Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Holidays Everyone...!

I have been very busy lately...

I can't believe a whole year has gone by so fast. Somewhere in between cupcakes and cakes orders, my 9-5 job, classes, etc.... I forgot about my health..!

2011 is approaching ...

...and I would like to thank you for all your support and encouraging words on my blog this year. It has really helped me strive to be better at what I do and also reminds me why I love what I do... :)

It's been a big year of learning and change for me and there will be lots of new things happening next year too. I can't wait to share it with all of you.

Best wishes for the holiday season, hope you are all surrounded by lovely friends and family and get a chance to relax and eat, eat, eat!

...and most of all... take care of your health..!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Who says 'Nerdy Kids' are unPopular...!

I know a lot of kids who are 'nerds' in my daughter's Class of 3-Jati/2010, and they all tell the same story: there is a strong correlation between being Smart and being a Nerd, and an even stronger inverse correlation between being a nerd and being popular. Being smart seems to make you unpopular.
The main reason nerds are unpopular is that they have other things to think about. Their attention is drawn to books or the natural world, not fashions and parties. They're like someone trying to play soccer while balancing a glass of water on his head. Other players who can focus their whole attention on the game beat them effortlessly, and wonder why they seem so incapable.
But... not these kids..!
my daughter, Maymun Nalubega & her best friend - Fatin...
...the ever sweetgirl...Wanie...
Even if nerds cared as much as other kids about popularity, being popular would be more work for them. The popular kids learned to be popular, and to want to be popular, the same way the nerds learned to be smart, and to want to be smart: from their parents.
... the fun teenies -Queenie, Jessie & Baby@ Yvonne..

..Jonathan...very serious young man...!
...quiet but serious - Helmi....

... the bubbly - Nabil & Ariff @ Bob

Azrain @ Ajai.. what can I say....
...the nerds were being trained to get the right answers..,
the popular kids were being trained to please... (thats sad..!).
To all, Congratulations in getting straight 8As in PMR..
See you on Friday, Lunch on Aunty...!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ho...Ho...Ho... Merry Christmas..!

Why would you choose cupcakes for your special occasion and not go with the traditional cake?

Because... there are delightful, beautifully, whimsically and can be individually decorated with Christmas motifs... And everyone can have the 'whole cake' to themselves. These cupcakes are great as a centerpiece at your party or as party favours for the guest to take home. .

Individual boxes with ribbons & personalized tags to match...

Ho... Ho... Ho...
No... No... No....
Thats not the sound of me laughing all the way to the Bank...!

To Mr D, many thanks, again, for the repeat orders.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Off with the Oven, back to the Sewing Machine...

After getting a little 'distracted' from all the bakings and what not, I'm finding I need a little break, and my working hours from 8am- 6pm doesn't count...!
Well, the plans for this weekend is to go shopping for school fabrics and the 'back-to-school' thingy with my daughter. Then I guess its back to sewing machine. The school opens in barely two weeks time and I have to get my daughter's school uniform ready by then.
This weekend onwards I am determined and prepared to set aside some time each day to sew. I guess the sewing and 'production' will be in full swing..! .

I'm learning that if I'm going to be successful in the long term as a working-mum, housewife and a baker, I have to carve out a little time each week and each day doing something that feeds my spirit and soul.... I'm working on that!

P/s: I do not take orders for tailoring coz I really do not have the time ...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Another Cupcakes Workshop...

Last two weekends I got to meet couple of lovely girls. I had my 2nd and 3rd cupcake and cake workshop with the girls who were not only fantastic and talented but were also so much fun to get along with.

It was so nice seeing the girls enjoying themselves..!

They started out working really carefully on the first few cupcakes and,but as time ran out hands were flying everywhere, rolling pins being passed around like crazy and the creative juices started flowing under presurre...! (LoL).

They made some lovely cupcakes and I hope the lucky people they shared them with appreciated all the hard work that went into them.

I haven't really been doing cupcake classes officially (I've only been running them when people email me) but I think I might start promoting it officially on my blog website. Until then, if you are interested in classes, please feel free to email me to find out more or to register your interest.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hantaran Cupcakes: Cream Colour

Thanks Cikgu Eqbal for the order.

Thomas Train + Ben10 = Boys

This customer of mine has a nephew who’s crazy about Thomas, James and Percy and of course Ben10 and wanted cupcakes with those characters on the cuppies!
So, she contacted me and asked if i could do cupcakes in this theme. After some discussion, and due to last minute request, we agreed on 25 cupcakes with Thomas and friends and Ben10 edible toppers. I ordered some of those edible icing from my supplier and then paste it on the cupcakes and just do minimal frosting at the side.
Happy Birthday Ahmad Faheem, and thanks again for the repeat order Rina.

Girl + Party = Pink

Thats right, for a little girl who loves PINK.., do everything in pink...!
Put up pink party decorations...
...have all the guests wear pink...
...and bring birthday gifts wrapped in pink...
...and offer pink strawberry milk shake to wash down pink cupcakes...!

Happy birthday Asma Fatima @ Miss Pink.
Thank you for the order Rina.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A cake for Mom and Dad...

A sweet and special something waiting for her Mom and Dad at home....
...made with chocolate cake, chocolate ganache and fondant roses, in the shape of a heart.
I hope her loving mom and dad will appreciate a slice on their return from that special pilgrimage.. Semuga mendapat Haji yang mabrur, ameen....
Thanks Abriza for the order.

Spiced Date Cookies...

Have you made any cookies today, Mummy...?
This questions has been falling on my ears for quite a few days since I got back from Abu Dhabi (UAE), a week ago. And it's true, I haven't baked any cookies for quite a while now; actually a good three weeks, to be honest.

With temperatures outside dropping off and on due to the raining season, the kitchen with a warm oven is quite a pleasant place to be nowadays. So, today, the oven was promptly switched on and ingredients assembled to bake some cookies.

Besides tonnes of Pistachios I brought back from my trip, I also bought quite a few dates, which I was meaning to put into a cake. As the cake was nowhere near materialisation, I decided to put them into the cookies instead.

Now, the households are a bit fussy as far as dates are concerned. So, instead of just chopping and adding them, I puree them. Sneaky? You bet! So the dates and the other ingredients went towards the making of these delightful Spiced Dates Cookies.

What's needed for the cookies:-
2 Cups Dates, stoned and roughly chopped
1/2 Cup Milk
4 tblsp Vegetable Oil
2 tblsp Honey
1/2 Cup Oat Flakes
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Cinnamon Powder

1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Bicarbonate Soda
a little granulated sugar to roll the balls of cookie dough (as usual, I used organic raw cane sugar)
How to:-
Puree the dates with the milk, mix in the oil and honey and keep aside.
Place the granulated sugar in a bowl and keep aside.

In a bowl, mix together the flour, oats, soda , ginger and cinnamon powders.

Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and tip in the dates mixture.

Mix lightly with fingertips till everything just comes together into a ball.

Cover the bowl or wrap dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.

Meanwhile, Pre
heat the oven at 180 deg C and line a baking tray with baking sheet.

Shape each portion into a ball and roll in the sugar. Arrange the balls in rows, on the prepared tray, leaving spaces between each. Flatten each ball with your fingertips or with the flat bottom of a glass. Do not worry about slight cracks on the sides.

Place the tray in the centre of the pre heated oven and bake for about 15 minutes. The cookies will be slightly soft at this stage but firm further on cooling. Cool them in the tray for a few seconds and transfer to a rack to cool completely before storing in air tight containers.

Verdict..??? They love it...!
The cookies were an instant hit in my household. The slightly chewy and mildly sweet interior with a hint of spice, and the firm bite and crackle of the exterior was a sheer delight.

No one questioned the presence of the “not so popular in our household” dates (yours truly is the only one who absolutely adores them). Well, no one asked, and I did not feel obligated, on this occasion, to enlighten them; no way was I going to play “guess the ingredients game”.

...Some things are best left unsaid...! I gently chide my household that they had enough for one day, I couldn’t help feeling a bit smug and hide a knowing smile, shake my head in amusement and sigh “ignorance is bliss”! (ha..ha..ha.....they'll sure be 'mad' at me once they read this entry...!)

Friday, December 10, 2010

I was in Abu Dhabi...

No stories, just photos...
...arrived Abu Dhabi at 23:55 hrs, 15 minutes drive to...
the Hotel - Crown Plaza Yas Island...
... thats nice... the 'boys' from Bahrain, UK, Jakarta and Oman offices, were already waiting for me when I arrived..!
Damn...! ... who on earth decorate his Lamborghini car like this...
I tell you these Arabs treat Ferrari, Porche, Lamborg, Bentley cars like Proton..!
..oh yes, I forgot... the oil is under their feet...!
...nice...lobby area...

...the super 'spooky' corridor... leading to my room on the Club Floor...
...ish..ish...ish..... how can they mistaken me as 'Mr' pulak...!

... my room....
.... breathtaking view...and its on an island..
...the nearest shopping Mall is 45 minutes drive from the hotel..! daily breakfast, I repeat-daily breakfast @the Club Floor...

...the get-together with the 'girls' from UK, Cairo, Bahrain, Jakarta and Abu Dhabi Offices...
...hmm... nice cleavage ladies..! (LoL)
... my colleague, Pink, from Bangkok office...
.. team from...Ryan (Africa), Andy (Bahrain), Sheila (Cairo)

...yes, thats where we had our offical Team Dinner, the Yacht Club...!

... and the view....
..the FI circuit changed colours from pink, to blue than purple..

...thats Big Boss No-2...!
...very thoughtful of him to make special arrangements with the Chef to prepare Muslim meal for me...

We finished slightly early on the third day of meeting, so I decided to go for sight-seeing and 'Tea' at the Empire Place. Unfortunately, the palace was closed to public due to the country's National Day (3 Dec)...*sigh*.. But we managed to do a little bit of Pistachios shopping though.
Dang... I missed the chance to have tea in the Palace..! Hey Sheikh, how often one can go into a palace and have tea..?

...the Empire Palace...
... 2nd entrance to the Empire Palace...

...very windy... tudung terbang-terbang...!
... what lies above the 2nd entrance... beautiful carvings...!
... thats the entire Palace... massive...!

... now shopping time... alamak wind blew my tudung again...!
...with my colleague from Bangkk office ...posing sikit kat The Mall...
...well, well.... what do you know.... this is how the Arabs spent their past time.
... siap bawa stools and home appliances lagi. Dont think our Govt will allow this at our public park, no way...!

... the Etihad Empire Tower...

...thats it... I'm flying home...! class...
...window seating (as always...)
...sleep.. (Miss, wake me up when the plane lands.. :)