Happy Monday 🙂 I hope everyone had a great weekend!
Chris and I spent a long weekend in Vegas (my first time) and had a wonderful few days! We enjoyed exploring, hanging out, and of course EATING. I basically ate my way through Vegas…calories do not exist on vacation, right?…
Chris went out a day early for a work conference, so the first night we stayed at the Red Rocks Resort. Besides the cocktail hour for the conference, we spent our first evening away from the strip in our hotel. Chris had a long day at the conference and I got in late, so it was more of a laid-back evening.
We were greeted by a gorgeous gift basket in our beautiful suite, courtesy of Kern River (thanks!) with all sorts of goodies.
We had dinner at Hachi Modern Japanese – SO GOOD! Amongst many items we ordered, a few of my fav highlights were an incredibly creamy, rich Spicy Kabocha Coconut Soup with toasted pumpkin seeds (one word – amazing), pan seared scallops with lobster cream sauce and spicy rice noodles with shrimp. We attempted taking photos but with such low-lighting all the photos turned out black 😦
We gambled a little bit after our meal (penny slots) – we lost $25 at first but won it back on a bonus round plus $15 .
What did we do with our “high-roller” earnings?!? Instead of trying our luck again at the slots, we decided to stop by Ben and Jerry’s for a midnight
snack dessert…we had no idea it was so late, they keep those casinos lighted in a way that you have NO idea what time it is!
I thoroughly enjoyed my double scoop of Mint Chocolate Chunk while Chris had one scoop of Chunky Monkey and another of Cherry Garcia in a waffle cone. Great night, no?
The next morning was breakfast with Chris’ boss, his wife and a two other couples in the natural gas industry at the Grand Cafe – a “California” Omelet for me – tomatoes, spinach and goat cheese with hashbrowns and granola, yogurt and eggs for the hubby.
We checked out of our room at Red Rocks midday and took a cab down to the strip to check-in for our one-night stay at the Aria down at City Center (a gargantuan, $9+-billion, 68-acre project). To think of what good you could do with $9 billion!!! I digress…
That afternoon, we strolled down the strip – stopping at the Venetian, the Bellagio and a few little shops here and there. One being the Guiradelli store that was handing out free samples of their new Pumpkin Spice Caramel…hmmm pumpkin!
Around 1:35 pm, we walked past the Bellagio fountains thinking the next show would be in 10 minutes…after 25 minutes of waiting we looked up the “fountain schedule” to find that the shows started at 3 pm…oh well, it was a little breather 🙂
We walked through the Bellagio and saw a gorgeous Fall display! Horse made out of flowers and plants:
Giant corn stalks made out of mulit-colored corn cobs:
An impressionist painting in form of live plants, flowers and herbs!
And a GIANT pumpkin- and yes ma’am, it was real! 835 pounds of pumpkin…and who said there was a shortage this year?
Lunch was at Wolfgang Puck’s Postorio in The Venetian – loved this little spot in the center of the Grand Canal Shoppes – I shared a beautiful salad of endive, apple, fennel, dates, raisins, blue cheese and sherry vinagrette. I will have to make my own rendition of this salad at home sometime in the future!
We walked around the Venetian after lunch – I was in complete awe of the canals and the decor – it really looked like you were outside!
Afterward, we hung out in the Aria for a while, I read a bit while Chris napped and then we got dressed up for dinner at Eva Longoria’s Beso. Simply beautiful restaurant and absolutely stunning food. Chris had a filet and said it was the best steak he’d ever eaten. I didn’t want to get the same meal as him (that’s no fun!) so I opted for a luxurious beet salad for an appetizer with goat cheese fondue and candied walnuts (TO DIE FOR) and ordered a pan-seared sea bass with crispy-fried harissa potatoes, avocado pico de gallo and a creamy lump crab beurre blanc…so extremely decadent and worth every last calorie 🙂 I shared the ice cream with raspberry coulis that came alongside Chris’s fudge cake for dessert…needless to say, we
walked rolled out the door more than stuffed but quite satisfied.
We walked over to the Eiffel Tower Restaurant for some drinks and an amazing view to watch the Bellagio fountain from above. After that, it was off to The Cosmopolitan to listen to some music, hang out and people watch – Vegas is defintely a city of interesting people! Plus, what a small world- I saw a few friends from high school I hadn’t seen in years! Our late night ended around 3:30 am, I haven’t stayed up that late since college and my feet (from high heels that I never wear) felt it, along with my head (I am not used to being around so much smoke) and my tummy (from very rich food)…but it was a worthwhile
vacation trip for sure. I must say though, I need a vacation from my vacation 🙂
I wasn’t lying when I mentioned I ate my way through Vegas 🙂 I must say though, I am glad I live in a slower-pace environment – I could never keep up!
All that being said – I returned to Denver in much need of sleep and some clean food to counteract all the heavy (but delicious) meals and late night outs we experienced over the weekend. When I saw Sonia’s refreshing version of a Raw Cauliflower “Detox” Salad at The Healthy Foodie, I knew what I was making for lunch!
I know what you are thinking – raw cauliflower, carrots and apples with a light lemon-maple vinagrette? Sounds strange but it was so simple, light and delicious..exactly what I needed! I’m not usually a fan of raw cauliflower but this salad won me over. The dried black cherries, Granny Smith apple and golden raisins add a light sweetness to the crunchy salad of carrots and cauliflower while the lemon juice, maple syrup and apple cider vinegar compliment the flavors perfectly!
Cauliflower-Carrot “Detox” Salad (adapted from The Healthy Foodie)
1 small head cauliflower, stems removed and
2-3 medium carrots, peeled and shredded
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and sliced into matchsticks or diced (peel left on)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, mint or parsley, chopped
1/2 cup dried black cherries (or red cherries or cranberries)
1/2 cup golden raisins (or raisins or dried currants)
1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped (or almonds or pecans)
1/4 cup pepitas (or sunflower seeds)
Juice from 1 lemon
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp olive oil (optional)
2 Tbsp maple syrup (or honey or agave)
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1. In a food processor, add the cauliflower and pulse (no stems) until fine. Add into large bowl.
2. Now process the carrots until fine or shredded and add into bowl.
3. Stir in the apple, cilantro/parsley or mint, dried cherries, raisins, walnuts and pepitas. Toss to combine.
4. In a small bowl, add lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Add dressing to cauliflower mixture and toss to combine. Enjoy!