What I’m Loving Lately

Fall-scented candles.

I won’t even tell you how much was spent on three little candles from Bath & Body Works.  But it starts with forty and ends with five.  Totally worth it though.  The smell of cinnamon or fresh crisp air at my desk makes work tolerable.  

Having Thursday nights to myself.

Except for that part where I miss being at the bowling alley and feel like I’m missing out on the fun being had there, it’s nice to have a night to myself.  

The Amy Winehouse station on I Heart Radio.  

Cranberries, Lily Allen, Adele and Amy.  Yes and please.  Oh and remember this amazing song??

I had totally forgotten how much I love this song!  I’m thinking this will only last another few days though, because as it turns out, Amy Winehouse only has like four hits.

Big Brother.

Lord help me, I don’t know when or how this happened, but 14 seasons in Joey started watching and now he’s got me hooked too.  Even more infuriating?  I was making fun of this show a week ago.  What is my life coming to?

Chai.

Okay, I’ve always loved chai but I extra love it right now.  It’s like fall in cup.

Three Day Weekends

They don’t happen very often, but when they do, the world seems a little brighter and I’m definitely a lot happier.

Happy Labor Day Weekend, you all!

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What things are you loving right now?

What are your Labor Day weekend plans?

Macadamia Pesto Gnocchi with Zucchini & Arugula

So much to say about this one.

Like how I was in a horrible mood on Monday night before we made this. Or how Joey’s mom gifted us with the bouquet of fresh homegrown basil we used for it. Or how paying over $4 for pine nuts when macadamia nuts are only $2 is plain stupid. But let’s start at the beginning.

When we were in Vail a few weekends ago, I had an amazing gnocchi dish at Bol. Crispy gnocchi, spicy arugula, toasty pine nuts and perfectly sautéed zucchini slices. Ohhhhh. I’ve been dreaming about it ever since. So even though I was in a bad mood and it was already kind of late and I didn’t really have a concrete plan for recreating my amazing dinner, I just kind of went with it. And here’s the thing. It turned out amazing.

Like, “this is better than the original” amazing.

Like instant mood lifter amazing.

Like write about it immediately after putting my fork down amazing.

Macadamia Pesto Gnocchi with Zucchini & Arugula

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts (I just used those little bags from the baking aisle)
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (+ more to sauté zucchini and brown gnocchi)
  • 1 package gnocchi
  • 2 zucchinis
  • 3-4 cups arugula
  1. To make pesto, combine basil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and macadamia nuts (reserve 1-2 tablespoons nuts) in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  2. Add cheese and pulse to combine, then drizzle in olive oil and process until it all comes together.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add gnocchi and cook until gnocchi pieces float to the surface then drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the water.
  4. Slice zucchini, then heat a drizzle of olive oil and add zucchini slices to the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until soft and slightly browned.
  5. Remove zucchini, add another drizzle of olive oil and place gnocchi in the pan in a single layer. Add remaining macadamia nut pieces to toast with gnocchi. Once gnocchi are browned, flip and repeat on the other side.
  6. Add in arugula, cook for 1 minute or until just barely wilted.
  7. Add gnocchi mixture to zucchini in a large bowl. Thin pesto out by mixing 2-3 tablespoons pesto with 3-4 tablespoons reserved water.
  8. Mix pesto into gnocchi mixture, serve and be astounded by how good everything is.

Serves 3-4

Total Time: 30 minutes

Guaranteed to erase bad moods and give swanky upscale restaurants a run for their money.