Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine's Sunday Dinner

Before we get into what's for dinner, how do you like the new look? I was a bit bored with the old blog template and felt like expanding my horizons a bit. I don't change the furniture around in my house, but really felt the blog needed a little spiffing up. The photo is one I took from just off our back porch last summer. It was lovely to watch the baby robins grow and flourish in our own backyard! As their parents nourished the babies, our souls were nourished with this part of the cycle of life.

Well it just so happens that Valentine's Day and Sunday dinner coincide this year. Now I'm not a religious gal - I would classify myself as a ethical humanist, if anything. However, having grown up with Christian "holidays" as part of my traditional experience I continue to acknowledge and celebrate these days. Plus most of my friends and family are either Catholic or Methodist and I love them all!

So - what's for dinner? My sister left her February/March 2010 Taste of Home Healthy Cooking magazine for me to read. On page 12 is a recipe for Instant Potato Gnocchi that sounds fabulous! It calls for 1 cup of mashed potato flakes, 1 cup boiling water, 1 beaten egg, 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, salt and pepper. The directions call for stirring the potato flakes in the boiling water before adding the egg; then stirring in the flour and seasonings. After that I'm supposed to knead the mix on a lightly floured surface to end up with a soft dough that is then divided into four portions so that each portion can be rolled on a floured surface into thick ropes that are then cut into 3/4 inch pieces. Then each piece is pressed and rolled with a lightly floured fork to make indentations that will hold the pasta sauce. Finally, the gnocchi is cooked in boiling water for 30-60 seconds or until they float.

So I'll also make my semi-homemade pasta sauce. I saute carrots, celery, onion, and garlic in a bit of olive oil and then add a jar of pasta sauce. My personal favorite sauce is Bertolli Vineyard Marinara with Burgundy Wine. We'll have some warm garlic bread and a green salad. Mom is planning to make a chocolate cake. I'll let you know how it all turns out.

I'd like to take a moment to give a shout out to Anita in LA: I truly hope you are finally on the mend; you've had to deal with too much pain for far too long. AND, I hope that Anita's mom mends quickly too - she recently suffered a fall and a fractured leg. Anita's mom had surgery this past Wednesday. Finally, as if that isn't enough for one family, I'm sending positive vibes for Anita's sister Sharon who is going through chemotherapy. I send you all my best and most positive energy and thoughts for recovery and hope that the blog readers will send their positive thoughts and prayers your way too!

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