Las Vegas Libations!


KIWI-TINI @ tommy bahama’s
Town Square Las Vegas

Is it possible to visit Las Vegas and not indulge in food and drink? As foodies, we LOVE Vegas. This past weekend we dined at the BEST of the BEST – Alain Ducasse, Pierre Gagnier, and Joel Robuchon among others. We were obviously leaning French this trip!  Is there a city where one can find so many of the world’s top chefs? It’s Vegas, baby!

In addition to dining at the crème de la crème, how about some just plain ol’ fun? On the patio at Tommy Bahama’s…in the open air bar at Mon Ami Gabi with views of the strip…relaxing on the couches at Morels with their unmatched cheese bar…high atop the strip at Mix with views from the 64th floor…and at Red Square where we contemplated purchasing the requisite bottle of vodka, to don fur coats and enjoy the beverage in the vodka vault at minus 5 degrees. Alas, as we had dinner reservations later that night at Joel Robuchon at 9 PM, so we sipped a glass of Veuve instead. Maybe next time?

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Charming Brunch

We didn’t go to the French countryside, but enjoyed a taste of French Country decor & cuisine all the same…I recently took my mother to brunch at the adorable Stella Mare’s restaurant in Santa Barbara, California. The house was originally build in 1872 and moved to its current site on the edge of the Santa Barbara Bird Refuge in 1962.

Stella Mare’s Victorian house is a designated historic landmark.

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Smoked Soup


Smoked Chicken, Smoked Oysters, Smoked Paprika, Smoked Sea Salt

Crazy for smoke? Back in March a recipe by Chef Linton Hopkins for a Shrimp & Smoked Oyster Chowder in Food & Wine caught my attention. The photo from that article had been hanging on my refrigerator ever since. And I don’t know about you, but it is very difficult to walk past the huge smoker at Whole Foods Market without adding a “smoked something” to the cart. The aroma is intoxicating.

Another favorite – smoked oysters. I like the Crown Prince ‘Natural’ Brand. These oysters are harvested in South Korea, naturally smoked over oak, and packed in pure olive oil. In Chef Hopkins’ chowder, the smoked oysters are chopped. Here, I make them the star of the soup – they are warmed, and served whole. These oysters, along with the smoked half chicken from Whole Foods, plus Spanish smoked paprika & smoked sea salt result in a unique soup with layers of smoky flavor…

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Cold Poached Salmon, Picnic Style


heart healthy cold poached salmon over multi grain angel hair pasta
meyer lemon slivers, shaved fennel, kalamata olive, marinated artichoke, fat-free feta
olive oil meyer lemon dill sauce

The star of the meal at our Elegant Heart Healthy Picnic by the Sea
was the cold poached Canadian King Salmon. Here’s the recipe!

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ELEGANT PICNIC BY THE SEA

Elegant Heart Healthy Picnic by the Sea

Congratulations, you’re one step closer to becoming the next Food Blog Star!
Your entry has advanced to the next round of Project Food Blog 2010.
Your next challenge? “Road Trip.”


Challenge Prompt: For this challenge, you’re tasked with creating a delicious meal that will travel well and still look great. From picnics and school lunches to bento boxes, or any other meal on the go, you need to whip up a entree, side, drink, and dessert to enjoy after hitting the road. Be sure that your meal fits inside the Project Food Blog Road Trip Cooler. (from foodbuzz here)

Shall we go for a drive?
I want to show you where my secret favorite picnic table is located!

Often times, eating on the road can be less than healthful. On Taste With The Eyes I am always excited to share delicious foods that are also good for the heart. Heart healthy eating has two components. First, it is to eliminate foods that are high in cholesterol and detrimental to the heart, such as trans fat. Second, it is about adding food to the diet that is good for the heart, like those high in fiber and rich in omega-3s.  The delectable meal I prepared for our Road Trip is heart healthy and travels quite well. So – the weather is perfect! High 60’s with a slight breeze. And with those clouds, there is the promise of a breathtaking sunset. Let’s go down to the beach!

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Rose-Shaped Heart Healthy Olive Oil Cake


Rose-Shaped Heart Healthy Orange Olive Oil Cake
with
Rosemary and Toasted Almonds

For my upcoming heart-healthy picnic by the sea I was looking for a dessert that was very tasty, would travel well, and be cholesterol free and good for the heart. Mario Batali has a divine olive oil and orange cake, but alas, it is made with whole eggs. Here, I tweak his recipe and substitute three tablespoons egg white plus one tablespoon olive oil for each whole egg. I add ground flaxseed, fresh rosemary for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, and toasted slivered almonds which are full of vitamin E, plant sterols, fiber, and heart-healthy fats.

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