Chicken Satay with Cashew Sauce

This is my first Ramadan in the US and it’s 16 hours long! Although it’s only 2 hours more than I usually do in Indonesia, it is harder to fast because the neighbors start having their dinner at 6 or 7 and eventually the smell will fly around to my very sensitive nose. By the way, chicken satay will always be on the table during iftar or sahoor time and after living here for 7 months, finally my tongue craves for it. Even my husband wants it when I showed him the pictures hahaha.

I was not sure what kind of peanut abang – abang tukang sate used, it’s probably the usual peanut, but I want to try a different thing. So I bought cashew instead! Besides, we have Peanut Butter, and my husband & daddy said, “You can use that as the sauce”. Uh, no, I don’t think so.

So here’s the result! My husband wanted a fancy chicken satay and he said peppers will give more taste, so we did put some sweet mini peppers. And it was beyond delicious, I’m not kidding. We grilled this for 2 iftar in a row because of its deliciousness!


  • Preparation: 2 hours
  • Grilling: 30 minutes
  • Ingredients (serves 20 skewers of chicken, 10 skewers of beef):
  1. 2 lbs chicken breast
  2. 0.5 lbs beef chuck tender
  • Cashew Sauce:
  1. 200 gr of fried cashew (deep fry for 3 minutes until the color turns to golden brown)
  2. 4 cloves garlic
  3. 1 tbsp lemon juice (because I don’t have tamarind)
  4. 1 tbsp ground coriander
  5. 2 cayenne pepper
  6. 4 tbsp sweet soy sauce
  7. 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  8. Salt & pepper to taste
  • Steps:
  1. Cut the chicken and beef into small cubes
  2. Grind all the cashew sauce ingredients while pouring water as you go into a paste
  3. Marinate the chicken and beef with the cashew sauce for 1 hour or more in a small container and put that back into the fridge
  4. Stack the chicken 4 to 5 cubes each skewer. Do the same thing with the beef
  5. Grill or broil for 5 minutes each side until you get that good looking burnt on each sides
  6. Serves with hot white rice right away
  7. Enjoy!

Isn’t that looking so good? It’s 6.47pm now, and I am struggling to hold the hunger.




How to apply ITIN for H4?

*Updated* I received a mail from IRS in May 2016 about my ITIN number. I guess all the things I mentioned below worked just well 🙂


What’s ITIN?

An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service. IRS issues ITINs to individuals who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but who do not have, and are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

General ITIN Information

As a dependent or spouse of a nonresident alien visa holder, with H4, I need to apply ITIN, since I’m not eligible for SSN. So, I began searching for someone who’s already done that and I found this extremely useful site:

The instructions are so clear, and we began to follow each one of them. You need to apply this ITIN along with your spouse’s Federal Tax Return as Married Filing Jointly.

First, I used TurboTax to fill my husband’s Federal Tax Return. The site is beyond easy to use, it asked you one question at a time. Since we’re filling for Married Filing Jointly, it required my SSN, and I’m not eligible for it, so I just left it blank. There will be some warnings that that SSN has to be filled, but you can move on and pick “File by Mail” in the end of the process. TurboTax will give you some files to print

Second, I downloaded W-7 form: Form W7 IRS. You need your passport and visa to fill this form.

Third, I checked for IRS office nearby. I prefer to go to the IRS office to submit our files, because they need my original passport. I can’t risk sending my passport now, can I? Although there must be some service provided to send this kind of important document, I’d rather spend some time in IRS office, knowing my passport will be with me at all times. I found the IRS Office close to my house here:IRS Offices. Some offices require you to make appointment beforehand, or you can just come and submit your files.

As for me, I picked IRS office located in San Jose, it says “By Appointment”. So we called them for appointment (toll free at 1-800-829-1040). Apparently, lots of people is already ahead of us that we got the appointment on April 15th, whereas filing Tax Return ends on April 18th. That does not sound good at all, considering we only have 3 days left. We decided to try the office in Oakland, as the site says “Service Provided”, means we don’t need to make appointment. By now, I have files form TurboTax (Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ) and form W7.

Fourth, it took 30 minutes to go to IRS Office in Oakland. I brought all the files, my passport, my marriage certificates, and copies of Federal Tax Return, passport, and visa (always, always make copy of everything, just in case). We arrived at 7.30 in the morning (your spouse or dependent has to be present for this), and we’re already the 6th person in the line. The office opened at 8.30, so prepare yourself.

I had pepper spray with me all the time, that I forgot I was about to go into federal building. The security warned us to not bring any kind of weapon inside. Surely, I didn’t think I brought one until he mentioned, “any kind of spray, pepper spray” (didn’t realized it was actually a quite good weapon hahaha!). So I put away the pepper spray in the garbage bin outside the building.

After we passed the security, we got the number based on the files we submit. Apparently, being the 6th person in the line does not help much. It didn’t make us the 6th person to be called inside the cubicle to see the officer. However, it didn’t take too long, after 20 minutes waiting, they called our number.

The officer we met was very nice and helpful. I had middle name that I typed on my W7, where on the  Form 1040, my middle name was written with an initial only. She told us that it may mismatch at some point, so she advised us not to do that again the next time we file the tax. She then told us to wait outside since she needed to do something with my passport. After another 15 minutes waiting, they called our number again, and we received the copies of 1040 and W7 with “RECEIVED” stamp on it.

Congratulations! You have filed your Tax Return and ITIN for your spouse or dependent!

There will be 3 letters coming within 7 to 11 weeks, telling if they need other supporting files from you. Let’s get our finger crossed, hopefully they got what they need.

Good luck! 🙂

2016 di San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Malam tahun baru 2016, perayaan tahun baru pertama setelah menikah, jadinya kita mau ngerayain dengan yang spesial. Biasanya gue ngerayain tahun baru sama keluarga Soetomo, nginep di rumah sodara, terus masak – masak, dan main kartu sampe pagi. Ada omongan mau ke Lake Tahoe yang katanya oke banget, meskipun butuh 5 jam ke situ, dan sekarang lagi winter kan, di sana bisa skiing juga… tapi dengan konsiderasi gue masih “baru” ngerasain winter di sini (winter di Fremont sekitar 4 – 17 derajat aja, gue udah menggigil. Maklum, 5 tahun terakhir ngerasain betapa panas, tandus, dan kerasnya Cikarang) jadinya rencana dibatalkan, takutnya gue masuk angin hahaha gak ada yang bisa ngerokin nanti kan repot. Terus akhirnya mau bakar – bakaran aja seperti ritual malem tahun baru. Niatnya sih, mau masak 1 ayam utuh pake slow cooker, tapi terus pas belanja ke Safeway, ada whole roasted chicken harganya $8.75. Sial, gue luluh sama ayam panggang yang dipajang itu. Sudah dimantapkan untuk beli aja ayamnya hahaha. Slow cooker masaknya 5 – 6 jam, yah keburu laper terus makan mi duluan.

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Nonton di Bioskop

Cinema Pink

Setelah mencoba nonton bioskop di Turki dan Amerika, all I can say is, bioskop di Indonesia adalah yang terbaik! hahaha. Mau XXI atau Blitz, begitu masuk mau beli tiket aja udah kayak masuk ke tempat super mewah. Lalu dilayani sama mba-mba yang cantik. TIket bioskop-nya pun yang kualitas bagus (bisa disimpen di dompet buat kenang-kenangan biasanya sama anak muda hehe). Belom lagi bisa pesen popcorn dari dalem bioskop. Kita ini emang terlalu dimanja.

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Jangan pilih connecting flight dengan transit hanya 2 jam

Harus siap lari kayak gini

Nyesel beneran. Awalnya kita memutuskan untuk beli connecting flight dengan transit selama 2 jam (dari Turki ke San Francisco) karena sebelumnya udah merasakan transit 11 jam di Dubai Airport. Waktu mau berangkat ke Turki, kita pilih maskapai Emirates Airlines dengan transit 11 jam, karena yang lain transit cuma 1 jam di Dubai dan Mas F gak mau ambil resiko ketinggalan pesawat selanjutnya. Gue juga baru tau kalau bisa ditinggal hahaha, selama ini gue pikir itu memang tanggung jawab maskapai-nya kalau pesawat pertama delay, pesawat selanjutnya harus nunggu.

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Adat Yogyakarta

Cantik, ya? Hahaha. Finally, I am married to the man I love, setelah sekian lama menjalin hubungan jarak jauh yang beneran jauh (enggak cuma sekedar Jakarta – Bekasi, hehe). Persiapan tentunya banyak sekali, seteleh diputuskan untuk pake adat Jawa. Tadinya gue mau yang ala ala walk in the aisle gitu, di taman, tapi lalu Mas F bilang, “I am going to steal you, so let’s have the Javanese wedding“.

Continue reading “Menikah”