Tag Archives: Guatemalan food

Gnocchi & Toki

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Gnocchi & Toki

Say it so they rhyme: “ñokee & tokee.”  That’s what we had for supper last night.  I just had to put the recipe on here because it’s been such an easy hit for our dinnertime!  The first and only time I have tried gnocchi was 13 years ago when my mother-in-law made some for us to try and I loved them.  I’ve been thinking about them ever since, but seeing the packaged stuff on the shelves at the store just didn’t convince me to buy and try.  The other day on Allrecipes.com I found a recipe for made-from-scratch ricotta gnocchi that reviewers said was easy and delicious.  (I just laughed when one reviewer said that no real Italian would have garlic powder in their kitchen, much less use it in gnocchis!  No Italian in me so I just proceeded with the recipe).  They are usually made with potatoes but this quick recipe is made with ricotta cheese.  To my surprise it was easy to make, super yummy and everyone ate it and asked for seconds!

Last night when I made the gnocchis, I timed myself to see how fast I could do it.  Forty minutes from beginning to boil the water to setting the food on the table!  Not bad! 🙂  And I tried something new yesterday, too.  Instead of using ricotta cheese, I put cottage cheese in the food processor and blended it up until it looked just like ricotta.  No one noticed any difference!  I’ll be doing that in the future for sure.denna's ideas: making homemade ricotta gnocchi for supper

So I thought I would add the recipe and a few photos here so you can try it at your house!  If you like cheese, home made food and a quick supper, dig in!  The recipe is on Allrecipes here along with a simple sauce (which I haven’t tried) or you can try out my easy sauce idea.

Gnocchi ingredients:

1 (8 oz.) container of ricotta cheese  (or I use blended cottage cheese, about 1 cup and a half or so)

2 eggs

1/2 cup parmesan cheese (whatever kind you have, fresh or not)

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. pepper  (I use fresh ground, but if you don’t like to see it, use white pepper)

1 tsp. salt

1 cup flour, or as needed

(cubed mozzarella cheese to add into tomato sauce)

  • Stir together the ricotta cheese, eggs, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a large bowl until evenly combined. Mix in 1 cup of flour. Add additional flour if needed to form a soft dough.
  • Divide the dough into 3 or 4 pieces, and roll into 1/2-inch-thick ropes on a floured surface. Cut each rope into 1-inch pieces, and place on a lightly floured baking sheet. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use if not cooking right away.
  • Make a sauce.  What I use is a jar of spaghetti sauce (Newman’s Own, Sockarooni) with red peppers in it.  Add a few Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, some dried or fresh basil, fresh chopped parsely, some paprika and a few Tablespoons of butter.
  • While sauce is simmering, (or before!) bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Boil the gnocchi until they float to the surface, about 2 minutes, then drain.  I boil them in batches, as I roll and cut them.
  • To assemble the dish, stir cubed mozzarella cheese into the sauce and allow the heat of the sauce to soften, but not melt the cheese. Place gnocchi into a serving bowl, and spoon sauce overtop, or instead, simply add just-boiled gnocchi right into the sauce.

This recipe makes enough for our family of six with no leftovers.  Next time I will double it because everyone wants leftovers to take to school/work the next day!  Here’s a hint that was in the recipe reviews:  put the ricotta in a strainer to get rid of some extra moisture, if it seems too moist.  I did that the first time, but there didn’t seem to extra moisture.  With the cottage cheese, I just blended it and never strained it and it seemed fine.  I have been varying the amounts of ricotta/cottage and parmesan and even flour, and it seems to be fine.  I would suggest not to cut back on the garlic and pepper and salt, though.denna's ideas: making homemade ricotta gnocchi for supperHere are the little (or not so little) gnocchis after you have rolled them into ropes and cut them.  I was trying to be fancy like the store bought ones, and used the tines of a fork to make impressions on them (that’s supposed to help hold the sauce).  Last night when I made them as fast as I could, no little marks, and they were smaller than those in the photo above.denna's ideas: making homemade ricotta gnocchi for supperI didn’t boil very many at a time, as I wasn’t sure if they’d all stick together….then later I’d just boil the ones that were just cut, then while they boiled for 2 or 3 min. I would be cutting the next ones.denna's ideas: making homemade ricotta gnocchi for supperThe first time I made the sauce (pictured here) I added chicken, but last night it was just plain tomato and cheesiness, yum!  Here’s the sauce that we buy at Costco, this flavor hasn’t been a favorite until now, because of the red peppers….denna's ideas: making homemade ricotta gnocchi for supperdenna's ideas: making homemade ricotta gnocchi for supperI was just adding the gnocchis to the sauce as they cooked up.denna's ideas: making homemade ricotta gnocchi for supperAnd then last night, I added the cubed mozzarella instead of shredding it over top.  I think most of us really liked the cubed cheese, but I added too much (oh well, I enjoyed it!)denna's ideas: making homemade ricotta gnocchi for supperdenna's ideas: making homemade ricotta gnocchi for supperdenna's ideas: making homemade ricotta gnocchi for supper

Maybe you are wondering what the Toki in the title is.  If you have been to Guatemala, you have probably heard of the drink called “Toki” and if you lived there long ago, you probably know the jingle from the TV commercial “Toki, Toki, Toki, te quita el calor!”  For some reason this drink mix has a little North American Native pictured on it, and he used to appear in the commercial beating his little drum.  ???  🙂 Anyways, it’s something I grew up with, and we happen to still have some Rosa de Jamaica flavored Toki drink crystals (that is hibiscus flower flavor) that our Guatemalan family sent us.  The kids figured that we should drink it because Toki rhymes with gnocchi!  It was a great supper!!denna's ideas: Toki drink  mix from Guatemala

Guest blogger!!

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Hi, I’m so pleased to tell you that today I am guest author over at Growing Up Bilingual (Raising and Educating Bicultural Kids)!!

You can read my post about Loving Papito’s Culture here.  Paula is originally from Guatemala, too, and I’ve enjoyed checking out her blog.  There are articles in Spanish and yummy sounding recipes that I want to try!

Thanks Paula!!

fabulous fall food: cocido de res

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My daughter has been bugging me because I haven’t started to decorate for fall yet….maybe she’s mostly just surprised that I haven’t.  Well, I guess that mermaid party took a lot outta me!!  September was a gorgeous month, but now with the start of October, we’ve also started with the chilly, and slightly wet, weather.  So maybe I’m not decorating yet, but I’ve started cooking for it!!

Day before yesterday we had what Henry and I would probably call the ultimate fall comfort food (for us), I’m talking about a meal, not a dessert!!  I made my mother-in-law’s “cocido de res” ( at least I tried to!!)  I haven’t verified the details of the recipe with her lately, but I do have memories of her making it and how much I love it!!  And love it more every time I make it!!  I guess it could be called a stew?  Well, maybe not, maybe it’s more of a soup with lots of chunks in it….not sure.

Sometimes I cook up the beef in the crock pot then add it to the soup, but this time I just browned some chunks of beef in the pot then added water for broth, and it worked out great.  I’m not sure I remembered the seasonings properly, but I know bay leaf (hoja de laurel) is in there for sure!!  Black pepper, salt, season salt….ok, I couldn’t remember if there’s garlic in there, but I thought not, so didn’t add that.  Now throw in all sorts of root veggie type things, like sweet potatoes, carrots, potatoes, acorn squash and corn on the cob….which I didn’t have so I just added frozen corn at the end!!  (I take lots of shortcuts when I cook traditional meals! )  I also didn’t have a beef boullion cube, so I added some chicken stuff and thought that I had ruined it, but it was fine!  whew!  Now let that all simmer together and prepare some white rice ( I use basmati).  Chop up some onion (white I guess) and lots of fresh cilantro. When serving time comes around, put some rice in each dish, ladle in some broth, add lots of the veggies and top with chopped onion and cilantro!  Oh boy!  That onion and cilantro just kick it up by several notches!! 

One of my kids gave me 2 thumbs up and 2 big toes up for this meal!!!

When we ate the delicious leftovers yesterday we added an avocado! super yum!!

I should probably call Mamita to ask and see if I forgot anything…but we were happy with it and my husband is a sweetie and doesn’t say “this is good, but not a good as my Mom’s!” (he is also a very wise man).

What are your favorite fall recipes that you eat every autumn?  I have lots of dessert recipes, but not so many “real food” recipes!

here’s a bonus photo that I thought I’d just throw in here:  I don’t usually do anything fancy, but this day I thought I’d try and “fancy-up” plain jam and butter sandwiches for the kids, heehee 🙂  I guess they weren’t too embarassed at lunch time! 😉