Author Archives: Sista Felicia

Live From Caffe Sicilia 




Beautiful handcrafted Easter Sheep Mazapan a perfect addition to any Easter Basket!

Small Single Sheep $15, Large in Basket $18


Enter Raffle To Win Giant Uova di Pasqua!

Tickets on sale now for a chance to win the “Uova di Pasqua” Giant Chocolate Easter Egg! A Traditional Italian Chocolate Egg Suprise, enjoyed by all ages during the Easter Holiday!

IMG_4470Caffe Sicilia has an assortment of  Uova di Pasqua Eggs available for sale while supplies last! Shop Caffe Sicilia soon for best selection of color, sizes and price ranges!  



Don’t forget to place your holiday pastry order for next weekend!


Don’t forget to tell them Sista Felicia Sent you in!

Filling Easter Baskets Locally at Virgilio’s Bakery




Thursday I was inspire to create nontraditional Easter Basket for a dear friend, after spotting a mini can of my favorite Partanna Olive Oil, on sale at Virgilo’s Bakery. Creative thoughts immediately began running through my head the moment I laid eyes on the adorable, tomato red, petite sized can of Partanna Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Partanna Oil has been a staple ingredient in my pantry for many years. It’s used for sautéing, cooking, dressings, Pannini and everything in between on a daily basis in my kitchen by me and my twins! “Pani Cunsatu,” Hot Seasoned Italian Bread made with Partanna Oil is son BJ’s favorite after school snack. The fragrant Sicilian Olive Oil enhances the flavors of all ingredients it’s paired with.  


If you’re looking to create a nontraditional Easter Basket for a special someone who has a passion for cooking or are planning to prepare an Easter Feast, or have been assigned to fix a salad to share you must include and use this oil.



Step away from the traditional Easter Basket this year and shop Virgilio’s Bakery for their classic assortment of dried pasta, and Italian specialty items. Many of the specialty ingredients used in the recipe collection included in my cookbook “Gifts of Gold In A Sicilian Kitchen With Sista Felicia;Harvest,” can be purchased locally at Virgilio’s bakery.” 


Pick up the key ingredients for your special someone’s favorite Italian dish and creatively weave them into a beautiful Easter basket this year. Spring is around the corner, love is in the air, and Italians know the fastest way to someone heart is through their stomach with flavorful foods.

basket for gmg virgilios post

Embellish a gift basket with decorative bow and get shopping for ingredients to fill personalized Italian Theme Easter Baskets at Virgilio’s this week! Endless ideas will come to those who think out of the basket…

espresso basket at virgilios


Look for the story and recipe in “Gifts Of Gold” surrounding my childhood memory my grandfather’s Italian Variety store “Pat’s Center Grocery,” with aunt Gina using Italian Tuna!IMG_4352

The basket shown above was created with an assortment of Italian specialty ingredients needed to create Pasta with Sardines, “Pasta‘a Milanisa” is an authentic Sicilian recipe highlighted on page #160 in my cookbook “Gifts Of Gold.” This recipe is real old school cooking. Sardines are known to have a very distinct strong flavor but that’s simply not the case in this dish! You won’t know what you’re missing until you give this recipe a try! Pasta with Sardines it’s heavenly!


 Note~above basket is not included in the Virgilio’s Italian Dinner Easter Basket Raffle

For my Hot Seasoned Italian Bread, “Pani Cunsatu” recipe see “Gifts of Gold In A Sicilian Kitchen With Sista Felicia; Harvest” page #182


A friendly reminder to pick up a few containers of  “Ceci” roasted chic pea, and “Simenzi” salted pumpkin seeds” for the car ride home and late night holiday card game with the family!

seminzi ceci seeds virgilos

 Enter to win the Italian Dinner Easter Basket

shown below

at Virgilio’s This week!


Be sure to Enter you name in the drawing  to win this Italian Dinner Basket at Virgilio’s Bakery…applicable to all who make a purchase and fill out a red ticket located on display in the store. Basket includes, 1 Dried Pasta, 1 Virgilio’s Bread Dipping Oil, 1 Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce and 1 Italian bread.

***While shopping don’t forget to place an order for Virgilio’s famous breads and Dinner Rolls for your Easter celebration!****

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Breaking News From Sclafani’s Bakery




Mark your Calendar & Set you cellphone alert for Monday morning March 31, 2015! Just received word  from an employee of Sclafani’s Bakery, that starting Monday morning they will be taking orders for their famous freshly made  Cartocci, Lobster Tails, Cannoli, and Ricotta Pies, for next weekends Easter Celebrations!. 


Brother Joey and I have posted numerous times about brothers Frank and Gus Sclafani’s delectable hand crafted “Ricotta Cartocci.” We both agree, that the Sclafani’s  brothers Cartocci are by far the best Cartocci sold in town!


Every Saturday morning my twins, husband, St. Barry and mother Pat, look forward to enjoying a freshly made Italian pastry from the Sclafani’s Bakery. This year it’s been requested they be added to our Easter Brunch menu. Over the past several months, this Italian Donut’s popularity has grown to sell out by 10:30 am each Saturday morning.  Knowing this fact, first hand after leaving the bakery a few times empty handed, I decided to inquire about pre ordering a dozen for our families Easter Brunch next weekend. While inquiring this morning while shopping for Easter basket fillings, I asked if they would be willing to extend a pre order option for Cartocci to their customers and general public this holiday season. Without hesitation Frank agreed! 


The Sclafani borthter’s Cartocci are usually sold “Saturdays Only,” in limited supply. Take advantage of this opportunity for next weekend. Call your Easter orders in before next Friday. 

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If your planning a Easter Brunch, lunch or Dinner, or invited out for any of the above, I highly recommend calling in an order bright and early Monday morning for one of  Sclafani’s delicious handmade pastries. All will be freshly prepared and awaiting your pickup next Saturday! 


Trust me… your guests will be licking their dessert plates clean!

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Monday Sista Felicia shares an Easter Basket filled with products she uses often, sold at Sclafani’s Bakery. One product included is a childhood favorite. Look for the Sista Dish post Monday to learn what that childhood favorite is! 

Call Sclafani’s Bakery  to Place your Easter Orders

49 Washington Street, Gloucester Ma. 01930

 Phone #1-978-283-6622

Cartocci $2.50 each

Lobster tail  $2.50 each

Cannoli $1.75 each

Ricotta Pie $12.99 each

Italian Cookies $5.99 per lb.


Sista Felicia’s Favorite Picks for Filling Easter Baskets Locally!



The Seven day countdown to Easter Sunday begins tomorrow!


Planning for the holiday is well underway. The house is officially decorated, and our Easter Brunch menu is set! It’s now time to start the Easter baking and basket making! Thursday while shopping for ingredients at Virgilios Bakery I was inspired to fix a few traditional and “nontraditional” Easter baskets using items sold at local stores that I shop often. This year I’m looking forward to surprising friends and family with a few of my favorite things tucked into the decorative Easter Baskets my loved ones look forward to receiving each year! Over the next several days I will share my theme basket ideas highlighting items I adore sold at local business. 

Get ready to think in and out of the basket!



Starting off this week’s Sista Dish Easter Basket Blog Series off with a basket created for the special cook in your life. If you are looking to create a special gift for the hostess preparing your celebratory Easter meal this year, stop by The Cave and seek owner Laura Cramer’s expert help selecting the perfect items to tantalize the pallet of your Easter chef!  

Laura Cramer Owner of “The Cave” Writes ~ The Cave is filled with an incredible amount of cheese. Blues, double & triple cremes, cheddars, classic Italian, & so many more. Foie gras, pate, olives, spreads, smoked fish & salami too. A bounty of chocolate & confections also just in. Come by for a taste. Open 10-5





 All items displayed in this hostess theme basket, are items sold at “The Cave” on Gloucester’s Main Street.


Sista Felicia’s Cookbook for sale while supply last…


Note~ Easter basket embellishments were shopped locally at “The Dollar Store” located in Gloucester Crossing Plaza. Easter Basket was selected from my personal basket collection.

Wine will be on sale starting April 1, 2015

Don’t forget to pick up a wedge of “Rat Cheese” at The Cave and follow my Step-by-Step Recipe for a delicious “Lent Friendly” Homemade Mac & Cheese!

Click Read more for Step-by-Step Mac & Cheese Recipe and complete photo gallery of shopping “The Cave”… Read more

Live From Opening Night Of “The Sound Of Music” at Rockport Middle School

Fantastic Performance… Sista gives it a Two thumbs up! 

Show is running March 26-29 … A must see! 

Back Stage with the cast!

Sista Felicia’s Peeps Easter Egg Surprise




Sista Felicia’s Peeps Easter Egg Surprise

Time to start preparing sweet treats for Easter. Last year this recipe was created and posted on Sista’s Dish after being inspired by my favorite childhood Italian traditional Easter candy while shopping at Scalafini Bakery here in Gloucester. Its a fun recipe to make with kids and adults of all ages.

italian candy easter egg scalafini

Click Read more for Step-by-Step Recipe and photos

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A Timeless Photo Triggers A Treasured Memory



Fried Smelt

The above photo was included in a Sista Dish post yesterday. Shortly after it posted, I received a message from Facebook friend, Mary Ann Albert Boucher,  that touched my heart and made my day!


Mary Ann Writes~ “OMG…never thought a photo of fried smelt would bring a tear to my eye, but smelt ice fishing was one of my father’s favorite hobbies and would go several times during the winter to Brunswick, ME with the guys and bring home hundreds and hundreds of them… he’d bag them up by the dozen or two or three and deliver them all over the city to friends……………as kids we would often go to the Cape Ann Marina or to a small bridge off of Essex Avenue and fish with him…Memories”

 Mary Ann, Thank you so much for sharing your memory triggered by the Fried Smelt photo posted yesterday. Your comment not only touched my heart and made my day, it once again reinforced why I’m so passionate about connecting younger generations to our past through celebrations of food, family and friendship. Each time I receive a comment like yours, it fuels my determination to find a way to share the remainder of my cookbook series with the world, and expand the ability to share step-by-step recipes, and childhood memories involving food on a larger scale. 

 Mary Ann Comments posted on FB regarding today’s Post~AWWWWW…thank you for the kind words Felicia…..isn’t it funny how a simple photo CAN bring the most awesome memories rushing back. You are a blessing to not only your family, but the entire community…God Bless! :)

Follow Sista Felicia on Twitter, Instagram & FaceBook for a daily sneak peek at what’s cooking in Sista’s Kitchen… @SistaFelicia




Celebrating St. Joseph Day with Feast Food Family & Friends




 A traditional Feast of St Joseph Pasta, Italian bread, Orange and Finochio Salad, Frittata, Baked Haddock, Panelle, Fried Calamari, Smelts, Haddock, Crab Cakes, Muddica Artichoke, Seafood Casserole and St. Joseph Zeppole, were served with cordials of homemade Limonciello and Arancello. All were accompanied by many other delicious foods and desserts that were prepared by and enjoyed with family and friends on Thursday evening following our nine day nightly St. Joseph Novena. 

St. Joseph zeppole final photo

Sista Felicia’s Homemade “St. Joseph Zeppole” filled with both traditional vanilla custard, and sweetened ricotta topped with cherries and confectioners sugar!







What’s left of 130 lbs Hand made pasta!


It was a fun day of cooking, feasting and celebrating!







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Viva Mariposa!



Yesterday while preparing bread for our Feast of ST. Joseph, my BFF Dee Noble creatively shaped a Mariposa “String Of Pearls” inspired “Viva St. Joseph Bread” for the altar when I was in the other room fixing a second batch of bread dough. She knows my love for all things Mariposa and thought our altar needed a special Mariposa touch!

2015 altar bread st joseph 1

This year’s Altar Breads

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st joe altar bread 2015 3

The big question late last night…
How many men does it take to put the Mariposa away?”


BFF Dee, directing the men during the massive team effort to tidy the house after last nights feast!

Family friend and GMG Contributor Donna Ardizzoni was in the kitchen with us all day photographing the process of preparing dishes served at last night’s traditional St. Joseph Feast. Look for her Photo gallery tomorrow afternoon!


Donna Thank you for everything! Yesterday was so much fun! My kitchen is always filled with laughter when your in it!


James and I look forward to selecting photos from your gallery for cookbook #3!  

The Final Night of 2015 St. Joseph Rosary at Sista Felicia’s






The Power of Prayer


The highlight of the evening was Madame Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken’s Surprise visit with friends, Maria Rossi and Giovanna Margiotta!




The children of the rosary




Keeping Mom busy preparing Italian Nachos for our last “Novena Coffee”



The Cappuccino Makers!


The Last “Novena Coffee”


If walls could talk…..


The time shared around the dinning room table and kitchen island are now beautiful memories that will last a lifetime! 






The ceremonial “Soaking of the Fava Beans! 

Click Read More for photo gallery

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Live From Virgilio’s Bakery With Breaking News! 


On sale tomorrow at Virgilio’s will be  $4.50 bowls of St. Joseph Pasta, including their famous St. Joseph Roll! Get there early… this is sure to sell out fast! 

St Joseph Zeppole will also be on sale $2.50 per Pastry! 

Viva San Guisseppe! 

A special thank you to owner Joe Virgilio for the fresh ricotta cheese I needed my feast tomorrow! 

Fr. Jim Blessing The Altar & Ingredients for The 2015 St. Joseph Feast



Photos by Bridget Mathews


Early this morning daughter Amanda and I were reminiscing about this years Novean while looking through dozens of photos downloaded onto my computer. It’s with mixed emotions I write todays post. Feeling incredible blessed to be surrounded this year by so many who share a devotion to St. Joseph. As a group through the power of prayer we have come together to continue the deep rooted Sicilian tradition for future generations. It’s been wonderful to see the young kids join us in prayer and song each night. It truly warmes my heart to see them inthustically following  their prayer books eager to learn the  Sicilian words! It’s been a wonderful 2 weeks of prayer and preparation for our celebatory feast on Thursday March 19th. It’s hard to believe that tonight is our last “Novena” of the 2015 celebration. I have to thank my faithful Novena ladies for everything they did to make this years so special…the memories we made, the laughs we had, the tears we shed, and the jokes we told, and the  stories shared will be remember for a lifetime. As Andrea reminds us each night “we got at least 30 more years of this together ladies!” Please know from the bottom of my heart ,I thank each and everyone of you for being by my side night after night and I very much look forward to the next 30 years together.  Tonight we pray one last time together, and tomorrow we celebrate our Patron Saint Joseph!


Viva Gesu Maria Giuseppe….Viva!



 Father Jim Blessing the Altar and ingredients for tomorrows feast Of St. Joseph


Click Read More For Bridget Mathews photo gallery of last nights blessing prayers service.





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Viva Market Basket!

Gloucester’s own Market Basket is working hard with sister Felicia to ensure our Sicilian traditions are handed down! You can pick up all of the ingredients necessary to make your St. Joseph’s pasta in one easy location at the front of the store. 

Viva! And thanks to Market Basket management for making this happen! 

Orange & “Finochio” Fennel Salad


 orange and finochio( fennel) salad 106

Orange & “Finochio” Fennel Salad

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Preparations for “The Feast Of St. Joseph” is under way! All ingredients including fresh produce are officially in the house and ready for tonight’s ceremonial blessing by “Holy Famliy Parish” Pastor Father Jim, taken place this evening at tonight’s Novena.

Click Read More for Step-by-Step Recipe Details and Photos Read more

Sista Felicia’s Confections for Tonight’s “Novena Coffee Time”


 nov pastry6

Cuccidatta Cookies


nov pastry 2

Champagne Cookies

almond macroon cookie

Almond Macaroon Cookies

Almond Macaroon Cookie Recipe is highlighted in my cookbook, “Gifts Of Gold In A Sicilian Kitchen With Sista Felicia; Harvest”

nov pastry 4

Keeping mom very busy this week!

nov pastry 5

nov pastary1Nov pastry 8nov pastry 3

Click read more for my Step-by-Step Cuccidtta Cookie Recipe Read more

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