Nutella S’more Waffles

Every November 19, our family celebrates our fire anniversary. We have this special occasion because eleven years ago, our whole house burned down at 1:30 in the morning. But, by God’s grace, He saved us from the fire and allowed our family and helper to get out of the house just in time. You can read more about the experience HERE.

s'more waffles
s’more waffles

Whenever we celebrate our “fireniversary”, we usually eat out at a restaurant with grilled food (since it reminds us of the fire) or we sometimes have a special meal together at home and remember God’s faithfulness. However, last Thursday (Nov. 19), we couldn’t meet up and have dinner as a family since we had prior commitments that we couldn’t postpone. We also tried to have breakfast or dinner together last Saturday, but some of us needed to attend other important activities too.

waffles cooking in the Krups waffle machine
waffles cooking in the Krups waffle machine
s'more waffles
s’more waffles

Hopefully, within the week, our plan to have dinner as a family will push through. (Hello, family! If you’re reading this, you know what to do. Haha!) In the meantime, I’ll be sharing one of my favorite snacks when we were still living at our old house in Kapitolyo. The lovely, gooey, and yummy S’MORES! But, this time, I made a little twist. Instead of using whole graham crackers as the base, I added crushed graham crackers to my waffle recipe and used the waffles to complement the toasted marshmallows and nutella spread. I hope you can try this one soon! It’s really a simple snack that can be prepared in 20 minutes or less. Enjoy!

Special thanks to my Dad and Mom for lending a helping hand (literally. hehehe.)

crushed graham crackers
crushed graham crackers
Nutella
Nutella

IMG_1907

 

NUTELLA S’MORE WAFFLES

Recipe makes 10 square waffles

 

Dry Ingredients:

2 cups of all-purpose flour

4 tsps. of baking powder

½ tsp. of salt

½ tsp. of cinnamon powder

1 tbsp. of white sugar

1/3 cup of crushed graham crackers

 

Wet Ingredients:

½ tsp of vanilla extract

1 ½ cups of whole milk

2 eggs

½ cup of vegetable oil

 

S’more ingredients:

Nutella (or other chocolate spread)

Big, white marshmallows (4-5 marshmallows per pair of waffles)

 

Steps:

  1. Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl.
  2. Whisk the wet ingredients in another bowl.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine well.
  4. Cook the batter in the waffle machine.
  5. Once the waffles are done, you can spread the nutella chocolate on each piece and top them with toasted marshmallows.
  6. In case your waffles cool completely, you can heat them up in the toaster for 3 minutes. Make sure to spread the chocolate on the waffles and add the marshmallows before toasting them.

Note: Waffles can be stored in a sealed container in the freezer for a week. When ready to eat, you can bring them out from the freezer, store at room temperature for 5 minutes, and toast for 3-5 minutes.

IMG_1923

IMG_1933

s'more waffles
s’more waffles
s'more waffles
s’more waffles
s'more waffles
s’more waffles
s'more waffles
s’more waffles
nutella
nutella
s'more waffles
s’more waffles
s'more waffles
s’more waffles
s'more waffles
s’more waffles
s'more waffles
s’more waffles
s'more waffles
s’more waffles
s'more waffles
s’more waffles
s'more waffles
s’more waffles

IMG_1937

Overripe Bananas to Banana Nut Muffins

My eldest sister and I had a quick chat about muffins the other day. She mentioned that she liked cupcakes with frosting more than muffins and I told her that I wasn’t a muffin person as well. But despite my lack of passion for muffins, I still find myself being intrigued by the muffin method and the countless sweet and savory muffins I could possibly make and tweak! So, when we had quite a handful of overripe bananas last Sunday, I immediately thought of experimenting on a new Banana muffin recipe.

Banana Muffins
Banana Muffins

The recipe I used produced 15 regular-sized muffins. They didn’t taste bad, but they weren’t the best ones as well. The muffins had the right amount of sweetness and banana flavor, but I prefer them to be more fluffy, light, and moist. Generally speaking, they were “just okay” muffins and because of this, I was a bit disappointed.

Banana Muffin Batter
Banana Muffin Batter

IMG_6542 - Copy

Later that evening, we invited some of our relatives to our house to celebrate my eldest sister’s birthday. While my parents, uncle, and aunt were having their coffee after the dinner, my older sister suggested that we serve the muffins I baked that morning. At first, I hesitated to bring them out because they weren’t the best muffins I’ve had, but eventually, I agreed and hoped that somehow it wouldn’t be THAT bad. Haha.

IMG_6557 - Copy

Banana Muffins
Banana Muffins

As soon as my aunt (Tita Marie) ate one of the muffins, she went to me and gave a comment on the moistness of the muffin. She asked about the ingredients I used and then she said: “I know how to make it more moist and I can teach you.” My eyes lit up and I smiled as I continued to listen to her tips and suggestions. It was a humbling moment for me because I was very much aware of my weaknesses, but at the same time, I was privileged to have a tita (aunt) who naturally cooks and bakes delicious food and who was graciously willing to share her secret tips and recipes to me.

Banana Muffin
Banana Muffin
Banana Muffins
Banana Muffins

 

While she passionately shared some of the experiences she had in the kitchen, she mentioned something that I will never forget. She told me that she was able to read some of my blog posts before which gave her an idea to mentor me in the kitchen someday. She had an idea of teaching and helping me improve in my skills and knowledge when it comes to cooking and baking because she saw how much interested and passionate I was in these things. My tita and I don’t get to regularly talk and see each other, so these words from her were very heartwarming.

Banana Muffins
Banana Muffins
Banana Muffin
Banana Muffin

After the dinner party, I remember lying down on my bed with a heart that was pumped with excitement because my passion for cooking, baking, and food was revived. I felt like a plant being watered on a hot sunny day. It was very, very refreshing. Before I slept that night, I thanked God for what happened. Despite the discouragement I previously had with the “just okay” Banana muffins earlier that day, He reminded me to continue dreaming big, doing my best, and having hope in Him when it comes to the passions He has blessed me with.

Banana Muffins
Banana Muffins

IMG_6604 - Copy

Ptr. Peter Tan-Chi once said “When you look at people, don’t look at them where they are today, but look at how they can become through Christ in the future.”

I remembered this quote that night because I saw how my aunt didn’t give up on me or on my passion for food and culinary. Even though I wasn’t able to bake the best, moist muffins in the world that evening, she still saw the potential in me and she helped me see it too. If my aunt was able to express her desire to mentor and help me improve after seeing my weakness, I know that God (who loves me in spite of every speck of flaw, sin, struggle, and limitation in me, and knows the past, present, and future) is so much more able to work in and through me and my passions for His glory.

Banana Muffins
Banana Muffins

 For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” [Philippians 2:13]

IMG_6649 - Copy

The day before I baked the Banana muffins, I posted a photo of the overripe bananas in the kitchen with a caption: “I can already imagine freshly baked banana muffins. Hahaha. Maybe I should bake today. ‪#‎baking ‪#‎overripe ‪#‎bananaEven if the overripe bananas didn’t look like they were the best bananas, I still saw the possibility of making muffins by using them. In the same way, by God’s grace, I pray that I will learn to look at myself and at the people around me through the eyes of Christ – to look at how we can become through Christ in the future.

IMG_6574 - Copy

Capture - Copy

Overripe bananas
Overripe bananas

 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.” [Ephesians 3:20-21]

IMG_6681 - Copy
Banana Muffins

Banana Nut Muffins

Recipe Adapted from Cooking Light:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup cake flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas

1/3 cup plain sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup of diced nuts

*Bake at 350 degrees.

 

Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)

Simple Sunday Snack: Puff Pastry

I recently watched a video of Gordon Ramsay and a baker in Paris making freshly baked croissants. It caught my attention because the video showed the basic steps of making the delicious, flaky, buttery bread from scratch. The baker used a machine to fold and knead the water-based dough with a huge block of butter since he was making bulk orders for his store. After folding the dough seven times, they prepared it for baking.

IMG_4512 - Copy

As I watched them roll out, cut, assemble, and bake the dough, I couldn’t help but crave for croissants and other puff pastries. I then remembered a shop (Sweet Craft) that offers really good, pre-made puff pastry dough. So, during the recent long weekend, I invited my siblings to join me in buying and baking the dough. We spent two hours assembling, decorating, and baking the puff pastries. It was really fun! We also experimented with different kinds of shapes and used some of my favorite fruits, chocolate, cream cheese, and nuts as the filling/topping.

IMG_4434 - Copy

IMG_4437 - Copy

Using the pre-made puff pastry dough helped me appreciate the art of baking more because it reminded me of the hearts and skills of the professional bakers out there. In order to make really good puff pastry dough from scratch, the baker needs to make sure that he/she uses the right amount of ingredients and measure them down to the last gram of flour or butter or teaspoon of water. Also, the baker needs to carefully discern how many times he/she would fold and knead the dough without letting it get tough. These are just some of the crucial aspects in baking and it’s just amazing how bakers can create such interesting and beautiful things.

IMG_4446 - Copy

IMG_4454 - Copy

IMG_4444 - Copy

Indeed, it really was a wonderful experience for me and my siblings to bake pastries that night. I loved the fact that I was able to do something that I love (baking) and enjoy it with my family. Also, I enjoyed seeing the puff pastry dough transform into delicious, crisp, golden brown, flaky, and buttery treats! They were beautiful. They were exactly how I imagined them to be!

IMG_4474 - Copy

IMG_4482 - Copy

The day after we baked the pastries, my older sister and I decided to give some of them to our family friends who were visiting the country for a few days. My sister packed a couple of pastries and informed me early in the morning that she would pass by their place to give them the treats. Before she left, God somehow urged me to give our friends fresh strawberries too because we had extra strawberries from our baking session the night before. So, I asked my sister to add three strawberries to the container too.

IMG_4497 - Copy

IMG_4520 - Copy

A few hours later, I got a message from my sister and it showed a photo of our friend, Ate Riz, and her daughter, Cami, holding the pastries and strawberries. I remember feeling delighted and shocked at the same time because my sister shared to me that ate Riz and Cami randomly prayed for strawberries that morning. It was really amazing to see God’s grace and provision in that simple moment with our family friends. When I woke up that day and asked my sister to add strawberries to the container, I didn’t know that Ate Riz and Cami were already praying for some.

IMG_5015

IMG_4503 - Copy

It reminded me of how sovereign our God is and it encouraged me to continue listening to His voice and obeying Him even in the smallest things. He can use even the simplest moments and acts of obedience in our lives to bless others and ourselves. Thank You, Lord, for allowing us to experience You in moments like these. :)

“Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.” -Deuteronomy 5:33

IMG_4516 - Copy

IMG_4525 - Copy

 

Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)

Saturday with Maurie

“Today was a fun day! Thank you again.” :)

I heard my nephew say these words after we said our goodbyes last Saturday night. My siblings and I spent the whole day with him at home and joined the rest of our relatives for dinner outside. It was heartwarming to hear him appreciate our time together that day.

Bacon, scrambled egg, and homemade waffles.
Bacon, scrambled eggs, and homemade waffles.

I usually rest at home or meet up with friends at church every Saturday. But, last Friday night, our nephew, Maurie, asked if he could spend time with us and our dogs at home the next day. Without any hesitation, we said “Sure!” and my older sister picked him up the next morning.

10660247_10152515637079565_5911391391898692964_n

My sister and Maurie
My sister and Maurie

We spent the rest of the day cooking our breakfast, playing Kinect (Sports and Just Dance), sharing music, playing video games, walking the dogs, playing with our neighbors’ dogs, and relaxing in our living room with popcorn. Oh, and after lunch, Maurie helped my brother and sister buy groceries at the supermarket.

Maurie picked fresh basil leaves from the veranda.
Maurie picked fresh basil leaves from the veranda.
DSC00624 - Copy
My sister and Maurie’s chopped basil leaves

One of the things that I thank God for that day was our nephew’s initiative to spend time together. It was humbling for me, because honestly, I feel more rested and filled when I’m by myself, having my quiet time in my own little corner, and just appreciating the beauty of solitude. But, I’m learning to be faithful in obeying God when it comes to being intentional with others, even if sometimes, it may take me out of my comfort zone.

Maurie whisking the waffle batter.
Maurie whisking the waffle batter.
DSC00645 - Copy
Krups Waffle Maker

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. [Hebrews 10:24-25]

My brother and Maurie
My brother and Maurie

Maurie sincerely asked if he could spend time with us and I’m glad that he did. God used that day to allow us to get to know our nephew even more and have special moments with him. It was our first time to cook and dance together! It was fun and funny! Haha. I pray that I will grow more in this aspect – in being more intentional in spending time with God, my family, and friends.

DSC00629 - Copy

DSC00655 - Copy

Maurie, if ever you’re reading this, I just want to say that I really appreciate the time that we had last weekend and that I’m looking forward to bonding with you and my siblings soon! God bless your heart! See you around. :)

DSC00670 - Copy

DSC00683 - Copy

 

INGREDIENTS

SCRAMBLED EGGS
5 eggs
1/2 cup of fresh milk
salt and pepper
1-2 tbsp. of cooking oil
3 tomatoes (diced)
half of an onion
10 basil leaves (chopped)
6-7 whole small mushrooms (sliced)
1/2 cup of grated cheese
slices of mozzarella cheese (optional)

1. Saute onion and mushrooms with oil in a pan. Add diced tomatoes.
2. Scramble eggs in a bowl, basil leaves, grated cheese, and milk. Mix carefully.
3. Add egg mixture in the pan with the sauteed onion, mushroom, and tomatoes.
4. Mix until the eggs are cooked. Make sure not to overcook the eggs, so that they won’t get tough/dry.
5. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the cooked eggs and add grated mozzarella cheese while the eggs are still hot.

WAFFLES
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 1/2 cups of fresh milk
1 tsp. of cinnamon powder
1 tsp. of salt
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
2 eggs

Encourage yourself one treat at a time.