Foodie Fridays

Friday, August 26, 2016

I'm lazy.

Sometimes I go on one of those little cooking phases where I want to be super fancy and use expensive ingredients and special meats from butchers. Other times, I eat Easy Mac. There's not often a whole lot of middle ground unless I go the semi-homemade route (that was seriously one of my favorite shows on the Food Network). 

I have a big drawer of ready to go mixes, marinades, and spice packs. I'm a bit of a collector. I like to buy a dozen spice packs and then stand in the kitchen and stare at them while reading the instructions for no reason at all. Not too long ago, I made a big order from the Cajun Grocer in Louisiana. I bought boudin, Cajun seasonings, and some really awesome packets that I love from Louisiana Fish Fry. I'm a huge fan of their gumbo mix; all you have to do is add chicken, andouille and shrimp/crawfish and whatever veggies you might want and the meal is ready (I always make a big side of minute rice too because the large grains absorb the flavor of the gumbo really really well). 

I recently mixed up a big pot of the red beans and rice and all I had to do was grill some andouille and make some extra white rice. The rice is definitely optional but this mix is really soupy and well, I'm Asian so I really like the extra rice. It came out really really well and with a tiny bit of extra seasoning, doesn't really taste like something from a mix!

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Thirsty (Hungry) Thursdays

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hey Blog World!

You don't find a whole lot of places with both really healthy food and really indulgent yummy things. It's kind of a bummer most of the time because there are days when I just want to eat healthy and Corey really wants a Reuben sandwich. Kind of hard to meet in the middle.

Enter SkinnyFats

This place is awesome and it's almost always packed. The menu has two sides: Healthy and Happy. The Healthy food is pretty healthy and the happy side is delicious and fattening goodness. Luckily, the healthy side is really good too. They've got a big menu with a lot of different options so it's not hard to find something awesome. Each weekend, they also add specials just for the weekend like the Sunday Sundaes and recently, the Poke Balls (they looked so good I almost cried that I missed them). 

Most recently I had the Naked Chix. Super simple looking and healthy but DELICIOUS.
Mango chicken with brown rice and a cilantro yogurt sauce. Big portion and so so yummy.

If you're just visiting town, there's two locations including one closer to the Strip so check it out!

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What's Up Wednesdays

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Good morning!

This week we are heading to Reno for What's Up Wednesdays. Corey and I recently made an overnight stop there on our way to the Pacific Northwest. It was kind of a last minute addition to cut a longer trip in half when we realized we could leave a day earlier. We booked a room at Harrah's and let me just say, don't stay there. It's unpleasant, confusing, the staff isn't very helpful, the rooms aren't particularly clean, and everything is a bit of a cluster. The line to check-in was a nightmare and an hour later after we were done, we saw a tour bus full of people. Full lobby, only a couple front desk staff... You do the math! Linens weren't clean, on a previous stay the staff had no idea when the restaurants closed... Such a mess. I do have to say- the only good thing about this hotel is the Chinese restaurant by the Race and Sports Book. It's pretty authentic and really yummy. Super random.

We grabbed ice cream at a place I found on Yelp, IceCycle. I had the Earl Grey and Corey had the Carolina BBQ which sounded weird but was pretty amazing. 

We wandered through downtown Reno and were kind of in awe that the Circus Circus in Reno is a lot nicer and less creepy than the one out here in Las Vegas (no bodies in the parking garages). 

On our way out, we stopped at Doughboys for doughnuts. 
Fresh, yummy, and definitely worth the early start!

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Tuesday Travel Guide- Dine in Phoenix & Scottsdale

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I don't really think of Arizona as a foodie mecca of sorts but I won't lie, I've had some pretty awesome noms whenever I've visited. 

Classy Eats
Afternoon Tea at The Phoenician was pretty amazing. Sadly, we were the only people there but that also meant that the service was pretty out of this world. Definitely a fun experience if you're into afternoon tea like I am! Was pricier than a lot of tea experiences but the fact that it was in a luxury hotel kind of says it all. 

Sunday Brunch at Zuzu was a lot of fun. The menu has some great traditional "brunchy" items and a few fun experimental pieces. The grits were pretty delicious (if you love grits like me). We grabbed drinks at the bar while we waited and explored the colorful grounds of the Hotel Valley Ho. Such a fun brunch!

Elements inside Sanctuary at Camelback is one of the most beautiful restaurants I've been to in the Southwest. The restaurant has HUGE windows that capture the most amazing sunsets over the mountains in the evening. The menu was definitely pricey BUT they had a pretty inexpensive prefix menu with three courses that was just the right price. The food was delicious and that sunset is no joke. It was absolutely AMAZING. I would go there just for the sunset alone but luckily the food was pretty fantastic too. 

(I would have loved to include a photo of the amazing sunset; however, the restaurant was a little snooty about photos so it was hard enough to take a picture of my dinner!)

Because I keep visiting in the summer, ice cream is always a definite must... To be fair, ice cream is a must on any trip for me but when it's over 110, it's basically a requirement, right? 

Gelato Spot by Old Town Scottsdale had a big selection and was absolutely delicious. My first gelato experience was in Venice and this stuff came pretty close. I've always had a soft spot for pistachio since I was little (such a weird child asking for pistachio at Baskin Robbins) and theirs was perfection.

Sweet Republic was on my "Must Eat" list ever since I saw it on a few lists for top ice cream places in the country. We had the famed Toffee Banofi Sundae and I could have eaten two. This sundae was just so amazing. They had a few extra goodies by the register like salted caramels (YUM). This is definitely a place I have to stop every single visit to the Scottsdale area. 

Fun Spots

I'm a huge country music fan so visiting Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row was non-negotiable. It's in a part of Scottsdale that feels like spring break with loud music and crazy college students drinking up a storm. We went on a midweek night for dinner and the food was pretty good. I loved the decor and the music and the atmosphere (the bars across the street were out of control so I was super happy to be in a more chill environment). My only regret- if we had been there the next night instead, we would have gotten a surprise acoustic set from LUKE BRYAN who randomly stopped by on a Thursday. Whaaaaaaaaaaaat????

My first trip to Scottsdale, my friend and I grabbed lunch at a fun little spot in Old Town Scottsdale called Cien Agaves. The restaurant was cute and colorful and the food was pretty yummy. Even better, there was a Groupon. We really do love our Groupons!

I usually skip breakfast or eat something fast and semi portable at work. I know, I know. That's horrible. Fortunately, on vacation, I'm the opposite. I don't start my day without some sort of breakfast. Even if it's just pastries from the coffee shop around the corner, I make sure I have something substantial before a day of sightseeing. We had asked our driver one day for a recommendation and he told us Breakfast Club. He even dropped us right at their door. I'm so glad for driver recommendations because they're almost always pretty amazing. This one was no exception. Big selection and delicious choices!

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Monday Must Haves

Monday, August 22, 2016

I'm a big fan of sleeping masks.

Partly because I'm lazy and like to see results when I wake up and partly because it is just too hot to comfortably do a mask in the summer in Vegas. The times I've tried to do a mask or even a pore strip, it's ended in a sweaty, damp mess. 

Boscia's Tsubaki Deep Hydration Sleeping Mask is my favorite because it's super hydrating but not crazy heavy. A little bit goes a long way and it doesn't make me break out at all. I wake up with a really nice soft texture to my skin. Skincare and cosmetics are probably my biggest splurges and even then I find great deals online and with the occasional Sephora discounts (I usually buy one item at a time whenever they do their big sample bags). 

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