Fridge Magnet London Europe Trip 2012 – Part 3

Last Saturday Kuwait marked the golden jubilee of its constitution with a spectacular KD 4 million fireworks display along their Gulf Road. How much is KD 4 million again? Well, it is about $15-million, which is equivalent to £10million and if you want to know the cost in RM… it is about RM44 million. It is a really huge sum of money to be spent on fireworks don’t you think? Anyway, that night Kuwait made history… a total of 77,282 fireworks were displayed over a duration of  1 hour which earned them a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Mabrook!

Here are some of the images that I took from dailymail UK website.

Spectacular fireworks in Kuwait

Kuwait celebrates Constitution jubilee

KD 4 million worth of fireworks

Bright white fireworks

Red and purple ray of colours…. masyaallah. So beautiful..

Okay… back to our business he he he. Germany was one of the country that we visited during our last summer holidays. In Germany, we visited Cologne, Boppard, take a cruise along the River Rhine, Heidelberg, drive through Black Forest and our last stop was Drubba where the Cuckoo Clock Factory is located. And now I present to you my new Germany’s FM … happy viewing.

Germany Map

Deutschland aka Germany

Round FM

River Rhine

Heidelberg… education city

Cuckoo clock- Black Forest,Germany

Cologne

Malaysian Food Bazaar

Malaysian Food Bazaar – Kuwait

Alhamdulillah the Malaysian Food Bazaar Kuwait that was held on 31st March 2012 ended with a smile on everyone’s face. Mabrook to Datin Azlinda and everyone that had worked hard to make this event a memorable one. Everyone had a butterfly in their stomach the night before and some of them didn’t get any sleep at all… that was how nervous everybody was but the day progressed smoothly with very minimal hick-ups, and for that we thank Allah for making everything went as plan.

We had a total of 8 stalls that day ; rice, kuih(dessert), snack, laksa , drinks, satay, noodles and handicraft. Among the dishes that were showcased during that day were Satay, Nasi Lemak, Beef Rendang, Asam Laksa, Mee Rebus, Nasi Dagang and Nasi Kerabu. Besides that we also have desserts and favourite teatime snack such as  Bingka Ubi, Kuih Lapis, Keropok Leko and Pisang Goreng (Fried Banana). We also have Mee goreng and Kuey Teow goreng stall where the noodles are fried on the spot once you place the order, kinda like Pasar Malam style and believe me when I say that people do not mind waiting for their mee goreng as long as they had it freshly fried in front of them. This stall was one of the popular stall because you can see a lot of people queuing to place their order. Having said that I think everyone would have guess that satay was the most popular dish for the day, we made about 2500 sticks of chicken and beef satay and after 1 hour of opening time, 1000 sticks were already gone. Alhamdulillah and mabrook to all that have helped in preparing about 60kg of chicken and beef few days prior to the event.

“Mencucuk” satay 2 days prior to the event … picture courtesy of Cik Eli Cik Nos

Back track a little bit he he he, on that day, the volunteers started to arrive as early as 8 am to make the last minute preparation such as decorating the stall, cutting the nasi impit, fruits and vegetables.

Getting ready…. TYT Dato’ Adnan – Malaysian Ambassador to Kuwait (in yellow) pun turun padang.

Busy busy bees in the kitchen…

I was in charged of the Dessert stall. Okay…let me get this clear… my responsibility was to find volunteers to bake all the kuih and also making sure that everything run smoothly on the day of the sale, and baking the kuih was not part of the job kah kah kah. On that day we had karipap, bingka ubi, bingka jagung, kuih bakar, kuih seri muka and kuih lapis at our stall. All the kuih were gone by 3 pm, alhamdulillah. Thanks to Pn Zarinah and my daughter Aina for  “promoting” the kuih he he he.

Penjaga warung kuih… Pn Noraniza, Pn Zarinah, Aina (my daughter) and myself.

I would be lying if I said I didn’t cook anything for that day he he he, actually I did make a small contribution to this event, I was asked by Datin Azlinda to make Rojak Buah (Malaysian fruit salad). The recipe that I used to make this Rojak Buah sauce was taken from my mum’s famous recipes (perasan la pulak… but nobody can deny that  kids always think their mum’s cooking is the best, am I right or am I right? he he he). Alhamdulillah habis la jugak even though not selling like “hot cakes” as kuih bingka ubi Pn Zarinah.

Kuih Bingka Ubi, Kuih lapis, Kuih Seri Muka

As for the rice stall, nasi lemak was the most popular dish. On that day,you could have a basic Nasi Lemak which came with only sambal, anchovies (ikan bilis), hard boiled egg and cucumber or you could asked for extra side dish… either beef rendang or spicy fried chicken (ayam goreng rempah). The spicy fried chicken were freshly fried at the stall and I’ll tell you this … the smell was really “mengancam”… you just had to have it he he he. Besides Nasi Lemak, we also had Nasi Kerabu Hitam and Nasi Dagang Terengganu and of course, they were sold out too by the end of that day.

The famous Nasi Lemak Pn Nor Azura

Ayam Goreng Rempah

Tokey Warung Nasi… Pn Fairuz, Pn Maznah, Pn Nor Azura and En Mady

The favourite stall of the day was the Satay Stall. On that day, we had a couple of  guys helped to grill the satay, but I think what made the satay stall very popular was because of these two most eligible bachelors …. he he he (jangan marah ye Azheem and Mizi)

Satay Dudes… En Azheem and En Romizi

At the Noodles Station, we had Laksa, Mee Rebus and Soto. Unfortunately for me, on that day I only managed to taste mee rebus Pn Mala je… it was marvelous. Compliment to the chef!

Noodles Station… from right Ati, Zaza, Nazar and Mala

The busiest stall of all was Drink Station… not only because everybody needed to drink after a good meal but also because we had the pretties girls and “cutest” gentlemen serving the drinks he he he (jangan marah ye Pn Eli and Pn Nazar!). Our mineral water for that day was sponsored by ABC Water company. Thank you very much for the contribution.

Water Girls… Tasya, Nurin(my daughter) and Mayon. Kat tepi on the right tu… En Yunus and En Moque.. tokey teh tarik he he he

Hope to see you guys again during Hala Feb 2013, insyaallah.

After the event…

Black Forest Cake

My version of Black Forest Cake

Yesterday the Perwakilan Kuwait had a visit to The Amricani Cultural Centre or also known as Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah. Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah (DAI) is a cultural organisation based on a Kuwaiti private art collection owned by Sheikh Nasser Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah. Established in 1983 to transform the private collection of Sheikh Nasser Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah into a comprehensive exhibition of art from the Islamic world.

Group photo....

The al-Sabah Collection consists of a wide range of important objects, which include books, manuscripts, ceramics, glass, metal, precious stones and jeweled objects, architectural ornaments, textiles and carpets, coins and scientific instruments. The objects on display were collected and represent the full chronological and geographic spread of the Islamic world.

If you are interested feel free to browse their website and these photos are taken from the above website. Happy browsing.

Pendant with Cameo Portrait of the Emperor Shah Jahan

Small manuscript of the Qur’an with gem-set jade covers and pendant case fabricated from gold and with champlevé enamel work

Rock crystal container, engraved and inlaid with gold in kundan technique

Inscribed royal spinel

Turban ornament

Okay…. back to today’s recipe which is Black Forest Cake. I have baked this cake at least 3 times since I first stumbled on the recipe. Unfortunately, I forgot where I copy it from, so to whoever yang post this recipe… thank you very much and mintak halal je lah ye!

Chocolate Sponge Cake

Ingredient A

  • 3 egg yolk
  • 100g sugar
  • 120g flour
  • 50ml oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Ingredient B:

  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 120ml hot water

Ingredient C:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 60g sugar
  • 1/4tsp cream of tart tar

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 170C. Gris and place parchment paper on a 7″ pan.
  2. Place all ingredients A in a bowl and mix them well using a wooden spoon. Set aside.
  3. Place ingredients B in a small bowl and mix them until the cocoa powder fully dissolve.
  4. Pour mixture A into ingredient B. Mix well and then set aside.
  5. In a mixer, whisk egg whites until foamy and then slowly add sugar and cream of tartar. Beat until stiff peaks form.
  6. Fold in the egg white into the ingredient A and B mixture in 2 batches. Fold until well combined and pour into the prepared cake pan. Bake for about 45 – 50 min or until skewer comes out clean.

Whipped Cream topping

Ingredient:

  • 300ml whip cream
  • 25g sugar

Method :

  1. Chill mixing bowl and whippers in the freezer for 10minutes.
  2. Remove mixing bowl and whippers from freezer. In the mixing bowl, combine the whipping cream and sugar and whip the mixture at high speed until slightly stiff.

Light and creamy...

Other ingredients for assembly:

  • Cherry/Strawberry/Blueberry filling
  • Fresh fruits for decoration
  • Chocolate rice/sprinkles /chocolate curls

To assemble Black Forest Cake:

  1. Cut the cooled cake into three layers.
  2. Place the first cake layer on cake board and spread a thin layer of whipped cream on the cake, followed by a layer of strawberry filling on top. Finally spread a thin layer of whipped cream on your strawberry filling and cover it with your 2nd cake layer..  and continue with the same method till the 3rd cake layer.
  3. Spread the remaining cream on the top and the sides of the cake. Garnish the top and the sides with chocolate curls (I just used some sprinkles). Pipe 8 rosettes of whipped cream around the top edge. Top the rosettes with the cut strawberries.

Eid Adha in Kuwait

This year Eid Adha was celebrated on 6th November. In Kuwait,  qurban (animal slaughtering) can be done in the comfort of your house compound or you can choose to do it at  the animal slaughter house.

Slaughter house in Salmiya

If you choose to do it at the animal slaughter house … first, you need to go and view the animals. After you have viewed and decided, you can now proceed to the payment counter. Once you have paid, they will give you a receipt and a number that you need to keep in order to receive your meat.

Sheeps for you to choose....

Now you can proceed to choose your animal for the qurban. Once you have selected your sheep/goat, they will then bring the animal to the slaughter area, you could view the  slaughtering and cleaning process from the observation room. What you have to do next is just wait for your number to be called and receive your meat.

View from the observation room

Almost ready....

For the past 3 years, we did our qurban at the slaughter house, but this year we did our qurban at the Malaysian Embassy and alhamdulillah, it went very well.

Our qurban tahun ni....

Allahuakbar! Allahuakbar!Allahuakbar!

It was nice to see semua orang bergotong royong menjayakan program qurban ini.

Team work!

Good work guys!

Cleaning up....

Schools and government offices were closed for a week for eid, so we took the opportunity to go for a picnic  with few friends at the Green Island. The weather was fantastic.

Haqeem, Arif,Hazeem, Amsyar, Sofea and Jessy

Riash!

Satay... barulah rasa macam raya....

We left the Green Island after azar.... had a wonderful day!

Friday Market (Souq al-Jum’a)

Friday Market

Friday Market / Kuwait Flea Market is ranked as #17 of 68 things to do in Kuwait by Lonely Planet travelers. Friday market opens from Thursday afternoon until Saturday evening. You will find almost anything you can imagine in this place !! Literally anything…. from carpets, clothes, jewelery, antiques and shoes, to food items, pottery and plants, animals, furnitures and don’t be surprise if you see they are selling “used deodorant” … and  from the looks of it the deodorant has passed their expiry date which was like few years back he he he.

Your visit to Kuwait would not be complete without visiting Friday Market. If you are planning to visit Friday market, be sure to put on your most comfortable shoes and be prepared to walk the whole length of the market to explore all the goods and get a proper feel of the atmosphere.

For Malaysian in Kuwait, Friday Market is  the synonyms used for carpet.  Whenever we have visitors from Malaysia, we will definitely bring them here and for sure they will go crazy about the carpets. There are lots of design to choose from and the prices are definitely cheaper than Malaysia… well, at least that’s what I’ve been told.

Carpet....

All sorts of pattern and quality

Floor cushions are very popular in Kuwait, the prices are varies depending on the quality of the material used.

Floor cushion section

Different pattern of floor cushion

Friday Market also offers you a variety of secondhand items such as TV, furniture, bicycles, electrical goods and lots more.

Secondhand bicycles and treadmills

Secondhand Chandeliers

Trampoline anyone?

One of the secondhand section

You can also get new and secondhand curtain here.

Ready made curtains

So, apa lagi…. jom gi Friday Market!

Red Velvet Cupcake

Red Velvet Cupcakes

For most of us Malaysian, Ramadan is the month that we strive to improve our relationship with the Quran.  We try our best to fit reading Quran into our busy Ramadan time and hopefully we can maintain this relationship after Ramadan insyaallah. Did you know that reading Quran is something that people here in Kuwait do almost everyday all year round. You can see them reading Quran while waiting for the traffic lights to turn green or while waiting for their spouses go shopping…. even the security guard reads Quran at his post. I’m really fascinated by this culture… even though they are not fond of reading books but reading Quran is something that they do all the time.

If you see them read, it is as if they are reading a story book. Well, I guess it is like reading a story book since they understand everything in it… how I envy them. Last night, while waiting for the Taraweeh prayer, a Kuwaiti lady that sat next to me read the holy Quran and I could not help but to notice the way she flipped the pages of the Quran and the expression on her face … it is as if she was reading a very interesting story… it was amazing!

My Red Velvet cupcake

OK… back to today’s recipe; Red Velvet cupcakes. I have been eying for this cake for quite sometimes already and only few days back that I had the courage to bake it. This cupcake is moist, fluffy, a tiny bit chocolaty, and my little boy loves it… he finished 3 cupcakes in one go.

Red Velvet cake has either a dark red colour, bright red or red-brown colour. It is usually prepared as a layer cake with either vanilla or chocolate flavour and top with creamy white icing or cream cheese frosting. All red velvet cakes have specific ingredients in common: white vinegar, buttermilk, beetroot or red food colouring and baking soda; the reaction of the vinegar to the buttermilk is said to better reveal the red in the cocoa powder.

Care to see the ingredient?

Ingredient:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp red food colouring ( I ran out of red colouring, so I used 2 tbsp red colouring + 1 tbsp water)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp distilled white vinegar

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 175C. Line a standard muffin/cupcake pan with liners.
  2. On medium-high speed, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to high and add the egg. Scrape down the bowl and beat until well incorporated.
  3. In a separate small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and red food colouring to make a thick paste. Add to the batter and mix on medium speed until completely combined. You may need to stop the mixer to scrape the bottom of the bowl, making sure that all the batter gets color.
  4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add half of the buttermilk. Add half of the flour and mix until combined. Scrape the bowl and repeat the process with the remaining milk and flour. Beat on high until smooth.
  5. Again, reduce the mixer speed to low and add the salt, baking soda and vinegar. Turn to high and beat for another couple of minutes until completely combined and smooth.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners and bake for about 15 – 20 minutes, or until a thin knife or skewer inserted into the center of the largest cupcake comes out clean.
  7. Cool for 10 minutes and then remove cupcakes from the pan and place them on a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

Ramadan in Kuwait

Alhamdulillah, we’re about 30% thru Ramadan and I think it is not too late for me to wish Ramadan Kareem to all Muslim anywhere in there world and may this Ramadan will be better than the previous year.

This year is our 4th Ramadan in Kuwait and to tell you the truth, we love fasting in Kuwait. Weird? Well, people might say we are weird but we love fasting here purely because we feel that we can embrace Ramadan better here… no rushing home from office through traffic jam and no breaking fast in the car most of the week days. Having said that, we do miss all the good selection of food and kuih at Pasar Ramadan he he he and not to mention breaking fast with parents and siblings….

In Kuwait, it is against the law to eat and drink in public. When I say against the law, I mean if you are drinking water on the street or even eating in your car and someone spots you and reports you, you may find yourself facing a 100KD fine and a 30-day jail term. Restaurants and coffee shops will be closed until dusk, they normally open about 1/2 hour before the iftar or 1/2 hour after the iftar… making the Malaysian tradition of “Buka Puasa Buffet” almost impossible.

During Ramadan, working hours are cut short in an effort to aid Muslims in their fasting and they do not have the rules that say if you are a non Muslim, you have to work normal hours., everybody get to come to work late and go back early. My other half works in a bank and his working hours for Ramadan is from 9:30 to 14:30 ( normal hours is from 7:30 to 15:30).

Mosques are jam packed with worshipers. Mostly all the favourite mosque will put up tents to accommodating more people.  The authorities also make sure that the parking are available, normally it is a bit far from the mosque but they provide a shuttle bus to pick you up from your parking to the mosque.

Grand Mosque (Masjid Al Kabeer)

This is how the tent looks like

The Taraweeh prayers normally will be lead by the Kuwaiti great reciter; Sheikh Mishary Rashid Al Afasy and during the last 10 days of Ramadan, the mosque holds Qiyaam al-Layl  (night prayers). Last year the Qiyaam (11 raka’at prayers) started at 12 midnight and finished at 2:30am. We were fortunate to be able to experience the Qiyam last year and this year we are looking forward to it…. This is the experience that you can’t get in Malaysia and the closest thing to performing prayers in MasjidilHaram…Masyaallah!