Friday, 31 October 2008

British royals in Brunei


31 October 2008 (Part III)

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are currently in Brunei for an official visit. Here are pictures of HRH Prince Charles and Camilla, courtesy of the Information Department (Infofoto) website.


Heaps more pictures at the Infofoto website. Click [here].

Dates Muffins


31 October 2008 (Part II)


Got left-over dates from Ramadan? If yes, you might want to try this new recipe. It's actually for blueberry muffins, but mummy modified it a little bit. The results... a success! Here's the recipe:

INGREDIENTS
(Makes 28 mini-muffins or 12 large 6cm muffins)

1 and 3/4 cups self-raising flour
4-5 tablespoons caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 and 1/2 cups dates (seeded and chopped)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, melted

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 200 C. Brush oil into bottoms only of muffin tins.
Sift flour, sugar and baking powder into a bowl and stir in dates. In a small bowl, combine egg, milk and melted butter and mix well. Add liquid all at once to flour mixture.
Stir gently with a fork until all dry ingredients are just moistened. Batter should look quite lumpy.
Spoon batter evenly into each muffin cup, filling two-thirds full. Depending on the size of the muffin tin, bake 15 - 25 minutes until golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack, and serve warm with butter.

Note: If the dates are dry and hard, soak for a few seconds in hot water and drain.

Balls roll down the chute!

31 October 2008

A new outdoor game cum experiment today at school... Even Safiya took part, and we had a great time! Just enjoy the pictures below:

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Fruity jelly

29 October 2008

Here are random updates of what we have been doing so far.. Especially to daddy, and all our family members back at home..

Firstly, getting praying lessons from nini bini.. It's really convenient that she worked as a religious teacher until she retired in 2006. Thanks nini bini... hehehe...


Secondly, Safiya is now officially a 'walker'.. When we go out, Safiya (and sometimes myself as well) usually sits in her baby stroller. Lately, Safiya seems to love walking on her own and will only climb onto the stroller when she's tired or after a hard time talking her into it. I guess Miss B is right; Safiya is no longer a baby, instead she's turning into a 'little person'!

Look at Safiya walking... wearing her new 'dancing' gown.. so cute!

Thirdly... Last night, we all went to Nando's for dinner. We had the usual; Nando's grilled chicken with chips, but we also had something new... chicken burger for me! Hehehe... I have been craving for a burger after watching all those delicious-looking adverts on tv! We also bought some Indian food from the restaurant next door, Miss India. Good halal food!




And finally... Mummy's new recipe... Fruity jelly with strawberries, created today.


Here is the recipe, invented by mummy herself:

INGREDIENTS

1 packet of agar-agar powder
900 ml water
Sugar
Vanilla essence
Choices of cut fruits (we used strawberries and rock melon)
Food colouring (if desired)
150 ml hot water
Extra cut fruits for decoration

DIRECTIONS

Boil cut fruits in hot water and sugar until soft. Mash into smaller pieces, and set aside. Then, boil water with agar-agar powder until boiling, then add in the mashed fruits (together with the syrup) and sugar to taste. Pour in vanilla essence. Take away from the heat and pour into desired mould, and arrange cut strawberries on top. Leave in room temperature until set, and refrigerate.

Easy right? Hehehe... Try it out!

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Mummy's first attempt: MANGO CHEESECAKE


28 October 2008

One thing I really love about mummy.. Baking is one of her ways to relax her mind after finishing up her works. Naturally, after her research paper is complete, she tried out a new recipe last night. It's our all-time favourite: Mango Cheesecake!

So, what do we think? It tastes really good, almost the same to the one we always crave from Fleur-de-lys bakeshop in Brunei (Kiarong). Texture-wise, it's not as smooth, but that's probably because we do not have a food processor. Anyway, for a first attempt... great success! Thanks mummy!


Yummy... it's finger-licking good!

Here is the recipe if you wish to try it out:

INGREDIENTS

125 gm shortbread biscuits
1 tsp ground ginger (optional)
30 gm butter, melted

250 gm mascarpone
300 gm cream cheese, softened
90 gm caster sugar
120 gm mango flesh, coarsely chopped
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
2 limes (juices only)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 150C. Process biscuits and ground ginger in a food processor until finely ground, add butter and mix to combine. Press biscuit mixture into the base of a spring-form pan. Refrigerate until required.

Combine mascarpone, cream cheese, sugar, mango flesh, eggs, egg yolk and lime juice in a food processor and process until smooth, then spoon mixture over biscuit base and smooth top. Bake for 35 - 45 minutes or until just set (depending on your oven). Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until completely cold.


A magic trick...?


As days go by... Safiya becomes more creative, by the minute!
Last night, Safiya did a new 'trick', figured out all on her own. I guess this is why nini laki always say that Safiya is already three years old, instead of two...

video

Oppsss... now you know that we like to watch CSI... hehehe...

Friday, 24 October 2008

Oh no! Melamine in biscuits too?


24 October 2008

Last week, a newspaper reported about some biscuits produced in Malaysia that were found to contain excessive traces of melamine. What's actually worrying is that the company being reported is a familiar brand.

Picture taken from Khong Guan's website.

Here is the extract of the newspaper:

Excessive melamine was found in 18 of 47 biscuits produced by the Khong Guan and Khian Guan brands and they have been ordered removed from the shelves immediately.

“We have also requested that they voluntarily recall the rest of the products (the remaining 29),” said Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai.

Asked if they had agreed to do so, Liow said: “Yes, they are very responsive. They are all responsible companies.”

The 18 biscuit products were found to have melamine in excess of the permissible 2.5mg/kg or 2.5 parts per million (ppm).

Liow said the Ministry had traced the source of the melamine to ammonium bicarbonate imported by both manufacturers from China.

“Results from our tests found that Khong Guan biscuits contained 33.4ppm while Khian Guan contained 508ppm,” he said.

As such, Liow had banned the import of ammonium bicarbonate from China, placing the substance under Level 6 Examination (Auto Rejection), while ammonium bicarbonate from other countries were placed under Level 4 Examination (Surveilance Examination) under the Food Safety Information of Malaysia (FoSIM).

Hmmm... doesn't that worry you? And according to the report, there is actually a permitted amount of melamine in food products? Doesn't that mean that we have all been eating melamine all this time, without knowing?

And today, Brunei local news affirm this, and the list of food products banned from the Brunei market consists of 14 food products from Malaysia which includes Khian Guan biscuits. One product from China has also been banned (dried whole eggs). Visit the Brudirect website for the list of banned food products in Brunei.

Safiya and I are always fond of biscuits and crackers, but it looks like mummy and daddy will have a hard time choosing which ones to buy! I guess we'll stick to mummy's baking for now! Hehehe...

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Flick-painting

23 October 2008

Ohh... It's been a few days since we updated the blog.. Sorry everybody, mummy has been quite busy since her study life is almost coming to an end. But not for me, I still have school days right until the month of December just before we head home to Brunei for good.

Today is my school day as well, and we started doing lots of activities as soon as we arrive. Here are some pictures of my school day today...

Safiya and I playing with the castle made from cardboard boxes


Ohh... and it's story teller day today... yippeee!!!


Learning a new way to paint... flick! flick! flick!


Hehehe.. what do you know? Safiya was really excited too.. and she looked cute with that apron!

Monday, 20 October 2008

Ohh... it's still Hari Raya!

20 October 2008 (Part II)

For any of you unaware of this, Muslims celebrate Hari Raya during the month of Syawal, and this spans for a whole month. Yes, you read it right, it's a whole month! So... this is really good news for us, because it gives ample time to visit relatives and friends. However, living abroad sometimes make us forget this, since the visits end fast... and not much relatives and friends around anyway, unlike back home!

Last Saturday night, nini Belait (daddy's dad) hosted an open house. Wawa Nani was the chief cook, and created a delicious buffet menu: Ayam Merah Mentega Kacang (peanut butter chicken), Daging Rendang Hitam Manis, Sayur Labu & Cangkuk Manis and one of our favourites, Soto Brunei. Hehehe... It's mouth-watering!

And of course, when it comes to nini Belait, karaoke is a must as an entertainment for the guests. No need to worry, lots of singers available... hehehe...

Here are some pictures that daddy sent us. Enjoy!

The buffet table


Ngangah having a go with the karaoke


My cousin, baby Nazrah looks beautiful in her gown


Two cousins together.. Baby Lizam (5 months) and Baby Nazrah (2 months).
See also their cute and funny chit-chat pictures... click [here].


Hmmm... someone really enjoys the company of a new baby... Is that a sign, daddy? Hahaha...

Star fruit... is it toxic?


20 October 2008


Mummy received this information in her email. Of course we're not certain whether it's true, but it's better to watch out than regret later... Anyway, here's the extract of what the warning says about star fruits:

In Shenzen, more than 10 people who consumes the star fruit had died. And now a 66-year-old, Malaysian who has been suffering from kidney ailment fell into coma after eating the start fruits. Yes, all it takes is one fruit or 100ml of its juice and the ordinarily harmless star fruit transforms into poison in a matter of hours for kidney patients. ...

Universiti Malaya Medical Centre consultant nephrologist said that star fruits contain a neurotoxin which is not present in other fruits. It affects the brain and nerves. In healthy persons, the kidneys
filter it out. But for those with kidney problems, this potent toxin cannot be removed and will worsen the consumers' conditions.


The symptoms of star fruit poisoning include:

~ Hiccups

~ Numbness and weakness

~ Feeling confused
~ Agitation

~ Epileptic fist

The risk of death is high if you are having kidney ailments!
But healthy individuals should beware of this fruit's potential toxin too. It could also cripple your vitality if you are not lucky. So don't take it for granted. It's better to avoid them.


Hope this sheds some information for all of us...

P/S: Word of the day... Nephrologist is a physician who specializes in diseases
of the kidneys

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Curry noodles @ Mi kari

19 October 2008


Hehehe... Just a quick update.. Mummy has just finished one assignment of hers, and there are still two more to go before she can finally bid farewell to her study life at the University of Queensland. Anyway, as a celebration (I suppose), mummy cooked a delicious meal for dinner today... Curry noodles, with chicken, prawns, cuttlefish, beancurd skin (foo chuk) and snow peas.

This picture is especially dedicated to daddy... Wish you were here!

Promoting mummy's baking talent


I always like to see uncle Azim and his mates' blog, On the Plate, and we came across a video of "someone" enjoying a crunchy spring roll.

Here's my attempt at challenging the video... myself enjoying mummy's scrumptious banana muffin. This video was taken before Safiya's birthday party last week.

video

So uncle Azim... do you think I did good? Hehehe...

Saturday, 18 October 2008

New experiments

18 October 2008

Yesterday, my friends and I witnessed a new experiment at school. One of the things that we love to play is our water tub, and lots of splashing always make our day cheery! Miss B or Mrs Miller puts colour in the water, with the choice of either blue, yellow or red.

We chose yellow yesterday, and watched the water turns colour. Then Miss B asked if we want to mix another colour, and after a round of voting, we chose to add blue. And then... it was magic! Now we know, yellow and blue makes green!


And what do you know? It seems like we're not the only ones experimenting.. Nini bini was making up her own recipe at home. Stuffed and grilled cuttlefish... with mango, shallots, some greens and rice. Yummmmyyyyy!!!

Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards 2008

Hehehe... This is surely our most out-of-date update so far, but I think it's not too late to congratulate our recent family member on achieving an award at the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards (APEA) 2008 on 29th August 2008. Hajah Norizmah binti Haji Ahmad Morshidi was the only female achiever that night, among a total of 27 awards presented to Brunei's most successful entrepreneurs and most responsible companies. Congratulations also to Shaikh Khalid Ahmad Said Al-Hijazi who received an award that night as well.

picture courtesy of Arab Families

Here is an abstract from the Brunei Times:

The sole woman to receive an award last night, Norizmah Ahmad Morshidi, the Director of Ideal Food Industries, went on to win the "Woman Entrepreneur of the Year" award. Despite being the daughter of the founder of Ideal Food Industries, the organiser said she started off her career "just like anyone else, from the ground". "... it did not take long till she proved herself and was the one driving the expansion of Ideal Cafe and Grill restaurants network", said the organiser.

To auntie Norizmah and her hubby (daddy's cousin),
CONGRATULATIONS!

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Jacaranda and purple goes well together

16 October 2008

When we arrived in Brisbane last February, we noticed that there are lots of trees planted all over the area. One tree in particular is the jacaranda, a tree with tiny leaves that always make the ground and pathways look messy when the leaves are shed. Sometimes it made us wonder, why is this type of tree seems to be a favourite?

Now we know. When its flowers bloom, it's a really beautiful sight. We can see purples everywhere, on the trees and on the ground too! Of all people, I'm sure mummy is the happiest because purple is her favourite colour! There is actually one tree right in our front yard, but until now there is no sign that purple flowers will appear soon.. I guess it has stopped growing flowers, it looks old anyway.. hehehe...

Oh... jacaranda... one more memory that we will cherish about lovely Brisbane..


Hehehe... A picture of us at the university lake with some jacaranda flowers on the ground