Keep Calm And Cook On

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School break is ending in just a few weeks. I didn’t do much, didn’t travel much. Well, I was supposed to but due to certain problems that popped up at the last minute, my December plan has to be postponed until next March, maybe. Ain’t sure yet. Would be awesome if it wouldn’t be postponed, but if it will, that’s fine too. I guess. Whatever.

Anyhoo, there is one thing that I’ve been doing quite consistently during this school break. The one that makes me feel so proud of myself. The one that I keep gloating to my mom.

That title is the hint already.
COOKING.

Okay, it might not seem like a big deal to some people, but to me, it is. I’m not much of a cook, but I dunno, lately, I’m kinda enjoying it. It’s fun noticing myself creating something for my little family, seeing my husband enjoying what I’ve created, acting like the domestic goddess, getting compliments after compliments and pretending like it’s not a big deal hahahah 😀

Some of my ‘air tangan’ that I’ve made during the school break. There are more but I just forgot to take pictures of them. Hungry tummy just couldn’t wait.

Baked salmon with butter

Baked salmon with butter

Grilled chicken maryland with spices (cumin, honey, garlic powder etc)

Grilled chicken maryland with spices (cumin, honey, garlic powder etc)

Steamed barramundi

Steamed barramundi

Butter prawns with curry leaves

Butter prawns with curry leaves

Water spinach (kangkung) with anchovies or nama lebih legend, 'Kangkung masak bellman'.

Water spinach (kangkung) with anchovies or nama lebih legend, ‘Kangkung masak belacan’.

Steam veggies (pakchoy and broccoli) with oyster sauce. Owh, I added some squids too.

Steam veggies (pakchoy and broccoli) with oyster sauce. Owh, I added some squids too.

Butter chicken wings, cooked together with potato chunks

Butter chicken wings, cooked together with potato chunks

Mi hailam seafood with super thick gravy.

Mi hailam seafood with super thick gravy.

Churros with cinnamon+sugar sprinkle.

Churros with cinnamon+sugar sprinkle.

Okay fine. It’s not much, I know. But I’ve made them and they’re not just plain edible, they’re delicious. Of course, hubs is the one and only judge of my cooking but even though so, his approval still can be taken for granted okay guys.

Still cracking ideas of what to cook tomorrow.

Nasuha Spices and Herbs

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I’ve lived in Muar, hubs’ hometown, for more than 3 years now and he had never told me about this place I’m about to tell you guys.

Last week, I went to Pagoh for a post-UPSR meeting with hubs. We went there together but hubs was placed in a different group so we only saw each other again in the evening, after the program ended. So when I was out for lunch with my friends, he didn’t get to join us as he was out with his boys too.

So back to the main story here, around 11, my friends (Akmal, Fiza and Kak Tiqah) and I had a lunch at this place that I just knew existed. It was Akmal’s idea to dine here. They said something herbs, weird healthy drinks blah blah. I just didn’t care because my tummy was growling at that point. It’s called Nasuha Spices and Herbs. If you’re from the PLUS Highway, it’s located on your left, not far from the Pagoh exit, about 5 km to Muar direction. It’s very hard not to see that big sign by the roadside, so don’t worry you won’t miss it.

Outside, before going in.

Outside, before going in.

This is what greets you at the entrance.

This is what greets you at the entrance.

Located at the foothill, this place is actually a herb nursery. Everything about this place is herb-themed, from the decoration to the menu. Before you enter the restaurant, you need to take off your shoes first. There’a reason for this. Here’s why.

The reflexology treatment for your feet!

The reflexology treatment for your feet!

Owh, I always hate this kinda floor but this, I can't resist to try.

Sakit kaki ceq!

When we arrived at this place, we were among the earliest customers so we kinda had the whole place to ourselves. It was very serene and peaceful. Being in the restaurant, the decoration kinda made you feel like you were in a tree house or something. Or in a dwarf’s house. Haha

Was in awe with the decoration.

The inside of the restaurant.

Akmal, Kak Tiqah and myself. :-)

Akmal, Kak Tiqah and myself. 🙂

The herbal tree. I guess if you want one, you can just pluck it from the tree haha

The herbal tree. I guess if you want one, you can just ‘pluck’ it from the tree haha

The menu

The menu, ‘We Serve Finest Fresh Herbs’ tagline is spot on.

What can you order here? Everything is herbs!

What can you order here? Almost everything is herbs!

We asked the waitress what was their significant winning dish and she said, most people came here for the briyani. That day, I didn’t feel like having rice, so I chose grilled lamb chop. I can always come back later and then I’ll choose briyani. You know, I’ve never been a big fan of lamb chop since I don’t really like lamb (I prefer beefsteak, even asked if they had one but they didn’t), but that was the only western choice that I preferred having compared to chicken chop and fish and chips, so grilled lamb chop it was. The price is RM21.00.

As for the drink, this is the interesting part. Since this is a herbal restaurant, we chose to have herbal drinks. As you can see in the above picture (bottom right), there’s an information on every herbal drink provided, like Serico, Centella, Garcinia, Gora, Cinnamon and many others. I chose Gora because I’ve never heard the name and was very curious about the taste. Apparently, Gora is a fruit, originally from Yaman and you can’t find this fruit elsewhere, except in Nasuha Herbal Farm and Yaman itself. Hmm.. Interesting.

Interesting.

Interesting choices of herbal drinks. It’s best served hot!

My Gora hot drink and Gora the fruit next to it. Looks like buah koko. Haha

My Gora hot drink and Gora (the fruit) next to it. No, they are not served together. We were just curious what the fruit looked like so we asked the waitress to show it to us. Macam buah koko pun ye jugak..

Akmal chose schapium long drink, or something. Can't remember the name but this one is served cold.

Akmal chose schapium long drink… or something. Can’t remember the name but this one is served cold. It is the mixture of buah barli and gula melaka and something else, so it’s wee bit sweet compared to other herbal drinks. Perfect for you who doesn’t like bitter plain herbal drinks.

So after waiting for 10-15 minutes, my yummy looking grilled lamb chop had finally arrived. Loved the fries, they could work more on the coleslaw tho, the lamb was quite okay too, but THE STAR OF THE SHOW WAS THE GRAVY! Owh my, the gravy was sooooo good! It was sweet salty and you could also taste the herbs, like the guys in the Food Network always say, ‘It’s like an explosion of flavours in my mouth!’. It was seriously finger licking good. I didn’t bother to use the knife and fork anymore, just used my bare hands to eat the lamb and lick the gravy.

My grilled lamb chop! Heaven knows how delish this is!

My grilled lamb chop! Heaven knows how delish this is!

The gravy was gone. If only I could eat the bones too.

Gone was the gravy. If only I could eat the bones too.

We went back to Pagoh, feeling full and happy! Good meals make people happy right?

You know something? Turns out, Nasuha Spices and Herbs doesn’t just offer good food and healthy drinks, but it’s also suitable for meetings, camps, seminar talks and even outdoor adventurous activities like canoeing, abseiling, jungle trekking etc. They also provide chalet or villa for those in Muar or nearby areas, who’re looking for short getaway but thinking it’s too far to go to Cameron Highland. Nice! Teachers, this might be an excellent idea for your annual dinner or end year school activities for your kids. For more info, check out their website here.

So back to the lamb chop, I told hubs about our lunch once we got back to the meeting place. He was so jealous and insisted to go there again that evening, on the way back to Muar. I always have issues going to the same place so many times and then being recognised especially if you’re wearing the same outfit! It is so freaking embarrassing to me. So I said ‘NO!’ to hubs but Fiza and Akmal said they were going again too for dinner, and insisted I brought him along.

Fine.

So we went there again. Twice. Same outfits. Hid my face. Being recognised still. Embarrassing.

Hubs chose briyani beef.

Hubs chose briyani beef.

Guess what I chose for that dinner?

That's right, the lamb chop again! Hahah

That’s right, the lamb chop again! Hahah. Felt sooo good having lamb chop for both lunch and dinner. Muahaha

 Hubs tasted my lamb chop and decided to order it! After finishing a plate of briyani!

Way to diet, sayang.

Sarawak, The Land Of Hornbills (Part 3)

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Day 3 in Sarawak will be unfolded here, in this entry. This is continued from Sarawak, The Land Of Hornbills (Part 2)

So, on the third day in Sarawak, we went to Jong Crocodile Farm (JCF) and Anna Rais Hot Spring (ARHS). We first went to Orang Utan sanctuary, but by the time we got there, it was already 11-ish. They were closed for break and only opened again at 2. We didn’t wanna wait there for 3 hours, so we decided to go to JCF instead. Nothing interesting really, just bunch of lazy crocs laying there waiting to be fed. There was this show actually, it’s called Crocodile Jumping Show but it wasn’t that great too.

Some of the pics taken during the show.

Some of the pics taken during the show.

I went to this TripAdvisor site to actually find the name of the show (coz I already forgot the name), then I found this.

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If you look at the date, that’s exactly one day after we visited the farm. She probably went there a day before Christmas too which was on 24th Dec, the same day we did. Because guess what? We did see the same dead peacock too! KakLong, KakNgah, Mila and myself were quite shocked to see it lying on the ground. I remember looking around to tell their workers about it, but no one to be seen. It was so frustrating to see all the thin and unhealthy birds there. They must have been thrown to the crocs once they’re dead. It was not a fun experience to me. I’m not planning to come back there again. I actually hate visiting most of the zoos/animal farms in Malaysia. They simply don’t prioritise the animal welfare and those animals mostly seem terrified and thin. Like the one I visited in Langkawi. The condition of the ostriches there was so sad. Bulu tak terjaga, ada yang bahagian badan ostrich tu xde bulu pun (gugur), and they were so hungry sampai gumpalan surat khabar pun makan. YES, BEFORE MY EYES! Kesian sangat..

The only fun animal farm/zoo that I had a chance to visit was at the Australia Zoo (Steve Irwin Zoo), Gold Coast. The workers were animal lovers, they took pride of what they did and they just simply loved their jobs. The animals there were their main priority and they took care of them very well. Why can’t the zoo management/workers in Malaysia be more like them? Take pride of your jobs and do it well. Janganla jaga haiwan sambil lewa je asal nak untung. The zoo workers in Australia Zoo once made me feel like quitting what I was doing and be a zoo worker too. Yeah, no kidding. They had fun in what they were doing and they had a very good team.

Happier crocs here!

Happier crocs here!

While we are at it, check out this cute video by the Australia Zoo workers.

So, back to JCF, it’s not a must-visit. Don’t go here if you’re an animal lover. You would just feel sad.

After an hour of not-so-fun experience in JCF, we went to Anna Rais Hot Spring. This was a spontaneous plan. It took almost an hour from the city to this place. It was really a nice remote place and I liked it.

On the way to ARHS!

On the way to ARHS!

Look at that wooden bridge!

Look at that wooden bridge!

My sister and I doing selfie while feeling the breeze.. Haha

My sister and I doing selfie while feeling the breeze.. Haha

Arrived!

Arrived!

Going down down down down..

Going down down down down to find the hot spring.

This is buah koko. When I was little, there were lots of cocoa trees behind my house, and I used to eat the flesh. It was white, sticky, sour-sweet taste. Hubby didn't even know that was buah koko, let alone eat it. Haha

This is buah koko. When I was little, there used to be lots of cocoa trees behind my house, and I used to eat the flesh. It was white, sticky, sweet-sour taste. Funny that hubby didn’t even know that was buah koko, let alone eat it. Haha

Just us, the family

It’s the spring, right there.

The girls

The girls were trying their best to not get wet, before stepping into the hot spring haha

The whole clan

The whole clan doing our foot spa here. 🙂

Relaxing ourselves in a hot spring..

Relaxing ourselves in a hot spring..

Nama pun hot spring, so that’s all you can find here. You can have a picnic here and swim in the cold river, and when you have enough of the cold, you can suit yourself in the hot spring. As I said earlier, this was a spontaneous plan so we didn’t bring any extra clothes. My favourite moment here was when we all did the rock-skipping. I’ve never been good at it, but I was so proud that I managed to do 5 skips! Hubby did 7, Yas did 9 skips kot kalau x silap. Haha mine was just 5 tapi okay la tu. :-p

Before we went back to the city, some of the Sarawakians at the entrance offered us some durian hutan. It tasted slightly different from other durians out there.

Look at the colour. So orangey and creamier than durian biasa..

Look at the colour. So orangey..

We just managed to go to these two places, then we went back to the city. The kids were tired, I was tired myself. We hadn’t had lunch properly, so we thought of going back to the apartment, refreshed ourselves then headed to City One Mall for a pre-dinner, before makan besar at Top Spot Food (TSF) yoo-hoo! Remember, it was dark here sooner than it was in Peninsular. We went out at 6.00 and it was starting to get dark.

We planned of celebrating our Decemeber babies too (Ean, Aneeq and Danish) at the TSF so we bought a BR ice-cream cake, had a pre-dinner and off we went!

It was sooooo crowded at TSF! If you park your car at the basement car park, go to the lift and go straight away to Level 6. That’s where the TSF is. But during the holiday seasons, the lift is always full. If you have patience, then you can wait. If you don’t, just like me, then use the stairs. It is so much quicker. I kid you not.

The look from the outside. It is located at the most top, Level 6. Picture courtesy from Google.

The look from the outside. It is located at the most top, Level 6. Picture courtesy from Google.

Our dining table..

Our dining table..

The birthday cake for the December babies! Haha

The birthday cake for the December babies! Haha

Aneeq (12), Ean (10), Danish (7)

Aneeq (12), Ean (10), Danish (7)

Tarraa! Our dessert yang jadi appetizer sbb dah nak cair. Haha

Tarraa! Our dessert yang jadi appetizer sbb dah nak cair. Haha

The food arrived!

The food arrived!

This was not all.. More and more to come!

This was not all.. More and more to come!

Our star of the show! Owh sedapnya niii!

Our star of the show! Cheese lobster. Owh sedapnya niii!

Not star of the show, tapi sedap jugak nyum nyum especially those crabs ad prawns!

Not the star of the show, tapi sedap jugak nyum nyum especially those crabs and buttered prawns! Tapi crab tu memang sedap gilaa! Sadly, x ingat ni kedai nombor berapa..

After we recovered from our food attack and giving up our seats to some other families (memang sentiasa crowded kat sini), we then went to the Kuching Waterfront, to check out the city at night, as well as to take pictures with the famous Kuching landmark, the Cat Statues.

Husband and I, at the Cat Statues, Kuching

Husband and I, at the Cat Statues, Kuching

Exhausted already, we went back to the apartment and called it a night. Got some packing to do since it was almost the end of our holiday!

Will be continued in Sarawak, The Land Of Hornbills (Part 4), the last part of this vacation. 🙂

Sarawak, The Land Of The Hornbills (Part 1)

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I’ve never set my foot in Borneo island and this would be my first. Honestly, I’ve been planning to go to Sabah first but little did I know, Kuching would be the first place I’d visit in Borneo. I was so excited when my sister told us that we were going to Sarawak, to visit my niece, Kak Long and at the same time, spent some of our school holidays there. Initially, this was a big family vacation, where everybody in our family would be joining.

Well yeah, everybody including ayah.

:-(

Who knows that he couldn’t make it.. :-‘(

It was so sad to see his name on the passenger list, but Allah knows better. He is the best planner so who are we to question what He has planned for all of us, right? It’s heartbreaking of course, but we all know ayah’s in a better place right now (in sha Allah, amin), way way better that none of us could ever take him to on this planet. Miss you so much ayah! Al-Fatihah…

So, since we lost ayah, mom also couldn’t go on this vacation due to her edah. We couldn’t leave her alone so one of my sisters decided to accompany her at home while we were in Sarawak. It’s okay mom. We’ll take you to other places once you completed your edah okay? 🙂

We traveled by Mas Airlines. We departed from KLIA at 10.05 a.m. and arrived in Kuching International Airport at 11.40 p.m. We rented three cars which all the men in this trip were the drivers of each (Abg Man, Abg Bob and hubby).

There were three empt seats that were meant for ayah, mak and wawa. :-(

There were three empty seats that were meant for ayah, mak and wawa. 😦

Abdul Malik's clan.. From left, Kakak Eda, Mila, Abg Bob and moi. Those are my nephew and niece, Darling and Danish.

Abdul Malik’s clan.. From left, Kakak Eda, Mila, Abg Bob and moi. Those are my nephew and niece, Darling and Danish.

Us! :-)

Us! 🙂

So our first stop was UNIMAS, since we were going to pick up Kak Long. The weather was rainy, cloudy and sometimes windy. It was all wet but I personally liked it, since the heat and humidity were not really my things. Muahaha bajet org putih letewww…

The, we went straight to our apartment which was Jinhold Service Apartment. Honestly, I didn’t really like it at first because it was not a hotel, but once I stepped into the apartment, I was amazed by its spacious room and comfortable furniture. After all, it was very very clean, which was super important to me. It was just for the two of us, it was more than enough.

The whole studio apartment. Loved it!

The whole studio apartment. Loved it!

After freshen up and resting for a while, we headed to the nearest Pizza Hut, since we haven’t had anything since morning, own except for the inflight food. We ordered five large pizza, together with salad. They were all gone so quick. Lapar gila. Haha

My partner in crime, Kak Long! Always good to see you girl!

My partner in crime, Kak Long! Always good to see you girl!

Then, we planned to go to Kuching Waterfront to have a look at the place, you know. Just sight-seeing.

Nice background right... So Sarawak. Haha

Nice background right… So Sarawak. Haha

Sarawak River..

Sarawak River..

Some musical show..

Some musical show..

Kek Lapis that we bought at the bazaar. Look at the pattern, it's like tikar but only colourful. So sedap too. The flavour was 'pure butter'.

Kek Lapis that we bought at the bazaar. Look at the pattern, it’s like tikar but only colourful. So sedap too. The flavour was ‘pure butter’.

Sarawak River Cruise! We didn't plan to cruise actually, but when we were offered, we thought, why not? RM11 per person.

Sarawak River Cruise! We didn’t plan to cruise actually, but when we were offered, we thought, why not? RM11 per person.

The view along the river...

The view along the river…

Us, on the boat.

Us, on the boat.

The night view from the water..

The night view from the water..

It was already late at that time so an hour of cruising brought us to night light. We asked the locals if there was anywhere we could go at night, they said, ‘Takdela.. Mintak maafla.. Sini malam2 takda ape2.. Pegi mall je ke atau balik je rehat.” Haha thank you pakcik. It ‘helped’. So we drove around the city after cruising, then back to our apartment. Had shower and then we went out again for dinner. Haha. Hubby didn’t go out this time because he was too tired, so did my lil sister and my two nieces, KakLong and KakNgah. We went to Kubah Ria Plaza and had Mee Kolok Soup.

Mi Kolok Soup!

Mi Kolok Soup! The taste was quite nice and I like it. 🙂

On the second day here, we decided to go to Sarawak Cultural Village in Santubong, which was about an hour drive from the Kuching city. I think this was the best part of our vacation this time, but I’ll write that in Sarawak, The Land Of The Hornbills (Part 2) because I wanna go get some breakfast right now.

Haha bye.

Little This And That

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Last week, I already shopped 3 dresses from my favourite clothing line, The Poplook, but I still haven’t got a chance to try them on yet because right now I’m in Sabak Bernam and those are addressed to my house in Muar. Huaaa… Cant wait! But, to get rid of the guilt (of wasting money on dresses again), I decided to sell some of my dresses in my wardrobe, those with the tags are still attached. Yang baru ade, yang dah yg pakai sekali dua, then x pakai dah pun ade. I should do a clearance sale kan.. Usually I let go of my stuff in TPL Group on Facebook, they’re always sold out. That’s why I love buying TPL stuff, because they have high second value and whenever I don’t need them, I can always sell ’em. Here’s the best part. There’s always buyers! Hahaha cool right!

This is the group. It's done me a lot of favours so far. Hehe

This is the group. It’s done me a lot of favours so far. Hehe

Okay, by the way, these are the dresses that I bought, which I might sell in the future! Haha but if they’re soooo worth to keep, i’ll just keep them then.

Thelma Maxi Dress

Thelma Maxi Dress

Penny Chiffon Maxi Dress

Penny Chiffon Maxi Dress. This one is a lil bit cheaper since I bought it preloved from someone in TPL group.

Clementine Maxi Dress

Clementine Maxi Dress

Alamak, this one pulak suddenly appeared on my timeline.. Grrr!

Really TPL?? Nadine is my fav! Arghh! I should get a grip now!!

Really TPL?? Nadine is my fav! Arghh! I should get a grip now!!

Today is my second day at home, and when I say home, I mean Rumah Sabak Bernam. I’m only gonna be here until this Sunday, and then I’ll go back to Muar to monitor the whole progress of our house renovation. Can’t wait to see my new kitchen. I hope they won’t mess things up while we’re not around.

Day 1

Day 1

Day 4. That's our kitchen. :-)

Day 4. That’s our kitchen. 🙂

Speaking about kitchen, well, I decided to cook today since I RARELY cooked in our own house (yes, in caps!). Hubby requested Nasi Lemak with sambal sotong and ayam bakar rempah. So, here they are!

Ayam Bakar Berempah

Ayam Bakar Berempah. Owh look at the juice!

Nasi Lemak Kukus

Nasi Lemak Kukus

The whole thing for lunch. Ye, org makan nasik lemak bias mase breakfast, tapi kitorg makan time lunch pula. Haha ada haku kesaaahhh?

The whole thing for lunch. Ye, org makan nasik lemak biase mase breakfast, tapi kitorg makan time lunch pulak. Haha ada haku kesaaahhh? Yg penting hubby cakap ‘sedap’, and mak approved!

Macam bengong je puji masakan sendiri. Hahahaha. It’s actually quite an accomplishment for a newbie like me, you know. That’s why I’m bragging about my cooking right now. Haha

Today is 27th November 2013. It’s 2 months (2 months and 1 day) now since ayah passed away. The pain of losing him is still there (how can you lose it, you’ll never lose it), but we know he’s in a better place right now. I still get a glimpse of him sometimes in my sleep and his voice still lingers in my ears. Just now when I got back from buying groceries for mom, we passed by the cemetery where ayah was buried, the balai raya where ayah used to go for kampung meeting and the mosque. Every inch of this place reminds me of him. Lagi2 bila tgk parit2 kat sepanjang jalan. I used to help ayah printing those pictures of parit for kampung development files and documentations. Hehe.. Kdg2 ayah keluar rumah bwk camera, saje tanye, ‘Ayah nak gi mana?’ He said, ‘Nak tgkp gambar parit. Nak ikot ke?’ Hehehe.. Or, balik rumah tanye mak, ayah kat mana, mak said, ‘Alah, tgkp gambar parit la tu…’ Haha. Parit parit parit! Memories! Always love and miss you ayah!

My favourite old man in the world!

My favourite old man in the whole wide world!

Pen off now. See ya!