January 2012 Archives
Ruby Engreitz was named one of CollegeSports360's Primetime Performers of the Week (one of 16 honorees). Four of these athletes were also named Primetime Pacesetters of the Week and Engreitz also received this honor. Check out the following link to see the entire story:
Here is the official statement from the Women's Professional Soccer League:
"Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) announced today that its Board of Governors has voted to suspend the 2012 season to permit the League to focus on the resolution of certain pending legal issues and the challenges that now face the League as a result of its ongoing dispute with a former owner.
"We are proud of what the League has accomplished in the first three seasons, but we do recognize the necessity to resolve our existing legal and operational issues so that we can continue to support and grow WPS the right way," said Sky Blue FC Owner Thomas Hofstetter. "This was a very difficult decision, but one we as owners feel is the best business decision for the League at this time."
The Board voted on Monday morning to suspend the 2012 season. Over the last year the league has faced significant challenges, including a lengthy and expensive legal battle with a former owner. The litigation has diverted resources from investment in the league and has forced the Board to take action, suspending the 2012 season in order to address the legal issues head-on before moving forward with competition.
"We firmly believe there is a place in the global sports landscape for Women's Professional Soccer," said WPS CEO Jennifer O'Sullivan. "Making the decision to suspend the 2012 season was a difficult and painful one, but it is necessary to take the time to address current issues and solidify our business in order to provide appropriate support needed to achieve the League's long-term goals. Those that take part in our League - players, partners and fans - deserve the best, and that is what we are taking the time to ensure we deliver when we resume play in 2013 and beyond."
WPS has established its plans to return to play in 2013, and all five owners of the League's existing teams - Atlanta Beat, Boston Breakers, Philadelphia Independence, Sky Blue FC and Western New York Flash - will remain active with the CEO, Jennifer O'Sullivan, in the governance of WPS throughout the current year."We are deeply grateful to our fans and partners for the tremendous support they have shown for WPS, our players and the sport," added O'Sullivan. "With our supporters and athletes in mind, we are committed to complete the hard work necessary to resume play in 2013 and reestablish WPS as the premiere women's professional soccer league in the world.""
Check out this feature story about the Gym Dawgs from the Seattle Times, as they host No. 1 UCLA at Alaska Airlines at 7 p.m.
Two members of last season's Husky baseball senior class have been enjoying the "winter" by playing for the Perth Heat in the Australian Baseball League. With the southern hemisphere's summer moving along, Jacob Clem and Geoff Brown are a part of a Perth squad that begins the playoffs today as the top-seeded team.
Clem recently made headlines with a remarkable relief outing in a 15-inning victory for the Heat. In the same manner as he was known to do it for the Huskies, Clem went seven innings in relief, allowing just two hits, before a teammate's homer in the 15th delivered the victory.
Meanwhile, Brown, the Huskies' all-time pitching appearances leader, posted a sparkling 5-0 record and 1.88 ERA for the Heat, who finished the regular season 34-11.
Perth hosts Melbourne in the first round of the playoffs while in the other semifinal series, Sydney takes on Adelaide.
Here are a few links:
ABL Playoff Schedule
First year assistant coach and former Olympian Elise Ray has been featured in the UW Daily. Read the entire story here:
Two former Husky soccer standouts are one win away from earning berths to the 2012 London Olympics.
Starting goalkeeper Hope Solo and the U.S. Women's National Team defeated Mexico 4-0 Tuesday night to win group stage and will face Costa Rica on Friday, Jan. 27 at 5 pm PT.
Veronica Perez and the Mexican Women's National Team finished second in group play and will face Canada in the other semifinal match-up on Friday at 8 pm PT. The two semifinal winners will be guaranteed a spot in the 2012 London Olympics.
Here's a full recap of the US-Mexico match: http://www.ussoccer.com/News/Womens-National-Team/2012/01/US-Defeats-Mexico.aspx
Former Husky standout Hope Solo claimed two awards in the 2011 Best of U.S. Soccer Awards. Out of her three individual nominations, she earned Best Performance: Player for her unforgettable performance against Brazil in the Women's World Cup back in July and Best Off-The-Field Moment with her run on the ABC show 'Dancing with the Stars.' Along with her individual honors, Solo and her USWNT teammates won a total of seven out of the 11 awards.
If only I could have cross country skied and snowshoed to work last week. That would have been fun. Instead, I was left trudging 3.5 miles through the snow because I felt it would be lazy to take the bus. I finally gave in to public transportation on day number 3 as my Achilles was getting sore, and I started to worry that all this extra walking on top of my running was going to give me an injury. Needless to say, I said goodbye to the indoor treadmill one day too early and was treated to a nicely bruised and scraped leg after I fell on a thick sheet of ice. Now here comes the rain again. I love the rain.
This ravioli is a tasty but quick and simple dish, making it perfect for a weekday dinner. It creates a great medium through which to consume a large amount of spinach without feeling like you're eating a salad. While making pesto sounds difficult and extravagant, it's actually easier than a basic marinara sauce; throw the ingredients into the food processor and you're done!
Spinach contains large amounts of Vitamins A, C, E and K, in addition to being high in magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, and surprisingly, omega-3 fatty acids. While buying bunches of spinach may be cheaper, pre-packaged baby spinach is incredibly convenient and much more likely to encourage you to consume it. When you see it on sale, buy some and put it to good use.
Tomatoes: Vegetable or fruit? Because of the way a tomato grows (It holds the seeds of the plant), it is technically a fruit. However, in cooking, fruits are generally used for their sweetness. Because the tomato has savory properties, it is typically viewed as vegetable. Your tomatoes come pre-packaged with healthy doses of lycopene, potassium, and Vitamins A, C and E. By combining tomatoes with oil (such as in this pesto), you significantly increase the amount of lycopene that your body absorbs from the tomato. Lycopene has been well studied and shown to decrease the risk of certain cancers and heart disease.
Your choice of ravioli will have an impact on the protein content of your meal. Goat cheese ravioli is recommended as it pairs well with the sundried tomatoes. However, meat ravioli will increase the protein content and make this a great weekday meal for workout recovery. As an aside, if you haven't already tried butternut squash ravioli, you must do so. Now.
Red Pesto Ravioli
Adapted from 101cookbooks.com
· 1 pound fresh cheese (or other) raviolis
· 12 plump chewy sundried tomatoes (about 12), not packed in oil
· 2 medium cloves garlic
· A couple of large pinches of red pepper flakes
· 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
· 1 tsp fresh thyme (use 1/3 tsp if you use dried)
· 1/8 tsp salt
· ¼ cup walnuts or pine nuts, lightly toasted*
· 3+ handfuls of baby spinach tossed with about 1 tbsp olive oil and a big pinch of salt (oil and salt are optional, as I felt they were unnecessary due to the oil already in the pesto)
· 2/3 cup oven roasted cherry tomatoes (optional)**
· Crumbled goat cheese (This can be pricey, and may not be necessary with the cheese already in the ravioli. If you have some parmesan hanging around already, it would make a good substitute.)
*To toast walnuts: Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Toast walnuts, stirring frequently, for 5-10 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant.
**To roast cherry tomatoes: Heat oven to 350F. Cut tomatoes in half and arrange in a large oven-proof baking dish. Mix together a big splash of olive oil, a spoonful of brown sugar, and a few pinches of salt. Pour over the tomatoes. Toss to coat and arrange cut-side up. Bake for about 45 minutes or until they are shrunken and sweet.
Cook ravioli according to package directions. Reserve about one cup of the cooking liquid.
While the ravioli is cooking, combine the sundried tomatoes, garlic, red pepper flakes, olive oil, thyme and salt in a food processor. Process enough until it's broken down and crumbly, but not completely smooth. Add in the toasted walnuts and process a short while longer.
In a large bowl, pour ½ cup of the pasta water and stir in 2/3 of the pesto. Add the raviolis and toss gently. Taste and add more of the pesto and water as desired for taste and consistency of the sauce (I used all of the pesto and did not add anymore water.).
Place spinach on a large plate and top with ravioli, roasted cherry tomatoes and goat cheese.
If you haven't seen it already, it's worth taking a few minutes to watch the recent King5 special on Seattle Christian's Katie Collier, a 6-3 forward who has signed a Letter Of Intent to play basketball for Kevin McGuff at Washington.
Before the season, Collier was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia and has been undergoing treatments at UW Medical Center. But that hasn't dampened Collier's incandescent personality, or her drive to have a terrific senior year at Seattle Christian.
Right now, Collier is attempting the unthinkable - undergoing chemotherapy treatments while playing basketball.
"I would feel so much worse if I wasn't playing," Collier told King5's Chris Egan.
Collier is part of the 2012-13 incoming class at Washington, McGuff's first full recruiting class as the new leader of the program.
Check out this post-practice interview with RS sophomore infielder Hooch Fagaly.
-Sir Rannulph Fiennes
And winter continues. Any fun (my definition may be slightly different than yours) activities are likely to be in cold rainy or snowy weather over the next few months. So you are left with 2 choices: Stay inside or suck it up and dress warmly. The only catch with this is that good clothing and gear is always pricey. So while I'm sporting my $35 mittens skiing, I long for the expensive goretex version in the store. But there are few better feelings than coming inside from the cold, tired and wet from sweating, and enjoying a nice big helping of butternut squash casserole. Packed with carbs and protein, it makes for a good dinner after a hard afternoon workout.
The spinach in this casserole delivers lots of antioxidants as well as Vitamins A, C, E and K. However, it doesn't stop there as it also contains high levels of iron, folate and calcium. The list of nutrients in spinach so huge, I'm not even going to name them all. It's with good reason that this is called a Super food. Butternut squash is packed with Vitamins A and C as well as fiber. It also contains some iron and calcium. The cheese in this recipe substantially increases the calcium. Pumpkin seeds are high in manganese (protects against infections), tryptophan, glutamate (decreases stress and anxiety), magnesium, phosphorous, copper, protein, zinc and iron. If you're asking yourself how all this calcium interacts to affect the iron absorption, you may be asking too many questions rather than just enjoying this tasty dish.
Butternut Squash Casserole
Adapted from eatmedelicous.com who adapted in from Ezra Pound Cake who adapted it from The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook
This recipe was lacking a source of protein (aside from the pumpkin seeds), so I put on my thinking cap to figure out what would mix in well with the squash. While I decided on Morningstar Farms Soy Sausages (or as we like to call them, soysages) and chicken sausage, I'd probably recommend leaving the chicken sausage out next time. Other options you could try are shredded chicken (possibly from a pre-cooked roasted chicken), ground meat (turkey, beef, etc), or tempeh (cut small). If you do use raw meat, make sure that you fully cook or brown it prior to adding it to the casserole. I'm still wrestling with whether or not tofu would work in this recipe, so if you feel adventurous, try adding either extra firm tofu, crumbled and lightly browned before you mix it in, or silken tofu mixed into the pot as the same time as the squash.
· 3 ½ pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into ¾ inch pieces (about 6 cups)
· 2 tbsp unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
· 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
· 2 large yellow onions, trimmed, peeled and chopped (about 3 cups)
· 1 cup milk
· 2 large eggs, beaten
· 1 tsp dried thyme
· 1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
· ½ tsp salt
· ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
· ¼ cup pumpkin seeds or pecans, toasted
· 2 cups coarsely grated cheddar cheese, about 6 ounces
· 1 bunch of spinach, washed (add to the same water as the squash during the last minute of boiling)
· 6 (1 package) Morningstar Farms Soy Sausages (bring to about room temperature and cut into really small pieces)
Preheat oven to 375F.
Wash spinach in sink and remove stems if you haven't already done so.
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the squash to the water, return to a boil, and cook for 6 minutes, remembering to add the spinach during the last minute. The squash will turn a deep orange. Drain and set aside.
Melt the butter in the large pot and add the oil. Add the onions and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent and limp, about 8 minutes, stirring to prevent browning. Add the warm squash and spinach and the milk, eggs, thyme, bread crumbs, salt pepper, 1/8 cup pumpkin seeds (or pecans), 1 1/3 cups cheese and soy sausages. Blend with a wooden spoon or spatula until the ingredients are well combined.
Former Husky All-American goalkeeper Hope Solo has been nominated for her individual game performances in the "Best Of U.S. Soccer" 2011 awards. Solo's categories include:
Best Performance: Player
Female Athlete of the Year
Best Off-The-Field Moment
Voting ends on Friday, January 13. Cast your vote on the U.S. Soccer page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/officialussoccer?sk=app_153503621416056
Diverting from the typical barrage of holiday baking treats, I ventured forth with marshmallows, lentil cookies, and then the more tame gingerbread cookies. I procrastinated on making marshmallows for maybe 2 years, as they seemed to intimidate me. How was something I made supposed to turn into marshmallow? But somehow it does, and quite easily. It was like food science. And when I followed up my marshmallow creations by reading my book on black holes, I started thinking, 'Who makes marshmallows and then reads about quantum mechanics?' Strangely, if I wasn't an athletic trainer, I'd probably be a cook/baker or a theoretical physicist. There's food for thought.
Except for trying to get friends and family to buy into the idea that lentil cookies actually taste good, my holidays were fairly tame. I did manage to get out skiing to Cypress and Stevens Pass to further enhance my snow bunny status, as well as hike Lake 22. The Lake 22 trail takes you up to a lake (makes sense), with mountains surrounding it.
However, what it's known for are its avalanches. While this isn't the best time of the year for them (spring), if you take a walk around the lake, carefully listen for the cracking sound of an avalanche, and then search around to see if you can find it. Seeing and hearing avalanches in person (at a safe distance), is something to experience.
Lentils are incredibly high in protein and thus serve as a staple of vegetarian diets. Each serving packs a hefty 26 grams of protein as well as fiber, folate, Vitamin B1 and iron. Canada exports the most lentils of any country in the world, and in particular, the province of Saskatchewan. In fact, I have relatives who are lentil farmers in Saskatchewan! Here in the United States, the Palouse actually accounts for the greatest lentil production.
Adapted from Alton Brown
To answer your first question: "Yes, you can make these at home!" And by "you" I actually mean you, not just me. They're even easier than making muffins. If you can read a thermometer and follow basic directions, you can make marshmallows. And while they have absolutely no nutritional value whatsoever (yeah sugar!), they are easily customizable depending on your desired flavor.
Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with ½ cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment ready.
In a small saucepan combine the remaining ½ cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes (do not stir). Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.
Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high.
Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm (feel the bowl), approximately 12 to 15 minutes.
Add the vanilla extract during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping, prepare the pan as follows.
Combine the powdered sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 9 by 13 inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan (if you're like me, you will make quite a mess). Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.
When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight.
Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch (or larger if desired) squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the powdered sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
For Peppermint Marshmallows
Substitute ¾ tsp peppermint extract for the vanilla extract. Can also add 4-5 drops of red food coloring after spreading marshmallow into pan. Use a toothpick to swirl it into the marshmallows.
For Strawberry Marshmallows
Add ½ cup strawberry puree (Cook fresh or frozen strawberries in a saucepan until broken down and thickened and puree in a blender, food processor or magic bullet. Return to room temperature before using.) to marshmallow during the last 2 minutes of beating. Do not add the vanilla.
Adapted from Alton Brown
Lentils need a more exciting name. I think it's the boring word that's holding these back from shining in the majority of people's diets. They're not only cheap, but packed with protein, easy to cook, and highly versatile. The lentils in these cookies are cooked and pureed, so you would never know they're in there. However, it gives a tasty treat an extra protein punch and would make a good post workout snack. After having success with these, I'm now searching for further mediums in which to sneak them into foods. I've discovered that the best way to get people to try my "creations" is to detail the ingredients after they've tasted them.
Cook's Note: If desired, a quarter of the whole-wheat flour can be substituted with lentil flour for a denser, stronger flavored cookie.
Preheat oven to 375 F.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and allspice.
In the bowl of a stand-mixer with a whisk attachment, cream together the sugar and butter on medium speed.
Add the egg and mix until just incorporated. Add the vanilla and lentil puree and mix until combined. Add the flour mixture and blend on low speed until just combined.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the oats, dried fruit and coconut.
Bake for 15 to 17 minutes.
In a small pot over medium heat, combine the lentils and the water. Bring to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Remove from the heat and puree. If using immediately, let cool. The puree can be stored n the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days or in the freezer for 2 to 3 months.
I made these to give out for the UW Women's Cross Country before their trip to Nationals. Somehow, I managed to lose this recipe between the car and the grocery store. Luckily I had already made the dough (but not baked it), but still was searching for a good icing recipe while I was in the store. Fatigue took hold and I have to admit that I bought the icing. It pains me to say that. And while I think I can hold my own in the kitchen, a cookie decorator I am not. These are alternate gingerbread and icing recipes that I found and look even better than the ones I used.
· 4 cups white whole wheat flour
· ¾ tsp baking soda
· 1 tsp salt
· 4 tsp ground ginger
· 1 tsp ground cloves
· 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
· ½ tsp finely ground black pepper
· 11 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
· 2/3 cup dark natural cane sugar (i.e. muscavado), or alternately use a dark brown sugar, packed
· 3 large eggs
· 2/3 cup unsulfured molasses (blackstrap)
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Set aside.
Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured countertop roughly 1/8-inch thick and cut into gingerbread men (or other desired shapes). Transfer to baking sheets and bake for 7-10 minutes (will depend on the size of your cookies.
Makes about 3 dozen four-inch gingerbread men.
Visit the Joy of Baking website for a great explanation of royal icing. There are some techniques for making it and getting the right consistency. Or you could be like me and just buy it pre-made. There are 2 ways to make it: With egg whites or meringue powder. While meringue powder is harder to locate, some people favor it due to the risks associated with using raw eggs. Here is the recipe if you use egg whites. Visit the website for the meringue version.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with the lemon juice until combined. Add the sifted powdered sugar and beat on low speed until combined and smooth. (The right consistency to cover or "flood" sugar cookies is when you lift the beater, the ribbon of icing that falls back into the bowl remains on the surface for a few seconds before disappearing. Another test is to take a cookie and place a small amount of icing in the center of the cookie. Using a small knife, push the icing to the edge of the cookie. If the icing runs off the edge, thicken the icing by adding a little more powdered sugar. Conversely, if the icing is too thick, add a little water.) The icing needs to be used immediately or transferred to an airtight container as royal icing hardens when exposed to air. Cover with plastic wrap when not in use.
To make icing that is thicker and is good for creating the border of the cookie, one egg white and 2 cups of powdered sugar are used. See the Joy of Baking site for further directions.
Check out this highlight video from UW's first meet (and first win!) of the 2012 season at MSU!
My TV has stopped working. Well, sort of. When you try to turn it on, instead of changing from red to green, the light just blinks green. Then there's nothing you can do but wait for it to go back to red, and then the faster you can push the "on" button, the more likely you are to be able to get it to actually turn on. Or else it just blinks. Again. And again. I call it the blinky. So I go home after work and stare at the blinky, hoping it will turn to red. It's sad. I know. But you'd stare at the blinky too. You know you would.
So with nothing to do at home but stare at the blinky, the last 4 weekends have taken me to Indiana for the NCAA Cross Country Championships (UW women placed 2nd!), Calgary for a running gait analysis course, and then Arizona and Whistler for vacation. With our trusty rental car, we drove a fair portion of southern and central Arizona, racking up the miles in 2 days. We even drove through a snow storm about 90 minutes southwest of Tucson while we were driving up a mountain to Kitt Peak National Observatory. We almost turned back and barely made it to the top, so we only stayed long enough to run into the gift shop and run back out to the car as the snow was accumulating and the trusty rental car wasn't exactly equipped for those driving conditions. In fact, we spent so much time driving and trying to see things over the 2 days that were way too far apart, that we rarely had time to eat. A box of crackers in the car served as our main sustenance. On the second day we visited the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture and drove part of the Apache Trail, located about 45 miles east of Phoenix. If you're ever in the area and aren't nervous about driving over scary mountain roads (They eventually turned to dirt, so we turned around. See: Trusty rental car not equipped for snow OR off-road treacherous mountain driving), the scenery is absolutely amazing. In 2 days, we saw sites I never knew existed from my previous visits to Phoenix and Tucson.
And then there was Whistler. Because we beat the prime tourist season, we seemed to have most of the mountain to ourselves. No lines. No waits. Just snow and more unbelievable sites. After maybe 14 years of being away from skiing, it only took a few hours for me to feel like I never left, and I discovered an enjoyment of skiing that I don't remember having when I was younger.
And now we come to the gnocchi. All thanks to Metropolitan Market, who saved the day again with European cultured butter and gray salt. (If you want to make this and need some gray salt, feel free to have some of mine.) I've made this recipe twice now - or 3 times if you count the burnt butter sage mess. Yes, you heard right, we burnt the butter mixture to a blackened disgusting mess.
And I almost mixed it into the gnocci and squash anyways since we were already running late to Thanksgiving dinner. Luckily, my wonderful photographer ran out and replaced the butter and sage so everyone didn't have to pretend to make yummy noises. So there's a lesson here: Don't rush the butter. It will burn quickly. And have everything ready before you start to melt the butter. To make this recipe even more exciting, I had never seen gnocchi (even in pictures) or tasted it before. So visualizing what it was supposed to look like was interesting.
Adapted from foodnetwork.com, Michael Chiarello
With store-bought gnocchi, this recipe becomes much simpler, so feel free to go that route. However, these light and fluffy gnocchi will be hard to resist. Once you go homemade gnocchi, you can't go back. Plus, if you can make a bunch at one time and freeze them, they cook quickly in boiling water. You will need a box grater or potato ricer for this recipe as well as a fan.
1 pound russet potatoes
3-4 large egg yolks
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan (I used the packaged kind)
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
½ tsp gray salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting board and dough
Preheat oven to 425F.
Spread a layer of kosher salt on a baking sheet and arrange the potatoes on top (You can save this salt for later use as well). Bake until a bit overcooked, about 45-50 mins. Let sit until cool enough to handle, cut in half, and scoop out the flesh. Reserve the potato skins, if desired, for another use.
Pass the potatoes through a potato ricer or grate them on the large holes of a box grater. You should have about 2 cups. Make a mound of potatoes on the counter with a well in the middle, add 3 of the egg yolks, the cheese, nutmeg, salt, and pepper (I mixed all this in a bowl together beforehand while the potatoes were baking).
Mix in the potatoes and mix well with hands.
Sprinkle ½ cup of the flour over the potatoes and, using your knuckles, press it into the potatoes. Fold the mass over on itseld and press down again. Sprinkle on more flour, little by little, folding and pressing the dough until it just holds together, (try not to knead it).
Work any dough clinging to your fingers back into the dough. If the mixture is too dry, add another egg yolk or a little water. The dough should give under slight pressure. It will feel firm but yielding. To test if the dough is the correct consisteny, take a piece and roll it with your hands on a well-floured board into a rope ½-inch in diameter. If the dough holds together, it is ready. If not, add more flour, fold and press the dough several more times, and test again.
Keeping your work surface and the dough lightly floured, cut the dough into 4 pieces (I preferred 8 as my counter length posed an obstacle). Roll each piece into a rope about ½-inch in diameter (if you have too much flour, the dough won't roll well). Cut into ½-inch long pieces. Lightly flour the gnocchi as you cut them. You can cook these as is or form them into the classic gnocchi shape with a gnocchi board, ridged butter paddle, or the tines of a large fork turned upside down. The indentation on the gnocchi holds the sauce and helps it cook faster.
As you shape the gnocchi, dust them lightly with flour and scatter them on baking sheets lined with parchment or waxed paper. Set gnocchi filled cookie sheet in front of a fan on low for ½ hours (turning gnocchi after 15 minutes).
This will help remove some of the moisture and make them lighter. If you will not cook the gnocchi until the next day or later, freeze them. (Place cookie sheets in the freezer for ½ hour and then transfer gnocchi to a large plastic bag and put back in the freezer for up to 1 month.) Or you can poach them now, drain and toss with a little olive oil, let cool, then refrigerate for several hours or overnight. To reheat, dip in hot water for 10-15 seconds, then toss with browned butter until hot (or put into following recipe).
When ready to cook, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Drop in the gnocchi and cook for about 90 seconds from the time they rise to the surface (check to make sure none are sticking to the bottom). Remove the cooked gnocchi with a skimmer or slotted spoon, shake off the excess water, and serve as desired (or add to the following recipe).
Browned Butter Gnocchi and Butternut Squash in a Pumpkin Pie Spiced Balsamic Reduction
Adapted from Sigona's Farmers Market
1 package gnocchi (or recipe from above)
½ of one butternut squash, peeled and cubed
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
4 oz European Style Unsalted Butter
½ cup toasted walnut pieces (or toasted hazelnut pieces), optional
1/3 cup sliced fresh sage leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup Sigona's Pumpkin Pie Spiced Aged Golden Balsamic (can substitute pear, honey or other balsamic since this one is difficult to aquire)
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
Preheat oven to 350F. Place cubed butternut squash on a rimmed baking sheet (on foil for easy cleanup), drizzle (not pour) with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and gently toss to coat evenly. Roast squash for 25-30 minutes or until tender (depends on how big your cubes are). Cook gnocchi according to package (or previous recipe) directions. Drain and set aside.
Note: The walnuts or hazelnuts should already be toasted at this point, if using. Only start the next step after the squash and gnocchi have finished cooking.
Place the cold butter in a medium skillet preheated over medium heat. (Slice/chop sage while butter is cooking if you have not already done so.) Do not swirl or move around. Once the butter has melted and has begun to turn brown around the edges, add the sage and salt and pepper to taste (who's going to taste the hot melted butter? Add how much you think is appropriate.). When the sage begins to give off its aroma and slightly crisps up (this takes about 30 seconds), add the nuts and cook for one minute.
Add the drained gnocchi and butternut squash. Stir gently to mix and reduce heat to medium-low to keep warm.
Heat a small sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the pumpkin pie spiced balsamic.
Stir and cook to reduce the balsamic until it becomes a bit thicker, about 3 minutes. Pour over the gnocchi mixture and stir to mix. Transfer the gnocchi mixture to a platter and top with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Washington's Nikia Williams has been honored as a College Sports Madness Preseason Softball First Team All-American. The following are several of the other national preseason honors.
Coach of the Year: Clint Myers, Arizona State
Field Player of the Year: Katelyn Boyd, Arizona State
Pitcher of the Year: Jolene Henderson, California
Freshman of the Year: Lauren Haeger, Florida
To see the complete College Sports Madness National Preseason Softball Awards, visit this link. Conference awards will be announced over the next two weeks.
In addition to projecting the Softball players who will have the biggest impact in the sport, The Madness is counting down the Top 44 Softball Teams teams with in-depth previews. They are predicting the NCAA Softball World Series bracket as teams are previewed. Their coverage also includes key draft eligible player profiles and recruits rankings. Each team and conference has its own page that consolidates all of this information and makes it easy for fans to see information across all sports.
Former Husky standout Tina Ellertson (formerly Frimpong) recently talked about her family and professional life on espnw.com.
The Vancouver, Wash. native played with the Huskies from 2001-2004 and was named Pac-10 Co-Player of the Year in 2003 and Pac-10 Player of the Year in 2004. As a forward, she completed her career as Washington's all-time leader in goals (43) and points (99) and led the 2004 Husky team to the Elite 8 of the NCAA tournament after a 17-5-1 record.
Check out the story here: http://espn.go.com/espnw/more-sports/7376205/tina-ellertson-combines-family-soccer
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