Making Gnocchi with Purple Sweet Potatoes

 

Purple Sweet Potatoes add a fun color to this gnocchi.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Aren’t these gnocchi so colorful? I have to thank my sister-in-law for giving me some purple sweet potatoes to try. They are the perfect shade for spring and summer!

Have you ever tried purple sweet potatoes before?

This root vegetable can be found in specify grocery stores and places with tropical climates like Hawaii.

They taste sweet and have a creamy texture when cooked which makes it perfect to make delicious gnocchi. I really love adding something like sage to complement the sweetness in these potatoes.

I like using sweet potatoes, either regular or purple for gnocchi because of their starch content. I believe it produces a creamier and more tender dough.

Speaking of which, today I am going to show you exactly how I make my gnocchi.

First, we need to bake our potatoes until they are tender, about an hour in the oven. After the potatoes have cooled enough to handle I like to peel the skin off and run them through a ricer to get a really fine texture. This ensures that no lumps make it into the dough!

Next, the dough is made by forming a mound of flour, salt, the sweet potatoes, and an egg. Get your hands messy and fold it all together.

Roll the dough out and cut it into small pillows making sure not to handle it too much. You want these gnocchi to be as soft as clouds.

Next you boil them in water for a few minutes and make a fun citrus beurre blanc to serve on top.

Get the full recipe here for Purple Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Citrus Beurre Blanc.

How To Butterfly Chickens

 

Learn how to create this beautiful chicken dish to impress your family and friends.

Chicken is the ultimate crowd-pleaser. Whenever I am having friends or family over for dinner I love to make chicken because it’s fast and flavorful.

Today I am making Cast Iron Chicken which has been butterflied.

Say what? What’s butterflied chicken you ask?

As you can see in the picture. It’s essentially a flattened cut of chicken which makes it easier to bake as well as beautiful to the eye.

To butterfly your own chicken, place the chicken breast side down on your clean cutting board. Then use a pair kitchen shears to debone the back of the chicken. Cut the backbone of the chicken by cutting along both sides of the spine. You can then save the backbone to make your own stock (but that’s another post).

Now you want to flatten the chicken out a little bit more. Open the back and flip the chicken over. Put pressure on the breast of the chicken and push down. This will help flatten the chicken.

I really enjoy this method of cooking chicken because it’s faster than roasting a whole chicken. Plus when it’s time to serve it’s easy to cut off individual portions of the chicken.

Try out my Cast Iron Chicken tonight!

Zucchini Focaccia

 

This vegetarian focaccia makes a perfect party appetizer.

Zucchini Flatbread

There’s nothing better than the smell of freshly baked bread. And this focaccia doesn’t disappoint, it’s yeast and rosemary scent will waft through every room in your house. I wish they sold a candle with this scent!

Today I wanted to talk a little bit about yeast breads. While they may seem daunting, they are actually quite fun to make!

There are few things you have to mindful of when making yeast breads:

  • The temperature of the water
  • The rise time
  • Over/undermixing

Temperature of Water

The temperature of the water is very important when making a yeast dough because the water is essentially what “wakes up” the yeast. Too cold and the yeast will not rise and too hot and the yeast will die. A good indication of a perfect temperature is just above your own body temperature, so the water will feel slightly warm, almost like a lukewarm bath. Any warmer or cooler than this the bread will not rise properly.

Dough

The Rise Time

The ample rise time for this dough is about two hours, or until it has doubled in size. If your kitchen is warmer it may take less time. A great tip to know when the dough is ready is to poke a dent in the dough. If the dent remains without trying to move your dough is ready.

Dough on sheet pan

Over/ Undermixing

Since this dough is meant to be chewy, it’s pretty hard to over mix your dough. Instead make sure that your dough is properly kneaded to ensure that it is chewy and able to roll into a smooth ball. This should take about 8 minutes, so roll up your sleeves and get your arm workout in for the day!

Baking

Get the recipe for my Zucchini Focaccia Here.

Farmer's Market Asparagus Soup

 

Blanching asparagus gives this soup it’s beautiful bright green.

Spring is here which means asparagus is at its peak!

Today I decided to turn my beautiful asparagus into a creamy and healthy soup perfect with a slice of hearty french bread.

To make sure that the asparagus stays bright and green I’m using a technique called, “blanching”. This technique can be used for any vegetable you would like to cook and keep its vibrant color. I especially like blanching my carrots to make them oh, so orange!

There are a few items you need to properly blanche your vegetables; but don’t worry, you already have all of these in the house:

  • A large bowl
  • A medium pot
  • A slotted spoon
  • ice water

First start by boiling water in your medium pot. As that is heating up add ice and water to your large bowl. Once the water is at a rolling bowl quickly drop in your asparagus. Once the asparagus is tender, about 2 minutes, quickly use your slotted spoon and transfer to the ice water bath and cool. Remove once asparagus is cool.

Your asparagus should be a beautiful and vibrant green which looks gorgeous in my soup.

Asparagus Soup

Check out my recipe for Asparagus Soup here. 

How To Make Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

 

The smell of freshly baked goods is my favorite!

Today I am sharing with you one of my favorite quick breads to serve to guests. This lemon poppyseed bread is filled with flavor and is perfect with a cup of coffee or even an herbal tea.

One of the things I really like about this bread is the addition of edible flowers which sit on the glaze. You can find these at your local farmers market or even some grocery stores. Make sure the flowers are meant for eating (this just means they didn’t use any harmful chemicals).

Quick breads are fast to make and don’t require a rising time. The only thing you need to look out for is over mixing your batter. Mix the batter until it is just combined otherwise the bread will come out tough. And that’s not the kind of bread we want!

Bread

Check out my Lemon Poppyseed Bread Recipe Here!

Enjoy!