Friday, October 18, 2013

Chef Ayden the Great....

I think I'll let the pictures do the talking this time.... all I gotta say is, this kid is nothing short of AMAZING! 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Cookies and Yoga...

Cookie's ya'll. And yoga pants. Because there is nothing in the entire world that makes me feel better than eating a cookie while practicing yoga. These cookies especially. give me motivation to dip into downward facing dog.

I made lemon cookies the other day, before I decided to conquer my daily yoga. I think the only way to describe these cookies are with the following words: They taste like heaven. No lie.

Mouthwatering Lemon Cookies:

1 C Softened Butter
1 C Granulated Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
1 Egg
1 TBL Lemon Zest ( Use as much of the yellow on the lemon the more white you get the more bitter it will taste.)
2 TBL Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/8 tsp Baking Soda
1 1/2 - 2 C All Purpose Flour

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy and looks whipped. Add in the vanilla, the egg, Lemon zest, and Lemon juice and continue mixing until thoroughly mixed. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Use a cookie dough scooper to make small little balls on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 10 - 14 minutes until cookies no longer look wet. Remove from oven and keep them on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

These cookies really have nothing really to do with yoga, I just wanted to justify the fact that I ate three of them. In a row. And in my defense, one of them was as I was doing yoga. I pinky promise.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Tis the season...

It's fall! Finally... and in true October fashion, I am cooking, baking, and flavoring with as much pumpkin as possible. I love pumpkins. I do. I love fall and I especially love pumpkins.

So today, I made pumpkin soup. My kids are questioning it and giving me the worried eye they always give me when I'm baking something they aren't too sure will taste sweet and filled with sugar. They're grounded at the moment, so they have no other choice but to eat my pumpkin soup.

They won't be disappointed, because this soup is good. This soup is divine and hits just the right spot on a rainy fall day just like today.

The recipe is as follows:

Pumpkin Soup

2 1/2 TBL butter (the real stuff folks, margarine is a four letter word in our family)
1 large or 2 medium Russet Potatoes (peeled and chopped into small pieces)
1 large Yellow Onion (minced)
3-4 Cups Chicken Broth (I use low sodium)
1 Can (15 oz) of Pumpkin Puree (make sure it is in fact pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling, that would be weird)
salt (to taste)
freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
1/4 tsp freshly ground Nutmeg (I used McCormick ground nutmeg which is perfectly delicious also, just don't skimp on the nutmeg folks, it adds the perfect amount of spice to this soup).
You can also add about 1/4 up to 1/2 C of heavy cream but to be perfectly honest, the soup stands up well completely on it's own without the cream. I'm trying to be a little more health conscious these days so I do without)

In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the chopped potato and onion and cook, stir occasionally until the onion is translucent (about 5 - 7 minutes). Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until potato is tender. Stir in the delicious pumpkin. Use an immersion blender to puree mixture until smooth. (You can also cool the soup and pour into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Then return it to the pot.) Stir in the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Increase the heat to medium and bring the soup to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low and cook for eight to ten minutes. If desired, stir in cream and stir to distribute heat throughout the soup. Serve hot and ENJOY!!!!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Packed Bags and Crocodile Tears...

"i hat you. i am running awa tumoro! frum, Caler!"
 Dear world, I too, would like to write a run-away note. But my son beat me to it.  He had had enough and frankly so had I. Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway...) we had a few rough nights this week. Tears were in all of our eyes as I sent them up to bed for the fifteenth time.

As I sat on the couch angry and tears streaming, I could hear the laughter and pitter patter of disobeying little boys. Momma was mad. And momma went upstairs and grounded anyone within a five mile radius. Momma's little men were not happy and not laughing. I heard the little pitter patter of eight year old feet one more time, and I was exhausted. I waited to hear it again, but it stopped. They had finally fallen asleep.

It was a little while later that I climbed the stairs only to find a letter waiting for me. The letter was written in the sweetest eight year old handwriting. It was devastating. But what was more devastating was what I found in the morning.

In their room, a neatly packed back pack sat ominously.

I didn't say a word to him as he sulked out ready for school. But I hugged him. And he hugged me back. We didn't talk about it right away. We both needed time I think.

I walked up the stairs with him after picking them up from school and we talked as we unpacked.

"I was going to bring Ayden's teddy bear so that I always would remember him." He said as he placed it back on Ayden's bunk bed. My heart smiled as I realized they do actually kinda like each other.

"Do you want to talk about why you were mad at me last night Bud? I asked.
"I guess."
"What made you mad?"
"I never want to be grounded. And real men are never grounded. So I was going to go and be a real man." He replied.
"Oh. Ok I guess I had a different idea of what a real man did." I said as I re-folded a pair of his jeans.
"What do they do momma? because they aren't grounded. I know that." He said matter of factly.
"I think they respect people and they don't break the law, and that way they don't get grounded or have to go to jail."
"Yeah I think they do that too."
"Do you remember our house rules kiddo?"
"yes..." He said.
"Do they remind you of something that grown-ups have to live by?"
"um... laws?" He smiled showing his toothless grin.
"Exactly buddy, so what do you think should happen when our rules at home get broken?"
"Oh. I see... we get grounded." The smile faded, but he hugged me. Which, I think, means he's staying put (at least until the next grounding).

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda... but didn't

My Dear Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda-been,

What a job you thought you could take on. Loving another man's children. Disciplining another man's children. Taking the backlash from another man's children. Being responsible for... another man's children. In the beginning you did it all. And you were good. You were loved by all three of us. You helped me put them to bed, or carry them in from the car. You helped build Lego's, you tinkered with tools in the garage, you asked for time with them. You were everything they had always wanted and everything they still deserve. In Ayden's words, "I trust him momma, when he says he will do things, he does them." And you did. You did with your whole heart and I don't doubt the love you have for them.

I saw you slipping away slowly, though. I saw the frustrations seeping in. I saw the fury behind a broken rule. I saw you slam the door and walk away. You walked away.

The thing is... you had it all wrong. It wasn't a job. It never was and it never will be. Not to them and not to me. This life, being a single momma, is not only mine... it's theirs. And they didn't choose it. They don't deserve it.

The worst part, is not that you made them feel like that. As you said to me often "it's not your job".  The worst part is that I let them feel like they were just a job. I'm their mother, their person, the only one person they have in the world, and I let them feel insecure for too long.

So it surprises me when I hear you say you want to try again. See how we work out. Because you miss me and you love me. It's not that I don't miss you. I do. I miss you. Everyday I miss you. It's not even that I don't love you. I still do, and I always will. And believe me when I say I've wanted to hear those words for over a year. I've cried countless tears and I've analyzed over every last detail of our relationship.

I've asked myself over and over some of the hardest questions I've had to ask myself. What would have happened had our baby lived? What would have happened? I don't have the answers. And you don't either. I wonder though, what our lives would be like. I wonder. I hope. I think. I dream. I cry. I ache and I miss you.  And then I stop. I have to stop.

Because what I dreamed of for me. What I had hoped for for me. And believe me, I had dreams for you and me. I'd be lying if I said I still didn't. But what I'm left with feeling is truth. And the truth is, babe, we didn't work. What you and I had wasn't what was best for the two lives I have been trusted to care for. It wasn't what they needed, therefore it's not what I needed.

So, I ask you. I beg of you... please let the wound I still feel for you everyday heal. Allow me to move on. Allow me to be a momma. A good momma to the men in my life who, no matter how many times I ground them or won't allow them to stay up fifteen minutes past their bedtime, will never choose to slam the door.

My love always and truly,
The Single Momma