Memorial Day Weekend

With no big plans for the Memorial Day weekend, we have used it as an opportunity to spend some time together in the kitchen!

In the crockpot right now, Glenn is cooking up some pork tenderloin.  It’s been cooking all day in some root beer!  Yes, root beer!  Later we’ll add some barbecue sauce and have some pulled pork sandwiches.

BBQ Pulled Pork

1-2 pork tenderloins
1 can (12 oz) root beer
1 bottle barbecue sauce

Place tenderloins in crockpot and pour in root beer.  Cook over low heat for 8 to 10 hours.  Shred pork and return to crockpot with barbecue sauce.  Warm up a little then serve on hamburger buns.

With our pork sandwiches, we’re having some potato salad.  This is truly the best potato salad ever!!  We normally make it on New Year’s Day, but it is a great anytime treat!

Our Favorite Potato Salad

3 boiled eggs, chopped
2 lbs potatoes (red is good but use whatever you have on hand), cubed
1/4 c chopped onion
1/4 c chopped celery
2 tablespoons pickle relish
3/4 c mayo
2 tablespoons lemon  juice
1/4 c sliced green onions
1 tablespoons parsley
salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Boil potatoes about 10-15 minutes until done.  Drain and cool.  Combine next nine ingredients, then stir in cooled potatoes and eggs.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  (Be careful here….it’s so good, you will want to keep tasting, and tasting, and tasting!)

This recipe is best the same day it’s made.  It loses a little of the tart lemony flavor if left to sit overnight, so make it fresh if you can.

With three kids in the house, we couldn’t possibly skip dessert…so we didn’t!

We made this…

Southern Peach Cobbler

8 fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced
1/4 c white sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Mix all of these ingredients together.  Poor into a baking dish and bake at 425 for 10 minutes.

While the peaches are cooking, make the topping…

1 c all purpose flour
1/4 c white sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 c boiling water

Mix together flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt.  Mix in butter with pastry blender or mixer until it becomes coarse meal.  Then add in water until just combined.

When peaches are done, drop spoonfuls of the topping over them.  Mix 3 tablespoons white sugar with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and sprinkle on top of the whole cobbler.  Bake at 425 for 30 more minutes or until brown on top and bubbly.

Mama Mia!

Time to share some yummy recipes that we tried for the first time this weekend….who’s ready for Italian??!

I have never attempted homemade gnocchi.  I assumed because it’s so delicious it must be difficult to make.  Well, my sweet hubby and I tackled a recipe that was super easy.

Italian Ricotta Gnocchi

1 pound fresh whole milk ricotta cheese

1 large egg

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

freshly grated nutmeg to taste

2 cups flour sifted, plus extra for rolling

1 tablespoon butter

Mix together ricotta, egg, olive oil, parm, and nutmeg.  Then add the sifted flour a little at a time until a dough forms.  Generously flour a counter top or other surface for rolling out the dough.  Slice off sections of dough and roll them into ropes about thumb size thick.  Cut the rope into 1″ sections.  Roll the sections off the back of a fork to create little grooves in the gnocchi.  (This makes quite a bit, so you could freeze some of them at this point if you want.)  Add the gnocchi to a pot of boiling salted water and cook until they rise to the top, stirring occasionally.  They are cooked at this point…

…but we sautéed them in a little butter to just brown the outside (they are still smooth and creamy on the inside!)

Add whatever sauce you want to the top.  We made this one with some of our fresh tomatoes….

Tomato Sauce

2 lbs fresh tomatoes

5 tablespoons butter

1/2 onion

salt to taste

sugar to taste

Drop tomatoes whole into boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes until skin starts to split and peel.  Remove from boiling water.  When cool enough to handle, peel the tomatoes.  Coarse chop them and remove seeds.  Place in a pot with butter and 1/2 onion (leave in a big chunk).  Add salt and sugar.  Keep at a low simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking up any large chunks.  When done, discard onion and blend with an immersion blender.  Pour over pasta…or in our case, we poured it over our gnocchi!  Sound easy??  It is!

So glad we have leftovers waiting in the freezer!