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Back to School and Roasted Red Pepper Gnocchi with Spinach & Pine Nuts

Labor Day is a glorious holiday because your child will be going back to school the next day.  It would have been called Independence Day, but that name was already taken. 

Bill Dodds

A friend of mine posted the other day that she was sad summer was over. She was heartbroken that she only got 2 months with her kids who are going into gr. 2 and gr. 4. 

I repeat... She was sad that they were going back to school.

Let that sink in.

Am I missing something?

Should I have that feeling?

Because I don't.

Is it because they just aren't old enough?

Keeping a 2 year old (almost 3) and a 6 year old (almost 7) busy, a house clean, dinners made, social engagements, 3 trips and visitors... I can't WAIT for routine and structure!

When I got to school this morning... which was a freaking FIASCO btw, there were other Moms lamenting the same thing???

Seriously, I love my kids but they fought, whined, pushed and demanded ALL summer long. OK, maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration, but just a teeny weeny little bit. LOL We were busy. I mean BUSSSSSY and nothing made them happy! Every time they got something they thought they should get more!!!!

I remember this discussion. I remember my Mom saying "The more we give you the more you take!"

I remember thinking, "Ummm yeah." LOL

I guess I can't blame them but I can be happy when school starts! I actually heard "It's the most wonderful time of the year", playing in my head this morning!

As another friend said "Break out the champagne!"

Another year is beginning... THANK GAWD!

Our last summer guests left yesterday. That is the best thing about living in the Valley, everybody comes here for holidays :)

In the last two weeks we have had my sister-in-law's family visiting,

My cousin and her BF,

Old friends of the family, who I didn't get a picture of but here's a picture of the gifts they brought the girls LOL... GENIUS!

And Ninja's Aunts were here this past weekend. Of course I came down with the end of the summer head cold and spent the entire weekend in bed sweating and sleeping :(

Our last week was good, even though the weather wasn't :( The girls got back-to-school haircuts,

We went to the vegetable market,

Registered for fall activities,

Made our new chore charts,

SBean's on the fridge

And spent our last weekend of summer holidays swimming, 

playing at the park, 

and because I was still running a fever but so badly wanted to spend the last day of Holidays with everyone, we went for a family drive,

Thanks for the earmuffs Papa... she won't take them off!!! LOL
And then today. Ahhhhhhhh today :) 

It was rough... getting out of the house on time... 

WITHOUT poop bums, 

"SBean did you poop?" 


"Are you sure? We have to go, we are already 2 minutes behind schedule! Come over here, OH MAN no no, go over there!!! Why don't you want to use the potty????? I made you a potty chart!!! There are lollipops and ice creams involved!!! WHY???? Why won’t you go in the potty??????"

And WITH glasses, 

“We are LATE! HBear where are your glasses?”

“I don’t know. Help me look. Oh they are in my owl bag in my drawer under my play stuff didn't you know Mommy???" 

Grrrrrrr. But we did it! We were there on time and even managed the obligatory school photo, even  in the drizzling rain :)

While I was sick this past weekend I took the time to schedule all of our menus for September! 

I'm super stoked about this because if this morning back to school debacle was anything like how this month is going to go, I need all the "extra" time that I can get LOL. 

I have a feeling it's going to be a difficult September to get into the swing of things. With SBean now in activities as well. 

Yes, I have heard the debate over scheduling/over-scheduling kids LOL I promise I will be discussing my views on the subject very soon :) 

In the meantime, I have some really good back to school meals planned! Yesterday, I made a special last day of summer holidays meal for HBear... steak, mushrooms, shrimp, Caesar salad, and Gnocchi!

Can I just pat myself on the back for this one? It was delicious! We loved it! Really can you go wrong with perfect potato pillows in a roasted red pepper sauce? I think not. LOL

Now, I want each and every Mom/Dad/Caregiver to reach their arm over their shoulder and give themselves a pat on the back! My Elementary school teacher Miss Carson always said that LOL.

Let’s all pour ourselves a glass of wine and CHEERS.. We did it! We made it through another summer :) I hope everyone of us have a wonderful 2015-16 school year!

Roasted Red Pepper Gnocchi with Spinach & Pine Nuts

1 package potato gnocchi
2 tablespoons oil
2 large cloves garlic, pressed
2 large roasted red peppers (from a jar)
¼ cup heavy cream
2 cups uncooked spinach
2 tablespoons pine nuts
¼ cup freshly shredded basil, divided

Heat the oil in a sauce pan over medium heat and add the garlic. Mix occasionally for 4 minutes, until slightly browned.

Add the red peppers and a little salt and pepper and stir well. Cook for another 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the pepper mixture from heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.

Wilt the spinach by adding it to a tablespoon of heated water in a large skillet. Once wilted, turn the heat to low to keep warm.

Bring salted water to boil and cook gnocchi according to package.

Strain the gnocchi well and transfer to the skillet with the spinach. Add some oil and pine nuts and mix well.

Transfer the red pepper mixture to your ultimate chopper and blend well.

Transfer the sauce to the skillet with the gnocchi and stir and heat through.

Add the heavy cream and 1 tablespoon basil and stir well.

Top with the rest of the shredded basil and serve.

Savvy Southern Style


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