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6 years, 7 months ago 0

Pre-Assembled Baked Ziti basket from The Signature at MGM.

Having been born under the sign of Cancer makes me a tried and true homebody who loves nothing better than sticking around the old homestead and spoiling the ones nearest and dearest to me. For those not in the know, the crab generally loves filling her little nest with the rich aromas of homemade treats, the softest of creature comforts and sumptuous things.

You may think this would make me adverse to a vacation. And you would be right, most times it does. But in small doses I am happy to leave my shell and go exploring. This is why I am huge fan of the “staycation”. I love the idea of driving a mere 15 minutes to the world’s greatest entertainment Mecca and settling in for a weekend full of Strip-size fun.

But true to my Cancerian nature, sometimes I just want to stay ensconced on the couch after splish-splashing around in the pool all day. (By the way, that’s another attribute of the crab, we love the water.) So imagine my intrigue when I found out The Signature at MGM had launched a new program, Signature Dish.

This cleverly titled program allows guests to whip up tasty gourmet creations right in the kitchen of their suite. For someone who readily admits that cooking warms her heart and feeds her soul – literally – this news was like manna from heaven.

And the pros at The Signature couldn’t make it any easier. Signature Dish has its own in-suite television channel so you can watch 30-minute cooking demonstrations led by Signature Executive Chef Uday Huja and Executive Chef Patrick Hoefler. The shows provide step-by-step preparation instructions for Scallop Risotto, Tandori Chicken and Baked Ziti. Or you can just follow handy recipe cards available in the suite.

For the Scallop Risotto and Tandori Chicken you have to commandeer your own ingredients. But should this not appeal to the Cancer in you, you can just dial downstairs and order a pre-assembled Baked Ziti basket full of all the freshest ingredients to make this do-it-yourself dish.

I had never made Baked Ziti but I am no novice in the kitchen so I wasn’t too concerned. Between the in-room video and recipe card, a monkey could make this dish. And lest you think the team at The Signature forgot anything, think again. I had my choice of cheeses: Buffalo Mozzarella, Mozzarella, Ricotta, and Parmesan. Also included in the basket were roasted red peppers, marinated artichokes, sundried tomatoes and black olives if I had the urge. There was even a loaf of foil wrapped garlic bread with baking instructions. They also remembered all the right spices.

I got rave reviews on my inaugural Baked Ziti which, of course, made the Cancer girl ever so happy. But my favorite part? True to a staycation, somebody else got to clean up the kitchen.

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