Our Lady of Lourdes Gluten-Free Treat

Today is the traditional feast of St. Bernadette Soubirous, saint of Lourdes and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's 86th birthday!  I thought it would be the perfect time to share the beautiful gluten-free treat submitted by Summer, which she made for her children earlier this year on the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and the day on which Pope Benedict announced his resignation.   Thank you Summer! 

I woke up Monday morning [February 11, 2013] to the news that Pope Benedict had resigned from the papacy. After I cried, remembered to pray, and gathered up my little ones to tell them the news, I had to ready everyone for a party. As it was the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes and I needed a gluten free treat to help keep my kids away from the other tasty pastries, I made the grotto. This time, however, I used popcorn because that is what was in the cupboard. Elizabeth Foss inspired me with her popcorn snowballs. Let me tell you, big and little ones demolished this treat. The three-year-olds just stood around taking little bits like Hansel and Gretal. It's truly delicious and easier to mold than rice crispies! We will definitely make this version in the future.


  • 3/4 Cup of Popcorn
  • 2 TBS of Coconut Oil
  • 1 Stick of Butter
  • 1 Bag of Marshmallows
  • 1/4 t of Salt

I pop the corn on the stove in the pot. If you let the pot heat first, without the oil, there will be far less smoking and time spent shaking the thing. Also, coconut oil can take much higher temperatures and is delicious. Throw a couple of corn kernels in to see if they pop right away, if so, toss the rest in, put the lid on, and shake until the popping sounds slow way down. Transfer to another bowl.

In the same pot (I don't like to do dishes) melt the butter, toss in the salt, then melt the marshmallows. You know how to do this, right? Stir all that popcorn back in until it is well coated. Using well greased hands, mold warm yummy goodness into your grotto. Really press everything together. Try not to eat too much during this step! I used a jar to prop up the roof until it cooled.

Add a little statue of Mary and a decoration or two. Easy!

You can find grottos made from Cocoa Pebbles, Fruity Pebbles, and Rice Krispy Treats in addition to other ideas for Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Bernadette in the archives.  

BUBS Anthem Song

Dear Bros and Sis in the Dhamma,


We are pleased to give you a preview of the Bandar Utama Buddhist Society (BUBS) anthem song. This song is composed by Sis Sunny Hor and sang by the children from the Dhamma school.

This song will be officially launched during this year's Wesak Day celebration on the 24th May 2103. Pls join us and sing along.

There is a place embedded in my heart
Wherever I go, you are always in my mind
Here I embrace the Buddha sasana
Karuna, metta, upekkha, mudita

Uttama Bodhi Vihara
Standing clear and true
Uttama Bodhi Vihara
Sadhu, sadhu, sadhu

Within these walls, there is a calm repose
Homage to Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha
I sit down and close my eyes to meditate
This clarity cuts through my muddled mind

Repeat chorus

Pls click here to go to You tube

Thank you for watching and singing along...
14th April 2013

Welcome Note! - NPMSS Plug-In 2013: One Love, One Ummah

Assalammualaikum Wr. Wb.

Ahlan Wa sahlan Brothers and Sisters!

What does Ahlan Wa Sahlan means?
It's an Arabic greeting which commonly means 'Welcome!'.
So a big WELCOME to you - my dear Brothers and Sisters to our Ngee Ann Polytechnic Muslim Students' Society Family. Jeng Jeng Jeng!

Whether you are a freshman who is super-duper excited to embark on your Polytechnic journey or a junior/senior taking that big leap into Year 2 / 3 - on behalf of my Executive Committee, I thank you for interest and continued support for this blessed society, may Allah SWT bless you (yes you!) for that. 

The fact that you made it over here on this blog-page, be it by chance or just dropping by to say "Hi!" by checking out what is up and coming for the AY 2013/2014 means that you want to find out what is the buzz is all about? Similarly, I am certain that you might be thinking…

- What is this ONE LOVE, ONE UMMAH thingy on Facebook?
- Why the POSTER SO COOL like that?
- The finger-models must have bitten their nails in sheer desperation to quickly pose for for the poster shot.

Moreover, I suppose you might have bumped to an Unusual Brother cloaked in white jubah aimlessly walking around campus having a cool-looking Helmet on his head, waving a flag in a pretty much enthusiastic fashion.

Well ladies and gentlemen, with great pleasure here's introducing you to the first ever NPMSS event for AY 2013-2014, that is Plug in! FOC 2013. Its a fun-filled 3D2N orientation camp packed with that much-needed ice-breakers for you to get to know you fellow Ummah, not just for our freshmen, but for the freshmen at heart too

Personally, having been through the camp year after year since my good ol' freshmen days, it is a wonderful retreat for the heart, mind and body simply by getting to know and converse with like-minded friends - forging lasting friendships as well as sharpening our survival tools before heading out to the wild navigating through our polytechnic life which will definitely be a densely-thick jungle of challenges, assignment-stress and social-drama. 

An exciting line of activities has been specially planned just for you by the camp committee. I have full confidence and excitement in which our facilitators have been gearing themselves long and hard in awaiting for your arrival, hence we pray to Allah SWT that you will benefit greatly from such experience.

Nonetheless brothers and sisters, this expedition of life will be one that is absolutely memorable and by the time you are about to leave polytechnic I assure you, double-confirm plus chop - the sweet memories of Polytechnic life with one another will be sweet-constant reminiscent that is hard to forget and will definitely last till akhirah.

So let the good times roll and insyallah, we will see you soon at camp! 

Jazakallah Khayer,

Firdaus Bin Mohd Abdullah
Advisor | NPMSS Plug-In 2013: One Love, One Ummah
Graduate | Diploma in Early Childhood Education

“Let there arise from amongst you a group of people calling to all that is good, enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, they are the ones who are successful.” [Surah Ali-’Imraan 3:110]

NPMSS | Plug-In 2013: One Love, One Ummah

Assalamu'alaikum to all!

Ngee Ann Polytechnic Muslims Students' Society is organizing a Freshmen Orientation Camp 2013 called PLUG IN!

This is open to ALL NP students, and especially to our dear FRESHIES! Year 2s and 3s are welcomed as well!

What is Plug In?

Themed "One Love, One Ummah (Community)", the 3D2N camp will focus on strengthening the ukhwah (bond) through fun yet educational activities. The activities will also allow you to reinforce the fundamental knowledge of Islam.

You will have a great bonding and learning experience through this camp, insya'Allah!

Details are as follows:
Day/Date: 17 - 19 May 2013 (Fri to Sun)
Time: 6.00PM
Venue: Ngee Ann Polytechnic
Registration fee: $15 (Covers meals & Plug In T shirt!)

To register for this camp, simply sign up via the following link:

Places are LIMITED so hurry! Please note that the registration DEADLINE is on 29 April 2013.

We are looking forward to your presence, insyaAllah! :)

For any enquiries, please contact Sister Maisarah (9669 7429) or Sister Khalisah (9644 8663). You can also email us at npmuslims@gmail.co.

So get ready to get Plugged In!

Assalamualaikum dearest freshies!!!

Assalamualaikum / Peace be upon you to our dearest freshies who we will be seeing in the next week!

On behalf of NPMSS, we would like to welcome you to Ngee Ann Polytechnic! InsyaAllah, you will have a wonderful journey throughout the three years in poly.

This is a new journey for most of you! NPMSS aims to guide you to ensure a fruitful journey. InsyaAllah. This is a platform for us to share any beneficial knowledge and upcoming events organised by us. Do keep a lookout for interesting posts as it can serve us as a reminder, a food for thought for the soul and mind!

If you have any enquiries, don't hesitate to approach us in campus or offline. Hope to see your new faces during CCA Fiesta!

Once again, welcome to the Ngee Ann family! :)

NurDiyanah bte Sulaimi

Buddhism to promote moral development among foreign tourists - PM

Taken from Daily News Sri Lanka

The Buddhasasana and Religious Affairs Ministry considers its teaming up with the Economic Development Ministry in a joint endeavour to promote Buddhism throughout the world as a major victory, Prime Minister and Buddhasasana and Religious Affairs Minister D M Jayaratne said.

The Prime Minister said this participating in a ceremony at the Kotte Parliamentary Complex to mark the distribution of the book "Why Worry"authored by late Dr. Kirille Sri Dhammananda Thera among hotels in Sri Lanka recently.

The Sri Dhammananda Foundation of Malaysia will provide 15,000 copies of the book for distribution among hotels under the auspices of Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa on a concept of the Buddhasasana Ministry.

The Prime Minister said concurrent to the tourism promotion drive launched by the Economic Development Ministry, teachings of Buddhism could be made use of to promote moral and spiritual development among foreign tourists visiting Sri Lanka and his Ministry hoped to make maximum use of this opportunity.

He said during his visit to China, he saw the Holy Bible and literature on agriculture kept in hotel rooms for the information of visitors. Such a scheme is not found in Sri Lanka to promote Buddhism and the Economic Development Ministry has stepped into fill this void which is a highly commendable gesture.

The Prime Minister said the book "Why Worry" written by late Ven.Dr. Kirille Sri Dhammananda Thera had many important details,not only for Buddhists, but all people in the world, especially those in the developing world to lead a meaningful life.

Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa said Nature as well as Buddhism could be made an investment to develop and promote tourism. When tourists visiting Sri Lanka feel lonely and confined to hotel rooms, they could easily get over their boredom by reading books of this nature and also understand the essence of Buddhism.

Ven. Kirille Sri Dhammananda Thera, Buddhasasana and Religious Affairs Deputy Minister MKADS Gunawardena, Secretary to the Prime Minister S Amarasekera, Buddhasasana and Religious Affairs Ministry Secretary MKB Dissanayake, Public Trustee Sarath Seneviratne, SLTDA Chairman Bhashwara Senanka other representatives of Hotel Associations were also present.

Bugs Tan

Divine Mercy Cookies

This afternoon, following the completion of our Divine Mercy Novena, my children enjoyed decorating cookies. 

We just used some soft molasses cookies I had in the cupboard, trimming them into the shape of a heart with kitchen scissors, though any heart shaped cookie would work.  Then we simply added red and white cookie icing to represent the rays of blood and water that flowed from Jesus' pierced heart.    

Happy Divine Mercy Sunday!

A Paleo Strawberry Coconut Trifle

It is a little late for this Easter, but I wanted to share this with you anyway.  It would be a great dessert for many feast days, including Valentine's Day or Pentecost.  Add some blueberries and it would be a fun dessert for Divine Mercy Sunday as well!

In our family we have people with gluten intolerance and one poor little muffin who is lactose intolerant.  So I generally have to get a bit creative with our holiday treats. 

All I could think about was the fact that I wanted to have that wonderful trifle here at Catholic Cuisine we have every year on Easter.  So I searched the net, but nothing looked very good (well to me, that is, I was being picky).  Then I found, on Pinterest, a link on how to make whip cream from canned coconut milk.  With that and a gluten free cake mix from Pamela's I knew I had it!

A Paleo Strawberry Coconut Trifle

  • 1 package Pamela's Vanilla Cake Mix
  • 3-4 pounds strawberries (you can do less, but we went for it)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup almond or coconut milk
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup evaporated cane juice  (you could use agave or another sweetener I am sure to your taste)
  • 2 cans Native Forest unsweetened FULL FAT coconut milk

Bake the cake according to directions.  Do this the night before and let it cool completely.  I had to hide mine on top of the fridge.  In the morning cut up into 1 inch cubes.  Poor the almond or coconut milk over the cubed cake till it is moist but not soaked.  Cut the strawberries and sprinkle with coconut and sweetener, mix.  Make the coconut whipped cream.  Follow these directions.  They work and it is AMAZING.  I didn't have enough whipped cream for the top because one of my cans got shook up, which was a huge disappointment.  So we only had one layer of the coconut whipped cream instead of two.  I ended up drizzling the other can a little over everyone's servings instead.

On the bottom of your trifle or glass bowl, put half the cake.  Put half the strawberry mixture on top of that, then half of the 2 cans worth of whipped coconut cream.  Repeat.  On top place a decorative strawberry and some toasted coconut.

Avoid the Fools. Associates with the Wise


I've written a few articles about friendship. You can read them herehere, here and here. We have also gotten so many advises from the Buddha. few touches on this aspect about friendship. But one important hint that the Buddha have given us about handling friendship is, for us to avoid the fools and associates with the wise.

To have a good understanding about associating with the wise, here is a good article by Bhikkhu Bodhi

But what I wished to touch-on today is the part about avoiding the fools. If we could understand the nature of a human being life would be alot easier. But I would say most of us aren't. That's because all of us are bounded by the 3 evil roots. That is greed, hatred and illusions. Most of us are ignorant people and is coated with a thick layer of dust on our eyes. We are fools. We can't tell what is right and what wrong. We think everything we do is right.

There are plenty of fools out there (including myself). I would say almost 99% of the people around me are fools. We are just plain foolish people who does not understand how nature works. We are filled with pleasure and thought that is the ultimate success in life as a human being. We have got a good job, we have got a nice house, nice car and a nice Samsung phone. We also have a good standing in the society. Hence, we thought we have got it all. We have conquer the world and thought that there is nothing else we can't achieve in this world. We have done all in this world.

But, true Buddhist understood that there is no such thing as true happiness. As long as we are born, we are in samsara. We may be happy occasionally but in reality it won;t last. Soon we will grow old, contract diseases and die. We must admit that this is suffering.

Ordinary people are not aware of this but the Buddha have found a solution to fix it. We can stop the patent of death and rebirth over and over again. We can actually escape suffering. Just like in a car if it;s  ran out of fuel, it will stop running. Same in us as a human being, if we stop wanting those things in life, then we will stop being born. If we are not born at all, hence, all suffering stopped.

I hope people could see this. Once people can understand this simple principle, then there is hope for that person. He has now started to become wise person by stop wanting unnecessary things in life. And when he practice letting-go in a perfect way, he has the potential of not being born again. This is when we say that he has entered nibbanna.

Thanks for reading.
Bugs Tan
1st April