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/

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/

autumn bruschetta

autumn bruschetta     autumn bruschetta

autumn bruschetta

I honestly adore bruschetta. anything Italian involving bread is most likely a winner in my book.

autumn bruschetta

traditional bruschetta involves chopped tomatoes, onions, basil, and olive oil on top of toasted bread. it truly is a beautifully simple dish. traditionally the tomatoes aren’t cooked, but it is getting cold outside and my body is asking for yummy warm food. in the spirit of cold autumn festivities I thought it only appropriate to also add roasted squash. it’s like, basically an autumn necessity, like, right?? I’m right.

autumn bruschetta

the cool thing about bruschetta is that it leaves room for experimentation. you can add and take away ingredients with changing seasons and events. I came across a buzzfeed post the other day that read, 20-life-changing-bruschetta-recipes. ookay! how man creations of bruschetta can we make??? some might say this is disgraceful to the ~traditional~ bruschetta recipe but.. I say it’s fun to be inventive.

autumn bruschetta

autumn bruschetta

a current trend in the culinary world is to take a traditional dish and add something new to it. maybe you have seen restaurant slogans that say, “classic southern food with flair” or “Italian food with a twist”. I believe it has become popular because it offers familiarity with a little exploration. I love trying new things; but, I am probably more inclined to do so if I know a little more about what is going on.

ex: “fried SQUID?? what? OH it’s in a taco??!! well, aight 🙂 “

autumn bruschetta

I like this recipe especially for gatherings because these bites are a perfect size. at gatherings, nobody wants to commit to a large portion. have you ever noticed how there are always big cupcakes left over but all the mini cupcakes are gone?? it’s a thing people. those big cupcakes may be delicious but few people want to walk around gnawing on a cupcake for 10 minutes, especially when you can pop a mini one in 1 minute. for instance, Jimmy took the large cupcake:

“hey Jimmy how is your new puppy doing?”

“oh he’s dpnfoing gretad, srry I hv a cup–muh muth id full sorry”

nice Jimmy. u do u!!!!!

autumn bruschetta
Serves 4
the modern Italian wedding of butternut squash and cherry tomatoes
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Prep Time
7 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
42 min
Prep Time
7 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
42 min
Ingredients
  1. loaf of bakery bread (mine is a rosemary loaf from Fresh Market)
  2. 1 medium butternut squash
  3. 1 10oz pack cherry tomatoes
  4. 1/3 cup olive oil
  5. 1 tsp basil
  6. 1 tsp sage
  7. 1 tsp rosemary or thyme
  8. dash of garlic powder
  9. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. chop butternut squash into small 1 inch cubes
  3. pour olive oil in a 9x9 or 8x8 inch glass pan
  4. toss in cubed butternut squash, tomatoes, and spices
  5. make sure vegetables are coated evenly in oil and spices
  6. bake for 40 minutes
  7. slice, toast, and top bread
  8. enjoy!
Notes
  1. if your bread is dry (not moist 😉 ), you may need to put a little butter or oil on it before toasting to get a nice golden crisp
breaking bread xo, brynn http://www.breakingbreadxo.com/