Tuesday, October 20, 2009

ABC Cooking Studio

Off late, I'm never home as time is running short for me, in between my daily routine and whatever spare time, I'll be rushing to school. At the end of the day of course I'm tired but satisfied. Trying to learn as much as I could whilst still here. Sorry friends, I've been out of the social circle for a while, I guess my social obligations can be put on hold for the time being. Once I'm done, insyaallah will try to catch up with all my friends here before I finally say sayonara...sob..sob..sob..........





This is where you can find me day and nite......gambatte ne!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Its still Shawal.......

Although far away from home land but alhamdulillah....terasa juga kemeriahan beraya and had a wonderful time experiencing raya abroad. Dapat juga anak-anak merasa kemeriahan berhari raya. With invitation to friends raya open house...rasa macam kat KL pulak.....to those that we couldnt make it to your home...thousand apology insyaallah next time.





Sunday, October 4, 2009

Rendang Daging Sempoi

Its still raya month and for us who didnt get to spend it with family back home.... any opportunity comes.....so eager to create the continuation of raya mood. Impromptu, had some friends over to share our raya specialties together. Had nasi impit (rice cake), with kuah kacang (peanut sauce), chicken satay, beef rendang, instant lemang (glutinous rice cake) and serunding (beef floss). As usual another wonderful morning with full of laughter and food.




My quick beef rendang recipe:-


Ingredients:-

1 kg boneless beef
20 dry chili
20 bird chili (optional - if you like it spicy)
1 1/2 big onion
2 garlic
5 cm ginger
3 stalk lemon grass
5 cm galangal
3 tablespoon kerisik (coconut paste)
400 ml coconut milk
2-3 kafir lime leaves
salt and sugar to taste (i use a little bit of palm sugar)


Method:-

1. Cut beef into cubes, wash and drain.
2. Put chili, onion, garlic, ginger, lemon grass and galangal into a blender and grind until smooth.
3. Put beef into wok and add the blended ingredients, coconut milk, sugar, salt and mix well.
4. Cook under medium flame until the juice dry out. Add water if meat is still not tender.
5. When the meat is almost tender, add the coconut paste and kafir lime leaves and adjust the gravy. Add water if you like it with more gravy and continue to cook. Adjust the taste.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Still Raya.............................

Another wonderful day. With my normal routine to start the day followed by Hari Raya Open Houses Invitation in the evening and golf session. Felt so happy that managed to achieve a lot of things by the end of the day. By the time we got home everyone was tired.

At Dato Razali, Datin Faridah's Hari Raya Open House




At Puan Yuslinawati's Hari Raya Open House

Since we were already in Seta Area and the kids havent got the chance to hit the balls for a long time plus to burn away the calories after all the yummy food..we hit the driving range. I personally like this place coz its clean, quite, calm, tranquil surroundings, free parking and cheaper fees as opposed to other driving range around Tokyo that I've been.



At Seta Modern Golf. This place offers Golf Lesson and we got Yamamoto Sensei who speaks English last year to teach us.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Green Tea Tiramisu


Green Tea Sponge Cake

Ingredients:-
4 eggs
120 gm sugar
120 gm flour
6 gm green tea powder
40 cc unsweetened soya milk/low fat milk

Method:
1. Sift the flour and green tea powder together.
2. Warm the milk a little bit.
3. Beat egg and sugar until tripled the volume and whip at a low speed for another minute to make a smooth batter.
4. Fold the flour into the egg mixture in a cutting motion.
5. Add warm milk and mix in a cutting motion until batter becomes glossy.
6. Line with paper a 9 x 13 inch tray and spread the mixture. Spread toward four corners and level the surface.
7. Remove air bubbles and bake for 15-17 minutes in a preheated oven 190C.
8. After baking, place the cake on the cake cooler and cover with plastic wrap.


Green Tea Syrup:-
100gm sugar
200 cc water
3gm green tea powder

Method:
Put sugar, green tea powder and water in a pan. Mix well and boil. Let cool.

Mascarpone Cream
30 gm custard powder
120 cc unsweetened soya milk/low fat milk
120 gm mascarpone cheese
90 gm fresh cream

Method:
1. Mix the custard powder in a medium bowl and mix with milk.
2. Add mascarpone cheese and mix well.
3. Add fresh cream and whip them until it soft peaks form.

Azuki Beans Cream (Red Bean Cream)
50 gm sweet bean paste
100 gm fresh cream

Method:
1. Mix sweet bean paste and fresh cream in a bowl and whip them until soft peaks form.

Assembling Cakes

1. Cut the cake into 2 pieces (round or square according to your dish) and brush the sponge cake with green tea syrup on top.
2. Put one cake into a square dish and spread the azuki beans cream on top.
3. Add another layer of cake and brush it with green tea syrup and spread the mascarpone cream and level the surface.
4. Sift the green tea powder on the cake.
5. Decorate with the balance of mascarpone cream, sweet black beans, gold leaf and chervil on top of the cake.

Monday, September 21, 2009

SALAM AIDIL FITRI 2009

Salam to all and here's wishing you and your family Selamat Hari Raya. Maaf Zahir dan Batin dari kami sekeluarga. For the first time this year, I did not make it home but Alhamdulillah we had a wonderful raya with our fellow countrymen and friends. The anticipation for raya was exhilarating for me as so many things to prepare for the big day, trying my best to make it feel like we are at home. Managed to prepare mix menu of Malay & Indian specialities for Eid.

We had Putu Mayam and Lamb Curry for breakfast followed by Nasi Impit, Rendang, Kuah Kacang, Sayur Lodeh, Nasi Tomato, Ayam Masak Merah, Jelatah Nenas/Timun, Acar Buah, Lemang, Ketupat Palas and Serunding Daging for the guests later.

After Eid Prayers at the Embassy, we had our breakfast and had a family photo session. At 12.00 pm my first guest show up at the door and it was celebration then on. Indeed, we had a nice Raya although being away from our beloved family at home.

To all that came...thank you for coming to our house and you guys make our raya here so meriah. Domo arigato gozaimashita!!












Monday, September 14, 2009

Pineapple Tarts


I first make pineapple tarts when I was small...helping out Mak in the kitchen each year for Hari Raya until I could do it myself when I was 12. Since then, it has been my chore to prepare cookies for Raya. I still remember those days, kena parut nenas tu dan masak jem atas dapur minyak tanah and berjam-jam lamanya....mana nak jaga api lagi....aduh mak. Really, at that time it was really hard to make cookies unlike nowadays. Those days we dont have electric oven not even gas oven. We only used a small oven using kerosene stove. The tray that could go into the oven perhaps could only bake 10-12 pieces of cookies....can you imagine how long it will take to finish baking a kilo of dough....

When I was 16, my anties started asking me to make tarts for them, by this time my mom already bought a gas oven for our home...and at that time hmmm....got money coming in for duit raya and before I started my own family that's part of my ritual during fasting months...to prepare raya cookies for my family members.



ni tart yang kawan-kawan kat sini order for raya this year.

Here's the recipe:-

Pastry

1kg flour
550 gm butter
3 egg yolk
1 teaspoon salt (if using unsalted butter)
1 teaspoon caster sugar (optional)
cold water

Method:-

1. Sieve flour, salt and sugar together.
2. Using a butter knife, cut the butter into the flour, then rub the butter until it becomes bread crumb using your fingers.
3. Add egg yolk and mix well.
4. Add cold water bit by bit and make a dough.
5. Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes before rolling and cutting.

Pineapple Jam

3 bowls grated pineapple
1 bowl sugar (as you like - adjust to your taste)
a pinch of salt
4-5 clover (optional)
1-2 drops of yellow colouring (optional)


Method:

1. In a wok, put everything together under medium flame.
2. Stir every few minutes until it becomes thicken and all the water evaporates.
Note: Of course you may add more sugar if you like your jam to be sweet and in case the pineapple is not so ripe and sour.

Ramadhan oh Ramadhan

Masyaallah......4 more days to go before Eid shows again, perhaps. How time flies...its just happening too fast. Alhamdulillah, we get to welcome Ramadhan again and now that its almost coming to an end.....I'm a bit saddened, it has been a smooth Ramadhan for the family including the kids and the terawih we did at the mosque almost every nite, the getting up in the morning for sahur and the simple breakfast we had everyday. Insyaallah god's willing till I see you next Ramadhan. I pray, when time permits with god's permission, one day the family will be able to perform our Ramadhan at the Holy Land Mecca. Insyaallah.

the scene on the 1st day of sahur

the happy faces during breakfast on the 1st day of Ramadhan


terawih at the mosque

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ramadhan Mubarak



Salam to all.......

Wishing all of you a very blessed Ramadhan. Somebody very dear to me forwarded these two articles on how to derive the full benefits of Ramadhan.

May Allah showers His blessings on all of us..........Insyaallah.

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

THE PROPHET'S SERMON ABOUT RAMADHAN

Compiled By Susan Nachawati for IslamiCity

The Sermon Given By The Prophet (s) On The Last Friday Of Sha'ban On The
Reception Of The Month of Ramadan.

"O People ! Indeed ahead of you is the blessed month of Allah. A month of
blessing, mercy and forgiveness. A month which with Allah is the best of
months. Its days, the best of days, its nights, the best of nights, and its
hours, the best of hours. It is the month which invites you to be the
guests of Allah and invites you to be one of those near to Him. Each breath
you take glorifies him; your sleep is worship, your deeds are accepted and
your supplications are answered. So, ask Allah, your Lord; to give you a
sound body and an enlightened heart so you may be able to fast and recite
his book, for only he is unhappy who is devoid of Allah's forgiveness
during this great month. Remember the hunger and thirst of the day of
Qiyamah (Judgment) with your hunger and thirst; give alms to the needy and
poor, honor your old, show kindness to the young ones, maintain relations
with your blood relations; guard your tongues, close your eyes to that
which is not permissible for your sight, close your ears to that which is
forbidden to hear, show compassion to the orphans of people so compassion
may be shown to your orphans. Repent to Allah for your sins and raise your
hands in dua during these times, for they are the best of times and Allah
looks towards his creatures with kindness, replying to them during the
hours and granting their needs if he is asked ...

"O People! Indeed your souls are dependant on your deeds, free it with
Istighfar (repentance) lighten its loads by long prostrations; and know
that Allah swears by his might: That there is no punishment for the one who
prays and prostrates and he shall have no fear of the fire on the day when
man stands before the Lord of the worlds.

"O People! One who gives Iftaar to a fasting person during this month will
be like one who has freed someone and his past sins will be forgiven. Some
of the people who were there then asked the Prophet (s): "Not all of us are
able to invite those who are fasting?"

The Prophet (s) replied: "Allah gives this reward even if the Iftaar (meal)
is a drink of water." "One who has good morals (Akhlaq) during this month
will be able to pass the 'Siraat' ... on the day that feet will slip ...
"One who covers the faults of others will benefit in that Allah will curb
His anger on the day of Judgment ...

"As for one who honors an orphan; Allah will honor him on the day of
judgment, "And for the one who spreads his kindness, Allah will spread His
mercy over him on the day of Judgment. "As for the one who cuts the ties of
relation; Allah will cut His mercy from him ... "Who so ever performs a
recommended prayer in this month Allah will keep the fire of Hell away from
him ... "Whoever performs an obligator prayer Allah will reward him with
seventy prayers [worth] in this month. "And who so ever prays a lot during
this month will have his load lightened on the day of measure. "He who
recites one verse of the Holy Quran will be given the rewards of reciting
the whole Quran during other months. "O People! Indeed during this month
the doors of heaven are open, therefore ask Allah not to close them for
you; The doors of hell are closed, so ask Allah to keep them closed for
you. During this month Shaytan (Satan) is imprisoned so ask your Lord not
to let him have power over you."

---------------------------------------------


INNER DIMENSIONS OF FASTING
IMAM ABU HAMID AL-GHAZALI
Translated from the Ihya' Ulom ud Din by Muhtar Holland


Three Grades Of Fasting

It should be known that there are three grades of Fasting: ordinary,special and extra-special.

Ordinary Fasting means abstaining from food, drink and sexual satisfaction.

Special Fasting means keeping one's ears, eyes, tongue,hands and feet and all other organs free from sin.

Extra-special Fasting means fasting of the heart from unworthy concerns and
worldly thoughts, in total disregard of everything but God,Great and Glorious is He. This kind of Fast is broken by thinking of worldly matters, except for those conducive to religious ends, since these constitute provision for the Hereafter and are not of this lower world. Those versed in the spiritual life of the heart have even said that a sin is recorded against one who concerns himself all day with arrangements for breaking his Fast. Such anxiety stems from lack of trust in the bounty of God, Great and Glorious is He, and from lack of certain faith in His promised sustenance.

To this third degree belong the Prophets, the true awliya and the intimates
of God. It does not lend itself to detailed examination in words, as its
true nature is better revealed in action. It consists in utmost dedication
to God, Great and Glorious is He, to the neglect of everything other than
God, Exalted is He. It is bound up with the significance of His words:
'Say: "Allah (sent it down)":then leave them to play in their vain discussions.' [al-An'am,6:91]

Inward Requirements

As for Special Fasting, this is the kind practiced by the righteous. It means keeping all one's organs free from sin and six things are required
for its accomplishment:

1. SEE NOT WHAT DISPLEASES GOD

A chaste regard, restrained from viewing anything that is blameworthy or
reprehensible, or that distracts the heart and diverts it from the remembrance of God, Great and Glorious is He. Said the Prophet, on him be peace: 'The furtive glance is one of the poisoned arrows of Satan, on him be God's curse. Whoever forsakes it for fear of God will receive from Him, Great and Glorious is He, a faith the sweetness of which he will find within his heart.'

Jabir relates from Anas that God's Messenger, on him be peace, said: 'Five
things break a man's Fast: lying, backbiting, gossiping, perjury and a lustful gaze.'

2. SPEAK NOT...

Guarding one's tongue from idle chatter,lying, gossiping, obscenity, rudeness, arguing and controversy; making it observe silence and occupying it with remembrance of God, Great and Glorious is He, and with recitation of Quran. This is the fasting of the tongue. Said Sufyan: 'Backbiting annuls the Fast.'Layth quotes Mujahid as saying: 'Two habits annul Fasting: backbiting and telling lies.'

The Prophet,on him be peace, said: 'Fasting is a shield; so when one of you is Fasting he should not use foul or foolish talk. If someone attacks him or insults him, let him say: "I am Fasting, I am Fasting!"'

According to Tradition: 'Two women were Fasting during the time of God's
Messenger, on him be peace. They were so fatigued towards the end of the
day, from hunger and thirst, that they were on the verge of collapsing. They therefore sent a message to God's Messenger,on him be peace, requesting permission to break their Fast. In response, the Prophet, on him be peace, sent them a bowl and said: "Tell them to vomit into it what they have eaten." One of them vomited and half filled the bowl with fresh blood and tender meat, while the other brought up the same so that they filled it between them. The onlookers were astonished. Then the Prophet, on him be peace,said: "These two women have been Fasting from what God made lawful to them, and have broken their Fast on what God, Exalted is He, made
unlawful to them. They sat together and indulged in backbiting, and here is
the flesh of the people they maligned!"'

3. HEAR NOT...

Closing one's ears to everything reprehensible; for everything unlawful to utter is likewise unlawful to listen to. That is why God, Great and Glorious is He, equated the eavesdropper with the profiteer, in His words,Exalted is He: 'Listeners to falsehood,consumers of illicit gain.'
[al-Ma'idah, 5:42]

God, Great and Glorious is He, also said: 'Why do their rabbis and priests
not forbid them to utter sin and consume unlawful profit?' [al-Ma'idah,
5:63]

Silence in the face of backbiting is therefore unlawful. God, Exalted is
He,said: 'You are then just like them.' [al-Nisa, 4:140] That is why the
Prophet,on him be peace, said: 'The backbiter and his listener are copartners in sin.'

4. DO NOT...

Keeping all other limbs and organs away from sin: the hands and feet from
reprehensible deeds, and the stomach from questionable food at the time for
breaking Fast. It is meaningless to Fast -- to abstain from lawful food –
only to break one's Fast on what is unlawful. A man who Fast like this may
be compared to one who builds a castle but demolishes a city. Lawful food
injurious in quantity not in quality, so Fasting is to reduce the former. A
person might well give up excessive use of medicine, from fear of ill effects, but he would be a fool to switch to taking poison. The unlawful is
a poison deadly to religion, while the lawful is a medicine, beneficial in
small doses but harmful in excess. The object of Fasting is to induce
moderation. Said the Prophet, on him be peace: 'How many of those who Fast
get nothing from it but hunger and thirst!' This has been taken to mean
those who break their Fast on unlawful food. Some say it refers to those
who abstain from lawful food, but break their Fast on human flesh through
backbiting, which is unlawful. Others consider it an allusion to those who
do not guard their organs from sin.

5. AVOID OVEREATING

Not to over-indulge in lawful food at the time of breaking Fast, to the
point of stuffing one's belly. There is no receptacle more odious to God,
Great and Glorious is He, than a belly stuffed full with lawful food. Of
what use is the Fast as a means of conquering God's enemy and abating
appetite, if at the time of breaking it one not only makes up for all one
has missed during the daytime, but perhaps also indulges in a variety of
extra foods? It has even become the custom to stock up for Ramadan with all
kinds of foodstuffs, so that more is consumed during that time than in the
course of several other months put together. It is well known that the
object of Fasting is to experience hunger and to check desire, in order to
reinforce the soulin piety. If the stomach is starved from early morning
till evening, so that its appetite is aroused and its craving intensified,
and it is then offered delicacies and allowed to eat its fill, its taste
for pleasure is increased and its force exaggerated; passions are activated which would have lain dormant under normal conditions.

The spirit and secret nature of Fasting is to weaken the forces which are
Satan's means of leading us back to evil. It is therefore essential to cut
down one's intake to what one would consume on a normal night, when not
Fasting. No benefit is derived from the Fast if one consumes as much as one
would usually take during the day and night combined. Moreover, one of the
properties consists in taking little sleep during the daytime, so that one
feels the hunger and thirst and becomes conscious of the weakening of one's
powers, with the consequent purification of the heart.

One should let a certain degree of weakness carry over into the night,
making it easier to perform the night Prayers (tahajjud) and to recite the
praises (awrad). It may then be that Satan will not hover around one's
heart, and that one will behold the Kingdom of Heaven. The Night of Destiny
represents the night on which something of this Kingdom is revealed. This
is what is meant by the words of God, Exalted is He:

'We surely revealed it on the Night of Power.' [al-Qadr, 97:1]

Anyone who puts a bag of food between his heart and his breast becomes
blind to this revelation. Nor is keeping the stomach empty sufficient to
remove the veil, unless one also empties the mind of everything but God,
Great and Glorious is He. That is the entire matter, and the starting point
of it all is cutting down on food.

6. LOOK TO GOD WITH FEAR AND HOPE

After the Fast has been broken, the heart should swing like a pendulum
between fear and hope. For one does not know if one's Fast will be accepted, so that one will find favor with God, or whether it will be rejected,leaving one among those He abhors. This is how one should be at the end of any act of worship one performs.

It is related of al-Hasan ibn Abil Hasan al-Basri that he once passed by a
group of people who were laughing merrily. He said: 'God, Great and Glorious is He, has made the month of Ramadan a racecourse, on which His creatures compete in His worship. Some have come in first and won, while others have lagged behind and lost. It is absolutely amazing to find anybody laughing and playing about on the day when success attends the victors, and failure the wasters. By God, if the veil were lifted off, the doer of good would surely be preoccupied with his good works and the evildoer with his evil deeds.' In too full of joy to indulge in idle sport,
while for one who has suffered rejection laughter will be precluded by remorse.

Of al-Ahnaf ibn Qays it is reported that he was once told: 'You are an aged
elder; Fasting would enfeeble you.' But he replied: 'By this I am making
ready for a long journey, Obedience to God, Glorified is He, is easier to
endure than His punishment.'

Such are the inwardly significant meanings of Fasting.

Source: Al-Ghazali, Inner Dimensions of Islamic Worship
Edited 12/99
http://www.jannah.org/ramadan/innerfasting.html

Friday, August 14, 2009

I'm Home

It has been 5 days since I've been back but this time the kick start to getting back to my routine is rather slow......We were welcome back with the thyphoon and earthquake. I was all drenched going to the store, actually drove to the supermarket behind my house yet all wet. Alhamdulillah still alive and kicking and everything is under control. After droping off my other half at work, I spent the first couple of days catching up with my beauty sleep. Sleep....sleep.....sleep...and sleep......duh!! After the third day slowly but surely my momentum is comingggggggggggggggg.....had a fun time with the kids doing homework with them and teaching them my bahasa ibunda.....it was really funny after I made them wrote about themselves, they have to stand and read it aloud to me....boy that was hillarious......got their action recorded for future viewing.




Havent really visited the kitchen but enjoying every moment with the kids while they are still holidaying. Swim, play, laugh and watch tv together. Already had my tea and lunch appointment with some frens yesterday and that's a sure sign of my coming back. That's what it has been this week. Till next entry...tata.

Friday, July 10, 2009

What Say You.........


Sometimes when you have something you take things for granted. Only when you know you loosing your something....you start to panic and usually by then its just too late.

To have something you never had you have to do something you never did. When God takes something from your grasp, He's not punishing you but merely opening your hands to receive something better. The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.

Somethings merely happen for a reason be it good or bad.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ajisai


In Japan it is said that every season has its flower. Ajisai in nihongo or hydrangea in English. In Japan it flourishes in June and that's when I will be all smiley to see the Ajisai out again. It is one of my favorite flower. Insyaallah in my next tole painting lesson, I want to paint this flower so far has not done so.




Ajisai comes in many colours, many shades of pink, purple, maroon, blue, lilac, white and cream. The leaves around the flower are not petals but actually calyxes. The core of the flower is the small bud in the center.



Ajisai is the true Japanese flower of rainy season. Hopefully I get to plant this flower when I'm back home. It needs a lot of water and has to live in a wet soil.

Beauty Tip of the Day