Photo by Morgan Grana.

This week brought monumental changes not only to my life in general, but also to my cooking situation. I moved from a large house into a garage, from living with six girls to living by myself, and from having a giant kitchen to having two fryers and a microwave.

Yes, I’m taking the next step, the step from college partying to college studying, from college dining to — well, I guess more college dining. That’s a phase I won’t be outgrowing for a while still.

It’s great, but believe me: Living in a garage does have its downsides. First of all, I spent the first few days of my new life buying bait traps and Raid to rid my “kitchen” of ants (yet to be fully accomplished). I’m also lacking an oven, and it gets so cold at night that I can leave my frozen food out on the counter and break my teeth trying to bite into it the next morning.

To me, these are merely minor setbacks on the road to freedom. Laugh at my situation if you will, but joke’s on you, because I’m still cooking up delicious meals for a cheap price — and doing it without having to worry that my vegetable oil will be mistaken for someone else’s and be gone by dinnertime. Thank you, roommate-less garage.

To celebrate my new arrival, I broke my kitchen in with an old favorite: gnocchi. It’s really simple to make, good to eat fresh, and sounds much fancier than just saying pasta.

Gnocchi is great, because it doesn’t take many ingredients to make the dough, and takes relatively little time to procure. I cheated a little and used instant potato flakes, but they taste just as good as the real stuff. You mix the flakes with boiling water, and then you add an egg and a lot of flour. After that, you knead the dough for a little bit, cut it into bite-sized pieces and boil them for a couple minutes. Top that off with some sauce, and you’re done! It’s that easy.

Besides being easy, it’s very inexpensive and highly nutritious. A lot goes a long way, so you can save your ingredients for later or to use in another meal. It’s a really great cost-saving dish. Potatoes are very filling, as you’ll know if you read my potato blog from a few weeks back, and they’re a good staple food to any good diet.

The smell of gnocchi filled my tiny space in the world for a fleeting minute this past week, spilling out the windows and helping create what my boyfriend calls the “chi” of my little garage. There will be many more meals to come, turning the awful smell of Raid into the sweet smell of home.

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See the recipe here: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Quick-Gnocchi/Detail.aspx