Monday, May 31, 2010

Wrapping Up Mommy Month

Well it's the end of the month and I think we had a fair amount of information to share. There were some nice recipes, articles, dedications, music & video. Not bad I'd say. Please don't forget to comment on anything in this blog and we welcome anyone to share their stories, recipes, etc. We hope many of you mothers had a great month and now we must prepare for Mister Month. Gotta show props to the dads too. Well as we seal the month for moms, we thought we would leave you with some solid advice....

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Doris' Original Sirloin Burger with Secret Ingredient

Doris Original Sirloin Burger Sure to be a memorable burger you will
want to tell your friends and family about!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ lb ground sirloin
  • 4oz. Doris Meat Marinade
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
Directions:
  1. Place 1 ¼ lb ground sirloin into a bowl.
  2. Pour 4oz of Doris Meat Marinade and salt & pepper (if desired) and mix in evenly.
  3. Divide ground beef evenly into approx. 4- 6 oz portions, then hand make burgers.
  4. Place on grill, pan, or oven and cook according to your choice of doneness.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Cooking Tip for Spare Ribs

Lean & Meaty Country Style Pork Spare Ribs


Directions:

  • Place ribs into a pot of boiling water, and continue to boil for approx. 15-20 minutes
  • Remove ribs from pot and place ribs directly on to BBQ grill with medium flame
  • Brush ribs with Doris Own BBQ sauce
  • Continue to baste and rotate ribs as necessary for an additional 15 minutes (approx. depending on grill)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Most Moving Mother/Child Scene in a Movie

It's still May so the month still belongs to mothers. I thought I would share a personal favorite of mine. We see many movies and television shows that portray good mothers. Sometimes, actions speak volumes in comaprison to words, and a mother's love has the ability defy all obstacles and provide unlimited strength. Please do not judge this scene for it's religious theme. My intention in this post is not to showcase Catholicism but true motherhood. Look past the characters and view and appreciate the scene for what it is....... a mother and her son.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

La Dolce Vita: Trevi Fountain Scene

A small taste of one of the all time great films and the film that just may given birth to the term paparazzi......... Fellini's La Dolce Vita

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Surviving the "Mommy Mafia"

Surviving the 'mommy mafia'
By Jen Klein, Special to CNN

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • "The Mommy Files" author Jen Klein: There's no way to be sure you are doing it right
  • Insecurities and comparisons can lead to judgments and lashing out
  • Learning to accept that we're all different and imperfect as parents is hard
  • Once you accept yourself and own choices, you can support other moms
Editor's note: Jen Klein is the author of "The Mommy Files: Secrets Every New Mom Should Know (that no one else will tell you!)." She is also writes a weekly parenting column for SheKnows.com.
(CNN) -- C'mon, you've done it. You judged another mom on her choices, maybe even a close friend. You likely felt a little guilty about it -- but the judgment was still there.
The way moms -- well, women in general but especially moms -- judge one another is one of those dirty little secrets of mommy social structure, and it's not so secret.
Being a mom is incredibly hard work, and there's no way to be absolutely sure you are doing it right. Kids don't come with instruction manuals and checklists. There is no annual performance review with incentive awards for successes and improvement plans for less-than-successes.
For many of us, it will be decades before we have a real sense of how we did as a mom.
Amid that incredible level of uncertainty in this oh-so-vital job, it's no wonder we look to other moms for support, reassurance -- and maybe some smug self-satisfaction.
Insecurity about our own efforts combined with the appearance (good or less-than-good) of others' efforts makes conditions ripe for judgment and lashing out. Even among close friends, it's easy to slide into this not-at-all productive dynamic -- whether we want to admit it or not. Best friends or worst enemies -- or both -- the social dynamic among moms is a complicated, two-faced beast. It's the "mommy mafia."
Ah, yes, the mommy mafia. Enforcers of local social structures and norms and judgers of all who dare to do things differently. The mommy mafia can be brutal.
There's a little bit of the mommy mafia in each of us. Throw in one or a dozen of the hot-button issues in parenting today, and it's a potentially combustible situation -- the makings of a mommy mafia turf war!
Working-outside-the-home or stay-at-home, breast or bottle, cloth diapers or disposable, organic or processed, public school or home school, or any one of a myriad of topics from pregnancy to adulthood.
You make your decisions and hope you got them right, but a friend or a "frenemy" makes a comment or gives you the stink-eye and you doubt your decisions all over again -- or you're the one making the comments or giving the eye to a mom who dared to do it differently from you.
When we have any kind of insecurity about our own parenting decisions, pointing fingers at the choices and parenting decisions of others is the easiest thing to do. It deflects attention from issues in our own parenting situation that might rightly need more personal thought and attention. Whether we are think we are convinced that one way is the right way -- or we are still trying to convince ourselves that our decision is the right one -- it's base insecurity that drives this lashing out, this mommy mafia on display.
The mommy mafia, however, is more about perception than anything else. The enforcers (ourselves!) are real, but the basis on which we enforce is myth: the myth of the perfect mom, something none of us will attain.
Here's the thing: We're all figuring it out as we go along. Every last one of us. There is no single right way to parent and we all parent differently by necessity -- and none of us are perfect. We all have a different set of circumstances, different strengths and weaknesses, and a different set of lenses through which we make decisions for ourselves and on behalf of our families. From the ones you have judged to the ones who have judged you, we're all doing the best we can, imperfections and all.
And if we all did parent exactly the same way? Sure, the noise around parenting issues would be much quieter, but it would also be a much more boring world. But those differences don't have to slide into mommy mafia turf, either. Learning to accept that we're all different and imperfect as parents is hard, however, especially when we want so much to do a great job.
It starts with accepting ourselves and the choices we have made. We each make a set of choices based on our life, knowledge, resources, and the information before us. No two sets of circumstances are exactly the same either, even within the same family -- and when you are making decisions for your family, the response of the local mommy mafia should be the last thing on your mind.
Once we get to personal acceptance, it's a short hop to real support of one another as moms. Banish the mommy mafia and reject the turf wars. Be the best mom you can be, but accept your imperfections and just keep working at it. You'll likely find you are more resilient and have less need to lash out -- and that's just plain good parenting.


Find this article at: http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/wayoflife/04/13/mommy.mafia.jen.klein/index.html?hpt=C2

La Linea: Episode 105

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ave Maria

Some songs simply evoke so much emotion from the listener...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Here we are again on Mother's Day. On last year's post, I dedicated the post to my mother. Well this year, in addition to my mother, I get to include my wife. Just recently, my wife & I became parents and I cannot explain the transformation one feels when they suddenly have a beautiful young human being that you must care for for the rest of your days. Priorities shift without notice and without regret. Watching my wife be the mother she has longed to be also fulfills my wish of having an amazing wife who can transform into that perfect mother.

Now, before I continue on about Mother's Day, I wanted to restate something I had written once before. While my wife and I are blessed to have been able to create such a beautiful being, creating life does not define a parent; their actions do. In my opinion, being a parent is not making a child. Being a parent is making a commitent to guide a child throughout his/her life and loving them unconditionally. As much as I have waited to have my own child, I am grateful for the chance to raise her and love her and provide her the tools... to lead a life better than her parents. A childs path is easier to see with a parents beaming pride.

Well, my wife is only 2 months into her lifelong duties as a mommy but I can honestly say that I am so grateful she is the mother of my child. It's not that mothers fall to the wayside, but we all get lost in the daily grind that it is easy to forget to marvell at the abilities of mothers. How they can soothe a baby's fussiness, not to mention the ability to quell the crankiness of daddies. Yes, we've heard it all before how mothers play coach, psychologist, doctor, chef, motivator, forgiver, etc. But it's true. It would take volumes to define the duties of a mother, but we just accept the fact that moms, although sometimes underappreciated, are the heart of a family. Their absence would create irregularities where there once was seamless activity.

And as for my mother, well, she never seizes to amaze and inspire me. My father has recently fallen ill and thankfully now, he is on the road to recovery. But during this time, the actions of my mother seem to have biological effects. My mother has not left my father's side and her presence seems to have provided strength not only to my father but to my whole family to galvanize our unity and get through this rough patch. We are immune to pessimism and our appetite for laughter has increased and that kind of healthy mindset only brings us closer to my father becoming well and this family to once again overcome an obstacle. While my father has always been the strong one, and believe you me, his bravery and strength as of late has truly been epic, but without my mother by his side, my father would simply be a tough man not sure of his outcome and my family at the mercy of science.

With my mother in my and my family's life, she has provided the ability to face anything. She is the Sun and the rest of us orbit around her essence for she will always be a source of nourishing strength. Happy Mother's Day Mommy, thank you for taking care of Daddy......

La Linea: Episode 104

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Spoiling Mom on Mother's Day

Why Worry? by Joanne Cannon

Why Worry?
The guilty pleasures of having an Italian mother.
By Joanne Cannon Published

April 22, 2009 at 01:24 PM

I went to visit my mother yesterday. She’s Italian and 85 years young. Reflect on that for a moment. Perfect. Now let’s continue. Her beauty—even at this late stage of life—overwhelms me. We embrace, we kiss, and then it all begins.

She gives me the once-over with disconcerting eyes. Despite the onset of macular degeneration, she sees me ever so clearly. The ensuing conversation goes like this:
“You look so skinny. Don’t you eat? It’s not attractive to be sooo thin. Do you have one of those eating disorders? You need to eat MORE!”
My retort is the same as always:
“I’m fine. I do eat—don’t worry.”
“Did you say, ‘Don’t worry’?” she shouts back. “Well, that’s all I do is worry.”
“When are you going to stop worrying?” I pose.
Then comes the guilt. “I’ll stop worrying when I’m dead—that’s when,” she says. “And mark my words: You’ll miss me telling you that you’re so skinny.”
I throw up my hands and concede the loss. And while you might entertain the notion that the conversation is over, it’s not.
“How much do you weigh?” she probes. “Now, tell me the truth.”
I keep my composure and calmly respond with a number. Her disbelief is apparent as she grabs me by the arm and leads me into the bathroom, where she keeps her sacred scale. She points to it and I step on, realizing there’s no escape. It reads a pound less than I predicted. Immediately, my mother’s hand goes to her mouth, and she bites her fingers in an effort to quell the “agita” and a sudden spike in blood pressure.
Why was she so upset over a single pound?
“What about the 5 pounds of clothing you’re wearing?” she asks. “That totals 6 pounds in my book.” “Remember,” she continues, “I’m smarter than all four of you put together.” (The other three are my brothers.) I contend that I’m not wearing 5 pounds of clothing—and that only people living in the Arctic need that much. She doesn’t find that humorous—so I figure it’s better to relent and tell her (convincingly) that I’m starving.
We proceed to the kitchen—of course, her favorite room in the house. She has a pot of her gravy (not sauce; if you’re a true Italian, I don’t have to explain) simmering on the stove. The aroma fills the room, and I have a taste from the same wooden spoon she’s used for two decades. We sit down at the kitchen table—eating, talking, laughing.
Worrying runs in my family. Sadly, the gene is passed from generation to generation. We’re made from the same mold, my mother and I. Often, it’s her wisdom that emerges from my own lips as I go about raising my children.
Time passes all too quickly in my mom’s kitchen, and it’s time to part. A barrage of hugs and kisses ensues, neither of us wanting to pull away. As I head to my car, the litany of instructions commences:
Call me when you get home; drive carefully because there are nuts on the road; lock your doors; be sure to wear your seatbelt; etc. As I leave, I glance over my shoulder and see that she’s still watching closely.It seems the worrying never ends—and I hope it doesn’t for a very long time.

Joanne Cannon is a local freelance writer and a mother of two teenage sons. (source: mainlinetoday.com)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Cook for Mom; Kid-Friendly Recipes

In our never-ending effort to show Mom our appreciation, it seems that we have the most success as kids. I guess seeing a child trash a kitchen just to get their mommy a glass of water is so touching to them that mommy would then clean that kitchen with pride because their baby-doll of a child wanted to do something nice. Well being that I am in my late thirties, trashing my mom's kitchen would just get me removed from the will; after my mom gives me her patented microscopic pinch in the back of my tricep muscle that takes the breath right out of me and brings me to my knees (seriously).

Here are some easy recipes to hint to kids who want to do something nice for mommy like breakfast in bed, a picnic, or just spoiling mommy. (Please be sure an adult supervises & assists children attempting these recipes for safety)


Deluxe Waffles (Serves 6)


Ingredients:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

Directions:

  • In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Make a well in the center of the bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the egg yolks, milk, and oil. Pour into well of flour mixture and stir well. Stir just until ingredients are moistened.
  • In a small bowl beat egg whites until stiff. Fold into batter.
  • Cook batter in waffle iron.

Easy Snack Wrap (Serves 60)


Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 12 (10 inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 head lettuce
  • 1 (6 ounce) package sliced deli-style turkey
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 2 cups minced tomato

Directions:

Spread cream cheese evenly over the tortillas. Top the cream cheese with lettuce leaves. Arrange the turkey slices in even layers on top of the lettuce. Sprinkle the carrots and tomato over the turkey slices. Roll the tortillas into wraps. Cut the wraps diagonally into bite-sized pieces. Secure with toothpicks.

Strawberry Trifle

Ingredients:

  • 1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 3 cups cold milk
  • 1 (9 inch) angel food cake, cut in cubes
  • 4 bananas, sliced
  • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

Directions:

Prepare pudding with milk according to package directions. In a trifle bowl or other glass serving dish, layer half the cake pieces, half the pudding, half the bananas, half the strawberries and half the whipped topping. Repeat layers. Cover and chill in refrigerator 4 hours before serving.

All these recipes were found at allrecipes.com and each recipe has a calculator that recalculates the recipe based on how many servings you wish to make. Hope this helps your Mother's Day.

Free Wine Coupon

Just click, print, cut, & use.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Doris Oven Roasted Aspargus Recipe

Ingredients:
  • 3 bunches asparagus
  • 3 pints whole mushrooms (optional)
  • 1 cup Doris own Extra Virgin olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Wash the aspargus and mushrooms
3. Snap off the bottoms of the asparagus stalks. The bottom of the stalk is fibrous and not very pleasant to eat, so just grab the bottom and bend until it snaps. Let the stalk snap at a natural breaking point as close to the cut end as possible. This position will be different for each stalk, but will almost guarantee that the asparagus will be tender. Cutting off the bottoms doesn't work as well since you have to guess where the stalk stops being tender.
4. Spread the asparagus and mushrooms onto a sheret pan lined with aluminum foil (for easy clean up) to form a single layer.
5. Pour the extra virgin olive oil over it and sprinkle ground black pepper and salt on the asparagus and mushrooms.
6. Place the sheet pan in the oven and allow it to roast for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
7. Serve with your favorite meat or seafood dish.

Buon Appetito!

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Doris' Lemon Butter Lobster Tails Recipe

Servings: 2 people
Ingredients:
  • 2 lobster tails
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground white pepper, to taste
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • *White cooking wine- you may add 1/4 cup or less to melted butter for flavor
Directions:

1. Preheat oven on Broil
2. With a sharp knife carefully cut top side of shells lengthwise. Pull shells apart slightly and season meat with butter, paprika, salt, and white pepper. Use half of the melted butter, save the other half to dip the lobster meat in when serving.
3. Place seasoned lobster tails on baking sheet. Keep lobster meat in shells when cooking to avoid burning and drying out the meat.
4. Broil lobster tails about 5-10 minutes (depending on size of tail), until lightly browned and lobster meat is opaque.
5. When serving, pull meat out of shell and lay it on top of the shell (partially attached at small end) and serve with lemon wedges and remainder of butter mixture.

~Serve with Filet Mignon for a Surf and Turf Meal~
Buon Appetito!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Mother's Guilt is a Powerful Weapon

You learn a lot growing up in an Italian (Sicilian) household. From traditions passed down generations to basic skills that we will carry with us until our dying breath.

Well one skill that I have learned from my mother is the mighty super power of guilt. That's right, guilt. If all men were afraid of disappointing their mothers, think of how much more productive this country could be, let alone how many more made beds and clean plates there would be. (not to mention less wars...)

It all started when I was a kid and my mother would need me or my siblings to do something. My mom would end the sentence with, "like a good boy."

"Put out the garbage, like a good boy."

"Don't forget to fix your bed, like a good boy."

Now I don't know about you all, but the last thing I wanted to be was a bad boy for my mom, and by not doing as she asked; you no longer are a good boy. The repurcussions for not being a good boy for your mom would lead to many things including:


  • That look of disappointment on your mother's face

  • Meals that just don't have Mommy's Touch

  • Your father getting wind of letting your mother down which opens a door to a whole bunch of new problems

  • Comments from Mom like "Whatever," which is accompanied by her not looking you in the eye

  • Loss of Mom being in your corner which means she won't put in a good word for you if a decision rested upon your father

There are many more that are specific to your household but I think you all can relate. Just be careful, because too much disappointment can lead to a dramatic climax with your mom in tears speaking about herself in the third person saying the dreaded "One of these days, your mother won't be around, and where will you be?! " There are many variations of this declaration, and all are not fun to endure.


Well suffice to say that years of Mom trying to keep me on the straight and narrow with the help of guilt has rubbed off on me a bit and I can tell you that on occasion, I have been able to turn the tables on my Mom and use her power against her. The pupil becomes the master! The only problem is that using guilt on your mom is a direct violation of the Good Boy Act and the guilt you feel is immediate and it is a violation that isn't easy to get out of. But Mommies love their sons and forgiveness is inevitable, for a price.


Seriously though, as time passes, I realize what my mom has done for me in so many ways, and returning the favor by trying my best, making her proud, and hugging, kissing her, and telling her I love her is a small price to pay. After all, I still can use the power of guilt on others and as my children grow up, they will know the power that was passed down to me.... and as they learn it's power, I will then show them how to harness it. It's a sure better way than showing them how to beat people up..... thanks Mom.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Doris Salmon Al Fresco Recipe

Servings: 4 people


Ingredients:

  • 4 4oz pieces of Salmon
  • 6 medium-large size peppers (assorted colors: red, yellow, orange), cut in strips
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Doris own Pure olive oil
  • 1/2 cup White balsamic vinegar
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Garlic Powder, to taste
Directions:


1. In frying pan or skillet, pour some olive oil (leave some for salmon) and saute the peppers and onions on medium-low heat. Be careful not to burn the onions. Saute for about 5 minutes or until the peppers are semi tender.
2. On medium heat, add the pieces of salmon in the pan.
3. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and garlic powder on salmon, peppers, and onions.
4. Drizzle white balsamic vinegar and the remaining of the olive oil over the salmon.
5. Cook salmon for about 10 minutes. When you stick a fork in the salmon it should be soft and tender.
6. Serve salmon with peppers and onions.


Buon Appetito!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Doris Filet Mignon Roast (Chateaubriand) Recipe

Servings: 6 people (8oz per person)
Ingredients:
  • 3lb filet mignon roast *(if you are serving more than 6 people increase size of meat - 1/2 lb per person)
  • 1/2 bunch celery, cut up
  • 1 lb carrots (baby)
  • 1 lb red potatoes, cut up
  • 1 cup Doris Montepulciano red wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup Doris own Extra Virgin olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Whole peppercorns
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Season filet by rubbing salt and pepper all over meat.
3. Place the filet in a roasting pan and put celery, carrots, and potatoes all around the meat. Pour cup of water in bottom of the pan. Drizzle the red wine over meat and around it in the pan. Then drizzle the olive oil over meat and around the pan. Sprinkle whole peppercorns over meat.
4. Cover with aluminum foil and place in oven.
5. Cook at 400 degrees for about 35-40 minutes (depending on oven). For medium rare stick meat thermometer in center of filet and it should read 135 degrees. Pop up timer (provided free of charge at Doris Market) will pop up when meat is medium rare. Please note, you do not want to over cook this meat. It is meant to be medium rare to medium for best flavor and tenderness.
6. For the last 5 minutes of the meat take off the aluminum foil to brown the outside of the filet.
7. When meat has reached 135 degrees or inside is pink, take out of oven and serve as desired. A popular way of serving is to cut into 8oz pieces or cut at your desired thickness.
Buon Appetito!

La Linea: Episode 103

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May is Mommy Month

From the moment we are born, we become the most important thing to our mothers. We create a sense of worry for them that will never cease and yet provide joy & strength at the same time allowing them to multitask to a level of unbelievability. When we stop and think about it, honoring our mothers once a year seems so little a gesture. What I mean is that a mother loves & tends to her children 24/7, and all they get for recognition is a nationally acknowledged day for them. While this is all fine & dandy, it behooves us as children to reciprocate our mothers' actions toward us. And the truth of it all is that the smallest of gestures affect our moms the most. A simple kiss and "I love you mommy" goes a long way. It's like giving them a vitamin B12 shot and they are off to the races.
The problem is that we take our mothers for granted without realizing it. They do so much for us when we are children, we grow accustomed to their doting ways. As we become adults, it sometimes slips past us that our mothers have done so much and we don't even as much recognize this fact. And yet, our mothers look at us with beaming eyes and an ever willing stance that can only be understood as "always on call". Well this post is to remind everyone that mothers have been known to do amazing things and raising a child is no joke. I wish to salute all mothers for what they do and put up with on a daily basis. My mothers always said that "a mother can take care of 100 kids, but 100 kids cannot take care of one mother". There is a certain truth to this. That is why I strive to do my best because that is what I should do as a person and also to not make my mothers efforts and sacrifice be in vain.

For this whole month, check this blog for all things "mommy". From anecdotes to recipes to videos and articles from other writers about mothers. They will be informative, enlightening, funny, profound, and just nice to check out.

And please share with us. Our moms always brag about us kids, let's return the favor.
Here is a beautiful music video from Il Divo... I love you Mom.