Back when my husband and I first became acquainted outside of art school (some people call it dating), we both participated in an ambassador program that had us painting, drawing, art appreciating, and eating throughout Italy. The culture, beauty, and history of Florence, Venice, Bologna, Siena, and Rome combined with thinking critically about art and intention…well, changed my life forever.
Of all the amazing memories that I recall of my time in Italy, one of my favorites is the first meal that we had in Florence in a tiny eatery across from our hotel. Within what felt like minutes of being seated to large rustic wooden tables covered with bubbly frizzante water, red wine, fresh baked bread, and olive oil, we were greeted with a beautiful pesto gnocchi. It was served up in gigantic flat dishes that seemed even larger than the tabletops they were placed upon. The pesto was bright green and deeply fragrant, and the gnocchi itself was tender bites of perfection. I sadly cannot remember the name of that trattoria where we feasted almost every single night, but I do remember that they served the best friggin’ gnocchi I have ever had.
So today, to bring back some savory memories, I whipped up a batch of my own gnocchi- with just a touch of pesto. And, it’s a pretty good gluten free and vegan substitute for the meal I had years ago. I mean, except that the authenticity and scenery of Florence is pretty much non-existent (unless of course you live in Florence- in which case- you probably don’t need a recipe like this at all because you are constantly surrounded by delicious balls of pasta, right? Oh, and make me your house-guest for a year or two… k?). But it works well in a pinch.
I dressed mine simply with olive oil, green beans, and nutritional yeast, and laced a thick basil pesto into the gnocchi itself… rather than serve the pesto as sauce.
Let me start off by extending a heart felt thank you to everyone who left comments and sent emails in support of my cookbook project. I have been working tirelessly on the darned thing and the support from you guys just makes doing it so much more worthwhile. ♥ In fact, some of the responses I received were down right tearjerkers… but I digress.
So, I was running behind today with my VeganMoFo post and was trying to find something superquick to make up for it. As I wandered into my kitchen, I immediately spotted two of my favorite foods: potato chips and chocolate chips. I considered today’s post done!
I know this isn’t exactly a recipe… at all. It’s much more of an assemblage. But, chocolate covered potato chips are BIG where I come from (holla, Midwest!), so any of you unfamiliar to this insanely unhealthy flavor explosion: this post is for you. ♥
Plus, it’s almost Thanksgiving, ya know?! That’s right…add some mashed potatoes and gravy and we would have ourselves a three-course dinner, folks. :)
What can I say? I’m a simple kinda gal.
This is more of a how-to, rather than a recipe. But I would like to share my basic process of creating a dish that has served my family happily for many years. There are so many variations on pierogi… but I find this version to be pretty fool-proof. And, it’s really the only kind I have ever known since I was a wee little thing. (My mother and father were born and raised in West Virginia–tis why I named them “Appalachian Pierogi”) When my mother would make her version of pierogies- the entire family would gather like vultures. In a way, they still do. There are a few steps… but if you get your timing down, they are not at all overwhelming to make. In fact, they are pretty fun!
And, for all of you gluten free folks- try this gluten free pierogi recipe I created : (updated)
I have got a lot of Polish in me- in lineage as well as culinary preferences. My mother has blessed me with so many good Polish recipes over the years and had created very fond food memories for me in my childhood. And what she had taught me had been handed down for generations. I think one of the great talents many of our family members posses is the ability to make countless dishes with a bag of potatoes. These little potato patties are called platskis, and this weekend I went to work in the kitchen with my mother to re-create our family recipe to be animal friendly. They turned out deliciously.
I hope you enjoy these simple potato cakes as much as my whole entire extended family does. And, let me assure you, there are a LOT of us.