It’s officially been 1-year since I started writing Live. Laugh. Cook. — and not to be totally cliche, but — it’s crazy how time flies!
I have spent countless hours cooking, taking/editing photos, writing, and interacting and I have truly loved every second of it all. Looking back to some of my first posts, it’s amazing to see how my style and photography have grown. I know I have a lot more to learn and so many more people to meet, but that’s what makes writing this blog so exciting and fulfilling.
As a token of appreciation for my readers that I’ve gained and interacted with over the past year, I wanted to giveaway one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. So, thanks so much for your support along the way, and I can’t wait to share more fun and exciting things with you!!
Enter to win this sleek Cuisinart® 4-Cup Food Processor in stainless steel (as seen in picture below)!
Simply follow me on Instagram for your chance to win. You’ll also have to enter your e-mail address, which is strictly used to contact the lucky winner!
For additional entries you can follow Live. Laugh. Cook. on any or all of the following:
You can also get an additional entry by leaving a comment describing your favorite recipe(s) from Live. Laugh. Cook.
One winner will be chosen at random using promosimple when the giveaway ends, Wednesday, April 23rd at 11:59am EST. I’ll announce the winner Thursday, April 24th on the Live. Laugh. Cook. Facebook page! (For more info, you can check the official rules below!
Did you think I forgot about this place? This has probably been my longest gap between posting since my trip to Europe last September! Well, not to make any excuses, but I started a brand new job at work last week and was devoting a lot of my free time to that and absorbing a ton of information…
That aside, I did get a chance one night last week to make these AMAZING chicken parm balls for dinner!
Chicken parmesan is one of my all-time favorites to order when I’m out having Italian food. A couple months ago I had the idea to make yummy little bites of chicken parm and tested out two different ways to make them:
- I dipped the finished balls in egg mixture before rolling in panko
- I added tomato sauce directly into the chicken mixture, which made it wet enough to roll in panko without the need for dipping in any egg
After making and tasting both, I decided that adding the sauce directly into the chicken was the way to go. It keeps the chicken moist during the cooking process, which makes the texture much better when you eat it and I also thought it was more true to the “chicken parm” concept (otherwise, it was more like a chicken meatball that I was serving with sauce).
To get that crispy exterior (one of the reasons I love chicken parm to begin with) I pan fried the chicken parm balls in some olive oil until they were golden brown and crispy on all sides, then finished them in the oven to get the chicken cooked through and the cheese all melty and delicious!
They made an excellent dinner, but their cute size make them a perfect idea for an appetizer or hors d’oeuvre at a dinner party! I served them over some spaghetti sprinkled with chopped parsley for a little freshness.
I’ll have the recipe posted shortly. Here’s the recipe for you to try!
Also, be sure to keep an eye out, coming up later this week and next are some cute banana carob chip muffins and a giveaway to celebrate Live. Laugh. Cook.’s 1-year anniversary!!
Last month for my birthday we went to a great Mexican restaurant, El Vez, in the city with some friends. I had been there a couple times in the past for drinks, but had never had any food, so I was pretty psyched to try it out finally.
Something they’re known for is the many varieties of guacamole they offer — so obviously we had to get one! We ended up getting their “bazooka” limon guac as our appetizer and my world was subsequently changed forever.
I have to admit that the many, many times I’ve enjoyed guacamole in my life, it’s been pretty straight-forward. No unusual ingredients or textures, but usually the classic avocados, lime, cilantro, onion and garlic. On the other hand, this guac from El Vez had crazy things like goat cheese, fire-roasted tomatoes, chili flakes and pistachios in it — what?! Yes.
This left me no choice, I had to make this again at home.
- Pull together your ingredients: avocados, limes, fire-roasted tomatoes, cilantro, goat cheese, red onion, garlic, pistachios and chili flakes
- Dice avocados and add to a mixing bowl
- Add lime juice, salt, pepper, chopped cilantro, diced onion and minced garlic
- Mix ingredients until well combined and guac is somewhat chunky in texture (i.e. to mash avocados completely)
- Add chili flakes and mix because you forgot to initially include them in the beginning — oops!
- Add your special guests to the party — diced tomatoes, crumbled goat cheese and chopped pistachios — mix until just combined
- Serve guac topped with more tomatoes, goat cheese, pistachios and fried garlic slices
I’ve been refraining from saying this the whole time, but holy guacamole — you have to try this recipe, it’s too good not to try. The goat cheese and fire-roasted tomatoes add a nice rich element that I would never think to pair with avocado, but work surprisingly well together. Then the pistachios, conceptually a strange addition, but it definitely adds a great textural element to an otherwise smooth food, so I’m definitely a fan!
It’s a bit early for Cinco de Mayo, but you should definitely tuck this one away for a fun celebration or when you’re having guests over or when you’re going to a potluck — it’s definitely special. Also, if you’re in the Philly area, you can stop by El Vez for some of their other guac offerings, if not you can certainly get a taste of it with this!
Earlier last month we met again for our monthly cooking class and this go around was John’s turn. He wanted to take on a bit of a theme for his night and made the delicious choice of: BEER!
We made a honey chili beer chicken and roasted broccoli with beer cheese sauce. Everyone chipped in and dinner came together fairly quickly — the results could have fooled me though, because this meal was yumtastic and tasted like the flavors had a while to come together.
Maybe John cheated by using two favorable ingredients — ummm — cheese and beer — I’d eat that anytime and be a happy camper. (P.S. whenever I use the phrase “happy camper” I think of this hilarious Jim Gaffigan skit…)
Okay now that that’s out of the way, I think John had a great idea to make a beer-themed dinner and it was a huge success. The honey chili chicken was sticky and delicious and the roasted broccoli was perfectly roasted which gave it a great crunch; drenched in the rich beer cheese sauce that would be great paired with a million other foods (e.g. pretzels, bread, hot dogs, cardboard, etc.) made it extra special. Both dishes are a must try!
Great picks John and yummy execution!!