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Culture

Caprese Salad by (Zia) Teresa Fabrizo

My aunt, Teresa Fabrizio is an amazing chef and baker. Together with her husband, Sabatino, they ran an Italian restaurant called Trattoria Fabrizio for many years. So many fresh homemade dishes were featured on their menu.  From cannelloni to spaghetti and meatballs and chicken parmiggiana, you name it, they made it all fresh in-house! As kids, my cousins and I absolutely loved going to the restaurant because it meant we could snack on all of the delicious cookies and gelato you could ask for! Plus, it always entailed a trip to the super fun toy store down the street. ;)  Zia Teresa & Zio Sabatino ran cooking and baking classes, as well as hosting many parties and dinners at the restaurant.  They even published two cookbooks which features all the traditional foods and the stories behind them. She is...

Gardening

Gardening is a right of passage in many cultures, and specifically in our Italian culture.  It is somewhat of a trophy you can hold high for years to come, if you are good at it, of course! My grandparents (on both sides of my family) cherish their gardens just as I’m sure many of yours do. From a young age, so many of my memories surround their gardens:  walking with them to pick off fresh grapes from the vines, picking cherries from the tree, and harvesting all the cherry tomatoes your heart desires. And don’t get me started on my elation when I see an overflowing freshly-picked basket of peas! My taste buds celebrate and my belly aches at the same time.  Those of you who’ve eaten an entire basket of freshly picked peas know exactly what I...

Sguti – Italian Easter Bread

During Easter time, we always make Sguti. These are also known as Italian Easter bread which is made of dough that is designed and wrapped around hard boiled eggs. On the Figliomeni side, we always have competitions to see who can make the best Sguti.  Those who were not in the competition, were lucky enough to be on the judging panel. My aunt Laura was the winner last year, her secret, she adds Lemon Emolation to the recipe for a twist. On the Commisso side, we always get together at Nonna Pina’s house with the whole crew:  aunts,uncles and cousins. We usually make a big batch, either after Good Friday mass or on Holy Saturday. The challenge is always to add a creative look to your egg, but sometimes we fall back on the more traditional braided look....