Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi

Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi

Hello, babes!

Another long break, right?

It just seems like my “foodieness” is going in a multitude of directions.

After a lot of long thought…I’ve realized that I don’t need to feel pressured to update this website 2 to 3 times a week, as this isn’t my full-time job. This blog shouldn’t cause me pressure, but rather be a leisurely outlet for some things that I love: recipe development, cooking, and photography.

I’ve felt pressured to rush through recipes, photograph them even if the lighting isn’t right – I am all about natural light photography – and stress myself out if I don’t have enough time. I’ve looked back through my last few recipes, and I’m not totally happy with my photography. It’s all a learning process – I learn from the old to see what I don’t want to do – but I’m feeling like I want to re-shoot the last six recipes I’ve posted. Ha!

If I update here once or twice a month, at my pace, so be it! It’s all good.

Plan B? I marry someone with a lot of money and a good spousal health insurance plan so I can quit my job and focus on this blog full-time! Ha! Maybe…maybe…

Outside of this blog, I have been doing a lot of work with Instagram food influencer agencies in NYC, as well as developing recipes for Yoga By Candace, which has left me feeling wonderful and inspired! It’s allowed me to meet fellow NYC-based food bloggers, marketers, content creators, and recipe developers; it’s quite the little community I’ve stumbled upon, full of absolutely wonderful folks! (Well, about 99% of the time. I’ve met once or two unpleasant folks that have looked down their noses at me, but, I digress. Haaaa…)

That being said, it’s time to break out some pumpkin gnocchi, y’all.

I was home in Connecticut this past weekend, feeling very inspired to whip up a few recipes. Perhaps it was the country air, the light glow of the sun lighting up the colorful foliage, the smell of pine needles on the ground, but I wanted to play around with autumnal flavors.

I’ve made this pumpkin gnocchi in the past, and it was just as delicious as I remembered. It was also as sticky as I remember it. Ha!

This is a great recipe to make when you have a nice leisurely stretch of time and want to make something wholly warming and filling. There is nothing like a toothsome piece of good gnocchi, in my opinion.

Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi
(Makes…a lot of gnocchi. Serves 2 – 4, depending on how much you want to share!)
(Adapted from Chowhound’s recipe for Pumpkin Gnocchi with Crème Fraîche–Sage Sauce)

Ingredients:

– 1 cup whole-milk ricotta
– 1 cup pumpkin purée
– 2 large egg yolks
– 2 teaspoons salt
– 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
– 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 1/4 teaspoon ground sage
– 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Before We Get Started…

– As you see, the original Chowhound recipe has that lovely Crème Fraîche–Sage Sauce to top it with. I…get lazy. Ha! But, if you are looking for something lovely to finish this gnocchi off with, two fresh sage leaves, finely chopped, combined with two tablespoons of melted butter, makes a simple and flavorful sauce!

Directions:

1.) On a large baking sheet, place parchment paper and flour lightly. Set aside.

1.) Combine ricotta, pumpkin, egg yolks, measured salt, brown sugar, nutmeg, and ground sage; stir until smooth. Slowly add the flour – roughly 1/2 cup at a time, and mix until the dough is combined; it should be a bit sticky and soft.

2.) Place flour on a work surface. Taking a rough handful of dough, carefully roll it on the floured surface into an even rope, roughly 3/4″ in diameter. Cut the rope into 3/4″ pieces. Place the gnocchi on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough until all gnocchi has been made.

4.) Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Line a second baking sheet with parchment paper (do not flour!) and set aside. Carefully add gnocchi to the boiling water in batches – you can do this in 3 to 4 batches – and cook until they float and cook for 3 – 4 minutes; gnocchi will be floating on the surface of the water when finished. Remove with a slotted spoon, gently shaking off any excess water, and transfer to the second prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all gnocchi is cooked.

5.) Serve immediately with preferred sauces or toppings, or allow gnocchi to cool and solidify before placing in an airtight container to freeze. Frozen gnocchi can be cooked again at a later time by adding to boiling water and cooking for approximately 3 minutes.

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apple pumpkin oatmeal

Apple Pumpkin Oatmeal

In the world of blogging, one thing you need to do is find at least one good person to collaborate with. It’s beneficial to everyone involved. Ideas are crafted. Bonds are formed. Comfort levels are expanded. Traffic is increased and analytics become more interesting! (Sorry, I work in data outside of this food blog. Ha! Numbers occasionally make me geek out. 😉 )

For many years, I’ve been following Yoga By Candace by Candace Moore, a well-known yoga instructor who runs a healthy lifestyle blog, incorporating her practice into it as well as fitness tips, recipes, and wonderful healthful products. She just released her first book, Namaslay: Rock Your Yoga Practice, Tap Into Your Greatness, & Defy Your Limits, which lays out best practices for the craft as well as how she’s persevered after a very serious illness. I’ve started reading though, and as a non-yoga practicer that has been interested yet a bit intimidated by the whole concept of yoga, she breaks it down in a way that soothes my angst about doing it incorrectly.

Can I throw it back? I’ve actually known Candace since we were nuggets! We lived a few houses away from each other and would play together a lot as kids. If there is one thing I’ll always remember, it was listening to “Love Shack” by The B52s on vinyl (before it was technically vintage and still a primary way of listening to music if you didn’t want to rewind a cassette tape) and lip syncing along; Candace, I’m not sure if you remember this, but you always made to lip sync Fred Schneider’s parts of the song while you got to lip sync Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson’s parts. I was always upset you never let me do the female parts, though, in hindsight, doing Fred Schneider’s parts is pretty cool. Ha! Also, in a throwback surely all 80s babies can appreciate, we, along with our neighbor Amy, attempted to form a Babysitters’ Club…I remember the excitement of conceptualizing our version of it, but don’t remember it actually panning out. Haha. Needless to say, life happens, adolescence happens, and we had our own friend groups by the time we got to high school. Around 2013, I discovered her blog via a mutual friend on Facebook, and started following along, impressed by her posts. Social media can work in many ways, sometimes driving people apart (hello, politics!), but social media definitely brought us back together again. After posting a status on my personal Facebook page, encouraging my friends to follow this blog’s IG feed, I got a message from Candace over Facebook messenger, and, well…

As I attempt to move this blog from mere “hobby” status into possibly more of a side business in the next few years (I have my eyes on the prize of, one day, crafting a cookbook), I am thankful for all of the opportunities I have to expand my reach, and having Candace reach out to me has made me so incredibly happy. I am glad to have her help, and I am also glad to (hopefully!) enrich her site with wholesome recipes that her readers will enjoy.

Please follow this link for the recipe Apple Pumpkin Oatmeal, featured on Yoga By Candace.

apple pumpkin oatmeal

pumpkin apple galette

Pumpkin Apple Galette

It is the The Battle of the Basic Autumn Foods: Pumpkin vs. Apple!

Pumpkin and pumpkin spice are both omnipresent in so many food items and non-food items, for better or for worst! (A friend of mine posted a photo of Pumpkin Spice-scented car detail spray on her Snapchat a few weeks ago, and it made me irrationally angry…) Of course, there is the most basic of pumpkin-associated culinary delights: The Pumpkin Spice Latte. As I don’t drink coffee (which, apparently, is a sin the eyes of some), I’ll let someone else gush about how much they love them.

Me? I’m an apple lover, through and through. I pick apples every fall in Connecticut or Massachusetts. I make apple pies, apple tarts, apple crisps, apple turnovers, apple sauce, you name it. Hell, even my dad has gotten into the habit of just making me an apple crisp for my birthday each October. I’ll take that over a cake any day! In my high school days, circa 1998 – 2002, I occasionally reeked of Country Apple body spray from Bath & Body Works, and I am TOTALLY okay with that.

Well, I’m a lover, not a fighter. I don’t like competition. Can’t we all just get along?!

pumpkin apple galette

I’m marrying apples and pumpkin together. Naysayers be damned! This is one delicious galette that you’ll want to eat from now through Thanksgiving. I guarantee it.

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And if you still hold a pumpkin vs. apple mentality, I’d like to think we can all agree on one thing: A buttery, flaky crust rocks.

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Pumpkin Apple Galette
(Adapted from Food52’s recipe for Autumn Apple & Pumpkin Galette)
(Serves 6)

Ingredients:

– 1 pre-made pie crust, rolled out
– 1 cup pumpkin, puréed
– 2 large tart baking apples, thinly sliced
– 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and divided into two 1 tablespoon servings
– 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
– 1 teaspoon cinnamon
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
– 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
– 1 teaspoon vanilla

Before We Get Started…

– It is optional to peel the apples; since they are finely sliced, I find that leaving the peel on does not affect the recipe much. It’s up to you!

– I am a huge lover of pre-made pie crusts! It’s my Sandra Lee-esque semi-homemade hack. (Haaa.) However, if a pre-made pie crust is simply not your jam, substitute with your favorite pie crust recipe. Roll the crust to roughly 1/8″ thickness, uniformly, and to about 11″ – 12″ inches in diameter.

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease or place parchment on a baking sheet. Set aside.

2.) In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix pumpkin with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar mixture. Set aside.

4.) Toss apple slices and additional 1 tablespoon of melted butter with the remaining brown sugar mixture. Set aside. (…I’ve said “set aside” for these past three directions, haven’t I? Ha!)

5.) Lay pie crust in the center of the baking sheet. In the center of the dough, evenly spread the pumpkin mixture, forming a 10″ circle. Arrange the apple slices in an overlapping single layer pattern. Fold in the outer edges of the dough, over the filling, forming a 2″ crust all the way around.

6.) Place in oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and the apples are tender.

pumpkin pie

Pumpkin Butterscotch Pie

Pumpkin Pie is a dessert I grew a taste for when I was in college. In yet another edition of “Allison’s Childhood Food Traumas”, I never liked it as a youngster. Why? Because pumpkins were for carving and putting on your front stoop on Halloween. They weren’t for pies! I feel that that rationale from the first eighteen years of my life was valid, yes? Eventually, as I chowed my way through Bay Path’s dining hall in my late teens and early 20s, a slice of pumpkin pie eventually landed on my cafeteria tray, and the rest was history.

pumpkin pie

Currently, I am that horrible person that chastises their beau for not liking pumpkin pie. (SERIOUSLY, Adam? SERIOUSLY?) I have come to absolutely adore the rich caramelized flavor of baked autumn squash inside of a buttery flaky shell. I’m also for upping antes when it comes to some of my dishes, so what harm will a little bit of butterscotch do?

pumpkin pie whiskey

This was my first attempt at making butterscotch, and it is absolutely glorious! I kept tasting the butterscotch as I made this pie, and not all of the alcohol burned off in that process. Who doesn’t love a nice whiskey buzz at noon on a Monday?

pumpkin pie whiskey

The flavors in this pie are absolutely out of this world.

pumpkin pie

And you’ve GOT to top it with homemade whipped cream.

pumpkin pie

I’m pretty sure that’s a national law.

pumpkin pie

Whipped cream. Whiskey. Pumpkin. That’s all one needs to be truly thankful for this time of year! (Well, perhaps family, friends, and good health, too, if you’re feeling ostentatious. 😉 )

pumpkin pie

Pumpkin Butterscotch Pie
(Adapted from Bon Appetit’s recipe for Pumpkin Butterscotch Pie)
(Serves 8)

Ingredients:

– 1 pie crust (homemade or pre-made)
– 3/4 cup light brown sugar, divided into 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup
– 2 tablespoons butter
– 4 ounces whiskey
– 1 cup heavy whipping cream
– 1 cup pumpkin puree
– 3 large eggs
– 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Before We Get Started…

– Have a fine mesh strainer on hand; the harder caramelized bits from the butterscotch need to be strained through.

– If you are creating a homemade crust for this recipe, it must be blind baked. The Kitchn provides a helpful lesson on blind baking.

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350°F.

1a.) If you have a pre-made pie crust, set aside. If you are creating a homemade pie crust, prepare crust according to your directions. (See note in Before We Get Started… regarding blind baking.) Once baked, set aside.

2.) To create butterscotch – In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Add 1/2 cup brown sugar and stir until combined. Cook over medium heat for approximately five minutes or until mixture takes on a dark brown color. Remove from heat. Add whiskey and cream; expect the mixture to quickly bubble. Whisk to combine; don’t be worried if the mixture seizes up a little! Return to heat and cook mixture on medium until smooth and caramelized bits have dissolved. Strain mixture into a large bowl. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.

3.) In a large bowl, combine pumpkin puree and 1/4 cup brown sugar. Add eggs and cinnamon. Whisk all ingredients until combined.

4.) Add butterscotch to pumpkin mixture and whisk until combined.

5.) Add mixture to pie crust and bake for approximately 50 minutes or until the pie has just set.

6.) Cool for at least three hours before serving.

Pumpkin Cranberry Oatmeal

This recipe came to fruition as such:

Due to working on some future blog posts, I was baking a pumpkin pie at 11 in the morning. I realized I hadn’t had breakfast. I made some oatmeal. I threw dried cranberries in it. I had leftover pumpkin puree, and I decided to add a giant spoonful to my oatmeal.

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As far as inspiring cooking stories go, in the grand cannon, this one lands way down on any list.

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At least it tastes great! I can assure you of that.

Pumpkin Cranberry Oatmeal
(Serves One)

Ingredients:
– 1 cup milk or water
– 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
– 1 generous tablespoon pumpkin puree
– 1/4 cup dried cranberries
– 1 teaspoon cinnamon
– Additional sweetener, as desired

Before We Get Started…

-Adjust ingredients as needed to create additional servings. (I’m stating the obvious here, right? Ha!)

Directions:

1.) Bring milk or water and cinnamon to a boil. Add oats and cranberries and simmer on low for 5 – 7 minutes or until oats are cooked through. Remove from heat.

2.) Add pumpkin puree and mix with oatmeal. Add sweetener, if desired.

3.) Serve immediately.