Exciting News: Launch of a New Face for StrictlyDelicious!

I am so very excited to show you the new face of StrictlyDelicious!

About two months ago, I decided that if I was going to have a blog, I wanted to do it to the best of my abilities. I began to brainstorm all of the ways that I could improve my blogging, and therefore improve my cooking and myself.

Enter StrictlyDelicious.com.

StrictlyDelicious now has a new face, a new domain, new photography, and a new mission. No longer am I writing about comfortable, staple recipes that I’ve made for years and adapting them for my allergies. Now I will push the envelope in my cooking, trying new and unusual dishes and flavor combinations. I’m already having a ball doing so! I hope you enjoy the new blog just as much as I do!

Please, come follow me at the new StrictlyDelicious!

❤ Lina

Calling fellow bloggers!

I am a very sad blogger today. My camera (read: the camera on my phone) has stopped working, and I can no longer capture the delicious food stuffs that I make. This is especially sad because I have finally gotten to a point where I am comfortable in navigating the complexities of my diet and I am ready to start branching out from the “traditional items” or “comfort foods” that I have been posting and making some more original dishes!

But this is actually a great opportunity for me. I have recently decided that I really want to take StrictlyDelicious to the next level. I’m not sure what all this will include, but I want to make the experience better for my fantastic readers! One thing I know I want to improve is my photography! So here is where I ask for help from you wonderful people… If you would be so very kind, please give me your thoughts!

  1. First, any tips on a good camera to buy as an inexperienced photographer? I’m hoping I can get a good camera for under $200. Or is it just worth it to wait and save up a few hundred for a really good one?
  2. What about tips for photography in general? I’ve done a bit of research online learning about things like focus and exposure, but would love to hear your thoughts!
  3. How can a problem of poor lighting be solved?
  4. Also, any suggestions or things you’ve found that work when styling your food to shoot it?

I’m a newbie to all things blogging, and definitely to photography. I would be so thankful for your feedback as I work to make my blog better!

Thank you so, so very much!

Blogger love ❤

Homemade Crockpot Chicken Stock

Chicken stock in a crockpotChicken stock is a blessing to the food world. It makes rice and pasta taste amazing, is essential to risotto and soups, and when you’re sick, it’s so good for your recovering body. Especially if your chicken stock is homemade. Homemade bone broth is soothing, flavorful, and SO GOOD FOR YOU. If you haven’t before, I highly suggest you take a quick browse online and read about the benefits of bone broth! Thankfully, homemade chicken stock is so easy to make. This is important to me because all of the stock options (at least that I’ve seen) sold in grocery stores have celery, potato, carrot, AND/or corn-derived ingredients.

Fortunately, with a carcass from a Roasted Chicken Dinner, a few vegetables, and a crockpot, we can make something that is healthier and tastes infinitely better than any grocery store product. Continue reading

Noodle Bowl with Swiss Chard and Poached Egg

Noodle bowl with broken poached eggNoodle bowls are my latest obsession. I’m not sure why I jumped on this bandwagon after wintertime (i.e. soup weather) ended, but it might be because these soothing, one-bowl meals are never too heavy or filling, and therefore are perfect for all seasons. A steamy bowl of whole wheat noodles, sautéed mushrooms, and barely cooked greens floating in rich homemade chicken stock loudly screams “comfort food!” to me. But not too loud, because that’s disruptive and not at all comfortable… Instead of screaming I think it wraps its warm soup hands around my belly and just murmurs “comfort food.” Yeahhh… Continue reading

The One Lovely Blog Award!

One Lovely Blog AwardIt’s an amazing thing when someone thinks more of you than you think of yourself. I’m not one to have low self-confidence, but I often think that some of the things I do are just fun projects, and I don’t allow myself to think of their full potential. I’m not really a risk taker! Well, Lori at Creating Beauty in the Kitchen helps me see that my blog is not just a tool for me to chronicle recipes that work for my allergies and to meet awesome bloggers. It is something that other people read and enjoy reading! And sometimes, people even try what they see on my blog! Or they’re informed about or encouraged about living life with a strict diet. Or, sometimes they like your blog so much that they nominate you for awesome blog awards!!! 😀

So Lori, thank you for helping me not to be selfish with my blog, but to see that other people read it and enjoy it and support me in what I’m doing. And thank you to all of my other readers, because you all are just beautiful people and I am so glad to be connected with each of you! This project has truly been a wonderful experience, and we’re just getting started!

Okay, okay, I realize I sound like I’m weeping onstage at the Oscars, so let’s get on to the good stuff! Continue reading

Moist Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

Chocolate cupcakes with strawberry buttercreamDespite the frigid middle of this week (go home, April; you’re drunk), I am still so excited that it is finally spring! To celebrate spring and hopefully encourage continued sunshine, I made these scrumptious birthday cupcakes. To me, moist chocolate cake is the absolute BEST kind of cake, and strawberry buttercream made with fresh strawberry puree just shouts spring!

To make these cupcakes I used my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe, and adapted this recipe for strawberry buttercream to fit my batch of cupcakes. One of the reasons this cake recipe has earned the spot as my favorite for cupcakes is because it doesn’t call for coffee! The many, many chocolate recipes that call for coffee encourage non-coffee drinkers to still use them because you can’t taste the coffee flavor. Well, I have nothing against including coffee in my cake batter, but since I don’t drink coffee, I never have it at home! This lovely recipe doesn’t call for coffee, and yields delightful, moist, rich chocolate cupcakes. Continue reading

Healthy Spinach Turkey Burgers with Gouda

Turkey burger lunch

It’s funny, although I love healthy eating and am not a big sandwich fan, sometimes during the week, especially at lunch, I get a solid craving for a thick, juicy burger. I usually try to ignore it and satisfy myself with whatever nutritious lunch I packed that day, but over time the itch gets so unbearable that I usually end up breaking and splurge on a greasy burger laden with mushrooms and bacon and cheese and all sorts of other glorious things. Yes, I’m weak. But the first step is acceptance. 🙂 Well, this week I decided that all of that was going to be different. This week, I would still pack healthy lunches, but would also ease my burger craving before it even came to destroy me. Continue reading

Lemon-Lime Basil Martini

Pouring the basil martini 3Bright sunshine, warm rains, blossoming dogwoods, and plump red-breasted robins… It seems spring is finally here to stay!

Ever since the first fingers of spring began to spread over the city, I have been aching to do all kinds of culinary things to welcome and celebrate spring. I made an elaborate lamb dinner last week, cupcakes with strawberry buttercream frosting over the weekend (post to come), and created this delicious martini!

I first experimented with basil simple syrup combined with ginger beer in mocktails that I made over the winter when I was pining for warmer weather. But now that spring is finally here, it’s time to break out the bar tools and use the syrup to create refreshing, light, fun martinis. And this one fits the bill! Continue reading

Strictly Exciting! Liebster Award for StrictlyDelicious


Wow! Wow! Wow! I am so thrilled and honored and excited to have been nominated for the Liebster award by Lori at Creating Beauty in the Kitchen! It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know her as a fellow blogger and I’m so flattered she thinks so much of my little blog. One of the greatest (hidden) blessings from blogging about my thoughts and recipes while on my new strict diet (err, lifestyle) has been the blogger-to-blogger relationships I’ve been able to develop. I’ve loved meeting other people who love the same things that I do and being able to encourage one another on our writing paths! How wonderful and exciting! So thank you, thank you Lori for inspiring me and encouraging me and affirming me on my journey! It means the world to me… Here are the questions that Lori asked me 🙂 Continue reading

Super Mason Jar “Salads”

Super mason jar salads 1I’m always looking for creative, healthy lunches for the work week. I can’t quite get with the traditional sandwiches and wraps, and I could never find a way to make salads that lasted throughout the week, were easy to pack in the mornings, and that I looked forward to enjoying at lunch time!

However, all of this changed when I stumbled across this post on Pinterest. Inspired by the Vintage Mixer, I decided to emulate the popular to-go lunch trend of mason jar salads, but instead of cucumbers, chicken, and lettuce, use cooked, nutritional powerhouse veggies and quinoa! Then I’d have vegetarian lunches with high vitamin content that contained some of my favorite sides combined into a salad. I was so excited to begin. A half day of prep and cooking later (and quite a bit of nibbling along the way), I had six “salads” for a nourishing week of ready-to-go lunches! Continue reading