Monday, November 30, 2009

Pizzelle Cookies & Pizzelle Irons

While common at Italian weddings and available year round in retail packages, pizzelle cookies are very popular during Easter and especially Christmas. Pizzelles are traditional Italian waffle cookies made from flour, eggs, sugar, butter or vegetable oil, and flavoring (often vanilla, anise, or lemon zest). Depending on their recipe, they can be served hard & crispy or soft & chewy.

The meaning of the word shares the same origin of pizza. Pizze means "round" & "flat". The pizzelle's origin comes from South Central Italy in the Abruzzo region.
It is common for two cookies to be sandwiched with cannoli cream or hazelnut spread. When warm, these cookies can be rolled into cones or cannoli shells. Gelato in a pizzelle cone, sounds yummy about now. One reason for its popularity during Christmas, besides the obvious tradition of families making them from scratch, is that the iron, like a waffle iron, leaves an imprint like a snowflake on the cookie. A little powdered sugar on it and it looks like it came from the snowy outdoors. For those interested, Doris Italian Market & Bakery sells pizelle irons and the mix for thise who wish to cut some corners. These items can be found in our stores and at our online store. Simply click on the images and they will take you to the online store to order one. You should hurry though, these pizzelle irons always sell out every year.
As for recipes, there are many variances but they all tend to be rooted by a basic foundation. The following recipe is considered a traditional recipe.

Pizzelle Recipe

Makes 150 pizzelles

6 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla or anise extract (pure)
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups sugar

1. Beat the eggs until smooth. Add the oil and vanilla or anise extract. Onto the mixture, sift the flour and baking powder. Add the sugar and blend vigorously all of these dry ingredients into the egg mixture until smooth. The mixture will be sticky and stiff. Test by dropping the mixture from a small teaspoon or demi-tasse spoon. As needed, add a few tablespoons of water so that the mix drops conveniently as a ribbon in two to three seconds. If the mix is too thin, add a few tablespoons of flour.

2. Set the Color Control Dial of the Pizzelle Pro® to about 3 - 3 1/2 and bake using the red/green light cycle for timing. Alternatively, bake for approximately 45 seconds, open the lid briefly to examine the color, and bake longer as desired to create a darker/browner surface. The baking time can be shortened slightly by increasing the Color Control Dial reading about 1/2 unit.

For those who want the cookies but do not want to make them, we have retail packages available in different brands and flavors. Inquire at your local Doris Italian Market & Bakery. Happy Shoppin' & Happy Eatin'!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Game of Bocce

A great gift idea for the holidays is a bocce ball set. For those of you who do not know what bocce ball is, it is an ancient game developed by the Egyptians, Romans, and the Greeks. The modern day version was mainly influenced by the Roman version of the game. The game is played with 1 small ball (the 'jack' or the 'pallino') and 8 larger balls. The game can be played one on one (up to eight players with one ball each) or 2 teams of 2 or 4 players.

There is an "open version" of the game which is popular and can be played anywhere, but a regulation bocce court is 76 feet long and 10 feet wide. You must make sure that playing surface is flat and level (packed dirt, gravel or grass are ideal).

  • Divide players into two teams of one, two or four players each. Each team gets four balls, divided equally among the players.

  • Have a player from the starting team stand behind the foul line (which is 10 feet from the throwing end of the court) and throw the small ball, or "pallina," toward the opposite end of the playing surface.

  • Let the player then throw one of the larger balls, or "boccia," trying to get it as close to the pallina as possible without touching it.

  • Have players from the opposing team take turns throwing their balls until one of the balls stops closer to the pallina than the starting player's ball. If they fail to do so, the starting team tries to outdo its first attempt.

  • Let the starting players take their second turn if the opposing team gets closer to the pallina than the starting team without using all of their balls.

  • Continue in this fashion until all eight balls have been thrown. The team with the closest ball gets one point for each of its balls that are closer to the pallina than the other team's closest ball.

  • Keep in mind that if the two teams' closest balls are an equal distance from the pallina, no points are awarded.

  • End the frame after all eight balls have been thrown and appropriate points have been awarded. The scoring team begins the next frame. If no team previously scored, the team that threw the pallina last begins the next frame.

  • Play as many frames as needed until one team has a total score of 16 points.

    • The game is a lot of fun and perfect for a day out in great weather. Finding a bocce ball set is pretty easy. There are plenty of online store that sell them and even local stores in the mall or sporting good stores. For more information about bocce ball, check out

      Click on the image to the left to view basic dimensions for a bocce ball court.

      Saturday, November 28, 2009

      It's Christmas Time!

      Well by now, you are all eating left overs from Thanksgiving and sharing war stories from your recent Black Friday Tour of Duty. Yes, the yule tide time is upon us and we all are getting into the giving mood. There's a nice sense of accomplishment bringing a smile to someone. Whether it be through acts of kidness, gifts, or culinary talent, this time of year is about unselfishness behavior aside from the religious reasons.

      From now until Christmas, Doris Italian Market & Bakery will be posting often on it's blogger. Look for recipes, food suggestions, traditional information, Italian Gift Ideas, music to enjoy, and some anecdotes to read and share. It's a busy time for us, but more importantly, it is a time to share with loved ones and to make more blessed memories that will live in our hearts forever.

      Doris wishes you a merry rest of the year and hope that you make us part of it. Happy Holidays and keep checking our blog every day.

      Wednesday, November 25, 2009

      Happy Thanksgiving!

      As we celebrate Thanksgiving and approach the end of yet another year, I feel it is important that we, as individuals, reflect on what transpires in our lives. In the span of one year, so much happens. For example, in this past year, I lost a dear friend, I am expecting my first child, I reconnected with old friends, and have endured a challenging economic year. These experiences can likely apply to anyone. It's life. We deal with what we are given.

      Well I can surely say that I am thankful for the life I have been given. I am thankful for where I come from, I am thankful for the people in my life. I am ultimately thankful for the difficulties in my life that in the end, they make me wiser & stronger.

      I am thankful for neighborhood. Each Doris Italian Market & Bakery is a part of its neighborhood. Traditions have started and maintained by the members of its communities and store locations. From the Hollywood Fire Department getting its meat products from the store to Coral Springs residents rushing to get in the Christmas Eve photo before opening time.

      I am thankful for the loyalty of our customers and the relationships that have been forged by this. I have seen families grow. From children being born, I have watched many grow up and some eventually worked at their neighborhood Italian Market. In a time where we are all in a rush to live, I am thankful for the little things that actually matter a lot.

      We at Doris Italian Markets are thankful for our customers that choose to come to our stores when they have so many other choices. We are thankful that you have made us a part of your neighborhood and your lives.

      This Thanksgiving, as we all give thanks, let us remember to be thankful for our families and to the fact that the neighborhood is alive and well in South Florida. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Be well & be safe.

      Sunday, November 15, 2009

      Doris Markets Loves the Arts!

      Everybody likes to be entertained. Even in these challenging economic times, we all need something to help us temporarily forget about our worries and preserve hope & happiness. That is why Doris Italian Market & Bakery has partnered with a local South Florida theater. The Coral Springs Center for the Arts has been providing high quality entertainment for years and Doris Italian Market & Bakery is proud to become a part of their tradition. In the past, Doris Markets has sponsored some great shows there including Frankie Valli, Al Martino, Doo Wop shows, Gilligan's Island, Beatlemania, and many more. In addition to these sponsorships, Doris has now become the center's official caterer and provides the signature buffet for its Comedy Club.

      There is much to do at the Coral Springs Center for the Arts. In addition to the theater shows and Comedy Club, the center hosts an Art Museum and conducts a Theater Camp for kids during the summer.
      For more information, check out their website at

      Stay tuned for future announcements pertaining to upcoming show sponsorships and drawings for free tickets to these shows.

      Thursday, November 12, 2009

      Fried Zucchini Flowers

      For those of you who like to have your own personal garden and grow summer vegetables, you probably have zucchini growing in it. Well for many of us who grew up in the Northeast, these summer gardens yielded some delicious veggies as well as bragging rights amongst your neighbors for the best tomato, eggplants, zucchini, etc.
      As for the zucchini, the edible flower blossom that adourns one end, is another delicious endeavor in itself. Many Italian traditional recipes have them stuffed. One way, which is arguably the most popular and most delicious is dipping the flower in batter and frying the zucchini flower. The saltiness and the crunchiness of the batter compliments the sweetness of the flower itself.
      Depending on the time of the year, these delicate flowers can be pricey or inexpensive. In South Florida, they can be obtained in boxes of about 100 flowers. If that is too much, get a couple of neighbors and share in this delicious item. Check with your local produce manager and inquire. They may not know what you are talking about, but if you are near a Doris Italian Market, come inquire because we KNOW what they are.
      I am posting a basic recipe for Fried Zucchini Flowers that serves about six. Please keep in mind that these are very fragile vegetables and should be utilized the day they are bought.
      • The first step, of course, is getting the zucchini flowers. Once obtained, keep them in your refrigerator (crisper section) until ready to be used.
      • When ready, wash them gently, pat them dry and remove the pistils.
      To make fried zucchini blossoms you'll need:
      • 18 zucchini blossoms
      • A pint (500 ml) whole milk, or a mixture of beer and milk
      • 3 heaping tablespoons flour
      • An egg, lightly beaten
      • Salt
      • Olive oil or lard, for frying
      Prepare the batter by combining the milk (and beer), flour and egg. Heat the oil.
      Lightly salt the zucchini blossoms, dredge them in the batter, fry them until golden, drain them on absorbent paper, and serve them hot.
      If you haven't ever tried them, trust me, you will be hooked! You will not be able to stop eating them. I can probably eat 18 flowers with ease!
      How do you like to prepare your zucchini flower? Share with us!

      Friday, November 6, 2009

      Dinner / Lunch For Two

      In today's fast paced lifestyle, people just do not seem to have enough time to have a good home cooked meal. The only option seems to order out or hit the drive-through on the way home. Well South Floridians do have another choice; Doris' Home Meal Replacement Program (HMR).

      If you want that home cooked meal but just don't have it in you to prepare, well don't fret. We can provide you with that home cooked quality with our wide selection of prepared foods. All you have to do is heat & eat. For $15.99 Doris' Home Meal Replacement includes:
      • 2 Entrees
      • 2 Starches
      • 2 Vegetables
      • House Salad or Soup of the Day for 2
      • Fresh Daily Baked Bread
      • Add $4 to include a bottle of Doris' Montepulciano Red Wine with your meal.

      Choices include lasagna, meatballs, sausage & peppers, pasta dishes, and chicken dishes. Excluded are any veal dishes, broccoli rabe, and stuffed eggplant.

      You can also win a free meal for two! Simply drop off your business card at your local Doris' Deli Department or fill out the form below and drop it off. One winner is picked weekly from each location. So Don't Cook Tonight! Visit your nearest Doris Italian Market & Bakery and leave the work to us.

      Thursday, November 5, 2009


      Ahhhh...... chestnuts roasting on a ..... uhhh, well nowadays they roast in our ovens, but the result is still the same. To this day, warm chestnuts are always present during our family get-togethers during Thanksgiving and Christmas time. We all look forward to having them at the table while we talk, play cards, and eat some more. In my family, we also expect my brother to eat enough of them to get the annual chestnut stomach ache. It wouldn't be the holiday season without it.

      Well for those of you who haven't had chestnuts or aren't sure how to prepare them, here is a quick how-to to try:
      1. Using a cutting board & knife, make 2 perpendicular cuts on the round side of the chestnut. Each chestnut should look like it has a "plus sign" carved into it. If you are a novice at handling a knife, use a short serrated blade.
      2. Spread the chestnuts evenly on a baking dish with the flat side down and drizzle water over the chestnuts with your fingers.
      3. Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees and then place the baking dish in the oven as close to the heat source as possible.
      4. After roasting for 10 minutes, turn the chestnuts over.
      5. After a total of 20 minutes in the oven, the chestnuts are ready. Serve them hot, and if you baked them right, peeling them open should be easy.

      How do you prepare your chestnuts? Share with us!

      Tuesday, November 3, 2009

      Let Us Cook Your Holiday Turkey...

      For years, Doris Italian Market & Bakery has been providing families with the best cooked & fresh turkeys for Thanksgiving. Let us take the hassle out of the holidays so you can enjoy the day with your loved ones. Just click on the image below to view your choices, and then visit your nearest Doris location and place your order. For those who prefer to cook their own turkey, Doris is proud to provide House of Raeford & Bell & Evans fresh Turkeys. Inquire for pricing.
      Holidays are a big deal for our family and the food is always center stage. Don't get stuck in the kitchen! Let us make your holidays an event to enjoy and remember. Happy Holidays!

      These prices are for 2009 only!