Archive | April 2012

Viral…the worlds favourite word :)

I love the word Viral…no really I do!  It is an all encompassing word!  It may replace omnipotent in my vocabulary.

What am I rambling on about, you’re probably asking yourself right now!?!?!?   LOL…I am going viral with my approach to the overuse of the word VIRAL.  It is the one word these days that can make me grimace and laugh at the same time, it opens up debates and completely shuts down conversation at the same time.  It has become our catch all phrase.  Viral is the approach when we embrace something new, neglecting the responsibility of the past lessons learned. Viral is the commentary of newscasters, sportsmen and friends alike, it is the manner in which we embrace our daily tasks, our responsibilities and our past times.  It defines who we are when we discuss the tasks we take on, some completed some left long forgotten as we embrace the latest and greats…the new….Viral is quicky becoming a definition of who we will be in the near future.

Viral is the cold season, as sufferers endure the challenges of work and life with runny noses, swollen sinuses and eyes watering clearly allowing those near us to see our suffering.  In a child with a fever of 104, the prognosis is always “It’s a viral infection going around, keep doing what you’re doing…” Just once I want to scream, ‘ I keep doing it, and it keeps coming back….lol”.   Viral is the speed with which social media has affected society today…long gone are the days of the written word, rather we all sit and blog, or Facebook or Myspace (yes there are still some who log in 😉  ) and the speed with which our ideals, recipes or latest findings are spread is referred to as….wait for it…VIRAL!  

Viral is the latest and greatest to all it embraces on a daily basis…embrace it I say, soon it shall be replaced as the pen of yesterday.  We will have  anew catch phrase, we will succumb to the diatribe of the next generation, be it at the dinner table or at the park…we will hear it, use it and we will run with it. 

As for me, I am going to go deal with a granddaughter who has a viral infection, her other who also is viral and a teenager who is embarking on a viral schedule of  play rehearsals….Enjoy!  Embrace your inner animal and know that your world is viral too!

 

My name is Shellie….and I Coupon!

I have always beleived that you can learn something new every day…and a few months ago I learned something new, and have embraced it wholeheartedly!  I am a couponer!  i am proud couponer…despite my children laughing at my need to be organized, my desire to stock up on the items we use a lot of, and my addiction for Glade products!

I have all the necessary tools to make my journey enjoyable and profitable.  I have my binder, easily distinguishable from the photo albums, and noticeable enough the kids do not dare to set it somewhere it could be lost, I have coloured highlighters to save the cashiers time when processing my order, I have my lists, my day or organizing…and I have the proof of my savings secured away fro those weeks I get discouraged and think…this isn’t working.  I have gone from spending 400.00 per week, to less than 200 every three weeks.  The kids are not starved for fruit, vegetables or meat…and we have amassed a considerable amount of stock in order to insure we on’t have to buy cleaning or paper products weekly.  I have turned to home cooked meals more often…and as well as saving money, my waist line is beginning to shrink (it’s about time trust me!)

I look froward to the fliers that arrive weekly, and yet I spend no more than an hour organizing my list, daily I have managed to insure my mailbox is full of delights and samples form companies that are so kind as to share their wares.  I have learned to become a smart shopper…and yet at the same time save money. There is an etiquette for couponing, and although I am not one of those televised people in their extreme need to hoard the unnecessary…I have met several people along the way who are kind enough to share and listen to advise when offered.  We are  a giving community…we share our savings with those less fortunate where ever possible, we share our findings, and we are not afraid to voice our opinion against stores that will cheat you when they are reimbursed fully.  I have met some unscrupulous people along the way, out for nothing more than attention and looking for kudos, all while sharing how to cheat a store when they know a price was printed incorrectly…but I have met more positive people than negatve, so I am impressed.

In this economic downfall we all seem to be facing these days, with lay offs, job loss, foreclosures and more…couponing is an excellent arena to relearn…teach your children, share with your neighbors…embrace a new way of saving and like so many…love it!

Savings to date:  2500.00 in less than five months, meaning bills are paid on time, kids are fed, holidays are celebrated, and tomorrow offers a glimmer of hope…again and again!  Couponing isn’t just for the poor, it is for the smart and savvy shopper who wants more for their dollar.  Couponing is the new future to saving towards….say retirement?  a vacation?…a spa day!

 

Sites that can help you learn to Budget, learn to Save, provide coupons include, but are not limited to http://canadianbudgetbinder.com/ , http://mrsjanuary.com, save.ca, smartsource.ca, websaver.ca and Gocoupons.ca.

My Mishmash Alfredo Pasta Dish

My youngest daughter aka Kiki in our house loves Alfredo!   Anything Alfredo …which is good because it allows me to expand my dinners by trying new things to add to the Alfredo sauces as they simmer.  Add to that it is an inexpensive sauce to make, and well worth the few minutes it takes to whip up.

Last nights dinner was a simple mix of what was n the cupboard…also known as a mishmash of what is in the cupboard and catches my eye :).

Alfredo Sauce

Servings: 4  (I double this when everyone is home)

  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 c cream (I use 18% cream)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 c Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 c mozzarella cheese
  • Melt butter in medium saucepan with olive oil over medium/low heat. Add the garlic, cream, white pepper and bring mixture to a simmer. Stir often.
  • Add the Parmesan cheese and simmer sauce for 8-10 minutes or until sauce has thickened and is smooth.  When sauce has thickened add the Mozzarella cheese and stir until smooth. STIR FREQUENTLY to prevent the cheeses fro sticking to the bottom of the pot.While the sauce cooks, boil noodles for 3-5 minutes.
  1. Place pasta on serving plates and spoon sauce over pasta.
    Last nights dinner also included grilled chicken breast left over from the night before, 1/4 c. sun dried tomatoes chopped up and added to the sauce while I was preparing the pasta. ( I always add extra to mine after its ready as I love sun dried tomatoes!)

    The leftovers are always eaten the next day for lunch....if there are leftovers!

Homemade Rum Cake…Oh Ho ho!

My name is Shellie, and I love the smell of home baking!

The wafting of vanilla as it blends with cinnamon,sugar and flour is a divinity in itself. Mind you, I am not into vanilla scented sprays or candles …just the aromatic smell you have in a room as it comes to life in your stove or in a pot totally embraces you and offers  comfort.  I easily equate it  to snuggling in on a cold night with your flannels and a good book, that one corner of the comfy couch or your favourite chair…a drink at your side as you lose yourself in the adventure or romance before you.  We’ve all done it, yes even the men in our lives have lost themselves in a good story here and there!  Our imagination is what takes us on a road unexplored, a nook in our conscience that allows us to lose ourselves amongst the daily trials and trivialities of every day life.  For a brief time we can forget the trivialities of work or home that encompass our daytime hours, the stresses  before us can be lost as we read between the lines and picture ourselves in the situation, and momentarily find rapture between the pages of what has our attention at that time.

Truth be told I can come up with a dessert for anything…it is my favourite thing.  Dazzle your family or guests with this delicious alternative to heavy cake.  I have to admit I got this recipe offline, and made it one weekend for friends, just for something different….everyone was impressed at my culinary prowess.  They laughed when I told them I had shared my beloved bottle of Captain Morgan with them.  The flavour is not overpowering at all.  I decorated the plates with some caramel and a light dusting of icing sugar (and I mean light…lol) along with a dallop of fresh whip cream and we were all smiling at the end.

I promise I will make this this weekend and post a picture!

Homemade Rum Cake Recipe

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Bake Time: 50 to 60 minutes

For the Cake:
1 cup chopped walnuts
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup cornstarch
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons + ½ cup canola oil, divided
1 3.4-ounce package of instant vanilla pudding
4 eggs
¾ cup whole milk
¾ cup dark rum
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the Rum Syrup:
¾ cup unsalted butter
1½ cups granulated sugar
¼ cup water
Pinch of salt
½ cup dark rum

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a standard Bundt pan (12-cup capacity). Sprinkle the chopped walnuts around the bottom; set aside.

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

3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the flour mixture and the 3 tablespoons of canola oil, and mix on medium-low speed for a minute or two – the mixture should look like wet sand. Add the pudding mix and mix again on medium-low speed until combined.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, rum, and vanilla extract. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and beat on medium speed until thoroughly combined, about 2 to 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.  It will be thin in consistency but that’s great, it lends to the moistness.

5. Pour the cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

6. When the cake has about 10 minutes left to bake, start the rum syrup. Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Once it is melted, add the sugar and the water. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Turn off the heat and stir in the rum. Once it is mixed in, return it to medium heat for about 30 minutes.

7. When the cake comes out of the oven, immediately pour about one-third of the rum syrup over the bottom of the cake. Pour slowly so it has time to seep into the cake. Let it sit for 5 minutes.

8. Invert the cake onto your serving platter. Using a fork or a skewer, poke holes all over the cake – the top, sides, and around the inside. Don’t be shy – all of the holes ensure that the rum syrup seeps into the cake evenly. Sloooooowly pour the remaining rum syrup over the top of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. You want to do this step very slowly in order that the syrup actually seeps into the cake and doesn’t just pool on the bottom of the serving dish.

9. Allow the cake to cool to room temperature before serving. Leftovers can be kept, tightly wrapped, at room temperature for up to 5 days.

(Recipe adapted from Always Order Dessert)

Buttercream Dream!

As promised, I said I would share.  Here is my recipe for Buttercream icing.

Divinity served whether it be decorating a cake or cupcake…anyone can do this.  My granddaughter aka Bubba, is 3 years old and she loves to help me, truth be told she loves to lick the beater afterward…lol!  It can be flavoured or coloured to match your theme very easily.

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, 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.

I have also left it out at room temperature overnight (if I was going to use it in the morning) and it was just fine. Make sure and stir the buttercream well though before using to get the air bubbles out of the frosting.

This will easily top one dozen cupcakes.

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Welcome to the NeonMamo!

Hello Blogging World! Thank you for taking the time out of your day to visit with me.

My name is ….well I answer to a lot of names in all reality :). I am Shellie, a Sister, a Daughter,  an ExWife, Mom, Mamo, and currently am the Cupcake lady…I’ve even been the Pizza Lady when I used to be involved with a franchise.   I am new to this, blogging…but I have read many.  I have people ask me all the time “How do you?…”   I wish you could teach me…” so I thought ‘Why not!?!?!’

It’s my turn to venture into the foray of social media, the world wide web has opened up so many possibilities, and that is one thing I believe whole heartily  “The Possibilities are Endless”.  I hope to share some of those possibilities with you.  I hope you wish to share what you have learned, or feel free to ask questions if I’ve been vague.  We are all here to share, care and educate one another.  I will share with their permission, things I have learned, lessons taught and I will allow you to embrace with me the fun of going off the beaten path for the absolute divine recipe for buttercream icing!   I am all about the buttercream ❤ !

You will get to share with me the day to day experiences with my children, my wonderful ‘best friend’ also known as my granddaughter…and yes I am too young to be  a grandma, but life happens and you embrace it with all your heart, because as I have learned you will miss out on the greatest freedom there is.  The Freedom to love a child, be it a natural born child or someone you have taken in. I am one of those women…the one with the home who has ‘everyone’s child hanging here, be it playtime, sleepover, custody or access…I have done it all, I continue to do it all…sometimes I’ve failed, sometimes I’ve succeeded, but I believe in having an Open Door policy.  My ear is always open, my heart is too…and because of that, sometimes I’ve learned some things along the way.

Occasionally I will share stories of life lessons learned with my family, and the laughter shared.  I hope you enjoy this journey, and Thank you for sharing it with me!