Road trip to Rotorura, NZ!

Our Aussie by Air New Zealand adventure continued with a road trip to Rotorura. It was hard deciding where to go next from Auckland, but Rotorura kept coming up as a geothermal wonderland only three hours away.  Once Evan got used to driving on the other side of the road and on the other side of the car, we were on our way! 

One of my favorite parts of the trip was the scenic drive. Every turn was filled with magical views, rolling hills, and sheep and cows forever. 

Sheep at the Agrodome farm. 

Views on views right by the Hobbiton Lord of the Rings movie set. We didn’t do the tour but still appreciated the scenery.

The #1 rated Rotorura activity on Trip Advisor- Wai-O-Tapu geothermal wonderland. We arrived around 10 am the following day for the geyser show. It was raining but the show still went on. We enjoyed walking around the grounds to see the boiling mud, hot springs, and various pools. Be warned it does smell like rotten eggs from all the sulfur! 

Although it was still raining, I was determined to make it to Kerosone Creek after the rave reviews from my New York turned Aussie friend, Julia. Even in the rain these hot springs were still beautiful, amazing, and warm. Make sure you walk through the path and other springs to the one with a waterfall! I was tempted to pay admission for the hot spring spas, but this was a great free off the beaten path option! 

Our hotel, Wai Ora Lakeside spa resort, had gorgeous  lake views, a nice pool, and restaurant. Rooms were spacious but no frills. Hotel options were relatively rustic in the area and many motels. For the price this was a pretty nice option.

The food overall in Rotorura wasn’t as exciting as the other cities on our trip. Hard to compete with Melbourne and Sydney. However, I loved trying the local wine, cheese, and kiwi fruit in NZ. 

Rotorura is known for the Maori tribal culture. We attended the Tamaki Maori Village dinner and performance. We learned all about their unique culture, enjoyed the performance, and overall experience. The food was cooked underground in a stone fire pit. 

My favorite activity in Rotorura was the Redwoods tree walk! We walked along the 115 year old majestic redwood trees over 23 suspended bridges. It had just rained and the forest was breathtaking. 


Stay tuned for the next part of our trip as we journeyed to Melbourne and Sydney…Onward to Oz!

Journey to NZ- Auckland Day 1


Kia Ora! 5 months ago I received an Instagram message with this greeting (meaning hello and good fortune) and the news that I had won two free flights from Houston to anywhere in  Australia via Auckland through Air New Zealand! I had attended an Aussie by Air NZ event in Houston in October that was promoting their new direct route from Houston to Auckland. If you posted a picture from the event, you were entered to win the flights. When I opened the message I figured it couldn’t be real but I am now back from my journey across the world still pinching myself. 

Evan and I arrived in Auckland  two weeks ago after a 15 hour direct flight on Air NZ from IAH airport in Houston. The flight left at 8 pm Wednesday night and after watching movies and reading for the first half, and sleeping for the second half it went by relatively fast. A few perks about Air NZ: endless movies and TV options for free, in flight games with other passengers or messaging which is fun if traveling in a group, alcoholic drinks are free in flight and wine = better sleep in the air, they serve you two meals, have spacious  foot  and back recliners even in economy, and the friendliest in flight crew I’ve ever experienced. Upon landing and checking in we were in search for a classic New Zealand brunch. 

We stumbled upon Federal and Wolfe which was a colorful organic  cafe with endless brunch options.  We split Eggs Florentine which came with haloumi cheese (the best) and Dukkah Eggs with chorizo and both were equally delicious. Their fresh squeezed juices were a perfect way to get in some vitamin C after a long night of travel. 


Auckland reminded us a lot of Seattle with the serious coffee scene, popular fish market, rainy weather, and beautiful rivers and mountains as the backdrop of the city.  We stayed at a great Hilton along the waterfront which had beautiful harbor views, live music in the hotel bar, and a delicious cheese platter.  It was in a central location to walk to several areas and we found it easy to navigate the city. 

For dinner we were craving fresh seafood and landed at Harbourside on the Auckland harbour. It was a bit upscale but it was our only night in Auckland and got rave reviews. The fresh sushi and sashimi was the highlight of the meal.

 

After dinner we headed to The Gin Room for some craft cocktails. They had a speakeasy vibe and they feature gin from across the globe. My cocktail was topped with beet root foam and rosemary. 


At this point we were pretty tired from the flight and walking around throughout the day so we called it a night. 

We couldn’t leave Auckland without one more amazing brunch and we loved Ortolana so much that we compared every other brunch we had on the trip to this meal. I think this was our favorite from the trip which says a lot because breakfast down under is taken very seriously. 


The ambiance was amazing, they serve strong yet creamy flat whites, the fluffiest whipped yogurt we had ever had, and dreamy avocado toast with a perfectly poached egg. 


I wish we had more time to explore Auckland but with the rainy weather and plans to explore Rotorura we had to hit the road. Stay tuned for my next post about our drive through the beautiful New Zealand countryside/sheep land to get to Rotorura- a geothermal quirky tribal town!

CourseHorse Cooking Class- Sur La Table!

DBE5657E-3E3D-4F26-A0E1-6A67D7287FCD

I’m finally back from my whirlwind of a trip to New Zealand + Australia and I’m excited to catch up on some blog posts! Soon I will be posting a recap of our adventuress.

A few days before the trip I went to an amazing Tour of Italy: Tuscany cooking class at Sur La Table with my friend, Stephanie.  I was contacted by CourseHorse , a company that offers a wide variety of courses and learning opportunities. CourseHorse is essentially a discovery and booking tool for local classes.  I was amazed at the wide variety of classes they offer including: fitness, languages, life schools, tech skills, professional skills, and cooking.  I was excited about the unique range of cooking classes they  plan to offer in Houston and have been wanting to try a class at Sur La Table so it was the perfect opportunity.  While my class was compensated, all of my opinions are my own and I have already signed-up for another cooking class since I loved the experience so much.

We attended class at the River Oaks Sur La Table location. I knew we were off to a good start when I saw this magical sunset upon arriving.

AD826D1E-2C6C-4AF5-8929-678473ED4A5B

The class was small and personalized with only around eight people which really allowed us individual attention with our insightful instructor, Chef Monica Tapia.  In addition to making a three course gourmet meal, I learned tips along the way from Chef Monica about proper knife skills, the best way to cut veggies and meat, how to create the perfect base for soup, and many other kitchen prep tricks.

804AA9A4-FAFC-4FCD-BB8F-E09D03B994E6

When we arrived, everything was already set-up  in portioned out stations with all the ingredients. We each received name tags, aprons, light refreshments, and quickly started working in teams on the first course. I would recommend going with a friend if possible since you do typically work in teams of two, but everyone was also very friendly if you did go on your own.

1B4DE10B-C0DB-4DA0-9A5C-B350A1C1FFA0

Did I mention the class was BYOB?! We brought a lovely Pinot Noir that complemented our Italian feast perfectly. The first course was my favorite with the hearty and healthy ribollita Tuscan soup paired with a pecorino and shaved fennel salad. This soup was seriously to die for and could easily be a meal in itself.  We learned that this soup used to be considered a peasant soup based on vegetables that were easily grown in the garden and made with day old bread. The robust flavors of tomatoes, white beans, a parmesan rind, garlic, pancetta, and onions all made a rich and complex broth. We stirred in kale at the end to get in some extra greens. I already made this soup again since it was so easy and tasty, perfect for a weeknight meal. I also fell in love with this simple salad of freshly shaved fennel with greens. We made a light and zingy lemon garlic vinaigrette which was made for a refreshing side salad.

4FA90C07-EFC7-4735-8C88-779FF84CC80B

Next up we seared Bistecca alla Fiornetina on small grills. These steaks were lightly seasoned with herbs and lemon.  We were pretty full from the first course but these steaks were perfectly seasoned and grilled so it was hard to resist! It was fun getting to taste our dishes throughout the class and it definitely turned into a full dinner, make sure you go hungry!

DBFB40B0-904D-4826-BB05-A1FE2A9CD48E

We couldn’t end the class without a sweet treat and these indulgent chocolate hazelnut filled donuts were SO delicious.  I had never had Bomboloni before (which is probably a good thing because these are dangerous), but they were so fun to make.  These Tuscan-Style mini yeasted donuts are a great dessert to impress friends with or to enjoy for a special meal. I had never made doughnuts from scratch before and will have to find another excuse soon to whip these up.

I am so glad CourseHorse offers such great cooking classes in Houston and am excited to continue trying more classes. Keep in mind that they are currently in beta mode for Houston.  More classes will be coming soon and be sure to sign-up with your email address to receive more info once classes are live! Stay tuned for details on my next class at Sur La Table where we will be making homemade pasta 🙂

10 Top Super Bowl Eats in Houston 

With Super Bowl 51 being 21 days away, it’s time to start thinking about the essential eats while in Houston. The Houston food scene is incredibly diverse and with so many tasty spots it can be hard to know where to start. Here are my top 10 recommendations!

Torchys Tacos– You have to eat multiple tacos while visiting H-Town. Torchys is consistently amazing for tacos any time of day. I love their breakfast tacos, fried avocado taco, Mr.Pink salmon taco, and they have my favorite queso in the city. 

 Killens BBQ– No trip to Texas is complete without BBQ. Killens is the best of the best. It’s worth the drive to Pearland once you try their beef ribs and brisket you’ll be in BBQ bliss. They open at 11 am but the line often forms around 9ish so get there early! 

 
 

Local Foods– Favorite lunch spot for salads and sandwiches. Get the veggie burger, seasonal salad, or crunchy chicken sandwich served on a pretzel bun. Multiple locations. Healthy options and something for everyone. 

  

Peli Peli Kitchen– South African bites meets Southern comfort food at this casual and colorful restaurant. I love the tacos, cauliflower, and rotisserie chicken. 

Tiger Den– Houston has an incredible China Town with so many amazing restaurants. My favorite ramen spot is Tiger Den. Often a wait but it’s worth it.  

  

Conservatory food hall– Houston’s late night food scene tremendously improved once Conservatory opened. Perfect for dinner or a snack after a night out downtown. My favorite vendor is the creperie but they have a BBQ spot, tacos, ramen, and Greek food too. Check out their beer hall as well. 

  

Fajita’s A Go-Go– Perfect for take out if you are watching the game at home or on a sunny day enjoy your Fajita’s on their patio. Try their beef and veggie Fajita’s and chicken quesadillas. Bring your own tequila to add to their fresh squeezed margarita mix.

  

Pico’s– Go for their flaming tequila queso. Can never eat enough queso or tacos while in Houston. 

  

Pi Pizza–  Looking for late night pizza delivery? If you are in their delivery zone you are in luck as they’ll deliver pizza until 2 am. Tons of creative combos but my favorite dishes here are their appetizers. Try the Mac n Cheese balls, meatballs, and brussel sprouts. Amazing cocktails if you decide to eat here in person.

 
River Oaks Donuts– No trip to Houston would be complete without kolaches. If you’ve never had one, you are in for a treat. Soft pillowy pastry dough is filled with either sweet or savory combos. These are often served at donut shops. My favorite kolaches are jalapeño sausage and egg and cheese. River Oaks Donuts usually closes at 1 pm so go early for breakfast.

 

Whatever happens at the Super Bowl at least you will have good eats while in Houston! Check out my previous blog posts for more foodie inspiration while in town. 

Happy last night of Hanukkah!

Hope you are all enjoying this holiday season with all things fried and delicious. I was so glad to be able to spend a few days with my family in LA this year for Hanukkah. To celebrate, we made ALL the latkes. It’s so worth it to make latkes from scratch and we had fun experimenting with some new recipes this year. 

 

My dad and I  started our latke conquest  with traditional potato latkes from Judy Zeidler whose the original queen of Jewish cookbooks. To speed things along we used a food processor instead of a hand grater. A tip to get the latkes extra crispy is to squeeze out any water once you grate the potatoes. You’ll be surprised how much water there is so squeeze out as much as you can in a dish towel over a sink. Also you should only flip the latkes once per side and you will need lots of oil and lots of patience! 

  

Next up were Sweet Potato Curry Latkes from the memoir/cookbook Stir from Jessica Fechtor. You can find the recipe here. These had a very subtle kick to them because of the curry yet there wasn’t much heat just flavor. They were definitely the crowd favorite. Be sure to change out the oil between different batches to not mess with the flavor.

   

We were intrigued with a zucchini pancake recipe in the LA Times and had to add them to the tasting. These were a fun twist to the typical latkes and much more delicate because no potatoes were used. We swapped out dill for mint which was a great combo with the zucchini. Traditional and sweet potato latkes are great served with a bit of applesauce , for the zucchini ones you could try sour cream.

And of course no Hanukkah is complete without a brisket. The Smitten Kitchen  tangy spiced brisket I made over Passover is still my favorite brisket recipe and my family loved trying it finally too. The caramelized onions on top and sweet/sour type sauce make it especially tasty. Brisket never photographs well but this one is seriously delish.

 

We rounded out the meal with an arugula and pomegranate salad, steamed green beans, noodle kuggle, and our family’s favorite cranberry apple cobbler for dessert.  My dad and I always have a blast together in the kitchen.
 

Loved having Lisa and Lucas in town from Houston to celebrate their first Hanukkah! 
 

Hope you all had a great holiday and Happy New Year! Xo, Sarah

Last minute gift ideas! 

In case you are still searching for the perfect gift, here are some of my favorite options this holiday season that won’t break the bank or take forever for shipping. What’s on your last minute gift list? 

1)  For your white elephant exchange or friend who loves to bake. How cute is this mini apple crisp pan?! Only $10 and I found this at my local Target

 
 

2) For your friend whose always taking iPhone pics.   iPhone photo lens attachments beats carrying around a huge camera. I was thrilled to receive this as a gift this year and it’s made a big difference with my pictures. Mine comes with the macro, fish eye, and wide angle lenses. There are many options on Amazon and most under $20.  

 

3) For your brother or friend who always wants to play cards against humanity get them FunEmployed Game on Amazon. This will be their new favorite addition to game night. So much more creative and improv based, we loved it. Each player has to “interview” for the drawn job based on the qualification cards they have. Totally absurd and hysterical. 18+ and perfect for family bonding. Approximately $10.
 
4)  For the hostess with the mostest or your cheese obsessed friend. Give them a gorgeous marble cheese board with a fun quote from  Anthrpologie.   Small one is  $58 and large is $108 but they are currently 30% off. 

 
5) For your friend who loves trying new cookbooks, below are some of my favorites. Perfect for Hanukkah gifts too because all have Jewish inspired recipes. All of these can also double as coffee table books. All available on Amazon

 
6) For your dad, grandpa, or  your favorite Houston chef. Give them a gift certificate to BrisketU, so they can learn the proper technique for smoking the perfect brisket. The BBQ backyard pitmaster class is on sale for $69. Attendees learn everything necessary to smoke a true Texas brisket: from fire starting and management to wood selection and smoke profiles, how to trim and rub the meat, how to cook and slice, serve and taste.  

 

7) For your workout buddy or sister, give them a gift card to ClassPass so they can mix up their workout routine and try a bunch of new studios.  

 

8) For the whiskey loving guy in your life, get him personalized whiskey glasses. I recently gifted these and was very impressed with the quality of the glasses, the monogram, and the fast shipping.

  

9) For your mom who needs a spa day, get her a gift card to a local massage place or treat to her mani/pedi. My mom who lives in LA is obsessed with the massage garage in Culver City and we usually go together when I’m home. No frills but the massage is better than most high end spas. If you need something cheaper, gift bath bombs from Lush and a face mask.

  

  
10) For your coworker whose always up for coffee breaks, get them a Swell water bottle. It keeps iced drinks cold for 24 hours, hot drinks hot for 12 hours, and will look chic on their desk.  

  
I also always love gifting fuzzy socks, seasonal teas, movie gift cards, Rosenblum wine that I like to pretend is from my family vineyard, and framed photos that captured a memorable moment with me and the recipient. What are you most excited to gift this year? Xo, Sarah

3 Things    

 1) Epic pajama party birthday brunch hosted by the insanely talented  Maple and Love.

 

 Look at that tablescape, pure holiday heaven! We feasted on quiche, crepe cake, homemade cheese/herb breakfast rolls, pumpkin bread, nespresso flat whites, and an apple tart. Everyone had such cute PJ’s and we also played a holiday themed game of scatergories. Goal for 2017 is to have more pajama parties. Nothing like grocery shopping at HEB in a onesie to pick up berries for this celebration. Definitely worth it. For cute holiday PJ’s check out Target’s huge collection.

2)  Banana Drop Cookies

 
Anyone else crave homemade fresh out of the oven cookies at 11 p.m? Tis the season for late night holiday baking. These are pretty guilt-free and filled with bananas and oats. I blended 2 bananas, 1 cup of oats, 1/4 cup of oil, and 1 tsp of vanilla in my Vitamix. Could use any blender for this. Then stir in 1 more cup of oats and 2/3 of a cup of chocolate chips. Bake for 20 min at 350•. Makes a great  breakfast cookie too. 

3) Orange and Avocado Salad 

 
This recipe was inspired from The Forest Feast cookbook. It’s one of my favorite cookbooks ever and her dishes are all beautiful, fresh, healthy, and make  vegetarian food look dreamy. We had extra pomegranates which added a nice colorful addition. This was a salad for a Shabbat meal while I was home in LA and granted the CA avocados really are the best! This is a great starter to a holiday meal to add some balance before the indulgences. 

Hope your holiday season is off to a great start! I’ll be posting more holiday recipes and a round-up of some of my favorite foodie gifts and cookbooks. Stay tuned! 

3 Things- Highlights from the week

Happy Thanksgiving! I am loving this short two day work week! Here are a few highlights from this past week. 

1) S’mores Pie! Recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking found here   

I’m obsessed with S’mores and when I saw this posted on Gaby’s website I knew this would make a perfect Friendsgiving dessert. Not going to lie, this was an ambitious undertaking but so delicious and all worth it! The first two steps are relatively easy as the base is a simple graham cracker crust and the middle layer is a rich homemade chocolate pudding.

  
I knew the real challenge would be the meringue marshmallow topping and it was indeed a struggle! I was lucky to have a crew of friends to help with what seemed like a never ending whipping process. When we weren’t seeing the sugary egg whites thicken and had no electric mixer in sight, we got creative. Evan got an electric screwdriver and a handheld whisk and miraculously made a powerful though sketchy mixer. It was a life saver and finally the meringue thickened enough to create the marshmallow layer! Warning: You probably shouldn’t try this at home!   

 The final step includes a blow torch to make a nice brule’ topping. It was a Friendsgiving to remember filled with lots of yummy foods and new friends!  

  
   

 2) OrangeTheory Workout Class  

To compensate for eating pie for breakfast I figured I should probably  up my workout game in preparation for Thanksgiving eats. Last week I made it to two OrangeTheory classes and LOVED this intense fun workout! The first studio I checked out was their new spacious Sawyer location for a blogger workout class sponsored by The Tiny Two Talk. We worked up quite a sweat and I was glad to have a fun crew of girls to suffer through the workout with but it really was the best accomplished feeling once we were done. The workouts consist of 30 minutes on the treadmill doing interval training with a combo of sprints, base running pace, power walking, or brief all out sprints. It pushed me way harder than I normally would push myself on a treadmill. I enjoy running so I liked this part a lot. The next 30 minutes were focused on strength training floor exercises, weights, rowing, and some resistance training. It was challenging but the loud music and rotating stations made it go by fast. I enjoyed tracking my heart rate throughout the workout and the whole workout is centered around finding your target heart rate zone for maximum energy and calories burned. I burned around 650 calories per workout which seems way higher than even an intense spin class. I also liked the West U location  and the staff was very helpful and welcoming. I’m thinking about possibly joining after the holidays. 

3) Seeing Amy Schumer live at the Toyota Center!

 I know it’s hard to tell from this picture, but Amy came to Houston and she made me laugh so hard my cheeks hurt! We got lucky and were upgraded to a lower level which was awesome to have such good seats that came at a fraction of the price. If you ever have the chance to see her live, do it! Just don’t bring your parents because her jokes are NC-17 plus some. It was a great Sunday night activity and fun way to end the week!

Happy thanksgiving to all of you! Hope it’s delicious, relaxing, and meaningful. I’m heading out to LA so stay tuned for some of my favorite Cali eats/spots! 

3 Things- Highlights from the Week

What a crazy whirlwind of a week. Very much looking forward to some R&R and family time over Thanksgiving break. What are you all most excited to make/eat? I always make pumpkin bread, a fall themed crostini, and spiked apple cider. I’ll post those recipes soon! In the meantime, here were some highlights from the past week. 

1) Yoga Sculpt Class at Yogaleena with some of my favorite gal pals.
 I’ve blogged about my love for this chic boutique yoga studio before and it is still my favorite, especially the yoga-sculpt classes. My friend Cali teaches sculpt classes here on Tues/Sat and she’s a total rockstar yogi who will kick your butt while you’re distracted by her killer playlist. Last week I went to 3 of her sculpt classes in a row, a new record of mine for a week. The only issue is I’ve now used up my classpass classes here for the cycle now 😦 It was all worth it though and I had so much fun going with Erika and Christine too. Definitely makes for a fun healthy girls night!

2) Houston Food Blogger Collective potluck at Axelrad

 If you haven’t yet checked out Axelrad, now is the perfect time of year to enjoy their spacious outdoor beer garden/ hammock heaven. I hadn’t been during the day before and it was way more laid back than the night time scene. Plus I loved getting to clearly see these gorgeous views of the Houston skyline. They have a variety of beer on tap and their famous frose’ (frozen rose’) is definitely worth trying. People were playing games, enjoying the fall weather, and our food bloggers had quite the spread of pies and Friendsgiving essentials. I made a persimmon and pomegranates salad to balance out all the dessert offerings. I’m loving all these fall fruits lately.  

  
3) Tiny’s Milk and Cookies officially opened yesterday in West University!

I work dangerously close to Tiny’s No 5 and love waking over for their almond milk lattes, salads, and of course the famous chocolate chip cookie for special occasions or let’s be real…for rough days. Nothing compares and their cookie really was rated #1 best cookie in Houston.  It is soft, gooey, chewy, chocolatey, and tastes even better than the freshly baked cookies of your childhood. I was excited to learn that they were opening up a walk-up bakery, cafe, and ice cream shop next to Tiny’s No 5. When you walk up to the window you feel transported to a summer time New England style cottage. Behind the window is an assortment of freshly baked breads, muffins, croissants, seasonal ice creams, chia seed puddings, a variety of caffeine offerings, and the true star…the cookie. If you haven’t been here yet, run here and share the cookie love with someone who needs one. It’s better than a hug. Also apparently they will be offering breakfast tacos on Friday mornings…could this place be more perfect?

 

 Have a great pre-Thanksgiving week! 

Viva Las Vegas- Part 1

 I never expected to end up in Vegas twice in one month but because of two special birthdays I was lured back to sin city twice this past October. Who knew Vegas could be just as fun for a 27 year old birthday celebration or for an 80 year old!? Both weekends were incredibly special and fun ways to celebrate two of my favorite people. 

The first Vegas trip was for Evan’s birthday since he had never been before! While he knew we were going, he didn’t know any of the itinerary details and I had so much fun planning our surprise activities and meals. We stayed at The Mirage which was centrally located on the strip in a great location. They have two beautiful resort style pools, tons of great restaurants, the casino, day and night clubs, and it’s home to the Beatles Cirque de Soliel show which I had seen years ago and loved. For this trip we opted to see Absynthe  a new entertaining smaller show at Caesar’s Palace which was hilarious, totally inappropriate, and incredible acrobatics and variety acts. Don’t see this one with your parents! Lots of crass humor but hilarious. I also would recommend sitting in the back if you don’t want to get called on! 

 For brunch we made it to eggslut which I’ve been dying to try and still haven’t had it in LA. It’s located in the gorgeous Cosmo hotel and it’s an absolute must visit. It’s a pretty casual grab and go type place, limited seating. I felt pretty ridiculous ordering a dish called the slut but had heard this was a must order. This cute mason jar is filled with puréed potatoes and a perfectly coddled egg with baguettes for dipping. SO good!

For our othe brunch we went to the buffet at the Wynn. Evan wanted to check out a classic Vegas buffet and this is often rated the best. We had to wait around 30 minutes to get in but that helped build up an appetite for the endless options. Buffets usually gross me out but this one is so beatiful and elegant ,plus they have something for everyone. We sampled the blitzes, smoked salmon, yogurt, and some mini desserts. I wouldn’t rush back because I don’t ever want to eat that much food to make it worth the wait/ cost ($45 I believe), but it’s a fun experience. I also LOVED the ambiance, look at those flowers!

  

  

 For dinner we checked out Giada’s restaurant at the Cromwell hotel. I have been a huge Giada fan for over 10 years. In high school I would religiously watch her Food Network show everyday after school. I have been waiting for the day to finally try her food! Her restaurant is gorgeous and her pastas and appetizers are tasty. I wish I could say I was 1000% blown away but I liked the atmosphere better than the food. The lamb chops below were flavorful and and so were the desserts. This place gets pricey real fast though! I hear brunch is great and cheaper so I’ll try that next time. If you’re a Giada fan, you must check this out while in Vegas! 


Birthday dessert plate. Loved the cookies!

  

Make sure you stop by the photo booth on your way out! 

 For our other special dinner we dined at Lago which is a restaurant with a gorgeous patio right next to the Bellagio fountains! Even though we had reservations we had to wait an extra 45 minutes for a patio table! Luckily there’s casinos right nearby for distractions. I have to say it was worth the wait though to be right next to the amazing fountain show that goes off every 15 minutes. We had some refreshing citrus cocktails, an amazing caprese dish, a meat board, and risotto. 

View on the patio. #notinParis  

  

It was a great trip overall! Not pictured was our pool time/ day club at the Mirage which doesn’t allow pics, night club 10 Oak which we weren’t all that into because $20 drinks and crowded, and our winnings at the Sex and the City Slot machine! 

Get ready for Vegas part 2 recap from my family trip next. Spoiler alert: it includes Britney Spears, Elton John, and how to live it up when you are 80!