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Monday, February 28, 2011

Time Can Never Mend


Some stories need to be mended for friendship sake. I am mending mine today, leaving only cake pictures to blow whispers to you carefully.

Have a good week ahead folks!



Thanks so much Murni!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Can't Fight This Feeling

Chocolate nibs oatmeal cookies. Adapted from the Grandma raisin cookies in previous entry.



I could not fight it. It was running in circles in my mind for almost 5 days in a row now. I have been singing to this Reo Speedwagon song and when I was not humming it, the world somehow took charge singing it for me! Menderita saya. It was playing over the radio station, at the supermarket, on TV. And as much as I tried to fight singing "I Can't Fight..." the more it fought to be sung over and over again.

I tried to delve into the probable causes of this enigma. Questions like below hovered bubbles above my head in between my singing and baking.

1. Is my better other looking more and more like Kevin Cronin, the vocalist of RS then, bushy hair and all? No.
2. Have I formed an attraction to Kevin after many years of listening to his band? Erm No.
3. Am I fighting any kind of feelings right now? Yes many!
4. Am I nearing that time of the month? Yes.
5. Am I craving for something to eat? All the time!

I figured it is the combination of 4 and 5 and a little bit of 3 as well. Honestly I have been on a low sugar diet for almost a week now. My appetite has been on the loose for quite sometime and putting it on a leash came naturally. So the menu was all about greens, fruits, tofu and wholemeal bread. No more fries, crisps, asam jeruk or cookies and ice cream in between instant noodles. I know! horrible eater I was and it doesn't help with me baking cakes and cookies all the time.

After a week of abstinence from all things sweet and fatty, I finally succumbed to this feeling of missing my all time favourite food. The pictures are here to guide you through my gastronomic quick escapade for now. I closed my eyes savouring every bite of the cookies and the wedges and guess what?

It stopped! the song finally came to rest, leaving me in peace...but not long after that, Careless Whisper got turned on. :(


Cheesy Wedges

Cheesy Wedges

5 big Potatoes unpeeled, cut into wedges.
Coat them with salt, kunyit powder, pepper,lots of corn flour and curry powder.
Fry to a golden perfection.

For the Cheesy sauce.

Double boil 1 tablespoon of butter,
2 tablespoon of mayo,
1 tablespoon of thousand island,
2 tablespoon of lowfat milk(oh sungguh menyihatkan sebab ada lowfat milk, lol!)
2 slices of cheddar cheese or more if you like.

Once everything has turned gooey and creamy, turn of the heat and drizzle over the fried wedges.

Dig in!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Have I Told You Lately...

...that I love you.

Thanks so much Airmy!

Thanks so much Kat. Kat is a Filipino hence the few words of tagalog seen on the cupcakes.


Thanks so much Nurul!

Thanks so much Liyana!

Thanks so much Ixora!



Monday, February 14, 2011

Falling in Love

...with sifat-sifat terpuji Ya Rasullullah(saw).

When I read the article below shared by my dear friend from Australia, I was smitten all over again with the simplicity this great man whom we all call our prophet. Please make time to read and allow the recitations of your selawats humble you and spark more love towards this remarkable individual and superiorly towards our beloved religion, Islam, insyaAllah.



5 Characteristics of Greatness

“I believe if a man like him (Muhammad) were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring much needed peace and happiness. I have studied him - the man and in my opinion is far from being an anti–Christ. He must be called the Savior of Humanity. I have prophesied about the faith of Mohammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today.”

George Bernard Shaw - The Genuine Islam Vol.No.8, 1936.

The lunar month of Rabi-ul-Awwal is the month in which the birth of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is commemorated. George Bernard Shaw is one of many scholars who have paid glowing tribute to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). The article ‘5 Characteristics of Greatness’ is a tribute to the exalted character of the Prophet (pbuh).

-----------------------------------------

Why was the character of the Prophet (saw) great? His character was great because he had one purpose in life.

One of the great scholars of tafsir (commentary of the Quran) explained why the Prophet’s character was great.

He said ‘The Prophet (saw) was a great man with a great character because his only concern was Allah.’
What does this mean? Because the Prophet (saw) lived the most active of lives – he was a successful business man, a very successful husband, the most successful leader that humanity has seen, everything that he did he was tremendously successful in. No one achieved more in this life than he did, (saw). What made him great was his concern of the pleasure of Allah (swt). This is the challenge. Guide us to the straight path, guide us to the way in life that gets us straight to you and that’s the way of the Prophet (saw).
And this is the question someone who is striving to achieve something in this life to truly bring benefit to themselves in the next life, should ask themselves. Am I seeking the pleasure of Allah (swt)? Where am I going in my life? Allah asked us ‘f’ayna tathabin?’ So where are you headed?
We should be headed in a straight line. What’s that straight line? Seeking the pleasure of Allah. That straight line is straight forward, because you can do anything in life within certain limits but do it for the sake of Allah (swt) and do it with excellence, which is the way of the Prophet (saw). These are the two aspects of greatness: the first is to make a commitment in life to seek the pleasure of Allah, secondly to follow the example of the Prophet (saw).
Ibn Rajab, one of the great scholars of Islam asked the question ‘What was the character of the Prophet, what is it that made him great?’ and he mentioned five things that made the Prophet (saw) a great man:

(1) The first is fulfilling the rights of others.

There are people whom you owe rights to – fulfil their rights. So for example, your parents, your siblings, your relatives, your friends have rights over you – fulfil their rights.

(2) The second: avoid harming people.

This is the second part of the excellence of Prophetic character. The Prophet (saw) – he did not even harm his enemies. And this is the second aspect of good character. This is common sense.

(3) The third aspect of being great is the way you act with people.

How did the Prophet (saw) act with people? He was positive and cheerful in his dealings with people. He was positive and cheerful. He would be walking down the streets of Medina and little girls would grab him by the hand, saying that they wanted to show him something. They would be play, skip and jump around him, telling him they wanted to show him something. The Prophet (saw) would not let go of their hand until they let go of his.
He’d be walking down the streets of Medina, and can you imagine the Prophet having nothing to do? No. He would be extremely busy, but he’d be walking down the street and if anyone greeted him, as is mentioned in the books that describe the Prophet (saw) ‘If he turned to someone, he turned completely.’ He wouldn’t just say ‘wa ‘alaykum Al-salam’ hurriedly. If someone greeted him he would turn completely to that person and give them his complete attention. Many of the Sahaba (companions of the Prophet) thought they were the most beloved to the Prophet (saw). Why? Because he dealt with everyone in a positive way.
The fourth and fifth aspects of good character are a little more difficult. It is not so hard to smile although you'd think that in the religion there was something to say that it was bad to smile too much. But there isn't. The Prophet (saw) was always cheerful, but always full of concern. There were always things he was thinking about, but he was always cheerful. People think that if you get religious, you had better start frowning. Sometimes when you go to the mosque it feels like everyone has just died. But no, the sunnah (way of the Prophet) is to smile. The Prophet (saw) said Your smiling at another is an act of charity.Ãs something pleasing to Allah (swt).

(4) The fourth aspect of good character is to respond to the good that others do, with good, or that which is better.

We don't fully appreciate what others do for us. How many times do we really thank our parents, or any one of our friends, and this is an important Sunnah. The Prophet (saw) warned that anyone who doesn't thank people hasn't thanked Allah. This is another aspect of good character.

But these four are not that difficult.
The test of good character, of greatness, the test of whether you are really someone seeking the pleasure of Allah (swt) is not just being good to people which is a summary of what these four things are.

(5) The fifth aspect of good character is that you respond to the wrong of others with nothing but the good.

And this is the greatest thing you will find in the Prophet (saw).
You will find many people who did many great things in life, but you'll find no one who unfailingly responded to the bad of others with nothing but the good, like the Prophet (saw). Look at every stage of his life. People threw garbage at him, people threw their slippers at him, people hurt him, harmed him, did all kinds of things, and how did the Prophet respond?

You saw nothing but beautiful action in response. The Prophet was firm; he didn't act like a door mat. He was a firm man, he knew exactly what he had to achieve in life and he took steps towards that and when he was opposed he stood firm both in Mecca and Medina. He stood firm in the face of opposition, but with excellence. And even when people came and were unreasonable with him, you see nothing but beautiful conduct.
When he entered Mecca again after the conquest of Mecca, all of Qureysh were under the power of the Prophet (saw); he could do with them as he wished. What was prevalent at that time when you conquered a city: blood bath. People were scurrying into each other's houses, going here and there, but what did the Prophet (saw) say to them? He said to them something the Prophet Yusuf (Joseph) had said to his brethren, because the brothers of the Prophet Yusuf tried to get rid of him and move him to a well, but when they reunited the Prophet Yusuf forgave them and said this to his brothers. His brothers. The Prophet said it to those who had been opposing him for 20 years. He said I say to you as the Prophet Yusuf said to his brothers, there is no blame on you today, we are brothers. May Allah forgive us and you.' And he did not take any of them to task even though he could have. He could have done anything he wanted with them and the customs prevalent at his time would not have prevented that. They were expecting a blood bath and nothing happened.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Dreamings Done...

...at Alam Impian.

We wanted to go somewhere during the Chinese New Year holidays but the daunting thought of packing up a household and travelling across the country with other holiday goers put us off. Linda my sis in law, suggested us to go to Bukit Cahaya Alam and a few more other places but somehow the idea didn't catch on, maybe we were still too tired after our Amazing Race journey or perhaps it was just the feeling of laziness that has seeped in.

Despite our lack of interest to budge from our comfort zone to indulge further in our inactivity, my sister suggested for us to spend a day at her mother in laws leisure house at Alam Impian Shah Alam.

It was a beautiful day which moved according to our slow mo pace. It was as if we were dreaming a dream relaxing under lushes clouds accompanied with simple home whipped food and home moulded chocolates by Aunty Linda and out of this universe cookies by Ovengigs. The rest was made by makyang.

Enjoy the pics folks and have a pretty weekend!

Makyang made sausage rolls,

Brunettes Makyang called those,


she made pizza with extra cheese and meehoon with no chillies,


so kids could enjoy with happy feelings,


and adults could indulge in Mak Da's offerings.

Alang played like it was a test,


As usual Mak Da posed her slim best,

Ayeop threw with much zest,


Aunty Linda minded with Izz' mess.



Whilst Aiman, our security guard, took care of the rest. lol!


Happy days, lazy days at Alam Impian.
Thanks Tok Ma!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Guess What?

I did it again.

Neither a pinch of remorse

nor

a dash of guilt,

I just sat there

with a single weapon in hand

ready to engage myself

in a battle of...



Woman

versus

Cake.


Chocolate Tofu Cake

If you know me, you will also know that I would try to make all my food and cakes healthy or pretend that they are healthy to a certain extent, so I could eat more sans the guilt. I think I managed to do exactly that with my experiment above. The second attempt I tried to reduce more calories by eliminating the unnecessary fat and lessen the sugar. It worked without compromising the overall taste. Below is the updated version of the Chocolate tofu cake which I would like to call now as The Angel cake as opposed to the Devil's food chocolate cake.

Please refer to the recipe in this entry and compare with the few changes I made below.

I decreased the sugar from 1 1/2 to 1 1/3 cup, I think you can reduce it further to only 1 cup jer. I included a teaspoon of baking soda, increased the flour to 2 cups. I also did not mix a teaspoon of nescafe to the one glass of water. And instead of using milk for the ganache, I just used water. I was too lazy to fill up those ramekins and also malas to think I needed to wash them up later, so I produ jer all the batter inside a big oven dish.

Please give yourself a treat, dig in and allow your senses to run free savouring every single scoop of this innocent delight.

Saya puasa hari ini, so right now I am replacing the lost calories and allowing what's free to run... go wild.

Jom lari sama!

More Than Words

Thanks so much Muhzill. You surely made your mum happy.




They aren't just words, I kept reiterating the same fact to my better other, that words add more value and weight to any gifts. They are somehow woven into the hearts of the recipients and will remain there nurturing the nature of love itself. You remember events and cherish memories better. I am all for words, beautiful and comforting words and when they come from someone you love dearly, the gifts transform into priceless extarordinary gems.



Thanks so much Mohar, I hope Zurina loved your thoughts behind this.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Butterscotch Walnut Bundt Cake

I had a little bit extra of everything the other day, the eggs, the milk, the flour, the brown sugar and the most important ingredient of all, that big uncontrolled appetite! The mouth is always craving for new tastes and the will power is always caving in to creating mouth watering treats and with all the right combinations in hand, a recipe is born. That's how things happen in the kitchen, I reckon.

If I were to write a cake book, I would certainly include this recipe below. A hearty mix of spring and autumn served on a summery plate, a few slices of this would send you to hibernate soundly in winter months! It's just the way I felt when I was doing this, neglecting the fact that it is always summer here, on this part of the world. ;o)

Before I missed to remember the measurements of the ingredients, here it is for your reference and for my keeps.



Butterscotch Walnut Bundt Cake

180gm of Vegetable oil,

120gm of packed brown sugar,

3 egg yolks

1 whole egg

1 tablespoon of golden syrup

1 tablespoon of black treacle

1/4 cup of Low fat milk


1 cup of toasted walnuts (half cup to be included in the batter and another half to be sprinkled onto the cake later)


A Tablespoon of each.

120gm of this.


Mix all the wet ingredients until light and fluffy.

In another bowl,

sift 180gm of all purpose flour with

1 Tablespoon of Baking powder and

1/3 teaspoon of salt.

Incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet one and mix until the batter is smooth. Lastly, put half cup of toasted walnut into the batter.

I baked mine in a bundt pan at 175 Celsius for about 30 minutes.

The cake is not sweet, therefore to add a little bit of pleasure, do whip up the butterscotch sauce below.

Whilst cooling the cake, prepare the butterscotch sauce.

Go here for the recipe.

Pour the butterscotch sauce onto the cake and lastly sprinkle some toasted walnuts or any of your favourite nuts on top.

And if you are like my sister in law, pregnant and needs the Extra calories to cushion her baby, do have this with vanilla ice cream and with Extra drizzle of the sauce.


Linda, I am eating this with all the extras on your behalf!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Rabbit's Wish

Thanks so much Fazley!



Here's wishing everyone who is celebrating the new calender of The Chinese Year,

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Phang, this wish goes especially for you, wherever you are.

Drive safe folks and happy holidays!



ps. Yani, thanks so much for the cake moulds. This was the first time I used them.