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)