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March 16, 2017

Good as Gold: St. Patrick’s Day Inspiration

Our St. Patrick’s Day inspiration is featured up on Inspired By This and on Pop Sugar Food! As a holiday centered around great food and drink, we wanted to offer some alternatives to dyeing your beer green and adding food coloring to everything. We shared a couple of our favorite recipes up on IBT + Pop Sugar for you to make at home. This spread is as good as gold!

Photos: Villa Visuals / Featured: Inspired By This + Pop Sugar Food

Stout Float (Our favorite was Rouge Chocolate Stout)

Irish-Misu | Baileys Mascarpone Chocolate Cream, Jameson Caramel, Golden Crunch


Irish Nachos

Mini Pots of Gold Mac and Cheese

“Dirt” Cups | Chocolate Mousse, Oreo Crumbles

Lucky Charms Ice Cream

Photos: Villa Visuals


May 6, 2015

Mother’s Day: A Pizza Your Heart

We know how challenging it is to show our mothers appreciation that does our thanks justice. This Mother’s Day, we chose to love on our moms the best way we know how: with food!

A homemade meal shows thoughtfulness in preparation, and also gathers the family together for a meal – two things that mom is sure to love. Our menu inspiration of pies (pizza) and pies (peach) includes uncomplicated but interactive recipes for fathers and littles to make together, while being elegant enough in presentation to wow everyone! Give mom a “pizza your heart” (and don’t forget the champagne!).

Pro-tip: Prep the dessert pie ahead of time and have it bake off while enjoying pizza!

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Pizza My Heart (Arugula and Prosciutto)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup your favorite marinara sauce

1 (8-ounce) your favorite pizza dough

4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

2 ounces very thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into 1/2-inch-wide strips

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 1/3 cups baby arugula

 

Recipe:

1. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. Take pizza dough and flatten with your hands on a slightly floured work surface. Start at the center and work outwards, using your fingertips to press the dough to ½ inch thick.

3. Brush the top of the dough with olive oil. Spoon marinara sauce on top of pizza. Top evenly with mozzarella.

4. Place pizza directly on middle oven rack. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until bottom of crust is browned and cheese melts.

5. Remove pizza from oven; blot away any liquid from cheese using a paper towel. Top pizza with prosciutto.

6. Combine lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Add arugula; toss well to coat. Arrange arugula mixture over pizza. Cut pizza into 6 slices. (Double the recipe to fill more hungry stomachs!)

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Peachy Keen On You (Old Fashioned Peach Pie)

Ingredients:

Pastry for a double-crust 9 inch pie

5 cups fresh peaches, sliced

1 cup sugar

1/3 – 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons sugar

 

Recipe:

1. Preheat oven to 425°.

2. Stir together flour, 1 cup sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside.

3. Mix together peaches with the combined dry ingredients.

4. Turn into pastry-lined pie pan and dot with butter.

5. Sprinkle top with 2 tablespoons of sugar.

6. Cover the edges with foil to prevent over browning. Remove foil for last 15 minutes of baking.

7. Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through the slits in the crust.

(In lieu of a traditional lattice or crumb topping, we cut out hearts from our extra pastry. This is a great task to keep little hands busy, while adding an extra special touch to dessert.)

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Photo credit: Mike Villa Visuals

Linens (napkin only): Luxe Linen

Pie Dish and Server: Anthropologie 

 


January 28, 2015

Art of Catering Food- Smoking Hot Tableside

Our Executive Chef Ashley Santo Domingo and Pastry Chef Robert LeSage took the Art of Catering Food conference stage in Atlanta to bring the best outdoor real smoke flavored foods from the backyard into the dining room.

Ashley shared a unique concept of tableside smoking, and discussed all the details from prep to pack-out, to execution of this station concept. She discussed types of smoking, the flavors of wood chips, the aromas to use, as well as the costs and benefits of tableside smoking.

They prepared for this Catersource sponsored event with some four-alarm sizzle with a smoky taste.

Ask about this new fun concept for your next event!

 

Smoked Tableside Menu:

Fire-Roasted Tomato Bisque, Real Smoke, Cheese Crisp, Crème Fraiche, and Smoked Chili Oil

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Duck Pastrami, Apple Smoke, Caraway Micro-Slaw, Rye Crumble, and Cheese Foam

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Applewood-Smoked Bacon and Barbecue Tomato Salad: Smoky Grilled Heirloom Tomatoes, House-made Bacon, Smoked Blue Cheese

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Five-Spice Barbecue Smoked Ribs, Grilled Asparagus, Cornbread Fried, Hickory Smoke

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Chamomile Smoked Peaches, Pistachio Financier, White Chocolate, and Raspberry Gel

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Photo Credit: Marlin Salazar Photography

 

 

 


December 8, 2014

Pull Off the Perfect Stress-Free Get Together For the Holidays

Locale Magazine Interview With Arpi Torosyan, Creative Director of 24 Carrots

WRITTEN BY: NICOLE FERA as featured in Locale Magazine ‘s Ultimate Holiday Guide just in time for the season!

Although the holidays are one of the most exciting, energetic and heartfelt times of the year, they can also make you want to pull your hair out with all of the stress and anxiety that comes along with them. So, how can you avoid all of the meltdowns and freak-outs on your loved ones this holiday season? It’s easy. Thanks to our friend, Arpi Torosyan, Creative Director of 24 Carrots, you’ll be ahead of the game this time around and able to pull off the perfect, stress-free get together for all of your family members and friends to enjoy and praise you about the rest of the year. 

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Q: So Arpi, tell me a little bit about 24 Carrots and how you guys can help our readers have their best season to date! Arpi Torosyan: Well, first off let me begin by telling your readers what 24 Carrots is all about. Our company is the most sought-after Orange County catering and events company in Southern California. We offer unbelievably delicious food, unsurpassed personalized service and a genuine passion for helping people create unforgettable memories together.

Q: Being in this industry, I’m sure the holidays are some of if not the busiest times of the year. What makes you stand out during these times to all of your customers in the past and future to come?

AT: I think our creative staff and talented partners continually push for imaginative new ideas, making us one of the top trendsetters in the catering and events industry. Our friendly team’s refusal to compromise on quality means you’ll get the attention you deserve and your guests will get an experience they won’t be able to stop talking about. That’s what we pride our company on.

Q: It sounds like you have plenty of experience with making sure that your clients have the smoothest experiences during those chaotic weeks. What tips or tricks can you give to our readers at home for these upcoming holidays?

AT: Well, as we all know the holidays are the perfect time to host parties, cook your favorite meals and make special memories with friends and family. While it’s everyone’s favorite time of the year, the holidays also come with a lot of stress; decorating and cooking for 12-plus is not easy! The best way to tackle hosting is organization and prepping ahead of time. I would say that is the biggest trick that anyone can use.

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Be Prepared Ahead of Time. Additional Tips and Tricks From Arpi Torosyan of 24 Carrots.

„Set your table early: Your table can be set days, or even a week ahead of time. I always suggest investing in nice linen and chargers that you can leave on your table the entire season. This is a real time saver, especially in between holidays. 

„Linen napkins are key: Linen napkins can also bring in a special touch to your table and add a layer of contrast, color and décor. A napkin treatment is an added little detail that will wow your guests, but doesn’t take a lot of time or money. Tie your napkins with twine and cranberries, top with pine cones, or add a fun fruit or vegetable that goes along with your menu/theme (artichokes, for example). I always like to make place cards for guests and prop on the table with cinnamon sticks.

Choose meals that you can prep and platter in advance: Getting most of the food you plan to serve prepared early ensures that you have little to do when guests arrive. This will save anyone the stress of having to play host, entertainer and personal chef all at the same time.

„Hors’ d’oeuvres can be a lifesaver: It’s important to platter some hors d’oeuvres so your guests can enjoy drinks and small bites while you are putting the finishing touches on your main dishes. This keeps people happy, busy and out of your way while you finish up your soufflé or sprinkle those last seasonings on your mashed potatoes. Our favorites are a cheese and charcuterie platter, and Mediterranean spreads such as hummus, baba ghanoush and olive tapenade—all served with crackers and a fresh baguette. These hors d’oeuvres are great because they can be store bought and will look great as long as they are transferred onto slate, wood boards and mini decorative bowls.

„Avoid time-consuming entrees: For example, a prime rib roast can be marinated ahead of time, put in the oven and taken out and served when your guests are ready for dinner. Gourmet comfort foods such as mac and cheese can be set in a pot with the boiled macaroni, sauce mixed in and ready to be cooked as guests are enjoying hors d’oeuvres. It is important to note that you should always stay away from risotto-like labor- intensive meals when serving a large group. 

Photo Credit: Jeff Farsai Photography | Mike Villa Visuals


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

Ingredients:

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

Instructions:

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