Vegas Day Trip

Posted on May 7th, 2010 by Jean

Just returned from a day trip to Vegas. I love it there!
 
First stop, in Henderson actually, was Trader Joe’s. I brought a cooler and ice packs for the frozen items such as the Japanese ice cream the kids are so fond of. I also picked up a bottle of the new Clementine Sparkling Juice. Two thumbs way up!
 
After filling the cooler half way and securing the non-perishables, I ventured over to the Mandalay Bay hotel & casino. It is the first resort as you enter the strip from the south end, and offers quick access to their parking facilities.
 
The restaurant formerly situated next to the Burger Bar has been replaced by the new Hussong’s Cantina. It being Cinco de Mayo, I was in the mood for a margarita and Mexican fare. Ok, I’m always in the mood for a margarita and Mexican fare.
 
Hussong’s was having “The Most Interesting Man” Look-Alike contest. Had I know, I would have tried to bring my husband. He has the beard & mustache!
Well, regardless, I made my way to the entrance and requested a table for one. I was given a nice little table off to the side, a basket of chips & salsas, the menu and time to review it.
 
Hussong’s offers an Original and a Traditional margarita. I honestly didn’t know the difference, but assumed the original would be loaded with alcohol. When my waitperson approached, she offered me advice on my cocktail selection as well as my lunch choice. The Original uses all fresh ingredients while the Traditional uses a mix. I opted for the Original (both cost $10/ea.) I was torn between the lobster tacos and the avocado shrimp salad, and my server raved about the salad, calling it one of her favorite dishes. I ordered the salad, then sat back, enjoyed my chips, salsa and cocktail while listening to the laughter of fellow diners.
 
Soon my meal was approaching… an entire avocado, breaded and deep fried, filled with cooked shrimp and served on a bed of lettuce. Interesting! Tasty. Not sure I would order it again. The batter was rather thick on the avocado, but not bad overall. I gave Hussong’s 4 out of 5 stars on Yelp.
 
After lunch, I went to see my stylist, Brooklyn at ARCs, also in the Mandalay Bay. She gave me a trim and brightened my color (i.e. covered my gray). Her lovely assistant, Little Kelly did an amazing job rinsing & washing my hair and massaging my head & shoulders.
 
On the way out of dodge, I swung by the Cheesecake Factory for a few slices for my family; original with strawberries, key lime, and red velvet. I can attest the key lime is fantastic!
 
To view highlights of the day, just push play.
 

 
• What is your favorite day trip destination?
• What do you do there?
• Do you Yelp?

Elvis Cupcakes

Posted on October 8th, 2009 by Jean

Maybe we shouldn’t be turning to Elvis for culinary inspiration. Regardless, The Cupcakery has transformed Elvis’ Bacon, Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwich into this Trip To Graceland cupcake. I’ll admit I was anxious to taste it.

I arrived an hour before closing, and bought one dozen cupcakes including the last 2 Elvi (plural of Elvis) available.

When I returned home with the goodies, my eldest daughter spotted an Elvis and called dibs. Her verdict: thumb up! Youngest daughter also took a bite earning Elvis his 2nd thumbs up. Hubby said he’d sample it in the morning with a side of eggs.

After seeming enamored with Elvis, the girls became bored and wandered off. I saw my chance to pounce!

• Bacon topping ~ crisp and smokey.

• Banana cream frosting ~ oh so sweet and banana-y!

• Chunky peanut butter cake ~ FAIL. No PB flavor. No chunks. Dense and dry, like cornbread.

I took a bite, wanting to try the combination of all 3 flavors. That didn’t help. The salty bacon and creamy banana trumped the weak peebee cake. I didn’t Love It Tender. I wished I had a Blue Hawaiian to wash it down. Anyone want a half-eaten cupcake? I was afraid of that. Return to Sender.

• Would you try the Elvis cupcake?
• How could this cupcake be improved?
• What other combinations would you like to see in a cupcake?

The Cupcakery has locations in Nevada and Texas.

Fruit and Friendship

Posted on August 29th, 2009 by Jean

Thursday the timing was right to check out the Henderson Nevada Farmers’ Market. My only previous experience with a Farmers’ Market was back in the early nineties, attending a bountiful one in picturesque Walnut Creek, California.

Walnut Creek Farmer’s Market

Wanting to avoid Henderson’s forecasted high of 106 degrees, I arrived fairly early around 10:30 a.m. Google Maps worked perfectly, and although the Events Plaza has a parking garage across the street, I chose street parking.

At first glance, the sprawling concrete patio sparsely dotted with tents, didn’t impress.

Since pickings looked slim, I left my portable cooler and fabric tote in my car, grabbed my purse, and made my way to the tents. Oh no! Not infomercial items!! I didn’t want a self-casting fishing pole, lotions, potions, hot sauce or shaved ice. I wanted fresh fruit grown locally! Only two vendors offered such. The first had melons and tomatoes. The second had pluots, plums, grapes, and strawberries. The helpful sales lady bagged my fruits, but when I asked her to follow me to the vegetable portion of her display, she didn’t budge. Fine. The fruit came to a whopping total of $12.00.

On the plus side, the fruit was tasty, and I helped local farmers. Right? Off I went to my next destination, Trader Joe’s.


Oh gosh, talk about your fresh fruit! Sorry, Farmers’ Market. Next time I’m heading straight to Trader Joe’s!
I grabbed a package of pomegranate seeds, two bottles of Sauvignon Blanc, and two varieties of cheese. Tom and I sampled the cheeses last night. The New Zealand Grass Fed Cheddar was fantastic! Mild, salty, flavorful and pungent. I highly recommend!

Noon was fast approaching, and I was fortunate enough to have a lunch date.


Ring! Ring!

Hello?

Hi Jean, it’s Anje! Guess what? The twins are napping, so I’ll be solo.

Yes, I was having lunch with none other than Wonder Writer from MySpace. Anje is my hero for several reasons; she’s a loving wife, mother of four, writer of exceptional blogs, a successful business woman, a positive influence, and a private person. She is a beautiful soul with an instant smile and infectious laugh. Do you know what really cinched it for me? Cocktails and dessert! Those little pleasures that don’t always accompany a meal were easily embraced by the two of us.


• What’s your opinion of Farmers’ Markets?
• Is Trader Joe’s da bomb?
• Are you free for lunch?

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