Big cooking weekend

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After a traumatizing look at our grocery expenditures at mint.com, I’ve been on a mission to overhaul our grocery spending. Part of this mission involved using up some of the stuff we have in our kitchen. Since the container that contained the pumpkin I roasted and pureed for Thanksgiving was in a faulty container and in danger of freezer burn it was the first ingredient to find a use for. I came across this recipe on Cooking Light’s website for pumpkin gnocchi which sounded delicious, and for which we already had all of the other ingredients.

Sadly, we devoured it before I thought to take a picture, but it was delicious. I served it with some blanched broccolini from our veggie box, which complimented it nicely. It turns out that gnocchi is super easy to make, provided that you know that you will probably have to add more flour than the recipe calls for in order to get dough that you can roll into the correct shape. (You basically roll the dough into a long thin rope and then cut it into pieces – easy peasy!) Luckily, we had Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything and our friend J’s experiences with gnocchi to draw on, so we figured it out pretty quickly.

Sunday, T made homemade scones with some of the unused heavy whipping cream from Thanksgiving. These I did manage to get a picture of:

And trust me, they tasted as good as they look! Then for dinner, I made a white bean and ham soup with dried white beans and ham hocks from the freezer. This was my first time soaking beans and then cooking them and I don’t know why it took me so long to try this. It’s ridiculously easy! I used Bittman’s quick soak method, where you bring the beans to a boil and then soak them for two hours before you cook them. I ended up soaking them for a little longer, as we went and ran some errands while they were soaking, but it didn’t seem to matter to the beans.

I didn’t think to take a picture of the soup either, but it was a very delicious dinner – perfect for the chilly winter evening. I did have to pick up a few ingredients for the soup, but for the most part the weekend’s entire menu came out of our freezer/cupboard/refrigerator, which totally rocks.

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