March 30, 2012

LSL {Foodie Friday} - Asparagus & Lemon Risotto with Arugula


Happy Friday! Did anyone else feel like this week completely dragged on? Gosh it felt like Monday was about a month ago. And sadly nothing in particular made is seem super long, work was the same, social life, same there too. Oh well. However, I am very thankful it is finally Friday, which means two of my favorite things will be happening, Foodie Friday and weekend time!

This Foodie Friday is a very tasty sounding dish from the creator of the website, Veggie Belly. There she showcases a great deal of delectable sounding vegetarian and vegan recipes. I highly suggest you jot on over to her site where you can find many more scrumptious sounding meals as well as valuable tips for vegetarian cooking.

Asparagus and Lemon Risotto with Arugula Recipe

serves about 4

10 cups vegetable stock

1 1/2 cups chopped asparagus

4 tablespoons butter

2 cups arborio or carnaroli or vialone rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup arugula leaves, shredded

1/4 cup or more grated Parmesan

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon lemon zest

salt

Place vegetable stock on a large pot and bring to a gentle boil. Place the chopped asparagus in the stock and blanch for about a minute. Asparagus should be bright green and still crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove the asparagus from the stock and keep aside. Reduce heat and keep the stock on simmer.

In a skillet, heat the butter and add arborio rice. Stir the rice on medium heat for about 2 minutes, or until it is fragrant (but don’t let the rice brown). Add wine to the rice and let is bubble away. When most the wine has evaporated, add one ladle of the simmering stock to the rice. Cook on medium-high heat. When the rice has absorbed most the stock, add another ladle full of stock. Repeat this process until the rice has cooked through (you may not use up all the stock). Check the rice for its doneness as you go. When the rice is done, stir in arugula, parmesan, lemon juice, zest and salt.



Doesn't this look tasty? Too bad you can't take a spoon to your computer screen and taste it. You know, just to make sure it's not poisonous! ;)

Happy Weekend and Bon Appetit!

xo,
L

March 27, 2012

Color Me Bad

Neon is having such a moment right now...




I love the pops of color. And I especially love the idea of adding neon pieces to the home or office. It seems to perk up any room and you definitely don't need much, a chair here or a lamp there will do.


I also enjoy the pops of color added to everyday outfits. I think for me though, I would take a little more of a subtle route. I had my hay day of neon wearing when I was a kid, (those were the days!) this time around I might add a neon yellow belt or some hot pink flats to my closet, that would suit me just fine. I have to say I do kind of like reverting back to my 1986 fashions but in today's style. And is it just me or does neon seem a little chicer this time around?


What do you you think about the neon trend? Were you also a wild child of the 80's? Miss anything thing from that era like I do? I wasn't a big fan of the hairstyle back then, with the extra large bangs and all that hairspray, but if I could get NKOTB, banana clips and hyper color shirts back, that would be a whole 'nother thing.


xo,
L


*Credits: 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12

March 23, 2012

LSL {The Lovely List} - Sweet French cliché

via YouTube

Just when I thought my love for all things French could not grow any bigger, especially my love of Paris and my BIG desire to go there someday...Pink Martini goes and gives me this. 

Le sigh.

xo, 
L

LSL {Foodie Friday} - Grilled Shrimp

I have been going through a seafood phase this week and no, it's not that one where I see food then I eat it...that was last week. I love all kinds of seafood, but lately I have been hankering for shrimp and have managed to have eaten it three times this week. It's so delicious, and light, and easy to cook with. By LSL standards, it's something I can confidently make. (confidently, meaning only calling Momma J twice with cooking related questions)

This week's Foodie Friday is a recipe by Miss Martha and it sounds like a 'pretend it's summer out, you're on your deck sipping a glass of wine' and enjoying these scrumptious grilled shrimp creations.


Grilled Shrimp with Cilantro, Lime & Peanuts
Serves 4

Ingredients
2 limes
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 pound (about 15) jumbo shrimp, shells on
2 teaspoons safflower oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
2 scallions, finely chopped

Directions

1. Zest limes into a bowl. Squeeze in juice from 1 lime, and whisk in fish sauce and sugar.

2. Preheat grill to high. Brush shrimp with oil on both sides, and lightly season with salt and pepper. Grill until pink and firm to the touch, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

3. Toss shrimp with fish-sauce mixture, cilantro, peanuts, and scallions. Juice remaining lime over shrimp.

4. Enjoy!

See, this recipe seems easy enough (once you figure out what fish sauce is). For more tasty sounding shrimp recipes from Miss Martha, go here.

What are your plans for the weekend? I hear it's supposed to rain here. I guess that's good, I won't feel too guilty staying indoors and packing up the rest of my life, getting ready for my big move. (Can you tell I'm excited for the move? I've only mentioned it in the last three posts. Such a nerd.)

Bon appetit and Happy Weekend!

xo,
L

March 21, 2012

LSL {Thoughts & Quotes} - Flowers in your hair






Happy second day of Spring! I tend to think of spring with this romantic notion of wearing flowers in my hair and frolicking through the grass. Not that I've ever done that but when it gets a little warmer out, that's apparently what I want to do. 

I do love this time of year, when it's staying light longer in the evenings, the trees are starting to turn green again, and flowers are beginning to bloom. What great symbolism of starting over or reinventing oneself. (much like moving can do...wink, wink) Hopefully you are enjoying this change of season, much like I am.

Happy Spring! 

xo, 
L

*Credit - 1/2/3/4/5/6

March 19, 2012

Movin' On Up...

...to the east side, in my de-luxe apartment in the skyyyy. Okay, so it's not deluxe, nor is it on the east side, more like... "movin' on up to my sssstudio apartment on the west side."  Yes, that's what my not-so subtle hint was about on Friday


This past weekend I was busy cleaning, organizing, and packing. Thrilling, I know. As sad as I am to see the era of living with my roommate go, I am excited for my new venture. And even more than that, I can't help but day-dream about how I will decorate my new little studio to make it my very own lovely home. That tiny detail is what's keeping me motivated for packing when "entertaining" shows like "Keeping up with the Kardashians" come on, tempting me with their silly and pointless drama. I think of all the studios layouts I've 'pinned' and back to it I go. 


This is some of the inspiration that has kept me in motion.


So light and bright
via Style Frost
A masculine & modern look
via HGTV
Mixing patterns
via Google
A good tips on how to make the most with the layout
via Miss Moss
via Paris Perfect
I love the eclectic vibe of this studio
via Apartment Therapy
via Apartment Therapy
Decor is truly in the details
via flickr
My piece de resistance of studios
via Everything LEB via Lonny Magazine


And to check out my absolute favorite studio ever, NY Times did a showcase on this stylish dude's teeny tiny abode. Hands down the best interiors filled absolutely to the brim, noting that more really is more.


I hope with this move I can chronicle my decorating attempts, successes, and failures and fill you in on my process and progress for making it my own. Like all of the above pictures, it has me hopeful that even though my square footage might be just under 500ft, I can still fill it up to make it all my own.


xo,
L

March 16, 2012

LSL {Foodie Friday} - St. Patty's Day Cake


Wow! St. Patrick's Day is here. (well, in about 12 hours) I'm still getting over that February has ended and we're already in the middle of March. Where does the time go? Really. Can someone please tell me. 

This year St. P's day falls on a Saturday and I love that there's an official day dedicated to wearing green, but more importantly, an official day dedicated to drinking green beer. All day. Instead of giving you more beverage ideas, I thought I would share this colorful green cake masterpiece with you from Amanda of I Am Baker. I am a huge fan of anything ombre colored, so when I saw this beauty I had to learn how it's done. And, it's really simple, apparently it's this thing they call food coloring that does the trick. Who knew? (Kidding, by the way) Amanda's just used her white cake recipe (or really, any white cake recipe will do) and gradually added more drops of green coloring to each layer. 

My Foodie Friday tip this week: bake this bad boy up tonight so that you have something sweet to snack on when you get home late tomorrow night. (wink) Amanda's white cake recipe can be found here and the post that shows how she made the above, very tasty looking cake, along with some tips in coloring, here.

What are your plans for St. Patty's Day? Going to a local pub and getting your fill of green beer and corned beef and cabbage? Or making shamrock shaped cookies? Well, I may or may not be doing a little of both, but more importantly, I'll be....

(That was my not-so-subtle hint to tell you that there is something exciting going on in my world. Coming soon so stay tuned.)

Bon Appetit and Happy {green} Weekend!

xo,
L

March 14, 2012

Back {and hopefully} Better Than EVER

If you are anything like me you are still mourning the loss of our beloved Domino Magazine. I know it sounds silly and totally petty, but I do truly still miss my favorite magazine. And, I know that the online shelter-style magazines are now running a plethora all over the web, but I miss the days where I could peruse the pages, dog-ear certain ideas, and then rip them out and post them to my old school corkboard. It's weird, yes. And sadly, way back when, we stupidly recycled all of ours. #stillkickingmyself


 

Well, as you can probably take from my reminiscing and the title of this post....Domino is BACK! (Insert extreme happy face and dancing emoticon here) It will be a little different, called now 'Domino Quick Fixes,' and it will be available on newsstands April 17. The explanation goes, "Domino Quick Fixes will be full of Domino’s best home decorating stories, focusing on easy and inexpensive changes that make a big difference -- from quick spruce-ups of dowdy furniture to painting stairs or reorganizing a home office." Heck to the yes. 

I was so excited when I saw this I just had to spread the news. Do any of you remember Domino? Have the same love affair as I do with the magazine? I still even have the brown and turquoise tote bag that was a promotional gift with purchase. Yes, self admitted Domino geek here.

xo,
L
 
*Credits - 1/2, 3/4, 5/6 

March 11, 2012

For Japan With Love - One Year Later

Today marks the one-year anniversary of Japan's devastating tsunami and earthquake. I cannot believe that a year has already gone by. It felt like just last week I was tearing up every time the news broke with more stories about this terrible natural disaster.


Last year I teamed up with Utterly Engaged and Ever Ours in "Bloggers Day Of Silence." The point of this day was to grow awareness and build support for the people of Japan. Who in turn teamed up with ShleterBox, a company that provides disaster relief kits for people in need. In the first two weeks they raised $66,733 from 1,407 individuals, and had over 1,200 bloggers involved in the Bloggers Day of Silence. Overall, Utterly Engaged and Ever Ours raised $73,000, which equated to helping out approximately 730 people. What incredible numbers! 


So now it's a year later, and I wanted to take this day to remember Japan, with love. 





xo,
L


*Credit - For donations, information and inspiring stories, go to For Japan With Love

March 10, 2012

LSL {The Lovely List} - Keep Calm & Carry On

via


You know these posters. They are everywhere. These Keep Calm and Carry On ones. They are iconic with their simple text and sweet saying. I first gravitated to them when I saw a stack of these posters in a tea shop in SF and fell instantly in love with the bright turquoise reassuring poster. And at only $20 I quickly scooped it up. I have had it framed and in my room since late 2008.


At the time of seeing these sweet posters, I was going through a rather difficult period. I had just learned that I needed to have major surgery on my ankle. It started with going to a referral appointment by myself, thinking it would just be a routine check up. That my ankle had been hurting an extra lot those last couple of months, but that there wasn't much they could do for me. Well, as it turns out, what I thought would be a simple 20-minute office visit turned into a 3-hour one that included two different doctors offices (including a trek thru a parking lot to rush over to another office), three separate x-rays, and a CT scan all hastily and very abruptly thrown in there. There was drawing of pictures by residents of what would be happening during surgery, all types of medical jargon I did not understand, kurt and insensitive surgeons lining up around me to give their "two-sense" on my situation. There was forecasting of surgery timing, hospital stays, and recovery years. (YEARS!) Learning this all of this, all at once, and all by myself was definitely an overload on what I thought would be a simple appointment. I left thinking my life as I knew it, was over. I was feeling so overwhelmed and scared with a mind full of questions that I didn't have the answers to. How am I ever going to walk again? How am I ever going to dance again? 


Now looking back on this day, I know that I was completely overreacting. (I should have bought the poster "freak out and call your mom" cause that's definitely what I did) Of course everything would be fine. My friends and family would be there and continue to be there to support me. Three years out of that surgery and I can walk, dance, and limp around with the best of them. But, in that moment the only thing that kept going through my head amid all the chaos was, just "keep calm and carry on." I knew I just had to keep going. 


Now, you are probably wondering what the reason was for bringing up that moment in time and these specific posters. Well, I saw this very lovely video, posted by a friend, about the history of the Keep Calm and Carry On posters and it triggered that memory. I hope you enjoy this video and history much as I did!


xo,
L

March 9, 2012

LSL {Foodie Friday} - Snack Time


If you know me well, you know I like to eat. And even more than that, you know I like to snack. (Okay love to snack) I always have bags of almonds or some granola bars in my purse or in the car at all times and, definitely a box of crackers on hand at work. Doesn't everyone? But my all-time favorite snack, sometimes I even opt to make it a meal, (and my lovely roommate can attest to this) is toast topped with chunky avocado with a little salt and pepper. I could eat that for every meal, as my last meal, and hell, could even use a slice of that toast right now to hold me over until lunch. 

This Foodie Friday I thought I would spice up my favorite snack time meal and add hummus and one roasted tomato to the mix, and make it a slice of extra fancy toast. Enter the lovely Miss Lisa, from With Style and Grace's, 'Hummus and Avocado Toasts with Roasted Tomatoes.' She posted this recipe to Eat Live Run's website and I have been drooling about it ever since I discovered it.


Hummus and Avocado Toasts with Roasted Tomatoes
Makes 6 – 8 party bites

Ingredients:
6-8 slices of bread
1/2 cup hummus
1 avocado – halved, pitted and peeled
4 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, cores and seeds removed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
salt + pepper to taste

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Arrange the tomatoes on your baking sheet, cut sides up, in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.

Roast for 25-30 minutes, until the tomatoes are beginning to caramelize.

While the tomatoes roast, toast your bread. Using a cookie cutter or circular object, cut out 1-2 circles per toast, depending on how big the piece of bread is.

Spread 1/2-1 tablespoon of hummus on each circular toast.

In a bowl or plate, mash avocado with a fork, leaving large chunks.

Layer the mashed avocado over hummus, season with salt + pepper, and then top with a roasted [or fresh] tomato.

Serve immediately.



What's your favorite easy snack time meal? Does it involve toast or avocado? Is anyone else as obsessed with avocados as I am? I am so thankful to be a Californian, avocados all year!


Bon Appetit and Happy Weekend!
xo,
L
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