Valentines Day Recipe: Deliciously Simple Ricotta Gnocchi

7e5f567f71586ee719e659aadd8f21f5 thumb Valentines Day Recipe: Deliciously Simple Ricotta Gnocchi

What are your typical Valentines Day plans? Do you have a quiet night at home, head out to your favorite restaurant or order in your favorite take out? All of those options sound like a wonderful night to me! However much I enjoy good lo mein, Chris and I typically cook at home. I think that I was very lucky to find a man who enjoys spending so much time in the kitchen! While it may seem ambitious to make homemade pasta, making gnocchi is something very simple and delicious to make. Here is a wonderful recipe that my friends at Turning Stone Casino recently shared with me.

Ricotta Gnocchi

Recipe provided by Turning Stone Casino courtesy of Chef Michael Zmigrodski

Yield: Makes 4 Servings Cook Time: 40 minutes. Turning Stones Gnocchi 1 560x373 Valentines Day Recipe: Deliciously Simple Ricotta Gnocchi

Whatcha Need:
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 lightly beaten large eggs
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 (2-in.) rosemary sprig
2 cups whole milk ricotta
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

How to do it:
1. Stir eggs, nutmeg, ricotta, 1 cup of cheese, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper. Now add flour to form a soft dough.
2. With floured hands, shape the dough in 2, 1-inch ropes. Cut crosswise with a floured knife. Be sure to layer pan with parchment paper.

Gnocchi Cutting 2 560x373 Valentines Day Recipe: Deliciously Simple Ricotta Gnocchi

Gnocchi Cutting 560x373 Valentines Day Recipe: Deliciously Simple Ricotta Gnocchi
3. Boil gnocchi in two batches, about 3 to 4 minutes per batch and cut in half to ensure it’s fully cooked.

Gnocchi 1 560x373 Valentines Day Recipe: Deliciously Simple Ricotta GnocchiGnocchi 2 560x373 Valentines Day Recipe: Deliciously Simple Ricotta Gnocchi

4. Cook rosemary with butter on medium-low heat until golden brown for 5 minutes.
5. Toss gnocchi with brown butter and sprinkle with salt and 1/2 cup of cheese.

Turning Stones Gnocchi 2 560x373 thumb Valentines Day Recipe: Deliciously Simple Ricotta Gnocchi

These gnocchi were very simple and delicious to make. Do not be afraid of using a little extra flour when rolling these out! The dough can be a bit sticky! I will definitely being adding this recipe to my pile of favorites.

What are you planning on doing this Valentines Day?

Chris worked as my photographer while I was whipping up the gnocchi, I love how these pictures came out!

First photo via Pinterest.

Sheer Bliss

It is FEBRUARY! Finally! The long month of January has subsided and made way for lots of tempting desserts (possibly even one for Valentines Day?) Here is a delicious and simple Tiramisu recipe.

tiramisu 2 560x315 Sheer Bliss

Whatcha Need:

  • 2 cups strongly brewed coffee
  • 3 ounces amaretto liqueur (recommended: DiSaranno) — This isn’t necessary, but it does pack a flavorful punch!
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 3/4 cup whipping cream, divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups mascarpone cheese
  • 36 to 42 Italian-style hard ladyfinger biscuits — We had a hard time finding these, check Italian specialty stores, or even make your own!
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
  • 1/4 cup shaved bittersweet chocolate

How to do it:

  1. Combine the coffee and amaretto liqueur in a bowl or shallow baking dish and set aside.
  2. Bring a small saucepan with 2 inches of water to a boil over high heat. In a small heatproof bowl that will fit on top of the saucepan, or in a double boiler, combine the egg yolks and 1/2 cup of the whipping cream. Place over the hot water and whisk continuously until the mixture is 160 degrees F and coats the back of a spoon, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk for 3 to 4 minutes to cool. Set aside to cool completely, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add the remaining whipping cream, prepared yolk mixture, and sugar and beat until soft peaks form, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the mascarpone and combine well.
  4. Place 1 layer of the ladyfingers in a 9 by 13-inch pan; most pans this size fit them in 6 rows of 3. Then, dip both sides of the ladyfingers quickly into the coffee mixture and place back into the pan. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture over the cookies, sprinkle with half of the cocoa powder. Repeat with another layer. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 to 12 hours.
  5. Shave the chocolate over the top for garnish and cut with a sharp thin knife into squares. Serve immediately.

Tiramisu 560x420 Sheer Bliss

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cupcakes

reeses peanut butter cupcake 560x315 Reeses Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Chris and I had a hankering for some really chocolaty cupcakes. These certainly became a project! We combined three different recipes which gave us this super delicious finished project.

Peanut Butter Mousse

peanut butter mousse 560x315 Reeses Peanut Butter Cupcakes

First, we made the peanut butter mousse.

Whatcha Need:

  • 1/3  cup  whipping cream
  • 1/2  of an 8-ounce package  cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3  cup  creamy peanut butter (do not use natural peanut butter)
  • 2  tablespoons  milk
  • 1/2  cup  sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2  teaspoon  vanilla

How to do it:

  1. In a chilled small mixing bowl beat whipping cream with chilled beaters of an electric mixer on low to medium speed until soft peaks form; set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl beat cream cheese, peanut butter, and milk with an electric mixer until combined. Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla until mixture is smooth. Gently fold in beaten whipped cream, half at a time, until mixture is smooth. Cover and chill for 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

Chocolate Cupcakes

chocolate cupcake mix 560x315 Reeses Peanut Butter Cupcakes

After making the mousse, we refrigerated it and began working on the cake mix.

Whatcha Need:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

How to do it:

  1. Beat butter until softened.
  2. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.
  4. Measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a small sized bowl and whisk to combine.
  5. Measure out the milk and vanilla and stir to combine.
  6. Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar and beat to combine. Add about a half of the milk/vanilla and beat to combine.
  7. Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with the dry.
  8. Stir in chocolate chips.
  9. Scoop batter into cupcake cups about 1/2 full.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

The cake mix was pretty simple, yet uber chocolaty and decadent. Once the cupcakes were cool, Chris got to work filling them with the peanut butter mousse. Use a small paring knife to cut a cone into the cupcake. Spoon or pipe ( piping will be easier) peanut butter mousse into the hole. Replace the top. Don’t worry if the top of the cupcake doesn’t look pretty any more, you are going to frost over it so no one will know the difference.

Chocolate Frosting

Once Chris was done filling them, I piped this simple (yet delicious) frosting onto the cupcakes.

Whatcha Need:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

How to do it:

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

chocolate peanut butter cupcakes 560x315 Reeses Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Valentines Weekend Wrap Up

Chris and I celebrated Valentines on Saturday. We wanted to stay in and cook instead of going out, and my house was going to be empty! So the cooking ensued! Not only did we have an amazing meal, but it cost about half of what going out would have cost.

I love being frugal. 

Saturday:

vday1 Valentines Weekend Wrap Up Valentines Weekend Wrap Up
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We had the best dinner! We each had a crab cake as an appetizer, and for the dinner we had chicken stuffed with broccoli and cheddar, saffron risotto and amazing champagne (which I had far to much of). Chris also made amazing chocolate moose, which I regret.. there is no proof of! It was far to delicious to photograph.

Sunday has been very relaxing, caught up on all of my trashy magazines, had a fabulous buddy playdate, and  helped my grandmother set up a facebook account, and did a whole lot of nothing!

budman1 Valentines Weekend Wrap Up
vday2 Valentines Weekend Wrap Up

And its a federal holiday on Monday.. so… go go long weekend! 

Sweet Valentine


tvs5589 sxl Sweet Valentine

Whatcha Need: 

  • Unsalted butter, for pan
  • All-purpose flour, for pan
  • 1 cup(s) granulated sugar
  • 6  large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup(s) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 6 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon(s) pure vanilla extract
  • Raspberry Simple Syrup for Valentine Cake
  • Whipped Cream for Valentine Cake
  • 2 pint(s) raspberries
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  • Cocoa powder, for dusting, optional


How to do it: 

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 11 1/2 x 9 1/4 x 2 1/2-inch heart-shaped cake pan and line with parchment paper. Butter and flour the parchment paper, and set aside.

Set the bowl of an electric mixer over, but not touching, a pot of simmering water. Combine the granulated sugar and eggs in the bowl, and whisk until mixture is warm to the touch, about 2 minutes.

Transfer the bowl to an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, and beat on high speed until the mixture is very thick and pale, about 4 minutes. With a rubber spatula, gently transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl. Sift in the flour in three additions, folding gently after each. Combine the butter and the vanilla, and add in a steady stream as you fold in the third addition of flour. Fold gently, and transfer to prepared pan. Smooth the top with an offset spatula.

Bake until the cake is springy to the touch and golden brown, about 40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. When ready to use, turn out cake onto a cutting board or a cake turntable covered with parchment paper, and carefully peel the parchment paper off the cake.

To assemble: Using a serrated knife, cut cake in half horizontally. Brush cut sides of cake liberally with raspberry simple syrup. Spread bottom layer to within 1/2 inch of edge with half of the whipped cream. Cover cream with an even layer of raspberries. Spread remaining whipped cream over berries. Place top of cake cut side down over cream. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder, if desired.