Vegas 2017

I didn’t get around to blogging this sooner but here is my post about my Vegas trip!

My dad and I stayed at the New York New York Hotel & Casino, our first time staying on the Strip. It was a decent hotel and central to everything. The hotel lobby was outlined with restaurants and the further you walked past the casino, the decor changed to look like New York: there was a pizza parlor, painted brownstone apartments on the walls and cobblestone pathways. The hotel has a roller coaster which starts inside the hotel, so every few minutes there was the roar of the car taking off. Upstairs was Nathan’s Hot Dogs, an arcade, the second floor of Hershey’s World (first floor was by the casino), Coyote Ugly bar and entrance to the pedestrian bridge connecting New York to MGM Grand across the street.

New York New York
One of the walkways of New York New York

We arrived Friday afternoon and took the shuttle to our hotel. After freshening up it was 6pm, and we went to explore our surroundings. But first, dinner!

Broadway Burger
Bacon Cheeseburger and buttermilk onion rings

We ate at Broadway Burger and split the bacon cheeseburger and buttermilk onion rings. I loved the mini fryer the fries came in!

After, we went to look for the T-Mobile Arena, where the John Mayer concert was, which was located in The Park. It was a nice dining complex right outside of the hotel, with Shake Shack (need to eat there next time), Bruxie and other restaurants.

Saturday we went exploring. We went to see the flower garden at The Bellagio, ate pizza at Caesars Palace, went to a few of the Las Vegas gift shops and meandered around Hershey’s World.

Bellagio
Japanese Spring was Bellagio’s theme in the flower garden

Hershey
One of three cases of sweetness at Hershey’s World

That night was the concert, and it was alright. The arena was nice and in the foyers T-Mobiles signature pink was splashed everywhere. I’m still a hardcore John Mayer fan though.

Sunday morning we ate breakfast at Denny’s, checked out Wynn and Encore, took the tram to Mandalay Bay and Luxor and relived my childhood at Excalibur and Circus Circus.

Since it was our last night I wanted to eat dinner at Giada de Laurentiis’ restaurant, who is my favorite chef. I thought that since it was Sunday that it wouldn’t be crowded.

Boy was I wrong. The next open table was at 9:30pm, so we chose to eat at the bar lounge. Upon arriving, you walk up a set of stairs to a very clean, nicely lit and organized reception area. There are items for purchase on display, including her cookbooks and shirts. In the corner is a seating area with a photo booth.

Giada
Entrance to Giada

The dining area was equally fancy, with a panoramic view of the Strip, including the Bellagio Fountains across the street.

My dad and I split the chicken marsala meatballs and spaghetti. Both were full of flavor, especially the spaghetti, which was very lemony. It wasn’t overpowering. The shrimp was cooked well and complemented the pasta. I could’ve eaten a full order!

Spaghetti
Half portion of spaghetti with shrimp

After dinner we watched the Bellagio fountain show. It was good ending to our trip.

But it wasn’t over.

When we arrived at our hotel we noticed a crowd of people were waiting in front of the elevator lobby doors to Century Tower (where we were staying). The fire alarm had gone off on the 22nd floor so the elevators were shut down.

Our room was on the 37th floor.

After 30 minutes we were allowed to return to our rooms through different elevators (which didn’t make sense because each tower had their own set of elevators). But my dad and I were given conflicting information to get back to our room. We walked up stairs and took two elevators, only to come back down to the lobby. Eventually we had to be escorted by the hotel manager to our floor.

It was 11:15pm when it was over, and we needed to wake up at 5:30am to catch the airport shuttle.

After rushing to shower, I hopped into bed and awoke groggy. I didn’t want to go home.

But I had to. I had to go back to work, and vacation doesn’t last forever.

Until next time…

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Food Friday: Food Network

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I LOVE Food Network: whichever TV I’m watching in the house, that’s the channel I leave it on. It’s so entertaining, from the cooking shows to the competitions. I even look for recipes on their site, which I mentioned here.

My favorite chefs on the channel are:
-Giada de Laurentiis (as discussed here)
-Ree Drummond aka The Pioneer Woman (have you seen her cookware line at Wal-Mart?? Cute!)
-Trisha Yearwood

I kind of like Barefoot Contessa, but only when she’s making pasta or chocolate. 🙂

The shows I like to watch are:
-Reruns and new episodes of the three ladies’ shows above
-Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
-Chopped
-Guilty Pleasures (whenever it’s on)
-Beat Bobby Flay
-Restaurant Impossible

Do you have a favorite cooking channel? What do you like to watch on it/who are your favorite chefs? Let me know in the comments!

Cooking Friday: Cooking Should Not Be Complicated

cooking-1

I’m always looking for ways to make cooking easier. Besides finding easy recipes, I put out the ingredients and whatever cookware I need prior to starting, so that everything’s in clear sight. However, my parents like to make my cooking episodes into a long and often frustrating ordeal.

Take last night for example when I decided to make spaghetti. Simple, right? Only two ingredients (three if you count the salt to add flavor) along with a pot, strainer and spoon. I did my prep beforehand until my mom told me to use my dad’s cylindrical metal boiler to cook the pasta because “it’ll save water.” I don’t know what it’s called so I can’t post a picture of it, but it’s not ideal for pasta. (It has a steel basket, like this, but the sides are more open, which goes into a metal pot).

Cooking something as easy as pasta should NOT be that difficult! But taking my mom’s suggestion (instead of using a regular pot, like we always do) was a mistake. I had to break the pasta in half to make it fit, which I don’t like to do. The basket had a handle that went over the opening, so it kept getting in the way when I was stirring. Also, I lost some noodles thanks to the large openings. Even though it was easier to carry than a large pot, getting the pasta out of the basket was annoying–again, because of the openings. I really wish I had a picture to show you all what I mean! :/

When it was over I was so relieved. Next time I’m making pasta the correct way. It tasted just like how spaghetti should, but I won’t be making it in that tiresome way again haha.

Cooking Friday: Easy Recipes

Woman seasoning food

My mom and I alternate cooking duties every Sunday. One week she cooks then I cook the week after. My mom likes to make slow cooker meals and other foods that require a lot of chopping and dealing with raw meat. I am not like that and search for recipes that involve no chopping, handing of raw meat (not always avoidable), inactivity, and/or only have five or less ingredients. I deliberately search for these golden recipes.

For example, this Sunday I’m going to make Grands! barbeque chicken pizzas, which only has five ingredients and all I have to do is mix and press. And bake. The best part? The chicken is bought, already cooked! Easy right?! I was so happy when I came across this.

I love The Food Network and Giada, as well as Ree Drummond (aka The Pioneer Woman), but I’m not making my own sauces or putting myself at risk by cutting a finger while slicing potatoes or something…for now at least.

What are some of your easy recipes? Let me know in the comments!