tomato basil mozzarella gnocchi

tomato basil mozzarella gnocchi

let’s start with this beautiful basil and oregano bathing in olive oil. if this isn’t romantic, at least in the idyllic sense, then I do not know what is.

tomato basil mozzarella gnocchi

for our amazing delicious vibrant sauce, we are going to use these tomatoes! these are whole san marzano tomatoes swimming in tomato puree! swimming, bathing.. there is a lot of that activity going on here.. san marzano tomatoes are a variety of plum tomato. they have a strong taste that is sweeter, less acidic, and more flavorful than the roma tomato. they are actually the preferred tomato for Neopolitan pizza so, yes they will make a lovely difference in taste. their flesh is also much thicker, ideal for a pasta sauce. because you know texture is important.

learn more about these red beauties >>here<< in this fun interactive from the NY Times!!

tomato basil mozzarella gnocchi

the sauce gets its golden orange color from the red tomatoes and the melted mozzarella. technically it’s not vodka sauce, because that orange Italian pasta sauce involves tomatoes and cream. so, I’m not quite sure what to call this sauce, other than delicious.

tomato basil mozzarella gnocchi

gnocchi.

if you have never had it, I can only describe it to you as the queen of all pasta, they Bey of pasta. soft pillows of Italy swimming in a warm blanket of tomatoes.

tomato basil mozzarella gnocchi

I really think this dish will make your special someone feel special. it’s important to let the people we care about know they are special!!! they deserve to feel and know they are loved without a doubt! friends, family, parents, and the one special person! 

tomato basil mozzarella gnocchi

tomato basil mozzarella gnocchi
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup olive oil
  2. 3 tbsp fresh oregano
  3. 1/4 cup fresh basil
  4. 1/2 yellow onion diced
  5. 3 cloves garlic
  6. handful of torn spinach (optional)
  7. 1 28 oz can San Marzano tomatoes
  8. salt and pepper to taste
  9. 1 16 oz package gnocchi
  10. 8 oz cherry/pearl mozzarella balls halved
Instructions
  1. cook basil and oregano in the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat for 5 min until herbs are a little crispy
  2. add diced onion and minced garlic, cook for another 5-7 min until onion is about to brown, don't let it brown
  3. ad torn spinach and mix in
  4. crush tomatoes and add to pan with juice
  5. season with salt and pepper and simmer for 30 minutes
  6. cook gnocchi as directed on package in salted water, drain, rinse with cold water so they stop cooking and set aside
  7. add mozzarella to sauce and gently stir in evenly
  8. add gnocchi and enjoy!
Adapted from foodie crush
Adapted from foodie crush
breaking bread xo, brynn http://www.breakingbreadxo.com/

raspberry margarita cake

 I hung out with a few friends last night. we had no plan and no expectations of where the night would end or what it would be. I know some people really don’t like this lack of structure, but I personally thrive on it. it doesn’t really matter what we are doing. we could honestly end up at a nowhere bar playing board games and I’ll be having the time of my life like I just stepped out of the limo. sometimes I catch myself in these moments and I don’t know why I’m having so much fun. why am I so happy in this moment? I shouldn’t be having so much fun doing the lame things we do!

raspberry margarita cake

In this, I have realized I feed off of the energy and vibes of my friends and I truly love being around them. I love how they make me laugh, think, and feel. I believe when we find people who make us feel joyous, comfortable and seen then our labels and expectations of ourselves fall away. at least momentarily. for a moment we don’t have to prove ourselves or fix what’s wrong about us.

raspberry margarita cake

similarly to culture and homeland pride, friends provide this sense of belonging. of a community. some of the hardest times in my life were because of a lack of community. a lack of people pouring joy into me and nowhere to pour my own joy. in these times I remember praying and praying for God to bring people into my life and for the courage to go out there and snatch them. *snatch* you are my friend nowwww. you are stuck with meee hahahahah!!!! suckaaaah!!!

 do you ever catch yourself and wonder, “literally why is this amazing person friends with mee?” it’s not that I don’t think I am amazing, hello. I know I am. I mean look at me. slay. lol. but, it’s that I think my friends are that much more amazing and I love them so much! I am so thankful for them. Thanksgiving has got to be one of the best holidays and it’s all because of them.

raspberry margarita cake

really, we all crave to belong. it’s within our core. even the people who don’t want to belong want to belong where they don’t belong. HAHAha. tripped you. but seriously. almost nothing matters more. because if we don’t belong then what’s the point right? the beautiful thing I wish everyone knew is that we do all belong somewhere. maybe we all belong in the same place, even aside from all our differences. we are all already in one place, here on earth. so what’s to say we all can’t belong somewhere else? differences and all?

raspberry margarita cake

what about the Unites States of AAAMERICA BAYBEEE?? *eagle screech* the ‘melting pot’ or ‘salad bowl’ of the world???? where people of all nations come together and belong!! but even here people feel like they don’t belong and history tells us this all too well. when we were spending time with refugees my friend started asking a few of the kids if they liked it here in the U.S. or if they would rather go home. overwhelmingly they expressed that if they had the chance they would go back in a heartbeat. they would return to what felt the most like home. where they feel they most belong.

raspberry margarita cake

what is home?

raspberry margarita cake

when times get tough, many of us want to return home. home for many people here is their parents’ house 30 minutes away. or if that’s a toxic place, maybe home is a friends house or just a certain city. a place where you belong. when you can’t pay rent, when your SO broke your heart, when you are feeling all around shitty or just weird. time at home sounds good. time where you belong sounds good. times, where I have felt like I belong, stand out to me because it means so much. it is why people fear to move, desire to move, enter relationships, leave relationships, become depressed..

raspberry margarita cake

in my biggest times of not belonging, I sought refuge. I sought it in in friends, activities, and places. but there is only one place where I have sought it and found it every time. one place I know I will belong. one place that won’t let me down. one place that won’t make the pit of my stomach churn. it’s food!!!!!!!!!!!! the world of food!!! sike no it’s not. food has definitely made my stomach churn a few times like come on. honestly, since I have accepted Jesus, the one place I have found refuge, a home, and belonging in is in Jesus Christ! places, people, and activities just don’t have this kind of power. they will let you down. our best friends have definitely disappointed us. Jesus is the home I can run to and choose to run to in a heartbeat. In my struggles, if someone asked me if I wanted to go home- yes. yes. Yes. my home is not another country far far away. it’s not hard to get to. I don’t have to trek. my home is in Jesus. He is right here all the time. He is already running to me and to go home all I have to do is open the door!!!!

raspberry margarita cake

let’s eat.

raspberry margarita cake
dessert fiesta!!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
55 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
55 min
cake
  1. 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
  2. 3/4 cup sugar
  3. 3 eggs
  4. zest of 1 lime
  5. 4 tbsp tequila
  6. juice from 2 limes
  7. 1/2 cup raspberries
  8. 1 1/2 cup flour
  9. 1 tsp salt
  10. 2 tsp baking powder
frosting
  1. 1/2 cup butter
  2. 16 oz powdered sugar or confectioners sugar
  3. zest of 1 lime
  4. 1 1/2 tbsp Rose's lime juice (or juice from lime)
  5. 2 tbsp milk
cake
  1. preheat oven to 350
  2. in a medium to large bowl combine butter and sugar and mix well
  3. add eggs, lime zest, lime juice, tequila and whisk until well combined
  4. mash raspberries and mix in
  5. mix in salt, baking powder and flour
  6. pour batter in 2 loaf pans, evenly distributed
  7. bake at 350 for 40 min
  8. let cool before applying frosting
frosting
  1. beat butter and liquids together in a medium bowl
  2. gradually add powdered sugar and beat until whipped and fluffy
Notes
  1. I used El Mayor Reposado Tequila
breaking bread xo, brynn http://www.breakingbreadxo.com/

here’s the tequila!!!!!

bourbon caramel dark chocolate truffles

how are you!! excited? stressed? overwhelmed? feeling festive?

holidays are a wonderful time of the year, but these times aren’t always so wonderful. with high expectations, emotions can run high and disappointment can flourish. most of the time we don’t choose the people around us. we encounter them by chance and people become a constant in our lives because of circumstance. coworkers, creepy uncles, parents that ~just don’t understand~ and even friends. and yes, people also become a constant purely because of intentionality and love, and there are people within the middle of this venn diagram of relationships. does that mean we should treat people of circumstance and chance differently? or should we shower them with the same love and intentionality that we bathe the people we adore in?

bourbon caramel dark chocolate truffles

we don’t like to admit it, but from our disappointments with people in our lives that we didn’t choose, we are sometimes the problem. we shouldn’t be sour about our circumstantial relationships because then we become part of the sour. when we mistreat people, the core problem most likely isn’t that person but something churning within our own hearts. something we don’t like internally or wish we could change. what is mistreating that person going to do about it? be kinder than necessary even when people don’t deserve it. everyone is fighting an internal battle just like us, and additionally fighting an outward battle.

bourbon caramel dark chocolate truffles

surround yourself with people who flood positivity and love into your soul, you know this; but, don’t cast out those people of chance that are difficult. don’t mistreat them in return. don’t become the sour. they are difficult because of a battle they are fighting. what is an exclusive shower of our kindness going to do? create a division in our lives? we don’t need to open our souls to everyone and let people pour in negativity, but casting people out isn’t the answer. even though people come into our lives through chance and circumstance, there is a reason they are in our lives. they are here with us for a reason.

bourbon caramel dark chocolate truffles

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.  Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.  Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.  Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.

The good you do today will often be forgotten.  Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.  Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.

-Mother Teresa

bourbon caramel dark chocolate truffles

but, nobody ain’t neva said dis (living by words of MT) was ez. if they did, they’s a liar.

bourbon caramel dark chocolate truffles

you can start following Mother Teresa’s words by making these boozy treats. I can only imagine they will help. right? wait what?

bourbon caramel dark chocolate truffles

bourbon drinky

bourbon caramel dark chocolate truffles

I know you already pictured yourself swimming in the chopped chocolate, so here is some bubbling caramel for more food swimming daydreams:

bourbon caramel dark chocolate truffles

bourbon and dark chocolate sound like a good combo to me. especially if I’m going to try my earnest to shower people with love. I have to fill myself with love……. and boozy truffles..duh. watch out uncle larry, I’m going to kill you with my kindness. pow pow.

bourbon caramel dark chocolate truffles

“I’m ded.”

-uncle larry

bourbon caramel dark chocolate truffles

this is what truffles look like at the club,

bourbon caramel dark chocolate truffles

they were so nice all day to the people in their lives they didn’t choose to be around and it was tiring. sitting pretty on a plate. so they had to recharge. in their time with the Lord, He filled them with an overflow. they then decided to go to ‘the drunken unicorn’ club in dt ATL for some wild fellowship to get their groove on. the main reason being recharging, so they could continue to shower people with kindness, of course.

bourbon caramel dark chocolate truffles

~happy holidays~

bourbon caramel dark chocolate truffles
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Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 9 oz. 60% dark chocolate chips
  2. 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (or coconut milk for dairy free)
  3. 2 tbsp bourbon
for optional caramel swirl
  1. 1/2 cup sugar
  2. 1/8 cup water
  3. 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  4. 1 tbsp butter
for optional coating
  1. cacao powder
  2. sprinkles
Instructions
  1. combine sugar and water for caramel in small saucepan on med. heat for 10 min (1/4 cup sugar + 1/8 cup water)
  2. add 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  3. simmer 2 min, then add butter and remove caramel from heat
  4. chop chocolate into small bits
  5. in a small saucepan heat 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream to simmer, remove from heat, pour over chopped chocolate in heat safe bowl
  6. stir until smooth
  7. you may use the microwave in 15 second increments for additional melting help if necessary
  8. let cool for 2 min and pour in bourbon, mix
  9. swirl in about 2/3 of the caramel, marble style. eat the rest by hand jk, use it for dipping or something
  10. cover and place in fridge to chill for 1 hr
  11. scoop out chocolate using a melon baller, roll gently between hands until round, be gentle and patient
  12. coat in cacao or sprinkles by rolling ball on plate
Notes
  1. I used Ghirardelli 60% cacao chocolate chips
  2. I did not mis-spell cocoa, I meant cacao. its more rich in flavor and adds a nice tartness. but you can use cocoa if you waaaaant 🙂
breaking bread xo, brynn http://www.breakingbreadxo.com/

savory and sweet cranberry orange dressing

do not make that boxed stuffing.

savory and sweet cranberry orange dressing

but, brynn, how much better can homemade dressing be? a lot better. let me earn your trust. we are talking about a handmade bakery loaf of bread vs. dried croutons soaked in water, here. boxed stuffing is soggy. do not try and tell me it isn’t. sorry Stovetop. we have got to impress the fam these holidays and Stovetop jus ain’t gonna cut it.

savory and sweet cranberry orange dressing

I don’t know what your favorite holiday dish is, but anything involving bread is high on the list for me.

savory and sweet cranberry orange dressing

the biggest game changer that sets this homemade dressing apart from boxed stuffing is flavor and texture. TEXTURE. texture is especially important if you are one of those people who doesn’t like holiday casseroles. I bet soggy boxed stuffing is part of your problem. and boxed stuffing is okay in a pinch, but when this homemade baby is ready to come out of the oven, it brings SO MUCH MORE excitement!!!!

savory and sweet cranberry orange dressing

“why??” my parents were asking. “why do we have to go through this trouble, it’s so much more work!!” they didn’t understand but they were willing to let me make it anyway. fast forward and picture this, we are sitting down at the table ready to eat. my parents are eyeing the dressing. they admit it smells good, looks good and what not. we fill our plates with generous portions of the spread in front of us. everyone starts eating and my mom looks at me, not wanting to admit what just happened. one bite of dressing and they understood it was worth the trouble. we exchange smiles and pour the wine.

savory and sweet cranberry orange dressing

what’s the difference between stuffing and dressing? aside from boxed / homemade?

stuffing: a mixture used to stuff poultry or meat before cooking. (so technically speaking stuffing goes in the raw bird before it is cooked. it’s not the best because it stays soggy inside the bird.)

dressing: essentially stuffing that you do not put in the bird. yay.

savory and sweet cranberry orange dressing

savory and sweet cranberry orange dressing
impress your fam
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Ingredients
  1. loaf of bread-10 oz
  2. 1 cup chopped vidalia onion
  3. 3 tbsp chopped green onion
  4. 1 clove garlic
  5. 1/2 stick butter
  6. 1/4 cup olive oil
  7. 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
  8. 1 egg
  9. 1 cup fresh cranberries
  10. 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  11. fresh chopped sage, rosemary, thyme- 1 tsp ea.
Instructions
  1. preheat oven to 325, tear or cut loaf into bite size pieces, bake for 15-30 min until pieces are dry
  2. melt butter in a large pot over medium heat, add olive oil and vidalia onion, saute for 5 min. then add green onion and garlic, saute for another 5 min
  3. in a separate medium pot, simmer cranberries and orange juice for 10-15 min
  4. preheat oven to 350, lightly coat 9x11 pan with oil
  5. remove onion mixture from heat, let cool, add in broth then add bread cubes and gently fold until well mixed
  6. whisk eggs in a small bowl and then add to onion/bread mixture
  7. add cranberry orange mixture
  8. sprinkle in herbs
  9. transfer mixture to the 9x11 pan, bake covered with foil for 30 min
  10. remove foil bake for another 5 min
Notes
  1. for the bread, I used a rosemary loaf from Fresh Market
breaking bread xo, brynn http://www.breakingbreadxo.com/