Taste of Tuesday: Olive Garden Breadsticks

{a new link-up!}

200x200ButtonGlit_zps84c0db97

Sunday night blogging led me to stumble upon this link-up hosted by Jessica & Ashley called Taste of Tuesday.  It’s a pretty simple concept that is right down my alley.  Each Tuesday post a little something related to food, whether it is a new restaurant to try, a healthy snack, or a delicious recipe.  Those participating will linkup on their blogs.  I look forward to increased traffic with this fun new hangout.

For my first Taste of Tuesday, I am sharing with you my copycat Olive Garden bread sticks ***Warning:  this is a      D  O  U  G  H  I  E      recipe***  I mean come on, IT IS DOUGH!

I will share that I greatly despise the Olive Garden.  However, I am a fan of their salad and bread sticks.  I wanted to try to bake bread sticks for a while and did a little research before I dove in.  These really are excellent and, in my opinion, are pretty damn close to the ones the serve.  I hope you enjoy & be sure to check out Blissfully Miller & Let’s Get Bananas!

copycatbreadsticks

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups warm water (105-115 degrees, no more no less)
1 packet yeast
3 1/2 cups bread flour
2 Tbsp white sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp salt

For topping
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp salt
2 tsp garlic powder
pepper
sprinkle of parmesan cheese

DIrections
1.  In a standing mixer (or bowl), combine yeast, water, and a small pinch of the sugar.  Let stand 10 minutes or until frothy.
2.  Add  1 cup of the flour, melted butter, salt and sugar.  Attach bread hook.
3.  Slow start mixing on low, adding remaining flour until combined.
4.  Allow dough to be kneaded on medium speed for about 2 minutes.  Adding additional flour if dough is too sticky.
5.  Place dough in an oiled bowl, covered tightly with plastic wrap.  Let sit in a warm area for at least an hour.  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
6.  Turn dough out onto a floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces.
7.  Roll each piece into a thick snack and place on a greased baking sheet.
8.  Bake for about 8-12 minutes or until golden brown.
9.  Combine all ingredients for topping, except parmesan in a small bowl.
10.  As soon as bread comes out of the oven, use a kitchen brush to paint the butter mixture on the cooked bread sticks.  Sprinkle with a bit of Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

enjoy.

xoxosara

signature

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

{decadent & a bit doughie}

I have wanted to make gnocchi for a long time now.  I made it once and it turned out nice.  However, I recalled the labor required for these little cushions of yum.  This definitely isn’t something to add to your weeknight meal plan, but if you are looking to impress guests or want to have a bit of fun in the kitchen – this is your recipe.  Don’t be intimidated by its name or that you are making your own “pasta”.  The recipe is actually quite simple, but just has a lot of steps.  And that is where Not So Doughie swings into action!  I have provided (per usual) a step-by-step tutorial of how to make the dish.

After spending a few weeks researching different recipes and creating my version, I was ready to take on the challenge of the gnocchi.  I was even more inclined to try it out when I received a picture text from my step-dad of a Sweet Potato with Kale & Walnuts dish he was having at their go-to restaurant – Michael Alberini’s.  It looked so delicious and challenged me to put a spin on my original gnocchi idea.  I love sweet potatoes and so does Bryan so I knew this would be a winner.  However, I had never made this before at all and only made “plain” gnocchi once so I was rather skeptical about posting it on my blog.  Alas my friends, it is being posted!  Afterall, one of the reasons I have my blog is to share my adventures in the kitchen and I never promised they would all be a masterpiece.

To my pleasant surprise, my Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Spinach & Toasted Walnuts in a Brown Butter Rosemary Sauce passed my grading scale, reserving itself a spot on NSD.  After my workout, I swung by Kroger and grabbed my yams & a bag of spinach.  Awesome!  A swanky sounding recipe and yet I only need two ingredients – who woulda thunk!  I continued on with my normal Sunday endeavors and started my journey into the gnocchi world in the early evening (no closet makeover this week due to this lengthy recipe – oops).  After slaving cooking in the kitchen, my pillows of sweetness coated in a nutty, aromatic sauce were complete.  I dished up a plate for Bryan and one for me and dug in.  Yum!  The flavors complemented each other perfectly.  The woodsiness of the rosemary, the nuttiness of the browned butter, the sweetness of the potatoes, and the crunch of the walnuts.  It really was a spectacular recipe and I cannot wait to share it with you all. 

Unfortunately, this recipe yields a bit of doughieness due to the heavy brown butter sauce.  My justification for the rich sauce is the abundance of nutrition in all the other ingredients.  Sweet potatoes, spinach, and walnuts all have a plethora of vitamins and minerals oozing out of them.  Not to mention, life would be downright MISERABLE if butter was completely excluded from ones diet.  So hey, it is the holidays, just don’t plan on squeezing into your skinny jeans post-meal.

If I don’t post before the holiday – Happy Thanksgiving to all of my wonderful readers!  I am thankful for YOU :) :)

gnocchi1

{Click here for the recipe}

signature