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Monday, December 31, 2012

Teaching the old ways


Well today was a day of teaching my oldest daugter the old traditions and ways I was tought to cook by my Italian grandmothers and aunts. I taught her to make Braciole, which is a stuffed meat roll braised in a tomatoe based sauce.
Now the recipe is not really complicated, but is time consuming and really a 2-3 man job. I madke this on a rare occassion due to the time it takes. I usually make it alone, but with my daughters help we had it prepared and in the oven in 1 1/2 hrs, where it spends anothe 2-3 hours braising in the oven to make a very tender meat. I have enclosed pictures, and will provide my recipe. If you would like help with any of the steps feeel free to email me. I promise if you are feeling adventerous, this recipe is well worth it.
1-2 lbs of round roast,(I have the buthcher slice it into 1/2"slices)
1 loaf day old It. bread cut or gound into a med course consistancy
1/2 c chopped fine fresh parsley
2-3cloves of chopped garlic
1/2 c ex. virgin olive oil
3/4 c grated Parm-Reggiano cheese
course salt & Pepper
-Pound out sliced meat into 1/8" thick slice(large enough to cut into 2 pieces, continue until all pieces are pounded
-Grind bread, add parsley, olive oil, cheese stir well
Brush meat with olive oil, season with salt & pepper, cover with bread mix and pat flat.
Roll into rolls and secure with toothpicks or butchers twine. Brown in olive oil, place in a large pan that is oven safe.
-3- 28-35 oz Cans Quality Crushed Tomatoes
- 4 tbsp Tomato paste
-1 Med- Large sweet onion chopped
-2-3 cloves garlic chopped
1/2-3/4 c Olive oil
-1 cup Red Wine
1/4- 1/2 cup white sugar
In sauce pan saute onions, and garlic 1 minute, add Crushed Tomatoes, Tom. paste, Parsley, wine, sugar. Simmer for about 30 min.
Add to pan with meat rolls, cover with sauce, cook at 350 for 2- 3 hours depending on size of pan. I usually make 20-40 rolls and let it cook a min of 2 hours.

 Now I know this sounds like it is complicated, but I promise it is more time consuming. But the end results are worth every minute of it. Serve with Pasta of choice. You can also add or eliminate ingredients to taste.
 It took my daughter an 1 and half hours from start to finish. We had fun, and I shared memories of cooking large pans of thos for our family's restaurant. There would be 5-6 of us preparing hundreds of these little rolls for our menu. They are very fond memories of a time of great tradition in my life. A way of life I miss and feels has been buried with my elders. The smells drew everyone into the kitchen last night as we cooked. The way it would when I was little. Funny how a smell can bring you bck to a time happiest in your ife, a time you felt like all wa sirght in the world and things would be that way forever. I miss those days. Growing up  in an old fashioned Italian family, a family owned & runned restaurant, with all the ways of the old country, but with the new country mixed in. Memories I will cherish a life time. I did the best with the pics, I also forgot to get one when they came from the oven, but no one gave me a chance, the devoured them.

God Bless,

Place slice between plastic wrap

Pound out thin without tearing meat. I like to use my wooden rolling p 

Meat pounded, cut into 2 pieces and being seasoned with O. Oil, S&P
Browning pieces in olive oil
With Breading prior to rolling

Sauce simmering

securing with toothpicks

Grinding bread, also used for garic and parsley

All the pieces in oven raedy roaster

Covered in sauce and ready for the oven

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Feeling a bit Slack and disconnected


I'm feeling a bit slack and lazy, I feel like every ounce of energy has been drained from body. It hurts to move today. I cooked nothing, though I had plans for a great Italian meal. I planned on Braciole and Mannicotti. Homemade of course. These are 2 very wonderful but very time consuming Italian dishes.
I learned how to make these a kid from my Italian grandmothers and aunts. I learned it all by site and taste too. I'll enclose some pics or video of my preparing, and would be happy to share my recipes, I just won't have measurements for you.
I actually have recipes written by grandma to me when I got married, she had all the ingredients, and directions, just no measurements. I was to know based on what she taught me, and her grams taught her and so on. But by teaching me to cook the way she did, I can actually go to a restaurant and duplicate most recipes at home. Which works out well for the hubby when he finds a dish he likes. I wish I could draw like I cook. Before my back revolted on me, I had always wanted to Cater. I can barely cook for my family these days.
I miss my grandmother something awful. I know she watches over me. I wish I could have learned more from her, but when your a kid you don't realize how important those traditions are.
I am working on trying to pass on to my kids the old ways passed on to me. I talk to my kids about the old ways and traditions from my childhood. I miss the way things were when I was a kid.
So now I take the old mix it in with new, and I am making the act of having TRADITION important to my kids. That having tradition is what keeps our family legacy alive. So they will cook with me, and it will be a teaching & learning experience. It will also be one of those memories they will carry with them like I do from my childhood.
Also with tradition comes family and friends. Those who make our lives happy, you bring laughter and joy. So those are the pictures I chose to share, the ones were family and friends prevail, and become a part of our tales and traditions.
Until tomorrow....
God Bless,

My Son Warming me up, I was freezing cold.

Gidget & Her childhood friend Kaitlyn loving on our dog who is 18 and is at the end

Jacob with Adella a.k.a Delly

A portion of the Hogan Clan taking Vigil at the Hospital when my Brother in law had a near fatal stroke

Me & The Gidget on our Travels

One of the Boxer dogs had the "GAS", enough to peel paint from the walls

Showing off our: Colella" Hats.The name of my sister Kris's business, our Maiden Name

Our Charlie Brown tree sporting some traditional Christmas Cookies made by my Mom and sister Kari

A family outing, my granddaughter Kaya showing her warm and fuzzy side...NOT!!!

Gidget, Amelia, & Selene; her "sisters" from dance, building their own friendships and traditions.

Mikayala, Gidget & Selene showing support at a Feis. Don't they look just GORGEOUS!!!
We as adults could learn what perseverance and hard work is from these girls.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

What I'm working on for the New Year


Well it is hard to believe that this year is just about over and a new one is to begin. It seems the older I get, the faster the years seem to go by. I also keep hoping that the new year will be a slightly bit better than the previous one. Now my family and I have had a hard few years. My health hasn't been the best, I am no longer able to work, which at first was awesome. I have to say I wish I could go back to work. I would even be happy to go back and work my least favorite job if it meant I could work again. It goes without saying always be careful what you wish for.
For those of you who have followed me since I began attempting to do the whole blogging thing almost one year ago, you know that since I can no longer work, I am trying to find solice in Art Journaling, blogging and teaching myself to draw and sketch. I absolutely love Art, and I love to read about the Famous Artist in history, I love to look at famous paintings in history and create something in my journal of the feelings invoked by that painting.
I have always at the start of a new year tried to keep a written journal of my feelings and usually do well for about 3-4 moonths and then I peter out. I am really hoping that my love of Art will inspire me to keep a long term journal.
I am usually very closed mouth about my feelings, I don't share personal parts of myself, and the "skeletons" of my past. I find it very hard to maintain friendships because I don't like to share much. 
About 12 years ago when we built our house, I slowly became friends with my neighbor. We actually became inseperable friends. Our children were more like siblings to each other than neighbors. Our husbands also became very good friends. Those years were some of the best and happiest of my life. I thought I had finally found a true and life long friend.
Then when the economy began to turn, when my back problems stole my livelihood, my friend who should have been my rock, she betrayed me in the worst way possible. She broke my heart in left it in a million broken pieces. My world felt like it was spinning out of control and I did the only thing I could control, I shut out everyone. I thought if she could do what she did to me, then those who weren't as close could do just as much harm to my heart. 
It has been about 4 years since that day my heart was broken, most of those I thought were my friends no longer keep in touch, I still have one friend from that time, and we talk as often as we can. You know life and kids keep her and I busy. She is a single mom and works, our kids as they get older actually seem to keep us busier than when they were little. 
The whole point of sharing that is more about me getting you to understand why, and what drives my need for Art and Art Journaling. I am hoping that it will sort out the pain that still resides in my heart after my friend broke it. 
It is also about the happiness that resides in my heart as well. The happiness that my husband, my kids and my granddaughter bring into my life everyday. That is what I try  to focus on, that is what I live for everyday. I also thank God everyday that I wake up to enjoy another day on this earth.
I am a survivor of childhood Cancer. I wasn't supposed to live according to the doctors, I am what they call a medical miracle. Not only was I not supposed to  survive my Cancer, I wasn't suppose to be able to have children. I have 5. I always have been one to beat to my own drum.
So as the new year approaches, I will continue to improve upon my drawing and sketching skills, I will continue to improve upon my relationship with God, I will continue to find peace within.
Well that is enough sharing for one day, it is more sharing than I have done in quite some time. I thank you for choosing to listen.
 I am also going to share with you some of what I have been working on the past few months, my attempts at ART. Hoping this finds you well.

God Bless,
Kimmie <3

My very 1st Art journal page

One of my Favorite pages I have done

Mini handmade books

My handmade paper beads

My attempt at making button rings

Another of my favorite pages

This is for the Sketchbook Project

Bookmarks for a swap

Bookmarks for a swap

Bookmarks for a swap

A tag I made, I stamped it and crotched the fringe on the bottom

For the Sketchbook Project

Also for the Sketchbook Project

My Moleskine(I LOVE this journal)
My doodle/zentagle Peacock

More doodles in my Moleskine, I call her

Sketches in Millie the Moleskine

Titled "Heart in Art" in my art journal



Merry Christmas to all. Today is a day of leisure and family. We will have a big breakfast of Company Eggs, Carmel Bread Pudding, Carmelized Bacon, Sourdough French Toast and Beignets. The Beignets are from a mix I bought in New Orleans and have been saving them until now.
After we eat, we will lay around in our pj's all day watching movies, we will eat dinner at around 6:30, then we will go into a food COMA. As is tradition, we will go to a movie later in the evening. Tonight we will go see The Hobbit. Which I am super excited about. It is one of my favorite books. 
I hope you all have a joyous day. I'm keeping it short and sweet today!!!

God Bless,
Kimmie <3

Cooking Breakfast


Carmelized Bacon

Company Eggs

Sourdough French Toast

Carmel Bread Pudding