Shop the Block: For Valentine’s Day, Mignon chocolates are anything but boring

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As authentic as family-run businesses come, Mignon Chocolate was founded in 1910 and has been run by the Ter-Poghossians ever since.
For three generations, the family has manufactured its own fine chocolates, and original recipes are what make Mignon truly exceptional.
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Conduct your own taste test, starting with two selections from the M Collection: ginger sea salt chocolates (a dark-chocolate shell filled with luscious ginger dark chocolate ganache and topped with lime-infused sea salt) and lavender chocolates (also a ganache-infused dark-chocolate shell with the complex sweetness of woodsy lavender).
Mignon’s signature treat is its box of orange-peel strips, baked in heavy syrup and coated in dark chocolate. Another favorite is the saffron marzipan, which is created in-house with diced orange peels and infused with saffron. The family has been handmaking the latter since the 1930s.
In the Los Angeles area, Mignon also runs locations in Glendale and Van Nuys. An international outpost is located in Tehran.
6 E. Holly St., Pasadena. Open Tue.-Sat. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun. noon-5 p.m.; closed Mon. (626) 796-7100, mignonchocolate.com
More photos after the jump:

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Pictured: Dickens Village holiday festival lights up Sierra Madre

 
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Sierra Madre held its annual Dickens Village holiday festival on Saturday in the city’s charming downtown shopping district.
In Kersting Court, a Christmas tree lighting ceremony was followed by the arrival of the Jolly Old Elf himself.
Is there a town better suited to the glow of holiday cheer? Unlikely, we say.
For unique holiday gifting in Sierra Madre, visit the boutiques we featured in our February Shop the Block spread: Attitude! and La Bella Rouge, for women’s clothing and accessories; B.la, for stationery and stocking stuffers; and Savor the Flavor, for gourmet goodies.
More photos after the jump:

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10 reasons to be excited about the L.A. County Fair at Pomona Fairplex

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1. FRIED EVERYTHING
It’s definitely best to tackle these bad boys with a group of adventurous eaters, that way the burden of consumption doesn’t rest solely on your shoulders. On my last trip to the Fair, I tried the fried White Castles, avocados and Pop Tarts. (The last was the clear winner among our group of novice taste-testers.) The Chicken Charlie booth is most iconic on the Fair grounds for concocting fried wonders. This year, he’ll be showcasing a new masterpiece: a deep-fried Klondike bar.

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Photos: Edible living arrangements at Pasadena’s Urban Homestead

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In the middle of the bustle of Pasadena lies the Urban Homestead, a self-reliant oasis for Jules Dervaes and his adult children, Anais, Justin and Jordanne.
The family lives and works on the property, where a tenth of an acre is devoted to gardening.
The average home-sized spot has yielded more than 5,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables annually for the past two years. It boasts more than 400 different types of produce, as well as nearly 2,000 chicken and duck eggs and 25 pounds of honey, which is sold to local restaurants, caterers and other clients and also finds its way to the Dervaes’ table.
Read more by reporter Michelle J. Mills in Rose Magazine, at the interactive link below, plus lots of photos after the jump:

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Eco-pioneers: Pasadena’s Dervaes family and urban homesteading

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The Dervaes family went green — before going green became chic.

It was about a decade ago that Jules Dervaes decided to try to go off the grid and become almost fully self-sustained in the family’s 1917 Craftsman house and small property in North Pasadena.

Read more about their adventures, their approach to homesteading and sample some of their recipes in this report by Natalie Haughton, food editor of the Los Angeles Daily News.

(Photo by John McCoy / Staff)

Weekend guide: Earth Day at Descanso and a show-stopping Showcase House


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SATURDAY, April 17
  • Earth Day at Descanso
Spring is in full bloom at Descanso, from the lilacs to the roses, so there’s no better place to celebrate Earth Day. From 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., a butterfly appreciation corner will spotlight one of nature’s most colorful creatures, including demonstrations and hands-on activities for the whole family. “Green” displays on the main lawn will range from compost tea making to organic gardening and more. Live, family-friendly entertainment scheduled throughout the day, and Patina Catering offers eco-friendly barbecue with local, organic foods from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Bring a blanket and settle down for a picnic among the trees.
9 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday, Earth Day events are free with admission. Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Dr., La Caada Flintridge. descansogardens.org

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Get the picture: Cal Phil’s Family Night free-for-all at the Arboretum in Arcadia

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The California Philharmonic hosted its annual free-for-all Family Night on Friday at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden.

There were kids. There was music. There were kids making music. The results were pretty darn cute. (Evidence submitted at right in the form of photographs.)

From top, John Lacques of Drumtime has children and adults drumming to a different beat.

(Second photo from top) Samantha Milazzo, 2-and-a-half, plays the drums for her mother Shannon. Musical instruments were provided by John Waltrip’s Music
Center in Arcadia.

(Third photo from top) Veronica “Doodles” Corral with Tiffany “Trixi” Stuart, entertaining the children at Cal Phil Family Night.

(Bottom photo) Emily Corona of Pasadena plays a tune on the trombone.

(Photos by Walt Mancini)