Saturday, March 29, 2014

Lighter Spaghetti Carbonara

One of my favorite Italian dishes is spaghetti carbonara, which is probably pretty obvious if you know me; I have a serious weakness/obsession for anything with bacon and egg yolk.  The problem with my love of this dish is it can average well over 500 calories per serving, depending how it's made.  So I searched for a lighter carbonara recipe and found this one from Cooking Light.

I used 2 pieces of bacon instead of the pancetta and added some peas (apparently taboo to serious carbonara aficionados, but I think it's delicious).  The recipe calls for linguine, but I had whole wheat spaghetti so I used that.  It turned out really well.  The key is definitely adding the egg and continuing to cook over a low heat for about 5 minutes.  It makes a beautiful creamy sauce.  Such a comforting dinner on this dreary, rainy day.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Creamy Pumpkin Gnocchi Soup

Well we had another "snowpocalypse" this week.  The DC area is absolutely crazy about shutting things down when there is a projected snow storm.  So when it's cold and snowy out, I can't think of anything more perfect than a bowl of delicious, hot, creamy soup.

I've really been wanting to try this Creamy Chicken and Pumpkin Gnocchi Soup from Skinny Fork, so I figured this was the perfect time.  Plus I am a huge gnocchi fanatic and I have been wanting to make my own for a while.

The gnocchi did take a while to make, maybe about an hour.  The hardest part was rolling everything out, and went much smoother once I got into a rhythm.  I did not make the little fork indentations, I was getting too impatient and I wasn't making it for company.

I cooked the gnocchi in a few batches since I was using a smaller pot (the big pot was for the soup!).  And I got to put my potato masher to good use again to scoop these guys out.  I like to get creative with my kitchen utensils.

The recipe only uses half of the pumpkin gnocchi, so I laid the other half out on a baking sheet (before cooking) and froze them until they were solid.  After they were completely frozen, I put them in a ziploc freezer bag.  I plan on using them later this week, which means I really made 2 dinners in one tonight.  Multitasking!

This soup was delicious and it totally hit the spot.  And, bonus, it reheated well the next day!

February Books

I was worried I wouldn't get through 2 books this month because the Olympics completely took over my evenings.  Actually more like took over the first 2 weeks of February.  I ended up reading 3 books, but the last 2 were very quick reads.  I'm just happy I still met my goal even with all my figure skating and slopestyle watching.

1. Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

My sister recommended this one to me.  It was a fairly quick read, and the chapters were short which I always makes it easier for me to sneak a few chapters in at night.  It's a historical fiction novel about World War II in France- the events are real, but the characters are not.  Apparently there is a movie made in 2011 (in French), so I'll have to check that out as well.

2. Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

This is more of a teen book, but I still found it enjoyable.  I got sucked in to the book and read it in about two days.  It's a book about a short-lived high school romance between Min & Ed and how their relationship went wrong, while reliving all the highlights.  The illustrations that were incorporated were really cool and made the book come to life.

3. Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll 

I've been wanting to read this book forever.  It is very short.  While I did enjoy the non-sensicalness (is that a word?) of the book, I found Alice's character to be a little irritating.  But I am glad I read it nonetheless.