A couple months ago, Intel reached out to me to let me experience their Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet and see if it’ll help a blogger out. A) I never owned a tablet of any kind so I was down to try it; and B) My laptop is not the of the lightweight kind and lugging it around to blog has been giving me shoulder pains lately, so now I’ve turned this into a health issue (see what I did there?).
My very own Dell tablet!
Also everyone makes fun of how I’ve been blogging for years but have the most outdated tech stuff — including but not limited to my laptop, phone, and iPod. #haters.
ANYWAY. Here are 6 things I’ve already loved about having it around:
1) Twitter and Facebook are much more fun to peruse
2) It’s soooo small I can carry it around when I’m blogging on the go.
On the go
The built-in camera has helped me with restaurant blogging and I can upload it right to my blog if need be. But its tiny size has been the biggest plus for me so far. It’s lighter than my camera, for real.
3) I can catch up with my shows (in HD!) with their Netflix and Hulu+ apps
Finally re-joining pop culture conversations again.
I was having a super lazy Sunday (like, wake-up-at-2pm-and-wear-PJs-all-day kinda lazy) with my friend Qareena, until I decided to do at least one productive task and cook dinner for us. I set some chicken cubes I just bought from Honest Chops out to thaw and started looking for new recipes. Honest Chops is, by the way, “an all-natural, organically-inclined, halal butcher shop” a few of my friends run in the East Village and the quality of their meat is far superior than any meat I’ve cooked with. I can easily taste the difference so I prefer to cook with their meat now when I can. Totally a plug but not really a plug without reason — I really think everyone should know about this place and try it out if you’re in NYC (PS, they deliver). But…I digress.
I stumbled upon this recipe for spicy chicken sandwiches with cilantro-lime mayo and they had me at “lime.” I had almost all the ingredients, but I substituted a couple of things based on what I had, mixing up the spices a little. Also, the original recipe uses chicken breasts which would make it better for a sandwich, but because I already had chicken cubes thawing, I decided to try it both as a flatbread and sandwiches. The original recipe is here, but I’m posting what I used below:
Crispy chicken flatbread
1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp garlic paste
1 lb chicken cubes
6 tablespoons hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash for chicken
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp chili pepper
4 1/2 ounces baked tortilla chips (about 6 cups). Note: I totally just did this by eye, I think I used half a bag of tortilla chips
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 100% Whole Wheat Arnold Sandwich Thin Rolls. Note #2: I’m completely obsessed
Red onion slices
Lettuce. Note #3: I didn’t have this so I didn’t use it. I mean, I had kale I was going to use but remember, Lazy Sunday. Next time.
1. To prepare mayo, combine the first 5 ingredients. Squeeze all the juice in the lime half to add in mixture
Cilantro lime mayo spread
2. To prepare chicken, I whisked eggs, hot sauce, Mrs. Dash, peppers, and salts in a bowl and saturated the chicken cubes in it.
The recipe calls for you to marinate it in a Ziploc for a couple hours, but seeing I didn’t have any, I let it sit in the bowl for a couple hours instead, occasionally mixing it through the mixture.
**Pausing from our regularly scheduled recipe for a NOTE ON TORTILLA CHIPS: I know I’m completely accident prone (See: bleeding for avocados), but a word of caution: Tortilla chips are dangerous, people. The original recipe also calls for you to process the chips in a food processor which I JUST ORDERED A WEEK AGO. But alas, I didn’t have one so I decided to crumble them by smushing them with my fingers in the most ghetto way possible. And then, one of the pointy corners of a chip actually cut my pinky. Not a knife. A tortilla chip. Third finger I cut in one month from cooking. A wise old man told me the smarter thing to do would have been to crush them with my knuckles. So there’s that. But this part took a considerable 15 minutes to finish. Also, I assume most of you own a food processor in which case you read all this for nothing. Pleasant side effect of using your hands, though: mine were soft as a baby after from the oils in the chips (did I just unearth a beauty tip? Well, then).**
3. If you’re trying to take the day’s stress out in a healthy way, go ahead and grind those chips with your knuckles. If in the off-chance you want to do this like a civilized human being, place tortilla chips in a food processor and process 1 minute or until ground. Place ground chips in a shallow dish.
4. After letting the chicken marinate, remove, allowing excess to drip off. Coat chicken completely in chips. Set aside. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken and chips.
5. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil to pan, swirling to coat. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned and done.
6. Spread mayo evenly over cut sides the sandwich thins. Layer bottom half of each roll with 3 onion slices, 1 lettuce leaf, and a couple chicken pieces; top with top another half to serve as a sandwich, or as is to have a delicious crispy chicken flatbread.
Crispy Chicken spread
Crispy chicken flatbread
The cilantro-lime spread really makes the taste in this recipe, and the tortilla chips give the chicken a nice texture. The original recipe called this a spicy chicken, and even with the hot sauce and added chili pepper, I thought it wasn’t super spicy, but you can use spicy chips to make it moreso. This was my first time successfully cooking crispy chicken though and the tortilla chips worked amazingly well (I tried with bread crumbs before but it didn’t work out so well then…). Try this and let me know what you think!
In case you may have noticed on my social channels, I’ve started a slightly new obsession with kiwis. You can totally blameZespri, a New Zealand-based brand of kiwifruit-growers who recently hosted an event in NYC where they not only fed us delicious bites that contain the ingredient, but they also had dietition Rebecca Scritchfield on hand who taught us all the health benefits that go along with them.
Virgin kiwi mojito -- recipe below
And you can ask my friends, I’m passing that info to everyone — for example, two medium-sized Zespri Kiwifruit have fewer than 100 calories, MORE vitamin C than an orange, and MORE potassium than a banana.
Kiwi dishes at the Zespri event
And besides being low in fat and free of cholesterol, they are fiber powerhouses (helping you digest your food through an enzyme called actinidin). We also got to sample their newest breed, the SunGold Kiwifruit, which is a cross between green and gold kiwis, and a little sweeter in taste than the green kiwis (Read: Where to find SunGold kiwis). It also happens to have TWICE the amount of vitamin C as the green kiwi.
Snacks at home
I’ve been stocking up every time I go to the grocery store now and trying to include it in at least one meal a day since right now they’re in-season (their season goes from June to October).
Easy eating a kiwi with a splice -- a double-ended spoon and knife
I was recently tasked with heading up an auction for an upcoming ICNYU fundraising dinner which benefits the NJ-based SMILE charity, specifically towards their Women’s Fund which helps assist women going through extreme hardships like domestic violence. Everyone has been working tirelessly to organize fun and creative ways to raise money leading up to the dinner this Tuesday. In a very short amount of time, it was amazing seeing so many people come together and dedicate themselves towards such a great and needed cause.
Putting the auction together was a bit daunting because I never organized one before. I knew I wanted to include items and experience packages people would really be excited about and decided my starting point should be brands I really love myself. I was blown away by the response — every single brand I reached out agreed to donate something. It was really inspiring to see how people band together and want to help for a good cause. I wanted to showcase those items here, not only because they are seriously awesome but because the sponsors deserve a little more attention for stepping up as do-gooders. People have already started bidding on the items (which you still can by emailing your bid by tonight to email@example.com), but all of them will also be continued to be bid upon at the actual sold-out event on July 22nd!
If you told me I’ve been on an avocado kick lately, I’d say you wouldn’t be wrong. I guess my mom noticed too because she called me telling me to try making a sandwich with an avocado spread. Just further proving moms are always right, this came out so delicious. Plus it’s a great, healthy meal that took me 15 minutes to whip up (since the chicken was already done). Apologies for the less-than-perfect picture — I was on a time crunch and snapped these quickly with my phone!
Avocado chicken sandwich
It’s essentially chicken with a little modified guac but the mayo makes it a little more creamy:
Makes 2 servings:
Season 1/2 lb chicken breast with salt, pepper, garlic salt, Mrs. Dash (for chicken), and thyme. Fry until slightly brown with avocado oil or olive oil (I used the former). Cut into pieces.
1/2 red Onion
2 tbs cilantro
1 tsp mayonnaise
Whole wheat sandwich thins (I used Arnold)
Tim Gunn is one of the nicest guys. NICEST. So when P&G beauty wanted to set up a #Saturdate with him a few bloggers, I took the next bus from my aunt’s place in NJ and came to the Walgreens at Times Square just to do so. They had makeup artists on hand doing Olay and CoverGirl makeovers, and hair using Pantene products to refresh our look before we snapped a picture with Gunn.
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MAKE SURE to leave a comment below letting me know how you entered (either on FB or with your Twitter handle). Winner will be selected and notified Thursday, July 24th. Open to US residents only. Thanks for entering and good luck!!