An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Friday, February 25, 2011

7 Quick Takes: Danskos, Eating Clean, and a Rattling Chandelier

This is my first time participating in 7 Quick Takes Friday hosted by Conversion Diary, so please be gentle ...

1. Top news, for me, would have to be this: after five years of daily use (including vacations in Washington D.C., Las Vegas, Virginia Beach, Hilton Head, and three trips to Italy), the time has finally come to retire my trusty pair of black Dansko clogs. (Remember my post Dancing through Life in my Dansko Clogs? Dansko featured it on their Web site.) Of course, I still have my tan, brown, purple, and leopard ones ... but I'm really going to miss my black Danskos.

2. One of my favorite things to do is read recipe books. When I go to a bookstore I immediately head to the cookbook section, and I will read and read. So, you can imagine how thrilled I was when my copy of The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook came in the mail today and (oh joy!) it has a colored photo for every single recipe. My weekend reading is set.

3. Speaking of eating, here is my favorite hummus recipe: blend 1 can of cannellini beans; 1/4 c. chopped roasted red peppers; 2 cloves of chopped garlic; 1/4c. olive oil; juice of one lemon; salt & pepper to taste. That's it.

4. I have noticed a new habit that, when faced with a chore such cleaning the boys' bathroom (hello? three boys sharing a bathroom?) or mopping the kitchen floor, I suddenly feel the need to call my sister and chat. I'm not sure if it's a coincidence or some form of subconscious procrastination, but I've been calling her a lot lately.

5. I am always amazed when God answers a prayer about something I never even knew I needed until I received it. Wow.

6. The two older boys share a bedroom that is directly over the dining room. Whenever they get into a wrestling match upstairs, the chandelier downstairs rattles. It's rattling now, and I'm debating whether I should go upstairs and see what's going on, or wait until ...

7. For something to ponder over the weekend, read Fr. Charlie's post over at his blog, Catholic Insights. He describes the human experience in five words: formed, informed, deformed, reformed, transformed.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Standing Tall

The phone rings.

"Hello," answers Nicholas. "Joe? No sir, this is Nicholas. Here is my Dad, though."

As he passes the phone to Joe, he is grinning from ear to ear.

And I know why. You see ... just last year, every time Nicholas answered the phone the caller thought it was me.

Every single time.

But now, things have changed and they think Nicholas is the man of the house.

Which makes him feel pretty darn good.

father & son moment

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Good Day

Opening my kitchen cabinet this morning in order to grab an espresso cup, I stand back to admire the new shelf liners I replaced this past weekend.

And the sight of my lined shelves makes me happy.

Shallow, I know, but spring cleaning does this to me.


There's something exciting about emerging from the confines of winter and opening windows, cleaning out drawers and, yes, replacing shelf liners.

I grab my cup and make my espresso.

And that makes me happy, too.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bathroom Humor in the Kitchen

I am cooking when I hear Timothy giggling.

I look up, and notice he is staring at these cute salt and pepper shakers I purchased in Sorrento, Italy two summers ago.

I know he's up to something, but darn if I can figure out what it is.

Then, one at a time, Timothy drags his brothers into the kitchen, points at the shakers and whispers something that has them laughing.

Now I know he's up to something.

And he is. It seems he is looking at the pepper shaker and, instead of pronouncing it pepe with two short e sounds, he was pronouncing it with two long e sounds.

Which he thought was terribly funny . . . as did his brothers.



That's all I have to say.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Oh What a Stupid I am

So, a few years ago I made a beautiful pillow. It was a rich golden color, with a red envelope flap and five buttons along the border.

Two weeks ago I decided that I was tired of the thing and donated it -- along with some other stuff -- to our local Goodwill store.

Then today, as I was exploring one of my favorite antique consignment stores, I spotted my pillow on a beautiful antique bench.

My pillow. Which I made. With a price tag of $25.

Sigh ... I was tempted, but I did not buy it back.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Happy World Nutella Day (and a birthday)

Yes, believe it or not, today is WORLD NUTELLA DAY!!!!!!!!

And it's also my birthday, and the only reason I mention this is because my seven year old fixed me a nutella sandwich for my birthday breakfast.

See? Nutella is important around here.

This celebration is sponsored by Bleeding Espresso and Ms. Adventures in Italy.

For more information on all things nutella, including over 500 recipes, go here.

And on thoughts how to survive motherhood ... check this out.

Finally, my Zia Tiziana wrote this ode to Nutella that says it all.

Piange a urla il tuo bambino?
Puoi mangiarne un cucchiaino!
Stai passando qualche guaio?
Prendine subito un bel cucchiaio!
Torna a casa il marito nervoso?
Un cucchiaione e un po' di riposo.
Se sei triste o ti fanno arrabbiare
la NUTELLA ti può consolare!


Is your child crying?
You can give him a spoonful!
Are you going through some troubles?
Immediately grab a spoon!
Does your husband come home all grumpy?
A spoonful and a little rest.
If you are sad or someone makes you mad
NUTELLA can comfort you.

And as far as our family is concerned, the bigger the jar ... the better!

photo taken in Sorrento, Italy

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Coming soon ...

As a way to delve into my Italian heritage, I will be introducing a weekly feature to my blog entitled Un Abbraccio ... Embracing an Italian Heritage.

Abbraccio -- Italian for embrace (pronounced ah-brah-cho) -- will be a celebration of art, culture, recipes, book reviews, interviews, links and, of course, stories about my Nonna; in other words, all things molto Italiano.

Stay tuned ... la dolce vita, indeed.