Birthday Favorites: Food

Hey, Friends! It’s that time again – this week is my birthday, and it’s tradition around here to share everything I’m loving right now, and the things that have made this last year enjoyable/delicious/successful/positive in any way.:)

Leave a comment sharing YOUR favorites, and you’ll be entered in a draw for a prize….

Today we’re talking about food! I love talking about food. I love making it, photographing it, studying new recipes for it, and…EATING it!:)

Here are my favorite things to eat right now:

Breakfast: Baked Apple Pancake

I will always and forever love my green smoothie for breakfast – I told Anika this morning that when I’m an old lady in a nursing home, she needs to come bring me green smoothies.

BUT. If I’m going to eat anything else, this baked apple pancake is my new favorite. I kinda made up the recipe. I cut up three apples and fried them in lots of butter and cinnamon, and then dumped them into a 9×13 pan once they were soft. Then I mixed up this pancake batter, and poured it over the apples. I baked it at 350 until it felt firm to the touch, about half an hour.


Lunch: Salads!

I don’t really have recipes for these – I just kind of throw together whatever looks good. I love having tons of fresh vegetables and herbs on hand, and making it a really filling salad with chicken or avocados and cooked eggs. I love experimenting with different oils, seasonings, and dressings.


Supper: Chip Potatoes

This is something I made up this last winter, and everybody in our family loves it, so we keep making it. So simple – just slice up potatoes super thin, cover it with chunks of butter and lots of sea salt.

potatoesBake it at 400 for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes start getting all brown and crispy.


Best Restaurant I Ate at This Year: Buccacino’s!

A few weeks ago, I was going out for dinner with a friend, and we couldn’t decide where to eat. I was in the mood for something new and different – the fantastic food on my trip to Ottawa had left me craving something exciting. We quickly googled gluten-free restaurants in Winnipeg, and chose Buccacino’s. It’s so delicious, I can’t wait to go back!

Besides the fact that I’m in Food Heaven whenever I can eat gluten-free pasta, I also was quite impressed with the reasonable prices.

New Recipes:

Because I’m constantly trying new recipes, it’s hard to choose just one favorite, so here are a few that we’ve been enjoying, in case you’re in need of some new ideas!

Best Ever Beef Stew

Veggie and Brown Rice Noodle Bowl

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blender Muffins

Energizing Protein Power Salad

Your turn! What are your favorite foods, recipes, and restaurants? I want to hear all about it!:)

35 Days of Favorites: Restaurants

This post is part of a series called “35 Days of Favorites”, in honor of my 35th birthday. You can read more about the details here

Our friends introduced us to Taco Del Mar this spring, and my life will never be the same.

I LOVE Mexican food.

I also love having someone else make my food for me, but there are very, very few cheap, fast restaurants that serve anything I can eat, because of diet restrictions.

But Taco Del Mar has saved me!

Taco Del Mar

AND…kids eat free on Sundays! Even better! Our girls will be completely sick of Mexican food long before they’re adults.

For those of you who haven’t tried eating at Taco Del Mar, you most definitely should. It’s like Subway, but with tacos.

Taco Del Mar

So delicious.


If we’re going for something slightly classier than Taco Del Mar, my other favorite would have to be Mongo’s. Make your own stir-fry.

That’s just wonderful with me, because I love stir-fry, and I also love not having to order in a restaurant. With all my silly food restrictions, ordering at a restaurant is a huge pain. Everyone always wants to try to understand what exactly my food issues are. Since that’s fairly complicated, and I barely understand it myself, I really, really don’t like trying to explain it to some random stranger I will never see again.

Mongo’s is simple. You grab your little bowl, wander through the display of chopped veggies that are so colorful and beautiful, it just makes you want to eat super healthy, pick out anything and everything that appeals to you, and then get in line to have your food cooked.

The only time you have to talk to anyone is to tell them if you want your meat and veggies on top of rice or pasta. That’s it! The perfect dining experience, in my opinion. The only way it could be improved on would be if I could go into a restaurant, they could read my mind, and what I most wanted to eat would magically appear at the table, without me needing to talk to anyone, OR having to get it ready myself.

There’s a date idea for Ben – order for me as a surprise.

What’s your favorite restaurant to eat at?

34 Days of Favorites: Restaurants

When I was growing up, my mom taught me a few things about cooking.

She knew how to make food taste good, and she started teaching me how to use basic recipes at a young age. I remember the thrill of independence I got from being alone in the kitchen, not needing her help to prepare food.

I also remember the taste of mixing up one tablespoon of of salt in the rice with one teaspoon.

And I remember how, during every single meal I cooked, my mom would say, “Food tastes so much better when someone else makes it!”

Now, many years later, I find myself saying the same thing – how true it is!

So pardon me for sounding like every other housewife in the country when I say how much I love going out to eat. I like cooking, too, but how sweet it is to have a break from all the time and effort involved in feeding my family, and cleaning up afterwards.

We don’t eat out very often, which probably adds to the treat of it when we do. It’s partly a budget thing, and partly a pain in the diet thing. Because of some issues with food intolerance, including gluten, it can be tricky to find food I can eat in a restaurant.

In spite of this challenge, we’ve been able to find a number of restaurants we enjoy which serve food equally pleasing in taste and ease of digestion!

Bellisimo’s – Ben’s parents took us here for my birthday last year, and it was quite unforgettable. They offer gluten-free pasta, and cooked up a special dish just for me, to accommodate my digestion issues, and it was one of the most delicious meals I’ve eaten all year. I fantasize about going back. It’s a bit of a pricier place, but very nice, and the other items on the menu looked amazing.

Sushi N – Our family discovered sushi this year. Anika was doing a little homeschool project on Japan, and we wanted to try some Japanese food. When Ben suggested sushi, I was not overly excited, as the thought of raw fish has always grossed me out.

When Ben informed me that sushi does not have to contain raw fish, I became a little more interested in sampling some sushi, so the next time our family went shopping at Superstore, we grabbed a tray of fresh sushi.

It was not love at first bite. The flavor took a little while to grow on me, but after a few rolls, I decided sushi was definitely something I’d like to eat again, preferably somewhere classier than Superstore.

We bought sushi a few more times throughout the year, but it wasn’t until my birthday this year when Ben and I actually tried an actual sushi restaurant.

A friend of mine who had lived in Japan for a few years recommended Sushi N as one of the best locations to get sushi in Winnipeg, so off we went!

My word, that menu was intimidating! So many choices! And strange names. Ben had to google sushi lingo, and we hesitantly placed our order.

Turns out, I love the California or Vegetable Rolls. Oh, yum.

My words of advice: do your research before you go, or go with someone who knows their sushi! And then go back again and again!

The Works – This final favorite is a bit of a cheat, because I only experienced it this last weekend, and not during the 33rd year of my life. It’s so good, though, I have to share…

While visiting my sister in Ottawa, we went out to eat at The Works. They serve every kind of burger you could possibly imagine, plus a whole bunch you couldn’t. (Peanut butter and bananas on a burger??)

I haven’t had a burger in five years, and oh, sweet goodness. There are no words. Gluten-free turkey burger with a topping of tomatoes, garlic, and oregano.

Food heaven.

You may have to travel if you want to try this one, though, because it’s only an Ontario thing, sadly.

There you have it – my three new favorites. What are your favorite restaurants?