Dining Outside the Home: Eiffel Tower Restaurant in Las Vegas, Nevada! There’s nowhere more romantic than a table for two on the eleventh floor of the Eiffel Tower, in my opinion. As the sun dips below the horizon, a light show of the marvelous Bellagio fountains sway to the beat of Paris music. It’s nothing short of magical. At the beginning of the night, be sure to order dessert: a light, decadent soufflé that bakes while you dine. Grand Marnier is my favorite. You can thank me later. Whether it’s a special occasion, honored celebration, or date night, any meal in the plush dining room becomes extraordinary. Pamper yourself. Gaze at the glittering lights of the Las Vegas skyline. Sip on French champagne. Hold hands. Nibble on chocolate. At the end of the night you will have experienced “The Eiffel Affair”, without the airfare to France.
Eating My Way Through the Holidays! Yuletide Favs: Xanthous Deviled Eggs! Farm-to-Table deviled eggs are growing in popularity at family owned restaurants. Don’t believe me? Check out the appetizer menu for starters. Deviled eggs are not just for picnics and pitch-ins any more. You may find them filled with everything from meat or seafood to cheese, nuts, and hot peppers. Which brings me to today’s version: Jalapeño & Cilantro. The kick of spice mellows nicely with the creamy yolk filling. You determine the heat factor. If you decide to omit the caper liquid, you may want to substitute with salt to taste.
XANTHOUS DEVILED EGGS
6 hard boiled eggs, cooled and peeled
1 tablespoon pickled jalapeño peppers, minced
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon pickled jalapeño juice or white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon caper liquid (optional)
Pinch of Cajun seasoning
Pinch of sugar
1 fresh jalapeño pepper, slices for garnish
Halve the eggs lengthwise. Carefully remove yolks and place in a small bowl. Gently place white portions in a deviled egg platter. Mash egg yolks with a fork. Add pickled jalapeño peppers, mayonnaise, cilantro, Dijon mustard, pickled jalapeño juice, caper liquid, Cajun seasoning, and sugar. Stir until combined. Spoon mixture into hollowed out egg white shells. Garnish with a fresh jalapeño slice. Refrigerate for one hour before serving. Store leftovers in a covered container.
Dining Outside the Home: Off the Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada! Get off the beaten path and you’ll discover a unique chophouse that serves the freshest food 24 hours a day in a city that never sleeps. You’ll want to remember that little detail. The bistro style atmosphere boasts kick-back comfort in its surroundings as well as its menu items. Go ahead and order the Rolled New York Strip with Asparagus. Turn it into breakfast by adding an egg over easy. The melted provolone cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and Marsala mushroom sauce is enough to make you swoon. This food is the real deal. I’d like to to tell you it’s the best kept secret in Vegas, but word is getting around. Meander down The LINQ Promenade and you’ll see what I mean.
Eating My Way Through the Holidays! Yuletide Favs: Glorious Glazed Pecans! Go to any big city or farmers market and you’ll find street vendors roasting sweet and savory candied nuts. The bakery aroma practically has you walking on air. Now you can bring this enticing smell and sugary sweetness right into your very own kitchen. I’ve made it a tradition to bake a couple batches for holiday gift-giving. When mixed with an assortment of smoked almonds, wasabi peas, salty cashews, and honey roasted peanuts, these glazed pecans become a gourmet choice for absolutely anyone on your list. In fact, anticipation creates excitement followed by open delight and thanksgiving.
GLORIOUS GLAZED PECANS
1 pound pecan halves
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg white, room temperature
1 tablespoon water
Preheat oven to 300°. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick oil. In a small bowl mix sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Stir well and set aside. In a large bowl beat egg white and water until frothy. Add one pound of pecans and coat well to cover. Pour sugar mixture over nuts. Stir completely to form a coating over pecans. Transfer nuts to the baking sheet. Form a single layer. Bake 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes to form a crystallized finish. Remove from oven. Let cool and then store in an airtight container.
Dining Outside the Home: Chayo Mexican Kitchen in Las Vegas, Nevada! Just because they have a mechanical bull doesn’t mean you have to ride it. Unless you want to. For those who dare for more excitement than a tequila bar, innovative Mexican fare, and diverse dance music…check it out. Chayo Mexican Kitchen, located on The LINQ Promenade, is like an oasis in the desert. Surrounded by lush palm trees, the outdoor patio offers downtime shade from the Nevada sun. Kick back for a breather. Hear the sizzle of grilled shrimp fajitas. Appreciate the freshness of authentic street corn. Sling back a Don Julio tequila flight. It’s all about the journey.
“I love when you bow in your mosque,
kneel in your temple,
pray in your church.
For you and I are sons of one religion,
and it is the spirit.”
~ Khalil Gibran
Dining Outside the Home: Mon Ami Gabi French Restaurant in Las Vegas, Nevada! Why does French food seem to taste better than any other? Could it be the bakery-fresh baguette slathered in sea salt butter? Perhaps it’s the heartwarming and nourishing combination of savory meat paired with garden veggies. Or maybe it’s the fact that a leisurely meal is eaten outdoors for conversation and spectacular views. Mon Ami Gabi French Restaurant has the right idea. Experience life as the French do. Dine on the open-air patio from an extensive menu that promises to satisfy. Sit back, sip a little, laugh in merriment, bask in the outdoors, and enjoy the entire experience. It’s truly priceless.
“Benches and books have things
in common beyond the fact that
they’re generally to do with sitting.
Both are forms of public privacy,
intimate spaces widely shared.”
~ Mal Peet
Dining Outside the Home: Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen in Las Vegas, Nevada! Gigantic words hit you before ever setting foot inside the door, “Go Big or Go Home”. And this is no joke. Whether it be boasting or a warning, heed these words. We shared the Original Ringer Burger, a mountain of juicy meat, gooey cheese, crispy onion rings, and donkey sauce (you don’t want to know). It came with a generous side of quad fries. Exactly. Naturally we needed to wash it down with a 52-ounce stemmed punch bowl listed as the Kicked Up Caddy. And it was. The specialty margarita was a perfect blend of tequila, Cointreau, agave, lime, and jalapeño. It came with two straws. Being Vegas, we got a “to go” container and walked around afterwards sipping on it. Be bold, go hungry.
Eating My Way Through the Holidays! Yuletide Favs: Rum Raisin Cookies! Before you turn the page, let me clarify…you can choose to omit the rum in this recipe and substitute with water and opt for rum extract instead. Either way, if you’re a raisin-lover, this version puts the “plump” in raisin to make them moist and chewy. In the time it takes to preheat the oven and assemble the remaining ingredients, the raisins are ready to use. Trust me, everyone will thank you!
RUM RAISIN COOKIES
2 cups raisins
1 cup dark rum
3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup almonds, chopped
Preheat oven to 350°. In a medium saucepan, combine raisins and rum. Bring to a boil; boil for 3 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the alcohol has evaporated. Set aside; do not drain. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside. Cream butter. Gradually add sugar, mixing until creamy. Add the slightly beaten eggs, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Gradually add the flour mixture, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides of the bowl. Mix thoroughly before folding in the raisins and chopped almonds. Drop with a tablespoon 2″ apart on greased cookie sheets. Bake 12-13 minutes. Cool on wired rack.