Gnocchi in 30

gnocchi skillet

Summer meals really are some of the best.

Ok, so I usually enjoy any seasonal meal, but summer meals that require just a few steps (without the oven) and are full of freshness are extra special.

We’ve already eaten two of our nightly meals this week based around the beautiful summer tomato.

Like my husband said, “I feel sorry for people who have only tasted Walmart tomatoes.”

There may be no other vegetable that’s so different in its fresh state from its grocery store state.

gnocchi skillet

Continue reading

A Legendary Breakfast

image (87)

A few weeks ago, I saw that Food52 was asking for recipe testers for their berry recipe contest!

And I ran across this recipe for Legendary Blueberry Biscuits from another North Carolinian. (You can find a recipe headnote from yours truly introducing the recipe.) I knew that I had to try these out!

IMG_9277

Continue reading

Simplify Saturday

Simplify Saturday

We’re doing Simple Saturday even more simple today, with some ideas for simplifying our lives.

With food, clothes, our words and most things in life, we often have room to simplify.

I’m talking about cleaning out or closets (or actually wearing the clothes we buy), cooking out of our cupboards and saying what we mean and speaking positively.

These are some of the simple things that have been on my mind, along with:

-This article from Relevant on 5 Ways to Simplify Your Life really got my wheels turning this week. Am I making daily steps to simplify and get the clutter out, or am I creating more?

-I was introduced to Zady this week, and I actually ordered a v-neck that I can’t wait to get. Last weekend I was all set to go on a big mall trip with my monthly clothing budget, and then I ran across this article about the clothing industry. Wow- and things got real. What I buy affects others…and if I really believe in quality over quantity, then things have to change. I love that there are companies like TOMS (how cute is this shirt), Zady, Everlane and many others who are ethically producing cool clothing.

-And because this IS a food blog, this Vegan PB&J Pie from Minimalist Baker and the blog post with it highlight simplicity and remembering the things we treasured as children (and can still treasure today).

What has been inspiring you to simplify lately?

Easy Pimento Cheese

image (84)

Remember Saturday when I jogged your mind about how delicious Pimento Cheese is…well, I hope I did.

Well, today’s the day that you get the key to making easy food processor Pimento Cheese for you to eat with crackers, in sandwiches, on burgers, in grits and however else you want to eat it.

IMG_9089

Before this year, I had always just bought pimento cheese from Braum’s when I wanted a fix, but now that I don’t live by Braum’s, and I’m trying to make more things myself, I decided to give it a whirl.

And when I saw this recipe from Cozy Kitchen that used the food processor, I was totally on board.

Continue reading

Simple Saturday: Pimento Cheese Ideas

Since moving to NC, I’ve really gotten on the pimento cheese train.

I would occasionally get on it before we moved, but now it’s everywhere and I love it!

With this in mind, I started making my own Pimento Cheese a few weeks ago (which is so easy), which led me to discover even more ways to use it.

By the way, I’ll be sharing that easy Pimento Cheese recipe on Monday, so please come back to get that!

Here are a few of the new ways that I’ve been loving this peppery, cheesy Southern concoction:

Pimento Cheese Hamburgers

image (83)

 

Continue reading

A Great Indian Meal

photo 1 (3)

We’re taking a break from the recipes today to talk about Indian food.

Is it ok if we take some time to do that? I just feel that I’ve just got to talk about it.

Let me know what you think.

So, last weekend I got the chance to go with my sister and brother-in-law and two of their good friends to an Indian restaurant in Morrisville. Just so you know, dinner dates for Indian food are the best.

Indian food really holds a special place in Jason and my heart. Some of my first Indian meals were on my trip to Burma, where I got inspired a few months later to try out dahl and chapati on my own. When I made that dish for dinner, Jason told me that it was one of his favorite meals that I’ve ever made (and probably one of the cheapest- gotta love him).

Then, we had some of the best Indian food we’ve ever eaten at an Indian buffet in Oklahoma City on Thanksgiving Day lunch with my family (we did the traditional turkey stuff for dinner).

Continue reading

N.C. One Bite at a Time (Part 6)

Hello and welcome to August.

I hope it’s treating you well. We’ve had a bit of cool weather blow in around us, and I sure am enjoying it. We’ll see how soon fall is around the corner.

While we wait to see about that weather, take a look at what N.C. foods and festivities I have been enjoying over the past month.

Capitol Club 16

IMG_8676

I know that I’ve mentioned this spot before, but I just must reiterate how amazing their pimento cheese is. It’s creamy, smokey and served on bread with figs and honey. You’ve got to go try some (and a schnitzel sandwich, too).

Continue reading

Simple Saturday: Ice Cream Sammy

Ice cream sandwich

Ice cream sandwiches have really been on my brain lately…and not just because some are suddenly not melting.

It’s probably because recently, in a “treat yo’ self” moment, I picked up some Trader Joe’s Mini Mint Ice Cream Mouthfuls. And yes, they are delicious. I’ve been eating one every few days or so as a little after-dinner snack.

So, I started thinking about how simple it really  is to make an Ice Cream Sammy, especially if you already have cookies on hand.

Here’s how I made mine:

  1. Take two leftover cookies (I used some Chai Tea Cookies) and put about a tablespoon or so of vanilla (or any flavor you like) of ice cream on one cookie. Then, gently press the other side on top, wrap in plastic wrap and put straight back into the freezer.
  2. Let the cookie freeze for at least 30 minutes, then unwrap and enjoy!

My Ice Cream Sammy with the Chai Cookies tasted like pumpkin pie with whipped cream because of all the tasty spices.

If you need another excuse to make some cookies, here you go!

If you end up making your own Ice Cream Sammy concoction, I would love to hear about it or see pictures, so tag me if you do (@thinkfruitful on Instagram, Think Fruitful on Facebook and @gracepenn on Twitter).

Life & Almond Joy Brownies

image (77)

It’s been one of those weeks where I’ve just feel the weight of it all.

I feel the weight of persecution in Iraq, conflict across the globe and personal goals that I haven’t met yet.

As often happens, one thing piles on top of another, and it’s hard to see clearly where you’re headed.

Then, you see things like this video of cocoa farmers tasting chocolate for the first time. What an incredible thing! These men, who work their whole lives harvesting cacoa beans, have no idea where the beans go or what they make. (And yes, I get a lot of my news from Relevant.)

I think it’s an interesting picture of how we often don’t see the fruits of our labor in life. Sometimes we just have to keep going, keeping working and doing good and shining light, even when we don’t get a pat on the back or see what change we may make.

You really never know what a conversation means to someone or a warm delicious brownie baked just for them.

Continue reading