Gnocchi w/ Browned Butter, Pancetta, & Sage

Gnocchi w/ Browned Butter, Pancetta, & Sage

5Well as you are about to see, this is NOT by any means a low fat recipe. But I assure you it is by EVERY means, delicious.

I mean letzzzz get real. Butter, pancetta, sage, are there flavors more comfy cozy for fall? Nope!

I had a lot of leftover sage from a butternut squash soup (maybe coming to the blog later?) recipe that I had made and needed to use it up. Butter and pancetta sounded like the perfect accompanists for it so I threw them all together and came up with this deliciously rich quick dinner.

Even while eating it Jake said, “Oh man, this is delicious. This isn’t very healthy for me is it?”

But sometimes I think we should just enjoy the flavors and not worry about “healthy” vs. “unhealthy”. Which is exactly what we did. Enjoyed it and savored it and savored it some more.  1ALWAYSSUMMER (1)3

I really love the prepackaged Gnocchi that Cost Plus (World Market) has. It’s cheap, not full of any weird or unpronounceable ingredients and tastes delicious. You can even order it online if you’re not lucky enough to have a store close to you. And I say lucky because I’m convinced that they cannot produce or sell an item I wouldn’t be thrilled to have either in my home, in my stomach or on my body (home decor, food, jewelry/clothes in case you were confused) 🙂 4Pancetta and bacon are very similar. Basically the same except for one small step. Both are usually cured pork belly but while pancetta is done after the curing step, bacon is then smoked afterwards. Typically it’s a cold smoke and it’s never heated, which is why both pancetta and bacon need to be cooked before eaten. (Different from prosciutto which has been cured a little differently and for a much longer period of time and can be eaten without being “cooked”). There’s your food lesson for the day!
2We have our first snow fall in the forecast for this weekend. I suppose can’t be that bent out of shape about it, we’ve had such a mild fall and it’s almost the end of November. Maybe if we get enough this year, I can finally go snow shoeing as we couldn’t last year!

xoxo669058772380712020613

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Butternut Squash

Lemon Thyme Baked Chicken

Lemon Thyme Baked Chicken

EDIT of DSC_8224I am a sucker for anything with lemon, or garlic and love chicken so naturally I want to put them all together! This is a reallllly simple and delicious meal. It’s easy and quick enough for a weeknight but also tasty and ‘fancy’ enough for a weekend or dinner party with friends.

You could use whatever pieces of chicken you wanted. For this recipe I had skinless chicken breast pieces on hand, so I used that.

*Warning if you use pyrex or glass, it takes a little scrubbing to get the baked bits off the side when you’re done, but you can either use foil or get a good arm workout in for the day. 🙂

Ingredients:

1-2 tbsp olive oil
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 cup of chicken broth
Zest from 1 lemon
Juice from 1 lemon
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
2 lbs skinless chicken breasts or however much chicken you want to make
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
Two sprigs of fresh thyme
2 lemons cut into wedges

Instructions: 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking dish with cooking spray.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; add the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, making sure not to burn the garlic. Add the chicken broth, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, and thyme leaves to the pan. Pour the mixture into the baking dish. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Place the chicken in the baking dish along with the lemon wedges and the two sprigs of thyme.

Place into the oven and bake, basting occasionally, for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the oven and let the meat rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Drizzle the pan sauce on top of the slices of chicken and serve. Enjoy!

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A before shot

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After baking- and so pretty!

 

Such great fresh flavors with this. Fresh and tasty and easy. I can see myself sitting out on my non existent porch by our non existent fire circle eating this with a glass of cold Chardonnay. Ahhhhhh, see ya! I’m going to go day dream about that now.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoy!

xoxo

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Beef Bourguignon Soup

Beef Bourguignon Soup

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A little overkill on the parsley. Don’t care. Still delicious!

Happy Sunday! Hope your weekends were all great and relaxing and fun! This is totally a winter comfort food- which I’m posting, not in winter. I’m not that organized. Get over it 🙂

I love a good Beef Bourguignon and when I saw a soup rendition, I was all for it. Most are kind of stew-like anyway, so why not go all in?!

I served this with my great grandmothers Homemade German Potato Dumplings and it was to. die.for.

This is actually a pretty rich and decadent version of a beef bourguignon. It takes a little but more time that more recipes I feature on here, but I promise that it will be worth it! 🙂

Ingredients:
3-4 thick cut slices of bacon
2 tablespoons flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds stew beef meat, cut in 1/2-inch dice
1 onion, chopped in 1/4-inch dice
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups red wine
6 cups beef stock
4 medium fresh thyme sprigs
1 large bay leaf
5 tablespoons pesto, prepared or homemade (Costco has the BEST pre-made pesto on the planet)
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 stalks celery, diced
8 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons butter
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced

Instructions:
1. Cook bacon over medium low heat until golden brown and crisp, but not hard. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside. Remove half of the bacon drippings and set aside.

2. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add beef and toss with your hands to coat.

3. In a large Dutch oven or heavy duty pot, heat bacon fat over medium high heat until hot, but not smoking. Add ½ of the beef and spread out to cover the bottom of the pan. Cook until the beef is golden brown on the underside, about 5-7 minutes. Don’t mess with it too much. Let it get a good golden brown coat. With a large metal spatula, flip beef to uncooked side and cook until second side is golden brown too. Remove with a slotted spoon to a clean plate. Add the rest of the bacon fat to pot. Heat until hot, add remaining beef and repeat cooking process as directed above.

4. Once second batch of beef is browned, return first half of beef to pan. Add onion and garlic, tomato paste and 1 of cup wine. Bring to a boil then lower heat to maintain a low simmer. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally. Simmer until most of the wine is absorbed, about 20 minutes then add the remainder of the wine and simmer until almost completely absorbed .

5. Add the beef stock, thyme, bay leaf, pesto and brown sugar and return to a boil. Reduce to a low constant simmer, cover and cook for 1 hour or until beef is tender. Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs (if you used real thyme)

6. Add celery, carrots and potatoes, cover loosely and cook till tender, about 20-25 more minutes.

7. While vegetables are cooking, melt butter in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. When butter is bubbly, add mushrooms and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until mushrooms are golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. Add mushrooms to soup and stir. If soup is too thick add a bit more stock or water.

8. Serve it up. Like I said, I served over some German Potato Dumplings, but served by itself or with some good crusty french bread would be amazing too!

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Yum. Yum. Yum. I want this again right now!

xoxo

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Fresh Veggie Greek Pasta

Fresh Veggie Greek Pasta

Ahhh, look how pretty this one is. Screams summer time BBQ to me.

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NEWS FLASH-I live in Wisconsin (ps. GO BUCKY!)

NEWS FLASH- it’s basically April and it snowed last week……

NEWS FLASH- I’m freaking sick of it!

I was desperate for something that tasted like summer and I came across this recipe.  It seemed so fresh tasting, and it was. 🙂

I made a dinner out of this and topped it with some chopped up chicken breast. We ate it warm. But I believe the recipe was originally intended to be a cold pasta salad. Like the ones you bring to SUMMER barbeques with friends when you wear shorts and tank tops and can sit outsiiiiiide and enjoy a cold beverage and possibly see some lightening bugs…ahhhhhh the good times. CAN. NOT.WAIT.

Anyway, we both really liked this dish. It was also a mini-milestone for me beeeecccaauuuse it contains kalmata olives and my Beau ate them! OK – he sort of picked around them while serving and it’s not like he said “these taste GREAT!” but after you hear this story you’ll realize why I’m so happy.

Jake and I have been together for about 6 and a half years. We met in college. Around our 1 year anniversary I decided to make him dinner. Back then it was a rare occurance as we lived in dorms or college housing and no access to a kitchen and we’re poor so there’s that. ANYWAY I choose to make a dish my mom always made called Medditeranean Chicken. Super simple and tasty. Basically 4 ingredients. Chicken breasts, cherry tomotoes, capers, kalmata olives- and then baked. Looking back, I have NO idea what I was thinking. Jake didn’t grow up eating as many diverse flavors as me and his palate was a little, limited shall we say. This was just too much.

Here’s the down and dirty version: I cook. I plate. We sit down. I take a bite=heaven. Jake takes a bite= run to bathroom, spit out food, brush teeth, gargle with Listerine immedietly.

How we are together to this day you ask? I don’t know. My feelings were so hurt but I tried to understand that it was “weird flavors!” for him. Anyway at the time, he pointed to the capers as being the death of him but after that it was both olives and capers that I had to hear about how he dispised them everytime they were in a 5 foot radius of him. I’m taking this dish a sign that almost 5 years later his palate has grown and adapted and they can slowly become part of our grocery repitiore.

But enough about me- Here is how you can make this deeeelicious recipe for you and your family!

Ingredients:
2-3 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons chopped parsley(I prefer Flat Leaf Italian)
1 tablespoon chopped basil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 pound penne pasta (or whatever pasta you want)
6 tablespoons olive oil
3 teaspoons garlic, minced

Instructions:
– In a large bowl, combine the chopped tomatoes, olives, feta, herbs and spices, salt and pepper. *If you want to serve this dish cold, you could add this mixture to the fridge at this point to chill
– Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain in a collander.
– In the same pot, (with the pasta in the collander) heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes without letting it turn brown and cripsy.
– Put the pasta back into to the pot and toss with olive oil mixture.
– Add the tomato-olive mixture and toss until the fresh vegetables are thoroughly mixed with the penne.
– Serve!

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Hope you enjoy! And I also hope the weather is warmer by you, but if it is please don’t tell me about it. I’m bitter, however I can’t complain tooooo much as it’s about 50 today. SPRING IS COMING!

Thanks for vewing !

xoxo

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Mediterranean Mac & Cheese

Mediterranean Mac & Cheese

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Hello! So I started a thing where every week I’ll ask Jake to look at my food Pinterest board and pick a recipe for me to make during the week. I just get so sick of allllllwwaayyys picking what we eat and when I ask Jake he says ” um, I don’t know. Anything.” I mean doesn’t he browse blogs all day long and have a million recipes just floating around in his head? No? Ok then he needs a little inspiration 🙂 This was one that he picked. Clearly didn’t read anything about it since it contains olives which he ‘thinks’ are the spawn of satan but I adapted and only added those to my plate. Honestly this doesn’t have a TON of cheese in it, really you are creating a yummy creamy sauce from the flour and milk- which sort of makes you think it’s all cheese but it’s not too crazy. You can totally adapt and remove items you don’t like or add ones you like better. Enjoy!!!

Ingredients

  • 1 big (14.5 oz) can fire roasted, diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/3 cup chopped black or kalamata olives (I used about 1 tbsp of capers too!)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 box pasta(16oz)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 coves garlic, finely minced
  • 3 Tbsp a.p. flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 oz crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease an oven save dish (I used 9×13) & set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine drained diced tomatoes, chopped olives/capers, 1 Tbsp basil and dried oregano, set aside.
  • Boil pasta to al dente according to directions listed on package. Drain pasta well and return to pot.
  • Meanwhile, melt butter along with olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add onion and saute until soft and lightly golden, about 3 – 4 minutes, adding in garlic during the last minute of sauteing.
  • Whisk in flour, and cook stirring constantly for 1 minute. While whisking constantly, slowly pour in milk and bring to a boil, don’t stop stirring!
  • Once mixture reaches a boil reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring constantly until mixture has thickened, about 4 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, stir in 2 oz feta cheese and the mozzarella cheese then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour tomato mixture over drained pasta and toss, then pour sauce over pasta mixture and toss all to evenly coat.
  • Pour coated pasta mixture into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle top evenly with remaining 4 oz crumbled feta cheese. Bake in preheated oven 20 – 25 minutes until edges are bubbling and top is golden brown.
  • Serve warm and garnished with basil!

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Ok see this is an example of a draft I created before I started my new photography initiative. Please excuse my orange ‘blaaaa’ lighting…I promise that it’s equally as delicious as if I’d taken the picture with my Nikon. Just tryyyyy it!

xoxo

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