Saturday, March 28, 2015

My Homemade English Muffins!

I made some English muffins yesterday from a recipe I found in the internet. It was amazing! I'm really getting the hang of this baking thing. It's really amazing to think that I can create such delicious and perfect bread. Thank you Lord Jesus for this wonderful new ability I've discovered. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Baking My First Ever Biscuits

It was years ago here in Jeddah when I tasted my first ever buttermilk biscuit at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen which unfortunately closed its last branch here 5 or 6 years ago, if my memory serves me right. So, everytime we pass by its old location, I'm finding myself down memory lane when we would run there after work to appease our growling bellies with its sumptuous biscuits and distinct chicken taste. That fondness for its biscuits led me one day to unraveling its secret on youtube and vowed to revive its glory, at least at the confines of my small kitchen and with the help of my old oven. I would not then lose my focus listening up to the very minute details if only to perfect my foray into baking - after all my cravings handily trump my laziness. Listing down of the ingredients would follow and the next visit to Sarawat supermarket would be all about picking up the perfect ingredients (albeit a little unfriendly to my monthly budget). After religiously perfecting instructions and time elements applied to it, voila! I had my first ever Popeyes buttermilk biscuits that surprisingly tasted exactly the same as the original. Thank God! 

Okay, I have to admit it, this little achievement (that shallow) has added to my confidence, and if I may add, to my really short resume. Now my mind wanders about endlessly at the prospect of maybe, just maybe, I could someday put up a small bakeshop in the Philippines specializing in this Popeyes imitation - in fact, I'm entertaining the thoughts of  cashing on it by hawking in the malls and maybe in Balad? I'm really giddy right now haha! And wait, my eldest daughter who graduated cum laude with a degree in HRM can be of great help - so, that would be a real plus!

Even as a kid, I really wanted to learn how to bake, but often times baking  seems so complicated to me especially with all those apparatus and baking utensils necessary. That's why this biscuit recipe is perfect for me. I remember baking wheat bread 2 years ago and it turned out really awful - the bottom of the bread was burnt as charcoal but the inside was still uncooked, But with the way things turning in my favor, I have every reason to be positive that this is only the beginning of more exciting things ahead, no kidding aside, I am seeing myself in the foreseeable future donning a baker's outfit and appeasing customers who have grown impatient to have their taste of the first Popeyes buttermilk biscuits - sans the name Popeyes. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

At Venchi Tahlia

For a photo junkie like me, the very mundane things of life sometimes can launch a story - I mean, even this ordinarily forgettable drive to some familiar place. We did not plan to take a peek much less take a tour of this newly-opened chocolate store when we dropped our friend Mark to his work. We could have chosen to leave after dropping Mark but it would always be another story if opportunity for pictorials beckons - I mean, that red carpet leading to the entrance and the freestanding backdrop where guests pose for camera. Next would be the spontaneous thing to do: pose like there's no tomorrow (while the lack of spectators tilts on our favor - and who ventures by the way under the sun at little past midday?). Sensing we have done enough to save ourselves from embarrassment, we proceeded inside and promptly given a tour by Mark albeit quietly (we could hear his boss talking upstairs), and thankfully one Filipino staff offered us chocolate ice cream while we're busying up clicking at almost every corner. Here are the evidences (obviously picked from a bevy of unphotogenic ones :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My 7th No Smoking Anniversary

I forgot that last 18th of January was my 7th no smoking anniversary. I'm so thankful to the Lord Jesus Christ that because of His grace I've been set free from my smoking addiction. In 2008, three years prior to accepting Him into my life (in 2011) as my Lord and Saviour, He has already blessed me with so much. He has been preparing me all along to be His adopted child. Thank you Lord Jesus. Hallelujah!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

My Improvised Tambourine

It took me a long time searching for a tambourine here, but to no avail. I was supposed to buy one in the Philippines, and I did, but unfortunately didn't bring it with me when I returned here from vacation because my luggage can only hold so much and that there was not enough space. 

And since I can't find one, the Lord gave me an idea, which was to make an improvised tambourine. I was supposed to use soda crowns - just like the ones we as children in the Philippines used to make way back in the 80's during the Christmas seasons for our carolings. But because I really wanted to make it right away, and it so happened I found something that I can use as an alternative for soda crowns which was the aluminum that holds the actual candles of the tea candle lights, I went ahead with it. I burned lots of them all at the same time. And I also used a plastic food container for the body of the tambourine which will hold the flattened aluminum circles later. 

The first thing I did was to cut the sides of the plastic container using a box cutter, big enough for the aluminums to fit in, but leaving a thin strip of plastic in the center, where the aluminum circles will be placed. Then I used a long-nose pliers to flatten some of the aluminums into thin circles and punched a hole in the middle. Then I assembled them, making sure to equalize the distribution of the aluminums, putting one unflattened aluminum with three flattened ones. And voila! My improvised tambourine is ready for our praise and worship!

Let them praise His name in the dance: let them sing praises to Him with the tambourine and harp. ~ Psalm 149:3 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

In My Opinion: The Charlie Hebdo Massacre

The deadly attack at the office of the satirical tabloid 'Charlie Hebdo' in Paris that left 12 people dead, including 2 police officers was beyond appalling. This reminds me of the cafe siege in Sydney last month and the gruesome massacre of Jewish worshippers in a synagogue in Jerusalem last November in which Muslim extremists were also the perpetrators. It was said that the Charlie Hebdo attack was due to the magazine's continued publication of blasphemous cartoons depicting their prophet and their religion. 

Just like any freedom-loving individual, I believe in the freedom of speech. But too much unbridled exercise of it may not at all times advantageous. Sometimes others go the extra length but fail to anticipate repercussions that more often than not, do not end up well. It is common knowledge that Charlie Hebdo didn't only target Islam and their prophet, for Christianity also has its fair share of blasphemous cartoon depictions from the tabloid. When I was searching on the web for some photos that I was gonna use for this blog post, it hurt me so much to see all these blasphemous cartoons that Charlie Hebdo did on Jesus -  most of which will make you cry - not because Jesus is being perennially portrayed in such a despicable manner - but because of their hatred for my Lord and Savior. I'm against it, I think it's horrible - and I will most likely not going to patronize their tabloid (if I were a French and Christian that is), but I will never hurt anyone - let alone stain my hands with the blood of the 'enemy' in order to avenge my Jesus who Himself taught me to love my enemy. I will never do it, not just because it's against the law of the land (to murder), but as a Christian, simply to hate a brethren is equated by Jesus to murder (1 John 3:15).

But I say to you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which spitefully use you. And to him that smites you on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that takes away your cloak forbid not to take your coat also. Give to every man that asks of you; and of him that takes away your goods ask them not again. - Matthew 6:27-31

My God is Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth, the Alpha and the Omega, the King of kings and Lord of lords - there's nothing that He cannot do and He can very well defend Himself, and smite those who hate Him if He pleases. As His follower, He doesn't require me to kill His enemies in His behalf, let alone murder innocent people. What He requires of me is to be at peace with everyone, to have clean hands and a pure heart - free from hatred and all kinds of filthiness, because my God sees my heart and He judges by it. My God is also a loving, kind, compassionate and patient God who wants all to come to repentance so that everyone will be saved.  And that's why He gave His only begotten Son Jesus, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

What happened in Paris was not an issue of  freedom of speech that crossed a line, hence the deadly repercussion as many would like to believe. With so many unimaginable evil things that are taking place today, there's only one certainty in this: that the demonic powers are into a rampage seeking to wreak havoc in the lives of as many people as possible - and it's gonna become worse by the day. Hatred for fellow human beings will abound, selfish ambitions will thrive, people will be lovers of money, and will lack compassion for one another - and this is what the world has set to be the norms. But despite all these, there is one good news: in Isaiah 54:17 says that those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ will have protection from the works of the enemy for it is being promised to them that;"No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord."

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:18

Related Stories: 'No One Murdered Because of This Image' Onion article takes on grim new relevance following Charlie Hebdo attack - The Independent, French Atheist Editor Murdered by Muslims Also Often Printed Vile Mockeries of Christ - Christian News

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

My Daily Salty

Starting new year's eve last week, I decided to do a short daily journal, a micro diary so to speak, of my 5 most important and significant activities of the day, and I call it "My Daily Salty". I use the word Salty because as a Christian, I want to always remind myself as 'SALT in the earth' and that I have to strive (daily) to keep my saltiness, just as what the Lord Jesus says,

You are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his flavor, 
with which shall it be salted? it is thereafter good for nothing, 
but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. -  Matthew 5:13

The only reason I'm doing this is for me to easily remember my daily activities for that specific day, especially now that I'm growing older, and my memory is not the same as when I was in my twenties. And I'm not doing this to cherish memories and hold on to it - and cry on it during my nostalgic moments - definitely not that kind of diary.  The Apostle Paul says,

Brothers, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, 
forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are before,
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
 -  Philippians 3: 13-14

Monday, December 1, 2014

Bolt & Ken Lee (Home Video)

A video of Bolt and Ken Lee just a few hours ago while I was petting them.  God bless you all!

Monday, November 17, 2014

November Rain

It rained cats and dogs yesterday here in Jeddah, the first ever rain of the year. Everybody get so excited every time it rains here. You will see most of their videos and photos in social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Here's mine from Instagram.

And here is the full video I uploaded from You Tube.