Freeze Your Food

No not Lean Cuisine or Digiorno’s (though I’ve got both in the freezer right now, sometimes a girl needs a break), I’m talking homemade food. It is my new favorite thing to freeze food I’ve made. Generally a recipe yields more than me and my man will eat at one time, and gone are the days of forcing yourself to eat the same thing 4 days in a row!
Here’s what you could make & freeze right now:

Pulled pork– unsauced, measure 1 cup into each bag. BTW, I use sandwich bags. Probably not great super long term but it’ll be fine for a month or two. I’ve never posted a recipe because it’s so damn easy. Pork shoulder or butt in the crockpot, add liquid (chicken broth, Dr. Pepper, beer, etc.), then on Low for 8-10 hours. Then shred and remove fat and bone. So yum!

Biscuits– I have made biscuits for years (my recipe post from 2012!) but it didn’t occur to me until recently to freeze the dough! I would leave it in the fridge, it would get gross, and I would be sad. No more! Replace milk with buttermilk in that recipe for buttermilk biscuits. 😀 Anyway, once you roll it out, just cut out biscuits and place them on a tray covered with wax paper and place into freezer until solid, then throw them into a bag. Ahh biscuits for LIFE. (Bake 5 min longer if from frozen)

Gnocchi– Yes, I just posted this here, and I still have some left over! I already made one dinner with it and it was arguably better because after I boiled the gnocchi until it floated, I threw it in with the tomato sauce pot and it soaked up the sauce so wonderfully. Maybe I just really love tomato sauce…

Pierogies– My love, my ultimate comfort food, the pierogie 💕  I used to gorge myself on Mrs. T’s Pierogies as a youngun, and then I grew up and found a recipe that is now my New Year’s Day tradition (little purses!). I’ve never posted my recipe and maybe I will try to do that the next time I make them.  Time consuming but so worth it.

Love,

Feisty

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Make Your Own Gnocchi

Disclaimer: I do not order gnocchi at restaurants so I had no idea what they were supposed to look like! So don’t judge my funny looking gnocchi 🤓

So, I have wanted to make gnocchi for awhile now and I finally did it tonight! I love anything that is simple yet sounds impressive. This recipe is literally 3 ingredients and 2 of them are staples in my kitchen. Let’s get to it!

Gnocchi

2 russet potatoes
1-2 cups flour 
1 egg
s & p

First, boil your potatoes. Stick them whole in a pot, cover with water, add salt and walk away. I suggest doing this way ahead of time so you can get them cooked and cooled. Mine took 45 minutes or so; just keep pricking them with a fork until you can slide it in easily. Set potatoes aside to cool.

Once cool, peel potatoes and mash in a bowl. Mix in one egg, then add flour. I used 2 cups but it’s really dependent on the size of your potatoes. Add s&p to your liking at this point as well. Honestly, you could add anything you want, like dried herbs or Parmesan. You want a crumbly, shaggy dough. It’ll look like this: 
Dump it onto a floured surface and knead it together until it’s not sticky and comes together. 
Next you are going to grab a handful of it, roll it in a bit of flour and then roll it out into a long snake. 
Maybe it’s supposed to be thinner? I really should’ve done some gnocchi research before I made them…once you’ve got your snake, cut it into 1/2 inch pieces. Mine were more like an inch. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 
Looks kind of like a spinal cord! 🎃 Set them aside until you’ve snaked and cut the whole mound. Some people press or run a fork into the pieces because classic gnocchi has lines? I couldn’t figure it out. Maybe next time 😉 When ready to eat, drop them into boiling water until they float to the top, usually about 3 minutes. I used them in this recipe, switching out parsley for spinach and adding lemon juice. 👅
If you only have 2 mouths to feed like me, you will have leftovers. Lay them out on a sheet pan covered with lightly floured parchment paper and let them air dry for an hour. Then put in freezer until frozen solid (45 min-1 hour) before throwing them in a freezer bag for storage. 
Little potato dumplings! Did you know you could make it with ricotta too? Yum yum! Such an easy, fancy-sounding food. 😄

Love,
Feisty

Smores Bar 2.0

Ok first, I am the least like a real food blogger anymore, since blogging a meal I’ve made within that week is no longer a reality. Or even blogging more than once a year. 😉 But the food’s good and I gotta share it, ya dig?

So SMORES BAR. So delicious, and previously mentioned here as my first commissioned (!!) baked good. Buttery graham cracker crust, smooth chocolate and topped with a thick layer of toasted meringue. Ooey gooey but I always felt a little too sweet.

So I tweaked the recipe and now here we are. A smores bar so great there’s only 1 picture of it because we gobbled it up every chance we got.

SMORES BAR REDUX

crust
2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c. melted butter
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

ganache
2 c. chocolate chips
2 c. cream

flüff
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. light corn syrup
1/4 c. water
1/4 tsp. salt
2  egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tarter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

350*. Line a square baking dish (8×8 or 9×9) with foil or parchment. Mix ingredients of crust together and press into baking dish. Bake 10 minutes.

Measure chocolate and cream with same measuring device (weigh 16 oz or use 2-cup measurement), placing chocolate in a heatsafe bowl and cream into a saucepan. Heat cream over medium until bubbles form on sides and you see steam.  Pour hot cream over chocolate and let sit for 10 minutes. When time is up, whisk quickly until chocolate and cream combine; mixture should be smooth and uniform in color. Pour over cooled crust and let sit in fridge for 1 hour.

For flüff, combine sugar, corn syrup, water and salt in a small saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer over medium high. Boil together until reaches 240*.  Before mixture reaches temperature, beat egg whites with cream of tarter in mixer until soft peaks form.

When syrup is ready, slowly drizzle in as egg whites beat on low. When all is added, turn mixer to medium high and beat until thick and glossy. Add vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.  Spread over cooled chocolate and broil or torch until toasty brown.

Baby it’s worth it.
yum yum yum yum yum yum

love,
👩🏻‍🍳
feisty

Easy Recipe of the Week: Roasted Tomatoes 

  To all my readers and friends, I’ve been wanting to tell you all the ways I’m in a different place than I was two weeks ago.  Two weeks ago to this day, Nick and I packed our endless amount of stuff into the truck (down two flights of stairs no less), raced to South Boston, then emptied the entire truck into our new house! 

Since then, the house is laid out the way it should. In two weeks, we got a lawnmower, tv stand and a 9′ x 12′ rug for the living room (all hardwood floors). I enjoyed laying low for a week, reading this great book my sister gave me for my birthday (The Girls), but alas, a girl needs a job. I walked into Bistro 1888 looking to be a food runner, but they were so over the moon about my bakery experience, Chef Margaret has decided to ‘show me how to make everything on the menu.’ In short, it’s prep work, making dressings, sauces and marinades, and eventually, desserts. 😍 One of my tasks included peeling and chopping roasted tomatoes, and it looked so tasty I decided to make them at home! 

This is easy easy, and the possibilities for them are endless. Eat it on toast as bruschetta or mix it into risotto, like me!

Roasted Tomatoes

Roma Tomatoes
Olive oil
S & P/other spices as desired

Start by chopping your tomatoes in half lengthwise. Cut a ‘V’ in the top of both halves to core the tomatoes.   
Place tomato halves cut side up on an oiled rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and spices. I added dried thyme, and dried basil or oregano would work as well.

Bake at 400* for 30-40 minutes, depending on how much you have. I did 5 total, 4 homegrown (smaller), and unfortunately my new oven burns much hotter than its reporting to me. I put them in at 375* for 35 minutes and didn’t think much until my husband walked past and asked what was burning. No worries, the tomato skins got black but that’s exactly what you want!
 
Let cool completely, then remove skins  (should be very easy) and chop. Cook it into tomato sauce, fold into dinner dishes, eat alone on toast with olive oil and basil. Yum yum!

Love,
Feisty

So You’ve Bought a Whole Watermelon…

Now what are you going to do?! If you’re in a small household like me, you quickly realize that a whole watermelon gives you A LOT of fruit. How could you resist though? If you love summer and low prices as much as I do, you’re going to say What the hell! and figure it out on the way. 😉

 My first step was chopping up as much of it as I could want for future snacking. You could also throw it into a salad! Add some feta and arugula and you’ll have yourself a nice summer meal.  Once you’ve gotten through about 1/3 of it, chop up the rest and blend it for juice!

To get that sweet sweet juice, blend watermelon chunks (I used my Nutribullet, you could use a food processor as well), then transfer to a mesh strainer over a bowl. Press the pulp with a spatula to get as much of the juice as you can!  With the juice you can make…

Gummies
  
Making gummies is simple when you have the right equipment. I will say that these don’t have the chewiness I want in a gummy but they still taste good; they’re more like little jello bites.

Add 1 cup of watermelon juice to a small pot and sprinkle 3 packets (3 T.) of unflavored gelatin over. Allow the juice to solidify for a few minutes until gelatin is no longer visible. Heat pot over low heat to melt the solid juice and take off heat when it is a smooth liquid. Whisk in 2 T. honey.  Add a 1/4 c. of lemon juice for sour gummies. Skim off the foam from the top.

Now this is the trickiest part. You will need a silicone mold (I used this one), a trustworthy baster/pipette (depending on the size of your mold) and a cutting board. Place the silicone mold on the cutting board for easy transport. Fill your baster/pipette with liquid and drop into silicone mold until it’s slightly overflowed but holds together because of surface tension.

 Try to avoid air bubbles if possible, they add a weird mouth feel to the gummy. When your mold is filled up, put it in the fridge to cool and solidify for 30 minutes. If you have leftover mixture, simply pop out your molds when they are done and reheat the mixture until it is smooth again. I found whisking softly really helped to smooth it out. I did this 4 times to get as many gummies as I did!

Dranks 
This alchie knows that fruit juice + mixer + liquor is an easy way of making a delicious drink! I added vodka and ginger ale, but tonic water could also work. Or take out the alcohol and make watermelon lemonade! 

Popsicles 

Please forgive my phallic shaped popsicles, they are actually crayon shaped but when it’s pink and shaped like that…I’ll just have to keep it in mind if I’m licking it at my family’s next get together. Still, it’s watermelon juice! And it’s frozen! Maybe use it as a stirrer for your watermelon lemonade. Keep it cold and watermelonlicious.

As you can probably guess I am now sick of watermelon but my taste for it will return! I would suggest not eating and drinking all these things in one day…like I did. 

Love,
Feisty

Spring Salad

 It’s the first day of Spring! Unfortunately it didn’t look like this at all today, but that didn’t stop me from celebrating. I had an overload of leftover produce and what better than to throw it all into a salad! 

This whole weekend has been yucky, cold & gray. I had plans that ended up getting rained out, so today was spent lazying around, watching movies on Netflix and eating fast food. If you have Netflix, I would recommend watching The One I Love (very weird & interesting movie!), and if you’re going to gorge on cheeseburgers & milkshakes for lunch, I recommend having this salad for dinner! 😉

Spring Salad Pint of cherry or grape tomatoes
Broccoli
Half a red pepper
4 green onions
Half a cucumber
2 slices bacon
2 hard boiled eggs
Chopped nuts (pecans & peanuts)
Baby Spring salad mix

Honey Vinaigrette Dressing

Please keep in mind that this salad can be endlessly personalized. The red pepper, green onions, broccoli and bacon were leftovers in my fridge. It all came together quite nicely.  I boiled the eggs in the morning so they could chill before dinner. Cook up the bacon until crispy, slice up your veggies, and whisk together the delicious dressing I got from Martha Stewart. I like to pile up the plates with lettuce, then sprinkle the different ingredients over.  It saves a bowl and makes for a pretty presentation. Spoon over dressing just before serving.
   
It might not look like Spring yet out there, but that doesn’t mean Spring can’t be found in the kitchen! 

Love,
Feisty

This is THE Fall Salad

  It’s got glazed pecans. Apple chips. Garlic balsamic vinaigrette. Gorgonzola cheese. Red onion. Oh my, it’s amazing. And you are going to make it all!
I was searching online for Fall salads and this one boasted to be the copycat recipe for the Panera Fuji Apple Salad. OMG yes, am I right?? I was on board. This is the recipe for the salad and dressing. But what about the apple chips? The glazed pecans? Are we home cooks or are we HOME COOKS??   
 I have already posted a lovely recipe for apple chips previously in this blog, and you can view it here. Word of warning: don’t add the sugar and cinnamon like I did! It adds too much sweetness to the salad.  
Finally, what about those glazed pecans? They are easy, and they are fabulous! Here’s the recipe:

Glazed Pecans

2 T. firmly packed brown sugar
2 tsp butter
2 tsp light corn syrup
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup pecan halves

Add all ingredients except pecans to skillet and stir over medium heat until butter is melted. Add pecans and stir until well coated, 5-7 minutes. Spread pecans in a single layer onto parchment paper and let cool.

As for the sheer volume of tasks for this salad, spread it out! It’s what we do at the bakery I work at. Make the apple chips on Monday, the glazed pecans on Tuesday, and cook the chicken and serve the salad Wednesday. And your loved ones will be AH-MAZED!!

Love,
Feisty

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