Monday, December 1, 2008

Who doesn't love a contest! I just entered these cookies into the contest over at The Coupon Coup! Check out some fabulous cookies HERE The site Kindred Spirit Sweets has THE BEST looking cookies personal Favorite is the Ralphie in the bunny costume...Best Christmas Movie ever!!! Join the contest~ And win adorable snowmen cookies..much better than the boring frosting and sparkles that I make!

Time to start baking for Christmas!! This is my favorite Christmas cookie and always the first one I bake. My youngest son Ronny and I made these this past weekend. MMMMM So yummy!! The smell while baking reminds me of my childhood, and Christmas time. Mom and Grandma always had these on the cookie tray.


1 ¼ Cup Crisco

1 ½ Cups Sugar

3 Eggs

1 Cup Milk

1 tsp vanilla

5 Cups Flour

5 tsp baking powder

1 TBS each of





¾ Cup Hershey cocoa

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup raisins

Cream shortening and sugar.

Add eggs and milk and vanilla a little at a time.

Add dry ingredients and spices. Mix well.

Add nuts, chips, and raisins and mix.

Roll the dough into balls, a little smaller than a golf ball. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

Cool and glaze. I just use powdered sugar, a little water and a little milk for the glaze and just dunk the cookies in the glaze and let dry on rack.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


As I sit here and listen to the music of my blog, I can't get over how much music has changed. Its so sad that the lyrics of today are so filled with filth, and sex, and just no good. Are there really any love songs out there today. Songs that really speak from the heart in a poetic way?

The lyrics to I HAVE BUT ONE Could you imagine a man writing this song for you? They just don't write them like this anymore. This is what a love song should sound like. Not the crap that they have out there today! Gotta love Dean Martin!
I have but one heart, this heart I bring you,
I have but one heart to share with you,
I have but one dream that I can cling to,
You are the one dream I pray comes true.
My darling, until I saw you, I never felt this way,
And nobody else before you, ever has heard me say,
You are my one love, my life I live for you,
I have but one heart to give to you.
(musical interlude)
*Dicimo o mari, facimu l'amore,
*A curi a curi che ci passa,
*Ca u mare parla e na' carezza,
*Ma a tia la brezza, fina murir.
You are my one love, my love I live for you,
I have but one heart to give to you.

*Not Italian, not Sicilian, but Neapolitan, the free translation of which is:
Let us tell the sea that we are making love,
Heart to heart till the end of time,
Because the sea whispers and caresses us,
So does the breeze till the time we die.

I just LOVE the Italian lyrics of this so pretty.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


With all that is happening in the world we really need to bow our heads and give thanks for what we have. We need to stop wishing for what we don't have and be grateful for we do have. Be thankful that you woke up this morning in a bed. In a warm house. Be thankful that you could go make coffee. Don't complain that you had to get up and go to work. Be thankful that you have a job. Don't complain that your kids are driving you crazy. Be thankful you have healthy children. We are all so busy running around chasing the brass ring that we don't realize that most of us already have it. Its there, if you look for it. If you look at your life through the eyes of someone less forutnate you are a king. My Father always used the saying " I complained that I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet." Take this time to not only give thanks, but also to just give. Be it a dollar or a meal. Giving back is what keeps us humble, keeps us thankful and is the ultimate thing that one can do for another. Don't turn your back and pretend that you don't see. Lend a hand, lend a dollar, an ear or a shoulder. Give your time or your old coat that never gets worn. Thanksgiving isn't just about the turkey on the table. Its not all about gathering as a family to be thankful. Its about giving thanks as well as giving hope. Giving hope to someone who is less fortunate than us. Giving them something to hold onto...maybe their own brass ring.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Those of you who follow my recipes at get a sneak preview! This will be on an upcoming menu! Sooo good, and pretty easy too! Its all about the wine people!! A little for the stew and a little for you!

Sicilian Beef Stew

Serves 6 to 8


1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 1/2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 2 inch cubes

3/4 cup flour

1/3 cup olive oil

2 medium yellow onions, diced

1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch strips

1 large yellow bell pepper, cut into 1 inch strips

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

3 medium Yukon gold potatoes, diced

2 cups chianti or medium-bodied red wine

2 cups beef stock

1 cup fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Fried capers and parsley sprig for garnish


Heat vegetable oil, on high, in a large stew pot. Season the beef with salt
and pepper
then dredge in flour and brown in two batches. Remove beef and drain on paper towel.

Add olive oil to same pot and heat on medium-high. Sauté onions until
slightly soft, about 3 minutes. Add peppers, rosemary and garlic and continue to cook another 3 minutes. Add meat back to pot, along with tomato paste and potatoes. Stir to coat. Turn up the heat to high and add red wine. Reduce by 1/3, about 5 minutes.

Add beef stock and bring back to a boil for 3 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 1 hour, or until meat is fork tender. Stir in the fresh parsley. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, ladle into large bowls and garnish with the fried capers and parsley sprigs.

The fried capers give this dish its incredible flavor. But of course it may not be for everyone, so feel free to leave it out, its optional. I like to serve this with Italian bread that I've warmed in the oven, and a simple side salad with olive oil and red wine vinegar. So filling and satisfying on a cold night! Leftovers are delicious!

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Goodness where does the time go? Well it is football season here! This year the boys are in different schools so my running around time as just about doubled! But hey I'm a Mom. If anyone can be in two places at once, its a Mom!! The boys are doing fabulous with school and with football. Ricky ran a 60 yard touchdown yesterday!! WHOOO HOOOO! I am such a proud football Mom!
We have been really busy. Right before school started we took the boys to Hershey Park PA. That was a blast! Roller Coaster heaven for the boys! Then in Sept Louie and I went to the San Gennaro Feast in NYC, and last weekend we were in Atlantic City. I don't want to travel again for a few months! Its so nice to be home!
Heres some pictures of our travels!!!




Thursday, August 7, 2008

The End of Summer, The Beginning Of School Daze

Wow..summer went by fast! I can't believe were already into August. The lazy days are fading fast. Its time to step it up and prepare for the shiny new school year!
Where to start. Goodness. The class supply lists have grown to two pages. Really is it neccesary to have all these specific colored folders, 3 different colored highlighters, index cards, specific binders with exact measurements? Give me a break...I swear the teachers are in cahoots with the stores! And come we never had backpacks growing up? We actually carried our books. Wow what a concept. Of course our class supply list consisted of a notebook and folder for each class. Not this school survivor kit we have to purchase now. So the back pack is a nessesity to carry it all.
Ahhhh, and then there is the new school clothes. New jeans, new shirts, new sneaks, new socks, new underwear, new haircut...I need a loan.

And if your lucky like me your children are involved in sports. This summer we had three different football camps, a wrestling camp, and lifting 3 days a week. And yes the camps cost money. A mere $100 bucks to send your kids for 2 hours a day, for 4 days. All so they can get the skills that apparently they don't possess, to be able to continue playing the sport that they have played for the last eight years. Football is my cross to bear. My boys have played since the football was bigger then them. Practice schedules are insane. 6pm-8:30 pm 5 days a week starting next week. And then when school starts they will graciously cut it down to 3 days a week.
Of course, my oldest is now at the highschool level. Good God, I though pop warner was crazy with all the hype. High School is another game all together. I swear you would think these kids played for the NFL. Too bad the schools and some of these parents don't put as much effort into the educational system. I get emails from one of the 7 committees every day. Yes there is a committee for everything. Fundraiser committee, Team Spirit Committee, Parents Committee, Committee for nothing Committee. And there are Mandatory Meetings for the parents. Mandatory? I hate being told I have to be somewhere. I'm an adult. I don't need to be told I HAVE to be there. And what if I don't go? My son can't play? Spare me. Football parents can really be nuts. I don't like getting drawn into that whole cult like craziness. Its a freaking game. Let the kids have fun. Your little Johnny is not going to get a football scholarship. Hes not going to be drafted into the NFL.
Don't get me wrong, I love watching my boys play. I'm the screaming proud mama and all, but I just can't get wrapped up in committees, commitments and weekly fund raising. I have a life outside of football! And don't get me started on the Football Dads who are living their glory days vicariously through their children. Its sad really. I've also noticed that the big Football Moms are the ones who were the cheerleaders in high school. Yeah, that wasn't me. I was cheering the football team on from the smoking lounge.
Oh well, time to get the schedule up and mark up the calendar in two different colors for each kid. Though this year I may have to get them seperate calendars. The schedules are just insane. I may have to clone myself too. Not quite sure how I'm going to be at two different places at once. How do you do it with more than two kids? Well, time to get ready for the carwash fundraiser...or is it the flipping burgers at the soccer game fundraiser...gotta go check my schedule.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

rain kissed

Is there anything sweeter than the morning rain, and the sweet drops that linger on the petals of the spring blooms? This morning, as I watched the rain gently fall and give my flowers the water they craved, I knew that life is good. I want for nothing. Today has been one of those melancholy days. Just a little bitter sweet. I know that all I have is all I need. We really do run ourselves to the ground and for what? With all the money, we can't buy the simple pleasures in life. We miss out on the smell of the rain, the sound of the rain, and really searching the sky for that rainbow when the sun peaks out after the spring shower. Slow down. Take a deep breath, and really stop and count your blessings. Is it really worth worrying about? Is it really worth arguing about? We don't know what tomorrow will bring. We don't know what the next hour, minute or second will bring. We can only cherish this moment, right here right now. Don't waste it, don't let it pass you by. Live. Tell someone you love them. Smile. Laugh. Enjoy. Cherish. Feel the life that is inside you and remember that each day, each moment and each breath is simply, a gift from God. What we choose to do with it, is our gift back to him.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Eulogy to Lou's Dad

This week my husband lost his best friend, his Dad. My father in law was one of a kind. Old school all the way. They just don't make 'em like that today. This is the eulogy that my husband wrote and said in church yesterday. He couldn't make it through the whole thing, and his sister took over, barely making it through herself. Not a dry eye in the house. He really did a good job describing and honoring his Dad.

Salvatore J. Petix April 21, 2008

Over the last few months, as I forced myself to realize that this day was imminent, I knew that it would be important for me to describe the man who provided, protected, and loved unconditionally, his family for his entire life.
My father Sam was a man of great humility. He would never talk about his accomplishments. Yet he always beamed with pride when speaking of his parents, siblings, wife, children and especially his grandchildren. Nothing made him happier than spending time with his family. Either working, cooking on the grill, playing catch, or watching a Yankee game, is how he found pleasure. He fit right in with any age group and was young at heart. Dad never took himself too seriously in a social situation, and even though his hearing loss made conversations a little more difficult, you could always count on him for a witty, interesting, and intelligent conversation.
Dad worked in the family business his entire life. First with his father and siblings, and then with his sons. He started in the bottling business washing pop bottles by hand at 10 years old and gracefully bowing out at the young age of 84. And today my father’s legacy lives on.
During his entire career he was known to be an honest, compassionate and fair man. Qualities that he felt strongly about instilling in my sister, my brother, and me. He taught us through his actions, stories, accomplishments and his unmatched work ethic. One of Dads favorite sayings was “nothing good comes easy”, and when things go wrong, I can always hear my father saying it, and it inspires me to finish the task at hand.
My father enjoyed, believed and lived a simple life. Material things were of little value to him, and expensive things never impressed him. Give my father strawberries for breakfast, spaghetti with burnt breadcrumbs and anchovies, and his banana every day and he was a happy man. He disapproved of arrogance and envy, and taught us to be happy and content with what we have. We learned that family is more important than things, and hard work is a reward in itself.
Dad was a man of tremendous intelligence, common sense and perseverance. But his most admirable qualities were his dedication and love for his wife. Even after fifty years of marriage, my father would still kiss mom goodbye each morning and hello as soon as he walked in the door after work. He flirted with her continuously; he teased her relentlessly and loved her endlessly until his dying breath.
Dad, we know that you’re in heaven with grandpa and grandma. Probably drinking your fresh squeezed orange juice at the kitchen table with Aunt Connie, Uncle Joe, and Uncle Leo. All of you talking about the stock market, laughing at an inside family joke, ½ in English and ½ in Italian. Enjoying your family once again.
But just remember Dad, we will never forget what you have taught us through your words and actions. We’ll never forget the way that you loved us, and inspired us. We miss you so much it hurts, and our hearts are broken. However, God must have needed the best Ginger ale and Gassosa to mix with his wine at his table, and so he called you home. Rest in Peace now Dad, and know that we will make you proud, miss you, remember you and love you until we see you again.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cherish your family

Being with my family this past Sunday for Easter, I chose that time to talk about our history with them. See, they are all getting older. We don't know what tomorrow will bring. I wanted to know stuff. The kind of stuff you don't hear in a normal conversation. What was great grandpa like? Really like? What did he do for a living? It really got the ball rolling, and then the stories began. Stories I have never heard before, stories I would never have heard, had I not asked. My boys were sitting at the table, listening, learning, and amazed. They didn't know of the hardships, or the suffering their Great Grandparents and Great Great Grandparents endured to give them the life they know today. I wanted them to hear these stories. The good, the bad and the funny. Its their history, our history. Yes, we have the family trees, and the photos. But I didn't have the details. I didn't have ALL the stories. And I still don't, but I have more than I did. I have more now to think about when I look at the photos of my Grandparents, or cook a recipe from my Grandmothers. I want to know the relatives that were here and paved the path for me and my children. Its important not to forget. Its important to ask questions, tell stories, take pictures, and to reminisce. Because, we don't know what tomorrow will bring.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Yes I'm still ALIVE!

Its been crazy around here for the last couple of months. Between wrestling meets and getting ready and going to Vegas and the regular everyday life of a housewife/mom I've sprouted a new garden of grey hairs!

Lets see, where to begin. VEGAS BABY!!! Yes we went to Vegas in Feb to meet up with my fellow Happy House wife Robyn and her adorable hubby Tom! What a blast. We ate, we drank, we gambled, we won, we lost..we had fun! Robyn is a firecracker! And a hot mama! I absolutely love and adore her. Can't wait for her to travel east and meet me in NY!! I love to meet any of the girls in the club! ( I have also become the contributing editor over there on the domestic page. I'm having a blast with it, and challenging all the girls to get their homes in order. I still have my small corner on Robyn's cooking page, Dawns Italian Corner. So you see I've been busy busy busy!! I am however in the process of fine tuning my schedule to meet all my obligations in a timely manner! So I will be blogging more, promise!!

Monday, January 21, 2008


The beginning of another week.
Time to plan the menu, and get to the grocery store.
Its going to be a busy week so I need a meal plan that has flexibility in it as well as potential leftovers.
My girl Robyn over at the Happy Housewives Club,
has a yummy recipe for a crockpot Beef roast that will on the menu this week.
as well as my Penne with tomato and eggplant sauce.
Simple, little time consuming and tasty!!


Cuban Sandwich
1 cup mayonnaise
5 tablespoons Italian dressing
4 hoagie rolls, split lengthwise
4 tablespoons prepared mustard
1/2 pound thinly sliced deli turkey meat
1/2 pound thinly sliced cooked ham
1/2 pound thinly sliced Swiss cheese
1 cup dill pickle slices
1/2 cup olive oil

In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise and Italian dressing. Spread mixture on hoagie rolls. Spread each roll with mustard. On each roll, arrange layers of turkey, ham, and cheese. Top each with dill pickle slices. Close sandwiches, and brush tops and bottoms with olive oil.Heat a non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Place sandwiches in skillet. Cook sandwiches for 2 minutes, pressing down with a plate covered with aluminum foil. Flip, and cook for 2 more minutes, or until cheese is melted. Remove from heat, place on plates, and cut in half diagonally.



1 cup olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, peeled
11/2 pound eggplant, cut into ½ inch cubes
8 large white mushrooms, sliced
½ cup chopped onion
Salt to taste
½ cup dry white wine
3 cups chopped, canned, imported san Marzano Italian plum tomatoes, with Juice.
5 fresh basil leaves, chopped
Pinch of dried oregano
1 lb of penne or ziti
Freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese, to taste
1. Put oil in a large sauté pan over med heat. Sauté garlic until golden. Remove garlic. Add eggplant, mushrooms and onions. Add salt and sauté for about 12 minutes or until veggies are very soft and just beginning to brown, lowering heat, if necessary, to slow down the browning.
2. Add wine and bring to a boil. Stir in tomatoes and return to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in basil and oregano and remove from the heat.3. While the sauce is simmering, cook the penne in a large, deep pot in rapidly boiling salted water until al dente.4. Drain the penne and return the penne to the pot. Over medium high heat, stir in ½ cup of the sauce. Stir for about a minute or so. This is how to flavor your macaroni and let the sauce stick to it. Remove from the heat and pour into a large pasta bowl. Spoon the rest of the sauce over the top and sprinkle with pecorino Romano cheese!! Serve with crusty garlic bread and tossed salad!


FRIDAY: TILAPIA favorite!!

Tilapia Vincenzo
Serves 2
2 (8 ounce) pieces tilapia
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (Italian flat leaf)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup clam broth
1 Tbs salted butter
3/4cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
3/4cup shredded parmigiano-reggiano cheese
1/8cup olive oil, plus 1/4cup
2 cloves garlic minced
1 head of escarole washed and chopped into large pieces
1 tomato, diced
1 (9 oz) can cannelloni beans, drained
Place tilapia in a baking dish and season with salt, pepper, basil, and parsley. Pour wine and clam broth over fish. Put ½ Tbs of butter on top of each piece of fish. Broil 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
In a small bowl, mix bread crumbs, Parmigiano and 1/8 cup olive oil. Place bread crumb mixture on top of fish, lightly pushing it down.
In a saute pan heat 1/4 cup olive oil, add garlic and saute until browned. Add escarole and tomato. Cook a couple of minutes and then add the beans. Continue to cook until moisture is absorbed.
Place tilapia under the broiler and cook until brown on top. Spoon the escarole and beans onto a plate and top with the tilapia.

Creating your menu ahead of time, leaves no room for the question "whats for dinner?"
I can still switch things up if necessary, such as switch tues and thurday if needed.
The key is I have the ingredients on hand to make all the meals listed above.
Cooking dinner with a well thought out plan is part of my job.
My job to nourish and feed my hungry family!!
Throwing something together at the last minute doesn't show much care or love for my family!! I want them to know that I thought it out, planned and prepared for them.
It doesn't take much effort but the end result is a happy, healthy and well fed family.
What more can you ask for??
So whats on your menu this week??

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Why I love my husband!!

I've been challenged by Kathy @ to list the reasons of why I love my husband. For me this is no challenge at all...I love the man to death!!!

1. He is super hot!

2. He has taken the role of step father to new levels, and loves my boys as if they were his own.

3. He works his butt off and allows me to stay home!

4. He calls me sweet nicknames that he changes I'm "princess"!

5. He never ever ever gets angry with me. We never fight!

6. He whistles and sings in the morning....the man wakes up happy.

7. He loves me in spite of all my bad habits

8. He makes me laugh every single day, several times!

9. He loves my cooking!

10. My Mother loves him! My whole family loves him! Everyone loves Louie!

11. He still flirts with me

12. He rocks my world!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I'm Back!!

Well the holidays are behind me and I can begin to relax again!! We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year! I'm am now looking forward to spring!! Is it too early? In a few weeks Lou and I are going to Vegas baby!! I'll be hooking up with my fellow Happy Housewife and girl Robyn and her husband Tom! We can't wait...and ya know I'll be posting lots of pictures and good stories!!
New Years resolutions?? Me?? HA..I already fell off that wagon. Yeah, diet, be nice, smile more, blah blah blah. Too much pressure. I've decided that I like me. And if others don't like me for me than too bad. I eat what I want. I may not be a size 3 anymore but who is at 41 years old? I LOVE food. I don't diet, don't count calories and don't exercise and you know what? I'm not THAT bad. Yeah, I should tone up a bit, and maybe I will. But I'm not going to sacrifice food that I enjoy. Life's too short. I don't want to die tomorrow and my last thought be "Damn, I should have ate that piece of cake yesterday."

Happy Family

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

About Me

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