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I dedicate this blog to my loving husband, my two beautiful children, my dearest friends & family. Thank you for always loving me and enjoying my food. You are my inspirations for any new creations I make.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ramadhan Mubarak

For over one billion Muslims throughout the world, Ramadhan is a special month of the year. During the month of Ramadhan, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset every day. Ramadhan was the month in which the first verses of the holy Qur'an were revealed to Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). It is a time for inner reflection, devotion to God and self-control. The sighting of the new moon at the end of Ramadhan heralds the celebration of Eid ul-Fitr.

Ramadan is a Muslim religious observance that takes place during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, believed to be the month in which the Qur'an began to be revealed. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which Muslims don't eat or drink anything from sunrise 'till sunset. Fasting is meant to teach the person patience and humility. Many scholars are of the view that competing in sports or exercise should be refrained during the daylight hours since it causes one to be more thirsty, and thus, less patient. Most people who keep fasts choose to exercise in the night after the fasts are broken.


The most prominent event of this month is the fasting (sawm) practiced by the most observant Muslims. Every day during the month of Ramadan, Muslims around the world get up before dawn to eat the Suhoor meal (the pre dawn meal) and perform their fajr prayer. They break their fast when the fourth prayer of the day, Maghrib (sunset), is due.

During Ramadan, Muslims are expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam and to avoid obscene and irreligious sights and sounds. Sexual activities during fasting hours are also forbidden.[Qur'an 2:187] Purity of both thought and action is important. The fast is intended to be an exacting act of deep personal worship in which Muslims seek a raised level of closeness to God Almighty. The act of fasting is said to redirect the heart away from worldly activities, its purpose being to cleanse the inner soul and free it from harm. Properly observing the fast is supposed to induce a comfortable feeling of peace and calm. It also allows Muslims to practice self-discipline, sacrifice, and sympathy for those who are less fortunate, intended to make Muslims more generous and charitable. Muslims can eat after the sun has set. Pregnant women, the elderly, the ill and children less than 12 years of age are all exempt from fasting as lack of food could damage health.

Prayer and reading of the Qur'an

In addition to fasting, Muslims are encouraged to read the entire Qur'an.

Sunni Muslims tend to perform the recitation of the entire Qur'an by means of special prayers, called Tarawih, which are held in the mosques every night of the month, during which a whole section of the Qur'an (juz, which is 1/30 of the Qur'an) is recited, so that by the end of the month the entire Qur'an has been completed. Tarawih is an Arabic phrase referring to those extra prayers. This prayer is performed after salah of Isha'a, but before the witr rakat. Tarawih is not practiced by Shia Muslims, as they believe it was introduced into Islam by the second Caliph, Umar ibn al-Khattab.

Muslims also pay Zakat (only applicable if one can afford it) during the month. For those who qualify to pay Zakaat, as per the Islamic Nisab (that is those whose wealth exceeds their necessities), of the leftover of their wealth earned in that Islamic calendar year. Although Zakat can be paid any time of the year, it has to be calculated on a year to year basis, and many Muslims use Ramadan as the month for calculation and disbursement.

Ramadan is also a time when Muslims are to slow down from worldly affairs and focus on self reformation, spiritual cleansing and enlightenment, establishing a link between God Almighty and themselves by prayer, supplication, charity, good deeds, kindness and helping others.

Since it is a festival of giving and sharing, Muslims prepare special foods and buy gifts for their family and friends and for giving to the poor and needy who cannot afford it, this can involve buying new clothes, shoes and other items of need. There is also a social aspect involved - the preparing of special foods and inviting people for the Iftar meal (the meal to break the Fast).

In many Muslim and non Muslim countries with large Muslim populations, markets close down in the evening to enable people to perform prayers and consume the Iftar meal (the meal to end the fast) - these markets then re-open and stay open for a good part of the night. Muslims can be seen shopping, eating, spending time with their friends and family during the evening hours.

Events of Ramadan

Laylat al-Qadr (Arabic: لیلة القدر) (known as Shab-e Qadr in Persian), literally the "Night of Decrees" or "Night of Measures", is the anniversary of two very important dates in Islam that occurred in the month of Ramadan.[citation needed] Muslims believe that it was the night of the Laylat al-Qadr that the Quran's first verse was revealed. The exact night of the Laylat al-Qadr is only known to God and Muhammed but he chose to keep it to himself so that Muslims won't pray only that night. That is why Muhammad indicated that it was one of the last ten odd nights of Ramadan.

The Islamic holiday of Eid ul-Fitr (Arabic: عيد الفطر) marks the end of the fasting period of Ramadan and the first day of the following month, after another new moon has been sighted. The Eid falls after 29 or 30 days of fasting, as per the lunar sighting. Eid ul-Fitr means the Festival of Breaking the Fast, a special celebration is made. Food is donated to the poor (‘Zakat al-Fitr’), everyone puts on their best, preferably new, clothes, and communal prayers are held in the early morning, followed by feasting and visiting relatives and friends. The prayer is two rakaahs only, and it is an optional prayer as opposed to the compulsory 5 daily prayers. According to one current school of thought (Ankaboot), it is suggested that North American Muslims arrange their work-schedule for Eid by requesting the two most likely days of Eid as Holidays or simply as days off from work. This allows for quality family time, and is akin to the Christian/North American tradition of taking Christmas and Christmas Eve off as holidays. This also allows for time off to celebrate the Eid prayer at a mosque and with family. The fast always ends after 29 or 30 days of fasting, and thus the request would be for the 29th and 30th day after the start of the fast.

Text sources: Wikipedia

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Charlotte aux fraises

This is one of family's favorites... charlotte aux fraises. The strawberries, white chocolate, vanilla pudding and sponge fingers combine all the tastes that make us drool. Absolutely perfect for summer time. The recipe here is adapted from Christelle Le Ru with her book Simply Irresistible French Desserts.

250 gr strawberries
30 sponge fingers
130 gr white chocolate
vanilla pudding:
4 egg yolks
1 egg
100 gr white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
50 gr sifted flour
500 ml milk
100 ml fresh creamDirections:
1. Place the ring of an 18 cm loose-based roung baking tin on a serving dish.
2. Cut 1 cm off one end of the sponge fingers and place them cut-end down to line the inside of the tin.
3. Crush the left-over pieces and remaining sponge fingers and press inside the ring using your fingers or the bottom of a glass.
4. Melt white chocolate over the heat of hot water and spread over the sponge fingers. Leave to cool.
5. When set, place strawberries over the chocolate.
6. Cover with vanilla pudding and decorate with the reserved strawberries. Grate remaining white chocolate and scatter over the top of the charlotte. Refrigerate for at least four hours.

Vanilla pudding:
1. Mix egg yolks, egg and white sugar.
2. Add vanilla essence and stir in sifted flour.
3. Bring milk and fresh cream to the boil in a saucepan, pour over the egg mixture while mixing
and return to the pan. Cook over low heat, mixing continuously, for 10 minutes or until thick.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Lemongrass Lemonade

This posting is made for monthly Jugalbandi Click Food Photography Event for August 2008. This month theme is "Citrus". To know more about this fun event, please click to their link here.

This refreshing and delicious drink is one of my fave's. I just can't get enough by drinking one big glass only...hmmm, so delicious refreshing... It sweeps away the thirst especially on a sweaty day when temperature goes up to more than 30 degrees celcius outside.

For the syrup:
6 dl water
450 gr sugar
4 sticks lemongrasses, crushed

1. Cook all the ingredients above slowly until boiled. Cook for about 10 minutes, let it cool.
2. Pull out the lemongrasses, put aside 2 of them. Blend the other lemongrasses with the syrup. Refined just to get the juice.
For the lemonade:
3 lemons
3-5 dl lemongrass syrup
5 dl water
a handful fresh mint leafs

1. Mix the lemon juices with water.
2. Then add 3-5 dl syrup (or according to your taste).
3. Add mint leafs and lemongrasses.
4. Stir well and leave in the fridge to cool for about 30 minutes.
5. Serve cold.... **serve it hot can be done too and the best is in winter time :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Orange Wafels

I made this wafel specially for Monthly Foodie Multipliers event with a theme flour. This wafel is really easy to make and also has a special taste too, with orange. Who would have thought about orange in wafels. But it works !!

250 gr selfraising flour, sifted
175 gr fine sugar
1 sack vanilasugar
175 gr butter, melted
2 eggs
2 oranges
1. Put the flour into a bowl and make a hole in the middle of the flour.
2. Add sugar and vanilasugar in.
3. Leave a melted butter a little bit cool, then add eggs and juice from 1 orange. Whisk together.
4. Pour butter mixture into flour. Stir the mixture well using a wooden spoon.
5. Peel and cut the other orange in small pieces. Add and spoon carefully into the mixture.
6. Leave the mixture for about 15 minutes before you bake it in the wafel machine.
7. Serve with whipped cream if you like it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Wrapped Fried Chicken In Pandan Leaf

I made this dish when friends of my hubby visited us. I've never made this before, but always wanted to try it. And the result was great. Nothing would go wrong with this recipe.. so simple to make.

500 gr boneless chicken or chicken wings
2 eatsps coriander leafs, fine chopped
3 garlics, fine chopped
1 eatsp kecap asin (light soy sauce)
1 eatsp oyster sauce
1 eatsp sesame oil
Pandan leafs as needed

1. Marinate the chicken with all ingredients. Leave it at least 15 minutes or whole night.
2. Wrap in pandan leafs.
3. Fry until golden brown and cooked.
4. Serve it hot or cold with sweet sour sauce from the bottle.

Manggo Sorbet

Still in the summer mood everytime I see ripe manggo's from the market I always want to have them. At home, quick quick slicing the manggo's into cubes, boil water and sugar to make sugar water. Pour them all in the fruit mixer, wwrrrr, wrrrr, make them smooth. Then I get the icecream maker, pour them all in.... wussss, the machine starts rotating. There it is my future manggo sorbet.

Red & White: Cream Pudding Strawberry Sauce

17th august is Indonesian Independence Day. In order to celebrate 63 years of this independence day, the trio Dhi, Dwi and Fitri organize a Red & White Foodie Photography Contest. I'm just a week back from holiday, I'm actually still not in the mood to cook or to create something but I don't want to miss a contest like this. In contrary I'm so eager to participate. So I just pick up this simple recipe to fit with the theme.

And the recipe as followed:

2 tsps gelatine powder
2 eatsps hot water
1/2 ltr whipped cream
3 etsps icing sugar

6 eatsps strawberry jam
4 eastsps water

1. Dissolve gelatine powder into hot water.
2. Whisk cream with icing sugar. Add gelatine water. Mix thoroughly.
3. Divide into 4 small cups, cover and fridge for about 3 hours.

1. Warm up water and jam. Stir well.
2. Add fresh strawberries if you like, put aside to cool.