Thursday, February 2, 2012

What To Serve With Meatballs?

I've noticed a lot of traffic to the blog looking for what to serve with meatballs. Interesting search! For me it's always been a dish of macaroni! Traditionally we eat our macaroni and then a platter of meat is served consisting of Italian sausage, pork blades or pork spareribs, and meatballs. Occasionally there will also be braciole. All the meat has been browned and then finished cooking in the sauce. Other ways to serve meatballs would be in soup. Little tiny meatballs are often put into chicken soup, beef soup, Italian Wedding soup and stracciatella soups.An easy use of leftover meatballs is Meatball subs. My kids love meatball subs! Lately I've noticed several Italian restaurants serving meatballs as an appetizer. A few do it well, and others not so good. A local restaurant does it well. They serve you two very very large meatballs in marinara, topped with ricotta cheese and then roasted in their pizza oven. They are amazing. The above photo is a picture of them. I would definitely do this as an appetizer for a party! When I order them at the restaurant I usually follow it up with one of their pizza's! It really could be a meal by itself though with a salad on the side! If you need a meatball recipe,scroll down and look over to the bottom right side of the blog. My "recipe" is there. I wish I could offer measurements, but it's just not the way I cook..but if you use the fresh ingredients and follow the steps, you'll have a mouthwatering meatball in no time! Just add more or less of what you like!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

whatever is in the fridge pasta

I call this, "whatever is in the fridge with macaroni", because that is all it is. There are some staples you should always have in your home, and macaroni (any variety) olive oil (regular and extra virgin), garlic and grated cheese are 3 that will always give you a meal in a hurry. The macaroni is a filler for whatever else you want to throw in there. The olive oil is your sauce, the garlic to flavor the olive oil and the cheese to finish off the dish. Tonight I made a macaroni (I used ziti) with peas and crumbled sausage. I started by looking in the refrigerator and grabbed a few things. I saw 3 links of Italian sausage, opened the cabinet and found a can of sweet peas..I knew then I had a dinner! I added a bit of oil to a pan and took the sausage out of the casing broke it up and browned it up. I added some chopped up whites of a leek, (Great substitute for onion which I didn't have), added some more oil and about 2 tablespoons of minced garlic. When the sausage was browned, I added the peas. I drained the can but kept about 3 tablespoons of the water from the can and added that in with the peas for flavor. I let that simmer while I boiled the water for the ziti. After the ziti was cooked, I added it to the sausage/pea mixture and mixed it well, sprinkled it with some grated cheese and served it with a salad of oil and vinegar and crusty italian bread. This is the way I cook. I don't follow a recipe, I cook by feel, by taste, and by knowing what flavors meld well together. It's about trying new things, not getting too complicated and using your imagination. There is no reason why you can't make a meal with 3-4 ingredients. Some people call this peasant food, poor peoples food, or depression era food..I call it delicious! What was your latest "whatever is in the fridge and macaroni" dish? You can use so much to mix with macaroni..roasted red peppers, olives, spinach, escarole, beans, stewed tomatoes, sardines, anchovies, there is no limit to what veggie, meat or seafood you can mix into a simple macaroni with garlic and oil dish! Be creative and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I'm Back!

I stopped blogging because life got a little busy and the blog was pushed to the back burner. Well, I realize now how much I miss it! I'm ready to begin sharing my life with all of you again. While I probably will never be that everyday blogger(my life isn't that interesting!) I will attempt to post at least twice a week. I'll bring you recipes of course, pictures, and funny things that occur in my life on a daily basis living with two teenage boys and my husband all of which have the ability to make me laugh everyday. And sharing laughter is a good thing! We have a new family member since I last posted. SANTINO! Santino is a cockapoo with a huge personality. For years I've been asking my husband if we could get a puppy, the answer was always no. Louie didn't grow up having a dog or any pet. He didn't disilike dogs, he just wasn't a dog guy! I bought a stuffed animal dog that was adorable and I would put it around the house. I would put it near the door when my husband was expected home to greet him, put it on the bed, under the kitchen table at husband thought I was nuts, I thought I was funny. Then one day my cousin sent me a picture of a litter of puppies that was for sale. Didn't those puppies look exactly like my little stuffed animal? I showed Louie the picture, he said, "if you want one, go get one!" He said he only said yes because they looked like the stuffed animal and he was used to that! Who knew my tactic of a fake dog would work! Well Santino came home last February and he is the biggest daddy's boy ever! My husband loves him! He fit right in and we all fell in love with him as soon as he got here. He fits right in and he has a great lovable personality.
I'm gathering pictures and recipes this week to post soon. I hope to really get this blog off the ground and really running! I'm always up for a challenge and I'm always in need of projects to keep me busy!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Feast of The Seven Fishes! A Traditional Italian Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve dinner is not just a meal, but a feast. A Feast of the Seven Fishes! It is tradition not to eat meat on this day. The significance of the number 7 has a few variations of the reason for 7, and depends on who you ask. Some say it has to do with a commemoration of the last seven of the Ten Commandments, which prescribe rules of human interaction -- as opposed to the first three, which address human relations with God. Others say it is to remind us of the seven deadly sins. In any case, seven fish dishes is a feast!

What fish you use is entirely up to you and what your family traditionally uses. In my family growing up we had many courses. We would have fried shrimp, smelt, baccala, stuffed calamari, calamari pie, octupus salad, cuttle fish, sardines, and of course the fish sauce. The fish sauce is made with all the sea food thrown in there including lobster and crab. The meal itself takes hours to eat. There is time between courses to drink wine, laugh, talk, open presents, and be reminiscent about the old days!

Dessert is always something spectacular and special during the Christmas season. The many many homemade Italian cookies, stroffoli, pannetone, cannoli, and more. Baking is started long in advance of Christmas. Some of the cookies that are made special for the holiday are very time consuming and take more than one baker to handle!

The tradition of the Feast is special to our family and many other families. It's a lot of work, it's very expensive, but I couldn't imagine Christmas without it!

Buon Natale!! Recipes will follow soon!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


There is nothing better than the warm weather and lazy summer nights!! Though on those nights the last thing you feel like doing is cooking and eating a heavy meal! Why not try a super easy but oh so fabulous antipasto dinner??
So simple. And there is no recipe. Its all up to you and what you like to serve and eat!! Here is a recent nights dinner at my house.A plate of some good Italian cheeses
Some prociutto wrapped mozzarellaThinly sliced eggplant and zuchinni that I simply brushed with olive oil and grilled, and then tossed with a splash of red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.
Grilled asparagus, tossed in olive oil and sprinkled with some fresh pecorino romano
Marinated mushrooms.
Italian sausage grilled and sliced in half
Fresh Italian bread brushed with olive oil and grilledCaprese Salad. Simply tomato, Mozzarella and fresh basil, salt, pepper, drizzled in olive oil.I love to drizzle a bit of good balsamic over everything. Gives it a little extra love!
And whatever else I had on hand. We love to top this meal off with a cold bottle of prosecco.
Give it a try and you'll see that it really doesn't take long to put together and you will be more than satisfied at the end of your meal.

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!

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.