CLICK HERE FOR THOUSANDS OF FREE BLOGGER TEMPLATES »

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Drive

Thank you so so much Alia!



The house is still in disarray. Rooms are messy, kitchen Topsy turvy, the front lawn bushy and the heart weary. I will not make haste this time even though Eid is a couple of days away. The floor to my kids' bedroom cracked terribly with broken pieces of tiles all over the place. It was a mini earthquake that one day and looking at the condition, it requires immediate attention. And so we will have the flooring people to do the fixing for us tomorrow and hopefully the kids' room will be ready a day before raya. There goes our duit raya this year.

The duit raya also goes to the servicing of the car. I hope everyone has done the same before going back for Eid. The maintenance of everything just sucks the life out of you kan? For a family who has a meager combined income like us, life can be expensive. I can't imagine the poor who struggle to feed and to school their kids. Even for us, it's a battle. I also hope we have contributed in sharing the little that we have with the poor. There are many pertubuhan kebajikan yang memerlukan. One is listed on my right column, another is Pertubuhan Kebajikan dan Perlindungan Nur Qaseh Malaysia. The orphanage was started around 5 months ago and depends solely on public donations. There are 27 kids under this roof from babies to young teens. To donate please contact Pn Roslida at 0197614992 Akaun BSN : 1410041000160444. Mudah-mudahan beban mereka dapat dikurangkan. Kita tolong sama2 k. Terima kasih kawan2.

A note to my husband and also to everyone else who is driving during this festive season, please drive with extra care. You are not driving in a race behind a Subaru Impreza. You are driving with kids and lots of raya goodies bound for kampung halaman. So do take extra care of yourself and everyone else in the car.

Alright folks, my family and I would like to wish everyone a beautiful Hari Raya with good company and love all around. Have a safe journey home and back. See you soon.



Ps. If you are interested to buy last minute hari raya cookies, I have several extra bottles of Tart Nenas, chocolate chip cookies, bittersweet, Vanilla buttons and cornflakes. Choc fudge cake is also available. Interested please email me at wizcakes@gmail.com






Heartfelt thanks.

Kuih Raya Buat Mak Final Part



If you have followed me and have been baking together, you would have yourself a container of egg whites from the tart recipe. I have been making a lot of tarts lately and have gathered a basin full of egg whites. No, I am not going to whip macarons, it is a feat frivolous to attempt on my part. However, I will do something much simpler and more delicious than any macarons tower put together mwahahahahaha...yer saya ialah pemusnah impian macaron anda sebab saya tak reti2 nak buat.

I adapted the recipe from Allrecipe, reduced lots of sugar, sebab ini kuih untuk mak saya, put lots of almond sebab ini juga kuih untuk ayah saya and chuck cups of chocolate chips sebab ini kuih untuk anak-anak saya juger. Below is the easy peasy recipe, click on the link for the original one.

Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies
adapted from here


4 egg whites
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
1 cup cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup of crushed sliced almond
1 cup of dessicated coconut

Directions

1.Preheat oven to 150 degrees C.
2.In a medium bowl, whip egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar, vinegar and vanilla while whipping to stiff peaks. Fold in chocolate chips.




This is how a stiff peak looks like.

Drop by spoonfuls onto the prepared moulds.



3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until cookies are brown dry.


The texture is crunchy outside and a little bit chewy inside. I love the light texture and the many surprises inside. You will be munching on the melted chips, the crunchy almond and the flavourful coconut. I had 20+++ of these last night and at that point I am sure I would gain all my weight back. shrug. Inilah pengorbanan seorang pembuat kuih, kami terpaksa lupakan bentuk badan yg menarik semata2 untuk menghasilkan kuih2 yang menarik lagi sedap kehkehkeh.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Feelings

Thank you so so much Nik Ja!

A friend of mine Anita, asked openly one day why she wasn't feeling the raya mood this year. She is thousands of miles away from her hometown and millions of steps away from the embrace of her mother and I think that is largely the reason why. But for some, perhaps it is just too easy to get melancholic when you are older and amazingly at times it creeps in for no reasons at all. It isn't exactly melancholy but more of "syahdu" and unfortunately there is no English word equivalent to it.

I think when you get to that certain age, like my age, you become more reflective and pensive of practically everything. It bothers you and teases you at times you need it least. Just imagine, nak masak nasi...syahdu, nak bawak kereta tetiba syahdu, nak lipat kain pun syahdu, nak basuh bilik air harus syahdu juger lol! Sangat mengada, especially syahdu ni wujud terlebih extra time Raya! And please stay away from the radio with all the syahdu lagu Raya, pengsan!;o)

Just thought of putting up a soothing picture of my cypcakes to ease the syahdu period.

ps. Nik Ja, I was syahdu when I relinquished the cupcakes to you the other day. Syahdu sebab dah almost 15 tahun tak jumpa.

Next: Final part of Kuih Raya Buat Mak.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Kuih Raya Buat Mak Part IV



I was feeling a bit like the Incredibles family the other day. The resemblance is simply uncanny to describe. I felt I was suppressing my super powers, using it only to control my anger towards my super hero kids. I didn't want to create collateral damage from doing a good deed by spanking them, but sometimes this pear shaped super hero mum is forced to do what she hates to do.

The baking supply shop was brimming with people. I brought along my two super heroes to help me carry some of the heavy load. Adnin aka Dash is fast on his feet and is able to run from one end to another to grab as many bags of flour needed for the job. Iman aka Violet is most of the time invisible. She can tune herself out simultaneously generate spherical force fields to protect me when I am making my dangerous rounds at the busy shop. Errr, those were my thoughts when I saw these two characters and the way they were behaving then. Grrrr. As I was walking along the flour isle, my son dashed next to me knocking 2 bags of flour. Believe me, I so wished I had the power of Elastigirl and be able to stretch my hand to pinch the tush of my son! But he was too quick for his own good.

I picked them up hoping they would be the type of flour I wanted, semestinya tidak. One was tepung kentang and the other was tepung sagu. Argggghh.

I paid for them still, even though I didn't know what I should do with those two types I have never used. The thought of just pushing the two bags under the shelf did enter my mind for a split second though, ish ish ish. I know, saya rasa sungguh bersalah walaupun hanya berfikiran begitu untuk seketika.

Anyway, the tepung kentang or potato starch has been made to good use just now. I found a biscuit recipe which uses a lot of it in one mix.

It is a simple biscuit recipe, one which you can whip up in 2 minutes, I promise you, provided that you have the potato starch.

Here is the recipe folks! I changed some of the measurements to fit my liking. The original recipe can be obtained from the link below.

Swedish Potato Cookies
Taken from here



Ingredients

1 1/4 cups Potato Starch
250gm butter
1/2 cup Castor sugar
1 1/2 cups All-purpose Flour
A pinch of Salt
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract


Directions

1. Soften the butter
2. Add a pinch of salt and vanilla.
4. Add the sugar, stirring until thoroughly mixed.
5. Slowly add the flours while stirring.
6. Gently but thoroughly mix the ingredients by kneading or mixing.
7. Preheat the oven to 170 Celcius.
8. Pipe the dough onto a lined baking tray.
9. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden.

I used this nozzle to pipe the soft dough. You can also roll it and refrigerate it and later slice the dough just like the original recipe indicated.

The piped dough.


These cookies are buttery and crunchy and yet simple enough to make. You can turn them into colourful morsels or sprinkle some sugars on them but I like them just the way they are.


The tepung sagu? Saya masih ragu-ragu. ;o)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Kuih Raya Buat Mak Part III



My Mak used to sit cross legged on the kitchen floor with a spread of kuih ensemble before her. She mixed the dough all by touch and texture, kneaded it and wrapped the dough with a damp towel before slicing and frying it. We were never allowed to help, this was the only kuih she did all by herself. It was our most favourite kuih of all time and I have never seen any other families beside ours who served this kuih at their houses.

Mak has forgotten the measurements and as she said, she has lost the touch and energy to sit down to do the kuih for us. My yeop suffered the worst symptoms of withdrawal :o), this was the only kuih I ever saw him hugging the tin whilst sitting in front of the tele enjoying every single bits of it. We were given a tin each so would not argue for our shares, but still there were always others who dipped their little hands into other people's tins tau!

We called it Kuih Krup. The onomatopoetic name fits the kuih perfectly. I can't remember the last time Mak made this kuih but I knew I had to recreate for the sake of continuing the tradition.

Since Mak found it hard to remember, she only narrated the basic ingredients used for this kuih. She said I needed to balance, the flour, the water, the salt and the onions. That's about it she said so nonchalantly.

I searched the Internet for biscuits with the said ingredients as mak equipped me with and discovered the origin of this kuih is from the northern part of the Middle East. In that region it is called Lavash. The only difference was we had lots of onions whereas they lavish this thin biscuits with sesame.

I also found out this biscuit is perhaps the best thing to snack on. It is not fried unlike how mak prepared it and has olive oil with wholemeal flour and ingrained with lots of sesame seeds. I am not a fan of sesame seeds, but when I took my first bite of this crunchy healthy biscuits, I was hooked and terus perasan sihat dan kurus sekejap.

Alright before I write a thesis paper on Lavash, and bore you further,I better show you how to make it and let you be the judge of it.

Lavash


as seen in Free range cooking show.

You need

1 cup plain flour
1/3 cup wholemeal flour
2 tbsp black sesame and 2 tbspn white sesame seeds
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt ( I used sea salt)
1/4 cup virgin olive oil
1/2cup water

To finish:

virgin olive oil
flaky sea salt

Mix the flours, sesame seeds, oregano and salt. Combine the oil and water together, give it a quick stir and add to the dry ingredients. Use your hand to form the mixture into a soft pliable dough.
Roll thinly

Take a portion of the dough and roll it on a floured surface as thinly as you possibly can. Cut the dough into strips of desired length. I cut mine just nice to fit my jar.


Peel the strips and put them on a lined baking tray. Brush them with the olive oil and lastly sprinkle the sea salt. Try to use sea salt as too much of table salt is not good for you. Sea salt on the other hand has medicinal properties. Bake the strips for 15 to 20 minutes depending on your oven. I baked mine at 170 Celsius for 20 minutes or until golden brown.


They taste as good as my mum's kuih krup but it is better as it is actually good for you. You can google the benefits of sesame seed and sea salt. I am sure you already know the goodness of olive oil.

Instead of the butter laden and oil laden kuih raya, this is an alternative for those who are health conscious. I would like to think that I am but I enjoy them purely because it tastes so so good.

Happy baking folks.



Ps. Yeop, there's a balang for you along with other biscuits as well. ;o) yes Ida, you too.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Saying It Best

Nana, you are as sweet as the person you are. Thanks so much for the order!




The cake was ready to be decorated right in front of me. I was standing clueless in the kitchen pacing up and down for ideas. This was a cake for someone dearest to Nana, it had to be special, it had to say LOVE, it had to encapsulate the idea of love and family. Those were the thoughts which come into play every time I take to see the pages of history Nana created for her family. The videos of their new baby, the adventures of her new role as a mum and how her husband fits in so snugly in all the arrangements the family has made. The cake wasn't just to celebrate the birthday of her husband, but also to celebrate the love they have for one another.

As I was about to drape the cake, at that time still clueless of what I wanted to do, Ronan Keating was singing in the background. I followed the rhythm carefully, thinking of gardens and swings and flowers in between. I remembered the long walks I took with my husband and resting our weary feet on one of the many benches at the park whilst humming the same song. True to the lyrics of the song, no words were exchanged during that time but somehow it felt as though we had the best conversation ever.

I installed the swing last after the bird nest resting at the top of the tree and consolidated the park bench with bamboo skewers for the extra support. Somehow I wasn't worried if it was going to collapse or topple before it reached Nana. When the foundation is strong and the feeling is happy, it's going to be alright.

The cake was all ready to be delivered and I had the song playing over and over again when my other half walked in humming to the music. He had that flustered look on his face and with a higher pitch than usual he sang with all his heart and there I was ready to feel so romantic when he blurted out...

"...I think it's best when you say nothing at all!"

Cis!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Kuih Raya Buat Mak Part II


The almond crisps didn't manage to reach mak last weekend. They are buried deep in the tummies of the belly dancers of this house. I will have to make some more for Mak before the arrival of Syawal so she has more variety of kuih raya to decorate the dining table and to be shared with friends, relatives and neighbours.

My quest to make more raya cookies for mak this year continues on. I replaced the almond crisps with Tart gulung nenas and presented them to her when we were there last weekend. Both my mak and ayah were convinced I had pulled their legs, knees and all their joints into a knot as they believed I had tricked them with a store bought one. I didn't know how to react but I reacted anyway with the thought that, those tarts I made, must have been looking and tasting that good kehkehkeh. My parents are not people of many words. They reserve good words in a compartment sealed in their hearts. Only criticism comes out to ensure we improve and strive better. We know they like something when they are silent or mummed by our gestures. They were pleasantly quiet when they had my tarts so I am guessing they liked them very much. Either that or the tarts were such a mouthful. ;o)

The recipe for the dough is a combination from a few recipes. But the bulk of it was taken from the same book of the Almond crisp recipe. The jam was store bought. I didn't make my own kerana saya tidak lah sebegitu rajin lagi.

Tart Nenas

250gm mentega(saya guna buttercup sebab saya sukakan rasanya yg tidak terlalu lemak)
40gm gula aising
2 biji telur kuning size A

putar sehingga kembang

340gm tepung gandum
1 sudu besar tepung jagung,
1 sudu besar susu tepung.
1 sudu besar tepung kastad,
secubit garam,
sedikit esen vanilla

jem nenas yang secukupnya yang telah digentel membentuk selinder seperti dibawah.





Masukkan sedikit demi sedikit bahan kering ke dalam bahan basah, putar sehingga menjadi doh yang lembik.

Letakkan doh tersebut dalam alat ajaib yang berbentuk seperti alat musik recorder ini dan tekan secukupnya untuk membalut jam nenas yang telah digentel tadi.






Setelah terbentuk tart gulung sapukan sedikit telur kuning sebagai hiasan.





Cara untukmenikmati tart nenas.

Masukkan keseluruhan tart ke dalam mulut.
Tutup mulut dan bernafas melalui hidung. (Anak saya percaya dia boleh bernafas melalui telinganya.)
Kunyah perlahan2 sambil membenarkan air liur anda menggaul bahan yang dimakan tadi secara rata. Pada saat ini, mulut perlulah sentiasa tertutup untuk mengelakkan sebarang kejadian yang tidak diingini.
Telan dan bersihkan mulut anda untuk bersedia dengan penerimaan tart yang seterusnya.

Untuk menikmati tart nenas dengan kepuasan maksima, sila makan dibalik pintu dapur atau di dalam bilik stor yang tidak berhabuk.

Selamat Mencuba.

;o)

Ps. Yes Ida Zentell, I made one bekas for you.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Tempat Mengadu Hati

Thanks so much Intan Juwita!

I wanted so much to write more words other than just the thank yous but time got the worst of me. The pictures have been kept for far too long and I just had to say my thanks before I forget the names of the kind people who ordered my cakes.

After I published the pictures, I packed some cookies and went straight back to tempat mengadu hati. I went back to Ipoh to berbuka puasa dgn mak, ayah, abang dan keluarga beliau.

Sometimes I let myself forget how nice it is to come home to friendly surroundings and to familiar screams of my mum. "Cepat change the channel tu, mak nak tgk ......"

It was good to be back.

PS. Rafiah!!!! I went to your shop and was hoping to see you. Maybe next time my dear friend. Next time insyaAllah k.

Thanks so much Hanim!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

When I Was 21

Thanks so much Milia!



I held a secret. A secret I packed tightly inside of me and was never exhaled out to anyone until recently. Not even to my better other, not even to my own shadow. It brewed many unwanted emotions in this heart, ones I could actually do without.

When I lightly opened up to my better other about the said secret, we played a guessing game. I didn't want to tell him yet just to prolong the suspense ala2 cerita Hindustan mixed with Indonesian sinetron plus Malay crekarama. His ridiculous guesses however had me in stitches and as I was sewing myself up again he looked at me and we locked stares before he said "...nooooooooooo!"

I knew what he was thinking and just to play along I nodded to his thought of

"...yes chamee, I was once a man, and my name was Wizzudin"

He collapsed at the side and said "... no wonder. That explains the facial hair."

Cis!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Weeeeeeeeeee

I have always been a slide person ever since I empowered my momentum to carry my weight in acceptable speed. I love slides at playgrounds and when I was younger I tried them all. My favourite would definitely be the ones at Taiping Lake Garden, yang dibuat daripada batu tu. They were wide and tall, many could slide down or roll down together holding hands if the kids wanted to. I had memorable, wonderful times with my sibblings and cousins there. And if I was to go back, I would still climb up the batu slide and weeeee down a couple of rounds before my husband realized I made it up there without his consent. Dia menjadi sangat pemalu orangnya apabila saya bertindak sebegitu. kehkehkeh

During those times, slides were just straight ones, mana ada yang spiral2 ni. I have always wanted to go down on one just to know how it feels. But my age does not permit me to do so, followed by my weight as well as my husband. I understand his plight every time I asked to go on a slide at any playgrounds with the kids, before I could say anything he would "...please la, awak dah besar la, and this is for kanak2 shj." Besar could be interpreted as besar dari segi size dan juga besar dari segi umur. He prefers to remain vague in this stance. Cis!

Anywayyyyyy...

the weekend before puasa, I managed to convince him to let me go down one a spiral slide after he saw it could carry my besar issue. I bought the ticket via Groupon days before and all of us were too excited to weeee down. I am such an addict to Groupon! They always offer irresistable deals which grant little people like me the experience to indulge in big places that I know I could not afford on any normal days.



I was quite skeptical at first. This IS the tallest slide in the world stretching 5 storeys high and 50 metres long. But after watching a few kids before our turn who went down very slowly in the tube on the green mat, I was ok with the thought of shooting down the confined alley. I was concerned because I had with me my handbag which equalled the size of a medium hand luggage with leftover food squashed inside. But the bro kat situ cakap, "...tak per makcik, boleh peluk kuat-kuat beg tu." Makcik? nasib baik tak pakai baju kurung, if not mesti dah kena panggil opah! another cis!

My kids went down first with my husband waiting at the other end. When it was my turn, the bro kat situ cakap "...untuk orang besar, kita bagi lagi best. Kita guna kain lapik lain, kain hitam." Before I could ask what difference it would make, the bro said ready? and he pushed me down. I held on to my bag and could not even scream for my life because it went like an orbing machine. Swoosh swooosh swooosh and I was terpelanting to the other end. The world went spinning on me for awhile. You are not advised to stand immediately, especially a makcik like me. It had me laughing after with my kids relating how fast we went and what fun we had. My husband too got on it and enjoyed the ride down. If it wasn't that expensive we would have probably gone on it 10 more times after the first try.




The other end. Waiting for the sight of my husband. I had this fear that he might choose to orb to some place else in this orb machine. lol!

If you would like to give this ride a try, make sure you go during the happy hour, much cheaper. If not it would cost you RM12 each. But thanks to Groupon, everyone in the family get to catch a ride in the tallest slide.
The Lex slide can be found at the Empire Shopping Gallery Subang Jaya.



What is Lex Slide?

The LeX Slide – First of its kind in Malaysia, the LeX Slide is a five-storey high and 50 metres long indoor structure. Fully customised, designed and built by German engineering technology and experts, it is digitally accessorised by LeX with audio speakers, Ipod docking system and digital cameras. LeX customers can take a joy ride on the slide and experience the state-of-the-art audio system for a 10-seconds escalated sensory escapade.

Taken from here.


Oh yeah, the kain hitam? You have got to try to know.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Kuih Raya Buat Mak Part I

Almond Crisps


I have been trying quite a few biscuit recipes these couple of days. Some came out well, some didn't. Ones that I like are simple in ingredients, methods and tastes. I am not a complicated person, either that or I am super lazy! ;o)


I bought this inexpensive biskut raya book the other day, hoping to make more than the normal chocolate chip cookies and cornflake biscuits this time around. This act was spurred by my mum who actually asked "cher buat biskut jenis lain. Ni ida gives me choc chip cookies of her version, and you also give me choc chip cookies of your version...asik2 chocolate chip cookies jer." I was like "...okkkkk, I will make you in different colours!" Indeed I did try that, the same batter but in many colours but then kesian pulak mak saya tu. Hence the purchase of the book.


Recipes there look simple enough for me to make. There are many old favourites like tart nenas and biskut gajus. But what caught my attention was this biskut badam rangup or I have named it Almond Crisp. Please don't try to order this biskut from me folks, I will do better. I will share the recipe here with you so you can do them and pass to your mum.


Taken straight from the book.
Bahan:
160gm mentega
1 biji telur putih
100gm gula aising
90gm high protin flour
1 tbsp tepung jagung
2 bibi kuning telur
secubit garam
1/2 esen badam
badam secukupnya uuntuk hiasan.

Step 1 is to pipe the batter onto a tray. Step 2 is to place the almond in any fashion onto the piped batter. Hope the picture helps.

Cara membuat:

1. Putar mentega hingga ringan dan gebu.
2. Masukkan telur dan gula dan putar hingga kembang.
3. Masukkakn selebih bahan kecuali badam.
4. Masukkan doh kedalam puiping bag. Tekan ke atas dulang pembakar.
5. Taburkan badam ke atas nya.
6. Bakar pada suhu 160 celcius sehingga kuning keemasan.
7. Sejukkan sebelum cuba untuk ngap.

Verdict: The cookies are very light and crispy. The kids prefer them without the badam. Haih. The husband ate them like it was already hari raya.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A New Day

Thanks so much Yati!




When Ramadhan comes, I am enveloped with this brand new day feeling. A fresh start every time to make things better, more fulfilling and emerge as a new improved person at the end of the process. I have laid out rules for the kids to abide and I have set myself to observe similar regulations as well. First and foremost, we will try not to get angry at each other and hopefully the rest comes easily once the anger and irritation are dealt with.

I am hoping this will be a better Ramadhan from last year in many aspects.

And my wish goes out the same to all of you folks out there. Kita cuba jadi yang lebih baik daripada yang sebelum2nya ok. Kita cuba sama-sama ye. InsyaAllah.