We’ve got your summer picnic covered

After spending the last 3 years moving around Vermont, Colorado, New Orleans, and the Hamptons, Lisandra Caraballo now lives in Manhasset, NY and has begun building up a substantial following on social media for her delicious eats and treats. Her specialty? Well that depends on who you ask.

“My Dad would say it’s my breakfast sandwiches, but I think my specialty is my bacon chocolate chip cookie pie, or my smoked paprika salmon dish with wild rice and herbs,” Caraballo says.

She fell in love with cooking, baking and experimenting with food when she was a child helping her mom prepare Thanksgiving with her sisters.

“We would all be given a job by my mother, mainly just to keep us entertained and from arguing with one another,” she says, “but little did she know that bringing me into the kitchen was going to turn out to be a full on love affair with food and the culinary world.”

Lisandra has all you need for the perfect summer picnic. Head to the park and impress your friends with these fun takes on your picnic staples.


Summer Garden Pea Pesto Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onions, Mozzarella, Smoked Gouda, Bacon & Arugula

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What you’ll need for the Pea Pesto:

1 Bag Frozen or Fresh Peas

½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 Tbsp. Garlic

2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar

1 Tsp. Onion Powder

4 Tsp. Grated Parmesan Cheese

Salt + Pepper

What you’ll need for the grilled cheese:

2 White Onions

4 Slices of Cooked Bacon

1 Tbsp.  Minced Thyme

Smoked Gouda Cheese

Mozzarella Cheese

Handful of Arugula

Fresh Italian Ciabatta Bread

To make the pesto place the peas, garlic, brown sugar, onion powder, Parmesan cheese and a dash of salt and pepper into the food processor, as it is pureeing, slowly start to pour the olive oil in, letting it become smoother and thinner from when you first started. Set aside.san life 2014 847

To caramelize your onions, start with a sauté pan and put 4 tbsp. of olive oil in it followed by your thinly sliced onions. Keep on a low-medium flame to achieve that sweet, brown, caramelized taste. Slow and steady is the trick to these onions!

Now to put this bad boy together!

Spread butter on both the top and bottom pieces of the ciabatta bread, on the inside of the bottom bread piece but a generous smear of pea pesto to coat the bottom and then layer on top your smoked Gouda, mozzarella, thyme, caramelized onions, bacon and a handful of arugula. Before you close your sandwich, smear another heaping amount of the pea pesto on the inside of the top bread piece and then press down on the sandwich for about a minute or so, so all that delicious cheese becomes melted and oozes from your pan to your plate. Cut to share… or not to share, but definitely enjoy!


Pb & Jelly Pie

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What you’ll need:

12 oz. Cream Cheese

1 cup Peanut Butter (I prefer smooth & creamy for a better texture!)

1 package of Honey Graham Crackers

4 Tbsp. Melted Butter

½ Cup Confectionery Sugar

1 Cup Strawberry Blackberry Preserves (or whichever is your favorite!)

1 Pint of Heavy Cream

2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

9 inch round pan

First, lightly grease your pie pan than crush up the honey graham crackers until they are in small sand like pieces and mix together with butter. Take mixture and evenly distribute in pan just to coat the bottom. Set aside.san life 2014 922

Then go ahead and cream together in a large bowl the peanut butter, sugar and cream cheese to a smooth and fluffy consistency, 1-2 minutes, than spoon this delicious mixture into the pie pan.

Next you want to take your preserves and mix it for a little to loosen it up a bit and I like to put a generous layer of the preserves right on top of the peanut butter mixture.

With your heavy cream and vanilla extract, put into a separate bowl and beat on high for 3-5 minutes, till this too is light and fluffy. Spoon your homemade whipped cream on top of the pie and spread evenly.

Place pie in the fridge to chill for 4-6 hours, decorate with slice of strawberry, graham cracker dust & a sprig of mint. And all-time classic favorite dish transformed into a tasty dessert!


Chocolate Avocado Mousse

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What you’ll need:

2 Ripe Avocados

¼ Cup Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

¼ Cup Honey

¼ Cup Almond Milk

3 Tbsp. Chocolate Syrupsan life 2014 810

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Raspberries & Almonds to Garnish!

Place avocados, cocoa powder, honey, chocolate syrup, almond milk and vanilla extract in food processor, blend until creamy and smooth! And BAM! Chocolate mousse, delicious and healthier than most! Garnish with raspberries and slivered almonds, or other fruits and nuts to your liking!


For more, find Lisandra at @LittleHippieChef on Instagram, @LittleHippyChef on Twitter & if you’d like to place any orders or have her come and host a dinner party, shoot her an email at LittleHippieChef@yahoo.com


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