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Gnocchi with Chicken Apple Sausage, Squash, and Spinach

Backed Gnocchi with Chicken Apple Sausage, Squash, and Spinach

A couple of months ago, I saw this recipe in the Food Network Magazine, for Baked Gnocchi with Chicken, and made it immediately. In short, it was phenomenal (with the simple addition of sun-dried tomatoes, it is beyond amazing). It is the kind of recipe that you think about a lot after, and know that you need to make it again. I was at the grocery store, trying to get inspired for dinner, and thought back to the recipe. I decided to try to mix up the recipe, and decided to make a variation of Baked Gnocchi with Chicken Apple Sausage, Squash, and Spinach.  It was so delicious…my husband and I were fighting over who would get to enjoy the leftovers the next night:)

* This is not a freezer friendly recipe – but it is so darn delicious, I don’t think you will hold it against me!



Baked Gnocchi with Chicken Apple Sausage, Squash, and Spinach
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 lb chicken apple sausage, sliced, and cooked to warm through
  • 2 cups of butternut squash, peeled, chopped, and steamed
  • 2 17 .5-ounce package potato gnocchi
  • 2 cups loosely packed baby spinach
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  1. Heat the olive oil in a deep ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking, 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk, wine, and chicken broth until smooth; simmer, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken apple sausage, butternut squash, gnocchi and spinach to the sauce and stir until coated and the spinach wilts. Sprinkle with the parmesan, transfer the skillet to the oven (preheated to 350 degrees) and bake until bubbling, about 20 minutes. Turn on the broiler; broil until lightly browned on top, about 3 more minutes.


I would love to hear what you think if you try this recipe!

Tortellini Soup

tortellini soupMy best friend  is not much of a chef. In college, I would cook us meals in our apartment, and when it was her turn to make dinner, we would be heading out to eat, or, we would be eating Pirate’s Booty and M&Ms with some Boone’s Farms (add that to the list of things my kids can’t know…at one time, Mommy said Pirates Booty and M&Ms constituted “dinner”).  Although she still prefers takeout or dining out, she passed along this recipe to me for tortellini soup, which has become her “signature dish.” With the past information, you can assume, it is an easy one! We have been on a complete soup kick this winter. I have a ton of single and double portion size soups frozen, ready for an easy weekend lunch, or weeknight dinner. Many of our soups are chicken or veggie based, so love that this one has sausage, and the tortellini makes it hearty.


Tortellini Soup
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
  • 1 lb Italian Sweet Sausage (removed from casings)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups chopped cabbage
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) stewed tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) beef broth
  • 1 can (10.5 oz) French onion soup
  • 1 package (9 oz) of refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  1. In a large saucepan, cook the sausage until it is cooked through. Remove from the pan, and drain on paper towels
  2. In the saucepan, sir in water, cabbage, tomatoes, broth, and french onion soup. Bring to a boil, and add back in the sausage.
  3. Reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in the tortellini, and cook for 7-10 minutes until the pasta is tender.
  5. At this point you can either freeze the soup (ensure it has cooled before you put it in the freezer), or serve with the parmesan cheese.
  6. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator, and then reheat in the saucepan.
  7. *I find that with pasta based soups, you sometimes have to add more liquid (i.e. water or the broth) as it will absorb some of the liquid.
Angela Gilmore - February 17, 2014 - 9:27 am

I have never made tortellini soup, but I just saw a recipe in the Food Network magazine for it and was tempted to try it. Yours look a lot easier though! I am a vegetarian so I am going to have to come up with a good replacement for Italian sausage.

Laketha - February 21, 2014 - 6:08 am

Oh my goose! Thank you for sharing your recipe. This looks so great I can’t wait to try.

Do you have a favorite child?

  The other week, I was holding my baby girl while talking to a friend. I was doing one of my favorite things…feeling her little peach fuzz hair against my cheek…and at that point, my friend said – “be honest, she’s your favorite.” I started laughing and said, “well, she is the only one who listens to me, so maybe?” Really though – as a mom, do you have a favorite child?

I couldn’t stop thinking about the “favorite” piece though as the days went by. I have a favorite everything…

Food: eggplant parmesan
Pattern: Black and white polka dots
Season: Fall
Baseball Team: Yankees
Shoes: Flip Flops
Book: Gone with the Wind

Let’s be honest – I also have a favorite check out person at the grocery store, a favorite day of the week, a favorite train to take on the way home. I have a preference for absolutely everything in my life…did I have a favorite child as well?

Unbeknownst to my three little people (well, really 2 active participants), I gathered up their thoughts on my own little research project. I asked them if they had a favorite parent.  Please note, this is a question you can ask really when you are the only parent there. The answer was giggles. They started laughing at me and said it was silly to like one of us more than the other. They did start to tell me what they liked about each of us though.


Daddy reads us the big long books, and reads all the words (seriously – I will read my kids 100 short books, the long ones get me!). Daddy is silly. Daddy knows more about sports.  Daddy picks me up whenever I ask Daddy buys us cakepops and munchkins when he gets coffee. Daddy throws snowballs with us. Daddy sings us funny songs. 


Mommy makes us lots of food. I love when Mommy reads me the last book. Sometimes mommy throws snowballs at us (but not so hard).  Mommy will sometimes share her Kindle with us. Mommy brings us to playdates with our friends and lets us have friends over the house.  We love how Mommy lets us put on our songs in the car. 


My children loved things about both of us…but they didn’t have a favorite. I realized that my love for them was similar. I loved all three of them equally, but I loved different things about them. Things that were uniquely them…I have been writing down things that I love the most about each of them, and have also been ensuring that I spend time telling them which of their special qualities I love on a very regular basis, celebrating their uniqueness.

My oldest

I love how he lives to be an older brother, and cares so deeply for his little sisters. I love how he loves to learn about anything. I love that he remembers everything – I know he appreciates every memory, or at least will never be afraid to throw it back in our faces. I love his competitive nature, because I know exactly where it comes from. I love how he can get lost in anything – playing, talking, singing, watching sports…

My middle

The energy – Dear Lord…where does her energy come from?? (Usually) I love how she could outrun the energizer bunny. I love how she has no fear – she will talk to anyone, not worry about going anywhere, and is confident. At the same time though, I love that she needs to know that someone she loves and trusts is nearby. I love that she has learned at a young age to compliment others, and tries to make others happy.  I love watching her enjoy the things that I loved as a little girl. I love how full of life she is.

My littlest

I love everything baby about this one…the peach fuzz hair, the snuggles and cuddles, the chunky thighs, the little fingers. I adore her deep dimples, the huge smile that comes on her face, the twinkle in her eye. I love the bond that we have. I love seeing her personality growing, and the uncertainty of who will she be later in life…

So do I have a favorite???? How could I?? My favorite part of thinking about this is knowing that I never have to choose, but can appreciate and love so much about the three little ones I am blessed to have in my life. 


Image Source via Creative Commons

Jen - February 5, 2014 - 9:11 pm

Ok well if I have to pick a favorite post, this would be it! I love everything about it! :)

Chrissy - February 5, 2014 - 9:22 pm

Love from start to finish!!!

Melanie - February 5, 2014 - 9:28 pm

Shortly after I had the baby, the 6yo asked their grandfather who his favorite was and said “I’m going to keep asking until you answer.” “Both of you” was not accepted as an answer but she did let him get away with saying “grandma.”

Meghan - February 5, 2014 - 9:30 pm

I love, love, LOVE this! ❤ And I love all those things about your kiddos too!

Kerry - February 5, 2014 - 9:39 pm

I’ve contemplated this question before as well – and like you – I value and appreciate and love different qualities of each of my 3 kids. I seriously wonder sometimes how these three totally different creatures share the same DNA with me and my husband. So different, which makes it so much fun!

admin - February 11, 2014 - 10:14 am

Absolutely, Kerry! I have no idea sometimes how my son and daughter are related personality wise…although, their laugh is very similar :)

Susan Maccarelli - March 4, 2014 - 7:48 pm

Checking this out from BonBon Break. I’m glad you don’t have a favorite. I think it depends on their mood and my mood and since they are 2.5 and 3.5, my favorite is typically based on which one is in the better mood at the time, but they both have unique things about them that makes it impossible to really say one is my favorite.

Crockpot Southwestern Chicken

I am always thrilled to have a recipe which combines the crock pot and the freezer, and love one that doesn’t look like it came out of the crock pot. You know…that bland orangey, brown look, that just doesn’t look appetizing. One of my coworkers is a fellow working mom, and said that she swore by this recipe…I was happy to give it a try!  This was pretty easy that right after a Saturday morning shopping trip, I put all the ingredients into the crock pot, and when it was done cooking, I packaged it up for the freezer. Can’t be easier than that!

I have frozen the chicken into portions that would be suitable for my husband and I to have as an easy weeknight dinner, as it reheats very quickly.

*Note for my readers…I promise to get back to pretty food pictures soon. Lately I have remembered to snap a picture right before we eat!:)

Crockpot Southwestern ChickenCrockpot Southwestern Chicken

2 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5 ounce can chicken broth
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with chilies (do not drain)
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
1 8 ounce jar salsa 
1 cup of frozen corn
1 tbsp. parsley (fresh or dried)

1. In a slow cooker, combine all ingredients. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

2. When the cooking is complete, shred the chicken and return it to the slow cooker for an extra 30 minutes. Serve over rice.

To freeze: cool the dish, and place in freezer containers. To use, place in the fridge overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring as needed. 

Jennifer B - January 19, 2014 - 6:37 pm

Perfect timing MMB! I just bought a slow cooker last Sunday – and I have been on a tear…whipped up my 4th slow cooker meal this week (oxtail stew) – and an on the hunt for the recipes to add to the repetoire!

Lauren - January 21, 2014 - 4:23 pm

This sounds yummy and I can’t wait to make it this weekend! Thanks for sharing!

Stitch Fix Review – January

Disclosure: I am sharing my own honest views of the experience with Stitch Fix. I am not working together with the company, however, if you sign up through the links below , I do receive a referral credit to the Stitch Fix service (for which I would be extremely grateful…) 


So last month, I shared my thoughts on Stitch Fix in this post.  I was very excited by my finds…or really, but what was sent to me, and was getting very excited for what was going to be coming my way this month. Shopping time is pretty much non-existent for me, especially as I am back to work, but my wardrobe is in need of a  little “pick me up.” I received another box in January, so figured it was time for another Stitch Fix Review!

Last month, I did receive a comment on my post from someone who felt that Stitch Fix might be rotating some of their inventory to people, and that at times, the pieces seem like something you could buy at a regular department store. I could see that this might happen, but for now, I am really happy with the service. The upside is that you don’t have to buy anything that they send you….so it is in their best interest to find things that work! I did just want to mention that though, before I shared my latest items:)

So first up….

The Queensland Dolman Jersey Top…loved the hunter green color, the material, the fit. When I pulled it out of the box, it looked beautiful, and when I put it on, it was 100% a big yes. I am SO excited to wear this top…it is definitely more of a date night, girls night out, or dressy type top, as opposed to something I could wear into the office, but I loved it so much, it had to find a place in my closet!

This was a KEEP:) 

Stitch Fix Queensland Dolman Jersey Top




Next up was the Jaclynn 3/4 sleeve button up cardigan. I loved the color of this one, and it fit well, but I have about 20 cardigans in my closet. I did not see the need to buy this one…

This one got…RETURNED

Jaclynn 3/4 Sleeve Button-up cardigan



Next up was the Marquis Slub Knit Dolman Sweater…I was excited to try this one, as a friend of mine received a similar sweater in her fix last month, and it looked very cute. Unfortunately – it was not the same result for me! Boo!

This one got…RETURNED


Marquis Slub Knit Dolman Sweater


After trying on two duds, I was getting bummed. I tried on the Marilyn Mix Striped Maxi skirt next. I became obsessed with maxi skirts last summer while I was pregnant. I had three which I rotated through as quickly as they would come out of the laundry. I loved this one because while horizontally striped, they are not as unflattering as they usually are because of how they sit on the skirt. I also liked the black and tan, a nice change from my usual black and white:)

This was on the KEEP list!



Marilyn Mix Striped Maxi Skirt

Lastly, we have the Emer Geo Print High Waisted Cropped Pant…ok, so when I got the email about my Fix for this month, I checked out the page, where I had a view of the names of what was coming my way. I texted my friend, and said – what the hell are they thinking with something like this? I should have known to trust…I tried on these pants and loved them. It was definitely something I never would have picked out for myself, but they were so comfortable, looked really cute, and I could see these becoming a great part of my spring wardrobe. I feel like the picture doesn’t do these justice, and I am not a selfie picture person really, so…trust me, so cute!:)

These were definitely on the KEEP list!

     Emer Geo Print High Waisted Cropped Pant

So overall, my fix was 3 out of 5…not bad at all!
Any thoughts on the clothes here? Are you intrigued by the service yet?:)
Rina - January 17, 2014 - 6:29 pm

I am intrigued- I wish she would send coordinated pieces though! Is there an option? I’m afraid…what if I love a piece but have zero to go with it! Then I have to go shopping- yuk!

Bonnie - January 18, 2014 - 8:39 am

This sounds like such a great service. You should definitely do selfies! I love when my local stores show their clothing lines modeled on real people as opposed to models. That way I see how things really fit!

Rebecca - January 26, 2014 - 9:57 am

I really like the hunter green top with dolman sleeves. I’ve received 5 packages. The packages are becoming better as they get to know me. Rina, in my last package I asked for scarf/top combo. My stylist gave me a neutral patterned scarf that went with 2 of 3 tops in my package. The stylists try to meet our requests… try to be specific in your comment when scheduling your fix.

admin - February 11, 2014 - 10:26 am

Great tips! thanks so much Rebecca..I might do that for my next one. I just got my third one in…a few too many patterns for my taste, boo :(