Friday, November 22, 2013

Life Happened

In memory of my mother, Kathryn Margaret Menge Viers, 07/14/1949- 02/02/2014

had intended to write here on a weekly basis, but life happened and spring and summer flew by just like the title of this blog, "In a Blink of an Eye".

Shortly after my last blog post in April, my mother was told her lung cancer was back and with a vengeance. It had metastasized into her shoulder bone, lower back and chest area. My sisters and I, along with my mother searched for answers and second opinions which lead us to the Lancaster Cancer Center. (  My mother moved in with my family in an apartment that we had built in our basement and chemo treatments began.

My sisters and I planned a birthday party for my mother for July and invited anyone who had ever been in her life. It was a great turn out and my mother was very happy to see so many people whose life she has touched in some way. We gathered together a scrapbook of written memories and pictures from everyone at the party and those who could not make it to give to her for her birthday.

Since all of my sisters and I were all together in one location, we posed for family portraits with the daughters and grandchildren,minus husbands. (my sisters' idea, not mine)

Chemo Treatments continued and my sisters and I searched for ways to make special moments and memories with mom.  We planned a trip to Cape Cod since mom had mentioned that she had always wanted to go on a real clambake.  I took control of the planning and tried to make it as fun and memorable as possible by stopping by silly road side attractions or odd touristy places.  You can read about it here: .We did have a great time and laughed a lot more than any of us had in a very long time, especially together, but mom grew tired very quickly and we worried for her health.

After we all arrived home, we continued chemotherapy along with numerous blood transfusions due to low hemoglobin.(I say we, but really it was just my mother enduring the treatments) Halloween Came and went as well as our first annual Halloween party and Dr. DeGreen ordered a new scan to see if chemo was stopping the growth. Unfortunately, the cancer has shown to be a rapid growing cancer even with the treatments. After discussions with the doctor and family, mom decided for her own quality of life, she would stop treatments.

We've recently moved her upstairs into the family room to be closer to everyone and hospice  has begun to come almost on a daily basis to help care for her.

We have all gone through so many pre-grieving emotions; anger, sadness, depression, denial and everywhere in between, sometimes even all in one day. 

As we move forward into Thanksgiving and Christmas, we are trying to remember to make every moment count and last a lifetime.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Lemon Raspberry Zinger Cupcakes

Nothing tastes better at a spring or summer picnic than a fresh citrus dessert. One of the top sellers at the bakery and one of my family's favorites are Lemon Raspberry Zinger Cupcakes. They taste delicious and you can make them just like a bakery does.
This may surprise you, but most bakeries don't bake from scratch any longer. Customers are so accustomed to the lightness, moistness and texture of boxed mixes that they don't like the denseness and heaviness of scratch cakes so bakers have changed their recipes to please patrons. Most bakers use box mixes or commercial mixes as a base. This recipe can be changed to include the flavor mix, puddings, flavor oils and extracts and fillings of your choice. The possibilities are endless!
Lemon Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 325
(I double this recipe)
1 box lemon cake mix
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups water
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup (8oz carton) sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon oil
1 package of instant lemon pudding

I know people will tell you to mix the dry separately from the wet, etc etc, but I must tell you I throw everything in one bowl and mix. The only thing I make sure is that all the ingredients are room temperature before I start.

Filling cupcake pan with papers and 1/2- 3/4 full of batter. Bake approx 15-20 minutes or until cupcakes spring back when touched.

Let cupcakes cool in pan and then with a knife cut a well in the center of each cupcake.
Fill each well with a little raspberry filling and some lemon curd or lemon pie filling. Now you are ready for the buttercream!


Raspberry Buttercream recipe
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened
1 teaspoon lorann raspberry oil (found at AC Moore in candy section or online)
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons of Raspberry pie filling

In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add Raspberry oil. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Finally add pie filling and mix.
Place a tip in your piping bag and fill the bag with icing and decorate your cupcakes!
Your guests will be impressed and their tastebuds will sing!!!