Monday, November 12, 2012

Season of Change

As much as I want to enjoy the beautiful colours of fall, but this season is come to an end and winter is finally here!
I am thankful that I live in a country that will give me an opportunity to experience four different seasons in life. A season of change.
It’s been said that if there is anything certain in life, it is change. Many people don’t like that.  I am not a winter person, I love to see snowfall but the freezing cold is just too much for me. Season is inevitable, it will come whether we like it or not. It will find it’s way to our door. We cannot change that, but we can change our mind, our perspective, our points of view. If we could design our own lives the way we want it?, they would be filled with all the beautiful things we want. Life, however, doesn’t work that way. Life is about growth and progression, it is not stagnant. Flowers bloom and fade, seeds planted and grow. We must experience change. Life is change. Change for the better all brings something good and things to look forward to.  
Let’s be real. Change is not easy and one of the reasons why we have a difficult time dealing with it is the emotional factor that are attach with it.  Our foster children function more if they follow their routines, they are good at it. They know what to do and what to expect. Everything flow smoothly if they stay on their routines. But if routine change, they tend to get overwhelm, confused, anxious. Change brings emotional changes.
When there is change, our emotion follows. There is fear, discouragement, anxiety, insecurity, anger, confusion, anticipation, inhibited, disappointment,  concern, some get depressed, avoidance and excitement and the list goes on. We are feeling these things because it takes us out of our comfort zones, exposing some degree of our vulnerability. That’s why most people resist change.
We have moments of change in our life over the years and until now, some are good and some are challenges that needs to be fought with might, where our faith were shaken. Some are things I am not ready to face but I have to. When change happens, we have options. We can live with it, adapt it or  learn and grow from it. Some things we  have to let go,  and some things we have to embrace. For change is opportunity driven. It is a special invitation to personal and spiritual empowerment and growth. 
This season is a time to breath and relax to His promises. I can never alter God’s promises, just like season is inevitable. It will come through ups ad downs of your life. Instead of holding on to your “ own plans”, hold on His promises. Reset your goals and not worry about the lost time in the past and things that you cannot change but to make the best of the moment. From here, there is no looking back. Shake off the fog on your way and refocus for great things to come.
Embrace change and live abundantly. Enjoy every season of life.  May our journey be blessed in all that we strive to accomplish.
In II Cor. 5:17 “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; Behold, all things are become new. 

Winter! Years ago with my mom during her visit with us.

Have a great day!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Purple Yum Coconut Candy Cake or Ube Macapuno Cake

Got to give you a break from our Europe trip :)

Few weeks back, I craved for this kind of cake, but can't find any here in this side of the world. There is one filipino cake store where you can order but it will take few days before you get it, and I can't wait for that days lol. So I attempted to bake my own version of Purple Yum Macapuno or Coconut candy Cake or Ube Macapuno Cake. I've seen a lot of recipes online and tried it but cannot get the consistency I like. I'm kind of mixing all the recipes I found. I tell ya, I don't know how much flours and butter I've wasted just to suit my taste, and finally after many trial and errors, it turned out great!

After I posted it in FB, I received messages asking for the recipe. It gives me an idea of posting recipes once a week here. So if you're interested, you are free to get some of em here.

Some of the ingredients in this recipe are usually found in any Asian store, like purple yum powder or frozen purple yum and macapuno (coconut candy) So, you might want to check asian store in your area.

For the Cake:

2 1/4 cups cake flour
3 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
7 egg yolks ( don't throw egg whites, you will use it later)
1/2 cup cooking oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup grated ube or purple yam
1 tsp ube flavouring
1/2 tsp purple food colouring
7 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar


2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup of butter (1 stick) room temperature
8 oz or 25o g of cream cheese (1 package) room temperature
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 jar (12 oz) of macapuno (coconut candy)

*Use 1/4 cup macapuno and fold in this mixture. Spread out the rest of the macapuno on middle and top of assembled cake.

*Preheat oven to 35o degrees F. Prepare two 9 round pans, line bottoms with wax paper. Do not grease.
*In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and combine well. Add egg yolks, cooking oil, milk, grated ube or purple yam, ube flavouring, purple food colouring. Beat with electric mixer or by hand jut until smooth and well blended.

*In a separate bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until frothy. Gradually add in 3/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed. Gradually and gently fold in egg whites into flour mixture  until very well combined. Divide batter equally into prepared pans.
*Bake for about 45 mins or until a skewer stick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Invert pans into wire rack immediately and cool completely.
*Carefully run a thin knife around sides of pans to release cakes. Using a knife, half each cake horizontally. Set aside one of the top halves for later use.


Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, whipping cream and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. Use the whisk attachment and mix on medium speed until smooth and fold in the 1/4 cup macapuno.

To Assemble:

*Drain some of the syrup from the macapuno
*Place one of the cake layers (bottom half of one of the cakes), cut side up on your serving plate. Spread and level some cream cheese frosting onto the cake layer until it is about 1/4" thick. Scatter half of the macapuno on top of cream cheese frosting.
*Place second cake layer, cut side down on top of bottom cake layer. Spread the remaining cream cheese frosting and remaining macapuno on top of second layer in the same manner as above.
*Top the cake with cream cheese frosting to cover top and sides of cake. Remember to leave some frosting for your borders.
*Using the remaining frosting decorate your cake of your own likes

Enjoy and hope you all have a great day!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Paris (Europe Trip part 2)

Our third stop, Bonjour de Paris, France. It's fascinating and romantic. The fabled city of lights. It reflects off the white stone buildings in the most amazing ways. We visited Eiffel tower, which is awesome specially at night. The whole tower lights up and sparkles, just wow!
We went to Museu' de Louvre. At one point I am thankful that being short and petite has given me some sort of benefits :), easy for me to made way to a packed of people wanted to see the painting of Monalisa up close  just to take photos.
More places we've visited, Grand de Palais, Music Academy, Versailles, Notre Dame Cathedral and enjoy our night in Sienne River Cruise, stride along the best shopping avenue Montaigne. This is the glamourous side Paris. Walked in few neighbourhood and had croissant from the bakery first thing in the morning. Fresh warm bread available on most streets in Paris. I've noticed people dress well even just go around the corner to get bread :)

View from the top of Eiffel tower

Eiffel tower at night

Notre Dame Cathedral

Musee de Louvre

LV,  Avenue Montaigne

We had such a great time in Paris. Thanks to our wonderful tour guide Jeff in showing us around this beautiful city