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7.23.2014

Low-Carb Chicken Gyros with Tangy Tatziki Sauce + Giveaway


After two weeks of meals prepared by friends from church, I am now back in the kitchen, but it is all about the quick and tasty over the stretched out cooking sessions. I have been relying on fun spices to make for unique dishes.

Have you ever wondered where you could get quality spices for all of your cooking and baking needs?  

Look no further because I recently discovered The Spice House!  The Spice House opened its doors back in 1957, and today has both a robust online business as well as 5 locations throughout Chicago and Milwaukee.  They carry over 600 products from at least 50 different countries, including pure spices and herbs, spice blends, salts, and extracts and have caught the admiration of many home cooks across the country as well as some heavy hitters in the food world, including Alton Brown and Julia Child!


Alton Brown filmed his famous “Good Eats Fruitcake Episode” at their Evanston shop 15 years ago and recently had Patty and Tom on his Podcast – The AltonBrowncast Episode 23.  The Spice House also happens to make 3 special blends for Alton, which you can find here.  You know Alton Brown knows a good thing when he finds one!  Many of Chicago’s top chefs walk through The Spice House doors for inspiration, “secret ingredients” and all around quality spices.  Julia Child once proclaimed The Spice House a “national treasure”!



Tom and Patty Erd took over Patty’s parents business back in 1993 and have built The Spice House into what it is today...resource for incredible spices and seasonings, as fresh as you can get them at an affordable price.  They scour the world for the best ingredients and spices.  From large farm collaboratives in exotic countries to boutique farmers who specialize in items not commercially produced, like one special connection they have with a friend’s mother who just so happens to own a vanilla plantation in Tahiti, where only a limited amount of beans are produced and they're very…very expensive. “We have a really great connection with that farm, and we'll get maybe 20 pounds of Tahitian vanilla beans month”.   

That wouldn't work for huge spice company’s but it works well for us says Patty.  There is a reason vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world…did you know it can take up to 8 years to harvest a vanilla bean start to finish?

To bring you the freshest ingredients possible The Spice House grinds and blends their spices and seasonings in small batches right in their stores which is why as you approach a store and walk through its doors you are greeted with an intoxicating aroma! 

Many of their spices come in pretty glass jars, however you can also order many varieties in bags (as well as in salt-free versions), and let me tell you...you will be blown away by their pricing! Their gift boxes are both gorgeous and well thought out.  The thought they put into their gift box packaging is something you really don't see these days. They include whole nutmegs, cinnamon sticks and more as packaging you can actually use!  Their delivery is always quick as well, which has always impressed me.  Take a few minutes and peruse their offerings and prepare to be impressed!



Once you try The Spice House…you just may fall in love with their quality, pricing and friendly service! When I received my spices my eyes were quickly drawn to Greektown "BillyGoat" Seasoning. I knew immediately I had to make chicken gyros. I'm always looking for marinades for my meat and I was real excited to be using this seasoning. I not only used it for my marinade but I also added it to my Tatziki Sauce. It was perfectly tangy and flavorful that my husband kept pouring it over his gyro. So addictive!



I made these low-carb by subbing the pita with a low-carb flour tortilla that, in my opinion, turned out just a tasty. Enjoy my recipe and then go check out my friends' recipes. They will not disappoint!

Lime Water Ice by Souffle Bombay
Low-Carb Chicken Gyros with Tangy Tatziki Sauce by Opera Singer in the Kitchen  
Chocolate Cherry Hand Pies by Real: The Kitchen and Beyond
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Pizza by We’re Parents!?
Old Fashioned Blueberry Coffee Cake by It's a Keeper 

Low-Carb Chicken Gyros with Tangy Tatziki Sauce

by Noelle Kelly
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 min


Ingredients (6 gyros)
    Chicken
    • 6 chicken breasts, cut in strips
    • 1/3 cup lemon juice
    • 1/3 cup olive oil
    • 2 Tablespoons Greektown "Billygoat" Seasoning
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    Tangy Tatziki Sauce
    • 1 cup light sour cream
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 teaspoon dill
    • 1/2 English cucumber, shredded
    • 2-3 teaspoons Greektown "Billygoat" Seasoning
    Extras
    • 6-8 low-carb tortillas
    • 2-3 Roma tomatoes, sliced
    • 2 cups fresh arugula
    Instructions
    Chicken
    Place the sliced chicken in a large ziplock bag. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Marinate overnight. Cook chicken in a large non-stick pan for 15 minutes or until marinade has evaporated.
    Tangy Tatziki Sauce
    Prepare the sauce the same day of meal. Let the sauce sit in fridge an hour before the meal.
    Assembly
    Add 4-5 pieces of chicken to the low-carb tortilla. Add 1-2 tomatoes and 1/4 cup shredded lettuce. Top with 2-3 Tablespoons of Tangy Tatziki Sauce.
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    2 incredibly lucky readers will win a delicious prize!! 


    1st Prize - $250.00 in spices, which includes Grill & BBQ Deluxe Gift Box Set, Bakers Spices Gift Box Set, Vanilla Bean Sugar, Chicago Old Town Premium Sugar, Vulcan's Fire Salt, Chai Spices with Vanilla, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Dutched Cocoa Powder, Aleppo Pepper, AND a $100.00 gift card to The Spice House to find your favorites not on this list or try some new ones!

    2nd Prize - The Signature Selection Gift Box Set, Chicago Old Town Premium Sugar, Fancy Onion Salt, Fancy Garlic Salt, Vanilla Bean Sugar, Tellicherry Black Peppercorns and a $50.00 gift card to The Spice House to find your favorites not on this list or try some new ones!






    Disclosure: I was given a gift card to order spices as compensation for this post, however as always all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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    7.22.2014

    Just Pretend Kids Review + Giveaway

    Disclosure: I was provided with a tutu and fairy wings to review. All opinions are my own.

    I try to save money on not loading up our weekly schedule with activities that might cost a buck. Since this summer has mostly been a wet one, it has been hard to be outdoors. Even though I had grand plans of letting my kiddos dance in the rain in the suits, summer colds have impeded this fun activity as well and thunderstorms.


    Most of our time is spent indoors, letting our two girls under the age of three to freely run and play with the toys they have in various places. Since being hospitalized, a lot of television has been our friend and sadly, it has back tracked the way I want my girls to entertain their time. Sometimes the scarves are taken out and we pretend we are a band of gypsies.Other times we wear sunglasses and lots of ponytails and rock out to dance music. Oh yeah. We go all out.



    None of this can be done or created out of thin air. I feel like it needs to be fostered. While my girls are still very young, I try to explain to my oldest, who is 2 1/2, that there is a need for pretend. Slowly but surely she is understanding but of course, every day is a different one.

    I love that my toddler likes pretending to be a princess since she is constantly requesting Sleeping Beauty. When I brought out dress-up time with a strawberry tutu and wings, she was super excited! She wore it three days in a row, twirling and spinning, and trying not to make her little sister jealous.



    I figured since my daughter loves strawberries that now she could be a strawberry fairy, making strawberries available to her friends. Even though the folks at Just Pretend Kids only sent me the tutu and wings, there is a matching headband,wand, and body suit to complete the outfit. Since I was in a particular toy shop this weekend, I decided to pick up a plastic wand with floating stars to complete the outfit, so now my daughter knew her outfit is could go around changing her toys into strawberries.



    It think it is fascinating to hear the stories a young child tell. We love music in our home so as my strawberry-clad fairy / toddler twirls, she sings, hums, and creates her own music. I look forward visiting the Just Pretend Kids site in the future for princess dress-up outfits. They have ALL types of collections for any little girls desires especially for those who love dress-up. Here are a few examples of their collections:



    Want your little one to have a chance to have her own tutu and fairy wings? One US reader will win a pair of their own from their favorite collection. Follow the steps the giveaway entry form below. Good luck!




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