Here we go, things are about to get real! March has been one of those non-stop months where as soon as I get my head above water, something is there to push me right back down. Oh look the surface… gurgle, gulp… cough… nope!
I know it’s just one of those crazy cluster of weeks where you have to operate at 110% to hustle through… but oh goodness is my brain shot. On Saturday I texted my sister in a blind panic thinking I had forgotten a very important anniversary… which she so kindly reminded me is in May! Total brain fart! But don’t you worry your little hearts, balance will be restored soon, right? Right!?
Pretty much the only thing that brings me comfort right now is friends and dessert. And March has been filled with the both! A few weeks ago, my friends and I were lucky enough to be invited to a gnocchi making party hosted by the fabulous Emily Richards. Emily is pretty much the gnocchi queen. She is also a well known Canadian cookbook author, brand ambassador, TV show host, and all-around the sweetest person you will ever meet!
So, we find ourselves in Emily’s kitchen one Saturday afternoon cooking up a storm with her mom and dad. Everything from Italian sausage (which by-the-way was stuffed right there before our eyes) and mixed salad greens, to spinach gnocchi and ricotta crostini. It was an incredible feast! It was also nice to hear firsthand what inspired Emily to write Per La Famiglia: Memories and Recipes of Southern Italian Home Cooking; her family. And that becomes very obvious as you flip through her book. Each recipe tells a story, whether it’s Emily’s own memories of eating a particular meal or tidbits from Italian culinary history, giving the book a very personal feel.
What I appreciate most about the book is the simplicity. Recipes you think would be complicated are simplified when Emily breaks down the steps. Take this beautiful tiramisu (page 194) for example. Normally I would not tackle such a time-intensive traditional dessert, but Emily’s easy to follow instructions convinced me I could do it. And man-oh-man, was I glad I did! The luscious custard flows beautifully through the coffee soaked lady-fingers, and the light dusting of cocoa perks up all the flavours. It’s definitely just what I needed to indulge in during this hectic month!
// The #PerLaFamigliaBloggers Are At It! \\
A few bloggers and myself were so excited about the release of Emily’s new cookbook that we organized a little Per La Famiglia Blog Hop! So make sure you hop-along and check out all the blogs!
The Brunette Baker // Ricotta Cannoli
Dinner with Julie // Ricotta and Spinach Gnocchi
The Busy Baker // Amaretti Cookies
The Tasty Gardener // Polenta with Sausage and Rapini
Libby Roach // Nonna Ortenzia’s Meatballs
She Eats // Egg and Raisin Bread
Devour & Conquer // Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Sage Butter
Eating Niagara // Potato Doughnuts
Gotta Get Baked // Hazelnut Chocolate Filled Cookies
Once Upon a Recipe // Balsamic Roasted Pear Wedge with Proscuitto
Culinary Cool // Spinach Ricotta Cannelloni
The Yum Yum Factor // Pickled Eggplant
Kelly Neil // Roasted Tomatoes
Strawberries for Supper // Baked Pasta with Sausage and Ricotta
// #PerLaFamiglia Giveaway \\
Prize: A signed copy of Per La Famiglia, a gnocchi board, and a three-piece Microplane Elite Grater/Zester set. Prize is valued at $75 CDN.
To Enter: Follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter below. You must leave a comment in order enter. No purchase of any product necessary for entry.
Open To: Canadian residents of legal age (void in Quebec)
Giveaway Closes: Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at 11:59pm
No purchase necessary to enter. This giveaway is open to all legal residents of Canada who have reached the age of majority at the time of the contest in the province or territory in which they reside. Giveaway will run from Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 12:01am to end on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at 11:59pm. Winner is chosen at random via Rafflecopter. Winner will be contacted via email and given 48 hours to respond. If not, a new winner will be chosen. Winner selected MUST correctly answer a skill-testing mathematical question. Winner’s name will be displayed on Rafflecopter widget. Email address will never be given out to any third party or anyone for that matter.
Disclaimer: While HarperCollins provided me with a copy of “Per La Famiglia” I was not compensated in any other way for this post. All opinions are my own.