Thursday, January 29, 2015

Recipe : Grilled Peach Salad

These few days I have been crazy about seasonal fruits.

I was at MBG IOI City Mall the other day, and caught sight of some plump and lovely sweet peaches. I have never really bought them before, but those things are just too irresistible.

I think that they must have been the last batch, as the ones that I bought were a tad overripe :(

Anyway, since I could no longer enjoy the crunchiness, I thought that it would be best if I turn it into a salad. Just let it turn into a mushy goodness, so to speak.

After digging through whatever I had in the fridge, here is what I have come up with:

Grilled Peach Salad


Ingredients:
1 peach - cut into wedges
Chopped onions
Chopped cucumbers (I used Japanese cucumbers)
Chopped cherry tomatoes
Chopped cili padi (birds eyes chilli)

For the dressing:
Lime juice
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:
1) Coat the peach wedges with some olive oil
2) Grill the peaches in a grilling pan until soft and charred (the juices of the peach will caramelize)
3) When done, mix all the ingredients with the dressing

We had it for dinner, with grilled chicken and rye crisps. I bet it would also make a fantastic topping for crunchy bread too.

This salad has a perfect balance of sour, salty and sweetness from the peaches. No sugar needed.

Have a try and let me know if you like it :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Organizing with my 2015 home binder

In 2013, I was featured in The Star 2 about having family plans and outlining monthly goals for my family. The idea of having a home binder was actually from one of my favourite organizing sites, I Heart Organizing (I think many of my fellow organizing nerds are familiar with this site too. Jen's team are soo inspiring!).

The binder served us well throughout the year and of course, I have a fresh one ready for this year.

I'll take you through some photos to explain what I have in home binder, but here is one important tip if you plan to have one for your home:

Do whatever that works.


It's easy to get so inspired with what everyone else are having in theirs, but the truth is, different families function differently and with different needs. You'll want to make sure that your home binder works for your family, instead of being left with many empty pages that you do not utilize (plus its a waste of resources too, y'know from the printing and the papers and the time you spent making it).

My home binder is a collection of free printables that I found online. Although I wish that I have a unique design that I made myself, I finally embraced the fact that I just did not have much time. Those freebies are so lovely anyway.


I housed everything in a thick binder file. I designed and printed out the labels myself. Free fonts and MS Word can do wonders :)


Here is the cover of my 2015 binder. This is part of the free printable planners from The Handmade Home website, another site that is oh-so-inspiringgg...


I hoard stationeries, and washi tapes are one of them. Pasted this one on the edge of my binder just because I can.LOL.


Here are the sections of my binder. I used colourful tabbed papers that I bought from a regular stationery shop. As for the labels, I printed it out from my Dymo labelling machine and stick them on the tabs. Most of them are the same since 2013.


And here is a sneak peek of what the Handmade Home made for this year. Want it too? Click on this link to get it from them :)


Here is how the tabbed A4 papers look like :)


I particularly love this printable from I Heart Organizing that I downloaded back in 2013. I am not sure whether they are still available but you can go and  search it at their site. Every week I will sit down and jot down stuff on this document and then take it out from the binder and hang it on our notice board. It's easy for everyone to have an overview of what is happening that week.


This is where I put down all our family goals every month. A tip about goals -- always be specific! I forgot where I got this one (bummer!), but I found it when I googled. You can do the same. I am sure there are lots more lovely ones out there.


This one is brilliant - also an idea from I Heart Organizing. Sometimes we underestimate the importance of basic first aid, and I believe that this is an easy way for reference, especially when there are kids at home. Of course try to make time to READ it before you need it (which I hope you wouldn't).


This is the mealplanning section. I used them to have an overview of what I have in the pantry, and what to eat or cook. But I'll be honest, I only do it when I have the time. It's very very useful if you manage to do it though.

I got this one from Sissy Print, also back in 2013. This is actually part of a whole document of family organization library. I hope they still have it!


I put everything about Bella's school in this section. For example, the yearly school calendar and receipts, as well as letters to parents. Whatever that I feel worth keeping for the year, really.


And this is our automobile log - a document that I used to keep track of our car maintenance and whatever that is related to it (e.g car insurance expiry, driving license expiry, etc). This is the only document that I designed myself and the good news is I want to share it with you (if you feel that this would be helpful too).


There are other sections that I did not mention here -- Shopping memberships records and medical spending records. I don't show it because I did not find it useful enough for my family, so I am skipping them for this year.

I also have an envelope attached to the back end of the binder, to house income tax claimable receipts or shopping coupons.

So that's pretty much what I have in my home binder for 2015. I am excited to make use of it and hopefully it will continue to help us be more organized this year, Insya Allah.

How about you? Do you have a binder or the same sort of thing to help you organize? Leave a comment and tell me about it! Let's learn from each other :)

Friday, January 02, 2015

Recipe : Baked salmon and corn salad rice bowl

I am a big fan of salmon. I can take it in any way - raw, baked, grilled, asam pedas, curry, you name it, I'll eat it.

Too bad it could cost us a bomb to always have them in the kitchen. So, if these darlings are around I do try my best to cook them is as nice as possible.

So here is what we had for dinner last night:


Baked salmon and corn salad rice bowl

How to make the salmon:

Ingredients:
Olive oil
Light soy sauce
Brown sugar
Ginger
Salt and pepper
Sliced red onions

Method:

  1. Marinate salmon fillets with the above ingredients (except onions) for around 1 hour in the fridge
  2. On a baking pan, smear some olive oil and arrange the red onion slices
  3. Lay the salmon fillets on top of the onions
  4. Bake for around 10-15 minutes, at 180 degree celcius

How to make corn and carrot salad:

Ingredients:
Frozen corn
Frozen baby carrots
Mayonnaise (I used Kewpie Japanese Mayo)
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Cook some frozen corns and baby carrots
  2. Toss with some mayonnaise, olive oil and lemon juice
  3. Season with salt and pepper


Serve with some brown rice and garnish with mint leaves and chilli flakes (I used Mae Pranom because it is hotter and spicier).

Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Goodbye 2014

2014 is coming to an end.

It has been a wonderful year for my little family, with the addition of Khaleeli especially. I could not be more grateful for His blessings, Alhamdulillah.

These days has been full of sad stories though, and it is such a melancholic way to bid goodbye to 2014.

I feel close to those affected by the floods throughout the nation, perhaps because I have a little experience of how bad flood can be. Well, that was nothing compared to what they are facing right now anyway. I pray that Allah gives them the strength to endure such trials, and that things gets better soon.

I have been following the flood stories mostly from my friends and families (thank God that they are not so badly affected), and also through Facebook (although I had a hard time braving myself through nasty comments from idiotic people).

Another plane, Air Asia QZ8501, also went missing just a few days ago. That too brought shudders to our nation because we have not really settled from the Malaysia Airlines MH370 and MH17 incident, and AirAsia is also one of Malaysia's commercial plane company.

I feel sorry for the losses suffered by the families. As cliched as this may sound, I truly can't imagine how it feels.

What a way to end the year.

Nevertheless, let's welcome 2015 with open minds and open hearts. I hope that your 2014 was just as wonderful, and I pray that the new year brings more joy and happiness to you and  your family.

Adios 2014.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

My awkward muffins

I am not much of a baker.

But I admit that when I see those decadent cakes and pastries in the making, I feel like doing it too.

I think it is mostly because they are lovely, and I drool over lovely things especially when it involves some degree of creativity.

I have discovered a baking shop near my office the other day, Bagus Seksyen 13 (I know, I know, you bakers have known about this shop gazillions years ago) and it has completely charmed me and turned me into this little awkward baker.

How can a woman NOT shop for anything when in that darn store? I mean, gold and silver beads that you can eat?? And chocolate buttons?? T_T

So this is what happened the other day when I came out of that shop with some premixed flour and a basket full of sugary goodness. Anddd..after a little struggle in the kitchen with my weighing scale that have ran out of battery because I have not used it for like a year, d'uh:

muffin from bagus premixed flour

Meet my quirky, sloppily glazed and downright "senget" muffins. Thehehe.

I had Bella to help me sprinkle those colourful things on top. She loved doing it, of course, but as usual she would not have a taste. Pffft...

Anyway, the idea was to actually make use of some oranges that I have in the kitchen, so I added some orange zest and fresh orange juice into the batter. It turned out pretty tasty (its a premixed flour, it BETTER taste good!), albeit being "improvised" with my oranges.

OK so this baking thing - its addictive.

I have a mix of butter cake and chocolate moist waiting patiently in my pantry, complete with a set of cupcake cases and piping bags for me to make use of.

Let's see how it turns out soon. I promise I'll post about it even if it turns out a disaster. Heheh.

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