Skillet Herbed Cornbread Biscuits

You can’t really go wrong by putting things in skillets.

Herbed Cornbread Biscuits

Especially when the thing in the skillet is a glorious mash-up of rosemary, thyme, cornbread, and buttery biscuit-y goodness. [Read more…]

Pesto and Goat Cheese Smashed Potatoes

I am so super into these smashed potatoes. Like, to the point of obsession. Not that that surprises anyone here, I’m sure. Since an (unhealthy? nahhhh) obsession with food is kind of my thing. No big deal.

Pesto Goat Cheese Smashed Potatoes
But seriously. These potatoes combine all of my favorite things. Goat cheese? Check. Pesto? Check. Balsamic vinegar? Checkity check. POTATOES? You betcha. It took everything I had not to eat them all by myself à la this chicken pesto orzo soup and save a few for Kyle. [Read more…]

Rosemary Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes With Goat Cheese and Balsamic Glaze

There are times when food should be light and healthy. There are times when a bit of butter or cream won’t kill you. And THEN, friends, THEN there are times when you just absolutely 100% have to use an entire stick of butter and then some half and half and then some CHEESE without shame or apology.

Rosemary Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Glaze

Guess what kind of day today was?

Rosemary Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Glaze

I’m still drooling over these mashed potatoes. I almost can’t even believe how much I liked them. They were so creamy and soft and fluffy and had just the right amount of earthiness from the rosemary and garlic. But they were also delightfully tangy, thanks to a bit of goat cheese and a balsamic reduction. It was like all of my favorite foods came together and decided to be really super awesome.

Rosemary Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Glaze

I’m officially obsessed.

Rosemary Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes With Goat Cheese and Balsamic Glaze

My favorite part, though, is how the heat of the potatoes melts the goat cheese on top without really ruining its crumbly shape. You take a bite and the cheese just melts in your mouth, and then your mouth is like “I AM SO HAPPY.” And then YOU can be like “YOU’RE TOTALLY WELCOME, MOUTH” and take another bite and just drown in butter and goat cheese and balsamic and happiness.

Rosemary Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes With Goat Cheese and Balsamic Glaze

I actually feel like I had a really funny story to tell you today. I was doing this thing where I half-write the whole post in my head as I cook, but then I took a bite of these mashed potatoes and all other thinking went out the window. And then all I could think about was mashed potatoes. THESE mashed potatoes. So I guess I’ll have to wait and be funny another day.

Rosemary Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes With Goat Cheese and Balsamic Glaze

Rosemary Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes With Goat Cheese and Balsamic Glaze
 
YIELD: Serves 4
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 lbs. yellow potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • ½ cup half and half
  • ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Boil potatoes in very salty water until they are easily pierced with a fork, about 45 minutes. Drain and set aside in a colander. Return empty potato pot to the stove.
  2. Give each garlic clove a tap with the flat side of your knife to crush them a bit and let some of the juice out.
  3. Add crushed garlic, rosemary sprigs, and butter to the empty potato pot. Cook on low heat until butter has melted and browned, usually 5-7 minutes.
  4. While the butter browns, place balsamic vinegar in a small skillet or saucepan and cook over medium heat until it bubbles and reduces to a thick, syrup-y consistency, 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Remove garlic and rosemary from browned butter and discard. (You can save some of the crispy rosemary for a garnish if you'd like!)
  6. Return potatoes to pot and mash until all of the browned butter is soaked up. Add salt, pepper, and half and half and mash until potatoes are creamy.
  7. Place mashed potatoes in a large serving dish or separate it into individual servings. Top with goat cheese and a drizzle of balsamic reduction. Serve immediately.

Rosemary Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes With Goat Cheese and Balsamic Glaze

 

Green Apple and Sausage Stuffing with Pumpkin Bread and Pumpernickel

What would Turkey Day be without stuffing?

Green Apple and Sausage Stuffing with Pumpkin Bread and Pumpernickel

Actually, confession: I am not a stuffing fan. Never was. Until we started celebrating Fakesgiving. The first year we did Fakesgiving, Kyle and I were deciding what to put on the menu. Turkey, of course, and pierogis (Thanksgiving tradition in Kyle’s Polish family), these smoked gouda mashed potatoes (now a Fakesgiving tradition) and maybe some mac and cheese (my specialty). But then Kyle was like, “let’s have stuffing!” And I was all, “stuffing is gross.”

Green Apple and Sausage Stuffing with Pumpkin Bread and Pumpernickel

Fast forward through the arguments for and against stuffing, and there we are at the grocery store shopping for stuffin’ fixin’s. Problem was, neither of us really knew what goes in stuffing. We’d never cooked it, and I barely even ate it, which meant I was zero help. So we winged it. We threw in some bread, and some sausage, and some herbs, and some other stuff – and it was MAGICAL. I tried a bite on principle. But then I had another bite. And another bite. And then people were grabbing for second helpings. And I thought, “hey…this stuffing kind of rocks.”

Green Apple and Sausage Stuffing with Pumpkin Bread and Pumpernickel

Over the last few years, we’ve perfected our Fakesgiving recipes. And I’ve become a stuffing convert. At least for THIS stuffing, anyway. I love this recipe because it has all the flavors of fall and it’s just perfect beside a slice of turkey and a scoop of potatoes. If you aren’t a fan of the sweetness pumpkin bread has, substitute sourdough instead – it’s just as awesome. Also, see the notes at the end of the recipe for tips on making it ahead of time – this stuffing keeps well in the fridge or freezer so you can just pop it in the oven before dinner and not have to worry about cooking everything on the day of. Which is the best.

Green Apple and Sausage Stuffing with Pumpkin Bread and Pumpernickel

Green Apple and Sausage Stuffing with Pumpkin and Pumpernickel
 
PREP TIME
TOTAL TIME
 
YIELD: Serves 8-10 as a side dish
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups stale pumpkin bread, cubed
  • 2 cups stale pumpernickel bread, cubed
  • 2 granny smith apples, diced with seeds and stems removed
  • 1 lb. italian sausage
  • ½ large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh sage, chopped
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 cups vegetable, chicken, or turkey stock
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Place the pumpkin bread, pumpernickel, and diced apple in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, cook italian sausage. When it's cooked through, pour the sausage into a separate bowl and return the skillet to the burner over medium heat.
  3. Add onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and sage to the hot skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes until onion is translucent. Return cooked italian sausage to the skillet and stir it into the onion mixture. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if necessary.
  4. Add butter to sausage mixture and stir until all butter has melted.
  5. Remove skillet from the heat and pour sausage mixture into the bowl with the bread and apples. Stir to combine.
  6. Add stock to stuffing mixture ½ cup at a time, stirring between each addition to let the bread soak up all the liquid. Stuffing should be moist but not mushy - if it's soaked up enough liquid after 1 and ½ cups of stock you may not need the whole 2 cups.
  7. Transfer stuffing to a deep, oven-safe baking dish. An 11x13 should do just fine.
  8. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, remove foil, and return to the oven for an additional 15 minutes. Serve immediately.
NOTES
The pumpkin bread lends a bit of sweetness to the stuffing - if you aren't a fan, substitute sourdough instead.

MAKE IT AHEAD OF TIME:
If you want to make the stuffing ahead of time, prepare it, fill the baking dish, and let it cool on the counter until it is no longer hot to the touch (about 40 minutes). Cover the stuffing (use an airtight lid or a layer of foil followed by a layer of plastic wrap) and refrigerate or freeze it. When you're ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap and follow the baking directions above. If you froze it, let it defrost on the counter for a few hours or in the fridge for a day before you bake it so that it will cook evenly.

Green Apple and Sausage Stuffing with Pumpkin Bread and Pumpernickel

Pumpkin Gnocchi in Browned Butter Sage Sauce

I’m dedicating posts this week to all kinds of Thanksgiving fare!

Pumpkin Gnocchi in Browned Butter Sage Sauce
Pumpkin things! Side dishes! More side dishes! Stuffing (because that’s its own category apart from side dishes, duh)! All sorts of fall flavors perfect for your Turkey Day feast no matter how many mouths you have to feed or how fancy you want to get.

Pumpkin Gnocchi in Browned Butter Sage Sauce

And when it comes to fall, what is more fall-y than pumpkin? Pretty much nothing. So it’s only natural that I start with a pumpkin recipe, especially since we just covered the whole roast-a-pumpkin-at-home thing last week. Plus, this pumpkin recipe is pumpkin gnocchi. And gnocchi is ALL KINDS OF DELICIOUS.

Pumpkin Gnocchi in Browned Butter Sage Sauce

This gnocchi is great because the flavors are simple and mellow. This isn’t a slap-you-in-the-face kind of taste – there are light notes of pumpkin, cinnamon, and sage that make your taste buds happy without all the hooplah. It’s warm, simple, and perfect as a side this Thanksgiving (or any day!)

Pumpkin Gnocchi in Browned Butter Sage Sauce

So, to sum up: make some gnocchi. Have a wonderful day. And check back tomorrow for another Thanksgiving-themed recipe!

Pumpkin Gnocchi in Browned Butter Sage Sauce

Pumpkin Gnocchi in Brown Butter Sage Sauce
 
PREP TIME
COOK TIME
TOTAL TIME
 
YIELD: Serves 4-6 per ½ batch of gnocchi
INGREDIENTS
For the Gnocchi:
  • 3 russet potatoes, peeled
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ⅓ cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg (a little less than ¼ tsp. should do it)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3-5 cups flour
For the Sauce
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 5-7 fresh sage leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
INSTRUCTIONS
For the Gnocchi:
  1. Peel the russet potatoes and boil them in salted water until they are easily pierced with a fork, about 40 minutes (you can dice them to speed the cooking time up if you like, but I didn't feel like chopping things and just threw them in the water whole).
  2. When the potatoes have cooked through, drain them and return them to the pot. Mash them with a potato masher (or whip them with a hand mixer) until you've worked any lumps out.
  3. Stir in pumpkin puree, shredded parmesan cheese, the egg, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
  4. Stir in 2 cups of flour.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a floured cutting board and knead by hand a few times. If the dough is still sticky, knead in additional flour ½ cup at a time until it forms a smooth dough. Because the water content in the pumpkin was so high, I ended up using about 4 and ½ cups of flour total for the gnocchi in these pictures, but it varies by 1 cup of flour or so depending on the water content in the pumpkin and potatoes. Kneading flour in ½ cup at a time gives you control over the dough - so just stop adding flour whenever it's smooth and elastic! It will resemble bread dough when it's ready.
  6. When the dough is ready, pinch off a handful of dough at a time and roll it into a long rope about ½" thick.
  7. Cut the rope of dough every ½" or so to form the gnocchi. Continue rolling and cutting gnocchi until you've formed them all.
  8. To form ridges on the gnocchi, roll each gnocchi over the tines of a fork. This step is pretty but optional - technically, the ridges help gnocchi hold sauce more effectively, but after boiling them and tossing them in sauce, the ridges aren't very apparent anymore. If you've got the time and the patience, go for the ridged look, but if you're pressed for time, skip right to the cooking phase.
  9. When you're ready to cook the gnocchi, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and gently place the gnocchi in the water. I use a slotted spoon to lower them all in. Stir frequently to prevent sticking, and cook until the gnocchi float to the top of the water, about 5 minutes.
  10. Drain the gnocchi and toss them in your sauce of choice. I used a sage brown butter sauce (recipe below).
For the Sauce:
  1. In a large saucepan, place butter, sage leaves, and salt and pepper over low heat. Cook until butter has melted and browned and sage is fragrant, about 5 minutes. Once the butter starts to brown, turn off the heat! It's easy to burn the butter once it starts browning. There's a great tutorial here if you're new to the butter-browning thing.
  2. Toss the gnocchi in the browned butter (remove the sage or eat it - up to you!) and serve immediately.
NOTES
This makes a LOT of gnocchi - because it's so time-consuming to make, I make this double batch and freeze half of the formed gnocchi, then cook the rest. To freeze, lay gnocchi in a single layer on a sheet pan and stick them in the freezer until they're frozen, then remove the frozen gnocchi to a large plastic bag and return to the freezer. This keeps them from sticking together as they freeze.

The sauce in this recipe is enough for ½ of the total gnocchi produced by this recipe, since I freeze half the batch each time. If you're feeding a crowd, double the butter sauce ingredients.

Pumpkin Gnocchi in Browned Butter Sage Sauce