Gadget Tree: Pi Day with Dexas Pizza Tools


 Okay, all you math nerds, today it’s your time to shine because we’re celebrating Pi Day (or Π-Day if you prefer) with a pizza pie party using the fabuloso Dexas Pizza tools!

Are you confused? For all of you who struggled with math in school (including me), “Π” is the Greek letter that’s often shortened to 3.14 when you want to find the circumference of a circle. Today is March 14… and so, that’s right, 3/14.

Did your eyes glaze over? Back to the Pi Day with Dexas pizza party!

My pals at Dexas International have three fantastic kitchen tools that will help make your pizza party a success, whether you’re serving thin crust, Deep Dish style or flatbread pizza!

Dexas Pizza Board

Slide your pizza right out of the oven onto Dexas’ 16”-round polypropylene Pizza Board and carry it to the table with the convenient metal carrying rack. Remember, the board is not oven safe, but it can certainly handle a piping hot pizza! I like this board because it can also double as a serving tray.

The reversible pizza board has groves to guide you so you’ll always cut a perfect slice. And to get that perfect slice, Dexas has two great options.

Pi Day with Dexas Pizza Roller

For thin crust pizza, the ergonomic Pizza Cutter Roller lets you apply pressure down on the wheel, so you can navigate your way through all that gooey delicious cheese. The compact roller is easy to control and has a comfortable palm-held grip.

I’ve used the Pizza Cutter Roller to cut pastry dough, but it’s also great for flat breads and sandwiches.

Pi Day with Pizza Cutter Rocker Blade

Here in Chicago, we love our Deep-Dish Style pizza. Dexas has the perfect 15-inch Pizza Cutter Rocker Blade to cut through even the deepest, thickest crust. The polypropylene blade rocks back and forth with just a little bit of pressure on the double handle. The Pizza Cutter Rocker Blade also works on thin pizza crusts (see the image below!).

All of the pizza tools are completely dishwasher safe, too! Every day can be a Pi Day with Dexas Pizza Tools!



posted under Gadget Tree | 2 Comments »

Plated + Served: Homemade Cannelloni


Homemade CannelloniThis is a recipe you should make with someone you love.

There’s something incredibly seductive about making your own pasta and sauce. Perhaps it’s the time it takes to gently work the dough… or the beckoning smell of the simmering sauce… or sharing a glass of wine along the way. Of course, it could be the anticipation of the delicious reward for your efforts.

One of you make the pasta, the other the sauce and filling. Enjoy each other as you do it.

And after dinner close the doors, turn up the music… and dance.

Is there anything better?

Try This: Gabriel’s Marinara Tomato Sauce


Really wished I had the time (and patience) to can all those lusciously plump tomatoes I’m seeing everywhere. I have this daydream about whipping up a homemade marinara sauce in the dead of winter to remind me of summer.

Not going to happen.Gabriel's All Natural Marinara Tomato Sauce

But here’s the next best thing: Gabriel’s All Natural Marinara Tomato Sauce.

There are shelves and shelves and shelves of different marinara sauces in the supermarket. Most of them taste the same: sweet (that’s the sugar), a little tangy (could be the sodium or vinegar) and, oh yes, vaguely tomatoey.

Gabriel’s tastes like what you’d want YOUR homemade marinara to taste like: full of tomato flavor, a hint of onion and garlic with just enough basil and spices to add a little interest.

This sauce is slow kettle cooked, just like you would do. It’s made with only 6 ingredients, this IS your homemade marinara sauce.

Here’s something else: it is gluten free and vegan… the way a marinara should be.

I found Gabriel’s in a small specialty food shop, but if you go to their Facebook Page, you can find out where to buy it in your area. Oh, and 10% of their profits go to different charities. I like that.

So don’t obsess about not canning all those tomatoes… you’ve got better things to do. And with Gabriel’s around, no one needs to know it isn’t homemade.


posted under Try This | 1 Comment »

Eggplant Napoleons


GP’s outta town, living it up in LA… and that’s just fine with Mama.

Yeah, yeah, I do miss him. But you know who really misses him? The kids.

When GP’s gone, Mama “cleans the cooler” (as they used to say in culinary school) and makes dinner from everything hiding in plastic containers, sealed in Ziploc bags, frozen solid or languishing in the vegetable bins.

I like the challenge.

But it drives the kids crazy. They’ve tried a few lines on me:
• “Dad’s gone, so why don’t you take it easy tonight and we’ll order take-out?”
• “You always make such fantastic meals, why don’t you let someone else cook tonight and we’ll order take-out?”

Then their pleas get a little more insistent:
• “You need to help me with this project, if you cook you’ll finish too late and we won’t have a enough time! Let’s order take-out!”
• “You look really tired. Are you getting sick? Let’s order take-out before you pass out!”

And then just plain desperate:

And the answer is no.

I know what all about the cost of food. I know what it takes to prepare it. I HATE spending money on restaurant meals (especially lukewarm carry-in meals) when we have plenty of food in the house and I know how to cook it.

Thank you for letting me vent. GP’s been gone since Monday. These hooligans are driving me nuts.

Found in the fridge (among other things): Eggplant, mozzarella cheese, pasta sauce in a jar, eggs and basil.
Made as part of dinner: Eggplant Napoleons. (Sounds all fancy-do… but it isn’t.) And I finally got to use used those eggplants that’s been in there since Saturday.

GP gets home tomorrow. You know what? We’re going out to dinner.


Eggplant Napolean

Eggplant Napolean
prep: 40 minutes (including 30 min eggplant salting)
cook: 10 minutes
serves: 6 (as a vegetable course)

you’ll need…
2 medium eggplants, peeled
2 Tablespoons salt
1½ cups breadcrumbs or panko crumbs
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1½ cups pasta sauce (or more to taste)
2 eggs slightly beaten
6 oz. sliced mozzarella or 1 cup shredded
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons chopped basil

let’s get to it…
Place a double layer of paper towels on a baking sheet; set aside.
Slice the eggplants into ½” rounds. Place the eggplant slices in a single layer on the paper towels. (You can skip this next step if you want): Sprinkle salt lightly on top of the eggplant slices. Let rest for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, blot dry and set aside.
Mix the breadcrumbs and Italian seasoning in a medium size bowl; set aside.
Heat the pasta sauce on medium high in a small saucepan until just below boiling. Cover and remove from heat.
Dip the eggplant slices, one by one, in the beaten eggs and then into the breadcrumbs so that both sides are thoroughly coated. Set aside on a plate.
Heat a large skillet on medium high for 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium; add the olive oil and heat for another 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggplant slices to the hot olive oil and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel.
Place six cooked eggplant slices on the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch pan. Evenly top each eggplant slice with 1 small piece or 1 Tablespoon of cheese and 1 Tablespoon of the sauce. Repeat layers.
Serve immediately or keep warm in a 150°F oven. Top with the basil just before serving.


I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: