Monthly Archives: May 2012

Michael Mina Tasting Dinner

Jason and I decided beforehand that we were going to go to one fancy dinner while we were in Vegas.  We kind of said it was for an early anniversary dinner, but really we just wanted an excuse to get dressed up and go somewhere fancy.  We decided to go to Michael Mina in the Bellagio, primarily because they had a Vegetarian Tasting Menu.

Lee jason bellagio

We walked around the Bellagio for a while taking pictures of things before heading into the restaurant.

Lee jason bellagio2

Michael mina

When I expressed interest in the Vegetarian Tasting Menu, our server kind of tried to talk me into the regular one instead, after finding out that I eat fish.  He said it was better, but I think maybe it just costed more and I opted to go the vegetarian route.

My first course was an heirloom beet salad.  I’m not normally a huge beet fan, but this was good.

Beet salad

After that, I was served fennel tortellini in a brown butter sauce which was delicious.  I mean, you can’t go wrong with brown butter, right?

RavioliAnd finally, a Japanese style tofu.  Honestly, this was my least favorite of the dishes.  The tofu was breaded tempura style and that’s just not really my thing.  Oh well.


Jason went with the regular tasting menu and his first course was tuna tartar.

Tuna tartar

After that, he had lobster pot pie.  This was good, but very rich.

Lobster pot pie

And finally, steak.  I honestly started laughing when this came out because it was so small!  I mean, I know it was a tasting menu but they weren’t kidding about just getting tastes.


With our tasting menus, we both got dessert samplers.  My favorite was the root beer float.  I’ve always liked root beer.


And with our bellies full and our wallets empty, we took a cab back to our hotel and fell into a food coma.

Walking the Strip

Yesterday was our first full day in Las Vegas.  We decided to get up, do a quick 25 minute cardio workout in the MGM’s cardio room and head out to explore the strip.  The MGM Grand, where we are staying, is at the south end of the strip.  We knew eventually we wanted lunch but it was still mid-morning when we set out, so we just sort of walked.

I saw a lot of people wearing cute dresses and flip flops or sandals but I chose function over fashion and put on a pair of shorts and running shoes.  I felt sort of silly and touristy, which is dumb because everyone here is a tourist, but it ended up being the right choice, because we walked a lot.

Before lunch, we went into Paris, Cosmopolitan and the Flamingo, playing a few slot machines here and there.  One of us (the one that isn’t me) had a lucky streak at the Flamingo.

Jason wins

Also lucky, we happened to be in front of the Bellagio when the fountain show started.


Lee jason bellagio

We decided to head back south to a restaurant I read about in Aria – Lemongrass.  Lemongrass is a thai restaurant that seemed to have a lot of choices and was relatively inexpensive by Vegas standards.  We decided to split two entrees – the black pepper prawns and the homestyle tofu, both of which were really good.


At this point, I got the idea to download a pedometer app.  We’d probably been walking for an hour at least before I turned the app on, but I wanted to see exactly how far we were going.  After a few random stops, we headed to the Venetian and the Palazzo.



We decided it was time for a pit-stop and I got a macaron from Bouchon Bakery.


This was pretty much the best thing I’ve had in my life.  Are they bad for you?  Don’t answer that.  After my macaron (and a beer), we headed south back to our hotel.  Vegas is funny because the hotel are so large that they look really close but they’re not.



We covered almost five miles and that was just after lunch.  I’m glad I wore my sneakers after all.

Shoes window

Vacation Prep

Less than 24 hours until we set off for sunny Las Vegas!  Is Las Vegas sunny?  I guess it is, right?  I felt like I needed some sort of adjective to describe it.  I digress.

I got off work yesterday and we headed two hours up 85 to Jason’s parents house.  They are watching Murphy while we are away (thank you!!) so we drove him up there and stayed the night.  There was a local festival going on, Seneca Fest, so we checked it out.

Seneca fest

No, we didn’t try them.

We headed back to Atlanta early this afternoon, with a pit stop at the outlet stores in Commerce, Georgia.  They’re not the best outlets around, but they’re right on the way, so I wanted to stop.  I got a dress from the Gap, two sweaters from J. Crew (50% off all sweaters!  They were like $25 each!) and a new purse.

New purse

My mom told me she’d get me a purse for my birthday and it took me a month to really find one that I really liked.  I especially like this one because of the color.  The bronzey-silver color makes it suitable to go with brown and black outfits.  I’m not the type of person that switches up purses; I use one for like a year or more until I decide I want a new one.  The inside of this one is a light purple.  Thanks, mom!

When we got home, I was determined to make tonight the healthiest night that I could since Vegas isn’t exactly known for being a healthy vacation.  Bring on the fruits and veggies.


I was determined to make that juice and I finally did.  This was 3 small apples, 3 carrots, 1 cucumber, 1 handful of parsley and 1 knob of ginger.

Fresh juice

I also reacquainted myself with Jillian Michaels.  Remember when the Shred was all the rage?  I forgot that it’s sort of difficult.


Vacation prep also included several loads of laundry, one of which I have to get out of the dryer now.  See ya from Vegas!

Greek Frozen Yogurt Winner

The winner is…

Screen shot 2012 05 25 at 8 22 17 AM


Email me your address and I’ll send it to the people at Ciao Bella!

Waning Cooking Motivation

I usually do my weekly grocery shopping on Sunday afternoon.  I try come up with at least three things that I want to make during the week.  This week, however, I decided that in addition to the three meals, I was also going to make fresh juice.  I have a Breville Juicer that’s literally gathering dust sitting on top of the fridge.

So I bought all these fresh veggies and stuff and on Sunday night, I was pretty ambitious.  I made Shrimp Tacos.

Shrimp tacos

With the tacos, I also made fresh salsa


and guacamole made with peas.  (It was good, but definitely tasted like peas.)


So, that was Sunday.  Monday, I ate canned tuna.  Tuesday, I went to a concert.  Wednesday, I cooked again.  My friend Joan came over for dinner and I made Skillet Lasagna, which was a good vegetarian meal that non-vegetarians, like Joan and Jason would enjoy.

Skillet lasagna

I went to a spin class tonight (my back feels better) and ate frozen pizza.  My motivation to cook really starts out high at the beginning of the week and really wanes by the time Friday rolls around.  That third meal, didn’t make it, and all those veggies for juicing, well, they’re still in the fridge.  We’re going to Las Vegas on Sunday night though, so I’m thinking I can try a preemptive healthy attack before all the food and drink that I’ll eat there!

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