Thursday, August 26, 2010

Stesen Keretapi Sunway Pyramid

Sambung cerita Day 14... that day we went to the Pasar Ramadhan Bukit Jelutong to get some food. No mood to cook that day so we bought Nasi Beriyani. The taste is so-so la... considering I paid RM19 for 3 packs. Sembilan belas ringgit tu aku boleh beli satu ekor ayam dengan berapa jambak sayur kat Mydin or Giant...lagi puas hati makan!Hahaha

Day 14 menu

Later that night we went to Sunway Pyramid to get compact powder for Wifey. That's the nearest MAC outlet to our place. Arrived that place at 9pm and we spent about 1 hour there. One hour test to my back and leg so far so good....

Interesting feature at Sunway Pyramid is the Stesen Keretapi KTM. The kids had fun there posing konon-konon naik keretapi....

More pictures here..

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 14

Its the 14th day of Ramadhan and I have been a bit slow in updating this blog. This is mainly due to my injury and I am spending most of my time browsing about this "slipped disc" condition and the degenerative disc disease.

Yesterday I went for my 2nd visit to see the physiotherapist and since I am still complaining of the leg pain, the physiotherapist is saying that the disc is still pinching the nerves. At the moment I am undergoing traction and physiotherapy. I am not dependent so much on painkiller at nights but I just take it after sahur in case I am to be in pain during the day.

Day 7
Day 7
Day 8

Above are the menu of berbuka for Day 7 and Day 8. Slipped disc pon still boleh masak... kira ok la kan?

Day 11 of Ramadhan we hosted an Iftar session at home - Bukit Jelutong. I prepared some bbq ribs and sotong goreng tepung. Wifey prepared caramel and sayur campur. I didn't have time to snap some pictures but I hope Farul can share some of the pictures he took that night. Punz took the bluetooth headset that I put up on sale here. Thanks to Punz and for your information I've already banked in the fund into Surau/Masjid Bukit Jelutong for their Ramadhan usage.

Today I felt some pain at my back and none on my right leg. I guess this is better than yesterday. My next physiotherapy appointment is this coming Friday and at the moment I will continue doing the 16 workout routine given by the therapist twice daily. Insya Allah.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Spinal Fusion

It's Tuesday and I am "enjoying" my 4 days weekend. On Friday we had Ayam Masak Hitam and Terung Sambal for break fast.

Day 3

On Saturday went back to Cheras to break fast with the family. Before that we went to Tanjung Malim to revisit Baitul Mahabbah. We spent time there mainly for Wifey to give a bit of tuition to the Standard 6 kids. They are about to sit for their UPSR, and based on our short interaction with them, they seriously need some guide to answer the questions. We left the place at 5pm just in time to buy some Ayam Kampung back to Cheras.

On Sunday I had a bad back pain. Been feeling the pain since the first day of fasting but that Sunday I can barely stand up. We skipped our weekly Pasar Tani trip and Wifey had to do the groceries shopping with the kids at Carrefour. I went to see the doctor at Klinik Menara, Bukit Jelutong and the doctor said the slipped disc test was positive. So he referred me to Dr. Malik, an orthopedic specialist / spinal surgeon in Damansara Specialist Hospital. Since the specialist clinic is closed on Sunday, I can only make an appoinment on Monday. While waiting for Maghrib I could only lay down flat in bed as that's the least painful position.

I was on MC on Monday and went to see Dr. Malik at DSH. He sent me off to get an X-Ray and MRI. I only managed to get the X-Ray done as the MRI is fully booked. From the X-Ray alone the doctor could diagnose that I have something worse than slipped disc. According to the doctor, if I had slipped disc I should only feel the pain on my legs. Since I feel the pain at my lower back all the way down to my right knee, he diagnosed that I am having slipped disc with degenerative disc. In other words, my disc is sending pain signal as well as pinching my "right leg" nerves. The problematic disc is L5/S1.

Dr. Malik told me that it's okay to not do anything about it. It depends on how many good days I have versus my bad days. If I have more bad days compared to the good ones, then I may want to consider surgery. He explained a few options but he is keen on doing the spinal fusion which will turn me into Iron Man. He'll remove my bad disc and replace it with plastic and screw my L5 and S1 together into one. He said I am free to explore the other "half take" methods but he informed that not all surgeons are trained to do spinal fusion.

First thing this morning I went to DSH again to do MRI. By 10am I got my MRI report and Dr. Malik confirmed that it is slipped disc. Again he mentioned that I am free to decide on to leave the disc alone or to go for surgery. I asked for any non-surgical procedures, he said I can try physiotherapy. According to him there are 1-2 cases where the disc recovered after physiotherapy.

Lastly he told me that I would not be paralyzed if I leave the spine and disc as it is. Even if the pinching get worse, the most I will feel is more pain! I had a talk with my parents about the surgery options and of course both of them are against it. When you talk to doctors, of course they will tell you that the surgery is safe.

At the moment I am getting this back pain at the rate of maybe twice a month. I personally think that I have more good days than bad days. I can survive with the common painkiller like Panadol Muscle and Pain and survive. I don't require Arcoxia, Ponstan or even Vicodin yet. So the doctor referred me to the physiotherapist. I have an appointment with him/her tomorrow at 9:30am.

We'll see how lah. For now let me enjoy my 4th day off....

Friday, August 13, 2010

Break fast menu

This year Jabatan Agama Islam is issuing Halal certification to the hotels that are offering Berbuka Puasa Buffet. The first day I saw the list I noticed that the big 5-6 stars hotels are not listed. Maybe they do not qualify or maybe they don't even bother to get certified. Macam mana pon penuh jugak kan?

Last year I did not go to any one of those Ramadhan Buffet feast. It is overpriced and in the end of the day I felt like I am wasting something (food or money) during the holy month. I think I went to the Pasar Ramadhan not more than 5 times last year. The chances that I will buy extra food are too high that I think the best is to consume home cooked food.

This time I'll try to snap a few pictures of the break fast menu daily and post them in my Smugmug site.

For Day 1 I had ayam masak kicap berempah, bayam masak sup, kerabu daun kaduk & ulam raja, a bit of cucur and bubur lambuk.

Day 2 Wifey was adventurous and we had ikan bakar, daging bakar and sayur pak choy. My dad gave us some otak-otak that he made.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

For Sale: Plantech Clip.Viva Bluetooth Headset

During this Ramadhan, the mosque/surau near our place organizes sahur, break fast and moreh (supper) sessions daily. Last year we received a note from the mosque requesting for a sincere contribution (sumbangan ikhlas) to support this events. Yesterday I noticed we got the same note again... requesting for sincere contribution of RM100 per household. There's actually an option to sponsor one of the session such as moreh for a contribution "fee" of RM1000 per session per day.

RM100 may be small to some... but for me its not that small lah. My weekly Pasar Tani budget is RM100. So in order for me to raise fund for this Ramadhan community contribution, I am selling off one of the unused gadget I have at home.

The item is a Bluetooth Headset. It comes in a package with the HTC HD2 phone that I bought for Wifey early this year. Since Wifey doesn't like to have the headset stucked in her ears while she is driving and wearing tudung, the headset is left unopened in the cupboard since she got it.

The brand and model of the headset is Plantech Clip.Viva. The "retail" price on the tag is RM179 but I am sure no shop is selling it at that price. I do see someone is selling in Lelong for RM135.

Warranty wise I don't think there is any anymore since I bought the phone sometime in January 2010. But I can assure you that the item is unused and I have not even opened the packaging. So.. any takers for RM100? All the money gained from this transaction will end up to the mosque's Ramadhan activities. "Membeli sambil beramal" :)

Leave me a comment or e-mail.

1 year 10 months old Wildan

This is the young man in the house. He is not as talkative as his sister during this age but he is surely more active than the big sister. Tido malam2 mesti kaki dia cari rambut kakak. Kalau tak bagi mesti mengamok... susah nak tido. Sekarang ni tido kul 12 malam je selalu...

Interesting about him is that he can adapt the "ibu" is also known as "mom" and "ayah" is also known as "daddy". Cepat pickup ikut kakak dia.

How to gain weight during fasting month

Firstly I would like to wish a Happy Ramadhan to all. May you have a better Ramadhan than the years before, Insya Allah..

Fasting month will be an interesting period for our body weight. Some of us will lose weight and some of them will gain. I would like to share some point where gaining weight is much easier than losing weight during fasting month with this few tips:

1) Freeze your gym membership.

It is the sensible thing to do. With the lack of energy during the day and the fact that you have to face the horrible traffic jam during the fasting month, there's no way you would want to go to the gym. Even if you can make it to the gym, you would cause people to make unreasonable sin by accusing you for not fasting.

2) Sleep after sahur

On normal days you might only consume bread or cereal for breakfast or even skip breakfast. But during fasting month, you must eat rice for sahur. Come on man... you are not going to eat anything for the next 13 hours. Can you survive without rice?? Then the best part is, to conserve the energy you would want to sleep after sahur. This will transform your body into hibernate mode. Energy will be converted into fat as we are not burning that much calorie while sleeping.

3) Schedule your work to a less energy consuming task

This can be achieved by cancelling your site visits, make less appointments with clients, less meetings and etc. Since you can't eat or drink, less visit to the pantry. And since there's nothing much to pass out, less visit to the toilet!

4) Pig out during break fast sessions.

You deserve it! 13 hours of starving justifies for a big feast. You don't need to know how to cook, there are Pasar Ramadhan everywhere. But start by following the Sunnah... break fast with dates. That alone has complex sugar inside. Then continue your feast with sweet drinks, 2 or 3 types of desserts, a huge portion of main course and finish it off with some more desserts. On normal days you would usually eat a dinners of maybe 500-600 calories, but since you skipped lunch (which is a about 600-800 calories) we have to recover that miss as well by consuming nearly 2000 calories. For those who liase regularly with suppliers or vendors, this is the best time to ask them to "entertain" you with the big buffets promotions at hotels everywhere.

5) Supper before sleep.

The only workout during fasting month would be the Terawih prayers. Be it 8 rakaat or 20 rakaat, we must have moreh after that. Its a special month, for those who never had supper this is the best month to try this out. Usually fasting month supper would be the left overs from the break fast food. Mostly would be some more desserts! Sugar is your best friend during the fasting month.

By following these 5 simple steps I am pretty sure that you are going to gain weight during fasting month. I am the type that loses weight during fasting month. Last night I've taken the reading from the weighing machine... I am 90kg at the start of fasting month :)

Happy fasting to all!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Karipap Pusing Secret Recipe

Last Sunday Wifey decided to try out a Prawn Curry Mee recipe. Since the try out portion was big, we took it to Cheras to taste it at my mother-in-law's place. It was good for a first time effort, I won't mind having the same one again without any adjustments to the recipe.

However the ultimate reason for going back to Cheras was to dig out information on the secret curry puffs recipe from Tok Cik, Wifey's grandaunt. I know by asking her the recipe will be no good as I would not know the basics of making curry puffs anyway. So I brought the ingredients along and ask her to demo it for me! Heheheh.....

Being a 70 year old (i think) lady, she has a superb memory. She can remember a recipe which she discovered 30-40 years ago. This curry puff we are going to make, she have not cooked them for at least 6 years. There's no piece of paper where she needed to refer to!! Google is not needed in this recipe :)

There are 2 major components of this curry puff; the shell and the filling. We did the spiral shell or in Malay we call it Karipap Pusing. The fundamental of this shell is to have two types of dough with different texture. Dough #1 is a mixture of flour and ice cold water. Dough #2 is a mixtures of flour and oil based substance like butter, margarine, shortening, etc.

Once the dough are ready, we leave it to rest while we prepare the filling. I think this is the ultimate secret recipe. Wifey told me that Tok Cik's curry puff is the best!! Surprisingly the ingredients are:

1) Meat (chicken/beef)
2) Big onions
3) Potato
4) Spring onion
5) Daun sup (lupa la apa nama in English)
6) Curry powder
7) Salt
8) Sugar

Nothing fancy right???

The tricky part is to shape the dough to have the spiral texture. We were to occupied doing the practical training that I did not have time to snap some pictures. Well at least there's something about the recipe that will remain a secret :)

We started to mix the dough at 2:30pm and I remembered only at 6:20pm we fried the curry puffs. 4 hours of hard work... some would rather pay 50 cents a piece for this. At least I learn something new during the weekend while spending time with the old folk in the family. When it comes to Tok Cik, I think this is the best way to start the month of Ramadhan with her.... doing something she loves and really really good at.

Happy fasting to all!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Revisit Ayam Kampung Tanjung Malim

Initially we had nothing planned for the weekend. Wifey suggested to visit a foster home in Rawang. Since Rawang is almost half way to Tanjung Malim, I decided to take the family to have the famous Ayam Kampung Tanjung Malim (Tanjung Malim Free Range Chicken). The restaurant has no name but it has a small white board with a drawing of a chicken drumstick and note saying that it is open at 1pm. The GPS coordinate is +3° 41' 46.17", +101° 30' 58.12".

The outlet serves Padang style of cooking. There are 3 types of free range chicken dishes; Gulai Ayam, Rendang Ayam and Ayam Goreng. They are priced at RM7 per piece. There no choice of drinks, they will serve you with cold plain tea. There are other dishes as well like squids, prawns, fish (Ikan Baung) and all sorts of cow's internal organs.

Two lots next to the restaurant there is a foster home called Baitul Mahabbah. So instead of going to Rawang, we decided to drop by this place. The housekeeper is Ustaz Hazan (019-5595778) and he takes care of 7 boys together with his wife. The boys are aged from 7 to 12. They are living in a bungalow house which has 6 rooms. The place is well taken care of. According to Ustaz Hazan, they are quite okay despite not getting any help from any government body or NGO. His only concern is the house rental is RM1300 per month.

Anyway this was my first attempt to visit a foster home. I like this place as the house is not so crowded and insya Allah we will keep on visiting them again. After all... there'll always be an urge to have some ayam kampung someday....

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Yogurt Grilled Fish

I felt like firing up the bbq pit last weekend. So I asked Wifey to marinate some fish that I bought from Giant the day before. It's the frozen sutchi fish which came in a pack of 4 to 5 pieces for RM7.xx

The marinate this time is derived from hatever we have in the kitchen. Coriander leaves, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon and plain low fat yogurt.

As usual I had my helper to keep the charcoal burning. The outcome of this recipe is quite good. This is a plus point as the main point is to have fun playing with fire :)

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Wifey's Birthday Dinner at China Treasures, Sime Darby Convention Center

I don't think I can do a fair review on this place based on the 3 dishes that we ordered to celebrate Wifey's 30th birthday. We ordered the crispy duck, prawns with mango sauce and broccoli with mushrooms. We didn't go for the shark's fin soup as the price is ridiculously expensive; RM149 per bowl for one person. According to the captain they are using high quality shark's fin... maybe some royalty shark la kot!

Initially I planned to treat Wifey with their current promotion which is the Ala Carte Buffet but they failed to mentioned about the minimum of 4 paying customer per order when I called them earlier.

Anyway for the 3 dishes that we ordered, they tasted good. Their great ambiance and elaborate decorations do add up to the taste I guess. However we felt that the service is a bit slow considering there were only 4 tables occupied that night.

I can't remember how much I paid for the dinner that night but I guess it was reasonable for what we ordered.

So how did we celebrate Wifey's a.k.a Ibu's birthday on her birth date itself? The five of us went to see Toy Story 3 3D. As expected, Wildan did not last very long in the cinema which he ended playing outside the movie theater. Then we went Raya shopping at Metrojaya Midvalley and wrapped up our afternoon with lunch at Carl's Jr. This is the first time for us and Wifey liked their burger very much.

We then sent off the kids and the maid to my parents place. We headed to Cineleisure Damansara to catch the 3:30pm show of the Twilight Saga - Eclipse. After movie we finished off the birthday celebration with dinner at Bumbu Desa, The Curve. I find the food tasty and full of variety. I would suggest this place as a place to celebrate something with the family next time.

Birthday present? Aiyaaahhhh... where got anymore money left to buy present ;)

Monday, August 02, 2010

Family Day @ Sunway Lagoon

On the weekend of 24th July 2010, my employer organized a Family Day event at the Sunway Lagoon water & theme park. The event was so - so lah.... with the games organizer being late, not child friendly food and incompetent clown.

Anyway the company paid for the use of the 3 parks; water, amusement and wildlife. The kids surely enjoyed the water park and the amusement park. Especially Arianna who did enjoy the Cowboy Boot ride.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

The End of Great Singapore Sale 2010

Yesterday was the last day of the Great Singapore Sale for the year 2010. On the weekend of 9th July 2010, the family and I took a drive to Singapore. Actually we stayed in Johor Bahru at Atih's place. Atih is Wifey's aunty.

Since I am writing about Atih, she does not eat eggs. But we discovered that she does not consume only Malaysian eggs. Singapore eggs are okay!

As we can see, Atih (3rd from left) is enjoying the KFC egg tart very much. We are wondering when will this egg tarts land in the KFCs in Malaysia. It is good!

3 years back we went to Singapore but then it was only the three of us. Since Wildan came in the picture, it seems fair for us to bring him to the Singapore Zoo.

This time around Arianna is big enough to ride a pony. According to her this is the best part of the trip.

Wildan was very brave to feed the giraffe.

After the visit to the zoo, we went to the food court at Beach Road to have the famous Sup Tulang Merah.

On the first day of our visit to Singapore we just went to the zoo, Beach Road and Arab Street. Second day we went to Seranggoon Road to pickup Kim's motorbike gloves at Chiap Lee and Orchard Road. We didn't shop that much as travelling with kids and senior citizen is not that easy :P

By the way the exchange rate during our visit was RM2.36 for SGD1.

More pictures at my Smugmug page.

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