Friday, September 28, 2007

The sacrifice of being a parent

My boys can drive me to the brink of insanity. They can melt my heart with a kiss. They can torture me with loud music and dirty clothes. They can make me laugh with their funny ways.
How can I let them grow? Now in middle school, its time for me to let them stretch their legs a bit. Let them go off by themselves to the movies, or the skate park. How?? I want to keep them under my wing forever and protect them. I'm scared for them in this world we live in today. How things have changed...I suppose all parents including my own have said this. But I hope that I have given and continue to give them the right tools to do the right thing. I thank God each day that I am home to be with them, and to guide them.
I see so many children in trouble. Rebels without a cause. What are they fighting for? Freedom? From what? Their parents? Or fighting because they have too much freedom? Where is Mom and Dad?? Working. Who meets them at the door after school? No one. A quiet and empty house. Growing up too fast. Learning lifes lessons to soon. I wish I could hug those children. When was the last time you really hugged your child? When was the last time you looked them in the eye and told them "I love you."?
I mourn the loss of family. And although those values are still intact in my home, I'm sad for the homes that family isn't valued. I feel for the children that have to grow up in daycare. Nothing replaces Mom. Nothing replaces walking through the door after school and smelling cookies. Nothing.
So many parents say that they "Have" to have two incomes. Really? I don't believe it. What they "have" to have is the big screen tv, the brand new cars, the huge mortgage on their huge home, the trips, the fancy clothes and the fancy toys...
Sacrifice. Its what we do the day we become parents. Its going without so you can be there for your children when they need you. Look at society. Its a mess. Its falling apart. No one eats together as a family anymore. No one sits and plays with their children. No one cares. Everyone is in such a hurry that before they know it, its over. Your children are grown.
Not mine. My boys will be forever young in my eyes. They will always be able to come home and find the smell of cookies, or something cooking when they walk in the door. They will remember their childhood as a care-free time when innocence was protected. They will remember being at the kitchen table for dinner every night. Laughter, family, food, fun, and warmth.
We have become such a spoiled nation. We are supposed to be adults, but there are so many selfish, spoiled people now. When did this happen. When did we care more about the car were driving than our children? When did owning the biggest house become so important? What happened to this country? And the biggest question, is how can we change it? What needs to happen?
The only answers I have, are to look at your children. This is the future. What are we doing to them? What morals, and values are we teaching them? Are you able to sleep at night, knowing that no matter what, your child will do the right thing?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

New York, booze and San Gennaro

What a wonderful trip to New York City we had this past weekend!! So much to do and so much to see!! I get there about twice a year and still love it every time!! The energy, the shopping, the sights, the people, the food...whats not to love??

My weekend started on Friday. We flew into JFK and got to our hotel. I stayed at the Marriott in the financial district..very nice hotel, we stayed on the top floor (38th) and had an incredible view.

Of course we were starving when we got there and all I wanted to do was EAT!! So my first little snack was a lobster cocktail!! YUM

That night we went to Little Italy for the San Gennaro Feast and to have dinner. Dinner at Il Cortile was incredible as it always is...I have no pictures of the food or restaurant because I was too busy eating and drinking! After dinner we walked around the feast and drank some wine, ate some more food and called it an early night..about 2am!!

Then on Saturday I got to meet TIFFANY!!! Tiffany belongs to the same online club as I and she lives on Long Island. So of course we decided to meet up. We went to brunch at Bobby Flays joint and had a blast. This girl just cracked me up all day..what a sweetheart!!! She took my cousin and I shopping after brunch and we had a lot of laughs and a lot of fun. I can't wait to hook up with her again!!!

The rest of the weekend was a whirlwind..we went to Brooklyn for dinner at Bamontes, and friends picked us up and took us to Staten Island to a club afterwards...a lot of fun and drinks there...we didn't get back to our hotel till 6am!!

After that night, Sunday was a little tough..we were exhausted. But we ventured on. Most of the day was spent at the San Gennaro feast in Little Italy where we made our way through every sausage stand. Of course we had our cannoli and espresso at Ferraras...yum yum yum
I am exhausted all over again just posting all of this!! There is so much to tell but I think I'll save it for my next blog. I think that Ground Zero deserves its own space here. And the tone is much different. What an emotional place.
But for now I am going to leave you with this NY teaser...if you have never been to NY you have to go. I know I'll be back there this holiday season and I can't wait!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 6, 2007


Its 3:45 pm. I have just picked up youngest son from school. "Whats for dinner tonight?" he asks me.

Dinner? How could I forget dinner?

"Umm..we'll see when we get to the grocery store." I tell him, half believing it myself!

So we fly into the parking lot as I am on borrowed time as it is. Must get him home to do his homework, and get his football clothes into the dryer. Then put pads into pants and football girdle. (Any of you who have children who play football know what a highlight this is!) and get him to practice by 6pm and pick up older son at 6pm across town...see a conflict there? Oh and cook dinner? HA HA HA HA ha ha haaaa.

Ok...were in the produce dept. and my son is running trying to keep up with my frantic pace. I start throwing things into the cart...mushrooms, onions, spinach, hmm garlic of course. Mind you I still have no idea what I'm making, but these things are all good and I'll figure something out..I hope.

Ok...out of the produce dept, and around the corner on two wheels, smack into the ex husbands brother..who wants to chat. Yeah yeah yeah,,blah blah blah..gotta go.

Into the fish dept. Ok, I'm picking fish for tonight because its closer than the meat dept and its now 4:15. Clams, shrimp, and yeah I'll take some scallops. Make son run to the dairy dept to get milk. Someone keeps coming into my house and drinking all the milk....the boys keep saying "I didn't do it." Well this I didn't, better come up with a social security number because hes being claimed on the taxes this year.

Damn lines are a mile long and of course out of 27 checkouts there is 3 open and 2 express 7 items or less.

I pull into the express and dare someone to say something to me. Holy much?? What the hell was I thinking getting all this seafood? Oh well, everybody better eat it all or I'm shoving it down throats.

Get home, unload groceries, throw clothes in dryer and pray that they will be dry in 20 minutes. Tell son to get butt in gear and do homework.

OH MY GOD...why did I buy shrimp that needs to be peeled, deveined and cleaned. IDIOT IDIOT IDIOT!! errrr get to it. I'm still amazed I have all 10 fingers with as fast as I got them babies done. OK...check clothes. Hmmm dry enough. Its 90 degrees outside, they'll dry when he goes out there. Get the pads in and yell for him to get butt downstairs and start getting dressed. OK..5:46....gotta go hurry up! Of course this is my slowpoke son, so I figure I have time to clean scallops while he gets dressed. Done, out the door and we have 2 minutes to get 12 minutes away. Not to mention my oldest will be sitting on the stairs at school waiting for me.

I slowed down enough to let youngest jump out without injury..hey he had pads on and a helmet. Rush to other side of town and pick up oldest. Get home, throw on a pot of water for macaroni. Start cooking shrimp, than scallops, than clams.

How I got all this done, I don't even know, but I did, and I remembered to pick up youngest at 8pm!!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Back to school treat for the boys

Eggplant and Ricotta Sandwiches

2 Large Eggplants
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
12 slices ham
5 ounces ricotta
3 eggs, beaten
2 TBS butter
1 sprig rosemary
Preheat a grill or grill pan. Cut the eggplants widthwise into 24 round slices, about ¼ inch thick. Lightly brush each of the slices with olive oil and transfer to the grill. Cook the eggplant slices until tender and remove from heat. Now using a 2 inch biscuit cutter, trip the eggplant slices and set aside. (You can also use a drinking glass and trim around it)With the same ring, trim the ham slices to make 24 disks. In a bowl combine the ricotta with 1 TBS of the olive oil. (I also put in a PINCH of cinnamon, this is optional)Mix until creamy and set aside.Prepare the sandwiches:Arrange 1 ham disk on top of 1 eggplant disk. Top with a layer of the ricotta and 1 more ham disk, and top it off with another eggplant disk.Lightly dredge the 12 sandwiches in flour and shake off any excess. Dip in the beaten eggs, and then coat with the breadcrumbs evenly..In a deep skillet over medium heat warm about 1 inch of vegetable oil, the butter, and the rosemary. Add the sandwiches and fry until golden, turning once to cook evenly on both sides. Carefully remove the sandwiches and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Season the sandwiches with salt and serve!!!Serve with some fried up julienned zucchini!! Simply julienne about 3 zucchini, dredge in some flour and fry up in some oil till crunchy and golden!! Drain on paper towel and serve along side the sandwich.

Happy Family

Happy Family
Myself, hubby Louie and Ricky and Ronny on my big 40 birthday!

About Me

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Italian American Mom, Wife, Daughter, living life to it's fullest, and trying to preserve traditions and family values of our culture.