As a newbie to the blogging world, I had the bright idea to gather some fellow lady bloggers together and pow wow on why we do this and what we love about it. The event really elevated whenI teamed up with my friend Molly (thisyuppielife.com) who took the planning to the next level and helped to create a truly special occasion. We were fortunate to get a wonderful array of women from novices to totally stellar, big-timers (um, hello… award winners & celeb blog contributors!) I was completely smitten with thier successes, big & small, and honored that they came to share their stories with one another. What transpired was a wonderfully-supportive, educational, encouraging, & delicious kick-off to a new series coined #LAlfresco. Cheers to firsts!
The lovely Dana (www.fengshuidana.com) arrives.
Asian-inspired mince chicken wraps tease the meal to come, thanks Jasmine! (www.blissfullbites.com, recipe below)
“This Girl” Jordan of www.thisgirlwalksintoabar, shaking up some of her original recipe, “The La Jolla” (recipe below). Using the “Mandarine Napolean” liqueur generously supplied by Jenn, (www.workshopcollective). May I mention that this lady cocktail blogger won Saveur mag’s “BEST Cocktail Blog of 2014”!! Pretty stoked to have her at my table.
Because every party needs a mascot right? Or, at least a noble French piglet. (Merci, World Market)
Molly (www.thisyuppielife.com) & I, quite pleased with our successful turnout, or perhaps we just finished a La Jolla.
Kelly (www.ohhellomommyhood.com) enjoying a peaceful glass & a girl’s night out. (She has 2-year-old twins! #supermom)
#LAalfresco pioneers, lady bloggers & new friends, THANK YOU for a wonderful evening!
Photography generously provided by Kate Moore Photography
- For Wraps:
- 1 pound ground chicken (preferably dark meat)
- 1 yellow onion (chopped)
- ½ cup diced and minced carrot
- 4 cloves garlic (finely minced)
- 3 tablespoons ginger root (finely minced)
- ¼ cup lees hoisin sauce
- a dash of salt and pepper
- 1 head of ice burg lettuce
- fresh cilantro (garnish)
- fresh chopped green onion (garnish)
- Sriracha for a kick
- For Salmon:
- 8-10 fillets of skinned salmon, about the size of a deck of cards
- 3 tablespoons neutral oil (I used safflower oil)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 cup roughly chopped parsley
- ½ cup roughly chopped cilantro
- ¾ cup unsweetened, full fat, organic coconut milk
- For Thai Spiced Parsnips:
- approx 2 small parsips per person or one large
- 4 tablespoons ghee
- 2 tablespoons organic thai spice
- sea salt
- oilve oil for finishing
- For Snap Pea Salad:
- 2 lbs sugar snap peas
- 1 bunch radishes
- juice of one lime
- 4 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil
- ¾ cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons agave
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
- ⅓ cup chopped peanuts
- For Banana Coconut Cream Pie:
- ½ heaping cup pecans ½ cup almond meal
- 1 heaping cup pitted dates (soaked for 10 minutes in warm water and drained)
- 1.25 cups cashews soaked for at least 4 hours or overnight, then drained
- 3.5 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 medium just ripe banana (~ ½ cup mashed)*
- ⅓ cup full fat coconut milk
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 2-3 Tbsp lemon juice
- Wraps:In a medium pan on medium heat add olive oil and ground chicken. Cook chicken and stir to break up into small pieces. When cooked all the way through drain extra juice from pan and toss in yellow onion, minced carrots and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn stove down from medium to low heat and add garlic and ginger with a dash of salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes till fragrant. Stir in ¼ hoisin sauce cook for a few more minutes and turn off heat. Let chicken cool and toss in fresh chopped cilantro.
- For Salmon: Heat oil over high flame, sear salmon on both sides (approx 1.5 minutes each side) remove to a parchment lined baking sheet. Finish in oven at 350 for 15 minutes.
- Place everything except the coconut milk into a food processor, pulse until mixture is blended but not completely smooth. Remove sauce to a mixing bowl, slowly add coconut milk, whisking as you go. Adjust the amount based on your tastes, for a more mild flavor, add more milk. Pour over broiled salmon.
- For Thai Spiced Parsnips: Remove skin from parsnips, slice horizontally in 1 inch slabs. cut around the tough inner core so you get 3-4 pieces per slab. Heat ghee over med-high flame. add parsnips and sauté until they soften and brown lightly. Remove to a parchment lined baking sheet and sprinkle with thai spice and a pinch of slat. mix to cover all pieces with spice. Finish in the over at 350 for approx 30-45 minutes. Plate in serving bowl and finsh with sea salt and oilve oil drizzle.
- For Snap Pea Salad: Wash and slice peas on the diagonal. Slice radishes thinly into rounds. Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil over high flame. Flash saute your veg until bright green & still crunchy, only about 2 minutes. Remove to serving bowl. In a small mixing bowl, add lime juice, rive wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons coconut oil, oilve oil & agave. Whisk until emulsified. I always adjust the flavors at this stage. Some like it more tangy and vinegar tasting, others sweeter. Add more agave or oilve oil to make it mild and sweet, more lime to make it tangy and bright etc…
- Add the basil last, before you drizzle over the veg. Its best to let the vinegrette sit on the vegetables for a bit before serving so they can soak up the flavors. Once you dress the veg, finish with sesame seeds and peanuts on top.
- For Banana Coconut Cream Pie: Place soaked dates in the food processor and process until small bits remain and/or it forms into a ball. Remove and set aside.
- Process pecans until a meal consistency is achieved - add in your almond meal then add back in dates and a pinch of salt and mix to combine. When squeezed between two fingers, the crust should stick together and feel moldable. If too dry, add another date or two. If too wet, add a little almond meal or ground pecan.
- Press into a springform pan, or an 8x8 baking dish or round cake pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment. Press until flat, going up the sides about ½ inch. Place in freezer to set.
- Add all filling ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy - about 1-2 minutes. If it's having trouble blending, add a little more honey or water to encourage it along. It should be silky smooth when completely combined.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Then pour into crust and smooth with a spoon. Tap to release any air bubbles, then cover and freeze until set - about 4-6 hours.
- To serve, let thaw for 5 minutes. Top slices with crushed peanuts and shredded coconut. Should keep in the freezer, covered, for at least 1 week.