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

Eat Yo Greens


Disclaimer: I am not a healthy eater. I like fresh, real foods, but I don’t try to skimp on the stuff that tastes good–fat, sugar, salt…however, I am getting married in less than 3 weeks. And what better time to try and curb your habits a bit, right?

I like salads. Salads always taste so good in restaurants, but their complexities always boggled my mind a little to make at home. Salads need balance; a crunchy element, a sweet element; what dressings complimented what ingredients?? And so on.  When I wanted to make a salad, I’d break out my classic Caesar, with romaine hearts, torn bread croutons and homemade dressing complete with anchovies and egg yolk. (Pictured above)

But then my lovely husband to be requested a salad every week. Who wants to eat the same salad week to week? The only thing worth eating every week is pizza! ;).


So I went all out with the next one. It’s Cobb, baby! Hard boiled eggs, bacon, homemade croutons–along with broccoli, tomatoes and green onion. Topped with ranch because it’s always in our house (good for dipping pizza crusts–I told you I wasn’t healthy!).


Next go around was a simpler salad, made up of various pantry items. Mushrooms, some leftover broccoli, feta cheese, tomato, and sunflower seeds. I tossed it with my own made up recipe of oil and (apple cider) vinegar because I’m sort of trying to avoid dairy. Sort of…


Tonight was another fancy salad! I candied some pecans in sugar and added them to this sweet salad of pears, avocado and blue cheese. Topped it off with a mustard vinaigrette.

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Behold, the most summery salad of all salads! I got some of those delicious little creamer potatoes and boiled them for a few minutes, blanched them in cold water, then quartered them. Grilled corn in the husk then slipped them out and cut the corn right off the cob. Add cherry tomatoes, red onion and lettuce grown from your garden and toss with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

 This is my Summer-fading-into-Fall salad. Make it easy on yourself and dice up the meat from a rotisserie chicken. Add it to one diced green apple and half a cup of oven-toasted pecans, and toss together with red leaf romaine and a mustard-orange vinaigrette.

It’s fun finding new and interesting ways to eat lettuce! I hope this post inspired you to try your hand at making a delicious salad.

Love,
Feisty

 

 

 

My Favorite Food: Oh Fuck Yes

It all started a mere month and a half ago; a time that now seems long, long ago because of a major difference in mindset that has occurred since.  I haven’t really breached it publicly, but I might as well.  Those who know me or have followed a number of my blog posts or Yelp reviews know that I traveled everywhere with my other half, Ryan C.  We Yelped together, partied together, and of course, ate together.  And its easier if I just say, Ryan is dead.  It was tough, but I made it through.  I can still cook so everything’s cool.

Anyway, exactly six weeks ago, I took home a huge container of leftover, Thanksgiving mashed potatoes.  It ended up being too much for even this potato princess, so I turned to the Internets for an idea on what to do with leftover mashed potatoes.  Enter: MASHED POTATO CAKES!  Mashed potatoes with a crispy crust.  Oh Fuck Yes.

Now, I’ve got you a recipe, and its what I used post Thanksgiving.  They came out delicious, and instantly became my favorite food.  Not only is it yummy, its rare; even when I make extra mashed potatoes so I’ll have leftovers, I still end up eating them.  But the other day it happened; I tore myself away from an overabundance of cheesy mashed potatoes and saved some. The next morning I was super excited to make my beloved cakes, but was momentarily deflated when I realized I didn’t have the recipe’s required 1 egg.  No bother — just like sealing your raviolis together, the egg don’t mean shit.

MASHED POTATO CAKES!!

Mashed Potato Cake 

3 c. mashed potatoes
1/2 c. grated cheese (about 2 oz.)
2 medium scallions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/3 c. flour
oil
salt

Now, the first time I made this recipe, I followed it to the letter.
Place all ingredients except oil & salt in bowl and stir to combine.  Line baking sheets with paper towels.

Heat oil in frying pan until shimmery.  Drop 1/3 c. of mixture into pan and press down/spread into 3-inch patty.  Cook until bottoms are golden, about 4-5 minutes.  Flip and cook until other side golden brown (another 4-5 min.).  Transfer to paper toweled baking sheet and season with salt.

Yum, delish! If you have the ingredients go at it.  But here’s the magical thing — no egg needed!
Now, the mashed potatoes I made this most recent time had a nice handful of grated cheese, which was this really smelly cheese I bought unknowingly at my favorite funky grocer, Little House Green Grocery.  It was called Jumpin’ Jack Chive, so it already had an herb and damnit I wanted my cakes already.

I don’t even know if it was necessary, but I threw in a spoonful or two of flour and mixed it in the mashed potatoes.  So basically, compared to the original recipe, I didn’t add the egg & the garlic cloves and I replaced scallions with chives. 

What is really the trick to these is using mashed potatoes on the dry side.  You want them to be a bit stiff and stick together, and the cheese helps to achieve that.  As long as you have that, you don’t need no stinkin egg!
Pan fry as directed above.  I just grabbed a spoon and plopped down 3 heaping scoopfuls, flattening them down into patties.  The mashed potatoes were a bit stickier this time maybe, but just as delicious!  Be sure you get a nice dark crust, it adds a crunch that is an awesome complement to the soft, creamy mashed potatoes inside.
Just another lovely potato dish from the potato princess!
Love,
Feisty

Best. Appetizer. EVER.

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Happy 4th of July friends!  Even if you aren’t a friend, I guess I can still wish you a happy 4th.  Today is also my brother’s birthday, so happy birthday Devster!  I don’t get to see you nearly enough but I don’t think you really care.

Whenever I depart for a vacation, I like to clean out my fridge of anything that spoils fast — bacon, vegetables, fruit, milk, etc.  Last night, I decided to create a dinner of appetizers, something I have done in the past with mixed results.  Well, NOT TODAY! (or last night…)

I made bacon wrapped potato bites, which I’ve showed you how to make here, and homemade potato chips with avocado dip.  Did I mention lip smacking, I’m-going-to-kill-you-so-I-can-have-the-rest potato chips with avocado dip???

Before you say “Oh I will just buy chips at the store,” let me stop you right there.  Do you know how impressive it is to people to say “I made this” ?  Besides the fact that you know every ingredient in your food (not just what the bag tells you), people are generally mystified at making the simplest things.  Yes, simple.  The hardest part about making potato chips is slicing the potatoes.  Hint: I am typing this with the shittiest band-aid known to Richmond on my left middle finger (Kroger brand band-aids…never again).

Now, you will need some kind of slicer.  I’m sure a grater with a slicer side would work.  If you have a mandoline slicer, I am officially jealous.  I use a garlic slicer I got for Christmas, a sort of “throwaway” gift my mom gave me (ahem, Santa).  Because of this I have to use smaller potatoes, or cut a potato so that it fits on the little garlic slicer runway.  Whatever you do, don’t just chop them.  I don’t know if they would be able to cook all the way through, and then you don’t really have potato chips.

HOMEMADE POTATO CHIPS
Slice desired amount of potato chips from potato.  I use 1 usually for 2 people.  You get a lot out of it.
Throw slices in a bowl of salt water (water + salt).  Let soak for 30 minutes, maybe?  I do other things and then come back to it later.  I’m not really sure how important this step is but I do it anyway.  Meanwhile, start heating up a pan full of vegetable oil, about half an inch deep.
Drain slices and dry completely.  Once oil is hot (it starts doing a wavy dance), start throwing in potato chips!
We did 12 at a time because they were small, so keep in mind that you want the chips to be able to freely move and not stick to each other. 
Flip them over every once in awhile so they get evenly cooked.  When they start to turn brown, scoop out with any kind of slotted spoon, or you could grab them with tongs.  I use a colander scoop, which works pretty well.  I have not tried using tongs.
Throw them onto a paper towel and blot them, if necessary.  Spread out enough to get an even coating of salt, sprinkling around the chips.

Ryan actually salted them and he did a great job.  I prefer them salty but of course that is less healthy.  Counteract your love of salty chips with this healthy, creamy, scrumptious…damnit, I wish there was more!

AVOCADO DIP
Super simple and super delicious!
2 ripe avocados (buy them at the store when they feel soft, but not squishy)
1 lime
1 medium tomato (I wanted a Roma but Trader Joe’s doesn’t sell them separately so just make sure its firm)
3 cloves of garlic
Remove skin and pit from avocados and put in bowl.  Cut lime in half and squeeze one half over avocado, mixing in and mashing until soft and creamy.
Dice tomato in small, bite-size cubes.  Mix into avocado.  Mince or garlic press the garlic into the bowl and mix in.
Finish with juice from other half of lime.

It’s seriously the best, and great for a party or a picnic.  Just tupperware the guac and throw it in the cooler.  Put the potato chips in a plastic bag and keep away from cooler.  You will see — as Ryan said when I told him to stop eating so I could take a photo, “I can’t stop.”

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Bacon Wrapped Potato Bites

A while ago, when I was telling my sister about the wonder of bacon-wrapped pork chops (& they are wonderful), she said to me, “I thought you were trying to eat healthier?”  To which I replied, “No, I said I was going to start eating more gourmet.”

Bacon wrapped certainly can be the beginning of something gourmet, and will always be the beginning of something delicious.  Bacon is salty, crunchy, and of course its fatty goodness makes everything taste better.  Combine that with a creamy roasted potato, and — omyGOD, lets just get to this, right???

BACON WRAPPED POTATO BITES
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Depending on how much you are serving, chop potatoes into 1-inch chunks, as close to the same general size as possible.  1 red potato on the small size is enough for me & Ryan.  Its probably best to cut up one at a time, see how many chunks you get, and cut more if needed.  The original recipe called for you to boil the potatoes briefly, but its not necessary.

Place potatoes into a container and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper & minced rosemary until coated.  Add any other seasonings you want!  Go crazy.

Cut strips of bacon into thirds, or quarters (I find a quarter piece of bacon works just fine), and wrap each potato bite in bacon, securing with a toothpick.  Because these potatoes are raw, you will have to be a little forceful with the toothpick.  Be careful, they can break easily!
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Place on baking sheet lined with foil, laying on one side.

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Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, and then flip over and bake another 15-20 minutes, until the bacon is crispy to your liking.  My oven runs hot, so 15 minutes on each side is enough.
These delicious little morsels can be an excellent appetizer with a cool dipping sauce, like sour cream or ranch, or, you could put it together as a side dish, like I did last night.  They are seriously scrumptious enough to be served without anything!

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Bacon-wrapped potato bites with spinach & tomato salsa and Trader Joe’s panko-crusted tilapia. Yum!

just call me the potato princess

When I was younger, I wasn’t a big fan of breakfast, and much preferred the hearty warmth of lunch & dinner.  Coming of age, being an alcoholic, & influence from Mr. Cacophony changed all that.  Add to that, my vicious Saturday night and a nice, hearty breakfast turned into a necessity this morning.  Bring on the eggs, bacon & home fries!!!

Now, everyone has their own image of a perfect breakfast.  Mine used to be the egg & cheese on an English muffin, but I’ve now moved on to the tastiness & heartiness of home fries.  My obsession reached its height at the home of Yorkshire Restaurant in Manassas.  Sadly, I have moved now, & can no longer take part in Yorkshire’s heavenly home fries.

Now, I don’t know how to make Yorkshire’s home fries, but I do now how to make some damn good ones.  Simple too.  Pair them with scrambled eggs, some turkey bacon, a glass of OJ & some red grapes, and you’ve got the Feisty breakfast of choice.

HOME FRIES!!

First, you are going to want to start with dicing your potatoes.  I use 2 red potatoes, which is a good helping for both Ryan & I.  You can certainly use white potatoes, just keep in mind how much you are making.

Dice them up, wash them & dry them off.  Of course, wash them before you dice them up too — I will scrub my potatoes and core the eyes out with my fingernails because i don’t have a peeler.

Add about 2 T. of olive oil to your saute pan (make sure you have a fitted lid for it!), and start to heat it up.  I think the original recipe called for butter, but I try not to cook with butter whenever possible.  Learn to love olive oil and you’ll start to prefer it.

 

 

 

Once your oil is hot, throw in your potatoes, and stir them up so they are nicely covered by the oil.  Sprinkle salt & pepper.  I do a healthy dose of pepper & then a pinch of salt, since the less salt, the better.

 

 

 


Top your pan with the lid, and set your timer for 10 minutes.

While our potatoes are sizzling away, its time to cut your onions!  I cut them big because you don’t want them to disappear once they’ve cooked.  I use white onion because I like their sweetness.  To each their own.  There’s no specific amount, just whatever looks like enough.

 

 

 

 

After the 10 minutes are up, take the lid off and stir your potatoes well.  You should see a nice browning on one side of every potato that touched the pan.  Yum!  Throw in your onions and stir so they are coated with the oil.

 

EDIT: I replaced the photo here with a more accurate photo of how the browning should look, hence why the potatoes and onions are different looking than the photos above.
Look at that crispy goodness!  Don’t be scared of the char — with home fries, the more char, the better they taste.

 

 

 

 

Cook 10 more minutes with the top on.  Make sure those onions get a nice char too!  Caramelized onions, mmmmmmm.

 

   Serve & scarf down!

 

 

 

You know when breakfast is also very good? Dinnertime.  You could probably even make these potatoes with dinner, they are so fuckin delicious.  I imagine throwing bacon in would be really delicious, or you could do any kind of veggie, like mushrooms, zucchini, peppers, etc.*  You know, I bet you could throw anything into these and they would be awesome.   GO CRAZY with it!

love,
feisty

*Cook bacon first and crumble.  Add to dish in last 30 seconds of cooking.  I added my mushrooms in the last 3 minutes of cooking.  Zucchini would need longer time, maybe 5 minutes.  Peppers are completely subjective, as it is up to you how cooked or raw you like your peppers to be.

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