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Creamy gnocchi bake

This easy Creamy Gnocchi Bake with mozzarella and spinach is perfect for a weeknight meal. It takes about 15 minutes to prep, then 30 minutes to bake in the oven. While you’re waiting, throw together a tossed salad or sauté a vegetable for a super low stress, well-balanced meal. Plus, can we just take a moment to admire all of that cheesy, creamy goodness? Those seasoned cherry tomatoes are just bursting with flavor, and fresh basil makes everything better. It’s a dish your whole crew will go crazy for. Creamy gnocchi bake Ingredients 4 tbsp butter 4 gloves garlic, minced 1 tsp dried oregano 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved salt pepper 1/2 – 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes 4 cups spinach 1 cup chicken broth 1 cup heavy cream 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese 1 large handful basil, chopped + more for garnish 2 (about 17-18 ounces each) packages…

Easy Tomato Basil and Gnocchi soup

Need to thaw out from the winter weather? This recipe combines two of the most delicious cold weather comfort foods on the planet — pasta and soup. A big bowl of this filling soup and you’ll be toasty for hours. What’s even better? It’s ready in less than a half hour. Seriously. A food this delicious that’s also ready in about 25 minutes — you’re going to fall in love with this recipe. If you’re not familiar with gnocchi, you can usually find them in the pasta section at any well-stocked grocery store. They’re often vacuumed-packaged and sold next to the boxed pastas. They might also be in the frozen foods aisle near the ravioli and stuffed shells. So what are they? Confession, this description might be a bit biased because I LOVE gnocchi. They’re these pillowy puffs of pasta with a slightly chewy texture, never tough, always just the…

Freezing herbs and other methods to make them last all winter

The cool, fall weather has been here long enough that most gardens are finally on their last leg. For many, the biggest draw of a home garden is the easy access to fresh herbs. But soon it will be too cold, and there won’t be any herbs left to pick straight from the garden. So what can you do to prolong access to your herb garden? Each herb favors different types of treatments, so Doug Oster, garden editor for the Tribune-Review and Everybodygardens.com gave us the dirt on how to best save each of the common herbs in the coming winter months. Move herbs Indoors If you grew herbs in containers this summer, some of them may continue to thrive if you bring them indoors. “There are certain herbs that will happily keep going on the window sill,” said Oster. “Rosemary, thyme, sage, mint, lemon balm. Those will be happy to limp along near a window indoors. They’re not going to look…

Cantaloupe salsa sweetens up end of summer celebrations

My oven broke last week, and I’ve been waiting for two weeks for the new one to arrive. But with this summer heat dragging on, I actually don’t mind the inconvenience one bit. Ive been using this time to get creative with foods that don’t require a heat source. That’s how this bright and cheery cantaloupe salsa came to be. I’ve always been a big fan of fruity salsas, whether on their own, or over fish or chicken. Mango salsa is the king of sweet salsas, closely followed by pineapple salsa — but this melon version is right up there. The cantaloupe and jalapeño create that delicious sweet heat I can’t get enough of. Tortilla chips and salsa might not seems like much of a dinner, but when it’s this delicious — and the weather is this hot — sometimes, it’s all you can handle. And don’t forget this fun…

Caprese Pizza recipe

This warm and crispy pizza combines two Italian favorites. You might find yourself wondering you ever want to eat anything else again. And try these other delicious, original takes on Caprese. Caprese Pizza Ingredients 1/2 cup cooked chicken, cubed 12 ounce store-bought pizza dough 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes of varying colors, halved 2- tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided 2 cloves garlic, finely minced 1 tbsp cornmeal 3-4 ounces of fresh grated mozzarella cheese salt and pepper 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced thin Directions Let pizza dough stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat broiler to high heat. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a small bowl, combine tomatoes and 1 tbsp olive oil. Toss to coat. Spread tomatoes on baking sheet in a single layer. Broil about 10 minutes or until tomatoes begin to lightly brown. Place your pizza stone…

Caprese Chicken Pasta Salad

It’s finally that time of the year when you can introduce some lighter fare to your home cooked menu. Whether it’s lunch or dinner (or leftovers!), this Caprese Chicken Pasta Salad has all of the elements of a perfect summer meal. Just toss some bite-sized pasta and mini mozzarella, with fresh basil and tomatoes from the garden and add some chicken for some protein. Then drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It’s all the summer flavors you love, reconfigured as a quick and easy pasta salad. When you combine pasta and Caprese, could you ever go wrong? Caprese Chicken Pasta Salad Ingredients 2 cups pasta (any shape) 2 cups chicken, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces 2 cups mini mozzarella pearls 1 cup cherry tomatos, halved handful of fresh basil, chopped + extra for garnish 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar, or balsamic glaze salt pepper Directions Cook pasta until…

Hydrating watermelon, coconut water cooler

Watermelon, coconut water, and basil: This is just the light, refreshing drink you need to mix up things in the hydration department this summer. Eight glasses of water sounds like a lot — and that’s just the bare minimum required. If you’re outdoors or active during the day, you’re going to need a lot more. Get some flavor and added nutrition with your water in the form of this pretty pink drink. It’s low in calories but big on flavor and super refreshing. It’s a great mid-afternoon pick-me-up when the weather is warm. The coconut and watermelon flavor combination is unexpected but goes great! Watermelons are perfectly in season, so your drink will be sweet and delicious without any added sugars. Just stock up on coconut water in bulk when it’s on sale. Plus, pick some fresh herbs from your garden for that special touch. Cheers to summer! Watermelon, coconut water cooler…

Switch things up with strawberry caprese skewers

So you’ve had tomatoes with basil and mozzarella before (the classic caprese), but have you ever thought about swapping out for strawberries? The sweet summer fruit pairs perfectly with the creamy mozzarella balls and the fragrant basil. These easy-to-eat skewers will quickly become your new favorite picnic or poolside appetizer. They’re so good, you might even eat them for dessert! I like to stick with local berries. If you don’t have any available, stay with smaller varieties. They have a sweeter flavor and they’re easier to eat. I like to hull them too, so no bitter parts the berry have a chance to ruin the sweet and savory experience. The basil was fresh and ready from the garden (finally!), so I just had to pick up the buffalo mozzarella balls from the grocery store — again, they’re just the right size of bite for an outdoor skewer. And like any good caprese salad, it needed a drizzle…

Kale pesto pizza is delicious, healthy option for pizza lovers

We’re never too old for a simple slice of cheese pizza, but the best part of being an adult might actually be the whole new world of pizza toppings we open ourselves up to. Seriously — you probably started to order veggies, and even things like pears, on your pizza somewhere around the time you got excited you could pay all your bills on time. Since then, you’ve never looked back. The great pizza awakening also means you no longer need red sauce to consider it a proper pie, so I don’t need to tell you that pesto can go on pizza. But wait! What if I said that this pesto can be made of kale — the ultimate adult vegetable — and you’re going to love it! My friends (adults when they want to be) were shocked to find out my pesto sauce was made with kale instead of the basic basil they…

10 things you should never store in the refrigerator

The fridge is a great place for most fresh ingredients, but there are a few foods that will fare better if left at room temperature on your countertop or in a pantry. The average family of four in America throws out about $1,600 worth of food every year — often because the food wasn’t stored properly for maximum life span. Check out this list to learn how to make the most of some of the most common groceries. 1. Coffee beans If you’re shelling out serious cash on the best coffee beans, you better know how to store them. The National Coffee Association recommends storing beans in an opaque, air-tight container at room temperature. Air, moisture, heat and light are all enemies to your beans, so store in a dark and cool location, but never the fridge. Coffee is soft and porous and likes to absorb other flavors around it — in the…