Neon Mamo

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Sometimes

Posted by on May 27, 2012 | 1 comment

Sometimes

 
Sometimes you feel as though you are treading water
  other times you just want to sink to the bottom.

Sometimes you want to acknowledge your regrets
  other times you know others are taking care of that for you.

Sometimes you fight the fight for the right reason
  other times people fight it for you.

Sometimes you want to say “Enough”
  other times you know that someone somewhere may be rooting for you.

Sometimes you want it all to be over,
  other times no matter what promises to God you make, it is taken out of your hands and over before you want it to be.

Sometimes the biggest disappointments are solely on the shoulders of those you trusted most,
  other times the helping hand comes from a complete stranger.

Sometimes you are proud to be you
  other times you are embarassed to be.

Sometimes.

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Strawberries are popping up everywhere!

Posted by on May 25, 2012 | 2 comments

The promise of summer in our house brings joy to everyone, with its promise of sunshine, laughter, lemonade, barbecues and long days spent outdoors with family and friends alike.  In our house as I’m sure in many…it also brings forth an abundance of strawberries!  Even my one daughter who is allergic to them, will insure her intake of benadryl so she can imbibe in her favourite fruit!  It is a love affair that unlike any other is only fullfilled when the basket of berries is gone, and the last berry has been taken by the quickest draw…I laugh as some days the granddaughter darts in and grabs her reward, proceeding to taunt the Aunts with her beloved treasure, squealing in delight as the chase her around the room, knowing she will have devoured her joy before they can grab her.  The fun is in the chase…

In my home, cupcakes are the answer to every life woe, birthdays, celebrations, just because…and I can ensure their pleasure is enjoyed a little bit longer with a simple recipe.  Decorated with a Strawberry buttercream, and a center of real whip cream…everyone enjoys the first bite into the promise of something fresh and tasty.  

 

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Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes

Yellow Cupcakes:

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs at room temperature

1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup milk at room temperature (I used skim)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners or grease the cups with butter or non-stick cooking spray; set aside

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt; set aside

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla on high speed for about 3 minutes or until mixture is well combined and thick

Add butter and oil and beat on high until well combined; scrape sides of the bowl with a spatula and mix for another minute

Reduce the speed to low and add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and then 1/2 milk; add another 1/3 of dry ingredients and remaining milk; add remaining dry ingredients and remove from mixer immediately

Use a spatula to incorporate any dry ingredients that have are not fully combined; distribute batter evenly among cupcake cups with a ladle or ice cream scoop

Bake in center of oven for 13-17 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean

Allow cupcakes to cool for several minutes and then remove from tin and place on cooling rack; set aside and prepare buttercream

Strawberry Buttercream:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

1/2 cup strawberry jelly

1 cup powdered sugar

Beat butter in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment on high speed for several minutes until butter is light and creamy

Add jelly and beat on high speed for one minute; scrape the sides of the bowl and beat for an additional minute

Add powdered sugar and mix on low speed until combined; increase speed of mixer to high and beat until frosting is light and fluffy

Fill your piping bag with whip cream and insert into cupcake, so that you can fill with whip cream, place a half strawberry and then pipe or spread your buttercream onto the cooled cupcakes as desired.  Bite and enjoy!  Summer is here!

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Saving yourself in 31 degree weathersummer

Posted by on May 20, 2012 | 0 comments

Summer weather has arrived…and I say bring it!  I love the sun shining, the heat, the tans…yes I am a bad person, I like to be golden…not burnt, not dark brown but golden.  Like a perfectly roasted marshmallow!  

I am excited at the sounds of laughter in the yard, children running up and down the street, and the smells of flowers in bloom. The thought of coleslaw, potato salad, macaroni salad, and meals made to be eaten outdoors.  Summer bring froth the promise of beach trips, camping, fires and roasted marshmallows.  Cold drinks and freezies…this is the time of year that takes us back to our childhood.  We can smile at the memories we ourselves had and the ones we share with our children.

This summer I plan on making a lot of potato salad and light meals, cool but healthy at the same time.  My favourite dinner is baked ham and salads…the aroma is amazing, its easy and you can feed a family of five for less than 4.00 per person!  Served with refreshing Lemonade!

Perfect Lemonade Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup sugar (can reduce to 3/4 cup for more tang to your tastebuds)
  • 1 cup water (for the simple syrup)
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 3 to 4 cups cold water (to dilute)

1 Make simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved completely.

2 While the sugar is dissolving, use a juicer to extract the juice from 4 to 6 lemons, enough for one cup of juice.

3 Add the juice and the sugar water to a pitcher. Add 3 to 4 cups of cold water, more or less to the desired strength. Refrigerate 30 to 40 minutes. If the lemonade is a little sweet for your taste, add a little more straight lemon juice to it.

Serve with ice, sliced lemons.

Yield: Serves 6.

 

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Life beyond a book…One page at a time

Posted by on May 18, 2012 | 0 comments

Sometimes…I wonder if it may not benefit us, to step back and ask ourselves…what would I do if I was the one who felt they were wronged or being replaced?..Give ourselves an honest answer, understanding we may not like it then move forward from there. Not every mother is out to get someone, out to banish the stepmother into another dimension, or out to make their ex husbands lives a living hell…it does happen yes, it has happened…however I alone   am in control of how I move forward from here.

Understanding that over the past 25 years (OMG), there have been moments of clarity, moments of regret, and moments where I wished the earth would crack and swallow the brats and no I do not mean my children…I also know as I’ve matured and lived this life, that no amount of education, preparation or imagination could have ever prepared me for…nor made me into the the parent or person I am today…parent in the form of step, bio and Court appointed. 
Yes my marriage failed, but it failed because I was a naive young woman who thought I could save the world…not realizing I may have to save myself when the time came. In a divorce there is always another side to the story…the wife, the husband, the child..and the unmitigated truth that lies in between the biases, hurt, anger, loss, grief and selfishness.
What I know to be true as a 45 year old, is far from that of a 20 year old.

Person I am in the form of if i was asked to describe myself…my short answer would be Divorced, Educated,Imaginative, Creatively Sarcastic Mother of Many, Family orientated, Daughter, Sister, Aunt, and Mamo, an Occasional screw up, Selfless yet selfish at the same time, Romantic…did I mention Creatively Sarcastic?

That would be my short description, yet is does not define who I am, or who I have become.  That alone is based on life experiences, events and education along the sometimes crooked path.  Who I am is based upon a variety of life experiences, lessons learned both good and bad, and events that I have had the pleasure of taking advantage of throughout the past 45 years. (If you ask me I will reply with a quick smile that I am 39.95 plus shipping and handling…taxes go up every year and so does shipping and handling!)  I am who I am based on tears, laughter, angst, anger, grief, drama, peer pressure, marriage, child birth and death.  I am not perfect, I am not imperfect…I am a person with feelings, thoughts, emotions, biases and beliefs.  I can be opinionated, I can be hyper, full of joy, and full of sadness sometimes all at the same time…but each time is a lesson learned, a page turned in this book that is my life.

I have wasted time in this life carrying baggage that was both mine and not mine to carry.  I have embraced new experiences, and for the sake of sanity abandoned some…but at no point have I ever stopped and said “I give up”.  I have opened doors to new experiences, and likewise I have closed some on the memories that just lead towards a dark place I chose not to go towards.  My children, all of them…from my stepdaughter right down to my youngest have taught me lessons along the way.  My ex husband in his own way taught me things that I never believed possible…and there are days I will laugh when I find myself caught in the middle of doing something, cursing him and his head full of ‘useless knowledge’.  I kid with my children that the neon sign on my front door saying Drop your child here is seen by everyone but me…yet they shake their head, and trust me when I open that door and offer what help we can.  I find that although it may involve stress, angst and tears…in the end it is one person that needed a hand, and I did what I could.  I have taught my children that buying the homeless man in McDonald’s a meal because he is sitting there looking miserable as they enjoy themselves…is the right thing to do, and they are proud when they share the memories of baking, cooking, wild water fights, sleepovers, tents in the living room even though they know I will be up in the morning cleaning like a fiend.  The pocket change spent as we share a treat from that infernal Ice cream truck (someone tell me WHY he comes at 5 pm?)…sometimes it is OK to have dessert first!  I have taught them that it is OK to talk to one another even if I may not be talking at the time…I have taught them, that no matter what the door will never be closed, the book will never stop turning pages, and the people that touched our lives in a positive or negative way…left an opportunity to teach us one more thing.  I have been adamant in my educating them on not choosing their friends based on sexual, religious, financial or racial differences…ignorance starts at home and grows outside of it.

One day the children will have all moved out, even though they swear they are staying til they are 40…the older one have moved out, moved on and are creating their own footprint.  They will have their own stories to tell, their own events that shape who they are, as previous ones shape who they are right now…and I will sit back, smile and watch as the story unfolds One page at a time, because although my role as their parent will never cease, it will be my joy to share in their adventure.

 

 

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