Night Snack Menu for Gatherings

I meet a group of fellow believers (4- 8 families) every Friday night to learn about God and share/pray with each other about our lives. Since we meet from 8pm to 10pm, each family takes turns to prepare night snacks. While it’s not really necessary to feed the adults since we don’t need the extra calories, food helps to distract the kids and they do get hungry by 9pm…

It’s stressful to prepare snacks (once every 6-8 weeks), especially when I also had to prepare dinner for the kids and make sure they finish their meals. Husband gets irritated that I trouble myself (I do get flustered at home) by cooking instead of just buying ready-made snacks. But I still like to do it because it is a way of serving the community, and thus God (*Need to work on the flustering part as it’s not glorifying to God). And it’s usually cheaper to prepare them myself than buying. Hopefully healthier too.

22nd April 2016

12 adults, 9 kids

Menu

Mini Baked Potatoes with Cream Cheese and Homemade Bacon

Sweetcorn with Butter

Jackfruit

Grapes-on-a-stick

Mini Baked Potatoes with Cream Cheese and Homemade Bacon

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First, prepare the homemade bacon. (If you are in a hurry, prepare the potatoes first with normal oil, put them in the oven, then cook the homemade bacon.) I used frozen thinly sliced pork belly sukiyaki. I suppose if you want it to be halal, you can use sliced chicken or beef?

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Buy Pork Belly Sukiyaki at the frozen section. Thaw it.

Heat up the pan. I used Happycall before we threw it away. Now I use a cast iron hotplate thingy that we bought before we used Happycall.

Read about the benefits of using a cast iron pan here. My FiL emailed the link to me.

I tried baking before. More hasslefree and less cleaning up to do. But you need to grease the tray and watch that they don’t get too burnt.

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Lay them straight on a cast iron hotplate thingy

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Sprinkle salt and pepper on one side

It’s fun to see them shrivel up. 🙂

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Drain them on paper towels

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Do you think it looks like real bacon? The key to good bacon is: crispy but not burnt. Making it chao-tah (burnt) will make it carcinogenic (cancer-causing).

 

Baked Mini Potatoes

Buy the washed mini potatoes. I wanted to use the mini ones so that it looks cute (great for parties) and takes a shorter time to bake.

Wash properly and if you have time, scrub.

Roll them around in the oily pan and sprinkle salt over them.

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Then I put the cast iron pan hotplate in the oven. Convenient right? That’s the good thing about using cast iron pan 🙂 About 35 mins at 200 deg cel. Poke the potato with a fork. It should be soft inside. Different ovens will take different length of time.

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Cut the potatoes in half. Press a small cube of Philadelphia Cream Cheese (I used the block type) in the middle. And press down some bacon bits on the cream cheese.

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The Cream cheese acts as a glue so that the bacon bits stay. And try to cover all the cheese so that you can stack the potatoes in your container.

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I used cream cheese instead of the usual sour cream or Greek yoghurt for baked potatoes because we are not serving it hot immediately. I thought the sour cream will get all watery by the time we eat later.

I tried my best to keep it warm by putting my container in a thermal bag but it really wasn’t very warm by the time we ate and I thought it still tasted nice. 🙂

While the potatoes were baking in the oven, you can prepare the fruits. I got Q to help me make the Grapes Satay or Grapes-in-a-stick. I learnt this trick from my neighbour 🙂

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We used seedless grapes. About 6 grapes in one satay stick.

Children love to eat grapes this way. Y can gobble down a few sticks at a time when the grapes are presented this way, instead of in a bowl.

I placed the readymade grapes satay in a Ziploc bag. And placed the bag in between 2 ice packs and put them all in a freezer bag. This keeps the grapes really nice and cold.

Jackfruit

When you want to serve fruits in a gathering like this, it’s best to remove most obstacles for people eating them. For the adults, we would be sitting in a circle, talking/listening and passing the food around. So, I removed the seeds and cut each jackfruit into half. Packed them in a plastic container and  placed it in the same freezer bag to keep it chilled.

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I actually steamed the jackfruit seeds but I forgot to pack them! They took at least 20-30 mins. They are ready when you can poke your fork in. They are supposed to be soft.

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Remove the plasticky film to eat the soft flesh. I like it but my kids don’t…

Sweetcorn with Butter

Most people like to eat corn in a cup. I prefer the Wattie’s brand, compared to the others. Haven’t tried the non-frozen ones before. Supposed to be nicer?

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Instructions on the packaging: Boil the water. Add the frozen corn in to rapidly boiling water. Bring to boil again and simmer for approx. 2 mins. Drain and serve.

Well, after draining, I added salted butter and abit of brown sugar. Packed it in a small thermal pot to keep it hot. I only made enough for the kids. 1 pack (500g) for about 5 kids.

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Note to believers:

The Believers Form a Community

All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. Acts 2:42 (NLT)

We should keep on encouraging each other to be thoughtful and to do helpful things. Some people have gotten out of the habit of meeting for worship, but we must not do that. We should keep on encouraging each other, especially since you know that the day of the Lord’s coming is getting closer. Hebrews 10:24-25 (CEV)

Christianity is NOT meant to be a personal journey walked alone. We are meant to grow our faith by being in a community of believers, to learn together, to have fellowship together, to share meals together and to pray together. Just sitting next to someone amongst the church pews on a Sunday does not count, though corporate worship is important…

Of course being in a small group can be troublesome and uncomfortable. There can be “better” things to do on a Friday night (or whenever CGs usually meet). And making yourself vulnerable by sharing your struggles openly can be so weird. What if they judge me?.. And do I really need to love that brother or sister? HE is sooo irritating!

Ah… But this is where you get to practice what you learn from the Bible right? Knowledge does not make you a Christian. You need to practice what you learn. Be open to getting corrections from others if they are wise advice. And if God wants us to love and pray for our enemies, what more our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ? Definitely a place to learn forgiveness as well, if someone has said something insensitive.

Anyway, hope you will join a small group in your church if you have not already done so. 🙂

Thanks for reading.

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