Posted in Me to you

Viva Las Vegas

Two months ago, I made my first trip to Las Vegas and my first trip back to the US in a VERY long time! If you’ve been following my Instagram page you probably already know how I fell in love with the city, and the fact that it NEVER sleeps, like literally! You can get almost anything anytime of the day.

I got to experience different sides of the city. The glamorous lights from all the fabulous hotels on the famous Las Vegas strip, wild encounters, phenomenal shows, awesome food and its HUGE casinos!

Vegas casinos are guaranteed to make you lose track of time with its endless gambling options and hypnotizing galore. It was everything I imagined it would be, especially the crowd and that drive that even non-gamblers get to experience once they set foot into any of the strip’s big hotels and the casinos are the first thing you see, not the lobby or reception, it’s all about CASINOS! My stories from this part of the trip could go on and on.

ADVENTURES

We had another fun experience during our stay in Vegas taking a hot air balloon ride across the Nevada desert! This was something I’ve always wanted to try but was kind of worried about it being flown around in a basket with 10 other people and as the date got closer I’d get more anxious, but I would totally recommend you try this at least once in your life. We went with one of the biggest tour operators there ‘cleverly’ called (Vegas  Balloon Rides), our pilot was very friendly and actually funny with all his Matthew McConaughey impressions. The ride itself was very relaxing, smooth takeoff and landing and gave us this beautiful view of the city overlooking the sun as it rose over some mountains in the Nevada desert.

 

THE FOOD

Now that your day has officially started, it’s time for BREAKFAST! If you know me at all, you’d know this is my favorite meal of the day. I tried 3 breakfast spots in sin city. My first day there, I treated myself to a fancy breakfast with a hint of fine dining to it at the Bellagio Cafe overlooking the beautiful patio at the Bellagio hotel (one of the city’s biggest hotels and home of the iconic Bellagio dancing fountain), I tried their Maine lobster omelet which was just divine! Stuffed with asparagus and SO MUCH mozzarella.

 

Our second breakfast destination was at the classic All-American diner, Denny’s. It’s been literally years since I ate there and I was just feeling nostalgic, and I’m glad I did. I had one of their breakfast combos with a classic sunny side-up eggs with bacon and hash browns and a ‘side’ of pancakes. Now to call them a ‘side’ is a true understatement with how HUGE they were, but most definitely delicious and worth every calorie. My buttercream pancakes were stuffed with chocolate chips and topped with peanut butter cream and chopped nuts!

 

My last breakfast in Vegas was actually the one I was most excited about, and just could not leave without trying, that was at Eggslut. And you’re definitely going to remember that forever, and not just because of the clever name 🙂 Eggslut (located at the Cosmopolitan) basically makes these awesome little breakfast sandwiches in some of the best brioche bun I’ve ever had. The line was crazy for the place, so when I finally made it to the cashier I thought ‘I’m probably not coming back here anytime soon’ so I ordered 2 sandwiches, which left me feeling a little more than full. I had the ‘Cheeseburger’ which consisted of a ground Angus beef patty topped with a fried egg, caramelized onions, bread & butter pickles, melted cheddar and dijonnaise! My other sandwich was the ‘Fairfax’ which has delicious soft scrambled eggs, chives, caramelized onions, cheddar and sriracha mayo, so basically all the ingredients I love in one heavenly little bun.

 

Now that breakfast is off the table, I’ll get to some of the other food we had in our 4-night stay in Vegas, most of which were quick bites that we grabbed before or after heading out to another Vegas adventure. Starting with Chipotle, a place that just can’t do wrong with their signature monster burritos and burrito bowls. Or that time we had these mouthwatering wings at 2 am at Buffalo Wild Wings after a long night of Vegas fun.

 

Another American classic is Five Guys, which is not exactly a Vegas tip as it’s pretty much all over the country and considered one of the most popular burgers around, but I just could not leave out of this post. Super fresh ingredients, delicious ground beef patties and their special fries that make life seem a little better. Not to mention their insane milkshakes of course.

I was craving some fried chicken, like some big super crispy, super bad for you GOOD! Popeye’s seemed liked the obvious choice, but maybe a little too obvious. Thanks to my Uber driver’s recommendation, I thought I’d try out Blue Ribbon. Which was everything I wanted. I tried their Kelly sandwich with mac & cheese (which was ok I guess) and their super foine sweet potato fries! Definitely a place to try.

This next sushi place was probably the only place on my ‘Places to eat in Vegas’ list that I actually got to try, and I’m glad I did! The place is called Jjanga Steak & Sushi, they’re known for their exquisite sushi and the sushi burgers in specific which I had only saw on Instagram until that moment. The sushi was pretty good, burrito was ok, even tried their Korean fried chicken skewers which were a little bland for my taste. However, the sushi burger I tried was SO GOOD! It was called the ‘Bulgogi burger’ Starting with a Korean style thin sliced beef BBQ, crab, avocado, cucumbers, eel sauce & something called yum yum sauce; it sounds like a lot in 1 sandwich and it probably is, but it just works so perfectly together A fellow foodie friend was nice enough to tell them I was coming over, and they kept bringing us complimentary starters and desserts, which were just as awesome!

 

ENTERTAINMENT

Now another must-do in Vegas is the entertainment, which is a no brainer really. There are SO MANY shows to choose from, whether it’s live music, magic shows or Cirque Du Soleil (yes they are their own category). When it comes to the music and magic shows it’s really about personal taste & preference, but cirque shows need to be part of the itinerary, at least one of them. I tried to see as much as I can in the few day’s I was there, I went to one of their biggest shows ‘O’ at the Bellagio, a huge production with a very talented cast and there’s water, acrobats, comedy and dancing, a true spectacular! I also went to Mystère at the Stratosphere, which I actually liked more as it was performed in a more intimate venue and just amazing, especially the funny parts were actually funny.

We booked one of the oldest shows in Vegas ‘Penn & Teller’ through Viator.com but we found out the show got canceled that night as we were getting into the theater to pick up our pre-booked tickets, tickets which we never even got refunded for thanks to Viator’s awesome customer service. Anyways, we were about to lose an afternoon due to this mess, so we did a quick search on other shows playing at the same time that we could catch and ended up at ‘MJ Live’ at the Stratosphere. This show was beyond expectation, an impeccable performance by Jallas Franca, who did an AMAZING Michael, with the look, dancing, singing and charm. A night well-spent indeed.

​Now to the grand finale, the cherry to my sundae and my last memory of Las Vegas, was seeing Britney Spears perform at her Vegas residency show ‘Piece of me’. I won’t be dwelling much on this, but it was EPIC! It was like all the posters I had on my wall growing up came to life for a magical 90 minute high I will never forget.

 

GENERAL TIPS

You know how sometimes (more than you’d like) things go wrong on a trip? Luggage get lost, wallet gets stolen or problems with reservations? Well, my little hick-up of the trip was my phone screen cracking on my first day there 🙂 It was cracked so bad that I could literally not see anything on there. I need to give a shout-out to this place called ‘Gadget Mates’ which really helped me out in fixing my screen. They were efficient, quick, followed-up afterwards and the guys at the store were so cool they even recommended some places to eat at 🙂 Thanks again guys!

If you do go to Jjanga Steak & Sushi, make sure you go to the one at Fort Apache Rd, because there’s another place with the same name but has no sushi burgers or burritos.

Do a little pre-trip research about the kind of shows you wanna watch or clubs you wanna party at, because there are a lot of options and the good ones will most probably need booking ahead. Whether it’s shows/concerts or special nights at clubs especially when they have a big guest DJ.

One last tip, make sure you have your own ‘what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas’ moment. Doesn’t really matter what it is, as long as you enjoy it 🙂

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Posted in On the menu

Toast party! Take your pick for breakfast

Went a little overboard with my breakfast today. In an attempt to change my usual breakfast options, I thought I’d add more variety, flavors and COLOR!

First round of toasties was all savory, with stuff like eggs, bacon, salmon and cheese. Second round was all fruit-based, which were more on the healthy side.IMG_2361IMG_2365

Of course there are endless ideas to go with here, but here is what I came up with, using what we had in our fridge basically 🙂

Smashed avocado, topped with smoked salmon, died onions and capers.IMG_2368

Cottage cheese with a little olive oil, topped with fried bacon bits.IMG_2369

Dijon mustard topped with arugula, tomato slices and emmental cheese.IMG_2372

A soft boiled egg on smashed avocado, with salt & pepper seasoning.IMG_2373

Fried bacon as a base, topped with a fried egg and drizzled with sriracha.IMG_2371

Cream cheese topped with smoked salmon and walnuts.IMG_2370

You could always add different options for the base, another one of my faves is olive paste, or a sun-dried tomato pesto! Same thing for dressings & sauces that you can drizzle your toast with. However, I always find myself using avocados and sriracha when I go on a toast frenzy, whether together or not 🙂

Now for the sweet stuff! Round TWO!IMG_2606

First one in this round had a base of ricotta cheese, topped with mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries and blackberries).IMG_2601

Next up, I put a little avocado (I know, I overuse it, its a problem I’m willing to live with) and topped with pomegranates.IMG_2603

Last, but most definitely not least is the peanut butter & bananas one. Topped with some chopped walnuts and honey. This has got to be my absolute favorite of all the sweet ones.IMG_2598

Posted in Buzz

Lebanese Diner, from Beirut with love!

Lebanese Diner, the latest addition to Al Guezira Plaza in their recently opened extension area in the back. Something clicked for me as soon as I entered the place and made it feel like home. With a cool vintage sign, graffiti and classic diner interior.IMG_2402

I went there for lunch, and got to try a few things off their menu, which is mostly Lebanese with some classic diner items.

One of my favorite things at Lebanese Diner was their MAC & CHEESE! They have one with chicken & mushrooms, but the one I tried was the spicy shrimp one. It was absolutely AMAZING! I loved how subtle the shrimps were cut and just drenched in between the pasta and cheese, adding flavor to every bite, instead of the usual big chunks of shrimp you may find elsewhere.

Their Hummus 7ar dip is not to miss! With roasted almonds and chili.IMG_2350

Next up I tried some of their sandwiches. Which were delicious in either bread choices, I preferred the ‘Bel 3arabi’ one though. The shish tawook was great, tender chicken with a hint of a zesty flavor and my favorite addition to any sandwich PICKLES. The Kebab 7ar was also incredible!

For dessert, I tried the chocolate chip peanut butter cookie, baked in a hot skillet and topped with peanut butter and vanilla ice cream! Which I absolutely loved, with its soft texture

The owner was kind enough to bring us a complimentary avocado shake with honey, which I LOVED and an INSANE Nutella chocolate fondant, baked and served with vanilla ice cream. Halfway through my meal I was pretty certain I was going to come back to Lebanese Diner, but after this dessert, I AM DEFINITELY coming back, and very soon 🙂

Posted in On the menu

Baked Potatoes for Breakfast!

I’m back to my favorite kind of breakfasts, BAKED!

I was actually in the mood for baked potatoes, and realized I was out of bacon (which I liked to fry, cut into pieces and top my potato with); so I decided to make it more of a breakfast dish instead 🙂

This is a really simple, easy and pretty quick way to make a baked potato.

Ingredients (2 servings):

  • Medium sized potato
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1/4 cup shredded red cheddar
  • 1 tbsp grated parmesan
  • 2 tbsp butter (soft, not melted)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt, pepper & thyme for seasoning
  • chopped parsley for garnish

Photo Jul 28, 3 46 05 PM

First, pre-heat your oven to 220 °C (425 F), then you’ll need to bake the potato to soften it until its fork tender. Now there are 2 ways of doing so, either in the pre-heated oven for 45-50 minutes OR in the microwave for like 8 minutes. I went with the latter 🙂 You’ll need to poke some holes with a fork all around the potato, drizzle it with the olive oil, and some salt & pepper.

8 minutes later, you have a baked potato (fork tender). You’ll need to let it cool for a minute or two. Then slice that baby into two halves (vertically) and start scooping out some of the potato filling to create your potato cup, gently so you don’t cut through the peal.Photo Jul 28, 3 47 40 PMPhoto Jul 28, 3 47 14 PM

Now, use 1 tbsp of butter on each potato cup, it should start melting as you spread it on the bottom of the cup, as the potato will still be hot. Then add a dash of salt & pepper, and a tbsp of the shredded cheddar (mix of both).

Crack your eggs (making sure your yolk don’t break), and gently pour 1 egg into each potato cup. Now, you might need to take out some of the egg whites with a spoon, so not to overflow your cup (depending on the size of potato and size of egg you’re using), but if you do, make sure you don’t take out all the whites.

Now your cups are ALMOST ready to bake, just sprinkle some more salt & pepper, some thyme. And place on a baking sheet and straight to the oven! Take them out after 5 minutes to add the mixed cheddar and parmesan, then put them back in right away.

Bake your potato cups for a total time of 10-15 minutes, depending on how runny you like your yolks. And SERVE!Photo Jul 28, 4 48 07 AM

Posted in On the menu

Roast Beef Wraps!

Do you have ever just find yourself really hungry at the middle of the night, and just too lazy to go out to get food?

Well, this is what I was feeling when I made this video 🙂

This I basically a leftovers wrap, which is something I do more often than I’d like to admit 😀

This time I had some leftover roast beef, some shredded cheddar and of course, TORTILLA! You should always have tortilla.

So… I stir-fried some onions & mushrooms, wrapped all the above ingredients and put them in a sandwich press for that nice toasty effect! ​