Nutella S’more Waffles

Every November 19, our family celebrates our fire anniversary. We have this special occasion because eleven years ago, our whole house burned down at 1:30 in the morning. But, by God’s grace, He saved us from the fire and allowed our family and helper to get out of the house just in time. You can read more about the experience HERE.

s'more waffles
s’more waffles

Whenever we celebrate our “fireniversary”, we usually eat out at a restaurant with grilled food (since it reminds us of the fire) or we sometimes have a special meal together at home and remember God’s faithfulness. However, last Thursday (Nov. 19), we couldn’t meet up and have dinner as a family since we had prior commitments that we couldn’t postpone. We also tried to have breakfast or dinner together last Saturday, but some of us needed to attend other important activities too.

waffles cooking in the Krups waffle machine
waffles cooking in the Krups waffle machine
s'more waffles
s’more waffles

Hopefully, within the week, our plan to have dinner as a family will push through. (Hello, family! If you’re reading this, you know what to do. Haha!) In the meantime, I’ll be sharing one of my favorite snacks when we were still living at our old house in Kapitolyo. The lovely, gooey, and yummy S’MORES! But, this time, I made a little twist. Instead of using whole graham crackers as the base, I added crushed graham crackers to my waffle recipe and used the waffles to complement the toasted marshmallows and nutella spread. I hope you can try this one soon! It’s really a simple snack that can be prepared in 20 minutes or less. Enjoy!

Special thanks to my Dad and Mom for lending a helping hand (literally. hehehe.)

crushed graham crackers
crushed graham crackers
Nutella
Nutella

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NUTELLA S’MORE WAFFLES

Recipe makes 10 square waffles

 

Dry Ingredients:

2 cups of all-purpose flour

4 tsps. of baking powder

½ tsp. of salt

½ tsp. of cinnamon powder

1 tbsp. of white sugar

1/3 cup of crushed graham crackers

 

Wet Ingredients:

½ tsp of vanilla extract

1 ½ cups of whole milk

2 eggs

½ cup of vegetable oil

 

S’more ingredients:

Nutella (or other chocolate spread)

Big, white marshmallows (4-5 marshmallows per pair of waffles)

 

Steps:

  1. Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl.
  2. Whisk the wet ingredients in another bowl.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine well.
  4. Cook the batter in the waffle machine.
  5. Once the waffles are done, you can spread the nutella chocolate on each piece and top them with toasted marshmallows.
  6. In case your waffles cool completely, you can heat them up in the toaster for 3 minutes. Make sure to spread the chocolate on the waffles and add the marshmallows before toasting them.

Note: Waffles can be stored in a sealed container in the freezer for a week. When ready to eat, you can bring them out from the freezer, store at room temperature for 5 minutes, and toast for 3-5 minutes.

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s'more waffles
s’more waffles
s'more waffles
s’more waffles
s'more waffles
s’more waffles
s'more waffles
s’more waffles
nutella
nutella
s'more waffles
s’more waffles
s'more waffles
s’more waffles
s'more waffles
s’more waffles
s'more waffles
s’more waffles
s'more waffles
s’more waffles
s'more waffles
s’more waffles
s'more waffles
s’more waffles

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Chocolate Cake and Le Butter

Dear future self,

Just a piece of advice: Always remember that in order to make buttercream frosting, you’ll need to use butter. Hahaha!

Sincerely,

Me.

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I only had about two hours to bake and prepare a homemade chocolate cake for my younger brother who was coming home from a retreat in the province. I wanted it to be a surprise because we weren’t able to personally surprise him on the day of his birthday since he was out of town. So, I hurriedly prepared the cake batter and frosting, baked the cake and cupcakes, and frosted them just in time.

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While I was making the frosting, I noticed that unlike the other batches of frosting that I made, this batch produced fewer cups. I felt that something was missing, but because I didn’t have much time, I continued to frost the cakes. The frosting was very smooth, chocolaty, and creamy! It tasted like melted ice cream and it had just the right amount of sweetness!

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After eating dinner with the family at home, we brought the cake and cupcakes out and greeted our brother, Gabo, a happy birthday! By God’s grace, the freshly baked cakes were light, fluffy, and moist and the family appreciated how the frosting complemented the chocolate cakes. Of course, Gabo also pointed out that we used his favorite brand of milk chocolate on the cake and I think he was happy about it. Yay! Haha.

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When it was time to clear the table and clean the dishes, I placed some of the cupcakes and cake in the refrigerator and stored the leftover frosting in a small plastic container. Just before rinsing the rubber spatula that I used, I dipped my finger on the remaining chocolate frosting on it and tasted it one last time before the night ended. I couldn’t believe it. Immediately, I blurted out “Shucks. The butter. I forgot to add the butter!”

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It was hilarious because earlier that day, I even made an extra effort to buy more unsalted butter for the cake that I was going to make and I forgot to use it. Hahaha! I felt bad at first because it wasn’t the frosting that I originally wanted to make, but at the same time, I was grateful for it because it was a new discovery for me!

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When I told my family about it, I also mentioned that I was actually planning on using 1 cup of butter for the butter cream frosting. And when they heard “1 cup” they immediately said “Then, it was a good thing that you forgot to add it. Haha.”

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I love how God uses even the simplest mistakes made in the kitchen to remind me of how His grace is always more than enough for me. I was tempted to feel bad because I wasn’t able to use butter cream frosting for the cake, but at that moment, that melted-ice-cream frosting was THE frosting that God wanted us to taste and enjoy. Plus, although it would probably taste delicious too, we were spared from indulging on butter that night. Alright!

It was a great reminder for me to keep on trusting that God is in control, that He knows exactly what I need, and that He is always more than enough for me. :)

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.”

[Proverbs 19:21]

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To my younger bro, ‘Gaboot’,

You’re now 21 years old. Woohoo! We’ve had so many crazy moments together since we were kids and I know that we will continue to be crazy when we get older. But, by God’s grace, I’ve seen you become more mature in different aspects and it has been a blessing for me to see you grow. I pray that God would continue to give you the desire to know, love, and serve Him all the days of your life. May He use you even more to reach out to others and share the love of Christ to those around you. And even though this stage in your life might be quite challenging, I believe that you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. Psalm 105:4!

Lurve,

Le Butter. (HAHA. *inside joke*)

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CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES*

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup cake flour

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

4 eggs

1 cup plain sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Stir the flour, cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a bowl.
  3. Mix in the butter until the ingredients are well-combined.
  4. Add in the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla.
  5. Fill the cupcake liners and bake for about 15 minutes. Use a toothpick to check the center of the cupcakes if they’re done.
  6. Cool completely before frosting. I used Cadbury milk chocolate to design the cake too!

 

*Recipe adapted from http://bakingamoment.com

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CHOCOLATE FROSTING**

1 cup milk

2/3 cup white sugar

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

  1. Mix the milk, white sugar, flour, and cocoa powder in a pan.
  2. Bring it to a boil while stirring, until the mixture is thick. Set aside to cool.
  3. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave. Set aside to slightly cool.
  4. Whisk the chocolate mixture in step 1 with the softened butter, until creamy.
  5. Add in the melted chocolate. Whisk until fluffy and well-combined.

**Recipe adapted from http://www.visionsofsugarplum.com

 

Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)

Worth Melting For

There’s a certain glow in a person’s heart when it’s his or her birthday. For some reason, when we celebrate our birthdays, we experience a different kind of joy, peace, and contentment throughout the day. We tend to smile more, radiate positive vibes around us, give more, worry less, and the list goes on.

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Last week, I celebrated my 23rd birthday and interestingly, God allowed me to experience indescribable peace that day even if I had to finish chores at 5:30 in the morning, only had 2 hours of sleep, and was late for work because of the first two things I just mentioned. It was actually a very good day for me and I thank God for it.

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For my birthday treat, I brought some of my favorite desserts to the office: dozens of Krispy Kreme doughnuts and fresh strawberries. I usually bring plain strawberries to the office whenever we have extra at home, but this time, I decided to coat them in white and semi-sweet chocolate for a change.

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While I was at Cooks’ Exchange, I asked one of the staff members where the chocolate for melting/dipping was. He pointed to a number of baskets filled with various chocolate bars and chocolate chips. Then, he said “Ma’am, since you’re melting chocolate for strawberries, I suggest that you use chocolate bars instead of chocolate chips, because the bars were made for melting and the chips were made to retain their shape in baked goods.”

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And so, I bought bars of white and semi-sweet chocolate and melted them at home using a double broiler.

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Although it took extra effort to carefully melt the chocolate and dip the berries in it, I really enjoyed making the chocolate-covered strawberries because it was amazing to see the chocolate quickly harden and take the shape of the fruit.

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As I was preparing the sweet treats, I realized that the chocolate really needed to go through the melting process in order for me to have chocolate-covered berries.  If I wanted to make this dessert, I couldn’t just shred the chocolate bars and press them on the fruit. The chocolate bars needed to change its form to liquid so that it can stick to the fruit, which would then result to my desired dessert.

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Somehow, God reminded me that in the same way, Jesus needed to go through his melting process too (suffering, pain, sacrifice, and resurrection) so that we can experience an intimate relationship with God for eternity. Only Jesus was destined to do so.

Romans 5:8 says “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

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This gentle reminder comforted my heart that night (which was the night before my birthday) because God used it to reassure me of His indescribable love for me. And as I celebrate my 23 years of existence in a world where pain, uncertainties and discouragements are also evident, I am reminded to place my security and hope in the One who knows and loves me the most – and that is, Jesus. :)

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Thank You, Jesus, for another year with you. Thank you for going through the melting process for me and for reminding me that because of Your grace, I am worth melting for. Only a love like Yours can make my heart glow. Only a love like Yours can motivate me to live each day for You. :)

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Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)

 

Joy that Lasts

Some of my friends from college hosted a Mooncake Festival at their lovely home today. It was a fun event because we were able to spend time with them, enjoy the Dice game, win prizes, and experience the privilege of being invited to their place. Because of their family’s generosity, I went home with awesome treats! I won a bar of Twix, a set of Simpsons stationery, and a pack of Hershey’s kisses with almonds.

Playing the Dice game
Playing the Dice game

On my way home from the event, I stopped at an intersection and saw two men, who looked like they were in their late 20’s, resting at the sidewalk. One was carrying the other on his back because the latter couldn’t walk – He had really thin and weak legs. When I saw them, somehow, I was encouraged by God to give them food. So, I quickly looked around to see if there were any biscuits in the car. But after searching, I couldn’t find any.

By God’s grace, just a few seconds before the traffic light turned green, I saw the pack of Hershey’s kisses in my bag, opened the window near the passenger’s seat, called the attention of the two guys I saw, and gave it to them. I will never forget the expression of the man’s face when he received the pack of Kisses. I saw his face light up as he held onto the chocolates. And I saw him look at me and say “Salamat.” (Thank you.)

Angel, Aldwin, and I with our prizes! :)
Angel, Aldwin, and I with our prizes! :)

Two seconds later, the traffic light turned green and I drove straight ahead, leaving the intersection. My heart melted as the moment flashed back in my mind and I said “Lord, thank you for that. It was a blessing to give to others and to see that man enjoy the treat.”

I then continued to think about that experience and wondered if those two men knew God. As I continued to drive, I felt the burden to pray for them and I said “Lord, I saw how joyful the men were when they got the pack of chocolates. But I know that those Kisses would only last for a few hours or days. I pray that you would also allow them to know You more, have a personal relationship with You, and experience the Joy of knowing You. Because You alone can give us joy that would last forever. Thank you for Your love for us.”

Thank you, Pendoza family! <3
Thank you, Pendoza family! <3

It says in John 15:9-11: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.  If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.  I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”

It was my first time to participate in the Dice game at a Mooncake event and I honestly didn’t expect to win anything. But, because God graciously blessed the family who hosted the party, they were able to bless me and the men on the street as well. Thank you, Lord, for simple joys and moments with You. It was and it will always be an honor experiencing You and Your joy in our lives.