Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ilissa's Homemade Pizza Sauce

Since becoming gluten free, ordering from a pizza place (especially since living in a small town) is generally not a great option for us. And especially since being a bit more budget conscious, I've come to the decision that it is way easier and yummier to just make my own. I do buy the crusts from a local independently owned restaurant that is very gluten knowledgeable and their crust is AMAZING: Diana's Gourmet Pizzeria. It has won awards all around the world and is definitely a must try if you live in Winnipeg and are gluten free, vegan, or just LOVE pizza!

And after doing a lot of searching to find a pizza sauce recipe that is was just right, I realized I couldn't find one. So, I decided to make my own using a number of the ideas I had come across.

This recipe is quick and easy to make and is so yummy! I generally make the whole batch (or double), then freeze in 2/3 cup portions (2/3 cup sauce / pizza). Our favourite toppings on this pizza is ground beef, red onions, green peppers, and marble cheese.  After trying this recipe, I'm pretty sure you'll never go back to buying the processed stuff in the stores. This is way healthier and way tastier.


Pizza Margherita
Stock photo. Photo credit: Abigail Lepp.

Ilissa's Homemade Pizza Sauce
(yields enough for 3 - 12" pizzas - freeze for later)

1 can (15oz. tomato sauce)
1 can (6oz. tomato paste)
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder OR 6 cloves of fresh garlic
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp red wine vinegar
pepper to taste

What do you plan to top your pizza with? 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Ilissa's Mexi Chicken Casserole (Recipe)

Are you looking a yummy Mexican recipe that is sure to impress your family? Since becoming gluten free almost 2 months ago, we have been trying out a lot of new recipes in the kitchen! And, this is one of my recent creations. My husband isn't a huge fan of Mexican food and he loved it; he gave it an 'above average' rating and said he'd have it again!

I forgot to shoot a picture of this recipe before gobbling it up! You'll just have to trust me. It's amazing!  And, I also forgot to time the recipe. I'll be adding both parts next time I make this dish.

Ilissa's Mexi Chicken Casserole  
Family sized - Serves 6 large portions. For a complete meal, pair with a fresh salad.

• 3 teaspoons chili powder
• 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
• 1 teaspoon onion powder
• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder (or approximately 4 cloves minced)
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon oregano
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional depending on your taste)
• freshly ground black pepper to taste
• 1/3 of a large organic green pepper, diced
• 1.5 cups organic white long grain rice (not instant)
• 2.75 cups water

• 3 free range boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into cubes
• 1 cup of organic corn (frozen or canned)
• 1.5 cups of shredded marble cheese (divided in half)
• 2/3 cup crushed organic corn tortilla chips (divided in half)
• 1.5 cups of your favourite organic salsa
• Optional: sour cream, green onions, or guacamole 

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine water, rice, green pepper, chili powder, paprika, onion powder, sea salt, garlic, cumin, oregano, black pepper, and cayenne. Stir well. Cook according to the instructions indicated on the rice package.
3. In the meantime, cut chicken thighs into cubed pieces and fry over medium heat until fully cooked.
4. In a bowl, mix together: all of the ingredients, ensuring to use only 1/2 the total amount of cheese and corn chips (3/4 cup of cheese, and 1/3 cup of crushed corn chips).
5. Spread mixture evenly in a 9x14" casserole dish.
6. Top the mixture with the remaining 3/4 cup of cheese, then 1/3 cup of crushed corn chips.
7. Cook at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. Then, broil for 5 minutes.
8. Let the casserole cool for 10 minutes, then serve.
9. Top with your choice of sour cream, guacamole, and/or freshly sliced green onions.
10. Enjoy!

In our house, we use mostly organic ingredients and like to make things from scratch (next to no processed foods!). I've included 'organic' next to the items that I like to use organic for whenever possible. To make this recipe even more exciting, try homemade corn tortilla chips, or homemade salsa and guacamole!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Year of Fun Thanks to Fisher-Price! (with reviews)

This past year has been an amazing adventure thanks to Fisher-Price. At the start of the year, our daughter was only 4 months old and getting lots of use out of the Fisher-Price My Little Lamb™ Cradle ‘n Swing, My Little Snugabunny™ Bouncer, and just starting to explore the fun of the Luv U Zoo Jumperoo. Although we received them at the end of last year or the beginning of this year, these are the toys and baby gear that got this year off to a good start!

Here is a list of the toys and accessories that Fisher-Price has spoiled us with this year:
Deluxe On The Go Diaper Backpack, which is our 'go-to' diaper bag! We love it's easy to locate pockets and all the room it provides! We use it all the time!
-Fisher-Price Stretch’Ems Onesies, which are great for taking your baby from one size to the next (and beyond!)
-My Little Snugabunny Cradle ‘N’ Swing Review
-Laugh & Learn Stride-to-Ride Puppy Review (plus this review)
-Stand-Up Ballcano Review (plus this review)
-Luv U Zoo Jumperoo Review
-Amazing Animals Sing-Along Choo Choo -Laugh & Learn™ Fun With Friends™ Musical Table

Of all these toys, my daughter's favourite has definitely been the Laugh & Learn Stride-to-Puppy. Since day one, she has loved it! She loves pressing the buttons, using it as a walker, and she has just recently started riding forward on it...all by herself! I'm one proud mommy to see all the milestones she is meeting with this toy! One of the cutest things she enjoys doing with it is sitting on puppy's back and continuously pressing puppy's nose. We have a couple of Laugh & Learn Puppy toys, but this one is clearly her favourite. Whenever we ask, "Where is Puppy?", she brings us her Laugh & Learn Stride-to-Ride Puppy. It is clearly a hit and I'd definitely recommend it to family and friends as a great gift for 6-36 months!

Out of this list of toys, I have a few favourites. One item that I really loved was the My Little Snugabunny Cradle 'N' Swing. I love the My Little Snugabunny Cradle 'N' Swing because we got so much use out of it unexpectedly when we were at a loss at how to get Lyla to sleep. We thought she might be getting too old when one day we tried it and within minutes, she was fast asleep. This was a great relief for us. I'd recommend the My Little Snugabunny Cradle 'N' Swing to all parents to be! This would make an excellent gift for any new or expected baby!

Thanks to Fisher-Price, I will be having the opportunity to make an expectant or new family's Christmas a little brighter thanks to the My Little Snugabunny Cradle 'N' Swing that they have offered to donate to the charity of my choice. The charity I chose is called Baby Blessings and is local to the rural area that I live in. Baby Blessings is a religious based group that provides baby items (new or used) to local families who show a need. I am so happy that I'll be able to share the experience I've had with the My Little Snugabunny Cradle 'N' Swing with another local family. The main reason I chose this item is because I think it is a must-have item for new parents. It has been such a great option for us and one that both my daughter, my husband, and I have thoroughly enjoyed.

Another one of my favourites was the Amazing Animals Sing-Along Choo Choo. For those of you who follow my blog, or know me personally, know I LOVE Disney - I even had a wedding featuring several Disney aspects (from colours, to music, to hidden Mickey's!). I love this toy because it features a classic train with cute baby Disney characters and music that brings back memories of watching these movies as a child. This item was one I considered for many children on my list this year. If you love Disney and Fisher-Price, this is a must-have toy! Thanks to Fisher-Price, I'll have the chance to share this toy with one of the babies/toddlers on my list this Christmas!

This year has been filled with lots of fun thanks to Fisher-Price. We have enjoyed sharing all of these toys with Lyla! Some of them she has enjoyed and many she will continue to enjoy for years to come!

Are there any Fisher-Price toys that you will be giving to your son/daughter, or friends and family this Christmas?

Disclosure: I am a Fisher-Price Play Ambassador and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.