Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Stroke of Pure Brilliance...

Hit me while making lunch on Sunday. I *love* breakfast, but I rarely ever eat breakfast foods for breakfast. I was making pancakes and eggs and asked Matt how he wanted his egg cooked. He said, "In a basket." Now, for those who aren't aware, an "Egg in a Basket" is a type of toast where you cut out the middle part of a piece of bread, drop the egg into the hole, and fry it. It's delicious. Now, I really didn't want to make any more carbohydrates for the meal (I mean, pancakes are enough!) and then it hit me. Cut out the middle of the pancake and drop the egg in!

I had my very first fried egg on a pancake when I was about 12. It was one of the most delicious things I had ever eaten. It might also have been the boysenberry syrup as well, but that's not the point. The point was that when you ate the egg with the pancake, the yolk runs out and get's absorbed by the bread and it's like having a really good bread pudding (which is one of my favorite desserts!). It's rich and moist, but you don't really get a huge egg flavor (because of the liberal application of syrup). You get the benefit of texture that the egg yolk brings to the party. It's simple, but delicious.

Any way, having had this stroke of brilliance, I cut out the hole, plopped the egg into it and cooked it. It was so good. I don't know if anyone has had this same "ah-ha" moment, but I think it should be a regular item on all breakfast menus from now on. I think I'll call it "Eggs in a Fluffy Basket".

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

*Warning!! Post contains graphic images of little toe destruction!*

I caught the edge of my toe on my little stereo that was on the floor.I think I'm going to lose the nail. Stupid edges that jump out and grab my toes... *grumble*

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Baby you can have whatever you like

That was Matt's reaction to my desire for a new ring. Well, not exactly. He gave me a price limit, but said if it makes you happy, then go for it. I've been waiting to post this until I got my ring cleaned again and could put up pretty pretty pictures! :) Here it is!

Isn't it beautiful? It was my anniversary present. It's the best. I just stare at it all day and sigh. Isn't that dumb? My old ring is nice, but it's just not me. I thought it was, but what do 19 year-olds really know about themselves? Come on!

Matt and I have been talking about this for a few years now and the five year mark seemed like a good one. :) In all fairness, Matt got an equivalent present: a ginormous flat screen. Can you say, "Thank you tax return?" :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A sudden realization

I've just realized that the past five posts have been food centered... Man, I love food! :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Vegas: Redeems itself

So after the terrible anniversary night, I was pretty annoyed with Vegas in general and was not happy at all. The day after our anniversary, we decided to walk up and down the entire strip. Roughly ten miles all in all. In hind sight, it was not the best thing to do (seeing as I had blisters the size of my finger on both feet from the aforementioned killer heels), but I wanted to see all the casinos and walk through them.

The day started off well with me winning four dollars on the slot machines (wahoo!) but it's charms quickly wore off (read: I lost all my winnings in other slot machines) as my foot started hurting more and more. I've also had trouble with my left foot having pain when I walk (which I've since found out was a subluxed cuboid bone pressing on nerves and tendons causing sharp pains every time I step on it but recently remedied).

By the end of the day I was pooped and we didn't even make it into Caesar's Palace, Bellagio, Mirage or Treasure Island. We did get to see the Bellagio fountain show (which was incredible), the Mirage volcano show (which we saw from across the street and wasn't as incredible) and the Siren's of TI show (which was interesting, but lame at the same time).

That night, Matt tried to find somewhere to eat that was close and cheapish and after a few minutes of Urban Spoon-ing and Yelp-ing, he found this place called Ricardo's and decided to give it a try. We arrived at the restaurant (which from the outside sort of reminded me of a Chili's in terms of size and shape) and when we were being seated, Matt asked to be away from the kitchen. Now, what Matt meant was he didn't want the odor of cooking shellfish to make him uncomfortable. What the host interpreted was that we wanted something quiet and secluded. He took us to a little booth in the corner where there was no one else around (save for a few police officers who left a few minutes after we sat down).

Our waitress was polite, prompt and very considerate. I always take forever to order and sometimes you can tell that it annoys the server. She, however, did not miss a beat. Matt told her about his allergy which she carefully noted and when our food arrived, even made a little joke about him ordering the shrimp special. She was present, but not hovering, and the food was out pretty quickly. We also ordered guacamole as an appetizer to go with our chips and the three incredibly delicious (and obviously homemade) salsas. I ordered the enchiladas racheras and Matt ordered the chimichangas.

I cannot adequately express to you how delicious my meal was. I am not, in general, a big fan of mexican cuisine. I have to be in the mood for it, or it has to be prepared by Eduardo (our friend from Charlotte). But this enchilada was smothered in a delicious sauce (that wasn't your typical tomato sauce) with cheese and refried beans. As always when a restaurant offers chips or breads before your meal, I filled up on the chips and salsa, so I had a hard time making a dent in the plate, but dang it I tried my very best! It was hearty and cheesy and the beef inside was tender and incredibly flavorful. It was called machaca I think and I have no idea what it means, but I think it roughly translates to "the best tasting shredded beef you'll ever put in your mouth".

And even though there was a small TV right at our table, it wasn't too distracting and Matt and I had a great conversation. I remember saying to Matt at one point that this was the dinner we should have had on our anniversary. The food was great, the service didn't suck and I could actually hear Matt without him shouting at me.

We left happy and full and drove back to the hotel with the windows down, enjoying the warm night air. So, after Ricardo's, I didn't think Vegas was all that bad. Is there such a thing as an anniversary do-over, because that's what happened, even though it wasn't intended. I'm so glad we went.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Vegas: A review of the ridiculousness and Stratta condemned

Let me just say the Vegas is crazy. I was on stimulation overload for the first few days. It is a lot to take in all at once. Especially at night. And especially on the strip. It was fun, but I think after a full seven days in Las Vegas, I needed a vacation from my vacation.

Don't get me wrong, our resort was amazing! The only drawback was they gouged you every chance they get. Which is not surprising considering the deals we got on our hotel stay. I think if we went again (which is likely to happen, but not anytime soon) I think it would be for a few days in the middle of the week. The weekend was crazy.

Unfortunately, once we got there, we decided that we should try to keep our food costs low, which meant not trying some of the buffets on the strip and nice dinners at the resort, but we did manage to find one gem while we were there, which I will proceed not to talk about at all (later my friends).

So, on our anniversary, I had brought a killer pair of heels and decided to find a killer outfit to go with while I was there. I got this gorgeous dress from Banana Republic at the outlets (can I get an amen for some great outlets!?) I wish I had a picture of us all dressed up for the evening, but it's on Matt's phone. :( We had tickets for The Phantom of the Opera that night and late dinner reservations. We were almost late for Phantom because my hair and make up took too long, but we got there right before it started. I was thoroughly enjoying it until I got a good dose of the Phantom. I am planning a dedicated post to this monstrosity, but let me just say that I did not have a good time.

After the show, we walked back to our hotel and had dinner at a Restaurant called Stratta.
It's supposed to be an Italian place in the Wynn which is attached to the Encore (which we stayed in). Any way, we had gotten several glowing remarks about how wonderful it was and decided that where we would celebrate our five years of marriage. I had made a reservation but we still had to wait fifteen minutes for our table. And fifteen minutes on growing blisters (because that's the price for wearing killer heels and walking in them all over creation) was not pleasant.

After we were seated, our waitress started completely ignoring us, only showing up once every twenty minutes or so (I actually checked). Our food was slow to come and at this point it was very late and I'm very hungry. And the food was lackluster. It could've been that our waitress was incompetent and absent or it could've been the copious amounts of smoke pouring in from the casino. Or it could've been the fact that the restaurant offered no privacy or atmosphere whatsoever.

Whoever designed it should have been fired. The restaurant was on the corner of the casino and a very popular thoroughfare through the hotel and was open to it all. I suppose if you wanted to eat dinner but still "be a part of the raucous action" in the "see and be seen" atmosphere of Vegas, then mission accomplished boys. And it was so dimly lit that you couldn't appreciate the style of the place, which from the publicity photos looks amazing.

We were seated cheek by jowl in that place with no privacy and the noise! Oh! the noise! I could barely carry on a conversation with Matt because of the noise. And since our food took three years to come to us, and me being so hungry, I had filled up on their bread and cheese so that when my meal came I took three bites and couldn't eat any more (I know this was my fault but I was annoyed because our room didn't have a fridge so I couldn't even take it back and eat it later so I felt guilty about wasting food). Not that I would've wanted to eat more than three bites any way. I make better pasta at home.

And after all of this, the bill was over a hundred dollars for the two of us. I was pissed. But not being one to make a scene, pouted until we got back to the room. So, in all, our anniversary sucked big time. And I'm sorry about the rant (I didn't plan it) and I'm surprised if you've made it this far into it. But after expecting five star cuisine and five star service from a five star resort, forgive me if I'm really disappointed at having a one star experience.

Image courtesy of www.royallyflushed.com and www.lastheplace.com
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