The only downfall I see about taking a vacation is that one eventually must return home.
Do you dread the travel day home like we do?
Doesn't matter if it's a return trip by plane, boat or highway, the minute my butt lands in New Jersey I experience what will stay with me till I unlock my door and count my kitties.
Since I work from home, I do not experience the "first day back dread" that The Nudge does but with frequently posted emails and random "I forgot you were still away" calls from my father (despite the fact that I drew a huge black arrow through all 13 days with the 14th announcing in RED "Sue Home") usually prepares one for any impending doom that might befall a person with that first cup of java in the break room.
I always reserve the first full day back for getting caught up with details such as food shopping, drug ordering, 10 loads of laundry, contemplating the foot high grass that must get mowed (but when & HOW?) and the small gifts I will find that my pet sitter did not or forgot to warn me about. Oh those little kitties, how they love to leave surprises.
All in all is was an easy short ease back to the daily grind and I started my lists.
First thing was food shopping. Planned for the next day, we still had to eat. With nothing fresh in the refrigerator and no time to defrost, I decided it had to be a pantry meal.
I still had 4 sweet potatoes that had not grown any roots and found a recipe on the NYTimes food App for sweet potato gnocchi in a mushroom broth and just like that dinner was checked off my list. One down, seven to go.
Easiest way to make gnocchi fuss free is to either roll them into little balls or cut them into pillows.
As you can see I thought this shape would work well on a spoon and I had a whole batch made in 30 minutes. Yes, that even includes microwaving the potato for 7 minutes.
After simmering them in the mushroom broth, I removed them from the liquid and put them in a holding position until I reheated the soup for dinner.
I don't actually think gnocchi will expand if left in liquid as other pastas will, but I did not want to take any chances. These babies were really tasty.
It just so happened that I had, and this is no kidding, 10 bags of various dried mushrooms. I knew I had a few but that many?
Me picking a recipe calling for 3 ounces of dried mushrooms makes sense now considering most bags contain about 1 ounce.
I have been wanting to use them but just never found a reason.
They keep forever so not a priority.
I made a small addition to the original soup because I found two small containers of corn and cooked spinach I forgot I had stashed in my freezer before we left.
I made a small batch of drop biscuits and went about the rest of my day.
While not a soup that most people would make, we enjoyed the combination and I now have an empty glass container sporting a brand new label.
Let's get cooking.....
Before we start I would like to go over the nutritionals.
I am not perfectly sure this dish adheres to any specific diet but at least I can tell you how healthy it is
adapted from the NYTimes Cooking App
* 3 ounces dried mushrooms (I used morels)
* 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
* 1/2 cup AP flour + more for kneading
* 2 tablespoons minced sage
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
* 1/4 cup Parmesan, optional
I added 1/2 cup cooked spinach & 1/2 cup corn
Combine mushrooms with 6 cups water. Simmer until reduced to 4 cups, about 30 minutes.
Strain through a paper towel lined sieve. Finely chop mushrooms. Set both broth and mushrooms aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet. Bake about 40 minutes, or you could microwave them on high for 7 minutes or until tender. Scoop out the flesh and mash. Combine sweet-potato puree, flour, sage, salt & pepper. Let cool to the touch. Knead the dough, adding more flour as needed, until smooth. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
Cut into 1"sized pieces and roll into small balls. Place on a flour surface and continue rolling until all the dough is gone.
Pour the mushroom broth in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Working in batches, drop the gnocchi into the broth. Cook until they rise to the surface, about 5 minutes. Add the corn and spinach or any additions you would like to the broth.
Divide gnocchi and additional vegetables among 4 bowls and ladle the broth over the gnocchi.
Sprinkle with cheese, optional.