Where do you find inspiration?

Are you following me on my Instagram page yet? Well friends I post fun recipe and gardening reels there I don’t share anywhere else. I do regular live posts of where I’m going and what I’m doing.

Be sure to FOLLOW me there so you don’t miss out on anything! See you there friends, and be sure to say hi!

Click each of the photo’s to see the topic!


If you enjoyed this blog, please LIKE, Follow, Share & leave me a comment! I love your feedback!

If you aren’t following me on Facebook & Instagram go on over & give a LIKE & Follow me for daily tips & tricks for your home & garden! 

Added bonus: You can go to my blog at http://www.fordragonfliesandme.com to purchase my original cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats in either a spiral bound soft cover OR NEW, a Downloadable PDF version. The cookbook has almost 1000 recipes on almost 500 pages! Check out the Cookbook Testimonials while you’re there!

Until next time remember to,
Eat fresh, shop local & have a happy day,

Jean

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All text and images on this site are copyright of For Dragonflies And Me. Unless otherwise noted, you may not use this content.

Creamy Chicken & Vegetable Gnocchi Soup

“Cooking for people is an enormously significant expression of generosity and soulfulness, and entertaining is a way to be both generous and creative. You’re sharing your life with people. Of course, it’s also an expression of your own need for approval and applause. Nothing wrong with that.” – Ted Allen

We just love soups! Really, we love any type of comfort food. One of my favorite types of pasta is Gnocchi, and when I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make my own version of it. I often see yummy recipes and then adjust them to make them my own suited to my family’s preferences. 

The first time I had Gnocchi was from a co-vendor during my market vendor days. If you are in or around the Metro Detroit area, then you may have heard of Tracinas. They are by far the best I’ve ever eaten. You can find them at several farmers markets, and in some stores. Check out their website to see if there is a location near you!

Now let’s get rolling with this super yummy & easy to make soup recipe. Be sure to let me know what you think of it, and tell me what your favorite soup is. I love to hear your feedback. Enjoy friends!

Check out my recipe at my YouTube Channel!

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Our Favorite Recipes

Ingredients: Yields 4~ 2 cup servings

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breast  cut into bite sized chunks~ about 1 ½ to 2 pounds
48 ounces or 6 cups chicken broth
1- 8 ounce package of Gnocchi
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup carrots, cut into ¼ inch coins
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup shallots, diced
1 cup fresh spinach
½ cup diced Heirloom tomatoes or 1~ 8 ounce can of diced tomatoes
2 fresh garlic cloves minced OR 2 tsp jarred
2 TBSP white all purpose flour
1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
½ tsp fresh ground pepper
2 tsp Italian seasoning
2 tsp fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried

Watch the final steps to preparing this super delicious Creamy Chicken & Vegetable Gnocchi Soup.

1. In a large stock pot, heat ½ the butter and ½ the oil; add all vegetables and sauté for about 5-7 minutes; add garlic and seasonings; blend well and sauté for an additional minute.

2. In a separate skillet, add the other half of the butter and oil; heat and add chunked chicken; cook on medium heat for about 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned on all sides. Do not fully cook.

3. When chicken is done, add to the vegetable mixture; mix until well blended.

4. In a cup, take 1 cup of the broth and whisk flour into it until there are no lumps; add to chicken and vegetable mixture with remaining broth and cream; bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer and cook for half an hour.

5. Add spinach and gnocchi; cook according to package instructions.

Serve with a salad and garlic bread!

If you aren’t following me on Facebook & Instagram go on over & give a LIKE & Follow me for daily tips & tricks for your home & garden! 

Added bonus: You can go to my blog at http://www.fordragonfliesandme.com to purchase my original cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats in either a spiral bound soft cover OR NEW, a Downloadable PDF version. The cookbook has almost 1000 recipes on almost 500 pages! Check out the Cookbook Testimonials while you’re there!

Until next time remember to,
Eat fresh, shop local & have a happy day,

Jean

Copyright Policy

All text and images on this site are copyright of For Dragonflies And Me. Unless otherwise noted, you may not use this content.

Roasted Root Vegetables & Balsamic Glaze

“I feel a recipe is only a theme which an intelligent cook can play each time with a variation.” 
— Madam Benoit

My super yummy Roasted Root Vegetable recipe pairs wonderfully with Dave’s Bourbon Chicken seen here on a bed of Basmati rice!!!

Summer has her bounty, but oh how autumn glory abounds in the garden! If you are a gardener you know exactly what I’m talking about. Here is Michigan we have 3 full seasons we can relish in our gardens sustenance! Spring with her lovely greens, summer with a bounty of tomato’s, and autumn with squash, potato, onions, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots… and so much more. Root storage crops, which all the above mentioned are, flourish in the cooler days of fall.

This savory blend of root storage crops including Brussels sprouts, fingerlings, baby purple potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions and more tossed in a blend of Balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and olive oil is absolutely delicious. This recipe pairs well with any meat dish, but especially delicious with Dave’s Bourbon Chicken. This recipe will be coming next week… so keep posted!

Our Favorite Recipes

Ingredients:

1 quart or 4 cups of cleaned Brussels sprouts, halved
1 cups cherry tomatoes, mixed Heirlooms are awesome
2 cups of mixed purple & red baby potatoes, halved OR use Fingerlings
1 large sweet potato peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 cup carrots, cut into 1/4 inch coins
1 cup parsnips, cut into 1/4 inch coins
1 medium red onion, sliced lengthwise
2 garlic cloves, minced or 2 tsp jarred
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 cup Olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper

Pro Tip: You can add any veggie you like to this recipe!

You will need a large bowl to toss all the veggies in once they are cleaned, sliced & diced.

Sweet Dumpling Squash

Root storage crops are very easy to store over winter.

I wanted to share more root storage crop recipe’s. Click this link to see my post with several super yummy recipes!

Click this link: https://wordpress.com/post/fordragonfliesandme.com/2477

Heirloom veggies are so beautiful!

1. Cut off the stem end; then remove the first layer of leaves and any bad spots off your Brussels Sprouts; slice in half.

Pro Tip: Cut the stem end off first, then the outer leaves will fall off much more easily!

2. Wash potatoes well, do not peal; Cut in half or quarters depending on the size. If you use fingerlings, cut them into 1″ coins if they are large or cut horizontally if they are smaller.

This would be considered a small fingerling potato.

3. Peel sweet potato; slice 1″ thick.

4. Peel carrots & parsnips; cut into 1/4 inch coins.

5. Peel onion skin off and slice lengthwise.

6. In a large bowl toss all prepared veggies in; mince garlic into veggie mixture.

7. Add remaining ingredients and toss until evenly coated.

8. Put all ingredients into a 9x13x2 inch baking dish making sure all veggies are coated.

9. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes covered stirring every 15 minutes; remove cover & cook for an additional 30 minutes stirring every 15 minutes making sure potatoes and sprouts are cooked through. A knife should slide through without resistance.

Be sure to keep posted for Dave’s Bourbon Chicken coming next Wednesday!

If you enjoyed this recipe post, please LIKE, share, & of course follow me to receive notifications on all my posts. 

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Added bonus: You can go to my blog at www.fordragonfliesandme.com to purchase my original cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats. The cookbook has almost 1000 recipes on almost 500 pages! Check out the Cookbook Testimonials while you’re there!

Happy day,
Jean

The Art of Meaningful Gift Giving, How to Preserve a Child and some Yummy Market Fresh Recipes

We’re at the time of year when everyone is in a hustle and bustle of the Holidays.  For us the Farmers Market is filled with beautiful gift items and our market friends are all too happy to stop by and pick up that beautiful, one of a kind, hand crafted item to give their loved ones.  There’s an art to gift giving.  Some folks like the idea of gift cards- quick & simple and they don’t have to worry about the ‘did they like it or not?’  Others love the thrill of searching and finding just the right thing for that special person.  Then there are those that take the time to actually create something unique for each individual… and all three are fine! I don’t think there is any wrong way to give a gift, especially when it’s given with love.  We are all different and we need to do what fits our personalities… and those that love us will know that whatever the gift is, it was given with heart. I hope this post will help all of the above and you will find something that helps you in this typically crazy time of year.

Homemade gift tags add a special touch. Use
old greeting cards or seed packets.

Here are some easy to create as well as purchased gift ideas that are special and will last a life time… and won’t get broke and tossed the day after Christmas…

In my previous blog (12/15) I wrote about creating one of a kind beautiful gift ‘baskets’, today I will touch on gifts that can be purchased, but more on the side of Hand Made with Love.  Hope you can all find something useful here to help you through the next few days of trying to find that perfect gift!

*Go to the Farmers Market! Of course I have a very biased opinion here- I’m selling at the Farmers Market and I run one where I have lots of vendors who have great items that would make incredible gifts.  If you want to find one of a kind, hand crafted baskets, bowls, water color paintings, quilts, jewelry, pen & pencil sets, photography, centerpieces, metal work, bird houses, rolling pins and ice cream scoops, we’ve even got gifts for your pets and coffee beans for the stockings… The Old Winery Farmers Market is the place to be.  Check us out at http://www.theoldwinerymarket.com and like us on facebook! You won’t be dissappointed!

*Give a Gift Certificate to a local Nursery in the gift recipiants area. Tell them the certificate is to be used for a tree in honor of the family, the birth of a child, a house warming gift or any other reason you can think of.  Arrange a day when you can all be together in the Spring to plant the tree and have a family bar-b-que.

*Homemade Potpourri:  here are several recipes
What you will need: cellophane bag, ribbon, twisty tie, homemade tag.
“With Love…”  Ingredients: Rosebuds for love, Chamomile for patience, lavender for devotion, marjoram for joy and rosemary for remembrance.  Place 4 cups of mixture in bag, twist and secure with twisty tie, then put pretty ribbon around and attach gift tag, be sure to lable the ingredients on the tag as listed above.
“Herbal Garden” Ingredients: 1 cup EACH: dried parsley, sage, thyme, mint- your choice of scent, cranberries, 2 cup dried rosemary, 10 medium size pine cones.
“For the Love of Lavender” Ingredients: 4 cups dried lavender blossoms, 1 cup EACH: dried ivory globe, blue salvia bloosoms, rose petals, 3 Tbsp. orris root, amaranth blossoms, 4-6 drops lavender essential oil. Mix ingredients and store in a sealed container for 6 weeks before using or giving.
“My Rose Garden” Ingredients: 3 cups dried rose petals- mixed colors, 1 cup rose hips, 7-8 drops of rose essential oil, 12 ivory strawflower heads, 1 cup star anise. Mix all ingredients and store in an air tight container for 4 weeks before using or giving


 

Sunflower Wreaths:  If you saved your sunflower heads like Ryan and I did this Fall (see photo) you can make this easy and beautiful wreath to give your bird feeding loved ones & friends.  This works best with Mammoth or Giant Grey Stripe heads.  Heres how:  Take the sunflower head and cut a hole our of the center- where the stem would have been- about 4″ in diameter; Take some evergreen boughs and make a small bouquet; glue gun or wire it on the sunflower wreath; put a piece of raffia or twine so it can be hung.   

Bird Suet Feeders: Another gift for your bird loving friends.  You can make super cute suet cakes, here’s how:
Ingredients: 1 part Peanut Butter, 2 parts bird seed, 5 parts cornmeal, 2 parts melted lard.
How to:  Melt lard on low heat; add peanut butter, stir till melted in; remove from heat and immediately add remaining ingredients, stir with wooden spoon till evenly mixed.  Line cupcake cups with paper liners; press mixture into cups and place in refrigerator until firm.  Using a thin pencil, press through center to make a hole right through where a wire can be put through so it can be hung.Transfer to plastic bags and keep in freezer. 
When you’re ready to give as gifts, place in cellophane baggies and tie with ribbons. These make cute stocking stuffers.

 
Gift of Food:  Most of us make jams, jellies, relishes or salsa’s each year. Why not give a few as a gift.  If you don’t do this, again you can find these types of goodies at The Farmers Market as well! Hope to see you there! 
If you are interested in making something now, that you can still get ingredients for here a few easy and yummy recipes.
These recipes were taken from Taproot Magazine, Issue 3:: Retreat http://www.taprootmag.com

Lavender Infused Honey5-6 cups fresh or dried lavender flowers, chopped
48 oz. Honey
1 drop lavender essential oil (optional)

Place the flowers in a soup pot. Put the honey over them, packing with a long handled wooden spoon to ensure that all the flowers are covered.
Allow this mixture to sit overnight, or even up to 3 nights, covered with a lid.
Place the pot on very low heat.  When the honey turns to a liquid (just a few minutes), immediately strain into jars.
Press the herbs to release every bit of the honey, and compost eh herbs.
Add the essential oil, if using, and stir.
Cap the jars and sore them in a cabinet



Peppermint Ginger Pancake Syrup1/2 cup fresh peppermint leaves, chopped
1/2 cup fresh ginger, chopped skin is fine
3 cups water
1/2 cup honey

In a large saucepan, combine the peppermint, ginger, and water. Bring to boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the volume has decreased to approximately 1 cup.  this creates a strong, fragrant eat. 
Strain the liquid and return it to the pot.
Add the sweetener, and heat gently until completely blended.
Store the syrup in a 1 pint jar in the refrigerator.





I thought this was cute and wanted to share it here…
“How To Preserve Children”
Take one large grassy field
1/2 dozen or so children, all sizes
3 small dogs, and a few big ones- a cat is fine too!
one narrow strip of brook, pebbly if possible
several large trees for shade… and of course a tire swing on one
a large picnic basket filled with goodies

Mix the children with the dogs and cat, empty them into the field, stirring continually;  sprinkle with field flowers, pour brook gently over pebbles, cover all with a deep blue sky and bake in a hot sunshine.
After done, place under tree, take turns swinging and have a yummy snack.
Enjoy them while they’re little, for they won’t be little long.

Pick up these ingredients at the Farmers Market all year long… we’ve got em’ at The Old Winery!
Thyme Grilled Vegetable

16 baby potato– about 1 quart
1/2 c chicken broth
1/4 c Olive Oil
2 tbsp fresh Thyme, minced
1/2 tsp salt
3 large peppers, sliced– use different colors to make it pretty!
2 c sliced onions

In an un-greased 9×13 inch baking casserole, combine the potatoes, broth, oil, thyme & salt.  Grill, covered over medium heat for about 25 minutes.
Stir in peppers & onions.  Grill 25-30 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender.

Soft Boiled Eggs in a ‘Green’ Nest
1 Bunch of Chard, Kale or Spinach from Garden Gate, stems & ribs discarded
1 1/2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/4 tsp Red Pepper
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 Tbsp. fresh snipped Parsley
4 Eggs from Garden Gate

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Chop your greens into bite size pieces and toss in the oil and seasoning to coat evenly. Spread evenly in the bottom of a 10″x10″ glass baking dish and bake for about 30-40 minutes, till crisp.  Remove from oven and divide into 2 bowls and create a ‘nest’ with a hole in the center.
2. While greens are baking, bring a 2 quart pot of water to a rolling boil and gently lower eggs into water, turn off heat and cover.  Let eggs sit in water for 6 1/2 minutes for soft boiled eggs.
3. Transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water and let sit for about 1/2 minute.  Working carefully and quickly, peel eggs, and place in center of nests.  Season with a bit of sea salt and serve immediately.

Happy Day,
Jean