Sunday, June 26, 2011

Making Brownies

Sunday is like my baking day and today I was experimenting with Brownies, a cross between a cake and a cookie. I was inspired in making brownies by my friend, Astrid. Quite a while ago, she tweeted that she was about to get some Brownies so I thought of making one.

I made a silly mistake in baking my brownies today though. I forgot to put chocolate powder in the cake batter so I had white brownies in lieu of rich chocolaty brownies. Also, instead of having brownies with dense texture, my brownies turned out to be a pretty soft cake.

Brownies.

I altered some ingredients and techniques from this brownies recipe. Instead of using 200 grams of dark cooking chocolate, I only used 100 grams of it. I also didn't melt the chocolate bar together with the butter. Perhaps this is why I forgot to put the chocolate powder into my cake batter and subsequently, had a white brownies with chocolate hints.

Brownies

Ingredients: 
  • 120 gr Self-raising flour
  • 200 gr Butter, melted and let it cool
  • 3 Eggs
  • 100 gr Dark cooking chocolate, chop then coat with a little bit of flour
  • 150 gr Fine granulated sugar
  • 60 gr Sliced almonds
  • 1 tsp Vanilla powder
  • 2 tbsp Milk powder, optional
  • Chocolate powder, optional
Tutorial:
  1. Sift the cake flour and milk powder. Set aside.
  2. Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla powder with high-speed mixer until white and creamy.
  3. Slowly combine the flour and melted butter into the wet mixture.
  4. Fold in chopped dark cooking chocolate and sliced almonds into the cake batter. Mix well.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven for about 45 minutes on small fire.

If we'd like to make a rich chocolate brownies from this recipe, we can either melt the dark cooking chocolate with the butter or add in some chocolate powder into the cake batter. Either way should work just fine. I forgot to coat my chopped dark cooking chocolate with a little bit of flour so all my chocolate was kind of 'drowned' in the bottom of my brownies. It's best to coat the chopped chocolate with flour to keep them from sinking to the bottom of the cake batter. 

Although my family thinks the brownies tasted pretty nice, we also agreed that today's brownies were kind of too sweet. Not sure if I put in too much sugar (but I think I followed the exact sugar measurement from the original recipe) or this extra sweetness was the effect of the dark cooking chocolate. Anyhow, next time I bake brownies, I picture myself reducing approximately 50 gr of sugar from the original ingredients.

One last thing, I guess using the real butter instead of margarine really helped my baking attempt today. I had really fragrant brownies.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Shopping for the Wedding in Malaysia: Part 1

Apparently I don't have to wait until my wedding in Indonesia is over to start shopping some stuff for my wedding in Malaysia. My husband and I had an afternoon shopping spree with his Mom and his brother's family to purchase some things for our upcoming wedding in Malaysia this September.

Here are the things that were thrown into our shopping cart today:

Flower girl basket, fake flowers, net cloth, ribbons and confetti shooters.

1. Pink net cloth and some pink ribbons to decorate our house.

2. Fake flowers for additional wedding car decoration.

3. Confetti shooters for our wedding toast (no fireworks).

4. Wicker flower girl baskets.

My Mom-in-Law will be the one who decorates these flower baskets with some ribbons, laces, small fake flowers and net cloth.

5. Flower bracelets for the bridesmaids.


Flower bracelets.

6. Traditional Chinese red cloth to be hung in the main doors of the groom and bride's houses.

7. Chinese Double Happiness (喜喜) wedding stickers to be put in the main doors, bridal chamber and best men' cars.

The traditional Chinese red cloth and wedding stickers.

That's all for today. More to come in the coming weeks.

Preparing the Wedding in Malaysia: The Wedding Checklist

Thanks to different nationalities that I share with my husband, we get to celebrate our wedding twice. One in my hometown in Indonesia (订婚) and one in Malaysia (结婚). Both are to be done according to the respective wedding traditions and customs in each country.

The corresponding things for our wedding celebrations in Indonesia and Malaysia:  
The Chinese Wedding Customs and Traditions.

In the beginning, my husband and I argued a lot when we discussed our planned wedding celebrations in Indonesia and Malaysia. I was overwhelmed with all the wedding planning in Malaysia - as for me, in many ways how the Chinese Malaysians celebrate weddings are quite different from how we commonly do in Indonesia. My husband also felt that we, Chinese Indonesians, were way too grand in preparing the wedding reception. As time went by, we learned to respect each other's traditions and customs in preparing our wedding ceremonies and banquets. We accepted the facts that both countries have different cultures and ways in celebrating marriage. We try to work as a team to make both events happen nicely and smoothly. My husband gives feedback on my wedding preparation in Indonesia and I, too, suggest some details in preparing the wedding in Malaysia.


As my wedding celebration in Indonesia is approaching fast, so is my wedding celebration in Malaysia. Here are some recaps on my wedding planning checklist that my husband and I have been doing so far and what we plan to do in the next two and a half months. Although the Malaysia's wedding celebration is relatively simpler than what we plan to do in Indonesia, since my husband and I do everything in Malaysia without Wedding Organizer service, both of us are really trying hard to be extra careful on our wedding preparation details.

1. Booking the Wedding Venue

My husband and I booked our wedding venue i.e. restaurant already sometime last year. We concerned that our wedding date was fully booked so we thought the sooner we booked the restaurant the better. We opted to host a wedding lunch in Malaysia because we'd be having guests coming from Johor and Singapore, thus it is better to end our wedding reception earlier so the guests have enough time to go back to Johor or head back to Singapore in late afternoon.

The restaurant for wedding reception that we booked in Malaysia does not only provide the venue and banquet but also provides the fake wedding cake for the cake ceremony, Emcee and standard invitation cards according to the number of the tables booked. The last three (FOC) services are quite unusual to me as we usually arrange them separately from the restaurant. Restaurant in Indonesia is solely responsible for providing the venue and food. So in this case, we kind of saved our money for the cards, cake and Emcee.

Next to-do-list:
  • Confirm the number of the tables that we want to use at the restaurant once we fix the guest list in Malaysia
  • Choose one contact person to deal with the banquet manager at the restaurant
  • Confirm the banquet package and select the dishes that we want to have at the wedding reception

2. Engaging the Bridal House

My husband and I visited few local bridal houses before finally deciding to go with the one that offered a good package and reasonable price with various wedding gowns and photography styles that matched our expectations too. The Bridal House in Malaysia provides make-up and hair-do services, wedding gowns and coats for the bride and groom, pre-wedding photo package, photo slide shows for the wedding day, car decoration and hand bouquet. On top of these, last night we also sought their assistance to order some corsages and flower petals for my flower girls and wedding aisle. To me, the bridal houses in Malaysia also act like a one-stop wedding service but minus the event organization itself. To the contrary, bridal houses in Indonesia normally just takes care of the wedding gowns and coat, make-up and hair do for the bride, groom, mothers and bride's maids.

3. Renting a Wedding House

As my family will be coming from Indonesia, we got no house in Malaysia for the groom to pick the bride. Actually, a hotel room will do for this purpose but my husband decided to rent a wedding house from his friend. I will have to stay in that house with my family until my husband and his entourage come and pick me on our wedding day.

4. Taking the Pre-wedding Photos

My husband and I did our pre-wedding photo shoots with the photographer from the Bridal House. It was indeed a fun, tiring and memorable once-in-a-lifetime experience. And we both were very happy with the final results.

5. Creating the Wedding Timetable

Wedding timetable is usually prepared by the Wedding Organizer. Since we don't have any in Malaysia, we ought to create one by ourselves. To me, creating a timetable for our wedding in Malaysia was quite a challenge because I was not familiar with the Chinese wedding processions in Malaysia. Once I attended the wedding of my husband's cousin a couple weeks ago, I quickly mapped ours according to the set wedding time that had already been previously discussed with the 'Smart Person' in the temple. I tried to be precise and detailed in creating my wedding timetable so those who are involved in my wedding processions could anticipate the wedding processions and timing better hence we all could hopefully run all the processions on time.

Next to-do-list:
  • Make contact with all the people that we want to assign as the bridesmaids, best men, receptionists, ushers, etc.
  • Distribute the wedding timetable to the people involved in the wedding processions for their review
  • Along the way, refine the timetable content and update the involved parties on the updates too

6. Liaising with Bridesmaids and Best Men

Bridesmaids and best men for the wedding in Malaysia are two roles that I was not familiar with before. The roles of bridesmaid in a wedding celebrations in Indonesia, or my hometown to be exact, are more to assisting the bride by adjusting her long wedding gown when she walks and other on-site small tasks. The best men would stand by the groom's side and assist him with some on-site tasks too. Apparently, in Malaysia and Singapore, other than assisting the bride with some on-site small tasks, the Bridesmaids' job is to produce a series of challenges and tests when the groom and his best men pick the bride at her place before Tea Ceremony. The challenges and tests here are essential to make sure the groom is fit for the job of husband.

I approached few of my girl friends in Singapore to prepare the challenges my husband and his entourage on our wedding day. I've shared my wedding timetable with them and it is up to them on how they want to design the challenges for my husband and his best men during our wedding day in Malaysia.

Next to-do-list:
  • Recruit bridesmaids and best men for the wedding and make sure they are willing to help to do these roles
  • Keep in touch with the bridesmaids, ensure they have everything ready for the games and be sure to offer assistance when needed

7. Engaging the Wedding Photographer and Videographer

Initially, my husband thought that having photographer and videographer on our wedding day in Malaysia was not necessary. Some of his friends or family could do this. However, ultimately we both agreed to engage a professional third party to do this as we wanted our friends and family to enjoy our wedding reception instead of being too busy snapping our wedding photos during the event. More money spent for this but I guess it will worth the price.

8. Printing the Wedding Invitation Cards

To keep our wedding cost within the budget, we chose to utilize the complimentary wedding invitation cards from the restaurant. Actually, the invitation cards here were not 100% free of charge. We were supposed to pay RM 100 for the molding fees.

9. Choosing the Wedding Songs

No event organizer also means that we have to prepare all the background music during our wedding day. My Mother-in-Law doesn't fancy Karaoke-style wedding reception so the most that we could do is to prepare some wedding songs that can run for about three hours, burn them into CDs and play them at the restaurant.

10. Ordering the Wedding Cake

As the restaurant will provide a fake wedding cake for the cake ceremony during the wedding day. My husband and I prefer to have real wedding cake for the cake ceremony hence we ought to order a customized wedding cake from a local bakery.

11. Preparing the Wedding Souvenirs

Wedding souvenirs are not compulsory for wedding receptions in Malaysia. It's really up to the bride and groom to give away souvenirs to the invitees. However, as advised by my brother and sister in law, my husband and I at least have to distribute post-card sized wedding photos to some relatives and friends on the wedding day itself. Some people here apparently do keep an album consisting of their friends' or relatives' wedding photos.

12. Liaising with the Emcee

I guess the wedding reception in Malaysia is quite straight forward and the Emcee from the restaurant has indeed hosted wedding receptions probably by hundreds time already. However, just to make sure the processions run well, my husband and I intend to share our wedding timetable with the Emcee and run through other on-site details with him/her i.e. the event order, names for the photo sessions and toasts.

13. Arranging the Venue Decoration 

Venue decoration was probably in our bottom list before as my husband mentioned that it is seldom used in Malaysian weddings. Few months ago, my husband and I did some market researches for wedding venue decoration at the local florists. Their portfolio just didn't do any justice with the money they charge. Last night, we checked our wedding venue again and we both felt that the hall for our wedding reception really looks empty. Red carpet is chargeable at RM 150 - RM 200 per use. In the end, husband and I came to a conclusion, either we do a minimum venue decoration ourselves or engage a third party that really can meet our expectation and budget.

14. Choosing the Flower Girls

I want flower girls (or boys) for my wedding in Malaysia. I decided to go ahead with my two nieces as my flower girls. My nephews would probably be too animated and unpredictable for this role. Moving forward, I need to shop for their dresses, headbands and flower basket for my flower girls. My husband already asked the bridal house to order some rose petals for my flower girls. Hope they won't cry or be too shy on my wedding day. Fingers crossed.

Okay, right we are done with our wedding celebration in Indonesia, my husband and I really need to get started on some wedding shopping spree and fixing a lot of wedding stuff in Malaysia. The clock is ticking.

One Month to Go for My Wedding Day in Indonesia

Time flies. A year ago, I thought that my actual wedding day was really still far away and there was nothing much to be worried. I could just relax, shake my legs and think about wedding preparations later. Now, it's slightly less than one month to go until my wedding day in Indonesia and there are indeed plenty of things to worry, think and seriously arrange. 


Thus far, with the assistance from my parents and the Wedding Organizer that we hired, things are pretty much intact but my husband and I still need to do a lot of coordination from where we live now, Malaysia. Long-distance wedding coordination is bad and good. Bad that there are often communication breakdowns in the middle as we can't monitor everything directly and good that we don't have to hear too much comments and demoralizing opinions from some busy bodies if we were back home. Tell me I'm cruel but it's true.

Here are some checklists that I've been busy doing in the past week just to make sure that things are okay at this point of time. There are not much updates but at this stage, I do more intense long-distance monitoring on my wedding planning via phone to my parents and via chat rooms or emails to my wedding organizer.

Step 22.  Ensuring that the Invitee List is Ready 

I have prepared the names and addresses of some of my friends that I plan to invite to my wedding during my last visit to Indonesia. At this time, my parents have apparently fixed their guest list and jotted the names down in the invitation cards too. Many thanks to both of them! Now, they aim to start distributing those cards in two weeks from now or two weeks from my actual wedding day. We find that two weeks before the D-Day is the ideal time to distribute the invitation cards because lesser than that means too close to the wedding day and longer than that creates higher risks for the guests to forget our wedding date or perhaps lose the invitation cards.

Next to-do-list:
  • Create the seating arrangements at the restaurant for the guests according to the guest list.
  • Start distributing the invitation cards personally or by snail mail to those who live out of town in two weeks time.

Step 23. Coordinating with Wedding Organizers on the Band Arrangement

Band is a critical element to my wedding celebration in Indonesia. According to the plan and traditions, some of our guests will contribute some songs at the wedding. Hence, I really need to make sure that I have all the guests' names that plan to sing a song at my wedding and their preferred song titles too. For this, as my wedding organizer is my contact point with the Band, I make sure that I want the Band to prepare a set time before the D-Day for my guests to rehearse the songs. I let the Band know in advance any new songs that the guests plan to sing. High chance is that the Band would not know the latest Hit Songs that some guests would like to sing so it's best to preempt them and let them get familiar and practice the new songs before rehearsing with the guests. By right, rehearsing at the studio with the Band is free of charge.

Next to-do-list:
  • Keep an eye on the name list that plan to contribute the songs and make sure the band is informed on the list
  • Be aware of the fixed rehearsal schedule and make sure it goes fine

Step 24. Collecting the Wedding Souvenirs

In Indonesia, we ought to give wedding souvenirs to our guests. One invitation card holder will receive one souvenir. Last week, my Mom updated me that she already got my wedding souvenirs ready at home with the mini souvenir cards pasted on each of them too.

Next to-do-list:
  • Pass the souvenirs to the Wedding Organizer's office few days before the D-Day so they can bring them to the restaurant and arrange the souvenir distribution by our wedding receptionist personnel (who are usually our own cousins or relatives) 
I think the above are some wedding preparation things held my attention recently. There are, of course, more wedding details for me to monitor and coordinate in the next four weeks or so.

Initially, my husband and I planned to fly to Indonesia with our family and relatives from Malaysia only two days before the D-Day. However, I got nervous with all the preparations and decided to come to Indonesia with my husband a week before our wedding day just to make sure that we don't miss anything.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Exploring Pasar Malam in Taman Bukit Blossom, Seremban

Thursday is the Pasar Malam (Night Market) day for Taman Bukit Blossom in Seremban. This particular night market is the one that my husband and I usually fancy visiting because it's only about five minutes drive away from where we live. It is weekly held along the street in front of the shop-houses in Taman Bukit Blossom area. To break the routines, on some Thursday evenings, I ask my husband to take me to this Pasar Malam to buy some snacks or dinner. Actually at Pasar Malam, there are not only food sellers making a living but also people selling clothes, toys, cooking utensils, CDs, fresh vegetables and many other things. To my understanding, the sellers at Pasar Malam rotate around different neighborhoods on different days of the week

Why I love the Pasar Malam in Taman Bukit Blossom, Seremban? It's because of their cheap food galore. Period.

Pasar Malam in Taman Bukit Blossom, Seremban: Just started.

Although I have seen some night markets in Indonesia, Amsterdam, Singapore and some other parts of Malaysia before but I was so determined in showcasing the one in Taman Bukit Blossom, Seremban largely due to the food choices that the local sellers offer.

To payback last night's photo mishaps, I forced my husband to bring his camera to the Pasar Malam this evening. He objected. Big time! He was super embarrassed carrying around a camera at a night market, let alone taking the food pictures in the Pasar Malam for me. Since my husband refused to take pictures at the Pasar Malam, I decided to snap the photos myself. Every five people that I walked passed at the market looked at me and the camera hanging on my neck. And so did the food sellers. But I ignored. I held strong my motto: "Bear the two seconds of embarrassment and freeze all the pictures I need for my blog". I told my husband, if anybody ever asked why I was taking picture at a night market like this one, just tell them off that either I was a tourist or a journalist from random local newspaper making a news report. Err.. Actually, nobody asked.

Here are the glimpse of the food galore that often makes me salivate when Thursday is in the corner. They are relatively cheap, good and sinful. **Long post!**

 Taiwanese Deep-Fried Chicken: Bought at RM 6.5 per pack.

Pop Corn Chicken.

Popiah: Bought at RM 1.6 per roll.

Popular Cold Drinks and Hot Desserts.

Taiwan Sausage: Bought Honey Sausage at RM 1.80 each.

 This what makes the sausage tastes better: Barbecued first.

 Economic Bee Hon or Noodles: Bought at RM 1.5 per portion.

 Various Fried Snacks.

 Bought the Fried Prawn Cake at RM 1 each,

Chinese Kuih.

Carrot Cake: Bought at RM 3.60 per portion.

 Bubble Tea.

 Chicken Satay.

 Penang Fruit Rojak.

Nasi Ayam (Malay Chicken Rice).

Look at these bakery stalls! They have colossal selections of biscuits, breads and cakes for a weekly night market, don't they?

Various Biscuits.

Various Breads.

 Chiffon Cakes: Still in the cake tins!

Various Layer Cakes.

 Long stretch of short cakes and tarts indeed.

 Other types of layer cakes.

 Asam Laksa: My next target.

Siew Pao.

One fun thing about food shopping frenzy at Pasar Malam is because we can afford to be greedy. After one round circling the market, we usually end up buying heck lots of foodstuff without realizing that we would be able to finish them later on.

As a buyer, I guess the usual mantras at Pasar Malam would be: I want this. I want that. Oh, I want this too. And that also. 


My husband and I spent about RM 16 buying various food for dinner this evening. In the end, I could not finish everything. I ate a bit of this and that. Even my husband could not clear all the food we bought either. Crazy.

Balinese Restaurant in Kuala Lumpur

My Brother-in-Law offered my husband and I to have dinner in Kuala Lumpur last night. We thought it'd be just a casual dinner so we didn't really dress up nor we did bring our camera with us. I was quite surprised to see his car ended parking in front of a Balinese Restaurant called Bumbu Bali Restaurant in Bandar Puteri Puchong, Kuala Lumpur. It's located near my Brother-in-Law's house in Puchong.

I was like, 'Hmm, I didn't know KL has a Balinese Restaurant. Even my hometown only has one modest Balinese restaurant that mostly sells Nasi Campur Bali. I should have known this long time ago'. Anyway, turned out the unusual bountiful dinner on Wednesday night was intended to celebrate my Dad-in-Law and younger Brother-in-Law's coming birthdays.

This restaurant really brings the Balinese ambiance to Malaysia. Balinese paintings and wood carvings were everywhere inside the restaurant. Feels like in Bali, indeed. Food wise, they offer some Balinese cuisines (without pork, I think) and western cuisines. The food price this restaurant charges is considered expensive but I think it's worth the money. Jumbo portion, unique and delightful too. None of us could finish one portion, the food for one portion was just too much in size.

We didn't bring our camera so I had to use my iPhone to snap pictures of the restaurant and the food under the minimum lighting. Not the best photo results I have here but they are better than nothing.

The Bumbu Bali Restaurant at Bandar Puteri Puchong, Kuala Lumpur.

 It says: See Bali. Hear Bali. Smell Bali. Taste Bali. Feel Bali.

Husband, Nasi Campur Bali and I at Bumbu Bali Restaurant. 
*Photo credits by SYH*

The Family Group Photo.

Here are some of the food and drinks that we ordered last night. The drinks were pretty interesting but honestly, I don't think I can have them so often. The taste was just too unique for my palate. I can't recall how much the drinks were.

Lemongrass Mojito: Sour and Minty Flavors.
*Photo credits by SYH*

Entree starts at about RM 15 per portion and main course is at RM 33 and above per set.

My favorite side dish: Calamari.

I was lucky that my husband only ordered an additional steamed rice instead of one whole new set as I really got too much seafood, chicken and vegetables in my Nasi Campur set to finish.

Nasi Campur Bali (Balinese Mixed Rice).
Grilled fish, shrimps, squids, chicken, Balinese Satay, Kang Kong Belacan - you name it!

Calamari, Chicken Wings and Balinese Satay Combo.
*Photo credits by SYH*

Lamb and Chicken Steak Combo.

Grilled Salmon Steak.

Not bad. Bali in Kuala Lumpur. I like the idea.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Baking Cornflakes Crunch Cookies

I bought 'Cookies Wonderland' book when I was in Batu Pahat over the last weekend. As usual, after buying a cooking or baking book, I felt compelled to try at least one of the recipes from the book ASAP. After flipping the book over and over again, carefully studying and analyzing one and each of the recipe in the book, I decided to try making some cookies for festivals, Cornflakes Crunch Cookies (albeit the fact that the next Chinese New Year is still far away).

I chose to bake these cornflakes cookies because I already had most of the ingredients available at home (except for the cornflakes but my supportive husband purposely drove me to Tesco just to purchase some cornflakes right before I started baking yesterday afternoon - Wasn't he so sweet?). Moreover, I have not really polished my skill in decorating cookies with royal icing or melted chocolate just yet. So, I thought, cornflakes cookies would be my safe bet.

The cornflakes cookies final results: Not so golden brown as in the book.

Cornflakes Crunch Cookies

Ingredients:

Group A:

100gr Unsalted butter/margarine
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
70gr Icing Sugar
1 Egg

Group B:
100gr All-purpose flour
2gr Baking Powder
30gr Corn flour

Group C:
120 gr Crushed corn flakes
100gr Oats (I omitted the oats but added almond powder instead)

Tutorial:

1. Beat Group A until fluffy and light.
2. Sift Group B and fold in lightly with Group C until become dough.
3. Roll the dough into small balls and place onto a greased tray.
4. Bake for approximately 20 minutes with temperature of 180 degree Celcius.
5. Decorate with melted chocolate when the cookies are completely cool (optional).

Honestly, I thought baking these cookies would be easy but I had problem in imagining the part when I had to mold the cookies as the final dough result was pretty wet and sticky. For my first batch, I just used two spoons to roll the dough into small balls but the results were not round and solid enough. I panicked to see my first batch cookies turned out of shape when baked. For my second batch, I rolled the dough into small balls with my hands. The dough was quite wet to roll but it was possible to mold it into small balls with hands. Then, I quickly browsed in the internet to check the various looks of cornflakes cookies. Seemingly, cornflakes cookies are meant to be quite shapeless. I was quite relieved. Mine was normal.

Actually, the dough of these cookies already smelled so fragrant even before I started baking, let alone when the cookies were put in a hot oven. The taste of the cookies was quite acceptable and I liked the crunchy cornflakes feeling in the cookies. My husband thinks I didn't put enough cornflakes on the cookies, though. Since he mentioned this, I might have to add some more corn flakes next time I bake these again. Lastly, presentation wise, I was not so happy with the results. I think I need some more practice on this department.

Anyhow, I munch at least one cookie everyday. Sweet-tooth syndrome.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Attending Cousin's Wedding in Batu Pahat

I had the chance to check out Batu Pahat in Johor over the weekend since my husband's cousin who lives there was getting married yesterday. Batu Pahat is about 2.5 hours away by car from Seremban.

We all came down to Batu Pahat on Friday evening and had a mini reunion with some relatives over the wedding eve's buffet dinner at the groom's house. We met a really cute and bubbly little girl, Bao Wen, who stole my husband's and my hearts. She's the daughter of my husband's cousin. Bao Wen didn't really know us as we hardly met before but she let my husband and I hold and hug her the moment we met her on Friday night. This girl is absolutely adorable and so glued to my husband.

Me, Sis-in-Law and the kids on Friday night.

The wedding car, ready to use for the next morning.

At about 10pm, we all went back to the nearby hotel to rest as the next day was definitely going to be a long day for everybody. Cousin's wedding ceremony in the morning, wedding dinner and another 2.5 hours long trip to go back home at night.

On Saturday morning, we reached the groom's house at about 9am but unfortunately we missed the chance to accompany the groom pick the bride as the groom has already left to fetch the bride about an hour earlier. Whilst waiting for him to come home and do the tea ceremony, we had breakfast, lingered around and chilled with some relatives at his house.

Husband and I waiting to witness Cousin's Wedding Tea Ceremony.

At about 11am, I was really surprised by the sound of cars' prolonged honking. Apparently, the cars' honking sound was the sign that the groom had arrived with his bride. Another thing used to mark the groom and bride's arrival to the groom's house was the firecrackers being let off in the groom house's front yard. A traditional Chinese wedding celebration indeed goes off with a bang!

The Tea Ceremony: Formal introduction and pay respects to the elderly family members.

The whole tea ceremony processions lasted for about an hour. Once the wedding ceremony was done, we practically had about six hours to kill in Batu Pahat before the wedding dinner so we chose to hit the malls in Batu Pahat to have some coffee and impromptu shopping spree.

We reached early to the restaurant for the wedding dinner. My husband was busy helping his cousin during the event and I chose to have some ladies' talks with my Sis-in-Law before the wedding dinner started.

I was actually quite surprised and impressed with this cousin's lavish and outstanding wedding celebration for a Malaysian style wedding dinner. It was a really well-organized and beautifully decorated wedding celebration. Spiced with some entertainments from local artistes in Malaysia, this wedding was definitely not boring and a really enjoyable event.

The Bride and Groom: This is the only photo of theirs that I have.

The wedding souvenir: A box of assorted coffee sachets for everyone.

The entertaining local artistes: 风菜姐妹。

Bao Wen and I at the wedding dinner.

The food parade began with this Chinese platters.

 Some of the dishes that I managed to capture when I was not too occupied with my food.


Dessert: Coconut Pudding.

I drank way too much Chinese Tea during the wedding dinner which left me totally awake until 3am last night. It was a complete torture! My eyes and body were so tired since afternoon but the caffeine from the tea was indeed the culprit that made me unable to put my eyes and mind at rest until the wee hours. Lesson learned. Better drink soda or hot plain water during a wedding dinner.

Anyway, thanks to this cousin's wedding, I had the chance to go to Batu Pahat and obtained a better picture of Chinese wedding procession and celebration in Malaysia. Two birds in one stone. After my observations, I definitely need to be more organized and cannot underestimate details in preparing my upcoming wedding in Malaysia even though my husband and I planned to have a very simple wedding celebration. Simple wedding still needs proper organizations, especially since we do not hire any wedding organizers in Malaysia. More homework for both of us ahead!