Bakery Fair 2013

A few days ago, my officemate asked me if I wanted to have one of her extra free tickets to this year’s Bakery Fair at the World Trade Center. I immediately said “Wow! Yes! Sure!” and thanked her for her generosity.

Because I had work during the first two days of the Fair, I was only able to go during its last day (two days ago).

 

But, nonetheless, IT WAS AWESOME!

 

The place was filled with various booths and products. People were selling ready-made baked goods, ingredients, appliances, and equipments used for baking.

 

Also, in some areas of the hall, different chefs and cooks were demonstrating how to prepare certain dishes, tricks in making desserts, and other techniques and items useful in the kitchen.

 

It was very inspiring to see hardworking and determined entrepreneurs and chefs sell their products and share their ideas and techniques.

Moreover, the organizers came up with baking contests during the fair and showcased the winning items in the middle of the hall. I loved the display!

My two favorite cakes are the ff:

1. Cake with masks (which won first place); and

2. Cake with ‘floral icing’

After two hours of going around the hall, it was time for me to leave the place. But of course, before I left, I bought some baking treats and materials for myself too! Hehehe.

While I was on my way to the car, I thanked God for the interesting (and free) tour that I had at the Bakery Fair. Indeed, it was a wonderful treat! It made me appreciate things like: the art and science of baking, entrepreneurs, innovations & failures, competition in the marketplace, raw ingredients, and of course, unique dishes and recipes. :)

But, one of the things that I appreciate the most that day was God’s encouragement for me to keep on practicing, learning, and improving in the kitchen by His grace. The participants in the fair were really skilled and knowledgeable in their profession and it inspired me to nurture my passion for food and culinary.

Baking, cooking, and making food certainly are some of the things that I can see myself doing for a long time. If God would be honored and if he would want me to excel in these more, I know that He will allow me to grow in His perfect time and through His ways. :)

Its says in Isaiah 41:10: ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

 

I hope that this verse will also encourage you to grow where God has placed you right now. — to grow in character, wisdom, knowledge, and skill for His glory. Even if we make mistakes every now and then, even if we sometimes feel that we “lack the resources”, and even if we get discouraged by others around us, I hope that we will still seek His strength as we do our best for Him.

Thank You, Lord, for this year’s Bakery Fair. :)

 

Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)

THURSDAY TUNE #12: Grateful by Julianne

A few hours ago, it started to drizzle when I stepped out of the office. But, despite the inconvenience, I found myself smiling while I was walking under the light rain. I was smiling because I had just experienced God’s faithfulness in one of my tasks at work today. He graciously allowed me to finish one task that I was struggling with for the past days. And I guess, because of this, the hassle of walking under the rain didn’t bother me at all. :)

While I was on my way home, I remembered a few lines from a song which says: “I don’t even mind walking under the rain… And I’m grateful. You showed me the way back to my beautiful. I’m grateful.”

with Julianne Tarroja

I realized that it was Julianne Tarroja’s song, “Grateful”! I then sang the song in my head and realized that it was actually a very timely reminder for me because throughout the past few days, God has been encouraging me to trust in Him and thank Him even if I was experiencing stress and struggles at work.

This song has also strengthened my heart and helped me to dwell more on the things that I can thank God for (e.g. lessons learned during my experience, character development, humility, good results, etc.) than on my complaints and negative thoughts.

In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thess. 5:18

So, for this Thursday’s tune, I would like to share with you “Grateful” by Julianne and I hope that you would also be encouraged. :)

 

I’m stronger than before
Stronger than I’ll ever be
And I raise my eyes to the One
The One who made me see
All what I thought was lost
But now is found
And I’m gratefulGrateful for the day
You called my name
Ever since You walked into the door
It’s never been the same
Mornings are brighter now
I’m not afraid
And I wake up each day
With a smile on my face

Coz I’ve been in places
Where I couldn’t even see
The light of day
And then You came

I’m grateful
You showed me the way back to my beautiful

Everything seems different now
Things are turned inside out
With a new pair of senses to go with around
It doesn’t even matter
If I’m up or down

Blues are bluer
Smiles are brighter
It draws a tear whenever
I watch the sunsets paint the sky
I don’t even mind walking under the rain
I never laughed like this before
And I’m gonna say it once more

Encourage yourself one tune at a time. :)

Cake Fail to Cake Pops

One of the things that I thank God for is our oven at home. Since 2005, we’ve been able to use it for desserts and meals and learn more about the processes of baking through it. However, since the oven is already deteriorating, it is inevitable for me to experience hassles and inconveniences whenever I use it.

Just last week, while I was experimenting with cakes, I got so frustrated with the oven that I started to complain and get discouraged. But, God used that moment to remind me of His grace and encouraged me to bake again.

The problem that I experienced with the oven was that it wouldn’t evenly circulate the heat. As a result, the outer part of the cake would be baked, but the inner (middle) part would still be raw/slightly raw. I even tried it with two recipes, but it still produced the same consistency.  So, I decided to call it a night.

Since I didn’t want to waste the ingredients, I kept the baked cake parts in an airtight container and baked the slightly raw parts in the oven more (which I eventually kept as well).

The next day, I was asking God about my next action steps for the “reject cake layers” that I kept. I knew that I couldn’t make a cake out of it because the layers were already a mess. I was even tempted to just throw them away and start again. But, God had a better idea. He encouraged me to make Cake Pops instead. :)

 

When I already had the time, I gathered the ingredients and made one cake pop at a time. It was interesting because after making a few Cake Pops, I began to appreciate their beauty and ‘awesomeness’. I told God: “Whoa, Lord. They were messed up cake layers a few minutes ago and now, they are lovely little treats! You are amazing.” :)

I then remembered a few lines from one of my favorite songs, “All the Broken Pieces” by Matthew West:

“I can take even your greatest mistake, every scar, every tear, every break. I can turn it into something more beautiful than you have ever seen. So, lift them up to Me.”

In the same way, I was reminded of how God continues to graciously love us and think about us in spite of our broken hearts, messed up attitudes, weaknesses, and sins. At that moment, God showed me that He had a purpose for our deteriorating oven. He wanted me to experience baking messed up cakes and turning them into Cake Pops to remind me of the love, grace, second chance, and hope that we have in Him.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7

It was encouraging because even though I wanted to throw the messed up cake layers when I got frustrated with them, God showed me that He can still make beautiful things out of them. And this reminded me to trust that God can also use the broken pieces in our lives, our past, and our struggles to make beautiful things for our good and for His glory.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:13

 

So, just in case you make a cake and it fails… Don’t get discouraged. MAKE CAKE POPS instead! :D

Hehehe.

Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)