Wednesday, November 12, 2014

World of Cookies

(almost) every child love dessert. my boys are no exception. before we have dinner, they would be asking 'what's for dessert'. gosh…i can't even bring myself to prepare dinner sometimes, to prepare dinner and dessert?! that's way beyond me, boys!

i used to (and yes, i still do) cheat. i keep a box or two of cake mix in the pantry on days when i want to spoil them with dessert. its nothing much, its nothing great but they do like a slice of cake or a plate of brownies every now and then.


ok, so its not really the baking that irks me, its actually the cleaning up. bowls of eggs plus butter plus flour are just too much for me to handle. when i was younger, my sisters and i would stay up late (late like 1am, 2am) to bake. but the good thing was leaving the mixing bowls, the spatulas, the weighing scales in the sink for the maids to clean up the next day or for the cats to lick clean. now…to clean up on my own, that takes the fun out of baking.

but, slowly, i'm starting to warm to the idea of baking. mainly because of mr google who comes back with loads of quick and easy recipes. there's two cookie recipes that i've tried, that's been given the seal of approval by our resident taster, asyraf. out of the four boys, asyraf is the one who gives the final say on the dishes i cook. its not ariff, who loves to cook but will not critique. maybe that's why they work well together (and plan to stay together when they are older) - one cooks, the other one eats and gives feedback.

anyway, at the top of asyraf's 'cookies i love most' is the peanut butter cookies. he helped me bake this. he's not very helpful around the house but he's pretty handy to have in the kitchen. second on his list is the m&m cookies. both are higher than the ever famous famous amos chocolate chip cookies, so yeay.

peanut butter cookies - from sally's baking addiction
1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups + 2tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the softened butter and both sugars on medium speed until smooth. add the egg and mix on high until combined. scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. add the vanilla and peanut butter and mix on high until combined. set aside.

in a separate bowl, toss the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. add to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. dough will be thick, yet sticky. cover dough tightly and chill for at least 3 hours (and up to 2 days) in the refrigerator.

preheat oven to 180c. roll balls of dough (about 1.5 tbsp of dough per cookies) and place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. press fork into the tops to create a criss-cross pattern. bake for 11 minutes or until very lightly browned on the sides. remove from the oven and let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring onto wire rack to cool completely.



soft and chewy m&m cookies - from the brown eyed baker
1 cup unsalted butter
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp whole milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup m&m candies (this i don't follow though, i just use how much i want)

melt butter and set aside to cool slightly. sift together the flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl, set aside. beat together the melted butter and both sugars on medium speed for 2 minutes.

whisk together the whole egg, the egg yolk, milk and vanilla extract in a small bowl. reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the egg mixture. mix until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds.

gradually add the dry ingredients, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.

preheat the oven to 180c. scoop the dough using ice cream scoop onto baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. press the m&m candies onto the tops of the cookies. bake for 15 minutes until cookie dough turns brown. remove from oven and transfer onto a cooling rack.

i have amended bits and pieces of the recipes, however, to suit our taste but essentially the recipes are from the 2 bakers, who have a lot of lovely recipes on their websites.



Monday, November 10, 2014

Sports Day 2014

my year end's always filled various school activities. we had a couple of weeks of final exams then there's the parents-teachers day, concerts, returning and receiving text books. once the exams were over and all the books have been returned, the boys' agama school started preparing for their sports day. i do like the fact that the sports day is scheduled at the end of the year as it wouldn't disrupt the children's studies. plus once the text books have been returned, they don't actually have anything to do in class (read: eskay).

the boys only had a week to practice which is quite good, as it gets really hot during the day. amir came home with a bad sore throat towards the end of the week.

the event started on time on the day, surprisingly. we were a bit late as we assumed it would start late, as these events usually do. when we arrived at 10 minutes passed 8am, the children were already in line, doing simple aerobics with one of the ustaz. then it went a bit downhill as we had speeches after speeches so we took the time to have breakfast in the canteen.





about half an hour after that they started the actual sports events. i also like this bit, they ran three events concurrently, so at one time all there boys were doing their events. ariff had to pull a ball with a hoop while asyraf had to jump with a ball and throw a hoop. funny that ariff's turn came just as asyraf's turn ended. both ariff and asyraf's team came in first - at almost the same time!






amir had to wait a while as his street soccer team were up second. he captained his team and scored a beautiful goal that led them to the final against the red team. unfortunately they lost 0-2 in the final and were in second place.






we wanted to leave once their events concluded but they wanted to stay until the prize giving ceremony. the sports day ended before noon and we had brunch before going home to sleep the afternoon away.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Akmal's Concert

one of the school events i love is the boys' concert. i'm so-so with them sports days, not a very big fan especially when its held on a hot hot day and i get all teary-eyed at graduation ceremonies, but i love concerts the most. i love the costumes and colours and the children's antics on stage.

akmal had a concert countdown for over a month. that's how long he spent practicing with his classmates. this year, they had an arabic dance for show. akmal had memorised the whole song in addition to the steps. he was made captain of the boys and was one of the students introducing his class.

hubby was not around during akmal's concert and i couldn't take a lot of photos, unfortunately.






video

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

#joeythecat

...came into our lives a couple of days before Raya
...taken over the wet kitchen
...scratched my new wing chairs (gasp!!)
...put on a pedestal by the boys who are over the moon
...is a girl but has got a boy's name, thanks to ariff!









Monday, October 27, 2014

The Other Birthdays in October

the insignificant ones, that is. hubby and i celebrate our birthdays 7 days apart, if we call what we do celebrating. its mostly a happy birthday scream from the boys, cards from them as well, reminders for presents that we never actually get and maybe some lunch or dinner slot in somewhere.

hubby made me a nice breakfast on my birthday - after a not-so-subtle nudge form me. then he took me on a (supposed to be) surprise lunch with my family in taman tun.

hubby was away for a football match the weekend of his birthday but the boys wanted to celebrate his birthday as he turns 40 this year. i called up a few of his friends and family members over to surprise him as he came home from the airport.
video







i was also treated to a belated birthday breakfast by my lovely friends. belated because we were all so busy with our children's school exams.



...sayings

the value of marriage is not that adults produce children but that children produce adults - peter de vries

grown-ups never understand anything for themselves and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explainning things to them - antoine de saint-exupery