Italian

Bread: Legend And Lore

June 1, 2014

Bread: Legend And Lore

Bread: Legend And Lore

Bread – “The Symbol of Friendship & Hospitality.” In ancient times many cultures believed bread was a Gift from God. Live a good life and “Break Bread With Friends!

English – “Bread is the Staff of Life.”

Russian – “Bread is the symbol of friendship.”

Spanish – “All sorrows are less with bread.”

Italian – “Bread is all food, the rest is merely accompaniment.”

German – “Bread is the symbol of home and family.”

French Saying – “As good as bread.”

Danish – “Bread is better than the song of the birds.”

American Indians danced the “Bread Dance” for prosperity and good crops.

Slavic Proverb – “Without bread even a palace is sad, but with it a Pine Tree is Paradise.”

© Victoria Hart Glavin

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10 Steps For Staying Happy Through The Holiday Season

November 18, 2013

Vintage Christmas Lights

10 Steps For Staying Happy Through The Holiday Season

Thanksgiving is almost here which marks the beginning of the holiday season. With so many holiday pressures often times we forget what truly is important.  We are busy shopping, cooking and wondering how to deal with some unsettled family business.  Over the weekend I came down with a nasty flu, which is in full swing as I write this.  To be sick is no fun to say the least, but I do take it as a sign to slow down and reflect.  Here are some ideas for staying happy through the holiday season.  I hope that you take time to enjoy the holidays. 

Do Something Random For The Fun Of It

What have you always wanted to do, but came up with an excuse not to?  What made you happy as a kid?  Think about things you did, during the holidays, which were fun during the holidays and relieve them as a grown-up.  If you have children then introduce your fond activities to your kids. Go ice-skating, go to a hokey play, watch your favorite movie or read a favorite children’s book. 

Give Back

Doing something for others is a powerful thing.  Volunteer your time or donate money to a favorite cause or something that speaks to your heart is important.  It’s a good thing to do and trust me it will make you feel good. 

Take Care Of Yourself

It’s important to do things for yourself.  Schedule a mani-pedi or a massage.  Take a nap, take a day off and read in bed.  Do whatever it is that you need to do to recharge.

Commune With Nature

So often we forget to go outside and do something for nature.  Pick up garbage, feed the birds, start a compost pile, rake up leaves or whatever needs doing.  You will be doing something good for nature and by being outside you will feel better. 

Get Active

It may be chilly outside, but go out for a walk or run anyway.  We need the vitamin D and to get our blood pumping.  Ride your bike, go skiing or sledding.  If you can’t get outdoors then go to your local gym and take an exercise class.  It’s important to get those endorphins going. 

Try Cooking A New Recipe

Choose a recipe that peaks your interest and try making it.  If it’s a big success then perhaps you can duplicate it for a holiday dinner.  Even if you don’t make it for a holiday dinner you have it in your back pocket of recipes.  If it doesn’t turn out then oh well at least you tried it. 

Favorite Childhood Food

Everyone has a favorite childhood food.  Growing up in Lincoln, Nebraska my mother used to make something called Runzas.  Whenever I need a “childhood comfort shot” I will make Runzas (thank goodness my mother left me the recipe).  My husband grew up Italian in Castro Valley.  During the holidays his aunt would bring an Italian rum cake to the family gatherings.  My husband has been searching for this cake for over 40 years, but can’t seem to find it.  I’ve tried several times to duplicate it from his description.  The point here is, think about what your favorite foods were as a child.  Try and duplicate them and share them with the people that you love.  Trust me…food and memory are powerful things. 

Honor Your Ancestors

Holidays can be emotional.  We all have both happy and sad memories of people who have passed away.  One way to honor those who have passed away is to make their favorite foods. Another is to watch an ancestor’s favorite movie.  My father-in-law’s favorite movies was, “It’s A Wonderful Life.” After he passed away we would take the whole family and go to see, “It’s A Wonderful Life” at the local movie theater.  Not one of us walked out of the theater with dry eyes.  It was powerful, healing and an important holiday ritual.  Take some quiet time to reflect and to be grateful for those people who are gone and were important in your life. 

Forgive Friends & Family

Oftentimes living friends and family can be an emotional challenge.  Forgive them.  Lift the weight off of yourself and simply forgive them.  This doesn’t mean that you should get right back into dysfunction (set boundaries and limitations).  Deal with conflicts from your highest level of goodness and love. 

Make Amends & Forgive Yourself

We have all wronged people that we love. Examine your past emotions and motivations in situations that are nagging your heart.  Make amends; tell that person you are sorry. There is no need to go into “yeah but.”  Simply “I am sorry I did fill in the blank.” Forgive yourself as well.  Most of us are hard on ourselves, which creates stress whether we know it, or not.  We all make mistakes.  Forgive yourself.  At the end of the day, at the end of the holidays the happy memories will not come from presents or material things as much as from genuinely connecting and appreciating your family, friends and yourself. 

 

 

Fresco Trattoria

January 25, 2013

Fresco Trattoria

I love this place.  I repeat I love this place.  I discovered Fresco Trattoria about a month ago and I am really glad that I did.  Making my Friday night trek from the city, my husband and I had gone to a French restaurant, in Wilton, earlier in the evening only to be rudely turned away.  I had remembered that someone told me about a new restaurant in Georgetown that was really good and worth checking out.  We were tired and it was late, but we decided to give it a go.  What a surprise to find such a local treasure.  Fresco Trattoria is an unpretentious Fairfield County treasure. 

When we walked in we were promptly greeted and seated.  Our server came over immediately and was extremely attentive.  We reviewed the menu and were pleasantly surprised to see a wide array of authentic Italian food along with some nice creative salads.  We were very hungry and I had heard that the restaurant had installed a wood –fired pizza oven. Always enjoying leftover pizza for the next day we ordered a pizza, salads and great pasta entrees.  Everything was so delicious that we ate everything including the entire pizza. 

During our meal the chef, Michael Pellizzari came to our table to inquire how our meal was.  We certainly couldn’t complain and enthusiastically nodded our heads with mouths full.  Next one of the owners, Frank Lombardi, came over to see how we were doing and chatted for a bit. Talk about a complete 180º from the previous Wilton restaurant that didn’t seem to want our business. 

I am so happy that we found Fresco Trattoria.  What a great local place to go to.  Everything is homemade including the sauces.  You can taste it too.  The prices are very reasonable; the portions are generous and best of all you can tell that the owners and chef love what they do. They have a full bar with a decent wine list as well. I live in New York City during the week and am spoiled by all of the great high end restaurants.  I typically don’t rave about many restaurants, but Fresco Trattoria is truly a special place. 

Fresco Trattoria is open, Monday through Thursday, 11am to 10pm, Friday and Saturday 11am to 11pm, and Sunday 5 to 10pm.  The address is 22 Main Street, Redding, Connecticut 06896.  Their telephone number is 203-544-9447.  You can visit Fresco Trattoria on the web at http://www.frescotrattoriaredding.com/ or

https://www.facebook.com/FrescoTrattoriaRedding.

 

17 Things To Do With Homemade Ricotta

June 3, 2012

17 Things To Do With Homemade Ricotta

 

Now that you’ve made your Homemade Ricotta what are you going to do with it?  Here are 17 things to do with that delicious Homemade Ricotta.

 

  1.  Make a Cheesecake
  2.  Fill Ravioli
  3.  Eat Warm Drizzled With Good Quality Olive Oil
  4.  Make A Tart
  5.  Toss With Penne Pasta And Quickly Cooked Tomatoes
  6.  Savory Bruschetta – Toast Or Grill SlicesOf Italian Bread.  Top With Sun Dried Tomatoes, Ricotta, Fresh Basil Leaves,   Salt & Pepper
  7. Eat For Breakfast With Milk, Honey And Nuts
  8. Enrich Egg Dishes
  9. Make A Fruit Dip By Blending Cocoa Powder, Ground Cinnamon And Sugar
  10. Layer In Gratins And Lasagna
  11. Top A Dish Of Cavatelli
  12. Stuff Pasta Shells
  13. Bake In Pancakes
  14. Enrich Sauces
  15. Sweet Bruschetta – Spread On Thick Slices Of Italian Bread And Top With Jam Or Fruit For Breakfast Or A Snack
  16. Use In Italian Meatballs
  17. Use With Fresh Berries

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