Parmesan Fried Gnocchi | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Parmesan Fried Gnocchi

This Parmesan Fried Gnocchi is a totally delicious side dish that’s ready in minutes. Serve it alongside grilled chicken or fish with a salad or veggies for an unbelievable dinner.

Parmesan Fried Gnocchi | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Given that I spend large portions of my day thinking about food, I’m always surprised by how many people I know who don’t cook. Maybe they never learned how because there’s always been someone in their house to cook for them. A parent and then a partner usually. It’s not that they aren’t interested in food, but they just have no intention of making anything for themselves. I do not understand these people.

There’s another group of people who tell me they don’t cook very much because they just don’t have time. This I can relate to. There are so many evenings when time just gets away from me. If I cooked dinner, it would be about 10 pm before we actually ate. Thank goodness for Just Eat. If I want to be able to make dinner every day, I find that I really need to set myself up for success.

Trying to make every single thing from scratch on a Monday night is a sure way to end up hating yourself. In my opinion, there’s absolutely no shame in taking a little help from the grocery store. Use your favorite bottled salad dressing as a marinade for chicken, for example. Or dress up some microwavable steamed veg with some dried herbs from your pantry.

Parmesan Fried Gnocchi | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

If your meal needs a quick carby side dish, this Parmesan Fried Gnocchi will be your new go to. It’s the perfect substitute for roasted potatoes which would take ages to chop and cook. Use your favorite store bought gnocchi, and add flavor with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and dried herbs. People will forget about everything else on their plate.

All you have to do is heat a skillet and drizzle in some oil. I used garlic oil for a little extra hit of flavor, but use whatever you have on hand. Then add the gnocchi straight from the package and keep tossing it in the hot oil until it starts to get crispy. Grate over some parm and sprinkle in some dried thyme and oregano, or just use Italian seasoning if you have it. That’s all there is to it.

Parmesan Fried Gnocchi | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Life gets crazy, but you are totally worth the effort. Take it easy on yourself. Make something simple like Parmesan Fried Gnocchi. Put your feet up and be awesome.

Recipe adapted from Kitchen by Nigella Lawson.

Looking for more kitchen shortcuts? Set your week up for success with Transformer Chicken that you can prep ahead of time at the weekend.

Tear & Share Flower Bread

Tear & Share Flower Bread | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I turned 40 a few months ago, but I’m still trying to learn some new tricks. I’m getting deeper into yoga and meditation, practicing being more chilled out, trying to apologize less, and generally owning my shit. It’s up and down. We’re still learning, ya know.

I’m also trying to learn how to make bread. This is not really something you can learn from books or TV. Bread making is tactile. Yeast is a living thing that needs attention. Bread dough can be different from one day to the next. It’s a beast that I don’t fully understand. We’re getting to know each other. It’s a process.

Tear & Share Flower Bread | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

This Tear & Share Flower Bread is pretty approachable. It uses a mix of white bread flour and whole wheat flour giving it a hearty texture. It’s sorta cute without involving any complicated braids. Don’t be afraid. You can totally do this.

The petals are perfect for dipping into soup, and the center can be sliced for toast or whatever, or just torn off into hunks fr more dipping. Do what you want. It’s gonna be tasty.

Tear & Share Flower Bread | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Let’s do cool new things. Let’s make bread. It’ll be awesome.

Recipe from Tesco magazine

All-American Sweet Potato Casserole

All-American Sweet Potato Casserole | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Living abroad, I spend a lot of time apologizing for American food. British people watch Man vs. Food or see a Buzz Feed listicle of foods from the Iowa State Fair and think that this is what all Americans eat on a daily basis. I think that’s pretty rich for a country that’s famous for deep-fried pizza, but this is my life now.

Look, yes once a year people in rural communities feast on corn dogs and elephant ears. Yes some people drink gallons of soda every day, but other people drink home brew kombucha. It’s a diverse country. Restaurant portions are big, but it’s also common to pack up half of your restaurant dinner to take home for the next day. 

All-American Sweet Potato Casserole | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

And yes, yes we put marshmallow on top of sweet potatoes. What’s it to you? To be perfectly honest, this is not my favorite way to eat sweet potatoes, but I made this a couple of years ago upon request of my English in-laws and discovered that it actually really works. I invited them over for Thanksgiving, and they wanted to try a marshmallow topped sweet potato casserole. I like to give the people what they want. 

I remember that my grandmother did made this by opening up a can of yams, dumping the sweet, syrupy mixture into a casserole dish, and topping it with mini-marshmallows and popping it in the oven. It was sweet as candy, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but this recipe goes in a different direction. It’s barely more complicated as all you have to do is roast sweet potatoes in the oven until soft, mash them together with a few flavor-enhancing ingredients, spreading it into a suitable baking dish, throwing some marshmallows on there, and heating until the marshmallows are browned on the top. The marshmallows go a little crunchy and actually compliment the sweet potatoes really well.

All-American Sweet Potato Casserole | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I think American food is great, and I’ll defend it until the day I die. In case you’re wondering, these are my favorite sweet potatoes, but this All-American Sweet Potato Casserole is an awesome option.

All-American Sweet Potato Casserole

6 servings

15 minutes

1 hour 10 minutes



  • 1 kilogram sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 ounce butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package mini-marshmallows (you may not need them all)


  • Preheat your oven to 425F. 
  • Use a fork to poke a few holes in each sweet potato. Use your vegetable oil to lube up the outside of each sweet potato. I find this easiest with spray oil. Just rub the oil all over the skin. Then individually wrap each sweet potato in foil. Wrap it somewhat loosely, but make sure it’s completely sealed so that you trap any sweet juices.
  • Roast your sweet potatoes in your hot oven for about an hour. A knife should slide into the flesh of the potato easily when they’re ready. It may take a bit more or less time depending on the size of your sweet potatoes.
  • Allow your sweet potatoes to cool enough so that you can handle them without burning your hands off. The peel should come off easily. Just scoop the sweet orange flesh into a mixing bowl. Add the lime juice, cinnamon, butter, and salt, and mash and stir it all together until smooth.
  • Transfer your sweet potato mash to a baking dish or casserole  that will hold your mixture withut spreading it too thin. Cover this generously with your mini marshmallows.
  • Pop your baking dish back in the oven for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it, and take it out when the marshmallows are puffed up and brown, but before they get charred.

28 Awesome Recipes to Eat Outside

28 Awesome Recipes to Eat Outside

28 Awesome Recipes to Eat Outside

The time has come for dining al fresco. For picnics, potlucks, backyard barbecues, cookouts at the beach, and all other kitchen free eating. Today I’ve got a round up for you of recipes that you can cook or prep ahead. These are all things that are easily transportable and either don’t need to be refrigerated or could fit in a small cooler. The next time you’re invited to a party, you won’t be at a loss for what to bring. It’s gonna be awesome.

Starters, Snacks & Sides

Everybody wants something to snack on while their waiting for the main meal to come off the grill. And of course, a hot dog on a plate all by itself is just sad. Here are some things to get you started, fill out that epic cheese plate, or accompany your burgers and dogs.

Dill Potato Salad | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Easy Peanut Butter Hummus – serve with veggies or chips to keep people from lurking around the grill

Fancy Pants Sauage Rolls – These are great hot or cold, so pack them in your picnic for sure

Southwest Pasta Salad – Mayo-free and full of flavor

Blue Cheese Crackers – That’s right, you made your own crackers

Picnic Cheese Plate – Be a hero and bring a simple, affordable, and totally delicious cheese plate for the gang

Dill Potato Salad – This is potato salad with a dash of elegance

Loaded Baked Potato Salad – This is that trashed up potato salad that you’ve been dreaming of

Homemade Oat Cakes – Another option to serve with some really great cheese

On the Grill

Because we’ve all decided that frozen burgers are the worst, I want to make it easy for you to always have the best burgers. Make your patties ahead of time, pack them on ice, and throw them on the grill when you’re ready.

Jalapeno Cream Cheese Stuffed Burgers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Jalapeno Cream Cheese-Stuffed Burgers – A burger with a spicy surprise

Cuban Burger – Add pickles if you’re into that because they really should be there

Spicy Southwest Burgers – You won’t be able to keep your hands off them

Basic Burgers – My tips for making awesome burgers with whatever’s in your kitchen

Sweet Treats

So this section is the longest because, let’s face it, I’m gonna ask to bring dessert. But you have to plan properly if you want people to eat something delicious instead of sad and melty. All these recipes are very easy to transport and serve outside and don’t need to be refrigerated.

White Chocolate Raspberry Blondies | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies

White Chocolate Chip Brownies

White Chocolate Raspberry Blondies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Kahlua Brownies

White Chocolate Cranberry Macadamia Nut Cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Blossoms

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lofthouse Cookie Bars

Giant Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mexican Brownies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

S’mores Brownies

Go eat outside while you can, kids!

Loaded Baked Potato Salad | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

Loaded Baked Potato Salad | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

The long weekend is so close I can almost smell it. It smells like a backyard barbecue.

This long weekend is much needed. Between battling work stress and a bout of obnoxious depression, I’m completely exhausted. My weather app is promising that there will be at least one day of warmth and sunshine. It’s gonna be Scotland hot, and I fully intend to get a mild sunburn. I’m going to eat whatever I want, wear flowery, fluttery clothes, and chill the f out. Don’t you dare try to stop me.

Loaded Baked Potato Salad | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I hope you have lots of basking in sunshine and setting fire to things and then cooking many meats and ears of sweet corn. If this is in the cards for you, please, in the name of all that is delicious, do not serve your friends and family store bought potato salad with its sad potato bits, horrible celery, and way too much mayo. Not when totally awesome potato salad can so easily be made in your own kitchen.

This Loaded Baked Potato Salad is loaded up with all the good stuff, like cheese and bacon. You know I don’t play around. You will need to plan ahead a bit because this needs to chill in the fridge for at least four hours, but other than that, it’s super simple. Fry some bacon, boil some potatoes, stir a few things together, and then eat totally awesome potato salad that will keep you well away from the deli counter for the rest of your life.

Loaded Baked Potato Salad | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I hope your future includes burger, loaded baked potato salad, Pimm’s, and a really cute hat. You deserve to be awesome. Let’s do it.

Loaded Baked Potato Salad
Serves 6
Loaded Baked Potato Salad with cheddar and bacon will make you forget all about store bought.
Write a review
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
  1. 1 kilo (about 2 pounds) baby potatoes, quartered
  2. 5 ounces bacon
  3. 1 cup sour cream
  4. 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  7. 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  8. 2 green onions, chopped
  9. 2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Chop your potatoes into bite size chunks. This may be in half, quarters, or even smaller depending on how baby your baby potatoes actually are. Just make them into a size that would easily fit on the end of your fork then in your mouth. Add them to a big pot, and cover them with cold water. Add a fat pinch of salt, slap a lid on, and cook your potatoes over medium high heat for about 25 minutes or until they can be pierced with a fork. You want them tender but not mushy. Drain the potatoes.
  2. While your potatoes are doing their thing, chop or scissor your bacon into a large skillet and cook up the pieces until their crisp. Drain your bacon on a paper towel lined plate.
  3. As your bacon is working in the pan, you can also get your dressing ready. In a large mixing bowl that you can fit your potatoes in later, whisk together the sour cream, mayo, salt, pepper, garlic powder and chopped green onions. If you wanted to sneak in a dash of cayenne here, I wouldn't complain.
  4. Once your potatoes are drained, add them to the sour cream mixture along with your bacon pieces. Give everything a gentle fold to coat all everything in the dressing. The dressing will get thinned out from the heat from the potatoes, but don't worry, it will all come back together in the fridge. Put some plastic wrap or a lid on your bowl, and stash it in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours.
  5. Before serving, stir in the shredded cheddar. Serve cold next to your favorite burgers and hot dogs.
Adapted from No Ordinary Moments
How to be Awesome on $20 a day

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