Yesterday I hosted a Stella and Dot jewelry party for my good friend and neighbor, Kathleen, who is one of their stylists. Now, truth be told, I LOVE hosting parties, but this one was especially fun because it was just the ladies
....or, as Gwen would say (waving her finger in the air) "Girls Only"..
and Stella and Dot is definitely my FAVORITE jewelry line out there these days.
Couple things before I start: and I'm plugging here for myself (I get jewelry credit) and Kathleen. If you want to order in the next week or so..go here and select my name as the "host".
When I plan a party, the VERY first thing I do is think of a food theme.
You've GOT to have one.
I knew I was just going to serve apps, but what type?
As I told you in the previous blog, I'm totally into the "Food to Live By" cookbook by Earthbound Organic and I came across this recipe for "Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps"....and it was an Asian-themed food from that the second I finished reading the recipe..
Here's what the menu looked like: (recipes follow in a couple of blogs--)
1) Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Asain Dipping Sauce
2) Ginger/Soy marinated Flank Steak bites
3) Asain Avacado Salsa with Rice Sesame Thins--holy moly, I could eat this every day
4) Cheesy Wontons --HOMEMADE FOLKS and OUT.OF.THIS.WORLD.DELISH.
5) Pork and Vegetable Egg Rolls/ Vegetable Egg Rolls
Inner monolgue questions: "1)Am I doing too much? 2) Am I going to be going crazy? How much can I make "pre-party"?
Inner monolgue answers: "1) Probably 2)Already am, so tack on a bit more crazy and who cares! 3)More than you think
Here's how the day and the cooking went along with the recipes:
5:00am Up with Gwen, made espresso, gave her apple juice, turned on Dora.
5:15 Braced myself for a morning of "do-da-do-da-Dora" because I was going to need ALL the time I could get to make all of these appetizers, clean the house, and perhaps even shower before 14 guests arrived at 3:00pm
5:30am Started chopping everything for the Chicken Lettuce Wraps.
Side note: If you don't have it, GET THE PAMPERED CHEF CHOPPER
My kitchen life would not be complete without it. This is it:
And finally, here's the recipe...straight out of Food to Live By:
Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps
1.5 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut int 1/2 inch dice
3 TBS cornstarch
2 TBS toasted sesame oil
2 TBS peanut oil--DIDN"T USE. OLIVE OIL INSTEAD
3/4 cute finely sliced scallions, including white and 3 inches of green
3 TBS grated peeled fresh giner
2 TBS finely diced jalapeno pepper
2 TBS minced lemonsgrass--says optional, but USE IT. Nice grocery stores have it--I bought one large stalk
1 TBS minced garlic
1 can (8oz) water chestnuts, rinsed, drained, and cutin to 1/4 inch dice
3 baby bok choy (8 oz including white ribs) very thinly sliced
2 TBS soy sauce
1/4 cut teriyaki sauce---I USED VERY VERY TERIAKI...this one..
bought at Trader Joes but have seen it in normal grocery stores.
1/4 cup mirin (sweet rice wine)
1 TBS Thai fish sauce (says optional, but I used it) (Vons down the ethic row)
3 TBS thinly sliced fresh cilantro
2 heads iceberg lettuce or Butter lettuce (I used iceberbg bc it was cheaper--but I would use Butter next time because I like how big the leaves are with butter lettuce and they are nice and soft and roll well)
Asian Dipping Sauce (recipe follows after the chicken)
1) Spread chicken on a plate. Coat chicken with it!
2) Heat 1 TBS of the sesame oil and the peanut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring frequetnly until it is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to boal, leaving any pan juices in the skillet.
3) Add the remaining 1 TBS each of sesame oil and peanut oil (OLIVE for me!)to the skillet. Add: scallions, ginger, jalapeno, lemongrass, and garic. Cook over medium heat, stirring CONSTANTLY until fragrant (2 minutes)
4) Add the water chestnuts, bok choy, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, mirin, and the fish sauce. Cook, stirring frequently until the bok choy wilts and the sauce is hot--3-5 min
5) Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the skillet and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes
6) Put chicken mixture into a large bowl that can be reheated---about 5 minutes before people showed up, I stuck this baby into the microwave and heated it up for 5 minutes...
7) Sprinkle with cilantro and serve next to a platter that contains the Asian Dipping Sauce and the lettuce spread out and ready to serve!
Asian Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
Side note about toasted sesame seeds--get a pan nice and hot and then take it off the heat.Add the sesame seeds and stir CONSTANTLY until they are lightly brown.
Made THAT mistake only once in my life.
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
2 TBS mirin
Mix all together and serve in a bowl on a plate with the lettuce.
Time after chicken is made for lettuce wraps: 6:30 am.
Pour another cup of espresso.
Turn on Caillou for the kids
Contemplate who is more annoying: Dora or Caillou?
Next up: Home made Cheesy Wontons....