Are you ready for the 4th of July?! These are the holiday recipes I’m craving right now!
Are you ready for the 4th of July?! These are the holiday recipes I’m craving right now!
What better way to celebrate the land that you love than protecting it? That’s what I thought when Dasani asked me to create an all-natural, plant-based cookout for their ECOmmunity Web Series. Check out the full menu in this video and stay tuned, I’ll be posting the recipes the rest of the week!
Independence Day Veggie Burgers
Makes 6 patties
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
15 oz black beans
15 oz. white cannelini beans (those are white kidney beans
8 oz. chopped mushrooms
2 roma tomatoes, diced and de-seeded
1 cup oats
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
What you’ll do:
In a large bowl combine the beans, onion, and garlic. Using a potato masher or your hands, lightly smash the beans. Add in the rest of the ingredients and stir well. Form the patties and cook in a lightly greased frying pan on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes on each side or until the sides are golden. Serve warm with all the fixins!
Big shout out to Tog + Porter who dressed me for all these videos! Their services are unparalleled!
My lovely and generous friend Lynn invited some of the gals over for a relaxing beach day in Marina Del Rey. What a fabulous day with some powerhouse women! There was Taryn, Jenny, Coriann, Rachelle, Melanie, Jen, and Lynn. It always inspires me to be around such driven women!
And they were kind enough to be my ginny pigs while I develop a new veggie burger recipe!
I also made a raw kale salad with watermelon and candied walnuts.
And a vegan poundcake with strawberries and balsamic glaze:
Such a fun girls day! Do you do staycations like this? I highly recommend!
Thanks again Lynn for hosting and these great pics! For more details check out Lynn’s post on the day!
Nothing says ‘I Love You Dad’ more than a heart-healthy Father’s Day home cooked meal! Here are some of my Father’s favorites that I make.
Enjoy your day with your Dad!
Couldn’t resist starting my GreenFest-Countdown post channeling uber-eco-hunk Ryan Gosling, the new “beautiful mind, body and face” of DoSomething.org. But I digress. THIS girl is headed for the Big Apple for Earth Day Weekend appearances and Green Festival NYC, where I can’t wait to share my Vegan Pantry Raid with New Yorkers. I hope you will try to get to the Javits Center to celebrate Earth Day with me and see the largest sustainability event in the world! And, in other green news, I’ve been invited to join a brand new Eco campaign for a major brand – those details coming as soon as I’m able to share. Let’s just say it involves water and video. Hmm. Let me know if you’re in the Big Apple for Earth Day Weekend!
Here is a blast from the past! I was going through some old photos and I can’t believe I never wrote about one of my best friend’s bridal shower! I looooved throwing this shower! You all know I love a good theme and Breakfast At Tiffany’s made the perfect one for a bridal shower. This darling shower was the brain child of myself and my girlfriends Tania and Carolina and here were are with the bride-to-be Miss Autumn Reeser (our very own Audrey Heburn!) You may recognize her from the fabulous Modern Organic Vintage Eclectic theme baby shower we threw her.
We requested all our girlie guests come in little black dresses. It was so fun to have everyone in cocktail attire!
The cocktail of choice was of course champagne and the spread included easy to eat finger foods.
The invitations were cute as a button:
The afternoon was lovely! We stuck to bright pinks and greens for the flowers because we didn’t want the entire party to be black, white, and blue. This is where you really have to balance the theme of the party with your taste level. We didn’t want to throw a party that was too on the nose, but the placed photo stills from the film and the accents of the sleeping masks were just the perfect touches.
Here’s bride-t0-be Autumn opening some of her gifts. Her favorite dessert is cheesecake, so I made these little petite cheesecake squares for dessert. Mini desserts are always a crowd pleaser and the perfect way to serve a party because they are very approachable. Besides, you can still look very lady-like and chic with a tiny dessert in your hand.
Gosh, looking back on this shower makes me realize just how much I love throwing showers! Now that I have the itch again I may just have to find a good reason to throw another one!
Anyone getting married or having a baby??
I had the honor of contributing to this absolutely lovely birthday party for a darling little one-year-old in my life. Liat is the daughter of my uber-talented friend Tania. When Tania and I collaborated, we knew we needed something special. See, almost all of my friends have children (see me with kids and baby showers for proof!) and of all of them, Liat is one of the only girls! Wandering though Michael’s one day, as we often do, Tania and I spotted these vintage looking carnival masks that inspired the whole party.
The Location: Downtown Los Angeles on this gorgeous terrace.
Activities: There was swimming, handmade pinwheels, an artist doing characachers, and a balloon artist as well.
The Drinks: Sticking to the vintage theme, there was Mexican coke, orange soda, and sparkling water.
These are yellow cupcakes with cream cheese frosting which I dyed. I was going for pink, but ended up with a more purple shade…
Chocolate dipped pretzels:
Tania and Liat getting a little help blowing out the candle:
For even more details, check out Tania’s site!
Holiday season is here and if you are like me that means your calendar is rapidly filling up with holiday parties. And when it comes to parties, I feel being a gracious guest is just as important as being a fabulous host! After all, you do want to make sure you get invited to the next party! And when you are gracious, you let the host know just how much you appreciate them throwing a party. So here are my rules (well, suggestions):
1. Always RSVP!!!! If you don’t do this, you stink!! It’s very difficult to plan things like food or gifts if you have no idea who is coming. That’s why they ask for an RSVP.
2. Bringing a hostess gift is always a nice touch. It’s not mandatory, but you would never catch me showing up to someone’s house and not bringing at least something! Here are some ideas. Alcohol is always a nice option, but can be kinda predictable. If you are going to go with alcohol, why not mix it up and bring a fabulous bottle of festive pink champagne? If you are feeling even more creative, a holiday ornament for the tree is nice or a book or candle.
3. Be social! At the party, don’t just stick to your friends, branch out! Meet some new people! You never know who you’ll run into! No one likes a wall flower.
4. Drink, but don’t drink too much! Seriously, it’s a holiday party, not a fraternity party! Just cause there is free alcohol does not give you the excuse to get blasted.
5. Compliment the hosts on their efforts!
6. Don’t over stay your welcome. If the hosts are in their slippers and cleaning up bottles, don’t hang around unless you are going to do the dishes.
7. Send a “thank you” note. This is not mandatory, but is something that is so unexpected and nice when you receive! People who send me “thank you” notes automatically jump a notch in my book! If you don’t have time to write one, at least drop a phone call, text, or email.
Enjoy the holiday season!!
What a weekend. Oh right, that was 3 days ago. Guess it’s taken me a bit to recover from the sensorial experience known as Napa Valley Film Festival. We were there to promote the new indie film Answers To Nothing, starring Dane Cook with a cameo by yours truly. It’s out in theaters December 2nd, so be sure to see it!
As befits a festival set in the heart of California’s wine country, the focus was as much on the feasting and imbibing as it was on the films! And of course, Veggie Dreamgirl felt right at home. The people of Napa and the organizers of #NVFF couldn’t have been more welcoming! They put us up in this fabulous house (a special thanks to the Witt family for opening their gorgeous home to us) and entertained us all weekend. As soon as I walked into the house and saw the kitchen – it was craaazy gorgeous, modern, huge and rustic – I I knew I had to create. So we invited over the film’s writer/director, producers and actors and hosted a casual-luxe, Napa-inspired dinner party! Half the fun was hitting the local markets to source every local ingredient I could find.
K, now for the menu deets: 3 local cheeses served with locally grown globe grapes. Olives from a local farm. Pan roasted acorn squash with a raw kale salad served with a balsamic glaze and marcona almonds. And with a nod to my new bud Mario, a luxurious black truffle risotto. And because not everyone has hopped on the Veggie Dreamgirl train, guests also enjoyed filet mignon served atop a bed of garlic chard and dressed with a port wine reduction sauce. Dinner concluded with today’s feature recipe and a fitting tribute to Napa: Shiraz poached pears with a dollop of vanilla bean ice cream.
What you’ll need:
6 Bosc pears
1 bottle of red wine (preferably shiraz or zinfandel)
1 heaping tbsp. of cinnamon
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
vanilla bean ice cream (or vegan vanilla coconut ice cream) to serve with
What you’ll do:
Peel the pears leaving the stem attached. If the pears are not standing up straight, slice just a little off the bottom so they will stand up in your dish. In a large pot combine all the ingredients but the pears and stir until the sugar dissolves. Stand the pears up in the pot, cover and cook on medium for about 10 minutes. Turn all the pears on their sides so they are submerged in the wine. Cook another 5 minutes and then rotate the pears again. Cook for a final five minutes. Remove the pears carefully with tongs and place them on your plates. Cook the wine for another 7 minutes until it reduces. Add a scoop of ice cream to your plate with the pear and then drizzle a couple spoonfuls of the reduced wine sauce over the pear. Serve immediately.
and thank you to Matt for these fantastic pictures
As promised here are the photos from the cocktail party I threw for some of my favorite bloggers in Los Angeles. Since it was such a beautiful warm Summer evening, I hosted it in my backyard. As the ladies entered I had them write name tags for themselves (since some of us had not met yet) and put their names in a bowl for the raffle
We had plenty of sips and nibbles. Sips provided by Veev Vodka and CalNaturale wines I chose to serve 2 cocktails, red wine, white wine, lemonade and water. The cocktails were Veev acai mojitos and super yummy sangria made with the Veev vodka and CalNaturale's cabernet sauvignon. The sangria was my personal favorite
I made some nibbles for the ladies to snack on. I made a big cheese board with cotswold cheese, stilton with dried apricots, white cheddar, double cream brie and swiss cheese. In the background are grilled zucchini roll-ups with goat cheese.
I did a few sweets too. My secret rum cake, chocolate cupcakes, and salted chocolate chip cookies.
Some of the ladies exchanging cards.
Check out Autumn and Jenny sampling some of the treats in the gift bag:
So much fun Check out my sister with my adorable nephew Jack!
As you saw in the earlier post, I went with purple and yellow flowers. I tied all the vases with some purple ribbon I scored at costco on a shopping trip with my Mom. Who knew they had fabulous deals on ribbon?! I guess they have fabulous deals on everything.
Thank you again to all of our fabulous sponsors!! Thank you Planet Salon, Namaste, CalNaturale Wines, Veev Vodka, Svelte, Clearly Fresh Bags, Popsalot Popcorn, Bakluvit Baklava, Best Friends, Gluten Free Goddess, Volcanica Candles, and Metromint Water. And I have to thank the incredibly talented Adam Hendershott for photographing the party! You can see more of his work here on his website.
It was a great party! I hope everyone had as much fun as I did! Have you had a blogger meet-up in your town? I'd love to hear about it!