Saturday, February 27, 2010

Win a Giant Chocolate Egg!

Chocolate shaped as eggs has been a long Italian Easter tradition much like chocolate rabbits and marshmellow peeps in the United States. In addition to the chocolate goodness, traditional chocolate eggs also have a surprise gift inside.
Well now you can win a giant sized Chocolate Egg from Doris Italian Market & Bakery in time for Easter!
Each store will be giving away a 4lb. Chocolate Easter Egg valued at $200. But wait! There's more! Besides each location giving away a 4lb. Chocolate Easter Egg, all entries will be combined for a final grand prize drawing of a 10lb. Chocolate Easter Egg. Standing at around 4 feet tall, the 10lb. Chocolate Easter Egg is valued at $300. Simply drop off your entry at any Doris Italian Market & Bakery location. No purchase necessary. Good Luck!

If you did not get an entry form from the newspaper, simply click this image and print it out. Good Luck & Happy Easter!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

But It Sounds Much Better in Italian... (Part 4)

It's the details in life that can always make a difference. There is a saying that ties to an old tale about a monk named Martin. He was told to write the latin phrase "Porta patens esto. Nulli claudatur honesto": "Be the door (always) open. Be not closed to any honest (person)", referring to the door of the monastery. He instead supposedly wrote on that door "Porta patens esto nulli. Claudatur honesto.": "Be the door open to no one. Be it closed to honest (people)." Thus, he lost "the cape" (i.e.: the right of taking vows as a monk) because of a period, or dot (Italian language uses the same word). That to symbolize how little details make a big difference in meaning or results.) Hence the saying:

"Per un punto, Martin pere la cappa!"
Translation: "Because of a period, Martn lost his post!"

I have been receiving many sayings and am going through them. Some are in dialects so I am trying to get their spellings and meanings as accurate as possible. Please send your Italian proverbs you and/or your family uses. Here are more. Enjoy!

"Aiutati che Dio ti aiuta."
Translation: "Help yourself & God will help you."
Idiomatic Translation: "God helps those who help themselves."

"Chi dorme non piglia pesci."
Translation: "Those who sleep don't catch any fish."
Idiomatic Translation: "The early bird catches the worm."

"Dai nemici mi guardo io, dagli amici mi guardi Iddio!"
Translation: "I can protect myself from my enemies; may God protect me from my friends!"

"Del senno di poi son piene le fosse."
Translation: "Graves are filled with after-the-fact wisdom."
Idiomatic Translation: "Hindsight is always 20/20."

"E la gaia pioggerella a far crescer l'erba bella."
Translation: "It's the merry drizzle that makes grass grow fine."

"La gatta frettolosa ha fatto i gattini ciechi."
Transaltion: "The hurried she-cat has made blind kittens."

Related Posts:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 5

Sunday, February 21, 2010

La Linea - Episode 1

About La Linea "The Line". La Linea was created by Italian cartoonist Osvaldo Cavandoli. There are 90 episodes that origianlly aired on the Italian TV Station RAI from 1972-1991. Over the years, La Linea has been broadcast in over 40 countries. Depending on the country, the title may have varied like "Linus on the Line" in Sweden, "Badum, Badum" in Slovenia, "Mr. Curious" in Turkey, and "Lineman" in the US.
Similar to the Daffy Duck cartoons where Daffy is at the mercy of an artist's hand, La Linea illustrates the story of a man who is drawn as a part of an infinite line. His outline travels on this line and encounters obstacles such as water, rocks, and the infamous end of the line where he would always fall or hang on the edge.
The character's relationship with the artist "hand" consists of the character trying to deal with the obstacles drawn before him and his pleas to the "hand" to help solve his frustrations. The character's voice used a mock version of Milanese dialect that resembled gibberish as much as possible, giving the cartoon the possiblity to be easily exported without voice-overs.
La Linea was originally produced to promote Lagostina, an Italian kitchenware company. 8 episodes were produced before La Linea and Lagostina ended their partnership. As a matter of fact, although there are only 90 episodes, they are numbered up to 225. Here is the breakdown of the episode series:
  • Lagostina series: 8 episodes (1-8)
  • 100 Series: 56 episodes (101-156)
  • 200 Series: 26 episodes (200-225)
La Linea was shown in the US on the children's program "The Great Space Coaster". Not all episodes were shown and the show was always introduced by a different name from different characters on the show.
The 2-3 minute average show length allowed La Linea to be viewed in between programs or movies.
Each week we will be posting another episode of La Linea. We look forward to seeing you here!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Artichokes: Healthy Benefits

Aside from their aphrodisiac allure, the health benefits of artichokes are quite impressive. A quick health overview:
  • Artichokes are not only delicious when prepared by themselves, but they’re also a great partner for other healthy ingredients (e.g., with tomatoes in pasta).
  • One medium Artichoke is an excellent source of dietary fiber (10.3 grams!). It’s also an excellent source of vitamin C, and a good source of folate and magnesium.
  • Artichokes have no fat, cholesterol or trans fat, so they’re a healthful source of protein at four grams per serving.
  • Artichokes are being called a nutritional “superfood” because they are a great source of powerful disease-fighting antioxidants. In fact, recent research shows cooked artichokes are the best source of antioxidants among all fresh vegetables.
  • Potassium
    Artichokes are an under-recognized source of potassium, a mineral that's vital to maintaining normal heart rhythm, fluid balance, muscle and nerve function. One medium Artichoke provides more than 400 milligrams of potassium, about as much as a small banana. There is strong evidence that a diet rich in potassium is linked to reduced risk of stroke. Potassium also blunts the effects of salt on blood pressure.
  • MagnesiumMagnesium is used in building bones, manufacturing proteins, releasing energy from muscle storage, and regulating our body temperature. Many adults — especially women — aren't getting enough of this mineral. Artichokes are a good source.
  • Vitamin C
    Artichokes are an excellent source of vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin that functions as a potent antioxidant. Vitamin C is vital for a healthy immune system. It also is important in forming collagen, a protein that gives structure to our bones, cartilage, muscle and blood vessels. Vitamin C also aids in the absorption of iron.
  • Dietary Fiber
    Found only in plant foods, fiber helps maintain a healthy digestive system, lowers blood cholesterol, reduces the risk of heart disease and may prevent certain types of cancer. Fiber also works to keep blood-sugar levels stable, which is especially important for people with diabetes. It can also help us feel full, aiding in weight control. Artichokes are very fiber-rich, providing 10.3 grams in one Artichoke (120 grams).
    USDA 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend eating more plant-based protein in place of animal-based protein as a way to help reduce saturated fat and cholesterol intake. With no fat, cholesterol or trans fat, Artichokes are a healthful source of protein. One medium Artichoke provides four grams. (source:
Now that we got past all that, make sure you know how to eat artichokes properly. We have provided some videos for your enjoyment. Enjoy!

Friday, February 19, 2010

How to Prepare and Cook Artichokes

Okay, so the weekend is coming and hopefully by now, you are a little more familiar with artichokes. And if you have selected some today, now we will provide some tips on how to prepare and cook them.

  • Medium- to Jumbo-Size Artichokes

  • Start by washing the Artichoke under cold, running water.

  • Trim the end of the stem to desired length, such as 1 inch. Remember the stem is an extension of the Artichoke Heart and is edible!

  • Trim the top of the Artichoke by cutting off 1/4 of the top (about an inch) and discard.

  • Use scissors to trim rest of thorns off the top of each Artichoke petal – only if desired. (This is not necessary to have a great eating experience.)

  • To preserve the color, immediately rub any cut surface of the Artichoke with lemon juice to prevent browning caused by oxidation. (Optional)
    How to Cook Artichokes:
    There are many ways to cook an Artichoke. For any of the cooking methods below, prepare the Artichokes first by using the techniques above.

    These tips will increase your enjoyment of Artichokes...
    • To save time, prepare and cook Artichokes the night before planning to serve. Warm up in microwave or conventional oven.
    • After cooking, immediately pull and drain the Artichoke from any liquid you’re cooking it in, so it can “set” before serving.
      Once an Artichoke is cooked and has set for a couple of minutes, cutting Artichokes in half and scooping out the fuzzy choke will be simple.
    • For enhanced flavor, substitute vegetable or chicken stock for water when microwaving, braising or boiling Artichokes.
    • Adding some olive oil and garlic powder or a clove of garlic to the water or broth is another fun option.
    • When a recipe calls for using the Artichoke Heart only as an ingredient, use the leaves for a healthy snack in place of chips.
    Microwaving Artichokes
    Microwaving an Artichoke is the fastest way to cook an Artichoke!
    • Place Artichoke “stem up” in a deep, microwave-safe bowl.
    • Add 1-2 inches of water. Cover bowl with microwavable plate or with plastic wrap.
    • Jumbo sized Artichoke: Cook on high for 12-15 minutes.
    • Medium sized Artichoke: Cook on high for 7-10 minutes.Depending on the size and quantity of Artichokes you are cooking, it may be necessary to heat an additional 1-5 minutes to obtain complete tenderness throughout the Artichoke, as microwave oven cooking times may vary. Keep covered and let the Artichoke stand for 5 minutes prior to serving.
    Steaming Artichokes
    Steaming an Artichoke is the ideal cooking method for maintaining the high-nutrient content for which an Artichoke is known.
    • Arrange Artichokes in a steamer insert, basket, or a special Artichoke holder in a pot deep enough to keep Artichokes above water. Cover and steam over rapid-boiling water (making sure to maintain the water level), until Artichokes are tender. Depending on size and quantity of Artichokes, steaming time can range from 30 to 50 minutes; lift out carefully and drain.
    Grilling Artichokes
    Grilling adds color and a delicious smoked flavor to Artichokes. But Artichokes need to be pre-cooked before grilling.
    • To pre-cook Artichokes, microwave, steam or boil them.
    • Brush cooked Artichokes with olive oil and grill — turning frequently and watching carefully — over hot coals just until nicely browned, or charred to your preference. Option: Cut Artichokes in half before grilling to obtain more of that grilled taste throughout the Artichoke petals.
    Braising Artichokes
    Usually considered a method of meat cookery, braising involves cooking food in seasoned liquid and is a nice way to give Artichokes extra flavor.
    • In a large saucepan or pot, heat a small amount of olive oil, along with any savory ingredients you prefer (herbs, garlic, lemon, salt and pepper).
    • Add about 2 cups of water, cover tightly, heat to boiling.
    • Add Artichokes and cover tightly. Reduce heat and simmer until Artichokes are tender, about 25 to 40 minutes.
    You can also braise in the oven.
    • Brush Artichokes with olive oil and arrange in oven-safe pot or baking dish.
    • Add lemon slices, garlic, salt and pepper, and water as above.
    • Cover tightly with lid or foil and bake in 375°F oven until tender, about 45 minutes.
    • Boil liquid in pan until reduced to about 1/2 cup and use as a sauce for the Artichokes.
    Roasting Artichokes

    • Roasting brings out the nutty flavor of Artichokes and requires the Artichokes to be pre-cooked before roasting
    • Use any preferred method to cook, but reduce the cooking time by amount 10 minutes.
    • Drain well.
    • Brush generously with olive oil or other oil of your choice, including flavored oils.
    • You can be creative! Arrange in roasting pan and roast in 425°F oven until tender and browned, about 10 to 20 minutes, depending on size.
      Sautéing Artichokes
      • Place cooked and quartered Artichoke Hearts in a skillet or wok lightly coated with olive oil.
      • Cover and sauté slowly on medium-high heat for about three minutes or until they begin to brown.
      • Season to taste with salt, pepper and garlic.
      Deep Frying Artichokes
      • Cut cooked Artichoke Hearts into bite-sized pieces.
      • Dip in beaten egg, then in flour. Or, you can use your preferred choice of batter.
      • Fry in hot oil in skillet or in deep fat fryer at 350°F, turning once, until golden brown and crisp, about 5 to 8 minutes depending on cooking source.
      Boiling Artichokes
      Boiling Artichokes is a customary way of cooking Artichokes. However, boiling also extracts the most levels of healthy nutrients from the Artichoke when compared to any other cooking method. Hence, it is no longer considered to be the preferred option.
      • Place Artichokes in a full pot of boiling water.
      • Boil for 25 to 40 minutes, depending on size and quantity of Artichokes being cooked. Option: Substitute vegetable or chicken stock for water when boiling Artichokes.
      Re-heating Artichokes
      Artichokes are great for cooking the day before and reheating when ready to serve. For this “time-saving step,” prepare and cook Artichokes the night before.
      • Warm up in microwave or conventional oven as you would with any vegetable to preferred temperature.
      Pressure Cooking Artichokes
      Cooks who use pressure cookers regularly swear by this easy and quick way to cook vegetables.Cooking factors such as style of stove (gas versus electric) and quantity and size of Artichokes will affect the cooking time below. For jumbo-sized Artichokes, add approximately 5 more minutes to the cooking time. You may need to experiment with your pressure cooker to find your perfect cook time and your preferred “doneness” of the Artichoke.
      • 4 Medium-sized Artichokes
      • 1 1/2 Cups water
      • 1 Lemon
      • 1 Bulb garlic
      • 1 Teaspoon salt
      • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
      • Trim and prepare Artichokes as described above.
      • Squeeze lemon on the fresh-cut Artichokes to retain the Artichoke color.
      • Roll the outside of the Artichokes in the olive oil.
      • Place the Artichokes stem up in the cooker.
      • Pour in the water and salt.
      • Place the lid on and apply the lid lock.
      • Set the cooker to the low-pressure setting.
      • Place on the stove on high; when you hear the pressure being released, turn the stove down to medium; start a timer and cook for 22 minutes.
      • At 22 minutes, turn the dial to the pressure-release symbol.
      • When all of the steam has been released and the pressure indicator drops, unlock the lid and remove; use caution as a lot of steam will be released.
      • Remove the Artichokes and set upside down on a tray to cool.
      • Using a spoon, remove the center (choke) taking care not to cut into the Heart.
      Your Artichokes are ready to stuff, fire roast or simply serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
      Testing for Doneness
      However you decide to cook your Artichoke, it is important to know when it is done. The best way is to use a toothpick or knife to poke the base of the stem to check if the Artichoke is tender all the way through to the Heart. If there is no resistance, it's done and your Artichoke is ready to eat!
      All this information can be found at It's a great site that provides such a plethora of artichoke information that you can call yourself an artichoke expert after visiting the site.

    Thursday, February 18, 2010

    Shopping for Artichokes

    When shopping for artichokes, there are some basic tips to remember to ensure their freshness and quality. As a consumer, you must be willing to invest a few extra minutes to better assist you in your selection process. Also be familiar with size categories. Here are some correlations to help judge sizes:

    • Jumbo = Softball

    • Large = Baseball

    • Medium = Tennis Ball

    • Baby = Golf Ball

    Pick up the Artichokes and feel the weight. You’re searching for those that feel the heaviest and firmest. Now examine the exterior. You’re looking for Globes that have a healthy green color, compact center leaves and an overall look of freshness (not dehydrated). During the winter months (December to February), if you see Artichokes with a blotchy colored or white-blistered exterior appearance, be sure to try one. The appearance of these Artichokes is the result of exposure to colder temperatures and frost. Connoisseurs believe these “Frost-Kissed” Artichokes are more tender and have a flavorful, nutty zest. (reference:

    Keep in mind that fresh artichokes should squeak when gently squeezed. If they do not squeak, they most likely are not fresh. Here are some videos on selecting artichokes. Check in tomorrow and we will give tips on preparing and cooking artichokes.

    Weekly Ad 2/18/10 - 2/24/10

    Click on the image to view it better.
    Happy Shopping!

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010

    Win Tickets To Cirque Le Masque!

    Drawings to be held March 6th, 2010. 4 winners will receive 4 tickets each to see the show at the Coral Springs Center for the Arts at 7:30 p.m. on March 12th. Sponsored in part by Doris Italian Market & Bakery.
    Simply click & print out the entry form below and drop off at your nearest Doris Italian Market.
    If you are a fan of Cirque shows, you do not want to miss the chance of seeing this show. Aside form the drawing, tickets are still available but are selling fast. Good Luck!

    Artichokes: A Brief History

    According to an Aegean legend and praised in song by the poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus, the first artichoke was a lovely young girl who lived on the island of Zinari. The god, Zeus was visiting his brother Poseidon one day when, as he emerged from the sea, he spied a beautiful young mortal woman. She did not seem frightened by the presence of a god, and Zeus seized the opportunity to seduce her. He was so pleased with the girl, who's name was Cynara, that he decided to make her a goddess, so that she could be nearer to his home on Olympia. Cynara agreed to the promotion, and Zeus anticipated the trysts to come, whenever his wife Hera was away. However, Cynara soon missed her mother and grew homesick. She snuck back to the world of mortals for a brief visit. After she returned, Zeus discovered this un-goddess-like behavior. Enraged, he hurled her back to earth and transformed her into the plant we know as the artichoke.
    It origins dates back to the time of the Greek philosopher and naturalist, Theophrastus (371-287 B.C.), who wrote of them being grown in
    Italy and Sicily.
    Pedanius Dioscorides (40-90 A.D.), a 1st century A.D. Greek physician of Anazarbus, Cilicia, wrote about artichokes at the time of Christ. While
    traveling as a surgeon with the Roman army of Emperor Nero, he collected information on the remedies of the period and wrote a work on The Greek Herbal of Dioscorides. Originally written in Greek, Dioscorides’ herbal was later translated into Latin as De Materia Medica. It remained the authority in medicinal plants for over 1500 years.
    Ancient Greeks and Romans considered artichokes a delicacy and an aphrodisiac. In Ancient
    Greece, the artichoke was attributed to being effective in securing the birth of boys.
    In 77 A.D., the Roman naturalist Caius Plinius Secundus, called Pliny the Elder (23–79 A.D.), called the choke "one of the earth’s monstrosities." Evidently he and his colleagues continued to enjoy eating them. Wealthy Romans enjoyed artichokes prepared in honey and vinegar, seasoned with cumin, so that the treat would be available year round.
    Beginning about 800 A.D., North African Moors begin cultivating artichokes in the area of Granada, Spain, and another Arab group, the Saracens, became identified with chokes in Sicily. This may explain why the English word artichoke is derived from the Arab, "al’qarshuf" rather than from the Latin, "cynara.". Between 800 and 1500, it’s probable that the artichoke was improved and transformed, perhaps in monastery gardens, into the plant we would recognize today.
    Artichokes were first cultivated at Naples around the middle of the 15th century and gradually spread to other sections of
    Europe. After Rome fell, artichokes became scarce but re-emerged during the Renaissance in 1466 when the Strozzi family brought them from Florence to Naples.
    1500s - In the 16th century, Catherine de Medici (1519-1589), married to King Henry II (1519-1559), of France at the age of 14, is credited with making artichokes famous. She is said to have introduced them to France when she married King Henry II in the mid 16th century. She was quoted as sayig, "If one of us had eaten artichokes, we would have been pointed out on the street. Today young women are more forward than pages at the court."
    The chronicler, Pierre de L'Estoile, in his Journal of June 19, 1576 talks about the occasion of the wedding of Marquis de Lomenie and Mlle de Martigues, "The Queen Mother ate so m
    uch she thought she would die, and was very ill with diarrhoea. They said it was from eating too many artichoke bottoms and the combs and kidney of cockerels, of which she was very fond."
    From the "Book of Nature," by Dr. Bartolomeo Boldo in 1576, "it has the virtue of . . . provoking Venus for both men and women; for women making them more desirable, and helping the men who are in these matters rather tardy."
    1600s - Martha Washington's Booke of Cookery contains a 17th-century
    recipe entitled "To Make Hartichoak Pie."
    1800s - French immigrants brought artichokes to the United States in 1806 when they settled in the Louisiana Territory. But though the first commercial artichoke fields were developed in Louisiana, by 1940 they had mysteriously disappeared. They were later established in Louisiana by French colonists and in California in the Monterey area by the Spaniards during the later 1800s.
    Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1749-1832), poet and dramatist, shunned the artichoke. In his book
    Travels Through Italy, Goethe says, "the peasants eat thistles," a practice he could never adopt.
    20th century - In 1922 Andrew Molera, a landowner in the Salinas Valley of Monterey County, California, just south of San Francisco, decided to lease his land previously dedicated to the growing of sugar beets to Italian farmers that he encouraged to try growing the "new" vegetable. His reasons were economic as artichokes were fetching high prices and farmers could pay Molera triple what the sugar company did for the same land.
    By the early 20th century, Fannie Farmer noted in her ninth edition of her cookbook that California artichokes were selling in Boston for 30 to 40 cents each.
    In the 1920s, Ciro Terranova "Whitey" (1889-1938), a member of the mafia and known as the "Artichoke King," began his monopoly of the artichoke market by purchasing all the produce shipped to New York from California at $6 a crate. He created a produce company and resold the artichokes at 30 to 40 percent profit. Not only did he terrorize distributors and produce merchants, he even launched an attack on the artichoke fields from Montara to Pescadero, hacking down the plants with machetes in the dead of night. These "artichoke wars" led the Mayor or New York, Fiorello La Guardia, to declare "the sale, display, and possession" of artichokes in New York illegal. Mayor La Guardia publicly admitted that he himself loved the vegetable and after only one week he lifted the ban. (references: &

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010

    But it Sounds Much Better in Italian... (Part 3)

    Gasp! Eehgads! Oh no! Oh my God! There are so many ways of expressing surprise, amazement, pity, and other forms of spontaneous reaction. Many can be used to express multiple emotions. In the Sicilain dialect, a form of expression to describe these is "Bedda Madré". It's immediate translation is "Beloved Mother". It's idiomatic transaltion could be,"Oh my God, What a shame, Holy Moly! Oh No! (you get the idea).

    Here are some more sayings:

    "A chi dai il dito si prende anche il braccio."
    Translation: "Give them the finger and they'll take an arm."
    Idiomatic Translation: "Give them an inch and they'll take a mile."

    "Amicu ca non ti duna, parendi ca non ti mpresta, fuili comu la pesta."
    Sicilian translation: "Friend who won't give, relatives who won't lend a hand, avoid them like the plague."

    "Chi fa da sé, fa per tre."
    Translation: "He who works by himself, does the work of three people."
    Idiomatic translation: "If you want something done, do it yourself."

    "L'unione fa la forza"
    Translation: "Union produces might."

    "Chi parla in faccia non é traditore."
    Translation: "He who speaks to your face is not a traitor."

    "Meglio tardi che mai."
    Translation: "Better late than never."

    "La speranza é l'ultima a morire."
    Translation: "Hope is last to die."

    That's all for now. Please remember to contribute! Ciao for now!

    Related Posts:
    Part 1
    Part 2
    Part 4
    Part 5

    Monday, February 15, 2010

    Are Artichokes an Aphrodisiac?

    All this Valentine's Day talk got me wondering about aphrodisiacs. From oysters to strawberries to Spanish Fly. Many claim that these and many other foods have erotic benefits that help the libido of many. While there isn't much scientific proof that supports these claims, many "aphrodisiacs" do cause forms of swelling and irritation that can be contributed to the supposed increase of libido. Many foods like strawberries are symbolic aphrodisiacs where the color and shape represent physical & biological aspects of relationships.

    Well one aphrodisiac I wish to discuss is the artichoke. Yep, the artichoke. There is much information about this item and it's history and origin are interesting. Throughout the week, I will have information pertaining to this vegetable which will include recipes, shopping, tips, anecdotes and the such. To get started, enjoy this video I found and check the blog each day this week for more information about artichokes. Ciao for now!

    Artichoke Anatomy

    In addition to its popularity as a healthy vegetable, the artichoke is quite interesting visually. Here we have a cross section of an artichoke to observe its multiple layers.
    You may be interested to know that the Artichoke is actually the bud of a plant from the thistle family and at full maturity, the plant grows to a width of about six feet and a height of three to four. If not harvested from the plant, the bud will eventually blossom into a beautiful, blue-violet flower, which is not edible.The bud contains the Heart, the delightful, meaty core of the Artichoke, and is topped by a fuzzy center, or choke, which is surrounded by rows of petals, which protect the Artichoke Heart. With their tiny thorns, the Artichoke’s petals reveal their thistle heritage. The thorns aren’t a problem if handled carefully and they soften in cooking. Beware of Artichokes promoted as thornless. They have smaller Hearts, less meat and their flavor is not as robust. (source

    Sunday, February 14, 2010

    Happy Valentine's Day! A Brief History

    With all the hoopla going on with dinner reservations, flowers, chocolates, diamonds, etc.; we seldom remember what Valentine's Day is for. Take away all the commercialism and Valentine's Day's essence is the declaration of one's love for another. Love knows no bounds. These notions were inspired by the holiday's origins which date back to the 5th century. And yes, there is a Catholic saint name St. Valentine. However, history acknowledges three St. Valentines (a priest, a bishop, and a mysterious third; all were martyrs).
    In 469 A.D., Pope Gelasius declared Feb. 14 a day to honor St. Valentine, one of these three men.One legend says that a Roman emperor banned soldiers from marrying in the third century, but St. Valentine took issue with this. He became an advocate for soldiers and was executed as a result of his outspokenness.Another legend says St. Valentine was executed for his beliefs in Christianity and just before he died, he left a farewell note for a loved one and signed it "From Your Valentine."
    A conventional and widely accepted belief about the holiday itself is that Valentine's Day grew out of a
    Middle Ages tradition of celebrating Feb. 14 as the day "the birds began to pair." notes that February has long been associated with being a month of love, and Feb. 15 was celebrated in ancient times as a fertility festival. (reference:

    So as we spend the rest of the day with family, friends, and lovers; eat, laugh. and say "i love you" often and mean it when you say it. It never gets old, therefore it never dies. Happy Valentine's Day to all!

    Thursday, February 11, 2010

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010

    Doris Reusable Bags Are In!

    Now available in all Doris Italian Market & Bakery locations! For $0.99 each plus tax, you can have a sturdy bag that can fit and hold more than our standard plasctic bags. Your money will go far with this bag. Made of 100% polypropylene, these bags are currently available in green or black & beige. They are washable too! (See care label)

    Next time you visit one of our locations, simply ask your cashier upon check-out that you would like to buy a bag. They will provide you with how ever many you wish. Keep in mind that by buying these bags, you are showing others that you are trying to help the environment and show everyone where you do your food buying. So come to Doris Italian Market & Bakery where you can help us improve the environment and we can help you with the groceries. See you soon!

    Tuesday, February 9, 2010

    But it Sounds Much Better in Italian... (Part 2)

    So I am in one of my favorite restaurants trying to enjoy my meal while this older gentleman was busy ruining everyone's dining experience. Nothing made him happy. he was complaining about the food, but he ate it all. He was complaining about the wine, but he drank it all. I even observed that the staff made extra effort to please him but it wasn't good enough. I felt bad for the staff because while I wasn't eating what the gentleman was eating, the staff is always accomodating and are rather efficient without compromising quality.

    Well needless to say, all the other patrons seemed to have agreed with me by noticing their glances they made at the gentleman. But, like all good restaurants, the staff did their best even though it would not help the patron's disposition. Well Karma was present. Near the end of his meal, the angry man went to the men's room. Unsurprisingly, he had to make a comment when he came out. Well unbeknownst to him, he forgot to zip up. A fellow paesan noticed and made the comment, "Gabbia aperta, ucello morto." Well for those close enough to hear and understand, it brought quite a bit of laughter. While no one looked at the gentleman, I think it at least made him stop his tirade while he tried to wonder what was so enjoyable to the others.

    Needless to say everyone was able to enjoy the rest of their dining experience and tipped their waiters for maintaining their professionalism and their silence for not divulging the meaning of the sentence that made the night memorable.

    Transaltion of "gabbia aperta, ucello morto" : The cage is open but the bird is dead.

    Here are a few more sayings. Don't forget to contribute!

    "A correre e cagare ci si immerda i garretti."
    Translation: "By running and defecating at the same time, you'll get poo on your heels."
    Idiomatic translation: "Doing two things at once will result in a mess."
    "Al contadino non far sapere quanto è buono il cacio (formaggio) con le pere."
    Translation: "Don't let the peasant know how good the cheese with the pears is."
    "Chi va piano, va sano e va lontano."
    Translation: "He who goes slowly, goes safely and goes far."
    "In un mondo di ciechi un orbo è re."
    Translation: "In a world of blind people, a one-eyed man is king."

    And in honor for the Super Bowl, here are some ways of wishing luck:

    "In bocca al lupo."
    Translation: "Into the mouth of a wolf." (Very commonly used)
    Idiomatic translation: "Break a leg!"
    A common response is "Crepi!" (May it die!)
    "In culo alla balena!"
    Translation: "Into the ass of a whale!" (Sometimes following In bocca al lupo)
    Response: "Speriamo che non cahgi!" (Hope it doesn't defecate! [vulgar])
    "In groppa al riccio!"
    Translation: "On a hedgehog's back!"
    Response: "Con le mutande di ghisa!" (Wearing underpants made of cast iron!)

    Related Posts:
    Part 1
    Part 3
    Part 4
    Part 5

    Monday, February 8, 2010

    Where was this tailor when Don Corleone needed him...

    I came across this interesting news video and thought, "while it seems strange, there is actually an increasing demand for this couture." I mean, sadly enough, we are living in a time where almost no place is safe and just walking out side poses a certain amount of risk. Well at least there are those that can help us look good while protected.

    Fredo could have at least saved face by giving his dad a trench coat by this guy. Tell us what you think.

    Sunday, February 7, 2010

    Screen Pass Chicken & Sausage Chili

    For a quick tailgate get together.

    yields 2 quarts
    recipe developed by The Clever Cleaver Brothers®
    • 1/2 pound Doris' Own Italian sausage
    • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    • 1/2 cup ½-inch diced Spanish onion
    • 4 cloves minced garlic
    • 1/2 cup ½-inch diced red pepper
    • 1 tablespoon minced jalapenos (without seeds)
    • 2 tablespoons chili powder
    • 3/4 cup flour
    • 3 cups Cento chicken broth (available in Low Sodium)
    • 1 teaspoon Hot Sauce
    • 1 cup white beans, drained
    • 1 cup chili beans, drained
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    1. Remove the sausage from the casings and crumble.
    2. Rinse the chicken with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Cut the chicken breasts in half
    lengthwise, and cut across in thin strips.
    3. When ready to prepare the chili, heat the chicken broth in a saucepan or in the microwave and hold for
    4. Heat a 2-quart stock pot over medium heat and add the sausage crumbles. Sauté crumbles until 3/4
    cooked and add the chicken slices. Combine.
    5. When the chicken is 3/4 cooked add onion, garlic, red pepper and jalapenos. Continue cooking until the
    chicken is done and stir in the chili powder. Cook for 1 minute.
    6. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Don’t let this flour mixture (roux) burn.
    7. Add the hot chicken broth and Hot Sauce. Combine.
    8. Add the white beans, chili beans, salt and pepper. Combine and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve and

    Thursday, February 4, 2010

    Wednesday, February 3, 2010

    Coming Soon! Doris' Own Reusable Shopping Bags

    Starting some time next week, all Doris Market locations will be selling reusable shopping bags. If you want to save a plastic tree or minimalize your carbon footprint, purchasing a Doris' reusable shopping bag is a great start! The bags will be available for $0.99 each (plus tax). Also lookout out for coupons to get free bags on this blog. More details will be available early next week. Keep checking the blog. Ciao for now!

    Tuesday, February 2, 2010

    But It Sounds Much Better In Italian... (Part 1)

    "The early bird gets the worm". "You can't teach an old dog new tricks". Growing up, we hear these sayings to help us understand the life around us. It's a way of passing down wisdom in a cute package of words that stays with us.

    From time to time, we are going to be posting Italian proverbs with their transaltions. Some will be profound, some will be funny and a few might be naughty.
    As you read these, please understand that many of these saying are in their dialect so the spelling may not seem correct and the grammar and vocabulary may also seem off but the English translation should help. Enjoy these as you may not have heard them in a while, and some are probably in your family lexicon. If you have a saying that we have not posted yet, please comment on the post so we can add to our melting pot of Italian wisdom. To get everyone warmed up, I have linked this video with basic sayings. Just to get the wisdom juices flowing. Enjoy!

    Related Posts:
    Part 2
    Part 3
    Part 4
    Part 5