Monday, April 20, 2015

Cheddar Cheese Biscuits

Last weekend I baked something savoury for a change. I found a recipe of a cheddar cheese biscuits and I was tempted to try. I used a block of Bega Cheddar Cheese and I grated it myself. If you are lazy to grate, you can always buy the gated cheese off the supermarket but the price is slightly more expensive than the block cheese. The choice is yours. The biscuits turn out yummy especially when eaten fresh from the oven. By the end of the day, I only have a few pieces left. Hubby and Babycakes loved the biscuits. This is the first batch, btw. The recipe stated that it yields 18 biscuits but I got more that, maybe around 30+ because I made them not too big. These biscuits are perfect for snacks or eaten with a grilled or fried chicken and mashed potatoes.

Friday, April 17, 2015

An Introduction To My Babypie, My Son

I realized (a bit too late, I am sorry Babypie) that I have not properly introduced my son, my babypie, Mohamad Isaac Rizal to my blog. I have mentioned babypie a few times but I have not really posted about him. So here he is, my babypie.

He came into this world on Friday, 3 October 2014 and he is 6 months old now. Isn't it fast and amazing how time flies right before our eyes? He is such a precious bundle of joy who just adds up to our colourful little family. I must say that my family is now complete and alhamdulillah I am blessed with a pair of healthy, beautiful children. I couldn't thank Allah enough for His blessings.

See from that tiny (not that tiny actually considering that he weighed 3.34kgs at birth) to BAAMM!! a whopping 9kgs+ at 6 months!
 

Anyway, since we are talking about babypie here, may I ask your kind favour to vote for his picture in this website. I just need more than 150 likes for him to be eligible to win a trophy and certificate. He is in number 171 so if you find it a hassle to scroll and find his chubby face and delightful smile as above, you can press Ctrl + F and type his name Isaac and simply vote for his picture. You may do so once every 24 hours until 31 May 2015.
I thank you for your effort. :) I will probably blog about his birth story (with pictures!), just like I did with babycakes. Soon, insyaallah.

Friday, April 10, 2015

#fvtlngetaway

PARESA RESORT PHUKET

Where in the world is this place? What kind of place is it? Are you kidding me? It's actually a piece of heaven on earth. I mean, hello, it received FIVE stars on agoda, 331 out of 464 reviews voted it as excellent on tripadvisor, rated 5/5 on asiawebdirect and also FIVE stars on booking.com.
Well, can you actually trust online reviews? Heck, yes!! I mean, the resort received full star ratings on all four websites. OK if you are not convinced enough, allow me to show you how the resort looked like and tell me if you think it deserves the five star ratings. Check out the photos below:

 


 


 

 

 


 


See, what did I tell you? If that is not five-star material, I don't know what is. Don't you wish you were right there in Paresa Resort, Phuket, this very moment? I wish I am! How I wish I can wake up in that huge gorgeous king sized bed to a magnificent view of the blue sky and the sounds of sea waves crashing through and the birds chirping happily. Bliss. And to soak my tired self in that bath tub, overlooking the sea. Or just lounging in the balcony while sipping on a glass of fresh coconut juice. What a life...

If I were staying in the Paresa Resort, I need to look good and stylish too. I can't be wearing my yoga pants and t-shirt, can I? It is, after all, a luxury resort so one's gotta look the part. Where can I get pretty outfits for my getaway? Fashion Valet, of course! 

Silk Pareo in Pink
This piece is actually a pareo but how cool is it that I can double it up as a halter neck dress? Best of all, it is made of silk. So imagine yourself wrapped in gorgeous soft silk while lounging on the balcony. 
This piece is from Karyaneka and it is RM210.94.

Pareo Long Dress with Tropical Print in Olive
I can totally see myself in this Pareo Long Dress from Haizi, priced at RM339.20.
Pareo Long Dress with Tropical Print in Olive 
Like the above pareo from Karyaneka, this piece is also versatile whereby you can wear it in two different ways.

So from what I have chosen above, basically you can have 4 different looks with 2 pieces of clothing. Now that is what I call being practical, traveling smart and traveling light. And what a good value for money too!

Lily Balconette Bikini Set in Navy
Too bad I don't have the body to pull off this gorgeous pair of bikini from Indikah on the beach! But who says I can't wear them in my own private suite, while having a nice relaxing bubble bath in the bath tub?

Jet Set Tote in Lily
I need a huge and practical tote bag to putt all my stuffs i.e sunglasses, lip balm, sun block, scarf, purse, handphone, keys, wipes, hand sanitizer etc so this Jet Set Tote from Mischa would be perfect.

Cape Front Shoes in Red and Wheat 
Having to walk by the beach and considering the need to take on and off shoes frequently, this pair of Cape Front Shoes from Cipela Espadrilles looks like it can do the job perfectly. It looks stylish and I bet they are comfy as well. 

Dreams are free but Fashion Valet is being generous and they're giving out a 4D3N stay at the Paresa Resort. Therefore, I'd like to win a stay and Paresa Phuket on The Luxe Nomad because I believe the name says it all:

Perfectly situated
Amazing view
Resort luxury
Excellent design                  
Simply breathtaking
A magical place

Renowned
Exceptional services
Sensual spa
One of a kind
Relax and rejuvenate
The best


Homemade Infused Water

Of course they're homemade, you may think. But hey, I actually saw on instagram that there are people selling infused water OK. And I was like, seriously, why would I buy infused water when I can just make them my own. However, it depends on what fruits I have in my fridge. So far I have made lemon infused water, orange infused water, strawberry infused water, blood orange infused water, lemon and cucumber infused water and green tea and lemon water. Lemon and oranges are the easiest and honestly I would rather eat the strawberries whole than put them in my water because at the end of the day, the strawberries would be tasteless. I would eat the strawberries even though they are tasteless but of course I would toss away the oranges and lemons.


I would make my infused water at night and put it in the fridge. The next morning, I would just grab my bottle and take it to the office. When the water is finished, I would just fill it up again and by the 2nd or 3rd time, the taste of the fruits were hardly noticeable but I just leave the fruits inside.
 
On days when I don't have any fruits or too lazy to make my water, I would just add some chia seeds in my water bottle and drink it throughout the day. I have a small container of chia seeds in my drawer so I can put them as and when I like. Go ahead and make your own infused water. They are yummy and good for your health.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Passionfruit Juice


Honestly, I don't really like passionfruit but after learning of how good they are, I gave it another chance. So happened the vegetarian cafe near my office was selling some passionfruits one day so I bought a bag. One bag consists of 6 pieces and it was about RM5.
I decided to make passionfruit juice. I didn't bother to blend the pulps because then I would have to strain them, which is such a hassle for me. I simply cut open the fruits, scoop out the pulps and added water, honey and ice into the jug. Unfortunately Babycakes doesn't fancy the drink because she gets all disgusted looking at the pulps and seeds. However I managed to get her to drink some of the water, minus the pulps. It was a nice refreshing drink, full of vitamins.
In case you are wondering, here are the benefits of passionfruits:

Credit from this link: http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/passion-fruit.html

Health benefits of passion fruit

  • Delicious, passion fruit is rich source of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and fiber. 100 g fruit contains about 97 calories.
  • The fruit is a very good source of dietary fiber. 100 g fruit pulp contains 10.4 g or 27% of fiber. Good fiber in the diet helps remove cholesterol from the body. Being a good bulk laxative, it also helps protect the colon mucous membrane by decreasing exposure time to toxic substances in the colon and wiping off cancer-causing toxic substances from the colon.
  • Passion fruit is good in vitamin C, providing about 30 mg per 100 g. Vitamin-C (ascorbic acid) is a powerful water soluble anti-oxidant. Consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against flu-like infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.
  • The fruit carry very good levels of vitamin-A (provides about 1274 IU per 100 g), and flavonoid antioxidants such as ß-carotene and cryptoxanthin-ß. Current research studies suggest that these compounds have antioxidant properties, and along with vitamin A are essential for good eye-sight.
  • Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin-A, and flavonoids may helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • Fresh granadilla is very rich in potassium. 100 g fruit pulp has about 348 mg of potassium. Potassium is an important component of cells and body fluids, and helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Furthermore, granadilla is a very good source of minerals. Iron, copper, magnesium and phosphorus are present in adequate amounts in the fruit. 

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Easy Yummy Banana Cake For Tea

Who doesn't love banana cakes? When your bananas are overripe and doesn't taste that yummy to be eaten on its own, don't throw them away. Instead, put them in a freezer. You can either put it with the skin on or peel the skin and put in a container or a freezer bag. Another way to freeze them is by mashing them first. You can freeze them according to cup sizes eg 1/2 cup or 1 cup for easy references for future bakings.

Last weekend, I made a lovely banana cake using the frozen banana I had. One time I made banana pancakes, which Babycakes absolutely loved. She had fun mashing the frozen bananas too. I got the recipe from taste.com.au, my go-to website for easy, yummy and reliable recipes. The name of the recipe says it all- Easy Banana Cake.

Sometimes when I have a bit more time, I would read some of the reviews, even though the recipe received 5 stars.I am glad I did because some reviews mentioned about the high sugar content and suggested to reduce the sugar amount especially if your bananas are super ripe. I did just that and my cake turned out divine. It was absolutely delicious, fluffy with just the right sweetness so much so that my dad, who isn't into cakes and sweet stuffs that much, asked me to bake again. I have another 1/2 cup of mashed frozen bananas in the freezer but the next time I'm doing this cake, I am gonna double the recipe so I can get a bigger cake.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Slow Cooker is a Saviour

Being a working mother of two small kids, I find it so challenging to balance my time at home especially on a weeknight. By the time I reached home after picking the kids from the nursery, I have to freshen or bathe them and settle them down. Then I have to perform my prayers and rush to the kitchen to cook dinner. We are pro one-dish meals but even a one-dish meal takes up time to prepare from prepping the ingredients to the time it can be served on the table. It doesn't help that often times I have to stop cooking, turn off the stove and rush to the living room when Babypie starts crying or fussing or when Babycakes come to the kitchen to tell me that Babypie is munching on her books etc. Also, I have to go and look at the kids when they became extremely quiet. You know what they say, "silence is golden but when it comes to toddlers, it means something is up". 
Anyway, I've been seeing tons of crock pot or slow cooker one-dish meal recipes on the internet and they look so easy and divine.And the best part is, you can set it up before you go to work and by the time you come home, dinner is ready for you.

I didn't have a slow cooker so I bought one at lazada a few weeks back. There were so many options and I decided to buy a 5L Faber Slow Cooker. It was on sale and I only paid RM80+ for it.

Honestly, the pot is a bit too big for a small family like us but you don't always have to fill them up full.

The first time I used the pot, I made beef ribs soup. I simply added the frozen beef ribs with some onions, garlic, carrots and cauliflower, salt and spices (sup bunjut) and set it to low because I left it on the whole day I'm at work. When I returned home that evening, I simply soaked some meehoon (vermicelli noodles) and had a nice bowl of meehoon soup for dinner. It was simple as that. I had time to spend with my kids and also managed to do a bit of laundry.
I have also cooked a chicken lemon garlic in it and all I did was cook rice when I got home. I am compiling recipes and making a list of what to buy the next time I do groceries shopping, online of course. I foresee this slow cooker to be my new best friend. Seriously, you can cook basically anything and everything and even bake in this thing. How cool is that?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Homemade M&M Cookies

One fine weekend afternoon sometime last year, I was scrambling for an idea to keep Babycakes occupied. And then I thought, why don't we make cookies?

What could be more fun than M&M cookies?

My little baker, my little assistant. She had so much fun picking out the colourful M&Ms to put on the cookies. Of course a lot went into her mouth too.

Proudly showing off her creations. Mummy is so proud of you Babycakes!

The end products. Not the prettiest cookies but they are definitely the most special because we baked them together and it was a perfect activity to refine her fine motor skills. At the end of the day, we get to eat our own baked goods.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Babycakes' Frozen Themed Advanced Birthday Party

This is a belated post. Please do not get confused with the title that  says 'advanced birthday party'. The reason why it was titled as such is because the birthday party was done earlier than her actual birthday. However, this is a belated post. Geddit? Hehe.
OK Babycakes' birthday was on the 27th September but we had to have her party way in advance because Babypie's due date was 9th October 2014. If we were to held the party on the 27th itself, it is too near to my due date and we didn't dare take the risk as I may go into labour early or I may be too tired then. Therefore, we held her party on 7th September 2014. It was a small scale celebration and we held it at our humble little abode. Since she was so into Frozen then (still is), so it is only apt to have a Frozen themed birthday.

We bought her dress at Kenanga Wholesale City (KWC) because we wanted to find some party supplies too. However, we couldn't find any Frozen party supplies at KWC. I have a turquoise maxi dress which suits the theme perfectly. Babycakes was so happy to be wearing matching clothes with Mummy. This picture was taken just before the party started.

Luckily I found an online seller on mudah.com.my who sells Frozen loot bags and Frozen paper cups. I was thrilled and immediately bought the items.


A few days before the party, Hubby filled the loot bags with some chocolates, lollipops, balloons, Frozen stickers and a packet of Milo. Since I still have some leftover angpau from Raya, I put an angpau packet with some money inside the loot bag as well. Seen here Babycakes was already putting good use of the stickers. Good thing that we bought quite a lot.




BIRTHDAY GIRL!


Because the party was small-scaled, we only invited a handful of guests which include close family members and some really close friends. Decoration was so minimal because I was just too tired and heavy (note: lazy) to decorate and because of the limited space we have at our condo. We do have some balloons (what's a party without balloons, right?). As for the foods, we ordered Nasi Ambeng from a dear friend, Murni Suranti. The party was held at 3pm onwards so we thought Nasi Ambeng would be just nice.

The cake was also ordered from Murni so I saved on the delivery cost. Hehe. It was a vanilla cake with buttercream frosting. I ordered a set of Frozen figurines online and I told Murni how I wanted the cake to be. Just before the cake-cutting ceremony, I arranged the figurines on the cake. It is simple but at the end of the day, Babycakes get to keep the figurines, thus avoiding wastage if I were to have them in fondant.

Apart from Babycakes' birthday, we also sort of decided to reveal the gender of Babypie on the same day. All along families were kept in the dark so what better way to reveal the gender if not by the colour of the cake? I asked Murni to bake a blue ombre cake so when I cut the cake, the colour of the cake revealed Babypie's gender. It was not as ombre as I would like it to be and I pointed it out to Murni for her better improvement in the future. By now you would have known that Babypie is a boy but when we cut the cake, everybody was delighted.
We bought two of those foil balloons, also from KWC but one burst when Hubby inflated it a bit too much so what I did was we cut the balloon and pasted the foil onto the wall for decoration. Can you see how happy Babycakes was?

The other half of the balloon is Anna, which is on the other side of the mirror.

 
All in all, it was a fun-filled evening for us. Babycakes was so happy to see her cousins and even happier to see the cake. It was a simple and intimate birthday celebration. It's amazing to see how big my baby has grown and how she surprises me every day with new antics, new skills, tons of questions and non-stop talking. She is also very doting towards Babypie, alhamdulillah. She loves and knows how to entertain Babypie, she loves to make Babypie laugh, she can fetch Babypie's diaper from the other room, she would help us throw the soiled diaper, she would send her bowl, cup or plate to the kitchen sink. There are just too many things about her that I can't put everything in here but she is one amazing, strong and intelligent girl Masyaallah.
Of course above all those, she is also just like any other 3-year olds who has her own mind, who throws tantrums, who answers back, who totally ignores our instructions, who whines and cries, who drives us up the wall, among others.
Mummy may always be the bad cop and nags and scolds you a lot (when you're naughty, which is almost all the time!) but you have no idea how much Mummy loves you and how amazed Mummy is with your achievement. You are a priceless gift from Allah and Mummy prays that you will be blessed, protected from harm, diseases, may you be a good and loving person inside and out and may you grow up to be a beautiful person and make Mummy proud.