Author Archives: Sista Felicia

Rum Raisin Sweet Bread Pudding

 

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Sometimes the best recipes are created with holiday leftovers! 

            

Rum Raisin Sweet Bread Pudding!

 

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Having fun in the kitchen this week creating new recipes using Easter Dinner Leftovers! Yesterday a delicious Cream of Roasted Veggie Soup made from a Roasted Veggie medley Kate made, and today Grilled Lamb , Artichoke and Roasted Red Pepper Salad was made with a leftover grilled lamb and artichokes! I encourage you to serve your leftovers in a more exciting fashion this week rather than the usually re-heat and serve it again we all seem to be guilty of more often than not! 

       Rum Raisin Sweet Bread Pudding 

  Ingredients

1 Cup golden raisins

½ cup Malibu Rum

1/2 cup hot water

12 cups Sweet bread torn or cubed into 1-2 inch pieces 

3-4 extra lg eggs 

5-6 egg yolks

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

2 teaspoon rum flavoring

¾ cup granulated sugar 

½ cup dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon fresh ground cinnamon, plus 1 teaspoon for top before baking

3 ½ cups half & half

1 tablespoon butter 

Step-by-Step
1 Soak raisins in Malibu rum & hot water for 10 minutes, strain liquid; reserve 

2 place bread in large mixing bowl; add soaked & strained raisins 

3 whisk eggs, egg yolks,half & half, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, pure vanilla extract, and Rum flavoring together 

4 Butter 12” round round dish 

5 pour egg mixture over bread, using clean hands or large spoon toss well, transfer to prepared baking dish; sprinkle top with 1 teaspoon cinnamon 

6 bake in preheated 350 degree oven 25-30 min

7 serve warm with scoop of Vanilla Ice cream

Note~ I’m not a big fan of super “eggy”Bread Pudding, if you prefer a more eggy version simply add 4 extra large eggs & 6 egg yolks( I used 3 & 5 and I found it to be perfectly pleasing to mytastbuds! ) 

 

Grilled Lamb Roasted Red Pepper & Artichoke Salad 




 

Sista’s Grilled Lamb Chops with Creamy Dill Cucumber Dipping Sauce (Joey Says This May Be The Tastiest Thing He’s Ever Eaten)

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Are you still looking for recipe ideas for your Easter Feast? Look no further…Trust me on this one!

Share this link for my easy Step-by-Step recipe

I just placed my order for lamb chops with the meat department manager at the Gloucester Crossings Market Basket…he highly recommends calling your Lamb Chop order in early today. Market Basket Lamb Chops $19.99 lb.,Danvers Butchery $24.99, and BJ Wholesale Club $16.99 Yes they are expensive but so worth it …

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Grilled Lamb Chops with Creamy Dill Cucumber Dipping Sauce

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This recipe was created several years ago, on a whim, using ingredients I had on hand in my pantry. The combination of flavors from the herbed marinated grilled chops are perfectly balanced with the Creamy Dill Cucumber Dipping Sauce. To say they are incredibly tasty is a huge understatement! These Grilled Lamb Chops have become the highlight of our Easter meal. I guarantee that they will disappear from the serving platter in minutes, and strongly recommend setting some aside for yourself if your the one cooking Easter Dinner!

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For Grilled Lamb Chops with Creamy Dill Cucumber Dipping Sauce click see more Read more

Sista Felicia’s Annual Easter Bunny Cookie Night “Pupa Con L’Uova”

 

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GMG contributor Bridget Mathews (Center) hands out Easter Bunny shapped Cookie Dough during last’s night annual baking event!

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105 Esster Bunny Cookies were baked decorated and packaged up for Easter Sunday! IMG_7825Comere Andrea Carlson and Cousin Eleanor Tucker carefully securing their dyed eggs onto their cookies!

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It’s become tradition that I treat my St. Joseph Novena “Cumnaries” to a night of baking the Italian Easter Classic Cookie “Pupa Con L’Uova.” My way of saying thank you for their support, commitment, and countless hours of hard work they put into helping me with all things related to hosting a St. Joseph novena.  This year a few days into the novena “Coconut” Our family dog took ill and was literally on her death bed by St. Patricks Day. Coconut underwent a four and half hour emergency gallblater surgery, her veterinary surgon didnt think she’d survive. To say our family was devested and in distress is an understatment. A group of my Noveana “Cumnares” and girlfriends realized the severity of Coconuts situation and decided together to put their own lives on hold and take over doing everything needed to complete all 9 rosaries and this years open house St. Joseph Feast. Each went above & beyond to help me keep my promise to st. Joseph, and I’ll be forever greatful! 

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Prepping for Sista Felicia’s Annunal Easter Bunny Cookie Night! “Pupa Cu L’ova”

Click link for my Italian Easter Cookie Classic!

Coconut’s First Day Home Post Emergency Gallbladder Surgery

   Coconut had good first night home. She slept soundly & ate chicken sweet potato & salmon every 4 hours. This morning she was differently ready for her pain medication and wanted to be held for a over an hour… which is fine with me! This afternoon her belly is super sensitive and she hasn’t been able to sleep in a comfortable position other than in my arms. We have been in contact with her doctors at Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital & in very close contact with Dr. Ray Cahill at Seapot Veterinary hospital.

 They have bumped up her pain medication a little and we continue to pray she will have some reliefe soon. Please keep praying for our girl she isn’t out of the woods yet🙏

   

 

Sista Felicia’s Feast Of St. Joseph Celebration An Evening of Faith Friendship and Family!

 

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My Cumnares who made this years St. Joseph Feast happen!

Thank you to everyone from the bottom of my heart for helping carry on Our Sicilian tradition honoring St Joseph this year. It was Awesome display of faith friendship & family from beginning to end. I’m honored to be hosting my My Aunt Vincie & Uncle Michael Militello’s Altar and honored to be doing it with most incredible Cumnares in the world. This year I felt the need to call in all the saints and angel and decided to change the color scheme of the altar wanting to look more angelic like, I now know why. This years novena became even more special and important when my princess Coconut took ill on March 15 and needed emergency surgery on March 17th. I believe in the power of prayer and being surrounded by so much love really help me make it through the last few days. Friday night wouldn’t have happened without each and every one of you. They say it takes a village and my village is filled with rock stars Im feeling blessed this morning and ask you all to continue to pray for my Coconut.

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Honnored to be hosting and carrying on my Great Uncle Mike & Great Aunt Vincie Militello’s St. Joseph Tradition. The Novena  I grew up attending with my mother gradmother aunts and cousins. We tresure the memories sitting at their dinningroom table singing the Sicilian songs and prayers!
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Tonights St. Joseph Feast Will take Place As Planned Thanks to The most Incredible Cunmares Inthe World

  
My BFF Dee Writes~ Holding down the fort while Felicia Ciaramitaro Mohan visits Coconut in sick bay. We are doing OK…. But this gig is harder than it looks. VIVA!
   
    
    
    
   

Father Gariboldi Blesses Our St. Joseph Altar During Night 6 of This Years Novena Celebrated with Our Children @ Sista Felicia’G

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Father Gariboldi’s Altar Blessing

 

Last nights rosary was celebrated with our children. It was so heartwarming to see kids of all ages come together to pray. Each child took a turn reading the English translation friend Abbey Mathews gifted our altar this year.

IMG_7133The Children Of the Rosary

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Godchild Lainie Nobel Placing St. Sarah, Patron Saint of Laughter on the altar befor last night’s blessing.

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Comare, Andrea Randazza Carlson’s Mother Catherina Randazza shares priceless old St. Joseph Novena stories at during last night’s Novena Coffee Time!

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The First Batch of my exclusive and limited edition, edible St. Joseph Prayer Card Cookies were gifted to all my “cumnares”, AKA by bestest friends and family the  women who help me day in and out throughout the entire month of March prepare for and successfully pull off this huge undertaking of hosting a nine day rosary followed by a giant celebratory feast.  

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Ella Tucker great grandaughter of my Uncle Mike and Aunt Vivcie Militello, reading a prayer/song translation. Many of the Saints and statues on our alter resided on their St. Joseph Alater for over 35 years.  

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The Feast Food is displayed on a side altar each year for it’s blessing

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2016 St. Joseph Novena Day 5 @Sista Felicia’s Photo Gallery!

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Paternal Grandparents Joseph & Felicia Ciaramitaro & Maternal Joseph & Rose Ciaramitaro

IMG_6956Andrea Carlson Lighting the altar candles

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Caryn Ryder, Marie Linquata, Fay Quinlan

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Sue and Katy Lovasco

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Novena Coffee Time!

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Reading the English Translation provided by Abbey Mathews, that are projected onto the wall adjacent to the altar

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The Vigil Candle Altar

 

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Play time for Coconut and son BJ after the rosary

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Live From Gloucester Crossings Market Basket with Feast of St. Joseph News! 

  
Gloucester Crossings Market Basket Managers set up a display of St. Joseph Feast Key Ingredients at the Main Entrance! A  special thank you to all the store managers for including my St. Joseph Pasta recipe in their display again this year and for their outstanding customer service and support they show towards our communities Feast of  St. Joseph Tradition! 

Viva San Gisueppe! 

A Powerful Evening of Prayer @Sista Felicia’s Night 4 2016 St. Joseph Novena

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Part of last nights Novena Prayer Group

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Novena Coffee Time!

The Dinning Room Table…The place where Novena history is made. Each night everyone gathers around the dinning room table for Espresso and Freshly baked sweet confections. We laugh, we cry and reminisce of St. Joseph Novena’s of our past. The beauty of our Altar is that it has drawn people together from several different families who like me grew up with this tradition from a very young age. The priceless stories shared about sitting on the floor in front of our families altars surrounded by dozens of cousins, listing to our grandparents parents, aunts and great aunts beautiful voices are all memories we cherish deeply. The stories have been shared many of times and they never seem to get old. Each and everyone one of us vividly remember learning how to recite the Sicilian St. Joseph Rosary, and sing all the Sicilian Novena Songs, at a very young age. To this day like we did as kids find ourselves singing the songs and prayers in our heads over and over during this time of year. Many of us never knew their was an English Rosary until we started Sunday School.   

 

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Tanya Frost and Cousin Eleanor Tucker

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Dee and Lainie Noble

 

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Charlene Delaney Gifts Our Altar Two Beautiful Mexican Tin Milagros On Night 3 Of St. Joseph Novena 2016

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Last night Charlene Delaney gifted our St. Joseph Altar two beautiful Mexican Tin Milagros. I had never seen or heard of them piror to last night, and was incredibly touched to be the recipient of such a special gift after learning that they were purchased by her late husband during their last trip together in Mexico. Charlene explained that Milagros are a folk charm offered to a saint as a reminder of a petitioners particular need or in gratitude for a prayer answered. They couldn’t be more fitting for our Altar this year.

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Charlene Thank you so much.  I’m truly touched by your thoughtfulness. The Milagros are absolutely beautiful and are perfect additions to “Our Altar.” Please know, that I will treasure them forever! We are all thrilled to have you here with us celebrating St.Joseph this year!

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Family Friends Jeff and Cindy Beck

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My Beautiful Daughter Amanda

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Sugared Lemon & Orange Citrus Crack Candy 

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The Ceremonially “Cutting and Filling” of the St. Joseph Zeppole for Novena Coffee Time!

 

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Abbey Mathews St Joseph Prayer Translation Project Debuted During Last Nights Novena!

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Six years ago my daughter Amanda and I attended the Orlando Family’s St. Joseph Novena in their home. We had the pleasure of sitting next to a family friend, Zina Saputo. Zina, with her beautiful voice, has celebrated and honored St. Joseph through prayer and song for decades. Each night of the rosary, between reciting prayers and singing of songs, Zina would clarify the correct pronunciations of both the Sicilian and Italian words, and would often give short translation summaries to the younger generations in attendance. It was just as the older generation of Novena attendee’s did at my Aunt Vinci and Uncle Michael Militello’s St. Joseph Rosary years ago.

Amanda and I loved listening to her sing, and especially loved her warm embrace and nurturing ways. Sitting next to her during the rosary each night at the Orlando’s Altar, brought back childhood memories of sitting at my great aunt and uncles altar next to elder relatives who, like Zina, translated and taught the younger generations the beautiful rosary. The Rosary brought here from Sicily by relatives settling in Gloucester generations ago. Although the number of altars in the City of Gloucester has dwindled from 36+ family altars to todays 8-9 altars, the prayers and songs, sung each night of the Novena and the devotion to honor St. Joseph, with this deep rooted Sicilian tradition, remain the same. It was that year, I realized how important it was to document the Feast of St. Joseph for generations to come. I realized that with the passing of each of one of our elders, this tradition became closer to extinction. Not only was my generation at risk of losing something so incredible special, but the future generations of our families were as well. The sad reality is that there are only a few handfuls of mentors left in the City, who have a real understanding of the old Sicilian dialect that so many of the songs are written in.

Five years ago I sat down with my brother Joey to talk about the importance of documenting how our Sicilian community celebrates the Feast of St. Joseph held annually March 10-19th. I am unaware of any other community in the US that celebrate St. Joseph like Gloucester, Massachusetts. We discussed how important it was to highlight, embrace, and educate others on this special tradition celebrated in our community. With it being such a big part of our childhood, we knew firsthand just how important it was to get it documented before it was too late.

At the recommendation of my brother Joey, I reached out to GMG contributor Kim Smith, for assistance with 3 goals in mind. The first goal was to document the prayers and songs sung in the Sicilian language along with translations. The second goal was to interview each and every family in the city who still hosted a family Altar, and document their family’s St. Joseph altar history, and the stories and memories surrounding the feast of St Joseph. My third goal was to highlight the traditional foods and ingredients, along with their significances, surrounding the tradition.  Kim loved the idea and immediately jumped on board  and accepted the goals I had in mind for the documentary.

Although Kim had never experienced the tradition herself, she was eager to learn and help me document one of my most cherished Sicilian traditions for future generations. After mapping out a plan together, I contacted every family, with the help of our dear family friend, Sefatia Romeo Theken, to arrange a time and place for each family interview.  Over the course of a week, I introduced Kim to each family, and she stood faithfully behind her camera attached to a tripod (sometimes not in the most comfortable of positions) and videotaped my interview at each home. I was honored to have each family’s trust and was truly touched by their openness to the idea of sharing their priceless stories and precious memories with me for this documentary.

I vividly remember walking out of the first night of taping at the Orlando Families Novena with Kim wholeheartedly thanking me for asking her to be a part of this journey. She was overwhelmed with what she had experienced and I could completely understand knowing it had been her very first time attending and witnessing a Sicilian Rosary. It’s one of the most beautiful and spiritual things to experience both physically and emotionally. I think we would both agree that the process of documenting each altar history and their family’s stories was heartwarming, uplifting, special, and exhausting. Together we worked hard, laughed and cried, but felt so honored to be the recipients of this material. Kim has the footage we taped together, along with the release forms everyone graciously signed for us. Over the past few years, Kim has continued to film additional footage about St. Joseph’s celebration in Gloucester and has presumably spent countless hours piecing the documentary together. Kim’s work is amazing and she is very aware of how meaningful this documentary is to me and our Sicilian community. Although I am not personally involved in the editing of this documentary, I want the families who put their trust in me and shared their stories, to know I have the highest faith in St. Joseph, that Kim is taking special care of our work, and doing her absolute best to highlight each and every family with respect and just honor. I have no doubt the final product is going to be absolutely incredible.

One of the most important goals when beginning this documentary was to have the traditional songs recorded and translated. Knowing the meaning of what we were singing would be so powerful to all of us. At one point, we thought about going into a studio to tape audio of the songs, and Kim actually reached out to a friend to coordinate a studio recording time. Sometimes things happen for a reason, and I believe that nothing could replace the authenticity of the song and prayer footage taped at the Orlando Family home during that first night almost 4 years ago.

For the past couple of years, I dreamed  of  adding a short English translation to our prayer books, next to each Sicilian and Italian prayer and song. This year, Abbey Mathews, one of our rosary’s youngest Novena attendees,  daughter of GMG contributor Bridget Mathews, and Italian language teacher with the Winchester School Department,  took it upon herself to make my dream come true. One afternoon, over February school vacation,  Abbey and I sat down to start to translate the prayers and songs. She translated, I typed. We ended our meeting with a short list of questions and a few fill-in-the-blanks areas.  This past Thursday night, after our First Rosary, Abbey sat me down at the kitchen island, and presented me with a sneak-peek of a power point presentation she had been working on since our meeting in February. As she passed through the slides I was completely moved to tears.

At our Rosary last night,  Abbey shared her labor of love with our faithful, and presented a beautiful slideshow of translations projected adjacent to the altar. We all sat in awe as we read her beautiful words.  Abbey Mathews, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for all your hard work, countless hours, and total dedication to this project.  Thank you for making my dream come true and for making last nights rosary so extra special. You will forever be a part of the St. Joseph’s Novena history in Gloucester. Your efforts and hours put into this project are so greatly appreciated, and will be enjoyed by all, for the next 30+ years. Most importantly they will be passed to future generations and help this important tradition carry on. You are simply the best!

Grazi!

 

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Teaching the next generation Ella Tucker how to make

Novena Coffee Time Espresso

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Sista Felicia’s Pistachio Macaroon Cookies

 

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2016 St. Joseph Novena Night One at Sista Felicia’s

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Family and friends gathered around this years altar dressed in gold and white for the first night of our nine day rosary honoring St. Joseph.

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Rose Vizena ans Cindy Beck

 

Novena Coffee Time Confections!

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Sue Lovasco slicing her delicious Almond Cake!

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Hannah Kimberley with her yummy no-bake Chocolate Cake!

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Andrea Carlson’s Almond Biscotti Cookies

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GMG Contributor Bridget Mathews and Nicole Curcuru, serving

 Sista Felicia’s Limonciello and Aranciello

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Hometown Ace Hardware Lends a Helping Hand! 

   
 Thank you Phil & Marie for your help attaching a pole to the beautiful cross friend Jeremy Frost made for this years St. Joseph Altar!  Customer service at it’s best! Can’t wait to see it on the altar tonight. Viva San Giuseppe! 
    
   

James Eves Creating The Finishing Touch For This Years St. Joseph Altar! 

Keep an eye out for the big reveal !  

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