Tuna Casserole From Scratch

Just because it’s Malaysia Day…and the school holidays…and my Little Dragon is still sleeping (giving me a very rare opportunity to do something more elaborate for breakfast), I made tuna casserole from scratch today.

tuna casserole

Tuna Casserole From Scratch

4 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
2 cans button mushrooms, sliced thinly
2 cans tuna, drained
1 pack (250 gm) elbow macaroni
4 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
Salt & pepper to taste

1. Cook the pasta al dente. Drain and set aside.
2. Preheat oven 190 C. Butter the baking dish(es) and set aside.
3. Sauté garlic, onions, celery. Add mushrooms. Set aside.
4. Melt butter over low heat, slowly whisking in the flour. Gradually whisk in the milk. Season with salt and pepper. (I was feeling adventurous and added a bit of paprika.)
5. Mix well the pasta, mushroom mixture and the sauce. Transfer into the baking dish(es).
6. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.

The original recipe called for 1 cup of peas but my kids and I detest them so we skipped those. The original recipe also called for breadcrumbs topping but we didn’t have any and decided to just have the cheese but it came out yummy anyway. The original recipe also used egg noodles but I only had elbow macaroni but it was awesome all the same.

Original recipe here: http://m.allrecipes.com/recipe/86069/tuna-noodle-casserole-from-scratch

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The Next Step: Application For Malaysian Citizenship

I was in Putrajaya last week to settle some paperwork with Imigresen (Immigration) and Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara (National Registration Department) a.k.a. JPN for short. As expected, the process was tedious and cumbersome and involved a lot of running around from one office to another. But I consider all of that hassle as negligible, considering how  that particular trip led to an unexpected blessing — I managed to find out that I am now actually eligible to apply for Malaysian citizenship! At long last, the question I’ve long been asking has finally been answered.

Translating loosely from the pamphlet given out by JPN, as the wife of a Malaysian citizen, I can apply to become a Malaysian citizen under Section 15(1), on the following conditions:warganegara_borang

1. The marriage was registered according to the written laws of this country.
2. The marriage is still valid and in force (for lack of a better term as I type this at 2339 hours on a Monday night).
3. I have been a Permanent Resident for at least two (2) years.
4. Good behaviour.

For my application, I need to prepare the originals as well as photocopies (front and back copies of the same document in a single sheet) of the following documents:

1. My Malaysian Identity Card (IC)
2. My husband’s IC
3. Marriage certificate
4. My husband’s birth certificate
5. My Entry Permit (Permit Masuk), i.e. the small slip of paper indicating my Permanent Resident status
6. Three (3) photographs measuring 38mm x 32mm

The application must be submitted personally by the applicant to JPN’s head office in Putrajaya, and the applicant must be accompanied by her Malaysian husband.

The application form mentions that there will be an application fee but did not state the amount specifically.

JPN’s website states that it will take 12 months for them to process the application to become a Malaysian citizen, then the applcation will be sent to Kementerian Dalam Negeri (Ministry of Home Affairs) for final approval.

I’m stoked. I’m nervous. Time to get all the documents in order and drag DH along to JPN Putrajaya stat. Wish me luck!

Categories: Rojak | 3 Comments

An Unexpected Use For Peanut Butter

I’ve always loved peanut butter. As a little girl, my idea of a special treat was a spoonful of peanut butter for me to lick and savour slowly as a child would with a prized lollipop. peanut_butter

Suffice to say that I still love peanut butter to this day but try to enjoy in moderation, eaten either with green apples or wholemeal bread or sometimes, in a peanut butter-flavoured banana smoothie.

Then last weekend, I found an unexpected use for peanut butter — as a home remedy for a fish bone stuck in one’s throat! It all started like any other dinner. I thought I was careful enough with the ikan kerisi (Japanese threadfin bream). ikan kerisiBut after I was done eating, I felt something strange and prickly in my throat — it was a fish bone!

So I tried an old trick — I took the still moist steamed rice and formed small balls, swallowing them whole. I thought it worked…until I started eating some fruits and realised that it was still there, judging from the tiny pricking feeling that would come and go every time I’d swallow.

So I tried something else — bananas. I bit off large chunks and swallowed them without chewing. Again, it still did not work!

Panicked, I turned to Professor Google…and boom! In some obscure forum, someone suggested eating a peanut butter sandwich, chewing it just so you can swallow it without gagging, but making sure it’s still sticky and ‘together’. I imagined the gooey bread and peanut butter mixture pulling away the fish bone and immediately rushed to the kitchen to try it.

True enough, after just a couple of bites of my peanut butter and honey sandwich, I could finally swallow without having to endure that annoying pricking feeling in my throat.

Thanks, peanut butter! Yet another reason for me to continue loving you ;)

Categories: Rojak | 2 Comments

I Love Weddings (Henna Night)

henna on hand

Who says only the bride gets to indulge on intricate henna designs on her hands? ;)

Selamat pengantin baru, A & A!

Categories: Malaysia, Rojak | Leave a comment

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

I’d have to be honest with you all and admit that my husband is not exactly the most romantic man in the world.  But one fine birthday (can’t remember which one), he totally surprised me by giving me one gift I’ve always wanted (a passing request which I never expected him to remember) — having my very own rambutan tree in front of my house. I remember waking up that morning to the sound of the cangkul (a tool used for digging up soil) hitting dirt and grass, then squealing in delight as I peeked out my window and saw him planting a rambutan sapling in the front yard.


It took about three years before the tree started bearing fruit, with the first harvest only yielding less than 10 fruits. But now, that my tree continues to bear fruit year after year after year, with the number of fruits increasing with each succeeding year.

The anticipation starts months in advance, the moment those tiny flower buds make their appearance. I watch with trepidation as many of these flowers get washed away by the rain or blown away by strong winds. Then the flowers suddenly become miniature green rambutan fruits…and the suspense mounts even more as the fruits get bigger and bigger. The moment the fruits start showing the first tinge of red (ripe rambutan fruits are red in colour), we scramble and start harvesting them, lest the monkeys from a nearby hill beat us to it.

Thank you, DH. It’s like my birthday all over again each and every time I savour these sweet little treats!

P.S. To all the men out there, this only goes to show gifts don’t need to be expensive to be memorable and sweep women off their feet!

Categories: Rojak | 4 Comments