Monday, June 25, 2012

Jubilations in Egypt!

I must document this special day in Egypt as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Dr. Mohamed Mursi won the election and becomes the President of Egypt post-Mubarak era. The announcement was made last night (it was afternoon Egypt time) so the date was actually 24th of June. Even though I'm not Egyptian but as Muslims we share the people's hope for a new Egypt where life would be better insyAllah for the people over there and hopefully Islam will be the way of life as it should always be...

The Egyptian people celebrating a new era
What is interesting.. not unlike what happened to the prophet Yusuf (Joseph) alaihisalam  who was sent to prison and in the end became the Egyptian ruler at the time, Dr. Mohamed Mursi also spent time in prison (due to political oppression) and came out to be the President of Egypt! And isn't it ironic that in 2006 he was imprisoned by Mubarak and now 6 years later Mubarak himself is imprisoned... life is really like a moving wheel (Malay proverb - kehidupan seperti roda..)

And more inspiring were his words in his first speech as the President were those of Abu Bakr radhiallahuanhu, the first Caliph of Islam...awesome! Allahuakbar!

We pray for you Dr. Mursi that you will uphold the Quran and the Sunnah in ruling your country and may it prosper and be an example to other Muslim countries, insyAllah!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Healthy, Home-made Smoothie..

We have never actually tasted bought smoothies (I don't think there's even a Smoothie Bar at all in Kuala Terengganu). Going online and reading health magazines for healthy food tips (yeah...when you're middle-aged and having peers with all sorts of ailments make you think about what you eat) introduced us to this wholesome drink. We experimented with all kinds of fruits and best of all, we found out a great way to use up our home-made yogurt (yogurt itself having numerous health benefits of its own). You may say it's not cost effective to buy so many kinds of fruit just to make a smoothie...well, the secret is to buy many kinds and freeze them! They keep for ages in the freezer... Also by using frozen fruit you don't need to add ice cubes to chill the drink. (I don't think I can take warm smoothies, can you?) We combine local and imported fruits...use any fruits available or in season. Though, one local fruit that we find quite unpalatable is the starfruit (buah belimbing) - yucky. We haven't tried the durian, though... (call it intuition but I can't quite savour a durian smoothie even in my mind...hmm...I think it just got stuck in my throat - not that I don't love the fruit per se). For those of you who may think that something healthy couldn't taste that good...well you might think again once you've tasted this. Anyway, here are some pics and steps on how we make it:

Frozen blueberries - a bit expensive but you only need to throw 4-5 pieces/glass
Mango - also frozen
Strawberries and Kiwi fruit
You don't find soursop often but when you do, peel and freeze. This fruit has excellent health benefit; look it up online
You can also use preserved fruit like this one - cranberries has many health benefit, too
You may also add fruit concentrate such as this: pomegranate concentrate - notable anti-cancerous properties
And here's how to whip up a healthy smoothie. Oh, and you'll need a blender of course... :

Add a slice or a piece or two each of the fruit you have into a blender. Don't forget to de-seed any fruit with seeds...Also a little of the fruit concentrate if you want and/or a sprinkle of preserved fruit pieces.
Then add a dollop (or two) of (your home-made) yogurt
Now, this is optional. Some fruit has enough sweetness of its own (like if you add a banana) but if you find you can't get pass the sour taste, add some brown sugar or honey.
Lastly, add some low-fat milk (how much depends on the consistency of the smoothie you prefer)
Blend everything until smooth...
Pour into a nice tall glass...throw in some nuts - walnut/hazelnut/cashew/any nut/raisins and just enjoy the goodness of this healthy drink...! (do I sound like a commercial?)
Different colour for different fruit combination..
There you are...simple, isn't it? Have a glass of smoothie for breakfast every morning. It's great for your well-being (I'm sounding like a commercial again,

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Happy Circle BBQ Nite

Last night was barbeque night for our 'Happy Circle'. It was an idea to bring the members together to know each other a little better and strengthen our ukhuwwah. It was a happy event even though 2 members were absent - one has gone for umrah and the other wasn't feeling well enough to come. Alhamdulillah, the food was sufficient and the barbequed chicken was simply marvelous...a member got the recipe from a friend who runs a catering business. Must note it down before I forget it: blended garlic, ginger, galingale and black pepper; oyster sauce, black pepper sauce and of course salt and sugar.

The blended thingies..
Adding the sauces
Marinade at least for 2 hours
Barbeque the chicken pieces (I can assure you, you'll smell like smoke for the rest of the )
Husbands and sons - getting to know each other
My happy circle...
 We must do this again! Next event - an iftar during Ramadhan InsyAllah!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Wedding in Sungai Petani

Saturday, 2nd of June was the birthday of His Majesty the Agung (not his real birthday, though; it's just the official date so we can all have a holiday..). It was also a date chosen by many to hold wedding feasts as we were also halfway through the school holidays. So there we were, having travelled a few hundred kilometres through mountains and jungles (still no elephant-sightings...*sigh*), in Sungai Petani, Kedah to attend the wedding of the hubby's nephew - son of hubby's elder brother. We left Kuala Terengganu on Thursday at about 2 pm; attended another wedding of a friend's daughter at Kota Bahru (arriving at 6 pm - still had food to eat, though). Spent the night in a hotel there and continued journey the next day arriving at Sungai Petani around 1:30 pm. The family was busy with preparation for the wedding the next day but unlike a kampong wedding, this one was hiring caterers (at RM6.50 per head? that's erm..b..pretty cheap! In KL if you're not willing to fork out at least RM10 per head, don't even dream of hiring caterers..) We spent the night at the mom-in-law's home in Bukit Mertajam (about half hour's drive from SP) and went back the next day for the actual wedding feast. Here are some pics taken on the wedding day (forgot to charge batteries of camera so pics taken with my Samsung phone)

Morning before arrival of guests - theme colour, yellow
Food - not bad at all for RM6.50 per head
..and lovely veggies, too
Parents of groom ready to greet guests (hubby's brother sitting down - suffering from stroke since 2007)
Daughter and a cousin helping with handing out 'door-gifts'

Arrival of bride and groom
Having their 'stately' lunch
We left SP for Bukit Mertajam (back to mom-in-law's home for our things) at about 4 pm as we needed to start our grueling journey back home to KT before dark (we didn't want to be driving in the jungle after midnight, though traffic was quite heavy on the Grik-Jeli road due to the school holidays) We actually left BM at around 6 pm and arriving home in KT at about 3.30 am on the Sunday. Hubby drove the whole way (didn't trust me with the battered old Pajero - our car was still under repair) I don't really mind the sound it makes but the air-conditioner kept giving up...luckily it decided to do so on the journey back; cooler night-time air and breezier part mountain road... Alhamdulillah for a safe journey!