Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A very girly day

Even though I am on vacation, I feel very accomplished today! I finished my new purse in the morning... (which was started, and almost finished, last night)

I made my husband his favorite snack...

(Herbed Wheat Muffins, recipe below)

I made a new dish for dinner, which was more successful than last night's dinner...

(Gnocchi Alfredo, recipe & commentary below)

And I made a set of jewelry!

My first ever... not the most beautiful, but I was pretty proud of it. :)

Herbed Wheat Muffins

Nathan ADORES these... normally I make a double batch, but I just made one batch this time. It makes 6 really big muffins, or 12 kinda small ones.

3/4 Cup whole wheat flour
2/3 Cup all-Purpose flour
1/4 Cup yellow cornmeal
1 Teaspoon baking powder
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoon egg, beaten
2/3 Cup Buttermilk
2 Tablespoon Honey
1/2 Teaspoon dried basil
1/2 Teaspoon dried tarragon
2 Tablespoon butter, melted

Instructions: In a small bowl, combine the flours, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
Combine the egg, buttermilk, honey, and butter; stir into dry ingredients until just moist. Fold in basil & tarragon.
Coat muffin cups with cooking spray, fill 3/4 full with batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm.

(Note: I never actually buy buttermilk... in the Better Homes & Garden Cookbook, there's a handy trick at the back for this. Combine 1 teaspoon vinegar and enough milk to make one cup, wait 5 minutes, and you have buttermilk. SO much cheaper! And easier, because I always have milk & vinegar on hand.)

Gnocchi Alfredo

First of all, I've never had gnocchi before. While this wasn't a failure, I won't be making it again. Neither Nate nor I was very fond of the gnocchi... too starch-y.

2 pounds frozen potato gnocchi
3 Tablespoon butter, divided
1 Tablespoon Flour
1 1/2 Teaspoon Flour
1 1/2 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup grated parmesan cheese
Dash ground nutmeg
1/2 Pound sliced baby portobella mushroom
minced fresh parsley, optional

Instructions: Cook gnocchi according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, melt 1 tbsp butter. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in cheese and nutmeg until blended. Keep warm.
Drain gnocchi. In a large heavy skillet, cook remaining butter over medium heat until golden brown. Do not burn. Add mushrooms and gnocchi. Cook and stir 4-5 minutes or until gnocchi are lightly browned and mushrooms are tender. Serve with sauce. Sprinkle with parsley if desired.

I actually played with the recipe for the first time on this... I usually don't! A few things weren't looking right though, so I adjusted them.
-I added extra butter, I wasn't pleased with how the flour/butter mixture was looking, and the gnocchi/mushroom mix was sticking to the pan.
-We also cut the amount of mushrooms in half because seemed too strong--didn't need to, though.
The sauce was slightly a disappointment too, but that was my own fault. I let it thicken too much... so if you try this, don't let it thicken too much! (It looks lumpy in the picture, but I think that's because I made it took thick. Oh well.)

Overall... it felt very productive!

It's so wonderful to be home with my hubby all day... I love this, too bad we are going back to real life in a few short weeks!

As always, feel free to leave a comment with your take on the recipes, or whatever!

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