Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Double Chocolate Muffins

Tried this during the weekend and my boys just loved them. I have to admit that I couldn't stop eating them too because they were so chocolatey (obviously because they had a whole bar of chocolate in them)! Try this recipe - the results will be good.

Note: For my first try (muffins in pic) I used plain cooking chocolate instead of unsweetened.

By the way, I am still looking for a darker coloured muffin...anyone with a good recipe?


1/2 cup butter or margarine
100gm unsweetened chocolate, cut up
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius.

In a large bowl, combine butter and unsweetened chocolate. Heat in microwave oven on high (100%) power for 1 to 1.5 minutes, until melted and smooth when stirred. Let cool to lukewarm (5 to 10 mins).

Stir in sugar, egg, vanilla, salt and buttermilk until thoroughly blended. Mix together flour and baking soda and stir into chocolate mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Spoon batter into muffin/paper cups, filling to top. Bake in preheated oven 15 to 20 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into center comes out clean. Let muffins cool in pan 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Happy Chinese New Year!

It's the year of the boar and boars are friends with the rabbit - that's me!

The Rabbit

1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999

People born in the Year of the Rabbit are articulate, affectionate, talented, ambitious and are often seekers of tranquillity. They are virtuous, reserved, and have excellent taste. Rabbit people are admired, trusted, and are often financially lucky. They are fond of gossip but are tactful and generally kind. Rabbit people seldom lose their temper. They are clever at business and being conscientious and they never back out of a contract. They would make good gamblers for they have the uncanny gift of choosing the right thing. However, they seldom gamble, as they are conservative and wise.

They are most compatible with those born in the years of the Sheep, Pig, and Dog. Their opposite is the Rooster.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

A Monster Birthday

More pics:

As usual, I am absolutely knackered after a holiday and an event at my house. Not going to report much except for the fact that everything went smoothly alhamdulillah although for all the work I put in painting the banner for the party, my husband forgot to put it up and I was too busy in the kitchen to notice. And so, the next morning, my husband said we should have our own birthday celebration with whatever's left of the cake but this time, with the banner hung up. And so..

And yes, as for the menu on the day of the party, I made lasagne, nasi lemak (to be eaten with:) rendang ayam, ayam goreng and all the normal stuff that goes with nasi lemak, and also I made mi hailam, koniyaku jelly, some pudding - to be eaten with some fruit cocktail and custard sauce, apam cantik manis and of course, the birthday cake. By the end of the day - almost everything was wiped clean, including food brought over by friends i.e. some pasta and roti jala. (Thank you, girlfriends!)

I also would like to thank everyone who came and sent/brought gifts for the birthday boy. You all made both the boys very happy indeed with all those thoughtful presents. Thank you, again.

You can watch a snippet of the birthday party here.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Muffin Night

I was trying to paint a banner for my son's coming birthday celebration (I had some left over paint from the Fun Day banner I painted), when my son came to me with this:

Apparently, they were playing a game on the Nick Jr website - a game from a show called The Hey Girls - a game about decorating muffins.

But at the end of the game, they give you the recipes of these muffins and so, my son, who has always seen me sit at the pc copying recipes from emails and the internet, copied a recipe for me to make. It was a recipe for Chocolate Muffins.

Because of the effort my eldest put in and since they both asked so very nicely if I would make the muffins and if they could also help me with the batter, I agreed to make them, although it was already 6.30pm.

School holidays, what the heck.

And so after measuring and mixing and spooning the batter into paper cups - following the recipe my son had written down - both my sons waited patiently in front of the oven until I shooed them away to play on the computer or watch tv or whatever.

18 minutes later, the muffins were ready but were too hot to be eaten but my sons were happy coz they were going to eat warm muffins that night.

"May we have another one, mom?"

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

NOT a Valentine's Day Entry

We Muslims are not supposed to celebrate Val's Day.

But back in Malaysia I normally just go out with my husband and have dinner or something just because of the hype and the promotions available during the celebration.

We didn't really celebrate it. It's just an excuse for us to have dinner together - sans the kids.

And then there are the heart shape chocolate boxes and beautiful cards in the shops - so we just take advantage of them. The intention is NOT to celebrate Val's Day per se - just to take advantage of all that commercial stuff. I think - and I hope I am right - our niat is more important when it comes to things that are not obviously wrong - e.g. eating in a fancy restaurant is not wrong on any other day so why should it be wrong on Val's Day?

That's my stand on this matter. Anyway...celebrate or no celebrate, I have reposted an old entry I wrote for my husband's birthday last year - just because 'love is in the air' during this time of the year, I suppose, and to remind my husband of our romantic beginning..;)

It was just for fun. It was one of the boys’ idea but they all joined in although there were not enough names for everyone. There is no harm in ‘booking’ the names of the new girls who are coming to the school and then wait anxiously and curiously to see their faces. The girls themselves would never know unless they told them. And none of them would for it was just for fun.

He picked her. Out of the many names of the new girls that were coming to their school – her name appealed to him most. Perhaps he recognised her by name, as his soul mate, but at such a young age, he would never have thought of such things although perhaps he had - without him realising, in his subconscience, not in his alert mind. No, never there. He was never a lady’s man and never has been interested in pursuing any girl. It’s not that he was disinterested, because he was. But frankly, no girl in his 19 years of life has ever really appealed to him, physically nor emotionally. The rest of the boys went for all the other names available but he did not spare the other names a glance. Only that one. And so he picked her to be his ‘conquest’, as the rest of the boys chose the other names to be theirs in the new term.

The boys were waiting for the girls outside the refectory after tea. It was not their normal routine but this time it was different, as the new girls were having their tea inside and they all wanted an introduction. The school had nearly twenty Malaysians and they were really a close community. News of new Malaysians coming to the school would always excite everyone and so they stood patiently outside talking to each other while waiting for the girls to finish their tea.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Recently I heard some very silly things from some very silly people. I've decided that from now on, I will be jotting these down here in my blog just so that I will remember them and perhaps get a few laughs when I re-read them later. It is also good because I just want to be reminded of the things I find funny NOW- because, I know this is a little weird - I want to see if I find them funny in the future.

1. During one of the meetings with the Muslim mothers, somebody objected the idea of getting a clown for the Eid Fun Day we were organising. Her reason was that a clown is NOT Islamic because a clown does "magic tricks". wonder some of these people are so backwards and will continue to be so in their next generation - their children will not be able to recognise the difference between 'black magic' and simple tricks..sigh. Thank goodness not too many people agreed with her and we got the clown for the event anyway and of course, the children loved the clown.

2. Someone came to pray in my house and I offered my sons' room for this person to pray in. After looking at the many posters on the wall i.e. poster of types of dinosaurs, alphabets and cartoons, she asked me, "but what about the pictures?"
"What about them?" I asked her back.

"You can't pray in a room where there are pictures."

"Who said?" I challenged.

"Where I come from, the teachers say that."

Needless to say, I tried to convince her (malas nak elab what my arguments were because they were just too elementary) that that is ridiculous and so she prayed there anyway, but not before saying, "If God doesn't accept my prayers - it's your fault!"
So I said, "You're clean, right? You're covered? And I can assure you that this room is clean. So why wouldn't He accept? God knows that you're not praying to the dinosaur!" (Inward sigh)

This is an example of culture confused with religion. Maybe where she comes from, where many of the population pray to pictures of their Gods in their various forms, their Islamic Religious teachers warned them not to pray with these pictures in the room - for fear of confusion. And the less informed folk translated this to absolutely no pictures wherever they pray - even a kids dinosaur poster on one of the walls. To me, this is ridiculous and makes the religion look awfully narrow and silly when it is so very concerned about trivial things like these.

3. At a PTA meeting recently, some loud voices wanted to have a parents only meeting in a separate place, NOT in the school - so that the meetings will not be overheard by any of the teachers. I raised my hand and said "But aren't we supposed to be working together with the teachers - don't we have the same goals and want the best for the children? We should be getting them to attend these meetings, not ensure that they cannot attend." After some other voices said their opinions on the matter, one narrow minded parent said, addressing me specifically, "But after the meeting, when the teachers start to talk behind our backs (about the things that they disagree upon etc. during these meetings), who's going to answer them?"

Sigh. Who cares if the teachers do that? As long as they do what they're suppose to do, and carry out the things that were agreed on during these meetings, right? The problem with my son's school is that is has too much politics. The parents bitch about the school management and they in turn bitch about the parents - it's my old boarding school all over again (only there, the teachers used to bitch about the students). When will these parents realise that without the cooperation of teachers and parents - their goals for their children in the school can never be achieved?


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Lots Of Snow In London!

The snow started early in the morning and hasn't stopped. I made sure the kids were wearing their wellies and I had to shovel the snow off the car - we were not prepared for so much snow and I had no tool whatsoever to remove all that snow - so had to use my son's toy shovel! Nearly froze my hands while doing it.

I had to drive slowly for it was very slippery. As we turned the corner to the school, some teachers were waiting to inform us that there would be no school today - I should have
guessed this knowing the school is not used to such a situation. But many other parents were also walking back slowly with their kids in their school uniform. Guess I wasn't the only one who didn't call the school before braving all that snow.

So now we're back at home, the boys are playing inside after a short stint in the back yard - they seem to like the snow after all - my youngest was amazed with the car tracks on the road and my son wanted a carrot for a snowman's nose. But I didn't let them play too long outside because they both have yet to recover 100% from their cold and cough this last week. They didn't protest.

I'm still excited by the snow. But having to be responsible for the children, I must refrain myself from lying in the snow and throwing snow balls at them too much. I remember the only time I saw snow in it's wonderful snowflake pattern (pic) was in Scotland (again). It was once or twice - the beautiful and tiny flakes were on my dark blue school coat - I took one to look closely but it melted in my hand in a few seconds. I have never seen one again after I left Scotland. The ones I always see is similar to the ABC ice shavings.

Looking outside, the snow is still falling softly and heavily, albeit the flakes are not too big. Maybe I'll go outside to see if I can catch some pretty snow flakes again. Sigh. Wish my husband didn't have to go to work today - would have been nice to enact a few scenes from Winter Sonata or something.

Wonder how thick the snow will be by the end of the day.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

What It Should Be

Did you know that my Blog Title font should look like the above since ages ago? That's how
I see it on my monitor but apparently, that is the only place anyone can see this curly font!

So tell me, what do you see?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Apam Cantik Manis

Made some of these tonight for a gathering with some friends tomorrow morning. It's been some time since I made these - used to make them back at my mum's place for my kids and nephews and niece. It was difficult for me to find the recipe for this but I would like to share it with everyone and anyone who love these soft apams, just like me.


3 cups flour
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup ice cream soda
1 Tbs ovalette
1 tsp vanilla essence (optional)
some food colouring; red or/and green

Start water boiling in steamer. Mix all ingredients above in a bowl using a mixer until batter becomes white and fluffy (looks similar to bahulu batter). Divide into separate bowls for separate colours. Spoon mixture 3/4 full into apam cups lined with paper cups. Steam for 10 mins.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

No Sharing The Skies

Click on the paper clipping below...

It's just graphic I think. But what an amazing story and a beautiful, beautiful animal, don't you agree?