Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Basic Grocery Shopping Tips

While it may be a treat for many to visit their local grocery store, knowing how to shop can ensure a pleasant experience as well as help you, the consumer, to make proper decisions. While there are many suggestions on what and how to buy groceries, we at Doris Italian Market & Bakery thought we would suggest some basic information and then add some specifics to help you truly become a smart shopper.
So let us begin with some basic tips:
  • Never shop hungry - While it is good to stock up, being hungry may tend to influence you to buy beyond your basic needs.
  • Know the layout of your store - Having a game plan is just as important as having a list. Plotting your stops in the store gives you a more direct path which, in result, creates an efficient trip which may allow some extra parousing if wanted.
  • Dry Goods First - While not knowing how long you plan to shop, common sense tells you to buy your dry goods first since they do not need any type of refrigeration. This ties in to your gameplan and knowledge of layout of your store.
  • Don't be shy - Ask for advice from the department employees. Good stores have knowledgeable associates in each department. They can help you make the choice that is right for you. Also, do not be afraid to ask for a specific item. If you do not like the choices available, ask if there are any other choices in the back, or if they can prepare, cut, or slice another one. This should apply to all departments.
  • Check your dates - Check "sell by" and "best by" dates. If stores properly rotate their items, especially perishable ones, you may find longer dates in the back if there are different dates. Canned goods may have lot numbers but other items like eggs use either Julian dating or "use by" dates. If you do not know how to read Julian Dating, click HERE.
  • Avoid defrost - Always purchase your frozen items right before you are ready to check out. A good rule of thumb is give yourself 30 minutes from placing the frozen item in your cart to placing it in your freezer at home. For those who are required to travel far, carrying a cooler is helpful. Employees should be able to supply some ice with your purchases to help hold temperature.
  • Check your receipt - No one is perfect so mistakes can happen. Knowing how to read your receipt is important as well.
We hope this brief overview may hep make your shopping experience a better one. Below are links to some of our older posts with tips and information for the following:

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Possible Origin of "Shut-Up"

Although a rude term, nearly everyone uses it. "Shut-Up" and it's similar terms seem to have been around forever. Based on historic research, the term may have originated during the days of knights.
Prior to battle, knights would "shut" their visors. Their leaders would also order them to shut their visors which would, as a result, limit their speech.
Is it true? Sounds plausible. It could be an evolved term that originated when Neanderthals, who did not have a developed language as we do, but did communicate through basic sounds and body language, would use a club on one another to silence them by "smashing their mouth". I'd rather be told to shut up than to have someone smash me into silence. Hooray for evolution!
But this term, which has become a most common one, helped give us great entertainment, like Joe Dolce's famous "Shut Uppa Your Face!" It is also heard around many Italian tables in forms like "shut up and eat".
How we communicate with each other is an amazing process, and although this process evolves in the form, the substance is the same.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summer Wine Overview

Well the relentless heat is here. Summer is in full swing and the one thing that will be constant this season is the need for refreshment. What better way to cool down and wash down some great summer food than with the perfect summer wine. Look for wines high in acidity and low alcohol content for a lighter, refreshing wine. Now we all have unique tastes so here is a brief overview of some varieties of wine that can help make your summer a good one.

Traditionally a dry, crisp, flavorful wine, the perfect in between of a white and red wine. The crispiness and lightness of this wine make it very refreshing in hot weather, making this type of wine known as the “summer wine”. It displays fresh fruit flavors such as strawberries and raspberries. This wine is very versatile, the perfect picnic or bbq wine. Goes great with surf and turf, hot dogs and hamburgers, egg salad, chicken, and ham to name a few. Serve chilled.

White Wines:
Sauvignon Blanc
Usually a dry wine, typically light to medium bodied with notable acidity. It is a crisp, refreshing wine that has flavors ranging from herbaceous and mineral tones to a citrus, tropical flavor perfect for the summer! Goes great with appetizers such as veggies and dip, artichoke and spinach dip, Caesar salads, fish, and chicken.

Moscato D’asti
A light and fruity wine, with a touch of sparkle and sweetness, well balanced. A perfect dessert wine or aperitif; also goes great with chicken or fish.

Ranging from dry to sweet, light to full bodied. This is a crisp, refreshing, and versatile wine with apple, peach, pear and citrus flavors, there is also a hint of honey and spice. Because of the wide range of flavors and versatility, this wine can be paired with almost anything from appetizer to desserts, from chicken, pork, salads, Asian and Mexican foods.
Red Wines:

A very light, fruity, and easy to drink wine. It has typical aromas of strawberry, berries, and cherries, and is normally served chilled. Goes great with any grilled summer dishes.

Pinot Noir
A lighter colored and flavored red wine, which makes it perfect for red wine lovers to drink in the summer. You could also chill this wine for a more refreshing drink. Its flavors range from cherries, sweet red berries, and plums to an earthy, wood like flavor at times. It is paired great with poultry, pork, ham, and lamb, and pasta.

Visit your local Doris Italian Market for a wide selection of these wines. Each location has in store specials for the summer that adds great value to the refreshiment factor of these wines. Ask for assistance in our wine department to find the perfect wine.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

For those who have read my dedications, I thank you. I find great enjoyment in sharing my love and pride for my parents. This planet needs more of it. This Father's Day has special meaning for me and my family. I recently became a parent this year for the first time. So now, my parents can enjoy seeing all their children experience this milestone. But something also happened. Shortly after my child was born, my father was diagnosed with leukemia.

While understanding that this kind of news is difficult for anyone to bear, my family can only add to the heartache of having to witness a patriarch of a family digest this information. I am not here to chronicle the journey that my father has and continues to take to overcome this disease. I am writing to express how proud and overcome with joy to see my father handle this disease just as he has handled any other obstacle in his life. With confidence and a strength that could defeat an army.

While we can say that my father found the strength and courage to fight this disease because he had his entire family, which includes 16 grandchildren and his wife (our amazing mother), by his side to provide support and a powerful reason to fight; his love and attention that he has given all of us our entire lives has come back with interest. When I see my nieces and nephews come to him, I see the bike rides they took with him, the card games he plays with him, the love and respect he taught them to give and value. I see the stories he shared with us about him growing up. The times he left work, which I never thought was possible, and drive all the way to my school to question a teacher's ethics (that was something else).

It breaks my heart to have my father think that he has become something less.
Dad, you know this is very difficult for me to express in words without breaking down so I will write it. You have become so much more since you took on this disease. You are and will always be our hero. You always defended us and I know if one of us were in trouble right now, you would get out of that bed and come to our aid. Your stubborness has truly helped you throughout treatment and our optimism of your recovery has never been stronger. These things that you have done has given us the strength to never stop believing in you. You are even revered at the hospital as an inspiration to all. And we say, "That's our Dad."

You are larger than life. Your family, your greatest achievement, is a testament to you never giving up. Happy Father's Day Dad. We look forward to once again do all the things that you never stopped doing with us. We love you.

To our customers and readers:
Doris Italian Market & Bakery has always been involved in organitions that help others. from local foundations to national ones like the March of Dimes. We are now becoming a sponsor for the "Light the Night Walk" organized by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Join our team/family.
For more information visit

La Linea: Episode 110

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy Father's Day Eve

It's the night before Father's Day and I have a chance to reflect. You see, this is my first Father's Day. I recently became a father for the first time and I cannot begin to describe the multitude of emotions that are going on in me. The blessing and opportunity to raise a child and shape who they are and give them tools that will help determine who they will become is something that can be taken for granted very easily.

I find great joy and unlimited motivation knowing that I am being depended upon in such a profound way, that all I wish for is unlimited time to fulfill every possible need for my child. I also find sadness in this duty of being a parent. While holding my child in my arms, I know that there will come a time when I will have to see them move on. 18-20 years is not really a long time, especially since time seems to pass at a faster rate in our aging years.

There is going to be a time where you can do no wrong. Then, the time of your child questioning you comes around, and it is an important phase that requires tact and honesty. Then there is the time when your child may feel that he/she doesn't need your wisdom. That is a time where heartbreak may temporarily settle in but we cannot let on. The good news is that there is a good chance your child realizes that they always need their parents available to talk to. To ask for advice and opinions all the while knowing that their decision will ultimately be their own.

Being human means having flaws, weaknesses, strengths, and abilities that allow us to each function in a unique way. Watching our own grow up consists of joy and fear. The joy is observing the development. The fear is observing them apply their development and hoping for some form of success.

I am sad knowing that my child will grow up and become their own person. But I am also glad at this knowing that hopefully, part of the reason that they are able to do so is because of me. This mixed emotion is probably normal, but it is still new to me. I have waited my whole life to become a father and I just want to be the best that I can be for my family. I wish all Fathers and those male role models whose intentions are to influence the young in a positive way a very Happy Father's Day.

May we all provide our children the tools to become better versions of ourselves and make this world simply a better place.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Friday, June 4, 2010

Cinema Paradiso

My Father was born and grew up in Sicily until his teens. Of the many things that his father did for a living, one was being a part owner in the town's movie theater. The Italian film Cinema Paradiso, which won an Academy Award, brings back many memories for my father. He tells me that whatever movie was playing that week, he would watch it at least 10 times. I guess that's where I get the love of movies from. Well if you are a fan of sub-title films, I suggest you check out the movie if you have not yet. Check out some of these clips. However, they do not do the film justice. It should be viewed from beginning to end without interruption.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Weekly Ad 6/3/10

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

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Mister Month Begins! Part 2

I didn't consider that when yesterday's post came out that some people may have interpreted it as strictly Father & Son. Not at all, but to make things fair, I figured I would add to yesterday's introduction to Mister Month with some information pertaining to Fathers and Daughters.

Now fathers and sons have good relationships and share in many interests, but a father and daughter relationship is truly special. I am a recent first time father and my first child is a girl and boy I cannot tell you how my heart beats for her. She's not even three months old and I am so smitten with her. I cannot wait to do so many things with her and yet I fear that she just may, no scratch that, I am already wrapped around her finger.

The bond that a father has with his daugher is something of magic. I have seen the toughest guys become the biggest teddy-bears with their girls. So cathartic it is having a daughter. It is like having an angel shedding light so there is no darkness. To reinforce that feeling, my wife has fond memories of her father doing her nails and toenails. I mean come on, a grown man finding great joy in making his daughter smile, laugh, and actually do a pretty good job at painting nails and toenails. Even my niece was bragging the other day at how her daddy, my brother, had a talent of doing her nails. To a man, having a daughter is the music that tames the savage beast.
After a rough day, I look forward to getting home and looking at my daughter. She makes all the bad go away and she doesn't even know it. Pure innocence. Very powerful stuff. And a real man enjoys indulging his daughter's requests just to see her smile innocently. I talk of fathers being heroes to their children; well to a young innocent girl, her daddy is her protector. And the security and comfort she feels in her daddy's arms gives him the strength and desire to always do right by her. Powerful magic.
Well just like yesterday, I leave you with a music video. Since yesterday was incidently father and son; today will be father and daughter and an appropriate song would be "Butterfly Kisses".
What's your favorite father daughter song?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Mister Month Begins!

June is here and now we must pay our respects to the men who become the first heroes to their young. Fathers are the sometimes unsung heroes who sacrifice much to ensure a future for their children. It's like when Bill Cosby describes how a father teaches his son how to run, throw, catch a ball and supports him through school and the kid eventually becomes a professional ball player. The moment he scores his first touchdown on national television, he looks in the camera and says, "Hi Mom!"

Yes, it happens but truthfully, a father's reward is being able to see their children do well. That is their thanks. They are able to say, "That's my child receiving that award. That's my child making the winning shot." I know growing up, I would always seek the praise of my father and I always got frustrated when I wouldn't get it or at least not enough. But the truth was that he was bragging to everyone about his kids. When we are teenagers, we think we know it all or at least enough to hang with the adults, but to this day, I am still learning from my father.
A father's relationship with his children is truly unique. There comes a crossroad when a father not only teaches, but also learns from his children. It is like an update which brings them up to speed on the goings on in society. I think that is truly important because social norms have evolved so much. My parents are Sicilian immigrants. The culture and traditions they have contain valuable lessons to be learned but in today's world, some of these lessons must be perforated to allow current sociological patterns in so these lessons can be compatible in today's world. And believe you me, we need old school lessons.
But this perforation, if allowed by the old school individuals themselves (like my dad), creates a great opportunity for parent and child. It gives the parent the opportunity to view a situation on a broader scale and be able to be more objective before coming to a conclusion. This opportunity allows for acceptance and understanding and bridges the gap between generations due to social changes in belief and thought. We all can play tough, but deep down, our fathers' blessing is a constant desire and when he can look at you and be proud of who you are and/or what you do despite his own opinions/beliefs; well that is a moment in your life that will be remembered to garner strength, confidence, and wisdom.
Witnessing my father adapt to today's social changes and searching for the truth beneath everything has made me proud. Don't get me wrong, my dad is still old school and still has his convictions, but when it comes to his kids, he knows how he raised us and as long as we are honest with ourselves and him, he takes the time to look at the world through our eyes and at times, it's like seeing things for the first time. He has gained a new appreciation for things that have been foreign to him for so long. He has learned tolerance of the things he cannot change which in turn has allowed him to accept these things.
Because of this and so many other reasons, we at Doris Italian Market wish to dedicate the entire month to Fathers. Like the previous month, which was for Mothers, we will have videos, recipes, articles, anecdotes, etc. And as usual, we invite anyone to share with us. So to begin, I would like to provide a beautiful song from Elton John that my dad likes since it came out. It has many meanings and for me, it represents the blessing that a father experiences when he can be proud of his child for being just that, and express it while he can. Enjoy and stay tuned for many for things devoted to dads on this blog this month.