Monday, December 3

Sweet Potato Gnocchi and Home Sweet Home

The following are yesterday's verbatim forecasts from weather underground for two cities where I have lived. I still live in one. Can you guess which?

A. Freezing rain...sleet and periods of freezing drizzle...then rain...freezing rain...snow and freezing drizzle with possible sleet. Precipitation may be heavy at times. Snow and sleet accumulation around an inch. Lows in the mid 20s. Temperature rising into the mid 30s. Northeast winds around 5 mph...increasing to 10 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation near 100 percent.

B. Sunny. High 73. Light winds.

I'll give you a hint. It's not A.

How do you decide where to live? Is it the weather? The quality of the public schools? Or is it based on the proximity to her mother's house? (Or for him, the distance from her mother's house?) Jeff and I have sacrificed things to live here in San Diego -- primarily family and finances. It sometimes seems like the right choice, and other times, not.

Take this weekend for example. We have all heard ad nauseam how the housing market is tanking. However, when Jeff and I talked to some realtors in San Diego, we learned that there are "micro-markets which are exempt from the decline."

Beautiful. 3.5 million square miles of dropping real estate in the US, and Jeff and I picked the 40 square feet where prices are still going up.

Unlike Jeff and me, Peabody's house hunting days are over. She and her husband have a lovely new home, and to celebrate, Peabody is hosting a housewarming party. I'm bringing her homemade Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Maple Cinnamon Sage Brown Butter. I know, that's the longest name ever, but it's not mine, it's Giada's.

When my parents were here for Thanksgiving, they gushed so much about Giada's sweet potato gnocchi that I surprised my dad and made them for his birthday. Honestly, they were delicious. Made with baked sweet potatoes and creamy fresh ricotta cheese, these gnocchi are pillowy and comforting. I especially love the way the fragrant, sweet, maple sauce clings to the grooves.

Here is Giada's recipe for Sweet Potato Gnocchi from her show Everyday Italian on the Food Network. For a copy of the recipe only, click here. I made the following changes:

  • I substituted Garnet yams for sweet potatoes.
  • I used pretty purple sage instead of green.
  • I used about half the butter Giada called for, but that's up to you.
  • I added toasted pecans on top because what's maple syrup without pecans?
See these posts for nice step-by-step photos on how to hand-make gnocchi.

Elise's guide for Potato Gnocchi
Coothink's guide for Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Gorgonzola
Bea's guide for Potato Gnocchi with Sauteed Mushrooms

I also like:
Simona's post and article about gnocchi
Katie's recipe for Pumpkin Gnocchi
Chow's recipe for Chestnut Gnocchi with Robiola Cheese Sauce
By the way, thank you Andrew of Spittoon for taking the time to add my Eat Christmas Cookies event to IMBB. I've put in a good word to Santa for you.

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Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Greetings from the land of snow and freezing rain, where that gnocchi would taste awfully good!

Peabody said...

Sadly our gorgeous snow was washed away by record
But YAY on this gnocchi. I had a pumpkin gnocchi and fell in love with it so I can't wait to try this! It's so beautiful.

Pille said...

I love the way you've 'paired' potato gnocchi and nuts!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Susan - Oh, YUM!!! What a beautiful color those gnocchi are and with the addition of purple sage and pecans, that is proof you are a "food matchmaker" at heart!

Anh said...

Just very delicious! I really need to get my hand on this sometime soon. And talking about house, I need to plan this as well. :)

Patricia Scarpin said...

Susan, what a delicious gnocchi! I'm heading over your bowl once you arrived at the party, that's for sure. :)
Love the colors you mixed here.

Sophie said...

Sigh, these look great Susan - I'm very impressed!

I'm genuinely impressed because I tried to make sweeet potato gnocchi at the weekend (in my kitchen aid, a la cookthink's method) and I ended up tipping the whole sorry lot into the bin! For anybody else about to have a go, I think where I went wrong was mashing the potatoes too vigorously so that they went all gluteny. After than no amount of flour would make the dough come together. Oh well, another day...

Thanks for providing all those links - I'll try out Giada's method of baking the potatoes next time!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Sweet Potato Gnocchi and pecans! That's just got to be good! And your photos only look better. This really looks fabulous and perfect for Peabody's.
The snow in Seattle was pretty fun! Just about the right amount and then gone. No snow in Dallas.
Lucky you on those 40 sq miles . . . wishing you good house hunting.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

When our house finally sells and we move to a new one, will you make this for me?!?

Those are truly beautiful, Susan. Great additions to Giada's recipe and gorgeous photography.

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Yummy Gnocchi~ I like it but I can't imagine taking it to a family dinner. They like their sweet potatoes with marshmallows, pecans, and brown sugar.

Dana said...

Oh, wow, these look great! And perfect for this time of year.

Burcu said...

just awesome!

Chris said...

Yum! I made the epicurious recipe for sweet potatoe gnochhi in August and loved it! Definitely a fall/winter satisfying dish.

Scribbit said...

My sister claims a killer gnochi recipe with marinara but I've never given it a try--just never got around to it. Maybe I need to get my priorities in order :)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Lydia-Stay dry!

Peabody-I'm glad you like it. I hope you make the gnocchi on your next snowy day!

Pille-Thanks! It was delicious.

T.W.-Ooh, a food matchmaker, huh? I like that.

Anh-make sure you have the gnocchi before the house hunting for extra energy!

Sophie-I have found baking the potatoes preferable to boiling since they're drier and easier to work with. I've always made gnocchi by hand too. They're really easy, so I hope you give them another try! Good luck! :)

Patricia-See you there! ;)

Tanna-Thanks! I'm sure you get as much snow in Dallas as we get in SD. ;)

Kelly-Just let me know when. ;)

Sandi-Give it a try. You (and they) might be surprised!

Dana-They are great for the winter.


Chris-They really warm your belly. :)

Michelle-Put it at the top of your "to-do" list. Right now. :)

Judy said...

I once made gnocchi very similar to this recipe, and my boyfriend and I both hated it. Inedible. Then I bought some regular gnocchi at the grocery store and we hated that too. Maybe we just aren't gnocchi people.

Manggy said...

YUM! That is awesome. Real maple syrup here costs about $14 for a small bottle. Ouch. I hope to someday be able to try to make something similar (not with pancake syrup I hope).

Thanks for commenting on my blog! I'm fairly confident of my cookies, except that I don't have a frame of reference as they're my first-- some people seem to be reliving childhood gingerbread memories, and I hope mine live up to them!

SteamyKitchen said...

I live in B too.
But in the summer:
80% humidity and hot as hell. you step outside and begin dripping immediately

btw, i got cookies to post! will post next week.

Anonymous said...

Hello from a warm house out there in NY.
I think your recipe is great. I have another recipe you might like to try.
I found this great site with lots of recipes called Sutree. I reccomend it! Enjoy :)

Lisa Johnson said...

Yum Susan! I love gnocchi! What a sweet housewarming gift! ; ) And all these cookies look so good too!

cindy said...

mmmm...i am so trying this! my daughter has recently 'gone veggie' and i have been looking for recipes, this is perfect!

MeloMeals said...

wow.. that looks absolutely amazing.

The pecans take it over the top.

leosatter said...

Gnocchi is my favorite!
Maybe you can help me out with something…? I want to order all of my food online from now on because of various reasons, but I don’t know where to go for quality food. I have tried 2 companies so far, Fresh Dining, and and Celebrity Foods, but I wanna get others I can try out. Do you know of any? The main thing I’ve ordered so far is steak. I guess you can say, I’m a steak junkie. LOL!!! From what I have found out (from what I have ordered so far) I think I am able to regulate the quality of beef I buy. I hate going to a store and getting that crappy slab of beef that I have to cut down until there is like nothing left. Hahaha!!!! (its so true though) Anyhow, sorry that I made this comment so long. If you can help me out or point me in a direction where I might find more quality foods online, I would greatly appreciate it. Have a good day or night! (depending on when you read this) LOL!!!!

Cakespy said...

What!? This is ridiculously good looking. I love it! I can't wait to try this one out.

Anonymous said...

Great way to start out your post :-). My husband and I are like you guys -- we've sacrificed a lot to live here in Healdsburg instead of someplace else that has cheaper housing or better schools. But, to us, the joy we derive from living here every day is worth it.

Thankfully, we bought our house just before the major rise in real estate prices, so now I'm grateful for that "market immunity." Good luck on your search!

bazu said...

Uh, the forecast for the town I live in is even colder than your A. town! Brrrrr. Some of that gnocchi would sure hit the spot right now!

Katie Zeller said...

A crime against humanity (the answer to What's maple syrup without pecans)
They look wonderful.... and maple syrup with sage...yumm!
It's not sunny and 75 here. Rumor has it that the next time we'll see the sun is June or if we leave, whichever comes first!

hanne said...

Yeah, snow and cold. I know that weather all to well, having spent my whole life in Canada.

These gnocchi are gorgeous. I love the sweet earthy flavour of sweet potato, and I'll take any opportunity to use it (in fact, I have some sweet potato fried roasting right now!). Thanks for a sophisticated use of sweet potato!

foodette said...

Those gnocchi look amazing - what beautiful presentation!

My husband and I chose to live in LA (separately, this is where we met) for work purposes. However, I feel very ready to move. The housing market in the areas we love seem impenetrable, my closest friends are the farthest away, and I truly miss the snow. Not to mention the horror of the traffic! But LA has one major advantage over other parts of the country - produce! I believe you have blogged about this a few times, as San Diego is no different. I would miss all of the wonderful produce (avocados!!!) all year long.

Susan said...

I made the sweet potato gnocchi from Epicurious last week for some friends and it was a huge hit. Now seeing yours I see that pecans would make it even better! Really beautiful.

Gretchen Noelle said...

I have got to try my hand at gnocchi some time and this recipe would make it all the better. I have never thought of the sweet twist on gnocchi. Yum, for sure!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Judy-Maybe not.

Manggy-Ouch! $14 is a lot. It's pricey here too, but not like that.

Jaden-I lived in NC, so I know all about melting in the humidity!


Anali-Oh, thanks for the gnocchi and the cookies!

Cinderelly-I'm sure she will.

Melody-Pecans make everything better.

Leosatter-I'm sorry, but I don't know of any to recommend. If I come across something, I'll send it to you. Good luck!

Cakespy-Wow! Thanks!

Swirlingnotions-You're lucky!

Bazu-Make some gnocchi to warm yourself up!

Katie-Maybe you should buy one of those artificial sunlight lamps. ;)

Hanne-Hanne-What a fortunate coincidence! I hope you like them.

Foodette-Seriously! I have joked that produce is the main reason we live here. The truth is, it may not be the main reason, but it sure ranks pretty high! I don't miss LA traffic either; SD has traffic but not as bad as LA and OC. Drive saftely!

Susan-Thanks so much! I love the added earthiness of the pecans.

Gretchen Noelle-And they were really easy to make too.

Bri said...

Yum! Your gnocchi look soooooo good. I love the purple sage and pecan variation. My husband and I tried making butternut squash gnocchi on a weeknight once. Really big mistake. Hours and hours later, we were hungry and still not done. I think I have recovered and may just have to try out this recipe since it looks so divine. I cut and pasted your page of just the recipe which is very convenient. Thanks!

Madame K said...

I can see why these would be a comforting favorite.
More than one person in my family will flip over these!
Happy, happy New Year.