Homemade Gnocchi

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(pardon the steam in my picture!)

I have had homemade gnocchi on my ever-growing list of things to try for quite some time now, and finally got the necessary nudge after I saw them on Joelen’s blog last week. A quick confession – I have never actually eaten non-homemade gnocchi. A spoiled little Italian girl, you may say? Well, I suppose you would be right. Many Sunday dinners at my Grandma’s have left me partial to homemade pastas of all variety. Last spring I began my homemade pasta journey with ravioli and have now added gnocchi to my list of accomplishments. I’m earning my green, white, and red stripes ๐Ÿ™‚

I was somewhat nervous to tackle gnocchi because I know it has the possibility of coming out too dense and tough. I followed this recipe to a “T” and I think they came out just perfect. They were plump and soft and slightly firm to the bite – perfect homemade gnocchi! I made these yesterday and froze them as directed in the recipe, then cooked them today and had no problems whatsoever. I would definitely recommend this recipe, as I didn’t need to make any modifications.

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Roasted Red Potatoes

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I have made these potatoes at least a handful of times now but have never managed to snag a picture until tonight. So here they are, finally gracing my blog. These are by far the best roasted potatoes I have ever made – each time I make them Nick and I fight over the last few pieces, so I finally started making more ๐Ÿ˜‰ These are incredibly easy to throw together and complement most any meal. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

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Weekend BBQ

This past weekend my family came to visit so we grilled hamburgers and hot dogs and I put together a number of salads to go with the meal. Because of the hustle and bustle of getting everyone fed, I didn’t get pictures of everything, but my menu was as follows:

  • Burgers and hot dogs on the grill
  • Corn on the cob on the grill
  • Fruit salad
  • Loaded baked potato salad
  • Antipasto salad
  • Apple pie for dessert

I did not get a picture of the Loaded Baked Potato Salad, but everyone raved about it – the flavors were phenomenal. Here is the recipe:

Loaded Baked Potato Salad
(Source: The Country Kitchen)

6 medium baking potatoes (about 2 pounds)
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup mayonnaise
8 slices bacon, crisply cooked, drained and chopped
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Thinly sliced green onions (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Scrub potatoes thoroughly and pat dry. Prick potatoes. Bake 50-60 minutes or until tender. Remove potatoes from oven; cool completely.

2. Combine sour cream and mayonnaise in a small bowl. Chop bacon and red onion; add to sour cream mixture with the shredded cheddar. Stir in salt and pepper; cover and refrigerate.

3. Coarsely chop potatoes into 1/2-inch pieces. Place in a large bowl; fold in sour cream mixture. Cover and refrigerate 4-6 hours or overnight. Garnish with sliced green onions and shredded cheddar cheese, if desired.

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I put together my antipasto salad on the fly and this is what I ended up using:

Antipasto Salad
(Source: Sugar & Spice)

1/2 lb. hard salami, cubed
1/2 lb. pepperoni, cubed
1/2 lb. mozzarella cheese, cubed
1/2 lb. provolone cheese, cubed
Small can artichoke hearts, quartered
Jar medium-sized green olives, drained
Can of large black olives, drained
Good Seasons Italian salad dressing (about 1/3 cup)

Combine all ingredients and let sit for at least 1 hour before serving to allow flavors to combine.

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My Grandma was sweet enough to have brought me a present when she came to visit, so I wanted to show it off here! She bought me the cutest pumpkin pie plate, with a cover. The bottom of the plate as an old-fashioned recipe for pumpkin pie. This is perfect for pie, or even as a fall candy dish! So cute ๐Ÿ™‚


Miniature Italian Meatloaves

Meatloaves!

(sorry for the dark pics tonight)

A classic American dish with more varieties than Heinz 57 (yes, a shameless plug for my hometown!). These individual-sized meatloaves cooked up significantly faster than a large traditional meatloaf and the seasoning mix made them taste like huge meatballs! An additional benefit is having leftovers ready to go and not needing to be sliced up.

I served these with garlic mashed potatoes – the recipe is also posted below.

Teeny Tiny Italian Meatloaves
(adapted from Amber’s Delectable Delights)

1 lb. ground beef
1 egg, beaten
1 cup spaghetti sauce, divided
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
1/4 onion, grated
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt & pepper to taste

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Gently mix 3/4 cup spaghetti sauce with the remaining ingredients.

3) Divide into four equal portions and form into desired shape. Place onto greased baking pan.

4) Smother each loaf with remaining spaghetti sauce and top with extra mozzarella cheese.

5) Bake for 40-50 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.


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Garlic Mashed Potatoes
(source: Sugar & Spice)

4 medium sized red potatoes (about 3.5 cups cubed), scrubbed
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper to taste

1) Cube potatoes and place in pot with peeled garlic cloves. Cover with water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes; drain.

2) Place in a bowl with remaining ingredients and mash or beat with electric mixer.