Viva Saint Guiseppe!

When my grandparents talked about the old country they were talking about Italy. My mother’s family is from Bari and Calabria and my father’s family is from Sicily. So, I describe my Italian heritage as heal, toe and football if you look at the map.

My Sicilian grandmother used to do a St. Joseph’s Table every year and I have many fond memories of not only the food but the stories of holidays past. You can read more about our tradition at here.

The following recipe is actually my favorite, using a dressing of vinegar and sugar for a sweet and savory pea salad. Anyone who knows me knows I rarely use canned anything. In this case, it is the perfect and easy way to make this St. Joseph favorite.

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Great Gramma’s Bitter Sweet Peas

(I cut this in half and it still is hard to fit into my large cast iron skillet)

6 Large Cans Peas (drained)
1 Large Bunch Celery (diced)
1 Pound Italian Green Olives (pitted and chopped)
1 Large Can Artichokes (cut up)
1 Tablespoon Salt

Dice and cook celery until slightly softened. Drain and cool. Saute onions, add celery, and olives. Take off stove (recipe says to take off the fire but I decided to change that) and add peas and artichokes. Mix lightly with fingers.

¾ Cup White Vinegar
½ Cup Sugar
Warm the vinegar gently in a sauce pan to melt sugar. Remove from heat and add to pea mixture. Toss lightly and refrigerate.

I just made half the recipe and it barely fit into my large cast iron skillet.

 

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If I Were 8…

20121018-163415.jpgIf I were 8 years old I would open my lunch box (metal, of course…before they were retro) with the thermos that was easily broken (I should know…once when being bullied on the bus I whacked my metal lunch box over a kids head…shattered my thermos and got into a little trouble for hitting him…in the 60’s girls didn’t hit anyone, let alone boys!).

Anyway, back to lunch

I didn’t eat peanut butter and jelly, period. I also didn’t eat hot dogs but that’s another blog. Instead, mom made me

20121018-163537.jpgcream cheese and jelly.

And, not just any jelly…the best sandwich of all was cream cheese and

20121018-163819.jpgorange marmalade on

20121018-164135.jpgWonder Bread.

What I wouldn’t give for two slices of soft white bread right now…I know it’s not good and I cannot eat soft bread anymore but that doesn’t make me miss this nostalgic lunch any less.

What did you love to open your lunch box and find?

Have a yummy day!

She Was A Father Baker Baby 2/8/28 – 8/28/12

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20120830-075229.jpgHere is my mother-in-law at Fairfield Beach in May celebrating my son’s graduation from Fairfield University.

Mom wasn’t drinking out of red solo cup but she didn’t need that modern day symbol of celebration to grasp the enormity of this passage. Her life was one of hope and dedication.
She was one of the Father Baker Children.

20120830-080808.jpgHis road to Roman Catholic sainthood inspired her and gave her a source of pride at what many would consider unfortunate beginnings. Her own path to a loving family had twists and turns and when she finally was welcomed into the home of Frank, a landscape designer, and Theresa Carl she learned the value of hard work, faith and service.

She was a PTA mom, a railroad employee and the ultimate church lady. She loved her friends, her family and her church faith community. Anyone who knew her also knew about those she loved since she shared every tidbit of information she could glean from them. The downside of that is obvious but the upside is also good. If you needed to know the married name of the girl you shared a locker with in grammar school, Lorraine was the woman for you.

My mother-in-law was a woman of simple taste. If you fed her some meat and any form of potato she would dine in perfect happiness.

20120830-083643.jpgI remember one meal, years ago where I made rice as the starch. Everything was on the table and I was finally seated. We said grace and began to pass out the food and my mother-in-law was quiet, scanning the table like she was looking for Waldo. I asked if she was ok and she said yes but she was wondering where the potatoes were. I guess rice was not even a cheap substitute!

She made the most wonderful turkey stuffing with bread and a seasoning called Bell’s Seasoning.

20120830-092408.jpgIt is completely different from the Italian style stuffing my mother makes…and I love it.

Every picnic was not complete without her potato salad. Her recipe is so simple:

 

 

Gramma Rainbow’s Potato Salad

Servings: 8
Prep time: 1:00
Total time: 4:00
Categories: Salad, Vegetable
Source: JudeTheFoodie.com

Ingredients

• 4 Russet Potatoes
• 2 Stalks Celery, finely diced
• 1 Medium Onion, finely diced
• 1 Medium Green Bell Pepper, finely diced

• 8 Oz Mayo
• 8 Oz Sour Cream

• Salt, pepper

Directions

Scrub 4 russet potatoes (2 servings per potato) and boil in their skin until you can put a fork through (do not overlook). Cool. Remove skin and chop into 1 inch pieces.

In large bowl add potatoes, celery, onion and green pepper. Salt and pepper to taste Fold in equal parts of mayo and sour cream and coat evenly.

Chill for at least 3 hours or overnight. Stir gently before serving.

Made with The Recipe Box. http://www.therecipeboxapp.com/

Swiss steak with thick gravy, pork and sour kraut and potato salad were her signature dishes and I will miss them all.

Mostly, I will miss her. She was pretty amazing.

God rest Lorraine…2/8/28 – 8/28/12

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Chopped Chicken Salad Jars

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Servings: 4 Main Dish
Prep time: 0:30
Total time: 2:30
Categories: American, Dinner, Lunch, Main Dish, Salad
Source: JudeTheFoodie.com

Ingredients

• 1 Small Zucchini, chopped
• 1 8 Ounce Grape Tomatoes, rinsed and dried
• 2 Cups Chicken, Chopped
• 1 Orange Pepper, chopped
• 1 Can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
• 4 Hardboiled Eggs, chopped

Directions

20120801-073326.jpgRinse and dry all vegetables. Rinse and drain black beans and peal and chop eggs roughly. Remove bone and skin and chop chicken

20120801-073453.jpgIn four clean pint Ball jars, add ¼ of the zucchini to each jar. Divide the tomatoes among the jars.

Spoon about ½ cup of chopped chicken into each jar. Gently pack the jars with the back of the spoon. Add orange pepper and spoon black beans into each jar.

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Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 1/2 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar. I like a plain oil and fruity vinegarbut use your imaginationand have fun with it. 

20120801-073650.jpgAdd ¼ of the egg packing gently if necessary to fit.

 

20120801-073744.jpgPut lids on jars being sure they are on securely. Gently invert each jar and search the dressing coat the contents. Chill for at least two hours.

 

 

Shake jar lightly and pour into bowl and enjoy. This chopped salad would also be great served over your favorite greens or cold macaroni.

Made with The Recipe Box. http://www.therecipeboxapp.com/

Have a yummy day!

20120801-073858.jpgJudeTheFoodie.co

Chopped Caprese Salad

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Chopped Caprese Salad

Servings: 4-6
Prep time: 0:30
Total time: 0:30
Categories: Appetizer, Salad
Source: Www.JudeTheFoodie.com

Ingredients
• 6 Plum Tomatoes
• ½ Red Onion, chopped
• 2 Cloves Garlic
• 1 Cup Basil, loosely packed
• 8 Ounces Fresh Mozzarella, cubed
• 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• 1 Tablespoon White Balsamic Vinegar
• 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
• Fresh Ground Pepper

Directions

Slice plum tomatoes in half lengthwise and on an angle slice off the white stem. Cut in half again into wedges then cut wedges in half crosswise. Add chopped tomatoes to a medium mixing bowl.

Cut red onion in half and chop into ½ inch pieces. Add to bowl.

Remove paper from garlic and chop off stem. Mince or crush through a press and add to bowl.

Tear basil leaves off stems and lay on top of each other. Chiffonade the basil: roll them into a cigar and slice into thin strips. Add them to the mixing bowl by lightly separating them with your fingers.

Chop the mozzarella roughly into approximately ½ inch cubes. Add to bowl.

Add your favorite extra virgin olive oil and white balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Mix lightly with clean hands. May be eaten immediately but improves as it sits covered on the counter for up to three hours. Stir lightly before serving. Be sure to have some crusty bread on hand to mop up the juice.

Made with The Recipe Box. http://www.therecipeboxapp.com/

20120730-081350.jpgHave a yummy day!

Yesterday’s Fruit Salad…Today’s Lunch!

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1 – 2 Cup Container Greek Yogurt
6 – Teaspoons Chia
3-4 Cups Fruit Salad Chopped
2 Tablespoons Local Honey
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
3/4 Cup Walnuts, toasted

In yogurt container add Chia seeds and blend; divide among 4 Mason Jars (pint size). In medium mixing bowl add chopped fruit, honey and vanilla. Gently stir and divide among jars. Add chopped walnuts on top of fruit and cover tightly with lid.

Have a yummy day!

20120705-081247.jpgjudeTheFoodie.com