Another Beet Recipe: Beet Gnocchi

Gnocci Board 2

I got another UKG. It’s a gnocchi board. I say it’s a UKG because my grandma always just used her finger for homemade gnocchi, but I wanted ridges. Could you use a fork to make the ridges? Sure, but why wouldn’t you want a little gnocchi board? Plus you can flip the board over and it’s a mini cutting board (at least that’s what I tell Matt). After spaghetti, gnocchi is my favorite pasta. Hopefully that means I’ll put this UKG to good use!

Gnocci

I decided to satisfy a beet craving and try something different by making beet gnocchi. Making vegetable pasta isn’t hard. You just have to puree or mash your vegetable of choice and add it to the recipe. If your dough is too watery, then just add more flour. For hard root vegetables like carrots and beets, you have to cook your veggies before pureeing them, but if you want to make something like spinach or kale pasta, no pre-cooking is required. My recipe below is **Bonus UKG!!!! Aside from the fact that this is a delicious recipe, the most exciting part about my post is that you can use two UKGs in one recipe: the gnocchi board AND a potato ricer! From this recipe, I was able to have 4-7oz bags of frozen gnocchi and one 4oz serving for myself to eat right away.

Finished Dish

Ingredients:

3 large beets
3 large potatoes
2-3 cups flour, plus additional for rolling
1egg
olive oil, salt, pepper to taste

 

Dough:

  • First roast equal amounts of beets and potatoes with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. I always peel my beets before roasting them. Some people do it after, but I always have to eat a few right out of the oven and am too impatient to wait for them to cool. Tip: peel beets under cold running water so you don’t stain your hands.

Peeled Beets

  • After they’ve cooled, pureed the beets.

Beet Puree

  • Mix beets together with the potatoes in potato ricer**. I used the ricer twice to be sure the two veggies were incorporated well together. If you don’t have a ricer, you can use a masher, hand mixer, or puree everything again.

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  • Mixed one egg and flour to form the dough. Start with 2 cups of flour and if it’s too sticky, add more. I used about 2.5 cups total for the dough.

Add Flour

  • Roll dough into a log and sprinkle it and surrounding area with flour.
  • Cut about an inch off the dough log, and roll that piece into a long rope.

Dough Log

  • After rolling a few ropes, line them up together and cut ½ inch pieces of gnocchi dumplings from the dough ropes. After rolling all the ropes and cutting the gnocchi dumplings, it’s time to use the gnocchi board!
  • Using your thumb, gently roll each dumpling against the grooved side of your gnocchi board. I find having the board at a 45° angle is easiest, so I prop the board up on the inside of a bowl and let the gnocchi fall into the bowl
  • After ridging all the gnocchi, you can cook or freeze.

 

  1. To freeze gnocchi, lay all the pieces in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze for 4 hours or overnight. After gnocchi is frozen, transfer into freezer zip baggies for storage.

Ready to Freeze

  1. To cook gnocchi, just add to salted, boiling water and cook for about 5 minutes or taste test until done. The gnocchi will float when finished.

Beet gnocchi is very subtly sweet and delicious. I didn’t want to overpower the taste, so I sautéed cooked gnocchi with some chopped sage leaves in butter and olive oil and sprinkled some goat cheese on top. This would also work well with a really light cream sauce too. Yum! My new favorite gnocchi! If you have any other ideas on how to dress the gnocchi, let me know!

 

Using Transfer Paper to Make Freezer Paper Shirts

I went on a bit of a shirt making kick. I made maternity shirts, the baby shirts, and shirts for my husband, father, father-in-law, and brothers-in-law for Father’s Day. I learned quite a bit making them, and I like how they all turned out.

I made the baby a shirt for the 4th of July and a Finding Nemo inspired shirt, even though we probably won’t get to the movies to see Finding Dory with him.

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I also went a little crazy with Maternity shirts. I also made use of some glittler iron-on material I had for my heart and NJ shirts. My favorite is the watermelon shirt. The watermelon is in the Simply Charmed  cartridge for Cricut.

Maternity Shirts

I even made a Goonies shirt for my future little Goonie. I downloaded The Goonies font on Dafont. I think that one is Jack’s favorite.

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I created the Hockey Dad silhouette in Photoshop and uploaded it to design space. It’s my favorite! For the vintage looking dad/grandpa shirts, I found the Marcelle Script font on DaFont.com. It downloads with letters and different style swooshes.

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The thing with making freezer paper shirts is that it is really annoying putting all the tiny pieces in the proper place. (Especially with the “worn vintage” look of Marcelle Script, as well as characters like e, o, g, p, a, 4, 8, etc). When working with vinyl, most people usually use contact paper, plastic sticky paper used to line shelves, to transfer my cuts onto the surface. The problem is freezer paper isn’t actually sticky like vinyl. You have to iron the freezer paper onto the shirt for it to stick. Heat + plastic = bad,  so contact paper is out. Transfer tape is actually made to transfer vinyl to walls and objects, but a lot of brands are also plastic. I wasn’t sure if transfer paper would word or if the glue would ruin the shirts, but I figured I’d test it out and see. I made sure to get transfer paper made out of actual paper, not plastic.

Shirts 1

1 I cut the designs on the Cricut shiny side down on the mat. 2 I placed the transfer paper on the whole design 3 and rubbed well. 4 Figured out placement of design, 5 Then I ironed the design on low, dry heat. 6 After I removed the tape, 7 I ironed the design again with parchment paper, and it worked like a charm!

I was actually able to reuse the tape and transfer the design to 6 different shirts. I am sure I could have transferred more, but I only made 6 shirts at a time. The stickiness tape did not change much either. In fact, the transfers were easier the more I used the same piece.

Shirts 3

It seems obvious,  but I learned that it’s a lot harder to paint on a dark shirt than on a lighter colored shirt. I expected to have to use a few layers of paint for the dark shirts, but not as much as I actually used.  I think I’ll stick to painting designs on bright and light colored shirts, and using heat transfer vinyl on dark shirts.

Using Acrylic Paints on Clothing: The Best Fabric Medium.

I’ve seen so many cute baby and maternity shirts online, but at $15 (on the low end) for something a baby will grow out of so quickly seems like too much for me. But there is some hope for cute onsies! I’ve seen that you can use the Cricut, freezer paper, and paint to create clothes yourself. I’ve never heard of using freezer paper before, and I know paint makes clothes stiff, so I tested out it all out on an old t-shirt before trying it out on baby clothes.

You might think that fabric paint is a paint option I’d consider, but it is a little pricey (I’m cheap), and there aren’t nearly as many colors available in fabric paint than acrylic (I love color). Now I know from unfortunate personal experience that acrylic paint will permanently color clothes, but it will make your clothes hard, stiff, and scratchy. So did some research and found that you can add fabric medium to paints so avoid the problem. There are tons of different kinds you can find online, but I decided to go with the 3 I found at Jo-Ann’s so I could use coupons (and not pay shipping).

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I found 2oz fabric medium from Folk Art ($2.99), Americana ($2.49), and Delta ($2.49). All three had the same instructions: mix one part medium to two parts paint. I made sure to use the same brand of paints for consistency. Using Apple Barrel paints and a plastic spoon for measuring, I made a mixture of each medium in a different color.

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Folk Art: Green

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Americana: Pink

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Delta: Orange

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I put newspaper inside the shirt so the colors wouldn’t bleed through, but you could use cardboard too.

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I first just free painted a few squares onto the shirt.

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I tried out freezer paper to see how it’d work. I didn’t use my Cricut to make the stencil for this practice run; I just cut a few diamonds onto the paper.

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Iron the paper shiny side down onto the shirt.

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It worked!

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Paint over the stencil, then peel it away after a few minutes.

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The paint doesn’t have to be dry, just not soaking wet.

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Now the hardest part of anything you make is waiting.

Let the paint dry for 24 hours.

After 24 hours, heat set  the paint. In order to do this, I put the shirt in the dryer for an hour. You can also do this faster with an iron, but the dryer is easier and you don’t have to worry about the paint bleeding.

I wore the shirt after this, and there was a definite winner, but just to be certain I washed the shirt inside out on the delicate cycle, and I was sure to use fabric softener. This softened all the paints considerably.

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So what’s the verdict? All three paints are wearable, but for a baby onsie I wanted the paint to feel like it wasn’t even there. The Folk Art medium has, by far, the best texture of the three. You really can’t feel the difference between the actual shirt and the painted area. I think for 50¢ more this is the best bet, especially for baby clothes.

Folk Art

The Americana Medium worked really well too. The painted area was not scratchy or tough, but you can distinguish where the painted area is on your skin. A lot of store bought shirts feel this way, and it’s not uncomfortable at all. The Americana brand is also cheaper than Folk Art, so if you don’t mind the texture or  are wearing an undershirt, this is a good choice also.

Americana

I did not like the Delta Medium at all. The painted area was a much more stiff and scratchy on your skin. However I was reading reviews for this online, and many people used this medium for outdoor furniture. I could see using this for the cushions or pillows of a patio set, as outside textiles need to be a bit tougher to hold up to the weather. This brand also is  often sold in big bottles rather than the 2 oz bottles, so you could use it for larger area projects. So for clothing, this is a definite no, but for outside things, I might use it.

Delta

My first baby onsie project isn’t perfect, but oh I love it, especially the back (doo-doo)!

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Besides my Daisy, I know 5 other babies being born this year! I’ll be making lots of custom onsies now, like this one:

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We’re having a Daisy!

Recently we had an abnormal blood test come back for the baby, so we had to have a few more screening blood tests done. They all came back great, and I finally did get back the baby’s gender. I wasn’t going to find out, but when they called with the results and everything was fine, I was so excited I didn’t really care if I knew or not so I just let the nurse tell  me. We are having a little girl! I was so happy that everything was OK and my baby girl is coming I just started crying and had to hang up the phone. Then I headed to the craft store to get some daisies.

We always said if we had a girl, we’d name her Daisy. I bought a bunch of daisies from Lowe’s and set them up on our kitchen table with my Daisy figurines around it and “Daisy Cutter” on loop. I told Matt there was a surprise at home for him, and as soon as he saw the daisies he knew we are having a girl!

Daisy Reveal 1

I decided since I majorly disappointed my mom with my fake gender reveal, I’d do a smaller, real version for her. I bought a tiny round wooden box and painted it yellow and green with pink and blue polka dots. I printed out a simple tag to tie to the lid to open for the reveal. I left a giant pink fabric daisy inside. Had Daisy been a boy, I’d have filled it with blue confetti.

Reveal Box

Everyone was so excited for another little girl in the family, especially the kids.

Gender Reveal

Today we had the 20 week ultrasound, and everything looks great! We can’t wait to meet our little Daisy!!

Daisy

My New Favorite Kitchen Gadget: Pineapple Corer and Slicer

We have a small red hutch in our kitchen that houses what Matt likes to call UKGs, or Unnecessary Kitchen Gadgets.
Some gadgets he just doesn’t understand, like what a baster is.

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Or why we need a happy face pizza cutter when we already have a regular one (because the kids like it, and sometimes I use a pizza cutter to cut dough and the regular one is in the dishwasher 😜)

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Other gadgets I can’t deny have little use. I don’t really eat grapefruit, so a grapefruit spoon isn’t necessary (let alone 4). But then again one who knows. I might use them to scoop out citrus fruits for a salad or dessert or something.

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But for real I found an extremely necessary gadget this time. It is a pineapple corer and slicer. It does exactly that, cores and slices pineapple.

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So easy!

OK, so in all honesty I could take or leave pineapple. But you know I’ll be eating a lit more if it with this! My first time using it I accidentally went all the way through the pineapple, making a hole in the bottom.

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It wasn’t really a problem, but this summer I’ll need to avoid doing that. I see myself filling the cored pineapple with some frozen drinks (virgin drinks for me for this summer).

I saw this at Bed Bath and Beyond for $20, but then I checked online and Amazon Prime had this one for $6.99! I obviously went for the $6.99 version.

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I’ve gadgets and gizmos a plenty, and I love them all, necessary or not. I don’t know why, I just do. If you have a favorite gadget, let me know about it!

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We Haven’t Found Out the Gender Reveal

Happy April Fools! It’s no secret that I like to bust my family’s chops. I’m kind of surprised that they didn’t see this coming. Every since my family found out that the baby’s gender could be determined by a blood test much sooner than an ultrasound, they’ve been hounding me about finding out if Giacomo will have a brother or sister and having a gender reveal party.  They have been convinced that I already know the baby’s gender. At my last visit, my mom came to the Dr with me only to be disappointed. The results weren’t in yet. She convinced herself that me and my Dr are in cahoots and we do in fact know the gender. We don’t, but because it’s April Fool’s Day I had a gender reveal anyway, only we used white balloons instead of colored balloons to reveal…nothing.

Now I’m not so mean. I did call my Dr. today to see if the results came in, but they still haven’t. We didn’t find out about Giacomo, and I still don’t know if we are going to find out about baby #2, but we did have fun pretending we would.

 

Jack’s Big Announcement Photoshoot

Announcement

 

Jack finally spilled the beans! He will be a Big Brother in September! We tried to let Lilu be part of the announcement pictures also, but she was just eating the jelly beans.

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Oh well. I made the signs with some paint and my Cricut. The eggs were from Target, and I just used crayon to write on them. I had a great time making them even though I don’t know what I’m going to do with them now, maybe put them in the new baby’s memory box.

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When I found out, it was during one of the few snow storms we had this year. Matt was outside shoveling, so I left a note on the door that said “You make me sick!” He came in saying “What’d I do? and I told him to open the note. Inside read “Because you knocked me up.” He already had a hunch that I was pregnant anyway, and we celebrated with him drinking some wine and me having some ginger ale.
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I’m 14 weeks along right now. It still feels surreal, and I am a bit nervous still.  Jack is and this baby will be a Rainbow Baby, a term I only recently learned.  A Rainbow Baby is a baby born after a family has suffered a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or infant loss. These babies are rainbows after terrible storms. Even though I am passed the “safe zone,” I am still worried. (I have gone through two miscarriages, and it was terrible. I cannot imagine the pain that accompanies full-term loss). I have been trying not to worry too much though. I believe that keeping in a positive state of mind and thinking good thoughts while pregnant will mean a happy thinking baby, so here’s to optimism and wonderful thoughts. We can’t wait to see who has been growing inside me all this time!
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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Hopefully we’ll catch some Irish luck and kick this sickness!

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In the meantime, I think I might try and make some potato candies.

Still Sick

I have officially been sick for three weeks. Antibiotics did nothing. I was told by my doctor’s office that this illness could last five weeks! At least I’m over the hump. My nose is stuffed, I’m coughing constantly, my ears are clogged, my head is throbbing, and I’m exhausted.

The worst part is poor Jack is sick now, too. He’s not as bad as I am, and antibiotics are working for him, thank goodness! Chicken soup is always best for a cold, so I figured out a way to get him to have some soup. Broth in a bottle. He loves it! Pretty clever if I do say so myself.

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Giacomo loves his chicken soup!

Let’s hope we get healthy soon! I’m pretty mad that there’s been such beautiful weather and I’ve been stuck inside, miserable.

Glittered Wine Glasses for President’s Day Weekend

After a break of a few years, we finally resumed our annual President’s Day weekend family reunion ski trip (or, for many of us, sit in a cabin in the mountains and hang our trip). My sisters, parents and cousins rent two side by side houses so we can bounce back and forth from the houses.

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I used to go snowboarding with my husband several times a winter, but I haven’t been able to since I hurt my knee. I’m so glad that this year all my gear was finally put to use; Matt took my niece Jenna out to try boarding. She had a great time with her dad and uncle on the mountain.

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To celebrate the re-start of our festivities, I made some pretty wine glasses for all the ladies in the trip.

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The glasses are pretty easy to make, and as with anything with glue, the hardest part is the waiting between layers. I used the Cricut machine to cut out everyone’s initial and name in vinyl lettering for the wine glasses. I also glittered the stems of the glasses. If you don’t have a Cricut, you can still make glasses with glittered stems. We had a great time, and the glasses were a hit!

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For the monogram glasses:

  • I wanted contrasting fonts for the monogram letter and the full names, so I went with a full, swirly monogram and a thin, hand written font for the names.
  • I applied the whole name on the glass in gold vinyl in MV Boli (a system font already on my computer).
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  • I applied the first initial on the opposite side in purple vinyl (to match the glittered stems) in a monogram font I found on dafont.com called Monogram kksc . You can download the same font here. 

 

 

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For glittered stems:

Note – you want all of your coats of glue, glitter, and sealer to be thin. If your layers are too thick, they will eventually crack

  • First, wash and dry your glasses and use rubbing alcohol on the surface of where you are going to apply the glitter.
  • Apply a thin coat of Mod Podge to the stem and base of the glass.
  • Sprinkle on superfine glitter.

Purple Glitter Stems 1

  • Allow to dry for several hours or overnight. You will know the glue is dried by looking at the underside of the glass. If you see any white, the glue is still wet.
    Purple Glitter Stems 2
  • Apply another thin coat of Mod Podge and reglitter.
  • Allow to dry again.
  • If you need to, repeat the glue and glitter layers until your desired coverage. I only needed two coats of glitter, but you shouldn’t need more than 3 or 4.
  • When your last layer is dried, apply a very thin coat of Dishwasher safe Mod Podge*** and allow to dry. If you think you need to, you can apply a second coat after the first has dried.

Purple Glitter Stems 3

 

***Many people seal their glitter glasses with Triple Thick. I tried it with my glass, but it reacted with the dark purple glitter I used. I wasn’t sure if I did something wrong, so I asked about it on a crafting group page. Apparently certain glitter brands/colors will muddy and react the way mine did. I really like the feel of the triple thick sealer (it feels more like glass) so I will try to use it with another brand/color of glitter in the future and post if there’s a difference.

TT vs MP

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