Tuesday, March 24, 2009

You're Invited!!! A Virtual Open House Extravaganza + a Giveaway!

You are ALL invited! In honor of Art and Aioli's ONE year anniversary, I am hosting a belated blogoversary bash! As a culinary art studio, it will be an Open House night with food, wine, art and great company I hope! Stop by any time on Tuesday April 14th to check it out.

But I would love for you to participate as well! Bring an appetizer, beverage, or dessert to share. Or send me some artwork to hang on the wall. It must be tasteful and suitable for audiences of all ages. I will need your food and art submissions by April 8th to make sure I have time to hang it and set it all out on the buffet table. I do want to make a nice presentation for the very first Art and Aioli Open House night.

Please send entries to missNnick [at] gmail [dot] com. Include "A and A Open House" in the subject line. Make sure your photos are at least 150 x 150 pixels (square). You will need to include your name, blog name and URL, the name of your entry (dish), the permalink to your entry, and a link back to Art and Aioli!

In addition to a wonderful party spread, I am going to do a new giveaway!

But here is the catch! While I would love for you to leave a comment on this post and gladly welcome any thoughts, in order to be eligible for the drawing to win the invitations, you must pop on over to my Stationery Blog at Miss 'N Nick and leave a comment there telling me why you prefer traditional invitations in the mail as opposed to Evites or emails etc... You must leave the comment by midnight on April 10th in order to be in the drawing. You can reach the proper post here: http://missnnick.com/blog/2009/03/spring-celebratory-giveaway.html

I am so excited. I just know we'll have a great turn out. Don't forget the deadline is April 8th for recipe entries and April 10th for contest entries. Tell a blog buddy!

*NOTE: The Cupcake invitations are NOT available for this offer. As one of our most popular designs, we are back ordered on this piece for about a month and I do not want to offer something that will not be available right away. Also note that if you need more than 2 boxes (20 invitations) , the two winners will also have the option of purchasing more of the same invitations or matching note cards at a 10% discount in conjunction with this giveaway extravaganza.


Hungry right now? Try some of this!

Chinese Chicken in Lettuce Leaves
adapted from The Sterling Performance Cookbook

3 Tbls. oil (I use vegetable but add a small splash of chili and sesame oil as well for some heat)
1 1/3 cups finely chopped chicken breast
1 cup seeded and finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 Tbls. sugar
1/2 Tbls. salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 1/2 Tbls. minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 Tbls. soy sauce
3 Tbls. water
1 Tbls. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 large scallion, sliced
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
cilantro for garnish

Heat the oil in a skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add the chicken, green or red pepper, sugar, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly until the peppers turn a deeper color and the chicken is cooked, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the ginger, soy sauce, water, and lemon juice to the chicken mixture, stirring well. Cook for 1 more minute. Remove the chicken from the heat. Sprinkle with the scallion and walnuts and garnish with cilantro. Set aside and keep warm.

Make spicy dipping sauce!

Spicy Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/8 cup or more soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 or more tsp. chili oil
1-2 tsp. hot chinese mustard
1-2 tsp. chili garlic sauce
A few scallions

Stir all the above ingredients together in a bowl until well blended.

To serve plase 2 or 3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture on a lettuce leaf, roll up; and place on serving dish. Pass the sauce separately.

Listen! If you are a fan of the lettuce wraps at P.F. Chang's, then you will like these. They are just as good. If not (dare I say???)... Better!

Tips: Cut the chicken pieces as small as you can. It is the hardest part of this dish. To make it easier to cut, freeze the chicken a little while or let frozen chicken thaw out partway.

Hey, did you know we are now on Facebook? Join the group. It's a lot of fun and a wonderful forum of ideas.


Lori Lynn said...

Hi Nicole - Well, Happy One Year Anniversary! YAY for Art and Aioli! It certainly has been a delicious and creative year.

Those lettuce wraps sound excellent, I am betting better than PF Chang's. Love all the cilantro too.

Gloria Baker said...

Nicole I really love This, and happy Bloganniversary! I hope to send you something nice to the party!!! Love it!!! xxGloria

Emily said...

I have been away for 2 weeks and would like to say that i really like the new look of your blog.

Anonymous said...

Happy blogoversary, Nicole!

Joie de vivre said...

What a fun idea! Congratulations on your blogaversary!

Erin said...

Oh my goodness!! That is so amazingly cool--it just so happens I am insanely psyched for that movie. What kind of work did he do on it?

Erin said...

(er...as clarification, my above comment was a reply to your comment on my blog.)

Nicole said...

Thank you all! For the comments and continued visits and support. I do hope to see you at the party!

Erin- I knew to what you were referring! I had a feeling you would be into this movie. You remind me a bit of Helena Bonham Carter and could be a Merchant Ivory film girl... a renaissance girl to the hilt!

To answer your question, my husband does lighting for the movie industry and works on a variety of project. Usually he is the lighting manager (best boy) but right now he is between "gigs" so he did some plain old rigging and lighting a couple weeks ago to help fill in the gaps. Burton was there of course and apparently a quiet, nice guy. My friend from Milan is soooo in love with all his work that I must report every detail. Depp wasn't there those weeks. Mostly it was green screen work and reshoots. But the costuming is proving to be quite spectacular. Oh and I forgot to send you the link.. but you probably already know where to look anyway: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1014759/

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Happy One Year anniversary! A delicious looking salad!



Anonymous said...

MMMMM. LOVE your blog. Very cool.

Peter M said...

Congrats Nicole, it's been a pleasure reading your blog, thoughts and food.

I'll try and whip-up something for your party...k?

Anonymous said...

Ohhh - I'll be there!! Congrats on your anniversary. I think I know exactly what I'll be bringing!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your anniversary! And thank you so much for visiting my site today. You have a great blog and I'm looking forward to keeping in touch! Natasha

Anonymous said...

Great idea, Nicole! I'm so happy that I haven't missed the party. I'm going to pop over to your stationary site now b/c I'd love to win some of you amazing stationary (imagine my hands rubbing together & a gleeful smile upon my face).

Big, big hugs & kisses to you,

chefectomy said...

I'd say this qualifies you as beyond "aspiring". Looks wonderful. Happy B'versary...


Lauren said...

Happy Anniversary! I sure wish I lived on the west coast so I could come to the party!

Nicole said...

Rosa- Thank you for stopping by. I hope you can join in the party!

Rebekka- You are so sweet. Thank you and welcome!

Peter- I look forward to seeing what you cook up! I know it'll be great.

Kristen- So glad you can make it! Yeah!

Natasha- Welcome. I am so glad you came by. Your blog is wonderful. I hope you can come to the "party."

Amy- I missed you sooo much!! And I am so happy you can come to the "shin dig"! Wouldn't be the same without you.

Marc- I am blushing! From YOU... this is more than a compliment!

Lulu- Glad to see you. And guess what? You DON'T have to miss the party! It is virtual so you can be anywhere! Just submit a recipe and I will post it along with others! Hope to see you there!

s. stockwell said...

We used to have something similar to your lettuce leaf idea in a great Chinese restaurant in Beverly Hills? We forgot about it and this is a wonderful reminder. Thanks, s

Nicole said...

S- Welcome to my blog. There are many restaurants these days that have chicken in lettuce wraps but I think they are going downhill. You should give this recipe a try. It is great.