Love in the Kitchen - making fast, healthy, homegrown meals you'll enjoy

Monday, January 04, 2010

Best Vegas Vacation - Part 3: Birthday Dinner

For The Mr's birthday dinner, we gathered the family at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill. We're both big fans of Bobby and his restaurant did not disappoint!

Here we are in front of Mesa Grill. The restaurant is located in Caesar's Palace in the Vegas Strip.

Bobby Flay is known for his spicy food - even the ceiling has fire!

Waiting for dinner...

The menu we had is the one located online. We'd been studying before we left in anticipation. Everything looked amazing. We all started with appetizers.

The Mr ordered the Goat Cheese "Queso Fundido" - Rajas + Blue Corn Tortilla Strips. Delicious, rich and flavorful.

I ordered the favorite appetizer of the night: Roasted Pumpkin Soup - Smoked Chiles, Pomegranate Crema + Ancho Pumpkin Seeds. This was amazing. Like savory pumpkin pie, spicy and sweet, crunchy, smooth. Incredible!

My sister-in-law had the Yucatan Tacos - Grilled Red Onion + Peanut Smoked Chile Barbecue Sauce. She loved it - she said she would rather order another one of these than dessert!

She had the Sixteen Spice Crusted Chicken - Mango-Garlic Sauce + Mango Salsa. Another hit.

I think this was the best of all of the entrees: New Mexican Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin - Bourbon-Ancho Chile Sauce, Sweet Potatos Tamale + Crushed Pecan Butter. Indescribably good. This is a link to the recipe for those who would like to see if I am right.

Another favorite was the Fire Roasted Veal Chop - Horseradish-Maple Glaze, Wild Rice Tamale + Sage Butter.

The desserts were also great. We shared the assorted cookie plate.

My Sis had the Pumpkin Tart. Yummy!

I had Chocolate Cornbread Pudding with Dulce de Leche + Creme Fraiche Anglaise. So delicious.
The Mr ordered Espresso Flan and loved it! They even brought it with a candle.
The best dinner ever. And we got to share the whole experience with our families. Life doesn't get better than this.

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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Best Vegas Vacation - Part 2

For The Mr's actual birthday, we spent the day generating adrenaline! Our first stop - the shooting range, where we shot a variety of weapons (including a few automatic weapons!).

The Mr...

Me (note my pink headset for hearing protection)...

The Brother-In-Law...

... and my Dad. Dad did the best of all of us. Apparently you do not want to cross him!
We moved on to Mini Gran Prix racing. What fun! The Mr was the best here, though I did pretty well too. The cars were one-size-fits-all... and we are not all one size. I had a hard time keeping in my seat while turning those crazy curves!

Then we found the best place in Vegas to watch the sunset - the top of the Stratosphere! Well, best if you are not terrified of heights, which I unfortunately am.

I love this shot of the shadow of the Stratosphere over Vegas. Gives a bit of perspective as to how high we are.

The Mr and I with Vegas in the background.

The whole family went to the top...

... but only The Mr, Dad, my Sis (taking the picture) and I were crazy brave enough to ride the Big Shot (the ride that shoots you up in the air at 4 Gs and pulls you down at -3 Gs). See how "relaxed" I look? ;-)

The ride turned out to be pretty fun. I can say that because I am no longer at the top. Thank goodness!

This is a shot of the Flamingo, across the street from our hotel, and on the way to our big finale!

Tomorrow - The Big Finale!

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Saturday, January 02, 2010

Best Vegas Vacation - Part 1

We celebrated The Mr's birthday in Las Vegas. This was a "big" one and, since his birthday is December 29th and he has therefore had few parties (everyone out of town, partied out etc.), we really wanted to celebrate this one in style.

We set out from San Diego early on the morning of the 26th. We had a bunch of traffic on the way there, but made it in time for dinner and some wandering around The Strip.

Next morning, the adventure began. The Mr and I, and my sister and our dads went indoor skydiving! Incredibly exhilarating!

Next up: Pinball Hall of Fame where they had every pinball machine you could imagine. Old school and new!

After a quick dinner, we went to the Rio to see Penn & Teller. Before the show we got to go on stage and sign an envelope that was later used in their act.

The crowd on stage before the show.

My parents and The Mr and I with Teller after the show.

The Mr and I with Penn after the show.

The Mr and I are Penn and Teller! They put on an incredible show. They told us how they did many of their tricks and we STILL could not figure them out! Lots of fun (and family friendly, which was a pleasant surprise)!

The next morning we were off to see the Hoover Dam. This is my Sis, The Mr, me and my in-laws... inside of the Hoover Dam!

The Mr and I in our attractive tour hats.

This is a view from on top of the dam, looking down. In the background is the new bridge (which has been under construction since 2003) will be incredible when it is complete.

The Mr and I on top of the dam.

We walked from Nevada to Arizona (across the dam).

After our tours, we had lunch at the Hofbrauhaus. Holiday Brew and Currywurst - delicious!!
Next stop - The CSI Experience. We all got to solve a crime, the CSI way.

We had dinner at Ellis Island Casino where we ate the best steak dinner for $6.99. Seriously. The dinner was wonderful. 10 ounce steak, with two sides and a 16 ounce microbrew. For $6.99. We waited a long time, but it was worth the wait.

We walked on The Strip after dinner. This is The Mr and my Sis in front of the Eiffel Tower at Paris.

And The Mr and I on the bridge to Belaggio overlooking The Strip.
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Day 3 (The Mr's actual birthday) was also incredible... and a tale for tomorrow.

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Friday, January 01, 2010

The Best Christmas!

We've had such a busy holiday season, I haven't had time to update you on our activities. We started our festivities on Christmas Eve.

The Mr barbecued a turkey and I worked on all the fixings.

Our turkey, ready to be carved! (That's me, the blur of activity in the background!)

I also baked the almond roll, our traditional Christmas breakfast bread. Yum!

The tree, ready for Santa...

The Boy helped me try to get a picture of Santa (and we did! - check this out)

Someone must have been good...

The Boy and The Girl, with typical expressions...

The Boy, opening one of his many Lego Star Wars sets. Santa sure knew what he likes.

The Cats got gifts too. I think they may have ended up on the wrong list, but don't tell Santa.

Our aspiring writer...

The Mr opens a good one!

Mom and Dad with some of their gifts.

My Sis and I - doesn't her hair look cute?!

My Sis with one her her gifts.

The family, all together. All wearing our matching scarves.

I couldn't have asked for a better day - surrounded by family and laughter. Truly, life does not get better than this.

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