Sunday, January 27, 2019

Chocolate Surprise



I'm calling this dessert "Chocolate Surprise" because I honestly had no idea it would turn out this good. Just looked like a regular cake, but this ingredient combo really hit the spot and surprised me with the melt-in-your-mouth texture. It also happens to be flourless--a great choice for your gluten-free friends!

Ingredients:

~ 1 1/4 cup chocolate chips
~ 1/2 cup or 1 stick of butter
~ 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
~ 1/2 t salt
~ 2 t vanilla extract
~ 3 eggs
~ 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9" round baking pan. Melt the chocolate chips and stick of butter in a saucepan on low, stirring constantly until blended. Pour into a mixing bowl and add sugar, salt, and vanilla. Beat in the eggs and mix with cocoa powder. Add to pan and bake for 15-20 minutes on a middle shelf. Allow to cool and then transfer onto a plate (may crumble a little). Add your choice of vanilla or chocolate icing to the top, or mix powdered sugar and water for a thin glaze. Enjoy!

P.S. Stay tuned next week readers for a sneak peek of my new novel!!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Praying for Life

Available at handmadecatholicshop.com

The anniversary of Roe v. Wade is approaching, and I wanted to share this beautiful devotion. During this time when we remember to protect life at all stages, we need to especially pray for all moms who are expecting, and the chaplet of St Gerard is a wonderful set of prayers for them!

St. Gerard is a special patron of mothers because of one particular story. Not long before his death, a young girl sought to return a missing handkerchief of St. Gerard's. The saint told her to hold onto it in case she were to ever need it. Long after St. Gerard died, the girl married and was expecting. She was close to losing her baby with an unexpected early labor, but pressed the handkerchief of St Gerard to her stomach and the baby was born healthy. 

Chaplet of St. Gerard: On the first three beads, pray one Our Father. On the second three beads, pray one Hail Mary. On the third three beads, pray one Glory Be.

Conclude with (for expectant mothers):
“Great St. Gerard, beloved servant of Jesus Christ, thou art a perfect imitator of our meek and humble Savior and a devoted child of the Mother of God. Enkindle in my heart one spark of that heavenly fire of charity that glowed in thee and made thee a beacon of love. Glorious St. Gerard like thy divine Master thou bore without murmur or complaint the calumnies of wicked men when falsely accused of crime and were raised up by God as the patron and protector of expectant mothers. Preserve me from dangers and shield the child I now carry. Pray that my baby may be brought safely to the light of day and receive the Sacrament of Baptism. Amen.”

Conclude with (for motherhood/special favors):
“Most Blessed Trinity, I, Thy child, thank Thee for all the gifts and privileges which Thou hast granted to St. Gerard, especially for those virtues with which Thou didst adorn him on earth and the glory which Thou imparts to him in Heaven. Accomplish Thy work, O Lord, so that Thy Kingdom may come about on earth. Through his merits, in union with those of Jesus and Mary, grant me the grace for which I ask (mention your request). And thee, my powerful intercessor, St. Gerard, always so ready to help those who have recourse to thee, pray for me. Come before the Throne of Divine Mercy and do not leave without being heard. To thee I confide this important and urgent affair. Graciously take my cause in hand and do not let me leave without experiencing in some way the effects of thy intercession. Amen.”

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Setting a New Standard


At the beginning of the year, we usually have those moments where we feel disappointed we haven't lived up to our goals. Some resolution probably fell off the list on January 2nd already. That's ok. It's more important to be realistic and optimistic than to set a standard of perfectionism. 

The standard we set for ourselves should be, were we pleasing to God today? Yes maybe things on our list didn't get done. Maybe we look at our life and see too much room for improvement. At the end of the day and the end of our lives, St John of the Cross says we will be judged on love.

It's good to have generally high standards, but not at the cost of losing ourselves in standards. God's standard for us is His holy will. If we are striving for that daily, then even when we have bad days they can still be good ones from trying.

Let's set a new standard that involves accomplishing small goals and doing more of what makes us and God happy.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

The Trust of the Three Kings


Little Christmas is one of my favorite days. I love the Three Kings. They inspire me with their trustful confidence in the sign of the star and their humble surrender and love at finding the King of Kings in the manger. 

I often think about royalty and fantasize about what that kind of life would be. Every girl romanticizes a Prince Charming of sorts on a white horse. Yet these three kings were so different from the modern fairytale.

They traveled long distances perhaps at great discomfort to themselves. Maybe they left families behind in search of the newborn King. They brought gifts of great price and sacrificed their time. They are called wise men and believed in God's message, falling down immediately to adore Him. 

Our Lord's manifestation on Epiphany revealed His governance over all earthly power. That manifestation as a little child should bring us great comfort, knowing that He wishes to reign in our hearts in all sweetness.