Monday, September 29, 2008

Mexican, Italian and American for Berbuka?

Aahh! I missed out posting on what we had for Berbuka (breaking of fast) last week, didn’t I? Heheh…was busy ‘cooking up’ something else instead. *grin* (see previous posting). Now, I am going to tell you what we had for berbuka last weekend and this weekend first.

My hubby was still in a cooking mood last week, and so, he decided, without any prompting from me, that we were going to have Mexican for berbuka. He went out shopping and came back with loads of things to make ENCHILADAS! Just look at the spread!

Here’s how you prepare the enchiladas – first goes the salads, then the meat – my hubby prepared both the chicken and beef, then the cheese, and a blob of sour cream. Rolled it up tightly and, ta da! Enchilada is served! Yum!

My hubby might not be good at preparing local dishes, but, he has got the talent for making international dishes, which works great for us!

This week, on Saturday, I got lazy…..*grin*…, make that I have ran out of ideas what to cook for berbuka *grin* So, I went out and got us 2 frozen packets of pizzasHawaiian Chicken and Chicken Mushroom. I cooked up a can of chicken soup to go with it, and I made my own garlic bread, and the meal was just as nice! Yum!

Yesterday, I decided we would go American next, since we have gone Mexican and Italian last week and the day before, So, hot dog was served New York style.

I steamed the sausage with cheese, before garnishing it with relishes and mustard. We finished it off with a serving of pineapple and rambutan in iced cold syrup for dessert! Yummy!

Ok, what shall I prepare for today’s berbuka? Hmmmm…….I think it’s going to have to be something local since I need to clear my fridge by tonight to make way for my carrot walnut cake which I will be baking tomorrow for raya.

I am already feeling hungry just talking about food! LOL!

Soccer Quilt and Baju Kurung Update

Gosh! It’s been two weeks since I last updated my blog! I have been busy…busy not with baking cookies…. given up on that this year since, one, I have no maid, and, two, the cookies usually end up in the dustbin when they are not being consumed after six months of making them. What a waste! So, this year, I shall waste NOT! I am planning to bake cakes only this year.

I have been busy instead, besides my hectic work schedule, making me come home extremely exhausted – so, what’s new! *grin*, making the soccer quilt and the baju kurung with whatever spare time I have during the weekday when I am not mentally and physically exhausted.

I am in a hurry to complete the Baju Kurung as the class I am taking at Epal is valid only for this month of September. Next month, another project is offered, and I can only carry forward the September month project until the 15th of the following month. I still have quite a lot to go before this weekend.

Today, with Aiman in tow – he has started his school break for the festivities – I went to class and managed to complete the sarong! Yippee!

It took me 4 hours from 8.30am to 12.30 noon to complete it. Terribly long, huh, just for a sarong? Maybe because this is my first time doing it. I hope that should I do it the next time, my timing would be better. Errrr….am I already planning to make another one? LOL! *wink*

Thank God I brought the PSP for Aiman to fill up his time waiting for slow me to learn to make the sarong. If not, it would hardly last him an hour. LOL!

I am now left with just the hemming on the baju (dress) and the sleeves. I also just started on the beading works for the sandal. I don’t know when I will have time to work on it since Raya is only just 2 days away. Maybe after all the visiting is done with?

I have only two weeks to complete it to bring it to class to put the top together with the soles. This will be my first ever beaded shoe that I am doing!

By the way, talking about beaded shoes, my sister who came back from Mecca about a month ago brought me back these two lovely items – a sequined bag and a beaded PINK pair of shoes!

Actually, I was only entitled to ONE gift, but, I managed to sweet talk my sister into giving me TWO! *wink*

Thank, Lin! Hugs!

On the soccer quilt, I have started putting together some of the pieces of the quilt.

Having to do 54 blocks of the soccer ball, I got bored last week, and decided to make changes to the original design I found in the book. The quilt will now be inter-spaced with 12-patch blocks. With this latest change in design, I have only 30 more blocks to go. Huh? Did I just said just THIRTY MORE blocks to go? OH MY! LOL!

It's going to be Raya in two days time. I am putting both the baju kurung and the soccer quilt on hold. I will be baking Carrot Walnut cake tomorrow. It's been some time since I last baked them, so I hope they will still turn out great.

BTW, thanks, Emily for the Raya wishes!

SELAMAT HARI RAYA to all my muslim friends and readers of my blog. To those travelling back for the long holiday, do drive safely, and have a good holiday!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Guess what's for berbuka today!

We had Arabian Herb Chicken, prepared by my hubby! hubby is suddenly showing signs of inheriting his dad's culinary talent genes. *grin*

Last weekend was Fish and Chips Cajun style. Tonight, it's Arabian Herb Chicken, and mind you, it's delicious!

I only help baked the vegetables and potatoes. I also sauteed the mushrooms. That was the easy part! *grin*

My youngest brother joined us for berbuka today, so we thought why not we try something different. My hubby also prepared couscous to go with the chicken. That is something I am not accustomed to eating, but, it tastes nice since my hubby added almonds amd raisins to it.

What else should we cook next weekend?

NNC Lottery offering

NNC is having a "lottery" of sorts and it ends tomorrow.

To be eligible for the draw, you have to offer something handmade. If you win, you get all the things offered! Great, huh?

I have been contemplating on what I should offer. I could not decide on what I wanted to do, until it is already too late. It ends tomorrow!

Actually, I did make up something for the lottery some time back, but I thought I would have time to do somthing else instead. But, as usual, I got distracted with other things instead, and kept putting off making something else. *grin*

Typical, isn't it, since I already actually have made something for the lottery. *grin*

Anyway, this is what I have to offer. I hope that it is still good enough for the lottery since I noticed that the rest made such lovely things.

I am offering for the draw a pouch with a matching pincushion, a round of colourful pins, a PINN chart, and 5 pairs of very tiny paperclips, which I find very cute!

I have never been lucky at LUCKY Draws, but, I hope that I will be lucky this time around since everything offered are so lovely, including a PINK POLKA dot bento!

Wish me luck!

Can anyone tell me what plant this is?

I bought this plant some 3 years ago, and it has grown so big, and lovely!

Recently I noticed that it had grown some sort of stem that is getting taller by the day, and looks like it is going to bloom soon. But, I still don't know what plant it is. I can't even google it because I don't know what family plant it belongs to. I just bought it because I like it! *grin*

Can anyone tell me what plant is it? And, how tall will it grow to be?

By the way, look at my money plant. It started with only a small pot, but look at how it has grown and spread!

Lovely, isn't it? If only money really does grow on trees! LOL!

RAK and Image Swap

I have been meaning to put up photos of the gifts that Paul gave me when we met up for a mini stitching bee just before the fasting month, but I kept on forgetting to take photos of the lovely things until it is already too late at night.

Paul RAKed (Random Act of Kindness) me these lovely scrapbook things when he noticed that I have started doing scrapbook again after a long break. He also gave me this lovely card that he had stitched.

The card does look familiar, doesn’t it? *wink*

Yup, the card was the handmade card I made for the winner of the Posting Prize at NNC. Paul won it when he posted the 1,000th message in July. Paul’s stitching is so neat!

Thanks, Paul! Thanks for the glow stick for Aiman too. He took it to bed with him for several nights wanting to know how long the glow will last. *grin* It lasted for almost a week, though it got dimmer by the day. *grin*

On another craft note, in July we had an Image Swap. Initially there were supposed to be 4 of us, but one member had to be dropped at the last minute when she had to be out of the country for a long stretch of time. So, it ended with only me, Usha and Ying for the image swap, and Ying was my partner.

What I got from Ying was more than just the images. She also sent me some scrapbook papers, an un-mounted rubber stamp, and a lovely handmade card. I really love the style of the card. It’s different from my style, so that’s what I like about it!

Thanks for the images, and the extras, Ying, and thanks for playing!

Soccer Quilt & Baju Kurung progress report

It’s not much, actually, but I thought I’d put it up anyway.

I managed to finish 3 blocks completely when I was at Quilt Gallery yesterday. Progress is kind of slow. I did not managed to work on the blocks at all during the week. As usual, I come home too mentally exhausted to do anything.

However, this morning, I managed to finish doing up 12 "soccer balls". I had to stop when I ran out of the pieces I had already cut up earlier. This afternoon, it is back to cutting up the pieces before I can put them together again.

It’s going to be another slow progress on the quilt again this week as I wil be doing some traveling for work again for most part of this week. Looks like I will again be only be able to work over the weekend.

Am I too ambitious to have embarked on this project?

Anyway, here's a close-up of the blocks just to show for size. It's approximately 9 1/2" x 9 1/2" square.

On another sewing note, I also started on my Baju Kurung Sewing Class at Epal last week. I did not get far on the baju kurung either.

I started my class at 9.30am after dropping off Aiman at school. I intended to only stay there till 12.30noon, thinking that I would at least do up to the cutting part, and do a little of the sewing.

However, it took me sometime to measure, draw up the pattern and cut up the fabric. The material was so slippery that I kept having to measure and remeasure before I dare to cut the fabric.

Before I knew it, it was already 12.30noon and I had only just finished cutting the material! I had to top up my parking ticket 3 times because I said I wasn't going to stay long, but, I just was not satisfied with my progress, and decided to prolong my stay there.

When I finally left Epal at 4.15pm, I had only managed to sew the neck part, but not the hand sewn part yet. There were several times that I had to wait idly as there were 2 other students wanting to use the iron at the same time that I wanted to use it.

Also, I spent some time waiting for Mira, the teacher, as she takes care of some other customers, and other office things, as Epal was shorthanded today because Liza and Ain got into a bad accident on Tuesday, though they were not hospitalised.

It was a hit and run accident where a taxi hit them on their motorbike, it seems, causing some face injury, hand and feet. But, they only received outpatient treatment.

If it wasn't for the fasting month, I probably would have stayed on longer so that I can progress further.

I had intended to drop by today but, for some reason, I am not feeling up to it. I am feeling extra lethargic today. I think it’s because I forgot to take my vitamin B Complex this morning after sahur. I usually do, and it helps me get through the day. I feel more energized when I take it.

I hope to fit in a time next week. If not, I will not be able to complete my baju kurung before the end of the month.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Floppy petal pincushion

Heheh....I shall call it that since Paul said that he finds the floppy petals of the pincushion I made got him laughing upon receiving it! *grin*

Anyway, here's the story -

I decided to have some fun at NNC recently by offering a prize for the person who post the 51st message on 31st August in conjunction with Malaysia’s 51st Merdeka celebration on 31st August 2008.

Before this, I had already given out prizes to those who posted the first 1,000th message, the 5,000th, the 10,000th, the 20,000 and the 30,000th message. I had also offered prizes for the person who posted the 8th and 808th message on 08.08.08 recently which was won by June and Paul respectively. Thanks to everyone who have kept NNC active!

When I announced at the board that there will be a prize for the person who post the the 51st message on 31st August will win a prize, I mentioned that this time the prize is going to be different, and it is going to be handmade.

I have been wanting to do this pincushion for quite some time already, but kept putting it off as I could not find an excuse to make one, ad so, when I made the `announcement’, I already had in mind what I wanted to do, and it was this flower pincushion which I got off from the QUILTS and MORE magazine.

When I started to make this pincushion, I could not decide how the colour combination should be, bearing in mind that our only male member could win it, *wink* as I started making it before I knew who was going to win it, so, I made two, one which I intended to keep for myself.

Should one of the ladies win, it would have to be the pincushion that is slightly more feminine in colour. Though, I must say that the pincushion itself isn't the least bit masculine. LOL!

So, when Paul, our only male member, eventually won the 51st posting prize, I thought that since Paul is also into stitching, I am sure that he would find the pincushion useful anyway, for when he does his stitching. The one I sent to him is the one with the blue petals.

This was my first attempt at making this pincushion, and I am happy at the way it turned out. I may make a couple more, should the mood arise, or when I see a colour combination that is just right, as Paul said that he found something funny in the floppy petals and the mixed matched colours somehow induced happiness. LOL! *grin* I said that could it be that it reminded him of a wilted old lady? LOL! *wink* Anyway, I shall take that as a compliment! *grin*

By the way, the actual name of the pincushion is Wild Flowers as published in the QUILTS AND MORE issue Spring 2008.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

It’s the fasting month again

Yup! Fasting month started on the 1st of September this year, and it so happens to be a public holiday for us as the Merdeka celebration on 31st August fell on a Sunday. So, we got to get Monday off. Yipppeee!! It gives our body a chance to get used to waking up in the wee hours of the morning for sahur, and to get used to the lack of sleep that we will encounter throughout the next one month.

On the first day of the fasting month, we went to check out the Bazaar Ramadhan near our house. As to be expected, there was a huge crowd as many came out to see what the stalls are offering this year. I didn’t see my usual Kelantanese stall that sells Lopat Tikam, a kelantanese dessert, which is my all time favourite. I guess I will have to wait for when I Balik Kampung to taste the real lopat tikam. I didn’t see anyone selling ayam percik either. I guess I will just have to wait for my mum to cook this delicacy when we go home next.

We didn’t buy much that first day. We have learnt our lesson from previous years that when we buy while we are fasting, we tend to think that we want to eat everything, but we ended up throwing most of it away because our tummy can only take so much.

That first day, we only bought nasi ayam for Aiman, nasi kerabu for my hubby and I had laksam. The servings were just nice.

Yesterday, I decided to make Fish n’ Chips for berbuka, and my hubby offered to do the fish while I prepared the coleslaw and the fries.

The fish was, according to my hubby, a little bland, as he did not put enough salt, but, once we ate it with tartar sauce, the dory fish was really delicious! Yum! My hubby had marinated the fish with a couple of different herbs which he got the recipe off the internet.

We finished off the meal with dessert of mixed fruit cocktail and coco de nata in evaporated milk. That was delicious, if I don’t mind saying so myself! LOL! *wink*

Tomorrow morning, for sahur, we are having barbequed chicken cooked in the oven, my style *wink*, veggies and rice.

Sounds like a big meal? Not actually. It did not take me long to cook the chicken in the oven. I have to think of food that Aiman will want to eat in the wee hours of the morning, as his eyes are mostly closed on most mornings when we get up for sahur that I have to end up feeding him. *grin*

I know that barbequed chicken is one of his favourite, so, let’s hope that he will have the appetite for it in the odd hours of the morning.

SELAMAT BERPUASA to all my muslim friends, relatives and readers of my blog.

An ambitious project

Last year, during the fasting month, I took three bag making classes at Quilt Gallery while I waited for Aiman to finish his art class and engineering workshop.

This year too, I needed to look for another project to do while I wait for him. Usually, during the normal months, as I wait for him to finish his Saturday activities, I would buy myself a drink at Starbucks, and stitch or surf the internet. Well, I can’t do that – buy a drink - during the fasting month, can I? *wink*

Initially I just wanted to do a table runner or something, but I could not decide the pattern that I want to do. So, when I came across this comforter design at Quilt Gallery, I thought I’d give this project a go. I only realized after purchasing the materials how huge this project is going to be! LOL! I am already starting to feel intimidated by the size of the quilt! LOL! Luckily it is only a twin size, and not king size! *grin* It’s going to be a comforter for my precious one!

I started cutting up the fabric this morning, and after getting bored of spending the whole morning cutting (I am still not done with the cutting), I decided to put together a few pieces this evening. I still have the sides to sew to this piece to make it into a square piece. It is supposed to be a soccer ball. Does it look like one?

So far, I have put together 8 pieces. How many pieces do I need? 54 pieces! Boy, I sure do have a very long way to go! LOL! Overly ambitious, am I? *grin*

I wonder how long will this take me to complete. Way after the fasting month is over? I just hope that it will not be another UFO (Un Finished Object). *grin*

Cheer me on, OK, so that I will be motivated to complete it?

Looks like my Mandala Garden Is going to be taking the back seat again as I try to complete this huge ambitious piece!

An inconsiderate neighbour

Will you look at this fence? How inconsiderate can one be?

My immediate next door neighbour just did some painting work to their house the last few days. When they first started out, I wondered if they were going to inform us about it since the painter would need to come over to our side to finish off the painting work on our side.

It is only courteous to do that, but, this neighbour is one neighbour who is ignorant of the word courteous. They seem to live in a world of their own, just our luck, we happen to have them as our neighbour. *sigh*

When they moved in some years back, they did some major renovation to their house which included building a decorative fencing that separated us.

They never informed us that they were going to tear down the chain link fence that separated us. I came back one day after office to find the chain link fence gone. When I asked what was going on only did they explain that they intended to build a decorative fence. Can’t they at least be courteous enough to at least inform us that they were pulling down the fence so that we can be ready to come home to a naked front yard?

For several days before they built the fence, our house was open to intruders, and we were at work all day. How inconsiderate could they be?

A few months after that major renovation, we did another renovation to the back of the house. Again, I came back home one evening to find a man in my backyard building up a 9’ high brick wall. They had torn down the chain link fence again during our absence, and a worker was already building a brickwall parting us. How can someone be so inconsiderate?

And now, the painter has left two days ago, and they have left our side of the fence looking horribly like what you see here in the photo. They could have at least discussed with us and let us know what they intended to do. We could have shared the cost of the painting work for the portion that is on our side.

If they are so stingy that they don’t want to paint our side of the fence, they could have at least done a good job of the painting work instead of leaving the painting work looking so clumsy, horrible, ugly and unslightly. *sigh*

I feel like taking a red paint and painting my side of the fence and leaving ugly traces like what they did to our side of the fence, and see what their reaction will be. We have been tolerant enough of them. Even the neighbour on the other side too was not spared with their ugly painting work, and that neighbour had only just 3 months ago did painting work on their house too, but did a good job of the shared fencing.

Uurrghh! I really am going to get a RED can of paint soon!