Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015, I Love You

Hands down, 2015 was the best year of my life.  I don't know what the big deal is about aging, each year of my life gets better and better.

But 2015, wow.  It's amazing looking back at this year.  For starters, and something very simple, it was the best year of weather I can ever remember.  January started out cold, but winter was over very early, spring was gorgeous, and summer was hot.  Our fall was perfect, and the fall weather lasted until December.  We still have pretty mild winter temperatures, and barely any snow on the ground.  

Top 10 highlights of 2015 
(starting with my favourite)

1)  In a top secret, private ceremony, on Friday, February 13th, Christopher and I got married

It could not have been more perfect for who we are as a couple.  It was as simple as it possibly could be - no fuss, no lead up, no party, no stress.  Just the two of us, sharing vows and a promise.  We wanted a marriage, not a wedding, and that's what we got.  We could not be happier!

2)  We traveled a lot.  We did some little road trips, flew to Edmonton a couple times, and also went on longer trips to Mexico, New York, Las Vegas, Mexico again, and then Vegas again.


3)  Christopher began playing bass, and formed a new band Lunar Lander Dance Commander.  Their debut single, Rooftop Renegade will be played tonight on The Cockpit, 91.3 FM CJTR.  The show starts at 11:00 p.m..  You can also hear it on The Wolf 104.9 FM between 9-9:30 a.m. on January 9th, and between 5-5:30 p.m. on January 10th.  Check it out!

4)  We saw some great live events in music, sport, and comedy.  In terms of music, we saw DeadMau5, Hozier, Eagles of Death Metal, K-OS, Kongos, Mother Mother, The Flaming Lips, The Zolas, and Tenacious D.  We saw numerous comedians at The Comedy Cellar in New York, and then also saw Jerry Seinfeld, and our favourite comedian, Bo Burnham.  We're not too big on watching sports, but we did go to Yankee Stadium this year to see the Jays vs Yankees.

5)  We had some incredible dining experiences, including a Chinese restaurant with a Michelin star, and a French restaurant with three Michelin stars, as well as some of the best tables at incredible restaurants.

6)  Everyday Foodie turned six, and I got some of my biggest writing jobs this year, partnering my blog with Sobeys, Menchies, and Loblaws, among others.

7)  Some friends got married this year.  We had an incredible time tearing up the dance floor at Tricia and Lee's wedding, and experienced luxury at Kaylee and Shane's Bellagio wedding.

8)  We spent SO much time in the backyard this summer.  It was the best summer ever.

I loved making lunch for Christopher when he came home from work, and I made him a different pie or dessert each week in the summer.  The peach pie and cheesecake really stood out.

9)  Many of our friends had babies this year; there was even a set of twins!  Our niece Elizabeth was born this year too, and she couldn't be sweeter.  We have some pretty special little people in our lives, and are looking forward to any more that may arrive.  Who knows what 2016 will bring!

10)  We cooked up some fun meals, including this Italian feast, a retirement celebration for my buddy Bonnie, and a southern-style dinner.  We also went to other peoples' houses for some pretty awesome meals.  It was definitely a year of good eats.

From our home to yours, have a safe and happy new year everyone!

I'm expecting to create more incredible memories in the new year, with love, laughter, and adventures.

Bring on 2016!

How are you spending New Years Eve?
 We're spending it together, at home ... as is tradition.

Family Christmas

This will be my first post of the day, and my second last of 2015.  Check back for my final post of 2015 later today.

On Tuesday evening we packed up loads of presents (mostly for the kids), and headed to my sister's place for our family Christmas.  Speaking of my sister, it's her 29th birthday today!!!  Happy birthday Leah!

I had made cabbage rolls earlier in the day to bring along, as well as some perogies.  We were doing Christmas dinner potluck style for the first time, which makes it so much easier for whoever is hosting.

We snacked a bit before sitting down for our turkey dinner.

After dinner we visited, and then moved into the living room for presents.

It was a fun evening!  We drew names the last couple years (other than for kids), and I like that.  I can't imagine how we'd fit all the gifts into the room if we bought for every one.

Do you draw names for gifts in your family?

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Boxing Day and the 27th - Vegas Style

Our next couple of days in Vegas were relaxing.  When we go to Vegas, we don't walk the strip.  We don't shop.  In fact, I've been to Vegas seven times, and have never been to the outlets.  It just doesn't interest me, and definitely doesn't interest Christopher.  We dress nicely, and lean toward luxury rather than deal finding.

We started boxing day with some tasty coffees.

Lunch was at 800 Degree Pizza.  We shared a couple of meatballs, and the tartufo pizza with truffle cheese, mushrooms, roasted garlic and arugula.  The pizza cooks in about 60-90 seconds!

That evening we went to our very favourite restaurant, the absolute BEST in Las Vegas, Lotus of Siam.  It's not on the strip, but it's well worth the cab ride, and you absolutely need reservations.  They also have the most extensive wine list I've ever seen anywhere.

We shared our favourite appetizer, the nam kao tod.

I ordered what I think is the best thing on the menu, the khao soi braised short rib.  If you visit this restaurant, just do yourself a favour, and order this. 

Christopher had the nua nam tok.

There was not even a speck of food left on any of the plates. 

And then, because Christopher said he didn't know when we'd be back, he just had to order another dish.  He couldn't leave.  He needed more.

Haha, he's embarrassed by how much he can eat ;-)  He ordered the crispy duck on drunken noodles, and ate all of that too. 

On the 27th our breakfast was at The Pub in the hotel.  We were probably up around 7:30 a.m. each day, and at breakfast pretty early.

We shared a sushi roll and a soup for lunch at Dragon Noodle Co..

In the evening we went for dinner to Rao's for some fine-dining Italian style. 

I had one of my all-time favourite dishes, spaghetti bolognese.  Christopher had filet mignon, and the four cheese pasta (basically amazing mac and cheese).

The service at this restaurant was excellent, the bread was perfection, and the four-cheese pasta was to-die-for.  My spaghetti was alright, but ours we make at home is better. 

Christopher's steak was cooked well, but he had to make a note-to-self not to order steak anymore.  Neither of us are big fans of it, and he's always happier when he orders something vegetarian, seafood, or duck.

After our Italian dinner, we went to the Colosseum in Caesar's Palace to see Jerry Seinfeld!!!!!  I had surprised Christopher with tickets on Christmas morning.  We had a great time, and lots of laughs.

The next day we had breakfast, and headed to the airport to fly home.

Have you been to Vegas?  
What's your favourite restaurant in Vegas?

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas Day - Vegas Style

We woke up on Christmas morning, and opened our stockings and gift.

We grabbed breakfast in our hotel.  I had chicken and waffles, and Christopher had eggs, toast, etc..

In the evening we went over to the Venetian to Emeril Lagasse's Delmonico.  The breads that are brought out before the meal are out-of-control good!  They are like little yorkshire puddings.

We started with the steak tartare.

Next we shared a spinach salad.

It was perfect.

I ordered the salmon, Christopher had the duck, and then we shared some grits as a side.

We were really impressed with our meal, and the service at Delmonico

It may not have been a traditional Christmas, but it was wonderfulTonight we're getting together at my sister's place for turkey dinner and presents with my family. 

How did you spend Christmas day?