Baked Gnocchi with bacon, tomato, and mozzarella

This is comfort food at it’s finest. It’s where it’s at and what it’s all about. Little pillows of happiness (gnocchi) are smothered in a delicious tomato based ‘sauce’ with bacon and topped with mozzarella cheese that’s baked to golden-brown perfection. And, let’s be honest, what doesn’t taste better with bacon? Mmm, bacon.

Comfort food for those who need comforting. Even if you’re not in need of copious amounts of comforting, it’s ok to splurge once in a while. Caloricaly speaking, of course.

Baked Gnocchi with bacon, tomato, and mozzarella

4 Sons 'R' Us: Baked Gnocchi

recipe adapted from Simply Delicious

1 16 oz pkg of gnocchi
8 slices of bacon, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 roma tomatoes; fleshy parts diced
1 tsp sugar
2-3 tbsp sour cream
2-3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

Directions

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°c.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, and in the meantime, make the sauce.
3. In a large, hot frying pan, fry the bacon until starting to crisp with most of the fat rendered.
4. Pour off most of the fat then add the garlic and smoked paprika and fry for 30 seconds.
5. Add all of the tomatoes and the sugar and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
6. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream, parsley and seasoning.
7. Cook the gnocchi in the salted water until it starts floating to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the sauce.
8. Transfer the gnocchi and sauce to an oven-proof dish and top with the sliced mozzarella.
9. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes until the mozzarella is melted and golden.
10. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Maple Glazed Thyme Roasted Carrots

Do you like your vegetables? On the fence? Turn your veggies into something you love with these Maple Glazed Thyme Roasted Carrots. Tender roasted carrots are glazed with smooth maple syrup, sauteed with thyme leaves, and roasted to perfection. It’s sure to be your go to side dish for any meal.

Maple Glazed Thyme Roasted Carrots shown in a cast iron skillet

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A hearty soup that incorporates those holiday ham leftovers you just might have lying around, this heart Healthy Ham & Lentil Soup is simple, savory, slurp-able Winter weather comfort food. Ladle it into bowls for a filling dinner, pack it into a thermos for a delicious guilt free lunch, or even take a batch to a friend.

Healthy Ham & Lentil Soup

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*Copycat* Outback Steakhouse Alice Springs Chicken with Homemade Honey Mustard

In central Virginia we say, “Wait 15 minutes. The weather will change.” This storm has proven the saying to be true today. All day, every 15 minutes. So far we’ve had rain, sleet, snow, freezing rain, and hail. Now, it’s decided it would like to sleet, but threw in a pinch of thunder and a dash of lightening. Seriously?! Ice Lightning? Go home Weather, you’re drunk.

Really though, this wonky winter weather recipe has our family staying in doors for the rest of the afternoon and evening. That put the kibosh on my plans to pick up the carry-out I’d been craving for dinner. Bummer? Not anymore! I’m making my favorite restaurant chicken right at home. Delicious dinner, and staying safe and dry? Don’t mind if I do. Nobody’s going to ‘rain’ on this girl’s parade today.

Alice Springs Chicken has never tasted better than it does when made fresh in the comfort of your own home. This savory (and cheesy, we can’t forget cheesy) chicken is even better with our easy, homemade honey mustard sauce for dipping. If Alice Springs is your thing kind of chicken, don’t let a night indoors stop your from enjoying your favorite dish.

*Copycat* Outback Steakhouse Alice Springs Chicken with Homemade Honey Mustard

4 Sons 'R' Us: Alice Springs Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch in thickness (if they’re really thick it can be easier to just fillet them)
seasoning salt
6 slices bacon, halved
honey mustard (recipe below)
1 cup sliced, fresh mushrooms
2 cups shredded Colby Jack cheese (cheddar will work as a substitute)

Directions

1. Sprinkle and rub the chicken breasts with seasoning salt.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp.  Remove bacon.  ***Do not discard grease.*** Saute chicken in the bacon grease for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until browned.  Move chicken to a 9×13 pan.
3. Apply the honey mustard to each breast, then layer with mushrooms, bacon, and shredded cheese.
4. Bake in a 350° oven for 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and chicken is done.
5. Serve with extra honey mustard sauce for dipping.

4 Sons 'R' Us: Alice Springs Chicken & Homemade Honey Mustard Sauce

Homemade Honey Mustard Sauce

1. In a small bowl combine 1/2 cup mustard, 1/4 cup corn syrup, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, and 1/4 cup honey, mixing well. Add more honey if necessary, depending on how spicy/strong your base mustard is.
2. Refrigerate and allow to ‘chill’ before using.

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Warm Sausage & Kale Soup

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