Friday, August 29, 2008

29.8.08 (Fri) - Saffron...A Souvenir From Hubby

The moment I'm writing this, I am actually waiting for my darling hubby to come back from Tehran. He's about to be boarding on Emirates which will be touching down at DXB at 6.35 am this morning. It's only a one and a half hour flight from IKA.

I never expect anything from him other than a safe journey he's taking. But coming back from his biztrip in Tehran last week, he bought this for me which I appreciate so much.

It's saffron...familiar enough? Saffron consists of stigmas plucked from the saffron crocus flower below. The flower is beautiful, isn't it?

Saffron crocuses flowering in a garden in Osaka Prefecture (大阪府), Kansai, Honshū, Japan.

The first time I heard about saffron was a few years back when my parents brought this home from Mecca. Since it's quite expensive, I guess my parents just bought a bottle or a small box which they later divided a little amount to each of us in the family. I remember my parents said it's very good and healthy. How to use? Just take a few strands, soak them in lukewarm water and drink. Give it to your kids to drink everyday because it's very good for children. So I did because I believe that whatever my parents said must be the truth and nothing but the truth. I seemed to do it for only a few weeks and after that the saffron was like forgotten and still left in my kitchen cabinet. Until now it's kept untouched in the kitchen in my house in Bangi.

Hubby's frequent biztrips to Tehran seem to open his eyes again about this precious saffron. The rice he eats in Tehran is always yellowish in colour because it is added with saffron. Sometimes the chicken or beef dishes are also added with it. There is no wonder since Iran is the world's largest producer of saffron, accounting for over half the total harvest. Hubby said it doesn't have any special taste but somehow the rice or dishes with saffron in it tastes extraordinarily delicious. Hhmm...I'm so curious to try. Hubby was lucky to get to know more about saffron from his new acquaintances. His Iranian friend gave him these tips:

Take a few strands of saffron and soak them in lukewarm water (about 1/5 of a cup).

After a few minutes, pour the saffron water into your just cooked still hot rice. Then, it's ready to eat. The taste it yourself.

Emails we received from friends are also telling good things about saffron. Some say that it is worth trying to put saffron in baby's milk as it is very good for babies. Some even say it is potent therefore, it's not only very good for the husbands but very good for the wives too! that why my hubby brought it for me?? he he he

Curiosity kills the cat huh. So, you may google it yourself here.

p/s - When I come back, I'd surely take back the saffron that I left in my kitchen cabinet that mak and abah bought for us a few years ago and bring it back to Dubai. I will.

28.8.08 (Thu) - My Family's Favourite Kek Batik Marie and Pancake

Min said this to me some time in May 2008 when we had our farewell makan-makan before I left for Dubai, "Kak Ziela, sebelum pegi Dubai bagi dulu saya resepi kek batik marie ya". "Aisey Min, buku resepi sume dah shipping pegi Dubai la. Nanti I'll email to you later ok".

Min, I'm so sorry that only now I remember I owe you the recipe. That was after a few other friends asked me about that recipe when I brought this dessert to a friend's house last Friday. It's never too late, right. So, here's the recipe Min...and other friends who are also interested...

Kek Batik Marie

Ingredients :

350-400 gm of marie biscuits, 3/4 butter, 3/4 cup of milo, 1/4 of cocoa powder, 1/2 cup of castor sugar (can also use normal sugar) and 3/4 can of evaporated milk.


1. Break marie biscuits into small pieces (into four pieces each). Put aside.

2. Mix all the ingredients in a cooking pot and stir on a low heat.

3. Once it is slightly thick and boiled, add in marie biscuits and mix well.

4. Turn off the stove soon after you add in the marie biscuits. Otherwise, the biscuits will become a bit soggy.

5. Pour into a baking pan or a suitable container.

6. Press a bit until it becomes slightly compact. This is to ensure that it is easily cut and the batik design will be nicely formed.
Before pressed...
After...ready to be put in a fridge or you may let it cool in a room temperature.

Dan inilah hasilnya...

There are other ways of making kek batik marie but the recipe I showed you is the one I always make for the family and they all love it. Some people add in nestum, oat, almond powder, eggs, condensed milk and even water.

I pun ikut suka hati, kalau rasa nak bubuh telur I bubuh la sebiji. Kalau rasa nak tambah air, I tambah dan nak lebih rasa coklat lebihkan koko. Pendek kata, ikut sukati I la asalkan sedap. One thing for sure, my kids pastinya menjilat jari dan juga menjilat periuk dan sudip bekas kacau coklat tadi.

I have also tried this recipe of kek batik marie. Ok gak.

Oh yea Naza, you want my recipe of pancake? Here you are...


Ingredients :

1 cup of flour, 6 teaspoons of baking powder, 2 eggs, 2 spoonfuls of sugar, and 1 1/2 cup of fresh milk.

Method :

1. Sift the flour and baking powder.
2. Beat eggs and add in sugar. Beat again until spongy.
3. Combine the egg mixture with flour and add in fresh milk. Stir lightly.
4. Heat the pan and grease it with butter. Pour half cup of the batter into the frying pan. When the pancake surface slightly bubbles, turn it over.

You can prepare this pancake in less than 15 minutes. Eat it with your favourite jam, honey or maple syrup like the one served in a hotel. Happy trying this for your breakfast or tea time tomorrow!

For the photos of how I made my pancake, you can go back to my previous blog entry.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

26-27.8.08 (Tue-Wed) - i am me

i am me
"My Declaration of Self-esteem"

In all the world,
there is no one else exactly like me -
everything that comes out of me is authentically mine,
because I alone choose it - I own everything about me - my body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions,
whether they be to others or to myself -
I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears -
I own all my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes. Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me - by
so doing I can love me and be friendly with me in all my parts -
I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me,
and other aspects that I do not know -
but as long as I am friendly and loving to myself,
I can courageously and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles and for ways to find out more about me -
However I look and sound, whatever I say and do,
and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically me - If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought and felt
turned out to be unfitting, I can discard that which I feel is unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for that which I discarded -
I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do.
I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive,
and to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me -
I own me, and therefore I can engineer me -
I am me &


by Virginia Satir
* Thank you Naza.
p/s - Biar diri tidak popular, asal kita punya pendirian, misi dan visi dalam hidup.
Always be grateful with what you have and what God has granted you with as God knows what is best for you. You do not have to be others in order to be happy. You just need to BE YOURSELF and learn to be better from time to time...!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

23.8.08 (Sat) - Makan Lagi...

People might have this in mind...apa la orang Malaysia kat Dubai ni takda keja lain ke, makan, shopping, pastu makan, pastu shopping balik. Well, as a matter of fact, having a makan-makan like this will always be a very good gathering for us Malaysians to get to know each other especially when we are new here.

Last night, we were invited for a dinner at my ex-coursemate's house at Uptown Mirdiff.

Kaum ibu makan sambil bersembang sambil posing...

Sebahagian kaum bapa berserta anak teruna masing-masing.

The mouthwatering food served : laksa asam and not forgetting a must-eat Zaida's delicious nasi lemak complete with her mom's finger-licking rendang imported from Malaysia.

My kek batik marie menghias meja dessert together with Kak Ina's chocolate cake.

Untungnya berada di padang pasir ni dapat makan fresh kurma yang baru dipetik beberapa jam yang lalu...undeniably luscious and healthy.

We got a cordial welcome from the host Zaida, the lady in red with that chubby rosy cheek Dina. Tak cukup posing kat hall, kat dapur pun boleh lagi.

Eh Aidid pun ada. The friendly Kak Fauziah, the wife of En Mazlan, just arrived a week ago.

While the parents were eating and chit-chatting, the kids were also having their own way of mengeratkan silaturrahim.

3 dara pingitan (excluding yang baju hijau tuh!)

Praktis untuk bazar Ramadhan ke tu...?

Sebelum balik, posing lagi satu round.

A zillion thanks to Imran and Zaida for your hospitality. We really felt at home being at your abode!

p/s - Masih terasa-rasa lagi kesedapan sambal nasi lemak dan rendang tu. Alhamdulillah kenyang. Semoga murah rezeki tuan rumah.

22.8.08 (Fri) - Dari Dapur Malaysia...

This was our dinner for last night...the outcome of the many things hubby brought from home.

Except for the vegetable soup, the other dishes are all from Malaysia. It was only two and a half months we've been away from homeland but eating my mom's pajeri nenas was just refreshing. What more it goes very well with the dried fish! For the sambal goreng, the anchovies, dried chilli and tempe are also brought from home, but the potato and beancurd bought here. That sambal goreng ikan bilis with tempe, potato and beancurd is hubby's favourite.

Once a while my very own kitchen smelled so Malaysian. Our meal last night was delicious, albeit simple. Hhmmm......puas rasanya.

p/s - Hujan emas di negeri orang, hujan batu di negeri sendiri...

Friday, August 22, 2008

21.8.08 (Thu) - Kontena sudah sampai...

Hubby had safely landed in DXB at 3.30 am this morning. I told hubby once he arrived please ring me as I wanted to help him carry the many boxes of treasures he brought fom Malaysia. Soon after performing Subuh prayer, hubby called telling he was already at the lobby. At the lobby, I saw his luggage and boxes.

Oohhh...tak banyak pun.

One box that has been opened.

Keropok ikan. My kids love this.

Hope this can fulfill our craving for the luscious durians.

Sardin dan kicap cap kipas udang. Tak payah la buka bungkus keselamatan tu sebab semua orang Malaysia kenal kicap kipas udang.

Untuk beberapa mingu ni takda la makan speghetii kari or spagheti laksa lagi.

Daun pandan pun imported from my sister's house.

Batu tumbuk tu...aahhh puas rasanya dapat menumbuk bawang dengan lesung batu ni.

My sister turut bekalkan inti kelapa campur durian...hmm sedapnya. Boleh buat macam-macam kuih bulan puasa ni.

My mom pula buatkan frozen pajeri nenas...hhmm makan dengan ikan masin goreng...oh nikmatnya! Sekadar membayangkan dah kecur liur...

Haa...yang ini penting. Kalau yang ni takda, alamat banjir la padang pasir ni bulan Oktober nanti....

p/s - Thank you Yang for bringing them all for us here. The cost to buy all those things is not as much as the cost hubby had to pay at KLIA for having access luggage!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

20.8.08 (Wed) - No 3, Jalan Saujana 1/3, Desa Saujana, Sg Merab, Bangi

It's been 2 months and one week since we left our house in BBB. When hubby called last night from Malaysia, he said the house is in good condition, clean and neat (probably neater and less messy than when we stayed there).

Apit and Ain were happily playing with their bicycles in our porch. That was a few months ago.

Husniyyah (our soon-to-be sis-in-law) is staying there now since the house is only 5 minutes drive to Putrajaya where she works. I know it's in Husniyyah's good hands apart from my parents-in-law and my parents' hands too. Thank God at least there's someone to take care of our house.

Ini kawan-kawan Power Rangers Apit kat taska sebelah rumah. Sekarang ahli Power Rangers dah kurang sorang...berhijrah ke Dubai.

Oooohh...I miss my car very much!! This pic was taken 4 months before we sent it back to our kampung Kota, Rembau. I am very sure it too is in very good hands of my father-in-law. Bapak mentuo seyy kalau pasal car maintenance memang tip-top.

p/s - Bagi la Hummer sepuluh bijik sekali pun, I'd still choose my NBK 2111. Whenever my students asked me, "Teacher, when is your D.O.B?" I'd tell them, "You go to my car and you'll find my D.O.B there..." he he he.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

19.8.08 (Tue) - Let Them Play And Eat

As usual when hubby's not around, the domestic engineer just entertains the kids at home...let them play what they want and eat what they like...

Ain and Apit main apa tuh? All the soft toys brought from Malaysia except for the yellow cheerful Modhesh (Dubai summer sale mascot).

It's scorching hot outside so, Apit just cycles in the house.
Haa...jangan langgar Ibu! Ibu nak ambil gambar masuk blog ni. Atuk2, Nenek, Wan nak tengok.
Penat main beskal, tido la apa lagi. Looking at a sleeping child...the peacefulness can make us melt.

"Ibu, lapar la. Along rasa macam nak makan pancake". "Aisey resepi pancake Ibu tinggal kat rumah Bangi la". I remember it was my Angah who first gave me that recipe. So, I sms to her in Malacca for the recipe. A few minutes later, Along's cousin, Hanis, emailed to her the recipe. What we did was that Along read out the recipe to me and I prepared the ingredients there and then. Luckily, we had all the ingredients in the kitchen: fresh milk, eggs, baking powder, flour and sugar.

Right away, I prepared the batter.

My pancake in the pan.

Aiseyy terhangit sikit...nampak macam lempeng pisang la pulak. Yang mula-mula ni jer. Lepas tuh semua ok. Yang penting simple and sedap. Apit siap cakap "syedap la...syedap la...". Along and Ain love it very much and they even asked Ibu to make some more tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

18.8.08 (Mon) - Hubby's Flying Back to Malaysia

Hubby's flight from DXB was at 3.10 am this morning. He's having a course back at SONY EMCS, Bangi for three days (18 - 20.8.08). As planned much earlier, I have prepared this long list for hubby to take home :

1). Kuih-muih frozen Along (nak borong banyak stok bulan puasa)

2). Ikan bilis

3). Cili kering

(Kedua-duanya dah tinggal sikit sebab dah rajin masak...! hi hi hi)

4). Ikan kering (hari tuh tak ingat nak bawa)

5). Kicap Kipas Udang (kicap Indon kat sini takda ummpphh..)

6). Mihun

7). Mee kuning basah (susah nak dapat)

8). Milo (Milo made in Malaysia kat Dubai harga 2 kali ganda!)

9). Minyak gamat (tertinggal hari tuh)

10). Last but not least, batu tumbuk...yes.

Errr...apa lagi aahhh...

Yang, please send my regards to all and take care ok. Don't forget all these valuable things. If you forget, I merajuk nanti.

Monday, August 18, 2008

17.8.08 (Sun) - The Unbelievable School Bus Fee In Dubai

Hubby went to Raffles IS this morning before going to his office at SONY Gulf, Jebel Ali. As promised, he got to settle the kids' school bus forms and fee at Raffles.

Considering the high cost of living in Dubai, we had mentally prepared to hear the unthinkable amount of school bus fee required for an IS. Being the second most expensive IS in Dubai (as claimed by the people here), it's no wonder that Raffles IS school bus fee would spawn a large hole in the parents' pocket. I just wished that what I heard over the phone when I first called the person in-charge from Diamond Lease Transport a few days ago was not true. If 'that' was the amount of school bus fee per year, we couldn't imagine the amount of money we'd got to pay for the bus deposit today for our two kids. Notwithstanding the worry, hubby just brought whatever amount of money that we had reserved in our little pocket.

At home keeping my fingers crossed, I got a call from hubby at 10.00 am telling that we need not pay any deposit if the sponsor covers the kids' school bus fee. The bus company would just fax the invoice to the sponsor (in this case SONY) and in return, the sponsor would have to pay in one lump sum. Whewww...what a relief! Alhamdulillah...thanks to Allah as that amount of money reserved can be used for other school necessities such as books and extra curricular activities that we've got to pay on our own.

The bus fees for several schools in Dubai have increased starting June 1, 2008. Although Raffles IS is not one of the nine schools highlighted, the coverage of this could be read here and here.

A few hours after hubby reached his office, he received the faxed invoice stating 16000 dhs for two kids per year...OMG!!!

p/s - Syukur Alhamdulillah...