Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The three darlings

Kakak, Abam( this is how she called her abang ) and Batrisyia herself as seen through her eyes.....
My youngest daughter's drawing.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

simple yet yummy...

I have to write this down before it slips from my mind.I tend to change my recipe every now and then and when I get the right taste, ( right taste means it gets nice reviews from hubby dearest)I have already forgotten what I actually put in there, that is why this time I am writing it down so that the next time I want to cook the same dish, I would know what to put in. Reason being, our dinner was a success last night, my hubby didn't just have a second helping but a third and a fourth. I was so happy to see him eat last night. He is not easily pleased when it comes to cooking. Actually he is, when you know what he likes and dislikes. If he likes it he will say it straight to your face and if he doesn't like it, he would do the same. Ouch! sometimes the word hurt a bit but at least I know what I did wrong , with my cooking that is, so that I can improve the next time.

I was a bit famished yesterday for I did not have my lunch. So, upon reaching home after fetching my youngest daughter from her kindie cum daycare, I rushed to the kitchen, still in my working attire, i started pounding the onions and garlics, while de-frosting the squid, chicken, and fish.
I have already asked my eldest daughter to cook the rice before I left the office, so that is already been taken care of. Now, what shall I cook? Something quick yet delicious. My stomach is already grumbling , so I decided to make sambal sotong , the easiest and fastest.

Turned the cooker on, put some oil in the pan and sauted the onions and garlic, add some chilli paste, when it is cooked, add asam jawa paste with some water, followed by salt and sugar. I also added some oyster sauce and soy sauce, Habhal Kipas Udang Lemak manis, a favourite among us in the house. After all the ingredients were blended in, add the squids and leave it for a few minutes. you can't cook seafood too long.

That's one dish done. What next? I boiled three eggs because I thought of adding them into the prawn gravy, but changed my mind. Instead, I used the "ikan kembung" instead. so I had my ikan kembung gulai in a jiffy, a ready made gravy from yesterday's prawn gravy. Why waste it when it is till tasty and edible.

That's not all. I had my ( just me ) dinner early at around 6.30 pm. At 8.30 pm I went down to my kitchen again to prepare the dinner for my kids and since my husband is not going out tonight, he specifically asked for "ikan bakar' which I am more than happy to oblige because I like to cook this one. My son likes ikan bakar too, especially siakap. My eldest daughter, she likes everything, so I am not worried about her. Furthermore I had prepared the paste earlier so all I need to do is just de-frost the ikan siakap, clean it, put it on an aluminium foil , rub some salt and squeezed some lemon juice on it and turn the oven to grill mode. The final ingredient, spread the paste which I had prepared earlier on the siakap and grill it away . About 20 minutes later, it is done.
For the paste, I pound together some onion, lemon grass, belacan,salt and sugar, chilli paste and some tomato sauce.

So, there you go, our dinner:
1. ikan siakap bakar with sambal
2. sambal sotong with oyster sauce
3. ikan kembung in prawn gravy curry
4. boiled eggs
5. mixed veggie
6. ikan gelama masin
7. sambal belacan and cucumber

Bon appetit!

Unfortunately I don't have the photos to show all these dishes., they are in......err... our tummies........

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A brief visit by my youngest bro and SIL

Batrisyia with her teddy and her Aunt's teddies....
BBQ corner

Masa yang ditunggu2, saat2 untuk menikmati the plain bake cheesecake. He likes to eat it when he was young and his schoolmate, nama Muniandi kan yin, would join him when they returned from school ( primary school) in a small shop house, in a small kampung, about 10 minutes drive to the capital city of " Negeri Cik Siti Wan Kembang".

saje2 topped the cheesecake with the bride and groom teddy on the cheesecake for the not so newly wed. Adik tinggi, kakaknya tak berapa tinggi , itu pasallah dia kena tundukkan kepala..hi..hi...

" kak jue, one cheesecake please, we are coming over", well those were not his exact words but meant something like that. My youngest brother has been one of my number one supporter for my plain bake cheesecake, that was way before I ventured into Zue's Oven.

Just married barely 3 months with the lady of his choice, a sweet petite Mimi from Skudai whom the sales person at Pekan Rabu mistook for his sister....she's carrying ( in her tummy) their first baby barely 3 months old also.....

A few to do items on their list:
1. nak makan cheesecake kak jue
2. nak cari ikan pekasam di Pekan Rabu
3. nak BBQ

I am glad I am able to fulfil all those wishes esp that SIL is pregnant, however the visit was so brief that we barely have time to sembang2( noticed that this is the third time I used the word " barely"). They arrived around 2 am on Thursday ( Friday night) and by the time they arrived, the cheesecake is ready, fresh from my oven, only waiting to be cooled off and chilled in the fridge.

We only slept at around 3.30 am and hubby woke me up at 4.30 am cos we planned to go to the morning fish market to get our supply of fish, chicken, prawns ,etc for the family cos my freezer is almost running out of stock.

Bought nasi dagang, roti canai and some pulut sambal for breakfast and since it is Friday, our off day, most of us slept in but not Mummy dearest, after packing the fish, etc into individual plastic bags for each servings, had my bath ( actually Mummy did take a few minutes to doze off ), came down to the kitchen to prepare today's lunch and the menu for today is
1. kari ikan kembung ( fresh from the market)
2. Ayam masak minangkabau ( the recipe which i learned back in the school days)
3. ikan bawal emas goreng ( the favourite fish among my family , kalau makan ikan ni mesti licinnya)
4. sayur kacang and carrot
5. sambal belacan and budu with timun

very simple menu, after lunch off hubby went to KL for his Architectural seminar ( he only just found about it at the last minute, if not he would have stayed ) That leaves me and my three kids with my bro and SIL.

After marinating the chicken, my SIL and brother went out too and they were going to Sg Petani to see her father angkat and I continued fiddling with my fondant figurines because the cake is promised by 3 pm tomorrow.

We missed the BBQ because they came back quite late and even if they were home early, it wouldn't be fun BBQing in the rain, it was raining cats and dogs and even some parts of Alor Star was flooded.

Despite the shortcomings, we had such fun time eating the chicken BBQ on Saturday ( marinated by SIL the nite before) ). Brother and SIL prepared everything themselves from scratch ; from making the bara, to grilling till we saw the end result, chicken, some prawns, and satay too..... on the small dining table in the wet kitchen.

Back to the BBQ lunch, we shared silly jokes and exchanging riddles like this one :)
Q: gajah lalu, patah titi, kambing lalu, patah apa?
A: patah balik......kuang, kuang, kuang......

Q: There's a fire in an orchard, all the fruits got burnt except for three kinds of fruits, what are they?
A: i) buah cempedak - di luar pagar
ii) buah keranji - di dalam perahu
iii ) pisang emas- dibawa belayar........

Q: Kenapa kalau orang main golf, lepas dia pukul bola tu, dia letak tangan above the eyes and dongak ke langit?
A: Takkan dia nak tutup mata, nanti tak nampaklah bola tu jatuh ke mana......

Those are some of the jokes and riddles that we shared and that brief moment at least something for us to remember the brief visit by.

After lunch, waited for my first 3D/novelty fondant figurine Snow White and the Seven D... Dolls chocolate cake to be picked up by a lady, fellow colleague, who has three sons and one daughter and she wanted this cake to be very special indeed for her 3 years old, one and only little Princess . I slaved ( exaggerate a bit ) myself over the cakes the last few days making sure that I've got everything just as she wanted it, colourful, girlish only that I made it extra special by making it 3D instead of just 2D drawings on the cake. ( see my other cekmekzue blog for full photos of the cake)
Off we went to Pekan Rabu in search of that ikan pekasam and at the same time bought ' baju pengakap" for my son and also on the way back, dropped by at Bata to get him a new pair of shoes.
Dinner was very simple, bihun goreng with generous portions of prawns and squids matched with keropok goreng. After taking a few minutes rest because my SIL is still having her morning sickness, they drove back to KL at around 11 pm bringing back some of the cheesecake with him. Speaking of morning sickness, i remembered my condition when I was pregnant with my youngest, I was hospitalised and put on drips for a few days. It was a difficult pregnancy and a difficult birth too but out came a beautiful angel weighed 3.25kg. more about this later. So, Yin, take good care of the little missus, some pregnant women tend to be difficult to live with especially if they have all sorts of weird cravings, likings or dislikes but you must learn to accept the condition and be very patient for this is one of those times that they need their other half most.

received an sms this morning that they've arrived safely in Puchong at around 3.30am . i guess my brother will only have a few hours rest because he's working at 8 am!

As a sister, I am very happy and berbesar hati cos my brother comes over to visit us even though we are living about 4 to 5 hours drive from one another. just like my sister who is living in Ireland, when she came back for last raya, she made a point to visit us during the fasting month last year and that time I made chocolate cake for her hubby since it was his birthday. I'll write about Da's visit in the next post, insyaallah.My other sister too who lives in our hometown nearer to our parents house came over for a visit once in a while.

No matter how busy we are, with work or with children , no matter what the distance is, it only takes a small step to bring the distance closer, to make the relationship stronger, make time to visit them, if you can't afford the time,give them a call, e-mail them or sms them, the least you can do is include them in your daily prayers, that will bring them closer to your heart, insyaAllah.