Sunday, November 23, 2008

fishing for ideas

Hypothetically speaking lah kan,
if I am compiling my easy peasy recipes into a book,
what (which or what kind of recipes) would you like to see in it
and into what categories should I divide them into?
Would you like pictures?

please take a moment to vote on my poll ------------------------>
If you think my recipes suck, please do leave a comment on why it does and how it can be improved.
Dont be a d*ck when people are trying to be productive.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Easy Peasy No Bake Chilled Cheesecake

I made this for Neeza's birthday, and was planning to go to Jubayl to give it to her, but unfortunately Taufik had to work, so we had to cancel the trip :P (Sorry Neeza! Next time, eh?)

Caught Nigella making this on TV but I didnt have time to write down the recipe so I just winged it. Turned out not so bad, except for the topping which was too sweet. Next time I'd use fresh fruits or maybe just drizzle chocolate over it.
The texture of this cheesecake was really light and smooth and not so rich. You probably have to serve it chilled though, because it doesnt use any gelatine.

Easy Peasy No-Bake Chilled Cheesecake

10-12 Marie biscuits (Nigella used digestives)
2 tbsp soften butter/margerine
2 tbsp ground almonds, with 1/2 tbsp extra
300g pack of philly cream cheese @room temp
1/2 cup icing sugar (more if you like your cheesecake sweet)
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp lemon juice (more if you like your cheesecake tart)
1 cup whipping cream (I used vegetable whip topping)
Fruit topping (I used 3tbsp mixed fruit jam which is waaaay too sweet for me)

Brush sides of a round 8" springform pan with butter, then sprinkle some ground almonds, shake to distribute evenly and remove excess.
In a food processor, ground biscuits then mix with 2tbsp butter and 2tbsp ground almonds, to form crumblike dough. Press biscuit mixture on the bottom of springform pan. Leave to chill in the fridge while you prepare filling.
In a bowl, mix well cream cheese, icing sugar, vanilla essence and lemon juice. In another bowl, whip cream till soft peaks form (not stiff).
Fold cream into cheese mixture till well incorporated.
Pour filling into spring form pan.
Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.
To serve, run a knife on the sides of spring form pan before releasing the cheesecake.
Top with your favourite fruit (I carefully spreaded a thin layer of jam)

I find the layer of ground almonds on the sides help ease the release of the cake.
I also made my own cake board (the size of my spring form pan) so that i dont have to serve my cake in the bottom of my spring form pan. That also helped in making it easier to remove the cake.
I dont know how long this cake can last outside of the fridge. So far mine have been out for 2 hours and it's still standing.

Happy trying and tell me how yours turn out!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bus Rants

I just need to vent this out.

My kids go to school with the bus service provided by the compound. We mothers of the children that go to school on that bus take turns to become the bus monitors. Bus Monitors have to make sure that children are following the rules to ensure their safety, i.e. take attendance (to make sure no child is left behind), put their seat belts on, no eating/drinking in the bus (though I do allow them to drink water during the hot summer months), no shouting, verbal/physical abuse or bad language on the bus.

Today I get a call from the bus coordinator (she's like the 'head' of the bus monitors lah), telling me that the management asked her to remind us of the bus rules and remind us to enforce the bus rules. I agree with all the bus rules accept for one - in the past few months my children have been complaining that they are not even allowed to TALK in the bus.
My children get stressed out every time they have to go to school (especially if they see that the bus monitor on duty is going to be one of these two particular moms) because they know it's gonna be 2 long boring, rigid bus ride to/from school.
I mean, these are children, and you expect them not to talk? come on.
I argued this point with the bus coordinator, and she says it's distracting the bus driver, and she pointed out that I seem to be the only one who's complaining about this rule. She said the kids need to only keep quiet for 20 to 30 minutes, that's all. Knowing my kids (and myself), keeping quiet for even 5 minutes is torture! Especially when you've just come back from school, and looking forward to chucking your books and playing outside. Especially when you're sitting next to your friend.

Am I really the only one who thinks this rule is too much?
Or am I being unreasonable about it?

How can I implement this rule when I don't believe in it?
If I flout it, I would be setting a bad anti-establishment example to my kids. But if I enforce it, I'd be going against my own principles.

Perhaps I need to find a way around it.
Teach the kids (not just mine, mind you, the whole bus!) how to have fun, without talking (too loud). Whispering game? hm.. maybe that would actually work.
*light bulb*

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Easy Peasy Poutine

Declare your diets over, girlfriends. This is absolutely, sinfully yummy, and so easy to make, you and your kids would want it

The first time I heard of poutine was on PB's blog.
Being a person who's easily tergoda (tempted) by anything remotely edible (especially if it's cheesy), I googled for the recipe. Turns out they are pretty easy to make. You only need fries, cheese curds and some kinda gravy. I can do the fries part. I can even wing the some kinda gravy part. The cheese curd part was a little tricky, but via the wonders of the book of face, i got a tip from an authentic Canadian that I could subtitute it with mozarella cheese (Thanx, Ben!).

My first attempt at poutine turned into chilli cheese fries instead.
A few nights a go, entah apa dia mimpi malam tu, Taufik asked me to make steak for dinner. To go with the steak, I made mashed potatoes, and to go with the taters, I made some mushroom gravy. I had some leftover mushroom gravy and the first thing that popped in my head was "Poutine!".

Here's the recipe for the mushroom gravy (you can omit the mushroom if you're not a fan, then you'd end up with just gravy).

Easy Peasy Mushroom Gravy

1 tbsp cooking oil or butter
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1/2 an onion, finely chopped
a handful of mushrooms roughly chopped
1 tbsp plain flour
1 cup stock (Chicken, beef, vegetable, whatever you like)
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil/butter and saute garlic, onions and mushrooms in a saucepan till wilted.
Add in flour, saute till flour is brown.
Pour in stock and bring to a boil while stirring.
Add salt and pepper to taste , let simmer to desired thickness.

I kept the leftover gravy in an airtight contaner in the fridge.
Of course you could always modify the recipe to suit your taste. Omit mushrooms, add other spices (curry powder?), add a little dark soy sauce for coloring, or a little sugar for sweetness. To each, his own.

Easy Peasy Poutine

Frozen fries
Mozarella cheese (cut into small pieces or shredded)
Prepared gravy

Prepare fries per instructions on package.
Heat up gravy.
Place hot fries in a serving bowl/plate.
Sprinkle as much cheese as you like.
Pour hot gravy on top.
Let sit for a few minutes for cheese to melt a bit and fries to soak up gravy.
Dig in!

I used shredded mozarella because I think they are easier to 'spread around' on the fries. I cant even begin to describe how the creamy and salty flavours meld together, or how the crunchiness of the fries, the gooey-ness of the melted cheese and the silky gravy just overloads your senses. Some fries got soggy, of course, but it's okay, coz it was soggy with yummeh gravy.
I can imagine sitting with a big bowl of this with my girlfriends and moaning with ecstasy with each mouthful, just like we did the first time we shared a bowl of beef queso.
Simply put, YUM!

PB, you MUSTI cuba ni!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

today ...

She would have been 37.

Does the grief ever end?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saudi Moon

Dedicated to RotiKacangMerah.
(If you dont know yet, cik lin kita ni likes to collect pictures of full moons)

We saw this moon on our way back from our daily walk (in preparation for Hajj)(Maklumlah, kita dah gumux dan lama tak exercise) last Thursday.
When we(read: Taufik) were taking this picture, we heard a whirring sound from the back of the houses and saw these smoke columns billowing up. Rupa-rupa nya diorang tengah buat fogging kat luar.
"Ambik gambaq cepat!!" I told taufik and he took a picture before the smoke engulfed the moon, thus catching it in this thriller-like creepy looking pose.

I wish I had a zoom lense.. the moon looks so small in pictures. :P

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Kita beri laluan untuk iklan..

(Click for bigger picture)

Maybe some of you would be interested.
You can also contact my good friend Haslina at for the forms to fill out and details on how payments can be made.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Easy Peasy Ayam Percik

Dedicated to Nazrah

"Ayam Percik" ("Ayam" - are-yum is chicken, "Percik" - purrrrr-cheek is sprinkle/spatter) is the East Coast Malaysian version of barbecue chicken. Instead of a spicy, tangy and sweet sauce though, they use a spicy, creamy, sweet and sour sauce to marinade, and to baste the chicken with.
If you try and g00gle for the recipe, you'd find many many versions of the recipe, ranging from complicated to easy. The one I'm using is one of the easier ones coz as you all may be aware, I am a lazy cook and is always looking for shortcuts. This one is actually based on my mom's recipe for the sambal tumis nasi kerabu (the gravy that goes with rice eaten with salad of a combination of leaves, shoots and herbs). The ingredients are easy enough to find, and it requires very few steps, but on the scale of 1 to 10 (1 being the easiest), I would prolly rate this as a 6, because it does require a little bit of patience to wait for the gravy to thicken up and cook properly.
The result, however, is worth it ;)

Easy Peasy Ayam Percik

5 dried chillies (you may use chipotle if you like, soaked in warm water to soften)
5 shallots
2 cloves garlic
a thick sliver of fresh garlic
1 can (about 2 cups) coconut milk
1 chicken stock cube (or 1/2 cup of chicken stock)
one lemon grass (only use bottom 5 inch, bruise with the back of a knife)
1/2 tablespoon tamarind paste
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tbsp sugar
1 medium sized chicken cut into quarters or eighths.

Blend or pound chillies, shallots, garlic and ginger.
In a saucepot, combine all ingredients except chicken and stir to mix well.
Bring to a boil then add in chicken.
Let simmer till chicken is 3/4 cooked.
Take out chicken pieces with a thong, set aside and prepare griller/broiler.
Simmer gravy till it is thick and oil starts to break out.
Baste chicken pieces with gravy and grill/broil till chicken is done, turning once and basting it again.
Serve with remaining gravy.
Can be eaten with rice or bread.

Ayam Percik with Almost Nasi Kerabu

I had my ayam percik with white rice, a salad of thinly sliced long beans and water convulvus, and crispy fish crackers. It was only a sambal ikan & kelapa short of nasi kerabu, but it was enough to satisfy a rambler away from home like me ;)

Edited to add:
To make sambal nasi kerabu, subtitute chicken stock with ikan bilis stock or 1/4 cup budu (or anchovy sauce).
This sauce also goes well with fish.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Preparing Myself

I'm preparing myself for hajj. It excites me, yet scares me. I'm excited that I will be able to carry out the 5th pillar of my religion, but I am scared if something happens and I will not be able to do it for some reason. I am scared that even if I was able to do it, it is not 'as good' as others.

I keep thinking of things that I have done wrong, or I have not yet done (like, bila nak start ganti puasa nih? isy isy isy). I keep thinking about what if I had unintentionally hurt someone's feelings through my jokes or sessi menyakat or if I am tak sedar diri ter-mulut laser... will that bear weight on my hajj? Will some sins i've commited in the past be my obstacle to my journey?
Then again, I've managed to do my umrah before, so perhaps I should be confident, that I will once again be accepted to be a guest in His 'house'?

Sometimes I feel the need to distract myself and while I'm clicking on sudoku numbers I tell myself have faith have faith, don't get discouraged by your fears, just do your best, he is Ar-Rahman, Ar-Rahim, loving and forgiving. You take one step towards God, and He will repay you ten-fold if not more. Right?

Monday, November 03, 2008

Easy Peasy Chilli Cheese Fries

I was drooling over PB's post about poutine yesterday, and decided to make some myself.
Unfortunately, I couldnt find cheese curds at the grocery store, and I had been craving for chilli con carne for a while now, so I thought I'd make chilli cheese fries instead. (In respect of my canadian friends, I won't even call it poutine).
I used this brand of seasoned french fries that is the name of a presidential candidate.
I made chilli using this recipe, except I omitted the beans and cheese sauce.
I grated some cheddar cheese and mixed it with grated mozarella.

I started making the chilli right after I had put the fries in the oven, and it was done by the time the fries were crispy.
Ladeled the chilli over the fries and sprinkled a really generous amount of cheese. YUM.
I had to eat these with a fork.

Layers of sin. Try not to think about the calories.

If I'm lucky, I'd have some chilli leftover so that I can eat it with corn chips tomorrow!