Wednesday, October 20, 2010


This braciole recipe is very dear to my heart, this is my dad's signature dish. My dad Vito did most of the cooking when I was growing up. Coming from Bari which is located in the southern part of Italy,where they are know for being the best cooks specializing in all cuisine. Cooking came natural to my dad, except when he made those garlic muffins.
This recipe takes about 3 hours to make, but well worth the time, and effort.

1 flank steak
salt and pepper
2  24 oz jars of spaghetti sauce
5 cloves fresh garlic chopped
handful fresh parsley chopped
1 medium onion chopped
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 package hot spicy Italian sausage
String to tie meat
1 pound cooked thin spaghetti
Chop garlic, onions, and parsley. Hand mix all these ingredients with the cheese.
Salt, and pepper flank steak, place raw strips of bacon on meat. Place cheese, garlic, onion, and parsley mixture. Roll up, don't worry about the filling that falls out, we will toss that into the gravy.
Tie string around the meat. I prefer this to toothpicks which get lost in the meat.
Fry the braciole with the sausage, until the meat is brown.
Place meats with both jars of spaghetti sauce, add 2 jars of water. This will cook on medium low and evaporate with in the 3 hours, the meats will fall apart fork tender.
You want the gravy to simmer,  with small bubbles not a hard rolling boil.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Hand thrown Rooster Pottery

This is what I have been  working on lately, a hand thrown rooster. This is thrown in 4 different parts, then glued together with slip.I have found out timing is definitely every thing when working with clay.  I will show the steps as I progress with them. It's so exciting to try making different things with clay the bounders are limitless.

This was the final results after firing it twice.

I started my second rooster, see how much shrinkage.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My first face jug looks like Betty Boop

My husband Toby has been after me to make face jugs, I though ewwww they are so ugly. So I finally decided to make one, except mine are gonna be girly girly ones, with earings too. Notice the holes on the ears. Here is my first one it's in wet clay stage... as it progresses I will take more pictures. She's kinda ugly

This is the final product. My first face jug looks like Betty Boop, which kinda puts her out in left field somewhere. The real collectors don't  like cutesy face jugs.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Soft Yeast Dinner Rolls

Who doesn't like soft yeast dinner rolls with a slightly crispy crust? This recipe is one I have used with a traditional Sunday dinner. Can you picture a pad of real butter in the middle of this tender roll?  Pot roast, mash potatoes , gravy and a green bean casserole.These rolls will  melt in your mouth.Corn meal rolls

3 1/2  cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1 1/4 cups  milk
1/4 cup shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In small pan heat milk,salt, sugar, and shortening, to 115 degrees, just about when shortening starts to melt.

Add 1/12 cups flour, and yeast to warmed milk mixture. Blend for 1 minute till well blended. Add remaining flour blend it for 3 minutes till well blended.

Add egg , shape into a ball.
Place in large greased bowl to rise. Flip dough ball over to cover with grease so when it rises it won't stick.
Spray a piece of plastic wrap with non stick spray, before covering bowl. This will keep dough from sticking, which will rupture raised dough.

Dough raises in 2 hours. It will be doubled. Punch down, turn out on floured surface.

Shape dough into small 2 inch balls. Spray cup cake tins with non stick spray before placing dough balls.

Place plastic wrap with non stick before covering dough balls.  Let them rise for 45 minutes till dough doubles.
Place in preheated oven bake for 10 to 12 minutes. They should be a pretty golden brown.

Thanksgiving Butternut Squash Pie

Have you ever tried a butternut squash pie? I think it tastes better than pumpkin pie because it has a milder taste. We grow our own butternut squash, these plants are very , hearty, when I see  that the butternut squash is ready to pick I know fall is around the corner. Which means Thanksgiving, and  butternut squash pie will be on the menu for dessert. Try this recipe and see if you will agree with me, that it taste better than pumpkin pie.
Try my perfect pie crust
2 cups cooked chopped butternut squash
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon  ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 eggs
1 cup evaporated milk
1 pie perfect pie crust

1 u
Cut 2 medium sized butternut squash, scoop out seeds place in oven at 350 degrees bake for 1 hour.
Chop peeled butternut squash.
Place butternut squash, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg,  and cloves in blender.
Blend till smooth.
Add eggs blend till smooth again.
Add milk. Set to the side while you make pie crust. My pie crust recipe is in March's blog Mom's Lemon Meringue  Pie.
Pour filling into pie shell. Bake at 375 degrees for 55 minutes.
To check to see if done insert butter knife into center, if it come out clean it is ready.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Coffee Table Make Over

Found this old coffee table while rummaging though our basement.. My husband wanted to clear out the junk store goodies he had been collecting for over the last 20 years.I thought with a little elbow grease, and paint we could turn this ugly duck into a beautiful swan.

The first thing we had to do was to  place the coffee table out side to air out.  Next came the sanding lots of elbow grease..
 I am drawn to the Shabby Sheik look so my thoughts were to paint the table an off white, and to crackle it first so the dark wood would show through it.. I decided I would paint a decorative design in the middle, and edges.

 I bought a jar of crackle finish from Lowe's. When you crackle a piece of furniture use a brush, the more crackle you apply to the brush the bigger the crackles will be.Its important to make sure you apply in one direction only.

The shiny part in the picture is where the crackle paint was applied.. Notice where the antique white paint was painted,  how  quickly the crackle  has begun appearing..  When applying the top coat, it's important to  brush only once. Do not go back over the paint, just brush once and go on.

I painted the back ground first, and framed it with black. I will go back and decorate the black frame with comma strokes after I finish the whole picture.

Then I centered the 2 folk art men.holding the huge grapes
I like to use acrylics paints, I had a problem being allergic to the oil paints.. 
The crackle showed through the painting which gave this a nice patina.

This is the up close look of the stroke work, which was done as a border.

Now this coffee table is once more presentable, I think I will use it in the living room