Gnocchi & Zucchini Alfredo

I'm sharing this recipe that morphed after items were unavailable at two grocery stores. Neither Trader Joes, nor Aldi carried the yellow squash originally listed in the Real Simple recipe I was preparing.

So, I ended up creating this which is Aldi friendly and the boys loved it - BOTH of them!

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg whole grain Gnocci
  • Olive Oil 
  • 2 zucchinis large chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic (4 rough chopped, 1 smashed)
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 c. heavy cream 
  • 1 c. parmesan cheese (or more)
  • Salt
  1. Salt and set to boil water for gnocchi. 
  2. Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a medium size pot (enough to hold entire dish at end). Add zucchini and 4 garlic cloves chopped and sauté on med-hi heat for about 7 minutes until soft. Remove from pot. 
  3. Boil gnocchi according to package directions, probably about 2-5 minutes until all are mostly floating. Once boiled and drained, combine with cooked zucchini. 
  4. Begin Alfredo sauce by melting the remaining 2 tbsp. butter in the pot, adding cream and simmering about 5 minutes. Finally, add parmesan cheese and the smashed garlic clove, stirring and heating through until all cheese is melted.
  5. Add back in gnocchi and zucchini to the Alfredo sauce prepared in the pot and serve. 

MB Carrot Muffins

Magic Bullet Carrot Muffin Recipe - great for kids!

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Ingredients

  • 4 tbs melted butter
  • about 4 regular sized carrots cut into 2" chunks
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 c. whole fat yogurt
  • 1/2 to 3/4 c. brown sugar (or white is fine)
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 3/4 c. flour

Heat oven to 375. 

In your magic bullet cup, melt 4 tbsp of butter in the microwave (about 45 seconds). Add the carrot chunks, 1 egg to the MB cup. The cup will be mostly full so add as much yogurt as will fit. Blend. If it's sticking, remove a scoop of blended carrot and add in remaining yogurt. 

Pour MB carrot mixture into a mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients. Consistency will be thick. Scoop out (I prefer to scoop with a 1/4 c. measuring cup) into cupcake tins. With non-stick tins, be sure not to grease or else your non-stick pan will become sticky and muffins will not come out clean. 

Bake for 25-30 minutes until firm. 

Share with toddlers! 

Handmade Christmas Gifts 2013

Here are a few of the christmas gifts we gave this year and their 'recipes'. Two of the gifts were inspired by my friend Hana, and the generous gift basket of goodies they brought us. I have loved the homemade lotion bars and coffee sugar scrub and agree - they're easy to make. 

I made these gifts over a 3 week period and kept them out in cute containers in the meantime. It's less stressful to take time to make them, especially if you're wanting to incorporate family helping. 

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Making something is one way to say, “I love you.”
— Daniel Tiger

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All Natural Lavender Lotion Bars

Heat water to prepare to double boil your mason jar mixture. Combine beeswax, shae butter, coconut oil & lavender in the mason jar. As the water heats, before it boils, hold the jar over the water and begin to stir. It's okay to set the jar down into the pot and wait until the contents begin to liquify. Heat and stir until liquid is completely clear.

Pour clear liquid into the silicone molds slowly. Let sit in a cool place for up to 2 hrs. Knock out each lotion bar and continue to store in room/cool temperatures. 

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Coffee & Coconut Oil Sugar Scrub

Increase portions as needed. I increased by 4x to fill 12 4 oz. mason jars.

Mix coffee, liquid coconut oil, and olive oil and let sit one hour so to cool. Add in sugar, mix and distribute into jars & label. 

I would advise gifting this with a small scoop because the scrub becomes very firm after siting for a bit. 

Gold Glitter Magnet Clips

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Pull tape to measure the front of 1 clothespin & cut. Peel adhesive off of tape and carefully place on to clothespin. I recommend measuring tape to each clothespin before you cut since pin size varies slightly. Adhere tape to each pin. 

Clip all pins glitter tape side up on to a cardboard sheet (cereal boxes cut open work well) about 1/2 inch apart. Then flip over and get out glue & magnets. 

The Super magnets are very strong and want to stick together. So, I recommend dotting glue on the back side of the clothespin at the trench that hold the end of the metal spring. The magnet will bond to that metal piece & hold on to the glue well. Glue and place magnets on one at a time. 

Let dry 1 day. 

Clip on to your holiday card or to a gift ribbon to save on packaging. 

 

25 Puzzle Snowflake Ornaments

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  • About 150 white or light blue (sky) puzzle pieces 
  • 50 1.5"x1.5" white foam (or paper) squares
  • Martha Stewart Glitter Glue (or any gummy glue) w/brush
  • White Glitter
  • String for hanging cut into 5" pieces

1st Layer:  Brush each square with glue and layer on 3 puzzle pieces in a triangle shape. Continue on 1/2 of squares (25 squares). 

2nd Layer: Dot glue on the back of a puzzle piece and build a 2nd triangular layer on the first. Continue on all 25 ornaments. 

3rd Layer: Get out remaining white squares and paint one at a time with glue. Place the ends of the string for hanging on the glue square. Adhere to the back of the ornament. The string ends will be sandwiched in-between the two white squares.

4th Layer: Brush all ornaments with glue and glitter them up! Glittering them one by one in a bowl reduces mess/waste. 

Spatchcocked Thanksgiving 2013

A friend recently told me about how she spatchcocked a chicken and it was delicious. She said she was going to spatchcock her Thanksgiving Turkey and this time, put potatoes underneath to cook in the drippings. Initially, I thought she was joking, but with some research I also decided the spatchcock method was brilliant. Essentially, you cut out the back bone of the bird and butterfly it. Here's  How to Cook a Spatchcocked Turkey.

My family and I were pretty proud of ourselves for knocking out this menu in time for 5:00 dinner. The kitchen was a revolving door of dishwashing, chopping and food prep. No blood or tears were shed - big success.

This year was especially joyous because our 8 seat dining table was full. Jacky, Cayte & Olyvia joined us on Wednesday night from Hendersonville, Tennessee. And for dinner, our friend and fellow Arthur resident, Lia, came with a delicious pecan pie – as well as three new friends from China who are studying at Loyola and live next door. The most popular dish ended up being Catye's sweet potato casserole. I offered to-go cartons to our neighbors and they scraped the sweet potato dish clean. 

This morning, I've reused leftover rolls and cut butter cubes to make a quick bake french toast. It almost redeems the fact that last night we were all so exhausted, no one trimmed the leftover turkey and at least two pounds of meat went to waste. 

Quick Baked French Toast

  • 3 cups leftover rolls/bread
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup. milk/cream
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • dash of cinnamon & nutmeg
  • 4 tbsp. softened cut butter pieces

Heat the over to 350. Rip up bread and put it into a shallow baking dish. In a bowl, mix eggs, milk/cream, vanilla, sugar & spices. Pour over bread and stir to make sure all bread pieces are covered. Scatter butter pieces into the dish and make sure bread mixture is leveled. Bake 30-45 minutes until browned and cooked through.