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Flower of the Sun and the Sun is Gone

July 31st, 2013

Back in March, Little Bee planted some sunflower seeds. Once the started to grow and we planted most of the out in the back garden. I left one on the windowsill but a couple of weeks ago moved it to the front garden as it actually took a tumble!

Last week they started to bloom. Lovely indeed…

sunflower

Until…

Yesterday as I was preparing the pizza I saw a squirrel ripping the flower and sat on hubby’s shed, MUNCHING THE SUNFLOWER!! These grey squirrels are such pests!! I can’t plant anything in the garden without being destroyed by them!

It’s been raining for a couple of days… and this morning as I left for work, I noticed snails or slugs been munching on the sunflower in the front garden!

Great…

Oh well… we’ll just have to try again next year.

Pizza Dough

July 31st, 2013

OK peeps… some of my friends asked for the pizza dough recipe when I published the previous post here. As one of my friends told me that a pizza cost $50 US Dollars in Japan, it would be cruel not to put up the recipe. Seriously $50 US Dollars for a pizza??!! Did it come with a gold plate?!

The best thing about pizza… especially home made pizza… you can put anything you desire as the topping. Hmmm… maybe next time I’ll put sambal topping. The last time I went back home to Malaysia and ordered from Dominos, they had sambal pizza! YUMMY!

Anyway… I followed Jamie Oliver’s recipe here but not the upmarket ingredients that he used as I don’t roll like him.

pizza

Ingredients:

500g flour
1/2 tsp salt
7g dried yeast
1/2 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
325ml lukewarm water

  1. In a bowl, mix yeast, sugar, olive oil with water and leave it for a few minutes.
  2. Sieve the flour and salt into a large bowl.
  3. The yeast mixture should be bubbling a bit. Pour it into the flour bowl and start mixing and then knead it until the dough is springy. This may take quite a while but get your arm working!
  4. Place the dough in a clean bowl dusted with flour. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave it for an hour or until it’s double in size.
  5. Remove the dough and knock the air out of the dough by kneading it a bit more. You can use the dough straight away or put it in a bowl, cover it with cling film and put it in the fridge to use later.
  6. You can flatten it down into thin crust which I prefer or just flatten it a bit (by not working the dough too much) for a deep pan. It’s all up to you :)

Iftar 21 Ramadan 1434 – Pizza

July 30th, 2013

homemade pizza

I’m being super organised with my cooking today as I decided to make pizza! Yes, homemade pizza.

Well, the dough was prepared yesterday and has been sitting in the fridge so when I got home, all I had to do was roll out a bit to make Little Bee’s pizza. Did a quick tomato base by blitzing some chopped tomatoes with a tablespoon of tomato puree.

Little Bee then put the tomato sauce on to the pizza base, sprinkle some grated mozzarella cheese, basil leaves, turkey rashers and left over roast chicken.

20 minutes in the oven and she was so proud of her creation.

pizza

Mine was more of a dump everything on rather than the graceful sprinkling of ingredients so not worthy of a photo ;)

Iftar 20 Ramadan 1434 – Roast Chicken

July 29th, 2013

roast chicken

I used to think that making a roast meal is the hardest thing to do. It’s time consuming, as in you wait for a a couple of hours (depending on the weight) for the meat/chicken to cook but seriously, it can’t be any easier. All I have to do is just bang it in the oven and take it out again when it’s ready.

But in this instance I used the slow cooker. So I just left it in the slow cooker on low for the whole day and just get on with the day.

Yes, preparing the vegetables can be more stressing as you want to make sure that all of them are ready at the same time but have different cooking time but really… if I just serve it with potatoes and carrots and butternut squash, there is a very nos-stressful way. First put the butternut squash in the oven for 40 minutes and 20 minutes later put the potatoes in the airfryer for 20 minutes and 5 minutes after that boil the carrots and all the vegetables will be ready at the same time!

Even if I do make brussel sprouts, which is yummy and I don’t care what anyone says, it is still just boiling it. And the secret to a good brussel sprout is not to over boil it! Which a lot of people tend to do and that then makes it not so nice. Just keep it crunchy. But I don’t have brussel sprouts today so I shouldn’t really talk about it.

Iftar 19 Ramadan 1434 – Lamb Chops with Roasted Butternut Squash and Spinach

July 28th, 2013

lamb chop

Yesterday, at the butcher, Little Bee insisted on lamb chops. I wasn’t planning on getting any so I forgot to get some off the bone meat for hubby as he refuses to eat anything on the bone. So, it was another trip to the butcher.

I just rub the meat with olive oil and bruised mint leaves, put them under the grill. The butternut squash was roasted in olive oil. The spinach was blitz in the microwave for a couple of minutes. Done.

I didn’t make any gravy as I, such a philistine, like to dip my meat in mayonnaise :D

Preparing for Eid – Biskut Sarang Semut and Kuih Makmur

July 28th, 2013

This weekend, I made these. I’m determined to make the biscuits that I remember my mom making, and me helping her make, when I was a child.

So this week I made biskut sarang semut (ants nest biscuits). I loved doing this when I was a child and sprinkling the chocolate rice which represents the ants ;) Little Bee had fun sprinkling the ‘ants’ and coloured sugar which she said represents the ants’ food.

Biskut Sarang Semut

Biskut Sarang Semut

I also made kuih makmur. I don’t remember my mom making this but I decided to make them as it is one of my favourite biscuits and the one that I would choose to eat when we go and visiting family and friends during Eid… and I think Little Bee likes it too ;)

kuih makmur

Kuih Makmur

Iftar 18 Ramadan 1434 – Cottage Pie

July 27th, 2013

After not cooking on Friday, I think I have a bit of a cookery block! I really have no idea what to cook this weekend. I do usually do a meal plan for the week but, ehem! laziness came upon me and I didn’t this week. This is not good as it means that I don’t have a shopping list and buy things that I really don’t need, which is not good for the health of my purse, and may lead to food wastage.

Anyway, yesterday Little Bee and I went to the butcher and I bought 500g mince, a whole chicken and Little Bee insisted on lamb chops. That will cover food for three days and I need to sit down and do a meal planner for next week.

cottage pie

With the beef mince, I made cottage pie. Hubby was happy as he likes pie and I was happy as Little Bee finished her dinner without any complaints… well… she wanted lamb chops, so, I promised her that we’ll have lamb chops tomorrow night.

cottage pie

Soya Bean Drink

July 26th, 2013

So what happens when I decided that I won’t be cooking for iftar tonight? Instead of reading a book or putting my feet up or even any other chores, I decided to open up the kitchen and make soya bean drink. I could have bought a bottle when I was out but no, of course I didn’t… that would have been too easy.

soya bean drink

Before we left for our makan session (well it’s what we call it but of course I didn’t makan – eat – this time round as I’m fasting) I soaked about 1 1/2 cup of soya bean.

When we got home and after solat Zohor, I picked up my latest gadget, which I haven’t mentioned in this blog yet, which is the Kenwood KM336 Chef and poured 750ml water and the beans (drained and rinsed) into the blender and blitz it for a few minutes.

Poured it into a pan and add another 750ml water, 5 pandan leaves tied into a knot and about 8 tbsp sugar. Switch the stove to the lowest heat and let it heat up… stirring frequently to make sure that the beans wouldn’t stick at the bottom as it is quite an effort to clean the pot if that happens.

I tend to leave it on the stove for about an hour.

Once that is done, let it cool and then pour it through very fine sieve or a muslin cloth to catch the bean paste and you and up with just the juice. Wring as much liquid out of the beans in the muslin cloth. You can drink it hot, warm or cold. The choice is yours :)

Iftar 17 Ramadan 1434 – Uncle Lim’s Takeaway

July 26th, 2013

Today I met my makan gang at Uncle Lim’s in Croydon. So rather than cooking tonight, I thought I’d just grab something from Uncle Lim’s.

So, I’m having Little Bee’s left over. I ordered her friend vermicelli which she never finish anyway so I brought a food box to bring the left over home.

uncle lim's noodles

 

I also got rendang for Little Bee and hubby to have with roti canai for dinner.

uncle lim's rendang

As Little Bee ate all of the prawns and all but one fishcakes that came in the noodle dish, we stopped over at Wing Tai (a small Chinese supermarket) and got some fishcakes to add.

Life can be easy sometimes.

Preparing for Eid – The Serunding Ayam Trial

July 26th, 2013

I saw a picture on FB of someone receiving a parcel from home which included serunding.

My mom posted me some serunding a few years back but I asked her not to do it anymore as the postage cost was so high. But now that I’ve seen the picture of a packet of serunding, well, I WANT SOME. So, what do I usually do when I want something that is not easily available? That’s right, I just have to make it myself.

serunding ayam

So this is my first ever serunding and I think next time, I will make it when I’m not fasting so I could do some taste tests as I don’t think I put enough of everything in it. Well, once I perfected the recipe, I guess I can make it again when I’m fasting as I will have the recipe in hand… but then I’m also Malaysian where most of the ingredient measurement is agak-agak (about right) or secukup rasa (to taste) rather than exact gram/tbsp etc.

Anyway, I’m still ‘drying’ it up. The dryer the serunding the longer I can keep it. So when I get up again later, I will be turning on the hob at the lowest setting and keep ‘drying’ and occasionally stirring it.

My serunding is OK but  I’m not sure of the taste as I usually have serunding daging (beef) rather than ayam (chicken).  It’s still nice having it with rice… and for Eid, it will be nice to have it with nasi himpit ;)