When I turned 18, my mother handed me a beautifully packaged little box with a note attached to it.
She told me to open the box first and then read the note this time around.
Puzzled at the request but yet very curious, I quickly opened the box and inside I found a beautiful yet simple gold infinity necklace.

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Image courtesy of Shopify

On the note it said:
“Wherever life takes you, you will always come back to where you belong.
And we will be there.”

We meaning my parents. <3 

My mom then explained to me that this was what the infinity symbol meant in this gift.
That just like the symbol goes around and returns to the same place, as she hopes that I will remember this as I go on and explore and embark on my own journeys.
This was (and still is) one of the most significant gifts I have ever received.

My mom and dad have always taught my siblings and I that we must always remember where we came from — our cultural roots and our family values — and to stand with pride and honour while remaining humble and compassionate.
They not only taught us but they exhibited this and set an example for us as well. I never once seen any of my parents sacrifice what they love for anything (material items, money, etc.) or anyone.
Loyalty being one of the most important traits in our family.

Thank you mom and dad for embedding these values in us.

Focus on your priorities, but take things in stride. Make decisions, not excuses. Live one moment at a time. Count your blessings, not your troubles. Let the wrong things go. Look for lessons in unforeseen obstacles. Ask for help. Give as much as you take. Make time for those who matter. Laugh when you can. Cry when you need to. And always stay true to your values.

This is what I’m made of.

This is something that is extremely evident in the Filipino Culture. They are among one of the most hospitable and caring people you will ever meet yet confident and strong because it’s what we pride ourselves on.

Which is why I was fascinated and very pleased to learn of Gay Lea’s newest campaign focusing on their story. That their values and pride stand firmly behind their products. 

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Our story began in 1958, when a group of Ontario farmers came together with a common vision — to create a dairy co-operative. And with that, Gay Lea Foods was born. The farmers believed they could build a better future for themselves and their communities by supporting one another, by working collaboratively and living according to their co-operative principles. While it’s true we’ve grown along the way, embracing innovative new products, and responding to evolving tastes, we haven’t really changed. After all, our values are born on the farm.

Today, we remain a dairy owned by dairy farmers, and they are at the very root of our organization. We embrace and act with co-operative-inspired values – they inform everything we do. From farmers to production facilities to distribution, every member, employee and partner shares a keen understanding that there is no shortcut to quality. It
takes commitment, passion and collaboration.

Those are the things we’re made of, and we believe it’s time we share our story. We’re not only proud of what makes us different, but we know that today’s consumer, more than ever, wants real products they can trust. Our values and our products, just like the milk and our
farmers, are born on the farm.

I wanted to share one of the desserts that my mom usually serves during special occasions and also when we request it because it’s just so comforting.
I picture a warm slice of Bibingka, a Filipino Coconut Rice Cake that has a slightly soft & chewy texture on the inside and a bit of crunch out the outside, with a glass of cold milk and am always transported back to moments of calm and familiarity.
My mom always taught me that how you feel when you cook or bake will always be transmitted into your food.
The happier you are when you make it, the better tasting it will be. Better yet, laughter makes it ever so amazing! I believe it too. My mom is always known to be right.

So make sure to smile or even laugh a little when preparing this dessert, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we all do.

bibingka

Bibingka (Filipino Rice Cake)
Serves 6
A comforting and traditional Filipino Rice Cake that's dense, chewy and sweet with a coconut taste.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
Total Time
1 hr 25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
Total Time
1 hr 25 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 cups of Mochiko (Rice Flour)
  2. 2 tsp baking powder
  3. 2 can of coconut milk
  4. 3 cups of fresh milk
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 1/2 cup x 2 of Gay Lea Unsalted Butter
  7. 3 cup + 2 tbsp of Sugar
  8. 4 Eggs
  9. 1 Can of Sweet Creamed Corn (you may omit if you like)
  10. Banana Leaves
Instructions
  1. 1) Mix together the Mochiko and baking powder, set aside.
  2. 2) In a medium bowl, stir together the coconut milk, fresh milk and vanilla extract
  3. 3) In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beat well after each egg addition.
  4. 4) Alternatively add the mochiko mixture and the milk mixture and mix thoroughly until smooth. Add the sweet creamed corn.
  5. 5) Add banana leaves onto a 9x13 inch pan.
  6. 6) Pour the batter over the banana leaves onto the baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. While this is baking, melt the 1/2 cup of butter and mix with 2 tbsp of sugar for the top crust. Pour this over the cake when there is 15 minutes remaining for cooking (so at 1 hour).
  7. 6) Let cool before cutting. Always best eaten 24 hours later (the next day).
Notes
  1. Most ingredients such as Mochiko Powder and Banana leaves can be found in Asian Supermarkets.
CAC http://carolaucourant.com/

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Disclosure: I am part of the Gay Lea Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

35 comments on “The Infinity Necklace + Bibingka Rice Cake #Recipe”

    • The closest contender would be sweet rice flour, but keep in mind you will not get the same stickiness texture that it should be that you would get with glutinous rice flour. If you are asking if you have to use the Mochiko brand, no, you may use any brand of glutinous rice flour.

  1. That was such a thoughtful gift! The “infinity” symbol is really trending nowadays! I see a lot of people getting tattoos of it, lots of cute dainty necklaces like yours… So pretty. I have been searching for the perfect one!

  2. This recipe sounds amazing! I am going to surprise my nanny by making it for her as a treat :). The necklace is so pretty, as well!

  3. That rice cake looks great. When I saw the word rice cake I thought something more like puffed rice. Was a pleasant surprise to see what it really is. NICE!

  4. A very touching and personal gift from your parents, loved it!! and this cake looks very good if I can find the flour and banana leaves I will be making it and your mother is right on about being happy when you bake or cook and everything will taste better, I believe in that also…one question tho you said to use a 9×9 pan, but your pictures look like a 9×13, maybe it’s just my eyes, could you let me know please

    • Hi Lynda!
      Thanks so much for the comment and the catch! It is, indeed, a 9×13. Error on my part. Hope you enjoy!
      By the way, the banana leaves are usually bought frozen, so they will be in the frozen area in an asian grocers.

      • Thanks! if I can not find the banana leaves I guess I could use parchment, but it just won’t be the same

  5. My mother tells me the same thing about your mood when you’re cooking going into the food that you create! I’ve had this before but never knew how to make it!!

  6. that is a beautiful necklace and such a great story too. My mom loves this rice cake. Her next door neighbour always makes it and shares a big bundle with her.

  7. Love your story! I will have to try your Bibingka recipe … looks yummy! It almost looks like a Cassava Pone from back home.

  8. Thank you for sharing this, the recipe sounds interesting. I might have to give it try! That necklace is very pretty!

  9. Thank you for sharing your story! This cake looks yummy and since we believe in widening our grandkids tastebuds we are going to give it a try!

    Thanks

  10. This is such a beautiful post, Carol! I love the story about your infinity necklace. Those family values are at the core of so many Flipino families. When I think of my own family, I am reminded of that as well. It’s all about love, loyalty, and it’s something people have to experience to fully understand. My husband loves the culture…and the food! 🙂 Speaking of which, bibingka is one of our favourites! I’ve never made it before. I’ll have to try your recipe. I usually let my mom or her sisters make it instead since they’re so good at it! I’ve helped them before, but haven’t made it on my own.

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