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Gnocchi with Garlic Herb Butter and Brie


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One of the defining factors of AmeriCorps VISTA is that each VISTA lives at the poverty level. We don't receive a salary, we receive a living allowance. When I was first hired, we went to a meeting with all the pre-existing VISTAs, who told us all about their years and the things they did to get by. One of the recommendations was the food assistance program, referred to as EBT or food stamps. Since we live at the poverty level, we qualify.

I decided to sign up. I wish I could say I had an honorable reason, like I wanted to know the trials and tribulations people and poverty are faced with. Honestly, though, I was just pumped about food. I love food. I love cooking. I knew that I was not going to be able to afford much in the way of food. Therefore, I went for it and signed up for EBT.

The process was really pretty simple. I applied online, and then I received a phone call to schedule my interview. I went to my local Department of Human Services Office early one morning and met with my case worker. I showed her my pay stubs from my pre-VISTA job and my job description of my VISTA year. Just like that, I qualified. She gave me some information about what kinds of things you can buy and what you can't (alcohol, paper products, ready to eat food, etc). I had my card about a week later, and suddenly the goverment was paying for my groceries.

I love the food assistance program. I am so glad it exists. I can't imagine trying to budget this year without it. I don't have to worry about food at all, I receive more than enough food assistance money each month in my EBT card to buy all the groceries I need and then some.

There are definite fun benefits to having an EBT card as well. For example, EBT cards are accepted in all 50 states. If you're on vacation and you want to buy something from the local grocery store, you totally can depending on the store. I visit my boyfriend in Minneapolis a few time a month. To my complete delight, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods both except EBT. Therefore, poor Andrew gets dragged along while I buy ridiculous and tasty things.

Hence, this gnocchi. I had never had gnocchi before in my entire life. I had definitely never seen it in a grocery store. Therefore, I had to pick some up when I saw this at Trader Joe's. Here is how it went down:
About 1 cup of potato gnocchi
3 Tbsp butter
2 frozen garlic cubes (another crazy TJs find!) or two cloves of garlic, minced
About a Tbsp of Italian herbs (I used Penzeys Bouquet Garni)
Two cut up green onions
About an 8th of a wheel of brie cheese

Boil some water based on the gnocchi package directions. Salt the water, then plop in the gnocchi. Let them cook for about 2 minutes after they start floating, then drain. In the mean time, melt the butter in a saute pan. Drop in the garlic, herbs, and green onions. Let them cook down a little until your kitchen smells totally awesome and the green onions have softened. Then, add the gnocchi to the pan and saute for a few minutes. Add in the brie and let it melt a little. I didn't leave the brie on the heat very long. Instead, I let it melt by stirring it when it was in the serving bowl.

There you are! Decadent, rich gnocchi and garlic and green onions and brie. NOMS.


I love TJ's frozen garlic cubes - they also carry frozen herb cubes (I've seen parsley, basil and cilantro). Great product.

Also, gnocchi is delicious! One of my favorite gnocchi toppings is to make a gorgonzola cream sauce.

Just tried this, and it was delicious. I didn't have any green onions, but it still turned out great! Thanks for sharing. God bless!

I recently discovered the amazing-ness that is gnocchi! I can't believe I hadn't tried before now.

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