New seasons

This week marks the first week of my new job at Fresh Creative, a Canberra design studio that specialises in total communications solutions for print, marketing, digital, and signage across the ACT.

In the one week I’ve been working for Fresh Creative, I feel like I’ve been more productive than I’ve been in weeks. The people I work with are absolutely lovely, and we’re churning out quality work day in and day out.

As Little Orphan Annie sang, “I think I’m gonna like it here.” And she and I aren’t orphans anymore. Cheers to that!

Jess Glynne, “All I Am”

Jess Glynne has released her new single, “All I Am,” and this is definitely going to be one of my top three bops for 2018! She did a phenomenal job with “Hold My Hand,” and her new single is so much fun!

What makes Glynne so much joy to listen to is not just the quality of her voice, which is arguably the strongest female voice out of Britain since Jessie J. What makes Glynne a force to reckon with is her uncanny ability to make great pop songs with accessible lyrics and fun hooks. While the previous single, “I’ll Be There,” made Glynne the first British female solo artist to have seven number-one singles in the UK, I think “All I Am” deserves to be her eighth.

Continue reading “Jess Glynne, “All I Am””

Introducing the “Arrive in Five” Podcast

Friends, I’m so excited to announce the first episode of my new five-minute podcast, Arrive in Five, is live on Spotify and Anchor, and will be live on Apple soon!

Arrive In Five is a short but useful podcast designed to inspire and encourage people; the goal is to “bring you to a better place in five minutes.” The debut episode offers five tips on adjusting to new beginnings.

Please do support this project by listening to the podcast and, if you like it, sharing it on your networks or leaving a good rating; if you didn’t, I’m always open to suggestions on how to improve the podcast. Thank you for your support!

Asian Chicken Stir-fry with Snow Peas

Last night, I wanted to put together a dish that had vegetables in it since I had a lot of veggies–including snow peas that I got at Coles for less than two dollars–and didn’t want them to go to waste.

So I decided to put together an Asian-inspired stir-fry with chicken as the star and colorful ingredients in phenomenal supporting roles. The end result was quite delicious.

Ingredients

  • Half a kilo of cubed chicken breast
  • Three tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • One cup of organic chicken stock
  • Four tablespoons soy sauce
  • Two tablespoons cornflour
  • Four tablespoons of minced garlic
  • One cup chopped fresh mushrooms
  • Two cups snow peas
  • Half a cup of broccoli florets
  • One red capsicum, chopped julien
  • One tablespoon sesame oil
  1. In a measuring cup, combine the chicken stock, soy sauce, and cornflour.
  2. In a large saucepan, sauté the chicken and garlic until the chicken is cooked. Add mushrooms, broccoli, capsicum, and chicken stock mixture. Cook until chicken is cooked through.
  3. Add snow peas, cover the saucepan, and cook about five minutes. Add the sesame oil and stir about a minute, transfer to a large serving bowl, and serve.

Sizzling Tofu

My wife and I were able to secure a nice block of extra firm tofu last week, and we were excited to come up with something different that didn’t involve pasta or rice.

Then, boom! It hit us! Let’s do sizzling tofu!

In Manila, restaurants like Max’s Fried Chicken serve up in a sizzling hot plate some fried tofu that they mix with a flavored mayonnaise. It’s flavorful and delicious–not the healthiest way of preparing tofu, thanks to that mayo–and our kids enjoyed it. So here’s what we did!

Ingredients

  • A big block of extra firm tofu, cut into cubes
  • Chopped red and green bell capsicums
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Cooking oil
Sauce
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise (pure egg, none of that soy mayo, ayt?)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
Instructions
  1. Combine the sauce ingredients and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Deep fry the cubed tofu until lightly browned. Remove from the saucepan and place on paper towels.
  3. In a separate, equally large saucepan, over medium heat, sauté the capsicums and onion in two tablespoons of butter. Add the fried tofu and fry about two to three minutes.
  4. Pour the sauce into the saucepan. Stir and continue to cook, about two minutes. .
  5. Transfer onto large serving plate and serve immediately.

Elevation Worship, “Won’t Stop Now”

Elevation Worship has released its new single, “Won’t Stop Now,” fresh on the heels of the band’s current Top 10 single, “Do It Again,” currently No.6 on Billboard’s Top Christian Songs chart.

The carrier single off the upcoming album “Hallelujah Here Below” was recorded live at Elevation Church’s Ballantyne location in March 2018. Written by band member Chris Brown with Elevation senior pastor Steven Furtick, “Won’t Stop Now is chockfull of the kind of faith-driven singalong power lines that have come to characterise music from Elevation Worship, including “the best is yet to come,” “now I’m ready for whatever You want to do,” and that powerful bridge, “I know breakthrough is coming, by faith I see a miracle, my God made me a promise and it won’t stop now.”

Further selling “Won’t Stop Now” is song leader Jonsal Barrientes’s beautiful baritone, which makes the song virtually irresistible. Barrientes infuses the melody with an urgency that, if combined with the kind of quality material that Bethel Music empowered Cory Asbury with, should propel the worship singer to the kind of name recognition that accompanies peers like Elevation’s own Wade Joye or United’s Taya Smith.

WON’T STOP NOW Lyrics
Elevation Worship

I give You glory
For all You’ve brought me through
And now I’m ready
For whatever You want to do

I’m moving forward
To follow after You
And now I’m ready
For whatever You want to do

Your presence is an open door
We want You, Lord
Like never before
Your presence is an open door
So come now, Lord
Like never before

In every season
Your grace has been enough
And I’m believing
The best is yet to come

The cross before me
My hope on things above
And in You, Jesus
The best is yet to come

Your presence is an open door
We want You, Lord
Like never before
Your presence is an open door
So come now, Lord
Like never before

I know breakthrough is coming
By faith I see a miracle
My God made me a promise
And it won’t stop now
I know breakthrough is coming
By faith I see a miracle
My God made me a promise
And it won’t stop now
I know breakthrough is coming
By faith I see a miracle
My God made me a promise
And it won’t stop now
I know breakthrough is coming
By faith I see a miracle
My God made me a promise
And it won’t stop now

Your presence is an open door
We want You, Lord
Like never before
Your presence is an open door
So come now, Lord
Like never before

I know breakthrough is coming
By faith I see a miracle
My God made me a promise
And it won’t stop now
I know breakthrough is coming
By faith I see a miracle
My God made me a promise
And it won’t stop now
I know breakthrough is coming
By faith I see a miracle
My God made me a promise
And it won’t stop now
I know breakthrough is coming
By faith I see a miracle
My God made me a promise
And it won’t stop now

Garlic butter pork steak with potatoes

A few days ago, I realized that I had some potatoes that weren’t moving. They’d been there a few days, and I hadn’t done anything with it.

So I looked in the freezer, found some pork steak, and put together a quick and easy fry that made this dish a home run with my kiddos! Check out this fast recipe for garlic pork steak with potatoes.

Ingredients

  • Half a kilo of pork steak, cut into strips
  • Around a quarter kilo of potatoes, quartered
  • One tablespoon olive oil
  • Three tablespoons butter, divided
  • Five garlic cloves, minced
  • Fresh or dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A third cup soy sauce, one tablespoon olive oil, and a few dashes of Frank’s Red Hot for the pork marinade.

1. In a large bowl, combine the pork steak strips with a marinade of soy sauce, olive oil, and hot sauce. Leave for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, boil your potato quarters for about ten minutes.

3. Set a large pan to medium-high heat. Combine one tablespoon olive oil with a tablespoon of butter. Drop the potatoes in and cook until golden. Remove from pan.

4. Put two tablespoons of butter back in the same pan, and add the pork. Cook on both sides until lightly brown, then add the potatoes and remaining marinade. Cook until done, remove from heat, and serve immediately.

Beer-battered Barramundi Soft Tacos with Asparagus Fries

Over the weekend, we got ourselves some beautiful barramundi fillets from Woolworth’s. Normally, I’d make them with lemon-butter sauce, but this time around, my wife was feeling adventurous, so she decided to do fish tacos.

She went with a beer batter using potato starch. Loved that idea, because it gave the fish extra crunch. Add to that the salsa and salad greens, and some crunchy asparagus spears, and we had ourselves a partay! Also a nontraditional addition: kaffir-lime dressing!

Ingredients

Eight barramundi fillets
One bottle Hahn Premium light beer
1 cup potato starch
1 egg
1 cup vegetable oil
1 bunch asparagus stalks
Eight small soft tacos/tortilla wraps
Salad greens
Tomato salsa
Garlic aioli
One pack of Five Tastes Lemongrass & Kaffir Lime
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the vegetable oil for frying over medium heat.
    In a bowl, combine the potato starch and the egg. Once mixed, slowly combine with the beer to form a batter.
  2. Dip the barramundi fillets into the batter, then deep fry until golden brown. Lay on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
  3. Once all fillets are cooked, dip the asparagus shoots into the batter, then deep fry until golden brown.
  4. On a plate, assemble your taco to taste. I started with a layer of garlic aioli, then salad greens, the fish, tomato salsa, then the lime dressing. Roll the taco and enjoy!