2 sisters 2 cities

October 25, 2010

Great Fall Dinner Idea: Chicken Chili

Photo courtesy of lucianvenutian via the Creative Commons license

Just wanted to share a recipe that I have recently fallen in love with.  In October’s Martha Stewart Living Magazine, a chicken chili recipe by Lucinda Scala Quinn was published.  I can confirm that it’s delicious after making it two times already!  It can be found on this link on the Martha Stewart website.  The recipe also recommends using any leftover to make nachos the next day.  I have not yet tried this, but I imagine that would be very tasty as well.

A few tips- don’t broil the onion and garlic cloves.  Once charred, I found it very difficult to chop and mince them.  Also, this recipe is extremely spicy (but in a flavorful way).  If you are not a fan of spiciness, I recommend cutting down on the jalapeno, chili powder, or chipotle chiles in adobe sauce.  I cut the amount of chili powder down to 3 tablespoons (the recipe recommends 1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons).  Top with the corn-muffin croutons, cheddar cheese, and sour cream/plain greek yogurt.

-m

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October 20, 2010

How to Make a Diaper Cake for a Baby Shower

My little sister and I made a cake out of diapers for M’s baby shower.   My mom had the idea after seeing it at another baby shower.   She bought us all the supplies and we made it the night before M’s shower after looking at pictures of diaper cakes on-line.

Supplies (aka cake ingredients):

– about 100 diapers (we used the brands and size M asked for her on registry so she can actually use the diapers when baby is born)
– wooden skewer
– curling ribbon, string or rubber bands
– pretty ribbon (like thick pink or blue ribbon)
– large tray or cake plate (we used a large catering plastic plate)
– tape
– scissors
– small baby gifts/supplies- like a bottle, pacifiers, teething toys, rattles, and whatever you would like to anchor on your cake

Start by rolling the diapers up, with the print to the inside (so you only see white)  and tie with the curling ribbon.   We found it easy to cut a bunch of curling ribbon to the right size in the beginning and then start rolling and tying the diapers up.

Keep tying the diapers until you can form about 12-15 together and to start the base. Tie curling ribbon around the 12-15 to hold them all together.  Next, start building around the bundle you have made until you have a base that fits your plate (or to whatever size you prefer).  Then, tie a larger curling ribbon around the outside to keep the whole base together.

Next, we started on the middle layer just like we did the first layer, except making it about a row smaller to create a layered look to your cake.   When placing the second layer on the cake, we used a couple pieces of tape and then stuck a wooden skewer through the middle to hold it (we made sure not to pierce the diapers because we didn’t want to ruin them!)

Then, we made the top of the cake the same way,  just smaller then the middle layer and we placed a bottle in the center filled with light blue M&Ms. You can use your own creativity here!  We decided we wanted  a smoother frosting look to our cake so we tied another layer of flat unrolled diapers around the outside and tied them there with the curling ribbon. Next, we put light blue and baby ribbon around the curling ribbon to cover it up and make it look like stripes on frosting. Finally, we tucked and tied the toys and other gifts around the cake.  Feel free to look at my pictures to get ideas!

Enjoy!

-K

October 10, 2010

Boston Baby Shower

Last weekend, my husband’s aunt T, and my two friends B & L hosted a baby shower for me at the Longwharf Marriott in Boston.  I had such a great time and wanted to share a few pictures of the great party they organized.  The brunch itself was delicious and our waiter did an excellent job.

On each of the tables, they had Boston-based baby books (try saying that 10 times fast) and had left out sharpies for everyone to leave a note in them.  The centerpieces were beautiful hydrangea arrangements in mason jars with really cute ribbon.  For the favor, they made a donation for Toys for Tots and attached a small Sesame Street ornament to the note card at each table setting.

Husband M is really into planes (so we spend a lot of time watching them take off from the airport at Castle Island on our walks).  How cute is this cake from Concord Teacakes?  It was a vanilla cake with raspberry filling and buttercream frosting.  I love the baby looking out the airplane window!

This week, I have been sorting out all the wonderful gifts we received.  Baby’s nursery is almost finished and I am feeling pretty prepared.  Check out the cool diaper cake on the right-hand side that sister K and sister M2 made for me.

Almost time for baby’s arrival- I will try to post final nursery pictures soon!

-m

October 9, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

It is officially fall!  I have made one of my favorite fall desserts… Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.   Everyone is always asking me for my recipe,  so here it is!  I have changed it over the years to make the best pumpkin cookies ever!

Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips or chunks

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.

3. In an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy. Add the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla and beat just until blended.

4. Mix in the dry ingredients.

5. Stir in the chocolate chips.

6. Drop the batter by heaping tablespoons 1 inch apart on the baking sheets.

7. Bake the cookies for 15 to 18 minutes or until lightly browned.  Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Enjoy!!!!  Happy Fall!

Sister K

October 6, 2010

Baby Shower Maternity Dress Rental

Filed under: M's post — Tags: , , , , — 2sisters2cities @ 12:49 pm

This past weekend, my husband’s aunt and two of my friends threw me a great baby shower.  I’ll do another post soon with all the details and some pictures, but I just wanted to do a quick post on what I wore to the occasion.  At this point in my pregnancy (35 weeks), I am pretty much sick of all my maternity clothes, yet I am past the point where I really want to buy anymore.  I found a great website that rents out special occasion maternity dresses- RentMaternityWear.com.

I rented the Wrap Jersery “Eva” dress by Christian Siriano (my favorite Project Runway designer ever!):

Photo from http://www.rentmaternitywear.com

The dress arrived via FedEx on a Thursday and I had until the following Thursday to return it.  It also came with two sizes of the dress so I could try both on to see which one fit better at no extra cost.  The dress itself retails for about $75 and the cost of the one-week rental was about $43 ($35 rental + $8 in shipping costs).   The package comes with a pre-paid for shipping label and bag.  You just pop the dresses in the bag and drop them off at a USPS location or mailbox before the rental period ends.

Renting a dress probably doesn’t make sense if you need a piece you are going to wear many times throughout your pregnancy.  However, in this case, I thought it was worth it to wear something new and I’m unlikely to have an event to wear it again in the next 5 weeks or so.

As friend B called it, it’s Netflix for maternity dresses!

-m

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