Monday, September 29, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sticky Buns

Tried this today. I absolutely recommend it! Yum!

  • 1-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (45 degrees C)
  • 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 eggs
  • 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used bread flour)
  • 1/4 cup margarine, softened
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon margarine, softened
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans (I used walnuts, as always!)


  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large mixing bowl. Add buttermilk, egg, 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/4 cup margarine, 1/4 cup white sugar, baking powder and salt. Blend 30 seconds with mixer on low speed, scraping sides and bottom of bowl. Beat 2 minutes on medium speed.
  2. Stir in remaining 1-1/4 cups flour. Dough should remain soft and slightly sticky. Knead for 5 minutes, on a lightly floured board.
  3. Form dough into a round and place it in an oiled bowl. Cover it with a damp cloth and leave it in a warm place to rise until doubled.
  4. Roll dough into a 12x7 inch rectangle. Spread with 1 tablespoon soft margarine, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup white sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Roll up, beginning at wide side. Seal well by pinching the seams. Cut roll into 12 slices.
  5. Coat a 9 inch round cake pan with 1/4 cup melted butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 cup chopped pecans/walnuts in each pan. Place 12 dough slices in each pan, leaving a small space between slices. Let rise until doubled.
  6. Bake in a preheated 190 degrees C oven for about 25 minutes. Invert pan onto serving plate.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Summer Holidays 2008

As I reported in the previous entry, there was nothing 'summery' about the summer this year in the UK.

I think we had at most about 5 good days. The rest were just rain and clouds.

But Mr S and I managed to take the kids out and about, thank god.
Mr S took 2 weeks off, the first week was spent around the south of England, the 2nd week around London and in the Midlands.

Below are some pics taken from our trip to the south.

First though, we went apple picking and strawberry picking at the farm in Esher.

We actually stopped here to see some old friends on our way to Brighton. Thus, we didn't do much fruit picking as we were travelling and all - I was just excited because there were apple trees here - the farm where we normally go to in Epping doesn't have apple trees.

Somehow the apples on the trees were mostly green.. most of the red ones have fallen onto the ground.

The strawberries on this farm were planted on the ground and the field where they planted them was huge. We didn't actually put much enthusiasm in the picking and just picked the ones nearby but I saw some people who went to pick at the far end of the field come back with really huge and juicy looking strawberries..we just picked about half a small basket - for tasting.

After going for lunch at our friend's place and meeting some other friends (some ex school mates) there, we went straight down to Brighton. It was only a 1 hour drive from Kingston where my friend's place was. We went straight to our hotel and had our dinner there and rested for the night - ready to go out and explore Brighton the next day.

Surprise, surprise it rained the next morning but it cleared up by about 10am and so we headed straight to the beach and pier.

Brighton's pebble beach

Fish and chips on the pier

Just a quick click of the camera when the sun came out from behind the clouds.

Also went to visit the Sealife Centre..apparently the oldest aquarium in the world (so u can imagine the condition of it!)

After 2 nights at Brighton, we headed for the Isle Of Wight.

Had to take a 50 minute ferry ride from Southampton to the island.

Went to visit an old windmill on the island. The mill man (a mat saleh) was born in Melaka and used to go to school at SFI in Bandar Hilir. We spent some time melayan him reminisce about his good old times in Melaka.

The day was cold and very windy so the kids just played for a bit at Sandown beach.

The next day, took the chairlift down to the beach on the west end of the island to visit a geographical feature - some broken cliffs nicknamed 'The Needles'.

Down at the beach.
You can see behind the boys where the chairlift ride ends.

The boat ride we took to see The Needles at closer range. It was pretty cool, I thought.

The boys on the boat - behind them is part of 'The Needles' and also the lighthouse to warn off ships at the end of the jutting rocks.

The boys 'picked up' golf there too! :)

The view from the top of the cliffs.

After that, since the weather was really very good, we took the boys to the beach as that was what they wanted to do all along.. This time we went to Shanklin beach.

Spent 3 days on the island.
We then took the ferry back to Southampton and on the way...

..our ferry passed by the QE2.
It was really a lovely sight and a really cool ending to our IOW trip, I thought...
(I've always loved ships!)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hey, I'm happy lah...

(Warning: Below are my ramblings. Read to your own peril!)

This Ramadhan has been pretty tiring.

What with school just starting again, and sahur at 3.30am, and not being able to sleep any earlier than midnight. Not to mention berbuka at nearly 8pm at the beginning oh Ramadhan - what a big change from those 4pm iftars during my undergraduate days!

I think perhaps it's time for me to move down under now - they're having a grand time now that they're going to be having winter Ramadhans for quite some time..

But I have so many things to be thankful for too...

I just returned from an iftar gathering at a friend's place actually - these few months have been blessed really because I've made some new friends...yes, somehow we have made connection with some other Malaysians here in London as opposed to the usual suspects and I admit, I am glad.

And Mr S have been kind enough to
layan me by buying a few stuff for me from Ikea and I am happy to say that my house now feels more like a home.

And we had such a wonderful summer holiday too. Well, the weather was 1 more thing for me to complain about but we went away for 1 week and a bit and alhamdulillah it was wonderful.

We went to visit some old school friends of mine - in Kingston and in Southampton and another friend from my 'pre-departure course' days in Fareham.

We went to Brighton - stayed over for 2 nights.

We went to the Isle of Wight - also stayed over for 2 nights.

Went to Stoke-on-Trent to buy some china - stayed over at Birmingham for 1 night just to take it easy on that particular journey.

It has been lovely.


And I am ever so thankful of course to Mr S who made it all possible.

Little H has started full time schooling (reception class) since last week and he has been truly amazing too. He settled in without any problems and in fact, on the first day, after a few minutes of 'helping' him to settle down, I was assured by Little H saying;

"Ok Mama, G-O-O!"

Oh how proud I am of my little boy, even though he still needs some help with his spelling...

And Big H has started his Year 3 and already getting pencil gifts from his teacher for getting the right amount of 'ticks' on his class' Tick Chart.

He is settling down nicely too...alhamdulillah.

And so I walk back home alone from sending the kids to school one day, happy and ready for some me time at home doing the things that I love - i.e. a long hot shower, reading and sitting in front of the computer - when I saw a group of mums - some people that I am acquainted with - standing together chatting.

So I stopped for a bit just to give them my salam and to ask how everyone's doing..

"..So you're free now and you can do what you like?".."

"Yes.." I answered.

"..I'm going to take up Reflexology..yeah..that's what I'm going to do.."
"..I think I'm going to take up a degree.."
"..I'm planning to find some work.."

"What about YOU??"

"Huh...?? Umm..I haven't really thought about it yet. Hahaha."

And I made my excuses
but it was too late - the question spoiled my morning and certainly spoiled my peace of mind.

I regret stopping to talk to those women...

Nosy little ******s.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Kuih Cara Manis

Just wanted to share with you this recipe that I tried yesterday.

Cantik pulak gambar guna my Sony this time..

It's an easy recipe for kuih cara manis.

The recipe instructed to 'blend' the batter but I simply whisked it manually till my arm (nearly) came off. After all,
orang dulu-dulu didn't need no blender, ye tak?

The kuih turned out really nice, if I may say so myself.
Saying that, Big H didn't like it much, although Little H kept returning back to the kitchen for more and more.. :)

You need to get the moulds to make this one, of course. I think you can get these moulds easily back in Malaysia if you look for them. You can also, of course, use the mould to make bahulu or kuih cara berlauk as well so rest assured your investment in such a mould would be worthwhile...he he he..

They're cheap anyway.

Righty-ho..let's get down to the recipe!

2 cups flour

3.5 cups santan
(coconut milk)
1 egg

Some pandan juice..or just the paste - you can easily get this anywhere.




Blend the top 5 ingredients all together. Mixture will be thick-ish. Sieve into another bowl or a measuring cup (easier to pour later). Oil the mould and heat it up - once hot, make sure to turn the fire down and keep it low. Pour batter into each mould and then sprinkle or spoon some sugar onto each one. Cover. It will be ready in a few minutes, when the middle is fairly dry and you can see that the sides have browned a bit. Use a spoon to scoop it out gently. Stick two together to make green eggs...or so my son called them..

Told you it's easy!

Try it! InshaAllah you wont regret it.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

First Day Of Ramadhan

Big H wants to try fasting this year.

He woke up for sahur and had cereal with milk and some cake and fasted the whole day and also solat 5 waktu
(normally he will miss subuh and isya' because the former is too early here at this time of the year and the latter too late).

He was pretty energetic the whole day up to about 5pm and he fell asleep by 7pm in front of the TV after mama promised some blueberry cheesecake at berbuka time.

He broke his fast with the cheesecake and then went on to eat (not a lot of) his dinner of nasi, sup daging, sambal telur and sayur campur..

He looked tired and went to sleep straightaway after isya'.

I told him not to fast today and he agreed after experiencing the tiredness yesterday..although earlier yesterday he was determined to not miss a single day!

I think for now, alternate days is best.

Tak sampai hati tengok dia.

Big H fell asleep at about 7pm...50 minutes to go before berbuka....

The boys' Autumn Term will start tomorrow thus am hoping that I will have more time for more blogging then...