life of a spring roll

August 12, 2014

Recently, I’ve been working on cooking more creatively. This is difficult, especially when it’s about a billion degrees out and I don’t like the idea of using more air conditioning when I’m cooking more. This means all oven options are out! But, I did go to the Asian grocery store the other day and bought an array of ingredients that were perfect for making my version of some Spring Rolls. I call them my version because Spring Rolls are usually not fried but I did fry them even though I used the normal paper thin translucent rice paper regularly used to make Spring Rolls. I didn’t want to call them egg rolls though because I didn’t put any meat in them … maybe they were just a hybrid! Anyway, this was my first experience and the whole thing definitely took longer than I had originally anticipated, but in the end, all stir frying all the ingredients, wrapping, and pan frying turned into something delicious!

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Rolled and waiting

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Being pan fried

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Ready for consumption!

Gadzooks opened up awhile ago right near my school and not far at all from where I live. I’ve been meaning to try the place, but at first was turned off because so many people I knew told me that the place was no good. From what I can remember, that was from when it just opened because now, the place is amazing! We went for lunch the other day and the place was absolutely packed. The line was literally out the door! It was totally worth the wait though.

I will admit, walking in, the 7-step process to ordering enchiladas was a bit overwhelming. I’m glad the workers walk you through the process a little bit. Watching the people in front and behind me and having gone through the process once, I am certain next time my enchiladas will taste even better than this time. And whoever it is that decided cornbread should be served inside an enchilada was genius because I got one with cornbread and the other with short ribs and both were so yum! I am in love!

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Welcome!

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Ordering enchiladas is complicated.

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Excited to dig in!

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Salad

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2 enchiladas!

{las vegas} a bit of nyc

August 4, 2014

One of my sisters used to live in NYC and another is so desperate to move there it’s real. So while we haven’t gone to the real NYC together as a family, we have visited a funny little mini version sitting on the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip. New York New York is most certainly not a replica of the real one, but it’s still kind of nice and I appreciate their effort in trying to transport you to the Big Apple. I do appreciate some of the details though, like the sewer caps and Hershey’s store. Actually, I’m pretty sure those two things are my favorite parts of New York New York. And since this casino was our last stop before heading out of the city, we ate what was supposed to be a quick (but ended up not being too quick due to prep and service) meal at The Original Fulton Fish Frye — somehow, I always end up eating here while in Las Vegas …

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Inside the Bellagio is a rather famous place for chocolate: Jean Philippe Patisserie. Jean Philippe’s patisserie is famous for not just its pastries and other baked goods like amazing looking cakes, but its 27-foot tall chocolate fountain. Now when I say 27-foot chocolate fountain, I’m guessing you’re imagining a very different fountain than the one you’ll see inside the Bellagio. In fact, the round fondue-type fountain that you’re thinking right now is what I had in mind, too. The real fountain you find here, though, is very different. There are actually three parts to it: milk chocolate, white chocolate, and dark chocolate. And while I wouldn’t personally describe it as a fountain, because that seems a bit deceiving, this chocolate device certainly is very tall and very interesting to look at.

But, to be honest, I really was more intrigued by the colorful and amazing looking desserts and crepes than the chocolate fountain itself!

A Las Vegas-style chocolate photo adventure:

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BLT Burger is not the only amazing place to eat at The Mirage. One of the things you cannot really skip when in Las Vegas is feasting at a buffet. We’ve found that lunch is usually the best deal. With my family, we decided on The Mirage’s Cravings Buffet. Since we happened to be there on a holiday weekend, it ended up that the lunch and dinner buffets were the same price so we decided to show up right at the end of lunch and also get a taste of their dinner offerings — it was mostly the same foods. Personally, while the gelato bar and sushi offerings weren’t so great, I would most definitely say that the carving station was a highlight!

Craving a photo adventure:

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