Avocado Gnocchi Recipe featuring Mother-Daughter Collaboration
The bond between a mother and daughter is special, but especially special when they share a love for creativity. Today, we share a unique 'styled shoot' designed by 11-year-old Nainika with an Avocado Gnocchi recipe (she created herself) and all captured by her mother Karthika of Memorable Jaunts.
We asked the mother-daughter collaborators a few questions below. You can find Nainika's Avocado Gnocchi recipe below!
Meet the Cook & Stylist, Nainika
How often do you cook? And what do you enjoy most about putting a recipe together?
I cook about 4-5 times a month. I really enjoy mixing all the ingredients in a recipe the most. It is a lot of fun to see how they all combine and come together in the end.
What elements of this recipe are your favorite? Are there flavors you really like or steps that are fun to you, and if so, why?
I really like avocados so I wanted to make something using that. When I researched what all you can make with avocados, I came across a recipe for spinach gnocchi that looked interesting. I asked my mom if I could use avocado in the recipe and she asked me to try it and see how it would turn out. I really enjoyed experimenting with these new flavors.
For me, gathering all the ingredients and mixing them step by step is a lot of fun. My mom lets me get messy sometimes so I like that. Plus you can really see how everything comes together. I also like lemons because of the tanginess they give to a recipe. Vanilla extract is another favorite because of its sweet smell. I also like mint leaves because of their smell and taste.
What are some other things you love to cook? What are your favorite kinds of foods to make?
I like to make mashed potatoes with garlic, rice flour noodles, pound cake and cookies - a mix of some Indian foods and some American foods.
Does your family enjoy your cooking? What do they love?
My family really enjoys it when I cook. My dad loves the effort I put in making the food. He says I cook better than my mom, she does not enjoy cooking as much as I do so I like teasing her about it.
You did a great job styling everything! What inspires you most when you style or set the table? What do you think about or what elements do you love to use and why?
When I style or set the table for dinner, I get inspired by neatness and creativity. I think about being different every time because otherwise, it gets boring. My mom lets me use all her dishes and cutlery, so I try to experiment with different colors and patterns.
Meet the Photographer, Karthika
Tell me about the creative relationship between you and your daughter. I love seeing you two sharing this together—what other creative things do you like to do together?
My daughter is my absolute pride and joy. I come from a very creative family—my own mother loved to paint and draw with oils and my sister is very creative with quilting, knitting, and crochet. Even my mother-in-law is an incredible cook. I somehow always felt like the creative bug skipped me, so it makes me incredibly happy to see Nainika’s effortless creativity. She is always drawing, and coloring and her desk is very neatly organized. She is a good photographer too for her age. Early on, she expressed a lot of interest when she saw me with my camera. So I taught her some of the basics and enjoy going on photography excursions with her. She has my older camera and totally rocks it!
How would you describe your daughter's style? What do you think influences her most?
My daughter’s style has a very real world charm to it. I think its a mix of her age and her innocence. Being Indian but growing up in a western culture she effortlessly infuses the best of both worlds because both cultures are a huge part of who she is. She isn't afraid of bold colors but infuses a certain simplicity and grace in all that she does so it appears very natural to her and everyone around her.
How would you describe your style?
Growing up in Bombay, India, I have always been surrounded by all things bright, colorful and loud my whole life. Interestingly enough, now I find myself drawn to more of the quiet, subtle and softer aspects of life - muted colors, earthy tones and natural textures. I feel more grounded when I let go and trust in the natural flow of things to see how they turn out.
Why do you think it's important to document moments like this? For readers who may not consider themselves creatives or photographers, what advice would have you for them to cultivate a more creative-friendly home and document moments like this with their children?
I recently lost my mother to cancer, and the one thing that I keep going back to are photographs from my time with her over the years. I love looking at them and thinking of all the great adventures we have had together.
I have a lot of photographs because as a photographer, that is what comes really naturally to me but that does not have to be the medium of choice for everyone. The truth of the matter is that life does pass us by so quickly and more often than not, at the end of the day, we are only left with the memories that we document.
You really don't need to be creative to be more mindful or be more present with your children. Sometimes just truly being with them, a hundred percent in mind, body, and soul, in a space of their choosing, is more than enough. My daughter and I share a lot of laughs when we cook together - or rather as she likes to point out, she cooks, and I clean. This is our time and something I will cherish for all eternity, just like the weekly grocery shopping trips my mom and I used to take while I was growing up - it might seem mundane to some, but it is priceless to me
Avocado Gnocchi Recipe
(makes enough for 2-3 people)
1 cup all-purpose flour
and a few teaspoons of flour for dusting
1 ripe avocado
1/2 boiled potato as a binding agent
1. Place all-purpose flour into a deep dish bowl and make a center well.
2. Boil potato and mash coarsely.
3. Add the egg, mashed potato, and avocado in the center of the flour well and start combining the flour from the sides into the center of the well.
4. Once the mix has started to combine roughly, kneed gently by hand, folding to make a ball.
5. If mixture starts becoming sticky, dust a little flour into the dough and combine to form a soft, yet firm dough.
6. Let dough rest 10-15 minutes.
7. Bring a large pot of water to boil and generously salt the water.
8. Divide the dough into smaller balls that are easy to handle and roll out rested dough into thin long rolls.
9. Cut rolls into small long pieces using a blunt knife.
10. Cook the gnocchi in the boiling water for a few minutes until the gnocchi rises to the surface.
11. Drain the water and serve with a side of pesto. Garnish with parmesan cheese if required.