Friday, December 7, 2012

Talaash for the Life of Pi

It is nothing short of a historical moment when you have watched not one but two movies at the cineplex with two toddlers who would never stay put. Last week hubby and I attempted the impossible, and we would like proudly to announce that we did it, successfully, with movies Talaash and Life of Pi.

Talaash means 'search' in Hindi, hence the title for the post. Talaash is the latest Aamir Khan movie, with an awesome line up of story, dialogue, additional dialogue and screenplay writers, and boosts of even awesome team of producers, including Aamir Khan himself! With such powerhouse technical team, there is no way to even hit average expectation, total awesomeness expected all the way!

Talaash is supernatural thriller about Inspector Surjan Singh who investigates a mysterious accident whilst dealing with a tragedy in his personal life. The character actors play very important parts and watch out for Kareena Kapoor for another great acting. Aamir Khan as usual does not disappoint, totally fitted his role. No Bollywood masala action or any wasted moment. Every second contributes to the story. Many film makers ought to learn from this movie and please please start making quality films as this. This was definitely my Talaash for quality cinema after all the masala themed out these days.

After this 'Talaash', we went on another talaash for the Life of Pi. As it is said, you don't watch the Life of Pi, you live the life of Pi. Only after watching the movie I realise how true that is. Apart from the fact that the movie is based on an Indian boy, another reason for us to watch it was for Ang Lee's portfolio of movies, and visually stunning trailers.

The Life of Pi will definitely strike a chord with everybody, especially in the world of science where we are trying to balance religious beliefs with modern lifestyle, and struggle to make living despite all conveniences around us. It is a pure visual treat that makes us feel the moment with Pi. A very meaningful story, carefully spiced with some humour that works well with its genre. And most of all, Richard Parker has amazingly expressive eyes, somehow we feel less fear and more of a determination watching him. And right now as I recollect the moments I have this need to watch it just again, feel it again. Its very absorbing that way.

The verdict? Two great movies in a week is freaking awesome. What a way to end the year, I don't expect better movies coming up till end of the year. And on the kids' front, we made it, with some minor hiccups such as Jeev crying and Sanju taking numerous toilet breaks. Other than that everything was good. And I am pretty sure we got cursed by several people due to our antiques. What can I say,we are just living, the Life of Pi!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Temporarily Out Of Job

As a mother, our job runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year, and you do the rest of the math. It is quite an oxymoron to claim to be out of job from my position, as it is I am a Stay At Home Mother.

The 16 month old Jeev has turned out to be quite eager in self feeding, although I tried to avoid it till later. It is no mystery that self feeding learners leave a lot of mess, and I did not intend to take up the task this soon. These days, he does not want to sit quiet for meals without reaching out for the food. And big brother Sanju, who can self feed but preferred to be spoon fed  also started to demand for a fair share of the spoon. 

From the last meal they had together, it seemed that I had lost my job, temporarily that is. None wanted to be fed, and only eat on their own. Just when I started celebrating, meal time was over and I had this left:

I had spoken too soon and did not realise that I was promoted to specialist cleaner instead. Just when my fuse is about to blow looking at the mess, the brothers do cutesy lovey gestures like saying 'cheers' with their spoons or food put together. And they interact so much these days, which sometimes ends up with someone getting hurt or having their toy snatched. All in day's work for me.

Off I go planning my next round of cleaning and planning the next meal. Also taking note that I need to make finger feeding friendly meals now on. Ah, the joys of motherhood!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Jab Tak Hai Jaan Movie Review

Diwali has become synonymous to Shah Rukh Khan movie trips. He has got his major releases lines up during Diwali each year these days and it makes a perfect outing for the family or couple on Diwali week. And if the movie is good, it is just an added bonus.

We managed to apply for a 4 hour leave from the kids for this movie. We bought tickets online, and yet reached the cineplex late. On top of everything, hubby and I reached at the cinema hall at different times due to different priorities. He had to park the car, get popcorn and all, and he didn't want me to miss much of the movie so let me go in first. Me on the other hand made arrangements with the attendants on duty to hand him his ticket at the counter once he arrives.

I have been SRK fan for like ages, 16 years to be precise. Most of his movie do not disappoint, and are landmark lover boy, sugary and very much diabetic types. In Jab Tak Hai Jaan, SRK plays the same sugary lover boy yet again, but only for the first half. He romances Katrina Kaif in the streets of London, plays the guitar to his song 'Challa' and works at the fish market, as well as a waiter. 

In the second half, his personality is shown total opposite of the former half, reason being the loss of his first love. As the bomb diffuser expert with the Indian Army, he plays with death everyday and gets the attention of a young journalist, Anushka Sharma who is interested in making a documentary on his bravery.

The main love story between the leads SRK and KK has its greatest moments, especially during the 'Saans' song. The subsequent subplot which involves Anushka rather pulls the story into an unpleasant pace, and once it gets back into the earlier story again, I almost let out a sigh of relief. It would have been so much better without that subplot and an extra love angle.

I would say this movie was close to disappointing due to the poor second half. Perhaps it is me who has grown up in my taste in movies, while SRK still remains in the same character to impress his young fans.

For me it was the songs and the music of the movie that kept the pace and emotions together. Without AR Rahman's music, so much of the soul would be lost.

If you are a SRK fan, then I would still say it is a must watch for the romantic moments, and just simply SRK. Filmwise, nothing to shout about.

Happy Diwali!

Happy Diwali folks! Yes I have been away from blogging for a while now, but not really away away, just been busy being so busy with the kids and family and yea, Diwali too!

What has Diwali been about this year? For one thing, it was the first Diwali at our new house. And the rest is as special as Diwali always gets, 3Fs, that is Family, Food and Fun!

I was totally into baking this year with our new oven and all. I made Chocolatey orange chocolate chip cookies. This turned out totally good, but too huge. I gotta make them smaller scoops next time.

And some butter cookies, just for the sake of having cut-out cookies to use the gingerbread man cutter that I bought. The moment I showed 'Gingi' to Sanju he shrieked out of excitement, took it out of my hands, and then instead of savouring the melting cookies, he crushed him into crumbs. Ah, boys!

Something I have been itching to bake in a long long time, cinnamon rolls! They turned out so good that I am gung-ho into baking buns and breads next.

The kids Diwali pajamas was Spiderman themed, and they slept in it so that they would wake up in new clothes.

On the eve, after the kids sleep, and once we are done making laddus, as per tradition I spend the night drawing henna for us. I use my ambidextrous skills to draw henna on both my hands, one a time, of course.


After hours of Diwali eating session was celebrated with good sips of wine. Don't ask me the names, I only know how to drink and enjoy them.

Diwali this year was somewhat more relaxed for me as the kids are older and can entertain themselves, giving me more time to cook, bake and do other stuff. Baby Jeev too sleeps better now, which means I can tuck him in bed with Sanju and be AWOL for a few hours to catch supper like those good old days with the hubby and all. There is an additional F to the 3Fs here, which is the Film of my favourite actor, Shah Rukh Khan! This will be elaborated in another blog, of course! Till then, Happy Holidays once again!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Chicago Rib House

Oh yeah, I caught the online deal bug and started buying vouchers. The most impromptu and fast and exciting voucher purchase has got to be the Chicago Rib House meal sets. I did happen to see it earlier, but it did not dawn to me to purchase it, because I thought to myself, maybe its just another one of those normal diners.

Then one night when I was busy surfing the net while the kids were in slumberland, on the last few hours of the deal, I saw it again. And this time noticed more than 5000 vouchers have been sold. Then I struck me, something must be good. Then I checked out the website, and saw the menu. Seeing the yummylicious ribs, I was sold immediately. I whatsapp the sleeping hubby, who later replied, 'lets go tomorrow', and mind you, it is not a normal short trip. It is from one side of the Klang Valley to another, that too with 2 little kids. That itself increases the journey distance by ten folds. You know what I mean.

It was a weekday afternoon, and 1Utama was nice and clear of crowds. This is why I love going out shopping, dining, whatever-ing on weekdays. It feels like the whole world is working away while we are free and about enjoying the peaceful malls. Plus this chance does not come often, so it is very much treasured opportunity.

The entrance of the restaurant looks rather small and we begin to doubt the food as well. But once we went inside we were relieved and were like 'bring em on!'. So we had 2 sets of ribs from the vouchers, and to complete our dunch (or linner, lunch+dinner, if you must), we ordered a pork burger, because we are big eaters like that.

The verdict? Excellent ribs, they slip off the bones like velvet... so luxe, no? The side dishes very disappointing, not as good as our favourite American diner. The burger was just too juicy, thanks to the caramelised onions dripping with sauce and not to mention the burger and bacon. It just completed the deal! We did not skip desert, and sadly it was quite disappointing too. But we would definitely go back, and eat nothing but ribs and more ribs.

And yeah, kids eat free for each main dish, so here we have Sanju playing lipstick with the tartar sauce that came with the fish and chips.

Other than that, the kids also enjoyed the not-so-good fries.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Harold and Kumar Go Burger Bakar No.1

During my recent getaway to JB, I got poisoned with the JB's famous Burger Bakar No.1 in Bukit Indah after reading a friend's Facebook status. Apparently the burger patties are thick grilled patties, sold at a stall with a long queue of patient patrons. That certainly says something about the burgers, if the customers are willing to wait for their orders. As usual I did an immediate holler to hubby who was in Klang at that time, made plans to grab a bite once there.

Our initial plan for the burger biting did not work out due to unforeseen circumstances. On top of that I had to endure Resident Evil: Retribution. Yeah we went for it at the cineplex, and it only reassured the reason why I avoid such movies. I would write a review of it but heck, I'm not in the mood to make myself all nasty. The less said the better, you get it?

So the next day, hubby and brother (Harold and Kumar) cunningly made a smooth plan tucking me and kids away at home to grab the burger, like finally, or so they thought! My only consolation was that they were going to pack my share of the loot for supper. They waited half an hour for their order, only to be told that they were out of patties. Poor fellas made their way back to Permas Jaya for the local burger stall that sells exotic meat burgers such as rabbit, ostrich and lamb. Sadly the burger stall was already closed, somewhere before 11pm. Then brother suggested to go for some other equally famous, Molek Roti John, which again was already closed, or was it that they did not operate on that day. Regardless, bad news for the duo. Finally they decided to use their lifeline and call a friend. Much to their delight the friend told them that Burger Bakar No. 1 has a branch in Masai. H and K made their way there pronto and ordered our grilled burgers!

They made it home sometime before 1am and had a hell of a story to tell me about their journey. I was impressed, so what Harold and Kumar went through was not just a movie, it really happens in real life! With the big round that they took around JB and the outskirts, they warned the burger better be good, else... errr... maybe they will go discredit the burger seller.

The burgers were packed carefully with a skewer to ensure it stands with it's given altitude. And the moment you open the packing you see the proud tall double burger standing surrounded by the halo of their very own sauce. The sauce is the hero of the whole thing. The burger patties were thick and yet grilled to perfection, but it's the sauce that pulled it all together. Since it is so huge, we ended up eating one bread with one patty at a time, slowly dipping into the drizzle of sauce below, just like Capati and dal, or thosai with sambar, or perhaps rice and curry.

Check out the height of the monsterous burger! Each bite was like a trip to burger lala-land, we could literally see stars. By the last bite, we had so much that we could not think about food for the next 10 hours (yeah ok so it was already bedtime). Although delicious on the taste, the size of it is so overwhelming that you need to detox yourself off the giant burger. By next morning we were still feeling full. Giant grilled burgers before bedtime = bad idea. Now we know., till the next gastronomical adventure!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Paratha and Chickpeas with Spinach

I grew up eating capati and parathas daily with almost vegetarian meals daily. Unlike our local roti prata fusion flat bread, the original north indian varieties of flat bread are much more healthy for the family. The wholemeal atta flour is used, which means there is whole lot of wheat goodness in it. And these capati or parathas can be filled with stuffing of your choice, the possibilities are just endless!

The process of kneading and rolling out the flat breads can require a lot of labour and practice. Which is why I had procrastinated (rather lazy) of making it for a while now. Plus having an infant that required 120% of my time did not give me much opportunity to work on it.

After what feels like ages of ages, I finally got to work on my rusty capati making skills. I am not a fan of the kneading part, but somehow I survived. This give me some encouragement to make more, hopefully!

So here is, Paratha and Chickpeas with Spinach, served with some raw onions, yes raw!

The recipe for the Chickpeas is something I got from this site here. You can get chickpeas in the dry section of the supermarket. It needs to be cooked in the pressure cooker for 20-30 mins till it is soft. Drain out the water and save it to add into the dish later for gravy. You can also save the balance as vegetable stock, because it is filled with lots of nutrients. I also used onions and garlic in the sautee.

The recipe for the paratha is here. Mine is the square type, instead of the triangle as in the link. The aim is to get flaky layered parathas, whichever shape that works is fine.

Apart from getting all down to my Indian roots, I also did explore some unknown Italian connection. Make some baked pasta with the leftover cumin cauliflower I had.

With the success of this paratha making, I'm all charged up to make different varieties. Whether I succeed or not, you will surely know from my blog updates **crossing fingers and toes and hope for success**.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Who Needs..?

Who needs a gardener when you have not one but two kids volunteering to tend over the plants?

Who needs a bodyguard when you have a commando guarding over your house?

... Who trains shooting at the arcade...

... Who also works out during spare time...

Who needs an Airasia ticket when you can fly with cute cartoon figures?

... Also a boat ride with Doraemon

... And a boat ride with others

Who needs wheels when you can ride the bike without them?

Who needs a best friend when you have Spiderman to carry you?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Dating Parents

It has been quite a challenge in starting to write this blog. Simply because we do not date anymore. After the arrival of the kids that is. Most of the times we are out with the whole gang of kids, creating an almost world war 3 upon entering the restaurant. Handling fussy kids. Feeding hungry and curious kids. And then leave the spot with a mess of a thousand evidences of extra terrestrial activities.

This is the story about the dating parents, who go to Bier Haus in Johor Jaya JB, for some romantic time away with nice drinks and awesome (drumrolls) pork knuckles! In fact we have made several trips there during our holiday in JB but usually I get a writer's bloc and really can't start anywhere.

Getting straight to the point, the menu for us is pretty much decided. The pork knuckle platter with some side dishes of sauerkraut and mashed potatoes it is! Usually the waiter tells us it might be too large portion, but we tell them, bring it on!

To complement the gluttony meal, we had a bottle of wine for the romantic factor, remember we are on a date.

We spend the nice quiet evening reminiscing the past, talking about present, and planning the future. Many references and discussions often brought us back to thinking and talking about the kids. In fact it felt like we were the ones missing the kids more than they missed us. Talk about clingy parents.

A part of me was expecting SOS call on Jeev looking for me, but no news was good news. And good news was good express dating session. The little one has grown up independent and slowly less clingy now *wiping tears*, we are so proud of him!

Here is the picture of the perfect couple, just like hubby and I. And no, I won't be sharing our couple picture. Just because.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The House Elves

This is a story about two house elves, Sanju and Jeev. Although 1.5 years apart, they always get mistaken for twins. Probably in a year or two, they would look like absolute twins. The two house elves are very helpful in fixing and attending to chores around the house. Although there are times when they like to fix things that are not broken, clean things that are not dirty, and arrange things that are not messed. You get the idea.

They are very aggressive when it comes to installation works and very meticulous and precise with measurements.

One such major project accomplished by these house elves is setting up the Buddha wood work from Bangkok. While the Sanju got working with the tools, Jeev was busy solving the mysterious jigsaw puzzle. Notice how carefully Jeev puts the pieces together, while Sanju handles the tools like a pro, all under close supervision.

Other than installation works, the house elf Sanju also specialises in doing load test for the vacuum system for domestic usage. This might look like the cycle thingy from MIB:3, but believe me, this is way more complicated than that and undecipherable to us average people.

Jeev prides himself with his rechargable motorbike that he got on his first birthday. However, so far his usage on it is limited to posing for photographs for numerous paparazzis (read grandparents, uncles, aunties, etc).

Sanju does not mind getting down and dirty with his house elf duty, climbing up any parts of the house, for many tasks, is no big deal for him. However we wish he would wear more clothes doing these unimaginable tasks, as per the Working At Height procedures.

And when anything gets broken, instead of fixed, he flees away with Jeev's motorbike, cos he knows where the accelerator is.

These house elves are not working for cash but purely on credit cards. They are not getting paid right away, but they will demand their share of buying their worldly goodies and tools, mostly toys from their house owners, aka father and mother. Credit card information is purely confidential.

In a parenting world where us parents are eternal employees (slaves) to our kids who are our employers and absolute BOSS of the highest ranking, this little concept is a nice escape for a short laugh. Now, let me get back attending to the fussy, crying and hungry bosses.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Whats Cooking?

Throughout my time as SAHM so far, the one thing that I have enjoyed the most is cooking daily, since Jeev is more independant and I get some 45 minutes in the kitchen every evening. And thanks to Food Network I always have something new in my mind to whip up for the tired hubby back from a busy day at work. Here are some of the things that I have been cooking which I managed to capture in very poor quality photos.

Buttered Creamy Prawns

Aglio Olio with Bread Cubes

Grilled Chicken with vegetables

Black Bean Bittergourd

Grilled Chicken ala Tandoori for Chicken Biryani

Oven Poppers ala Cucur
Its been a great delight cooking and experimenting something new daily, but every once in a while it occurs to me that it is time we get on serious diet, or maybe experiment some healthier food.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Birthday

Yes baby Jeev turned ONE last week! It's like OMG I can't believe we are finally here at this milestone. Can't believe we completed one year being parents for 2 active boys. I have been eagerly waiting for Jeev to turn one so that he and Sanju can share the same milk and food, I won't have to cook 2 different places for both of them. Best of all, I can even feed them the same time. When you are a SAHM, shortcuts are a lifesaver!

Hubby and I stayed up painting this little masterpiece

Birthday cake and cupcakes

I can't believe what changes we have brought to our lives after the arrival of Jeev. Being the parents to Sanju alone was a big achievement, and Jeev's addition to our family portrait was really beyond our thinkable ability.

It is a universal practice to celebrate birthdays with cake and a number of candles for the age celebrated. Past week I have been so philosophical and emotional over this birthday concept that I can't help wondering there are so many significances of a birthday that often goes ignored.

This birthday marks the completion of a year for us as second time parents, nurturing and loving our baby to the present day, and continue for many more days to come. This birthday is the memory of the day I had the labour signs, called hubby down almost 400km down south. This birthday is the exact day the baby was brought into this world, greeted by the hubby and then me, and not to mention our doctor and midwife. This birthday is the exact day when hubby distributed chocolates to the whole maternity center who already remember him as the guy who gave lots of goodies during Sanju's birth. I must admit we gave them good business 2 years in a row. Serious time to stop our contribution to the maternity center there.

The completion of one year tenure as parents is the most satisfying because Jeev has been a very demanding baby and with Sanju in tow, there were so many adjustments to be made. It took a great deal of cooperation and understanding from Sanju to be able to pull through without getting crazy, although there were (a large number of) days that I want to pull my already dropping hair out.

Birthdays are more than just the anniversary of the person's existence in the world. Birthdays mark the accomplishments of the parents of reaching the annual milestone for the kids. There is nothing more worthwhile than witnessing the fruit of our hardwork getting busy over the birthday cake while the song is sang for them. Happy Birthday Jeev! Mummy let you have some of the chocolate cake this time round, but don't make it a habit.

Here is Jeev riding backwards on his new bike. The bike is currently on lease to big brother Sanju till Jeev is big enough to ride it on his own.

In return, Sanju will be Jeev's bodyguard and save him from the tiger. Inspired from Shah Rukh Khan's Mind It!

We always say that a kid's first birthday leaves no memory or enjoyment on the kid himself. But I realise why many parents like us still insist on having a cute celebration with loved ones, it is to tell the world, 'Hey, we survived one year and we are celebrating it!'.  

Chocolate Overdose

Life was a party for the last one week with Jeev's birthday celebration on his real birthday and on the weekend with a larger team. As the tradition goes, every celebration was accompanied with cake, and in this case, chocolate cakes.

On the real birthday we had chocolate indulgence from Secret Recipe, which was initially planned to be a homemade butter cake. My sister was ever so willing buy a cake instead and so I decided to see the short cut, because any way I had a large feast to cook with my mom. Of course we all know we can never get wrong with Secret Recipe cakes.

On the weekend birthday event we had American chocolate cake with fondant icing made my by lovely neighbour. To stay it was deliciously super yummy is an understatement. It is beyond description. Everyone loved it so much that it was gone on that day itself.

After the gastronomical exhaustion I decided that it was time to detox and eat simple for this week. But fate had other plans. There were three combs of homegrown bananas that my dad brought from JB riping away for which the kids and I were not fast enough in eating them. My idle fingers did a google and found an excellent recipe at this blog for the best combination ever, chocolate and banana!

The chocolate cream cheese frosting dripping away somewhat depicts onlookers salivating on the mere view of the yummy-ness! To compensate for breaking the healthy diet week, we ate the cake with lots of fruits. Its not daily that I have strawberries and kiwis in the fridge. I am an ardent supporter of local fruits (read cheapo) and do not buy imported fruits unless they are a good deal at the hypermart. I guess it was just fated.



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