December 17th-23rd, Days 351-357

Tuesday, December 17th

I made delicious soup tonight. I *may* have made a teensy bit too much, and will be taking it for lunch until Christmas.

dec 17 wm*I also cropped this photo to keep you from seeing too much of my terribly messy counter/stove top.

Wednesday, December 18th

Seriously a beautiful day today.

dec 18 wm

Thursday, December 19th

dec 19 wm

Friday, December 20th

A fun snowy morning today. Saw two Bald Eagles swooping down on the lake for breakfast.

Saturday, December 21st

I know you’ve already seen my gingerbread house, but I gave it a new roof.

dec 21 wm

Sunday, December 22nd

A bonus Macro today that I made especially for a friend’s birthday.

doms bday both

Monday, December 23rd

And today’s Macro Monday Challenge. I’ll post the answer later tonight.

macro monday 1223 wm(Though it is already a bit of a gimmie!)

I “gnocchi” you’re going to want to try this….

Thanks to Terra and Brian for sharing this recipe!

I really didn’t realize gnocchi was so simple. It’s great, because after you try this basic recipe, you will want to make it again and again, adding different seasonings every time!

Homemade Gnocchi Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs potato, sweet potato, or pumpkin
  • 1 cup flour (I learned that this will vary wildly, I used about 4 cups of flour with the 1 lb 14 oz can of pumpkin.)
  • 1-2 eggs – add one at a time, mixing well after each addition
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg

Directions:

  • First. bake or boil potatoes until soft. You want that mashed potato consistency to make this dough easier to mix. Boiling them is the traditional way to prepare potatoes for gnocchi, but a baked potato won’t contain as much water, and so wouldn’t need as much flour.
  • Mix ingredients together until they’re completely combined. You don’t want the consistency of the dough to be sticky. I just kept adding flour to mine until I was able to roll the dough with my hands. It’s possible that I needed to add so much extra flour because the canned pumpkin had a lot of water in it, whereas a baked potato would be drier. A boiled potato would probably need additional flour.

Here are two of mine, the one on the right was before I added enough flour. It stuck to my hands as I picked up, causing the odd shape. Still completely edible though!

  • Roll the dough out on a floured surface into a long snake (I did this is sections – small kitchen) and cut off individual pieces. You can shape them however you’d like, the first patch I just rolled them into balls, the second patch I cut off smaller pieces and rolled them into footballs.
  • Boil the balls of dough until they float. (you might need to help them off the bottom of the pot with a spatula.) Though I didn’t time them, Terra says it’s about 3 minutes.

Tah-Dah! Just out of the pot.

And that’s it! You’re done. They’re yummy plain, or with alfredo or tomato sauce.

Here are a couple of homemade topping options we used, for you to try (or turn into your own creation):

Fresh tomato salsa (I’m not really sure how else to describe it):

Ingredients:

  • tomato
  • kale
  • garlic
  • onion
  • salt and pepper
  • basil (optional)

In a hot pan  with a small amount of water or oil in the bottom, add chopped kale and onions. Cover, and give the kale a chance to cook down. Then, add diced tomato (I used three romas) and garlic. Salt and pepper to taste. After the tomatoes have cooked down some, it’s ready to top your gnocchi! Add some fresh basil to the mix for extra flavor.

This is the salsa we enjoyed the first day of gnocchi. It was de-li-cious.

Isaac’s Cashew Alfredo (no actual cream was harmed in the making of this sauce):

Ingredients:

  • cashews
  • soy milk
  • nutritional yeast
  • garlic

Add cashews to the blender (as much as you think you’ll need – you can always keep adding to the mix as you go). Add enough soy milk to cover the cashews. Add chopped garlic. Blend. You might need to add more soy milk if the mixture is too dry. add a pinch or two of nutritional yeast, and blend.

Isaac’s cashew alfredo tastes so much like real alfredo. I added chopped cilantro to mine here.

We had so much gnocchi, it lasted three days. The third night we created a weird avocado/white bean guacamole-type topping. It was good, but not as good as the above two (and I’m not sure I’d remember all that went in it…we were hungry, and just started throwing stuff together).

I’d love to hear about your experiences with this or other gnocchi recipes!

I want to try this again, with potato instead of pumpkin, and with different additions, such as cheese in the middle (gnocchi poppers? ;p ). If you have a suggestion I need to try, let me know!

Enjoy!

May 19th, photo of the day: It’s a Wrap! (& WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge)

Well kids, I tried something new today, something I’ve been meaning to try for a few months.

I made whole wheat tortillas.

I thought it would be hard to do, I was wrong. This is probably the easiest bread-family recipe that I’ve ever made.

Ingredients: whole wheat flour, salt, oil.

I got the recipe from 100 Days of Real Food, a blog about cutting out processed food from your diet.

You can see the whole easy-peasy recipe here: Whole Wheat Tortillas

Hello Lovely

This particular little taco gem contains edamame, black beans, tomato, onion, lettuce, olives, cilantro, and homemade guacamole (yes, I made that little lovely too). Ah, so delicious.

They were good plain too, Isaac and I both were eating them as I took them out of the pan!

And a few more:

Doesn’t look so hard, does it?

Oh, and these are also my WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Hands  submission:

The enjoyment of a tortilla

High Contrast Tortilla

I couldn’t believe how simple these were. The ingredient list is short, they are SUPER delicious, the prep time is about 30 minutes, and you can freeze what you don’t eat. It’s a win-win, and they don’t contain any weird extra ingredients to assist with preservation. There’s no need, these guys won’t last long enough anyway!

In other news, here are few interesting blogs I’ve been reading lately:

Most are part of the ongoing WordCount Blogathon:

Land Guppy Productions

Help! I’m Blogging

Inspired Life

A Discount Ticket to Everywhere

LadyMoxie

PFM Reports

and a couple that aren’t:

Brigitte’s Banter -  A Gracious Guide to Benevolent Blogging — Five Tips

Giveaway at Magic Onions – They’re giving away $50 gift certificate to Armadillo Dreams, a shop that makes handmade wooden toys.

…I just realized, I forgot to add lime to my taco. Dang! Guess I’ll have to have another one! ;)

The most beautiful bagels in the world

I love bread. Any kind of bread. Hard bread, soft bread, seasoned bread, buttered bread, bread covered in cheese, plain bread. Loaves, buns, sticks, you name it, I love it.

Today I tried a bread I have always wanted to try, but never had the nerve. Bagels. Doesn’t sound hard, you say? Well, you’re right. They’re easy. Way easier than I thought they would be. I guess I was intimidated because I had seen somewhere that you have to do all this complicated stuff like floating them in boiling water. It sounds kind of stupid now, I guess I intimidate easily! Anyway, I made a dozen whole wheat bagels. I don’t think I’ll ever buy store bought again.

I followed a recipe I saw on Pinterest (so many recipes to try, so little time!) from bakingbites.com

Her instructions and corresponding photos are great, very easy to follow and see that you’re doing it right. Mine didn’t turn out quite as nice looking as hers, but my taste buds didn’t mind!

I substituted whole wheat flour for white and only used about a half of a tablespoon of salt. Though this recipe only called for 1 tablespoon of sugar, I want to try it with honey instead. And then of course I started thinking about all the other other things I could add to these little gems. What came to mind: chocolate chips, peanut butter, garlic (yum), onions, cheese…..what’s your favorite kind of bagel?

Excuse me while I go eat a bagel.