Honey Ginger Chicken and Broccoletti Stir Fry


An original recipe by Jude Russo Caserta

1          Tbsp D’Avolio Extra Virgin Olive Oil

½         Onion, diced

2          Cloves Garlic. Minced

2          Boneless Skinless Split Chicken Breasts, chopped into thumb size pieces

1          Pound Broccoletti, rinsed, chopped into two inch pieces

½         Cup Water

In heavy skillet heat oil on medium heat; sauté onion until it begins to caramelize, about 5 minutes. 

Meanwhile, in large microwavable container, cook Broccoletti and ½ cup water on high until al dente (about 7-8 minutes).  Do not drain and set aside.

In skillet, add garlic and sauté for an additional 2 minutes.  Add chicken, spreading evenly in pan and let brown on one side (about 5 minutes) before turning each piece over and browning on other side.  Add Broccoletti with water into pan and stir.  Add sauce and bring to a bubble.  Cook for about 5 minutes on medium low heat until sauce is cooked and thick.

Sauce (Amounts are approximate – don’t measure – have fun!)

½         Cup Orange Marmalade

½         Cup Garlic Ginger Stir Fry Marinade

¼         Cup D’Avolio Honey Ginger White Balsamic Vinegar

1          Tbsp Corn Starch

½ – 1    Tsp Crushed Red Pepper (smashed in your palm) (amount to taste)

In medium glass bowl add first four ingredients and stir until corn starch is blended.  Add crushed red pepper and stir.

Serve with steamed brown rice and ENJOY!

Life is TASTES good!


Twitter: MidMajorMom

Twitter: JudeCaserta



That Bifocal Display at the Drugstore

I’m 52.  I have no problem saying that.  I love and embrace my age.  My brother died when he was 48 and when I turned 50 I did it for both of us.  I am living in the area where I grew up.  How do you fake your age when you went to school with someone or one of their siblings?  How many times do we ask someone “did you go to school with my brother” or “I remember you from high school, how are you doing?”  Everyone would have to lie about their age!

There are so many changes a body goes through as we get older.  Some things get better and some things…not so much!  My metabolism is as slow as getting that last drop of ketchup out of the bottle (yeah, I know, my fault but that is next week’s blog) but my voice seems to continue to improve (although the high notes are more elusive I have gained a rich lower register).

If you are nearsighted there is a certain time when reading without your glasses is much easier than with them on.  If you have never worn glasses before you likely find yourself coyly looking for reading glasses at the drugstore.  Have you ever noticed the display is not in a discreet place?  They should have an embarrassment spot at any drugstore where you go to buy condoms, pregnancy kits and bifocals.  Problem is, you can spot the old person because they are reading the condom package with glasses with a big tag hanging off their nose.

Gotta go…on my way to my opthamologist to get a new prescription!

Life is good!


Twitter: MidMajorMom

Twitter: JudeCaserta


This Week I’m Judianne


I’m going to get called Judianne a lot this week.  That’s how names were when I was a kid…they were a mash-up of your first and last names.  Not necessarily your full names or I would be Judith Anne and I can never EVER once remember being called Judith by any member of my family.  Judith is my doctor’s office name.  My brother was Joeymark and my cousin was Donnypaul…mash-up names.

My beloved uncle passed away yesterday, poetically, on the golf course.  He was my mother’s brother-in-law and we lived next door to them nearly my whole life.  We lived in this Kennedy-esque first generation Italian American suburban grouping of homes built by my uncles.  My mother had two sisters – one lived next door to me and the other one, across the street.  Their mother, my grandmother, lived next door to me on the other side.  My mother also has four brothers, three of whom lived in the neighborhood within a short walk or even shorter bike ride.

One of the best things I can say about our childhood is that we didn’t know how lucky we were.  If we did then we knew other people didn’t live with their relatives and have cousins more like brothers and sisters.  I didn’t live in a house with a real neighbor (one I wasn’t related to) until I was 25 years old!).  We were loved, protected and blessed with comforts of life.  The in-ground swimming pool was in my back yard.  The basketball court was next door and the fort was behind my cousin’s house across the street.

My hair was never dry all summer and sometimes we got to swim with the light on late at night (probably 10:00pm!).  Every weekend, and I mean EVERY weekend in the summer there were hot dogs and hamburgers eaten in the breezeway with all of my cousins.  There were 19 of us and we were together all of the time.  We laughed and we fought, we played games and we got in trouble for horsing around.  We were in each other’s weddings then life happened and we grew apart. 

This picture is in the breezeway in 1962.  My sister was not born yet and I was the youngest of the “older” cousins.  Seven boys and two girls…from top left: Joeymark (my late brother Joe), cousins Donny, Davey and Donnypaul…second row from left: cousins Richard, Michael, me and cousins Sharon and Benjie.  Uncle Ben was Davey and Benjie’s dad.  He was a bricklayer by trade and a contractor by profession.  He was loud and soft-hearted (always cried when I sang Ave Maria!) and I loved him with all of my heart!

But, when something like a death or other disaster happens, we sit together at someone’s kitchen table, comparing notes about life today then reminisce about those breezeway days long ago.

Uncle Ben – it’s Judianne and I want you to know how much I loved you, even when you yelled at me at the pool.  You will be missed…

Life is good!


Twitter: MidMajorMom

Twitter: JudeCaserta


Honey Ginger Peach Tart

imageAn original recipe by Jude Russo Caserta


Preheat oven to 350F

½ cup almonds

8 almond biscotti

¼ cup sugar

½ tsp ground ginger

6 tsp melted butter

In blender or food processor, grind almonds, biscotti, sugar and ginger into crumbs.   Melt butter and toss with until well coated.  Press into bottom and sides of a tart pan or spring form pan with removable bottom. Bake at 350 8 minutes until brown and crisp.  Cool.

Fruit filling:

3 large peaches

½ Cup D’Avolio Ginger Honey White Balsamic Vinegar

Peel scrubbed peaches (boil about one minute; remove from water; cool until you can touch then easily peel skin from peach) and cut into even sized wedges.  Place in bowl with ½ cup Balsamic Vinegar and let soak until filling is spread on tart.

Bottom filling:

8 oz cream cheese softened

½ cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

½ tsp almond

Beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and almond extracts until soft and smooth.  Spread gently over the cooled crust.

Either in a pattern or randomly, place drained peaches on top of cream cheese filling.


1/3 cup D’Avolio Ginger Honey White Balsamic Vinegar

1/3 cup lime juice

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 Tbsp corn starch

½ cup heavy cream

Place all glaze ingredients in a medium saucepan and cook on medium-low, stirring almost constantly, until it boils for 1-2 minutes.  Remove from heat and drizzle over peaches.

Refrigerate for several hours before serving.


 An original recipe by Jude Russo Caserta

1 Package Frozen Puff Pastry (defrost per package instructions)
1 Cup Raisins
2 Medium Apples (peeled and cored)
½ Cup Granulated Sugar
¼ Cup Flour
1 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Freshly Grated Nutmeg
1 Teaspoon Allspice
2/3 Cup Vanilla Rum
1 Package Caramel Sauce


  1. Defrost Puff Pastry
  2. Preheat oven to 425o
  3. Put raisins in large microwavable bowl and cover with water.  Microwave for five minutes or until water is rapidly boiling. Drain and put back in microwavable bowl.
  4. Quarter Apples equally.  Add to bowl with raisins.
  5. Add Sugar, Flour, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Allspice and Rum. Stir well and microwave on high five minutes stirring once.
  6. Lightly spray cupcake pans with cooking spray.
  7. Meanwhile, gently unfold one sheet of Puff Pastry onto a lightly floured cutting board.  Use pizza cutter to cut in even quarters.
  8. Gently place one Puff Pastry square in cupcake tin using only three cups (two on one side, one on other).
  9. Spoon one apple piece with some raisins and juice in each cup. Bring the four points of pastry together and pinch to close at top leaving the opening on the sides.
  10. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool about 5 minutes. Gently remove and cool on rack.
  11. Serve warm with hot Caramel Sauce or whipped cream.


Makes 8 Apple Shooters

Don’t You Dare Say “It’s Only Division III”

Being a college athlete is a big deal.  There are only about 400,000 NCAA student athletes out of nearly 8,000,000 college students across the country.

I just read a very interesting press release http://bit.ly/c7SRyv posted on the website of the National Federation of State High School Associations titled “High School Sports Participation Tops 7.6 Million, Sets Record.”  Think about this: 55.1% of high school students participated in athletics last year – more than 1 in 2 students had a coach, had to juggle academics and athletics and had to learn what it was like to lose.

What struck me, though, is that when you look at these raw numbers still fewer than 5% of these student athletes participate in college sports in one of the three NCAA (www.ncaa.com) divisions.  Even if you assume that half of them participate in two sports and one quarter of them participate in three sports that percentage only goes up to 8%.

Not every student athlete wants to compete at the BCS Division I level.  Many of them know they need to concentrate on their studies to get them into graduate school or into the workforce.  Athletics, to them, is a way to round out their college experience.  My son is a Division I student athlete who gets no money to compete in the pool – his scholarship money (full tuition) comes from academic sources.

Parents, as you help your high school student athlete look for colleges, keep mid-major schools on their radar.  They have the greatest percentage opportunity to combine academics and athletics for a fantastic college experience.

Life is good!


Twitter: @JudeTheFoodie

Facebook: Jude The Foodie