2 sisters 2 cities

June 25, 2010

Restaurant Review- The Melting Pot

Filed under: K's post — Tags: , , , — 2sisters2cities @ 3:37 pm

My boyfriend and I have been wanting to go try The Melting Pot for some time now.   It’s a little pricey so we had put it off…we finally got a chance to visit a few weekends ago.

When we first sat down, the waiter explained to us how you order a four- course meal starting with a cheese fondue, a salad, an entree, and then finishing off with the chocolate fondue.   For our cheese course, we picked the Fiesta Cheese Fondue.  This was a mix of   cheddar, salsa, and jalapenos melted together.  It was served with bread dippers, apples, tortilla chips, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower.  It was really good and oddly our favorite combination (besides the tortilla chips, which are the obvious choice)  were the apples.  Mmmm cheese, salsa and apples.

Next was the salad course,   which we ordered off the “Big Night Out” menu.    It was a lettuce wrap that was filled with vegetables and you dipped it into a dressing.  It was also delicious and an interesting take on a salad.

For our Entree we ordered the Fondue Fusion from the “Big Night Out” menu.   This included lobster tail, ahi tuna, sirloin, pork tenderloin, chicken, shrimp, dumplings, and vegetables.  The entree comes to your table uncooked and you have to cook it yourself in a broth.    This sounds fun and interesting…I know I fell for it too.   You cook your meat and vegetables in your broth for about 3-4 minutes and can dip it in one of the many dipping sauces they give you.   At first it was fun and entertaining,  then after a bit, it gets old and you sort of gross yourself out handling the raw meats.

Once you are done,  they clean up your area and the chocolate comes!   This was our favorite part!  We ordered “The Original”  which was milk chocolate and peanut butter.  For dipping you get pound cake, rice krispie treats, brownies,  strawberries, bananas, cheese cake, and Oreo crumb covered marshmallows and graham cracker crumb marshmallows.   Let me tell…you dipping the crumb-covered marshmallows was the best part- my boyfriend actually told me that he has never seen me so happy before (haha!)

So, overall it was a fun experience and luckily we found a coupon for free dessert which got us $20 off our bill.   I feel like I could have made both the cheese and the chocolate at home for a lot cheaper.   The entree actually made us both a little sick later on.   I am glad we finally went, but probably will not be going back anytime soon (lesson learned!)  I will be making my own fondues in the future and I will definitely be serving them with the Oreo and graham cracker-covered marshmallows (I asked the waiter how to make them!)  If you decide to try this place out,  I recommend just getting the cheese and the chocolate and skipping the entree.

-K

June 13, 2010

2 sisters 2 cities announcement!

Filed under: M's post — Tags: , , , , — 2sisters2cities @ 9:00 am

When Sister K and I started this blog last Christmas, we decided the basic premise of the blog would be to talk about our two different lives in two different cities:

“We are two sisters, K and M, living in two different cities with two different lifestyles. This blog is to share our adventures in New York and Boston. K is single and just starting off in New York City. She works in fashion and loves to cook healthy and inexpensive food on a budget. Her hobbies include cooking, baking, working out, shopping, and partying with her friends in the coolest city in the world. M is married and works in finance in Boston. She loves to experiment with new dishes and focuses on recipes that are easy to prepare after a long day of work. M’s hobbies include cooking, reading, eating out, traveling, skiing, crafting, and letterpress.”

Well, my life is about to change a lot (and for the better) …Husband M and I are expecting our first baby this November!  We found out the gender yesterday- we are expecting a baby boy.  I have found myself reading a lot less cooking and decorating magazines and websites, and have been focusing more on pregnancy and baby-related websites and books.  Here is a list of some of the resources I have been checking out:

Books:
What to Expect When you Are Expecting– I was 11 when my youngest sister was born, and I still remember my mom reading this book.  The lady in the rocking chair on the cover has been replaced with a girl rocking out jeans (although I think the jeans on her look outdated already…put her in some maternity skinny jeans!)  This book has been a pretty helpful week-to-week resource to refer to.  I bought the What to Expect Before You Are Expecting and What to Eat When You Are Expecting in a set of the three as books, but I haven’t used these two much.

The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy: Or Everything Your Doctor Won’t Tell You–  This is a pretty informal, quick-read on pregnancy.  If you are looking for a non-medical summary of pregnancy and what is going to happen, this is a good book for you.

I’m Pregnant– My husband’s aunt gave me this book as a gift…it is split up more by months than weeks, but it gives a lot of great color photos and diagrams.  There is a whole spread as to what will be covered by the anatomy ultrasound which was very helpful to read before I went in for it.

Websites:
What to Expect When You Are Expecting– I really like to lurk on the November 2010 chat forum to read what others are going through at the same time

Babycenter– Also has monthly chat forums and good info by week

The Bump– From the makers of TheKnot.com

Magic Beans– This is a Boston-based baby gear store…I have gotten a pretty good idea of some of the things I would like to get for this baby based on their top 10 lists and recommendations.

Any other mom readers out there that have any resource suggestions?

-m

June 12, 2010

Cooking from the Farmers Market

Photo courtesy of msandman via the flickr creative commons license

Last Friday afternoon, we decided to invite some friends over for dinner that evening.  I had no meal plan for the night for even Husband M and I, so I had to quickly figure out what I was going to serve our group.  Fortunately, the Copley Square Farmer’s Market was open so I decided to hit it up to see what I could think of.

For appetizers, I visited the Crystal Brooks goat cheese stand and picked up a tub of their mediterranean goat cheese.  For dinner, I thought out best option would be BLTs.  I picked up a pack of smoked bacon from Stillman’s Turkey Farm, some first-of-the-season tomatoes from the Stillman’s farm stand, and two types of bread from Breadsong Bakery (Rustic Italian and Sourdough).  I already had lettuce at home from our Boston Organics delivery.  As an alternative to mayo, I like to use step 1 of this recipe for Cooking Light for the spread (I used the sage from my herb garden…my first harvest of the year!):

Mayo/Mustard Shallot & Sage Spread

I cut up the tomatoes and washed the lettuce and put them all out on one plate.  I cooked the bacon in the oven on a baking sheet at 400 degrees (approx 15-2o minutes depending on your oven).  I then used the broiler to toast the bread on baking sheets right before we sat down to dinner.  It was a great meal to serve to guests as I could get the majority of things taken care of ahead of time (washing the lettuce, washing and cutting the tomatoes, cooking the bacon, slicing the bread, and making the spread).  I was able to enjoy the time on our roof deck watching the sunset.  (Pictures of our revitalized deck coming soon…I just need a sunny weekend day to take the pics and for Husband M to make a few planter moves).

For dessert, I decided to go with my all-time favorite- strawberry shortcake.  I picked up 4 pints of local strawberries from the market (I can’t remember which stand I ended up going to, but there are 4-5 stands which carry them this time of year).  I had some leftover buttermilk from another dinner, so I used the recipe on the side of the carton to make buttermilk biscuits.  Husband M picked up some heavy cream from the grocery store on his walk home from the bus stop (as well as a can of ReddiWip for himself…nasty!)  Before our guests got here I made the biscuits and washed & cut up the strawberries. I then mixed the strawberries with a half of cup of sugar…it looks like a lot, but it tastes so good and they become really juicy after they sit in it for about an hour (or longer if possible).  Right before I served the dessert, I mixed the heavy cream up with the KitchenAid to make whipped cream.  The process goes a little bit faster if you put the mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the fridge for 30-60 minutes to get them nice and cold.

I really love the idea of skipping the grocery store and doing all my shopping at the farmers’ market.  Not only does everything taste better, but I like to support local farmers and their awesome products.  I have been going to the same market for a few years now (and grew up going to farmers markets in the upstate NY area), but it seems like it is more popular than ever.  It would definitely be an interesting stat to see if farmers’ market volume have picked up at all within the past few years due to the green/local/organic movements.  Granted, I did have to use some items that I had previously purchased at the grocery store and had to pick up one item that day, but I would really like to purchase as many things as possible going to the farmers market this summer.

What meals have you prepared using solely the market?  Have farmers markets in your area become more popular recently?

-m

June 5, 2010

Western Getaway

I recently got the chance to take a long weekend vacation to the Red Mountain Spa in Utah.  Husband M and I usually like 2 different types of vacation…he is definitely an outdoor adventurer, while I usually lean towards a more relaxing trip.  This resort was the perfect blend of the two.  Awesome hiking and sights to see for Husband M and a spa and pool for me.  The food at the spa was very healthy, but delicious at the same time.  We definitely left feeling very relaxed and happy with our time here.

One of the days, we signed up for a group outing to Zion National Park.  Husband M has had the chance to visit a number of national parks…Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Volcanos at the Big Island, Great Smokey Mountains, and Acadia.  He was excited to check this one off his list.  We were not disappointed.  The views were spectacular:

We hiked the first two miles of the Angels’s Landing trail.  The trail features Walters Wiggles, which looks a bit like San Francisco’s Lombard Street:

Walter Wiggles

Lombard Street, San Francisco

We decided against doing the last 1/2 mile of Angel’s Landing as it was a bit precarious and required you to hold on to a chain to get to the top:

We did get a chance to do two additional trails that day…the Emerald Pools and a trail that was on the other side of the Zion Park tunnel.

Back at the resort, we did an Adventure level hike one morning.  It was a really early hike…6:50 am start time.  When we finished, we were ready for lunch until we realized it was still 10 in the morning!  The hike at adjacent Snow Canyon State Park also offered some beautiful views:

I really hope to go back here one day for another vacation.  It was a great combination of adventure, outdoors, relaxation, and great meals.

-m

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