Tuesday, September 29, 2009

San Gennaro 09

As much as I love to travel, I love coming home!

I have no pictures. YET. I didn't bring my camera. I forgot it. Stupid I know. Good news is Mom brought a camera. BUT its not a digital so I'll have to wait for prints I guess and then scan them into the computer.

We had a BLAST! I swear it was the best time I've ever had in NY. My parents hung out like champs. Considering their ages they did amazing!!(68 &70) My father even put me to shame one night!

Fri we took my parents to the 9/11 memorial site. My Dad is a retired firefighter so this was a very touching moment for him. He even had a group of firefighters at the fire station talking to him. (this is the firehouse right across the street from where the building were). So after that we went to the feast. YUMMMMY....we ate our way down the streets. Italian sausage sandwiches, stuffed hot peppers, pizza, braciole, and lots more. We watched a very good and very funny doowop band, The Elegants(they had the one hit "Little Star") We ended down at the Mulberry St. Bar. Louie and I always hang out here. All the guys know him here. They refer to him as Upstate Louie. Its pretty funny.

So now its about 8pm, the bar is packed. And I mean packed like sardines and they are doing Karaoke. I swear these were some of the best karaoke people I've ever seen!! We call my little cousin(hes 24) in Brooklyn and tell him to come down. He makes it down there about an hour later and brings his buddy Phil. At this point my mother is sitting on the only bar stool in the joint. Someone went and got her one. But her and Dad were drinking and eating and singing and laughing and having the time of their lives. My mom could not stop eating fried shrimp doused in hot sauce. Me and my mother decide were wiped out and are going back to the hotel. My dad, louie and my cousin are staying out. Well they didn't get bacck to the hotel till almost 3 am!! I yell at my husband for keeping my daddy who is 70 years old out so late!! He informs me that my father kept him out!

Sat. We went to the cutest diner. Ellens Stardust Diner. All the singers are actors and actresses from broadway who are either waiting for a break or in between gigs. They all take turns singing. It was amazing! Mom and I go shopping and Louie and my Dad go up to the Bronx to see a buddy of Louies and then to Arthur ave. Mom and I also had lunch at Serendipity. OMG frozen hot chocolate is to die for..DIE! So freaking good!

Sat night was absolutely AMAZING!! We all got dressed up and had dinner at Patsy's and then walked down the street to The Carnegie Club. What a cool joint. Such a throw back. Its a cigar bar so we could smoke there. And even my Mom who quit smoking years ago was smoking and drinking and having a blast. There was an 11 piece orchestra and the singer,Steve Maglio who spoke and sang just like Frank Sinatra..he was amazing. He sang right to my Mom. After the show he and his wife came at sat at our table..we had the best spot in the house. All couches and cocktail tables right up front. He and his wife were very cool, bought a round of drinks and sat with us for a long time. He then gave us all cd's of his. Oh and we met a boxer that was there..can't remember his name right now.

Sunday we went to brunch at this place right on the water.PJ Clarke's On the Hudson So pretty and the weather was perfect. We then went to see the statue of liberty and ellis island. Went back to the hotel to rest a bit and then off to the feast again. We had dinner at IL Cortile then went tshirt shopping at the feast and to the Mulberry street bar again and then to the Spring St lounge to watch the Giants game. Mom and Dad left early Monday and Louie and I did some shopping, ate mile high pastrami sandwiches at a Jewish Deli, and sat and people watched while we killed time before going to the airport. All in all it was a wonderful (and expensive) trip!! I can't wait till next year!
stay tuned for pictures!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

San Gennaro Feast This Week!

Well were off to NYC and to the San Gennaro Feast this weekend!!! The 82nd Annual Feast of San Gennaro, New York City’s longest-running, biggest and most revered religious outdoor festival in the United States! The festival attracts more than 1 million people all over the world to salute this patron saint of Naples. The festival runs for 11 days. We'll be going the second weekend and be there for the end. The official website for the San Genarro Feast says it best:
“This Feast of San Gennaro holds a special place in the hearts of Italian people everywhere,” says Joseph Mattone, President of Figli di San Gennaro, Inc. “It is a festive period of faith and redemption, a time for remembrance and reconciliation, and a time for celebration. The delicious food, the free musical entertainment that reflects Italian-American culture and heritage are all there. The Feast brings the world to Little Italy and Little Italy to the world.”
My husband and I go each year and this year we will bring my Mother and Father with us. They too are looking forward to the food, the music, the atmosphere...there really is nothing like it!
Come back next week for a full detailed report and review of this years trip! We have many things planned in our weekend. From a Frank Sinatra show to checking out Arthur Ave. in the Bronx! Heres a small sample of photos from past trips!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Italian Fest '09

Perhaps I should say "first annual Italian fest 09!" Yup, its been decided, declared, and ordered, that I do this every year! Good Lord help me!
It really was a huge success! Of course there were a few mishaps!

Rain. No thank you God not during the party! But the morning was horrible! I sat at the window and prayed and prayed and prayed. Then I went and lit a candle, hung my rosary outside, and prayed some more. By the grace of God the clouds parted and the sun shined in time to dry up the rain!
Since it was raining, I was delayed to finish the decorating and last minute details. So like a crazy woman I was in panic mode and running around, barking orders and pretty much was a complete lunatic. But nothing a couple of glasses of good chianti couldn't handle!
Guest arrived, and were greeted by the smells of Italian sausage and the sounds of Louie Prima!
Here was the menu
Antipasto platters
Sheets of different pizzas
Italian sausage with peppers and onions
baked ziti
greens and beans
eggplant parm
italian cookie trays
lemon ice (huge hit!)

Sunday, August 16, 2009



Its all about the bread. Finding good crusty bread can be difficult in some areas but worth the effort!!

Cholesterol King Heart Stopper

The ultimate party sub. This is intended to feed approximately 8 people and weighs in at over 6 pounds.

Remember to lift with your legs, not your back. Serve with chips and a cold dill pickle.
Makes 8 servings.

1 (1 pound) loaf French bread, halved lengthwise
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 head lettuce, shredded
1 pound sliced cooked ham
1 pound prosciutto or mortadella
1 pound sliced cotto salami
1 pound sliced mozzarella cheese
1 pound sliced Swiss cheese
1 pound sliced Provolone cheese
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 sweet onion, sliced
1 (10 ounce) can pitted black olives, sliced (optional)
1 (4 ounce) jar sliced mushrooms, drained (optional)
1 green or red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced or one small jar of roasted red peppers drained and sliced (optional)

1 Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a
small bowl, mix together the butter and garlic. Spread garlic butter on both halves of bread, and sprinkle liberally with Parmesan cheese. Place in preheated oven until cheese is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

2 On the bottom half of the bread, place a layer of lettuce. Alternating between meat and cheese, arrange layers of ham, prociutto or mortadella, salami, mozzarella, Swiss cheese and provolone. Add a layer of tomatoes, onion, black olives, mushrooms, green peppers and anything else you like. Place the remaining half of bread on top.

3 Place the sandwich on a cutting board, and slice into individual servings.
Alka Seltzer for dessert!!!!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

How To Throw An Italian Festival In Your Yard!

Well I wish I knew! I'm attempting to do this myself in August. The plans are in full swing right now and so is my panic!
I started out by making a guest list. Of course this list grew and grew. You know the routine, you invite Uncle Guido then you have to invite Uncle Luigi. Or If you invite Aunt Stella you better not invite Aunt Josephine, they haven't spoken in 56 years! So not unlike planning a wedding, the guest list is very important to the success of you festival! You want to also be sure to invite the Fun and Crazy friends and relatives, it will cut down on your entertainment expenses!

After fine tuning the guest list, its time to make out the invitations. I decided to just do a simple flyer type invite on the computer. It came out great. I added some Italian flags to it, and the whole "what, where, who, when" information that was needed.

Envelopes stuffed and addressed and mailed. Now onto the decorations.
After doing some research on the Internet I found tons of great decorations. There will be no doubt what the theme of the party is when the guest arrive. Here is one site that I found a lot of great decorations! This is another one.

Now onto the rental company for tents, chairs and tables! Once I found the company I am going to use, it became obvious I was in need of more than just some tables and chairs! I decided to rent a large grill also. Oh, I better get that 100 cup coffee maker too, unless I want to be standing at my 12 cup coffee maker for 3 hours! Oh look they rent EVERYTHING!! I had to reel myself in and not over do it! I am a woman after all and love to shop!! I got what I needed and that was that!

And the most important aspect of any good party is the food!!! In the beginning stages of planning this I though I would do ALL the food MYSELF. Silly silly silly me. What on earth was I thinking. Do you know how much macaroni you have to boil to serve 125 people? Or how many greens you have to wash for the greens and beans? Its not that I can't do this, I just think I might want to actually enjoy the party and not worry about ALL the food. So I've decided to cater out most of it and do a bit myself. I'll take care of the Italian sausage (because its not an Italian Festival without the smell of Italian Sausage wafting through the air) and the steamed clams and probably a few other things. Mom is making her stuffed banana peppers, and another friend is making pizza. The rest will be catered by a good friend from our favorite Italian restaurant.

So far planning this festival has been fun. Everyday I get a new idea! Everyone has been very excited about attending. Pretty funny how much different a response you get when you call something a festival instead of a party!!! Hope their expectations aren't tooo high!!

Don't forget the bocce ball!! Its a must! Great game for all ages. Maybe you can set up a tournament! We Italians can be a bit competitive you know!!

Last but not least the music. You have to stay true to the theme!! There will be plenty of Al Martino, Louie Prima, Frank Sinatra, and the like playing in the backround.

When the night is coming to a close and you sit back and enjoy that last cannoli and cup of coffee or espresso, pat yourself on the back for pulling off a unique and fun party...I mean festival!!
I will be sure to update my progress and meltdowns of our upcoming festival! And of course plenty of pictures of the big event!!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Memorial Day Cookout Italian style!!

I love the warm weather and grilling season! Nothing is better than cooking outside on the grill and eating al fresco!! The warm sun shining down on you while you enjoy the smells of Italian sausage, peppers and onions wafting towards you making your tummy growl and mouth water! Yum! This weekend we celebrate Memorial Day! I will be celebrating my sons 15th birthday also. So the family will be over and we will be cooking outside! Here is our menu! I have a lot to do this week!

Antipasto tray
grilled eggplant
grilled marinated shrimp
Chicken and Veal Speidini
Italian Sausage with peppers and onions
Grilled Veggies
Caprese Salad
Grilled Peaches with Raspberry Sauce
1 ounce white peach puree
5 ounces chilled prosecco
Pour peach puree into a champagne flute, then add the prosecco. The peach puree can either be made from ripe fresh peaches that have been peeled and pureed or you can use a commercial peach puree.

Mixed Grilled Vegetables
Verdura Mista

3 small yellow squash (about 3/4 pound)
6 Vidalia onions or large shallots, peeled and cleaned and sliced
4 yellow and/or red bell peppers, seeded and each cut into 6 pieces
2 medium red onions, peeled and each cut lengthwise into 6 wedges with root ends intact
2 tablespoons olive oil
In a large bowl toss vegetables with oil and salt and pepper to taste. Grill vegetables in batches on a rack set about 4 inches over glowing coals turning them, 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender, transferring them to a platter as they are done.
Serves 6.

Bruschetta Grigliata

Olive oil flavored with garlic, fresh basil, or rosemary.
1 loaf of crusty Italian bread cut into 1-inch thick slices
1/4 cup extra -virgin olive oil
Prepare barbecue (medium-high-heat). Brush both sides of bread generously With oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill until golden, about 1 minute per side. 6 servings.

Scampi Grigliati

1/4 cup finely chopped garlic, mashed to a paste with 1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves plus sprigs for garnish
3 tablespoons olive oil plus oil for brushing shrimp
16 jumbo shrimp (about 10 per pound)
four 12-inch bamboo skewers
lemon wedges as an accompaniment
In a large bowl stir together garlic, chopped fresh rosemary, and 3 tablespoons oil and add shrimp. Marinate shrimp, covered and chilled, at least 8 hours or overnight.
In a shallow dish soak skewers in water to cover 60 minutes and prepare grill.
To grill, thread 4 shrimp on each skewer and brush with additional oil. Grill shrimp on an oiled rack, set about 5 inches over glowing coals, 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until just cooked through.
Alternatively, brush shrimp with additional oil and grill in a hot well-season ridged grill pan, covered, over moderately high heat 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.
Garnish shrimp with rosemary sprigs and serve with lemon wedges.
Serves 4.

Pesche Dolci

5 oz raspberries,- preferably fresh (frozen will do if fresh not available)
1-1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 medium fresh peaches, peel, halved
5 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp butter
In a blender or food processor, process raspberries and lemon juice until pureed. Strain and discard seeds. Cover and chill. Place the peach halves, cut side up, on a large piece of heavy-duty foil (about 18 x 12"). Combine brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle into peach centers. Sprinkle with vanilla; dot with butter. Fold foil over peaches and seal. Grill over medium-hot coals for 15 minutes or until heated through. You can also place in a broiler for 8-12 minutes for a similar result. To serve, spoon the raspberry sauce over peaches.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mothers Day Breakfast Italian Style!

Make Mom breakfast on Mothers Day!! Don't forget the espresso!!

Spinach and Ricotta Frittata

Makes 8 servings

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups white mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 cups baby spinach, thinly sliced
8 large eggs
4 ounces (1/4 cup) whole milk ricotta cheese, drained
4 ounces (1/4 cup) grated Grana Padano cheese, divided
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg or fresh grated nutmeg
a liberal helping of salt and freshly ground black pepper

Melt butter in an 8-inch non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Add mushrooms; saute 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add spinach and cook just until wilted. Season with salt and black pepper.

In a medium bowl beat eggs. In a small bowl, mix the ricotta, 1/2 of the Grana Padano, nutmeg, salt, and black pepper. Add to the eggs and lightly mix. Pour into the skillet.

With a fork, gently move the egg mixture from side to side allowing the egg to seep to the bottom of the pan. Do this for 5-7 minutes, until the eggs start to solidify and a crust begins to form around the edges. Give the pan handle a jiggle, and when the eggs appear nearly set, evenly sprinkle the second half of the cheese over the top of the frittata.

Remove the pan from the stove top and place under the broiler for 4-5 minutes, or until the top puffs up and turns golden brown. Keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Let cool for a couple of minutes before slicing into wedges. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Optional garnish: In a small bowl toss 1 cups of halved cherry tomatoes with a little extra virgin olive oil, salt, black pepper, and fresh herbs such as basil, dill, or parsley. Serve atop the frittata.
Frittata on Foodista

Monday, May 4, 2009

grilled chicken spiedini


I love this recipe for the great flavors and for the convenience of being able to make them in the morning and throwing them on the grill for dinner. My boys and husband love these. It is my oldest son’s favorite dinner. I usually make up extra of the breading and use some veal cutlets in this recipe too. I also double this recipe as they disappear so fast!

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves or chicken cutlets
  • 2/3 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/3 grated pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 3-4 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Good quality mozzarella (not shredded or sliced)
  • Fresh bay leaves or fresh basil
  • Olive oil
  • Melted butter

1. Place chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wrap and pound until very thin. If you are using the cutlets, they do not need to be pounded.

2. Combine bread crumbs, cheese parsley, lemon zest and garlic

3. In another bowl combine even amounts of olive oil and butter

4. Dip chicken into butter mixture and then into the bread crumb mixture

5. Place a chunk of the mozzarella on the meat and roll up tight

6. Slice into 1 inch thick pieces

7. Skewer, using two skewers on each end of the meat to keep it from turning. Using two will make it easier to turn and handle on the grill, as the chicken won’t just roll around the skewer. Skewer the bay leaves around the chicken.

8. Grill over med hot coals, covered, and cook about 5 minutes per side. I use charcoal and have a bottle of water handy for any flare-ups.

It is very important to use fresh ingredients in this recipe. Do not use dry parsley, garlic powder etc. Do not leave out the lemon zest…It is the key ingredient!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

roast leg of lamb for Easter


While some recipes call for boneless legs that may be stuffed and rolled, I find that this recipe keeps more flavor of the lamb with the bone in. For a great holiday lamb, this is the best. It may take some time, but your guests will rave over it, I promise!

  • 6 pound leg of lamb
  • Salt
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons of dried rosemary
  • 4-6 garlic cloves cut into medium size pieces
  • 1 ½ Cups good olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • Cups chopped celery 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups dry white wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups hand crushed, canned, imported San Marzano Italian plum tomatoes
  • Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 F.Trim the lamb of fat. Generously salt and season the lamb with rosemary, pushing the seasonings into all the crevices. Do the same with the garlic, make little slits, and push the garlic into the slits. You can use more garlic if you prefer.

Heat oil in a large, heavy bottomed roasting pan over medium heat on top of the stove. Add the lamb and roast in preheated oven for 30 minutes.Stir in the onions,carrots, and celery and roast for another 20 minutes or until vegetables are beginning to brown.

Remove pan from the oven and lift the lamb onto a plate. Lower oven temp to 350 degrees Farenheight.Drain the vegetable through a fine sieve, allowing all excess oil to drain off. Return drained veggies to the pan. Stir in the flour and combine. Stir in the wine. Add chicken broth and tomatoes and mix together well.

Return the lamb to the roasting pan, and roast for another 20 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 155 degrees, for medium.Remove lamb to serving platter. Pour all the vegetable liquid through a fine sieve into a saucepan, pushing on the vegetable to get all the flavors and juice out. Place the gravy over medium heat and bring to a boil. Taste, and add salt and pepper if needed.

Pour the gravy over the lamb and serve, or serve the gravy on the side.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


This is a great salad where the bread is the star. Great lunch time meal, and so full of flavor. I always make this when I have left over Italian bread.


  • 8 Cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thin
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed, peeled, and chopped fine
  • 1 cup torn fresh basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6-8 thick slices of Italian bread, (crusty baguette, or day old bread, not too soft) torn into bite size pieces
  • fresh grated parmesan

In a large bowl, put the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, garlic and basil. Drizzle with the olive oil and then pour in both vinegars, add salt and pepper to taste, and toss well. Refrigerate for one hour. Adjust the seasonings as needed. Add the bread and toss well.

If the bread is too dry, add a little more of the oil and vinegar and toss. Top with fresh grated parmesan cheese. Feel free to add whatever you have into this salad. I sometimes add red peppers, garbanzo beans, or cubed mozzarella. Whatever you have in the fridge, throw it in!! Don't let that stale bread go to waste!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I love love love this cake! I swear it will be your favorite if you try it. And if you bring it to someones house you will become famous for it!! If you don't like coconut than stop reading now...its in the filling. Personally anything that has chocolate and coconut in it is a winner for me. Make sure its really cold before you serve it..oh its so goooood!

Cream Cheese Chocolate Bit Ring Cake

2 Cups sugar
1 Cup oil
2 Eggs
3 Cups flour
3/4 Cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup hot coffee
1 cup sour milk (just squeeze some lemon juice in and let sit a few minutes you'll see it start to look funny)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts

1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 pkg 8oz softened cream cheese
1 egg 1 pkg 6oz semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup flaked coconut

In a small bowl, beat sugar, vanilla and cream cheese and egg until smooth. Stir in coconut and chocolate chips
Set aside

In another bowl, mix together sugar, oil and eggs, beat 1 minute at hight speed. Add remaining ingredients except filling and nuts, beat 3 minutes at medium speed, scraping the bowl occasionally. Stir in nuts. Pour half of the batter into a greased 10 inch tube pan or bundt pan. Carefully soon prepared filling over batter, then top with remaining batter. Bake in 350 degree oven for 70-75 min. or until done. Cool upright in pan for 15 minutes. and then remove from pan. Cool completely and drizzle with glaze:

1 cup confectionery sugar
2 TBS unsweetened cocoa
2 TBS butter melted
2 tsp vanilla
1-3 TBS hot water

Monday, March 23, 2009

Making gnocchi!


Set on trays and freeze. When frozen we seperate them and bag them..when ready to cook, we throw them into the water, still frozen, when they float they are done! Louie and the boys helped to seperate and bag them!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Aunt Teresa

This is my 80 year old Aunt Teresa talking about zeppole and easter bread! She is just too darn cute!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

St. Joseph Day and Zeppole!

Every year Aunt Teresa makes zeppole and invites the family over to celebrate St. Joseph's day. Aunt Teresa is 80 years old, but she can run circles around most people half her age..and the woman is on no medications at all, shes in perfect health!! So heres a small peek into a family gathering with some pictures!! I have a video but had some problems loading it..maybe I'll have better luck tomorrow!



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.