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November 6, 2014

Thanksgiving and Fall Entertaining

It’s that time of the year!  The air is more crisp and cooler and the holidays are coming.  It’s the time for togetherness, joy, tradition, and festive gatherings.  With only three weeks left until Thanksgiving, we put together, with the help of One Hope Wine, our favorite Thanksgiving dishes and recipes.  Now you can spend more of that quality time with your family and friends creating those lovely memories.



For traditionalists, there is a classic Thanksgiving dinner featuring Sage- Peppered Roasted Turkey with all the trimmings, including an old-fashioned Apple Sausage Cornbread Stuffing (recipe below). Our contemporary holiday menu showcases Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Candied Apples and Jalapenos; Roasted Beets Tossed with Lemon Zest, Pistachios and Goat Cheese; seasonal accompaniments such as Twice Baked Baby Red Potatoes with Butter, Cheddar, and Chives; Green Eggs & Ham Deviled Eggs; Thyme- Infused Roasted Root Vegetables (recipe below); and Biscuits with Lemon Cranberry Butter.  We ended with a classic Pecan Pie for Thanksgiving dessert, or any time of year!












Thyme- Infused Roasted Root Vegetables

Yield: 4 servings


2 lbs mixed root vegetables (we use baby carrots, the smallest parsnips you can find, and a mix of yellow and red beets)
Olive oil, to taste
Salt + pepper, to taste

Balsamic- Thyme Vinaigrette Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons thyme, minced
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons parsley, minced
1 teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons miso paste


Gently peel the carrots and parsnips. Leave them whole if they are all the same size – if not, chop the larger veggies to equal the size of the smaller ones. Peel and chop the beets into rough cubes, about 1-inch all around.

Place all the vegetables onto a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Place in a 400°F degree oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes, shaking them periodically for even cooking. Remove from oven when soft, slightly brown, and caramelized.

Meanwhile, prepare the balsamic- thyme vinaigrette. Place all the ingredients aside from the oil in a mixing bowl. Drizzle in the oil while whisking to combine. Season to taste.

Drizzle dressing all over the vegetables to coat, return to the oven and caramelize for five more minutes.



Apple Sausage Cornbread Stuffing 

Yield: 6 to 8 servings


Cornbread (recipe follows)
10 slices oven-dried country white bread
8 tablespoons butter
2 cups celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 Granny Smith apples ¼ inch, diced
1 lb apple sausage
7 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons sage
1 tablespoon thyme
5 eggs, beaten

Cornbread Ingredients

1 cup self-rising cornmeal
1/2 cup self-rising flour
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine crumbled cornbread, dried white bread slices and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and brown, then add the celery, onions, and apples and cook until transparent, approximately 5 to 10 minutes.

Pour the mixture over cornbread mixture. Add the stock and cream, mix well, taste, and add salt, pepper to taste, sage, and thyme.

Add beaten eggs and mix well. Pour mixture into a greased pan and bake until dressing is cooked through, about 45 minutes. Serve with turkey as a side dish.

Cornbread Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour batter into a greased shallow baking dish. Bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.











Visit One Hope Wine’s Fall Entertaining blog for delicious wine pairings for you to enjoy around your table.  Cheers to pecan pie and have a safe holiday season!

Thank you to:

One Hope Wine

Be Inspired PR

Brian Tropiano Photo

Found Vintage Rentals

La Tavola Linen



September 17, 2014

Stay Cool With This In Season Salad

At the most recent Wedding Industry Professionals Association (WIPA) End of Summer Dining Soiree, we were asked to come up with a plated salad course for over 200 guests.  Executive Chef Ashley Santo Domingo created a fresh in season watermelon salad that left guests raving for days.  Now enjoy this tasty salad recipe at home; not only is this refreshing and bright but the perfect way to cool off during these hot Southern California days.

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Compressed Watermelon Salad | Heirloom Watermelons Pickled and Compressed, Balsamic Reduction, Basil Emulsion, Sea Salt Foam, and Summer Micro Greens




Recipe as follows:

Compressed Pickled Watermelon


Peel a watermelon and cut 1 ½ inch by 6 inch square steaks

Lime zest of 4 limes

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

Lime juice of 2 limes


Place each steak into a vacuum pack bag.

Mix the juice, vinegar, and lime zest with cracked pepper, pour over watermelon.

Seal the watermelon using a vacuum pack sealer on a medium to high setting, once sealed you will see it instantly compresses.


Basil Emulsion


300 ml (10.1 fl.oz) olive oil

300 grams (10.5 oz) fresh basil

Salt and pepper to taste


Mix the fresh basil with olive oil and puree with a hand blender.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour through an iSi Funnel and sieve directly into the iSi Whipper.

Screw on one iSi Cream Charger and shake vigorously.


Sea Salt Foam


100 grams white balsamic vinegar

200 grams salted water

3.75 grams Versa whip

45 grams Xanthan gum


Combine 4 ingredients.

Whip ingredients in a kitchen aid mixer for about 25 minutes or until ultra foamy and full to the rim of the bowl, with stiff peaks.

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To Assemble:

3 ea Compressed watermelon steak two colors, cut into 3×2 inch x1.5 inch blocks

2 oz sea salt foam

2 oz micro greens

1 oz basil emulsion

½ oz balsamic glaze

Fleur de Sel to taste


Arrange the basil emulsion on a plate with compressed watermelon and mozzarella and sprinkle with salt, balsamic vinegar reduction, then arrange a few dollops of the sea salt foam around the plate. Garnish with petite micro greens.  Enjoy!


Photo Credit: Marlin Salazar Photography &

Christopher Todd Studios

June 19, 2014

Homemade Summer Popsicles for Kids

School is out for kids and summer is in full swing! This easy and refreshing popsicle recipe will entertain the children all summer and is a great way to sneak in some extra whole foods into their diet.  These mixed fruit and veggie popsicles create a tasty treat that all kids will love.  These molds are a fun activity for children to help make their own popsicle blends.

We created four different flavored popsicles:

Watermelon, strawberry, and beet popsicles
Acai, blueberry, and lemonade popsicles
Pineapple, kale, and cucumber popsicles

& Black raspberry zigzag popsicles (recipe below)

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Black Raspberry Popsicles


Raspberry Base
1 cup raspberries
¼ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp agave

Blackberry Base
1 cup blackberries
¼ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp sour cream
3 tbsp agave


Combine everything in a blender and blend until smooth.  Then strain through a fine mesh and repeat with the second mixture, keeping both separate.  To make the popsicle, pour the raspberry mix to fill ¼ of the mold, at a tilt.  Let freeze completely.  We recommend the Zoku Popsicle Mold.  Tilt the opposite way and fill another ¼ of the way with the blackberry mix, freeze, and repeat until done.

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  Popsicle time!

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Executive Chef Ashley Santo Domingo of 24 carrots

Photo Credit: Marlin Salazar Photography

Design: Arpi Torosyan, Creative Art Director of 24 carrots

June 9, 2014

School’s Out! Planning Healthy Summer Kids Snacks

It’s Summer!  School is out!  Healthy summer snacks are a must for keeping kids happy and active during time off from school.  Toss out the junk food and start making snack time fun again!

Check out these creative, tasty, and healthy summer snack recipes and ideas for kids of any age:

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The Kids MedzoBox – Mediterranean Bento Snack Box

Mini meatballs, edamame hummus, babaganoush, and cucumber yogurt sauce with crunchy veggie sticks


Edamame Hummus

  • 1/2 pound frozen shelled edamame (green soy beans), about 1 1/2 cups
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons), juiced
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  • Boil the edamame in salted water for 4 to 5 minutes, or microwave, covered, for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • In a food processor, puree the edamame, tahini, water, lemon zest and juice, garlic, salt, cumin, and coriander until smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and mix until absorbed.
  • Transfer to a small bowl, stir in the parsley and drizzle with remaining oil. Serve with the suggested vegetables, or refrigerate, covered, up to 1 day.

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  • One 15-ounce can chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, about 1 large lemon
  • 1/4 cup tahini (we used Krinos)
  • Half of a large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt, depending on taste
  • 1 teaspoon garam marsala
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water
  • Dash of ground paprika for serving


  • In the bowl of a food processor, combine tahini and lemon juice. Process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl then turn on and process for 30 seconds. This extra time helps “whip” or “cream” the tahini, making smooth and creamy hummus possible.
  • Add the olive oil, minced garlic, cumin and the salt to whipped tahini and lemon juice. Process for 30 seconds, scrape sides and bottom of bowl then process another 30 seconds.
  • Adding the Chickpeas…Open can of chickpeas, drain liquid then rinse well with water. Add half of the chickpeas to the food processor then process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl, add remaining chickpeas and process for 1 to 2 minutes or until thick and quite smooth
  • Most likely the hummus will be too thick or still have tiny bits of chickpea. To fix this, with the food processor turned on, slowly add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water until the consistency is perfect.


Mini Meat Balls

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups stale Italian bread, crumbled
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 cup olive oil


  • Combine beef, veal, and pork in a large bowl. Add garlic, eggs, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper.
  • Blend bread crumbs into meat mixture. Slowly add the water 1/2 cup at a time. The mixture should be very moist but still hold its shape if rolled into meatballs. (I usually use about 1 1/4 cups of water). Shape into meatballs.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Pan-Fry meatballs in batches. When the meatball is very brown and slightly crisp remove from the heat and drain on a paper towel. (If your mixture is too wet, cover the meatballs while they are cooking so that they hold their shape better.)


Creamy Yogurt Sauce

  • 3 cups Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 large English cucumber, diced
  • 1 tablespoon salt (for salting cucumbers)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill (or both, depending on preference) or 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 shallot minced


  • Peel cucumbers and dice. Put them in a colander and sprinkle with the tablespoon of salt (draws water out). Cover with a plate and sit something heavy on top. Let sit for 30 minute. Drain well and wipe dry with a paper towel.
  • In food processor or blender, add cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice, dill and/or mint, and a few grinds of black pepper. Process until well blended, then stir into yogurt. Taste before adding any extra salt, then salt if needed. Place in refrigerator for at least two hours before serving so flavors can blend.
  • This will keep for a few days in the refrigerator, but you will need to drain off any water and stir each time you use it.
  • If you can’t find the thicker Greek Yogurt Cheese, you can use regular, plain yogurt that is either full fat or low fat. To thicken, spoon yogurt into cheese cloth that has been quadrupled. Draw the corners of the cloth up and tie together. Suspend above a bowl for 2 hours so that water can drip out. The consistency of the yogurt should be like that of sour cream.
  • You can skip this draining process, if you want, but you will have a moderately messier, runnier result.

On a small platter, arrange fresh cut vegetables 2oz of each hummus, 1 oz of creamy yogurt sauce, 1 piece of pita cut into triangles and 2 meatballs cut in half (you can also buy your favorite hummus and tzatziki from your local grocery store and platter up the perfect snack!)

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Rainbow Yogurt Parfait

Layered greek yogurt, mangos, strawberries, blackberries, blue berries, kiwi, and granola (colorful and easy to make!)

  • Greek yogurt
  • Granola
  • Chopped fresh fruit


  • In an glass of your choosing, add in Greek yogurt.
  • Cover the yogurt with granola and fruit and then adding more yogurt.
  • Finish by sprinkling with fresh strawberries or fruits of your choice.

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Tune in next week for Kid’s Popsicles!  Nothing sounds more appealing than an icy-cold, fruit-filled Popsicle (homemade).

Photo Credit: Marlin Salazar Photography

May 23, 2014

Memorial Day Grilling: Easy Ribs

Since Memorial Day signals the unofficial start of Summer, why not crank up the heat and kick off the sunny season with good friends and even better food? This is the day so many of you pull the cover off your grills, so why not kick off the summer with a delicious twist on BBQ ribs!  It’s time to start creating many memorable outdoor meals and these five spice hoisin glazed bbq ribs are delicious, easy to make, and everyone is sure to enjoy them!   Have fun and enjoy your weekend cooking up some of these great ribs…


Five Spice Hoisin Glazed BBQ Ribs

Five Spice Hoisin BBQ Sauce

2 oz Five spice

1.5 qt Ketchup

1 qt Hoisin

2 oz Minced ginger

1 oz Minced garlic

2 tbsp. Fresh coarse ground pepper

2 oz Gojujang Chili Paste

1 cup Brown sugar

For the ribs (dry rub)…

1 rack of Baby Back ribs

2 tbsp. 5 spice

½ cup Brown sugar

1 oz Salt

1 oz Granulated garlic

1 oz Granulated onion

1 qt 5 Spice Hoisin Sauce

Coat the ribs with the dry rub mixture and refrigerate in foil overnight.

Preheat a grill to medium-high on one side and place a drip pan under the cooler side. Set the ribs over the drip pan (use a rib rack, if you have one). Cover, making sure the vent holes are directly over the ribs; cook for 3 hours, or until the meat pulls back from the bones. Brush BBQ Sauce onto the meat and cook over direct heat until glazed. Cut the racks into ribs and sprinkle with sliced scallions and sesame seeds (optional).