Thursday, August 28, 2014

Diva In The Kitchen: Gluten Free Pizza

Computer problems.  A sick chihuahua.  Trouble sleeping.  Trying to clean the house in preparation for Bunco this weekend.  These are the things that are keeping me from doing all the blogging I want to do.  There is just too much going on and I am feeling highly unmotivated to do anything but sleep (which I don't do during the day).  But you know what isn't complicated?  Making your own gluten-free pizza!  This is not a sponsored post, by the way.

DivineMrsDiva.com - Gluten Free Pizza with Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Mix

One thing I totally miss since going gluten-free back in October is pizza!  We have found several gluten-free pizza options around town, but the problem is usually that they are way more expensive and not crispy enough for our liking.  After my cousin tried her hand with Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Pizza Mix, I decided I would go ahead and try it too.  It has become a great option for us when we are craving pizza!  While it isn't super quick, it does make for a tasty dinner.

If you can't find the mix in any of your local stores, it is available on Amazon.  At this point, I have made the pizzas a few times and feel that I have finally perfected it to mine and my husband's liking.  I wanted to share what I did in addition to the directions on the package.

We typically make a vegetable pesto pizza and a BBQ chicken pizza.  For the veggies, I cut up two green peppers, a pound of mushrooms, and a whole red onion.  I tossed them in some avocado oil, seasoned them, and laid them out on a big cookie sheet.  With the oven at 450, I roasted them for about half an hour. 

DivineMrsDiva.com - Gluten Free Pizza with roasted veggies

Meanwhile, prepare the dough according to the package instructions.  You have to combine the included yeast packet with warm water and let it sit for a few minutes before blending in the mix.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for 20 minutes.  I sit my glass bowl on the oven so the warmth helps the dough even more.

For the last 10 minutes or so, place the two pans you will use for the pizza in the oven so they get really hot.  (The amount of dough makes for two 12-inch pizzas or one larger crust.)  When the dough has risen a bit, take the pans out and spray them with non-stick spray.  I use the coconut oil spray from Trader Joe's.  The dough is very sticky, so have a cup of water on hand for you to stick your fingers in.  I half the dough, mash it together to get rid of air bubbles, and place it on the pan.  With your wet fingertips, start pushing the dough out into a rough circle shape.  The last time I made it, the dough got thicker during the cooking process, so you can make it thinner than you think you need to and it should be fine.

Place the pizza shapes into the oven and bake until the edges are just getting golden brown.  This is roughly 10 minutes.  Doing this step alone did not make the dough crispy enough for me.  So I added the following step: After 10 minutes, take the trays out and flip the pizza crusts over.  The bottom (now the top) will be a nice golden color and already getting crispy.  The hot pan will start cooking the bottom side and, with time in the oven for melting cheese, it will be nice and crispy on the bottom.


DivineMrsDiva.com - Gluten Free Pizza with Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Mix

Once you have flipped the crust, you can start adding your toppings.  The BBQ sauce we used is by Woodstock in the Chipotle flavor.  It is mildly sweet with a nice heat to it.  It is really quite tasty!  The flavor goes really well with all the toppings and provides a little something extra.  Our other toppings for the BBQ pizza include cheddar cheese, chicken, the roasted peppers/onions/mushroom mix, and more cheese.  We forgot to add bacon last time.

DivineMrsDiva.com - Gluten Free Pizza with Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Mix, Woodstock Organic Chipotle BBQ Sauce

The pesto pizza has, you guessed it, pesto as the base.  We use a cheese mix and then load on roasted veggies like the pepper/onion/mushroom mix, roasted zucchini, raw spinach, sun dried tomatos, artichoke hearts, and chunks of feta.

DivineMrsDiva.com - Gluten Free Pizza with Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Mix

Once your pizza is dressed as you desire, pop those bad boys back in the oven until the cheese is melted and the crust is a nice golden brown.  Enjoy!

DivineMrsDiva.com - Gluten Free Pizza with Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Mix

Even your fuzziest of diners will want some!

DivineMrsDiva.com - Hungry Kiki

Again, this isn't a sponsored post, but I'd be game for one!



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What I Wore: Secretary Realness

DivineMrsDiva.com - Spruce and Sage via Gwynnie Bee Fancy Dot Printed Bow Tie Top, Lane Bryant Ponte Pencil Skirt, Avenue Cardigan and Heels

I've been sidetracked this week by planning an upcoming vacation.  Once we buy the plane tickets and make hotel reservations, I go into full-on planning mode.  Having not been on vacation in six years before June's anniversary trip, I am quite excited about figuring out all the fun activities to participate in once we are at our destination.  Being prepared, knowing what is going to happen, and having an itinerary make me happy and alleviate some of my anxiety.  My vacation Pinterest board is getting filled up fast!

DivineMrsDiva.com - Spruce and Sage via Gwynnie Bee Fancy Dot Printed Bow Tie Top, Lane Bryant Ponte Pencil Skirt, Avenue Cardigan and Heels

This top arrived via Gwynnie Bee as my first foray into Spruce and Sage.  I love the bright blue-purple hue of the top, along with the fun polka dot print.  I'm always a little iffy about what I refer to as the "Colonel Sanders tie".  I think it looks just fine in the photos, but it felt a little awkward in person because I am not used to it.  Also, I generally find the V-neck aesthetic more appealing on myself, so that takes some getting used to as well.

DivineMrsDiva.com - Spruce and Sage via Gwynnie Bee Fancy Dot Printed Bow Tie Top, Lane Bryant Ponte Pencil Skirt, Avenue Cardigan and Heels

The fit was a little tricky for me.  The hips were tight, not allowing me to button the bottom button. (I received this in a 24.)  The armholes are really big, similar to the BB Dakota and Prototype items I have tried.  Therfore, I went for a more covered up, conservative look with this piece.  Thankfully, I have a pencil skirt in the same blue-purple shade as the top, which worked well for the look I was going for.

Below, you can see my nude cami from the big armhole.  My darling Kiki did not want to miss out on this photo shoot for some reason.  lol

DivineMrsDiva.com - Spruce and Sage via Gwynnie Bee Fancy Dot Printed Bow Tie Top, Lane Bryant Ponte Pencil Skirt, Avenue Cardigan and Heels

Though the top was lacking for me to give it a full thumbs up, I do think it worked well for this particular look.  I haven't had a typical office job for a long time, but I really wish I had clothes like this when I did.  I think I would have had way more confidence in my abilities had I been able to dress the part more stylishly.

DivineMrsDiva.com - Spruce and Sage via Gwynnie Bee Fancy Dot Printed Bow Tie Top, Lane Bryant Ponte Pencil Skirt, Avenue Cardigan and Heels
Fancy Dot Printed Bow Tie Top - Spruce and Sage via Gwynnie Bee
Purple Ponte Pencil Skirt - Lane Bryant (Similar here and here)
Cardigan - Avenue
Heels - Avenue

Have you tried Spruce and Sage?  Let me know your thoughts below!


Thursday, August 14, 2014

What I Didn't Wear: ASOS Curve Bird Print Wrap Front Dress

It is time again for What I Didn't Wear, where I show you what clothing items just did not work for me and why.  You can check out previous posts here and for a bigger explanation on why I do this feature, go here.

Today's featured item is partly my own fault.  I love trying things through Gwynnie Bee and part of that is working out what sizes are best in each different brand.  I have purchased a handful of items through ASOS Curve and a majority of them work great.  Because I recently had issues with some items in a US22 (my normal ASOS size) and the material of this dress has no stretch, I went up a size.  I threw on some shoes and a belt to show you that this dress has potential.

DivineMrsDiva.com - What I Didn't Wear: ASOS Curve Bird Print Wrap Front Dress
DivineMrsDiva.com - What I Didn't Wear: ASOS Curve Bird Print Wrap Front Dress

No belt is another story.  As soon as I took off the belt, my not-a-fashionista husband even said, "Oh no, that doesn't work." lol  It was just a big ole sack on me without a belt.  While the elasticized waist and hips of this dress fit me pretty good, the bust was way too large.  I could have gone an extra size down bust-wise.  I'm a B cup though, so if you have larger breasts, this has plenty of room to accommodate you.

DivineMrsDiva.com - What I Didn't Wear: ASOS Curve Bird Print Wrap Front Dress

DivineMrsDiva.com - What I Didn't Wear: ASOS Curve Bird Print Wrap Front Dress

The negatives are all about the fit.  The positives are that I loved the bright colors and fun pattern, the length was great, the dress is lightweight and easy to wear, and it is very comfortable.  If I ordered the correct size for me, I think this would have been a success.  And just for giggles, in the picture below I prove to you that the top was so large I could easily pull it out to expose my bra!

DivineMrsDiva.com - What I Didn't Wear: ASOS Curve Bird Print Wrap Front Dress

Have you tried this dress?  Do you have fitting difficulties with ASOS Curve?  Anything from Gwynnie Bee I should put in my virtual closet?


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What I Wore: Tropic Flair

DivineMrsDiva.com - Kiyonna Haute Cold Shoulder Dress

Aloha!  Last week, I posted some pictures from the fun Hawaiian-themed birthday party I hosted for members of my family.  This week, I get to talk about my fabulous frock I wore to the event!

DivineMrsDiva.com - Kiyonna Haute Cold Shoulder Dress

Once I figured out the theme of the party, I knew I needed this dress to be on theme and set the tone for the festivities.  The pattern was a bit intimidating at first glance, but I didn't let that hold me back.  The silhouette of the dress is simple and clean. The cutaway sleeves add a fun twist to the look that kept me cooler in the hot weather.  This classic faux wrap dress features a small adjustable tie that lets you loosen or tighten it a bit to customize it for your body.  I loosened mine just a smidge to give some more room in the tummy region.  The ease and comfort of this dress made it ideal for running about the house in preparation for the party.

DivineMrsDiva.com - Kiyonna Haute Cold Shoulder Dress

Of course, I felt very sassy in this bold pattern.  I decided on nude shoes for a more daytime look and to let the dress shine on its on.  For the party, I wore nude flats, a green necklace, a hair flower, and my kukui nut necklace I received on my honeymoon in Hawaii.  It was fun greeting my family with leis as they came in the door. For going out, I kept the look simple with nude wedges and the green bubble necklace. 

DivineMrsDiva.com - Kiyonna Haute Cold Shoulder Dress

DivineMrsDiva.com - Kiyonna Haute Cold Shoulder Dress
Haute Cold Shoulder Dress - c/o Kiyonna
Nude Flats - Avenue
Nude Wedges - Payless (Similar)
Green Bubble Necklace - Local holiday bazaar

I'm so happy I broke out of another one of my comfort zones with this big, bold pattern.  It is bright, cheery and definitely worthy of a tropical vacation (or to bring the tropical to you).  Here is a little closeup of my makeup and accessories and, of course, my adorable husband, followed by the party guests:

DivineMrsDiva.com - Kiyonna Haute Cold Shoulder Dress
DivineMrsDiva.com - Kiyonna Haute Cold Shoulder Dress
DivineMrsDiva.com - Kiyonna Haute Cold Shoulder Dress

Disclosure: I am a member of the Kiyonna Blogger Brigade and they provided me with the dress in this post.  All opinions on the item are my own.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Hawaiian Inspired Birthday Party and Gluten-Free Menu

Every quarter, the women of my stepdad's family gather to celebrate our birthdays.  It is always a fun time of visiting, chowing down on some great food, laughing a lot, and opening presents.  A week or so ago, we gathered to honor the summer birthday ladies. 

DivineMrsDiva.com - Hawaiian Inspired Birthday Party and Gluten-Free Menu

This year was my first time ever hosting the party, something I was excited to do since we haven't had many gatherings at our house as of yet.  In planning the menu and decor, I chose a Hawaiian theme and went crazy with hibiscus flowers, plastic leis, and Hawaiian inspired cuisine.  Upon arrival, every lovely lady received a lei and a hug and was invited to choose a flower to wear in her hair.

DivineMrsDiva.com - Hawaiian Inspired Birthday Party and Gluten-Free Menu

In planning the menu, I wanted to make sure everything was gluten-free and as sugar-free as I could make it.  I didn't want to worry about what I could and couldn't eat during the festivities and knew my cousin was trying to maintain a gluten-free diet as well.  While I didn't get a chance to take photos of all the food (of course I was running around like crazy), I wanted to make sure to provide links to everything and some words about what I made.  Everyone really enjoyed the food, so that made me happy!

Avocado Feta Salsa with tortilla chips was the appetizer.  It is a great spin on traditional salsa with the addition of the capers, feta, and artichokes.
For beverages, I made iced tea, raspberry lime water, and a pineapple/strawberry/mint water based on this recipe.
For the main course, we had a Slow Cooker Pineapple chicken.  I just threw everything in the CrockPot (chicken, pineapple chunks, zucchini, green peppers, salsa) and let it simmer all day.  It made a deliciously moist chicken that we put over coconut jasmine rice.  (I tripled the chicken recipe to feed eight people at the party, and Sean and I made four more meals from the leftovers.)  Other sides for the main course included an Asian Slaw with peanut dressing and Sesame Soy Roasted Broccoli.  (I left out the soy sauce and used coconut aminos.)

Hawaiian Inspired Birthday Party and Gluten-Free Menu - Lemon Tart

The Gluten-Free and Dairy-free Lemon Tart was seriously delicious!  It tasted like a lemon bar.  I served it with whipped coconut cream.  For an additional sweet treat, I made these Paleo truffles (gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free if you don't count honey.)  Instead of making a minty version, I replaced the peppermint extract with coconut extract and replaced the vanilla stevia with a little bit of vanilla extract.  While I bought the coconut butter, I made my own macadamia nut butter for the recipe.  These were so yummy and disappeared so quick!

Hawaiian Inspired Birthday Party and Gluten-Free Menu - Macadamia Coconut Truffles

Between the main meal and dessert, we moved to the living room to open presents. Kiki was feeling a bit under the weather, so he sat with his grandma on the couch.  My cousins Annie and Mindy, my mother-in-law Sharon, and the lovely Miss Linda were all celebrating their birthdays this quarter.

DivineMrsDiva.com - Hawaiian Inspired Birthday Party and Gluten-Free Menu
DivineMrsDiva.com - Hawaiian Inspired Birthday Party and Gluten-Free Menu
DivineMrsDiva.com - Hawaiian Inspired Birthday Party and Gluten-Free Menu

I am so happy everyone could come and join the festivities.  It was a lot of fun!  And thank goodness I have central air because it was HOT that day!  lol

DivineMrsDiva.com - Hawaiian Inspired Birthday Party and Gluten-Free Menu




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