Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Wearing Two Hats

It's not easy juggling two roles without any help at all. Last night, when we sent B off, one of his many pesanan was to "Banyak-banyak bersabar with the kids. If they drive you up the wall, then by all means, ask Abah and Mak to help".

So far, it's been a-okay here. One down, six more to go. Zareef cried buckets when bidding farewell to daddy dearest yesterday. First time ever! Selama ni B pegi mana-mana, tak pernah pun nangis. I don't know why.

If you're reading this Darling, the kids and I miss you very, very much. Take care ya! Please eat lots and lots of gelato yang sungguh lazat itu on behalf of us and also the pastas and pizzas. We love you very much.

Sighhh... cepat la balik.

Friday, January 25, 2008

To Gold Coast and Back

It was my MIL's idea to go at the very last minute. She summoned her three sons and concocted the idea. The three sons were very eager and I was thrown into a packing frenzy but what can I pack at such a short notice? LIGHTLY said B. Okay then.

Hehehehheh... GOTCHA!! Yeah I know. I'm sure some of you are spewing god-knows-what curses at me right now.

We went to Sepang Gold Coast or formerly known as Bagan Lalang which was an hour's drive from our home. God knows why the name was changed. For commercialization purposes perhaps? But please... Gold Coast??? You got to be kidding me! This place is like a century behind the world famous original namesake. What were they thinking?? Apparently NOT la kan. They even have a development going on looking very similar to the Palm in Dubai and get this, it's called... yeah you're right The Palm Resort. Like... DOHHHHH

Anyway, name aside, we did have a wonderful time there albeit for a short while. Everything was decided at the very last minute so we only reached there at 6 in the evening. Upon reaching, I was surprised with the scene that greeted me. I was imagining barren lonely sea filled with slut and mangroves like the last time I was there for my Biology class way back in Form Five at SSP. Boy, was I dead wrong. Instead what greeted me was clean, white, powdery sandy beach. We went on a Sunday, so there were families here, there, everywhere enjoying the breeze, playing on the beach, swimming in the warm inviting sea and even having a spot of picnic and barbecueing. How cool is that!

I think Zareef had the most fun. He rode the pony, played on the beach, built sand castles and even attempted a dip in the sea but was strictly prohibited by his Wan. What a spoilsport.
It took us only an hour to drive here from Puchong. The whole journey was quite entertaining with winding trunk roads passing through fields of dragon fruits, small villages and monkeys on the side. I love old trunk roads because they are full of surprises at every bend with small towns dotting the road along the way plus B get to brush up on his driving skills (yes, he is a rally driver wannabe). Since we have the trusted X-Trail, going off-road is not a problem at all.

Zareef had so much fun that he was begging us to come again. Even I was enchanted by the place. To end the night, we had a seafood dinner there. Oh God! The food was delicious up to the point of me crying! Yes, I did shed a few tears and snort while eating the lip-smacking delicious chili crab. All the sea creatures were fresh fresh from the sea. We had ikan kerapu masak 3 rasa, sweet and sour siakap, chili crabs, kerang rebus, chili kepahs, grilled stingray, grilled huge prawns, sotong tepung and kailan ikan masin. Sorry, no pictures of the said food as my camera ran out of juice. I was definitely stuffed! All that I've mentioned costed B only RM 192 and was gobbled down by 6 very, hungry adults. Very good I say, both the price and the yummylicious food. Oh, it's Bagan Lalang Seaview Restaurant if any of you are interested. Don't go anywhere else because it ain't worth it (that'll be another post to share). You can't miss it because it's right smack at the corner on the right upon reaching Sepang Gold Coast.

We came back happy, full to the brim and sleepy. Zareef has already made plans for us to come again (which we did but again, that'll be in the next post). So people, do go to Sepang Gold Coast. It's clean, it's beautiful, you'll get to spend good quality time with your family, then end it with delicious food and get this, it's only an hour drive from Puchong. How cool is that to have a beach so near my place!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I'm In Love

With its vibrant colors, how can you not love a gorgeous bag like this????? Aduhhhhssss memang la aku dah sakit.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Fruit of My Labor

This came in today through courier.


Huhuhu... I am so bouncing with happiness right now. It's so beautiful! Even better than the picture above. Not bad eh for a brief sojourn into the world of baking business. Alamak! Now I have to start saving again for the impending trip next month.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sizzling with Bogo and Fern

My two good friends, Bogo and Fern hosted a BBQ at their parents' place last week. It was good to see them again. Bogo was surprisingly quite thin and lean. Maybe because he was left all alone to fend for himself in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Menu for the night was of course BBQed chicken and meat, mashed potatoes with gravy, crispy salad, fried rice and all kinds of cakes and crisps for munching while waiting for the chicken and meat to cook.

The gracious hostess with the mostess who had prepared delicious marinated chicken and meat. Fern has always been known to cook up a storm whenever we came over for a visit at their cool abode in Sutton. She is such a good and talented cook. Memang patut la Bogo kurus kering kat Baku sebab Fern tak ikut. Tak cukup makan.

The long-lost friends, Zareef and Luqman finally reunited. It didn't take them long to warm up to each other. Look, they're even eating together.

Ex-Boilers; me, Bogo and the famous DJ PhutureCybersonique a.k.a Iwan having a chat. I somehow missed Sal because we had to leave early to check into Novotel as B had to work there for the weekend.

While B was cooped up in the meeting room trying to finish his work, the kids and I had fun in the sun at the pool. We then had lunch and tea at nearby Pavilion (minus B of course) with me pushing Zara in the stroller and dragging Zareef into stores after stores, one floor after another.
We even went back the next day, much to Zareef's dismay and chagrin. Tapi tak boleh nak argue dengan Mummy la kan because I bribed him with lots of food and a dvd. Hehehheh... kena la ambik hati anak jugak kan.

What do I think of Pavilion? It's a cool mall. Too big perhaps but it was build to compete with 5th Avenue and Ginza. Boleh ke? My only complain was that the air-conditioning wasn't effective at all. We were feeling hot and bothered and Zareef was sweating like he had just finished playing ball. They should do something about the air-cond. Who wants to shop when they're all hot and sweaty anyway?

See You Later Auntie Zoow!

I had a makan session at my place recently especially for dear Zoow. Emi, Nong and Hazel came along as well. I made nasi lemak and the works, sambal udang petai, mayonnaise chicken, tiramisu and had lots of local fruits at hand to the likes of manggis, pink dragonfruit, durian and mandarin oranges.

I had such a lovely time eating and yakking away. We were, as usual, loud, boisterous and laughing like banshees at times. The only time that we were quiet when everyone was savoring the delicious organic durian from Janda Baik. It was so quiet for a moment that you can literally hear a pin drop.

Thanks Zoow, Emi, Nong and Hazel for coming over. I had fun feeding you guys. And Zoow, next time you know the secret weapon to winning Zara's heart kan. Arm yourself with a camera and she'll suck up to you in no time at all.

This was what was left of the tiramisu that I made. It was a hit with everyone even Hannah who is notoriously known for being a picky eater (so I was told by her mom). I'm relieved that it turned out well. I can't believe how easy it was to make. Ingredients can be pretty expensive what with the mascarpone cream and savoiardi fingers. Below is the recipe if any of you is interested in trying


4 large eggs separated
4 tbs caster sugar
1 tub mascarpone cream
3 tsp good coffee mix with 2 cups warm water
cocoa for dusting

1. Over a double boiler, beat egg yolks and 2 tbs of sugar till they become lemon-colored and light in texture (looks like custard).
2. Beat in mascarpone cream till well incorporated. Set aside.
3. Over a double boiler, whip egg whites with remaining 2 tbs of sugar till firm peaks are formed. This will take about 6-7 minutes. Good exercise for the arms.
4. Fold in egg whites mixture into mascarpone cream mixture.
5. Dip savoiardi fingers into coffee mixture lengthwise. Do this quickly or else the fingers will get soggy and break in your hands. Let at least half of the fingers get absorbed with the coffee.
6. Arrange coffee-fingers in a rectangular dish till completely covered.
7. Spoon half of mascarpone cream mixture on top of coffee-fingers.
8. Repeat process of layering coffee-fingers and then spooning cream mixture on top.
9. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
10. Dust some cocoa powder on the cream mixture prior to serving
11. Enjoy with loved ones.

Friday, January 11, 2008

A Purple Wedding

My brother-in-law (BIL) got married last Saturday hence the super busy me. My mother-in-law went nuts on everything purple and got everything in Barney's color but with a nicer hue. Luckily it (the color purple) happens to my favorite color as well so I didn't mind playing along at all.

My contribution towards my BIL's wedding was a purple (notice that I'm using this color a lot? Please bear with me ya) cupcake tier with 95 assorted chocolate moist cupcakes on it. Plus I took the liberty of putting myself in-charge of the newlywed's dining table (sounds like gila kuasa kan but in truth fact was nobody wanted to do it. My mom ended up helping me serve the bride's family because not a single of B's relative was in sight to help out except for his Mak Long).

Me being the perfectionist, made sure that everything went in order as planned (ke adhoc planning. Beats me). Lets just say, by the end of the evening, I was pooped out so much so that I had to send Zara home with my brother because she just couldn't bear the heat, people and environment. Kesian dia.

Here are some pictures from the wedding.

The hantaran cake that I made for my BIL. I'm still a beginner when it comes to playing with fondant. I had help with the flowers though. Bought it ready-made at Bake With Yen. I figured that it'll save time, energy and money rather than I go bonkers trying to twist, turn and roll the sugarpaste into flowers that I don't think will be pleasing to the eye.

The 5-tiered purple cupcake tower which I made myself. It took me 3 hours from start to finish to complete this cupcake tower. I ended sleeping at 3 am on the wedding day with blisters on my finger from handling the hot glue gun.

Pengantin lama hihihi... By the way, B is wearing his baju hantaran that I gave him 7 years ago. It still fits albeit a bit tight around the waist line. Come to think of it, I should have worn my baju hantaran as well.

With my dear Mom and two nephews, Hariz and Iwan.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Major Update

Please have a look at my baking blog which has gone through a major update. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy 2008!

2007 has passed in a blink of an eye. Yupp! That fast. One thing for sure, I've been slacking in updating this blog of mine like Zoow has loudly pointed out. My bad. Blame it on by rather erratic baking schedule, impromptu holidays, trying to be supermom, writer's block and laziness all rolled into one.

This year however, I've promised myself as well as Zoow, that I'll be blogging more. Yes, you heard me right. At least once a week. So Zoow, you can stop complaining ya and if I start slacking again, then, shoot me!

Lets see what I've achieved in the year 2007:

1. Started my baking business with a few hiccups along the way. But now, praise to Allah, my small home business has grown in leaps and bounds. My deepest gratitude to my fellow customers for your strong encouragement, kind praises and constructive criticism. I thank you with all my heart.

2. Became a homemaker 100%. I did try with a maid but it only lasted for 6 days. It wasn't me, it was her. She didn't want to look after Zara who was then only 5 months old. Upon hearing that, I sent her packing. In her case, it was beggars CAN afford to be choosers.

3. Made more friends. My new neighborhood is not so bad after all. My neighbors now know me as Nora who bakes. They've even requested for a baking class! Oh my! I am soooo not prepared to teach other people to bake or decorating even. But I am generous with my recipes and tips so just give me a holler if you need one ya.

4. Perfected my multi-tasking skill. Oh yes! Being a SAHM is seriously no joke. It sometimes drives me up the wall and it can sometimes turn pretty ugly (just ask Zareef, he can testify to that) but I try to take it all in a stride. What I usually do is to plan ahead. I would have three to four plans running around my small head, thinking aloud in my mind; I'll do this first then that and while I'm doing that I'll prepare for tomorrow's thing. My mind would be swirling with all these thoughts that sometimes, it is hard for me to go to sleep at night. I would still be lying awake on the bed with B snoring happily (yang tu pun kept me awake jugak) so much so that I have to get up and jot down my thoughts just to clear my ever shrinking head. How's that?

5. Patience is virtue. I'm slowly learning to be more patient. I keep on reminding myself that sabar itu separuh daripada iman. Patient with myself, with B, with Zareef, with Zara, on the road (I get annoyed easily with people who hog the fast lane when they are driving at 60 km/h). I try to control my temper, my annoyance, my pettiness and my penchant for all fine things.

I have too many aspirations for 2008 that if I were to list them down, would well cut into 3 pages buat the main ones are:

1. To be a better Muslim i.e. watch my prayers more carefully. I have the tendency to roll 2 prayers into 1 like praying a late Zuhur and an early Asar and Maghrib with Isyak. Very bad! So I'm trying not to do anymore.

2. Be more patient with B and the kids. No sulking and tarik muka masam when B has to come home late or work during the weekends and to stop being a momzilla to Zareef and Zara. Achievable? I truly hope so.

3. Stand by my man and support him 200%. Who says being a lecturer is just about teaching students? Hell no! On top of his lecturing job, B has to play his role as an HOD and attend (useless) meetings all day long, look after students enrolled in his department, do research, do networking, answer to higher authorities, attend seminars and conferences and take care of his fellow lecturers' welfare. Sometimes, it gets so bad that he leaves before the sun is up (and so do we) and comes back when we've slept. So yes, I'm trying very hard not to grumble, complain or moan on his workload.

4. Do charity. I've always wanted to do more charitable things but having a baby, moving to a new house and 1001 other things have prevented me from doing so. Now that Zara is 14 months old and can be carted away to my parents or the daycare, I plan to donate my time to an orphanage home near my house. I want to help them with their school work, give away my books to them and donate Zareef's bountiful toys.

5. Concentrate on my small but thriving baking business. Might try to come up with some baking modules due to several requests of a baking class. Alamak! Boleh ke ni?

So there. My aspirations for 2008. I pray that Allah will help me to achieve some if not all. Aminnnn