Honey Conflakes

Honey cornflakes

Honey cornflakes

Oman has just announced the Eid Al Adha holiday… it will be from Friday 3rd October (Arafah/Wukuf Day) till Thursday 9th October, offices and schools will be opened on Sunday 12th October… that is a solid 9 days break for everyone, alhamdulillah… From what I heard a lot of Malaysian in Oman will travelling during this holiday.. some are going for holiday in Europe and Dubai and quiet a handful of Malaysian will be celebrating Eid in Malaysia. Regardless of where you are going, I hope you guys will have a beautiful Eid and stay safe.

This year the Arafah Day falls on Friday, this means that this year is Hajj Akhbar… Masha Allah. I pray that my brother and his wife will be given a good health and strength to performed their Hajj. May Allah shower both of you with His Mercy and Kindness and grant you guys Hajj Mabroor, insyaallah. And for Malaysian congregation from Oman that left for Mecca yesterday, I hope that they will be in their best health and may Allah make it easy for them to perform this ibadah.

Okay… back to the recipe…. Cookies cookies cookies. If you are wondering if I made this cookies for eid then the answer is NO. This cookies were not made for the eid celebration… just that I felt like making cookies, that’s all. Since the M mood is still lingering around me, I decided to make the easiest cookies around hahaha. When the girls were back from school yesterday and saw them, the first thing they asked was ” Whose cookies are these?” In another word “Can I eat them?” Very clever girls hehehe. The first batch that I made yesterday afternoon has long gone and the second batch that I made last nite is almost gone…

Oh… credit should be given where it is due… this sweet and crunchy treats recipes was taken from here.

One of the kids favourite snack

One of the kids favourite snack

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 90 g butter
  • 4 cups cornflakes

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheated oven to 150°C.
  2. In a saucepan, melt butter, honey and sugar over gentle heat, until the mixture is frothy.
  3. Add cornflakes into the mixture and stir to coat the cornflakes evenly.
  4. Spoon cornflakes into individual mini baking cases. Bake at for 10 minutes, or until the cornflakes turn a darker shade of golden. Once cooled, store them in an airtight container.
Fresh from my Oman's kitchen

Fresh from my Oman’s kitchen

Luqaimat

Omani Luqaimat

Omani Luqaimat

Yesterday I was talking to a friend of mine about IQ level and she told me that hers has dropped to average ever since she become a home maker…hmmmm it get me thinking… I am confident that mine has drop to below average. Why? Because most of the time now I need my kids to remind me how spell certain words… I think it is a sign hehehe. Well… I am taking the initiative to move my IQ level up to average at least hehehe because my friend told me that reading and writing can improve your IQ… we’ll see.

I know that it has been awhile since my last posting and yesterday when I opened my blog I was actually surprised that my last posting was in April… it has been close to half a year since I last wrote… no wonder my IQ has dropped hehehe. Orait orait orait… lets see my new recipe for today… Luqaimat. Luqaimat – لقيمات- is a well-known dessert between Arabs and it is a must dessert in arab home for iftar. It varies between country to country and I am ashame to let you know that I have never tasted this desert until last Ramadhan. Have seen it when I was in Kuwait but never had the guts to try because people said that it is soooo sweet. Luqaimat is also known as Crunchy Sweet Dumpling. The dumpling itself is not sweet but the syrup that is poured on top of it is the one that make is sweet.

During the first week of last Ramadhan, we were invited by my other half’s customer to his house for iftar. This was my first time being invited by the local to their house. Kuwaities never invite a non family members to their house unless they really like you. So, we were quite nervous as my other half already told me that this customer is one of the richest family in Oman… so please make sure the kids behave. Their house is so huge and I would say it should be called a castle. They have a huge indoor pool and also a private beach… masyaallah, the house is so beautiful. Anyway… the dinner was great…buffet style even though only 11 of us and when it came to dessert time I was made to taste all the of them… nak tak nak kena lah try this luqaimat. It is rude to say no to their favourite dessert,right? I am surprised that it tasted not bad at all but since the syrup that was used has a hint of cardamon, I cant say I love it hehehe. So that was my first encounter with luqaimat.

The second time I ate luqaimat was at another omani house that we went for iftar and I have to say that this family changed my opinion about this dessert. Their luqaimat was not covered with syrup and cardamon but it was covered with condense milk… it was great and delicious. I managed to ask for a recipe and I am proud to tell you that I had made this dessert couple of times during the last Ramadhan. Below is the recipe and I dare you to try and make it. Happy baking!

Crunchy Sweet Dumpling

Crunchy Sweet Dumpling

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp corn flour
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 3/4 – 1 cup of water
  • Condense milk
  • Oil for fry

Method

  • Mix all purpose flour, corn flour, yeast and sugar in a bowl.
  • Gradually add the water and keep on mixing until  you get a smooth batter. It should be in dropping consistency not too watery or too thick.
  • Cover the batter for 1 or 2 hours until the batter doubled. The batter now should have bubbles and somewhat bouncy.
  • Heat oil in a wok. Scoop a small amount of batter with your fingers and drop them into the hot oil (macam nak buat cekodok).
  • Fry till they turn golden brown. Remove from oil, and place them on kitchen paper.
  • Pour condense milk or your favorite syrup on top.
Right from the stove

Right from the stove

Ubi Getuk (Fried Mashed Tapioca)

My getuk ubi kayu

My getuk ubi kayu

Assalamualaikum and a very good day friends. Cant believe it that today is already Thursday which means the school break is almost over sob sob sob.

Best....

Best….

Kids are on study-mode holiday… and to tell you the truth, me and my other half really surprised that they REFUSED to go for holidays even for a day and insist on studying (I should be happy right?)… so in order to make sure that they really study and not distracted by other technologies gadgets…we decided to convert our dining table into study area….

Books books books and more books

Books books books and more books

Normally they study in their room which makes it impossible for me to monitor. So having them studying in the living room and having the study plan for the whole week which I personally made for them, it gives me some comfort that  they will insyaallah be a little bit more prepared for the coming exam.

Thank God that we do not have any visitors during this time...

Dining table full of books

So.. what do I do the whole week? Nothing much because I cant watch the TV as it will definitely going to distract them and I do not fancy going out as the temperature outside is about 39C already… so what do I do? … read books… ape lagi. Managed to finish 2 books and spent more time working with Haqeem on homework. Oh… besides that, making Milo ice cream for the kids everyday hehehe. Believe it or not, within this week alone 2kg of milo is gone! Help! Help! Help! My milo stock is depleted!

Ice cream Milo

Milo ice cream …

Okay… enough with that, let’s look at this all time favourite snack… ubi getuk. I totally love it and since we are not in Malaysia, there is no chance of getting it by the roadside… kena extra rajin la sikit if nak makan this ubi getuk… Cant remember where I took the recipe from but thanks anyway to who ever post it.

Ingredient:

Batter

  • 3/4 up rice flour
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric powder
  • 1 tsp lime water (air kapur)
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tbsp hot oil

Mashed tapioca

  • 2 cup mashed tapioca
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • Oil for frying

Method:

Batter

  1. Mix all the dry ingredient in a bowl. Add in lime water and water. Mix well.
  2. Add in hot oil and quickly mix the batter. Add more water if the batter is too thick.

Mashed tapioca

  1. Peel off tapioca’s skin and wash clean.
  2. Heat heavy pot and boil the tapioca until cooked.
  3. Once, tapioca became soft, strain till dry and then mashed
  4. Placed the mashed tapioca into a bowl. Add in the rest of the ingredient. Shape into 1 inch balls.
  5. Dip the ball into the batter and coat thoroughly. Place in the hot oil a few at a time and cook for about 5 minutes turning occasionally until golden brown. Remove and drain on absorbent paper.
Tapioca is easily available here in Middle East.

Tapioca is easily available here in Middle East.

 

Marshmallow Fondant

My other half birthday cake for this year...golf theme

My other half birthday cake for this year…golf theme

Assalamualaikum and a very good morning to all. Kids are officially on Easter holiday starting from today… gosh, I can’t even express my relieve hehehe.  Even though it is just for 1 week… but I’m sure a good rest  is all that is needed for all of us to build up energy for the coming exams. Aina and Nurin will be sitting for their first written AS and IGCSE  paper on the 6th May. All my dua and prayer goes to them. I hope Allah will make it easy for them and regardless of what they will get later on, I’m always thankful to Allah coz  He knows what is the best for us.

2014 Chinese New Year cake for the CNY celebration at the Malaysian House Muscat

2014 Chinese New Year cake for the CNY celebration at the Malaysian House Muscat

2013 Father's day cake

2013 Father’s day cake

Today I’m sharing with all of you a recipe that I always used whenever I wanted to cover my cake with a fondant. The normal ready-made fondant that you can get from Wilton is OK but I think the taste of the marshmallow fondant is much much better. I am not a great cake decorator but I did take one or two cake decorating class conducted by Tavola. Nothing fancy but alhamdulillah, enough to decorate my family birthday cakes. I took my first decorating class (buttercream) while I was in Kuwait back in November 2012 and my second decorating class (gumpaste and fondant) I took a year later in Oman. I still have 2 classes to attend and am looking forward to that.

The end product after gumpaste and fondant class.

The end product after gumpaste and fondant class.

Gumpaste flowers

Gumpaste flowers

Okay… here is the recipe, taken from Wilton but I did a little modification on step 2 and 3 based on my researched on youtube. Happy trying ladies!

Ingredient :

  • 16 ounces white mini marshmallows
  • 2-5 tablespoons water
  • 2 lb (about 8 cups) sifted icing’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening

Method:

  1. To make marshmallow fondant, place marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 30 seconds on high; stir until mixed well. Continue microwaving 30 seconds more; stir again. Continue until melted (about 2 1/2 minutes).
  2. Place solid vegetable shortening in easily accessed bowl so you can reach into it with fingers as you are working.  Grease hands and counter GENEROUSLY.
  3. Place 3/4 of icing sugar on counter top that has been greased with vegetable shortening. Place the melted marshmallow on the icing sugar. Fold the sugar into the  marshmallow mixture. Flavoring can be added at this point if desired.
  4. Start kneading like you would dough. Continue kneading, adding additional icing sugar and re-greasing hands and counter so the fondant doesn’t stick. If the marshmallow fondant is tearing easily, it is too dry; add water (about 1/2 tablespoon at a time) kneading until fondant forms a firm, smooth elastic ball that will stretch without tearing, about 8 minutes.
  5. It’s best to allow Marshmallow Fondant to sit, double-wrapped, overnight. Prepare the fondant for storing by coating with a thin layer of solid vegetable shortening, wrap in plastic wrap and then place in resealable bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible. Marshmallow Fondant will keep well in refrigerator for several weeks.
  6. When not working with fondant, make sure to keep it covered with plastic wrap or in a bag to prevent it from drying out. When ready to use, knead fondant until smooth. Roll out fondant 1/8 in. thick.
Jessy's last year birthday cake...

Jessy’s last year birthday cake…

My other half's bike party cake

My other half’s bike party cake

Sofea 13th birthday cake

Sofea 13th birthday cake

 

Vanilla Butter Cake

Vanilla butter cake

Vanilla butter cake

Assalamualaikum and a very good evening to everyone out there. I have being neglecting my blog for quite sometimes now… allowing it to collect dust especially in this part of the world hehehe. Busy? Well.. you can say that… A lot had happened since my last entry and couple of new places has been explored. Since this is my first entry after a very long pause, I think I’ll take it easy… nothing serious… just a brief updates of what had happened for the last 5 months.
My sister in law and her husband came and stayed with us for a month at the end of November and the kids loved it. What not to love especially when the auntie did almost everything for them hehehe. My SIL loves Oman and she said she doesn’t mind staying here and did offer to come and stay with the kids if our Hajj trip is conformed. Insyaallah, if Allah sent us the invitation for Hajj this year, she can come and stay here with the kids.
End December, our friend that we had not meet for almost 20 years came and visit us from London. Our kids and their kids became friends almost instantly… it was great to meet Kazan and his family. We knew Kazan back in 1987 during our English course in Bukit Sekilau and  A levels time in MSMKL in Shamelin Perkasa. It was nice to be able to catch up with old friend.
Last February, our dear family friend, Mady, Zura and their 3 beautiful daughters came to visit us from Kuwait. We did go and see couple of places in Oman and we had a really good time together, well… minus the 2 days when baby Zahra had a high fever hehehe. For all these, we thank Allah for blessing us with great family and beautiful friends, Alhamdulillah.
Before we look at the recipe, I just want to share with you guys 2 photos that I took while accompanying my other half for golf yesterday…
Golfing with Dishdasha... unique!

Golfing with Dishdasha… unique!

This... brought a smile to my face.

This… brought a smile to my face.

Okay… almost there. I took this recipe from Azie Kitchen and I really love the texture of the cake… super soft and melt in your mouth. Do give a try and see what I mean.
Moist and fluffy texture

Moist and fluffy texture

Ingredient:
230 g soft butter  
4 egg yolks (B size)
4 egg whites (B size)
50 g caster sugar
150 g caster sugar
200 g self raising flour – sift
60 ml fresh milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
....

….

Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease  8×8″ pan and line with parchment paper.
  2. Beat butter and 150 g caster sugar till light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and beat till combine.
  3. Add egg yolk one at a time, beating until just combined between additions.
  4. Fold in sifted flour and milk in two batches.
  5. In another bowl, whisk egg white till foamy.. slowly add in 50 g of caster sugar a little at a time and whisk till soft peak.
  6. Fold in the egg white into the cake batter in 3 batches. Fold until well combined.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 mins @ 170 C.
The whole house smells the vanilla... heaven

The whole house smells the vanilla… heaven

Cream Puffs

Cream puff

A profiterole, cream puff or choux à la crème

Assalamualaikum and a very good evening to all. Hope life is treating everyone good.

Oman celebrated its 43rd National day last Monday 18th November but the official holiday for the National day will be on this coming Wednesday 27th and Thursday 28th November. I am looking forward to this long weekend. No concrete plan has been made but insyaallah we will go somewhere. Oman is too beautiful to be left unexplored furthermore we are receiving guest this Wednesday, the more reason to go out in the sun hehehe.

We have been in Muscat since 28th August and we have been to a couple of places that I find it to be breathtaking. Oman has a very unique landscape; rocky mountains, sandy dunes, amazing beaches and not to forget natural wadis…. what is there not to love!

Amazing scenery from Muscat to Bimmah sinkhole

Amazing scenery from Muscat to Bimmah sinkhole

The first trip that we took was to the Bimmah sink hole and Wadi Al Shab during the eid holidays. Shukri and Anis with their 3 girls came over from Kuwait to spend 5 days in Muscat knowing that we just moved in and eid would be lonely without family and close friends. We really appreciate them coming all the way from Kuwait to our humble home just to keep us company. On the second day of eid holiday we went to Bimmah Sinkhole. Bimmah Sinkhole is located in the fenced and toilet-equipped Hawiyat Najm Park. It is approximately 1.5 hrs drive from Muscat.

Bimmah Sinkhole

Bimmah Sinkhole

Bimmah sinkhole occurred naturally due to limestone erosion. This sinkhole is said to be connected to the sea through an underground tunnel which then explain the unique colour of the water. We have no way of confirming this but my girls did taste the water and they said it taste slightly salted. So, maybe it is true that this sinkhole is connected to the sea which is one or two km away. You can actually swim here, so by all means, please bring your swimming costume people!

The water is so inviting

The water is so inviting

After spending about 1 hour here, we proceed to our next destination, Wadi Shab. Wadi Shab is approximately 20 km from Bimmah Sinkhole but since our GPS gave a weird location of this wadi, we kind of wonder off road for a while and go up a mountain hehehe. We then called a friend and she told us that this wadi so near to the road and should you already go up the mountain, you are definitely lost. Almost gave up, we decided to just proceed to Sur and then, suddenly the signboard appeared… what a relieve! It is just by the roadside…. well, at least some part of it. We parked our car and took a boat to the other side. The guy on the boat told us that you need to walk about 1 hour to the waterfall. Since we have children and baby with us, we decided to just walk to the first pool so that the kids could have a dip. The other tourist told us that it is just a 10 minutes walk but the the kids, not suitable foot ware and the heat factor, I swear that it took us almost 20 minutes to the pool. Thank God that the kids had fun in the water.

Wadi Shab

Wadi Shab

wadishab1

Walking to the first pool…tiring

After Wadi Shab, we drove to Sur for a late lunch and then headed home to Muscat. It was a long day but the scenery was to die for. In the next posting I’ll tell you our next adventure after the sinkhole and Wadi Shab, stay tune!

Okay, now we come to the new recipe for today, cream puff. I seriously do not remember where I got the recipe from but I Have been using this recepi since I first moved to Kuwait. Happy baking guys!

cream puff with vanilla pastry cream

Cream puff with vanilla pastry cream

Ingredient:

Choux Pastry:

  • 1 cup  all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter cut into pieces
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 large egg, lightly beaten

Pastry Cream:

  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 2 large yolks – beaten
  • 3/4 cup  granulated sugar (you can reduce this if you do not fancy a sweet pastry cream)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup corn flour
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Method:

Choux Pastry:

  1. Preheat oven to 200C. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl sift together flour,sugar and salt.
  3. Place the butter and water in a heavy saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil. (Make sure that the butter melts before the water boils to reduce the amount of evaporation.)
  4.  Remove from heat and with a wooden spoon, add the flour mixture, all at once, and stir until combined.
  5. Return saucepan to the heat and stir constantly until the dough comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a thick smooth ball
  6. Transfer the dough to your electric mixer and beat on low speed to release the steam from the dough. Once the dough is lukewarm start adding the lightly beaten eggs and continue to mix until you have a smooth thick paste.
  7. Spoon or pipe 24 small mounds of dough onto the baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 180 degrees C. Continue to bake for a further 30 to 35 minutes or until the shells are a nice amber color and when split, are almost dry inside. Turn the oven off and with the oven door slightly ajar, let the shells completely cool.
  9. When the shells are cool, either split and fill them with the pastry cream, or use a pastry bag to pipe the pastry cream into the shells.

 

Pastry Cream:

  1. Place the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Once melted add sugar, salt and corn flour. Mix well.
  2. Add milk and cook until just about to boil.
  3. Add the egg slowly, whisking constantly to prevent curdling. Cook for another 2 minutes or until the mixture become thick.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla.
  5. Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate until ready to use.
Can be refrigerate for 2-3 days

Can be refrigerated for 2-3 days

New Place we call Home

Assalamualaikum and a very good evening to everyone out there. Alhamdulillah, all praise to Allah swt  for all his blessings and lessons that has been sent my way. Truly, we as human most of the time always forget to thank Allah for his countless blessings that he has bestowed upon us and always complaint when been tested. As human we need to remember that all the tests that has been sent to us are ways and means to increase our iman and taqwa towards Him. May Allah swt grant us patience whenever we are faced with crisis. Sound serious eh, hehehe well this is self reminder… just to remind myself not jump whenever “not so good thing” happens. Sabar sabar sabar.

Okay… what is it that I’m suppose to write?? Oh… my new home. Well… it has been 2 months since we first moved in into our new home in Madinat Sultan Qaboos (MQ) area. Alhamdulillah, most of the things are already in order except for few minor things that still need to be done. I am so glad that “house hunting” episode is done.

We live in a compound area consist of 22 villas

We live in a compound

Seriously, finding a suitable house here was really a challenge for me. Don’t remember it been so difficult when we first moved to Kuwait but then again, my other half did all the house hunting for us back then hehehe. Honestly after countless house viewing done, I never thought that we would be able to find one, especially with all of our “requirements”.

Our private patio that leads to the swimming area

Our private patio that leads to the swimming area

Shared swimming pool

Shared swimming pool

When we moved from Kuwait, we brought all our stuff that has been accumulated for 5 years. Banyak mana? Well, it fits the whole of 40 foot container… just imagine trying to find a house that can fit all those stuff. Don’t get me wrong…. there are tons of houses here in Muscat but every house that we viewed, there bound to be something that was  not right, either the kitchen cant fit our cooker, the bedroom is small and has no wardrobe, the parking is too narrow or the ceiling is too low hehehe. Another thing that I was struggling with was  because all of the houses here are multi level and I’m so used to single floor apartment while we were in Kuwait. Well, you can’t get everything,right. So if you ask me whether I manage to get single level house, then the answer is a big NO. Hehehe guess what…. my new house has 4 levels! Believe it or not, we even has a elevator in the house kahkahkah.

Living area

Living area

This new house has 5 bedrooms; all with attached bathroom. Just imagine how many bathrooms I need to clean in a month, not counting another 2 guest toilets. Can I request for a maid???? hehehe. Aina and Nurin managed to get approval from their father for personal room and they occupy the top floor. Sofea, Jessy and Haqeem  is sharing a room on the same level as the master bedroom. The most difficult thing for me to get use to is to wake everybody up everyday because before this I just need to walk from one end to another and now I need to walk up and down… I hate it! Since I hate it so much climbing the stairs, my other half does all the “waking up” every morning and all  I need to do is go down and prepare breakfast.

Okay…. let me just give a brief description about the area that we are staying now. Madinat Sultan Qaboos (MQ) is a suburb of Muscat, the capital of Sultanate of Oman.  It is situated less than one kilometer from the sea and is well connected to the rest of the city by the country main highways; Sultan Qaboos Street and Muscat Expressway. MQ is a very mature residential area with a small commercial area where you can find proper restaurant, fast food outlet, supermarket, bank, pharmacy, bookstores, laundry and hangout place such as Costa Coffee and Starbuks. My house is actually a walking distance to this commercial area which I find it very convenient. The distance to the school is also very reasonable…normally it takes me about 10 minutes to drive the kids to school every morning. This is important as 3 out of 5 days, kids have clubs which requires me to make two trips to the school in the afternoon and should the driving time and the distance is somewhat “crazy”, it could easily turn this mum into a monster and believe me, nobody wants a monster mum hehehe.

Have a great weekend people!

Istanbul Trip Part4

Assalamualaikum and Salam Maal Hijrah buat semua. كل عام و انتم بخير

Day 4: Monday, 25th February 2013

Everyone was looking forward to this day… Grand Bazaar time!

On day 4 of the trip, our family decided to make a short trip to Basilica Cistern whereas the other 2 families went straight to Grand Bazaar. Basilica Cistern is located near the Sultan Ahmet Square. It is an ancient cistern that lie beneath city of Istanbul which act as a reservoir for water storage for the Great Palace.

Inside the Basilica Cistern

Inside the Basilica Cistern

More columns

More columns

There are 336 columns in the cistern and if you walked to the far left-hand corner of the cistern, you will see 2 Medusa heads. Both heads are used as a based column with one positioned upside down and the other tilted to the side. The reason why they are placed in such a way remain mystery to this very day. It is an awesome place to visit and definitely a must visit place in Istanbul.

Another Medusa Head

Medusa Head

Medusa head

Another Medusa head

After Basilica Cistern we proceed to the Grand Bazaar via tram. Grand Bazaar opens daily except on Sunday from 9:00 to 19:00. By the time we reached Grand Bazaar it was almost noon and it was packed with people.

Shops outside Grand Bazaar

Shops outside Grand Bazaar

Grand Bazaar Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered bazaar in the world. The bazaar is truly huge and finding your way out of this bazaar maze is really a challenge especially if you don’t pay attention to where you’re going hehehe . If I’m not mistaken there are 5 major gates to the Grand Bazaar and depending on which gate you take it will bring you to different section of the bazaar. The shops here are more or less are group together into sections, depending on what are they selling, for example leather goods, ceramic and souvenirs, handbags, carpets, antiques, clothes and so on.

Jewellery shops inside the bazaar

Jewellery shops inside the bazaar

Souviner shops

Souvenir shops

Ceramic and glass lamp shades

Ceramic and glass lamp shades

What did we buy there? Hahaha… lots of stuff. As always… we would walk around (look see look see hehehe) and find out what are there to buy and then check out their prices. Once we have establish the baseline then only we start  bargaining for the items. In order to make a good deal you have to be willing to invest your time in finding a shop that willing to accept your offer… which we were not that willing to do so simply because we traveled with 5 kids and they easily get bored and stress. Having said that, we were quite happy with the prices that we got. Okay… things that we bought at the Grand Bazaar were some ceramic plates, fridge magnet, t-shits, clothes and last but not least… leather jackets. Leather jackets here are so cheap and they do offer an alteration service as long as you are willing to wait for half an hour. If you must know…my other half is a leather jacket maniac and he loves the army type of design and guess what… he found that very design there… so apa lagi beli lah hehehe and the fact that the shop owner was able to alter the jacket hand for him, it really made his day. Senyum sampai ke telinga muahahaha.

After all those shopping… we stop at one of the kebab shop and had our late lunch and….. I finally found a kebab that almost resemble the bebek kebab from Sheffield…. at last sampai jugak hajat hehehe. By the time we finished lunch, the kids started to acting up so we decided to send them back to the hotel and then make a quick visit to Hagia Sophia.

Sultanet Ahmet Square

Sultanet Ahmet Square

Hagia Sofia from a distance

Hagia Sofia from a distance

Hagia Sofia view from Sultanet Ahmad Square

Hagia Sofia view from Sultanet Ahmad Square

That evening we went to street and revisit the Spice Bazaar.

Street Market

Street Market

Tersusuk keletihan hehehe

Terduduk keletihan hehehe

The ladies were trying leather gloves in one of the shops near Spice Bazaar

The ladies were trying leather gloves in one of the shops near Spice Bazaar

The guys with their brand new leather jackets (from Grand Bazaar)and trying a leather beret.

The guys with their brand new leather jackets (from Grand Bazaar) and trying a leather beret.

Churros

My humble churros

My humble churros

Assalamualaikum and good evening everyone. It is 18:30 here in Muscat and guess what… it is WEEKEND! I am so glad that weekend has finally decided to drop by hehehe. This morning I was fortunate enough to be able to join a trip to Amouage Factory organized by Perwakilan Muscat.

YBhg. Professor Madya Datin Dr. Musrifah Sapardi

YBhg. Professor Madya Datin Dr. Musrifah Sapardi (Lady in Pink)

Amouage is a luxury Sultanate of Oman perfume established in 1983 by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos. The original intention was for the royal family as well as a gift from His Majesty to the county’s visitors.

Amouage

Amouage

Amouage uses traditional materials of Middle Eastern perfumery such as frankincense and myrrh. Besides that they uses other type of herbs such as cardamon, cinnamon, cloves and red peppercorn.

Fran

Frankincense

Ingredients for their perfumes

Ingredients for their perfumes

Their first fragrant was Amouage Gold, intoduced in 1983 and the latest Amouage collection is FATE which was introduced this year.

FATE for Man and Woman

FATE for Man and Woman

Our tour guide explained to us about how does the pyramid structure of ingredients affected the smell of the perfumes. Lets take the example of Ciel Woman perfume. Oh… by the way Ciel means sky in French and the pronunciation is dekat2 dengan “SIAL” hehehe. Okay okay okay… if you look at the ingredients pyramid below, you can see the word “Top Notes”, “Heart Notes” and “Base Notes” at the far left corner. What does it mean? Top Notes is the scent that you get immediately upon application of a perfume and it lasted a few minutes. Heart Notes is the scent that emerges just prior to when the top notes dissipate which is about 2 to 3 minutes of apllication of the perfume. It will stay for round about 30 minutes and then the Base Notes smell will appears and it will last as long as it last hehehe. For Amouage, our tour guide said that you can smell the perfume until the next day.

Ingredients pyramid

Ingredients pyramid

All their workers are Omani.

In their factory and all their workers are Omani.

Orait folks… itu saja pelajaran kita utk kali ini, next on my list is the recipe for Churros. I dedicate this recipe to my sister Aisyah and my sister-in-law Liza because I know that they love this churros very much. This churros is easy to make and amazingly delicious to eat. I took the recipe from here.

My kids said it taste just like doughnut... just different shape

My kids said it taste just like doughnut… just different shape

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Method:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine water, butter, sugar, and salt; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, and sift in flour, stirring for 1 minute.
  2. Transfer flour mixture to bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. On low speed, add eggs; 1 at a time, beating until incorporated after each addition; spoon mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large open-star tip.
  3. Heat 4 to 5 inches oil in a large deep-fry. Holding pastry bag a few inches above the oil, squeeze out batter, snipping off 4-inch lengths with a knife or kitchen shears. Fry, flipping once, until deep golden brown all over, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer churros to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain.
  4. Roll churros in confectioners’ sugar.

مع السلامة Kuwait, أهلاً و سهلاً Oman

Picture in front of the house before leaving for airport

Bye bye Kuwait…this picture was taken in front of the house before leaving for airport

Assalamualaikum and a very good day to everyone. As you guys already know, couple of months back my other half decided to accept a job offer in Muscat, Oman and believe it or not, that decision made our life turned upside down within a blink of an eye hehehe. Let me tell you how it started…

Round about early May this year, my other half received a call from an agent asking whether he was opened for uprooting to Muscat. His usual answer was “If it is worth the move, I would definitely consider it” and when he told me over the phone that day, my reaction was “Just send the CV and we’ll see what happen, anyway knowing how the agents and banks in Middle-east work, you won’t be getting the letter offer sooner than Dec”… confident tu hehehe. So, the bank send his ticket for the interview in Muscat and guess what… after 20 mins of interview the Deputy CEO made him an offer! Wow! That’s new to us. Luckily he didn’t say YES immediately hehehe.

A week after the interview, the letter offer came, I was speechless. I was happy that he got an incredible offer but at the same time I’m not sure I want to move from Kuwait. Well… Kuwait has been good to us and I’m kind of comfortable with everything… change is hard even though I always say that “Change is good” when I was conducting the Six Sigma Training but when it came to this, I was shattered. There  were a lot to consider and I don’t know if I want to even consider moving hehehe. We basically sat on the offer for almost 2 weeks and finally we said YES and told them that we will be joining on second week of September considering we already book our 5 weeks holiday to Malaysia. We being told that they need to submit my other half’s info to their Central Bank (CBO)for approval (for certain job positions and management levels, banks is required to send the candidate name for checking) and he is not to tender his resignation until the visa is given.

The CBO approval and visa came 2 weeks after that and I started to panic because mashaAllah… there were still a lot things that we were not sure of and the amount of research that need to be done was tremendous. Schooling was the top of my list, so we decided to make a trip to Muscat to find any school that is willing to accept our kids considering most school already closed their entry applications in January or February but alhamdulillah we managed to tentatively register our kids at Muscat International School (MIS).

My biggest concern was for my eldest daughter Aina because last academic year she did her AS exam using Cambridge exam board (CIE) where else here in Muscat, all schools do Edexcell exam board and this two board cannot be interchangeable. Since AS is the first level A-Level, she can not switch to Edexcell board for A2 exam but the MIS Principal said that his teacher can help Aina to bridge the gap between CIE and Edexcell syllabus. We were happy that it can be done. The girls and my boy will need to do an entrance test sometimes before July and we did come again end of June for the said test.

Shangri-la Muscat... who can resist this beautiful scenery

We stayed at Shangri-la Muscat when we came for entrance test .. who can resist this beautiful scenery

Month of June and July was very busy and stressful … lots of things to do for the move… do we sell both cars, when to sell the cars, what about furniture, do we need to buy more stuff, what about our cat, how to export the cat, transfer certificate and transcript from school and many more… eiss… countess things to do and on top of that I need to start planning for our trip back to Malaysia. If it wasn’t because of my brother getting married after eid, we would have cancelled our trip to Malaysia. Due to a lot of other issues, we cut short our holiday from 5 weeks to just 3 weeks, that means right after the wedding, we straight away make our way back to Kuwait.

Anyway… 3 days before we fly back to Msia, the packer came and did half of the packing and another half of the packing is to be done after we get back from Msia. Why? Well, originally we were supposed to have about 10 days after our holidays till the time for us to fly to Oman designated for packing, shopping and get together with friends but due to the request from the bank to report duty earlier, we only have 5 days from arrival date from Msia to departure date to Oman. To tell you the truth, I was so stress during those months that my BP shoot sky high… every week I had to make  a trip to my cardiologist.

Packing....

Packing….

We decide to bring one of our car

We decided to bring one of our cars

Our holidays in Malaysia was just “touch and go” kind of thing, do not have enough time to shop, meet family and friend and the biggest disappointment for the kids were unable to “makan” all the food in their list hihihi.

With brothers, sister and dearest mum on Eid 2013

With brothers, sister and dearest mum on Eid 2013

With the newly wed couple

With the newly wed couple

At least my boy was able to play in the rain di petang raya

At least my boy was able to play in the rain di petang raya

Having said all the stressful things that affected us during these months, we were also kind of looking forward to start new chapter of our life in beautiful Oman. My other half was so excited to embark into the new beginning of his career and I pray that Allah make it easy for him and us here in Muscat.

We arrived in Oman on 28th August at midnight and the bank representative brought us to the hotel that we suppose to call home for the next 4 weeks. Since we are a family of 7, they put us into 2 units of 1 bedroom suite, every unit has 1 living area, 1 bathroom and a small kitchen, alhamdulillah it was more than enough for us. My other half went for work the same morning and the kids started school the following Sunday.

Living area connecting to the other suite

Living area connecting to the other suite

After 2 months here in Muscat, I’m still trying to adapt to this new environment and believe it or not I do miss Kuwait dearly especially friends that we left behind….

Last day in Kuwait with people you care (picture courtesy from Zura/Mady(

Last day in Kuwait with people we care a lot (picture courtesy from Zura/Mady)

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