Join the Urban Bliss Life in the kitchen for our monthly cooking & baking challenge of 2024! Readers are encouraged to make a recipe based on a different theme each month.
To help celebrate our 20th year of blogging, we are SO excited to continue this month with our 2024 Urban Bliss Life Cooking & Baking Challenge!
You all did amazing last month for our first recipe challenge! The winner will be announced in my Instagram stories and in an upcoming Sunday newsletter.
Nothing brings us greater joy than when you leave comments on the blog or social media that you've tried one of our recipes and it's now part of your regular dinner rotation. And we're so delighted that you enjoyed making our Pork and Peanut Dragon Noodles and Chewy Chocolate Fudge Cookies last month!
It's such a gift when you make one of our recipes, and we can't thank you enough for your support over these past 20 years. So we're expanding that community spirit with these cooking and baking challenges -- with an Amazon gift card prize each month!
February is the month of love -- hello, Valentine's Day! -- and it's also my birthday month! So our cooking challenge recipe is one of my personal favorites that also happens to make an elegant Valentine's Day dinner: Risotto with Prawns. Our baking challenge recipe is a reader fave that's also perfect in pink for Valentine's Day: our Strawberry Crinkle Cookies.
We invite you to join us in the kitchen and make one of these recipes. Or make both, if you like!
To enter our monthly Amazon gift card drawing:
- Make one or both of the featured recipes.
- Leave a comment and star rating on the recipe's blog post.
- Snap a quick phone pic of the finished dish and share it on Instagram and/or Facebook. Be sure to tag @UrbanBlissLife and use the hashtag #UrbanBlissLife. And please remember that your posts must be public in order for us to see them!
Each valid entry will be entered to win a $100 Amazon gift card!
Cooking challenge: Risotto with prawns
This month's cooking challenge recipe is one that is near and dear to my heart; Risotto with Prawns. If you've never cooked risotto before, have no fear! It's actually quite simple. It just needs a little love and attention.
Here are some tips when cooking this recipe:
- The best rice to use for risotto is Arborio Rice, which has a high starch content and gives risotto that classic creaminess. You can find arborio rice in pretty much any grocery store. Sushi rice also has a high starch content, so if you're in a pinch and that's all you've got, use that.
- You can use shrimp instead of prawns, just be sure to use Jumbo Shrimp if you substitute.
- If you want to omit the wine, you can substitute more broth or stock.
- Risotto isn't the kind of dish you can walk away from for a few minutes; you need to keep an eye on it. So stay by the stove, stir constantly, ladling in more stock as needed, and enjoy the process of being present while making this delectable dish!
Baking challenge: strawberry crinkle cookies
This month's baking challenge recipe is our Strawberry Crinkle Cookies. These are so cute and easy -- perfect for Valentine's Day!
Baking tips for this cookie recipe:
- Use your favorite strawberry boxed cake mix. Any box mix between 14 and 15.25 ounces will work.
- Make sure your eggs are at room temperature before mixing. This will ensure a smooth and well-mixed batter, which results in better cookies.
- Allow the cookies to cool for a couple of minutes on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to completely cool, before storing.
How to enter
- Make one of the featured recipes of the month.
- Leave a comment and star rating on the featured recipe's blog post.
- Snap a quick cell phone pic of the finished dish and share it on Instagram or Facebook in a public post, tagging @UrbanBlissLife and using hashtag #UrbanBlissLife.
The prize: one participant will be chosen at random each month to win a $100 USD Amazon Gift Card, which will be sent via email.
Cooking Challenge FAQs
Absolutely! We would LOVE that! You'll need to submit each recipe photo separately, but each separate recipe you make with a finished dish photo within the monthly theme will count as a separate entry.
Yes! We have many readers in Canada and would love for you all to enter our monthly cooking challenges! If the winner selected at random lives in Canada, we'll send an Amazon.ca gift card in the equivalency of $100 USD, based on the exchange rate on the date the card is purchased.
While we would love to have you cook and bake with us for these challenges, your entry is not eligible for the prize. Currently, we are only able to give an Amazon gift card in USD. You are most certainly invited to make the recipes and let us know how it goes! You just can't be entered to win the prize. Sorry, foodie friends outside of the US/Canada!
Full challenge rules
- This month's challenge ends at 10:00 pm PST on January 31, 2024.
- Entrants must be 18+ and provide a valid e-mail address in the blog comment that is checked regularly.
- Winner is chosen at random and will be notified via email. The first winner must respond within 48 hours from the timestamp on the sent email from Urban Bliss Life, or else they forfeit the prize and a second winner will be selected.
- The prize is a $100 USD Amazon Gift Card which will be sent to the winner's email address.
- This giveaway is in no way associate with or endorsed by Instagram or Facebook.
Kitchen tools to make this month's recipes
For the Risotto with Prawns
- YOUR GO-TO COVERED CASSEROLE: A flawless pairing of form and function that doesn't quit. The Lodge...
- Made of solid beech wood
- Safe for non-stick cookware
- Natural oil finish
- Handwash only
- Set includes: Wooden Large Spoon, Wooden Medium Spoon and Wooden Small Spoon
For the Strawberry Crinkle Cookies
- Naturals commercial bakeware is made of pure aluminum which will never rust for a lifetime of durability. For sweet or savory baking; from cookies to sheet pan dinners, this is the pan you’ll reach for.
Happy cooking and baking!