Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pumpkin Patch!

Last Friday was a half day at Ameera's school so, I thought I should prepare something different for her and the kids as I know it will be long one especially since rain was being forecast for the whole day. Oh, just in case you guys were wondering, I am currently babystitting 2 other kids at home. They are my friend's kids who conveniently, go to the same school as Ameera.

So, as everybody was busy preparing for Halloween this weekend, I decided to go along with the theme. I bought these 2 medium-size pumpkins and also made some of Ameera's favourite Oreo cheeseballs (Halloween-style, of course) for the kids.

Here are some pictures...

Mr Pumpkin

Working HARD

 Team Mummy Nana

Team Acu Nani (but that's my pumpkin that Heidi's holding!)

Oreo Cheese Balls!

Enjoying the Cheeseballs, Keropok Lekor and Hot Chocolate with cream on the top

PS: I got a phone call from Dublin's 98 FM, the Cool School Run team are coming over to our house this Monday. So, if you guys are in Dublin (or can get 98 FM online) don't forget to tune in around 8.30am to hear my kids live on air!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ikea Meatballs

Last night, when I was blogwalking I come across this blog by the lovely Sizuka and got the chance to read through a few of her older entries. As always, I love looking at other people's cooking which comes in handy for the days when I run out of ideas on what to cook for my own family's next meal.

While my sister is around, she mentioned and requested so many dishes, one of it being Ikea meatballs. Hmmm...sounds nice. But, for some reason, when I was about to my attempt at making the dish, I couldn't open Sizuka's post above so, I Googled for an Ikea meatballs recipe instead.

Well, what else can I say? I just love it and the taste is more or less the same, I guess. But, as always I put an extra something on the plate to make up for the missing lingonberry jam. I never liked it anyway...

This was what eventually ended up on my plate...

...and this is Ikea's version.

My version of the recipe is more or less the same as the original recipe, without the mince pork of course. And, I used the same pan the meatballs were fried in along with the leftover butter for the cream sauce as a substitute for beef stock. Then, I added my own home made mashed potato (recipe below) and boiled some broccoli and carrots for a side dish/salad.

Mummy Nana's Mashed Potato recipe

4 Large potatoes
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp Mayonnaise
1 Tbsp of milk (optional)
Salt and pepper for seasoning

Skin and then boil the potatoes in water until they are soft. Mash the potatoes with a fork. Fold in all the other ingredients and mix well. Your mashed potatoes are ready to be served. Enjoy!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Kitchen by Nigella Lawson

As most of you already know, Nigella's latest book out is out now. When I heard about her coming to Dublin for a book-signing event I was so excited and just couldn't wait.  As I was at the same bookstore before (for Rachel Allen's book signing), I was ready as early as possible hoping that I could get the same spot (second in the queue) to get Nigella's autograph.

It was 5 minutes past 11 and I was earlier than the last time however, I got this one completely wrong. When I got to the bookstore, I was like the last 4 people who had the privilege of sorts of queueing in the shop and everybody else had to queue in the cold shivering weather outside. Plus they all had to get ticket numbers to wait for their respective turns which probably wouldn't come if Nigella decided to go home early. Phewww...lucky me, eh?

The back end of the in-store queue

When we met her, all of Nigella's attention was on my Husayn

Nobody was looking at the camera. Ugghhh! 

Anyway, when she arrived (about 15 minutes late) everybody was so excited and gave her a rousing applause. I was anxiously waiting for my turn to come with the kids and the heavy books. Finally, I got the chance to meet and talk to her personally. Hehehehe...teruja wooooo she even asked my kids their names and had a bit of chat with them. She is one beautiful lady and at the same time, she can cook very well too. Oh yeah, my sister was there too but she was just too selfish and wanted to take her picture with Nigella alone leaving my hands full with all the kids! Ahaks

I took a very nice picture of them (my sister and Nigella) unlike mine, hers was perfect! Urgh.... marah lah nie..  Look at it for yourself.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Soup in a Bread Bowl

It had been a long time since we've been at a food market particularly one in the heart of city center. It's called Temple Bar Food Market. When we lived around the area, we used to go there every single Saturday just to look around and to enjoy the home-made food made by the large variety of people.

So, last weekend as we were in town, and passing by the area we decided to drop by the market and have a little browse around the place. These are some pictures taken while we were there...

...and what really caught my eyes was this:

It's so yummy and totally different to what I've experienced before.

When we eventually got home, I just couldn't stop thinking about the lovely soup and bread combo. Waiting another week was not an option and the fact that I didn't think my hubby would willingly entertain my requests for plain old soup and bread I  Googled the recipe. Unfortunately, I couldn't find anything remotely similar. Fortunateky, a brilliant idea came to mind. As  I didn't have any sweet potato at home, instead of making the same soup, I made this vegetables soup with some home-made bread using a baguette recipe.

Oh.. my pic is so not mengiurkan.. but believe me... it tastes yummy.. ahaks!

For the soup I just used whatever vegetables I had and boiled them until soft with some garlic cloves and seasoned the whole mixture well with salt and pepper.  When the vegetables were really soft, I just put the whole thing into a blender and blended it well. I poured it all back in the same pot until it boiled. You might need some chicken cubes or vegetable cube for extra flavour. I served it while it was still hot in the bread that I made.

For the bread. Instead making the long baguette shapes, you might need to make a big ball for each soup to be served in. When its cooked, cut the top of the bread and take out all the soft nits inside the bread. Pour the soup in the hole in the bread and enjoy!

Tomorrow is Saturday. Mmm...maybe we might just stop by the Food Market again...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

100 Penulis

Or in English, it's 100 writers. A month ago my husband told me that there was a new blog where they were gathering 100 bloggers to to be the blog's editors. The editors would contribute to the site on a regular basis. I was so interested with the concept where the editors were all Malaysian but most were based in different countries around the world with an even more varied background. Not surprisingly, each of them contribute to the site with their own different style of writing.

If you guys are lucky, you might even come across my own posts there - in Malay, for a change.

I don't think there's any need for me to elaborate further as I think you guys should just go and see it for yourself. The good news is, now you can even contribute your own writing to the blog's administrator and on his/her discretion,  he/she will publish your entry on the site.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Another Clever Excuse to Avoid School

Today, when I was in the car waiting for Ameera to get back from school, Husayn who had been quiet for some time suddenly enquired...

Husayn: Mummy, why do I have to go to school every day?

Mummy: So that you can be clever and you can be a doctor.

Husayn: But Mummy,  Doctors  don't go to school and play. You can't be a doctor if you go to playschool. I have to go to big school to be a doctor not like my school now...

Kids nowadays always have something interesting to say, don't they? This boy was definitely testing my patience at that stage but I held back any clever replies and gave my motherly answer...
Mummy: Errr...Yea Husayn, you need to go to playschool first and when you're ready, you will go to big school, OK?

Husayn: OK, Mummy. I'll go to big school. I want to be a doctor then.

When I was a little kid, I remember that I really wanted to be a doctor. Maybe it was because my mum kept telling me to be a doctor. Do you brainwash your kids to be a doctor (or work as any other worthwhile profession) too?

Haha... my Mum is a typical parent. As if there are no other good occupations other than being a doctor but yes, I'm like her too in that sense. I'm one of them - the typical parents. Eh.. but to be fair, I didn't ask him to be a doctor. He actually thought of that himself. He wants to be a doctor so that he can look after me when I'm old. Awww....


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Leisure Snacks

As I'm stay-at-home mum, breastfeed my son and have lots of things to do around the house, I can get hungy fairly quickly. Hahaha. See, I just found another reason to eat. As I was so lazy to cook or make anything else so these are my current quick and easy obsessions when I'm in the kitchen...

A mug of fresh milk with 2 bars of Flake crushed and thrown into the milk

A few slices of bread spread with Planta (all the way from Malaysia!) and a touch of condensed milk.


And yet I'm complaining about my weight that doesn't seem to go down...sigh. But guess what, I read this entry by KataKila at 100penulis (I'll tell you about this 100 Penulis thing in my next entry). Hahaha... have you watched the video clip?  I should give it a try so that I can eat more.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Meeting Rachel Allen

Do you remember the time I stalked Rachel Allen not too long ago? It all started when I knew that she was signing copies of her new cook book. Unfortunately at that time, I was stuck with something and couldn't get to the book store on time. By the time I got there, the book-signing event was over but I knew she was still in the bulilding. Not wanting to give-up so easily, I came up with this crazy idea that I'd wait for her in front of the book store and get her autograph.

You know know celebrities might look different when they are not properly dressed up? Armed with a vague description of what she was wearing on the day from a friend, I unashamedly asked a lady  that walked out the book store...

Excuse me, are you Rachel Allen?

With a smile, the lady convincingly replied, No. It was clear she wasn't Rachel. It was just me getting desparate. Any blonde Mat Salleh could've looked like her to me at that stage.

But my instincts told me not to give up and I'd finally get my Yes. I went back to the book store one last time and guess what? The real Rachel Allen came out  from store at that very moment. Eager to wait my chance to ask for her autograph, I stalked her from one shop to another until she went into a restaurant when I realised that all I could do then was to just look at her from afar. I wanted to ask her to get some pictures taken with me but I was so nervous. During that time, I made a gazillion calls to my husband and annoyed him telling him every single detail of the silly things I did afternoon in the middle of the city.

Honestly, even if there were any celebrities walking beside me in town, I don't think I'd recognise them in real life. I'm so not good at that.

But yesterday, I finally I got my chance to meet one here in Ireland. She is one nice lady. I don't usually buy expensive cook books, but I don't regret buying this one. She is so friendly and her food looks so nice as well as being realistic. I finally met Rachel Allen at last, this time for the book-signing event on the release of her latest recipe book.

Not wanting history to repeat itself, I was so eager that I made it to the book store early enough to get the second spot in the queue. It was all worth it when I got to meet Rachel and get my book signed by the author herself.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Chicken Quiche & Strawberry Cheese Cupakes

As my sister is visiting us and is around the house, she's demanded a lot of things for me to cook (kasi chancelah kata jadi bibik sebulan kan.. hehe). So, being the nice big sister that I am, I made a chicken quiche as our side dish for dinner today. I can't remember where I got the recipe exactly but I think I it was some time ago when Googled for a quiche recipe and as usual, I'd change the recipe a bit to suit my own tastes as well as adapting it to what I had in the kitchen at the time.

220g plain flour
120g cold butter
1/2 tsp salt
About 3 tbsp of ice cold water
Or, if you're feeling lazy, you can always buy instant shortcrust pastry instead


1 Large Boneless chicken breast (sliced into bite-sized pieces)
5 Button Mushrooms
1 Onion chopped
2 Garlic cloves chopped
1 Red Capsicum
1 Green Capsicum
200 ml Cream/Milk
4 Eggs
Salt and Pepper to taste
Grated cheddar cheese optional as a topping

Place the flour and the salt in a large bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes then add to the flour. Rub the flour and butter between your fingers till the mixture resembles large breadcrumbs. Add the water, continue mixing, then knead gently into a ball. Place in the fridge for about 15 mins.In the meantime, grease a quiche/flan dish (approx 24cm) and preheat the oven to 180C. Roll out the pastry and lay in the quiche dish . Trim the edges. Pre-bake the pastry case for about 12-15mins, then remove from the oven.


Gently fry the onion and garlic until soft and put in the chicken. Cook until brown. Then, stir in the mushroom until it's soft too and mix in all the peppers for a minute or so. This is to avoid the peppers from being cooked to retain its flavour. Season well with salt and pepper. Pour mixture into pre-baked pastry.  In a bowl, whisk all other ingredients and pour on top of the pastry and other filling. Bake for 40 minutes and the quiche should be done.

Now for the Strawberry cheese cupcakes for dessert. It's basically just a normal cheese cake with some added strawberry jam  in the mixture (for that slight hint of strawberry) and a little bit more for the topping. Oh, and some whipped cream for decoration.

Believe it or not?

Despite living in Ireland and have been to the place where they make the movie, believe it or not I just watched Braveheart  for the first time in my entire life. It was on Film Four just now.

I don't think I have to tell you about the story but WHY? Why did William Wallace have to die?

Cisss.. xsuka tau citer camnie... ahaks

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

No Bake Peanut Butter Pie

Honestly, I don't like peanut butter. But looking at this pie from Joy the Baker make me want to have a go. The pie looks so beautiful but at the same time I thought it was simple enough to make.

My version

OK, I'm not good at taking pictures. My husband always says my cooking is always nice but crappy pictures of them won't actually tempt anyone. I'd tend to agree. So,  to tempt people this time around, the below picture was taken from her blog itself. Seriously, what do you think? Nice, eh?

Isn't it pretty? I had a go at making myself the pie and obviously, tasted it. Not that bad even though, like I said earlier, I don't like peanut butter. My husband on the other hand, loved it. Oh, and he's a fan of peanut butter so, he might be a bit biased.

Anyway, here is the recipe adapted from Joy's...

20 Digestive cookies
50gm butter (melted)

1 3/4cup heavy cream
1 cup Peanut Butter
3/4 cup Cream cheese
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

Crush the cookies in a food processor until well grounded and mix it with the melted butter. Press the mixture along the sides of a tart pan and along the bottom until evenly coated.  Carefully place the tart pan in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

Just whip 1 cup of the cream until it's firm and combine all the other ingredients. Pour the mixture into the prepared crust and spread evenly.

Whip up the remaining cup of heavy cream to stiff peaks and add to the top of the peanut butter filling.  Refrigerate it for at least two hours or personally, I think a bit longer to make the pie taste and look nicer.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Confessions of a Shopaholic

Can this be regarded as a shopaholic?

The picture is of a week's worth or maybe less of groceries. The groceries seen here don't include fish and any poultry. Bear in mind, I have to get the poultry from a Halal shop and not at any old supermarket. So, how much do you think I spent on buyng all this? I should make it contest or something. Ahaks. The good thing is,  I actually use all the stuff seen here with none wasted.

While on the topic of buying and shopping,  I have a confession to make. I have an obsession with shopping for stuff to fill my kitchen be it food or just stuff in general for the kitchen. OK, I'd be lying to you if I said I don't really like handbags or other girlie stuff. I do. I really do. It's just that if you give me a thousand Euro, I'd I rather go to the kitchen section and spend the whole lot of it there.

For example, a few weeks ago when  I was in the car waiting for Ameera's school bus to arrive, I had my favourite radio station on when I heard the Gossip News by Siobhan O'Connor. Siobhan mentioned that Kim Kardashian spent over USD$100,000 on handbags on a single shopping spree. Crazy or what?

I guess most people out there would disagree with me. I know being a celebrity won't be a problem for them to do that. But, even if I had that kind of money, I would buy myself something else from you know where instead. I would think twice or maybe more to buy handbags for myself. Honestly though, I don't mind if I get it as a gift. Really I do love them. I have a few nice handbags but it will be in the museum very back of my wardrobe for ages until they get all mouldy and make my other half angry with me. I'd rather wear something like a €30 handbag which is comfortable and suits me more until the day it gets too old and tatty.

To be honest, I do go out window shopping which unfortunately, doesn't happen too often nowadays. I would still buy something at the end of the day but it will be from kitchen/grocery section or something related. I love to eat so I just can't stop myself from buying any good food if  had the chance.

So, would you then consider me a shopaholic? If given a chance, I would be able to spend hundreds of Euro in Tesco alone and if I go to another supermarket I might still end up buying something else too.

One of eight of my grocery bags

As the recession hit me badly, I have had to control myself and be more disciplined about shopping. Towards the end of the movie, Confessions of a Shopaholic, everything that had been bought was re-sold. What should I do then? Hehehe by the time I realise that I had been shoppng like mad, the stuff that I bought would either be finished or go bad. No extra money for me there is there?

Well, to ease the pain, you guys out there who live in or around Dublin who would like to make me some money why not try my (in)famous Oreo Cheesecake, or some of my simply decorated cuppies, or any of the cookies or cheeseballs I've mentiond before, please do not hesitate to drop me a message. I do take orders. Anytime. Thanks!

Masuk cepatttt....TTM buat LUCKY DRAW!!

I Want.. I want... contest again... this time by Favourite chef  Topsy Turvy Mummy Owh... her food is so won't regret it if you go to her blog.  Lucky ke I TTM... nama nak dekat sama.. nama manja kita dah sama...kampung pun dah dekat... choose me..choose me....!! Ahaks... Aci tak gitu... 

So this is her first ever Lucky Draw and the pressies are...

16 pc Corell Dinnerware

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Acu in the House

Yeay! Last night, just before midnight my sister arrived here in Dublin safely. I know the last trip was meant to be her last one (at least until she's got her own money) but believe me, there is a long, long story behind her return. The important thng is, the story has a happy ending as she's now here with my second-most favourite doughnut ever. Good old K.K. Look how many boxes she bought for me!

 I don't do sharing. Really.Hehehehe... We don't have any nice doughnuts like J.Co, Big Apple or Krispy Kreme over here in Ireland so when my sister stopped over in Heathrow for her connecting flight, I asked her to buy me 3 dozen doughnuts.

My nappy's full Mummy....hellooooo?

Other than the delicious and oh-so fattening doughnuts, I am looking forward to a whole month free from changing nappies, Mummy I Want to Wee Wee moments and anything else related to the kids. Not to forget the washing and drying the dishes bit which will be passed on from my other half to my dear sister. Hehehe... after all that's why Acu's here for anyway.... Muahahaha...<---(evil laughter)
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