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I’ve always wanted to be more Italian than I actually am.

My mom’s maiden name was Lucia.

My maiden name could have been Yorgenson.  But then my dad’s family had to go change it to Sharp and all…and, well, I ended up with a boring name. (And yes, I know, Yorgenson should be spelled with a J, but since it’s all hypothetical anyways, I’m going to spell it how I want.)

Then I got married, and my name became even more generic.  Smith.

I was supposed to have an Italian name.  Or at least an authentic Norwegian one.

But since that didn’t seem to work out for me, I’ve decided I can at least try to cook like an Italian.  😉

So, I tried my hand at gnocchi.  It needs improvement, but, for the first time, I don’t think it turned out too bad!  Thanks to Sean and Mary for getting me a ricer for Christmas!!

I used this recipe for Simple Potato Gnocchi

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Then used half the batch to make Gnocchi with Bacon and Tomato.  Only thing I did differently was I added chicken broth and heavy cream to the tomatoes to make a tomato cream sauce. 

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And then I froze the other half of the batch for later use!

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So what do you do when you’ve accumulated years of issues of Martha Stewart, Everyday Food, and Real Simple and you no longer know where to find that awesome idea you saw….once….in one of those issues……in September?  Of 2007?  Maybe?DSC05037 

You ORGANIZE!  Because that is the solution to ALL of life’s problems! 😉

See, I don’t like all the ideas I see in these wonderful magazines.  Only some.  And I tried post-it flags, but that proved to be a fruitless effort.  I simply transitioned from flipping through thousands of pages to searching through hundreds of tabs.  And I could never find what I needed.  At least not in a timely fashion (which means…I wanted to cook that recipe I saw BEFORE 10 o’clock at night.)

So I went out to Barnes & Noble and picked up these Moleskines.  Can you tell it snowed today and I had plenty of time to find more ways to organize my life?

I gave them three categories:

1) Hospitality & Presents – gift and entertaining ideas

2) Food – recipes that either we would eat or that I would make for events

3) Home Life – household tips + decorating & organization ideas

And then I decorated them.  Because they were a boring cardboard brown and needed some lovin’.  And, again, because it snowed today.

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So, it’s SIMPLE!  When I go through an issue, I clip what I want to try and leave what I don’t.  Then, using photo tabs, I paste them in the book along with any notes I may have.  Such as which of the following chicken ideas Michael would eat for lunch.  I convinced him pesto was a good thing, but had no such luck when it came to parmesan cheese.  (The extra space also comes in handy if you want to write any helpful hints you discover along the way of trying out your new idea.)

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Never again will I have to page through tons of gross recipes that make me gag (remember, I’m pregnant, pot stickers, for example, make me want to lose it all…) and waste eons of time searching for that one tablescape I saw for Easter in….2008???

I admit, it’s a bit time consuming to get it up and running.  But if that dissuades you, try doing it while your husband reads to you by a fire, or while you watch 27 Dresses, or while you ignore the chores that pile up and up and up.  And drink tea.  Plenty of tea.  And pray to God that it snows.  🙂

Collective Reminiscings

The Smittys

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