Sunday, July 29, 2007

After The Storm

Mr S has finally finished his exams and I am the one who is bursting with relief.

These last few weeks have been filled with a lot of anxiety and stress, all resulting from the car incident, Mr S's exams, my health and I think, I should also add to the list; the very horrible weather.

Thank goodness London has not been affected by the floods! Alhamdulillah!

And thus, on the very afternoon that Mr S finished his final paper, we went straight out, hitting the shops - which I have not been to for weeks now! - and then we also went to visit a friend who has been unwell.

Ah..the bliss of freedom from stress and sickness!
You tend to forget how blessed your life really is until you are faced with such things!

Mr S took some leave until the end of the week, so the next day, due to the gloomy and dark skies, we strongly felt that we should go somewhere 'indoors' so we decided on Bluewater, which is a large shopping mall in Kent.

Some pics of the children there:

What can I say about this trip except for the fact that I spent some of Mr S's money there and that it cheered me up...?

The next day, the weather forecast showed some promise so we decided to visit the beach at Southend.

Cooked some nasi lemak early in the morning and efficiently packed the sambal, sliced cucumber, boiled eggs and fried chicken without the assistance of Mr S but 30 minutes after we left the house, I realised that we got everything in the car except for the the rice itself - none of us remembered to put that very important part of the meal in the boot!

So we had to put up with the not-so-varied halal offerings of McDonald's once again.

Obviously, I was quite annoyed. I really wanted to eat that nasi lemak by the beach and already, I was feeling ravenous. Instead, I had to make do with a boring fish fillet burger and some fries instead and a cup of hot tea.

To add to my already brimming annoyance, the hot cup of tea spilled - somehow narrowly missing my leg, and I could have been scalded!

What a start to our trip, I exclaimed outloud to Mr S, honestly ready to cry. Mr S just laughed sarcastically. He was equally annoyed and disappointed, what, after smelling the aroma of nasi lemak the whole morning only to have to eat a lame vegetarian sandwich for lunch!

But we cheered up for the sake of the kids.

And the trip was a good one, albeit the skies looked set to fall on us and the wind was the type that had you holding on to your skirts and tudung, for fear that both will lift and give everyone a free viewing.

We spent some time looking at the sea initially.

Then, realising that not much can be done there in that kind of weather, proceeded to the theme park, called 'Adventure Island' just by the beach.

My eldest just looove to go on rides.

But the young one declined with a 'No, thanks!' each time when I asked whether he wanted to join his brother, except for the last ride, which was a young children's Viking boat ride, which they both rode unaccompanied.

And then we went on the train ride on the Southend Pier - that's right, there's a rail track on the pier!

The wind was so strong at the end of the pier that we had to be very careful while walking by the railings for fear of toppling over into the sea. Well, at least, I was scared - the kids didn't seem to mind very much.

Upon returning to the beach, we realised the tide has turned. And so we went down where the water had been to look for crabs and sea shells and just to walk barefoot in the mud.

(You can see the Southend Pier in the background in the pic above.)

As Mr S was busy with the camcorder, it was our eldest that took a lot of the pics - (obviously the ones that are without him in them!) bless him, for otherwise I would not have any pics to put in here of our time walking in the muddy beach!

After washing our feet with the water that Mr S brought along in the car, we put on our socks and shoes and the children rode on the bike and scooter that we had chucked into the boot along the promenade, while Mr S and I watched and nibbled on some Millie's cookies, just relaxing before the drive home.

Of course, the drive back home was a more pleasant one because we knew that we had a nice pot of nasi lemak waiting for us at home.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

New York Cheesecake With Raspberries

As promised, here is the recipe of the cheesecake in the picture. It's my third try for baked cheesecakes in general but this is my first attempt using this recipe.

The cake turned out nice. I did not really follow the exact instructions to avoid cracking and the cake did crack just a little at the top but I covered it up with some leftover sour cream (you can use whipped cream too, for this purpose) and it looked perfect (well..nearly).

I also used only half a cup of jelly hence perhaps the reason why there is not enough liquid jelly available for the 'spilled over look' at the sides of the cake. Maybe next time.

Overall I think this is indeed an easy recipe and will probably bake this cake again and again in the future whenever I have a hankering for baked cheesecake.

You know how you love to eat those cheesecakes you bought at those shops in KL or even that popular one that boasts of the best cheesecake in town? Well, in my opinion, nothing beats a home made cheesecake. Actually, nothing beats a home made ANYTHING - there is that magical 'home made' taste to it that no shop can outdo and something that shop kitchens can only dream of achieving...and of course, there is that satisfaction of baking something wonderful for your family and loved ones.

You should try it.

  • 11/2 cups of digestive biscuits crushed
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 900g cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbs vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup of raspberry or strawberry ready made jelly
  • fresh raspberries

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Grease a 9 inch springform pan or line the bottom and sides with foil. I prefer the latter for easier 'handling'.
  2. Mix digestive biscuits crumbs with melted butter, ground cinnamon and sugar. Press onto bottom of springform pan.
  3. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar just until smooth. Blend in milk, and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. DO NOT overbeat! Pour filling into prepared crust.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour together with a bowl of water at the bottommost rack of the oven. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 minutes before running a greased knife around the side of the cake. Close the door again and leave the cake in the oven for at least 3 hours. (All these steps are to prevent cracking.)
  5. Chill in refrigerator.
For topping:
  1. Melt the jelly in a small pan.
  2. Put the berries in a bowl and pour the liquid jelly onto it, mix well.
  3. Decorate cake.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

A Birthday

It was my eldest's 6th birthday yesterday. I baked a cheesecake the night before and prepared the raspberry topping on the day, while he was at school.

Because Mr S is very busy at the moment, there will be no birthday party yet but inshaAllah we plan to give him one before the end of the month. Bought some Mini Bites from M&S and some sweets for his classmates today and his class teacher had kindly organised a small 'party' of sorts for him which will have to do for now.

My eldest said solemnly to me yesterday morning that since there will be no party, and nobody's coming, there will be no presents but I assured him that his mama and papa would not forget to buy him something and that kept him quiet. Of course, we bought him a few stuff, but NOT the Nintendo DS that he requested!

Kecik-kecik dah pandai nak main video game...

Am feeling tired today - besides the event above, had to walk a long way to go to the swimming pool for my eldest's swimming lesson - had to push the stroller (for my youngest) too and it was no easy task to push it up that hill. Also add the foul weather of late...

No car to drive, as you very well know if you've been reading this blog...

It has been trying these last few weeks...but we trudge on..

Will give the recipe for the cheesecake above in my next posting inshaAllah.

Monday, July 02, 2007

A Noble Tag

I have been tagged by Rd with a tag started by Mr Idham who was the man who started this charity tag. The aim is to collect money to buy a bus for an orphanage called the Darul Izzah Orphanage in Bandar Baru Bangi, Malaysia. For every person who completed this meme by the end of July, Mr Idham will contribute RM127 on your behalf to the Darul Izzah Orphange, Bangi.

What more can I say. It is a wonderful thing indeed and to Mr Idham, I pray that Allah bless you and your family and that you will be able to complete this noble mission.


The rule is - If you are tagged, you need to write an entry related to the meme. At the end of your entry you just need to tag as many person as you like. You will then leave a comment in their blog to let them know they have been tagged.

Please leave a message on Mr Idham's blog so that he can keep count.

Then please copy and paste this rule somewhere in your entry and complete at least 17 out of the following 27 sentences.


1. A person is only as good as what he or she practices, not what he or she preaches.

2. Friendship is always a two way effort and responsibility.

3. To love is to ignore certain annoying things.

4. Money makes me feel secure.

5. I miss sitting on the passenger seat of my car while Mr S drives in the night on the KL-Seremban highway!

6. My way of saying I care is by enquiring after friends and family and cooking for them.

7. I try to spread love and happiness by (again!) cooking sweet desserts and cakes for people.

8. Pick the flowers when err...they are in bloom??

9. To love someone is to accept them completely as they are and to always be there when needed.

10. Beauty is a smile that comes from the heart.

11. When I was thirteen, what I remember the most was my experiences in a boarding school.

12. When I was twenty one, I remember experiencing something that I had wish was only a dream and I wanted to wake up from it! (Nothing too nasty, I assure you!)

13. I am most happy when I have my most loved ones in my arms.

14. Nothing makes me happier than when Mr S, the boys and myself are all on the bed together, joking around!

15. If I can change one thing, I will change the paradigm of the self defeated and narrow minded.

16. If smiles were money then I doubt I would be a rich woman...too bad, huh?

17. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could magically jump into the book we're reading and act the parts of the hero or heroine in the stories!

18. If you want to be more successful in your business then you have to smile more and be more friendly! {Apparently...just received an email about this..:)}

19. Money is not everything but it would certainly make me a lot happier at this moment!

20. The most touching moments I have experienced is while watching a movie about the love of mother and child.

21. I smile when I see my son after his day at school.

22. When I am happy, I am energetic and hyper active!

23. If only I don’t have to cook and clean then I could spend more quality time for myself and my loved ones.

24. The best thing I did yesterday was sleep for a long, long time...because I am not feeling well you see...

25. If I ever write a book, I will give it this title,”Quick and Easy 'To Die For' Desserts

26. One thing I must do before I die is to go for my hajj.

27. Doing this meme, I feel like I have strained my brain a now I need to rest..:)


I would like to tag my sister, Ayu to pass on this noble intention.