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Category: Recipes


Gnocchi with prosciutto and peas

These days, I’m starting to understand the appeal of meals that can be made quickly. I still love to cook, but I don’t get the same thrill out of making some elaborate dish that takes 2 hours to put together as I used to. For a special occasion it’s still totally fine to put in the extra time and effort to make something special, but for regular weekly dinners I really just want to spend the least amount of time possible without sacrificing quality.

I’m learning that sometimes if I spend a little extra time on the weekend to prep something that takes a while, I can then reap the rewards of that time investment during the week when I’m trying to put dinner together quickly. Just last weekend I roasted 5 turkey filets and shredded them up to use throughout the week. Some of it was immediately used in the turkey and mushroom bake that I made and the rest was frozen for later.

Yesterday, I did the same thing by making a huge batch of gnocchi using this recipe. I did boil the potatoes though rather than roasting them as the recipe recommended, also in an effort to save time. With about an hour or so of total work, I had not only enough gnocchi for dinner last night, but also this whole tray of it to freeze for another time.

gnocchi for freezing

That’ll make at least 2 more future dinners!

So here’s what I used it for last night. I made a spicy tomato sauce with sizzled prosciutto and fresh green peas.

ingredients for gnocchi dinner

I started by heating up some olive oil and red chili flakes in a pan to let the spices infuse in the oil.

chili flakes in oil

Then I cut up 3 slices of prosciutto into thin strips and sauteed them in the oil until just barely crispy. I topped it off with half a jar of tomato basil pasta sauce and set it aside while a pot of water was heating up to boil.

sauce with prosciutto

The gnocchi and frozen peas went into the boiling water and were drained as soon as they had all floated to the surface, indicating that they were done. Those got tossed into the spicy sauce and served with freshly grated parmesan on top.

toss gnocchi and peas in the sauce

gnocchi dinner close up

gnocchi with parmesan

The whole thing took less than 20 minutes to put together because of the gnocchi being made ahead of time.

Gnocchi with prosciutto and peas

A quick meal of fluffy gnocchi in a spicy tomato sauce with prosciutto and peas.

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 2 servings


  • 2 portions prepared gnocchi
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 3 slices prosciutto
  • 1 cup or so of tomato sauce
  • a hefty pinch of red chili flakes
  • olive oil for sauteing
  • fresh grated parmesan

Cooking Directions

  1. In a pan, heat olive oil and red chili flakes on medium heat.
  2. Slice prosciutto into thin strips and saute in oil until barely crispy.
  3. Add tomato sauce and stir to combine.
  4. Boil gnocchi and peas until they float to the surface, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and add to sauce.
  5. Grate over fresh parmesan cheese and serve.

I love it when dinner takes almost no time at all but tastes like I spent ages on it. By investing the time in making a special component upfront, you can have the same experience of a special dinner in much less time.

Is there anything you like to make in bulk or ahead of time to save you time later?


Toasted “kettle corn” pumpkin seeds

You know that smell. When you unexpectedly walk into a cloud of that sweet and salty aroma at festivals and faires, you know exactly what you’ve stumbled upon.

Kettle corn. You can smell the metallic tinge in the air from the fiery-hot cast iron kettle being super-heated, the charred smell of burning wood cracking and blistering open under the kettle belly, and the almost sun-kissed hay-like smell of the corn kernels bursting open as they explode from the intense heat.

kettle corn pumpkin seeds 1

And then there’s the flavor. Toasty and lightly coated with the thinest lacquer of sugar and a sprinkling of briny salt. I always loved it when there was barely any coating at all on the popcorn because it made me eat more and more of it in an effort to get enough of that elusive flavor onto my tongue.

I’ve tried to capture that same experience with these toasted “kettle corn” pumpkin seeds. Two favorite fall treats combine to form one irresistibly sweet and salty snack.

kettle corn pumpkin seeds 2

Here’s what you need: The seeds from one small pie pumpkin, melted butter, sugar, and salt. That’s it.

ingredients for kettle corn pumpkin seeds

You just pour the butter and sugar over the seeds and stir to combine, then pour them out onto a foil-lined baking sheet and sprinkle over a thin layer of salt.

seeds on baking sheet

Those get baked at 300 degrees for 25 minutes, just long enough for the butter and sugar to caramelize on the toasted seeds.

kettle corn pumpkin seeds close up 2

And they are heavenly! The subtle sweet and salty flavor of kettle corn is unmistakably recreated in these pumpkin seeds. They are a delicious and mostly healthy treat that is perfect for fall snacking.

Toasted "kettle corn" pumpkin seeds

Two favorite fall treats combine for a salty and sweet snack.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes


  • the seeds from one small pie pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp. melted butter
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • sprinkle of salt

Cooking Directions

  1. Remove seeds from pumpkin, rinse, and let dry on a kitchen towel.
  2. Combine seeds, melted butter, and sugar in a bowl and stir.
  3. Spread seeds out in one even layer on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and sprinkle with salt.
  4. Bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes.

kettle corn pumpkin seeds close up 1

Enjoy them on a crisp and cool fall day or anytime!


Turkey mushroom bake

Ah! It feels good to blog again! I really think I’m inspired to keep on a schedule now.

I’m so glad to be able to focus my attentions on other things again. I’ve been so focused on the move and some other stuff going on in our lives for so long now that I couldn’t even bring myself to cook anything new. Seriously, we’ve been surviving on the same few dishes for months. It was definitely time to try something new.

I made this awesome turkey mushroom bake a couple nights ago that I’ve just got to share with you because it is so delicious!

turkey mushroom bake

Turkey Mushroom Bake

A filling pasta bake with turkey and peas in a thick onion and mushroom gravy.

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 6 to 8 servings


  • 2 turkey breast filets
  • half a box of dried penne pasta
  • approx. 1 cup frozen peas
  • approx. 2 cups crimini mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 medium onion (sliced)
  • 2 large cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 4 tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • olive oil, salt, and pepper as needed
  • parmesan for grating over top

Cooking Directions

  1. Roast the turkey coated in olive oil on a foil-lined baking sheet for 40 minutes at 400 degrees. When turkey is cool enough to handle, shred with hands or a fork into small pieces.
  2. Boil pasta and peas together until done and drain.
  3. In a large non-stick pan, saute onions in butter until translucent then add garlic and mushrooms. Cook until softened.
  4. Sprinkle over flour and stir in until it makes a thick paste with the onions and mushrooms. Add in vegetable stock and stir until the flour paste in smoothly incorporated. Stir in sour cream. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Fill a 9x13 baking dish with the pasta, peas, and shredded turkey. Pour over the mushroom sauce and stir to combine.
  6. Grate over parmesan cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

One way I’ve made this recipe quicker is to roast the turkey ahead of time. I like to buy a huge full turkey breast and cut it into 6 filets, then roast them all or save a few for dinners throughout the week. Then I can shred up all the roasted turkey and either freeze it or use it in other dishes. It really doesn’t take a lot of effort up front but saves me lots of time later when I have delicious roasted turkey on hand to use whenever I need.

I’ve also been getting ready for fall, which for me means a freezer full of pumpkin puree. I roasted this little organic pumpkin and I’m going to roast the seeds in a day or two as well. The big one will be a jack-o-lantern since we’ll undoubtedly get trick-or-treaters this year. :)

organic pumpkin for roasting

It’s getting really cold here too, almost time to turn on the heat. I’ve been trying to put that off as long as possible to save us some money, so the cats are having to find creative ways to keep themselves warm….like by falling asleep in the warm clean laundry.

cats in the hamper



I’m just going to end up covered in their fur anyway, might as well save myself a step and apply the fur directly to the clothes as soon as they come out of the dryer. It’s easier that way. 😉

This weekends project: Finish sweeping out the basement and possibly even mop it, then bring down all the stuff we intend to store in it so that we can actually use that second bedroom for something. Yoga studio? I think so.

Where is the strangest place you’ve found your pet asleep?