A Lady’s Pride and her Lady Fingers

In our baking class today, the head chef taught us how to make lady fingers (a.k.a. Broas) from scratch. He emphasized the importance of piping the batter close to each other to produce more pieces of broas on the tray. When it was my turn to practice piping, one of my classmates shouted “Nic! That’s too close. You have to make larger gaps between them!” I then replied, “But, chef asked us to pipe them close to each other.”

And so, I continued to pipe.

pride-and-lady-fingers-1

After doing my part, we moved on to the other steps and recipes for the other kinds of cream cakes we made. However, somehow, my heart felt very heavy. Without a doubt, I saw the pride in me as I still lingered on self-centered thoughts like “I know what I’m doing. I’m just following the chef’s instruction. I don’t need to listen to my classmate’s comments.” But, who was I kidding, right?

pride-and-lady-fingers-3

Instantly, I felt a huge thug on my heart as I realized how proud I was. I went to class to learn, NOT to compete or compare myself to others. Without the grace of God and the guidance of our head chef and fellow classmates, I wouldn’t be able to work and bake efficiently and correctly. Everything that I have and everything that I am able to do is only because of the grace of God. Not even 0.1% of the glory should be given to me. I whispered a prayer to God as our instructor’s voice faded in the background. I asked for forgiveness. I asked God to renew my heart and remove every hint of pride in me.

pride-and-lady-fingers-5

pride-and-lady-fingers-6

After I prayed, while the rest of the class was listening to the head chef, I caught a glimpse of the freshly baked lady fingers that we just made. Guess what? The ones that I piped did stick to each other! They were too close! Unfortunately, they were included in the batch of “damaged lady fingers”. Thankfully, though, they were still used inside the layers of our Tiramisu cakes. Sigh. Ahhhh! It was such a humbling moment for me to see the result of my pride.

pride-and-lady-fingers-4

pride-and-lady-fingers-10

By the time the class finished decorating the cakes, our head chef suggested to take a group photo with the finished products. But, before he asked us to pose, he quickly shouted “Okay! We have to clean up first!” It was interesting, really. Since my first day in our Pastry Arts course, I noticed how the senior and junior chefs quickly cleaned the used utensils, tissue paper, bowls in the area while the head chef cooked and baked. There was never a time in the kitchen when the head chef prepared the baked goods in the middle of a messy table or workstation.

pride-and-lady-fingers-8

When the junior and senior chefs were busy with other tasks, the head chef even initiated on cleaning his workstation. While he was waiting for the egg yolk and sugar mixture to boil, he wiped the table near it to remove crumbs or cocoa powder on it. He made sure to clean as he cooked and baked. What a humbling sight and reminder for me. Even the head chef knows how to model humility and cleanliness in the kitchen. I should definitely learn to do the same as well.

pride-and-lady-fingers-7

It says in Philippians 2:3-4: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

Simple Sunday Snack: Bacon-Wrapped Potato Bites

Bacon, potatoes, and cream. It’s as easy as one, two, three!

IMG_0750

I finally made time for The Kitchn (without an “e”), a cookbook given to me by one of my colleagues for my birthday last year. As I was browsing through its recipes last night, I found a delicious choice for today’s simple snack. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you: the crisp bacon-wrapped potato bites! It’s very easy to prepare and it’s tasty too. In the original recipe, the author used sour cream and hot sauce to complement the potatoes. But, I didn’t have hot sauce with me. So, I used a few stalks of spring onion instead.

IMG_0694

If you want to give it a try, feel free to go through the photos and instructions below. I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I did! Here’s to more bacon-wrapped treats in the future!

IMG_0702

IMG_0767

Bacon-Wrapped Potato Bites with Sour Cream Dip

Inspired by Faith Durand’s The Kitchn cookbook

Ingredients:

  • 20 Marble potatoes (or 2 large potatoes cut into large cubes)
  • 1 teaspoon of Fresh or Dried Rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 10 long slices of bacon (cut them in half, crosswise)
  • ½ cup of plain sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped spring onion

Steps:

1) Boil the potatoes for 15 minutes or until you can poke the potatoes with a fork without much resistance.

IMG_0587

IMG_0599

2) Remove the potatoes from the water and season with salt, pepper, rosemary, and olive oil.

IMG_0610

3) Wrap each potato in bacon. Secure the bacon using a toothpick.

IMG_0656

IMG_0643

4) Bake* in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Make sure to turn them around after the first 15 minutes.

IMG_0659

5) In a small bowl, add pinches of salt and chopped spring onion to ½ cup of sour cream.

IMG_0780

6) Serve the potatoes while they’re still hot. Dip them in cream and enjoy!

IMG_0790

IMG_0764

IMG_0699

 

*If an oven isn’t available, you may fry the bacon-wrapped potato bites on a non-stick pan for 8-10 minutes or until the bacon is cooked. Make sure not to add oil because the bacon already has fat.

Simple Sunday Snack: Cheesy Baked Tahong (Mussels)

When my siblings and I were still kids, our mom would prepare a huge bowl of hot mussel soup with onions, ginger, and leaves of chili and a generous serving of cheesy “baked” tahong at home. Sometimes, she even let us help out by putting garlic, melted butter, and cheese on the mussels before they were toasted. More than a decade later, I still enjoy these dishes. Not only are they very easy to make, but they also have a naturally sweet and rich taste as well.

IMG_9765

Since the market and supermarkets close to our place rarely sell fresh mussels, we don’t get to cook mussels as often as we did before. So, when I had the opportunity to visit Farmers Market in Quezon city a few weeks ago, I only had one goal in mind: To buy fresh mussels. Hahaha. Okay, fine. I had three goals. The another two were: to scout for fresh ingredients and take photos around the market just because it was my first time to visit the place. After a few hours in the market, my mom, brother, and I went home with plastic bags full of fresh fruits, vegetables, root crops, and seafood. Yes, including a kilo of fresh mussels. Yay!

IMG_9777

IMG_9784

As soon as we got home, my mom and I started to work in the kitchen. For our dinner that night, I was assigned to do the baked mussels and my mom was in-charge of the other dishes. While I was cleaning the mussels and trimming the beards (stringy part in the mussels), I noticed one opened mussel. My mom taught me about bad mussels when I was still a kid, so I knew that the opened mussel was a bad one. The shells of fresh mussels must be tightly closed before they’re cooked or they should at least close tightly when they are tapped. Otherwise, they are already dead and not fresh enough for us to eat.

IMG_9786

I was a bit disappointed because the opened mussel was going to go to waste. So, in my attempt to salvage it, I double checked and asked my mom again: “Mom, are you sure we really can’t cook and eat this anymore?” She looked at the mussel and said: “Yes. We can’t since it has already been open and dead. Opened mussels may be contaminated too.” And just like that, it became clear to me again. I realized that I shouldn’t use it anymore.

IMG_9858

While I was assembling the cooked mussels, I remembered the bad mussel in the trash. It would have been crazy if I decided to include it in the batch of fresh mussels for our dinner. Thankfully, my mom was there to reassure me of how to distinguish fresh mussels from bad ones. In that moment, I realized that it’s sort of similar to being accountable to a family member, a friend, and God in the different moments in our lives. Yes, we know what is true and what we ought to do. But, sometimes, we get distracted along the way and we think that it’s okay to do things our way or to depend on our knowledge and strength.

IMG_9791

It is during moments like this where we see the good and beauty in accountability. When my mom reassured me that it was a bad mussel, she was helping me understand the nature of mussels and was protecting me and our family from possible sicknesses and bacteria that may come from it. In the same way, having family members or friends who can graciously correct and guide us according to God’s Word is one of the many privileges and blessings that God allows us to experience. When we remain accountable to God and others, we can be more intentional in fleeing from sin, making wrong decisions, or stepping out of our comfort zones so we can grow in areas of weaknesses.

It says in Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” It might sting a little, but it would definitely be a good practice for us to have our hearts checked by others regularly.

How can we encourage accountability at home, in school/office, or at church? Let me know your thoughts about this! :)

Oh, and feel free to make Cheesy Baked Mussels this week!

IMG_9945

  1. CLEAN. Rinse and scrub the shells to remove the dirt. Trim the beard attached to the mussels.
  2. STEAM. In a large pot, bring two cups of water to a boil. Cook the mussels until they open up.
  3. OPEN UP. After removing them from the pot, open up the mussels and separate the shells from each other by breaking off the hinges.
  4. ASSEMBLE. Place the shells with mussels on them on a tray. Add crushed garlic, butter, and grated cheese on each shell.
  5. TOAST/BAKE. Using an oven toaster, heat the mussels for 8-10 minutes or until the cheese on top starts to sizzle and become brown. Using an oven, bake the mussels in 375 F for 10 minutes.

IMG_9807

IMG_9874

IMG_9884

IMG_9891

IMG_9896

IMG_9956

 

Hello, 2016!

It’s the first day of 2016 and I couldn’t be more excited! Woohoo! There’s always that wonderful feeling whenever I am reminded of a brand new start. Because of the New Year, I’ve been seeing quite a lot of resolutions in my news feed. Some of my friends plan to avoid eating junk food this 2016, while, others will do their best to refrain from shopping for a year.

IMG_2223

 

I’m still working on my action steps and resolutions. But, more than these things, I find delight in knowing that we can place our hope in God, whose mercies are new every morning. It is because of Him and through Him that we can experience breakthroughs, miracles, and personal transformations this 2016. Yes, regardless of our past, weaknesses, and fears.

“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” –Lamentations 3:21-23

IMG_2303

 

As we welcome another year, I would like to share one of the treats that remind me of having and enjoying a fresh start. It has been two years since I last prepared Jell-O. So, recently, I tried to make a batch again. This time, I used oranges and watermelon as my base. If you have the time, I encourage you to give it a try as well! For starters, I recommended making the orange wedges first, since the watermelon is a lot more tricky to handle.

IMG_2329

IMG_2311

Here’s to enjoying a brand new start and to having a hopeful and fruitful year ahead! God bless you!

“You’re making me stronger. You’re healing my heart.
With Your hands You hold me and You set me apart.

Now I’m made new because of You.

You hold my head up. You remind me who I am.
You hold my head up, I’m alive in You again.
I’m made new.”

-Lincoln Brewster’s “Made New”

(Special thanks to Mom and ate Camille for lending a helping hand. :P )

ORANGE JELL-O WEDGES

FotorCreated

IMG_2277

FotorCreated2

IMG_2326

IMG_2327

IMG_2340

IMG_2341

IMG_2339

WATERMELON JELL-O SLICES

IMG_2192

IMG_2213

IMG_2218

IMG_2255

IMG_2266

IMG_2270

IMG_2306

IMG_2308

IMG_2314

IMG_2317

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

About Me

My name is Nicole Obligacion and I started this blog because I was inspired by Hebrews 10:24 and Hebrews 3:13. I love to eat, cook, bake, read the Bible, and encourage. :)

copyright © 2012 - 2022 encouragingtreats.com this site is designed, managed and optimized by sean si of seo hacker