The Sunshine Blogger Award x 2


I am so delighted to be nominated for the “Sunshine Blogger Award” by a wonderful fellow blogger Reena @ Cook with Reena!

And another wonderful Blogger, Cathi @ Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road

Check out Cathi’s Site for fun stories and conversations with some very interesting characters. Her site is so creative and unique. I guarantee that you will love it.

Check out Reena’s site for yummy recipes, restaurant reviews, interesting Indian history/facts/celebrations and world travels.

Thank you Reena and Cathi for nominating me for this award. I am truly honored to be recognized by you both.

Questions from Reena:

1. Some funny or crazy incident you would like to share ?

Me: When I was in the third grade, I was playing football with another girl and 2 boys during recess. One of the boys (he had a crush on me), tackled me and broke my Femur. I ended up with my leg in traction for six weeks, another six weeks in a body cast and then several weeks of physical therapy. Moral of this story: Boys with a crush do really stupid stuff! Lol!

2. Your 1st thought when you wake up in the morning.

Me: Is it morning Already???

3. What stands 1st in your priority list.


4. One thing you love about yourself.

I’m hilarious! really!

5. What is  women’s freedom to you?

The ability to be myself and not ask permission

6. Can you describe yourself in one word?


Questions From Cathi:

1.From where do you draw inspiration for your blog?

Everywhere: Magazines, cookbooks, travels, television, internet and just chatting with people

2.What’s the title of your favorite post and why do you like it best?

Asian BBQ Chicken Bahn Mi Sliders. It turned out really yummy!

3.If you could have a second home anywhere in the world or universe, where would it be?

Italy. I have never been but just know I would love it!

4.What’s your favorite childhood memory?

Camping and Crabbing at the coast and rolling around in the sand dunes

5. Who is your favorite fairy tale character?

Tigger. Because Tiggers are wonderful things!

6. What’s your favorite food?

Do I have to pick just one???! Taco’s

7. If you could be a flower or a tree, what kind would you be?


8. Where do you go if you want to have a quiet, spiritual moment?


9. If you could live one part of your life over again, what part would it be?

Better dating choices

10.Who is your favorite artist?


11.What’s an adventure in your life you’d still like to have?

Eat and Drink my way through Italy


HERE ARE THE RULES: To be winners, your nominees will:

Thank you and link back to your blog.

Answer eleven new questions you will ask them below.

Nominate eleven new bloggers and write them eleven new questions.

List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Logo.

My Nominees: Check out these creative blogs that I love, It was so hard to only choose 11. There are so many amazing blogs out there.

The Frugal Haufrau

Surrey Farms

Cocina Italy

The Nomadic Architect

Fig and Quince

Stay Lit


Chef Mimi Blog


A Pug In The Kitchen

Chaotic Shapes

Questions for Nominees:

  1. What is your favorite food?
  2. Favorite movie?
  3. If you could be a super hero, what would your super power be and why?
  4. If you could time travel, what era would you go to and why?
  5. Favorite season?
  6. Favorite Beverage?
  7. Favorite place to go as a child?
  8. Favorite Vacation spot
  9. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
  10. Favorite Singer?
  11. Chocolate or Vanilla?

Thank You again, Reena and Cathi for nominating my for this wonderful award!


Spicy Minced Chicken and Water Chestnut Lettuce Wraps


Happy Chinese New Year! Looking for something yummy and healthy to celebrate? Instead of going out for Chinese or ordering take-out, make these simple and tasty Spicy Minced Chicken and Water Chestnut Lettuce Wraps.

I found this recipe in The Oregonian Cookbook. One of the many cookbooks that I have found while out “treasure hunting” at Estate Sales.

And what a treasure it is! This book is chock -full of so many delicious recipes.

If you have never been “treasure hunting”, I highly recommend it. I think that I payed a total of $3.00 for all three cookbooks. Score!

This recipe is so simple and easy. And you can make the filling up to 3 days ahead of time. Just reheat in the oven or microwave for a quick and easy meal after a long day at work.


Spicy Minced Chicken and Water Chestnut Lettuce Wraps:

  • About 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, partially frozen (This makes chopping the meat easier)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
  • 2 scallions, sliced, green and white parts divided
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce plus more for serving
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped water chestnuts
  • 2 teaspoons chili oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 head bibb lettuce

Finely chop the chicken thighs until they are a little coarser than ground beef. Heat the oil in a skillet or wok over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the garlic, ginger and white part of the scallions and stir-fry until fragrant, 20 seconds. Add the chicken and stir-fry until chicken is opaque and cooked through, about 8 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium; add green part of the scallions, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sweet chili sauce, water chestnuts and chili oil; stir-fry for 1 minute. Pour the chicken mixture into a serving bowl and fold in the cilantro.

Separate the leaves from the head of lettuce and wash thoroughly. Pat dry with paper towels. Tear the largest leaves in half lengthwise. Fill leaves with chicken mixture and drizzle with chili sauce, and eat them taco style.

Garnishes: Shredded carrots, chopped peanuts, thinly sliced radish.

Recipe from: Ivy Manning, Foodday contributor









Happy Birthday Oregon!

Today is Oregon’s 159th Birthday! If you have never been to Oregon, it is a must see. There are so many things to do and see. The scenery here is absolutely beautiful!

Portland is Oregon’s largest city and is listed in the top 10 of foodie cities in the US. And I have to agree. The food here is amazing! So is the Wine and Beer.

Most of the restaurants in Portland have a farm to table mentality, using mostly local and seasonal ingredients.

There are many beautiful things to see within the city. Check out Pittock Mansion and it’s amazing view of the downtown area.

Or the Rose Garden and Japanese Garden. Also providing a beautiful view of downtown

There is also a Chinese Garden and tea room right in the heart of China Town. As well as several downtown parks.

Portland also has a wonderful Zoo, OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) is a must see, a bird sanctuary, Powell’s city of books (the largest independent, new and used bookstore on the planet) and a plethora of endless hiking trails.

Just a short drive outside the city is the scenic Columbia Gorge and Multnomah Falls area.

And home to several other waterfalls.

About an hour and a half drive west of Portland is the Beautiful Oregon Coast.

Central and Southern Oregon are home to many beautiful sites as well. Like the amazing Crater Lake, Wildlife Safari, The Oregon Vortex, Oregon Caves, Big Cat Animal Park and some more amazing wineries.

Check out the central and southern coast as well. And the sand dunes! My favorite place to go as a child.

No matter where you travel in Oregon there is always something beautiful and unique to see.

Oregon Facts and Trivia


  1. Oregon’s state flag pictures a beaver on its reverse side. It is the only state flag to carry two separate designs.
  2. Oregon has more ghost towns than any other state.
  3. The Columbia River gorge is considered by many to be the best place in the world for windsurfing.
  4. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States and is formed in the remains of an ancient volcano.
  5. Oregon and New Jersey are the only states without self-serve gas stations.
  6. Eugene was the first city to have one-way streets.
  7. Pilot Butte, a cinder cone volcano, exists within the city limits of Bend.
  8. At 329 feet the Coast Douglas-Fir in Oregon is considered the tallest tree in the state.
  9. At 8,000 feet deep Hells Canyon is the deepest river gorge in North America.
  10. The hazelnut is Oregon’s official state nut. Oregon is the only state that has an official state nut. The hazelnut is also known as the filbert.
  11. Oregon’s state birthday is on February 14, Valentine’s Day.
  12. The “Oregon Pioneer” statue that tops the capitol building is a work by Ulric Ellerhusen. This heroic figure represents the spirit of Oregon’s early settlers.
  13. The state park system has 159 yurts located in 19 parks. Yurts are a circular domed tent suitable for camping.
  14. Navy blue and gold are Oregon’s official state colors.
  15. The Chinook salmon is Oregon’s official state fish.
  16. The Willamette River was discovered in 1792.
  17. In 1858 the richest gold find in the Cascade Mountains was discovered in the Bohemia Mining District at Sharp’s Creek near Cottage Grove.
  18. Dorris Ranch in Springfield became the first commercial filbert orchard in the state.
  19. In 1876 the University of Oregon opened in Eugene. Deady Hall was the first building on campus and still exists.
  20. In 1880 a sea cave was discovered near what is now known as Florence. Sea Lion Caves is known to be the largest sea cave in the world.
  21. The nation’s most photographed lighthouse is the Heceta Head Lighthouse located in Lane County.
  22. Darlingtonia Wayside is Oregon’s only rare plant sanctuary.
  23. Oregon’s second highest waterfall is Salt Creek Falls in the Cascade Mountain range. It drops 286 feet.
  24. The H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest is one of the largest long-term ecological research sites in the United States.
  25. Eugene is rated by “Bicycling Magazine” as one of the top ten cycling communities in the United States.
  26. There are nine lighthouses standing along the coastline. Five are still being used; the others are designated historic monuments.
  27. Portland is an example of outstanding urban planning. The city is known as The City of Roses.
  28. High above the city of Portland the International Rose Test Garden features more than 500 varieties of roses cultivated continuously since 1917.
  29. At 11,239 feet Mount Hood stands as the tallest peak in Oregon. Mount Hood is a dormant volcano.
  30. Silver Falls State Park is the Oregon’s largest state park. It features 10 waterfalls and contains a wide variety of forested hiking trails.
  31. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States. It was formed more than 6,500 years ago. Its crystal-blue waters are world renowned.
  32. Discovered in 1874 the caves located in Oregon Caves National Monument are carved within solid marble.
  33. The world’s largest rosary collection is exhibited at The Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center. A local resident collected the exhibit.
  34. The Carousel Museum contains the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of carousel horses.
  35. Fort Clatsop National Memorial contains a replica of Lewis and Clark’s 1805-1806 winter outpost.
  36. The small village of Bickelton is filled with bluebird houses seen on the posts of every house.
  37. The Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area is a spectacular river canyon cutting the only sea-level route through the Cascade Mountain Range.
  38. The Ries-Thompson House is the oldest remaining residence in Parkdale. Built circa 1900 the home and area offer a commanding view of Mount Hood.
  39. Tillamook is home to Oregon’s largest cheese factory.
  40. Florence is known as Oregon’s rhododendron capital.
  41. The Oregon Legislature designated the Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium) as the Oregon state flower by resolution in 1899.
  42. Oregon’s capitol building is located in Salem. Earlier capitals include the cities of Oregon City and Corvallis.
  43. The Columbia River forms most of the northern border between Oregon and Washington. The Snake River forms over half of the eastern boundary with Idaho.
  44. In 1905 the largest long cabin in the world was built in Portland to honor the Lewis and Clark expedition.
  45. A treaty between the United States and Spain established the current southern border between Oregon and California. The treaty was signed in 1819.
  46. The Oregon Trail is the longest of the overland routes used in the westward expansion of the United States.
  47. The Tillamook Naval Air Museum is housed in the world’s largest wooden clear-span building.
  48. Haystack Rock off Cannon Beach is 235 feet high and is the third largest coastal monolith in the world.
  49. The Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, built in 1880, is currently used as the site of the final resting place of up to 467,000 cremated individuals.
  50. The Seaside Aquarium was the first facility in the world to successfully breed harbor seals in captivity.

Happy Birthday Oregon, Cheers!