Sunday, August 31, 2008
10 Great Goals To Set For This Ramadhan

Taken from Islamicity.


1. Eat, drink and be moderate

Almost all of us do it - once Iftar time hits, we just keep ploughing food and drink into our mouths till it's hard to move afterwards. And those of us who do it know this is totally contrary to the spirit of Ramadhan, through which we're supposed to learn self-control not self-indulgence. Let's try to stick to the Prophetic rule on eating: fill our stomachs with one-third food, one-third water and one-third breathing space, even in Ramadhan.

2. Give a dollar a day in charity... or five or ten

The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, was always generous but even more so in Ramadhan. Let's open our hearts and dig a little deeper in our wallets this year. Even less than a dollar a day adds up. Whatever you can give, it's the intention that counts.

3. Memorize 4 new Surahs

Memorizing the Quran often seems like a daunting task. But the key is doing it in small bites. Since there are four weeks in Ramadhan, try to memorize one new Surah a week. Start off with a short, easy one. Once you've started, you'll build momentum and may even want to memorize a longer one the following week.

4. Go to Tarawih prayers

Post-Iftar, the first urge is to sleep after an exhausting day. But try your best to head out to the mosque for Tarawih prayers. Praying alone is wonderful, but doing it in congregation is fantastic. The community spirit is part of Ramadhan's blessings. Don't miss it this year. If going every day is not possible, try going at least once week.

5. Attend the Tarawih prayer in which the recitation of the Quran will be finished

Call the local mosque and find out which day the Imam will be finishing the recitation of the Quran in prayer. Attend to not only hear part of the Quran's recitation in prayer, but also participate in the heart-rending Duas that follow it.

6. Stop swearing and/or backbiting Ð with a special box

It's hard not to shoot our mouths off when someone's upset us. Whether we utter those four-letter words or backbite about someone to our family and friends, we know this isn't the God-approved way of letting off steam. In Ramadhan, when we want to build our spirituality, we've got to wage Jihad against our bad habits.

Try this: get a box and every time you catch yourself swearing or backbiting put some money in it. It could be a buck or less. The point is to choose an amount that makes it feel like punishment.

At the end of the month send the money to a charity or buy a gift for the person whom you've backbitten the most against.

7. Call/Email your relatives

You'd think that given the easy access to email, competitive long-distance calling rates, phone cards, etc. these days, we'd keep in touch with family and friends more often. But the opposite seems to be the case, as we get caught up in life's "busyness."

Strengthening ties with family members and keeping in touch with friends is part of our way of life and an act Allah is very pleased with. This Ramadhan, call family and friends or at least email them a Ramadhan card and ask them how their fasting is going.

8. Go on a technology diet

Even if you work in the IT industry, you can do this. Avoid checking personal email and surfing the web during your fast. After Iftar, instead of plopping yourself in front of the screen, go to Tarawih. The same goes for the television. The point is to try to give our full attention to spiritual elevation this month.

9. Read 5 minutes of Quran a day... just five, not more, not less

Even if you feel you've got absolutely no time, set a timer or the alarm on your cell phone and find a relatively quiet place. You can read the first page of the Quran you open or follow a sequence. The choice is yours. The point is simply to connect with God through His revelation in the month of the Quran.

10. Forgive everyone who has hurt you

Still got a festering wound from the fight with your friend last year? Still upset about something your spouse said during a heated argument? Or are you still bitter about the way your parents sometimes treated you as a kid? Let go of the anger and pain this Ramadhan and forgive those who have hurt you. Forgiving someone is not only good for the body, but it's also great for the soul. And in Ramadhan, ten days of which are devoted to Allah's forgiveness, shouldn't we lesser beings forgive too?

If you find it very difficult to forgive everyone, forgive at least three people.

Happy Ramadhan!!!

Nora is a reader.
10:56 AM

Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Roti Boyan

I made some roti boyan for my break fast on Nisfu Sya'aban. It was easy to make & delicious to eat.

"Boyanese" refers to a dialect group in the Malay community. They were originally from Pulau Bawean (Bawean Island) in East Java and migrated to Singapore in the early 19th century.

My mum learnt to make these rotis from my former neighbour, who's a Boyanese. She told us that she was in charge of making these rotis when she was staying in a communal house called pondok.

It was a palm-sized snack in a squarish envelope shape. It is filled with mashed potatoes and wrapped in a thick pastry. Deep-fried, it's crispy on the outside but it's soft in the inside. Accompanied with sambal ikan bilis, this is a really satisfying snack.

Anyway, I found the recipe from MamaFami's and also from Forum Resipi Diana.


(For the skin)

1kg flour
400ml lukewarm water
100ml vegetable oil
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

(For the filling)

600g potatoes, washed, boil till soft, remove the skin and mashed
4-5 eggs
100g spring onions, chopped
3 onions, diced
1 teaspoon pepper salt to taste


To make the bread

1. Mix water, oil, baking powder, sugar and salt.
2. Add in flour, a little at a time into the liquid mixture and knead till a soft dough is formed.
3. Make into a few small balls (must be in even numbers) and leave to rest for a while.

To prepare the filling

1. Mix well mashed potatoes, egg, chopped spring onion, diced onion, pepper and salt.

To prepare the roti boyan

1. Roll flat one of the doughs and brush some oil on top.
2. Roll like a swiss roll and swirl it like the shape of a cinnamon bun.
3. Leave to rest while you finish doing the same thing with the rest of the doughs.
4. Roll flat the swirled dough.
5. Spread some filling on top and cover with another piece of flatten dough.
6. Secure the edge.
7. Fry with a bit of oil on low heat till golden brown.
8. Serve with sambal ikan bilis.


Nora is a reader.
9:27 PM

Friday, August 8, 2008
Baby Pandan Chiffon Cake Alias Putri Ayu

This recipe was given to me by my sister, who's currently staying in Indonesia.


4 eggs
500g sugar
600g plain flour
2 cups water
2 tsp pandan paste
1 tbsp ovalette
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp milk powder
1 tsp vanilla essence

1 pkt fresh shredded coconut
1 tsp salt


1. Beat eggs with sugar until white and fluffy.
2. Sift flour with baking powder.
3. Add milk powder, ovalette and vanilla essence to the egg & sugar mixture.
4. Add flour & water alternately.
5. Mix well.
6. Mix shredded coconut with salt.
7. Heat the steamer and brush some oil onto the moulds.
8. Place some coconut into the base of a mould and press hard on it.
9. Spoon mixture into prepared mould and steam on big fire for 15 mins.

Note: You can change the pandan paste to chocolate emulco.


Nora is a reader.
1:46 PM

Sunday, August 3, 2008
Pirates Ahoy!

Pirate themed cuppies for an 8 year-old chap who loves pirates.

I got this order through my online friend, Gina of Kitchen Capers.

One of the forummers from her forum asked her if she was able to take a cupcake order for her son's birthday celebration. Gina was so sweet to refer the forummer to me and the rest was history.

The forummer was quite pleased with the outcome of the cupcakes.


Nora is a reader.
5:23 PM

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