Friday, October 29, 2010

Las Vegas Halloween

Need something fun to do in Las Vegas with the kids on Halloween?  We'll be here:

Sunday from 4:00-7:00. 

Bite of Las Vegas 2010, the Recap

Last Saturday I packed up C and we headed off to Bite, timing it so that we missed the initial crush of Miranda Cosgrove fans. Parking was a breeze, thankfully. I opted to take the stroller since I was bringing in jackets, the Baby Bjorn, diaper bag, and a blanket. In the past I've had to park on this huge rock parking lot, and our stroller isn't made for that kind of off-roading. Anyway, no problem.

The Food:
Kalua Pig from Island Girl Catering. Delicious!! Island Girl doesn't have a brick and mortar location, but you'll find them at all the Hawaiian festivals and events around town and, obviously, can hire them for your catering needs. I didn't have the nerve to try the Spam dish they were serving, but everyone said that was fabulous, too. Unfortunately I can't find anything about them online.

Vegetable empanadas from Whole Foods. Have I gone on and on about my love of Whole Foods before?

Watermelon lemonade from Hash House. Yum!

Really wanted to try the treats at Atomic #7, but I was stuffed. Just look at their full menu here. Oh, and the frozen hot chocolate from Serendipity.

The Entertainment, in no particular order:

Frank Caliendo - Okay. An impersonator. Boring, usually. They used him well, though, to announce winners of food contests.  Those were entertaining 10 minutes.

Ryan Star - Awesome!  Cute!  Very sweet.  He cooed over my sweet C, and offered to get me a drink.  Talented and kind!  A winning combo!

Plain White T's - I'm always impressed when I hear a band live and they sound like, well, themselves.  Themselves on the radio or CD, that is.  That's not to say it wasn't a dynamic performance - it was.  They just proved that their sound isn't totally a product of crafty production in the studio. 

K'naan - Very entertaining.  I had to leave towards the end of his set, but he really got the crowd going.  Just as we reached the car I heard him talking to the crowd for awhile.  I like it when an entertainer engages the crowd musically and intellectually and really seems present in his performance. 

Sara Bareilles - We'd left by the time she went on, but I was able to meet her backstage, and she was very sweet (and had great shoes).  She offered to babysit C.  Don't think I wouldn't take her up on that!  That would be the best lullabye C would ever hear!  B says Sara sounded great.

Switchfoot - Again, we missed it.  Anyone have a review?

Christina Perri - Just heard the end, and wished I'd gotten there sooner.  I'm excited to see where her career takes her.

Miranda Cosgrove - Didn't meet her, but Lordy did she have a long line of people waiting for pics and autographs!  I understand that she and her people delayed her flight in order to stay longer and meet more people.  How nice!

Local Bands - Okay.  I didn't pay enough attention to which band was which, but I heard some solid talent over there, and they seemed to have decent crowds listening.  Bravo!

Cooking Stage - This year I vowed to make it to the cooking stage at the appropriate times, but instead I must've been eating or something at those times.  Next year...

Children's Area - Looked fun!  I'm excited for C to grow big enough for that fun.

All-in-all, a grand day.  The weather was beautiful, the entertainment was - um - entertaining, and the food was delicious.  What more could I ask for?

For more, including pictures and video, check here, the Mix 94.1 site.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Vitame Vas, Kolache

The area I'm from in Nebraska has a fairly large Czech and Bohemian population (it's not far from a region known as the Bohemian Alps), my dad's family among them.  After several generations in America, most of the culture brought over by my ancestors seems to have drained out.  Apparently my grandparents were fluent in Czech, although I never heard more than a few random phrases.  The one area where our heritage has paled to a lesser degree, though, was the food:  duck and dumplings, sauerkraut, rohliky, and - most importantly - kolaches.  Now I like to bake, but I've never taken on the kolach challenge.  My mom (who is exactly 0% Czech, incidently) makes decent kolaches - great even in certain circles - but they are just different than those made by my 100% Czech grandma and aunts.  Currently I'm exposing my BB and C to none of my heritage, and I want that to change.  Through food.  So here it is.  The Kolach Challenge, which if successful will be followed by the Rohliky Challenge.  Let me preemptively apologize to my family.  I will do my best, but no one is as good as Grandma was.  Followed closely by Aunts E and R (ladies, do you want to fly out to LV for a lesson??  Bring samples.).  So here goes. I promise to update regardless of the outcome.

Image from Pietz's Kuchen Kitchen
I'm sure these are delicious, but the dough to filling ratio is off.  ;)
 Prosím , ať kolaches dopadlo tak lahodně .

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Bite of Las Vegas 2010!

It's almost here - the 2010 Mix 94.1 Bite of Las Vegas!  If you haven't been to past Bites, it's an all day food an music festival featuring national and local bands and a plethora of delicious restaurants.  There are also carnival rides and games for kids and a stage for cooking demonstrations.  So here are the details...

Saturday, October 23rd

10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m
Desert Breeze Park (at Spring Mountain and Durango)

Admission: $9 for adults, free to children 5 and under

Food:  Menu selections range from Mexican, Asian, French, Mediterranean, Italian, pizza, gourmet sandwiches, barbecue, kids’ selections and desserts all offered in $1-$5 portions.

Entertainment:  Switchfoot, Sara Bareilles, K'naan, Plain White T's, Ryan Star, Christina Perri, along with an autograph session with Miranda Cosgrove (iCarly) and four local Las Vegas bands (Play for Keeps, Redwine Rewind, Spadoni, and Parade of Lights)


Sara Bareilles:


Plain White T's:

Ryan Star

Christina Perri

Miranda Cosgrove

Local Bands

Discounts are available:
•Purchase a family 4-pack of tickets for half price at

(must be picked up at KMXB office starting Monday, October 18th, at 6655 W. Sahara Ave, Suite D-110. Tickets must be picked up before 5pm on Friday, October 22nd – tickets will not be mailed)

•Buy a bag of non-perishable food items at any Whole Foods Market location for City Mission and receive 2 free Bite tickets.

•Attendees can receive $1 off the admission price with a donation of canned food at the gate for the City Mission of Las Vegas. Additionally, $1 of every ticket sold will be donated to the City Mission to help feed Las Vegas’ hungry.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

From Waaaa to Zzzzzz

Around here we try to lay C down for the night when he's drowsy but still awake.  "Try" is the operative word here.  About 25% of the time he falls asleep when eating his last meal of the day, 25% of the time we think he's drowsy but something changes when we lay him down and he's suddenly wide awake, 25% of the time he's already overtired and fighting sleep with all the tools in his arsenal (squealing, crying, and clinging), and the last 25% of the time it works, to our surprise.  Alas, I think I've found a way to coax overtired C and wide awake C closer to peacefully sleeping C:  Pandora.  I know it's nothing new, but I just found the lullabye station, and I think C would like it (more than the clang-y lullabye on his mobile) and BB and I wouldn't get annoyed by it.  The last three songs, for example, were You Are My Sunshine by Elizabeth Mitchell, New Soul by Yael Naim, and Be My Baby by Linda Ronstadt.  See?  Not annoying!  AND, it's free!!  AND, it's not loaded with ads (there are some, but it's not bad).

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tweak it!

I'm liking this...
La Mer Collections Cognac Brown Leather Watch
via Outblush, $98 at Metropark
...but maybe if it were just a bracelet I'd love it. 

take it from those who know...

In my dreams I am able to create recipes on the fly, bake like a champ, and come up with delightful new concoctions in the blink of an eye.  In reality I'm a stick-to-the-recipe kind of girl who relies on yummy looking pictures when choosing new recipes.  Look, I'm just not a person who can look at a list of ingredients and know if I'll like it or not, which as it turns out is okay, thanks to the talented Joe at Culinary in the Desert Country.  He posts recipes pulled from a variety of sources a few times a week along with a fairly detailed synopsis of the baking/cooking/creating process, tons of pictures, and a review of the final product.  It's become a reliable source around here.  Kudos!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Qualifications of the Famous

My 15-year-old niece was in town last weekend and one of the things she was hoping to do was see someone who is famous. That's not all that difficult in Las Vegas, but we were obviously not going to any clubs. We did, however, go to Target in our suburban neighborhood, and who did we see?? Scotty Nguyen.  Okay, so a poker player isn't exactly what a teenager has in mind when she thinks of famous people, but I think given the request, we successfully found her a "famous" person.  

from here

Anyway, isn't it funny what kinds of things can make people famous?  Rich and famous, I should say.  What if people were rich and famous for being social workers or special ed teachers?  I'm sure Mr. Nguyen and Justin Bieber are perfectly nice, deserving, giving people, but wouldn't it be refreshing if hospice workers were similarly compensated for the very meaningful work they do?

ps.  Scotty Nguyen was wearing his glasses, but I didn't see a bracelet.