Watching the Artoo Network

Eid Mubarak & Happy 7th Birthday

Aidilfitri greetings to everyone from us who are spending the holidays in Pasir Mas this year. This year, our family was garbed in black on Aidilfitri morning. The next day was Irfan’s seventh birthday. There was no place in the fridge to store the cake so we cut the cake that morning. Irfan’s cake was very nicely decorated by the cake shop, complete with edible Donald Duck, Doraemon, Ultraman, some funky cat and for some reason, an unidentifiable Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle with a goatee. He must be evil. Meanwhile in the kitchen, Ain was leading the team to cook her nasi dagang, which I sampled quite a lot of before the end of the day. Later that afternoon, Aiman came to visit from Salor with his parents, so Irfan and Aiman did their regular things together, watching TV, chasing each other all over the house and playing with the […]

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Modelling with the squiddies

The Exercise of Vital Powers

Another month, another new year – making this the third new year in two months. What’s a new year – especially Chinese New Year – without a vital trip to the nearby FELCRA seafood restaurant, as previously seen in this entry from a couple of years back. As usual, the highlight of dinner is the fried calamari a.k.a. sotong celup tepung. The crew depicted above is eagerly awaiting the arrival of the squiddies. However, Irfan is easily distracted as shown in the following photo. When the stingrays were done, Irfan fed its gristle to the cats, who as far as we can tell appreciated the food. Above, Ain happily shows off the batter-fried calamari, which is the best we’ve had the pleasure of tasting. The dinner commemorated group of three birthdays and one anniversary, some of which had just passed and some has yet to come.

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Birthday boy in jammies

Six Years Old Today

It’s September 21st again and once more it’s time for Irfan’s birthday. Wearing his Iron Man t-shirt a gift from Ayah Cik, he greeted the arrival of his cousin Aiman (as well as Aiman’s parents) with whom he immediately shared his cache of toys. Aiman was overwhelmed by the amount of Hot Wheels collected by Irfan over the years, which Ain had recently kept in a single plastic container. While the kids were playing at (and making a mess of) the living room, Ain was busy in the kitchen producing food, food and more food. Above: Atok and Opah Irfan weren’t able to come (’cause I wrecked their car) but, they’ve prepared in advance with this awesome Spider-Man birthday card. Above: Aiman claps his hand – mostly because of other people prompting him by clapping their hands. Above: Nasi ayam Chinese-style a recipe taught to Ain by Opah Irfan is […]

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Packed Lunch

Packed Lunch is Packed

After only bring in sandwiches for snacks at kindergarten, Irfan brought an awesome looking packed lunch in his schoolbag which consisted of awesome meehoon goreng that Ain fried earlier in the morning He finished it off at lunch. I love the little fork and spoon set attached!

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Pajeri Nenas!

Just a quick note to say, yay-yay Mak and Abah are here! Annnnnnd, Mak made her world famous pajeri nenas. Here we are enjoying our dinner: [[image:pajeri3.jpg:Vin, Mak & Abah:center:0]] Abah shows off the lovely pajeri nenas and the baked chicken: [[image:pajeri4.jpg:Showing off the food:center:0]] [[image:pajeri5.jpg:My plate in the foreground, Abah’s in the background:center:0]] And this post is to make Hisham salivate as pajeri nenas is one of his favorite dishes. 🙂 p.s. – still no baby yet… *sigh*

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And I say it again…WTF?? This creature has been wandering the backyards of our neighborhood in the last few weeks. Where did it come from? Why is it here? Why hasn’t it been caught and made into dinner????? It’s pooping on our driveway, big old tahi ayam crap! Whose up for a good chase? Grrrrrr… [[image:chicken1.jpg:Chicken in the backyard:center:0]] [[image:chicken2.jpg:Close Up of said chicken:center:0]] As a consequence, we had to stop putting out birdseed for the birds and squirrels since this chicken was taking advantage of it. Grrrrrr

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The birthday boy

Meanwhile At Irfan’s School (or The 500th Post)

After Aidilfitri, Irfan also had some events at school, before exam week begins. The first being his belated birthday celebration at school, which apparently everyone has. Great for him. We were lucky to have the teacher wish up a happy birthday back in our days. In any case, the vanilla cake with the chocolate topping (and strawberries, as astutely observed by Irfan’s classmate) was delicious. We believe the orange-coloured fruit is apricot. Irfan’s gang huddle around their prey, the poor defenceless cake. If you mouseover the image below you will find the words “The cutting of the cake” appear on it. The cake is distributed by the teachers to the little humans. Happy Belated 5th Birthday at school, Irfan! Also, there was a belated Aidilfitri celebration which happened a day after the day with the vanilla cake. Here is Irfan prepared for school in full Raya getup, with baju Melayu, […]

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Pacific Northwest: Part XI (Vancouver – Night)

After walking around Vancouver, we were pretty tired, so we met up with Lilian for a spot of dinner. Come see what we had! [[image:pacnw149.jpg:Olive Tapenade appetizer:center:0]] [[image:pacnw150.jpg:Scallops appetizer:center:0]] [[image:pacnw151.jpg:Baby Octopus and Asparagus appetizer:center:0]] [[image:pacnw152.jpg:Seafood Risotto:center:0]] [[image:pacnw153.jpg:Lamb chops:center:0]] [[image:pacnw154.jpg:Fish (I forgot what kind now):center:0]] [[image:pacnw155.jpg:Chocolate cake and bread pudding in the background:center:0]] We had us a veritable feast! Yummy! I was so involved with the food that I didn’t even take any pictures of people. Seriously. *ishhhh* So we said our goodbyes to Lilian, as we were heading back to Seattle and home to Ohio the next day. It was a really fun trip, and I’m looking forward to getting together with Vincent and Lilian again next year! (Or whenever the next get together might be). Here are some pictures of the view from our room at night – a bit blurry. Sorry, my hand is not as steady as […]

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Oh no a box

Irfan: Five Years After the Day

Tonight was Irfan’s 5th birthday, as can be noted via the photo of his cake below. See? It’s in the shape of the number five. Five. Five candles, ah ah ah. But yeah, Ain noted that it looks like the letter ‘S’. Here is the close up of the ancient inscription found on the cake during the archaeological dig: So, here we go by the numbers as per last year. Many thanks to Atok Irfan for his photography skills to get great photographic shots: Then I got behind the camera to take a picture of Atok & Opah Irfan: There were two cameras trying to take a photo of Irfan and Cik Emma. However, both were looking at the other camera when the button was pressed. Finally Irfan receives his birthday present from Atok Irfan! Check out the excitement in his eyes: It’s an Optimus Prime! But…. how to get […]

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Chocolate Lemon Bars

Thanks to the birthday presents from Lilian, I have had some more fun experiments in the kitchen. One of the recipe books contains the recipe for Lemon Bars, which is a sugar cookie-esque base topped with a tangy lemon custard. I decided to up the ante and top the custard with a layer of melted chocolate. Well. Who can blame me for wanting to add chocolate, right? 😉 First, make the bottom cookie layer. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and press the dough into a thin layer at the bottom of the pan. Bake until this layer is golden brown and let it cool. Make the lemon custard and then top the cookie like so: [[image:lb1.jpg:Topped with Lemon Custard:center:0]] There is no coloring in the custard – that lovely yellow is a combination of egg, lemon zest and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Melt a combination of bittersweet chocolate, […]

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Bread 2006 – Sprouted Wheat Bread, 2nd Try

So last year, I tried making Sprouted Wheat Bread with whole wheat flour and it turned out like this: [[image:bread125.jpg:Sprouted Wheat Bread, 1st Try:center:0]] Remember this bread? The one that required me to be part gardener, part baker. I thought the first time that I made it, that the whole wheat flour hid the wheat berries and the sprouts. So I tried the bread again, this time with white whole wheat flour. We begin with the ingredients: [[image:bread177.jpg:Wheat Berries, cheesecloth, jar:center:0]] So here we go with the gardening. Place a cup of the wheat berries in the jar, rinse with warm water and tie the cheesecloth over the top of the jar. This time I learned from before, and laid the jar on the side for optimal wheat berry sproutage. For the next three days, Vin had to remind me to water the berries twice a day. They were kept […]

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Bread 2006 (September through December)

Let’s take a short break from the vacation for some bread. These are breads that I baked the final 4 months of last year. I know, I should have really written this entry a long time ago. But here goes. This first bread is called Onion Caraway Bread. My second try at this bread. [[image:bread194.jpg:Onion Caraway dough:center:0]] Let it rise: [[image:bread195.jpg:Onion Caraway, risen:center:0]] Then bake: [[image:bread196.jpg:Onion Caraway Bread, baked:center:0]] It was a nice, oniony bread, with not too strong a caraway taste (I’m not too fond of caraway seeds, to be honest). Next we turn to the brioche again. I first tried brioche earlier in the year, and using the same basic brioche dough, I made a couple other variations on the bread. The first is called Raisin Brioche: After the dough has been kneaded, but before being rested in the fridge overnight, divide into 2 parts. Add raisins to […]

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Shepherd’s Pie

For some reason today I’m a bit rajin to write and publish entries on the blog. Must be the prospect of the 3-day weekend coming up! Woohoooo! I’m a bit backlogged, but here’s a quick review of Shepherd’s Pie which I made earlier this year. First, cook the beef and tomato mixture on the stovetop (with peas, and other veggies too). Make sure you cook it in an oven-safe pan. [[image:sh-pie1.jpg:Meat mixture bubbling on the stovetop:center:0]] Make some mashed potato (this I made from scratch), spread it over the meat mixture, and pop it in the oven until the potatoes are crusty and a bit golden brown: [[image:sh-pie2.jpg:Baked shepherd’s pie:center:0]] Then you can section it off and serve: [[image:sh-pie3.jpg:Pretty slice:center:0]] It’s not really too pretty because the slice didn’t stay together too nicely when I lifted it off the pan. Seen here, it’s served with Buttermilk Bread (which I’ll get […]

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Bread 2006 (April to August)

After the Sprouted Wheat Bread adventure, I did continue to bake breads at a steady pace (weekly, pretty much). We had a few repeated breads, but I tried to balance the repeats with some new recipes. Here are the breads I made from April to August of last year. The first is called Buttermilk Cheese Bread, containing – you got it! – buttermilk and sharp cheddar cheese. After the first rising, the bread dough is formed into a loaf and placed in a loaf pan: [[image:bread128.jpg:Buttermilk Cheese bread in loaf pan:center:0]] Here’s the bread after it has been baked: [[image:bread129.jpg:Baked buttermilk cheese bread:center:0]] [[image:bread130.jpg:Sliced bread:center:0]] [[image:bread131.jpg:Close up:center:0]] The Buttermilk Cheese bread was quite cheesy, and the texture was very nice and fluffy. Quite an enjoyable bread, had a nice tang from both the buttermilk and the sharp cheddar cheese. Next, I decided to experiment with brioche. Brioche is a french […]

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Breads 2006 (Sprouted Wheat Bread)

I really have been remiss in posting my bread experiments from last year! So to continue the story, I take up where I left off: the next bread I baked in April. I tackled a complicated bread and took so many different pictures that I figure it rates its own entry. 😀 I have been baking pretty steadily, and really getting into bread baking. It’s still something I enjoy doing, and the process is getting quite familiar and comforting. It’s still an adventure to see whether the bread will rise or not, or if it will have the texture I want. In fact, I’ve even branched out to combining a bit of gardening with baking bread. This bread is called Sprouted Wheat Bread. It’s a whole wheat flour dough that is enhanced by adding sprouted wheat berries into the mix. You start off 3 days prior to baking day, growing […]

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