Draft Day Delights!

We hosted the family fantasy football draft this year (again). I will say that drafting, parenting, and hosting are not easy tasks. I should also add how frustrating it is to have 8 other family members watch you try and do all three….but these is a theme in my life.

I love hosting parties. I also love a good theme. My intention was to have signature food from the big football cities: NY Cheesecake, Chicago Deep Dish Pizza, Philly Cheesesteaks, etc. Then I came to my senses and realized there is not one family member that would appreciate it. So I went with a traditional menu,but a did make Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes! They are a total crowd favorite and the make my Boston born loving husband very happy.

You need the following:
Yellow cupcakes ( just use a box mix)
Big Box of Vanilla Instant Pudding
Milk
Heavy Cream
Frozen topping (about 3/4 a cup) -thaw it
Vanilla Extract (a teaspoon)
Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream Topping

Make you cupcakes according to the box. This can easily be done the day before and then keep them in the fridge. (You can make them two days before if need be and freeze them.)

Cup each cupcake in half. Try and keep the right cupcake top with the right bottom if possible. (Take the wrappers off)

Now start working on your filling. This is a “quick custard”. Follow the directions on the pudding box, replace some of the milk (about a half cup) with heavy cream. Once you have the consistency of pudding start adding in the frozen topping. Once you have a thick consistency add in your vanilla extract mix that it.

Now you have created a “custard”. True custard….heck no. But enough for a cupcake yes!

True Boston Cream Pie is equal parts cake to filling, so keep that in mind as you begin to fill your cupcakes. Huge drops of custard are a good thing. It is okay if the custard peeks out once you put the cupcake top back on!

Now heat your fudge up in the microwave. Don’t make it too hot or liquid like. When the fudge is ready pour it on the top of the cupcake. Make sure you use enough so that it slides down the sides of the cupcake.

Chill in the fridge until time for dessert!

You may need a fork to enjoy!

Sometimes I Pretend to Be Martha….

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In my next life, I will be a lifestyle guru with a magazine.  Magazines won’t be in print then, but it will be my commitment to traditional values and style.   I love to have fresh flowers in my home.  I find it relaxing to arrange them and group small vases together.   One of the best gifts my loving husband ever gave me for Christmas one year were special scissors for cutting flowers.   I also love to find odd things to use for vases.

To this day I still buy wedding magazines just to get ideas for interesting flower pairings.    I am a NERD.

I was told that when you go to another person’s home and bring flowers you should bring them in a vase, so as to not add work for your hostess.  It makes perfect sense now that I think of it.  There is nothing a hostess needs less then to break from what she is doing in order to arrange flowers in her own vase (that in my case I would have to go to the basement to locate).  Plus if you just pluck them in water quickly with no effort, it could look like you do not value the gesture.   FULL DISCLOSURE:  “Countess LuAnn” from RHONY made this statement this season…and it stuck with me.   Say what you want about her…it was a good tip.

I went to a neighbors house for a meeting, and felt like I should bring her a little something for hosting.   I keep mason jars and milk jars of all sizes to use to bring flowers as hostess gifts or if I want to give flowers that I have arranged to a friend.   I wanted to do a little more on this particular night, so I decided to wrap the jar in burlap, and then add a bright yellow ribbon.

Michael’s sells burlap by the square now, in a great size to wrap a jar in.   I used a rubber band to secure it to the jar, and the ribbon to cover it up.

For the flowers, there are so many options in the summer!   I paid very close attention to my wedding florist years ago, and he mentioned that when doing small and tight arrangements (my favorite), it is best to pick a “strong” flower to use as a singleton and then an odd amount of another smaller flower to pair with it.  He said when clients don’t want to break the bank this works well.  Makes sense!  I only needed to buy two bunches of flowers. He also said small arrangements of all one color, but different flowers make nice table pieces as well (but that will cost you more when you are doing it on your own)

I chose sunflowers and pale green roses!   The bonus was that I ended up with a few small arrangement to put around my house.

She loved gesture….and even posted on her own blog the arrangement.  Since she has a Art and Design background and I totally took it as a compliment.

I also think just a simple ribbon around a mason jar looks pretty as well.20140812-105542-39342400.jpg

So feel free to copy!

Summer Pasta (a Momarchy Family Tradition)

Summer cooking is always something that I look forward to. Then by August I am looking forward to soups and crock pot treats.

A family favorite is my Summer Pasta, and due to the fact that is so easy to make I never mind making it. It is one of the things I miss making the rest of the year.

The best thing to do is make the “sauce” in the morning or early afternoon, the longer it sits the better. The entire dish makes great leftovers and even tastes better on day 2.

You will need the following:

6 plum tomatoes chopped in small cubes
5 cloves of garlic diced
2 or 3 cups of chopped basil (fresh)
2 cups (at least) of fresh mozzarella or Brie cheese chopped in cubes
1 cup (or more) of EVOO
1 box of Pasta
Salt and Pepper to taste

Start by chopping those tomatoes up and then sliding them into a big bowl. This dish can very easily be a one dish meal (minus the pasta pot). Coat them in EVOO. Next add the chopped garlic and give it a stir. For the basil I prefer to cut them with a scissor. I have a special pair that I use for making chopped salads and it makes life nice and easy. After I add the basil I add more EVOO to the bowl. Finally add in the chopped cheese and enough EVOO so that all the items are clearly soaking in it. Cover with plastic wrap and just let it sit.

About a half hour before before you would like to eat, begin cooking your pasta. Once your pasta is done and drained, pour it into the bowl with the prior ingredients. Mix it all up so the noodles are wet with the “sauce”, you may at this point need more EVOO. You don’t want the noodles to be dry. Then add salt and pepper to taste. I would let it sit for 15 minutes or longer so the noodles can soak in the taste. The heat from the noodles will melt the cheese.

Sometimes we eat this on it’s own and other times we use it as a side to a grilled item. Great with grilled chicken mixed in as well.
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The Invasion of the MLMM (Multi-Level Marketing Mom)

Full disclosure:  I am probably on this rant because I am jealous.  In fact since I have 2 advanced degrees in Counseling Psychology, I can almost professionally promise you that I am no doubt envious of the MLMM.

I Mom. I Housewife (sometimes). I work.  Yes I spend my summers at home with my child…(I work remotely during the summer), however September to June…I am in the office.   In the recent year alone I have noticed that many of the “Moms” that are my “friends” (Facebook), that seem to have glamorous lives (on Facebook) are in fact working SAHMs.   They reference “team meetings” at Starbucks (after their Barre class), or “working dinners” at PF Changs.

They are kind enough to check in with their “team” on Facebook so I get to see that they are often “meeting” with other “friends” that I know as well.   So there I am am, just cleaning up the dinner that I semi-made, and I think to myself I would love to have a meeting at PF Changs with some “friends” (I love their Lettuce Wraps).

These are Chanel wearing ladies who are typically driving a nice German automobile.   So clearly they are doing something right!   (They always look stunning….I must get into this).  My loving husband is quick to point out that most of these ladies that I have this girl crush on, had their Chanel bags and cars long before they went into “the business”.  He can be a dream buster.

Then I slowly come back to reality and realize that there is no way I can be a MLMM…because I don’t have the ability to convince my friends to buy what I would be selling…and further more ask them to jump on board and sell too.

I can’t even pull it together to host a party for one of my “friends” and the many different products they “market”.   Trust me I want to.  I see the Facebook posts and think “I want to do this, I want to have a party for beaded flip flops”  (or dips, or monogram plates, or initial jewelry, etc).   Hello!  You get free things when you host!!!!

I just don’t understand how they all manage to do so well.   Often the “buy in” to these ventures is almost  $1000.  That is ton of extra skin care if you are not able to make a go of it.

I would say the perfect client.  When one of my pals decides to be a MLMM, I am the first RSVP to the party.    I fall hook, line, and sinker for the “preferred customer” option so I get an extra 15% off.  So what if I am locked into “auto ship”, clearly I will need another $350 of skincare products in 5 weeks?

Sometimes I even get suckered into “consultant” status after too much Pino at one of these parties (or perhaps I am at a launch event).   I guess I am a MLMM after all.  The only difference is that I am only “consulting” myself on my next round of crap that I do not need.

They just make it look so darn easy.   Their Facebook posts make it seem like there is no effort involved. Checks are just mailed to them. So what if 10 women in my neighborhood are all selling the same over-priced skincare….why can’t it be 11?

I actually had to explain to the “friend” who was encouraging me (i.e. bullying me) into being #11.  That since 80% of the women that I know already were either selling or using the products…or get this were using or selling the “other skincare product”, I just was not feeling it.  I mean…does “The Gap” open up 5 stores in the same town on the same street?  Even Starbucks spaces out their stores a few blocks apart in Manhattan.

When she just was not biting I had to go to the bullpen.  I became the women that I hate.  I put it on my husband.   Mind you the poor fella could care less if I sold post-it notes as a side gig, just as long as I did not take up too much room in the garage for storage.

I told her that my husband would not allow me to put out $1000 to buy the products for people to try and then just to seal the deal (I was starting to think she was going offer to split the cost with me), I explained that he often does not get home from work in NYC until late, so evening “pitch” parties would be a challenge.   He rides the same bus home….EVERY DAY, and walks in the door at 5:55. Details.

Good news!  She stopped asking me to “sign on”.   Bad news is she no longer “likes” my pictures on Facebook and does not do more than nod at me when we cross paths at the Farmer Market.

Recently I saw her post on her Facebook page that she was looking to find people in Canada to “sign on”, and be the first consultants there.

Okay that is bad ass.  I could do that.  I could be the first person to sign on… Before I knew it I was back in the bad place of ….I am the only Mom who is not MLM.  Oh the woe.

My husband does love hockey….