Fresh Lemon Pepper Chicken

I had originally made this dish with the Apple Gorgonzola Salad I previously posted. It was weird because I was trying to craft a main dish to go with my side dish or appetizer. Now, the Apple Gorgonzola Salad was beyond amazing in flavor and had a fresh taste and look. I needed a dish that mirrored those qualities. I need fresh with flavor..Lemon Pepper Chicken? Sounds great! I also thought I would go my own way with this dish, instead of following a recipe (which I usually tweak and twist anyway because it just makes it more fun!).

I had to add Fresh to the title of this recipe, because that is simply what you think of with every bite. I guess juicy, zesty, and delicious would be appropriate too! Another reason why I added Fresh to the title is because I actually use fresh lemon zest and juice as a marinade for the chicken..not only will these fresh ingredients come out great in the chicken but they will make your kitchen smell lemony fresh! The chicken turned out to be a fantastic success.

Simplicity + Amazing Taste = Great Recipe for me!

Fresh Lemon Pepper Chicken is the answer to the equation above..I’ve never been any good at math but this makes perfect sense to me!
Wow your guests with this amazing, flavorful dish, with little effort from you in the kitchen! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 Cup – Vegetable Oil
  • 2 – Lemons
  • 3 to 4 – Garlic Cloves (Finely Chopped)
  • 1 Tsp – Ground Black Pepper
  • Salt
  • 3 to 4 – Chicken Breasts

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees (or your grill).
  2. In a large bowl, mix your oil with the zest of your lemons and the juice of one (reserve the other).
  3. Mix in the chopped garlic and pepper. Whisk together well.
  4. Salt your chicken then toss into the bowl and marinade for at least 15 minutes (the longer the better!!).
  5. In a skillet heat about 2 tbs of oil over medium heat.
  6. Sear your chicken in the pan for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until it starts to brown.
  7. Place chicken onto a baking sheet and then into the oven and roast for about 8 to 10 minutes.
  8. Do not overcook because you want to keep that juicy  and lemony chicken flavor.
  9. If grilling, cook for about 8 to 10 minutes on each side.
  10. Squeeze the juice from the remaining lemon over the chicken (add a dash more of pepper), and then serve!

Served with Apple Gorgonzola Salad.

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Charmlee Wilderness Park

I’m a traveler. It is a known fact. I love to discover little hidden treasures around the world. Now, I am still very young and have not exactly traveled the globe, but I have been many places for my short time on this planet. I love to be outdoors and ever since I moved to Los Angeles, I am finding it very hard to go on my outdoor adventures. So, for a class assignment I was assigned to venture out into the wilderness nearby where I live..boy, was I pleasantly surprised by the beauty right outside my doorstep. The Southern California area is full of beautiful hidden treasures right outside the city!

I ventured out (with my co-adventurer, Lacey Smith) to Charmlee Wilderness Park located near the City of Malibu within the Santa Monica Mountains. This my friends, is a serious hidden treasure. I did not expect the beautiful landscape that I encountered. So many beautiful and breathtaking terrains and views.

The trip was actually supposed to be a guided hike to view local wildflowers. Unfortunately, the tour-guide never showed up, so we were guided by a local couple who knew the area well and species within it. This place seriously took my breath away. I felt so calm and at peace!

Beautiful Flowers and Plant-life..

(Click the photos to enlarge)

Gorgeous paths through the wilderness, from meadows to forests to cliffs..

And lets not forget the breathtaking views..

Overall, it was an amazing, breathtaking, experience! And most of these pictures were taken with my cell-phone! I will be going back to this place, and I encourage all of you to go as well!

Apple Gorgonzola Salad

Apple Gorgonzola Salad, easily one of the best dishes I have ever eaten. I recently ordered this dish at Italian restaurant Buca Di Beppo in Los Angeles.. oh! Was I pleasantly surprised by this delicious creation! There is an explosion of flavors with every bite ranging from apples, berries, cheese, nuts, and zesty dressing.
As soon as I experienced this wonderful salad I knew I wanted to cook it up at home and add my own little twists to it. Which is exactly what I did! I made several variations to the original recipe to simplify it. For example, I substituted Granny Smith for Fuji Apples (I feel they have much sweeter notes and have a more exotic taste). I also simplified the somewhat complicated dressing included with the dish for a simple Italian Dressing straight off the shelf from the supermarket (this dish might also be good with a Raspberry Vinaigrette!). The other alteration I made was with the nuts, which I quickly roasted and candied instead of using their somewhat complicating spicing recipe.
I guess you can say that I somewhat simplified Buca Di Beppo’s recipe for Apple Gorgonzola Salad, but included the same, if not better, great taste! Let me tell you, the substitution of Fuji Apples and candied walnuts really added something to the taste of the salad.  I strongly recommend anyone to skip out on Buca Di Beppo and make this delicious dish in the comfort of your own home with this simplified recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 – Fuji Apple (Or apple of your choice)
  • 3/4 cup – Walnuts (candied..we will get to this process in a bit)
  • 3 Tbs – Gorgonzola Cheese
  • 3 Tbs – Dried Cranberries
  • Romaine Lettuce (amount desired)
  • Italian Dressing (amount desired)

Instructions:

First, you need to candy your walnuts! Now..I may sound a little lame here but I’ve never candied nuts before. I also didn’t know how easy the process was! Come on..it’s not like I’m Paula Deen!?

But seriously, all you need is the nuts of your choice and sugar. Yep, that’s it.

Here is the simple process to Candy Walnuts (which I’m sure many of you already know, this is just for my fellow blondes out there ;):

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Throw about 1-1/2 cups of nuts onto a baking sheet and cook for about 5 minutes (do not let them burn).
  • Let them cool for a bit.
  • Heat about 1/3 cup sugar over medium heat until melted and golden brown.
  • Throw your nuts into the melted sugar and cover all of the walnuts.
  • Remove from heat and back onto baking sheet then begin breaking apart nuts with a spoon.

That's it!

Now let’s get back to the salad!

  • Chop your lettuce, apple, and crumble your cheese (if needed).
  • Throw all ingredients into a large bowl.
  • Toss with dressing.
  • Garnish with remaining apples, cranberries, cheese, and walnuts.

So so good! Btw, doesn't this picture remind you of Twilight? Hehe..

Music <3 Of Monsters & Men

Usual posts seen at Delightful Discoveries usually consist of delicious recipes, free-lance poetry, or just random check-ins from myself and what I’m currently experiencing. When I first started this blog I really wanted to have a section that displayed great music. Music isn’t exactly something seen within the title,  but is such a significant part of my life that can be hard to leave out of things. Music is so wonderful. It is a part of me. I could not live without it. I am constantly looking for new artists and obsessing over the old. Music is a passion of mine. I  have confidence that I have an impeccable taste when it comes to music and do not discriminate any genres. Good music is good music. Lately, I stray away from pop and radio and more towards great song writing incorporated well into great instrumentals. Let’s just say, I’ve become somewhat of a music critic over the years.
If you look along the side bar you will notice a music category with not many posts contributed. This is due to the fact that it is becoming difficult to incorporate my love for music into the usual themes seen at my blog. Well, I cannot leave music out of anything. I’m learning this. So if you enjoy good music, my blog may be the place to visit. For a steady contribution to the music section of my blog, I have decided to add a weekly submission of great songs, albums, or artists that I currently find absolutely wonderful. Sharing music interests can be a wonderful conversation; music interests can really let you know a few things about a person. So please, your feedback is encouraged!

This first contribution to the music category is an alternative/folk/rock band from Iceland called Of Monsters & Men. First off let me say, I am in love with this group. Musically, this band’s style represents everything I am into right now. Beautiful lyrics, charming melodies, and a wonderful use and incorporation of traditional instruments. The songs are so well written and are portrayed beautifully through vocals and instruments. Some of the songs are very upbeat while others have a serious note. I first heard their single Little Talks (which has a darker tone) on the radio, which I instantly found amazing. I was captivated by the dramatic use of instruments and stunning vocals. After loving Little Talks I quickly went in search of more music, which lead me to their EP Into The Woods. I was not disappointed. While there were only four songs, I knew this band had some potential (I just had to wait patiently for their album to be released the following week). I listened to Little Talks on repeat for days and was also captivated by their dreamy track From Finner.

So a week later, their album My Head is an Animal was released..and people I am in love! I cannot stop listening. I love when I get captivated by a new artist and a great new album, and Of Monsters and Men did just that. This album seems to calm me down and take me away with my imagination. The songs are very imaginative themselves and take you far away from the busy congested city and into a far away forest. The songs race around with trumpets, drums, violins, and powerful vocals and lyrics..I honestly cannot get enough. The album has a very traditional sound but with modern influences that only sweeten it up. So let’s talk songs. My favorite and one of the album’s best is Mountain Sound. You can’t help but feel truly happy and adventurous when you listen to this track. It takes you away to a road trip with your friends in the mountains and forest. You gotta love the booming chorus! Another great track is the last on the album, Yellow Light, which resembles a lullaby that is almost hypnotizing. Others to check out are King and Lion Heart, Lake House, and Slow and Steady (which is very calming). Basically the entire album is amazing and you will not be disappointed, take my word for it! I promise this is group anyone would enjoy..so what are you waiting for, go get it!

And if you would be delighted to discover more great music in the future, be sure to keep following!