Sunday, June 26, 2011

It's Still About Dad....

I know we are one week removed from Father's Day but I feel the whole month should be about Dad.  You know like how last year I declared June "Mister Month".  Well things have been busy all around for me so I have not been able to dedicate so much Mister Month activities as of late but, I came across a web-site that you may wish to check out.
There are many tabs to check out like parenting, food & cooking, and money & career just to name a few.  I enjoy the personal stories.  Well, here's a personal story by Jason Avant that I enjoyed. I hope you enjoy it too, as well as the site itself.  Happy Mister Month Sunday!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Get Ready for July! At least a recipe per day!

It's almost July again so in case you are new to the blog or do not remember, we post at least one recipe per day in the month of July.  It will be either a food or a beverage.  We'll still have the occasional anecdote, or story of some sort to share (informational or entertainment).  So bookmark this page or just become a follower of "At the Table... with Doris Italian Market" to get some ideas to help you with your fun in the sun plans or simply to paruse the blog for a lot of stuff.... Here's to a fun summer!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Produce Tips

There are many techniques being used today to prolong freshness & shelf life in our foods.  However, some of these techniques have aspects, while not exacytly harmful to us, that inhibit the overall nutritional benefit of that food.  For example, Modified Atmosphere Packaging, (MAP), is the air that surrounds the leaves in sealed bags of pre-packed salads.  This air prevents the leaves from wilting or discoloring; up to a month.  While this helps the life of the product, the increased carbon dioxide content greatly reduces the leaves' Vitamin C and E  content.

Although many bagged vegetables are packaged and sold as pre-washed, health authorities still recommend you to wash them because there is a high probability of it being washed in a strong chlorine solution. Another reason to also wash all your vegetables is the estimation that on or in their food, the average adult consumes over two gallons of pesticide a year.  Another argument for the organic versus non-organic debate.

source: ( & vendor imformation;

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day: Another Day in this Family's Life or You can't keep a Good Man Down

So for any of you that follow this blog regulalry, we try to share information and events about our family whether it be anecdotes or just stories that we would like to throw out to the world for anyone to read. Well if you have read my past Father's Day and Mother's Day posts, you can hopefully understand how important family is to me and my siblings, especially when it comes to our amazing parents. 

Well, today, in addition to wishing my Father and all Fathers out there a happy day, I want to share with you another reason why my father truly is a Super Man in our eyes.
In case you have not read my past posts, I became a father last year for the first time. It was a beautiful moment that was quickly shadowed with bad news.  Three days after my daughter was born, my father was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia.  My family's world was turned upside down. My father went through a few months of grueling chemotherapy and then is leukemia went into remission.  It was a great time.  My father responded well to treatment and was able to slowly get back to his life. We were all happy. We were able to celebrate his 70th birthday and he couldn't have been happier.

Then, eight months after his final treament, the leukemia came back. This time, he had the accompaniment of a malignant brain tumor.  I cannot tell you the sense of hopelessness we all felt at that time. However, my father has always been a strong minded person.  When we get mad at him, we call it being stubborn or thick headed, but this is one of my father's "Super Powers".

So my father tells the doctors to "do what they have to do".  Now, just to explain my family a bit, we remind ourselves to always be grateful for what we have and to make the best of what is going on in our lives.  So picture my father lying in a bed about to have brain surgery.  His Wife & Five children are all around him with also his best friend there.  No one knows how my father is going to come out of this.  I mean, the surgeon is going to go deep into my father's brain and try to take out as much of this tumor he can.  So what are we doing while at my father's bedside?  We're cracking jokes and making my father cry laughing.  Yep, my dad's having the fight of his life and we are trying not to lose our bodily functions while laughing.

Well my father came out of a successful surgery and began to heal.  After about two weeks, we took my father to a cancer center to begin treatment for the leukemia.  I do not want to bore you with the details but this round of treatment was definitely more difficult for my father, but he never complained and my mother, who has literally not left his side since this all began, has been finding strength somehow, like finding loose change hidden in the couch, to do things that have inspired the most trained nurses.  Well, after the first session completed, we took my father home, which brings me to today, Father's Day 2011.

Last night, we had a nice birthday dinner for my sister who will be 40 this coming week.  My father, was in the hospital due to complications and returned home this past Friday.  He's been very weak, but always strong if you can understand that.

What I am about to write is like something out a movie.  All my brothers and sisters, with our spouses, were to meet at a nice restaurant with a few of my sister's friends.  The possibility of my parents showing up was on our minds, but we knew that it was a longshot.  Well I can tell you what happened next happened in slow motion to me.  "They're here!" on of us said as we looked out the restaurant window.  I motion to the door and in comes my father, in a suit! A dapper double breasted suit, tie, fancy shoes, and a swagger that told me that if my father wants to do something, no one, I mean NO ONE! better tell him he can't. And my mother was so beautiful by his side.  It was the best birthday gift my sister could have receieved.  My dad sat down, received kisses and hugs from all of us.  He looked at us, with a littlle welling of the eyes (I'm fighting back tears of pride writing this. That's right! Tears! If you have a problem with that, meet me out back!) My father said, "I did this for two people. My daughter and my wife."

Now if you haven't experienced someone going through major chemo, you may not understand how weak they are and how difficult it is to just sit up.  But he sat with us and we had an amazing dinner, sang happy birthday and had cake (there was also some drinking).  After that, one of my brothers and I took my parents home so they can rest.  They did something for their family that still has me in awe.  Then, we returned to the rest of the family, went next store to a dance club.  We reunited and what did I do? I danced like a complete idiot! Why? Because  my dad has been sticking his proverbial middle finger to his illness and getting away with it! And also because I love my family so very much, and as long as we are together, our lives will continue to be blessed.
I apologize for the rant.  Usually, if you read last years post, I try to write about feelings and try to keep everything nice and loving, but at this point, I am beaming! I wish to stand on high and yell through this megaphone (blog) and share something that needs to be shared.

Happy Father's Day Dad, I love you beyond words can say and Happy Birthday to my sister Anne.  We are so lucky to have our parents. And to those who saw me dancing like an idiot last night, that's what happens when your dad is a walking miracle.  You try to walk on water yourself. Happy Father's Day everyone!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Kitchen Tips: Frying Pans - Proving & Using

From Book of Secrets:

In terms of non-stickability and even control of the heat, cast iron is the best material for a frying pan, closely followed by heavy-weight aluminum.  Stainless Steel is the worst.
Non-Stick frying pans have a much shorter life than you might expect.  When even slightly worn, overheating can cause the surface to release potential carcinogens, noxious gases, and tiny particles that can get into the lungs.
Professional chefs will "prove" a new metal pan with oil before its first use. 

To do so, follow these instructions:
  • Pour cooking oil into the pan to a depth of about 0.8 inches, heat it up on the stove until very hot but not smoking
  • Pull to the side of the stove - or put it on the lowest heat possible - for at least six hours (overnight is ideal)
  • Dispose of the oil and wipe the pan out with a clean, dry cloth
Ideally, a metal frying pan should never be washed up.  A wipe with a clean, dry cloth should suffice.  Any moisture will make food stick. 

 To "prove" a moist pan with salt:
  • Cover its bottom with a thick layer of household salt
  • Heat until the salt starts to turn brown and you can see residual water bubbling out the metal.
  • Dispose of the salt and wipe the pan out with a clean dry cloth.

Friday, June 17, 2011

4th of July BBQ Specials!

Let's see, first our competitors, including major supermarkets, try to emulate our ads.  Then , some of them try to steal our meat package concepts, and now, our coupons are welcome at the South East's biggest supermarket chain.  We couldn't be more proud.  There is nothing wrong with good competition and we like being the David to the Successful Goliath.  Well, once again, we have developed another meat package from the "House of Ideas".  Get your game plan for a safe and fulfilling Fourth of July with this Bases Loaded package as well as our weekly specials!

Click on the image to view better!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Eggs: Insider Tips

Eggs are such an important part of the kitchen and our daily lives.  So many things rely on eggs like, cakes, pasta, breads, sauces, etc.  Italian food would not be the same if it were not for this versatile food.  Now, in the past, we posted on the white eggs and brown eggs, and how to determine the Julian code on egg cartons.  Well today, we decided to share some important tips about eggs.  Some may be common knowledge, but some may be quite helpful when shopping and cooking.

  • Fresh eggs will have a rough, chalky texture to the outside of the shell; the older the eggs, the smoother the shell will feel.
  • To determine the freshness of an egg, place it into a glass of water.  If it lies down horizontally it is only a day or two old; if it sits at a 45 degree angle, it is between a week and 10 days old, and if it stands up vertically it is considerably older than that.
  • If you shake an egg and you can feel defined movement inside, then it is old.  Because the moisture content of eggs diminishes over time, the contents shrink and the air pocket at the rounded ends expands.
  • When cracked and put in a pan, a fresh egg's yolk will stand up almost spherically and the proportionof thick white to thin white will be much greater.  The older it is, the more it will spread across the pan's surface.
  • If you are separating egg yolks and whites, use fresh eggs because the membrane surrounding the yolk disintegrates with age and is far more likely to spill yolk into the white.  If eggs are old, chill them before separating as the lower temperature will toughen the yolk's membrane.
  • Slightly older eggs are better for hard boiling - it is often difficult to remove shells from very fresh hard-boiled eggs.
  • Once you have taken hard boiled eggs off the stove, place the saucepan under a running tap until the water is cold.  This stops the eggs from cookingin their own heat and prevents a grayish green ring from appearing around the yolks.
  • Very fresh eggs take longer to boil, so add 30 seconds to the time you would usually cook for them.
  • For total accuracy, many chefs use eggs by weight in recipes.  As a rule of thumb, the contents of a large egg weigh around 1.6 ounces and a medium egg about 1 ounce.  About two-thirds of an egg's weight is white, the remaining third is yolk.
  • Eggshells are porous. Storing eggs near anything with a strong aroma can taint their taste.  Leave them in their cartons, the paper-maché will absorb anything.
  • Eggs will keep for several weeks in a cool room and be less susceptible to corrupting odors than in the fridge.
  • When cooked, the whites of eggs straight from the fridge will toughen far more than they would if they had been at room temperature.  Remove them from the fridge an hour before cooking.
  • When boiled, eggs straight from the fridge are likely to crack on contact with water.  Use a small pan, leaving less scope for bumping about and cracking.  A spoonful of vinegar in the water helps protect shells and stops the white leaking out if it does crack.
  • When thickening a hot liquid with eggs or egg yolks, add the liquid to the eggs in a bowl away from the stove to avoid separation or curdling.  If you do have to add eggs to something being heated, do not stir raw eggs in to boiling liquid as the egg will cook and harden before you can whisk it in.  Let it cool slightly (to below 150 degrees F, as that's the temperature at which eggs coagulate) first.
  • If you have leftover egg whites, it's fine to freeze them.
  • A pinch of cream of tartar, added before you start whisking, will give egg whites an extra lift, and greater frothiness.
  • Egg whites have to be free from any corrupting substances if they are to be beaten to stiffness.  Whisks and bowls should be clean and grease free, and any specks of yolk should be removed - either scooped out with the egg's shell or dabbed up with a dampened, clean cloth.
  • Never beat egg whites in an aluminum bowl; it will turn them grey.
  • Do not cook, fry, or scramble eggs on a very high heat, as fast cooking causes egg whites to toughen.
  • For perfect scrambled eggs, always undercook them.  It doesn't matter that they look far too runnt in the pan - they will continue cooking in their own heat as you serve them.
  • If scrambling eggs in a microwave, when you remove them and beat them during the process, always allow the bowl to stand for 30 seconds or so before continuing to cook.  This will let the eggs cook in their own heat before you return them to the microwave and means you can more accurately judge the minimum time required for cooking, thus producing the fluffiest scambled eggs.
source: Book of Secrets

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It's Tuesday & it's still the Feast of St. Anthony?

In his Holyday Book, Francis X. Weiser, S.J. notes that Tuesday is devoted in a particular way to the veneration of St. Anthony because that was the day on which the faith-filled Franciscan was buried. In the 17th century, the practice began of holding weekly devotions to St. Anthony; even today, most ‘perpetual novenas’ to him are held on Tuesdays. Portugal and Italy, where the saint was born and where he died, honor his feast day with unusual festive splendor and great devotion. In Portugal, the epithet “of Padua” is never used, for to the Portuguese he remains “Anthony of Lisbon” or “of Alfama,” the district of Lisbon where he was born. There, every house on June 13 displays, among other decorations, a shrine with a statue of the saint.
Note: Because St. Anthony was buried on a Tuesday and many miracles accompanied his funeral, Tuesdays are special days of honoring him throughout the year. It is customary to pray a Novena to him on thirteen consecutive Tuesdays.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Miracles & Patronage of Saint Anthony

The Miracles and Patronage of St. Anthony 
st anthony the patron saint of
Catholics know St. Anthony best as the patron saint of lost things. One story goes that St. Anthony had a psalter, filled with his own notes, that a novice, leaving the monastery, took. St. Anthony prayed for its return and the novice came back, gave him his psalter, and rejoined the order.

Barren women claim St. Anthony for their patron saint as well, most probably because of his association with the Child Jesus. From the 17th century, statues of St. Anthony holding the Child Jesus have been popular. It is believed that one night, during Saint Anthony's lifetime, the Divine Child visited him, kissed him and told him He loved him. The story is so well loved that, aside from Mary, St. Anthony is the saint most often depicted with the Child Jesus. He is also often shown carrying a lily, a symbol of purity, innocence and integrity, most likely assigned because he was once entrusted with the Child Jesus.

In keeping with his beloved Franciscan tradition, St. Anthony had a special love for poor and oppressed people. Knowing this, a shopkeeper named Louise Booffier of Toulon, France, who had lost her key, prayed to St. Anthony that she would give bread to the poor in his honor, if a locksmith could open her bolted shop door without force. The miracle happened, and she founded the charity of St. Anthony Bread in gratitude. On his feast day, June 13, some churches still bless loaves of bread to be given to the poor, although the term "St. Anthony Bread" is used to denote any offering made in thanksgiving for a favor from St. Anthony.

St. Anthony is also the patron saint of amputees. In Padua, a young man confessed to St. Anthony that he had kicked his mother. Later, in remorse at St. Anthony's remonstrance, he cut off his own foot. St. Anthony, hearing of this drastic action, came and reattached the amputated limb.
St. Anthony is, in addition, the Catholic patron saint against shipwrecks,
starvation, American Indians, boatmen, elderly people, expectant mothers, fishermen, harvests, horses, mail, mariners, pregnant women, sailors, swineherds, travel hostesses, travelers and watermen.
what is st anthony the patron saint of
Many miracles have been attributed to St. Anthony, including our countless, unrecorded, everyday miracles of finding lost articles. It is written that he rendered some poisoned food, given to him by heretics, harmless, with the sign of the cross. A horse, another story goes, knelt down to worship the Eucharist held up by St. Anthony.
The legend of Anthony and the Fishes:
St Anthony being at one time at Rimini, where there were a great number of heretics, and wishing to lead them by the light of faith into the way of truth, preached to them for several days, and reasoned with them on the faith of Christ and on the Holy Scriptures. They not only resisted his words, but were hardened and obstinate, refusing to listen to him.
At last St Anthony, inspired by God, went down to the sea-shore, where the river runs into the sea, and having placed himself on a bank between the river and the sea, he began to speak to the fishes as if the Lord had sent him to preach to them, and said: "Listen to the word of God, O ye fishes of the sea and of the river, seeing that the faithless heretics refuse to do so."
No sooner had he spoken these words than suddenly so great a multitude of fishes, both small and great, approached the bank on which he stood, that never before had so many been seen in the sea or the river. All kept their heads out of the water, and seemed to be looking attentively on St Anthony’s face; all were ranged in perfect order and most peacefully, the smaller ones in front near the bank, after them came those a little bigger, and last of all, were the water was deeper, the largest.
When they had placed themselves in this order, St Anthony began to preach to them most solemnly, saying: "My brothers the fishes, you are bound, as much as is in your power, to return thanks to your Creator, who has given you so noble an element for your dwelling; for you have at your choice both sweet water and salt; you have many places of refuge from the tempest; you have likewise a pure and transparent element for your nourishment. God, your bountiful and kind Creator, when he made you, ordered you to increase and multiply, and gave you his blessing. In the universal deluge, all other creatures perished; you alone did God preserve from all harm. He has given you fins to enable you to go where you will. To you was it granted, according to the commandment of God, to keep the prophet Jonas, and after three days to throw him safe and sound on dry land. You it was who gave the tribute-money to our Saviour Jesus Christ, when, through his poverty, he had not wherewith to pay. By a singular mystery you were the nourishment of the eternal King, Jesus Christ, before and after his resurrection. Because of all these things you are bound to praise and bless the Lord, who has given you blessings so many and so much greater than to other creatures."
At these words the fish began to open their mouths, and bow their heads, endeavouring as much as was in their power to express their reverence and show forth their praise. St Anthony, seeing the reverence of the fish towards their Creator, rejoiced greatly in spirit, and said with a loud voice: "Blessed be the eternal God; for the fishes of the sea honour him more than men without faith, and animals without reason listen to his word with greater attention than sinful heretics."
And whilst St Anthony was preaching, the number of fishes increased, and none of them left the place that he had chosen. And the people of the city hearing of the miracle, made haste to go and witness it. With them also came the heretics of whom we have spoken above, who, seeing so wonderful and manifest a miracle, were touched in their hearts; and threw themselves at the feet of St Anthony to hear his words. The saint then began to expound to them the Catholic faith. He preached so eloquently, that all those heretics were converted, and returned to the true faith of Christ; the faithful also were filled with joy, and greatly comforted, being strengthened in the faith.
After this St Anthony sent away the fishes, with the blessing of God; and they all departed, rejoicing as they went, and the people returned to the city. But St Anthony remained at Rimini for several days, preaching and reaping much spiritual fruit in the souls of his hearers.
- From the Fioretti, a collection of legends about early Franciscans.

Saint Anthony Biography

Saint Anthony of Padua Biography
he Catholic saint, Anthony of Padua, also venerated as Saint Anthony of Lisbon, was born in Lisbon, Portugal, which was then a part of Spain, in 1195 A.D., and named Fernando de Bulhoes. He is one of the most beloved Catholic saints today, and he was much loved even in his own time. Saint Anthony's physical appearance was unremarkable; he was short and slightly plump, but everyone who heard him speak was drawn to him. St. Anthony was known to have a winning smile, a loud voice and a prodigious memory. His fervent faith must have been apparent from a young age, for by fifteen, he had entered the Augustinian Abbey of St. Vincent at Lisbon against his well-to-do family's wishes.

Then, in 1219, St. Anthony had a portentous meeting with five Franciscans who were on their way to preach to the Muslims in Morocco. The friars were martyred during their mission, and their mutilated bodies brought back to Spain where they were carried in solemn procession. St. Anthony was apparently very moved by the Franciscans' sacrifice and their simple lifestyle. He asked his order for permission to join the Franciscans, and in the summer of 1220, received his habit. He took the name Anthony, after St. Anthony the Great.

Saint Anthony greatly desired to follow in the footsteps of the five Franciscans who had so affected him, and preach in Morocco, but ill health forced him to return soon after his arrival there. However, his homebound ship was never to reach Spain; a storm forced it to land instead on the coast of Italy. Franciscans there had pity on the ailing Anthony and assigned him to the rural hospice of San Paolo outside of Bologna. In that location, St. Anthony lived as a hermit and worked in the kitchen, his educated background either unknown or ignored.
Life of St. Anthony of Padua

The hermitage was, in time, visited by a gathering of Dominicans. As that order was known for its preaching, the Franciscans did not prepare a homily themselves. When it was found that the Dominicans had expected their hosts to provide a preacher, the head of the hermitage, in desperation, called upon Anthony to speak some simple words from his heart. The friars were probably hoping at most for a minimal amount of embarrassment in front of the more learned Dominicans. Instead, the whole company was awestruck by the brilliant words emanating from the mouth of St. Anthony. It was the beginning of his fame as a preacher. St. Francis himself learned of St. Anthony's extraordinary speaking abilities and sent Anthony a note exhorting him to preach to the other Franciscans.

In 1226 the Franciscans chose St. Anthony as an envoy to Pope Gregory IX from the general chapter, and on May 30, 1227 he was elected minister provincial of part of Italy. St. Anthony humbly served as directed but in June of 1230 he asked for release from his duties in order to devote himself to preaching. His request was granted, and from then on, St. Anthony resided in the monastery at Padua where he wrote, among other things, his famous sermons on the saints.

The beloved preacher became ill with dropsy in 1231 and on June 13, now his feast day, he died at the Poor Clare convent in Arcella at the young age of 36. Legend has it that children cried and angels rang bells when St. Anthony died. His body was buried in a chapel, which is now enclosed by the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua. In 1263, when his relics were transferred to the Basilica, his tongue was found to be still fresh and red in color. Saint Anthony's was the second fastest canonization in history; he was declared a saint 352 days after his death, by the same Pope Gregory he had met in life.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lilies & St. Anthony

A little explanation of the Blessing of Lilies in St. Anthony’s Honor:   On the feast (June 13th) of this most wonderful of Saints, your priest might bless lilies for you to keep. The blessing of lilies, which remind us of St. Anthony’s purity and have always been a symbol for him, stems from a miracle which took place in Revolutionary France: many priests and religious were murdered, so many churches and convents destroyed, but the faithful still showed up at a surviving church on the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua. Months later, it was discovered that lilies that had adorned the church at that feast were still fresh. Let the blest lily remind you of St. Anthony’s protection, especially for the sick and homebound. Only the lily flower or blossom is blessed [the stem and leaves can be discarded], so after the lily has lost its freshness, you can carry the blossom with you (in your purse or wallet), or press it in a prayer book or Bible, etc.

The Blessing of Lilies on the Feast of St. AnthonyThe priest vests in surplice and white stole, and says:

Priest: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
All: Who made heaven and earth.
Priest: The Lord be with you.
All: And with thy spirit.
Priest: Let us pray. God, the Creator and Preserver of the human race, the Lover of holy purity, the Giver of supernatural grace, and the Dispenser of everlasting salvation; bless + these lilies which we, Thy humble servants, present to Thee today as an act of thanksgiving and in honor of St. Anthony, Thy confessor, and with a request for Thy blessing. Pour out on them, by the saving sign + of the holy cross, Thy dew from on high. Thou in Thy great kindness hast given them to man, and endowed them with a sweet fragrance to lighten the burden of the sick. Therefore, let them be filled with such power that, whether they are used by the sick, or kept in homes or other places, or devoutly carried on one's person, they may serve to drive out evil spirits, safeguard holy chastity, and turn away illness--all this through the prayers of St. Anthony--and finally impart to Thy servants grace and peace; through Christ our Lord.
All: Amen.
Then he sprinkles the lilies with holy water, saying:
Priest: Sprinkle me with hyssop, Lord, and I shall be clean of sin. Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Pray for us, St. Anthony.
All: That we may be worthy of Christ's promise.
Priest: Let us pray. We beg Thee, O Lord, that Thy people may be helped by the constant and devout intercession of Blessed Anthony, Thy illustrious confessor. May he assist us to be worthy of Thy grace in this life, and to attain everlasting joys in the life to come; through Christ our Lord.
All: Amen.
After this the lilies are distributed to the people.


Other related posts:
The Origin of Saint Anthony Bread
Saint Anthony Biography
The Miracles of Saint Anthony
Tuesdays with Saint Anthony

St. Anthony Day is tomorrow June 13th...

Tomorrow is St. Anthony Day.  In preparing for this day, we have provided 2 simple recipes; an Italian Bread recipe and a Sangria recipe.
The Origin of "St. Anthony's Bread"
  One legend dates back to the year 1263, when a child drowned near the Paduan Basilica of St. Anthony during its construction. The child’s mother prayed to the saint to bring her boy back to life. In return, she promised to give to the poor an amount of corn equal to the child’s weight. When the child was miraculously revived, the mother made good on her promise.
    Centuries later, in 1888, a woman named Louise Bouffier managed a small bakery store in the seaside village of Toulon, France. One morning, she couldn’t open the shop’s door with her key. Neither could a locksmith, who advised her that he’d have to break the door open. While he went to get his tools, Louise prayed to St. Anthony that she would give some of her bakery’s bread to the poor if the door could be opened without force. When the locksmith returned, he tried the lock again and was easily able to let Louise in. True to her word, the baker made sure that the poor of Toulon received their due.
    It wasn’t long before Louise’s friends began to follow her example of promising a gift of bread or alms to the poor in return for prayers answered by St. Anthony. In the 1890s, they formalized this practice by founding a charity called “St. Anthony’s Bread.”
    In the spirit of this charity, some parishes bless and distribute small loaves of bread on June 13, his feast day. Below is a recipe for an Italian bread that may be shaped into individual loaves for you to pass out at church, among friends and family or to the disadvantaged in your community.

Italian Mini-Loaves
Yield: 16
  • 3 cups flour, divided
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1 Tsp. dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tsp. dried parsley flakes
  • 1 1/4 cups 1% milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tblsp. butter or margarine
  • 2 Tblsp. sugar
  • 1 Tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 Tblsp. butter or margarine, melted

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of flour, yeast, Italian seasoning, and parsley flakes.
  • In a saucepan, heat and stir the milk, water, butter, sugar, and garlic salt just until warm (120 130º) and butter almost melts.
  • Add milk mixture to flour mixture.
  • Add egg and beat with electric mixer on low or medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping the bowl constantly.
  • Beat on high speed for 3 minutes.
  • Using a wooden spoon, stir in 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese and as much of the remaining flour as you can.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth (3-5 minutes total).
  • Shape the dough into a ball. Place it in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease the top and bottom surfaces.
  • Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 45 minutes).
  • Grease baking sheets or a 13” x 9” x 2” baking pan.
  • Punch dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Divide dough into 16 portions, shaping each into a round mini-loaf.
  • Place mini-loaves on sheet or pan.
  • Brush tops with 2 tablespoons butter and sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese.
  • Cover and let rise in a warm place (about 15 minutes).
  • Bake in a 375º oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
In Lisbon, his birthplace, it is a traditional day for getting married (women who get married on this day are called "brides of St. Anthony"). So popular are weddings on this day in Lisbon, that the city hall hosts them for free if the couple are poor. St. Anthony altars are built and decorated, parades are held, bonfires lit, grilled sardines and sangria are enjoyed.


  • 1 (750-ml) bottle red wine (Rioja, if possible)
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1/4 cup orange flavored liqueur (triple sec or Grand Marnier)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 orange, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 unwaxed apple, cored, and cut into thin wedges
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle sparkling water, chilled
Combine everything but the sparkling water in a large plastic container or glass pitchers. Cover and chill completely, 1 to 2 hours. When ready to serve, add the sparkling water, pour over ice cubes, and
 source:, &

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Tasting Notes: Wild Horse Pinot Noir

At the moment of this post, the price of our Wild Horse Pinot Noir is $17.99 per 750ml bottle.  The average retail price in town and on line is from $19 - $25 per bottle.  This is a great opportunity to get a bottle while you can.

About this wine:
Pinot Noir

The name Wild Horse is synonymous with incredible Pinot Noirs. Offering up vibrant aromas and flavors of cherry, pomegranate, cola, and Asian spices, our Pinot Noirs are consistently praised for their complexity and good value. They are, without a doubt, the most food-friendly red wines Wild Horse produces.

Tasting notes that may be helpful below. (This is the 2007 notes but the 2009 was made in the same manner which is different from the 2006)
Click on this image to view better.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Culinary Question: Spoon or No Spoon?

"To spoon or not to spoon. That is the question.  Whether it be nobler in the north, a spoon is not needed in the south, and yet all that matters, is that the food enter your mouth..... Alas my pasta, I know you well."

Okay enough of the Shakespearean spoof.  Almost as popular as the sauce versus gravy argument is the spoon or no spoon dilemna.  Now, fortunately, this is an argument on technique, which bears no consequence to the actual flavor and eating enjoyment of pasta.  Both ways get you to the same destination so the debate is pure fun.

Now many claim the techniques are due to geographic influences (Northern Italy / Southerm Italy), but that is not entirely true.  Here in America, many native Italians scoff at "bobo americans" using a  spoon, and yet specific regions in Italy look at using strictly a fork as somewhat barbaric.  I for one use the fork, but I have relatives who tend to use the spoon for assistance.  It doesn't really matter. As long as that food gets in your mouth, all is well.  And then there are those who cut their spaghetti with a knife and then eat.  Now that is where I draw the line!  How do you eat your spaghetti?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Behind the Scenes of the Godfather

I enjoy a good movie just like the next guy, but when I enjoy a film, I want to know what was involved in making it. There is so much more than just a camera recording people acting. There are script rewrites, casting, wardrobe, set design, sound, music, editing, etc. I love the extras that come with a DVD of a movie. Watching how so much seemingly chaos can result in a seamless story that entertains just blows my mind.
Anyway, The Godfather films are films in which my family never get tired of. From the images of tradition & family, and the struggles of immigrants coming to America to the cinematic violence that at times seems poetic at how it tells a story regardless of it's graphic nature, The Godfather films were arguable some of the best movies ever made (I'm talking about parts one & two). My family doesn't really acknowledge Part 3 (I will leave that for another post).
Well I remember watching an extra feature and watched all the actors auditioning for parts. What I found amazing, especially in retrospect is that Al Pacino was not wanted for the part of Michael from the studio executives. Thank God that Coppola always finds a way to get what he wants when making a movie. Here's a quick glimpse of the tenacity of Coppola and the acting talents of Pacino as well as other members of one the best casts ever.....

Monday, June 6, 2011

Recipe: BBQ Portobello Quesadillas

Barbecue Portobello Quesadillas

From EatingWell:  March/April 2009

This smoky mushroom-filled quesadilla is reminiscent of pulled pork. A touch of chipotle chile pepper adds extra heat. Serve with coleslaw and guacamole.

4 servings | Active Time: 45 minutes | Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 1/2 cup prepared barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, (see Note), minced, or 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 pound portobello mushroom caps, (about 5 medium), gills removed, diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 4 8- to 10-inch whole-wheat tortillas
  • 3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese


  1. Combine barbecue sauce, tomato paste, vinegar and chipotle in a medium bowl.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring, until the onion and mushrooms are beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to the bowl with the barbecue sauce; stir to combine. Wipe out the pan.
  3. Place tortillas on a work surface. Spread 3 tablespoons cheese on half of each tortilla and top with one-fourth (about 1/2 cup) of the filling. Fold tortillas in half, pressing gently to flatten.
  4. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in the pan over medium heat. Add 2 quesadillas and cook, turning once, until golden on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board and tent with foil to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla into wedges and serve.


Per serving : 311 Calories; 13 g Fat; 5 g Sat; 6 g Mono; 19 mg Cholesterol; 43 g Carbohydrates; 11 g Protein; 5 g Fiber; 710 mg Sodium; 771 mg Potassium
2 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 other carbohydrate, 1 high-fat meat, 1 fat

Tips & Notes

  • Ingredient note: Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce are smoked jalapeños packed in a flavorful sauce. Look for the small cans with the Mexican foods in large supermarkets. Once opened, they'll keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer. Ground chipotle is made from dried smoked jalapeños.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Recipe: Avocado Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes

Avocado Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes Recipe

  • 1 half avocado, peeled, sliced
  • 1 half ripe heirloom tomato, sliced
  • A pinch of chopped fresh chives or sliced green onions
  • Juice from one slice of lemon
  • A pinch of coarse salt (fleur de sel if you can get it)
  1. Arrange slices of avocado and tomato on a plate.
  2. Sprinkle with chives, lemon juice, and coarse salt.
Serves one.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Friday, June 3, 2011

Recipes: International Ribs

Put a global spin on your meat table with these Mexican-, Thai- and Indian-style baby-back and spare ribs. 

by Joanna Pruess


Rib aficionados will debate for hours the finer points that they think make a certain style or region in America the best. In Memphis, for example, ribs are generally slowly smoked over a wood fire and then are served au natural as they come out of the smoker or grill; only afterward is the sauce added. In Kansas, arguably this country’s epicenter of barbecue, pork ribs tend to be stickier and sweeter. And in Texas, where beef reigns over pork, the sauce is more often tomato-based and spicy with a hint of vinegar. Then there are the Carolinas, where vinegar mixes with brown sugar, mustard and some hot seasoning, like chile peppers.

Internationally,you'll find even more options. Mexicans have cooked ribs wrapped in banana leaves in a pit for centuries. Southeast Asian sweetly hot–sauced ribs can be cooked in bite-size morsels perfect for nibbling, and Goan ribs reflect that culture’s love of tangy sour flavors tempered with sweet notes. Try these recipes to liven up your rib repertoire.

Thai Glazed Spare Ribs


Yield: Serves 24 (½ rack or 6-rib) portions
Preparation time: 25 minutes plus unattended cooking time

These addictive and deeply flavored ribs make a great starter as part of a larger Thai meal, or they can be served as a main course. (Pictured top right)

For the ribs:
  • 12 ounces scallions, including greens, coarsely chopped
  • 12 ounces shallots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 7 ounces fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
  • 3 ounces garlic
  • 5 ounces cilantro, coarse stems removed, coarsely chopped
  • 3 ounces light brown sugar
  • 9 ounces soy sauce
  • 3 ounces Vietnamese or Thai fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 pounds pork spare ribs, cut across the bone into 2- to 3-inch lengths and cut into individual ribs
For the Hot and Sweet Thai Dipping Sauce:
  • 1½ pounds sugar
  • 20 ounces water
  • 4 ounces fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
  • 3 ounces fresh lemongrass, coarsely chopped with outer leaves removed
  • 2 to 3 ounces red and green chiles, to desired heat level, seeded and chopped
  • 2 ounces garlic cloves
  • 3 ounces Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce
  • 3 ounces rice vinegar
  • 2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 ounces scallions, finely chopped including green parts
  • 1 ounce fresh coriander, finely chopped with thick stems removed
1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine scallions, shallots, ginger, garlic, cilantro and brown sugar; pulse until fairly finely chopped. Add soy sauce, fish sauce, salt and pepper, and process into a fairly fine paste. Scrape mixture into 2 or 3 large, heavy plastic bags, add ribs, turn to cover completely, close and let marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator, turning occasionally. 
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line several sheet pans with parchment papers. Spread the ribs, bone-side down, on the pans and bake for about 1½ hours or until ribs are mahogany in color and very tender, reversing the pans’ position twice during cooking time. 
3. While ribs are cooking, prepare the Hot and Sweet Thai Dipping Sauce: In a large non-reactive saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until mixture becomes syrupy, about
15 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, in the work bowl of a food processor, combine ginger, lemongrass, chiles and garlic and pulse until finely chopped. Add mixture to the syrup and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in fish sauce, vinegar and lime juice. Cool, stir in scallions and coriander, and refrigerate.

NUTRITIONAL DATA (per portion): Calories: 880; Cholesterol: 240 mg; Sodium: 210 mg;
Fat: 70 g; Dietary Fiber: <1 g

Yucatán-Style Baby Back Ribs 

with Spicy Cherry Glaze

Yield: 24 (½ rack or 8- to 10-ounce) portions
Preparation time: 30 minutes plus unattended cooking time
Shelf life: 5 days

Ivy Stark is a talented executive chef for the Dos Caminos restaurants in New York and Florida. Her succulent baby-back ribs are cooked Yucatán style—which, in Mexico, would be made in a pit. Here, the ribs are wrapped in banana leaves, covered with spices and orange juice, and baked.

For the ribs:

  • Banana leaves, available from Latin food suppliers
  • 2 bunches thyme, chopped
  • 2 bunches oregano, chopped
  • 1 bunch rosemary, chopped
  • 16 ounces sliced shallots
  • 5 ounces sliced garlic
  • 12 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons whole allspice
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • ¼ cup achiote paste
  • 12 racks baby back ribs, rinsed in cold water and patted dry
  • 10 lemons, sliced
  • 10 limes, sliced
  • 1½ quarts orange juice
  • Toasted sesame seeds, to garnish
For the Spicy Cherry Glaze:
  • 1 ounce vegetable oil
  • 1 ounce garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces red onion, diced
  • 2 ounces fresh ginger, minced
  • 1½ quarts frozen sour cherries
  • 2 ounces reposado tequila
  • 3 ounces Sriracha hot sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 ounce sherry wine vinegar
  • 4 ounces soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange banana leaves in the bottom of a deep full-size hotel pan large enough so the ribs will be completely covered.
2. In a bowl, combine thyme, oregano, rosemary, shallots, garlic, bay leaves, allspice, cumin, coriander and achiote paste. Lay ribs in the pan and distribute seasoning mixture evenly. Add lemons and limes, pour orange juice over the meat, cover pan with foil, seal tightly and bake for 1½ hours. Remove, leave pan covered, and cool the ribs to room temperature. 
3. Once cool, transfer ribs to sheet pans and refrigerate for up to 24 hours if not using right away.
4. Prepare the Spicy Cherry Glaze: In a medium-size skillet over medium heat, combine oil, garlic, onion, ginger and cherries and sauté until lightly browned. Stir in tequila, hot sauce, sesame oil, sherry wine vinegar and soy sauce and simmer for 15 minutes; season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Generously coat ribs with the glaze. Heat broiler and position the rack about 5 inches from the heat. Broil for 10 minutes to crisp the glaze; sprinkle on sesame seeds and serve immediately.

NUTRITIONAL DATA (per portion): Calories: 910;  Cholesterol: 185 mg; Sodium: 320 mg;
Fat: 75 g; Dietary Fiber: 2 g

Goan-Style Baby Back Ribs

Yield: 24 (6-rib) portions
Preparation time: 20 minutes plus unattended cooking time
Shelf life: 5 days

The cuisine of Goa, on India’s southwestern coast, is fish-based. The blend of several cultural traditions, however—primarily Portuguese, Konkan and the Bahamani Nawabi—has also given rise to several local pork dishes that are eaten by local Christians, according to Walter D’Rozario, chef de cuisine at Junoon Restaurant in New York City. Many blend tangy sour and sweet flavors, like his simple and nicely seasoned spare ribs. D’Rozario says they are often served with feni, a Goan liqueur made from coconut.
  • 12 ounces Goan vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 12 ounces Worcestershire sauce
  • 12 ounces ketchup
  • 3 ounces puréed garlic
  • 2 ounces jaggery or light brown sugar
  • 2 ounces puréed fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • 3 tablespoons salt or to taste
  • 4 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper or to taste
  • 12 whole slabs pork spare ribs with excess fat trimmed
  • 4 ounces vegetable oil
1. In a bowl, whisk together vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, garlic, brown sugar, ginger, chile powder, cumin, mustard, salt and pepper. Taste for salt and adjust if necessary. Put ribs in large resealable plastic bags; pour marinade over the ribs, seal bags and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.
2. Remove ribs from the marinade and reserve the liquid. Heat oil in a heavy skillet or skillets and, working in batches, sear the ribs evenly. Transfer ribs to sheet pans, cover tightly with tin foil, and bake at 325 degrees F until just tender, about 80 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, transfer reserved marinade to a pan and reduce over high heat until it thickens to the consistency of barbecue sauce. Coat ribs with the sauce and return to oven for 10 to 15 minutes longer. Remove and serve.

NUTRITIONAL DATA (per portion): Calories: 880; Cholesterol: 240 mg; Sodium: 370 mg;
Fat: 75 g; Dietary Fiber: 0 g