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

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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

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 Dinner

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While there are plenty of unhealthy activities I enjoy (baking–and eating–cupcakes, fried and/or fast foods, drinking too much, soaking up the sun, being lazy…), there are definitely times where a dose of healthful living is necessary. Enter, one of my favorite meals. Not only is it simple, it’s flavorful, refreshing and makes you feel great afterwards. This is one of my go-to dinners when I’ve been behaving badly. 🙂
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First, I dice up tomatoes, onions and jalapeños, throw them together in a bowl and squeeze half a lime over it. (The amount is dependent on how many mouths you feed.) Stick it into the fridge to marinate for 20 minutes, an hour, a few days–your choice. When it’s dinner time, put a pot of water on the burner and preheat the oven to the temp needed for your fish. I made tilapia at 425 degrees. Spread a little olive oil onto a rimmed cookie sheet, then lay your fish down and season the way you like. I used butter, white wine, lemon juice with the peels, and my Feisty Fish seasoning. Liquid is important when baking fish to ensure it doesn’t dry out.
When the water is boiling, throw in your rice and cook as directed.
Bake your fish at the time needed (fish varies depending on size and variety), and then create your masterpiece! I lay the rice down in a flat spread, then the fish, and then spoon the salsa mixture on top. Gorgeous and absolutely delicious, it’s a treat every time. 😉

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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