Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Voila, souffle au fromage! Yes, I am a master chef (wink). Here is a picture of my first ever attempt at a souffle. I am very pleased with the results. Looks good, and tastes amazing! The recipe is from "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" by Julia Child, the book from the movie "Julie and Julia." I have actually not yet seen the movie, but my mom did, and she realized that she actually owned that book from early in her marriage! She never cooked out of it, because the recipes were too difficult, but she knew I'd love it, and I do! So, thanks mom! Also, Rachel's hair is now long enough to put in to these adorable pig tails! I just love it! Lizzy has been signed up to start beginning ballet and tap class in January. We got her leotard and tap shoes the other day, and she is SO excited! She picked out the yellow leotard herself. It was her favorite!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Las Vegas!

We went on a small trip to Las Vegas last week. Jason had a pharmacy conference there that his work was paying him to go to, so the girls and I tagged along. The girls did fantastic on the drive down, even when our windshield wiper fluid froze up and we had to stop at a firestone so they could thaw, drain, and refill our tank with non-freezing stuff. (Coincidentally, we determined that the reason it froze was because the firestone we went to for an oil change in the summer had filled our tank with normal fluid, which of course we didn't use up by the time winter rolled around.) While we waited we had a very disappointing lunch at Goodwood BBQ company (Holy Smoke BBQ RULES!) and then we were back on the road. We made it to our hotel later in the evening, so we just watched TV and went to bed. Jason had to go to the conference early to check in, so we all went to the Venetian (where the conference was being held), and Jason checked in. Then we had some time before his first meeting started, so we wandered around the strip. I got an awesome pair of $80 jeans on sale for $30 at Banana Republic! We ate lunch (I can't remember where, so it must not have been memorable!), and then the girls and I went back to the hotel. We stayed at the Tahiti Village resort, the same one we stayed at a few months ago. Rachel had her afternoon nap, and Lizzy and I watched "Elmo In Grouchland." After Rachel's nap, it was only 50 degrees outside, and somewhat overcast, so I took the girls down to the hot tub to play. They really loved that! It's a large kidney-bean shaped hot tub with a bench seat all around the edge. The girls had fun walking around and around the edge, singing "pop goes the weasel". Even Rachel's pretty good at that one... she sings "pop...eeeesuuul"! We picked Jason up from the conference at 5:00 and came back to the hotel where we ate dinner. The next day, Jason had meetings all day. We dropped him off at 8:00 am, and then the girls and I just hung out at our resort again. We played in the hot tub, and on their fake sand beach, and played with the toys we brought at the hotel. At 3:00, after Rachel woke up from her nap, I packed the girls into the car and we drove over to the venetian. With Lizzy in the stroller, and Rachel in the mai-tai carrier, I'm sure we looked out of place in Vegas! But, the girls and I had a ton of fun walking around the canal shops and the adjoining palazzo shops. We got to see a little free show in the "town square" in the center of the canal shops, with jugglers, singers, etc. Lizzy really liked that a lot! She got to shake hands with several of the performers afterward, who thought she was really cute! At 5:00, we met up with Jason, and one of his friends who was also attending the conference, and his wife, and we went to dinner at "Trattoria Reggiano", an Italian restaurant in the Venetian that Jason and I discovered on our last trip. It is a fantastic restaurant. I had lobster ravioli, and Jason had chicken marsala. Both were delicious. Then we went back to our hotel, and watched The Biggest Loser finale. The third day, Jason didn't have to be at the conference until 2:00, so we slept in, and then went down to the strip mid-morning. We walked around the Paris hotel, and ended up eating lunch at the restaurant at the top of the Eiffel Tower, "Eiffel Tower Restaurant." It turned out to be the best restaurant we have ever eaten in! If you ever go to Vegas, we HIGHLY recommend this place... although, be sure to go there for lunch - I found out you have to make reservations MONTHS in advance for dinner, and even still, there is a long long wait to get in. At lunch, there were only 3 or 4 other parties in the restaurant. The best part... we ordered an appetizer, two entrees, and a dessert, and the meal was only $60! We had a blue cheese souffle (it was not strong, like you'd think... just AMAZING texture, good!) on top of greens, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and walnuts. Then, I had something called "crab toast" which turned out to be like French toast stuffed with crab, although that description hardly does it justice. It was melt in your mouth delicious. Jason ordered a steak sandwich. The steak was so tender, you didn't hardly have to chew it, and it had a roquefort and horseradish sauce, and onion relish. None of the flavors were overpowering, it was just perfectly balanced flavor and texture... he said it was the best sandwich he'd ever eaten. For dessert, we got my favorite dessert of all time, creme brulee. It was SO good... just outrageous. And then the bill came... $60... we were so happy, we could have cried! Meanwhile, our table was right by the window, at the top of the Eiffel tower, overlooking the beautiful Bellagio fountains. Yeah, it was a fully amazing experience. After we got home, we were kind of sick of Vegas being so cold (after the first day being 50, it dropped down into the low 40's and high 30's, and it was too cold for even the hot tub that third day), and Jason had picked up a cold, and was feeling quite miserable, so we decided to call it a trip, and we drove back home in the middle of the night while the girls slept. We got home at 3:00 am, and went to bed. It was a pretty good trip. There are no pictures, because I could not find the camera! On the drive home, I noticed it was in the pocket of the door in the car. Oh well!