One of my nieces is having a baby girl in May. I am going to her baby shower in April and am bringing a diaper cake. This time knowing it is a girl I opted for the pink. You can see the last one I made here along with more complete instructions.
I collected some decorative items. Note the Scotch brand double sided tape. That is going back to the store. I tried for half an hour to separate the plastic covering from the sticky with no luck. What good is that. $6.00 and it is going right back.
Collect some pretty ribbons and some silk flowers.
Find a big container to build around. Last time I used a peanut butter jar but I was out so this time I used my brown sugar container. It doesn't matter as this is a temporary item.
I put this on a large round aluminum tray normally used for veggie platters or something. They are light weight and work perfectly. Line up about 48 diapers around the container. Don't fuss, that comes later.
Tie it tightly with string, (use your son's finger to hold the string while you tie the knot. Don't have a son? I'll send mine.)remove the container and roll up about 8 diapers to fill the hole tightly. Now you can fuss with the placement. Make them nice and even.
Take some tulle and a needle and thread and run a stitch along the top edge gently sliding the tulle down the length of thread to make like a ballerina skirt. The tulle look very pink on the roll but loses most of its color when you have a single layer of it. I would go the darker hot pink shade to get a more visible skirt. When you have enough of it done so it will hang out over the top of this cake layer secure the ends together and fan out the skirt.
Wrap some of your pretty ribbon around the string so you can't see it and secure it to itself with some double sided tape. Don't stick anything to the diapers themselves or you will ruin them.
Make the next layer the same way but use a smaller container for the center and use about 28 diapers this time and then fill in the center with 4 or 5 rolled diapers.
It helps to have lots of cans around to guide the diapers into a circle. Remember not to fuss as you will tweek it once it is tied securely.
Put this layer on top and stick a wooden chopstick down the center to help keep them together. Don't poke any holes or you will have leaky diapers and it may be you holding the baby that day. Make another ballerina skirt with the tulle and put it between the second and third layers.
Top this with a third layer made from 14 diapers with 2 or 3 more in the center. One more chopstick through the middle. I topped this with a big pink bow. It had long white ribbon ties for wrapping it around a gift so I pulled them down through the middle and out between the first and second layers and then curled the ribbon with some scissors.
Add in some silk flowers gently placing them between the layers.
Continue to adjust so that the cake layers are not uneven.
If you want a bit more detail click here for my 1st. diaper cake tutorial.
Many of you know I love red meat. You can see my prime rib recipe here or my OMG meatballs here . Give me a good steak and I'll be your friend for life.
On our last night in San Francisco we were craving a steak dinner. We were staying at the Hyatt by Fisherman's Wharf. We asked the concierge to recommend a great steakhouse. The first thing out of his mouth was Harris'. Then he mentioned another place that was closer to the hotel. We opted for the second one and made a reservation online. That evening off we went in a cab to the restaurant which looked lovely and had delicious plates of food going by us while we looked at the menu. Uh oh....not a steak house. They had one cut of steak and they had prime rib but the rest was a mixed menu of the usual fair. And the kicker was that they didn't have any sauteed mushrooms on the menu to go with the steak. My poor BB Guy. He has to have his mushrooms especially because this was also his birthday. We made a decision to leave, apologizing to the staff. The place wasn't full so I didn't feel bad about having a reservation and then leaving. Taxi number two and off we went to the other restaurant, some distance away.
Harris' Steak House is what a fine steakhouse should be. There were just two little problems. Firstly we didn't have a reservation and secondly we were wearing jeans as the other restaurant didn't have a dress code.
(note the restaurant was busy when we were there as this is a photo from their website)
The BB Guy explained our situation and dropped the hint that it was his birthday after all and without hesitation they found us a table. I felt very under dressed but it was never an issue with them, just in my mind.
I started with a fresh salad of spinach, pine nuts, smoked bacon and a soy vinaigrette. They brought us some fresh warm breads which I skipped but BB Guy enjoyed immensely. The aroma was enough to make your head spin.
I ended my meal with a special coffee and BB Guy had a chocolate dessert. I don't eat chocolate when having red wine or I will get a migraine headache so me being me I went with the wine and skipped the chocolate. Hey! Don't judge. I like my wine.
You can also reserve private rooms for your evening. Great place to entertain clients in private.
The bar is so beautiful. Look at the woodwork. Wouldn't that look great in my house? Okay, maybe just a little smaller version.
One of the best parts about this restaurant is that you can also buy their aged beef to take home to cook yourself. Grab that prime rib recipe I linked to at the top and get down to Harris' for a big slice of beef to take home. Sadly I couldn't fit any in my suitcase.
I would like to thank General Manager, Michael Fiscus for giving me permission to use their photos as we all know how the BB Guy feels about me taking pictures of our food in a restaurant.
I really recommend Harris' Steak House very highly. We have been to a several higher end steakhouses and this one top the list.
Oh yes....he did get his mushrooms, it was his birthday after all.
Welcome to our Writer's Challenge for March 18th. Our topic this time around is: How would a massive lottery win change you besides the fact that lack of money would not be a problem any more? To join in just write your own post and add the direct link to that post to the Mr. Linky box at the bottom of this post. Please put a link in your post noting that you are joining in with this meme so others can perhaps join us as well. For those who don't have a blog just email me your story and I will add it on my blog and create a link for you. Please make sure your visit as many on the list as you have time for as that is part of participating in a meme. If someone comments on your story feel free to respond back to them on the blog. You can use the anonymous profile to post your comment but you should put your first name in the comment so we know that it is the writer responding.
Oh how we dream of that big win. That screaming crazy moment when one would realize that those numbers we have on our little piece of paper are going to change our lives forever.
Just imagine as the lottery ads say here in B.C. Just imagine ... as the woman goes up on deck of her beautiful sailboat. Just imagine that you have all this money. How is this going to change you?
I wonder what challenges would be coming right along with those dollar signs.
Of course sharing your windfall is a wonderful thing. I am a generous person but I am also a realist and know that pouring money on something isn't going to fix it.
I know that the requests for cash would be never ending and that would be hard to take. I am not a pushover and would not be feeling guilty about turning people down.
Winning a large sum of money would require you to manage it like a business.
You can't nor should you give money away just because people ask for it. You have to understand that you don't owe anybody anything...unless of course you do actually owe someone money... then pay up sucker, you just won the lottery.
If you had worked your tail off and had a successful business would you feel obligated to start giving your money out to the myriad of people who would be asking for it? Of course not. You earned it. Not to say that you shouldn't give to charity but you do not owe it to anyone to give them money.You can't give to everyone but you can certainly give what makes you feel good.
Though helping our sons financially would be a wonderful thing you also don't want them to end up with no sense of self having worked and earned a living. How many members of the "lucky sperm club" as we refer to the children of extremely wealthy, have gone down the drain because they don't have to work for a living and become a productive member of society.
So how would winning big bucks in a lottery change me? I am pretty sure I would be much thinner because I would have a chef prepping my food. Well that is if I am not having the chef prepare ice cream sundaes every day.
I would have a masseuse on call to knead me into a loosey goosey relaxed body almost daily. I would be so thrilled to help out family and friends who I feel do deserve it.
Sadly though I would be wary. I would question the motives of people all the time. I would worry about the safety of my family. With the money would come a lot of concerns.
How would I sleep at night. I think for a long time I wouldn't. My brain would be spinning faster than a top. What to do first. Who to help. Who to refuse. People who are angry because you turn them down.
There is a saying "heavy hangs the head that wears the crown" or something like that. With the great power that a large amount of money gives you it also gives you a lot of responsibilities and angst.
I am re-posting this today in hope of having the luck of the Irish rub off on me. I have left the comments from the first time I published it attached as they were pretty funny.
I am in a lotto pool with my coffee group. We buy an yearly subscription and we win squat. Okay not squat but next to squat. Squat divided by 10 is diddly squat. Woohoo. I don't know what to spend my diddly squat on. I could buy some gum or maybe a burger.
You can't invest diddly squat because it isn't enough. Won't even pay the broker's fees. I could save it for a rainy day but it isn't enough to buy an umbrella
Obviously I am going to have to do something about our lack of winning prowess. We are going to have to change our numbers and I know just how to do it.
We are going to South Africa and we are going to catch us a vulture. Then we are going to kill it and take out it's brain and smoke it. No, no, stay with me here. This will work I tell you it will. The healers say so.
First you dry it and then you mix it with mud and smoke it like a cigarette or inhale the vapors. Then you get the visions. Visions of the future. We will get the vision like the vultures have that allows them to swoop out of the sky and down on a carcass. You will see things. Things that you need to see like horse races, exams or business outcomes. AND LOTTO NUMBERS.
Now I know you will say this is bad and that the vultures are becoming extinct but when I win my mega millions I will open a refuge to rebuild the vulture population. I promise.
If this doesn't work I have a line on a field filled with multi leaf clovers in Lingdale, Teesside, Ireland.
This is the most beautiful collection of swan pictures. They will take your breath away. You can view them full size and you can change it to a slide show with the menu at the bottom left. Beautiful_Swan
Let me start off by saying I am a good cook. Lol. I really am. I have been told this many times. I have honed my culinary chops over many years of being at home and having the time to seek out great foods, ideas and recipes. I don't follow recipes to the letter very often. I cook by method and feel and taste. We used to have guests over for dinner most weekends. Now that I work full time we have less time and energy to entertain as often but we try to as much as possible providing the BB Guy isn't at the cabin. No one ever declines. One of the biggest compliments is that the 16 year old son of our guests last night will never say no to a meal here.
half of a tomato with the seeds and liquid squeezed out, chopped
1 large jalapeno pepper, minced
1/4 cup minced cilantro
juice from half a lime or lemon. Lime would be best.
teaspoon of cumin
pinch of salt and a big pinch of pepper.
Prep everything before you cut open the avocados.
Once the rest is ready then you can cut the avocados in half.
Remove the pits but save one of them* and mash up the avocados. Mix in everything else. Taste and adjust seasonings.
It will taste great now but just see how much better it gets when you let it sit and blend the flavors for a while. Mmmm good.
Now take that pit from the avocado and smoosh it down into the guacamole and it will keep the avocados from going dark. Yup it really works.
A huge tossed salad.
No recipe needed here. Just get some mixed greens. Prewashed makes it super easy and I just heard that these have less bacteria in them than if we rewash them at home where we introduce bacteria to the greens from our home. Works for me.
I added in orange peppers, grape tomatoes, chopped shallots, cucumber, dried cranberries and some goat cheese.
The shallots were pretty big. I didn't put garlic in the salad, I just am showing the size comparison.
Then comes the Lasagne a'la Lori. My BB Guy said that this was the best lasagne that he has ever tasted.
One day I will figure out how to take proper pictures with decent colors. In the mean time I will cook up delectable food to photograph.
I always forget to put out all the ingredients for the photos too. You will see what is added as we go along.
Take some lean ground beef and some hot Italian sausage and plop them into the frypan to brown. Smoosh it up really well with a wooden spoon. If you don't have one go out and buy one. Ha. Just checking if you are paying attention. Any utensil will do as long as you break the meat into small crumbles.
I usually use the hot Italian sausage from Costco but I didn't have time so I used Johnsonville's from the grocery store. Although it tastes good there was a large amount of grease that came out of it. I was using lean beef so I know most of it was from the sausage. Drain it all off. Icky fat. We will get enough yummy fat later in the recipe.
Once you drain the fat add in a chopped onion. Make it as fine a chop as you like. We like it in big pieces. Stir it up and then add the spices. Don't scrimp here. This is a BIG pan of lasagne and you will want to taste the seasonings or what is the point.
I add in close to a 1/4 cup of oregano and basil. About 3 tablespoons of chopped garlic. I used dried garlic that we just picked up in Gilroy on our vaction. A good shake of an Italian spice mix, a couple spoonfuls of hot pepper flakes, black pepper. No salt. Give it a stir with your newly purchased wooden spoon...still with me?
Add in a very large container of spaghetti sauce. Something you like with not too much salt. Home made? Even better. Save about 2 cups in the jar and add a little water to the jar. Maybe half to three quarters of a cup. Shake it up to get all the sauce out of the jar and pour it over the bottom of the pan. I spray my pan with non stick spray first. Simmer the sauce for about 5 minutes.
Because we are using the Express noodles we need this extra water. You can fuss with regular noodles, boiling them in a huge pot but why bother when you can use the Express noodles that don't need to be pre-cooked. They just need a thinner sauce which thickens back up when the noodles cook and absorb some of the liquid.
Now take a large container of cottage cheese, 1% is fine or higher fat if you want. Add in an egg, about 3/4 of a cup of parmesan cheese some pepper and a large spoonful of grated nutmeg.
See that spoonful of sauce on the left. Very important step. Taste your sauce and see what it may need. I had forgotten a very important ingredient. Fennel seeds. The sauce is just not the same without them. I knew right away they were missing as soon as I tasted the sauce.
Into the meat sauce they go. About two tablespoons. Now back to the filling. Add in either well drained, thawed spinach or my preference two big handfuls of fresh spinach. You could add well chopped broccoli if you like.
Let's build this sucker. Layer some noodles over the thinned sauce in the pan. Oven ready Express noodles require no pre-cooking.
Layer a row of noodles on the thinned sauce from the jar with none of the meat. Top noodles row with row of meat mixture. Top that layer with a layer of noodles again.
Spread over the cottage cheese mixture. Top that with more noodles, then more meat sauce.
Finally top that layer with lots of mozzarella cheese mixed with some Parmesan. As much as you like but remember that Parmesan is salty.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until cheese is golden brown. I put this pan on a baking sheet because you can get some liquid bubbling over. I don't make garlic bread like most people do by mixing butter and garlic then slathering the bread and baking or broiling it. I brush my bread with some olive oil and toast it under the broiler. When it is golden I take it out and scrub it vigorously with fresh garlic cloves. It dissolves into the the toasted bread and has such a good fresh garlic taste. Just one problem. I am broiler/garlic bread challenged and I almost always burn it because I am busy yapping away with our guests.
Okay we all knew I had to have an Achilles heel. So simple and yet so hard....for me.