Las Vegas Highland Games

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

This past weekend marked the 10th annual Highland Games here in Las Vegas. Despite this fact, this was my first year in attendance. Sprawled out over Floyd Lamb park, the Highland Games offered two full days packed with entertainment ranging from the games themselves to live music and dance competitions in addition to stalls for shopping and information on various aspects of Scottish heritage.

Being that this was a work weekend for me I had a whirlwind experience on Saturday afternoon, that thankfully did include catching the Opening Ceremony. The parade was truly a sight to behold with troupe after troupe of experienced pipers and drummers in addition to clan representations. It was moving and something I wish my grandfather had been around to see because he would have loved every second of it.

Not surprisingly, the highlight of my afternoon was the food. While the usuals were on the scene boasting chicken fingers, funnel cake, and hot dogs it was the Scottish varieties that I couldn't pass up. While it was difficult to choose, the fresh scones with strawberries and cream and the grilled bangers topped with a heap of caramelized onions were my front runners. If you've never had a grilled banger, make a run to your local international food store. Just one bite is enough to transport you overseas.

A few tips if you plan to attend next year, which I would recommend... Arrive early! Floyd Lamb parking is not well suited to large events and if you show up later in the day you will be making a trek to get to the entrance. Bring a few cold waters with you. While you aren't allowed to bring coolers in you will want to tuck some in a tote bag. While much of the area is shaded, the sun shifts frequently and March afternoons see the temperatures rising. Finally, if you plan to stick around for the entertainment, bring a folding chair. Your feet will thank you.

On Intentions, Actions, and Some Pretty Great Sausage

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring is here! And with that new season comes new intentions. I've been thinking more about that this past month, about setting intentions. That phrase has been everywhere lately, but it doesn't sit well with me. This weekend, it was my pastor that actually pinpointed why, "Good intention doesn't last two minutes. Intention must turn into action." How many times have I "intended" to make changes that fell flat weeks, or even days later? Blog more often. Eat better. Wake up earlier. I have a cycle of setting intentions, eventually failing, getting upset with myself, and then starting all over again. Why? Because without a plan, a realistic action plan, good intentions don't do a whole lot on their own.

Having a plan means having somewhere to pick up after failing. It means having something measurable to look back on and evaluate. It requires action, not daydreaming. It's also a little scary, but in the best and most exciting way.

So, I'm starting simple. Something that routinely makes my intention lists is making the most of where I live. In fact, it's even in my manifesto for this blog in the form of celebrating all things local. That's so vague though. The real question is how am I going to celebrate all things local? To start, I can start putting more local favorites onto my weekly grocery list. Las Vegas has a burgeoning local food scene that lends itself to not only fantastic restaurants, but some pretty fantastic tools for the home cook as well.

First up? If you haven't tried the sausages from Sprouts market you are missing out. With at least 8 flavors on a daily basis from the basic Italian to the interesting chicken additions (apple and parmesan are two of my favorites) there is truly something for everyone. They are made in house and they are a great bang for your buck. In the coming weeks I'll be sharing some of my favorite recipes to pair them alongside. Something simple to kick off the weekend? Pair their chicken parmesan sausage (pictured above) with your favorite risotto be it homemade or from a box.

What are you shaking up for Spring? Let's cheer each other on as we turn our goals into actions.

Crazy Pita

Friday, March 7, 2014

Last week I had the opportunity to check out the new Crazy Pita in Town Square. There are few things that I love more than good Mediterranean food, and I certainly wasn't disappointed. Tucked directly behind Guitar Center, what Crazy Pita lacks in ambiance it more than makes up for with their menu. Boasting a variety of rotisserie favorites, offerings from the grill, and signature pitas it is a must visit for a quick bite.

Lamb being one of my favorite dishes, I couldn't pass up their lamb pita. Pitas come dressed with marinated tomatoes, cucumbers, and romaine lettuce. What I appreciated was the fine chop on the slaw. Instead of overwhelming the lamb it was instead the perfect compliment. Cool and refreshing to lighten up the grilled lamb. And that lamb? Delicious! The generous portion was grilled to perfection. Tender and lightly seasoned, all wrapped up in a warm, soft pita. While the fries didn't pop in the same way that the pita did they weren't a poor choice either. If you opt for a $.99 charge the range of side options does open up to include a small portion from their sides and snacks menu.

Overall, Crazy Pita is a worthy new addition to the Town Square restaurant scene. If you're a fan of Greek cuisine take advantage of this amazing weather we've been having and check it out.

DIY Valentine's Day Straws

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

With the mental fog from the beginning of the year finally lifting I come to you today with a quick and easy DIY that makes a cute touch for your Valentine's Day table. I don't know about you, but I've definitely caught the paper straw bug. They're a simple way to add a colorful touch to your party table and they've become increasingly easy to find in stores.

For this project you'll need a package of paper straws and a package of felt hearts. I used embellished, pre-cut hearts that came with adhesive backing, but you could also cut and decorate your own using hot glue to attach the hearts. I've been hooked on stripes so when I spotted these at Target I couldn't resist. Polka dots would be equally as adorable.

Pair off your hearts by design. By attaching the two back-to-back you don't have to worry about which direction the straw spins in your cup. Peel off the adhesive backing at attach approximately one inch from the top of the straw. If you are cutting your own hearts out of felt, pair them up and attach with hot glue first to the straw and then with a dot of glue at the top of each curve so they sit evenly and stay together.

All total this project took less than ten minutes to complete, but they were the hit of the party. Pair with your favorite sparkling pink lemonade or sorbet float. My personal favorite? Scoop a serving of raspberry sorbet into the bottom of your glass and fill with limonata.

What fun touches are you adding to your Valentine's Day table?

Proudly designed by Mlekoshi playground