Neon Mamo

Blogging and baking…and sharing along the way!

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How to Throw your Children off Kilter!

Posted by on Jan 6, 2013 |

bdaycake2013

 

Everyday we awaken to a degree of uncertainty, we open our eyes with a preliminary schedule, and we wonder…”what surprises await me today?!!?” and we begin our routine into the 24 hours we have to encompass that which surrounds us.  However, today….my today was different…I woke up with a new plan!  A plan I certainly did not have when I snuggled into bed last night.

Today was my 47th year of being on this Earth….yes we celebrated my birthday and my children love to tell everyone ‘My mom is 46… FORTY SIX *GASP*”…little do they realize that ‘tomorrow’ they too shall be 46, and I shall be gasping as they continue to rise and tackle the challenges before them.  Today I called my middle child and threw her world into a loop…I was going to make what I wanted for dinner, and I wanted an ice cream cake!  So you may be asking…the joke in my house is I HATE ICE CREAM CAKE!  Cake is cake, ice cream is ice cream…and under normal circumstance I do not enjoy them as one…but as a compliment to one another.  She responded with “are you sure Mom?”…”Yes dear”…I’m 46 I’m able to make up my own mind until the Dr declares I have indeed reached that period of mental instability (well no more than a mother of five girls can truly be). Forty five minutes wasted with questions of why, how come…etc…we came to the conclusion I was having my own day and I was to be placated with a DQ ice cream cake…it just so happens DQ as nice enough to send me a printable 3.00 Off coupon for my birthday as a loyal customer…so I sent her off to acquire my ‘cake’.   She toddles off with her friend (he truly is a blessing) to the closet Dairy Queen ( a mere .4 kms from my home) and I receive the call….”Mom do you want Vanilla, Chocolate or Strawberry?”  I ask ‘Do they have this months special?” a confection of chocolate and chocolates…advising me no she comes home with my alternate selection of chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.  A Large circular treat coated in drizzled chocolate, chocolate whip cream, and brownies….oh and shaved chocolate!   Nirvana…after sitting out for 20 minutes so it can soften…(this is yet another reason for not liking those bricks of ice cream disguised as cake).  My granddaughter was elated to help me blow out the imaginary candles, after I told her we were avoiding candles to prevent a house fire…we pretended to wish and blow together…amused she walks off with her delicious temptation loudly yelling to the neighbors “I love you Mamo, thank you for the cake”.  After everyone is served, I slide in beside her with my slice and we sit in silence smiling at one another as we embrace our treat.  Did I already mention…Nirvana?….hmmm I digress.

So now 47 minutes later, dinner is cleared up, the cake is put away in the freezer for a treat for them in the week…it really was a large cake…and I sit down to blog to remind myself in my senile years…that today on this celebration of my 47th year here…yes even I can throw my children off kilter from time to time…but we will still come together to celebrate our lives together.  Like the joy of biting into four layers of ooey gooey chocolate…..years from now the stains of our discretions will be long forgotten, cleansed in the laughter, love and whip cream that brings us together.

 

Go celebrate your day…your Year…Your Love…Hug your friends, family and even shake someones hand.  Make a difference and Move forward with your head held high.

 

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In Search of the perfect Buttercream ~2013

Posted by on Jan 2, 2013 |

Many of you may not be aware that I own my own cupcake company.  www.apinchofthiscupcakes.com is My own little nirvana built up from the numerous birthdays and events we celebrate in our home.  That little idea  that rose up from friends and family saying over the years “you ought to do this for a living!”.  A couple of years ago, I found myself laid off for the first time in my history…and raising children is not by any means cheap…so, while I sat at home living off the never rising income of the monies from my previous employer which would run out…I had an idea…cupcakes!  The kids were all for it, I mean seriously…who wouldn’t want to taste test while mom explored her new found career?….I had friends, family and friends of friends offering their fingers out while I whipped up batter and batches of buttercream….no shortening here…if I was going to do it, I was going to do it right!  Besides, cupcakes are the awesome alternative to having a whole slice of cake…dieters beware they can become addictive 😉

Bowls, beaters, butter beware…I spent hours cultivating the perfect mix of this spice or that flavor, I perused pages upon pages of fellow bakers to look at their ideas. I admit I did ‘borrow’ some and manipulated them into something I could offer full time, I became aware of seasonal selections, pricing and packaging.  My life has become an endless foray into the world of internet searches…do I like this box?  Do I prefer this packaging?  Do I wish to charge this vs. that?  What will my overhead costs be in comparison to my time?  Will I be able to do this entering into my forethought occasionally…the answer always being yes!  I have offered samples, I have handed out gift certificates in my networking attempts.  I have accepted both praise and criticism where offered, and I have kept a smile on my face the whole time.  I have bartered, borrowed, beaten and bathed countless dozens of cupcakes in my attempts to improve both my skills and presentation.  By no means have I mastered it, I am not Cake Boss worthy (I choose not to cover everything in fondant)…but still I have so much to learn.

2013 is going to be the year I search for the perfect Buttercream…the perfect blend of vanilla, butter, confectioners sugar, milk (or cream) all mixed to match the colorful desires of clients alike.  I will share my uphill struggles, and my downhill despairs….I will offer photos of the creativity that arises from my kitchen, and my search for the perfect store front…which is my goal for the year end…I will welcome you to share your own opinions and ideas.  I am open to learning from all that come across this page.

But for now, I shall share my current ‘perfection’ and welcome you to try it on your own cakes and cupcakes.  I use this one from my grandmas selection of recipes I have managed to hoard over the years…but that is a post for another time.

 

buttercrm pic

Vanilla Buttercream

Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients:

1/2 c. unsalted softened butter

2 1/2 c. powdered sugar

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. 2% milk (or for a real treat use 10% cream!!)

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Directions:

Using a mixer mixer, cream the butter & salt for about 30 seconds and then add half of the powdered sugar and the milk to the butter and beat again until combined. Scrape down the bowl. Add the rest of the powdered sugar, the vanilla, and the lemon juice and beat until combined. Scrape down the bowl again. Beat on high speed for 5-6 minutes or until the frosting is fluffy.

This will easily top one dozen cupcakes.

 

 

 

 

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