Monday, August 23, 2010

5th day iftar dish - Nasi Beriani Darat Johor.

Cooking for Ramadhan this year, I have been trying many new recipes. This time I tried this Beriani Darat Johor "in-a-box". The recipe and method comes in (or rather on) the box, and all the ingredients too! Check this out...

There's 3 seperate packaging, for the rice, the dhall curry and the beriani curry mixture! Even the rice, the oil, the fried shallots, spices and even colouring for the rice are included in the box. Fantastic! You just cannot say you can't cook a proper beriani with this one here.

I improvised a little and added boiled eggs in the rice (nope, the boiled eggs weren't included!).

The trio - the chicken beriani curry, the dhall and I added the acar (you cannot have beriani without acar right?)

Here's a closer look at the trio individually starting with the dhall curry.

Chicken Beriani Curry

Acar Timun.

Nasi Beriani Darat Johor.

Friday, August 20, 2010

4th day iftar dish - Nasi Lemak & Cream Caramel

My daughter was not so convinced when hubby informed her that we were having Nasi Lemak for Iftar last Saturday as in home made nasi lemak, to be prepared by yours truly! Ha!ha! I don't blame her really, if I can remember correctly, she has ever only tasted home made Nasi Lemak prepared by my mother for the simple fact that I have never prepared Nasi Lemak ever apart from for my final Form 3, Home Science (Seni Rumah Tangga) exams which question that I chose happened to be: Prepare food to be taken for a picnic.

Luckily (for everyone), my Nasi Lemak turned out like how a Nasi Lemak should, phew! Though I did not quite managed to do the 2 step way i.e to cook in the rice cooker half way then to steam the rest of the way cause my steamer is way too small, plus I was not so confident to move the half-cooked rice for fear of ... the unknown... ha!ha!ha! Next time perhaps. Ok, so here's what I cooked...

Prawn Sambal with Petai.

To accompany, the sambal there were boiled eggs, lightly boiled kangkung,
fried peanuts and achovies and cucumber.


For dessert, I tried this easy looking recipe that I found in the internet the week before. I have never prepared Cream Caramel before. I used to help my mother prepare them all the time, but her recipe calls for  Evaporated Milk, I wanted something simpler, something that I would have in my kitchen. I was happy to have found this recipe which uses only fresh milk, this I have plenty. So, ladies, a tried and tested recipe here, and I must say it works! Don't just take my word for it, my hubby (who is not into sweet stuff, takes his coffee without sugar at all) loved it, so do my children and my mother. So, there... it's worth a try...

My Cream Caramel.

The Recipe Cut n Pasted.

Crème renversée au caramel

• 1 1/3 cup sugar, divided

• 3 cups whole milk

• 1 teaspoon vanilla

• 4 large eggs

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 40 minutes to 1 hour

1. To make the caramel, place 2/3 cup of sugar in a small saucepan and wet with just enough water to dissolve it (about 1 tablespoon). Heat on medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally, but don't stir. The syrup will boil for a while until it starts to turn brown. Once it has turned brown, remove it from the heat and immediately pour the caramel into 6 ramekins.

2. In another saucepan, heat the milk with the other 2/3 cup sugar until it reaches a boil. Stir in vanilla. In a sturdy bowl, whisk the eggs for a minute or two. Whisk in the hot milk, slowly at first to avoid coagulating the eggs. Whisk to completely mix.

3. Pour (or ladle if that works better for you) the milk mixture into the ramekins on top of the caramel. Place all 6 ramekins in a large oven proof dish. Fill the dish with water to about 2/3 the height of the ramekins.

4. Carefully place in 300° F oven. Bake for 40 minutes to an hour (baking time can depend on the dishes used). The water should not boil during baking. The custard is done when it has set, which you can verify by inserting a knife.

5. Allow the custard to cool completely, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate in their ramekins until serving time.

6. To serve, run a knife along the outside of each creme, than turn over onto a dessert plate.

Makes 6 - 8 servings (6 ounce ramekins).

Thursday, August 19, 2010

3rd day iftar dish - Fish, Beef, Veges and a Dessert

My 3rd day menu for iftar was decided when I got a bunch of this "Belimbing Buluh" from my mom's. She has a few trees in the garden that fruits just beautifully.

I cooked Masak lemak cili api with Ikan Merah.

Initial plan to just prepare some oyster mushroom soup turned out to be oyster mushrooms plus some or rather loads of other vegetables.

Not forgetting something more edible for little Zaim, Daging Masak Kicap.

That day, I also felt super motivated to prepare a dessert. I decided on an easy one of course, bread and butter pudding. I landed on this recipe on another blogger's site. It's Zarin's periuk belanga blog. I love her top tip for this bread n butter pudding. Be sure to check it out at her site.

A slightly closer look.

Zarif was the last to finish his dessert, loving every scoop of the pudding with ice-cream.

It's quite a hassle really after cooking and serving the food and trying to take the pictures because someone would demand to have a go at taking pictures with my camera himself and also demands to be the subject too! Sigh, so after the meal, we had a short quick session with Zaim.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

2nd day iftar dish - Home made Roti John

On the 2nd day I was already stumped at what to cook for iftar, so I called hubby in the morning at work. What does he feel like having for iftar today, since we had rice yesterday. He decided that he wanted me to prepare Roti John, I just tried this at the end of last month. My first taste of Roti John ever, believe it or not I have never tried this ever, not even the Pasar Malam ones! Suddenly I had the urge of trying to cook the dish myself after hearing my friend explaining how simple it was when her husband (a part-time but big time caterer if you must know) made these at home.

I made them about 3 weeks ago, and had gotten rave (if I can say so myself, he!he!) reviews from my fans ha!ha!ha!. I have pictures to prove, it's just that I didn't have the chance to update the full blown testimony of my 1st try at preparing Roti John.

Nayli's and Zarif's Thumbs Up!

My youngest fan's thumbs up! (both mind you!)

So I was confident to cook it again for iftar.

So here's my version of Roti Jack John.

The ingredients:

Mince Beef
Tomato Puree (I only used 1 or 2 tbsp)
Worcestershire Sauce (1 tbsp or so)
Fresh Green Chillies
Red Capsicums
Spring Onions
Tiny bits of button mushrooms
Hot Dog Buns sliced sideways not completely though

Prepare all the ingredients, finely shredded or cut into small pieces works best I guess.

Prepare the bread, if you wish the outer bun to be toasted as well, you can, so that it's crispier and less soggy after cooking. Either toast it over your toaster or dry fry them on the pan.

I added the beef mixture to the egg mix bit by bit so that any leftovers could be kept for sahur the next day. I had more leftover that I could freeze them for hubby's next urge for Roti Jack John!

So, what you do is ladle in the beef and egg mixture like you would when preparing omelettes, only that you place the buns face down on the beef and egg mix like the picture above. I use butter here instead of oil, I guess one can use either.

Having this fish turner (longer than usual) helps to lift up the whole bun.

I would flip it/clamp the sandwich on the server bowl. This bit is a little tricky as you do not want the bun to split into two. The egg should hold it together quite well.

Ready to be served.

I made some salad and sauted mushrooms to accompany the Roti Jack John.

There you go, easy peesy lemon squeezy, a wholesome all in one dish. Have you got your own version? Share with me yah!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

1st day iftar dish - Chicken Rice.

Ramadhan has been almost a week already. How are you all doing out there? My first day of fasting, is always a tough one, as I would get a super duper headache at about mid-day till late afternoon. 2nd day onwards is much better and it gets easier after that. Hope everyone out there will have a blessed month ahead. How's the Tarawih and the Sahur going? These should not be a problem right? My biggest challenge this Ramadhan is probably to decide what to prepare for iftar daily! Mummies/Wifeys out there are you in the same boat as I am?  At work, we girls are constantly trading recipes and menu suggestions for the meal to be served that evening or the next... he!he! Irritates the hell out of the thorn who sits amongst us roses! Ha!ha!

Nayli is 9 and has been fasting since she was 6, however, 1st day proved to be quite challenging for her too. This was how I found her sprawled in our bedroom, while I was busy preparing for iftar in the kitchen. She must have been so exhausted. Zarif my 6 year old only managed till 12 p.m that day, not bad at all for a first timer.


1st Ramadhan Buka Puasa Spread, oops under wraps.

Ok, we had Chicken Rice, and some store bought delicacies (my favourite Putu Piring and Rojak Singapore). I know, a bit much, it was the 1st day after all, we have mellowed a bit now in our choices of food for breaking of fast.

I found a recipe online, not that this was my first time preparing Chicken Rice, it's just that I like experimenting with new recipes.

Here's the recipe:

Chicken Rice


* To be boiled.
- Chicken cut into pieces
- 2 pieces garlic
- 2 cm ginger - crushed

* For marinade.
- 1 tbsp thick soy sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 cm ginger
- 2 pieces of garlic
- some light soy sauce [I didn't use any cause I had none :-) ]

*For the rice.
[I will not give the exact measurements as I never follow menu the the letter, unless I am baking]
- rice
- butter
- ginger
- garlic
- chicken stock from ealier boiled chicken
- salt

*For the sauce.
- 5 red fresh chillies
- 5 pieces of garlic
- 2 cm ginger
- 1 tsp vinegar
- salt and sugar to taste
- 1/2 cup of water

*For the soup.
- the rest of the chicken stock
- 1 clove of onion
- soup powder
- salt
- spring onions and parsley for garnishes

1) Chicken is cut into pieces - spread (lumur? what ever is the English word for it?)) the garlic and ginger on the chicken pieces and boil till tender
2) Remove chicken from stock and marinade for 15-20 mins (don't worry you do not need so much time for this, I did everything after work!)
3) Wash the rice. Heat butter and saute ginger and garlic until lightly golden colour, add the rice until the ginger and the garlic lets out its wonderful aroma add the chicken stock. Add salt to taste.
4) For the sauce, blend all the ingredients altogether, you can add tomato/chilli sause if you like, I did. I also cooked the sauce for a little while.
5) For the soup, the chicken stock is put to boil with the blended onions, soup powder. Add salt and some spring onions and parsley for taste.

**extra sauce - Garlic and Ginger Sauce
I had an extra sauce, I saw an aunt of a friend served this but was too shy to ask how back when I was at uni. So I prepared this by sight only... he!he! give it a go, see if it makes sense and if it is any good.

- loads of ginger (as much as you like)
- load of garlic (not as much as ginger)
- salt
- sugar
- vinegar (1tsp maybe)
- oil (1 tbsp maybe)

Shred the ginger and garlic finely, and add the rest of the ingredient. Serve just like you'd serve the Chilli and Soy Sauces.

Have a go at this recipe yah? Hope you like it.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Durians Galore

Brace yourselves durian lovers! Especially if you are reading this during the day! He!he!he! Sorry, this is a backlog entry which is so over due. My hubby has been going on and on about this Raja Kunyit variety that apparently surpasses any other type that I have tasted ever before. So, last weekend I said, enough is enough, I gotta to try it to believe it, take me to this place then! FYI, I am not much of a durian fan actually, hate the after taste and the burp, Yuck!

We were lucky, when we reached SS2, there was only one pack Raja Kunyit left.
Phew, that was close, to have driven all the way to SS2 to have a taste of this thing...

The King.

My verdict - yes, it is good!

Nayli loved it.

Zarif was the photograher, as he was too sleepy to appreciate it.

Zaim was asleep throughout.

Poor thing, would have loved to see his reaction while eating the durian.

We had icy cold coconut drink to wash down the King of the fruit.

Notice the empty shelves behind us? Hubby said when he came during lunchtime on weekdays, the shelves were packed with durians! This place is a serious durian haven! Check it out people... perhaps for your sahur??? is in PJ by the way, check out the website for directions.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

ATV & Bowling Away Day

Our initial plan of requesting our "transitory" boss (our former boss left for a sabatical and our incoming boss hasn't arrived back from an overseas assignment) for a team lunch before Ramadhan turned out to be an unexpected yet most welcomed and most awesome Away Day ever in the history of our department!

Our last away day was way back in 2008. I was heavily pregnant with Zaim, the away day was on May 2nd and I delivered on the 26th! After that we never had any away day because... well I dunno, perhaps it was the company's cost reduction overdrive or the fact that our previous boss just don't see the need. Back to present... anyway last Tuesday, someone voiced out, how about going for lunch before Ramadhan, then someone else said, how about an Away Day. Then suddenly by the end of the 1hr meeting we were all set for a day, one whole day off. The day is set to be the next Monday just two days before fasting begins and we are going to the ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) Course in Kemensah, followed by lunch and then Bowling! Wham bang! By the end of the day, ATV was booked, Restaurant decided and T-Shirts ordered!!!  

Our day began as early 8:15 last Monday, meeting point Zoo Negara, Ulu Klang. It was a 10-15 minutes drive into Kemensah, just straight on all the way.

You'd be going through village road, it could get very narrow.

Eventually, you'd reach the ATV Adventure Park.

The ATVs.

Getting the hang of it.

Filling out the necessary forms.

The girls in our group L:R (Lai Mun, Z, Me and Zila).

The guide giving a very short briefing before we were allowed to get on the ATVs
for test rounds around the main site.

This is how it works people...

That's me having a go on the bike.

The site is immpressively immaculately clean.

There's even a newly added swimming pool with water being flowed in from the nearby stream.

At about 9:40 a.m we were off for the real thing... into the jungle. We chose route C.

Off the main road and into the dirt road we go...

All in line.

There were obstacles along the way like these fallen bamboo branches.

Into the thick of the jungle.

More fallen branches.

What lies ahead?

Yes, a scary rickety bridge! The trick is do NOT think! Just go! Ha!ha!ha!

Sometimes, you've got to wait for the person in front of you to be a little ahead before you can move on. For example, when you are going down a steep slope (there's plenty of these) or going up one. The way to manage these slopes without ending up in the ravine is to handle your breaks well. If you are thinking of doing these, please be adviced to bring a pair of gloves and good rubber soled shoes so that you are guaranteed a good grip throughout.

After about an hour and a half of tracking, we reached this bit of clearing where we stopped for a ciggy (for the guides) and picture break, supposedly it's to give us ladies a bit of a rest. The route to this spot was quite taxing to the upper arms and fingers.

So, here's us, 9 of us altogether on that day.

After the break, we continued our journey through an even scarry route as the slopes were really steep and challenging. However, we found out a short while later that it was all well worth it because at the end of our route we came to this "Sofea Jane Waterfall". Probably named so because of her movie "Cinta Kita" that was shot here. I cannot imagine how they came here for the shooting, must be on bikes because there is just no other road access to get there.

We had to do a tiny spot of trekking on foot to get to the waterfall.

Beautiful isn't it?

The water is crystal clear and icy cold!

Opening my packed nasi lemak, eating with feet in the river. Simply divine moment!

We had nasi lemak in the river. The nasi lemak tasted somewhat much much better.

After my nasi lemak, I couldn't resist a dip in the waterfalls.

Wet and cold!

Z and me.

Getting ready to head back, in our wet wet clothes!

I am super drenched and praying hard that I would not catch a cold or have
 any leeches up my wet jeans. Eew.

Picture with the owner (who's behind the counter) and our guide just before we head off at about 12p.m.
I went back to Z's mom's place for a bath and change before we proceeded with the next item in our Away Day Itinerary.

Lunch at Istana Bamboo.

We had fish...


crabs and etc etc.

After a morning like we had... lunch was really appetising.

Final picture, we were joined by two of our mum to be colleagues who had to give the ATV a miss, and our new returning boss who had a previous engagement in the morning.

Then off to WWM (Wangsa Walk Mall) for...


In action - full of focus and concentration! Ha!ha!ha!

Zila in action.

The swing!


Awww, I missed a SPARE!!!!

Check out our group score for the 1st game.

Our second game! So did I have a good day?

You betcha, I ended up with 2 envelopes the next day for Group Champion and Ladies Champion!

So, boss when can we have our next Away Day huh? Hi!hi!hi!

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