Sunday, 11 May 2014

Mother's Day Card

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Potato Flake Gnocchi

This is a quick way to make and enjoy homemade gnocchi using potato flakes instead of the traditional way that uses boiled potatoes that have been riced.  You will be surprised at how delicious and easy to make they are. Your family and friends will be in awe of your homemade pasta making skills.  Enjoy!


5 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups dry mashed potato flakes (do not cook, measure straight out of the box)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
2 1/2 to 3 cups boiling water (careful when mixing by hand, stir with spoon first to cool off dough)


Thoroughly mix together the first four ingredients (dry ingredients) in a large bowl.  Push dry mixture to the sides of the bowl making a well in the centre.  Add the egg and vegetable oil into the centre of the well and beat together with a fork.  Begin adding water gradually, mixing and kneading as you go.  You are aiming for a moist batter that is not too sticky--I find that 2 1/2 cups of water is just right.  If you find it sticky keep kneading the dough and it will work itself out. Dough should be moist though.

Break off large pieces and roll into a long rope.  Cut into small pieces.  You can just leave the pieces as they, embellish them by pressing a fork on the top to create grooves or you can roll them using a fork or your middle finger so that they curl.  The curling method is used when making Cavatelli another Italian pasta which I will be showcasing on another post.  When curling the pieces your action must be quick and the correct pressure so as to not squish the pasta, this comes with practice.  I like to curl gnocchi because it gives tomato sauce another place to collect.  Lie pasta on a cookie sheet so they don't stick together.  I didn't do this in my photo and I had to be careful that the gnocchi didn't stick together.

Boil a large pot of water, add salt if desired (I don't do this as I don't like too much salt in my diet). Add the gnocchi being careful that they don't stick together when dropping them in.  Gnocchi cook very quickly, as soon as they rise to the top of the water, as in my photo, they are done. Remove with a slotted spoon or strain all together when all have risen to the top of the pot.

Add your favourite sauce and enjoy!

Serves 6 people.  If you don't want to cook all the gnocchi at once, they can be frozen to use for another meal.

Adapted from:  A Charity Cookbook (Junior Achievement) Home Town Cookin'! Contributed recipe from: Tony Valeri.

Friday, 2 May 2014



3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 (8 g) package of active dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups of warm water (110 degrees F)


1 can of whole tomatoes chopped into 1 inch pieces (You can use fresh tomato slices also)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Dried oregano
Green or black olives (if desired)
Sea salt or regular salt to taste

Combine flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl mixing well.  Add water a little at a time, kneading and mixing with your hands.  When dough is thoroughly combined, it will be a sticky dough.  Cover it with a towel and wrap another towel or blanket around the bowl.  Let rise in a warm place for at least 1 1/2 hours.  For a thicker focaccia increase the proofing time by 1/2 hour or more.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease a round baking pan liberally with olive oil, making sure to grease the sides and the bottom (I use a deep dish pizza pan).  Poke little indentations into the top of the focaccia dough to allow olive oil to pool there.  Drizzle olive oil over top and spread around with hands pushing dough to edges of pan as you do this. Open canned tomatoes and break apart whole tomatoes into pieces. Add olive pieces if desired. Dot the focaccia with the tomato, then sprinkle the top with dried oregano and salt.

Place in oven and bake between 30 to 45 minutes until it is dark golden brown.

Adapted from: