The Melting Pot - Fondue Restaurant [A Review]

For Leap Year dinner tonight, we had to make it one of a kind. Something worth trying at least once every 4 years. The Melting Pot is a one of a kind restaurant specializing in fondue. They had a Leap Year Special going on today. A three course dinner for $44.00 (per couple). Their prices are usually much higher than that, averaging about $100-$200 per couple on their regular menu.

I've always wanted to try the fondue experience but never took the risk of busting our budget, so when I heard about the deal I jumped on it. Well, Chhally was the one who jumped on it. He made our reservations for us.

The tables had built in glass stove tops where the fondue pots are heated. Service here is impeccable! Our server was really nice and helpful.

Our 3 course dinner consisted of Cheese Fondue, Salad, and the Entree. You get to choose between various Cheese Fondues and Salads. We chose the Spinach and Artichoke Cheese Fondue.

Our server came and mixed all of the fresh ingredients into the fondue pot. He stirred in broth, garlic, different cheeses, spinach, artichokes, and a dash of Tabasco sauce. I didn't know Spinach and Artichoke dip was that easy. And boy, was it good.

They gave us a variety of "dippings" : slices of different kinds of bread, tortilla chips, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and apples. The gooey cheese made learning how to fondue really fun.

Then for the second course, we chose the House Salad with the Melting Pot's Sweet & Tangy House dressing. I've never seen such a beautifully presented salad before!

Their House Dressing is a must try! It's creamy yet light. Really smooth but tangy. Delicate and sweet. Chhally and I practically licked the dressing off the plates when we were done.

Next up, the main entree! You get to choose between four seasoning styles. French (Coq au vin), European, Mojo (cirtus-y and Caribbean flavors), and Vegetable Bouillon (Vegetable broth). We chose the Bouillon flavor. They switch up the melting pots with every course. After they cleared up our Cheese fondue pot, our server brought out a pot filled with broth, pieces of veggies, mixed in with some herbs and spices.

Once this pot started to simmer, our plate was placed on the table.
Teriyaki marinated sirloin, Artichoke and Spinach Ravioli, white shrimp, chicken, and fresh vegetables (mushrooms, broccoli, red potato wedges).

And then there were the sauces. Sweet and sour, Curry sauce, Teriyaki sauce, Cocktail sauce, horseradish sauce, and another one (I forgot what it's called.)

So good. A fun way to eat and cook your own food to your liking and at your pace. We spent a long time just hanging out and conversing while cooking our pieces of meat, seafood, and vegetables in the broth.

Dessert was not included in our special deal but it was only $15 extra. This is what fondue is famous for. Chocolate fondue! They have so many varieties to choose from; The Original (milk chocolate swirled with peanut butter), Bananas Foster (white chocolate swirled with bananas and a dash of cinnamon), Turtle (milk chocolate, caramel, and chopped pecans), Yin and Yang (Dark chocolate and white chocolate), Cookies and Cream Marshmallow Dream. We got the S'mores (Milk chocolate swirled with marshmallow cream topped with graham cracker pieces).

nd flambéed! Fiery entertainment!

And our plate of dippers! YUM!

Rice Krispies

Cheesecake, brownie bites, and red velvet cake bites.

Fresh bananas, strawberries, marshmallows (the dark marshmallows are covered in oreo crumbs!)

The first bites are the most warm and amazing. So many flavors with the chocolate, marshmallow cream, and crunchy pieces of graham crackers.

We thought we were so stuffed after the entree, but everyone has that extra pouch of space in their stomach for a huge plate of dessert! So very yummy and fun to eat. The Melting Pot definitely gets the Sugar Junkie seal of sweetness. Total bill for a three course meal with drinks and dessert: $66. Not including tip, this was not bad at ALL! Definitely locate your nearest Melting Pot restaurant and also check their website for specials and packages. I learned about the special we got today because I signed up as a Club Fondue Member. Members get special offers and deals before everyone else.

19850 W. Bluemound Road
Brookfield, WI 53045
(262) 782-6358

Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleaning System [Review]

I hate washing my face. I know it's a must for good, clean skin and I do it anyways but I don't enjoy washing my face. It's not something I look forward to. I dread it when I wake up and I dread it before I go to sleep at night. Pulling my hair back, wetting my face, putting on the face-wash then splish splashing water all over my face, hair, my shirt, the sink, the mirror, the floor. It's messy. And sometimes my nose gets runny from it, too. Not a good look.

When I read about the Olay Pro-X, I decided I wanted it because it might make me like washing my face. When I went into Walgreen's one day to buy shampoo, I saw it on sale and got it. Woohoo!
What it is: A battery operated hand-held device with a spinning brush used for facial cleansing.

What it claims to do: Cleanses skin 6x better* and helps maximize the immediate hydrating effectiveness of your moisturizer. Professionally Designed With The Following Features :
  • 2-speed, rotating system delivers daily deep cleansing and gentle exfoliation.
  • Water resistant for use in the shower.
  • Replaceable soft bristle brush head (included). Refills available.
  • Pro-X Exfoliating Renewal Cleanser (sample included) recommended for daily exfoliation.
  • Cleansing brush can also be used with a broad range of Olay cleansers for daily deep cleansing.
  • 2 AA batteries also included.
My Review: Pretty nice design. It feels good in your hand and it's not too big, not too small. The bristles on the brush are reeeeally soft. Not like a toothbrushy feel, as I had imagined, but a make-up brush feel. The batteries were tough to install. You're supposed to wiggle off the bottom part of the handle but it was really hard to remove. Once you finally got it off, though, and put in the batteries. The handle snapped back on easily and securely. I suppose this is to help the batteries stay waterproof. The buttons are simple. And to me, you can tell the difference between the two speeds when you're just holding it in your hand and pressing the button but when it's against your face they both feel the same.

It feels really good against your skin. Like a face massage. It was hard to cleanse my nose, though. The spinning action makes water and face-wash fly around if it's not spinning flatly against your face. It felt like it was really cleaning deep and I liked how it felt a lot. After, I rinsed my face I didn't notice any miracle glow or magical disappearing of my blemishes but my skin felt softer. I didn't like their Olay Exfoliating Renewal Cleanser, though. It smelled weird to me, sort of like a plastic-y smell and didn't get as good as a clean as using my own cleanser.

The VERDICT: It's still too early to tell if it's made a difference on my skin but it has definitely made it feel softer. I love the way it feels when you use it to wash your face and would definitely recommend if you're looking to break the boring routine of face washing.

Where to buy: I bought mine at Walgreen's but have seen it sold at other major stores like Wal-Mart, Target, and other drug stores. It's also sold online.

Price: $31.99 for the device and $15.99 for the exfoliating cleanser.

The Grand Opening of my Mom's NEW Restaurant!

We are all so very proud and blessed that everyone has been so supportive! We signed the contract literally 2 days ago and the new Sa Bai Dee Facebook page already has fans and people have been sharing the page with all of their friends as well. The restaurant is located on the border of Illinois and Wisconsin. Please stop by if you're in the vicinity and try my mom's cooking!

Scalloped Potatoes & Shrimp

Cheese. Potatoes. Shrimp. And a little bit of veggies. BOOM!

Not everyone can afford to have a fully stocked fridge which is why sometimes I have to make-do with what's in my pantry and what's frozen in my freezer. So for dinner, I found this:

As well as some frozen shrimp in my freezer and a bag of some spinach. So easy, but it tastes like you'd get it from a fancy restaurant. Here's how to make it:
  • 1 box (5 oz) cheesy scalloped potatoes
  • 2-1/4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 lb. peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup shredded Colby-Jack cheese
  1. In a large nonstick skillet, combine the potatoes, seasoning packet from box, water, and milk. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until potatoes are fully cooked. Stir occasionally.
  2. Add shrimp and spinach. Cook and stir until spinach has wilted and shrimp is fulled cooked.
  3. Stir in shredded cheese until melted.
Cooking the potatoes.. smells so heavenly.

Next, stirring in the shrimp and spinach.

Last step: Trying to fit one bite of everything in your mouth!

Happy Eating!

Closing Day

Me and my siblings just signed the contract for our first real estate property. At the age of 21, 19, & 17; we were able to make my mom's lifelong dream of owning a restaurant come true. She's sacrificed her entire life for us and now it's time to pay her back. Be on the lookout for her new Thai restaurant!

It's going to be a Thai & Chinese Restaurant located in South Beloit, IL. About an hour away from Milwaukee in a quaint, suburby town. Featuring an All You Can Eat Lunch Buffet and my mom's amazing cooking! We're aiming for our grand opening to be March 1st and the weekend after that. If anyone is nearby, please come visit us and support my mom's dream! I will post our grand opening information as soon as we confirm everything.

I feel truly blessed and proud of my family, especially my sister and brother. Whereas there are kids their age doing drugs and partying, they were saving all of their assets in order to get the down payment for this restaurant and that was NOT easy! The hardest part is over but we are not out of the woods yet. We still have yet to open and see how neighborhood feels about Thai food. I am crossing my fingers for success! We have come too far to fail.

xoxo Vicky

Ideas for Organizing Clutter

In my entryway, I have a shelf. We call it "The Landing Pad" because when me and my roomies come home, this is where we drop our keys, mail, junk mail, etc. This is what The Landing Pad looks like right now.

Piles upon piles of catalogs, coupons, mail, bills, and reminders.

I have taken it upon myself to tackle this mess and find a way to organize it into a system that works and isn't a hassle.

To Target!

Where I bought:
A file box ($13.00), Hanging file folders ($7),
and Cardboard Magazine Holders ($1 each)

I went through all of our old bills, bank statements, and organized them in this nifty and stylish box. I try and save all of these for our records for as long as I can while following a set of guidelines on which papers to keep and which to throw away.

It's made with 100% recycled fibers! Score!

Then I placed the magazine holders in the entry way table. All magazines and catalogs go in one box and all incoming mail and bills go into the other box.

And then once bills are paid, they go into the file box!

What's in your purse?

I follow a plethora of different kinds of blogs. Beauty blogs, food blogs, photography blogs, car blogs, life blogs. Most of the beauty blogs I've been following have been posting up a "What's In Your Purse" post. I find it interesting that no two women carry the same things in their purse. Most of it is the usual like lipgloss, chapstick, and make-up. But the rest is so random and very customized to each woman's lifestyle.

Here's what I normally carry in my purse.
Not pictured are my camera, cell phone, and camera accessories.

What's in your purse/backpack?

Fried Chicken with Honey Nut Glaze

Fried chicken is always good. I honestly don't know anyone who hasn't eaten fried chicken. And I always eat my chicken with some kind of sauce; ketchup, honey mustard, ranch, bbq sauce, and honey. This honey pecan glaze is a perfect complement and a must try!

  • 3.5 pounds favorite chicken parts for frying (legs, wings, breasts, or thighs)
  • 2 large eggs
  • Salt + Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Paprika
  • 2 cups self-rising flour (or 1 cup all-purpose flour + 1 1/4 tsp baking powde + dash of salt)
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (2 sticks of butter)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  1. Rinse the chicken and pat dry.
  2. Beat the eggs in a large dish and lay the chicken in the dish. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Turn the chicken and season the other side. Make sure the chicken is well coated in the egg.
  3. Put enough oil in the pan to measure halfway up the sides of the chicken. Heat oil until just smoking (about 375 degrees F)
  4. Pour flour into a large bowl. Add the chicken a few at a time, coating the chicken well. Remove the chicken with tongs and place in hot oil. Repeat with remainder of the chicken.
  5. Cover the pan but leave a crack for steam to escape. Lower heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes. Turn chicken with tongs and cover again for 10 minutes longer. (Very large pieces of chicken may need more time.
  6. 4 words: Paper towel landing pad. Drain chicken on a paper towel lined plate.
How to Make the GLAZE!
  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Whisk in honey until well blended.
  2. Bring to a simmer and add pecans. Simmer for a couple minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Ladle the glaze over the hot fried chicken and serve.

Glazed Bacon & Cheese Stuffed Burgers

I may have found the perfect burger, guise. This. Burger.

Glazed in a sweet seasoning and stuffed with melted, oozy cheese and crispy bacon bits. This burger makes me want to shout, "F*ck the diet!" and crossover to the dark side.

This burger was so good, my roomies asked me to make it twice in the same day. And then again the next day.

Are you ready for this?
  • 3 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1.5 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 to 1 1/4 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 4 rolls/buns
  1. Heat the grill (or pan) to medium. Combine sugar, spices, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Form meat into 8 equal patties. Get them as thin as you can without breakage.
  3. Toss the cheese and bacon bits together and place an equal amount on the center of 4 of the patties. Place the remaining patties on top and pinch the sides to seal.
  4. Generously pat each burger with the spice mix. Grill to desired done-ness. About 5 minutes on each side for medium well is where we like ours.

The pretty colors of the sweet spice rub.

I cheated and bought pre-formed patties.

Nothing goes together better like Cheese and Bacon.

Pile it on!

Patty sandwich.

Use your palm to flatten the patties and pinch the sides together well!

Can ya hear it sizzlin'?

If you ever only try one of the recipes I post, make it this one. It's THAT good!

- Vicky

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