Wednesday, May 22, 2013

it's not just the kids who are growing up

No 1 graduated high school three days ago, Pentecost Sunday, following a beautiful Baccalaureate Mass.  I wore false eyelashes so that when I cried, I wouldn't look all raccoon-eyed with black smeary mascara marks.  (Course I still probably looked too much like Tammy Faye Baker, but What.Ev!)

Surprisingly enough:  I.didn't.cry.  And, trust me, that came as a complete and total shocker!

The Bishop handing No 1 her diploma

if you love me

It looks like I am not the only one who is gah-gah over lemons.  Over at Made, that adorable Dana whipped up the most beautiful batch of lemon cupcakes.  *Please note this whole post (recipe, words, pictures, and wit) is from her blog.  Please visit her blog often, she is a creative genius, not only in the kitchen, but in front of a sewing machine!
I wanted to be sure to have this recipe on file for my children to make for me when I am very old and do not recognize them. 
Kids, remember how much mommy loves lemons.  I love their color, their smell, and their taste.  If you love me, you will make me these:

RECIPE: Lemon Lemon Cupcakes

by Dana on May 3, 2013
I’ve never liked the old adage “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”….cause when life gives me lemons, I wanna yell, freak yea!, eat lemon bars till I’m sick, and finish the affair with 24 ounces of lemon-berry slush.


Thank you for making the world smell, taste, and look better.

And thank you for giving me Lemon Cream Pie.
And now a gazillion of these in my kitchen (since I had to test the recipe 3 times to get it just right):

Yay! Zesty bundles of yellow with fluffy lemon buttercream on top. Mmmmm.
Seriously, this frosting alone is to die for. And if you’re not a Lemon-Lemon kind of girl, it also tastes fantastic on vanilla cupcakes.

(These are part of the Celebrate Mom series, since you and your mom probably love lemons too). Okay let’s start baking.

Makes 22-24 cupcakes (or 48 mini cupcakes)
Bake at 350 for 17-20 minutes (10-12 minutes for mini cupcakes)
You need appx 4 lemons for the recipe
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbl fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/3-1/2 cup lemon zest *
* NOTE: I prefer a lot of zing in citrus desserts. So while my husband thought 1/2 cup of zest was too much, I thought it was fabulous. If you’re a mild lemon girl, start with a 1/4 cup zest, taste it, and add more as needed. OR….make your favorite vanilla cupcake recipe instead of lemon and then top it off with the lemon buttercream frosting (recipe below).

photo credit: Dana Made It
Okay, start by zesting a few lemons and squeezing the juice in a separate bowl. Set both aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and lemon juice.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Add to flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix just until dry ingredients are incorporated.
Add the milk and lemon zest and mix again just till incorporated.
Line two cupcake trays with liners and pour 1/4 cup of batter into each cupcake (for mini-cupcakes, pour 1 Tbl of batter into each one)
Bake at 350 degrees for 17-20 minutes and allow them to cool completely before frosting (bake 10-12 minutes for mini cupcakes).

While the cupcakes cool, prepare the frosting.

Photo Credit: Dana Made It
Photo Credit: Dana Made It
1 cup butter (2 sticks) at room temperature
3 Tbl milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
6-7 cups powdered (confectioners) sugar
1/3 to 1/2 cup lemon zest (see note above) *

Let the butter soften to room temperature.
In a mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer (I prefer a hand-mixer for frosting).
Mix in the milk, vanilla, and lemon juice.
Add 6-7 cups powdered sugar and mix.
Add the lemon zest and mix….and take a taste.
Add more sugar and/or zest, juice, or milk if needed.

When life gives you lemons…

Photo Credit: Dana Made It

…dollop them with frosting and enjoy.
Photo Credit: Dana Made It
All photo credits: Dana Made It
Have a great weekend!

avoiding sappiness = happiness

Even though I am pretty sure she just graduated
from diapers to Pull-Ups,
somehow No 1 is turning 18 today.  


But, rather than looking back through the years, or diving into a deep reflection of the progression of the young life of this adorable girl of mine, or even contemplating how old that makes me, I think I'll just go pinch her until she wakes up, giggle awhile, and then schedule a time when we can go to lunch and have pedicures.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

it's what's for dinner

"Yummmm, Sticks!"

couldn't be more ready

Number 4 received his First Holy Eucharist this weekend.  He awoke so excited.. truly I thought I was going to have to hide all the sharp instruments so that he wouldn't accidentally get popped.

After breakfast he daydreamed aloud about being a priest... then the pope.

I daydreamed about how interesting that would make our family tree.

"You ready?" King asked. 

"I couldn't be more ready,"  he confidently replied.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

the jostens order

The high schoolers always have their Class Ring Ceremony at the beginning of their Junior year.  Order time is during the Spring of Sophomore year. 

Back then, No. 1 wasn't interested in buying a high school class ring, as she already had a Purity Ring and a Claddaugh ring.  She figured both ring fingers were spoken for, and when I told her that she would only be wearing it for just over a year, The Logical One decided to forgo the class ring tradition.  Smart girl.  Good listener.

Secondborn, however, was thrilled that this is the day that he gets to order his.  No. 1 assured him that she thought it was much cooler for boys to have class rings.  We told him the same truth that, truly, he won't wear his class ring much beyond the first week of his Freshman year of college.  This being our first time at this rodeo, we also informed him that we would pay for the basic cost ($80) of the cheapest class ring possible.  If he wanted to upgrade to "Yellow Lustrium" (which was another $125 and not even real gold), he would have to cough up the overage himself. 

I've never seen someone's face look quite as strained.