2 sisters 2 cities

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

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August 29, 2010

Jalapeno Poppers

Filed under: K's post, K's Recipes, K's sides — Tags: , , — 2sisters2cities @ 6:52 pm

I have been on a Jalapeno Popper kick lately.  Although they are soooo delicious store bought they aren’t as healthy as I would like.  Therefore I set off to find a healthier version of them.   In one of my health magazines I found a recipe for them for 144 calories for 2.  The are called Gooey Jalapeno Poppers and they are from the cookbook “Now Eat This!” by Rocco DiSpirito.   They are made with reduced-fat whipped cream cheese and 75% fat free cheese.   I have already made them twice since I have found the recipe and they are awesome! Enjoy!

-K


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

May 6, 2010

Sister K is found!

Filed under: K's post — 2sisters2cities @ 8:19 pm

Hey Everyone,  Sorry I have been MIA.  I was writing a fantastic article about my Easter Celebration and my computer crashed back around Easter time.   I have been without a computer since,  until this week after my lovely boyfriend put a new hard drive in it..yay!   I have been super busy lately with the new job and new apartment.

I moved into my new apartment last Friday and let me tell you what an adventure it was.   My roommate and I took off last Thursday to finish the packing.   We needed the whole day plus some of the night to pack everything up.  I thought twenty boxes would enough but not even close.  Luckily it was cardboard recycling night so we found some more boxes.   The next morning I took a cab to the U Haul rental place.   I hired help to go with the U Haul truck so I waited by the truck for them.  Needless to say the help didn’t show up to drive the truck so I had to drive it myself.   Let me tell  you driving a truck was like one of my biggest fears,  but I did it!  The helpers eventually showed up and helped out for four hours.   The whole move took about 10 hours,  and we are still no where close to be unpacked.    The whole move was exhausting and overwhelming.  I am still recovering, so if this post is all over the place… this is an example how inside of my head feels.   Stay tuned for more post!   We got a grill so stay tuned for what I am going to cook!

-K

March 29, 2010

Co-ed Sports Leagues

Filed under: K's post — 2sisters2cities @ 6:50 pm

When I first moved to the city a few years ago my roommate and I didn’t know many people.  One of my friends from high school invited us to play in a co-ed kickball league through a league called WAKA or the World Adult Kickball Association. We were a bit skeptical at first but after the first game we were hooked.  Most of the friends that we hang out with now are people we have met through kickball or people that we have got to play on our teams.   This Spring will be my sixth season.  The great part about this league is that you don’t have to be an extreme athlete and afterwards you go to the sponsored bar with your teams and play flip cup.  WAKA has leagues all over the country and it is a really good way to meet new people and network.

Another league that also does a lot of coed sports for fun is an organization called Zog Sports.  Through this league I play touch football , but they also have volleyball, bowling, wiffle ball, basketball, dodgeball, softball, soccer, and new additions all the time .   This league also has a sponsored bar that everyone goes to afterwards.  Part of the money you spend at the bar goes back to your chosen charity so it also a way of giving back.

If I haven’t given you enough things to do yet there is also a bowling league I am in called Better off Bowling.   This has leagues in NYC, Boston, Chicago, Philly, and DC.  If you like bowling this league is fun because you can bowl and get shoes for a pretty decent price (decent for the city that is.)

So if you are new to your area, looking for a new activity, or just really miss your college days of drinking  you should look into joining one of these leagues.   I promise you I don’t work for any,  I am just an active participant.

Enjoy!

-K

March 22, 2010

If you give a mouse a muffin…

Filed under: K's post — Tags: , , — 2sisters2cities @ 9:20 pm

I am not going to end that statement,  I am just going to tell you don’t do it… get rid of them ASAP!   After living in a crappy city apartment for two years my roommate and I have dealt with our fair share of mice, and have sadly become a bit immune to it.

I remember the first day I saw a mouse in my apartment.   I was in bed reading a magazine and in came the little bugger from under my doors.   B was away for the weekend and I being fearful of mice, screamed like I never screamed before.   I didn’t really know anyone in town so I called my dad (who was in Syracuse)  almost in tears about the mouse the ran under my bed.   I didn’t sleep a wink that night.  After that we had many run ins with said mouse,   we refer to him as Walter.  After almost stepping on Walter, who was  outside of the shower sleeping on our bath mat (We have pictures for proof), it became apparent we needed to fix this problem.   We keep our apartment clean and these mice weren’t getting into any of the food.  They just seemed to be running around the apartment.    Our landlords idea of dealing with the problem was to set up sticky traps around the apartment.  First off they don’t work, second off GROSS!  No way I was going to come home to find a squeaking mouse on a sticky pad.

My boss at the time recommended a trap called a Rat Zapper.  I set the trap up and within the next week I killed 7 mice!  The trap is basically a electrocution chamber where on one side you place the bate and the other side is where the mouse or rat (GAG) crawls in. (On a side note, the day I see a rat in my apartment is the day I am packing my bag and moving back to Syracuse..haha).  Once the mouse hits the metal pad (which is before the food) they get zapped… don’t tell PETA but zapped as in dead.   After this occurs a red light flashes to tell you that you have caught something.   The first couple weeks that I had this trap,  I would wake up and run to the trap to see if it was flashing.  It was like Christmas morning! You are probably thinking I am sick right about now,  but you deal with a mouse problem and tell me you act differently.  The first couple of weeks were the worst but after that we only get a couple every time the weather changes.  Can you tell why I am so excited to leave this apartment?

-K

March 17, 2010

Sister K is back!

Filed under: K's post — Tags: , , — 2sisters2cities @ 8:28 am

So, I have been missing in action for some time now. I am sorry to flake out on you all like that, but I do have a good explanation of where I have been. First and foremost, I have been looking for a new job and have successfully found one. I worked my last two weeks at my old company and just started my new job yesterday. It has only been two days but it has been really good so far. I actually won a $500 vacuum today in a raffle! I am going to vacuum my apartment after this blog…Yes, I am actually really excited about this.

I went to my boyfriend’s concert that I had mentioned in my last post The band was really great and the venue was a lot of fun! Also I went home over the weekend and brought my boyfriend M (yes, we have a “M” overload in this blog) with me to meet my parents. It was a big step for us, but it went really well and we had a lot of fun.

That is not all- my roommate and I have been looking for apartments (well sort of). I found a great little historic brownstone on craigslist and we went to look at it. It was really cute, has a great landlord, an outside space (a city living find), a dishwasher, and cheaper rent! It is also closer to transportation and we have our own private entrance. Needless to say we are moving in next month!

It has been a busy couple weeks to say the least. My life has just about done a complete 180 since New Years and I couldn’t be happier! Stayed tuned for life and cooking updates (don’t worry- I have been cooking without you!)

-K

March 2, 2010

Emergency Now- The Band

Filed under: K's post — Tags: , , — 2sisters2cities @ 2:00 pm

My mom and M pointed out that recently that I have only been writing about cooking on our blog and that I haven’t written about my city life.  I’ve been brainstorming some ideas of what I can write about.  More to come soon!

In terms of what I have been up to lately, I have been going to a number of shows for my boyfriend’s band, Emergency Now.  They are really talented and write all their own music and lyrics.   This Monday, March 8th, they have a big show at Webster Hall in NYC.  The Ataris will also be playing.   I have no idea who The Ataris are, but apparently they are kind of a big deal.  Personally I am more excited to see my boyfriend’s band then them, but I digress.

If anyone is interested in watching them play, you can buy tickets at the Emergency Now Facebook site.

If you want to hear what they sound like there are four of their songs posted on their MySpace page. While you are at it, you can also become of fan of them on their Facebook page.  They are going to have a lot more shows in the upcoming months and the dates/time/locations will be announced soon through MySpace and Facebook!

Emergency Now

-K

February 3, 2010

My New Cast-Iron Grill Pan

Filed under: K's post — Tags: — 2sisters2cities @ 7:19 pm

Recently a lot of recipes I have been reading have recommended using a cast-iron grill pan.   This of course made me really want one, so on Saturday I finally got one from Kohl’s. http://www.kohls.com/kohlsStore/saleevents/0202/kitchendining/sub3cookware/PRD~326934/Bobby+Flay+10+12in+CastIron+Grill+Pan.jspOn Monday night I made turkey burgers on my new grill pan and topped it with pepper jack cheese.   When buying ground turkey you want to make sure to buy a lean ground turkey that has 7% fat or less, otherwise it might not be as healthy because they mix it with more dark meat.

(I had pictures, but they got deleted by accident on the camera.  Sorry,  more to come)

-K

January 17, 2010

Chicken and Bean Burritos With Pineapple Salsa

Filed under: K's post — Tags: , , , — 2sisters2cities @ 10:12 pm

Tonight my roommate and I were back in the cooking mood (the heat is finally fixed!), after grocery for the week we started to make a new recipe. She got a new cookbook for Christmas and wanted to cook from it all this week.  So every night this week we will be cooking from the “Cook Yourself Thin” cookbook from the Lifetime television show “Cook Yourself Thin”.  Tonight we made Chicken and Bean Burritos with Pineapple Salsa, and although it took a while, it was delicious!  I cannot wait to have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.  The recipe calls for flour tortillas, but we bought low carb tortillas that were only 90 calories with 10 grams of fiber. So if you are concerned about your calorie intake I would shop around for the healthiest tortilla. 

Chicken and Bean Burritos With Pineapple Salsa

 Serves 4

Calories per serving, chicken and bean burritos: 436

Calories per serving, pineapple salsa: 28

 For the chicken and bean burritos

1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels, thawed and drained, if frozen

1 15 1/2-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon minced fresh jalapeño (optional)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3/4 pound bone-in, skin-on split chicken breasts

3 peppercorns

1 carrot, sliced

1 bay leaf

3 medium tomatoes (2 quartered, 1 diced)

1 white onion, quartered

6 garlic cloves

1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil

4 medium flour tortillas

1/4 cup shredded low-fat cheddar

1/4 cup shredded iceberg lettuce

 For the pineapple salsa

1 cup ripe pineapple, chopped

1/4 cup red onions, chopped

1/4 cup roasted red bell pepper, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

 (We started with #2 first b/c it takes about 30 minutes)

1. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the corn and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add beans, cilantro, lime, jalapeño, salt and cayenne, and stir until well mixed; set aside. 

2. Put the chicken, peppercorns, carrot, bay leaf and 3 of the garlic cloves in a large saucepan, and add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, and then simmer over medium heat until cooked through, about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly in the broth. Remove the chicken from the broth, and remove the skin and bones. Shred the chicken into small pieces, and return the meat to the broth.

 3. Put the quartered tomatoes, onion and garlic in a blender and blend until smooth. Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tomato mixture and cook, stirring until thickened and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shredded chicken to the tomato mixture. Stir until well mixed.

 4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Warm the tortillas, one at a time, until pliable, about 1 minute. Divide the cheese, lettuce, diced tomato, bean mixture and chicken with its sauce among the tortillas, spreading the ingredients in a line down the center. Fold in the top and bottom, and then roll in the sides. Serve immediately.

 5. To make the pineapple salsa: Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Set aside.

 Enjoy!

 -K

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