Posted in On the menu

Homemade Double Decker BURGER!

In addition to my endless passion for breakfast, I’m also quite the burger fanatic. I’m one of those people that keeps adding or removing things from my burger to get the taste I want exactly, which inspired to start making my burgers at home 🍔😋

Speaking of which, I made this juicy burger from scratch the other day and I’m not gonna lie, I’m super proud of it 😂

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Here’s how you can make your own 🙂

Step 1 (seasoning):
Starting off with the key ingredient, the MEAT! The fresher the better of course, if you’re defrosting the minced beef, make sure there aren’t any residual frozen bits as this can ruin your entire burger when you start eating it. I don’t like to overdo it with seasoning the minced beef, I just add garlic & onion powder, salt and pepper and use my hands to mix it all in.

Step 2 (Patties):
Start shaping your patties (gently), you can use a cookie cutter to make perfect round patties, I like to use my hands as I like my burgers to look a bit more chunky than perfectly symmetrical. Whichever way you go with, don’t squeeze or press as you shape the patties to guarantee all the juices stay out when cooking.

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Step 3 (Add-ons):

  • Bread:
    Start buttering & toasting (or just roasting) your burger buns, using soft buns as they are will eventually result in a soggy burger when you start piling everything up.
  • Toppings:
    The choices here are ENDLESS! If you’re looking for classic toppings, I’d say go with lettuce, tomatoes & onions). This time I sautéed some spinach (washed and well-dried then tossed around a frying pan with a little butter), beef bacon & a fried egg!
  • Sides:
    Fries always seem like the appropriate side dish when it comes to burgers. This time I thought I’d try actually frying sweet potato fries, instead of roasting or baking them. Pretty much the same process of making regular fries. Peel the sweet potatoes, put in a bowl of water so it doesn’t change color, then start cutting them into whichever size and shape you want your fries to be in. Heat up the oil till it’s nice & sizzling, take the sweet potatoes out and make sure they’re dry before tossing them in the hot oil, and just fry them till they’re all gold & beautiful 🙂

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Step 4 (Cook):
Start heating your pan (or grill) over high heat, and once it’s all hot & sizzling add a little oil. It’s best to lightly brush it across the pan that it evenly covers the entire area. Gently place your patties and let cook for 3-4 minutes per side (or until the sides start to change from pinkish red to a brownish color). Flip and cook the other side for the same time, and in the last minute top the burgers with your cheese slices to melt as the burgers finish cooking.

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Step 5 (Enjoy):
Now that everything is done cooking, bring your toasted buns and lay down the toppings with your cheese-topped patties and enjoy this incredibly juicy, homemade burger!

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Ingredients (Burger only):

  • Minced ground beef (250gm)
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Handful of fresh spinach
  • 1 Burger bun
  • 4 American cheese slices
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Bacon strips
  • 1 Tbsp butter (for toasting the burger buns)
  • 2 Tbsp oil (for cooking the patties)
  • Salt & pepper
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 🙂

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