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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

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).


May 19, 2014

Real Wedding: Vintage Tea Party

The inspiration behind the real wedding of  Dillon and Aaron was the party in which Pride & Prejudice and Alice In Wonderland meet, which just so happen to be two of the most beautiful stories of all time.  We loved this relaxed and darling wedding with outdoor vintage tea party elements and were very much inspired to create an entirely vintage menu with elegant bites.





From the beautiful bride…

“To me, a wedding is about family—and that is what we wanted: a small intimate gathering of friends and family celebrating our union. “A tea party,” he said, “but a vintage one in the forest as if we are in another, more magical world. It was perfect; after all, Pride and Prejudice is my favorite love story of all time, and an Alice in Wonderland themed tea party sounded fun! We wanted our day to be perfect, not just for us, but for everyone. We would spend the next two years planning and coordinating every finite detail making sure everything was representative of who we are. It may sound like a long time, but our wedding was upon us before we realized.


Trying to find the just right details to match our vision was no small task. We explored the Internet searching for vintage teacups and teapots, lace runners, and Victorian furniture. Our vision was very specific, and unfortunately we couldn’t find everything we had envisioned online— luckily the groom’s family is very crafty. His mother created all the table runners, and his grandfather crafted the signs and posts, which guided our guests. The vintage silver trays, salt and pepper shakers, water urn and other linens were family heirloom pieces provided by the groom’s aunt, and the calligraphy on the signs was done by myself. In the end, every hand picked detail was more than we had hoped for.






Both having Celtic roots, we wanted to incorporate tradition into our ceremony by including the hand fasting ceremony. The hand fasting ceremony, where colorful chords of ribbon are tied around the couple’s hands, is the origin of “tying the knot”. We made ours even more special by using ribbon made of the groom’s Buchanan clan tartan. Being a small intimate ceremony, there wasn’t a dry eye to be found, and even the musician and officiant had to wipe away tears! The tender air of love could be felt by every heart at the wedding.




We really wanted everyone to have an amazing time so we came up with idea to incorporate a photo area. The photo area would double as entertainment and as our guest book. To keep every detail period appropriate, our guest book is a vintage, leather bound book rooted with portrait styled photographs so common to the era. Carrying on with the vintage theme, we provided a variety of props from hats, gloves, and canes to pearl necklaces, throws, and morning coats for guests to dress up in for their unique photograph. Everyone had so much fun with it that it took on a life of its own and became a highlight of the reception.





I could not have asked for a more perfect day. Our vendors did an amazing job recreating our vision and making everything go so smoothly. I can’t express enough our gratitude to them for their hard work. With each and everyone’s help and support, we were able to make our dream wedding a reality.”






As featured in Style Me Pretty: Whimsical & Elegant Tea Party Wedding

Catering: 24 Carrots
Photography: Linda Arredondo
Wedding Venue: Whispering Pines Estate
Videography: New Classic Films
Event Styling and Florist: Kim Sanders of Art with Nature Floral Design
Bakery: Sugar Pine Bake Shop | Cake: The Cake Shop
Hair Stylist: Hair Comes The Bride
Lighting: Mathew Kronquist – Southern California Lighting
DJ: SoundWave Productions
Dishware Rentals: Borrowed Blu
Furniture Rentals: Found Vintage Rentals