Friday, January 13, 2017

Making Cotton Cake

Back in October, I made a very yummy, light and moist cake that my husband complimented "like a cake from a bakery", namely Cotton Cake. The cake tasted more on the eggy and milky side and not too buttery.

I planned to share the recipe about 1-2 days after I baked that cake but I dragged and dragged and dragged in writing the recipe here until now... almost 4 months later.

Admittedly, I was and am quite busy lately because running a house while taking care of a demanding toddler and a baby single-handedly really take most of my time day and night - hence the silence in my blog. I no longer have the luxury to sit quietly in front of my laptop to do some writing. Also, I am still VERY MUCH sleep deprived by the way. Not to mention, my new venture, which I will explain in more detailed manner some other time, occupies most of my free time these days. Oh ya, then Heo Joon Jae came into the picture. Alas, amidst my busy days in general, somehow I still have to make time to check how Heo Joon Jae is doing twice a week. Now you know how I set my priorities.

Anyway, here's the recipe of Cotton Cake that will surely win your family's hearts and tummies. Note that all the ingredients used in this recipe are in room temperature.

Cake is as soft as cotton.

Cotton Cake

Ingredients:

3 Egg yolks
30gr Beaten egg
35gr Butter
50gr Cake flour, sieved
50gr Condensed milk
3 Egg whites
40gr Fine sugar

Methods:

  1. Line a 6" or 7" round cake tin with a parchment paper on the base.
  2. Mix egg yolks with the beaten egg using a whisk. Set aside.
  3. Heat butter on a low heat until small bubbles appear. Pour flour into the hot melted butter and fold with a spatula. Add in the condensed milk into the mixture and fold until well combined.
  4. Add the butter and flour mixture onto the beaten eggs. Mix well using a whisk until the batter is smooth.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until frothy using a electric mixer. Add in sugar in three batches. Beat the egg whites until it reaches stiff-peak consistency with high-speed electric mixer then reduce the speed to low towards the end of the mixing process.
  6. Take about 1/3 of the meringue and fold it into the egg yolk batter.
  7. Pour the yolk batter back to the remaining meringue and fold until incorporated.
  8. Pour the batter into the cake tin and lightly tap the cake tin few times to remove bubbles before baking.
  9. Bake the cake in a hot water bath (Bain-Marie method) in a preheated oven at 170 degree Celcius with only the upper heating coil at the lower rack of the oven for 40 minutes.
  10. After 40 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 150 degree Celcius on both upper and lower heating for another 20-30 minutes or until the cake is done. If the top of the cake browns too fast, you may want to cover it with an aluminium foil.
  11. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool. While the cake is still warm, run a spatula along the edge of the cake to remove it from the pan. Let the cake cool on a wire rack before serving.

Original recipe is from here.

Finally, the small venture that I am busy with of late is currently running a CNY giveaway. Please do support by taking part at the giveaway on Facebook and/or Instagram, okay! Thank you!

Friday, December 9, 2016

How to Get Permanent Residency (PR) in Malaysia: Part 1

Few days ago, my husband and I submitted the required documents to get my Permanent Residency (PR) in Malaysia. By right, I was eligible to apply or submit the documents to get my PR here last June (the beginning of my 6th year in Malaysia). However, since I just delivered Brennan in late May and was busy with baby and other stuff, my husband and I only managed to complete the required documents few weeks ago and submitted them to the Immigration Office here earlier this week.

The list of the required documents to prepare for PR application in Malaysia is long; hence, it does take time to complete all the documents needed.

FORMS AND DOCUMENTS TO SUBMIT AND SUBMISSION STEPS:


I. Go to the nearby Immigration Office to get the application form and list of the required documents from the Counter that handles Visa and Permit.


When you go to the Immigration Office to apply PR, make sure you:

  • Bring your valid passport and Malaysian spouse's IC for verification as the officer in charge would likely check whether you are eligible to apply for PR or not before handing you the forms and list below
  • Go to the Immigration Office with your Malaysian spouse
  • Apply for PR only after you stay in Malaysia under your long-term/spouse visa for at least 5 years (you can apply PR on your 6th year here)

Sample document of the form and list of required documents.

II. Fill and furnish all the required documents (stated above), elaborated as follows:

1. Borang Permit Masuk (Entry Permit Form) IM.4 - Pindaan 1/93


2. Applicant's passport photos

Specific requirement of the photos: Blue background
Number of photos: Three (3)

3. Malaysian spouse's passport photo 

Specific requirement of the photos: Blue background
Number of photos: One (1)


4. Wedding or family picture (i.e. husband, wife and children) 
Number of pictures: One (1)

I submitted both (4R) wedding and family pictures, just in case.

5. Surat Akuan Perkahwinan Form

To complete the Surat Akuan form, other than filling in the information in the paper, we need to get a stamp and signature of a local Commissioner of Oaths (Peguam Bela dan Peguam Cara). Also, we are required to have a name and contact details of one Malaysian who is willing to act as the applicant's guarantor (he/she can be our Malaysian spouse's direct family member). 

Required documents for Commissioner of Oath's verification: The filled Surat Akuan form, applicant's passport and Malaysian spouse' IC, applicant and spouse's passport photos.
Required working days: Almost immediate
Fee: RM 12 cash 
Result: Authorization stamp and signature from Commissioner of Oaths in the Surat Akuan form

6. Marriage certificate in Malaysia 

Required documents: Both original (for verification purpose) and photocopy

7. Surat Pengesahan Perkahwinan dari Jabatan Agama Islam di Malaysia

Required documents: Both original (for verification purpose) and photocopy
**Applicable for Muslim applicants only

8. Overseas marriage certificate (for couples who got married overseas)

Required documents: Both original (for verification purpose) and photocopy

I submitted our Singapore's ROM certificate and its photocopy since my husband and I registered our marriage in Singapore.


9. Death or divorce certificate of previous marriage, if any


10.  Applicant's Passport and Travel Documents 

Required documents: Current and old passport books, original books and the photocopy of each page that has immigration stamps (post marriage)

11. Malaysian spouse's passport book (for marriage registration that was done overseas)

Required documents: Both original (for verification purpose) and photocopy of each page with stamps

My husband thought that he was only required to photocopy the first page of his passport but boy, he was wrong. The officer demanded us to submit the photocopy of my husband's whole passport book as well so he had to scramble finding a shop near the Immigration office that has photocopy machine to get this part done.


12. Malaysian spouse's IC/MyKad

Required documents: Both original (for verification purpose) and photocopy

13. Malaysian spouse's birth certificate 

Required documents: Both original (for verification purpose) and photocopy

14. Malaysian sponsors/guarantors' IC/MyKad 

Required documents: Photocopy of IC and contact details of two Malaysians who are willing to act as the applicant's guarantors (they can be our Malaysian spouse's direct family members).

15. Applicant's children's birth certificates
Required documents: Both original (for verification purpose) and photocopy

16. Applicant's children's MyKad/MyKid

Required documents: Both original (for verification purpose) and photocopy

17. Applicant's children's Passport Books

Required documents: Both original (for verification purpose) and photocopy 

18. Proof of residence address

Required documents: Recent electricity or water bills, etc (original bill or photocopy is welcomed)

19. Receipt of the paid Security Bond

If the original receipt is missing, applicant is required to show the Surat Akuan Sumpah, which I am not sure which one or how to get one.

20. List of dates of applicant's and Malaysian spouse's overseas travels

This part is probably the most painful, arduous and tedious task to do in completing the documents for PR application. Both applicant and his or her Malaysian spouse are supposed to write down all the dates of their overseas trips (post marriage), dates of returning to Malaysia and the reason of each overseas trip in the provided forms. 

Our challenge in doing this was that not all airports' immigration officers stamped the 'in and out' dates on the same page of our passport books so we had quite a bit of headaches and frustration matching our outgoing and incoming dates stamped on our passport books. Also, since we are only given one page to jot down all these dates, make sure you make few copies the empty form before you write anything on the paper because chances are one page is not enough to list your overseas travel dates (especially if you an avid traveler or busy businessman who travels overseas frequently) and you might make many mistakes in writing down the details. In case of the latter, it's better to have extra copies of the empty form so you can re-write the list of dates on a new form if necessary


III. Submit the completed forms and required documents to the local Immigration Office


Once you've fulfilled all the requirements mentioned above, go to the Immigration Office as soon as you can. Don't forget to get a queuing number first before submitting the PR documents at the Visa and Permit Counter. 


After the officer checked our PR documents and declared my PR documents submission was successful, she mentioned that the next step is just to wait for the interview invitation letter from the Police Station in the coming 1-5 years. If I pass this first round of interview, the next round of interview will be with the Immigration officers. Meanwhile, I ought to renew my spouse visa as usual until I get the interview invitation letter. Also, if there are updates on my Passport number or home address, I am required to make the Immigration Office aware of these changes too.


That's all for now - and like I said, all I have to do now is just wait. I hope I don't have to wait until Naomi enters her Primary School and Brennan goes to Kindergarten before I get my PR here.


** Please note that this information is based on my personal experience and subject to change in accordance with any amendments to the rules and regulations from the Malaysian Immigration Department.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Baby's First Solids

Brennan is now about 6.5 months old and this week is his second week eating homemade solid foods. On top of his breast milk feeds, I have lately added 2-3x feeds of homemade baby porridge into his diet. Cooking baby's porridge is now the first thing I do in my daily grind before I do any other house chores.

When it comes to making homemade's baby first foods, I am kind of old school in coming up with the daily menus and preparation methods. I follow the style that I did when I fed Baby Naomi her first homemade solids foods. Since I think everything went well with that method (Naomi grew to be a very chubby, slightly overweight baby and she's generally not a fussy/picky eater), I thought of doing the same for Brennan's first solids. For his solids, everyday Brennan eats soft (strained) rice porridge with different kind of meat and a variety of vegetables. I don't have baby food processor or blender so I press Brennan's warm rice porridge through a strainer before serving it to him. Asian baby is very Asian because his Mommy feeds him with rice porridge every day. LOL.

Baby mam mam.

The very first baby rice porridge that I introduced to Brennan was added with mild tasting vegetables like carrot and pumpkin. At this stage, I avoid offering food that may trigger allergies to my son such as eggs, seafood or acidic (citrus) fruits. Also, I will not introduce any seasoning like salt or sugar to his diets until he is 1 year old.

Brennan only managed to finish 1-2 tbsp of rice porridge when I first introduced solids to him. However, by the second week of eating solids, little man did better at finishing his food and now he can finish almost a small bowl of porridge for each feed.

Here are some examples of Brennan's 6 months old's homemade porridge menus and recipes. Note that I am not a nutritionist or doctor. The following is just few examples of first homemade food that I give to my baby. If you are unsure about your baby's first solids, please consult your child's pediatrician or doctor.

WEEK 1:

Carrot and Chicken Rice Porridge

Ingredients: 

1/4 cup of rice, 5cm of carrot (remove the skin and thinly slice), 3-4 small slices of chicken breast meat, 2 cups of filtered water

Methods: 

1. Wash all the ingredients
2. Pour all ingredients in a pot or a rice cooker. Cook until the carrot slices soften, water reduced and rice breaks down completely.
3. Let the porridge to cool down. Remove meat. Blitz the porridge in a food blender or press through a strainer before serving it to baby.
** The above is enough to feed baby 3 times, depending on how often and how much the baby eats in a day.


Baby's first porridge: Carrot and Chicken Rice Porridge.

Pumpkin and Chicken Rice Porridge

Ingredients: 

1/4 cup of rice, 1 slice of small pumpkin (remove the skin and seeds, cut into cubes), 3-4 small slices of chicken breast meat, 2 cups of filtered water

Methods: 

1. Wash all the ingredients
2. Pour all ingredients in a pot or a rice cooker. Cook until the pumpkin cubes are soft and rice breaks down completely.
3. Let the porridge to cool down. Remove meat. Blitz the porridge in a food blender or press through a strainer before serving it to baby.
** The above is enough to feed baby 3 times, depending on how often and how much the baby eats in a day.


Don't feed baby when he is sleepy.

Spinach and Beef Rice Porridge

Ingredients: 

1/4 cup of rice, 1 handful of spinach leaves, 3-4 small slices of beef, 2 cups of filtered water

Methods: 

1. Wash all the ingredients
2. Pour beef and rice in a pot or a rice cooker. Cook until the rice breaks down completely. About 5-10 mins before the porridge is done, add the spinach leaves into the pot and let the porridge simmer.
3. Let the porridge to cool down. Remove meat. Blitz the porridge in a food blender or press through a strainer before serving it to baby.
** The above is enough to feed baby 3 times, depending on how often and how much the baby eats in a day.


Tasting his first greens and beef porridge.

WEEK 2


Carrot, Pumpkin and Chicken Rice Porridge

Ingredients: 

1/4 cup of rice, 5cm of carrot (remove the skin and thinly slice), 1 slice of small pumpkin (remove the skin and seeds, cut into cubes), 3-4 small slices of chicken breast meat, 2 cups of filtered water

Methods: 

1. Wash all the ingredients
2. Pour all ingredients in a pot or a rice cooker. Cook until the vegetable cubes are soft and rice breaks down completely.
3. Let the porridge to cool down. Remove meat. Blitz the porridge in a food blender or press through a strainer before serving it to baby.
** The above is enough to feed baby 3 times, depending on how often and how much the baby eats in a day.

Carrot, Spinach and Beef Rice Porridge

Ingredients: 

1/4 cup of rice, 5cm of carrot (remove the skin and slice thinly), 1 handful of spinach leaves, 3-4 small slices of beef, 2 cups of filtered water

Methods: 

1. Wash all the ingredients
2. Pour carrot slices, beef and rice in a pot or a rice cooker. Cook until the carrot slices soften and rice breaks down completely. About 5-10 mins before the porridge is done, add the spinach leaves into the pot then let the porridge simmer.
3. Let the porridge to cool down. Remove meat. Blitz the porridge in a food blender or press through a strainer before serving it to baby.
** The above is enough to feed baby 3 times, depending on how often and how much the baby eats in a day.

Sweet Potato, Spinach and Chicken Rice Porridge

Ingredients: 

1/4 cup of rice, 1/2 small sweet potato (remove the skin and cut small), 1 handful of spinach leaves, 3-4 small slices of chicken breast meat, 2 cups of filtered water

Methods: 

1. Wash all the ingredients
2. Pour chicken, sweet potato cuts and rice in a pot or a rice cooker. Cook until the rice breaks down completely. About 5-10 mins before the porridge is done, add the spinach leaves into the pot then let the porridge simmer.
3. Let the porridge to cool down. Remove meat. Blitz the porridge in a food blender or press through a strainer before serving it to baby.
** The above is enough to feed baby 3 times, depending on how often and how much the baby eats in a day.

Loving this new combo.

WEEK 3

Sweet Potato, Broccoli and Chicken Rice Porridge

Ingredients: 

1/4 cup of rice, 1/2 small sweet potato (remove the skin and cut small), 1/2 cup of broccoli florets, 3-4 small slices of chicken breast meat, 2 cups of filtered water

Methods: 

1. Wash all the ingredients
2. Pour sweet potato, chicken, and rice in a pot or a rice cooker. Cook until the rice breaks down completely. About 5-10 mins before the porridge is done, add the broccoli into the pot then let the porridge simmer.
3. Let the porridge to cool down. Remove meat. Blitz the porridge in a food blender or press through a strainer before serving it to baby.
** The above is enough to feed baby 3 times, depending on how often and how much the baby eats in a day.

Sweet Potato, Carrot, Broccoli and Beef Rice Porridge

Ingredients: 

1/4 cup of rice, 5cm of carrot (remove the skin and slice thinly), 1/2 small sweet potato (remove the skin and cut small), 1/2 cup of broccoli florets, 3-4 small slices of beef, 2 cups of filtered water

Methods: 

1. Wash all the ingredients
2. Pour sweet potato, carrot, beef and rice in a pot or a rice cooker. Cook until the rice breaks down completely. About 5-10 mins before the porridge is done, add the broccoli into the pot and let the porridge simmer.
3. Let the porridge to cool down. Remove meat. Blitz the porridge in a food blender or press through a strainer before serving it to baby.
** The above is enough to feed baby 3 times, depending on how often and how much the baby eats in a day.


Washing down food with water in a sippy cup.

Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, Carrot, Spinach and Chicken Rice Porridge

Ingredients: 

1/3 cup of rice, 5cm of carrot (remove the skin and slice thinly), 1/2 small sweet potato (remove the skin and cut small), 1 slice of small pumpkin (skinless and cut into small cubes), 1 handful of spinach leaves, 3-4 small slices of chicken, 2 cups of filtered water

Methods: 

1. Wash all the ingredients
2. Pour sweet potato, carrot, pumpkin, chicken and rice in a pot or a rice cooker. Cook until the orange vegetables soften and rice breaks down completely. About 5-10 mins before the porridge is done, add the spinach leaves into the pot then let the porridge simmer.
3. Let the porridge to cool down. Remove meat. Blitz the porridge in a food blender or press through a strainer before serving it to baby.
** The above is enough to feed baby 3 times, depending on how often and how much the baby eats in a day.

If you notice, I gradually introduce different type of vegetables and combine different vegetables into Brennan's food. I rotate the veggies and meat I stated above for my baby's menu depending on my available veggies at home. In the beginning, Brennan hated the aroma or flavor of beef in his porridge and only ate a bit of beef porridge. However, his nurse from Klinik Kesihatan advised me to keep on introducing different kind of food to him (including the food that he less fancies) so his taste buds are accustomed to a variety of food and it's easier to spot allergies when he's young. After 2-3 times of tries, he now enjoys his beef porridge just fine. Oh yeah, this guy really loves sweet potatoes. I reckon when he grows up, he'd keep on asking me to feed him with Bubur Chacha. #delusionalmomisdelusional


Look, Mom! I can stand up.

At 6 months old ++, Brennan is still toothless and not considered a fat baby. He doesn't have those Michelin Man's rolls that I once dreamed of. He's very active for his age and his physical developmental milestones so far are as fast as a bullet. Now my little man rolls about effortlessly, abbles a lot and is able to sit without support, commando crawl and even stand up while holding his baby cot or playpen rails. As such, the Klinik Kesihatan's nurse suggested me to add 1 tea spoon of vegetable oil or olive oil onto his porridge (not 1 serving but for the entire porridge of the day) because active babies need more calories.

I plan to introduce more types of vegetables like potato, butternut squash, french beans or maybe zucchini as well as fish to Brennan in the coming week when I get to go to the wet market again. Further, I have yet to give Brennan fruit purees again because this dude is still coughing. Some people say that banana can cause phlegm so I refrain myself in giving him some mashed banana, which Brennan loves, until his cough gets better.

Some tips in starting baby's first solid foods:
  • Pick a time when baby is not cranky or sleepy or too hungry when feeding him/her solids.
  • Choose one food to introduce first and feed the same food to baby for a few days before starting new food.
  • If rashes, vomiting or diarrhea occurs after introducing a certain food, stop offering it to baby immediately.
  • Start small and don't force the baby to finish his or her portion of solid foods. I normally stop feeding my baby his porridge when he doesn't want to sit still on his high chair, refuses swallowing his food, starts rubbing his eyes or whimpers. 
  • Try and try again. If beef or spinach was a bust, try giving it again to baby in a couple of days and repeat the same menu as necessary. Don't throw in the towel yet.
  • Certain vegetables may cause baby's gassy tummy. I won't be introducing cabbage to Brennan as yet because many people (especially my parents) strongly believe that cabbage can cause baby's gassy tummy.
  • Give baby some water after eating porridge. Mine refuses drinking water from his bottle so I make him drink his water from sippy cup after eating.

We've discussed my baby's inputs (re: food), now how about his outputs? Brennan began pooping 2x-3x a day since he started his solids and his stool is not as watery as when he was a fully breastfed baby.

That's all for today's updates.

Don't you agree that solids introduction to baby is such a big deal and joyful moment?