Embroidered Floral

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biker-jacket

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fall-style

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mac-red-lipstick

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red-lips

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Anthropologie Dress | Free People Jacket [similar] | Madewell Boots | gorjana Necklaces [one, two] | gorjana Bracelet [similar] | Sydney Evan Evil Eye Ring | MAC Lipstick

Two things about this dress: 1. It’s the perfect midi dress for fall and winter. 2. It’s practically three dresses in one…So what’s not to love? I don’t usually wear midi dresses because I’m short and think they make me look frumpy, but this one was too cute not to try on at Anthropologie. I couldn’t help but love everything about it: from the floral, to the embroidery, to the material, and the layers. It’s the perfect transitional dress from summer to fall/winter in Dallas. Now let’s talk about how it’s

Now let’s talk about how it’s three dresses in one. The layers detach so you can style it in all different ways. Here’s how I’m thinking of styling it into three different dresses: 1. Combined like I did in this post. 2. With a black slip under the sheer embroidered layer and some cute pumps for a unique take on a LBD. 3. With a chunky, cozy brown sweater over the floral layer underneath and a pair of thick socks and brown booties. The list goes on. I literally came up with five more ways to style it while I’m typing this post. You’ll see some of these styled looks in the weeks to come! Trust me when I say your closet needs this dress.

Homemade Gnocchi

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I’m going to be honest, I am not the best cook. I love to do it because I love food and eating, but I just am not very confident with my cooking skills. When it comes to baking though, I’m a champ. Anyways, when my cute mom asked if I wanted to take a cooking class at Sur La Table, I immediately said yes especially since it was a class in the art of making homemade gnocchi (my all-time favorite pasta dish). The class was so much fun, so informative, and really made me feel more confident in my cooking skills. The chef taught us all of these knife tricks that made me feel like a pro! He also opened my eyes to a whole new world of gnocchi making. Did you know there are so many different types of gnocchi? I had no clue. We made a two new types that I had never heard of and one of them is my absolute favorite now and the sauce we made for it is literally to die for. Sharing the recipes for all three recipes to make the perfect pillow gnocchi below!

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Traditional Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage

Potato gnocchi:

2 pounds of russet potatoes

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more as needed

1/2 cup cake flour, plus more as needed

2 large eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for simmering

Brown butter sauce:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

2 tablespoons thinly sliced sage leaves

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving

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Preheat the oven to 400 F

To make the gnocchi: Pierce the potatoes all over with a fork. Place the potatoes onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the oven until tender, about 1 hour. Set aside until cool enough to handle.

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Using a kitchen towel and paring knife, carefully peel the potatoes and immediately process potatoes with a potato ricer or food mill and evenly spread out on a clean flat surface or baking sheet.

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Using a fine-mesh strainer, dust the potatoes evenly with flours. Drizzle egg and salt over and knead until you have smooth, cohesive dough, about 2 minutes. If the dough feels sticky, incorporate up to 1/4 cup more cake flour. Set gnocchi aside, covered with a kitchen towel, to rest for twenty minutes.

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Place dough on a lightly floured work surface and cut into quarters with a bench scraper. Roll each portion into a long rope, about 3/4 inch diameter. Using the bench scraper or a knife, cut the rope into 3/4 inch long pieces. Set the cut gnocchi on a lightly floured baking sheet and cover with a kitchen towel as you form the rest.

Bring a large pot of water to a gentle boil and season generously with salt.

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To prepare brown butter sauce: Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the milk solids turn golden brown and the butter takes on a nutty aroma. Stir in sherry vinegar and sage. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low.

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Meanwhile, add gnocchi in batches to the simmering water and cook until they float to the surface, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked dumplings to the skillet with the sauce, gently stirring to coat with the butter and sage. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.

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Transfer dumplings to warmed shallow pasta bowls or large rimmed serving platter; garnish generously with grated parmesan and serve immediately.

Let me just tell you, this was sooo yummy. Especially the sauce. A must try!

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Gnocchi Gnudi with Hazelnut Pesto and Goat Cheese (MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE OF THE DAY!)

Gnudi (pronounced nudie, how scandalous!) is a type of gnocchi made with ricotta cheese instead of potato.

Gnudi:

1 pound whole-milk ricotta cheese

1 large egg, beaten

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for simmering

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

Hazelnut Pesto:

1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, skinned

3 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1 medium clove garlic

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled

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To prepare gnudi: In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, egg, butter, Parmigiano-Reggiano and seasonings; stir until well combined. Sift the flour over the mixture and using a spatula, fold until a soft dough forms.

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Place dough on a lightly floured work surface and cut into fourths with a bench scraper. Roll each portion into a long rope about 3/4 inch in diameter. Using the bench scraper, cut the ropes into 1 inch long pieces and transfer gnudi to a lightly floured baking sheet.

Bring a large pot of water to a gentle boil and season generously with salt.

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To make pesto: Add the hazelnuts, parmesan, and garlic to a food processor or blender. Process until coarsely chopped. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil and parsley and process until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl, stir in the lemon juice and taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

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To cook gnudi: Working in batches, add gnudi to the boiling water and cook until they float to the surface, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or spider, drain gnocchi and transfer to the bowl with hazelnut pesto and toss until well combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

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To serve: Transfer gnocchi to warmed shallow pasta bowls or large rimmed serving platter (or just shovel into your mouth which is what I would do), dot with goat cheese or parmesan cheese and serve ASAP.

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I didn’t put goat cheese on mine because personally, I hate goat cheese, so I sprinkled on some parmesan and let me tell you this was THE BEST THING I HAVE EVERY EATEN. Literally heaven in my mouth. You HAVE to try in immediately. I promise you will love it.

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For both of the above dishes, we used this little wooden board to create the ridges on the gnocchi. This allows for the sauce to cling to the pasta instead of sliding back off. It’s awesome! You can buy it here. For grating the parmesan, we used this handy grater that makes the cheese so light and fluffy. Seriously, I tossed my old grater out and will only be using this from now on. You can get it here.

You can shop all of the tools that we used at the end of the post!

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Things got a little interesting and creative with the third type of gnocchi. I had never heard of Semolina Gnocchi before so I was super excited to try this type out.

Semolina Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce and Olives

Known as “Roman” gnocchi, this version is made from coarsely ground semolina flour, milk and eggs. The gnocchu are formed by preparing a polenta-like paste which is cooled and then cut into quares and baked in a hot oven. The result is a crispy exterior with a soft creamy center.

For the gnocchi:

4 cups whole milk

1 cup semolina flour

1 egg, beaten

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for garnish

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

For the sauce:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/4 cup finely chopped shallot

1 (28 ounce) can of crushed tomatoes

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup chopped and pitted Kalamata olives

10 large basil leaves, cut into ribbons, plus more for garnish

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Preheat the oven to 400 F

Add the milk to a medium saucepan, place on the stove over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Slowly add the semolina flour in a thin stream, whisking constantly. When combined, use a wooden spoon to constantly stir until the mixture is very thick.

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Reduce the heat to low and beat in the egg, continuing to cook until combined, about two minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the salt, butter, cheese, and pepper to taste. Continue stirring until the mixture is smooth and glossy.

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Pour mixture into a 9 by 13-inch baking dish, cover with plastic to prevent a skin forming on the surface and refrigerate until cool and firm to the touch, about 1 hour.

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Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Cut the chilled semolina gnocchi into twelve 3-inch squares. Carefully arrange the squares onto the prepared baking sheet and transfer to the oven; bake the gnocchi until the bottoms become golden brown, about 15 minutes.

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To prepare the sauce: Add olive oil to a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add garlic and shallot; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add crushed tomatoes and simmer for 15 minutes, add the olives and taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Stir in basil ribbons.

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To serve: Ladle the tomato sauce onto the plate, place semolina squares on the top of the sauce; sprinkle with grated parmesan and basil ribbons. And enjoy!

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The Semolina Gnocchi was so yummy and unique. While we were making this dish, I couldn’t believe that these little squares were actually a form on gnocchi. Definitely a must if you want to try something unique in the kitchen!

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Taking a cooking class was one of the most fun things I’ve done in a while! If you have a Sur La Table near you, be sure to sign up for a cooking class! You can find a class schedule here. They also offer online courses as well, so you can cook in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Shop some of the utensils we used to make gnocchi below:

Hawk Walk

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In my last post I promised to share more about the Hawk Walk we took on our trip to Ashford Castle in Ireland, so here it is! I was a little nervous for this outing because I am not really a fan of birds and the thought of a bird of prey flying full force straight at me was incredibly intimidating.

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We took out two Harris hawks named Sonora and Beckett for our walk around the grounds. I was expecting them to be heavy and for their claws to rip into me, but surprisingly, they were super light and couldn’t be any less interested in tearing me apart.

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After an introduction to the hawks and their behavior, we took them out for a stroll and a flight around the grounds and in the forest that surrounds the castle. The hawks would fly from tree to tree watching us and then when we did certain arm movements and held out food in our hands, they would swoop down and land on our gloves.

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^Favorite picture of the day.

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The first few times it’s absolutely terrifying to have this bird with massive talons flying to land on your arm. Eventually, you get used to it, until one of them flies directly into your head and lands on your shoulder when it was supposed to land on your brother’s arm…but I survived. Anyways, fun fact about these hawks: they are afraid of dogs, horses, and strollers…surprising on that last one. So sometimes when people or horses went past us, the hawks would freeze and stay safe and hidden in the tree tops until we bribed them with more food. We eventually were able to take them into the forest and let them hop from tree to tree and back to perch on our arms. Definitely one of the cooler things I’ve done.

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I totally recommend signing up for a Hawk Walk if you ever stay at Ashford Castle, even if you hate birds like I do. It was an experience I will remember forever and made my stay at Ashford Castle even more special. Here’s a video of me looking cool, calm, and collected with my hawk. NBD. Just kidding. Mine wouldn’t fly away when I signaled it to. I’m a horrible hawk master. I also dropped it.

For more information about the Hawk Walks at the Ireland School of Falconry, click here.

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