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Archive of ‘gastronomical adventures’ category

Baked Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

So I made a classic baked macaroni and cheese for our Christmas lunch at Aunty Thelma’s last December.
It was my first time baking it, usually I just cook it over the stove.
Recipe adapted from here.
You can also use this same recipe to make a one-pot macaroni and cheese, details below. :)

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients

230 g elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 block or 230 g sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded and divided

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Shredded Cheddar Cheese. Yum !

Directions:

  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Keep warm.
  2. Melt butter in a large saucepan (I used a pot) over medium-low heat; whisk in flour until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk, and cook, whisking constantly, 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in salt, black and red pepper and 1 cup shredded cheese, and cooked pasta.
  3. Lightly grease a 2 liter baking dish and pour cooked pasta into it.
  4. Pour mixture cheese mixture into the pasta, top with remaining 1 cup cheese.
  5. Bake at 200°C for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

(One-Pot Macaroni and Cheese: Prepare recipe as directed, stirring all grated Cheddar cheese into thickened milk mixture until melted. Add cooked pasta, and serve immediately.)

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

My baked macaroni and cheese ! :)

Happy baking and eating everyone !

xoxo

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And We Turned Five.

Mr. Sunshine and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary on January 9th.
Alhamdulillah for 5 years of ups and downs with my Sunshine. Thank you Allah !!

So the weekend after the 9th I planned a little surprise for Mr. Sunshine and I which was a one night’s stay in one of the hotel’s in the city. Marc & Linn helped to babysit Khayla for one night.

We Turned Five

We attended a wedding before our romantic (ahem) getaway started. Hehe.

That Saturday evening, we walked from Pavilion to KLCC to watch a movie, wanted to watch Night At The Museum: Secret of The Tomb, but while we were queueing up, we googled up the reviews and decided to watch Paddington, instead.
Both Mr. Sunshine and I agreed that it was a good last minute decision because it was a pretty good movie. Such a charming, warm & funny family movie ! :)

We had dinner at Ben’s KLCC.
I had the Pad Thai Linguine (which I would later regret, read on) and Mr Sunshine had the Beef Lasagna.

We Turned Five

Ben’s Beef Lasagna

We Turned Five

Ben’s Pad Thai Linguine

We walked back to Pavilion and I treated Mr. Sunshine to his favourite Auntie Anne’s pretzel. Hehe.

We Turned Five

Pretty lights at KLCC park that night

The next morning, I woke up and had to run straight to the toilet to purge. My tummy felt so uncomfortable. I was down with diarrhea and I suspect it was because of the linguine ! Isk isk. :'(

After a few visits to the toilet, Mr Sunshine and I walked to Pavilion (again) to have breakfast at Coffee Bean. No, we don’t normally have breakfast at Coffee Bean, it was part of the anniversary celebration thingy lah, hehe.

We Turned Five

My delicious Egg’s Benedict

We Turned Five

My Sunshine and I. <3

After breakfast, we drove straight to Putrajaya, bought some Nasi Beriyani Gam for lunch with Khayla, Marc, Marlene, Daddy & Fahim.

I was still purging. It got worse to the point I had a gastric attack later that evening. Dah lama sangat tak gastric tauuuu !
Anyway, I got better, Alhamdulillah.

I hoped Mr Sunshine enjoyed the short getaway I planned. Hehe. A huge thank you to Marc & Linn for helping to watch over Khayla ! :)

I personally think all married couples should try something like this once in a while. It’ll be good for your relationship, InshaAllah. :)

xoxo

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between getting old and old memories.

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Okayyyy it’s about time for an update !
*blows dust off blog*

I’m so sorry for abandoning this space for more than two months ! I wonder if anyone still reads my blog ? Anyone ? Hello ?

*crickets sounds*

These days I always fall asleep earlier than I intend to every night. I usually doze off while putting Khayla to bed, not because I am exhausted or tired but because our bed has become just too comfy since Mr. Sunshine brought our portable air cond from Gombak to Shah Alam. *blushes*
As much as I want to stay up, I just succumb to the cool breeze and comfy mattress, sometimes even BEFORE Khayla dozes off. Haha. So that’s why I have so little to no time to blog. :)

Before I start rambling away, this a personal message to Mel Ng, haha.
Mel ! You can connect with me on Instagram (melissaraffur) and Facebook (Melissa Raffur). 😀

Anywayyy, life hasn’t changed so much since I last wrote.
Khayla is officially off the pacifier. Alhamdulillah. I feel that her pacifier has played a role in her frequent fever/flu all this while.

I turned 29 last month. Happy birthday to me ! Do I feel old ? Nope. Haha, with the exception of my osteoarthritic knees, I think I’m doing okayy for a 29-year old. Do I look old ? Haha that’s for you to judge lah. :p

Marc treated me (along with the rest of the family) to some Seoul Garden. Yums ! I was down with stomach poisoning that weekend, but it didn’t stop me from gobbling down all the delicious food.

The sister in-law treated me to some Fullhouse. :)

Annisa darling took me to Baci, Citta Mall. :)

Mr. Sunshine brought me out on a date to watch Iron Man 3, wheee !

Awww, I feel so blessed. Alhamdulillah. :)

I just got back from a getaway to Cherating last weekend with my family (Daddy, Marc, Marlene, Linn & Fahim included !). Cherating brings back a lot sweet memories when arwah Mummy was still around, so it was good to be able to go back there and reminisce.

Khayla and I at our favourite Hai Peng Kopitiam.

Before leaving our Antara Suite at Holiday Villa, Cherating.

 You can view the rest of the photos on Instagram. :)

Ok gotta get back to playing the Fishing Game with Khayla.
What Fishing Game ?

THIS ONE !

Hahahaha. Khayla loves to catch the ‘pish’ and ‘atak’ (masak) them for me.

Ok bye.

xoxo

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my 1433H eid.

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Hello ya’ll !
I hope it’s not too late to wish all my Muslim brothers & sisters SELAMAT HARI RAYA AIDILFITRI !

Last Monday marked 6 years since arwah Mummy left us and the day before (Sunday) would have been her 62nd birthday if she was still around. I’m still in a bit of a sombre mood, but I’m trying my best to not let it affect me too much. Gotta concentrate on work. I can’t believe it has been 6 years already. It still feels like it was just yesterday. :'(

Al-Fatihah.

August is a bittersweet month for me. *nangis*

Gotta. Focus.
Gotta. Focus.

How has your Raya (I somehow prefer addressing Raya as Raya instead of Eid) been so far ? I was on leave for the whole of last week. Not because I wanted to beraya but because my workplace was closed for the whole week and so was Khayla’s nursery. Soooo, I had no choice but to take leave. But I think I’ve managed to put all the spare time to good use.

As I’ve blabbered in my previous post, we spent Raya eve and the first two days of Syawal in Batu Pahat. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I’d have to be honest that I felt awful on Raya eve when everyone was busy preparing dishes for Raya. All I wanted to do was curl up in bed and cry. It wasn’t just about being in Batu Pahat, it’s just the same emotions I go through every year before (and during Raya) and I guess it was exarcebated by the fact that I wasn’t in Gombak.

Alhamdulillah Mr. Sunshine was always there for me, he thanked me for agreeing to be in his hometown, and constantly had words of comfort for me throughout the eve of Raya. Things got a little better on the 1st day of Syawal, I managed to contain my tears whole day, even during the bersalam-salaman and the whole visiting relatives sessions. What an achievement, Alhamdulillah.
So yeah, it wasn’t that bad.

Green was our theme in Batu Pahat. Mr. Sunshine and I reused our outfits which we wore for Marc & Linn’s wedding. :)

My beautiful sisters in-law.
I’m so fortunate that I can joke around with them and talk to them as if they’re my own blood. :)

My man. :)

Awesome mum in-law. :)
Mr. Sunshine’s extended family ! :)

We were back in Gombak on the 2nd day of Syawal. We went visiting the next day. We intend to continue visiting friends/relatives this weekend. InshaAllah. Mr. Sunshine, Khayla and I were all supposed to be in purple, but the tailor didn’t managed to finish sewing Khayla and my baju kurungs. What a disappointment ! :(

Family shot on the 3rd day of Syawal.

I love this shot of us !

Last Thursday, Mr. Sunshine took Khayla and I on a 3 days 2 nights vacation to Penang. Traffic was heavy along the way but there was no jam. All we did in Penang was eat, eat, and EAT.
I didn’t gain any weight throughout the first 4 days of Syawal, but I managed to gain a kilo after being in Penang for 3 days !

Yummy Penang Food.

MORE yummy Penang food.

Khayla had her first trip to the beach at Batu Feringghi, and she didn’t like it that much. She was in tears every time the waves hit her legs. Hehe. Driving down Batu Feringghi brought back a lot of memories of when I was there with Daddy, arwah Mummy & my siblings.

At Batu Feringghi beach.

We also took her on a ferry ride on which she was pretty cool and calm, pointing at the sea water, unlike her Mummy who was terrified and couldn’t wait to get back into the car. Yes, I am still terrifed of deep water.

Khayla and Ayah on the ferry.

Mummy explaining to Khayla why Mummy is afraid of the sea. Haha.

Khayla was also pretty cool on the train ride up and down Penang Hill (Bukit Bendera). We got on the front coach and we let her stand by the front window. :)

The view from Penang Hill. :)

Khayla was a bit cranky throughout the whole Penang trip. I guess she was fatigued, because everytime we were in the car she would hug me and fall asleep. Poor baby.

Yesterday morning I think I heard Khayla call out, “Mi, mi !” but I am still not too sure whether she means Mummy. Hehe.

That’s all for now. Hope all of you had an awesome Raya.
Bye !

xoxo

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the last weekend before ramadhan

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Our last weekend before Ramadhan was packed with activities with family and friends.

Last Sunday was Diana’s son, Harith’s 1st birthday and he had his birthday party the day before. The theme was animal/safari, so I dressed Dian Khayla up in a giraffe patterned romper. Hehe. I couldn’t find an animal print top for Mr. Sunshine and I in my closet. I thought of buying a new blouse but Mr. Sunshine was against buying something new JUST for the party (Khayla’s outfit was an exception), so we wore what we had.

Khayla in her giraffe patterned romper.

Harith was dressed up in a tiger outfit, he was sooo adorable !

The birthday boy with his dad, Hanan.

The (homemade) food were delicious and even Khayla got to enjoy a few bites of the yummy rainbow cake.
She took quite awhile to warm up to the other kids, but she eventually did crawl to where they were all playing.

Yummy rainbow cake !
Besties. :) HAPPY BIRTHDAY HARITH !! 😀

Mr. Sunshine and I still haven’t decided whether we want to have a party for Khayla’s first birthday.
Our initial agreement was to buy a cake, dress Khayla up, recite a doa, sing Happy Birthday to her and snap happy pictures. You know, just for immediate family members. I would love to organize a party when she’s a bit older and has friends I can invite to play and really enjoy the party with her. InshaAllah.
I also have plans of buying one cake and packing some goodie bags for the kids at Khayla’s nursery. InshaAllah.

On Sunday, we met my sisters in-law for brunch at TGIF, The Curve. It was a treat from Mr. Sunshine. Thank you, love ! Khayla was surprisingly very friendly with her aunties, especially when they had food in front of them. This is  good progress. Hehe.

FYI, Khayla LOVES food, she’ll eat when it’s her mealtime but would still crawl up to anyone who has food in their hands. Hehe. I wonder who she got that trait from….. hahaha.

After a bit of shopping, Mr. Sunshine and I drove back home to pick up Marc and we headed to UMMC to visit baby Rauf. Rauf is my cousin, Faizal’s one month old son who was diagnosed with a congenital heart disease, truncus arteriosus since birth. He will be transferred to IJN soon for an operation. From what I’ve learned, he will needing a few more surgeries throughout his life. Poor baby. :”””””(

1 month old baby Rauf.

Rauf was asleep the whole time we were there. He looked exactly like his father ! Hehe.
According to Dee (the mother), he is otherwise a very active baby boy and is feeding well (they’re feeding him through a tube to avoid the exhaustion when feeding). Alhamdulillah. May Allah give Dee and Faizal the strength to get through this, and May Allah protect little Rauf. Ameen.

Marc treated the whole family to some delicious steak that night. It was a belated treat for Lene’s 21st birthday which was in early July.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARLENE !! I’m your sister so I have to be in all your pictures. Hah.

Om nom nom nom nom. Khay;a was sweating from all the eating. Haha.

Marc & Lene. :)

That pretty much sums up our weekend. Can’t wait for Ramadhan ! :)

xoxo

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april sweets.

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I turned 28 on April 27. Alhamdulillah. We made our way back to Batu Pahat that night and little did I know my in-laws had a surprise for me. A birthday cake ! Wheee !

Thank you Mak, Abah, Syahieda, Angah & Razy. Love !

Mr. Sunshine and I had our first movie date on the last day of April, it was a belated birthday treat from Mr. Sunshine. The last time we watched a movie together was in June last year. We watched The Avengers (which was AMAZEBALLS !). I was like a jakun in the cinema hall, smiling from ear to ear, looking right and left. Mr. Sunshine was as usual maintaining his ‘macho’ness. Hehe.

The highlight of my birthday date was of course Mr. Sunshine’s surprise lunch treat at Atmosphere 360 Revolving Restaurant at KL Tower ! You see we had planned this date since March, we both took our leaves and Mr. Sunshine said he would make lunch arrangements. He kept me guessing until the very last minute. :)
Even after we entered the KL Tower compound, I still thought we were just going for a walk. *slaps forehead*

The place was beautiful and the food was absolutely delicious ! Thank you Sunshine ! *smooches*

We attended Mr. Sunshine’s sister’s degree convocation last Sunday. It was a looooong hot day but at the end of the day, everyone was happy  ! Alhamdullillah, congratulations Syahieda ! :)

 

xoxo

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monday memento #2

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Belated birthday lunch treat by Mr. Sunshine, 282 metres above ground level, followed by our first movie date after being blessed with Dian Khayla and another sweet surprise from Mr. Sunshine. Love ! :-)

xoxo

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lizard dreams.

Good morning everyone. :)
It’s another beautiful Ramadhan morning !

Since it’s just the two of us, sahur for Mr. Sunshine and I have always been simple. I would either fry some rice, fry eggs and sausages or make french toast etc etc.
This morning I made chocolate chip pancakes. :)

Fasting was a bit of a challenge for me yesterday, I felt extremely weak and by the time I got back home from work, I was literally shaking and had to lie down.
What’s amazing was that Mini Mel was super active the whole day yesterday.
It’s as though she was telling me that she’s alright and giving me strength to continue fasting. :)
And that’s what I did. Alhamdulillah.

Last night as I was wiping my face before going to bed, a baby lizard jumped on my arms ! I pushed it off and it landed on my towel. I assumed it was there the whole while and I was the one ‘invading its territory’. I vigorously shook my towel, but it didn’t budge for a good one minute or so. When it finally did, images of it crawling into my ears, nose and other body cavities of mine haunted me.
I had trouble falling asleep !

This morning I hesitated for a bit before touching my towel.
Now that I think about it, I think I’m gonna put it to wash. Hmm.

Mr. Sunshine came home with a surprise yesterday.

A Sweet Cherry SCR7 Carrier Carseat !
Wheee !
He has been scouting for a baby carseat/stroller for quite some time now. :)
Thank you sayang !
Now let’s pray our baby will have no problems adjusting to being in the seat. Hehe.

Ramadhan blessing: Still having the energy to go to work and not have gastric attacks. Alhamdulillah.

xoxo

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90/60.

Well, my 1st day of fasting is going ok so far. Alhamdulillah.
It might be due to the fact that I took the day off today.
The real challenge of fasting would be tomorrow.

To start things, thought I’d share a picture of me which Mr. Sunshine took this morning. :)

A sleep-deprived me at 36 weeks and 5 days. :)

I had my weekly antenatal checkup this morning and my blood pressure was on the low side, 90/60mmHg.
It was probably a result of staying up too late last night.
Lack of sleep = exhaustion.

Mr. Sunshine and I had pizza, pasta & chicken wings from Pizza Hut for dinner plus a few slices of Sarawak layer cake for dessert last night, so we decided to just have something to drink for sahur.
I have always been used to not eating and only drinking plain water for sahur, but this morning I had milk, since milk has been my staple breakfast for the past 9 months. :)

I don’t usually have dates for sahur or berbuka. But this year, because of how good they are for baby and I, I have vowed to try to incorporate dates into my diet, however distasteful they are to me. :p
Mr. Sunshine bought Chocodates, which are dates covered with chocolate and almonds replacing the seeds of the dates.

I think it’s an awesome alternative for people (who don’t fancy dates) like me. :)

Oooooh, guess what arrived in the mail yesterday ?

………
…..

My post natal set and tummy binder (bengkung) !

Bought from Kak Engku.

After considering online reviews and advice from friends and family, I’ve opted for the post natal set from Nona Roguy. I don’t know whether I’d be able to follow through with the whole set but it’s worth a try. :)

These arrived too..

From FabulousMom. :)

And as you can see, I’ve chosen the Spectra 3 breast pump (with the extra breast shield set for dual pumping). I gave the pump a try last night, it’s not as noisy as I had expected it to be. I can’t comment on it’s milk expression efficiency yet though. Hehe.

Mr Sunshine has disallowed me from cooking, hence I haven’t got a clue what we’ll be having for berbuka today. I am more than willing to prepare a berbuka meal for us, but I guess not today.

Just a few more hours to go, I can do it !

Ramadhan blessing: Listening to the heartbeat of my baby through a fetal doppler. Subhanallah.

xoxo

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on how to make a mushroom omelette.

Last weekend, Mr. Sunshine and I had mushroom omelette sandwiches for dinner. I made pasta for lunch that day so we were pretty stuffed.

Daddy makes THE BEST mushroom omelette.
And he obviously knows he does.
I sent a text message to Daddy asking for tips on how to make a good mushroom omelette and he replied with the whole recipe. Haha.

And this is how my mushroom omelette looked like:

Not very appealing huh ?
Mr Sunshine thought it was delicious and went back for seconds, but I would rather have Daddy make some for me. Hehe.

xoxo

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