Sunday, May 31, 2009

weekend snapshot # 47 - Renault Roadshow

Posted by Kero at Sunday, May 31, 2009 12 sweets for Kero Links to this post

Happy Sunday, fellow weekenders! Renault F1 Roadshow finally arrived in the middle east second week of April. Like any Grand Prix enthusiasts, we hit the Burj Dubai lake for some thrilling actions. Have a look.

The Renault Toon Cars

Driverless stunts

Renault F1 Driver NelsonPiquet making donuts.

My son Andreas, with the Renault F1 Team

Thank you so much for the visit everyone. I shall be bloghopping as well. Take care and have a great week ahead!

Mommy Moments - Haircut

Posted by Kero at Sunday, May 31, 2009 2 sweets for Kero Links to this post
mommy moments

Hubby always do Andrea's haircut. These snapshots were taken last week.


Andreas' summer haircut

After (Thank you, Dada for a fantastic job!)

Thank you soo much for the visit! I shall be bloghopping as well.

vamp weekend

Posted by Kero at Sunday, May 31, 2009 0 sweets for Kero Links to this post

So i got to read Twilight and New Moon. I know it is very late after all the frenzy but i didn't have the money to spare haha. Hubby smiled on my purchase when we left Magrudy's. He gave me one of those she-is-such-a-child look.

Honestly, i don't think it was even well written. First five pages, i wanted to put the book down. It was like one of those Sweet Valley High books. I like Harry Potter books far far better. There is no stopping once you flip on page one.

But i wanted to know how different it is from the movie. Half way through Twilight, i was smiling like a dork. So this is it. I may never be a fan of Meyer's way of writing but her plot was addicting. Kilig-kilig to death talaga. Hubby doze off ahead and i remained reading by the bedside lamp. I shoered him little kisses everytime i need to stretch or resy my eyes. Because i was soo engrossed, i never noticed hubby peering through the blankets.

Come morning, "Hmmnn. Nice book huh?! everytime i look at you last night, you were cracking up a smile."

I was smiling because the book reminded soo much of those days i have butterflies on my stomach when he passed by. Thus the kisses. I was in-love with hubby allover again!hihi.

New Moon is about Bella coping up with the break-up. Any body who experienced the hollow feeling when you lost in the game of love, Bella is the perfect heroine here.

Now i got to save-up for the Eclipse.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

scrumptious berry muffins

Posted by Kero at Wednesday, May 27, 2009 2 sweets for Kero Links to this post
I am hardly a muffin girl. I always choose pancake or donuts over those little mounds. Since I started my hands on baking - and everybody says i should start with muffins, i defied the rule and went straight to a baking mixtures in springform tin. But, i wanted to serve hubby more than a slice of cake for breakfast on weekdays so i convinced myself to try making muffins. Hubby says i got it right on the second try (after adjusting ingredients) haha. Since then, Berry muffins are a regular on our table.

Scrumptious Berry Muffins
Makes 12

250 g flour
80 g cold butter
90 g caster sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 egg
175 ml low fat milk
75 g fresh frozen blueberries
75 g fresh frozen rasperries or strawberries

1. Grease a 12 case muffin pan. Pre-heat oven to 190 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, and baking powder. Mix well

3. Grate the cold butter into the flour mixture. Using fork, mix well until the butter is well coated.

4. Using a hand blender, mix egg and milk and pour over the flour and butter mixture.

5. Fold in the thawed blueberries and raspberries.

6. Transfer mixture to mufffin pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until muffin is springy to touch.

Happy cooking!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Andreas Update

Posted by Kero at Tuesday, May 26, 2009 0 sweets for Kero Links to this post
I failed to post Andreas' 15-month developments kaya habol ako to post before he turns 18 months on June 26. He is a very busy boy these days and constantly blabbing. I have lost counts on how many times he had fallen off the bed, or how many bruises has his little forehead received.

At 17 months, here are his activities.

Andreas enjoying the play space at IKEA

1. He loves carrot cake. I tried three diffrent recipes with diffrent taste and texture but he devoured them all. He will have a bite of my mudcake or berry muffins but he'll never ask for more.

2. His assigned task is to switch on/off the lights. And the AC when we go out/arrive.

3. He likes to share and feed Dada and Mommy with his biscuits.

4. He still enjoys reading. I read aloud his nursery rhymes books complte with counting and he will give his attention for full 30 minutes.

5. He immitates his videos. He rolls forward, clap his hands in delight, and tries to dance with his arms shaking and his half body swaying. He cannot get his feet move hihi.

6. Toothbrush time takes 30 minutes. He likes to doitalone and chew the bristles. At times he would even offer to brush your teeth.

7. Whe Mommy is busy doing other house chores, and wants her attention, he brings a favorite toy to share with her. And you must follow him to the sofa for awhile and cuddle --least he will start to whine.

8. He likes to be at the middle. Always between Dada and Mom whether to watch on the sofa or to read.

9. He will only sleep when there are three of you on the bed.

10. He loves any water feature, enjoys the sand box, and likes to play with Mommy's baking utensils.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Boyle Memory -- Outstanding

Posted by Kero at Monday, May 25, 2009 0 sweets for Kero Links to this post
Probably the most well-loved lady these days, brought the bar praise hihger when she sang Memory. I watched Susan Boyle perform on the semi-finals of Britain's Got Talent and I wanted to cry haha. I'm nervous i'm starting to like anything Brit!

Watch the video below and have a great week ahead!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

weekend snapshot # 46

Posted by Kero at Sunday, May 24, 2009 14 sweets for Kero Links to this post

Soo good to be back on my favorite meme. Today i will share you the world's largest performing water feature, the Dubai Fountain. We got the chance to see its beauty last weekend when we visited the 30-acre Burj Dubai Lake. The fountain is composed of two arcs and five circles. It performs to the tune of Arabic and classical western music.

In full sprout, there is 83,000 litres of water in the air. The fountain is more than 275 meters in length - equivalent of two football pitches. Dubai Fountain performs daily from 6 in the evening 'till midnight.

Thank you so much for the visit, fellow weekenders. I will be bloghopping in awhile. I am excited to see all your entries as well. Take care and have a blessed Sunday!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

crisp roasted duck

Posted by Kero at Wednesday, May 20, 2009 0 sweets for Kero Links to this post
Thank you to Caryn, Sheng and the rest who tried and enjoyed my recipes. Today i am sharing something yummy for weekend nights - our crispy duck recipe. Hubby enjoys it immensely. Duck is always on our ordered menu when we eat out on Chinese restaurants. But because they are always bloody expensive (the leg costs 28 AED), we tried roasting on our own and boy, it came out perfectly.

Crisp Roasted Duck
Serves 6

1 whole Peking duck (about 2000 g)
2 medium onions halved
2 lemon sliced
fish sauce

1. Thaw duck overnight on the fridge. Wash thoroughly under running cold water. Leave to drip about an hour.

2. When almost dry, rinse duck again on hot water to tighten the skin. Pat dry with paper towel. Prick the skin all over with fork or pointed knife. This will help bring out the fat easier. Generously rub with fish sauce all over including the cavity. Tuck in lemon and onion. Give a good grinding of pepper all over.

3. Place in a roasting tin with breast side down. Put in the oven and roast at 210 degrees for one hour. Rotate the duck the duck and put back in the oven. Lower the temperature to 190. Roast for 60 minutes more.

4. For dipping sauce, pour Thai chili garlic sauce in small bowl. Add a dash of soy sauce.

Happy Cooking!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

my places to shop

Posted by Kero at Tuesday, May 19, 2009 0 sweets for Kero Links to this post
I snagged this from Clark & Butchay's blog. It's what i do best so read on.

1. IKEA at Dubai Festival City. This is everybody's favorite i think. Sometimes we just browse by the new collection or let Andreas play at the kid's section. Most often we come here to eat. Though their food is sometimes bland, it is cheap and nutritious and the restaurant is family friendly.

2. Marks & Spencer, Wafi City. We come here to buy gifts when Andreas is invited for a party.

3. Oasis Shopping Mall. Bank-friendly New Look, Camieu, Babyshop, Splash, and Koton all in one roof. It's the ultimate guilt-free mall.

4. Dubai Mall. You can visit Jo Malone,Stella McCartney, Galeries Lafayette, Jimmy Choo and all the signature brands without tiring your feet. Look to your left and there is Louis Vuitton, you have Alexander McQueen on your right.

5. Hamleys, Toys R Us. For our little boy's toys and books.

6. Al Ghazal Complex. This is the family's tambayan. There is nothing to see except the friendly staff of Second Cup and Swiss Cup, but Andreas loves running around here and the guards never seem to mind.

7. Spninneys for their pork section, Union Coop Society for the rest of our groceries. They come cheapest in their store. Al Manama for their whole Peking duck and fresh vegetables.

8. Safa Flea Market. You can buy brand new Massimo Dutti shirt for 30AED.

9. Carrefour for Andreas' clothes and my baking utensils.

10. Mall of the Emirates. It is near hubby's workplace and somehow, we find bank transactions here easier.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday Movie Meme

Posted by Kero at Monday, May 18, 2009 2 sweets for Kero Links to this post
Mondays and Wednesdays are not soo busy days for me so i am looking for Memes to join these days. Luckily, i stumbled this on Mommy Chris' blog and i think it's fun so i am in.

This week's theme is Tearjerker. I share today the movies that made reach a box of tissue. Luckily, i saved myself from further embarrassment since I watched these movies alone, either in the cinema or at home on HBO.

1. Forrest Gump. Tom Hanks was hardly smart here but his character sure knew pretty well what loves is.

2. Titanic. That scene when Rose was clinging to a floater and shouting for Jack! Jack! in the middle of the sea surrounded by drowned dying people.

3. The Notebook. It's a love story and anybody can relate to the first love or the one that got away. I cried after their boat ride and it was raining hard and Rachel Bilson confronted her guy why he did not respond to any of her letters all those years.

4. Gone With The Wind. Aaah the tragedy of Scarlett never ending on Rhetts arms.

5. Love Story. It's the remake of An Affair to Remember. I have watched it countless times on HBO and everytime the lady explains why she did not arrive on their meeting place, my heart feels soo sad.

6. Babel. Oh this I watched his movie with hubby. A very lengthy one. I cried for the Mexican nanny who tried and tried her best to take care of the kids while Pitt and Blanchett were away.

Ivatan Yellow Rice

Posted by Kero at Monday, May 18, 2009 0 sweets for Kero Links to this post
Kaydians visited us last Thursday night. I served them yellow rice and roasted duck over a bottle of tequila. I cook yellow rice when i feel homesick but it was the first time i actually served it to visitors. When they all enjoyed my recipe, i decided to share how it is done since i never saw any of it online. The cooking process was related to me by my Grandmother over the phone and i decided on the amount of ingredients.

Yellow Rice
Serves 6

Thank you to Vina for the pic!

4 cups Jasmine rice
2 thick slices of pork belly (sliced thinly)
2 medium size onion (chopped)
1 whole clove garlic chopped
a pinch of Ginisa Flavor Mix
1 Knorr pork cubes
1.5 teaspoon turmeric powder
a pinch of cloves (optional)
100 g raisins (optional)
2 sticks of cinnamon bark (optional)
50 g cashew nuts

1. Soak raisins in water.

2. Place sliced pork belly in a large wok. Add a little water, cover and let boil until it dries up and fat comes out.

3. When the pork is browned, set aside on the wok and sautee garlic and onion. When onion turns soft, mix the pork belly. Add salt and a good grinding of pepper.

4. Add five cups of water and bring to boil. Then add pork cubes, cloves, turmeric powder, Ginisa Flavor Mix, and cinnamon bark. Bring to boil again.

5. Wash Jasmine Rice and place in the rice cooker. Add the boiled pork and turmeric, stir in cashew nuts. Cover and let cook. When almost done, stir the rice mixture and let cook again.

Happy cooking!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mommy Moments - Happy Mommy Moments

Posted by Kero at Friday, May 08, 2009 7 sweets for Kero Links to this post
The first genuine smile, the first giggle, the first time he looked straight in my eyes,they were all happy mother moments for me. But the pictures i share below captures the moments the first tooth came out. I was soo happy I kept asking my little Andreas to smile and show it off to Mom.

Finally he conceeded and gave Mom one big happy laugh. See the crown of his first tooth at 8 months old.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

eight tag

Posted by Kero at Wednesday, May 06, 2009 3 sweets for Kero Links to this post
I received this taggie from dear blogger friend, Joanne. This is my first in two months so thank you so much for remembering.

8 Things I'm Looking Forwa
rd To
1. My lasagna bake tomorrow
2. A cooking technique book
3. Andreas' routine check up on June
4. Deposit monthly savings
5. A local vacation for hubby
6. Making and meeting new friends
7. Weekend get-away in a place similar to Al Maha Desert
8. Entertain friends in our new place

8 Things I Did Yesterday

1. Baked apple and cinnamon cak
2. Vacuumed the whole house
3. Cleaned the oven
4. Update my baby bloggie
5. Googled for a cheesecake recipe
6. Watched how to fold eggwhites video (yay!)
7. Took Andre for a long wal
8. Cuddled with hubby

8 Things I Wish I Could Do
1. Visit Petra Jordan
2. Travel to Greece, London, or Rome
3. Have money-making opportunities while staying with Andre
4. Hug my brother and my sister right now
5. Take back some of my words
6. Be as patient as hubby
7. Read the Twilight saga or any new book
8. A brunch at Burj Al Arab

8 Movies I recentl
y watched
1. No Country For Old Men
2. Transporter 3
3. Knight Rider 2008
4. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
5. The Weddding Daze
6. The B
7. Twilight
8. Iron Man

Whew, that was harder than i thought. Feel free to snag ladies!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

carrot milkshake

Posted by Kero at Tuesday, May 05, 2009 2 sweets for Kero Links to this post
A lot has been said about the health benefits of carrots so it is a regular fruit on our table as well as bananas and apple. While both hubby and Andreas are content munching them raw, I decided on a little presentation and introduced carrot milkshake during one of our Friday breakfast.

Carrot Milkshake
Serves 3

4 medium size carrots
2 tbsp honey
1 cup milk
1 tray of ice cubes

1. Wash, peel, and slice the carrots. Large enough to fit in the hole of your liquidizer.

2. Place 2 ice cubes and one-fourth of the sliced carrots. Make a smooth paste. Then alternately add the rest of the ingredients.

3. Pour into three tall glasses and serve immediately.

pan talk

Posted by Kero at Tuesday, May 05, 2009 0 sweets for Kero Links to this post

Three years of marriage and three years of cooking, i perfected my kare-kare, adobo, tinola, guinataan, and our traditional yellow rice so now i am ready to move on to baking. It's always been a dream to learn how to make a decent cake.

Two weeks after we bought our oven for our new place, Hubby decided to make one of my Christmas wishes come true and bought me a Kenwood Robot Culinaire. And i am soo much enjoying every swirl and sound of it.

With zero knowledge of baking, and no internet connection to reserach at that time, i wondered what pre-heating means, or how long should it be done. And just how exactly folding egg whites is supposed to be done. Armed with a recipe book called baking and roasting, i bravely opened my cupboard and decided to whip up something for desert.

I did not even have the proper baking chocolate so instead, i used the powder which has been bought maybe four months ago haha. That is how i came up with the recipe Deserted Brandy (previous post). I guess i just wanted to try the mixer haha. But hubby loved it so i was encouraged to bake some more. I tried the chocolate cake which i perfected thank you to the food processor for helping with the eggwhites.

I was able to make carrot cake but it was to sweet for my liking so i vow to bake again and adjust the ingredients. I made bacon and cheese muffin but i almost burned it haha. So i tried making strawberry muffin and hubby says i got it all right this time. The muffins were simply scrumptious.

And today, i made my very first apple and cinnamon crumble. Hubby and Andreas loved it! I shall be posting these recipes soon so watch out this space.

deserted brandy

Posted by Kero at Tuesday, May 05, 2009 1 sweets for Kero Links to this post
Like any household with a toddler, there is always a chocolate powder drink on the cupboard. And like any family that welcomes visitor, there is always a brandy at the counter. So here is a tea cake that's simple to make and perfect for those afternoon snacks. It is crispy, crumbly, and not too sugary (our family is never used to sweets) so you may serve it also to the kids.

Deserted Brandy Tea Cake
Serves 4

125 g butter
100 g sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp brandy
250 g flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1.5 tbsp chocolate drinking powder
1.5 tbsp milk

1. Cream the butter, sugar, vanilla sugar and eggs together. Stir in the brandy and fold in the flour and baking powder.

2. In a small bowl, stir the chocolate drinking powder and milk.

3. Pour the brandy and flour mixture in a greased springform tin (10"). Spread the thick chocolate mixture on top. Leave about half-inches frame to give your creation an attitude.

4. Bake as follows:
Setting : 150 to 170 C
Shelf Level : 1
Duration : 60 - 70 minutes

5. Allow to cool and chill if you like. It also tastes better when it is served cold. Perfect for summer.

Happy cooking!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

bldg 359

Posted by Kero at Monday, May 04, 2009 1 sweets for Kero Links to this post
For two months, I poured over the property section of Gulf News. I memorized the streets and buildings of Bur Dubai. I spoke with some 30 real estate agents and went on numerous trips to open houses. Some landlords refused to lower their prices and some were negotiable because their building was old and some wait for the near perfect tenants who accepts the bigger 5 thou offer.

So here was the family's criteria: Location is Bur Dubai, full bath, with swimming pool, gym and covered car park. Plus, the kitchen will have to accommodate oven to practice my culinary skills teeehee. The first apartment we checked was located at Al Rafa. It was not full bath, but the kitchen was fully equipped. The building is old but i was ready to settle with it. Unfortunately, we paid three months advance for the villa. So it was not possible to move out until we consume the two months and get the remaining deposit.

I prayed hard no one will notice the building sign To Let hihi. Every time we go for a car wash, i check the building and breath a sigh of relief upon seeing it is still posted. But somewhere, i dreamed somebody was occupying the apartment and maybe just intuition, when we passed by again, I inquired and was told the whole building was full.

So i started another round of phone calls to real estate agents. This is our fourth time to move place so i know how dreadful it is negotiating with agents. They are simply rude making you feel there are more tenants deserving their properties. To my surprise, agents these days are accommodating. They get your name, they return calls, they volunteer to show you other properties. But darn, their prices were still non-negotiable and simply unreasonable.

A month passed and another three weeks. Hubby was losing hope we'll ever find that perfect place but i kept telling him we will find it soon. It is just there waiting for us. I prayed even harder we will come across it soon. I begged God to find us a new place where we can enjoy ourselves as a family, where we can entertain visitors, where we can accomodate people who will stay for the night.

But i was losing hope too. I could not bear to read one more property ad or call another agent. The everyday stress of driving to find the place and disappointments for such substandard apartment was mounting. I even considered withdrawing our notice to the landlord.

A fine Wednesday morning, I finished my laundry and Andreas content eating his apple, I convinced myself for one last try. I checked out the property ads and dialled a couple of numbers. I set a viewing for that night.

One ring and the agent picked up. Sounds like he was really waiting for our call. We were directed to Bldg 359 and boy it looks soo much better than we expected. The whole building is brand new and low rise. Everything we wanted was there PLUS a huge balcony overlooking the Trade Center Road down to Sheikh Zayed Road. We negotiated and thankfully the agent kept the price he told me that morning. We closed the deal over the phone and agreed to sign the contracts the following day. When I asked hubby what real estate it was, he didn't know either. I went back to gulf news property ads but i could not find where i got the number. It was not even on my shortlist column.

The timing was perfect too.It was only a week away before the month ends. Usually payments overlap for five to ten days but this one starts on April when we move out from the villa.

Maybe when it is truly meant for you, God will give it in his own sweet time.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

oh soo back!!!

Posted by Kero at Sunday, May 03, 2009 1 sweets for Kero Links to this post
Howdy people! Thank yousoo much for visiting while i was away for a month. We moved to a new place and oh we are soo loving it.I got soo much stories to tell - fromRenault Roadshow to unreasonable landlord, from great customer service to fender bender, from flea market to crispy melt pizza. And i am looking forward to catching up on all your entries.

But first, i got to iron hubby clothes for the week so i leave you with this ever soo popular video. Enjoy Miss Susan Boyle's performance.


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