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.

IMG_5434.JPG

  • 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!

 

Beets for Breakfast, Beets for Lunch

Most people who know me know I love beets. I know, that’s a really weird thing to know about a person, but I feel with a love that is more than love for beets. I’ve been known to persistently push the purple wonders on people, and I may have even chased my former boss into her office while forcing them on her. (No, that isn’t why she’s my former boss, although I can see why someone would come to that conclusion).

beets

Doug understood me

I can eat beets every day and never be tired of them. My favorite way is to dress chilled sliced canned beets with oil, red wine vinegar, and some oregano. They’re probably my favorite food, and I only say probably because it’s hard to make a whole meal out of beets. But I do have a few beet based recipes that can be meals. A beet smoothie for breakfast and a beet spinach salad for lunch.

The smoothie is not my recipe . I found it on the blog We are Not Martha

This is, by far, my most repinned pin. I sometimes get several emails a day notifying me it had been repinned or liked. As much as this has been pinned, I have never tried to make it, mainly because chia seeds scare me. I hate slimy foods, and I didn’t know how quickly chia seeds slime. I finally decided to give it a try, and if you drink the smoothie right after making it (which you would anyway) the seeds stay crunchy.

The original recipe is here

        The only changes I made was I used half a can of sliced beets, and low fat dairy milk instead of soy milk, because I don’t like soy milk. After tasting my version, I realized why you would use flavored soy milk for the recipe.

Blender

My beet smoothie

Even though beets are sweet, this is pretty bland. I added a spoonful of sugar, and it did the trick. It was delicious and really filling. I’m not sure what the difference in sugar content is in sweetened soy milk vs regular milk and a spoon of sugar, but I guess you can pick your poison.

Smoothie

Yum!

Now there were lots of halves used to make the smoothie, so I became resourceful and used the ingredients for breakfast in lunch. Using the spinach as a salad base, I added a few strips of very thinly sliced onions, the beets, avocado, and some crumbled goat cheese.

Beet Avocado Salad

Use smoothie ingredients for lunch!

I’ve also made a similar salad for family dinners, so here is my “bulk” recipe:

Salad
1 package mixed baby greens
1 package baby spinach
1/2 an onion, thinly sliced
2 cans quartered beets
1 can half pears, drained and cubed
4 oz dried cranberries
4 oz candied pecans
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled

dressing

Use fresh herbs for dressing

Dressing:
1 part olive oil
1 part balsamic vinegar**
1 splash of orange juice
a few leaves of fresh basil and oregano
**I used pear cranberry white balsamic, but regular balsamic is good too

dressing

Dressing ready to go!

Beet salad is an awesome lunch, side, or add some grilled chicken for dinner. MMMmMm beets all day!!

Salad

Beet, Pear, Cranberries, & Pecan Spinach Salad

MmMmMm Stuffed Bread

So I’ve had this post written for a while and never posted. I guess I’ve been busy (with slight baby brain). My niece Jenna’s Birthday was several weeks ago when I originally wrote this. She’s twelve. TWELVE! Her last year as a tween, and she’s still as sweet as ever. She loves typical tween things (1 Direction and soccer), and I was both sad and excited to get to buy her birthday clothes in the juniors (instead of the kids) section. Now two of my nieces are middle schoolers, and I feel old.We celebrated Gi’s birthday at her house, complete with a soccer and 1D themed cake.

Happy Birthday Gi!

I brought some stuffed pepperoni and cheese bread for a side dish to the birthday dinner. It’s a pretty simple recipe, but before I give it I should warn you that an ingredient may be a bit of a surprise. Therefore I think I need to give some background on my stuffed bread expertise. I worked at a bakery all throughout high school and college. Every weekend, the bakery sold stuffed breads, and pepperoni and cheese always sold out quickly.
In spite of the fact that we always called it “pepperoni and cheese bread,” customers always asked for “pepperoni and mozzarella.” We never corrected them, but really the bread was NOT made with mozzarella. Think about melted mozzarella’s texture: it’s stringy, not gooey. What made our pepperoni and cheese bread so good was that the cheese was gooey. So here’s the big secret; we used White American Cheese.

Don’t get scared or grossed out! I promise white American and pepperoni is delicious. I’m sure yellow American is just as good, but I think people are freaked out by the fact that yellow cheese is so clearly not mozzarella.

So, stuffed bread is pretty simple. If you have a recipe for bread use it, but I make things even easier by using pre-made dough.

Steps to Make Stuffed Bread

Split the dough with a knife and spread it out. Put down a layer of cheese, a layer of pepperoni, and another layer of cheese. Is this a lot of cheese? Yes. Will cheese ooze out when you bake it? Some of it will, so it’s better to be safe with extra cheese ;). Roll up the bread and cut a few venting slits on the dough. Bake the bread until it’s golden brown, let it cool enough to touch, and slice it up. People kept sneaking a slice, so my bread didn’t even make it to the dinner table. Take a chance and try it!

Finished Product

Irish Potato Candies: Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Today my mom is making some corned beef and cabbage and I made some Irish potato candies for dessert. They aren’t actual potatoes, but cream cheese and coconut candies rolled in cinnamon to look like tiny potatoes just dug up from the ground.

Irish Potatoes

Irish potato candies are super-fast and easy festive candies to make for the holiday. Just cream together a stick of butter, half a package of cream cheese, and 1-2tsp of vanilla. (you can also use whiskey instead of vanilla).Blend together 4 cups of powdered sugar. It’s easier if you blend it 2 cups at a time.

Almost finished

Use whiskey instead of vanilla to make more sophisticated candies

Mix in 2.5 cups of shredded coconut.

Ready to shape

Some people like larger potato candies, but I like to make mine bite sized. Spray your hands with some Pam and use your hands to mold the potatoes into an oblong, potato shape.

Rolling assembly line

Roll the potatoes in cinnamon to coat. If you like, you can add a bit of cocoa powder to the cinnamon for a more “dirt” look and for the cocoa flavor.

Roll in cinnamon

Line the “potatoes” on a baking sheet and chill until their firm. I put the candies in mini muffin cups before serving. Yum!

Just chill and eat!

I also did some last second decorating today. Last year, in early March, I barged into work very aggravated telling Meghan, “Apparently you can’t buy a cauldron after Halloween.”  To which she replied, “You know I have no idea what you’re talking about.” I have been trying to find a plastic cauldron to fill with chocolate coins for St. Patrick’s Day for a long time. Even this past Halloween I looked for some, but they all had pumpkins or Halloween writing on them. I finally found some online and ordered a few, and they just came in today. I guess one day of display is better than none. Of course, I didn’t have any chocolate coins, so I used my clovers instead and plastic coins for the small pots. I’m thinking next year I can put the pots on some cotton and have a rainbow display too.

I finally found my cauldrons!

We’re using St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate 2 birthdays. Yesterday we celebrated my Mama’s 83rd birthday. Some of her grand-kids will be away on her actual birthday, so we decided to celebrate early.

Mama's girls

She’s our Queen Bee, but the kids wanted her to be a princess for the day. We made her wear a princess crown and all!

Happy Birthday Mama!

Tonight we’re celebrating Matt’s birthday. His birthday is really tomorrow, but he’ll be celebrating by doing what he loves best, and what made me fall in love with him to begin with, playing hockey. He didn’t want to have a cake or celebrate, but that’s just silly. He’s almost finished with his docorate and has been working such long hours finishing things up. He deserves a little celebrating from us all. 🙂

Texas Craft House

blood, sweat, and glitter y'all