Tag Archives: Sista’s Helpful Tips

Sista’s Helpful Tip

PrintJanuary is a perfect month to reorganize the house after the holiday season. Do you or someone you know keep a supply of plastic grocery bags on hand to reuse at a later date? Are they stuffed in a draw, closet or fabric bag dispenser hanging from a doorknob, annoyingly in the way every time you open or close the door? 

Thought I’d share a helpful tip for storing used “plastic grocery bags”  that I adopted from the internet several years ago.  It is clean, convenient, and compact.  Perfect  for any home, office or car!

Supplies Needed

1 empty plastic wipes container

several plastic grocery bag


1 collect plastic bags after shopping


2 remove lid top from wipes container


3 crumble and stuff each plastic bag into container; feed end of last bag through lid top opening; secure lid top back onto container





4 store container in convenient location; use and restock  bags as needed



Sista’s Helpful Tips

PrintMany years ago this product was highly recommended to me by a friend. She promised that Williams-Sonoma’s Turkey Gravy Base was the biggest time saver and smartest money spent on thanksgiving dinner for her family each year. I was extremely hesitant to try it because nearly everything prepared in my kitchen is done from scratch, but knowing she too was a great cook, I thought I give it a try. Two weeks before Thanksgiving  I went to Williams-Sonoma bought a jar of their Turkey Gravy Base, then headed to the  market, purchased a small turkey breast, and headed home to test the product out before committing to using it on Thanksgiving day. I followed the simple directions on the backside of the jar.   It smelled good, looked great, and it tasted awesome! I was shocked by the flavor and by how easy it was to prepare. Don’t walk RUN to Williams-Sonoma and buy this product!  If you’re cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year, this product should be the first item on your Grocery list. The Gravy Base is a seasonal item sold in limited quantities, and they sell out days before Thanksgiving every year. I encourage you to stock up and buy a few extra jars for latter in the winter when your craving turkey and gravy on a cold winter night.

A Thanksgiving Dinner Must Have ~

Today all thanksgiving favorites are 20% off at Williams-Sonoma

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Trust the Sista…Follow the directions on the back of the jar and add some pan dripping… your family and guest will be licking their plates clean! Many of my Thanksgiving recipes including how to roast a turkey that is golden on the outside and juicy on the inside are in my new cookbook “Gifts of Gold In A Sicilian Kitchen with Sista Felicia, Harvest” click here to purchase a copy http://www.storenvy.com/products/2742897-gifts-of-gold-in-a-sicilian-kitchen-with-sista-felicia-harvest

Sista’s Helpful Tips


It’s time to start prepare our homes for the holiday season. Before you pull out the holiday silver and start decking the halls and setting tables, take a quick peek at your chandelier. When was the last time you washed it? There is nothing more embarrassing for a hostess then gathering around a beautiful table with family and friends, ready to dig into the holiday feast, and noticing cobwebs and dusty crystals hanging directly over the holiday table. Every November I make a special trip to Home Depot, to purchase the best Chandelier cleaner on the market. Extend AFinish Chandelier Cleaner formulated with “Sheeting Action” makes a daunting task a quick an easy one! No more removing, cleaning, drying, and rehanging each and every crystal. Simply place a drop cloth or plastic sheet under chandelier; spray each crystal on all sides; stand back and watch it work its magic. In minutes your chandelier crystals will be sparkling like new!

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Sista’s Helpful Tips…Where To Buy Vanilla Baking Powder

Print scalafini 2    In 1972 brothers Gus and Frank Sclafani, made their way from Sicily to America settling here in Gloucester. As young adults, and new to this country they set out together to live the American dream finding employment on the working waterfront at my paternal grandfathers Warf, Capt. Joey & Sons. While the brothers, worked off loading fish from day boats at the dock, their mother worked nearby on the assembly line at Capt. Joe & Sons, cleaning and packing fresh fish. In 1980 Frank and Gus’s father purchased the store front on the corner of Washington Street and Gould Court, from my maternal grandfather “Joseph Ciaramitaro, AKA Joe Popcorn,” and opened the doors of Sclafani’s Bakery. Two years latter Frank and Gus left their jobs on the dock behind, and took over their fathers’ bread business.  Today they continue to work sisde by side daily making their  families famous Italian bread recipe at that same location. Over the years in our Sicilian community, their store has become one of two remaining local  go to places to shop for Italian pantry staple items. They have a fantastic assortment of Italian specialty ingredients: imported  cheeses, dried pasta, Italian cookies, and olive oils, are just a few examples of items one can find among their famous Italian bread and fresh breadcrumbs. I personally shop there several times a week, and enjoy chatting with Gus and Frank about cooking Sicilian foods. While I was writing my cookbook, Frank, Gus and I had several conversations, about different Italian ingredients that were hard to find. One day I ask Gus if he could add Vanilla Baking Powder to their stock list, and he agreed to look into it for me. The very next week, Gus proudly showed me the new display of Vanilla Baking Powder adjacent to the cash register. So now when your making one of my recipes from my newly released cookbook ” Gifts of Gold In A Sicilian Kitchen with Sista Felicia, Harvest” you know where to go to purchase it. Don’t forget to tell Gus and Frank Sista Felicia sent you in!


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