Category Archives: Two is Better than One

Rendang Tok (Perak)

Diary of a SAHM – Day 478

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Rendang Tok (Perak) – Have you tried this before? I first tasted this dish at Faisal’s kenduri some time in Dec last year. Both Kiate and I fell in love with it! It had made such a great impression upon Kiate that he requested for this dish.

Faisal kindly shared the recipe with me and I also did some research online – browsing recipe blogs and watching YouTube videos etc. After 6 months, I finally mustered the courage to attempt cooking this Malay delicacy. For the record, this was the first time I cooked beef – a milestone in my cooking journey.

It took me over 3 hours in the kitchen but it was well worth the effort. The hubby gave two thumbs up!

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I referred to the recipe by “Baby Sumo” but halved the amount of each ingredient. I list the ingredients here for my future reference. If you need the full recipe (measurement and step-by-step guide), you can refer to Baby Sumo’s blog here or watch this YouTube video.

Rendang Tok Perak

Ingredients:

beef, cut into 3cm chunks

Beef marinade
coriander seeds (ketumbar)
cumin seeds (jintan putih)
fennel seeds (jintan manis)
black peppercorns (lada hitam)
salt (garam)

Spice paste (blended)
shallots (bawang kecil)
garlic (bawang putih)
lemongrass (batang serai)
galangal or “blue ginger” (lengkuas)
ginger (halia)
turmeric ( kunyit hidup)

Other ingredients

red chili powder or paste
kaffir lime leaves (daun limau purut)
turmeric leaves
palm sugar (gula Melaka)
cardamom (buah pelaga)
cloves ( bunga cengkih)
cinnamon stick (kulit kayu manis)

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coconut milk
toasted coconut (kerisik)

Blessed Father’s Day

Diary of a SAHM – Day 476

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For the past 2 years, I was the one who nursed Joshayne to sleep every night; but on 16th June 2015, when JD was 2 years, 1 month and 24 days old, Kiate rose to the challenge and single-handedly tucked him in to sleep. He brushed his teeth, played and read books with him, carried him around the room, sang and patted him to sleep. The whole process took 1-2 hours and it was with great LOVE, patience and perseverance that he accomplished the task. And he has been at it since, night after night, without fail. Bravos!

So what have I been up to with the bonus 2-3 hours of “me-time”? I spent some time to blog, and I also completed two online courses that I had enrolled in earlier. And to reward Kiate for being such an awesome husband and father, I planned a special Father’s Day celebration for him. I baked him a red velvet cake, wrote him a poem and crafted him a special gift, albeit with recycled materials.  *wink*

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P/S …minus the rose, which was actually made by Kiate.

 

Blessed Father’s Day, dear.
Love you oh~

Red Velvet Cake

Diary of a SAHM – Day 475

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Quite some time ago, a friend of mine posted a picture of her red velvet cake on FB. I was fascinated as I’d never seen or tried one before. So the other day, when hubby requested for a cake for his breakfast/tea break/supper, I decided to try my hand at baking this gorgeous-looking cake. I searched online and came across this wonderful recipe with 5-star reviews on www.chow.com. As usual, I’d only list the ingredients here for future reference. If you need the full recipe and step-by-step guide, please click here.

Ingredients

For the cake:
  • 2 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sifted cake flour or 2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for coating the pans
  • 2 teaspoons fine salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons (1 [1-ounce] bottle) red food coloring
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for coating the pans
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest (from 1 to 2 oranges; optional)
  • 1 cup whole or low-fat buttermilk
For the icing:
  • 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 pound (4 cups) sifted powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk, if needed

Note to self:
– I only used 1 tsp of fine salt.
– I used 2 tablespoons of red food colouring (powder). Too much! Remember to reduce.
– The cake was rather sweet. Reduce the amount of sugar.
– I only had 250g of cream cheese. So I adjusted the amount of each ingredient for the icing accordingly. It was sufficient to cover the whole cake.
– Invest in proper cake pans. 
– Baked at around 175-180C for around 35 minutes.

Blessed 5th Wedding Anniversary

Diary of a SAHM – Day 468

On this day, 5 years ago, I walked down the aisle and said “I do” to the most wonderful man ever. It has been great doing life with you, hubby, and I look forward to many more years to come. Let’s grow old together, hand in hand, you and me~

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Kiate and I celebrated our FIFTH wedding anniversary at Kopitan Classic, Alma. It’s not a fancy restaurant but I’ve always loved coming here. Imagine this:- As we were walking towards the restaurant, one of the waiters came over with an umbrella to shelter from the drizzle. Another waiter showed us to a vacant table and proceeded to get a baby chair for Joshayne (we didn’t even have to request for it). While waiting for our orders, another waiter came over with a lion figurine for Joshayne. It kept him entertained and we had a peaceful dinner. Based on our dining experiences here over the past 2 years, I’d personally give them 5 stars for the service.  The food is delicious and reasonably priced too. My favourite so far is their tomyam seafood spaghetti; Joshayne likes too.

P/S This is my personal opinion. Kopitan Classic is not paying me for this ‘review’. =p

And finally, the HIGHLIGHT of the day….. *drumroll*

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… a handcrafted paper rose, made with love by Kiate. He stayed up late and spent hours to make this. I was so touched. Thank you, hubby. Love you oh~

P/S If you are interested in making this, you can download the templates and instructions here.

Celebrating “His & Her” Birthdays

Diary of a SAHM – Day 452

My birthday and Kiate’s are just one day apart. For my birthday celebration, we went to Sushi King for dinner. Yeah!
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As for his birthday, I prepared spaghetti bolognaise for dinner and baked him carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. I used this recipe but I added 1/2 tsp of baking powder and reduced the amount of sugar to approximately 1/2 cup. For the cream cheese frosting, I used this recipe and substituted lemon juice with orange juice.
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Blessed Birthday, hubby. Hope you enjoyed the treat!~

Blessed Birthday to Me

Diary of a SAHM – Day 451

Happy Birthday from Google

Today is my Birthday – a good time to do some reflecting and goal setting. Looking back over the past 30 years (ops.. did I just reveal my age?!), I have been to various places, met countless wonderful people and experienced many ups and downs in life – and for all that, I am thankful~

So now, at 31, I am a stay-at-home mother with a two-year-old son. Is that where I have envisioned myself to be? Hmm… not really. I’d love to have a successful and fulfilling career but things didn’t work out for me in the school. For years I struggled, but in the end, I caved in and chose the easy way out – I quit my job! Till today, I get emotional from time to time about the fact that I do not have a career, especially when I see my peers and juniors soaring in theirs. So yeah, that’s my greatest regret and failure.

On a brighter note, I’m beginning to enjoy being a full-time SAHM and see it as a PRIVILEGE instead. As a SAHM, I am spared from work-related stress. I get to spend more quality time with Joshayne, playing with him and teaching him about the world. It is such a joy to share his a-ha moments when he discovers something new or masters a new skill. It feels great to be the one who understands him the most – knowing his likes and dislikes, being able to interpret his utterances and anticipate or predict his very next move. Secondly, it is a joy to be able to cook for my family and to keep the house in order. Weird as it may sound, I actually enjoy doing household chores. I find great satisfaction in that. All things considered, I think I would still take this path if I were to choose again. I am blessed to have a supportive husband who allows me this privilege and for that I am thankful.

I remember a conversation I once had with Jo, a close friend of mine, when we were only seventeen or eighteen.  I told him then that my ambition was to be a housewife with a PhD. So I guess, I’m halfway to achieving my dream.

So where am I now and where am I headed to?

In my first 30 years, I fell in love with Kiate, got married and gave birth to Joshayne. In my next 30 years, I hope to walk hand in hand with Kiate as we grow old together and to create many more beautiful memories as a family. In my next 3o years, I want to see Joshayne growing up in the knowledge and grace of Christ.

In my first 30 years, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in TESL and a master’s degree in Measurement and Evaluation. In my next 30 years, I want to pursue and earn a PhD!

In my first 30 years, I was a student, then a teacher and then a wife and mother. In my next 30 years, I want to be a better wife and mother. And one day, if I can have my own career, I want to be a professional consultant and to have my own education centre.

In my first 30 years, I found my faith in Christ; I’ve had mountain-top experiences and also stumbled through the valley of darkness. In my next 30 years, I pray that I can grow stronger and be more mature in my Christian faith. I pray that I can have a more personal relationship with God so that I can serve Him more effectively and be a testimony of His goodness and faithfulness.

In my first 30 years, I have been to Singapore, Thailand, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, New Zealand and Australia. In my next 30 years, I wish to tour Europe and visit Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Maldives, Greece, …. in fact it would be awesome if I can travel to ALL the countries in the world.

As for short-term goals (in no particular order)…

  • I want to take good care of my family  – provide decent meals, keep the house clean and presentable, etc.
  • Study and document Joshayne’s development, especially his language development.
  • Take up relevant online courses.
  • Improve my Chinese language proficiency, especially in reading and Chinese vocabulary (so that I can teach Joshayne).
  • Read and write@blog for personal and professional development.
  • Try my best to contribute financially by giving tuition, taking up editing jobs etc.
  • Design at least one photobook per year for Joshayne.
  • To invest into the lives of others as much as possible.

Proverbs 16:9 says, “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” May God’s grace and mercy be upon me. I surrender my next 30 years unto the Lord; may He direct my steps~

Pancakes for Breakfast

Diary of a SAHM – Day 249

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Pancakes

Recipe by Dakota Kelly @ allrecipes.com

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Note to self:
– Couldn’t finish all the pancakes in one sitting. Remember to half the recipe next time.

My New “Toy” – TESCO Breadmaker

Diary of a SAHM – Day 151

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After toying with the idea for months, we finally made our purchase – Tesco Breadmaker @ RM239.00. Thanks, hubby!

Buka Puasa with Hubby’s Colleagues @ The Ridge

Diary of a SAHM – Day 141

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@ Melody Home and Hard Rock Hotel, Penang

Diary of a SAHM – Day 120

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