Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Glad Tidings, from New York!

Here at my casa we have been quite busy; busy cleaning, busy decorating, and busy planning!

Two weekends ago, we celebrated our daughter’s birthday … we celebrated a week early because someone we know and love went on vacation with their family; wishing you all a wonderful vacation, and have fun!

The appetizers were:

Mild and sweet sopressata (which is a dry Italian sausage)

Baked Brie
One medium or small round Brie
A handful of roughly chopped nuts
I used pecans, walnuts and almonds
Any kind of jam (seedless raspberry works fine)
I actually used left over cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving
One sheet of puff pastry
One egg and some water (for an egg wash)

Preheat oven 350 degrees on convection

Take the frozen puff pastry out of the box and leave on your counter top about 10 or twenty minutes to defrost a little.
I start by cleaning the rind from the brie  using a vegetable peeler... a tip my sister Claudia shared with me …it works!  This step is optional and a preference – I like brie cheese without the rind.
Roll out the puff pastry right onto your baking tray.  Take a fork and lightly poke holes all around the sheet.
Place the round brie in the center of the pastry sheet. Spoon on top of the brie about two heaping tablespoons of jam or jelly - I used cranberry sauce because I had it, or normally I would use seedless raspberry jam.  Top it with a handful of chopped mix nuts.  Gather all four corners pinching the seams closed but piling the dough on top loosely.  Make sure all the seams are closed tightly to prevent the cheese and filling from seeping out.
Brush on Egg Wash (I egg mixed with some water about a teaspoon or two of water) mix together and brush on the pastry.

Place in oven and bake until golden and crispy about 25 to 30 minutes…. Let it cool for 10 minutes before cutting into it.

Baked Clam Dip (Printable Recipe)

Baked Clam Dip
3 cans of chopped clams 6.5oz cans
1 medium onion
5 or 7 cloves of garlic
½ cup of breadcrumbs; plus little more if need
½ cup of parmesan cheese; plus a little bit more if need
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of dried parsley
Butter 2 Tablespoons or a little more
Olive oil

Chop onion and garlic, in a pan sauté or fry onion and garlic until soft and the onion is translucent, use caution not to brown the garlic. I used a little bit of olive oil and a pat of butter.
Drain the clams, reserving the juice.   Add clams to the onions and garlic mix it together, season with the parsley and oregano. 
Proceed by adding the clam juice in portions. I did not use all of the clam juice; I ended up adding about 2/3 of a cup of the juice.  At this point, add the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.  It needs to be pasty if need be, add more clam juice, if not pasty enough add more bread crumbs and cheese. Once the consistency is right, it should look like stuffing. 
Transfer clam mixture in a pie dish, or bread loaf pan. 
Spread it evenly, sprinkle some more breadcrumbs on top and add a few cut up pats of butter sporadically on top.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden - Serve warm with crackers I have always used Ritz Crackers with this recipe.

On a side note, this recipe was given to me by my friend Lena. Lena is a great cook –
 Thank you Lena 
for sharing this with me.

I had two more appetizers that I missed taking pictures of, they were 
a bowl of cured black olives seasoned with crushed red pepper flakes and chopped garlic and a  plate of two cheeses, Jarlsberg and Ricotta Salata - which is a salted dried Ricotta Cheese.

All appetizers were served with crackers, I opted for Trader Joe's Roasted Gorgonzola Flavored Oven Crisp Crackers, and Ritz Crackers.

I kept the Appetizers in smaller portions because I wanted everyone to enjoy the dinner; which was catered from a local pizzeria/Italian restaurant.

So this is what happened, I had forgotten that we needed to have the party a week early, which actually put me in a fury of; got to get the house decorated and cleaned. Nick being the man that he is said to me why don’t we just order the food…you’re working… that way we can focus on decorating and cleaning the house. I fold quite easily and agreed. My mom called and offered to make a pasta dish and again without a thought I said YES! (Blame it on the holidays!)  She made baked ziti! Yummy!

Happy Birthday Miss Amelia…11 going on 19…we love you!

 This is what we did 2 weeks ago!

Some of my Santa collection; they are music boxes and move like Thumbelina dolls.
This is the craziest time of the season…plus adding another birthday celebration into the mix!

Glad Tidings From New York 
By Van Morrison
Click on link to hear one of my favorite Christmas song!

Mangia, Mangia…No Talk!


  1. A very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your sweet Amelia, all the very best! She looks very happy!

    Wow, Marisa, all the appetizers and the dinner sound so delicious! Love that baked brie, will have to definitely try that as I enjoy savoury and sweet tastes together! I'm sure a good time was had by all.Thanks so much for sharing these wonderful photos of the warmth and love in your home.

    Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family!


    1. Thank you Poppy, Amelia's Birthday was a two-week process and it has wiped me ,,,next year I will plan better,,,yes she had a great time! Next is Christmas, oh boy!

      Enjoy your day!


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Vegetables/Fruit Bananas .49cents a lb. 1 bunch Tomatoes .99cents a lb. 4 or 5 Eggplants 1.39lb get three String Beans @ .99 cents a pound Avocado @ .99 cents each (2) Mangoes 2 for $3.00 (2) Bag of Eastern Potatoes $1.99 Limes and lemons Mini Cucumbers 1.99 English Cucumbers 2 for $3.00 Romaine Hearts 1.99 Deli/Bakery Pretzel Chips Feta cheese Hummus – Boars head 2 for 5.00 (1) Pita flat bread (Greek) Meat Chicken Cutlets 3.49 a pound Chicken Kabobs 3.99 a pound Dairy/Frozen Mozzarella Shredded Cheese $2.50 Plain Greek Yogurt or Tzatziki sauce (deli) Ricotta Cheese Biazzo $3.99 Almond Milk 2 for 6.00 I need is 1 Grocery One box of Orzo Coffee $4.99 Cups Paper Plates 1 can of Tomato Sauce - small can One bottle of Balsamic vinegar Cereal –General Mills 1.99

What's for dinner - W/O April 24,2016

Dinners This week April 24, 2016


Chicken Kababs – Greek Salad and Orzo


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