Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tried and Tested. Its works!

Gem and i, decided on a sort of short notice that we were going to have a "makeshift BBQ" date at West Coast. After my Shape Run (25th July), what better way to go chill and EAT than head over with my best friend to West Coast for a little fresh air and cancerous tasty grilled food, innit?

I headed to NTUC to get the readymade BBQ grill and some food. I was a little concerned that the charcoal inside would be of a lousy grade though... Gem packed whatever BBQ stuff he had from home and was making this way over.

Anyway, after a whirlwind of activity at home, we made it out of the house. We checked and landed up at West Coast Park. Yes indeed. Following the instructions, it led us to A PRIVATE HOUSING ESTATE along a road called "West Coast Park". EXTREMELY: -_-"""

So we caught a cab, and headed to the REAL West Coast Park, which we will now enter into any direction-giving website as "West Coast Highway". Dui man. But pretty darn funny.

Being the anal photographer wanting to be grilling food under the golden hour setting sun, i was hopping about anxiously hoping to set up our pit in time to catch the golden rays. Anyway. We reached West Coast Park with little ado, and we were greeted with lovely kites flying HIGH up in the blue sky. It was so beautiful. I was captivated. Awed. Check it out!

Neat huh. :)

Setting up our mama stall roadside BBQ grill. I felt so bad that we didn't have any bricks to prop up our grill, i had no idea that the grass would be so badly burnt afterwards. Next time, i'll do things differently.
Gem doing the fire work. The wind put out our flame a few times, but oh.. the fire turned out wonderful! Well done, Gem. Otherwise, we wouldn't have been able to eat and would have had to turn to the nearby Macs. :(
Lovely flame going on.
Embers! YAY!
Our fish in the foil, and..... our ENOKI WRAPPED IN BACON! Oh. My.
Are you drooling yet. I am. We made these together and created a special sauce to spread over it while grilling. Special sauce: Manuka honey+some Kicap manis thingy+soya sauce+lime juice+black pepper.
More stuff added onto the grill. With me around, you WILL be eating your greens.
US! Full and satisfied.
So here's my setting sun, taken from our sweet mama stall BBQ spot.
It's official! Makeshift BBQ grill set thingy works! Just buy your own firestarters though. The ones provided in the set didn't catch any flame at all.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Found a lot of old music and i'm so STOKED!!!!! Dug up an old favourite concert band song...

I used to play this while in junior college and it was one of my favourite pieces because it had that Persian feel like you were running through the city doing awesome adventurous things. It also has some killer solo parts (oboe, flute, horn, drums, saxophone section leading out, the layering of melodies at the end, etc) and the chords i heard when playing as a band really pulled at my heart strings. Oh, it was glorious. I miss playing in a band so bad. If there're two things i want to continue doing in my life till i'm old and grey, it would be archery and playing the alto saxophone in a band.

Man! I wish i had practiced my saxophone parts more!

Oh, and this is, in my opinion, one of the best opening pieces from an old cartoon "Johnny Quest"

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My Future Fridge

Would have...

1) a vinaigrette corner
2) a herbs and spice rack (divided into types: chinese, indian, italian, etc)
3) lots of healthy stuff: salad leaves and other assorted interesting veg and fruits
4) yoghurt and vitagen/yakult
5) meats: chicken, beef, fish, pork
6) Stocks: Chicken, Veg
7) Ice cream
8) Cake/Sweet food corner (but of course!)

Just a reminder to myself for future home planning. :D

Friday, July 16, 2010

Apple crumble?? Mango cake??! Uh, uh, how about the mixed fruit pavlova? Uh, the CARAMEL SEA SALT CHEESECAKE?! Er, i want the quiche! Uh, the CRAANBERRREEE ORANNGEE CAKE! (and every other cake you can think of...)
AHhhhhhhhhhhHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *head explodes*

(this is what happens in my head when i go to Cedele or Secret Recipe. My eyes bulge and scans all the available cakes on display, my mind mentally tastes each cake to see if i would like 'em, Id yells "buy EVERY cake i fancy!", Superego says "no, you can't have everything, do you know how much it will cost?!" and Ego says, "ok, ok, lets settle for 2. Or 3." (and maybe 4 or 5 if i'm in Malaysia where Secret Recipe cakes are half priced. Hohohohoh.)
Anyway. Here're the spoils from my trip to Cedele about an hour ago. I count myself very blessed that i can walk to Cedele and Secret Recipe from my home!

Above: This was the mixed fruit pavlova. As you can see, someone dug into it before remembering that photos always come first. This is the effect good cakes have on me.

This is what they call the Mango Almond cake. I didn't taste any almond (which is fine by me) and the topping is suppose to be yoghurt. The ensemble tasted a little weird, even almost salty, but maybe that's because i ate the pavlova first which was a bright, refreshing, sweet and light tasting thing of delight.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

13th July 2010 (Tuesday)

Gem and i decided to go for some japanese food at Liang Court. So here's me snapping pictures while crossing over the bridge, away from The Central. Hot, scorching day!
Us! Gem is cool right. :) He's slowly getting used to having to shave his head and he's growing out a goatee to see how it goes. I like. :)
Wot are these?
Card holders! Check our how cute and small they are...
Neat huh? Gem's friend kindly gave up two though i just wanted to buy one from him. It was so nice of him to do that.
My mushroom and egg bowl. Lovely. Tasty, slightly gooey with some sauce and in just the right amount for me. Delicious!
Gem's safe option... Teriyaki chicken. *yawn* Heh.

We later adjourned to Starbucks for our "serious talk". Lets just leave it as that, k. :)
Gem ordered a white chocolate coffee thingy. It was super sweet, but yum!

I started taking shots of his drink and my caramel macchiato because they were served under a spotlight. Couldn't stop the shutterbug in me. Haha.
And then... The really, really sweet Barista that day saw me snapping and he made us a special latte with a heart shape on top with the foamed milk! For free! I thought it was someone else's order at first but he motioned to us to take it and to continue having fun snapping more pictures. Gosh. That is some initiative on his part. TOP MARKS for service! I wonder what his name is.
The dessert freak shook cinnamon and vanilla powder over her drink.
All THREE drinks! Uhm, yum.

And then, all gone. Yum. Mm. *satisfied*
Went home and cooked up a chicken and mushroom salad dinner for Gem and I. He marinated the mushrooms while i did the chicken.
This is Jed taking advantage of a sleeping human in the morning. Snuggling in between warm legs and blanket to feel warm and comfy.
I woke Gem up and Jed proceeds to plonk himself down in Gem's lap.
Just look at the little punk. *sigh* :)

Gurkha Palace with Gem (5th July 2010)

Yet again on one of our food adventures around Singapore, Gem and i went to Little India, Chander Road for some Nepalese food. We discovered that actually, we'd been here before some years ago. In which case, great! This place must be surviving well to have lasted so long. :) Good food to be had, then!
The menu... In it, hidden all sorts of treasures! Yummmm...
Papadom thingy with a green herb sauce.
This was kidney beans with bamboo shoots in yoghurt and tomato gravy. It was surprisingly spicy!
Potatoes with their special in-house sauce. I think. Cannot remember details.

I thought this was broccoli but it's actually...
Chicken! In their special green herbs blend. Oh, it was lovely... Juicy, tasty and fresh out of the cooking pot/wok/whatever contraption.
Knowing that we were in some food paradise, i made sure to choose food that was healthy! Knowing Gem... Haiyo. hurhur.

Verdict: Reasonably priced, tasty and fresh food. Though the portions may look kinda small, and might indeed be so for big eaters. I missed out on showing a shot of the plain naan and mango lassi that we ordered. But we were quite stuffed in the end! Altogether about $13 per person.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Listening to the recording of last week to hear what in the world transpired... And i'm laughing so hard cos at the end of the youth service, our senior pastor was leading us in the song "History Maker" and he was singing so much faster to urge us (the worship team and the congregation) to "beat it" (pick up the speed) and he was dancing and asking us to SWAGGER and saying to us, "Hey, i'm 62 years old!" "Swagger! C'mon!" Boy, am I hooting away.

I'm also very amused and chuckling over how my fingers tend to "spasm" or "fall asleep" or something, and i either miss pressing a key on the piano or i play a second too fast and so i throw the tempo/rhythm off.

I also got to experience for the first time from another perspective the kind of impact a synthesizer musician makes as both supporter and also at the forefront during praise and worship. I've been one for the longest time and never could fully appreciate the part played till when the roles were switched.

There's one thing that i'm so thankful for, and that was the freedom released by my youth pastor for me to just be free to release a song! I believe that all the other musicians/singers can and should do that! It's MAD scary but gosh, you REALLY just tune in to God and play out His heart...

And you'll be amazed at the kind of sound that rises up... I know i was.

Monday, July 05, 2010

I think i FINALLY KNOW what i want to concentrate on for my dissertation. It wasn't a BAM!SLAM! awakening but a little inkling that sneaked into my consciousness while reading some locally published fathering booklets. When i went for the recent fathering conference held at NUS, apparently the Guest of Honour mentioned that this particular area hasn't been studied yet in Singapore... And that is, "What do Fathers think/feel about their roles? As Fathers, Men, Husbands, his own Person, etc)"

I've been wondering over whether this was it and i let the idea swim around for a while in my head. Been asking God for heeelllppp and it's been weeks and nothing has changed. So, yeah, i think, this is it. F.I.N.A.L.L.Y!

Better email my supervisor to see what thunks she.


Might be exploring Henderson Bridge today with Gem!


I'm stoked for two close friends of mine who've gotten new jobs! PRAISE GOD!
And for Gem too, he's gotten a couple of cool openings since his graduation. I think that though he can grow more into his craft, his works are pretty sweet now. I'm so proud of him. :)

Saturday, July 03, 2010

In Christ alone, my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song.
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

What an experience it was at today's service's worship time. First, it's the first time i'm being accompanied by the synthesizer, and second, i've never had my pastor come up to me to tell me to play out...

We were having a time of free worship after the New Doxology song, and she came up on stage to come alongside me. I knew she wanted to tell me something but my hands were busy on the keys. It was quite amusing to me how she had to gingerly lift my long hair away from my right ear to try to speak to me. I took a moment to pause and remove my in-ears and she told me, "play out a Song of Beauty" and she said "play out... you're holding back"

Boy, i was scared. I mean, what? Me? You mean i have free reign over my chords? Wouldn't i be sidelining the rest of the band since i would be launching into my own tune? And then another part of me was saying: C'mon! This is it! You've always wanted to break out from prescribed progressions, now you can break out into anything!

More so though, i was hesitant about something so new and bold, but i heeded my leader's encouragement and went for it. I just played whatever i thought i should. Whatever the Holy Spirit led me to. On hindsight, i WAS SO GLAD it was in a familiar key, Key of G with just one sharp (F#). Haha.

There were moments when a song of beauty was released, and there was another moment when I distinctively felt God asking me to play C and B repeatedly, as a resounding call saying, "Children, Children". Like He was singing out and calling us. And then the other notes was Him saying, "Hear me. I love you, I love you". At one point, our worship leader J also started to sing out God's message to us.

I could hear my heartbeat thumping fast and loudly in my ears (cos the in-ears closed out other noises) because i was so nervous and hesitant... I wasn't sure what the next chord was suppose to be. I know i hit some weird chords when i meant to play something else.

But i tried... Tuning in my "antenna" as best as i could to the Lord and to play accordingly. As i was playing, i remembered L's card that she gave to me almost exactly one year ago at this time... She wrote, "You paint God's heart with sounds" (27th June 2009) Talk about prophetic, huh? :DDD

I don't remember everything i played, but i remember the single notes on my right hand that was expressing what God wanted to say. I remember those moments to be quite intense for me, trying to tune in to God and figuring what notes i was suppose to hit. I remember being at a lost at what to do next and having to fully depend on the Holy Spirit to lead. I guess that's the way it goes, yeah?

During the debrief session, i was thoroughly encouraged by my ministry mates and was also nudged on to be more bold to play out. After the debrief session, YS came up to me to share of a vision he saw during that free worship time. He told me that as I played out, he saw a painting beginning to form, a painting of a picture that depicted all the beautiful things of God. I was so blessed. :) A Song of Beauty indeed! Though he also said that i could afford to be less hesitant.

I feel like i could've done so much more though i don't really know how to (some of you were spot on, that i was hesitant). Whatever it is, whatever that happened tonight, I give all glory to Father God.

There certainly were limitations on my part and I couldn't have played much without His leading. I just did my best, His song tinkling in my spirit to be released into the physical.

Thank You God. More of this, please? Teach me how!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Tiramisu Heaven!

Here's jie sieving the Hershey's cocoa powder over the cream cheese layer. What? What's that sound you hear? Me... Hyperventilating.
This piece is mine! :P
Sister taking a spoon out of hers.

Top down view. I love the texture of the cocoa!

Another top down view.
Cream cheese waterfall. Mmm...
Cocoa powder sliding down the cream cheese waterfall. Love the textures!
I'm loving the cooking sessions with my sister! Wheee!!!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Jie and my shopping, cooking and eating adventures!

At this Hong Kong Cafe at IMM. Her yin yang ice and my HK milk tea.
The "pork bun", as written on the menu. It's a BURGER man.

Half for me. Hee.
My wanton noodles with chilli.
Mountain of carrots. I love Giant for its mountain of stuff, fit for Giants! But i think i might be more stoked shopping in Canada where helpings are WAY BIGGER!

Home and soaking the salad leaves. We got these at 80cents a pack when its original price was $4+. The price was decreased a great deal because the leaves aren't as fresh as the newer stock.
Baby potatoes for the mashed potato that my sister made. She's a natural chef man, i tell ya! It was so good. Olive oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, chopped fresh basil.
Dog checking out whatever that just came out from the magic cupboard, a.k.a. the fridge.
My beef stew's ingredients, which includes cocoa powder. No kidding. :) The recipe's taken from Chef at Home, featuring Michael Smith. I LOVE his programme. Its so homey, unpretentious, inventive, and friendly to watch.
Onions, celery, carrots and garlic. To go into the stew.
Had finished browning my beef for the flavour (so says Chef Smith), and Jed looks on. This is a decidedly cute picture. :)
This was how it looked like when everything was tossed in to boil. But it looks very different after being thoroughly cooked through. Pictures later. :) The beef stew's for tomorrow's dinner.
You can see that the colour is a lot darker now. Lots of red wine, like, 1/3 a bottle. Was trying to finish up the leftover wine in the fridge.
My sister's finished dish. Delicious grilled beef with hot sauce made from scratch, on a bed of salad and mashed potato on the side.

Ah heh... After dinner, i enthusiastically volunteered myself to help out with making our tiramisu. Last week i was having a craving for tiramisu which went unsatisfied. My kind sister asked me if the craving has been met and i responded with a resounding "NO!". So here we are... Pictures of the finished product coming up! :DD
What you see here is the final layer of cream cheese being slopped over two layers of biscuit fingers soaked in coffee and baileys, chocolate shavings... OH. YUM. AGH.