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!

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Butternut Squash

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Arugula & Steak Salad w/ Pears, Pecans, and Gorgonzola

ARUGULA SKIRT STEAK SALAD WITH CARAMELIZED PEARS, PECANS, AND GORGONZOLA

2Holy. Moly.

This was so good. I love steak. And I love salad. Put the two together and my taste buds explode.

I love salads and a lot of time people have a notion they’re boring or flavorless.

So not the case!!! Salads are a blank canvas for you to be creative and make so many flavor combinations!

One of my favorite things is a thai steak salad. Something about it. I just love the flavor combos. I came across this idea for a completely different steak salad ans since we had just had a thai soup the week last week, it was perfect to feed my steak salad craving!

I feel like this is a well known fact by now, but Arugula is also called Rocket(Roquette) outside of the US. (WHY do we always have to be different than everyone else?)

Also if you couldn’t tell by pictures, I like my steak on the rare side. Buttttt you can make your steak however you heart desires. Steak Salad RecipeThe pears caramelizing 3The final product:
1Thanks for stopping by and checking out the blog! Also check out our new weekly feature on our Instagram page called ‘Follow Friday’ where we’ll highlight a fellow blogger or creative friend who inspires us! This week is Simply Maggie Made  who makes seriously the cutest purses, bags, clutches (and other things too!) that you’ll want to buy stat. Go check her out!

Have a wonderful weekend!! And it’s that wonderful time of year where I end my posts with, GO PACK GO!

xoxo

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Butternut Squash & Arugula Quiche

Butternut Squash & Arugula Quiche
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HAPPY FRIDAY! 6 words for you. Thank. God. It. Is. The. Weekend.

I had what I’m going to call the longest week EVER at work. But I have a super fun weekend planned. I’m heading to the twin cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul) to visit my best friend everrrr. She just moved into her and her husbands first official house and I cannot WAIT to see it and help her celebrate being a homeowner and settle in! 🙂

It’s also my birthday on Saturday! 26! Nuts. But I’m sure we’ll get into some shenanigans like we always do when we’re together. Excited!

But before I head out on my fun filled weekend I had to share what I call “the best thing I think I’ve ever made” with you. (I actually said that when I tasted this). This GORGEOUS and delicious dish can be made for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack time… you name it!

I used crumbled goat cheese as my cheese and it was seriously perfect. I recommend that but as with all of my recipes, use anything you want! It’s all about experimenting and having fun, & I suggest you try with this, pronto.

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Like I said, I used goat cheese and it was to. die. for. Also you can easily make this so quick. Use store bought pie crust (like me) use pre cut up butternut squash(like me) (you can find this in the natural foods frozen section of most stores, otherwise Trader Joes has some!) if you use some of those handy shortcuts you have a wonderful delicious and somewhat healthified dinner in no time at all!

4Like it looks so good. I think I drooled.DSC_9387 copycan’t stop
won’t stop

Do yourself a favor and try this. Then come back and tell how you liked it! oh and MOST importantly, have a wonderful weekend!!!!!

xoxo669058772380712020613

Chicken Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

Chicken Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

FOREVER

HEYOOOO!

It’s Friday again! I love posting on Friday. They are such a happy day and everyone is in a great mood!

Sooooo this recipe is a total copy cat of my major girl crush, Lindsay over at Pinch of Yum. If you are on Pinterest at all, I 100% guarantee you have one of her posts pinned to your recipe board. She is a source of never ending amazing, well, everything! Food, Recipes, pictures, helpful blogging tips and tricks, laughs, inspiration….ok, like I said, girl crush.

I get so many recipe inspirations from her! Her and her hubby, Bjork, started Pinch of Yum a few years ago as a side fun thing and it morphed into their full time job and all their dreams come true! They are like a blogging, social media, power couple- and I want them to adopt me. kidding.

So I saw this recipe in my inbox one day and it struck a chord. Jake is always saying how now that I focus on healthier food for us, he misses the cheesy casseroles and pasta and this and that. Well this looked like the perfect solution, keeps me happy with veggies and quinoa and only a little cheese and keeps him happy because it tastes amazeballs and he’ll think it’s loaded with cheese.

WIN.WIN.

It was really good! I had a little trouble getting all the water to absorb into the quinoa, but I just left it in the oven for a little longer until it looked the consistency I wanted. Of course I can never follow a recipe word for word so I made this my “own” in a few ways…. made this gluten free and used almond milk since my stomach can’t really do dairy milk. Also spiced it up a little by using red pepper flakes. I loved the way mine tasted but here’s the original Lindsay version.

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But here is my version. Deeeelicious. You have to try it for yourself.

INGREDIENTS
2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond)
1 teaspoon chicken or vegetable bouillon powder
½ cup flour (I used GF all purpose)
2 cups water, divided
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
¼ cup already cooked and then crumbled bacon (optional but not really 🙂 )
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons seasoning (I love Penzeys Mural of Flavor but any basic blend you like will work)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ cup shredded Gruyere cheese (although you can use whatever you would like)
3 cups fresh broccoli florets

INSTRUCTIONS
Sauce: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and generously grease a 9×13 baking dish (not kiddint- be generous, it really sticks to the sides). Bring the chicken broth and ½ cup milk to a low boil in a saucepan. Whisk the other ½ cup milk with the bouillon seasoning and flour; add the mixture to the boiling liquid and whisk until a smooth creamy sauce forms.
Put it all together: In a large bowl, mix the sauce from step one, one cup of water, the quinoa, and bacon and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Slice the chicken breasts into thin strips and lay the chicken breasts strips over the top of the quinoa mixture. Sprinkle with your seasoning of choice. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
Broccoli: While the casserole is in the oven, place the broccoli in boiling water for 1 minute until it turns bright green and then run under cold water. Set aside.
Bake: Remove the casserole from the oven, check the mixture by stirring it around in the pan, and if needed, bake for an additional 10-15 minutes to get the right consistency. When the quinoa and chicken are cooked and the sauce is thickened, add the broccoli and a little bit of water (like 1/2 cup) until the consistency is creamy and smooth and you can stir it up easily in the pan. Top with the cheese and bake for 5 minutes, or just long enough to melt the cheese. You can hit it with the broiler to get a pretty golden color if you want too. TADA

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And then eat it up! Sooooo tasty. And pretty relatively guilt free!

Eat Laugh CraftSo you have two take aways from today:

1) Make this recipe and come back and tell me how you liked it.

2) Go check out Lindsay and Bjorks site Pinch of Yum, if you haven’t already that is 🙂

OH and one last thing:

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! ❤ ❤ ❤ I hope you all have a fabulous weekend. As always thanks for stopping by!

xoxo

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*This post contains no sponsored or affiliate links. 

Sweet Potato Cakes with Garlic Dipping Sauce

Sweet Potato Cakes with Garlic Dipping Sauce

Hello loves!
Happy weekend!  I would like to announce to the world that I’M DONE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING!!!
Pretty much a first for me. Usually I’m working away until 12/24! But they are done. I plan on wrapping them up this weekend. I have a few more things that are being delivered in the next coming days and I also have to make one more thing but I have all the supplies for it. I’m so happy!
Christmas is my favorite time of year. People are nicer, the decorations are beautiful (I mean seriously I could just stare at lit up Christmas trees all night long), Christmas music brings back so many happy memories for me, and I get so excited to give my loved ones the presents I’ve put effort and love into!
It all makes me happy. You know what else makes me happy? These amazing sweet potato cakes. Fo’ realzzz
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Sweet Potato Cakes w/ Garlic Dipping Sauce
Ingredients
  • 3 lbs. sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup corn kernels (Frozen or fresh)
  • 3 green onions
  • ¼ bunch cilantro (divided)
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper – can add more if you like spicy!
  • ¼ tsp chipotle pepper powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal/polenta
  • 2/3 cup plain breadcrumbs (I did gluten free with these)
  •  Oil of your choice (for frying)
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt (I used this dairy free kind)
  • 1 clove garlic or 1 tbsp of garlic powder for a milder taste
Instructions
  1. Begin by cooking the sweet potatoes. The fastest way to do this is in the microwave. Prick the skin of each potato with a fork. Wrap one potato in a paper towel, place it on a plate, and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Carefully remove it from the microwave, squeeze it to make sure it’s soft in the center, and the allow it cool as you cook the next one. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them open and scoop the flesh into a large bowl.
  2. Slice the green onions and roughly chop a handful of cilantro. Add the green onions, cilantro, corn kernels, salt, chipotle, cumin, and cayenne pepper to the bowl with the cooked sweet potatoes. Stir until well combined.
  3. Add the breadcrumbs, cornmeal, and egg to the bowl. These ingredients will bind the mixture together and keep it from falling apart while cooking. Stir until evenly combined. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes. This step is important so you don’t have crunchy cakes 🙂
  4. While the sweet potato mixture is refrigerating, mix up the garlic sauce. In a small bowl combine the yogurt, one clove of well minced garlic or you can use garlic powder for a milder taste, and a handful of cilantro leaves (roughly chopped). Stir until combined and then refrigerate until ready to serve.
  5. After the sweet potato mixture has refrigerated, add enough oil to fully cover the bottom of a medium skillet. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot (but not smoking). Shape the sweet potato mixture into small patties and cook about 4 at a time in the hot oil. Cook until golden brown on each side; about 3 minutes per side. Once done, remove from the pan and place on a plate. Continue to cook until all potato mix is gone and add more oil to the skillet as needed.
  6. Top with your yogurt sauce and enjoy!!

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You can eat these without the sauce too- they’re equally delicious!!

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Soooo damn good and healthy too. These are great by themselves or as a side too.

Hope you enjoy these and I hope you are enjoying the Holiday season so far! Do you have your present shopping done? What do you have left to do? Do you do homemade or buy gifts? Comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

xoxo

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