Sunday, September 27, 2009

Gnocchi (one of Jereld's favorites)

{This is Marsha breaking into Allison's post. I put the picture on, but the gnocchi itself is hard to see (it's the bumps under the sauce, not the chicken on top!) Allison wasn't thinking of posting the recipe, so she didn't take pictures along the way. I LOVED her dinner, and told her she had to post it. I have to take credit for that beautiful salad in the background that mostly came out of a bag - ha ha!}

Marsha and her family just left. We invited them over for dinner and we had GNOCCHI! I'm leaving it up to Marsha to post a picture of the Gnocchi we had tonight. She took the pictures.

So here's the recipe:

GNOCCHI (We multiplied this 5x so we could freeze some and so it would be enough)

This recipe only makes enough for 2 people for 1 meal

2 pounds of potatoes (2 large russets)
1/4 cup egg, lightly beaten
About 1 Cup of flour (I think mine took more)

Cut the potatoes in half or quarters (leave skins on) and put in a large pot of salted water. Boil potatoes until soft (just like making mashed potatoes). Once done, take out of the water with a slotted spoon and cut off skins immediately (try not to burn your fingers...he he). Mash potatoes with a fork until there are no lumps. Add all the egg and a little bit of flour (about 1/4 of the flour or a little less). Fold in. Continue to add flour until the dough is not tacky (it will be somewhat like bread dough but tackier. I got my hands involved because a spoon doesn't work past a certain point). Pinch off a handfull of dough at a time and roll into "snakes." It's easier to make the "snakes" when you have some flour on the counter. Then, cut into 3/4 inch pieces. You can also roll the small pieces in some more flour so they don't stick to anything.

When you cook the gnocchi, drop into a pot of boiling water (make sure you salt the water...I like to add a little bit of garlic). When the gnocchi rise to the top they are done. Spoon them out with a slotted spoon when they rise. (They only take a couple of minutes to cook so watch them carefully).

As an alternative to cooking them right away, Jereld and I made these on Saturday and put the raw gnocchi on cookie sheets lined with foil and put them in the freezer...just ensure that they aren't touching each other or you'll have one big lump of gnocchi when you pull it out.

To cook frozen gnocchi, follow the same directions as raw gnocchi (they just take a minute or two longer).

If you're confused by my instructions (which are much shorter than the ones on the website I got the recipe from, you can visit the website here.

You can do a variety of different things with gnocchi. You can use them with sauces you would normally use with pasta or in soups!

Here's one of our favorites:

Alfredo Gnocchi (this is what we fed Marsha's family too, we've done a couple different versions).

Here's a picture of a previous meal Jereld and I had. With this version, I used alfredo sauce and cut up black forest ham from the deli. In the version we fed Marsha's family we cooked some chicken with some garlic salt, olive oil, and pepper. We also had some shrimp with garlic salt, olive oil, and pepper.

In both the version above and the version we fed Marsha's family, I used this me a cheater if you want. I call myself FAST and SMART! This is yummy and so easy.

If you want to be a BIG CHEATER! You can use the Gnocchi's more expensive, and I would compare the difference to the difference between real mashed potatoes and potato pearls.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Popcorn Favs

(I know - two posts in one night!)
For our YW activity tonight we had a movie night. We watched FOREVER STRONG (highly recommend) and had popcorn. I made these two kinds. The Peanut Butter was the fav.
1/2 c. butter - melt in microwave
1/4 c. Karo syrup
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
Cook 2 -1/2 minutes in microwave then add:
1/2 tsp. soda - Stir well
Pop 4 qts. popcorn. Put in brown paper bag (sprayed with Pam). Pour over popcorn. Stir. (Cut off bag to fit in microwave). Cook 2 1/2 minutes - stirring after 1 minute.
Pour out onto cookie sheet to cool.

Caramel on the left - Peanut Butter on the right

1 c. Karo
1 c. Sugar
Remove from heat and add:
1 c. peanut butter - Stir until mixed together.
Pour over big bowl of popcorn.

CANDIED POPCORN (Grandma's Popcorn Ball Recipe)
(This is Mark's favorite)
5 qts. pop corn
Boil together until softball stage or light tan color (I just guess!)
1 1/3 c. sugar
1 c. margarine
1/2 c. Karo
Remove from heat - add:
Add 1 tsp. Cherry flavoring and Red food coloring
Pour over popcorn.
(I never make popcorn balls - just eat it!)

BBQ (Sloppy Joe)

Here's a recipe my friend gave me this summer. I finally got around to trying it today. I asked Mark which he liked better - "Manwich" or these - he likes them BOTH! (These aren't as "tomato-y" as Manwich.)
Cook together:
1 lb. hamburger -
chopped onion (or dry onions)
2 cans Chicken Gumbo Soup (Campbells)
1/2 c. ketchup
celery salt
dry mustard