Tag Archives: Sista Felicia

Live Blogging: The 9th Annual Women’s Luncheon in the galleries at Cape Ann Museum

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The Cape Ann Museum is closed today for this festive and cherished women’s only soiree hosted by the museum’s active Fitz Henry Lane Society and Red Cottage Society committees in concert with the outstanding museum staff. There is ample time for lingering points of vantage throughout the exhibits, holiday shopping, and dining in the galleries upstairs and downstairs.

The 2016 gathering is catered by Timothy S. Hopkins. Mariposa founder and designers are the featured speakers. Felicia Ciaramitaro (SistaFelicia) has featured Mariposa designs in her work and on the GMG blog.

For many museum guests, it will be the last chance to visit the special exhibition featuring recent Cape Ann Museum acquisitions, closing Sunday, December 11th. The extraordinary exhibition with a modest title Voicing the Woods: Jeremy Adams Instrument Maker will be up through February 26th.

More information about the gallant day’s keynote conversation from the Cape Ann Museum release: Read more

Toot. Toot.

That was me blowing my horn.  Only it isn’t really my horn.  It is the horn that belongs to phenomenal school where I am incredibly privileged to teach.

While I could always wax poetically about many of the special things that happen there on a daily basis, I don’t.  So, when I do…you know it is going to be even extra special.  Like today.  This isn’t just any proud moment though.  This one also includes the one and only, Sista Felicia.  This week, for one super fun night, Harborlight-Stoneridge Montessori and Sista Felicia joined forces.

See, our Middle School students put their wonderfully creative minds together and planned themselves a pretty exceptional week-long field study trip to Gloucester. Gloucester may have, at first, seemed like an odd choice since these students all hail from the North Shore area, but given the fact that they were excited to dig deeper, explore further, and learn more substantially about this special place we call home, it wasn’t really an odd choice at all.

They rented themselves a pretty sweet home on the beach, created a week-long vision of learning, drew a logo, and planned a week to end all weeks.  With the direction of their teachers, but the license to make their own decisions, they planned a week that includes working closely with Tony Wilbur at Maritime Gloucester, a sail on the Ardelle, some time on the Adventure, learning how to SUP, a trip to Cape Pond Ice, a meeting with Angela Sanfilippo, a visit with a couple of local artists, a lobstering trip, a visit to Hammond Castle, a walk on Dog Bar Breakwater, and much (much) more.  Oh, wait…much more…including breaking in their vacation pad by preparing an exceptionally delicious meal with Sista Felicia.

Don’t be surprised if you hear more about this trip in the week to come, but in the meantime I wanted to show you how fantastic it was to have my worlds collide. Felicia, no surprise, led these students like the expert she is.  She had them working all areas of the kitchen with enthusiasm and, in the end, a fantastic meal consisting of appetizers, “cocktails”, salad, main courses (obviously including locally caught fish), and a dessert….but, most importantly, teamwork…was served.

Thanks so much, Felicia!  A side note, that probably goes with out saying, is that the food was delicious and received accolades from all.

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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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.

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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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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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Novena Girls Gather at Sista Felicia’s to Assemble The 2016 St. Joseph Altar!

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IMG_6312Part of yesterdays crew, from back left Sista Felicia, Jacquelyn Amero, Andrea Buttler, Dee Noble, Eleanor Tucker,Andrea Carlson, Nicole Curcuru, Mo Klop, Julie Douglass, Pat Ciaramitaro, Carlene Delaney, Cindy Beck

 

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Andrea Carlson and Sue Lovasco preparing the altar for the fabric and lace

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Nicole Curcuru and Jacquelyn Amero removing the Saints and Angel figurines from the china cabinet, for their annual bath!

 

 

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Tanya Frost keeping tradition…Bathing each and every Saint before it’s placed on the Altar

 

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A special “Thank You” from the bottom of my heart for everyone’s help and support. I ‘m blessed to have you all, and look forward to honoring St. Joseph together. We have 30+ more years of keeping tradition and building memories together.  

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Julie Douglass dressing the tables

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Mrs. San Giuseppe 2016…Andrea Carlson!  

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Jacquelyn Amero, a new comer to our St. Joseph Altar this year, drove one and half hours from her home in New Hampshire to be apart of building this years altar. Like so many others in our community,  Jacquelyn grew up celebrating the Feast of St. Joseph as a child, and has longed to get back to her childhood roots celebrating and honoring St. Joseph. Yesterday Jacquelyn found her way back to an altar to be apart of a tradition that’s in her Sicilian Blood. Our families have been friends for generations, and I’m sure our grandparents had something to do with reconnecting her to St. Joseph and us after so many years.  Jacquelyn reminisced about attended  her great grandmother, Lucia Auditore Pino’s Feast of St. Joseph Novena, one of over 36 St. Joseph Altars thought out Gloucester years ago during the fishing industries prime throughout the day. I was thrilled to have Jacquelyn here, and even more thrilled that she reached out to me after seeing all the photos posted last year. Welcome Jackie! This Altar is for all who grew up with this amazing tradition, and are longing to have it be apart of their lives again.

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Abbey Mathews, Nicole Curcuru, Dee Noble

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“Ma” & Bridget Mathews, carefully placing “Aunt Vinci Militello’s” antique Saint and Angel figurines on the altar

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Magical things happen on our Altar each year. Yesterday while assembling this years altar dressed in Gold & White and adorned in Angel  feathers, new comer & friend Charlene M Delaney​ noticed the lights flickering on the altar every time she held her camera phone up to take a photo of the altar. Immediately we all took out our phones and held them up to see if our phones displayed the sane flickering lights…not one displayed the same images…Only Charlene’s. Here is a small video clip of the flickering images her phone displayed each & every time she held her phone up to photograph the altar throughout the entire afternoon! I Believe the Angels are letting us know they are happy with the  design of this years altar & that Charlene has joined our group for prayer this year!

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Limonciello & Aranciello Bottling Night @Sista Felicia’s

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Friday night friends and family gathered to bottle & sample this years batch of Sista Felicia’s Limonciello and Aranicello for the upcoming Feast of St Joseph! 

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From left; Cousin Marisa Marcantonio Annaika Eves, Bridget Mathews,Andrea Carlson,Sista Felicia,Pat Ciaramitaro,Cousin Eleanor Tucker, BFF Dee Noble, Mo Klop

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From left; Steve Noble,James Eves, Neil Mathews

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While “Comere” Bridget Mathews and I mixed this year batches, the ladies help strain the rids from the alachol, and  prepared the bottles.

 

 

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The men snacked on freshly fried Arancini and Hot Italian Bread with fresh Ricotta Cheese, Pesto and Red Roasted Peppers, while they anxiously waited to sample all 4 varieties.  Each year 2 straight up versions of Limonciello & Aranciello, and 2 creamy versions of both lemon and orange are prepared and bottled.

 

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Neil Mathews, our official taste tester, sampled each, while bridget and I mixed and tweaked the ratios until Neil deemed it to be “Perfecto!”Several rounds of samples were enjoyed by all! 

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Chris Carlson and “Ma”

A Special Thank You to my incredibly talented friend & Creative Director James Eves Owner of Cape Ann Giclee, for the beautiful Limonciello & Aranciello Lables he created and “Feliciatized”…XO

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HOLY PASTA! Sista Felicia’s St. Joseph Pasta Making Day Photo Gallery Beginning to End!

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IMG_5763Cousin Eleanor Tucker, master  pasta dough maker!

 

Kicked off the 2016 Feast Of St. Joseph yesterday with friends and family at my annual St. Joseph Pasta Making Day Extravaganza!  Huge thank you to all who helped make all 130 lbs. of handmade Semolina Pasta for this years Feast!

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Cousin Marisa Marcantonio & Grace Pallazola

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Andrea Carlson

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Highlight of my day…My Irish Childhood friend Kerrie who claims that “she can’t cook” making pasta with a smile😍 It must really be true that St Patrick was Italian…Cooking is secretly in her blood!

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Zachary Nobel, my personal “Pasta Runner”

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Cranberry Orange Tort

 PrintA perfect recipe for Thanksgiving…Its easy to prepare, and it makes two!cran b1

Cranberry Orange Torte

 Ingredients

¾ cup salted butter softened

1½ cups granulated sugar, plus ¼ cup

1  12oz. bag fresh cranberries

1 cup flour

2 large eggs

1 cup roughly chopped walnuts

1 teaspoon of fresh orange rind

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon orange extract

Step by Step

1  Combine butter and sugar in bowl of stand mixer, beat on medium high speed 3 minutes until fluffy

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2   Add flour, eggs, nuts, orange rind, and extracts; mix 1 minute on low speed

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3  Place cranberries in colander; rinse under cold water; strain; sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar over cranberries; toss to coat all cranberries evenly with sugar

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4  Using rubber spatula fold sugared cranberries evenly into batter

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5  Prepare two 9 inch glass pie plates with bakers joy cooking spray

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6  Divide batter into two equal halves

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7  Spread each batter half  into one prepared pie plate

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8  In preheated 350 degree oven bake 1 hour; cool 15 minutes

9 Serve with Vanilla Bean ice cream or sweetened whipped cream

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Makes 2 Torts

Don’t Forget to Make The Dough for Your Bones of the Dead Cookies Today!

Don’t Forget to Make your Bones of the Dead Cookie Dough for All Saints’ Day & All Souls’ Day today… recipe and our family story on page 112 of my cookbook ” Gifts of Gold”

Pumpkin Caramel Halloween Cookie Bark

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Pumpkin Caramel Halloween Bark

It’s no secret to my friends and family that Halloween is one of my most favorite holidays. As soon as my twins were old enough to sit up in their highchairs I had them cooking and crafting for Halloween. Each year our activities grew grander and our creativity in the kitchen did too! A few years ago I combined two of our all time favorite recipes, Pumpkin Caramel and Chocolate Cookie Bark together and confected this almost to pretty to eat Halloween treat! I promise you won’t be disappointed and either will the Ghosts and Goblins in your life!

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Charlene Delaney is This Weeks GMG Cook!

SistasDish

Charlene Delaney pea hot ham pasta GMG cookes photos

Photo submitted by Charlene Delaney

Charlene writes~
 Tonight’s dinner another inspired by Felicia Ciaramitaro Mohan. Turn out great like all her recipes. Pasta with Ham & Peas. My biggest challenge is cutting recipe for one.

Charlene,

Thank you for the kind words! Looks like you did a fine job of cutting the recipe down for one …it looks delicious! Happy Cooking

XO

Sista

 

 

Pasta with Peas & Hot Ham

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Pasta with Peas & Hot Ham

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Last night’s @sistafelicia Instagram Photo

This past holiday weekend was spent embracing opportunities to experience “Real Campus Life” while touring colleges with our twins. After three days of living off fast food, Starbucks Coffee, and a few campus dining hall delights, a “real meal” was much need when we arrived home late last night. The last half hour of our road trip back home felt like ten as we discussed what meal I could pull together the fastest with ingredients I knew I had on hand at home. After rattling off several options to please everyone’s starving bellies and picky pallets, “Pasta with Peas & Hot Ham” was unanimously requested, made and on the table before the boys finished emptying bags and luggage from the truck! 

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 Pasta with Peas & Hot Ham is fast and easy to prepare and only requires a few key ingredients. This pasta dish is traditionally served for lunch or dinner as main course or side dish, but I think it makes a perfect late night meal for the fall and winter months.  Trust me you’ll have no trouble warming up or sleeping after eating a bowl of this heavenly creamy pasta dish late night! It’s one of our families most favorite “Italian Comfort Food” dishes! 

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Caramel Apple Crisp Is On The Dessert Menu Tonight!

  • PrintYou will never look at Apple Crisp quite the same way after trying this recipe…It’s scrumptious!

final crispCaramel Apple Crisp

A few years ago I created and posted this recipe…It’s become a fall favorite in our home…If you love caramel apples, and apple crisp, this is a must try recipe! I can’t wait to serve it for dessert tonight with a scoop of Vanilla Bean Gelato using apples from our dear friends Jeremy and Tanya Frost’s fruitful back yard Apple Tree! I have never seen a tree bearing 2 different verities of apples growing from a single tree trunk! Both the red Gala and yellow Golden Delicious tasted delicious! Jeremy held the ladder for me while I hand picked and filled 2 large bags last Saturday! The Frost’s apple tree was a magnificent sight in their yeard this year! Jeremy reported that this years harvest is the best in the past several years, and that this was the first year it beared two types of apples. Thank you for sharing your special tree with me, I’m having a great time in the kitchen whipping up our fall favorite confections and have also created a few new recipes that have been big hits! 

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Rotisserie Chicken Tortilla Soup

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Warm up the family this weekend with “Rotisserie Chicken Tortilla Soup.” This super fast and easy to prepare soup is packed with a combination of delicious flavors that warm the body from the inside out. It’s  a perfect dish to serve family and friends at your next tailgate gathering!   

Click read more for Sista Felicia’s Step-by-Step recipe

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