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Friday, May 1, 2015

Crazy Chocolate Cake: No Eggs, Milk, and Butter!

Crazy Chocolate Cake

I tried a new recipe last week, named "Crazy Cake" or Wacky Cake" otherwise known as  "Depression Cake." Apparently, it originated during the Great Depression era in the 1930s, when milk, eggs and other dairy products were scarce. It is amazing that the cake looks and tastes much like real moist and yummy cake even when there are no eggs, milk, or butter in the ingredients-- exactly the reason why it is called "crazy"! Best for those who have egg or dairy allergies, it is so easy to make.

I loved it so much that I decided to make another one again the day after. Now, here is how to make yours!



Crazy Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup water


*Optional: 6-8 pieces of Hershey's Kisses chocolate 



1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 175 degrees Celsius.

2. Mix the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda and salt) all together in a greased square baking pan (8 inches).



3. Create two small depressions and one large depression in the dry mixture.


4. Pour the vegetable oil on the biggest depression, white vinegar on one depression and vanilla extract in the other.


 

5. Pour water over everything and mix thoroughly until smooth.


After mixing the batter well, I added melted Hershey's Kisses for a more chocolatey taste. This is optional and not included in the basic recipe. You can even add your favorite nuts if you wish to customize the recipe according to your preference.


6. Bake for 35-40 minutes or when toothpick comes out clean. Do not over bake.


After the cake cooled down, I smeared Caramel and Chocolate Duo Penotti spread on top as instant frosting, and even decorated it using a piping bag with the same filling. You can also use Nutella or any of your favorite spread that will complement the chocolate cake, if you do not want to go through the trouble of whipping up a batch of frosting from scratch.


I was so excited to let my family taste the cake after baking, and was curious to know what their responses will be. During dinner, everyone raved that it was delicious. My little cousin Sofia even commented that it tasted like the Lava Cake at Stacy's. Thanks to my Mom, I feel overjoyed learning about baking as a hobby this summer.

If you decide to try out this recipe, please feel free to share your creations with me. I would love to see what you've done with your own Crazy Chocolate Cake and how much fun you had making it! :)

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Did you enjoy this post? For more of my stories and adventures, you can subscribe to my updates via EMAIL or READER, or follow my blog through Facebook and Twitter. Take care, God bless, keep on shining and have a beautiful life! XOXO

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Day I Made Chocolate Fudge Cake

Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge Cake

This is the day after I had made my very first Chocolate Fudge Cake. 

I felt very ecstatic and a little impatient while looking at all the easy, and delicious recipes that my Mom told me to start with, the day before. You know, we had the 'make-your-summer-productive' talk that meant doing more fun things other than staying in front of the computer all day. 

So, yeah.

Luckily, I came across a Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix in our food supplies cabinet. My aunt told me that it was okay to use and  bake with; so I did. It was around 2:00 P.M. at that time. 

I started looking for the needed ingredients and measured them according to the instructions with my equally eager little helper, Sofia.  We had first taken out the mix from the box, then grabbed vegetable oil, water, measuring cup, wooden spoon, and a medium-sized bowl. We mixed all the ingredients in the  bowl, and added a little bit (actually, many, MANY bits) of leftover chocolate chunks into the mixture. After that, we each took turns in pouring the mixture on the glass baking dish, while my aunt readied the oven. It was set to 177 C or 350 F, and the baking time was about 25 to 28 minutes. We placed the dish it in the oven and waited. 

I paced back and forth, anxiously waiting for the results of my cake. After what seemed liked forever, it was finally done and the kitchen was filled with the heavenly aroma that came from the oven. I took the cake out and it looked so deliciously chocolatey. I placed it on a rack and waited for it to cool. Topped with some wafer bits, it was ready to serve. 

It was soooooo easy to make! But then I decided, the next time I bake, I would make my own cake straight from a tried and tested recipe, instead of a cake mix. Although using a ready mix somehow guarantees that your cake will turn out right, I want to learn the basics so I can experiment more later on.

I knew then, that day marked the beginning of  an exciting baking adventure. So stay tuned for more!

P.S. If you are interested to try, different brands and flavors of cake mixes are widely available in groceries and supermarkets. Happy baking! :)


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Did you enjoy this post? For more of my stories and adventures, you can subscribe to my updates via EMAIL or READER, or follow my blog through Facebook and Twitter. Take care, God bless, keep on shining and have a beautiful life! Mwah!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Reflection Sunday: Saved by the Bell


Me and Daddylo one Sunday afternoon
An inspired reflection I wrote on the second Sunday of November 2014, after hearing Holy Mass. 

I am a religious person. I have always been. 

I was raised properly, and taught at an early age to love and serve the Lord. I performed multiple religious practices when I was young, and diligently prayed everyday, thanking Him for everything I have, and will continue to receive in the future. I also pleaded for Him to lead and guide all the lost sheep that have come astray. 

I have done what a normal Christian would do. However, I shamefully admit that I was, not at all times, dedicated to the Lord. 

There were moments when I have committed disgraceful and irresponsible acts due to my own, selfish curiosity. There were also times when my lethargic self was sluggish and unwilling to spend precious quality time with the Lord, let alone one hour with Him on a Sunday. There were moments when I forget to speak with Him and bid Him goodnight before I sleep. There is literally no excuse for my actions. 

But there were precious memories when I had really communicated and expressed deeply my emotions and thoughts to Him. Those moments happened occasionally, regardless of time. It was the thought that counted. I remember having enjoyed talking to Him and spilling emotions kept locked in my heart, waiting to burst out when I really needed a person to lean on to, aside from my family. 

I told Him stories about how my life was going, my insecurities, and so on. Afterwards, I felt light and relieved, as if my burdens and worries have melted away—disappearing into nothingness. And then everything was alright. I sometimes wondered if He could have heard my prayers. 

Deep down, I knew that He is always there, watching and guiding me whenever I needed help. He is the closest friend I ever had. Everyday, I imagine that He is walking by my side, wanting to be a part of my adventure. No matter when or where, whenever I feel down or lonely, He comes right at me and says, “How are you doing?” in a jolly manner.

I always feel that I am watched, protected, and loved, anywhere I go. I always silently thank Him for being there for me. He helps me solve my problems and somehow, takes my worries away. Currently, I am attending a private Catholic school, where most of the time I feel like a loner standing at the side, watching everyone interact and communicate with their friends, when I don’t really have many friends to confide in. I have always felt awkward and out of place. But there He stands, smiling at me and telling me that I am special, loved, and that I am destined for a great future. He has always enveloped me in the warmth of His love. 

Whenever I don’t have the courage, and when I feel weak and helpless, He just smiles and gives me a gentle push, and we both take our time to complete each step towards achieving my goals and dreams. I always do things halfheartedly, and put a small amount of effort in what I usually do, so He, in turn, gives me a little nudge to motivate, inspire, and support me. He gives me the courage and strength to face my own fears and weaknesses, and helps me step out of my own comfort zone. 

I truly admire Him for making me the person I am now. In my own little ways, I am striving to become like Him, who inspires others and is a leader and follower in both mind and heart. 

I, like every other person in the world, cannot possibly repay Him in full for what He has given to us. We cannot repay His love, His kindness, His forgiveness, His mercifulness and His suffering. I cannot imagine why He has chosen to shower us all— weak and unworthy humans, with His love. We, who couldn’t do so much to deserve His wonderful, loving care and compassion. 

With the hard work and effort He has put into saving our lives, and all of humanity, regardless of the fact that He was aware that people will reject, laugh, and underestimate Him, I am proud to say that I am one of God’s children. 

I wish to be like Him someday. 

Here I am, a simple high school student going on with my simple life, walking through a bare empty street, holding my grandfather’s hand as I continue to silently walk to the nearest local parish. 

It is quiet, save for the low humming the engines produced coming from nearby vehicles. The streets illuminated by the soft, orange glow emitted by the lampposts. 

The starless sky is dark, the wind slightly rustling my wet hair. There is a full moon tonight. 

And as I listened to the gentle pitter-patter of our feet, we were nearing the church. After pausing slightly to greet some of our neighbors, we continued our walk. When we reached our destination, I glanced at my watch and smiled. 7:15 pm. 

I looked up to the sky, and at that moment, the church bells rang. It resounded beautifully, and echoed in various directions, signaling to everyone that it was time to glorify and to praise the Lord. 

Alas, saved by the bell.

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Did you enjoy this post? For more of my stories and adventures, you can subscribe to my updates via EMAIL or READER, or follow my blog through Facebook and Twitter. Take care, God bless, keep on shining and have a beautiful life! Mwah!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

More than Words

I have always been fascinated with the power of words.

My love for the written word dates back from my early years of reading my first story books, mock spelling bees with my cousins, all the way through my first attempt at writing novels. ‘Written’, mainly because I consider myself more of a reader and writer, than a speaker. Yes, I am the typical the silent type who reads and writes a lot more, but talks less.

So when I gave birth to my Little Lady, it came naturally for me to encourage her to develop not just love, but passion for the same. I bought her books even before she could read, and taught English as her first language. She learned to speak in our native Filipino tongue later on, with a little struggle, attaining decent proficiency nevertheless, before she turned high school.

People ask me time and again why I chose to teach the international language first before our very own, hinting a patriotism issue—a lack of it, to be precise. To which I would retort: I want to give my child the edge and advantage—to boost her confidence in communicating with all kinds of people regardless of social status and educational attainment; to speak impeccably in public without stammering due to a lack of vocabulary or the fear of being grammatically incorrect; and to write meaningfully with purpose, clarity, as well as style. These are just some of the reasons to ensure that my child would be at par with the best of her generation.

But that is just me. As parents, we prioritize what we believe is best for our children. We can mold them to be the future political leaders of the nation, but they can always go towards a different path.

My daughter can be whatever she wants to be—president, beauty queen, linguist, head of a translation company, novelist, fashion designer, or chef, the possibilities are endless. But what matters most in her journey is that she has been prepared well and equipped with everything she needed to pursue her dreams, and the rest is up to her to make it all happen.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Feeling Divergent

Official Movie Poster of Divergent
Hi everyone! Happy New Year! I’m tied up with the holidays and school work so I did not have the time to update (I know, as always!). However, I had time to read :) This post features about my squealing reaction and love for Veronica Roth’s book, Divergent!

When I first read the beginning of the book, I felt bored because of the introduction. I decided to give up until I saw the first part about the ceremony, then I became interested and so caught up in the book that I cried whenever I had to stop and go to sleep.

The book is about a girl, named Beatrice Prior, who is unable to choose between 5 factions (a.k.a her way of life). One is Abnegation, her original faction, that is known for being selfless--they donate, share, and sacrifice anything for the sake of other people. The second choice is the Erudite, known to be smart, but vain. They are teachers, scientists, environmentalists, psychiatrists, and other well-known people that contribute to the knowledge and the order of the factions. The third choice is Dauntless, known for being brave and selfish. The fourth faction is Candor, the honest ones. The last is Amity, the peace loving people of the society. There is also the Factionless group whose members failed their faction initiation and therefore live in poverty. Divergent however, is the one that has more than two factions combined... the special one. Although Divergent is not a faction, but a person with special abilities and capabilities. 

After Tris received her aptitude test results, she got the result Divergent. And she’s told not to tell this to anyone, even to her family. After that, she picks a faction (I’m not going to tell!) and then progresses through the initiation. She had a hard time at first, because she did not have much strength, but she overcame those obstacles and came out on top. Of course in the book, there was romance. :) She got herself a boyfriend in the second part of initiation. How sneaky. Her friend has one also, but  I am not going to tell you any further, because that would serve as big time spoilers. Boohoo.

Anyways, if you like a great read, buy this book, or even better, the complete series of the Divergent Trilogy!!! Also please ship Tris and her boyfriend~ I would be happy to have someone to relate to! I swear, the story is very romantic and it will have you squealing in excitement and suspense. I am very relieved to hear that my favorite couple’s love has lasted very, very long. I am rooting for them, until now. :)

Plus, the movie version is showing in theaters on............March 21, 2014!!! Oh my gosh, I am so excited! :) I can’t wait to watch it! The actors look so cool and it seems like Mortal Instruments and the Hunger Games combined!!! After I watched the Hunger Games: Catching Fire, I've been thinking about the movie and I was jumping in and out of my seat. Literally! 

But that is another story. :)

In the meantime, please enjoy the official movie trailer. You can read the book first then watch the movie, which is still a long wait ~ more than a month away, or vice versa.

Thank you everyone, for spending (or wasting) your time to read this post. It really means a lot to me. I love you!!! :)



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Did you enjoy this post? For more of my stories and adventures, you can subscribe to my updates via EMAIL or READER, or follow my blog through Facebook and Twitter. Take care, God bless, keep on shining and have a beautiful life! Mwah!