Turning My Day to a Happy Tuesday

Even when the morning looks bleak, it will not deadened my spirit. My day may not start the way I want it to be, it’s still a happy Tuesday. I take courage not to feel depressed nor lonesome, I choose to count the things that would make me happy. I look at the consequences of being a child of God. The perks of having a relationship is a result of how He values me more than what my circumstance calls out.

God can turn around what’s happening in my life in an instant. I am looking forward how He can change my situation. There can be brand new things as the former days fade away. I can learn to be ecstatic just the thought of it. How I feel is not dictated by what I see but what my faith can do as I believe that He is with me always. I trust the Lord that He will be with me at all times. Even when I’m in pain or discouragement sinks in, I choose to bawl it out until my sadness leaves me. Then I can get over it and not succumb anymore to desolation. I can try to keep calm and be at ease. I allow God take charge over my whole being and shake off anything that hinders my joy from taking place. And in advance, I can thank God wholeheartedly and say, “It’s going to be a happy day because my God already wiped away my tears and it’s a brand new day to declare His greatness and faithfulness. I feel alive because I can look forward to blessed day with breakthroughs ahead. And with that, I am truly grateful to my loving God.”

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:3-5 ESV)

The Children Will Be a Blessing

What a beautiful promise! I hold on to what the bible says that my children will become a blessing. I am looking forward to a great future that the children that God entrusted to me will become great someday. With uncertainty, my heart is steadfast knowing they will become fine men. As young as they are, my desire is to consistently pray for them and to teach them the ways of God. I am asking for His grace and wisdom that I am leading them to love God more and more and direct them to Jesus. My desire is for my kids to look to God and be able to understand that He is the source of their love and provision.

I have the assurance that even in times when my children will face trouble, the Lord will be with them to save them. He will make sure that they can live in righteousness. I am fully convinced that they will never be forsaken by their great Father in heaven. I hope that they will learn to cry out and draw near to Him when difficulties strike and they are in hope that God will bring success and victory. I believe that in all that they do, they will honor and acknowledge God and in turn He will reward their obedience.

“I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. They are always generous and lend freely, THEIR CHILDREN WILL BE A BLESSING. The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.” (Psalm 37:25-26, 39-40 NIV)

Once Broken but Now Healed and Made Whole

Josh with arm sling due to broken collarbone

Josh with arm sling due to broken collarbone

It has been three weeks since Josh, my five-year-old son, had a bad fall from a chair that resulted to a broken collar bone. The orthopedic doctor suggested that he should wear an arm sling and put a wraparound bandage to ensure that he will have limited movement and physical activity. He had a weekly check-up to monitor his progress.

Last Friday, after the doctor saw his latest X-Ray, he declared that the bones were healing just fine and now they have attached to each other. He also noticed that the bump seen on his skin where the collarbone was located was an indication that the bone was remodeling and became better in shape and there was a faint shade of the new bone growing that was seen in his X-Ray result.

It was really great news! The doctor declared that the two bones were attached to each other so he already removed the arm sling and the bandage. Josh was told that he could raise his arm and move it around. At first he was hesitant and did not want to do it since he was so used not to moving it. But we encouraged him that he can do it and with much determination, he finally did it little by little and higher and higher until he was confident that his collarbone was healed and he could do what the doctor told him to do. He knew he could trust and believe the words of the doctor that he was healed and he could raise his left arm, move it around,  and even do a high five.

Then it got me thinking. How many broken people do we have who were spiritually healed and saved by God and yet still acts as if they have not been forgiven? Still living their old sinful ways even if they have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Maybe because there were still mindsets that were stopping them that it’s impossible to let go and be changed by God. Just like my son, even if he was declared healed and yet still thought that his collar bone was broken so it took awhile for him to realize that he is now truly okay.

Sometimes we feel like we have been paralyzed by our past and haunted by our wrongdoings. No matter what we do, it was as if nothing happened even when we have set oiut to follow Jesus. We could not get out from the cage and still thinks that we could never get right with God. Or some people have been so used to being broken and don’t know the truth that we have been forgiven if we believe that Jesus is our savior. By God’s grace we could receive His forgiveness. If we only knew that by His great love He pardoned our sins by believing on what Jesus did for us on the cross. He redeemed us from the bondage of sin so that we can enjoy the freedom from sin and separation from God.

Be reminded that in Romans 6:6-7, 11 it says, “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

Be in faith that God saved you and you have been healed and made whole. Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

He can simply change us if we CHOOSE TO HAVE FAITH IN GOD. When we allow Him to work in our hearts, then CHANGE IS POSSIBLE. He can turn someone who was broken to be made whole again. Are you willing to get out from your hopeless situation and receive the love and forgiveness of God? Coming clean to God is doable. Romans 10:9 encourages us that “if we confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” What a great promise from God. I hope you will take heed and take time to receive this wonderful gift of salvation. Are you willing to believe God and have the faith that healing can take place and you can be made whole again?

My prayer is that you need to constantly remind yourself that by God”s grace you have been saved and He has forgiven your sins. You can live a life of freedom and break free from your sins. You are so precious and valuable that God has given us the access to be called a child of God and he wants you to have an intimate relationship with God and enjoy your life here on earth.

No Bake Blueberry Cheesecake

Here’s the recipe I tried straight from the Magnolia creamcheese box. It’s really simple and easy to follow. Try it and you won’t regret!

NO BAKE BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE

Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup (approx. 100g) softened butter
1 teaspoon lemon juice and grated rind

optional:

A Slice of Yummyness!

A Slice of Yummyness!

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon ground nuts

Cheesecake filling:
1 box Magnolia cream cheese, softened
1 pack Nestle all purpose cream, chilled
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons fresh or Alaska evap milk
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin (1 sachet of Knox)
1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)

Topping:
1 can Comstock Blueberry pie filling

Procedure:
To prepare crust:
If you don’t have store-bought crumbs, you can crush them. You can use a food processor for faster result.
Mix all dry ingredients and add butter to bind. blend well. It should be moist and not dry. Add more butter if it’s too dry.

Transfer and press evenly on bottom of ungreased springform pan or pie dish around 8-9 inches in diameter.  Place in the freezer to harden crust while you are make the filling.

To prepare filling:
Using a mixer, whip chilled cream with 2 tablespoon sugar until stiff. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, gradually mix remaining sugar into softened cream cheese. Beat until fluffy and set aside.

In a small sauce pan, combine milk and gelatine powder and stir in low heat. Mix well until completely dissolved. Do not boil. You can use a wire whisk while heating to remove lumps. Remove from heat then pour and beat into cream cheese mixture.
Fold in cream cheese mixture to the whipped cream and beat on medium to high.
Add lemon juice if you want some zest in your cream filling.

To assemble:
Bring out pan from freezer and pour in the cheesecake filling. Spread evenly with spatula and tap pan lightly to set and release some air bubbles.
Cover pan and chill for a few hours.
Top with blueberry pie filling or chosen fruit before serving.

Credit to:
http://www.mymomfriday.com/2010/12/mom-cook-no-bake-blueberry-cheesecake.html

Are We a Reflection of God?

My Papa and Me

My Papa and Me

I had a dream about my father and I was asking where I could get a mirror because the mirror I have was lost. And he told me that I could get them from his house. And when I went to his house, there were so many mirrors of different styles and sizes. I only chose two: one size that can reflect my face and the other one that I can see my entire body. Then I woke up.
Growing up, most of the time when I met someone and told that person my name, the reply I would get was, “Are you the daughter of Col. Julius Ovilla?” Or “You really look like your dad.” Don’t you think so?

This dream reminded me that our reflection should be based on who our God is. In Genesis 1:27 it says, “So God created mankind in his own image,in the image of God he created them;male and female he created them.” We are created to reflect who God is since we are His children. When we look at ourselves, do we see God?

As children of God, let’s devote our lifetime becoming like Him. Are we walking in love? Do we invest time knowing God and how much he loves us? So we can be a role model of what it means to be in love with God and also demonstrate His love to others. Remember, Ephesians 5:1-2 says, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
Let’s evaluate ourselves and ask God, “are we becoming more like You or do we see You in our reflection?” If not, let’s draw closer to Him and ask Him to help us become the child that He desires us to be and be loving to others.

1 John 4:11-12 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

Yummy Yema Cake

Here’s a famous Pinoy cake that you would really love to try. It would really turn your chiffon cake with mouth-watering milky/caramel sauce into a delightful experience. I got this post from Pinoy Hapag Kainan and did a slight revision to my liking and gave some additional tips to it. Thanks to my cousin, Jen Duano, for inspiring me to bake this cake.

CAKE BATTER
2 cups cake flour
3 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup whole milk or Alaska evaporated filled milk
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 cup grated cheese

MERINGUE
8 Egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

YEMA FROSTING
1 can Alaska evaporated milk
1 can Alaska condensed milk
4 egg yolks
Options: add 2-3 tablespoon of cornstarch to thicken the sauce faster and 2 tablespoon of Anchor butter once cooked for more buttery taste

Directions :

Put cake flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl, mix and sift.
In a separate bowl, put together egg yolks, sugar, milk, and lemon essence.
Beat in slow speed or mix with a wire whisk until mixture is smooth.
Combine dry and wet mixture, continue mixing until well blended. Set aside.

Merengue
On a separate bowl, mix egg whites and cream of tartar.
Gradually add in sugar and continue to beat until stiff but not dry.
Add 1/4 of the egg white mixture to flour mixture.
With spatula, fold the remaining egg white mixture make sure the bottom part is well combined.

Pour the mixture in ungreased cake pan.
Bake in a preheated oven at 325°F for 20-25 minutes.

Yema or Milk Custard frosting:
In a shallow pan or double boiler, combine the condensed milk, evaporated milk and egg yolks.
Cook the mixture at low fire, while continuously stirring until the texture becomes thick.

Cake decoration:

Slice the chiffon cake in half horizontally, to make two rectangular cake.
Spread part of Yema frosting at the top of 1st half of Chiffon cake.
Put back the half of the cake and cover the whole cake with the custard.
Garnish with grated cheese and serve with hot or cold drinks.

Cooking Tips:
Put egg whites at room temperature before whipping. Cold egg whites will not peak to foam.
Make sure that the bowl where you put your egg whites is void of any oil. Put vinegar in a tissue and wipe it clean. Any oil will make the egg whites watery.

All-purpose flour can be a substitute for cake flour, The cake will become a bit granulated.

No need to grease your pan but you can line the pan with a wax paper for easy removal of the cake.

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Mocha Yema with grated chocolate

Variation:
Put coffee or chocolate powder into the chiffon cake for other flavor and omit the lemon essence.
Instead of cheese, you can use grated chocolate, almond or coconut flakes.

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Plain Yema Cake

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Yema Cake with Grated Cheese

Why Fry When You Can Bake Your Doughnuts

Baked doughnuts with chocolate glaze

Baked doughnuts with chocolate glaze

Who would not want to have a mother who loves good home baking? I for one is quite blessed to have someone who was not just fond of cooking but baking as well. The aroma of freshly made doughnuts, breads and pastries would usually fill our dining room. We would rush to the table and leave everything behind to have the taste of something hot and oozing with great taste. And now that I am a mother with two toddlers roaming around the room, I constantly think of what good food I can serve them.  With growing and always hungry boys, they are always excited to see what I am baking. And since one old time favourite came to mind, I decided to make some doughnuts and do a twist with the normal fried ones and instead bake them. I want to make it more healthier and more bread-like appeal to it.

I came across with this recipe which I adapted from Heidi Swanson’s 101 Cookbooks http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/001561.html and from http://shaunasever.com/2010/03/baked-doughnuts-yes.html.  This  is really quite simple and easy. I have also added some tips to keep in mind while baking.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons warm milk, divided, 95 to 105 degrees (take its temperature–too hot and it will kill the yeast)
1 1/8 teaspoons active dry yeast (about half a packet)
1 tablespoon butter or shortening, melted and still warm
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, optional
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

For the cinnamon-sugar coating:

1/4 cup (half a stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

For the glaze:

1 cup confectioner’s sugarlet the dough rise for an hour
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons hot water or as needed

*Makes about 1 dozen of regular size or 2 dozens of mini doughnuts

Place 3 tablespoons of the warm milk (not overly hot to the touch) in the bowl of an electric mixert. You don’t want to kill the yeast.  Stir in the yeast and set aside for at least five minutes (or until foamy).

Place the remaining 1/2 cup of warm milk in a small bowl, stir in the butter and sugar, and add it to the yeast mixture. On low speed, stir in the egg, flour, nutmeg, and salt – just until the flour is incorporated.

Switch to the dough hook and knead the dough for a few minutes at medium speed. At this point, make a few adjustments – if your dough is seriously sticky, add flour a few tablespoons at a time. Too dry? Add a little bit of milk. Eventually, you want the dough to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl and become soft and smooth. Turn out the dough onto a floured work surface, knead it a few times by hand, and shape it into a smooth ball.  Knead for 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.doughnut dough risen

Transfer the dough to a greased or oiled bowl (cooking spray works great here), cover with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place. Let the dough rise until its doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Punch down the dough and roll it out 1/2-inch thick on a floured work surface. The dough is ready if you touch it, and the indention remains.

Dip your doughnut cutter or use your 2-3 inch cookie cutter before you  stamp out the circles. Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet and cut holes in the centers with a smaller cutter.  Cover the baking sheet with a clean cloth and let the doughnuts rise for another 30 minutes.

http://www.pillsbury.com/-/media/PB/Images/holidays-celebrations/spring/grands-spring-doughnuts-how-to/grands-spring-doughnuts-how-to_02.ashx

cut the dough in circles

Bake in a 350 degree oven until the bottoms are just golden, about 8 minutes – start checking around 6 minutes. Better to underbake then overbake here–pull them early if in doubt. Remove the doughnuts from the oven and let cool for just a minute or two. Add the sugar coating or dip into the glaze.

For the cinnamon coating:

While the doughnuts are baking, melt the 1/4 cup of butter in a medium bowl. Place the sugars and cinnamon in a separate bowl (or large ziploc bag), stirring to blend evenly.

For the glaze:

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in hot water one tablespoon at a time until the icing is somewhat thin, but not watery. Set aside.

Tips:

You may add a pinch of sugar into the warm milk to make the yeast more active. I read that the yeast loves to feed on sugar.

If you don’t have a cutter, just use two different sizes of round cutters at least the other cutter is half the size to have a more defined hole in the centre.

You can either dip the baked doughnut or add some fillings to to it.

Happy Baking!