Category Archives: Domestic Life

5 Ways To Promote Recycling.. No?

Malaysians need not separate thrash until 2013.

Huh? That was my first thought.
What kind of statement is that.
Rubbish right? (pun intended).
Malaysian should start separating their thrash immediately.
Well, at least you should start practicing.
So when the real day comes, it will flow smoothly without hiccups.
But I actually have a problem with this.
I mean, I do separate my trash. But after that, WHAT?
I know, I know bring them to recycling centre or collection points. But it’s such a hassle to carry trash around in my car (excuses, I know..). I just wonder, I’m sure the are better ways to encourage Malaysians to be greener, right…
Well, here are my two sen..

  1. Have a specific day to collect specific trash. ie: Monday – only for glasses. Tuesday – paper, etc.
  2. Encourage people to go around collecting trash like the old newspaper vendors. Instead of just paper lama, how about tin lama, tin lama. (I have tons of the kids’ milk cans)
  3. Bring back that campaign and encourage the public to be part of the “Aluminium Cans for Cash”. But have easy places for people to bring it to – like shopping malls, etc.
  4. Oil. Ok, I seriously have a problem with this. What you have to know is that you CANNOT pour oil down your sink or your longkang. You will cause damage to the sewerage system. You should not pour oil on your garden… oily soils (though it could rhyme) will not be fertile. So, when do I recycle / throw these oils? (Currently, I pour them back into empty oil bottles, after I filtered all the habuk²)
  5. I know some of you may suggest putting those brown, orange, blue (recycling) bins at more places. It just doesn’t work, beb. Most of them (especially at the shopping malls) have basically garbage in all the bins, regardless of the color. People are just lazy or ignorant to figure that out. So, how now? Well, I think workplaces could try out recycling days or something. First week collect papers. Second week collect glass, then tins and then plastic. And assign people/group/dept to be in charge of each type to send them to the recycling centres. Ok?

i don’t know… what do you think?

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9 Easy Peasy Steps to Mini Pancake Muffins

This idea came from Bakerella who made the recipe from scratch. But if you’re a lazy (or need-to-be-speedy) baker like me, you can try this.
These are ridiculously easy (with Pi||sbury 0ne step Pancake Mix) but amazingly delicious.
Even though I said 9 steps, but they are REALLY EASY steps.
Try ’em!

1. Preheat your oven. (I put mine at 150°C, top and bottom heat.) 

2. Get your stuffs ready: Pancake mix, a bowl and a mini muffin pan. Oh, and choc chips (not in the picture).

3. Mix the pancake mix in the bowl as directed by the box. I just added water.

4. Add the choc chips. (But you can leave them plain, if you like).

5. Grease your pan (i used margarine). If you have those nonstick pans, just skip this.

6. Fill you muffin pan with the batter, till about ¾ full.

7. Pop the pan in the oven for about 10 -12 minutes.

8. Bring them out. To cool a little bit.

9. And they’re ready to be eaten. ENJOY!

I completed these (from bringing out the ingredients and tools, to cleaning up  and eating) in less than 20, 25 minutes, top.

February is THE hospital month

In February 2009:
Dear Husband spent 18 (or was it 19 days) in the hospital. I was dragged along. He had abcess in his liver.
Good thing he was warded at the surgical ward, so there was a sofa in the ward that I could sleep on.
It was the most tiring. Before 5am the nurse would come for his antibiotic. Half an hour later, a different one. At 6, time to change the water. At 6.30am I had to fetch my kids from my mom and send them to school. After that I would go back to the hospital. Sometimes I would go to work if there was a meeting or something. And then all his friends would visit, I can’t sleep. People don’t stop visiting till after 10pm. Takkan nak kata jangan datang kan.. they mean well. So that was 2009.

In February 2010:
Happy day. Baby No. 3 was born. I was out of the hospital the next day. And had 60 days of medical leave.

In February 2011:
Not so happy. Had to go for a surgery to remove my gallbladder because it was full of gallstones. The surgery took about 90 minutes or so, says the nurse. They knocked me out, so I can’t recall a thing. But the hospital gave a CD of the operation. But I’m too scared to watch it. Anyway, it’s not a cut open surgery.. the just poked 4 holes and used some laser. Lots of people told me prior to the operation it won’t be painful and all.. but guess what? The moment I woke up from those drugs, I was so painful I cried. It’s a challenge to recover painlessly with a one year old climbing all over me.
And I also discovered that I am allergic to an antibiotic named ciprobay.
My face was swollen and itchy all over. Scary.

Anyway, hopefully this time next year will not be another hospital month. InsyaAllah.

3 Rezeki = A Sweet Day ☺

Yesterday was a sweet day.
Sweet why? Because dapat rezeki berkali-kali.

1. First in the morning, I ordered a macchiato from my friend. This friend stays near a drive-through coffee outlet and therefore able to order one on the way to the office. I never imagined able to drink a macchiato from my Putrajaya office in the morning. Anyway, when I wanted to pay him, he said it was on him. Free coffee. From the shop. In the morning. Sweeeeeeet!

2. Then for lunch, old friends from old office asked out to lunch. I’ve been wanting to go to this restaurant that served ikan patin again. And all their other lauks are delicious too. Simple but delicious. Well, according to my tastebuds lah kan. Well, apparently one of the friends had just confirmed his promotion and it was backdated 2 years back. That 24 months beb.. So lunch was on him. Alhamdullillah..

3. And the last one, my baker friend was testing out her latest item – colorful macarons. And she was giving out free samples. Who am I to say no to free macarons? Me, who would order from KL and pay for delivery charges. Or drive to Subang to get a taste of one? A tiny one, the size of a twenty sen coin. No. Not me dude. And her macarons are definitely tasty! Just as good as the ones from Subang. Seriously. You should order from Ana.

 

Talking about Ana.. I admit. I am so jealous of her. Geram betul because she is this great lady.. hehehe. Bukan geram sakit hati.. but more of kagum sebenarnya. Envious. We have the same job. She, in a bigger agency than I am. Her kids are just as many and as big (small) as mine. And yet she can find the time to bake and take orders. And her baked goods taste so, so goood! And did I mention, maintain a great figure at the same time. Beb, tabik spring! But, don’t take my word for it. Try it for yourself. Her cakes and cookies lah.. not her. And it’s really fairly priced too. So, if you’re looking for sweet delicacies – macarons, cheesecakes, cupcakes, etc. and you’re around putrajaya or kajang, consider Ana.

Have a sweet day ahead everyone!

5 Perkara Nak Mula Sekolah

Semua orang duk cerita pasal anak masuk sekolah.
Tadika lah. Darjah 1 lah.
Aku duk senyap je.
Macam uneventful je. Padahal aku pun ada anak masuk sekolah darjah 1. Kesian Sorfina.
Maybe rutin tahun ni dah lebih kurang sama tahun lepas.. aku macam tak kelibut sangat.
Unlike tahun lepas, rutinnya sungguh berbeza berbanding tahun 2009. Tapi untuk first timer anak masuk sekolah, aku kongsi sikitlah cabaran, pengalaman, kehidupan yang aku lalui, maybe you can relate to it.

1. Seragam sekolah – termasuklah kasut.
Masa mula-mula. Ingatkan dah beli semua, senanglah. Nope. Think again. Lepas dah beli, kena ada sublist ni:

a) Kalau panjang (biasa seluar budak laki, perempuan boleh lipat kain dia) kenalah pergi alter. Kalau last minute macam aku, ha! jahitlah kau sendiri. Takde plak mesin jahit.. sembat yolah jawabnya. 5 pasang x 2 kaki, 10 kali menjahit. Pengsan!

b) Dah habis alter seluar, kena pulak jahit lencana. DAN tanda nama. Sejak bila sekolah² ni berhenti menggunakan pin atau iron on. Macam aku tahun ni, anak ada dua, kena jahit lencana dan tanda nama. 5 baju x (1 lencana + 1 tanda nama) x 2 orang = 20 kali jahit. Kalau ada mesin jahit, mungkin laju sikit. Tapi aku takde. Tak tau kat kedai mana ada. Nak gi tanya mcm segan. Lencana je tu dude.. maka sakit tengkok dan berpinar mata aku menjahit.

c) Basuh baju. Hu-hu! Masa anak sulung  aku darjah 1, kali pertama kan kena basuh baju sekolah anak (baju sekolah sendiri masa sekolah dah buat). Time tu, dia duk sekolah sampai petang. Ada kelas agama kat sekolah. Balik tu, baju dia memang macam dia telah buat cerita hisdustan kat sekolah, guling² kat bukit mana ntah. Terus terang aku mengaku, ada hari aku menangis beb. Sental macam nak melecet tangan pun tak berjaya. Aku nak rendam dalam peluntur, takut lak warna lencana ni turun. Last² aku lumur je vanish. Campak dalam mesin basuh. Berjaya. Alhamdullillah. Sejak tu vanish best friend aku.

d) Kasut sekolah. Hujung minggu je kena cucilah kan. Ada hari aku dera gak anak aku soh basuh kasut. Tapi banyak kali, aku je yang cuci. Kan tadi dah berkawan baik dengan vanish. Jadi aku ajaklah kasut pun join the group. Biasa, aku basahkan kasut. Lumur vanish. Lepas 20 minit, gosok² sikit je dah bersih. Wow! Tapi entahlah anak lelaki aku ni kan, apa dilanyaknya kasut main bola atas jalan, setengah tahun mesti dah kena beli kasut baru. Sekarang diorang dah basuh kasut sendiri.. tapi aku tolong sabunkanlah dulu. Kalau tak, takde mana bersih. Tapi kapur mengapur memang kerja diorang.

2. Buku
Alamak. Anak aku ni kan.. setiap hari mesti nak kena bergaduh (read: marah-marah. kalau tak, tak ingat) suruh bawak naik beg ke bilik dan susun buku. Mula-mula tu (dan kebanyakan masa) memang kerja aku lah ni. Aku pun naik hafal dah jadual waktu dia. Tapi hari yang dia ada karate tu, alah kesiannya. Hari tulah paling banyak kena bawak buku, kena bawak baju karate.
Selain daripada tu, buku teks sekarang semuanya menikmati SPBT. Maka kenalah balut buku-buku tu semua. Aku nasihatkan buku aktiviti punlah sekali. Kalau tak, tak sampai hujung tahun tu, dan lunyai dah kulitnya. Sekarang dah canggih. Pembalut dan mcm selotape besar. Tampal je. Tak payah ukur, tak payah gam/selotape, gunting banyak². Tapi yang tak tahan tu, ada dekat 40 buku aku kena balut tahun ni untuk diorang dua beradik.

3. Bekas Bekal dan Botol Air
Seingat akulah dulu kan, aku ni pemalas nak bawak bekal gi sekolah. Entahlah kenapa. Tapi masa tahun pertama Afnan pergi sekolah, aku kunun-kununnya tak nak bagi dia bawak duit pegi sekolah (kejamkah aku?). Takut hilanglah. Takut beratur tak sempat makan. Takut semua makanan pedas. Lagipun nak galakkan dia healthy eating habits. Bawak bekal berkhasiat. At first it worked. Tapi lama-lama, meleleh plak air liur dia tgk solivite kat sekolah. Aku kata, dia bawaklah bekal solivite dari rumah.

Dia kata, “Tapi ibu boleh ke janji air tu sejuk masa Afnan nak minum?”

Pulak dah. Mak aku ada sekali pergi tgk dia kat sekolah, dia kata muka anak aku macam loser gila pergi sekolah tak bawak duit. So, I started him on RM1, dengan syarat bekal habis. You know, with that one RM1 bill, self esteem dia memang melambung-lambung naik. Baru dia bersemangat nak pergi sekolah. So, sampai sekarang masih bawak bekal dan duit kantin.

Tapi, sejak tahun 1 sampai sekarang dah tahun 3, aku tak tau berapa  banyak bekas bekal dah hilang. Bekas air, alhamdulillah selamat lagi. Tapi tiap-tiap tahun mesti dia nak beli yang baru.

4. Bas Sekolah
Masa Afnan masuk darjah 1, aku dah start kerja di Seremban. Jadi pagi-pagi akulah hantar dia pergi sekolah. Petang mak aku tolong jemput bawak ke rumah dia. Lama-lama aku kesian kat mak aku. Yelah, walaupun hanya dalam 7-8km jaraknya, tapi nak kena gi masa peak hour tu. Dengan anak aku suka lari sana sini. Belum tambah nak pow mak aku macam-macam dalam perjalanan balik. Nak jadikan cerita, masa dia tahun 2, aku kena pulak pindah Putrajaya. Mak aku pun dah kena jaga cucu lain. Jadinya, tahun 2009 tu, macam-macamlah kena uruskan. Termasuklah naikkan anak aku van sekolah. Alhamdulillah, contact sana sini, dapatlah Auntie sorang ni. Senang jugak. Dan tahun lepas pun aku dah mula naikkan Sorfina van ni. Jadi auntie tu dah kenal lah dia dua beradik. Tu yang tahun ni aku macam bertenang sikit.

5. Peperiksaan
Ni dah lebih sikit lah pasal masuk sekolah.. tapi saja nak cerita jugak.
Terus teranglah aku mengaku.. aku selalu bising kat anak aku Ahad sebelum periksa tu je. Lepas tu, nasib kaulah nak.. Masa kali pertama tu, memanglah aku berdebar. Tapi dah lama-lama tu, dah 8 kali exam, dia pun macam rilek je. Aku pun joinlah dia sekali. Tapi tahun ni aku berazamlah nak serious sikit dengan dia. Lagipun, periksa tahun ni akan ikut aliran untuk tahun 4 nanti.
Apa yang boleh kita tolong? Sekarang ni dah banyak buku yang ada macam contoh soalan periksa. Dari tahun 1 sampailah 6. Korang belilah tu.. Ada seasoned parent ni bagitau aku yang buku esensi tu bagus.. nanti aku nak pi carik.

Aku tahu.. ramai ibu bapa stress dengan anak dia nak periksa, mesti nak nombor satu. Suruh pergi tusyen lah. pegi ulangkajilah. Entahlah, aku macam tak sampai hati nak paksa dia belajar gigih. Tapi aku pikir gak, sampaikah hati biarkan dia gagal especially bila dah besar nanti.. Tapi jangan bimbang. Bermula tahun ni, aku berazam nak jadi ibu yang prihatin.

Okay cukuplah kat 5. Lain kali cerita lagi.. selamat!

6 Things I’m A Sucker For…

(the ones that I can think of right now.. must be top of my list)

1. All things mini. Macam ada mini cup. Miniature spoon. Apa-apalah. I would find them all too cute. That’s why I love shot glasses. Because they are like mini glasses. And the same goes for cupcakes. Popcakes. Kan, small things tu..

2. Packaging. Food Packaging. Hand made food packaging. Gift wrapping ideas. Dulu, my ambition was to be a packaging designer. Which, of course, didn’t really happen.

3. Greeting Cards. Handmade greeting cards to be exact. Alah comelnya. I love pop up cards. Hand painted. Comic drawn. Collage cards. Semualah.

4. Colors of rainbow. In food. Colorful cookies. Cupcakes. Rainbow cake. Macarons. Coconut candy. Flavored drinks. Jello. Am I a budak or mak budak.. heheh.

5. Ice cream. I hardly ever say no to ice cream. Dulu, my freezer would ALWAYS have ice cream. Lately ni kurang. Because there’s too much of other stuffs.. plus the EBM.

6. Grey t-shirt. Weird, eh. But my favorite t-shirts are GREY t-shirts. I love them. But currently I only own two. Of which I wear everyday and everywhere.

Semua Pun Tak Tau

Kanak-kanak kan.. bak kata Bill Cosby, say the darndest things. Dan anak aku, kanak-kanak tipikal.. ada masanya buat aku terdiam.. terpikir jugak. Anak korang pun mesti ada kan. Kalau tak ada, mungkin belum lagi.. atau korang tak ingat. Cuba ingat baik-baik. Heheh. Apa pun, terbaru.. anak-anak aku buat aku terpikir (dalam hati / otak jelah): “Haah, ek..”.

1. Anak Nombor Satu

Anak: Kenapa ibu tak pandai masak sardin?
Ibu: Ibu pandailah.. cuma ibu tak pandai masak yang awak suka tu.
Anak: Tak pandailah tu.

Ibu: Tolonglah jangan kacau ibu buat kerja ok. Ibu nak siapkan cepat ni.
Anak: Asek buat kerja je. Suka sangat buat kerja.
Ibu: Eh awak ingat ibu suka sangat ke?
Anak: Sukalah. Sebab ibu selalu kerja. Kerja lama-lama. Balik lambat-lambat. Kerja jauh-jauh.
Ibu: Ibu tak sukalah. Baik ibu duk rumah bakar kek tau.
Anak: Habis tu, kenapa tak buat yang ibu suka?
Ibu: Ibu pun tak tau..

2. Anak Nombor Dua

Anak: (tgk mainan berbentuk burung warna kuning)
Anak: Ibu, ini burung ke?
Ibu: Ye.
Anak: Ada ke burung warna kuning?
Ibu: Ada.
Anak: Mana ada.
Ibu: Adalah.. habis tu, Tweety tu apa?
Anak: Tweety bukan burunglah.
Ibu: Habis tu apa?
Anak: Kartun. Tu pun tak tau.

Conclusion: Semuanya aku tak tau…

If I were to do all over again, I would:

Remember this?
Over Aidil Fitri, I successfully made six cakes, over two days:
1. Cheese Marble Choc Cake – 2


2. Carrot Cake – 2


3. Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake – 1


4. Blueberry Cheesecake – 1

Phew!
But of late, I can’t sit still thinking of red velvet cakes. Maybe it’s the “jolly” season.. maybe it’s the weather. I don’t know.. As I had written recently, I did go out and grabbed myself not one, but TWO of this baby.. but I was still unsatisfied till I baked it myself.

So, after two nights of incomplete ingredient, last night I made myself do it, despite of insufficient or suffiecient ingredients.

So, this was the end product:

Verdict?

This cake called for the creaming method, which I can’t remember the last time I did that. What came out, wasn’t as crumbly as I expected it to be. Thank goodness I used my good sense and halfed the recipe so that I would need just 1 egg. I wouldn’t feel so bad if it didn’t turn out right.

Anyway, if I were to do it all over again, I would:

1. Not make a paste of the food coloring and cocoa.
2. Instead sift the cocoa with the flour
3. Definitely use the pink food coloring again as I did here. I didnt have red on hand, just hot pink. And it turned out, the red is just nice.
4. Use just whipped cream with cream cheese instead of buttercream
5. Wait to see it bake, at least at the last 10 minutes.. instead of falling asleep which in the end the cake didn’t rise well, alas becoming a bit dense.

Red velvet, is still not my slice of cake.. yet. But maybe will try again.

Next project, cake pop?

A Red Comparison

I’ve been wanting to eat red velvet cake for the longest time. Am too lazy to whip one up. In case it may not taste good. And I only really want to eat one. What’s more, you don’t usually find them in bakeries. Till recently. Apparently it has gain a lot of popularity lately. And with christmas around the corner, red velvet becomes a popular menu (since it’s in theme with christmas colors – red, green and gold).

Anyway, recently I had the chance to go to Subang. I’ve been reading and told about this popular red velvet from the whisk. I wasted no time a grabbed one. And coincidently, Coffeebean is also promoting red velvet cake this Christmas and there is an outlet where the whisk is. I decided to do a comparison. But to my disappointment, they said that their stock has yet to arrive. “But we have red velvet cupcake”. And I thought, oh, why not. It’s still cake.

So here we have.

And my verdict? Let’s compare first.

The Whisk

1. It’s a big slice.
2. Thinly covered with white sugar frosting. With a touch of cream cheese.
3. It’s moist.
4. You can taste the cocoa flavor.
5. It costs RM11.90 per slice.

Coffeebean (the cupcake)

1. For a cupcake, this is rather big. The size of a muffin.
2. The topping is pure cream cheese.
3. Texture more like butter cake.
4. The cocoa taste is really mild.
5. It cost RM5.05 (after tax).

Verdict?
For the cake, I’d go for the whisk. It’s moist and really tastes homemade. But cream cheese would really heighten the taste. And in whisk’s frosting you can barely taste the cream cheese plus, it is too sweet for me. It’s a big slice though, its portion I think is equivalent to 2 CB cupcake.

CB’s cupcake would have been nicer if it’s slightly more moist and a little bit more cocoa. But the cream cheese frosting is perfect, if only they weren’t too stingy and put more. And it terms of price, I would definitely choose this over the other. I wonder how the slice cake would actually compare, though. And it’s only RM7.90 (before tax).

The guy at CB was right too, you have to heat the cake up to do justice to it. I put both cakes in the microwave oven for 15 sec and seriously, sedaaaap.

Anyway, I had always imagined that red velvet cake would taste like moist chocolate cake. But, not exactly. Plus, eating it means now I’ve got red coloring all over the place and my clothes where the crumbs fell. Guess, red velvet cake is really not my slice or cup of cake. For now.

5 Perkara Ramadan 1431H

Menariknya Ramadan ini:

Selain daripada dipanjang usia dan rezeki untuk dapat menambah amal ibadat di bulan ramadan tahun ini, ada beberapa perkara yang ketara (significant) untuk aku ingat.

1. InsyaAllah dapat puasa penuh juga tahun ni macam tahun lepas. (ada dua hari lagi ni). Adakah perlu mengandung lagi tahun depan untuk dapat 3 tahun berturut? Oop!

2. Tahun ni 4 hari berpuasa (3 hari berbuka) di hospital. Anak bongsu saya kena acute bronchiolitis. Sian dia.

3. Hari tu tukang jahit kata tak sempat siap baju untuk raya. Kain yang saya bagi bonda mintak tolong hantar pun dia hampir lupa. Tapi sempat hantar gak. Ingatkan tak siap, jadi saya beli sepasang dah siap. Tiba-tiba, semua baju siap di jahit dalam ramadan. Oh jadinya pertama kali saya ada 5 pasang baju kurung raya baru.

4. Kalau tahun-tahun terdahulu, biasanya mesti ada sekali berbuka beramai-ramai dengan semua adik-beradik. Tahun ni, tak berjaya nampaknya. Masa Dino balik, Dik Am kerja. Ada masa tu, saya kena balik kampung sebelah suami. Hmm.. sedih.

5. Tahun ni juga merupakan tahun pertama anak kedua berpuasa. Dia akan berusia genap 6 tahun November ni. Alhamdullillah, berjalan dengan baik kecuali beberapa hari yang terpengaruh dengan rakan sebaya. Tak sampai 5 pun yang tak berjaya tu, insyaAllah.. yelah ada dua hari lagi ni kan. 3 termasuk hari ni.

Okaylah untuk pembaca yang tak berapa ramai ni (kalau ada) Selamat Menyambut Aidil Fitri. Semoga kita dipanjangkan umur dan dibanyakkan rezeki, dapat berjumpa lagi Ramadan pada tahun hadapan. Insya Allah.