Friday, November 29, 2013

Las Vegas Trip Recap

Vegas was great! Of course, I lost money and didn't win the millions but oh well. But we has a great time anyway.

Thursday we arrived at the Paris Hotel and Casino and, luckily, our room was ready. We headed out to find food and then I gambled a little! Tom napped because we had to get ready for the Latin Grammys later on that evening. It was an unexpected treat.

I wasn't sure if Tom would want to go but he did and it was great. I had gone to the Latin Grammy's a few years back and it was fun. This event was also fun. We had great seats and there were some great artists. I saw some of my favorites like Marc Anthony, Miguel Bose, Juanes, Carlos Vives and more. Pitbull rocked the house. Even Tom had a great time. After the awards, we had a late meal at KUMI in Mandalay Bay. I actually has Crisp Pork Belly rolls, which were amazing. Living in the boonies, you forget what real good food really tastes like until you go into a good restaurant.

The next day, Tom headed out to his conference and was gone most of the day. I was left to my own devices which included working on blog stuff and gambling. I didn't do well on either. But it kept me busy most of the day. We had dinner at Sea a Thai restaurant in Bally's because we had tickets to the X Burlesque show at the Flamingo Hotel.

The X Burlesque show was something we never would have done but I was able to get free tickets courtesy of the producers and it was great. The reason it's X is because the dancers are topless but after a while you hardly notice. But the music and dancing was great and it was a cool experience. I would definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to see a show in Vegas.

Saturday came and we headed out to breakfast and then we were invited to the Guns and Ammo Garage for some shooting lessons. I will write more about my experience but I have to say that it was something I NEVER ever would have thought of doing but glad I did.

We got back tot he hotel and gambled some more and had a little lunch. that night we headed out to Roy's Restaurant, which is one of the best restaurants I have ever eaten at. We were hosted by Roy's and I have to say that it was a real culinary treat.

Sunday was our last day in Vegas and we really didn't have any plans except to relax and gamble some more. We headed out and played for a few hours. Then we had dinner at Gordon Ramsey's Steak. It was good but not great. I think we were both a little disappointed. But some of the food was very good. I am not sure I would go there again though.

Then our Vegas adventure was over. It was a great trip. We did many things we never would have done. We ate a lot of good food! We had a good time gambling. Vegas always has a special place in our hearts and we, honestly, love going there. It is expensive if you lose but it is well worth it.

I will be posting more pictures and stories about my adventures. I just wanted to give an overview because with Thanksgiving 2 days away, I might be offline cooking up a storm!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas!

I was deciding the other day if I wanted to decorate for Christmas. For the past few years, we haven't because we are always traveling during the holidays. We also stopped buying real trees because of the cats.

One year, Scout started eating the tree branches and got a terrible rash around her mouth. Shawn would always knock down all the ornaments and cause havoc. She broke quite a few of our nice ornaments. In the the end, we had to buy plush ornaments and put them on the bottom branches.

We were always afraid she was going to chew on the Christmas lights and electrocute herself. In fact, I had to go to a few times to try and find lights that might be safe to have because of Shawn. She was such a little terror.

Now that they are both gone, we could have a Christmas tree once again but we are also leaving on vacation for a week ad I have to wonder if it is worth the time and effort to pull out our fake tree or buy a new tree. We also have tons of Christmas decorations in the garage but that is a hot mess.

I would love to have a real tree this year but it seems like a lot of hassle. I don't think I can bear trying to clean up the mess a real tree leaves. It's bad enough I have to clean the house now and then add the mess of a pine tree and it would be worse.

So, I am debating what to do. I saw some excellent minion ornaments that I would love to buy for myself. But are a few minion ornaments worth the hassle of putting up a tree and then taking it down? I am not sure.

Most likely, we will choose to skip the tree this year. I am going to try and dig out our stockings at least. I would like to put them up one more year for us the kitties. I think it would be a nice gesture.

We also will add the Holiday cards we receive to the mantel this year as well. I would love to get a wreath for the door. We have several great places around town that sell fresh wreaths. I guess that might be a good compromise. We get a fresh wreath instead of a fresh tree. I think I would be good with that.

I will keep you updated if we decide to decorate this year.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

MINIONS in Las Vegas

We were strolling around Vegas and I came upon Minions. Okay, not real minions but minions, nonetheless! I LOVE MINIONS! So I had to take my picture with them.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Roasted Acorn Squash! Perfect for Thanksgiving!

This is such an easy and delicious side dish. I like it during the winter and it is perfect for Thanksgiving. I have started replacing the usual veggies for this dish. It take minutes to prep!! This is how to make it.

Buy a regular acorn squash. 

Cut in half (be careful). And seed. 

Cut a little off the bottom of the squash so it can sit in the casserole dish. 

Place in a casserole dish. 

Sprinkle with a little salt. 

Add about 1 to 2 knobs of butter. 

Sprinkle with brown sugar. I wing it depending on how sweet I want it. Sometimes, I skip the brown sugar and just use a little salt and pepper for a savory squash. 

Cook for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Take out and baste the squash with the butter. 

Cook another 20 minutes until the squash gets soft and the brown sugar get caramelized. 

Eat! Buen Provecho! 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Weekly WOO! Vegas, Baby! #weeklywoo

I am trying to find something to WOO about every week. This week my weekly woo is the fact that we are headed to Las Vegas this weekend! Tom has a conference and I am tagging along because that is how I roll.

You all know I love gambling and Vegas! Of course, this trip I have to be totally frugal and play cautiously. But who knows, maybe I will finally win that huge jackpot I keep hoping for! Or not. Anyway, we have some cool things planned. We are staying at Paris. We have a dinner at Mandalay Bay. A hosted dinner at Roy's, which is one of the BEST restaurants I have ever been to. We have a Burlesque show to attend. And on Saturday during the day, we are headed to an adventure that you will not believe that we will be doing. It's so not us but we are excited about it!

Aside from that, we are just getting a little R&R. Well, I am since Tom is working. But we will also find a little time to just enjoy time together! YAY US!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My new cookware!

I rarely enter giveaways anymore because I don't have that much time. But every so often I do. And every so often I win something. I won these super duper cute Le Creuset mini pumpkin casseroles. I won a set of 4! I LOVE them. Not, only are they adorbs but they are Le Creuset and I love anything Le Creuset. I already have 2  Le Creuset casserole dishes and I would not give them up for anything. These just add to my little tiny collection. Now, I have to decide what to cook in them. I might use them for Thanksgiving!! Any idea what I should make?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto

This dish has no real recipe. This is one of those willy-nilly meals I make after seeing the recipe once or twice on TV. It's something I don't make all the time bu it is definitely one of my favorite vegetarian dishes. It is time consuming and you have to be watching the rice the whole time. That bores me and that's why I rarely make it.

But it is delicious and you can change it up and add meat if you want. You can use other veggies as well. It is very versatile. It is also a great dish for Fall or Winter. It is hearty and rich.

Start with some Portobello mushrooms. You can use any type or various types but this time I only had these.  Depending on the size, I use 2 or 3 mushrooms. Also use Arborio rice not regular rice.

Chop the mushrooms and one medium onion. I also added asparagus to this dish. Once you get the veggies chopped, start cooking the veggies. 

Saute the onions in butter. 

Add the mushrooms and asparagus. Also, add spices. I use salt and pepper.  

I used fresh thyme and rosemary from the garden as well. 

After sauteing, add a little brandy, vermouth, cognac or white wine to the veggies and let reduce.  
I add about 1/2 cup of the liquor. 

Once reduced, set the veggies aside. 

Start the rice. I usually use 1 to 1.5 cups of rice since it is only the two of us. I start by adding a little oil to the pot and letting the rice get coated with oil. 

You have to start adding liquid little by little. I first add about a cup of white wine and start the process. The tricky part here is to let the rice absorb all the liquid before adding more.
 This is a long and tedious process. 

Start adding warm beef broth. I add about 1/2 cup of liquid at a time. Once you start adding the broth, you must stir the rice. You have to stir, a lot. I also add salt and pepper as I go. Just a pinch and dash and taste as you go. 

I use about 4 cups of beef broth and one or two cups of wine. I keep adding the liquid until the rice is fully cooked. Make sure to keep checking the rice.  I make sure I have the pot on medium heat. The process can take 30 minutes or even up to an hour. I have found it depends on the amount of rice used.  At this point keep adding salt and pepper and taste! 

Once the rice is done, add in the veggies and mix.  Also add a 2 tablespoons of butter and mix that in as well. The butter will add a creaminess and richness to the dish. I always add a little Parmesan cheese on top before serving to add a little extra flavor. This dish looks hard but it is so easy.  It is hearty and goes a long way because it is rich. 

Buen Provecho! 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Fall Leaves

The pictures I posted yesterday were ones of the leaves still on the trees. These are pictures of the leaves. Poor Tom had to rake all this while I lived the vida loca inside the house.