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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Eating Las Vegas!

Jordan and I recently returned from Las Vegas to celebrate Jordan's 30th birthday.

This was my first trip to Vegas and I loved it!!!

Besides lots of shopping, gambling, race car driving and other fun activities the thing we did the most of was EATING!!!!

Our first dinner took place at Thomas Keller's Bouchon. When we sat down we were brought some fresh made baguette and warm pistachios, it was the perfect way to begin a meal. We then started off with a Heirloom Tomato Salad with Mache, Crispy Shallots & a Basil Seed Emulsion and an order of Beignets de Brandade de Morue (salt cod fritters with tomato confit and fried sage). For our mains Jordan ordered the Roasted Leg of Lamb with Lemon-Braised Escarol, Hen-of-the-Woods Mushrooms, Toasted Quinoa & Lamb Jus and I ordered the Roasted Chicken with Sweet Corn, Fingerling Potatoes, Bacon Lardon & Savory-Infused Chicken Jus. I don't usually order chicken in a restaurant but it came highly recommended from the server and I was NOT disappointed. I must say it was the best chicken I have ever eaten. For dessert we were brought a surprise of Chocolate Bouchons (mini chocolate cakes) with Homemade Strawberry Ice cream. DELICIOUS!!!

Jordan's 30th birthday dinner took place at STK in the Cosmopolitan. This place is known more for the social scene then the food but we were definitley not disappointed with our meal. When we sat down we were first brought some delicious hot bread served with some blue cheese butter and chive oil, we were off to a good start. To begin the meal, Jordan and I shared their Shrimp Rice Krispie: three jumbo shrimp served a top of crunchy fried rice then topped with hot bisque right before serving, it was delicious. Jordan and I both went with the 20 oz bone-in rib eye steak for our main (not to share, we each got our own!) and we shared a side of macaroni and cheese and crunchy broccolini. It was  typical steak house fare, but it was done to perfection. To celebrate Jordan's big 3-0 birthday we were given a selection of their delicious desserts to enjoy. Even though we both just ate 20 oz of beef we still managed to enjoy the three mini ice cream cones (strawberry, mango and coffee), cheesecake lollipops, creme brulee, and a few other goodies.

For lunch the next day we headed to Mario Batali's Otto Enoteca Pizzeria in The Venetian. We shared an order of Arancini (deep fried risotto balls stuffed with cheese) with fresh made tomato sauce for dipping to start. Jordan then ordered the pepperoni pizza and I went with the pizza of the day, a white pizza base with Burratta cheese, caper berries, chili and fresh parsley. The pizza crust was thin and crispy and was the perfect lunch.

For our final dinner we went to Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill in Caesar's Palace. The restaurants in Vegas sure know how to start off a meal as a basket of freshly made bread (three different kinds) was brought to our table as soon as we sat down. We started our meal with a Shrimp & Roasted Garlic Corn Tamale in a Corn & Cilantro Sauce and Yucatan Chicken tacos with Fire Grilled Red Onions & Peanut-Smoked Chili BBQ Sauce. Jordan then ordered the Fire Roasted Veal Chop with a Horseradish & Maple Glaze served with a Wild Rice Tamale & Sage Butter. I went with the Yucatan Style Grouper with a Blue Crab Succotash Sauce. We also shared the Cornmeal Crusted Chili Relleno with Black Beans, Rice & Cheese as our side. This meal was delicious and after three nights of delicious meals we no longer had room for dessert (until later that night when I went for some watermelon gelato in our hotel!).

After four delicious days of eating in Las Vegas I am now back home eating lettuce.....

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Tales from our Garden: Fresh Tomato Sauce

Our garden definitely has no lack of tomatoes and because we are only two people I needed a way to use up a bunch before they all went bad so last week I decided to whip up some delicious fresh tomato sauce and finished it off with some fresh garden picked basil. I must say it was one of the best tomato sauces I have ever eaten.

Since making this batch a week a go we now have a fresh batch of picked tomatoes, two HUGE bowl fulls to be exact. This weekend I am going to make a super large batch of this sauce and freeze it in individual portions that way we can enjoy our fresh garden tomato sauce all year long.

Fresh Tomato Sauce
Makes about 2 cups of sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 10 medium sized plum tomatoes, peeled (see how here) and chopped 
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh torn basil 
  1. Heat a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the oil, onions and garlic and saute until softened and lightly golden.
  2. Add in the tomatoes, lower the heat and let simmer for 30-45 minutes stirring occasionally until you have a nice thick tomato sauce
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste and finish with a good sprinkling of fresh torn basil.

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