Saturday, April 5, 2014

Come on baby, light my fire..

 FINALLY!!! The weather is improving enough that we were able to break out the fire pit for our very first bonfire of the year. It was sooo freaking nice to be able to just sit back and chill with a couple good friends and enjoy the fresh air without fr-fr-fr-freeeeezing.
I have a bit of a thing for fire. Don't worry, not in a sick and twisted kind of way or anything. I just love kicking back watching the flames leap and dance around. It's absolutely mesmerizing. I mean, come on! Look at those flames! I can only hope that the weather stays nice enough to make this a regular weekend thing again.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

How do I love thee, sweet apron?

Let me count the ways. 

  • You're cute
  • You're pink
  • You have cupcakes all over you that my toddler likes to pretend to pick off and eat
  • You keep my clothes clean from the inevitable mess I make while cooking and baking
  • You cover up my "trouble" spots quite nicely
  • You transport me back to the 50's every time I put you on. And I seriously love all things 50's. Like, for reals.

In all seriousness, I truly love wearing an apron. I could be so incredibly UNmotivated, but the second I throw on my apron, I'm ready to get down to business. I'm not quite sure why, it's kinda like it signals to my brain "listen up you bitchin' broad. There's stuff that needs to be done, so quit yer slackin and let's DOOOO THIS!!"

I'm sure it helps that my sweet apron totally matches my SAHweeeet shoes, too. No kidding. Check it out.
Ohhhh how I love thee, sweet apron. Now if only you could learn to wash yourself.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi

Gnocchi are small dumplings usually made from potato, semolina, or flour, most often served with a sauce. I just like to call them little bites of deliciousness. The process of making gnocchi is sooo super simple, you'll wonder why you haven't made them before. Give them a try and see if you don't start calling them little bites of deliciousness, too!

You will need:
  • 1) 8oz container of ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup all purpose flour (plus another cup or two in case you need to add more along the way)

  1. In a large bowl, add the ricotta, eggs, parm, garlic powder, parsley, and salt. Stir until mixed very well. Stir in the cup of flour, adding more flour along the way as needed to make a soft dough.
  2. Divide the dough into 4 or 5 sections. Roll each section of dough into 1/2 inch thick ropes on a well floured surface.
  3. Cut each rope into pieces that are about an inch long. Continue doing this until all pieces have been cut. (This can take a little while, so it's best to keep the already cut pieces in the fridge)
  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When the water is ready, drop about a handful or two of dough pieces into the water and immediately give them a stir so they don't stick to the bottom of the pot. These only take a minute or two to cook, so once they float to the top of the water, give them about another 30 seconds to a minute and remove them from the pot to a strainer. Repeat this step until all of your gnocchi have been cooked.
Now you can serve them fried up in a little butter and sprinkled with parmesan, or you can serve in a tomato sauce. If you're not especially worried about watching your carbs, this is great paired with a nice warm loaf of fresh baked bread.
These freeze wonderfully, too. Just lay them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze for 20 minutes or so. Then remove them and store them in a ziploc baggie. I try to always keep a bag or two in the freezer for a quick meal on a hectic night. 

This is a fantastic meal to get the kiddies in the kitchen and cooking with you. My 22 month old LOVES helping mix up doughs and mashing sweet potatoes for my sweet potato gnocchi. I'll post that gem of a recipe another day, but here is my sweetie pie, mashing away.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

That is quite enough, Old Man Winter!

Like, seriously, can't you go shack up with Mama Nature already? Maybe you need a reminder of what warmth is. I'm sure she can remind you. I hear she is a very beautiful lady. Go out on a date with her, have a few drinks, (really, I'll pick up the tab) take her back to your place and snuggle up on the couch watching movies. Who knows, if you play your cards right, you just might get lucky! I've definitely had enough of this snow and cold and ICK. Let's just move on, ok? Please??

This snow seems to be never ending!
And I think I'm starting to lose my mind. I swear I keep seeing faces on my van. It's making eyes at me because it's cold and lonely.
Oh well, at least everything looks pretty!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

There's a party in my tummy!

So yummy! So yummy!! Okaaaaay, perhaps I've been watching too much Yo Gabba Gabba with my youngest kiddie. Enough of that! But you know what I can't get enough of? 

This, right here:
quick and easy dinner that's both healthy AND tasty!
Oh yesssss. Deep Dish Sloppy Joe Pie (or Casserole) from Emily Bites. Looks utterly fattening and delicious, but only one of those is correct. The delicious part! You can find the recipe here. The only thing I did different was I used homemade pizza dough using white whole wheat flour and I also used extra lean ground turkey instead of the ground beef and I cooked it in a round baking dish. Next time, I think I will try to use some balsamic vinegar instead of the red wine vinegar, but it was still really really yummy! You have GOT to give this a try!