Archive of ‘Adventures’ category

Viva Las Vegas


Vegas. A place I had no intention of visiting nor the pulling desire to empty my wallet into a Mad Men themed slot machine. Friends would go and come back on a natural high (a high I would soon experience for myself), demanding me to commit to a trip. I think I was concerned about the amount of luxury offered in one city and if I too would fall victim to its alluring pull. Bright lights, all you can eat everything, stores that offered so many expensive things you needed to put a deposit down before even looking at the items, and of course, the gambling. Why wouldn’t I want to go there? So I went. (more…)

I describe my short time in Vegas as a first-time meet up between pen pals who have been writing to each other for years. So many aspects of Vegas took me by surprise but at the same time, I felt a familiarity with Vegas I hadn’t experienced with other new places. I knew what she had to offer and I wanted it. All. Of. It. Chris and I wandered the casinos with wonderment at how over the top every detail was. We went with friends, who have been many times and honestly, I was so grateful for them and their guidance. Otherwise, you may have found me grazing a tuna melt from the Earl of Sandwich every night, out of sheer feelings of being overwhelmed. But the food though, I will return to that in a bit.

Vegas is a destination for people of all incomes and walks of life, to be able to let go of penny pinching and bill pay anticipation. Your biggest worry is not seeing that beautiful bonus pop up on your slot machine and even if you don’t (we lost big time), you still enjoyed the experience of controlling where you literally put your money. Vegas is an oasis to all, leaving any kind of troubles miles away and indulging every desire you ever had. I’m not condoning addiction to sex or gambling or the perverse sexual options one has in Vegas; that’s a fight for another day. I’m insinuating that maybe, sometimes, indulgence is needed and even healthy. I welcomed Vegas with open arms and I felt like, in a way, Vegas hugged me back. But don’t be fooled, I still didn’t win any money.

Now, between drinking strong cocktails and walking miles of casinos, I tried to take pictures. There were amazing things we ate and did that my buzzed self didn’t even think of grabbing my phone.


This is a cinnamon crepe, also called a skinny pancake, Chris ate it for breakfast at Mon Ami Gabi. This delicious thing looked small but literally unfolded into layers and layers of light, tender, sweet crepe.

 


This was my breakfast at Mon Ami Gabe and my first Croque Madame. I literally have no idea why I have never ordered one before, except for maybe the fear of my mind being blown (and it was). I need all the ketchup.

 


Casino lighting. The best kind of lighting when your cheeks are blushed from drinking too much alcohol before dinner. After the pic, we saw the show, Absinthe.

 


I tried to figure out how to replicate these flower balls with whimsical, twinkling lights for my house. To be continued…

 


We took a cab ride to Downtown Vegas, where time has stood still. So many beautifully vintage casinos that take you back in time just by entering their doors. But, of course, I didn’t take any pictures of that. I DID take pictures of this lovely Container Park; a sweet little “mall” of local stores and restaurants built out of large containers. There was a fun playground area with a very tall slide that was just begging for an adult to slide down it.

 


At the Container Park, we were given the best lunch recommendation: Carson Kitchen.. It had so many delicious options, we weren’t even hungry for our buffet dinner that night. I guess you can’t have it all in Vegas but you can have this amazing Mac and Cheese!

 


Or these amazing bison meatloaf sliders! Not pictured: greek tacos, deviled eggs with caviar, and spicy tater tots! Give Carson Kitchen a visit on your next trip! Totally worth the cab ride!

 


It’s Vegas! This is the obligatory cocktail picture. No matter how hard I bribed, that plate would not move out of the way!

 


This! This is what I will always remember when I look back on our trip. The view from our room. I’m spoiled but enjoyed every minute of it!

Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of my favorite meal from Vegas. Maybe it was the cocktails or maybe I was in food nirvana, I didn’t think of it but if you EVER go to Vegas, check out Blue Ribbon for dinner. I cannot begin to describe how amazing your meal will be. I won’t even be able to recommend a dish to you because every thing was utterly perfect!

What I’ve Been Up To

Hey guys! Anyone else feel like getting out of bed every day and braving the cold is too much to ask? I literally have been a zombie for the last month so much so my husband has been lucky enough just to have a warm dinner waiting for him every night. It doesn’t matter what I eat, where I eat, or how much I eat, I’m always so tired and wanting to take a nap! Spring can’t get here soon enough but I’m still holding out for a snowstorm! Here are some pictures to clue you in on what I’ve been up to and how my 2015 is going so far.

This girl celebrated her 1st birthday at the beginning of the month! So excited for what this year will bring for her! (more…)

I will never cause the fire alarm to go off again. Promise.

Have you ever tried to make the tallest nacho pile ever? Been there. Done that. Got the tummy ache.

Just the hubs chowing down on some Fancy Brussel Sprouts.

Remember that snowstorm we were supposed to get? Yea me neither.

Dodger on a Dodger blanket. Too redundant?

Newborn snuggles.

Williamsburg

Chris and I love escaping to small, old towns whenever we get the chance. Williamsburg, Virginia became an annual escape since it’s so close to Maryland but just far enough that it makes you feel like you’re on a relaxing vacation. We love the history of these old places and try to even check out a ghost tour wherever we go (there’s bound to be some creepy history the day tours won’t tell you). Last year, we were graced with the presence of my brother and sister-in-law for their babymoon. We are making it a tradition that the four of us go to Williamsburg to bring in the Christmas season. This weekend was full of laughter, beer, delicious food, Christmas lights galore, and a grand illumination of sorts. Here is an overall of our trip. I highly recommend a trip to Williamsburg if you have never been or if you are like me and went as a kid. One thing you’ll notice is Williamsburg definitely pays attention to detail. (more…)

Our first must in Williamsburg is Christmastowne. Busch Gardens closes down (most) of their rides and literally covers the whole park in lights making it a Christmas wonderland. They even had snow falling when you walked in! Make sure you get the S’mores and the Cinnamon Roll Funnel Cake!

We stay at a Bed and Breakfast, Magnolia Manor (picture above) about 1 mile from Colonial Williamsburg. We woke up Saturday morning to a small town parade, wherein all of the local businesses, schools, rescues, etc., create their own Christmas themed floats. Can we move here, please? This was one of my favorite floats.

This tree is proof miracles exist. It’s glowing orange in the beginning of December when all of the other trees have been bare for weeks. So lovely.
Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg has a small garden where you can buy fresh veggies, fruits, plants, and real holiday decor. It’s the end of the garden’s season obviously but it’s still lovely to visit.

These are a few of my favorite things…

I’m in love with these peppers. So vibrant.

Williamsburg was decked out everywhere with Christmas decorations. I love this color palette.
Williamsburg

At night, the streets came alive with the Fife and the Drum marching band. My hands and feet were frozen by this time.

And alas, the main reason why we came to Williamsburg: the Grand Illumination! It’s Colonial Williamsburg’s way of kicking off the advent season with fireworks. I know what you’re thinking: colonial and fireworks don’t go together. But man, this show definitely was worth the hour of waiting in the frigid cold for. Definitely a must if you’re in town for this weekend!

I hope you get the chance to experience Williamsburg’s festivities this time of year. It’s so worth it. Happy weekend, friends!

Disney in the Fall

If you know me or if you don’t you will easily learn, Disney World is a special place to me. It’s the only place I can visit that’s covered in cheesy tourism. In fact, I fully embrace the tourism and join the herds of people who want to experience all of the magic that is Disney. Chris took me there for my birthday a couple of weeks ago and it was nothing short of magical. I have always gone in the summertime but I am leaving those days behind me, along with the humidity. Here is a glimpse of my trip. I am going to be the worst mother in that my children won’t have too many pictures from their childhood. I never think to take a picture until after the fact so enjoy! (more…)

This is the number one reason anyone needs to come to Disney in the Fall. Unreal.

We spent a lot of time (and money) at the Food and Wine Festival. There are so many countries offering you sweet and savory treats along with drinks that represent their country. You see how this could get dangerous?

This was taken when we were half way around the world showcase in Italy. We were very happy and giggly.

Chris loves Disney and his Woody Mickey ears. Isn’t Mainstreet just adorable?

The Magic Star. Our favorite drink in Disney. It’s hardly enough alcohol to feel anything but we get them anyways. We have a collection of light up ice cubes from our many magic stars at Disney.

The Magic Kingdom goes all out for Halloween, making it extra special. I loved this view of the castle.

They also have a special set of fireworks for Halloween.

Among all of the magical Halloween fun, we also experienced some amazing food at some of our favorite spots. Here are some must eats if you are in Disney. I’m sure there are more I am leaving out but my wallet and tummy are thanking me right about now.

Jiko the cooking place is some of the best food and ambience in Disney. Located in the Animal Kingdom Lodge, Jiko offers you the best wine options in Disney, along with food that will blow you away. It’s African themed so we were a little nervous if we would like our meals but once our first course came out, our nervousness turned into full blown foodie excitement. What to get at Jiko: Wild Boar Tenderloin and the Tour of Africa for appetizers, and the slow cooked short rib or filet mignon for dinner. We were way too full for dessert but I saw the desserts on other guests’ tables and I was a little jealous.

Trails End Breakfast Buffet is a tradition but for the money you spend and what you get, it’s worth it. Plus, the adorable frontier theme always sends me back to my childhood. Their pulled pork eggs benedict is featured on the buffet and is by far the best item on the menu.

Ohana is our favorite place, wherein you are offered a plethora of meats, veggies, and noodles until your tummy is about to burst. The meat is in a delicious marinade and is always cooked perfectly. If you get dinner reservations close to the fireworks time in the Magic Kingdom, you can watch them from your table at Ohana. Plus, you can get a tropical drink served right out of a pineapple.

Le Cellier is located in Canada, which is part of Epcot’s World Showcase. The cozy, steakhouse atmosphere makes for a romantic spot if your dinner reservations are past 7. As with all of the Disney restaurants, earlier dinners mean eating with a lot of children who are hungry and getting on their parents’ last nerve. What to get at Le Cellier: the poutine with red wine reduction and canadian cheddar as an appetizer, the filet mignon with mushroom risotto for dinner, the loaded mashed potatoes and burgundy mushrooms for sides, and the creme brulee for dessert.

There are so many other restaurants and experiences I didn’t mention but if you are ever given the chance, check out Disney. It’s pure magic.

Thankfulness

There is constant news coming in that makes me seriously sit down and take a moment to be thankful. Even when I am stressed about bills, or when we can buy bedside tables, I need to remember all I have and just be thankful. I am taking part in a Facebook challenge for thankfulness but I thought I would extend it to here. I am thankful for 4 day work weeks and two day weekends. I am thankful for friends who light up my life. I am thankful for a car to drive everyday. Here are some more things I am thankful for: (more…)

German connections.

Ham sammies. So simple but so irresistible.

Crazy neon sunsets. Pictures never do them justice.

Friends to cook for and who bring coleslaw and sweet rolls and cobblers. This pulled pork was really good if I do say so myself.

Mini ice cream sandwiches that are the easiest dessert ever. Also, it’s the simple things.

Honorable mentions:
This is my friend, Janet’s, blog. If you are interested in expanding your homestead, raising your own food, or other fun things, this blog is for you.

If guy BFFs acted like girl BFFs for those days you need a laugh.

Oh how the times have changed.

I am thankful to be able to make the food I want without worrying about starving. What are you thankful for? I hope your week was filled with final days of summer cookouts, air conditioning (I thought it was Fall?), and maybe a moment of quiet for your sanity. Well, I am off to see some great friends get married. Have an awesome weekend!

Sunsets, sunbaths, and wild things.

I liked this week. It flew by for me. Maybe it was the crazy treadmill vortex I was sucked in to so I could enjoy a pizza party with my brother and sis in law last night. I also love non-crazy weeks. I need my ample TV time (Bachelor in Paradise is all that matters!). I know we all are looking forward to the 3 day weekend or maybe you’re like me and it’s a 2 day weekend. Either way, if you don’t have to work Monday, lemme get a wha! wha! This is what my simple week consisted of. Not shown: enough pizza for 6 people, gone in 60 seconds by 3 people. (more…)

We sunbathe right. She literally wouldn’t come in for an hour.

Leftovers are always the easiest dinners.

This is what the sky looked like a few nights ago when I was leaving the gym. I guess this is more rewarding than an ice cream sandwich.

I always love it when he joins me on my grocery excursions. PS. Can you tell me which state that is on his arm? If you can, that would make you a minority because sadly, not a lot of people do.

Bedtime with this sweetie. It’s hard not getting a picture of her that isn’t blurry these days. She’s always movin’ and groovin’.

Honorable Mentions:
I’m totally trying these tonight with some girl friends.

My friend, Dana, has a blog. Check it out! She’s raw, real, and hilarious!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Sleeping is giving in, no matter what the time is.

It seems like our hearts get heavier with every passing week this summer. Suicides, executions, persecution, shootings, and protests have taken over our televisions and our minds. I’ve had a few friends who have written some lovely pieces of encouragement but man, this world is tough. In lieu of the heartbreaking news and events, there was something that took over all social media: The ALS ice bucket challenge. Now, I will have to admit, I was confused at first and didn’t understand the benefit of awareness vs. just plain donating. Of course, I have since educated myself, watching the tear jerking and gut wrenching videos of people diagnosed with ALS participating in the challenge. Although at times annoying, and we don’t know everyone’s motives for filming themselves for the world to see, the fact that so many people supported a very important cause that normally goes unseen was incredible. It gave me a little sense of hope for the ALS community and even bigger, the world. (more…)

There is still beauty and grace in this dirty place and even though it’s hard hearing constant sad and disturbing news, there are some really awesome people doing really awesome things. I truly believe whenever there’s a tragedy, there’s also a story of redemption. Find the beauty in your own life and use it to inspire others. Be grateful for what you have and where you live. Be well, my friends.

This week flew by for me and since I’m counting the days to my Fall vacation in Disney (58 to be exact), fast weeks are fully welcome. It started off rough with the pork loin fail but got increasingly better and for that I am thankful. Here are some highlights from this week.

Do you have a band that speaks to the inner being of your soul? That’s what these guys do to me. It was a party unlike anything ever.

You’re never too old for english muffin pizzas for dinner!

It seems like my life is full of baby rolls and slobbery kisses these days! It’s been such a blessing seeing some dear friends and family enter into the unknown and crazy world of parenting. Every day, I give just a little bit more respect to motherhood.

Our community of friends met this week for an Asian inspired barbeque. I didn’t want this meal to end!

A midnight playground stomp. I rode a swing for the first time in a while. Let’s just say I’ve found my new form of cardio.

How is the end of your summer going? All prepared for school? I don’t have any kids yet but I have a husband who is in school so I can relate to the stress of getting everything ready in time for next week. Enjoy your last official weekend of summer. Just think, flying to the beach is cheaper in the winter. Happy weekend!

Mischievous Mishaps

I want to make a pork loin with sage butter, she said. Oh and roasted sweet tomatoes would be the perfect side dish, she said. I just need to blend the butter and sage together to rub on the loin, she said. It will be herby, and a comforting Fall meal, she said. Well, she was wrong. Very wrong. (more…)


This is where it began. Not so bad? Eh? I do want to say I’m in love with how the sage looks here.

It all started with a pork loin, only a couple days old that turned gray and didn’t smell too fresh either. “But it still has 2 days until its sell-by date! Ugh, Whole Foods! Well, if I can’t eat it, I’m at least going to cook it and see if the technical side of this recipe is solid, plus I have cute little heirlooms wanting in on the party.” I covered my pork loin in the delicious smelling sage butter and popped it in the hot oven. My kitchen started to smell good but after about 15 minutes, I decided to open the oven door to see how the loin was progressing. It wasn’t. It looked worse than before I put it into the oven. Of course, the butter would melt and start to burn in a hot oven! What was I thinking? My creative juices came to an end with that discovery. How do I make a half-bad, half gray and brown pork loin look appetizing? You don’t. The answer is you don’t and to order pizza immediately.

I definitely felt a sense of loss; first, in my pocket for that bad piece of meat. Second, for that defeat in the recipe. It doesn’t feel good when you spend your money and very precious time on something that doesn’t turn out. If you are in this place more often than not, I feel you. This cooking thing isn’t always perfect. Sometimes, you follow the directions perfectly and the recipe doesn’t turn out like you had hoped. Sometimes, you misread the directions and find yourself in a hole, with guests coming in 15 minutes. In my defeat, I had to remember the reasons why I’m here. Is it just to show you yummy food with enticing pictures? Sure. Is it to encourage you to get in the kitchen, no matter what the cost? Definitely. After reviewing my mistakes with this recipe, I know where I went wrong and I can’t wait for a redo. Luckily, I decided to fight the notion of inviting some friends over for a roasted pork loin dinner. Thank you, guardian angel!

Some people say that how you are feeling when cooking is reflected in the outcome of a recipe. If you feel excited and happy while cooking, then your meal will turn out great. If you are feeling sad or mad or rushed while cooking, the outcome won’t be so good. I didn’t know where I stood with this idea. Most of the time, I am excited and happy while I’m cooking because cooking makes me feel that way. But Saturday, with the pork loin, wasn’t a good day and I wasn’t feeling happy or excited to cook. And I let that get the best of me. I’m sure during the week, you can feel the same way, trying to throw dinner together just to get it done. I want more for you. Instead of it being a burden, I want it to be an escape; a place where you can feel most comfortable and satisfied. When I first thought of this post, I didn’t know which category to put it in. I decided to put it in, “Adventures”, because that’s what cooking is. It’s an adventure that you deserve to go on and enjoy. Let’s make that happen. Oh and we can make our husbands or wives do the dishes. Just looking out for ya!

Baby rolls, pickled onions, and a farewell.

How was your week? Did you see the “Only 20 more Fridays until Christmas” countdown on Facebook? I sure did and it made my heart skip a beat! My week was full of family cookouts, rainstorms, dear friends, and the treadmill. Here’s a little peak at my week! Rhyming is what I do! (more…)

We kicked off Friday the only way we know how. Do you like how the salsa in the carafe is totally gone. That was BEFORE the fajitas.

I went to the movies past my bedtime. Thank God for buttery popcorn and peanut butter M&M’s.

I dabbled with these guys.

Cookout being the operative word here.

My sweet niece not a fan of cruisin’ in the cold pool. Those rolls, tho.

I pickled these.

A much needed Cookie Butter Ice Cream date with these ladies. Dunkin also made an appearance.

Isn’t it a good sign when your shoes have holes in them? Like you use them a lot? It is? Thanks.

I had a pretty busy week but I’m looking forward to spending the weekend with this guy.
hook

I know the news this week made us all a little bit more somber. Let’s have a Robin Williams marathon this weekend! He would want to make us laugh; although I’m probably going to cry. Have a great weekend, guys! You deserve it!

A Weekly View: A weekly adventure

I’ve decided to add a new installment here on Kitchen with a View: it’s my week in pictures. Life goes by way too fast and most of the time I get caught up in the crazy. This allows me to be present in every moment and to peacefully reflect my week. I also want you to be able to have a look into my life outside of the kitchen, which is a nice break for the both of us. I hope you enjoy the exciting, or lack there of, things I did this week. I would love to know what you’ve been up to! (more…)

We got to babysit the cutie on the left! I don’t know why Tinsel looks huge here.

I got sweaty.

We ate spring rolls for dinner (before watching Bachelor in Paradise). La Croix Coconut is my new obsession.

Lots of these kind of snuggles.

I had this for dessert more than once.

We started The Killing.

My omelette fail for the week.

Spending time here is all I need.

I hope you guys have an exquisite weekend! And I hope you try something new! Happy Friday, y’all!

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