Monthly Archives: December 2011

A Little Gnocchi

Decadent, delicious and simple…yes simple.

There are several recipes online but I wasn’t too impressed by the bare minimum and in my opinion, bland ingredients that are included in most gnocchi recipes. Adding just a few flavor boosting ingredients (hello garlic, chives and pesto) made this Homemade Gnocchi with Mascarpone-Pesto Sauce really special and most importantly, still really easy!

Mash the garlic and chives into the potatoes.

Add just enough flour to form fairly stiff dough.

Roll the dough into 1/2 to 3/4 inch 'snake like' pieces.

Cut the Gnocchi into 1/2 to 3/4 inch pieces using a serrated knife to add some shape.

Shape the Gnocchi by using a fork. Push each piece of gnocchi lightly onto the backside of a fork.

The ridges on the Gnocchi will help catch the sauce.

This is a picture of the gnocchi post boiling. Drop the pieces of Gnocchi in boiling water and wait for them to rise (about 3-4 minutes) and scoop out of the water. You'll have to drop the gnocchi into the boiling water in batches.

Wah-Lah! Home Made Gnocchi with Mascarpone-Pesto Sauce

The best part about this home made gnocchi is that is that you can make it ahead of time and freeze it! Then you just have to boil them on they day you want to serve it. Great for dinner parties!


Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

What’s better than curling up on the sofa with a peppermint hot chocolate during the holidays? How about curling up with a Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cupcake!

Chocolate cupcakes dipped in ganache topped peppermint whipped cream

This was the first time I’ve ever made ganache. It was very easy and the flavor was amazing!

Pouring the hot cream over the chocolate chips

Stirring/Melting the chocolate chips

Finished Ganache - so shiny and delicious!

Dipping the Cupcakes in the Ganache

Dipped Cupcake vs. Non Dipped Cupcake - I vote for #1!

Look at those beauties!

Oh ya, I made some carrot cake cupcakes with vanilla icing too :). People loved that the noses are actually carrots!

Ready for delivery!

Hazelnut Holiday Kisses

It’s that time of year again…you know, when the Christmas spirit is upon us and you spend every weekend going to holiday parties. Some parties you want to go to and others not so much. Let’s face it, sometimes you’d much rather be at home watching reruns of the Home Alone movies (even the third one).

This time of year, I love trying out new baked goodies that I can bring as my ‘hostess gift.’ This year, I thoroughly enjoyed making these Hazelnut Holiday Kiss Cookies.

This was definitely a fun recipe. I classify recipes as being ‘fun’ any time I get to use my standing mixer :).

Creaming together the butter, 2 sugars and heard me...nutella!

Adding the dry ingredients. I've learned that it really does make a difference in baking when you add the combined dry ingredients in after creaming the wet ingredients.

Just look at this fantastic batter!

I was shocked at how much these 1.5 inch rolled balls expanded.

Right before they are completely baked, you pull the pan out of the oven and stick a Hershey Kiss in the middle of the cookie. Then you put the cookies back in the oven to finish baking.

Wah Lah! You have yourself a 'kiss' ass hostess gift!

Note: This recipe makes A LOT of cookies (30ish). So you may want to cut the recipe in half. Or you can always do what we did. Make the full recipe, skip a few of the holiday parties and eat the extras while watching Kevin get into all sorts of shenanigans! I really love that movie…

Happy National Cupcake Day!

Fun fact I learned about cupcakes today: The world’s largest cupcake was displayed in July of 2009 at the Covent Garden Real Food Market in London. The cupcake was about 4 feet in diameter and weighed over 330 pounds! It also contained 200 eggs and took over 50 hours to make.

I wonder if cupcake wars is having a special tonight….

Christmas Crafts

Remember all the fun birthday gifts I got this year? Put gift #2 (glue gun) and gift #3 (various pieces of felt) together and see what transpires!

Felt Christmas Tree

Mini Wreath Ornament

Wreath made out of Felt Rosettes

Another Mini Wreath Ornament

Flower Ornament

How bout them Apples…

My husband used the word ‘lame’ when I told him this blog entry title. I prefer the terminology ‘super cute.’ For those of you who don’t know this already, I am the queen of all things corny. If you follow my blog then you’ll be subjected to all sorts silliness, puns, inappropriate references, etc.….you’ve been given fair warning!

Anyways, let’s get back to the ‘core’ of this post :).

Feeling super lazy this weekend, I decided to bust out the good ole Bisquick pancake mix and make some old fashioned, box recipe pancakes. But the Martha in me couldn’t resist jazzing up these delicious pancakes with a little touch of my own. So I decided to make a quick topping for the pancakes using my favorite fruit of the season – apples.

I made enough for just me and the hubs so you should approximate the serving size to be about 6 medium sized pancakes (yes, me and my husband have BIG appetites).

The recipe is super simple:

1) Peel and chop one medium sized apple into 1 inch cubes (I used a red gala apple).

2) Melt a tablespoon of butter in a small pan over medium heat.

3) Add the chopped apple to the pan and cook for about 10 minutes. I like my apples a little crispier so I cooked them for about 7 minutes.

4) Add 2/3 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of brown sugar and another 1/2 tablespoon of butter to the pan and toss the apples until completely coated. Cook for an additional minute.

5) Pour over pancakes and wah lah!…you have yourself some fancy pants pancakes.

This apple cinnamon topping is a perfect example of how you can add a little extra something to your everyday just by using a few ingredients laying around the house. It doesn’t take very much time but it sure does make you feel oh so good!

Happy Birthday to Me!

Birthday Gift #1 - Ice Cream Maker Attachment

Birthday Gift #2 - Mini Glue Gun


Various pieces of felt bought from Hancock Fabrics (birthday gift to myself)

Let’s see what kind of shenanigans I get into with these babies!

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