Thursday, May 9, 2013

Cookies & Cakes

Hey all,

Just wanted to share my other passion - baking. I've been baking ever since I was a teenager in Panama City, Panama. Back then I was using cake mixes to make delicious concoctions. As I grew older, my taste for cake mix went stale and I started making cakes from scratch. I have a recipe that has become the staple for most of my cakes, with a few changes to ingredients here and there (forgive me if I don't post it, but it's my secret recipe and I will share it with my girls if and when they become inclined to baking, lol!

Anyway, I bake almost anything, but lately I have been in demand to make Cookies-on-a-Stick. Yes, you guessed correctly - a cookie Popsicle. I made 100 of these for a baby shower a few weeks ago (50 chocolate chip and 50 oatmeal). The chocolate chip dough is store bought. I usually buy the Pillsbury brand from Smart & Final (I love this brand better as the cookie is moist and raises to fit the cookie mold). The oatmeal dough I make from scratch.  Here are samples of both cookies, baked and wrapped ready for delivery! I'm getting ready to make 100 more for a Champagne Sip next Friday!  BTW, the cookie mold and sticks/bags can be bought at Michael's, Wal-Mart or Jo-Ann stores (for those of you who have Hobby Lobby, I guess you can find them there also - we don't have them here in Southern California).

In addition to making these, my girlfriend wanted me to make her one of my cakes (I call it a plain cake, most of my friends call it a pound cake, though mine is not pound cake as I don't use a pound of anything!). Once cooled and stack the cakes and frost them using a burnt butter icing found here. Note that my icing is darker than the one portrayed in the link. That's because I really burn the butter, I don't just brown it.

Last but not least, are some Butterscotch Blondies. This was my first time trying this one and I've already received several orders for more!  

Friday, May 3, 2013

A Season for Everything

Life is not just about having fun. It's comprised of good times, bad times, sad times, and in between times. These times are a part of every living human being.  Sad, but true.  We have to take life as it comes to us. We have the choice to let it weigh us down or to take it in stride.

I recently experienced the loss of someone who was, I believe, destined for greatness. However, God had other plans for him.  This young man was at the beginning of his young adult life when it was snatched from him by a bullet (stray or intentional, I'm not sure). Though he left this earthly so soon, he left behind a beautiful testament as to how one should live life.

I met him three years ago. He was 21 at the time.  His life was cut short just before his 24th birthday.  The takeaways I got from his life are many.  This is what I learned about him in my short time of knowing him: He was a fiercely bold young man; he was loyal; he was not afraid to speak the truth. He was intentional in everything he did in his life: looking for a job, writing music, caring for his baby girl. He knew what he wanted in life and set out to achieve it.  I loved his fearlessness. He spoke in a commanding way and was positive in his outlook on life.  These are the things I will remember about him -- his boldness, fierceness, and fearlessness!  He inspired me to write my life statement (I found out at his home going service that he'd written one last September, and had checked off the things he'd achieved since writing it).

Though his life was cut short, I feel it served the purpose God had for him. I know he inspired my life in the short time I knew him.  As a mother, I don't know what it means to lose a child. My heart goes out to all who've had to experience having their child leave this earthly life long before their time. No parent should have to experience such a loss.  However, I encourage all to look at the good times and remember the things about them that put a smile on your face. I especially want to encourage you and remind you that you will see your loved one again. Scripture states, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." John 14:1-4. The Bible also states, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16.

Here is a card that I make for his mother. It reminds me of what is important in life - prayer, giving thanks and my deepening relationship with God.  Be blessed.