Monthly Archives: April 2008

When a group of funky gals meet!

Friday 25 April 2008

I was off (Yeay!) so decided to hop into my x office to meet up my craziiiiieee friends.

And so my belly became people magnet…you would have guess, thats why they have been wanting to meet up with me.

What would a meet up be without a photo session…and what would a photo session be without CRAZY PHOTOS!!

Here’s us doing our 1,2,3,4,5 poses.

ANOTHER WEIRD CRAVING

This time it was Feta Cheese & Burger Malaysia.

I love FETA cheese. Too bad I didnt have the time or the energy to walk over to Berjaya Cold Storage for the smoke salmon & lemon to go with the french baguettes.


I tried the burger malaysia recipe on myresipi. Not bad right??

Come to think of it now….I dont think my baby likes rice…

THE NURSERY IS 20% DONE

I managed to blow a hole in my pocket. I bought the crib set (Crib, Matress, Bumper, Fitted Sheet, Pillows, Quilt), some cute baby clothes (non-gender specific of course – in yellows..light green, white base with prints) and a mobile. Have yet to get a changing table (IKEA one looks tempting) and a closet for the baby’s stuff.

Jai kept winding the mobile, which was cute…


                          
                             
                            

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Mama Mia Laksa

pregnancy due date

Of recently I’ve been missing my mom more than usual.

Of recently since I got pregnant, I notice she’s closer to me.

That makes me also miss her cooking more.

My mother makes the meanest Laksa Johor ever. It’s full of all protein goodness and fresh crunchy vegetables. Trust me.

It’s been constantly on my mind. Even dreamt about it one night. The creamy fish coconut gravy, the spicy sambal belacan mixed into it and the sour of the kasturi lime added to it. I couldn’t resist any longer.

Good thing she taught me everything I needed to know to make one. Since I took AL today to get my EA form from Manpower’s Office in Midvalley, I decided to pop into midvalley’s Carrefour and do some grocery shopping. Besides, I had a packet of San Remo’s Linguine at home and somehow I prefer Linguine more than Spaghetti. Its heart breaking seeing it sit in my dry goods cabinet and imagining what it feels to sink into a mouthful of the dish.

What can I say? Cravings of a pregnant woman.

Word of caution – Making Laksa Johor takes time and patience, the same as painting a perfect picture. If you want to make this for lunch best to start a few hours early.

Linguine ala Laksa Johor

Ingredients A
1kg Mackerel Fish (ikan kembung)
3 cloves garlic
3 slices galangal
2-3 slices young ginger
Pinch salt
3 cups water

Ingredients B
100grams Fresh medium size prawns
100grams Salted Ikan Kurau

Ingredients C – The Bumbu
7 cloves Shallots
3 cloves Garlic
1 teaspoons dried coriander seeds
1 teaspoons dried cumin
1 inch Fresh turmeric root
3 inch Galangal

100grams Dried chilies

Ingredients D
1kg Coconut milk (from 2 half coconuts)
100grams Thai Basil
1 stem Bunga Kantan
1 tablesp Brown Sugar
3 tablesp Tamarind Juice

Garnishing A – Fresh Veges
100grams Long snake green beans
½ Onion
2 cucumbers
100 grams Mint leaves
100 grams Thai Basils
6-7 Kasturi Lime

Garnishing B – Sambal Belacan
2 inch Dried Shrimp paste (belacan)
50grams Bird’s eye chili
3 cloves Garlic
Juice from 4 small kasturi Lime

Other Ingredients
3 tablesp oil
1 Packet of Linguine
Salt and seasoning to taste

PREPARING INGRIDIENTS A

Clean the fish. Place in a shallow pot and add in the water. The water should cover the fish.

Put in, the slices of galangal and young ginger and the garlic. Add a pinch of salt or two. Boil the fish until soft. Strain but don’t throw away the stock. Place aside.

Once soft, debone. The fish meat should be grinded until fine. Place aside.

If you wish, you may grind the fish head separately. Place aside.

PREPARING INGRIDIENTS B

Peel the skins of the fresh medium size prawns and the salted ikan Kurau. Grind them fine. Place aside.



PREPARING INGRIDIENTS C – THE BUMBU

Grind in a mortar all of ingredients c (except the dried chilies and the galangal) until fine. The dried chilies should be grinded separately. The galangal should be course pounded not grinded.


PREPARING THE GRAVY

1. Heat the oil in a shallow pot.
2. Sauté the grinded dried chilies first



3. Once this is cook, add in the rest of the Bumbu and the pounded galangal
4. Add in the grinded salted ikan Kurau, followed by the grinded fish head and grinded shrimp.


5. Add in the bunga Kantan next.

6. Sauté for 3 minutes.
7. Add in the fish stock and the coconut milk, stir well.


8. Add in the Thai Basil, tied in a knot.

9. Add in the grinded mackerel and the brown sugar, bring to a slight boil.


10. Add in the tamarind juice and bring to a slight boil again.

11. Add salt and seasoning to taste.

PREPARING GARNISHING A

Peel the skin of the cucumbers, cut into four sections and slowly cut around the sections as the photo below.

Once you have achieved a half moon shape, slice them across finely.

Slice the onions finely but the long snake green beans coarsely.
The Kasturi Lime should just be cut in half while the Thai Basil and Mint, just pluck the leaves only. Place these garnishes in an oval plate nicely.

PREPARING GARNISHING B – The sambal belacan.

Place all the ingredients in a mortar and grind them until fine. Place in a small bowl to be served.

PREPARING THE LINGUINE

Cook the Linguine until al dente.

HOW TO SERVE

Place the cook Linguine in a bowl first.

Add the garnishes one by one, topped by the Sambal Belacan.

Add in the gravy.

Linguine ala Laksa Johor is ready to be served.

*You may substitute Linguine with spaghetti if you want.

*Usually bean sprouts are also added in the garnishing but due to “wind” i opmited it out this time round

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Wet Cold Sunday

pregnancy due date

It was a wet cold Sunday. That didn’t put me off the plans I had to visit the same weekend market I did yesterday.

I woke my husband Jai up at 7.30am, took a shower and dolled up. Armed with 2 big umbrellas, no rain was keeping me away from my cravings – a nice hot pot of Pecel Ikan Cencaru – for lunch.

Although I thought that some walking would do us good, but the drizzling rain was worrying Jai so we opt to drive to the parking lot of the opposite side of the market instead.

Of course, the same Kakak who sold the fiery sambal udang petai was the first kiosk I dashed to. Fortunately for me, there were 3 table spoons left in her Tupperware. Jai made a comment that, being only 8am in the morning, her sambal udang petai must be a hit with the customers. We bought two packets of nasi lemak and one packet of bee hoon (not to Jai’s surprised and was delighted that I would be sharing that with him).

The Sunday scenery at the market was a bit different than yesterday. Kakak obviously had a few other competitions. One had even put out tables under a shade and offered hot drinks but I wouldn’t imagine myself anytime soon having nasi lemak there, especially since its monsoon season.

I proceeded to the only Malay guy who sold everything from fish, poultry and beef. We had discussed of getting ikan cencaru (or known as ikan jacket in the north according to Jai) at Tesco Ampang but I was interested in taking the trip there this morning. I bought a kilo for RM6.00.

Next was the other Malay guy who sold everything there is to do with local herbs. I frantically looked for my akar cekur  (also known as KENCOR in javanese or scientific name – Kaempferia galanga) and was overcome by the feeling of a possibility it was not available today. But lucky for me, only a few heaps were. I bought about RM1 of them, 1 fistful I guess, 3 bundles of pucuk paku and a bag of shredded coconut (I had one more bag in the freezer).

Before going home, we bought a 1 and half kilo of bananas, some brown sugar and a packet of flour from another kiosk that sold dried goods. This uncle’s kiosk was from a make-shift van and you can even buy cans of bake beans from him.

Promise I’ll take photos the next time ok?

So what’s for Sunday lunch you ask…?

3 bundles of pucuk paku – only the young stems and leaves chosen and blanched.

Don’t forget to put a pinch of salt and sugar in the boiling water. This helps keeping your greens green.


This is the recipe for my mum’s famous Pecel Ikan Cencaru. It’s her version of Pecel LeLe – LeLe in Indonesian means Ikan Keli (catfish). She’s not too fond of Ikan Keli so that explains the substitute.

Ingredients

1 kilo of Ikan Cencaru

5 Shallots
3 cloves of garlic
200 grams of akar cekur
50 grams of ikan bilis (anchovies)
50 grams of cili padi (bird’s eye chillies)

Salt to taste.
One teaspoon of tamarind
Coconut milk from 2 coconuts.

The Ikan Cencaru need to be grilled first then deboned to obtain just the flesh.


The akar cekur are washed and scrubbed clean. The shallots and ikan bilis are deep fried first.

Place all of the ingredients you see in the photo below in a mortar and grind. Ingredients from clockwise – akar cekur, garlic, cili padi, fried ikan bilis and fried shallots.


Place the coconut milk in a pot.


Place the pot over the stove and put in the grinded ingredients.


Stir well and bring to a slight boil to thicken.
Once the gravy is thick, place in the pot the ikan cencaru flesh carefully as not to break them.

Allow to cook for another ten minutes, making sure the stove is on low heat as not to break the coconut milk (pecah santan as they say)

You can add terung bakar (grilled eggplant) as well or substitute it with the ikan cencaru if you wish.

One thing about this dish is that, you don’t need other fancy veges to accompany. Pecel is often best with just plain blanched veges. I guess kampong dishes are always simple, taking ingredients from your own gardens or orchid (kebun) and using the catch of the day, hence the simplicity.


Some Malaysian may confuse Pecel as those Indonesian rojak. But we call that Gado-Gado. So basically in a Javanese home, this is Pecel.

OTHER PECEL RECIPES

IKAN PARI MASAK PECEL

PECEL LELE

And if you’re wondering what the bananas, brown sugar and flour was for, well lets just say, I was craving for my own fried cucur pisang with hot local kopi o, since it always rain the afternoon.

Those piping hot brown babies are just simply heaven on a cold wet afternoon for tea don’t you agree?

Promised to share Aliya’s singing – here you go


Aliya Singing Rama- Rama by Ela

Aliya singing Umbrella by Rihanna

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I’m glad its Saturday

pregnancy due date

Woke up to a wonderful fresh morning today. It was hubby’s working Saturday this weekend and I’m alone at home – well not literally at home alone, there is little bud still growing in my tummy – so basically there are two of us at home *grin*

Ever since moving to the Pinggiran Chempaka Apartments I’ve only had the opportunity to visit the morning market on the opposite side of the LRT STAR Pandan Indah tracks, once. There was only one Malay lady selling nasi lemak there and since I always have these weird cravings, one of them being nasi lemak on a weekend, I decided to take a morning walk there at around 7 am.

My visit this time was fruitful. Sitting nicely in a white Tupperware at her small kiosk, was a serving of fiery sambal tumis petai udang. This kakak wrapped her nasi lemak with banana leaves so for me that was a bonus. Packed nasi lemak in banana leaves are just simply heaven – the aroma and the taste is superb. This makes me miss Kak Shida’s afternoon nasi lemak packed in banana leaves at our old place, even more.

So I splurge a bit ending up with RM6.60 worth of nasi lemak goodies. The thing about us johorian is that, fried bee hoon (vercemille noodles) is more of a side dish than a main dish. We usually have fried bee hoon served at gatherings such as kenduri doa selamat as a side dish in what we call as Nasi Ambeng, alongside semur ayam and sambal goreng tempe. This made me miss the local nasi ambeng my dad buys from the morning market in my home town Parit Sulong.

Of course, my husband Jai finds it odd that we should have fried bee hon as a side dish, he’s from Penang by the way. I guess I have the same feeling of having Parpu with rice. Parpu for me (or kuah dal) is usually eaten with roti – be it roti canai or roti telur.

After one plate of my so called Nasi Lemak ala Nasi Ambeng and a big cup of tea o, I was one happy pregnant woman.

 

There was also other stuff I found at the morning market that made me crave my mom’s cooking even more. Mom had not packed me some akar and daun cekur to make Pecel this time around, but she packed me a good stock of serai (lemon grass) and kangkung, as well as the CNI detergent I love that keeps Jai’s site clothes looking clean (trust me, it’s a gift sent from heaven if you have an oil & gas engineer of a husband who does a lot of excavation works, coming home covered with all that mud and red earth).

I was torn in between cooking Ayam Ungkep (a spicy gravy Javanese dish made with chicken) or Pecel isi Ikan Cencaru bakar (another spicy gravy Javanese dish made with fish and some local herbs).

I’d already bought a packed of coconut milk and already had some chicken in the freezer, so as not to wasted decided just to buy extra fresh coconut that was already shredded (which I had to squeeze the milk later), some fresh galangal and turmeric. I left the akar cekur at this kiosk that had all sorts of kampong fresh ingredients and promised myself to get some on the next visit. I know Jai would go ga ga on the fresh green pucuk paku I saw and am thinking of buying some akar bako near my delivery, for my confinement. Drinking the juice of akar bako helps to release wind.

Taking about confinement, I also bought a slice of watermelon. I’m just going to enjoy all the “cold” vegetables and fruits now while I can, because I know am going to be refrained from eating them during confinement.

On the subject of baby in tummy, I’ve had constant butterflies flutter in my tummy and it has kept me amused most of the time. It won’t be until 2 more weeks before the next scan and hopefully we’ll get to know if we are having a boy or a girl.

I’ve had cravings of laksa, nasi briyani (only settling for the one at INSAF in Jln Tunku Abd Rahman and nothing else), sour mango, A&W rootbear float & tom yum to name a few. But it’s just spicy & sour stuff mostly and from the likes of it (out of experiences of others) I might be having a boy.


I’m feeling much better now, the numbness is still there but am ok. We had a family outing to The Eye of Malaysia and Red Box a few weeks back and if not for scanning all the photos on my camera did I notice the photos there. Here are some of the photos of us.

Have a great weekend!!!





 

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Stronger than ever!

pregnancy due date

I came down with a bad case of carpal tunnel Monday morning, I was practically doing my solat on my bed. I think I know how my mom feels when she has these cases as well. She got it when she was having me.

I feel so stiff and handicapped. I even spilled my glass of milk on the carpet yesterday and that brought me down to tears. Doctors have advised for me to refer to an ortho (yeah not again, remember my case of back pain last year?) But the injections I’m supposed to have will effect the baby. So I’m on drugs for the moment. I have wrist supports such as the ones you see here on – Safe – T- Wrist Support. Cost me a fortune! (RM31 per piece) I’ve also had to keep my arms warm from the AC and cold weather and had to stay in bed. No fun at all.

I feel like tin man from wizard of oz.

But I must have done something right the past few days that when I came back to work the calls weren’t as horrid as I expected them to be. No big issues, no one screaming at my ear.

  • As muslims, they say pain and sickness is a way to repent for your sins. I think God is looking my way.
  • I made sure to recite the doa my mom gave me after every solat.

Plus, I had a good meal at Mark’s Laksa Asam downstairs for lunch. 3 huge chunks of macarel in my Laksa gravy was a bonus. Not as good as Penang Laksa my bro inlaw Izhamhuri bought for me once but it waaaaaaaaaay better than any Laksa in town. And the most important part was – it had OTAK UDANG he he he.

Another bonus was when I check my multiply and wordpress today, my darling sweethearts from NCR gave me such motivating message – Evanna & Karin on Multiply and sweet Hanie on previous posting.

Can I cry in happiness now???

And I get to do extra one hour today. That is extra pocket money for baby. My TL asked me if I was interested in volunteering and I said heck, why not. She’s also assured me that “What matters is what I think of you and what your big boss think of you”

I guess I’ve set my priorities straight. I just have to be strong and believe in those who are REALLY there for me, no matter what.

 

 

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A time to reflect…a time to cool down…a time to ponder

 

I notice that people tend to be cruel in their own way.

  • A friend may have to be blunt and hurt you by telling you the truth.

It hurts

  • Workmates may think you dont know they’ve made hurtful comments and forgot that among them is a good friend who did the above.

It hurts as much

  • At times like this you miss people you just loveeeed even being in the air that they breathe and wish they were there for you to hug you but they are not.

It hurts too much

When people deemed you as “overselling” in a competitive environment you see it as ignorance and pure jealousy.

Why cant they just be like the lot of us before :

Evanna…Nicole…Hanie…Syena…Karin….Jasmine…

Thank you for embracing ME – my personality and everything in it. It break my heart sometimes to be so far away from you guys 🙂 take care. Miss you BUCKETS!!!

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