Thursday, May 14, 2009

minuses, bonuses and gnocchi

I tend to end up being long winded sometimes when I write. I think maybe because I am locked away in my office for most of the day with little to no social interaction. Ask my friends how fast I respond to emails, it’s thoroughly embarrassing. I decided I will (try and) be brief right now and tell you what I did yesterday, rating each activity with a Bonus or Minus, respectively. This is kind of like the cheers/jeers section of TV Guide only with factoids from my life. I’m sure you care a ton. In my head I imagine the “boooo” of a crowd when it’s a minus and the “aaaahhhh” roar of a crowd when its bonus time.

(in mostly chronological order)

1. Worked 8:30-5:00 (minus)

2. Had a chat with my dad and his girlfriend on the front steps as I left the building. Ate two handfuls of Planters roasted, salted peanuts (bonus)

3. Went to get a (desperately needed) pedicure (bonus!) they were closed, inexplicably (minus)

4. Got home (neutral)

5. Decided what to make for dinner (bonus)

6. Took a walk with Erica (bonus)

7. Talked to my boyfriend (bonus)

8. Made and ate a delicious dinner (bonus)

9. Watched American Idol (minus- the results show is so lame due exclusively to the inclusion of the cheesier than life itself Ford commercials they make those poor kids do and I just can’t handle Seacrest sometimes)

10. Ate the remainder of the chocolate my mama bought for me (bonus)*

11. Watched the you tube video of Heart’s “Alone” with Erica (bonus)

12. Lifted weights to get buff (bonus)

So it’s nice to see. Broken down like that. Yesterday was a meh, Wednesday, but when I

break it down like that, my life is mostly bonuses and that’s an important fact to keep in mind. Plus the biggest bonus of all was dinner (meals almost always are where I’m concerned). I kind of made up a “primavera” of sorts with gnocchi. I had to work with what I had in the fridge and pantry because this week my getting a pedicure budget trumps my grocery buying budget out of sheer necessity. I made up the whole recipe after reviewing a couple gnocchi and pasta primavera recipes online. Many of them called for cream in the sauce and the cheese of choice used to garnish was parmesan. I had neither so I figured stirring in some goat cheese at the end would add the tang of cheese and a creaminess as well. The gnocchi was really good and I felt enormously successful that it was tasty since I was kind of driving blind. Is that an expression? It is now.


One package gnocchi

¾ cup chicken broth or stock

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ white onion, diced

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon butter

1 cup cherry tomatoes

Kernels from 2 earns of corn

½ cup to ¾ frozen baby peas

2-3 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled

Pinch oregano

Pinch parsley

S n’ P

Set a pot of salted water to boil for the gnocchi. It will take longer for the water to boil then it will for you to prepare your “sauce,” at least, it will if you are making this at my house. When my pasta water was simmering, I heated my skillet to medium high heat and coated the pan with olive oil. Once the oil is heated through, sauté the garlic and onion for a few minutes and once they are translucent, add your oregano and parsley (ideally, I would suggest fresh herbs, added at the end here, but I used dry and it was just fine), add the frozen peas and cherry tomatoes. Pour in the chicken stock and crank the heat up to reduce the stock and cook the veggies. At this point in time, I added my gnocchi to the pot, since gnocchi only takes about three minutes to make. Once the stock is reduced by about hmm, I dunno two-thirds (down to very little liquid in the pan) I added the corn, teaspoon of butter and salt and peps. Drain the gnocchi and dump into your serving bowl, dump the veggie mixture on top once the butter is fully melted and toss it all together, crumble in the goat cheese and mix it up once more. Serve immediately. Serves approx. 3. We had enough for two generous portions and some leftovers.

This was a perfect spring dinner. It was light but really satisfying. I served it with a Caesar and some (stale) foccacia. The whole shebang took less than 20 minutes to make. I will definitely be adding this to my weeknight dinner repertoire.

* woo hoo! First time including a link. I know this is child's play for some, but I'm sort of technologically retarded so it's like, a huge accomplishment for me (my god, I hope it works).

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