Monthly Archives: February 2012

Candle Lighter Award & Our Lovely Blog Award

So many awards in this blog-world! A big, huge thanks to Brian Baker at B.B. Baker, An Inked Life for nominating me for these two awards in addition to the Liebster Award! Since I have already received a Liebster Award, I will defer to my last acceptance here.

The Candle Lighter Award is for “blogs and bloggers that light a candle in the darkness with their blog”. You can read about its creation here. I couldn’t find details on the Our Lovely Blog Award, but I’m assuming it is given to all blogs I find lovely 🙂 There aren’t any questions to be asked/answered, just to recognize whoever you think deserves these recognitions!


Now to spread the love & to introduce some of you to some awesome blogs, here are the blogs that really light my candle and I look forward to reading on a daily basis:

1. DOGDAZ – for animal lovers!

2. Mirth and Motivation – truly motivating and inspiring stuff!

3. Tiny Kitchen Stories – for food lovers!

4. Stripped Canvas – for artists!

5. Manipal’s Photo Blog – for photographers!

ENJOY, my friends!

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Lavender, Peppers, and Caterpillars

Does anyone have advice on planting lavender? My friend gave me a packet of lavender seeds a few months ago, I planted them in a small pot, and only one has been growing…if you can even call it “growing” (see picture below). I have no experience in planting lavender, I live in West Los Angeles where the temperature is pretty consistent and we don’t get much rain, and I’m wondering what I can do to help this little guy grow bigger. Any tips are welcomed!

On the other hand, I threw some seeds from an orange bell pepper I was cooking with into a pot, and lo’ and behold I’ve got some sprouts! I loooooove orange bell peppers, so I’m hoping these continue to grow big and strong!

Did you guys notice that little guy there in the pot? He’s adorable.

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Chicken Piccata with Mushrooms & Capellini

My sister brought her adorable puppy over last night, and I made some yummy chicken piccata for dinner while we watched the dogs play (our new pastime, haha!).

CHICKEN PICCATA WITH MUSHROOMS & CAPELLINI

(adapted from EatingWell)

  • Approx. 6 ounces capellini
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, additional to taste
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper, additional to taste
  • 5 chicken breast tenderloins, (about 3/4-1 lb total)
  • 4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 10-ounce package sliced mushrooms
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 2 tsp unsalted butter
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain, add a bit of olive oil, and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, whisk 5 teaspoons of the flour and chicken broth in a medium bowl until smooth. Place the remaining flour in a shallow dish. Season both sides of the chicken pieces with sea salt and pepper, and completely cover each piece with flour. Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned and no longer pink in the middle, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; cover and keep warm.
3. Heat the remaining 2 tsp olive oil in the same pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Add garlic and white wine to the same pan and cook for about 2 minutes, or until it’s reduced by half. Stir in the reserved broth-flour mixture, lemon juice, and 1/4 tsp salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.
4. Stir the parsley, capers, butter, and the reserved mushrooms in the sauce. Add in additional salt and pepper to taste (if necessary). Measure out 1/2 cup of the sauce, and set aside. Toss the pasta in the pan with the bulk of the sauce. Serve the pasta topped with the chicken and the reserved sauce. And rosemary bread with olive oil & balsamic vinegar for dipping. Oh, and white wine.
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Changing Direction…

If we do not change our direction, we are likely to end up in the direction we are headed

-Chinese Proverb

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Herb Garden Bon-Bons

These are awesome! I saw this in Sunset Magazine, and I think they are the most perfect gift to give (or get)! For $14.95, you can get what’s shown above: 8 garden “truffles”, two each of Basil, Parsley, Chives and Thyme. (Or you can select a different set with different herbs…this one is the “Italian Herb” selection.) And it comes in a cute little truffles box complete with a list of which truffles are which. I especially love how it says, “This candy is for planting – not for eating!!”… very cool idea.

Get it here at the Moulton site.

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Ginger and Cilantro Tilapia

I’ve never owned a food processor before, and I FINALLY bought one the other day from Steamy Kitchen (if you’ve never been here, check it out!). It’s just a small 3.5 cup Cuisinart, but it worked beautifully for our meal last night!! I made some delicious ginger & cilantro tilapia with red potatoes and some lightly fried rice.

GINGER & CILANTRO TILAPIA

adapted from theKitchn

  • 4 small tilapia filets (about 3/4 lb)
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro

1. Pre-heat the oven to 475ºF. Season the tilapia lightly with sea salt and pepper, and place into a baking dish. Set aside.

2. Put pepper, garlic, and ginger in a small food processor with the soy sauce, white wine, sesame oil, and cilantro. “Chop” until well-blended. Pour the sauce over the fish, rubbing it in a little. Bake for 8 minutes. YUM.

yay! shiny new food processor!

3. Serve with red potatoes, lightly fried rice, and chardonnay…see below.

GINGER & CILANTRO RED POTATOES

  • 4 small red potatoes, cut into 1 inch squares
  • 1 large garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1/8 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Sea salt to taste

1. Just cover potatoes with salted water, and bring to boil. Add in pressed garlic, ginger, onions, and cilantro. Reduce to medium heat and cover for about 10 minutes (or until potatoes are at a texture you prefer!). Drain any excess water.

the fresh cilantro turns the mixture a little green while cooking! ha! 

LIGHTLY FRIED RICE

  • 1 cup white rice, cooked (I had leftovers from the night before that I’d put in the fridge)
  • 1 tbsp garlic oil
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

1. Heat garlic oil over a low-medium heat, and stir in already cooked white rice. Stir in egg and onions, adding a little salt and pepper. Continue to stir for about 7-8 minutes.

And Sterling 2010 Chardonnay…


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Skip The Snooze…Get Your Workout On!

Here’s for some morning workout motivation…GET IT DONE!! Skip the snooze button tomorrow morning and get in some extra time at the gym, on the trails, in the pool, on your mat, fill in your own sport here. Boom. Done.

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Taylor Swift & Zac Efron Sing a Duet on the Ellen Show

Ok…here’s another fun video for you guys to enjoy. I adore Taylor Swift, and you gotta love Ellen, and I don’t know too much about Zac Efron but I did watch him in that one movie Charlie St. Cloud and although the movie wasn’t the best, he is a good actor…. ANYWAY, just check out the duet they performed on the Ellen Show as it’s really cute & fun:

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Big Cat Week – Video

Thanks to Figments of a Dutchess for posting this video that was originally posted by National Geographic a few weeks ago when they were having “Big Cat Week” to promote saving the wild cats. Even though that’s over, I still thought I’d repost this because it made me smile 🙂

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