Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake  {from 2 Sisters 2 Cities} Apples by the bushel have finally started showing up in my local grocery store and farmers markets.  I will be the first to admit it- I’m a complete apple snob.  I grew up in upstate NY, home of some of the best tasting apples around.  We used to go apple picking several times each fall at our local apple orchard and I probably ate at least half a dozen apples  straight off the tree each time.  I have spent most of my adult life in Massachusetts and it can be a bit difficult to find really good apples around here…I find most taste like mush compared to the apples of my youth.*  However, I have found a few varietals at various vendors at farmers markets that can come close to my beloved Beak & Skiff apples.  And when it comes to baking with apples, my apple palate is not quite as particular. Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake  {from 2 Sisters 2 Cities} As we approach the end of September, our family is finally falling into the routine of our new school year.  T is attending his second year of nursery school in the afternoon four days a week.  We spend our mornings taking a walk, going to various activities, or running errands.  After I drop T off at school, N usually naps for a couple hours which allows me to catch up around the house and sometimes even start dinner.  This week, I was even able to find the time to make this Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake.  I’ve been buying up apples right and left around here in the search of delicious apples and now I have an entire fridge drawer devoted to them.  It’s also “Apple Week” at T’s nursery school so I knew he would love to try some apple cake for his after-school snack. Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake  {from 2 Sisters 2 Cities} Last year, T went to morning preschool and since N was a bit younger, he took both a morning and afternoon nap.  I used to spend those school mornings doing my catch-up work which has been shifted to the afternoon.  I tend to hit a wall during that post-lunch and have started using my Keurig again for an afternoon cup of coffee to keep my energy level up.  Nothing pairs better with coffee than a warm, delicious slice of cake!  I paired my Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake with a cup of coffee flavored with International Delight’s Sweet Cream coffee creamer.  A perfect afternoon treat! Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake  {from 2 Sisters 2 Cities}

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 10

A delightful autumn treat that can be enjoyed anytime of day. Greek yogurt is a great substitute for oil in baking and keeps the cake moist without the extra calories and fat.
  • 1 and ½ cups brown sugar
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 and ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups peeled and chopped apples (approximately 5 medium apples)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9×13 pan. In a large mixing bowl, add in all ingredients through the chopped apples. Mix thoroughly and pour cake batter into the greased pan. Smooth into pan with the back of a spoon or spatula.
  2. Meanwhile, mix together sugar, cinnamon, and butter in a small bowl with a fork. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over batter.
  3. Bake cake for 40 minutes or until set.

Source: Adapted from Pinch of Yum Here are some more 2S2C apple-inspired recipes from the archive:


Crockpot Cider with Mulling Spices

apple, walnut, and blue cheese salad *If I ever start a band, I am totally calling it Apples of My Youth.  Don’t even try taking it. sister m signature

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.

Hello Pumpkin Season!

While I am always a bit sad to see the summer come to an end, I am getting more excited by the day for one of my favorite seasons to arrive- pumpkin season! While it’s more  universally known as “fall” or “autumn,” I consider it the kickoff of a great season of pumpkin-flavored recipes and pumpkin pie spice coffee!

pumpkin pie spice

{Photo Courtesy of David from Spiced Blog}

International Delight is rolling out their Pumpkin Pie Spice creamer to your local grocery store over the next few weeks.  Be sure to grab a bottle to add a little spice to your morning coffee this September!  Pumpkin Pie Spice creamer is great with hot or iced coffee. Check out the ID website for more information on where you can find it.  You can also follow the International Delight Pumpkin Delight board on Pinterest for plenty of pumpkin pin-spiration.

Here are a few pumpkin-themed recipes from the 2S2C archives that I am looking forward to making this fall:

pumpkin bread


Mini Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Granola

Turkey White Bean and Pumpkin Chili

Have a great Labor Day weekend!

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.

Make Your Own Milkshake Party!

Make Your Own Milkshake Party

Summer is flying by (as always!) and we are trying to get everything on our summer bucket list checked off.  From time to time, we add new items to the list as we think of them.  We are enjoying our annual stay-cation this week and decided to start a new tradition- a make your own milkshake party!  While baby N was taking a nap one day, the rest of us concocted our own milkshakes to enjoy.

To get started, I bought several types of ice cream flavors and International Delight flavored creamers.  I opted to pick out two of the Cold Stone creamery flavors since we wanted a great ice cream flavor.  The two flavors I selected were the Cold Stone Creamery Sweet Cream and the Cold Stone Cream Founder’s Favorite (it tastes like a brownie sundae!)  We also added in a small amount of milk, blended it up, and enjoyed our own personalized milkshake recipe.

My three year old son went first and he (predictably!) picked chocolate ice cream and the Sweet Cream creamer:

chocolate and sweet cream

Since I love my coffee and cream so much, I picked coffee ice cream and the Sweet Cream creamer:

coffee and sweet cream

And finally, my husband -a huge Brownie Sundae fan, picked vanilla ice cream and Founder’s Favorite Brownie Sunday creamer flavored.

vanilla and founders favorite

Prep time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 1

  • 1 cup ice cream (I used vanilla, chocolate, and coffee for our 3 types of milkshakes)
  • 3 tablespoons International Delight flavored creamers (I used Cold Stone Creamery Sweet Cream and Founder’s Favorite for our 3 types of milkshakes)
  • ½ cup milk
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Chocolate syrup (optional)

  1. Have each milkshake party participant pick out their ice cream and International Delight flavored creamer combination.
  2. For each milkshake, add the ice cream, International Delight flavored creamer, and milk to a blender. Blend for 30 seconds (or until fully blended.) Pour into a glass cup and top with whipped cream and chocolate syrup if desired. Serve with a fun colored paper straw! Rinse out the blender and repeat for any additional milkshakes.

We were all very happy with our milkshake combinations!  Speaking of milkshakes, what do you call these?  I know in New England, most people refer to ice cream and milk blended together as frappes.  I grew up calling them milkshakes and the word frappe doesn’t come to mind as easily for me.  What’s your favorite milkshake/frappe flavor?

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.

Mama’s Pickles

Mama's Pickles

T is the kind of 3-year old who loves pickles.  He’s the kid who requests them for breakfast, lunch, snack, or dinner.  He’s the kid at the summer cookout who will be holding a pickle in one hand and a chocolate chip cookie in the other.  When I made my own pickles for the first time last summer, T was elated and started to refer to them as “Mama’s Pickles.”  The name stuck in our house and homemade dill pickles henceforth were known simply as Mama’s Pickles.


One of the vegetables that I have planted in my garden this summer are pickling cucumbers (in addition to Marketmore cucumbers.)  The cucumbers have really taken off and are climbing all over my garden fence and the other plants.  I’ve already harvested quite a few of them so I knew it was time to make my first batch of Mama’s Pickles for the season, this time with my own homegrown pickling cucumbers!


This recipe is very flexible and you can cut the cucumbers whichever way you see fit (spears, slices, whole, etc.)  T prefers “stick pickles”…his terms for pickle spears, so that is how I cut them for this first batch.  Feel free to halve this recipe or double as you see fit.

pickle ingredientsprepping pickles

Mama’s Pickles
Prep time: 
Total time: 


  • 1 bunch fresh dill
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 6-8 pickling cucumbers, washed and ends cuts off
  • 6 cups water
  • ¾ cup distilled white vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons kosher salt

  1. Gather three to four clean mason jars and put a couple sprigs of the dill and some of the pressed garlic on the bottom of each jar. Next, slice the cucumbers up into spears, slices, or keep them whole depending upon your pickling preference. Place the cucumbers into the mason jars.
  2. In a large bowl with a spout or measuring cup, mix together the water, vinegar, and salt. Stir until the salt is fully dissolved. Pour the vinegar mixture into each mason jar until it fully covers the cucumbers. Place a few more sprigs of dill and more of the pressed garlic on top (if desired.) Screw on mason jar covers.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 2 days. Then, enjoy for breakfast, lunch, or dinner if you have the same love of pickles as my little guy!

Source: Slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats

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S’more Cookies

S'more Cookies

Well, it is officially the week of Fourth of July and you know what that means..S’more season is here!   What is better then (or equal to a s’more,) but a S’more Chocolate Chip Cookie combination.

S'more Chocolate Chip Cookies.jpg

The boyfriend and I have a bit of an obsession with chocolate chip cookies.  I feel like we haven’t baked much of anything else this year except for white sandwich bread and chocolate chip cookies.  My boyfriend has become a chocolate chip cookie baking-pro over here.  While he was gone today, I decided to make a new cookie recipe.  We had this bakery near our old house in New Jersey that sold really good cupcakes and cookies.  They had the most amazing S’more Cookies and ever since then I have been trying to recreate them.  This recipe is pretty darn close!

Plate of S'more Cookies.jpg

One Thanksgiving, my mom was making Martha Stewart’s recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole and asked me to cut up large marshmallows to put on top because that is what the recipe called for.  We joked that maybe Martha didn’t realize they made mini marshmallows.  This particular cookie recipe calls for mini marshmallows, which of course I forgot at the grocery store.  Luckily, I had large marshmallows and got to cut them up like old times!

More S'more Cookies.jpg

S’more Cookies

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cup AP flour
  • 1 cup graham crackers crumbs
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup milk chocolate chips
  • 3-4 Hershey Bars broken into squares
  • 1 cup of mini marshmallows or large marshmallows cut up

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In the bowl of a mixer, cream butter and then add both sugars. Once mixed, add in egg and vanilla extract.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, graham cracker crumbs, salt, and baking soda.
  4. Add the dry mix into the wet mixture, scraping down the sides to make sure everything is incorporated.
  5. Mix in chocolate chips (not the Hershey’s squares yet.)
  6. Scoop the cookie dough into 24 balls and spread out on two cookie sheets lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  7. Bake one tray at a time for 8 minutes, take out of the oven, closing the oven door so you do not lose heat. Press marshmallows and Hershey’s squares into the top of the cookies (I did 1-2 squares and then 3-4 marshmallows in each cookies). Put tray back in the oven and bake for an additional 3-4 minutes. Repeat for second tray.
  8. Let cookies cool for 5-10 minutes and then move to cooling tray. Store in an airtight container.

Source- Adapted from Carl’s Bad Cravings Blog

Looking for more S’more desserts?  Try these:

Smore-Ice-Cream.jpgS’more Ice Cream


Raspberry Truffle S’mores

Frozen Cupcake S'mores {from 2 Sisters 2 Cities}Frozen Cupcakes S’mores

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5 Things I’m Loving: June 2014 Edition

Keelin and I have been talking since the beginning of the year about putting out a monthly post with some of our favorite things each month.  Since we are approaching the halfway point of 2014, it seems only fitting that I actually get going with my first post of this new series!  We hope to continue these types of posts in the future as our way of sharing our latest finds!  Without further ado, here are my top five things I’m loving this month:

International Delight Iced Coffee

1.  International Delight Vanilla Flavored Iced Coffee: Although I love to make cold-brewed iced coffee, sometimes I don’t plan ahead and it can take 12-24 hours to “brew.” International Delight’s iced coffee line is perfect when I’m in a time crunch and need my iced coffee fix for the day!  ID’s iced coffee also comes in Original, Mocha, and Caramel Macchiato.


2.  Fit Bit Flex: Our entire family has recently jumped on the Fit Bit bandwagon!  The Fit Bit Flex is a pedometer that you wear on your wrist to track your daily steps, but is also estimates your distance, active minutes, calories burned, and sleep efficiency.  You can add friends who have a Fit Bit to compare 7-day step counts and that has proven to be a great motivator for me!

Here’s what the main dashboard on the iPhone app looks like:

fitbit stats

It measures my daily steps in 15-minute increments throughout the day:

fitbit steps

It even measures your sleep efficiency (at least I’m efficient at something!)

fit bit sleep


raised garden beds

3. Raised Garden Beds: Earlier this spring, we built raised garden beds using these very detailed and helpful directions from the Pioneer Woman.  We planted lots of vegetable plants about a month ago and we love checking out how things are growing every day.  I’m crossing my fingers that we will soon be making Caprese Salad and Mediterranean Dip with our garden bounty (that is if our pesky forest critters stay away!)  I’m chronicling my gardening journey this summer with Instagram- follow me at 2Sisters2Cities and search for the hashtag #barryfamilygarden.


4. Audible: One of my favorite hobbies is reading books, but I struggle to get through a lot of books these days with my two little guys pulling me in all directions.  I try to read at night before bed, but I usually get through a page and a half before I’m falling asleep.  I recently started listening to audio books via the Audible app on my iPhone and I’m loving it so far.  I’m already on book #3!  I try to use the app whenever I’m cooking, cleaning, folding laundry, or out running errands (without T in the car as he pretty much insists on listening to kid’s music 100% of the time.)

5. Dark Sky app: I love that the kids can play outside almost everyday lately, but summer weather can be a bit unpredictable with sudden rain and storms.  Someone recommended I try out an app called Dark Sky.  It can tell you (pretty accurately) if it’s going to rain or not within the next hour.  It also has detailed forecasts of periods of rain or clouds for a full 7-days on a hyper-local level.

So there you have it…my first round-up of things I’m loving this month.  What are you currently crushing on this summer?

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.

2014 Summer Bucket List

2014 Summer Bucket List

This past holiday weekend, my family and I sat down to make our 2014 summer bucket list!  It always feels like summer flies by so we wanted to make a list of everything we are hoping to do this summer.  I’ve seen a lot of different ideas on Pinterest for making a summer bucket list, but we just wrote everything out on a large piece of paper using different colored markers.  Here are some of the items on the list:

Iced Coffee Recipe

  • Make iced coffee (for me!)- *see below for iced coffee recipe ideas
  • Plant a vegetable garden (more posts to come on our new raised garden beds this year after my first failed attempt at reviving the garden beds that came with our home)
  • Go to the pool
  • Go to the beach
  • Make popsicles
  • Go out for ice cream
  • Make strawberry shortcake
  • Go on a boat ride
  • Trip to Maine
  • Go to the park
  • Watch Planes 2 in the movie theater
  • Blow bubbles
  • Play with the water table
  • Have a picnic
  • Grill hotdogs
  • Watch fireworks
  • Catch a fish
  • Water balloon fight
  • Go to the aquarium
  • Go to the children’s museum
  • Eat lunch at a food truck
  • Run a 5K
  • Farmers market
  • Bonfire
  • Mini golf

*We have shared a couple recipes in the past on how to make cold-brewed iced coffee.  We wanted to share one more way to enjoy your iced coffee this summer- with International Delight flavored creamers!  Add a splash of Caramel Macchiato, French Vanilla Hazelnut, or White Chocolate Mocha to your iced coffee this summer for the perfect afternoon pick-me-up!  (A full list of International Delight flavors can be found at the I.D. website.  Plus, be sure to check out International Delight’s new packaging at your local grocery store!)  If you are looking to make a large batch of iced coffee, we recommend this cold-brewed iced coffee recipe.  However, if making just a small batch is more your thing, check out our mason jar cold-brewed method!

Mason Jar Iced Coffee

We are looking forward to crossing off all these life experiences off our summer bucket list and we may add in a few more over the course of the summer.  What are some of your favorite things you must do each summer?

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.

Peanut Butter Cream Pie

Peanut Butter Cream Pie

This weekend is Memorial Day Weekend, the unofficial start to summer!   I am so excited for summer for the nice weather, the fresh produce, and the chilled desserts!  My boyfriend and I have been taking advantage of the longer days and have started running.  We have a park within walking distance from our house so we started a Couch to 5k Challenge.   There is still a lot of running/walking, but we are half way through the program.   It is so nice to be outside and taking advantage of the beautiful park we live near.

Peanut Butter Pie

I made this pie a few weeks ago and it was the perfect cold dessert.  I love the peanut butter/chocolate combination of the pie and topping it with chopped peanut butter cups makes it even more amazing.  This pie would be the perfect Memorial Day dessert because you can make it ahead and it is cold and delicious.   It’s actually even better the next day so feel free to make it a day ahead of time and chill completely in the refrigerator.  Hope you all have a Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Slice of Peanut Butter Cream Pie

Peanut Butter Cream Pie
Serves: 8

For Crust
  • 16 Oreo cookies
  • 4 tbsp. butter, melted
For Filling
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 8 oz. cream cheese (I used ⅓ fat kind), at room temperature
  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • ½ cup chopped roasted peanuts
  • 3 cups of heavy cream
  • ½ cup chopped peanut butter cups, for topping

To make Pie Crust-
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor pulse the Oreo cookies until finely ground. Pour the melted butter over the crumbs and pulse until butter is incorporated. In a 9″ pie pan spray with non-stick spray. Dump the cookie crumbs into pie pan, spread evenly and work in to an even crust on the sides and bottom. Bake crust for 10-15 minutes until pie crust is set. Let cool completely before adding filling.
To make filling:
  1. In the bowl of your mixer fitted with a whisk attachment whip two cups of heavy cream until thick and fluffy. Put the whipped cream in a separate bowl and set aside for a later step.
  2. Add cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar to empty mixer bowl and mix together until smooth.
  3. Beat in peanut butter, milk and chopped peanuts and beat together for about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Gently fold in 2 cups of the whipped cream by hand until everything is combined.
  5. Pour the filling out into the cooled crust and spread evenly. Refrigerate for at least two hours.
  6. When serving, whip remaining whipped cream and top each slice with whipped cream and chopped peanut butter cups.

Peanut Butter Cream Pie with Chocolate Crust.jpg

Source- Adapted from Emeril Lagasse

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Greek Quinoa Salad

Greek Quinoa Salad

I have to admit that I have had a hard time getting on the quinoa bandwagon.  I think the issue was that I was eating it plain and only seasoned with salt and pepper…boring, bland, blah!  I’ve recently come to the realization that quinoa is much better when you incorporate it with lots of fresh, flavorful ingredients.

With all the recent reports about the high amounts of arsenic in rice, I’ve been attempting to keep our family’s rice intake to a minimum.  Quinoa is certainly a great substitute because it is a great source of protein, iron, and fiber.  Quinoa is also a great sub for pasta as well.

I was originally planning on making a greek orzo salad to go along with Giada’s Tzatziki Salmon recipe last night.  I realized that I had no orzo in the pantry and thought it would the perfect opportunity to sub in some quinoa.  I found a Bobby Flay recipe for Greek Quinoa Salad and adjusted it a bit to my preferences.  I was so pleased with the results!  I think this greek quinoa salad will definitely be making it’s way into our side dish rotation.  I’m so psyched to finally say bring on the quinoa!

Greek Quinoa Salad

Greek Quinoa Salad
Recipe type: salad
Cuisine: Greek
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4-6

Skip the rice or pasta and try quinoa for a healthy, but delicious substitute!
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and cooked according to the package
  • ½ hothouse cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 cup kalamata olives, cut in half or kept whole (whatever is your preference)
  • ½ cup crumbled feta (or use more or less based on your preference)
  • 2 green onions (green parts only), sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

  1. Cook the quinoa according to the package’s directions. Once cooked, place quinoa in a medium-sized serving bowl and allow to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, start to make the Greek dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, red wine vinegar, dried oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper. Slowly add in the olive oil and whisk together at the same time so that it emulsifies.
  3. Add the dressing to the cooled quinoa and mix until incorporated. Add in the cucumber, tomatoes, olives, feta, green onions, and parsley and continue to stir until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving


Source: Adapated from Bobby Flay

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Strawberry Margaritas

Strawberry Margaritas

Happy Cinco De Mayo!  Are you looking for some recipes to celebrate with?   Well, you have come to the right place.   I love, love, love me some Mexican food so it isn’t too hard to find a recipe in my my collection to make around here.

Over the weekend, I mixed up a couple batches of these Strawberry Margaritas to celebrate with.   With strawberries on sale for so cheap around this time of year in California, it seemed like the perfect flavor  for our “margs.”  I love this classic recipe for Margaritas,but sometimes a little variation is needed.  The best part about this recipe is that you make strawberry simple syrup which can then be used to make other drinks like strawberry milk, pink lemonade, or even strawberry-flavored seltzer water by mixing in a few spoonfuls.  I recommend making the strawberry simple syrup ahead of time.  I also juiced my limes ahead of time so when I was preparing the drinks, everything was ready.  Enjoy!

Strawberry Margs

Strawberry Margaritas
Serves: 2 drinks

  • 4 oz. triple sec
  • 4 oz. tequila
  • 5 oz. strawberry simple syrup
  • 4 oz lime juice
  • Ice
  • sugar and kosher salt, to garnish
  • lime slices and strawberries, to garnish

  1. To make simple syrup- In sauce pan, heat 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar, stir and heat until mixture is clear. Put in a mason jar and let cool.
  2. To make Strawberry simple syrup, put in 1 cup of cooled simple syrup and 1½ cups of cleaned, hulled strawberries. Blend until smooth.
  3. To make Margarita- Mix together all ingredients with ice. Rub a slice of lime on the rim of 2 glassed, dip glassed is the sugar/salt mixture so it sticks to rim. Add additional ice to glasses and pour mixed drink into glasses. Garnish with lime wedges and strawberries. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Source- Adapted slightly from Tide and Thyme

Want more recipes for Cinco De Mayo?


Classic Margaritas


Pico De Gallo

Salsa Verde

California Salsa
taco dip

Taco Dip

Carnitas Tacos

Black Bean Burritos
tres leches cupcakes {from 2 Sisters 2 Cities}
Tres Leches Cupcakes

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