Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sneak Peek: The Small Crib

If you are an ardent reader of my blog, I am sure you remember my "house hunting" activity in 2009. After these two post, we actually put the activity on hold for a while due to several reasons. One of it was due to the location. The company that Fadzil is working with finally decided NOT to move to Cyberjaya (*sob*), thus we need to think again of a strategic location so that Fadzil can travel easily to the heart of KL city while I can travel easily towards the South...

After deep thinking and a series of discussions, me and Fadzil finally came to a decision; to buy a house for investment. I think that was the best decision we had came out with since at that time, we can't really decide on the location and we afraid, the longer we wait, the higher the price of the properties shoot up (It was true indeed!). Furthermore, Faaz was still a baby and living with the parents gives us the advantage in terms of his well being and his daycare.

We gone through the "house hunting" activity again, but this time it was a lot more easier since we know what we want :). Alhamdulillah, soon we found the crib we were looking for and within our budget. PH is still our preference since the rental price here is very competitive (this is very, very important factor for investment ;)). After going through a long process of buying the house, it was finally ours. Straight away after we got the keys, the house was rented. However, the previous tenant decided to move out a week before fasting. That is why we were busy on Ramadhan weekends, cleaning the house and meet ups with the future tenants (sampai persiapan raya pun last minute :P).

OTW to PH...
Faaz insisted that we buckle on the seat belt for him since the Civic doesnt have a car seat.
Good boy! ;)

When we first bought the house, Faaz Naqi was still a baby who did not understand what was going on. Since he is now bigger, we decided to bring him as well to the house on one of the session...just to see his reaction. And..for the first time, here's the sneek peek of our small crib, which we kept a secret for quite sometime :)

It is a small house with a bit of extra land. Enough for Faaz Naqi to run and play, if we decided to move in one day.
The outside..

The house has been renovated, with kitchen cabinets and plaster ceiling in the living room, dining room as well as the kitchen...quite a good deal for the price we've paid and quite nice for a small house. Alhamdulillah :)

The inside..

Faaz Naqi love the house! He ran everywhere, going up and down the stairs. That explained his presence in most of the photos I took :P

What made him more excited was the fact that the house is situated just across the playground. Hihi..I guess if we moved in, memang hari-hari ke playground lah dia. Confirm! :P

The view from a window upstairs: the field and the playground.

Faaz @ the playground. Happy! :)

When we came back to USJ home, Faaz proudly said to his grandparents that he went "to see Ash house". When being asked where is his house, he'll say "Putta Haits!" Hihihi..cute! :)

After seeing how much he loves the house, we felt like move in to the house terus pulak. Apetah lagi lately we've been to quite a number of housewarmings by friends. Teringin nak duduk sendiri. However, since the house is now tenanted again, we have another year to decide. In the meantime, we'll try our best to save as much as we could. We plan to change the outer look of the house to a more modern look if we were to move in. Fadzil himself has started to work on it. I must say the sketches he made via Google Sketch is very impressive. Keep up the good work sayang! ;) In the meantime, a LOT of saving is required. Cause to make our dream a reality..a LOT of $$$$ involved! huuuhuuu! Oh ya, we just received a good news from our agent last week: the current price of this house now has increased to 70K in less than a year! Alhamdulillah...nasib baik dah beli awal2. Legaaa :)

"Ya Allah, smoga Engkau murahkan rezeki kami dgn rezeki yang halal dan permudahkanlah semua urusan rumah ini. Tunjukkanlah dan berikanlah kami yang terbaik untuk kami wahai Tuhan Yang Maha Berkuasa. Ameen."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Red Velvet Cake - Mission Accomplished!

with Faaz who can't be parted from me..
This year, I did not baked any cookies for Eid. I was so tired on the first weekend of Ramadhan due to the trip, and the remaining weekends filled with visits to our PH house for cleaning the lawn and few series up meet ups with the potential tenants.

So mama, my MIL requested that I bake some cakes instead. At first, I was thinking of baking the normal chocolate moist cake that I usually bake but then, after reading so many blog post and FB status on the Red Velvet Cake I kinda interested to taste one. I started to search for the recipe from blogs and websites but strangely, I ended up at Youtube. After watching this video, I fell in love with it and starting to copy the recipe. I was eager to bake the cake, as well as eager to taste it the very first time..risau jugak, entah sedap ke tidak. However, I can guess the taste is a combination of sweet and a bit of sour since the ingredients includes buttermilk and white vinegar. True enough, these two elements made the cake not too sweet..just nice and chocolaty ;)

When I bought the ingredients, I forgot to buy the apparatus to do the frosting. So when the time came for the decorations, I was down with only spatula and few icing pipe without the paper (old stuff from mama's cabinet). Trying to be "creative", I just used the normal spatula and the round thingy used to spin the food on top of the dining table (of which I don't know what it's called :P) to spread the frosting on top and sides of the cake. In addition, I insert the icing pipe into the Ziploc sandwich bag and made a small hole to make a piping bag..blasah! hihihi..end result? Comot yang amat! I felt tickled every time I saw my cake although my sweet hubby and mama kept on saying that it was not bad after all. I know you guys were being so nice to me, mmmuahs!! :)

Taraaaa...presenting my very first (and messy) Red Velvet Cake...

sape kata tiru recipe kat youtube tak jadi, mine jadi jer!! ;)

Did you see a straight hole in the middle? I was so eager to cut the cake on the 1st Syawal before Tasya had the chance to snap a photo of it. The hole is from the knife yang telah dicabut semula...hihihi. Green indicate Eid Mubarak, white indicate the pureness of Syawal, and the Red Flower indicating the Red Velvet :)

Finally I can cut the cake...bismillahirrahmanirrahim! :)

The inner of the cake..red velvet.

Red Velvet Cake
(credit to Howcast - Youtube. Click the link to watch the video)

2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
2 1-ounce bottles of red food coloring
2 sticks of softened unsalted butter, divided
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 large eggs
1 c. buttermilk
3 tsp. vanilla extract, divided
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. white vinegar
2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
2 c. powdered sugar
3 9-inch round cake pans
A whisk
A wooden spoon
Cooling rack
Cake plate
A spatula
15-ounce can of beets (optional)
Electric mixer (optional)
Pecan halves (optional)

Step 1: Preheat oven

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour the cake pans.

:: Note::
::I did not use 350 degrees as I felt it was the heat was so strong.
I used 200 degrees instead ::

Step 2: Combine flour

Combine the sifted flour and salt in a bowl.

Step 3: Color the cocoa

Pour the cocoa powder into a small bowl, add the red food coloring, and whisk until smooth.

Tip: You can use the juice from one 15-oz. can of beets in place of the food coloring.

Step 4: Cream the butter and sugar

In a large bowl, beat one stick of butter and sugar by hand or with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy. Then beat in the eggs, one at a time.

Step 5: Add the flour

Switch your mixer speed to low and add the flour a few tablespoons at a time. Alternate mixing flour with adding the buttermilk, vanilla extract, and dyed cocoa paste. Mix the ingredients until all the batter is the same red color, but do not overbeat.

Step 6: Mix in the vinegar

In a small bowl, stir the baking soda into the vinegar, and then fold it into the batter with a wooden spoon.

Step 7: Bake the cake

Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes; then invert the layers onto a rack to cool completely.

Step 8: Make the frosting

Make the frosting by beating the cream cheese with one stick of butter until creamy. Beat in 1 tablespoon of vanilla. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Step 9: Apply a crumb coating

When the cake has cooled, place the first layer on your cake plate or stand, spread frosting on top with a spatula, add the next layer, frost the top of that, and so on. Once you've added the final cake layer, spread a thin coating of frosting over the entire cake to contain crumbs, and then refrigerate it for 15 minutes.

Step 10: Finish frosting

Finish frosting the cake by spreading the frosting on top and on the sides. Decorate the top with pecan halves if you like.


Alhamdulillah, everyone who tasted it loves it and the cake was officially finished by 2nd day of Syawal. Since there were requests for more and the leftover ingredients are sufficient, I did another Red Velvet Cake, this time for office mates and friends recently..but this time, while doing the deco on the cake, the so-called piping bag pecah in the middle of deco!! haru betul... :)) I guess it's a sign, I need to have the proper tools for next baking session...
kek yg lebih comot lagi..hahaha!
Tak kisahla, yang penting: Mission Accomplished!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ramadhan 1431

This year, we celebrated Ramadhan in a moderate way. Compared to the previous year, we spent most of our break fast at home, eating home meal cooking. There was no trip to the Ramadhan Bazaar as well. The only times that we went out for break fast were at my mom's place, attended a potluck iftar with blogger mommies, twice dine out with the family and a dine out at Flying Chilli's, just the 3 of us.

Potluck iftar at Anne's place

We feel it's more convenient to break fast at home, especially with an active little kid around...there's no need of rushing for Maghrib prayer while taking turn to eat. In an addition, since the issue of 'halal' status has been widely highlighted by the media rasa macam cuak pulak nak berbuka di luar.. :P

In terms of cooking, most of the dishes in Ramadhan are cooked by mama. Yes, I am very lucky to have a wonderful and understanding mother in laws :) Although in this month we are allowed to go back home early than the normal working hours, there are days that I have to attend meetings at late evening and there are days that I finished work at 6 0r 7pm. If I am lucky to get back home early, I only cook simple dishes as an addition...okla, at least something from me. Hik! Oh, I am impressed when I get to know few of my working friends managed to cook for their family despite late arrival from the office due to the heavy traffic. You ladies, rock!! ;)

Faaz Naqi dah pandai demand.
Nak bawak sendiri shopping bag dia.
Habis satu mall dia sapu lantai.
Rajin tul anak mommy :P

The month of Syawal is soon to arrive and so far I can say that our preparation is moderate as well. Preparation only started last Saturday and yesterday, two days of last minute shopping. Most of the shopping goes to Faaz Naqi. Daddy and Mommy don't have the mood to shop. I guess our time had passed and now its time to Faaz Naqi enjoyed it to the fullest ;) However, I managed to find a matching baju melayu for both of the boys. As for me, although there are lots of variety of baju kurung, kebaya n kaftan for the ladies, I still can't find the mood to pick one. Few trips to look one for me ended up I went back home with empty handed. It did gave a surprise to Fadzil. Macam tak percaya wife dia takde mood nak shopping. Relieve pun ye jugak kot, eh yang? Hahaha.. Anyway, I'm not to worry about it cause I still have two "fresh" baju kurungs that I've bought earlier this year. Hihi.

Candid by daddy Faaz...
Kita pening kepala nak pilih, dia sibuk imitate kita plak..sabar je la budak pipi tembam ni tau! :))

It has been two years since I last bake cookies for Raya. Last year, I was busy attending Faaz Naqi and this year, my weekends were fully utilized with preparation for our house. Oh, don't get me wrong, we're not moving in soon. We're preparing the house for the next tenant to move in after Raya since the current tenant had left. Will tell you more about the house in future entry k. Ok, back to the cookies story. Since no cookies baked this year, mama requested me to bake some cakes instead. I plan to bake the Red Velvet Cake besides my signature chocolate moist cake. Quite nervous since it will be my first time to bake the Red Velvet Cake. Rasa pun belum pernah ok, pernah tengok je..Harap2 sedapla, since the cake has becomes so popular lately. Doakan semuanya menjadi yer. Kalau jadi nanti I share the recipe here :)

Tempted tak?
Hopefully mine will turn out well like this..

*photo courtesy of google image

Ramadhan 1431 almost closing it's curtain and I have mixed feeling about it.

I feel happy and really thankful to Allah SWT that I've been given the privileged to meet Ramadhan again this year (alhamdulillah..) but I am sad, really sad that Ramadhan will bid goodbye to us in few more days. Frankly, I feel that I should have done more, rasa sungguh rugi kerana banyak lagi amalan sunat yang tak dapat dilakukan. :'( Still, few more days left..will make full use out of it, insyaAllah.

Ya Allah, kau ampuni lah dosa hambamu yang lalai ini, terimalah ibadahku dibulan yang mulia ini. Smoga ada lagi Ramadhan untukku selepas ini...Amin, Ya Rabbal Alamin.

Since in one or two days, most of you will be away for Raya, with sincerity and humbleness I would like to seek forgiveness to all of you dear readers for my wrongdoings, especially if any of my writings caused discomfort or hurt you unintentionally. Happy Eid Mubarak 1431, Maaf Zahir Batin. Hopefully all of us will have a nice and memorable Raya, insyaAllah. :)

p.s: Ex-uni friends, nanti raya we buat gathering k, rindu kat korang..puasa ni tak sempatla..

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Superbaby vs. Supertoddler

When Faaz was born, Fadzil's big sister wasn't around to share the happiness with all of us. So when her plane touched down at KLIA, she went straight to the hospital to visit us and brought this all the way from Aussie as a present for our bundle of joy...

a baby of steel @ superbaby romper

It was one of the coolest gift that Faaz had received, and when he turned exactly 1 month old, we let him wore it for the first time, it fitted him well! we took some photos and I uploaded it into my FB account, and since that day the cousins and close friends called him as the baby of steel since that was written at the left sleeve of the romper :)

Sixteen months had flew away since that day. When I went to shop for Faaz's new sets of sleepwear in H&M Oslo, I was excited when I saw one of the sleepwear displayed..it's a superman's sleepwear! I looked around for the actual superman suit, unfortunately they were out of stock. They only have spiderman outfit left. Hmm, bukan rezeki Faaz Naqi...so I bought few sleepwear including the superman, of course. Fadzil was delighted when I showed him the sleepwear later on. He said he can't wait to see our son wearing it. Excited! :)

Happily playing with the harmonika..
he's so into musical instruments lately :)

So I thought it will be a nice surprise for Fadzil to let Faaz wear the sleepwear when we went to pick him up when he returned from the Oslo trip. Owh, Faaz was so excited when I told him that we want to go the airport to pick up his Daddy. Before we went to the airport, sempat lagi dia solat...solat supaya Daddy dia selamat sampai, perhaps :P

First, Faaz wore the head cover or the "kopiah"..

Next Faaz stand towards the qiblah..

Finally when everything's perfect then only Faaz can start to pray..hihi

On the way to the airport, Faaz reluctant to sit with his Nani. Instead, he sat tightly on my lap, with his hand held mine firmly. I guess he was afraid that I'll be gone again cuz the last time I told him we were on the way to the airport, it was the day I left him with his grandparents. Poor baby.. We had to wait for 30 minutes when we arrived. Unfortunately, Fadzil's flight was delayed. There's a souvenir shop nearby that sells soft toys including Mickey Mouse, Faaz favourite so we spent most of the time there...

One more minute..

eiiii...lambatnyeeee! :p

As anticipated, Faaz reaction when he saw his daddy was exactly just like when he saw me after I came back from Oslo. He was SHY at first, tersipu-sipu senyum (sabar ajela). And the minute we opened our arms wide open, he'll run towards us and give us the nice warm hug that we missed a lot! :) Oh ya, Fadzil was so happy to finally see his son in the sleepwear. Daddy's jr now is no more superbaby...but a supertoddler! Haha.. ;)

The faces of a son missing his daddy and a daddy missing his son. Sweetness :)
Suamiku yang obviously tired after long hours flight sudah tanned due to summer sunshine :P

Faaz after both of us came back? He was clingy the whole week..followed us even till the bathroom. Buka mata je, "Daddy?" "Mommy?" Hihihi...poor him. Don't worry son, insyaAllah we'll bring you as well for the next trip. Bila tu? Bila ade rezeki lebih..insyaAllah. :)