3-tier cake stand and I must fill that up;). Made some flourless cuppies with ground almonds and the texture turned to be airy and crisp *LOL*. I didn't know what happened but I baked that at 4 am that day. I was still asleep, maybe. Made fruit tarts the night before, and kept them in the fridge and the pastry turned soggy. Fried mihun that turned out to be a little dry, and even the birtday cake had egg-smell. It was white-butter cake. Maybe eggs were not fresh or I should put in more vanilla. Added some kuih from a pasar tani on the cake stand. And grilled some chicken wings, and poured some bbq sauce on them later.

Hubby brought home satay and LOTS chocolate, icecream for the kids 'kenduri'. My sister brought some lauk-pauk and I cooked rice for those who must have rice. Everything's almost gone after they came back from the pool. Must always use the pool to get people to be starving that they could just 'hentam' anything. No left-over, this is the kind of party that I like;). And minimal cleaning left as friends and babysitter kept clearing plates etc. throughout the party. And I also got a good cooperation from the girls keeping the house clean before the party. They even arranged the shoes at the door, something I never taught them to do *LOL*.

Eventhough I tried not to get anyone to be left out, we still had a drama. Bea3 was dissapointed that even after cake-cutting, she still was not allowed to eat the dress on the doll;).

It was sorted out anyway!

My friend said birthday girl would be sad as people didn't bring her gifts. Told her, I had already explained to Bea2 already. We could not expect everybody to bring 5 gifts each birthday and she was ok with that. Kids are easy sometimes;).
The first guest arrived at 12.30 pm and the last left at 7.30. Such a beautiful birthday bash yesterday!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Colourful tiara cookies

I shouldn't stay up this late, but I guess I'm just as excited as the girls. So, just a quick one.

Saw a tiara cookie cutter at the cakeconnection and thought the girls would love it. I bought it along with my first REAL vanilla extract. I'd been wanting to have that for ages.

You know how girls love everything princessy and kept pestering me to start making tiara cookies and I just got to try my vanilla.

So we did it tonight. 10 pm on a school night, my girls (and the bigger boy too) started decorating, while Atef observed from his high-chair, and maybe wondered what's the excitement all about;). I shooed them to bed after that and promised that they would have the cookies cooked and cooled in the morning.

Everybody talked about bringing them to school and Bea2 already searched for a tupperware already.

My favourite simple recipe is always the shortbread. 1 stick of good unsalted butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar and about 11/2 cup of flour, some rice floor, some vanilla and a pinch of salt. It gives us 9 tiaras and a tiny one from the extra that I didn't decorate to have the real taste of the cookie. The cutter is huge, they are the biggest cookie I've ever made and it was a challenge to tranfer the cookie to the baking sheet after cutting. But practise makes perfect, I hold on to that.

I ran out of granulated brown sugar and I used gula melaka, powdered with mortar and pestle;). The cookies turned out very nice, and yes the vanilla does make a difference. I'm refraining myself from eating more and frustrating the girls in the morning.

I just learned that a mixture of an eggyolk with a few drops of water and food colouring is food paint. It's better to use new paintbrush or pastry brush but we don't have any. So I just let the girls used their hands. They were all ecstatic about the new technique hehe;). We combined that with sprinkles and dragees that I so want to finish, so that I can buy new ones.

Try it, it is so much fun for us!