Tuesday, May 5, 2015

study break

People showing competence in self-regulation have, among other things adaptability. I think I'm quite good at reading emotional currents but not influence.

The kind of very applicable stuff that I've been studying for 3 days straight. It's so utterly common sense that one gets dreary from studying. 

So I decided that I shall post trivial things like the recipes I have adapted- learnt that to relieve stress, do something different to treat yourself. 

(N.B. By no means am I downplaying the importance of studying all these; negotiation and conflict resolution sounds like stuff we pick up but are actually skills that need to be honed. Really love how social work modules spur self reflection and that what is taught is so congruent to how I think the world should work.)

Vegan Banana Chocolate cupcakes
(Adapted from Joy of Baking and Eggless Cooking)

Moist and richly chocolatey as I like
Makes 12 cupcakes

1 cup sugar
1 cup AP flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 t baking powder
3/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup mashed ripe bananas (I used about 5 small ones)
1/2 warm water
1/4 cup almond milk
1 t apple cider vinegar/distilled vinegar

Chocolate Fudge frosting
2.5 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/2 margarine, RTP
1 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 t vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line cupcake pan.
2. Whisk together dry ingredients. Mix together wet ingredients in another bowl, including the banana.
3. Add the flour mixture into the banana mixture, stirring batter till everything is mixed.
4. Fill cups 3/4 full, bake for about 20 minutes till skewer inserted comes out clean.
5. Remove from pan and set to cool on wire rack.

Now for the frosting:
1. Beat margarine till light and fluffy.
2. Beat in sugar till light and fluffy.
3. Add icing sugar, cocoa power and vanilla, beat till light and well incorporated.
4. Add chocolate and beat till frosting is smooth and glossy.

Fun fact about me: I hate eating bananas but am partial to banana bread. And these cupcakes.

Tomato-Cheese Bread Souffle
(Adapted from Real Simple)

Made these last week when I brought home 3 loaves of bread. Particularly pleased at my improvisation to transform the onion-cheese souffle into something more interesting.

Serves 6-8

2 T margarine, plus more for the dish
12 slices (about 10 oz) stale soft white bread, crust removed and torn into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup hot milk
1/4 cup tomato sauce, 3/4 cup hot water- mix together
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
4 eggs, separated (N.B. I used 1 egg less than what the original recipe called for cos that was all the fridge had; think the souffle would have risen more beautifully if there were 4 eggs)
5 wedges of spreadable cheese (3.75 oz), can add more or substitute with grated cheese 
1 t sea salt
1/2 t ground black pepper
1 large pinch ground nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. 'Butter' a 2- to 2 1/2- quart ceramic baking dish,set aside.
2. Stir together milk and tomato mixture; place the bread in a shallow bowl and pour mixture over it. Set aside for the liquid to be fully absorbed.
3.Melt margarine over medium-low heat. Saute the onion till tender, about 15 minutes.
4. Mash in the bread with your hands/spoon and stir in onions.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour into the bread mixture, stirring well till combined.
5. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites till stiff peaks form. Gently fold into bread mixture in 3 additions. 
6. Pour into dish and bake for 50 minutes until golden and firm. Serve warm. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

what gives me the feels

I don’t believe in charity. I believe in solidarity. Charity is so vertical. It goes from the top to the bottom. Solidarity is horizontal. It respects the other person and learns from the other. I have a lot to learn from other people.

Eduardo Galeano

When life gives you bread, make bread pudding.

(Afterthought: Or rather, when God gives you bread, ask Him what to do with it. And my family was blessed through this-- parents went to Botanic Gardens to feed the koi fish with the leftover bread crusts & we had a lot of fun making stuffs from the bread.)

Sunday: Copied this quote into my journal-
A.W. Tozer says that people who are crucified with Christ have three distinct marks:

1. they are facing only one direction,
2. they can never turn back, and
3. they no longer have plans of their own.

They longer any plans of their own.

Monday: Already felt like I got backstabbed by God yet the bread distribution was far from smooth (chaos?). Felt more upset as I thought about what was happening afterward: 1. My revision plan is screwed (don't know if I can finish revising now) 2. This is really a bad time to be doing this to me God.

That day's message and challenge was clear: Do you entrust everything to me? Truly?

Let me no longer have any plans of my own.

(my recent FB post)

Which brings me to my family. We don't really talk over food, and I've gradually learnt that time spent together= love. A trip down for simple hawker fare at Granny's place and sharing 2 bowls of desserts afterward, looking at the hamsters in the pet shop, walking around the newly opened shopping centre.

And friends. It's quite amazing how I learn so much it gives me the tingles when we get together.

Spending time with myself also, to walk, look at life around me. Seeing ordinary people going about their ordinary life gives me the feels. A mother bringing her child home, the hawker cooking my la mian, that old lady lurching along with her trolley-full of groceries.


So so many things I have seen this season, things I would never have imagined. God, YOU give me the feels.

"However, as it is written: 'No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him'-- but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God."

1 Corinthians 2:9-10, NIV

Monday, April 20, 2015

the silence cannot hold

In our end is our beginning// In our time infinity

耶稣说【手扶着犁向后看的,不配进神的国。】 路加福音9:62

Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God." Luke 9:62

In our death a resurrection// At the last a victory

你心若向饥饿的人发怜悯,是困苦的人得满足,你的光就必在黑暗中发现;你的幽暗必变如 正午 。以赛亚书58:10

"and if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday." Isaiah 58:10

Unrevealed until its season// Something God alone can see


"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." Philippians 1:21

Truth be told, I would love to die now. I am content as it is in the silence between one thought and the next. Yet the silence cannot hold. It cannot hold and I will not die but wait patiently for the Lord.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Home is where God is

"In repentance and rest is your salvation,
    in quietness and trust is your strength"
Isaiah 30:15,NIV
Home is the place.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


n. realisation that everyone has a story, so rich and complex
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

"I love you as one loves certain obscure things,/secretly, between the shadow and the soul."
Pablo Neruda, One Hundred Love Sonnets:XVII

n. a moment that seemed innocuous at the time but ended up marking a diversion into a strange new era of your life—set in motion not by a series of jolting epiphanies but by tiny imperceptible differences between one ordinary day and the next 
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

"The woods are lovely, dark and deep,/But I have promises to keep."
Robert Frost, Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening

"To look up-out,/ To do without./ To be now-here,/Stop inward peer."

Friday, April 10, 2015

He Speaks to Me Everywhere

Have been thinking in hymns a lot recently.

This is my Father's world. I rest me in the thought!
He helps me to wait patiently for Him to give me what I need, to give us what we need when we are ready. Because I know that His ways are higher than mine, and His love I never can fathom, I know I can trust Abba in His own time and will.

So continue to give me that open handedness Lord.

Of rocks and trees Of skies and seas, His hand the wonders wrought.
A thought that I sometimes feel that I cannot bear: God has given me all these talents and capabilities, that I am doing so much by myself. Will there be someone that can form an effective team to lead us to greater things?

I smile now as I remember how He spoke to me just last week: "I am for you and not against you". Whenever I had an awesome time/day/week, at the back of my mind I am prepping myself for a tough time ahead. Like God is somehow this 'benevolent suffering-generator.

So yes, just like He tested Abraham (Genesis 22) for Abraham himself to be sure of his own faith and trust in God-- I also have become surer that He is my first love through all these.

In the rustling grass I hear Him pass, He speaks to me everywhere.
"You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue, you know it completely, O LORD." Psalm 139:2-4, NIV

I really love hanging out with my SW friends who are so edifying and so-oft God speaks through them to me. Had the wonderful opportunity to glimpse the trying times in a relationship with different personalities, and also the loving consideration of my dear sister.

And quotes from this Relevant article intervened throughout today as I dealt with trying emotions and group members.

"Actually, all of life is more than we can handle. The point of living in a fallen world is not for us to try really hard to carry our heavy burden, but rather realize we can’t do it alone and surrender to God instead. That’s what faith is all about." 

All of life is more than we can handle. It really just spoke so deep into my heart. 

The battle is not done. Jesus who died shall be satisfied, and earth and heaven be one.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Maundy Thursday

Why am I penalised for doing good. Why is this happening to me. I can't take this anymore. F**K these shit.

Yesterday all these were running through my mind. The combined events of the day just broke the alabaster I was holding things together in.

I refused to let myself be reminded of Christ, knowing full well that He can help me.

From today's Lent devotion:
"Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him."
John 13:3-5

As Jesus came to serve and wash our dirty feet so I am called to follow His example.

Even as He pushes me to do all these, He works things to give me what is needed. O God, thank You for these small miracles that are evidence of Your abiding presence. You indeed know my thoughts and my coming and going.

And to You again, I say Amen.