Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Carrot (summer) Sauce - Also Known As Flo’s Sauce

Carrot (summer) Sauce - also known as Flo’s Sauce

Flo is my sister Silvana’s mother-in-law, she has made this sauce probably forever – it’s so easy – it can be quick, but I slow cook this sauce.

Flo’s Carrot Sauce

I am not sure what the quantity of the ingredients are that Flo puts into her sauce - the sauce is the same except I adapted my own amounts.


One entire container of MirePoix Mix from Trader Joe’s, if I use a second container, I use only the carrots, leaving the onions and celery for something else. If you cannot find Mirepoix, use the ingredient list below for carrots, onions and celery 
3 or 4 carrots peeled and diced
I chopped onion
1 or 2 stalks of celery sliced and diced
Four large cans of Crushed Tomato Sauce.
Olive Oil
Salt and Black pepper
Fresh or dry basil - fresh cut basil use 2 or 3 leaves cut or slice; if using dry basil a small pinch will do
Romano Cheese or Parmigiana Cheese
Submerge blender or regular blender


In a large pot, coat the bottom with some olive oil – a half of tablespoon is enough, add mirepoix mixture, sauté on low medium heat until softened,  about 5 minutes,  add a small pinch of salt to sweat the carrots, onions and celery.
Once the softness is achieved add sauce, you can also rinse the cans with water and add the water, raise the heat a little bit and add salt another good size pinch; a small pinch of black pepper and the basil.
Once the sauce comes to a low boil, lower the heat to a low simmer, and cook for about 2 hours.  The sauce thickens, so I semi to fully cover the pot during the time it is cooking.
At the end of the two hours, you need to blend the carrots, celery, and onions into the sauce.  I use a submerge blender, finding it easier and safer. I am afraid to put hot liquid into a blender  knowing that it can explode out-  Flo told me that I have to cover it with a towel and to add it in batches – No thank you  - the submerge blender works well.  
This sauce can be frozen in 3 large deli containers, each container is good for 1 lb. of macaroni- the type of pastas that we use for the sauce are:

Tagliatelle Nests

Boil your water for the pasta, follow the instructions on the box, if the box says boil 8 minutes, do that. The pasta should be a perfect “Al Dente” consistency.   Combine sauce and pasta together and add 1 or 2 generous handfuls of cheese (this is optional and/or can be added to individual plates) - mix and serve.

Mangia, Mangia…No Talk!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Ten Things of Thankful – Thirteen Years plus Cousins, Equals a Night of Laughter and Smiles

Our local news reported last week that we are at the halfway mark of summer …. I don’t  love the end of summer ; but I do enjoy  Autumn – Indian Summers  and sweater weather,  however they proceeded to keep talking – why do reporters insist on doing that, and claimed that weather officials are predicting that the polar vortex  will be back sooner than we think – like next month – 

VOICE OF DOOM – ZIP IT !!! Sil I’m borrowing your saying, it calls for it.

I am not thankful for those things, just needed to vent and let it go.

Thankful # 1

We shared a Coke with family last Saturday, my husband’s cousins Mike and Barbara.  We did not see each other in 13 years.  –

Sometimes life gets in the way; we don’t live that far but it is further than it used to be  - Mike lives in Queens,  works in the city  and we live an hour away on Long Island.  - Weekends would be the perfect time to get together, but we all have things to do and sometimes it’s not possible …but 13 years is excessively long and I hope we get to see each other sooner and more often.  

Mike we had a blast, you still have the same sense of humor that always makes me smile, giggle and laugh!   Barbara you know how I've always considered you, like we were sister-in-laws instead of cousin-in-laws - Mike and Nick always seemed more like brothers and our relationship followed that course.  

I had so much fun; all we did was talk, reminisced and laughed….

Appetizers to start with – 

Which we kept eating, because our barbecue crapped out on us, we had slow roasted cheeseburgers and hot dogs - but it was all good, even when Nick and Mike decided to try to fix the barbecue.  Like old times – they always did things together.

Nicky and Mike

Barbara is trying to talk me into sticking my tongue out…

Sorry no go darling!

The four of us

Second Thankful

Our weekend put both Nick and I in a good mood all week.

Nick relaxing after a long day at work

Thankful # 3

I received an email from the coordinator of the literacy program, asking me if I was interested in Amelia doing another 15 hours with another clinician. The Clinicians are student teachers getting their credits to become specialized reading teachers,  so they need to clock their hours with a student;  the student and the student-teacher meet at the library and Amelia  gets a one on one tutor in reading and writing,  win- win, right ? 
Of course, I said yes, even though it would cost me another $150.00; well that is what I figured it to be.  It cost us $200 for the 200 hours that were done earlier in the summer.

Thankful # 4

After I replied, “YES of course”, the coordinator sent me all the details and mentioned that these 15 hours are free!  YAY!!!

Thankful # 5

I won ten bucks!

Thankful # 6

Car was fixed and paid for - one of the sensors for the ABS broke which created a vibration when I used the brakes – it kept locking the wheel - all fixed 

Thankful # 7

Scored some good sales at Target, both Amelia and I bought Palazzo pants (for Lizzi – not pants but trousers) – mine were on sale - I found a flag shawl on clearance under $5.00; Amelia got cute sandals on sale too.

Thankful # 8 & #9

Mom just came over to pick up the case of mason jars for  the tomato sauce she will be canning.  

#8 (yay I will have home-made  sauce soon)  

#9 instead of one crate, it was actually 3, we had more than 36 jars.  

Mom was surprised and we are glad that we can make room in our very packed basement.

Another case like these was on top of the stove.

Thankful # 10

I am going out on a limb here, I think last week was a tough week (not for me but for the world)…turning on the news was heartbreaking. I consider myself a pacifist, I stand for nothing except a better solution  - first I want to say I am thankful that my family, children, our own, my nieces, nephews and friends children; wake to a safe world; consequently are not jaded of or live in fear.

Having said that, I hope that any children anywhere in this world, that are suffering, living in fear, and see so much hatred with their young eyes; I hope they can find some peace, that they are helped soon, and they can come out of their suffering with a compassionate heart.

She is hiding her dolls eyes so the doll doesn't see the bad things- not sure if  this picture is staged, my cousin from Genoa posted this and it made me sad…

Mangia, Mangia…No Talk!!!

Monday, August 04, 2014

Oh August, You're Here

Is it me or have the days flown by...July is done

Ahem, let me say this again….this time can you hear my outburst   -


Four more weeks and we are done with summer... 

July flew by – I know we were super busy – we had Amelia’s Literacy Reading program at the library almost every night – 4th of July came and went, I work outside the home – in an office counting someone else’s beans and paying for them too.  So sometimes, it is draining to say the least. We had Harry (my fur-nephew) for a week. Now here we are:

 My plan is to enjoy the rest of the summer;

Check out what I am working on for you, for my next posts on Mangia, Mangia…No Talk:

The carrot sauce with Tagliatelle pasta

Potato, Zucchini, Squash Casserole

This was so good; and the only picture that I thought looked appetizing. I should have taken a picture of it in the baking tray but there were some burnt/crispy  pieces  on the top; that I thought didn't look pleasing, turned out that they were me and my son’s favorite-

If you want to know why I added the word squash to the description above, this is what I used:

It’s called cucuzza squash – everyone in my family at some point grew this variety in their gardens– the sticker says that it comes from Louisiana – I think the word cucuzza is probably a dialect word meaning zucchini or squash – the formal word in Italian meaning zucchini is zucca.

I bought this baby at the supermarket, it was sold by the pound I don’t remember how many pounds it was but it cost around $4.00.
(check out how hubby is modeling the cucuzza squash)


Tzatziki sauce – yes I made it home made; it was very easy… and tasty too.
We used it on the chicken burgers that I made. Then one afternoon we all snacked on it with pita bread. (lunch) 

The other night, I made meatloaf for dinner. I like meatloaf, I like it only with sweet potatoes, – I make different meatloaf varieties, the one above has the same ingredients as do meatballs.  My family loves, my meatloaf dinners - and claim mine are the best - here’s the thing, my sisters insist that they make a good meat loaf too – I say we have a meatloaf throw down – maybe, we’ll see.

Chicken Burrito – I made pulled chicken earlier in the week and had so much leftover I decided to make chicken burritos – you know everyone was surprised.
Recipes will be posted soon – I promise
Mangia, Mangia…No Talk!!!

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