Sunday, 30 September 2007

Dank U Astrid en Peter!

I wanted to thank Astrid and Peter for everything they've done for us a year ago. These 2 people are very very special and dear to us. they have helped us so much last year, during the period of the renovation of our current house.

I wanted to thank them for everything that they did, i wanted them to know that we remembered their kind gestures, kind help and kind thoughts. so i made them a card, a thank you card, the least i could do to remember what they did for us.

I try not to buy cards at the shops because i've always believed that it's nicer to receive something handmade, made by you, yourself. something personal. you can do so much with it, adding your own personal touch. i sometimes struggle a bit with words, a setback for me. sometimes when i hardly have the time to actually sit down and actually compose and create, yes, i do run to the shops to get those ones on the shelves, they have good ones these days, but the ones we have here are all in dutch! (another struggle for me when buying cards in dutch! i can only understand 1/3 of it!)

It took me less than 10 mins to actually make the card. not long at all when you have everything in front of you. it would probably take me around 25 mins to walk to town, an hour to scout for a good thank you card, and the damage would probably be a good 50euros or so spending it on something else.. so in this case, i saved a lot!

You will need very few things to make your own card. depending on how elaborate you want them to be. the simpler the card is, the better, to me at least. especially when you have a bold motives on the paper, you wont be needing anything else but a good ribbon just to hook them, all the pieces up.

So, here's to Astrid and Peter, dank u well!

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Thai Basil Chicken

I LOVE thai food. there's something about thai food that makes my mouth water. some even say that Thai cooking is the essence of asian cooking. to me, yes it is, alongside our malay cooking :)

This recipe is a basic one. its very quick and easy but still gives the thai flavour. the main ingredient is thai basil.

There's actually a few types of basil grown in thailand, each with slight difference in appearance and flavour. there's thai basil (bai horapa), there's holy basil (bai grapao) and lemon basil (bai manglaek). for this dish, i uesed thai holy basil (they only carry holy basil at the toko).


Chicken Breasts - cut into bitesized pieces
Vegetable Oil
4 Cloves Garlic - chopped
3-4 Fresh Red Chillies - seeded and finely chopped
3-4 tbsp Thai Fish Sauce
2-3 tbsp Soy Sauce
a tad bit of sugar
salt to taste
Holy Basil leaves


1. Heat oil in wok. Add garlic and chillies and stir fry on a medium heat for a couple of mins or until fragrant. make sure garlic's not burnt, if not it'll taste bitter!
2. Add chicken to the wok and stir fry until they change colour.
3. Stir in the fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar and continue to stir fry for another 4 mins or so until the chicken is cooked.
4. Add in basil leaves and give it a little bit of a good mix.

How simple's that for a quick thai fix?

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Seri Muka

How we miss all the traditional sweet treats that we have back home during this fasting month. i miss kuih bakar jagong, agar agar, kuih talam, lepat pisang..

I remember when i was in school, a restaurant called Sedap Corner in jb used to have the best seri muka in town. now, i'm pretty sure lots of other places have beaten them to it.

Hardy has a soft spot for all the malay traditional cakes. and as soon as i mentioned kuih bakar jagong and kuih seri muka, he straight away went to the computer and search for the recipe.

Something is definitely wrong with my kuih seri muka. no complaints from Hardy though. but the top bit i think was overcooked. and being me, i dont really fancy using the scales, decided to just follow my instincts (which in some cases doesnt work). i didnt follow what Hardy read to me and added a little bit more flour (how silly was that?).

Anyway, told mum and dad about it and the first thing they said was, the real deal and the real traditional way to make this kuih is by not using flour. use plenty of eggs. they promised to make some for us, their version of it. so until then, i shall leave you to this for the time being.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Aidan's Birthday Banner

Aidan turned 1 last Friday! i made him a banner with his name on. something light and not as fragile to bring to my sister's in UK where we celebrated his 1st birthday. more on it on our other blog aidantje.

We didnt go for any theme in particular. i just thought it'd be nice to have a mix of everyone's choice. but i quite like a sailor-ish kind of theme. found an anchor cookie mold at one of the baker's shop in Mannheim, Germany last month. for those who cant really draw and dont have steady hands like me, these molds acts as useful templates.

Downloaded some alphabets templates (they are really really useful for almost every craft!), cut them up, paste them on a contrasting paper, stick on your anchor and use those tiny little pegs which i love so much to hang them up on the rafia string.

We hung the banner at my sister's living room with another birthday banner they bought us together with a couple of helium filled ballons (which baby Ferran love so much!) Now that we're back home, i'm gonna hang them up in Aidan's room, hopefully he will know how to spell his own name soon!

A keepsake, something we can keep and hopefully Aidan can show it to his children one day, telling them that this was what their oma did for him on his eerste verjaardag!

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Aidan's 1st Birthday!

Aidan is 1 today!!

We're currently in the UK enjoying his special day together with his oma, opa, tante fi, om redza and cuz ferran.

I will write more on what we did soon, here and in our other blog when we're back home.
Aidan's a very very happy birthday boy and zaza is a very very happy mama!

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Wrap Me Up Fabric

If i was back home right now i'd be busy doing the Raya hampers. gosh, i cant begin to tell you all how much i miss doing them. it got to a point where i had only a couple of hours sleep and just couldnt walk after sitting down for so long. i honestly miss those days. sourcing stuff and making presentations to componies, i miss it. will write about them one of these days..

Anyway, i'm sending some fragile items by post to a good friend back home and wasnt quite sure if the 'jiffy' would be sufficient. (jiffy=those bubbled envelopes). instead of a normal paper wrapper, i used fabrics to wrap them instead, just to give them a little bit of cushion, so that they're puffed. and forget those normal wrappers, use fabric!!

I bought some fabrics for our home to make them into curtains at the dining room as well as Aidan's. had quite a lot of remnants and thought it would be a shame not to reuse them. i have loads of ideas in mind on what to do with them but how i wish i have enough time to execute. i honestly and shamlessly cant sew. Hardy bought a sewing machine, a luxury for some but i havent got the foggiest on how to use it. shame on me!!

I absolutely LOVE wrapping presents. i love coming up with ideas on how to tie the ribbons, i love to play with the colours of the wrapper and flowers. which ribbons i should use and combine them with... absolutely love it. i once had to wrap a persian carpet for a customer back home. i had to come up with so many proposals for her as i was scared our tastes might be different. but the difficult thing was not to please her (eventhough she's a royal), but how not to make the carpet look bulky. challenging indeed!

Well anyway, back to this little project of mine. if you can sew or have a machine at home, please make us all women proud of you by sewing the fabrics into envelopes! the receiver then can reuse them as pouches, they can store their trinklets, use them as tissue pouches, handphone pouches, anything, really. you just have to sew the sides, i reckon it wont take you more than a couple of mins if you're a pro.

And... use a metal scissors to cut them. i have different scissors for different things. invest a little bit more for a good pair. you wont regret it!

So... what do you think of them? like it?

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Spinach Frittata

I absolutely adore eggs. it is light and you can turn them into one of the quickest of all meals. they are the easiest to make and extremely versatile, served hot or cold as snacks, for main meals, for light lunch or supper dishes, or even picnics!

It is important to have fresh eggs. organic if possible. we are trying to shift to organic stuff now, slowly, starting it on our son, Aidan. and today, i've introduced eggs to his meal. so since he had his eggy bread for lunch, i fixed us frittata for our light dinner.

For this recipe, i used baby spinach. its leaves soften quickly and you dont have to remove the stalks or chop the leaves.


5 large fresh eggs
Olive Oil
Baby spinach
Tomato - chopped
Garlic - chopped
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper


1. Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk with a fork. season well with salt and plenty of pepper.
2. Heat olive oil in pan. stir fry the garlic and spinach for 2 mins or so until they have softened.
3. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and quickly add the tomato. do not stir. put on medium heat and cook for 8 mins or so or until the top has almost set.
4. Slide under a preheated grill to finish cooking the top.
5. Cut into wedges. you can serve them hot or cold (i'd prefer mine fresh and hot!)

Monday, 10 September 2007

Our Favourite Food Here

I've been tagged by Ann (probably a couple of months ago, sorry for the delay ann). i have to write about my favourite food. being far from Malaysia, i miss almost everything we used to have back home, from roti naik to rambutan, from kentucky to kuih keria, from thosai to teh o ais limau from lai chee kang to lala and everything else in between.

There's tonnes to like and to favour about malaysian food. so therefore, i'd like the whole world to know about my favourite food here. this is our favourite thursday night dinner - durum. thursday nights are late nights here, where shops closes late, at 9. so we would sometimes go to town and i'd give my kitchen and hands a rest. durum is a wrapped tortilla type of kebab. and here in sittard, we have the BEST durum in the world! i'd normally go for the kip (chicken) durum with chilli sauce and mayo.

If you guys are in sittard, go to town, and next to lampenier, there's a kebab shop owned by Abdul Rahman, ask for a durum! you'll thank me! ;)

Now i have to tag people.. whoever has a blog, i'm tagging you! but i'd love to know...

1. la nina en la cocina's favourtite food

2. k.muna's (den haag ladies) favourite food

3. the wharfer's favourite food

4. rita ho's favourite food

5. zara, zaria and their mama's favourite food

6. anzed's favourite food

and last but not least,

7. rini and her son adam's favourite food (no excuse now.. quick tell me the link!) :P

Friday, 7 September 2007

Berried Treassure

I did a poll a couple of weeks back asking those who reads my blog to choose whether i should craft, cook or bake last weekend. 50% of you voted for me to bake (less than 5 votes only... sadly). so to those who voted, this one's for you (you know who you are!) and thanks so much for voting!

I didnt want to bake those tiny little cupcakes as featured in most blogs (but one day i'm sure i will!), last weekend, i wanted to do something different. this is the 'real' thing. a 'real' cupcake in a cup! how's that!?

I envy those who can bake well as i honestly cant. even more those who can decorate their cakes and cupcakes with lovely petals, flowers, bright colours icing sugar and fondont. but honestly, who eats those sugar anyway? ;) but hey, looks matters, i know... but its what's inside that counts right? i did this mainly coz i didnt have to decorate them! perhaps i should get some lessons from those experts. but at least i made an effort to bake them in my cup and present them on a saucer!

But anyway.. the berry season's almost over. we've been eating them quite often as we get ours almost every week. for this, you can use your normal, basic recipe for any cupcakes (perhaps i should try using other recipes as this one didnt turn out too good). before scooping them to your cup, make sure the cup is preheated in the oven for at least half an hour, then add a couple tbsp of strawberry conserve. make sure they are of a good made as you'd want your treassure to be worth digging for! top them off with loads of strawberries, or whichever berries you choose and dust with icing sugar.

Aidan's thinking if he should dig in to this first or his lunch! (un)fortunately his mama made the decision for him and served him couscous with vegetables instead!

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Prawn Mee

Sundays are normally the day that i cook more than one meal. i wrote about how important it is to have our meals togehter at my other blog. as soon as our son Aidan was ready to have his first solids, we stopped eating on our island and bought a dining table. it is really important for me to have as many, good family meal times. so for us, Sunday's the day!

And Sunday's also the day when Hardy gets what he wants (to eat!) he wanted this for lunch last Sunday. and his wish was my command! ;)

I dont normally go for Mee Udang at the hawkers back home. i'm more of a rice person. so i wouldnt know how to compare it with the original or the very good Mee Udang. my parents knew that i love to be in the kitchen so they got me this mini cookbook on malaysian hawker food. one tiny book which is one of my gems in the kitchen. i didnt follow exactly what it says in the book, i did some minor adjustments here and there. so if you happen to try this version of mine, let me know how far i am.


Fresh King Prawns (5-7 would be sufficient if you're cooking for 2)
Chicken Breasts
1 Whole Onion (i used half as the onions i had was huge!)
3-4 Cloves of Garlic
Dried Chillies (about half a handful if you're cookin for 2)
Shrimp Paste (about an inch or so)
Cooking Oil
Greens (Morning Glory, Pak Choi etc)
Egg Noodles

1. Peel prawns leaving its tail. bring to boil all the shells till you get the stock.
2. Shallow fry prawns in pan till it turns pink.
3. Boil the chicken and later shred them to strips.
4. Wash throughly the dried chillies and soak them in boiling water for at least 10 mins. (i boiled them).
5. Blend the chillies, garlic, onion and shrimp paste.
6. Shallow fry all the paste in your previous pan till you get a wicked smell which is out of this world. set aside 1/4 of the paste aside.
7. Pour the prawn stock into the paste and stir well. add sugar and salt and simmer gently for a good 5-7 mins.
8. Add in your greens.
9. Pour the gravy onto boiled egg noodles, topped with taugeh and your prawns. if you fancy them with hard boiled eggs, add them as well.
10. Serve with the remaining chilli paste.