{8.22} Friday Favorites


Happy Friday guys! It’s been a busy week here at AM, complete with a fun re-design and a ton of new recipe and review updates on the way. To kick off the weekend I wanted to do a new round of Friday Favorites, this time more focused on some fun summer picks. The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting colder, which means it’s time to make the most of the sunny afternoons we’ve got left! Here are a few fun ways to help you with that -

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Strawberry Watermelon Slush with Mint // Craving Thirty

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Beer Battered Fried Shrimp and Pickles // Spoon Fork Bacon

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Boston Baked Bean Ice Cream // BREAD + BARROW

Each of these awesome food blogs have become part of my weekly rotation. They are some of the first ones I turn to whenever I need a little inspiration! Their photos really speak for themselves and they always leave me excited to try out something new. I hope you all have a great weekend and stay tuned for some great Las Vegas Local Flavor coming your way soon!

Hugo’s Cellar, Las Vegas


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The best part about living in a new city is taking the time to explore all the different areas. So far my Las Vegas experience has lead me all over this crazy city, literally North to South and East to West. After a strenuous week at work, we decided that a night out downtown would be the perfect solution. Yelp lead us down to the basement of the Four Queens on Fremont Street where we found Hugo’s Cellar, a romantic steakhouse with a wonderful local vibe. It was dark, candle lit, and all the ladies were handed a red rose upon seating. So fun right? Here’s a look at what we went with -

Our Menu:

Escargot en Croute – Six plump escargots sautéed in shallots, garlic, burgundy wine, fine herbs with a puff pastry topping.

Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes – Pan fried jumbo lump crab cakes with citrus chili aioli.

Hugo’s Table Side Salad - Crisp romaine lettuce with your choice of peeled tomato wedges, marinated artichokes and hearts of palm, sliced mushrooms, blue cheese crumbles, toasted croutons, roasted pine nuts, chopped eggs, red onions and bay shrimp.

Char-Broiled Steak - Creekstone Farms midwestern, corn fed, Premium Black Angus beef that has been aged a minimum of 28 days. Char-broiled to your taste and served with mushroom ragout and bordelaise sauce.

In addition to our 4 selections we also received a bread basket with a gorgeous butter rose, a refreshing raspberry amuse bouche, and a dessert platter with chocolate covered strawberries, dates and apricot.

The highlight of this meal for me (surprisingly) was the escargot. I had tried escargot on several other occasions, but this one literally blew me out of the water. The puff pasty topping was so light and rich at the same time, and the garlic seasoning was the perfect accent. I would definitely recommend starting your meal out with that! Overall the meal was really great. It was a refreshing contrast to all the trend based tasting menus we’ve been getting lately. If you find yourself on Fremont Street in need of a home cooked steakhouse meal make sure to drop by!

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Lemon French Macarons


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Happy Wednesday guys! Can you believe the week is half over already? The days are seriously flying by. Today I am really excited to (finally) share a new recipe post with you, for some awesome Lemon French Macarons! I’ve always been more of a baker, so taking a break from cooking to do a little baking session with my bff Jennifer of Just Add Glam was a real treat. We decided that a girls day with macarons and wine would be the perfect way to go, and with the help of Sweet and Savory with Shinee we ended up in great shape! Keep reading to find out how you can re-create these sweet treats for yourself! Continue reading

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For macaron shells:

• 1 cup almond flour
• 1 cup powdered sugar
• 2 egg whites
• ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
• ¼ cup fine granulated sugar
• 1 teaspoon lemon zest
• ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• ½ teaspoon lemon juice
• Yellow food coloring

For lemon buttercream:

• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
• 1 cup powdered sugar
• 2 teaspoons heavy cream
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 teapsoon lemon zest
• ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1/8 teaspoon salt

Now like any intricate baking recipe, it’s really important to follow the directions step by step. I would definitely recommend using a scale and measuring everything out in advance. My favorite way to tackle a recipe like this is to get a few bottles of wine, cut up some cheese and crackers, and just work on it little by little. I think in total it took us around 4 hours from start to finish with this one, but with the right company, snacks, music, and wine it’s the best way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

For the step by step directions, checkout this Lemon French Macaron Recipe by Sweet and Savory with Shinee!

The Blind Pig, Las Vegas


BP_4BP_1BP_3BP_2BP_5 BP_7BP_6One of our favorite ways to kick start the week at work is to get takeout for lunch. Yes, this might seem like a silly thing but it really gives you something to look forward to which in turn distracts you from the fact that it’s only Monday! Our office is located in a great area when it comes to proximity to the strip, but in terms of food it’s not so great. On any given day we are pretty much stuck with fast food, Subway, or braving Tropicana to get to the grocery store. So you can imagine how EXCITED we were when The Bling Pig came to town!

About the Blind Pig: Just off The Strip at the Panorama Towers (On Dean Martin), Block16  Hospitality unveiled a brand new dining concept with the opening of The Blind Pig – Provisions & Lounge.  Designed as a gathering place for those living the urban lifestyle, The Blind Pig – Provisions & Lounge is a counter order restaurant and market serving artisanal, seasonal and Chef-driven bites for locals seeking a great breakfast, lunch or dinner spot, smoothies and coffee, gourmet grab-and-go items, late night bites and more. The lounge aspect of The Blind Pig – Provisions & Lounge is open nightly at 5pm  and will stay open through late evening offering handcrafted cocktails, craft beers, wine and a bar menu.

Our Takeout Favorites:

Blind Pig Chopped Salad – greens, chicken, garbanzo beans, provolone cheese, pepperoncini, salami, tomato, & red onion with red wine vinaigrette

Kale and Greens – broccoli, cucumber, avocado, soy beans, glazed pecans, & green apple with agave mint vinaigrette

Chicken Caesar – romaine hearts, croutons, parmesan with grilled shaved chicken & caesar dressing (pictured above)

Chicken Ciabatta – marinated chicken breast grilled with basil pesto, goat cheese spread, frisee, & mayo

Grilled Cheese – fontina, gruyere & manchego with smoked bacon, & tomato on grilled brioche (pictured and #1 office favorite)

Roast Turkey Club – smoked bacon, avocado, lettuce, tomato, & mayo on whole grain toast (pictured)

So far we’ve only gotten takeout from The Blind Pig, but we definitely plan on visiting for happy hour soon. I will say in terms of takeout these guys do a really great job. They always throw in a massive bread and butter pickle, and they have some great sides to choose from! I would go with the potato salad if you happen to stop by for lunch. Stay tuned for a followup post with more info on their happy hour and dinner experience… coming soon!

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The Perfect Cheese Plate


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Over the past few years I’ve found myself loving to entertain guests at home more and more. It used to be all about finding the latest and greatest happy hour after work, but now on a Friday night theres really nothing I love more than having a bunch of girlfriends over for wine and snacks. Growing up there was always a cheese plate laying around in my family kitchen and I never really appreciated the amount of work that went into laying them all out with just the right ingredients. So now I’m on the mission of creating the perfect cheese plate for every occasion! Of course you have to consider things like the beverages you’ll be sharing, the season and your location (my VT cheese bias is very strong) because those will all play into how you craft your plate. Here are a few great articles I’ve found that will help you on your way!

The Perfect Cheese Plate by Real Simple

The Ultimate Cheese Plate by Food & Wine

How to Build the Perfect Cheese Plate by Style Me Pretty

How to Put Together a Great Cheese Plate at a Regular Supermarket

Serving up a Rustic Cheese Platter

That should be enough to get you started and remember, you don’t need to go spend $100 on artisan cheeses and olives to make a great platter. I like to take the high low approach (like I do with most things) and mix some great high end products with some cheap grocery store basics. This way you have more room to play around and try out new things!

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