healthy tasty garden salad the way nonno makes it

No meal is really complete without a tasty and healthy salad.  A good fresh salad provides the health benefits of fresh vegetables and Nonno’s favorite has a splash of fruit.

Nonno makes variations of this very easy to make, tasty and delicious garden salad quite often, but, the original is a staple salad for Nanna and Nonno`s weekly family Pasta Sundays. There never seems to be any left over.

You can add take away or even additional ingredients to it if you choose. It is great with your favorite cheese, sliced carrots, walnuts, cranberries etc.   The options are endless.

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fruit salad fruit cocktail the way nonno makes it is simple and nutritious

In our very busy lives, many of us struggle to get enough fruit in our diet.

Nonno has a simple way to add a great mix of fresh fruit as a dessert to any meal.  No additives, just fresh fruit.  Nonno likes it of course because it tastes so good but you use one  1 of each different fruits and they go a long way.  Nonno`s recipe will easily be enough for dessert for 8.

It is quick, easy, nutritious and a healthy addition to any meal. Any leftovers will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for a few days.  What is left over is great for your lunch or for the kids’ lunches or you can put it in your blender and make a tasty fruit smoothie.

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calabrese version of caponata

God bless Big Nonno – He is the Patriarch of the famiglia.

Big Nonno in Chicago  

He is the father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.  He is now almost 84 years young – He has lived on his own since big Nanna passed almost 15 years ago. He still works part-time, tends a large vegetable garden, cooks, cleans, cans vegetables, makes sausage, sopressata, capicola, prosciutto, etc.

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rapini delicious and good for you

Nonno loves his fix of rapini.  Rapini (also known as broccoli rabe) is one of the most popular greens in Italy.

This recipe of Rapini makes a great side dish with almost any kind of meat and potatoes either mashed or baked.

It is a great source of vitamins  A, B, C, K, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and even some omega 3 fatty acid.  A bonus is that  Rapini also contains phytochemicals called indole-3-carbonyl (I3C) believed to be a powerful cancer-fighting component.  (Source: SelfNutitionData & Chatelaine)

This tasty Italian favorite only takes about 20 minutes to prepare.

easy to make rhubarb pie
Fall is upon us, it was a good year for rhubarb and we just did our third cutting. Rhubarb is a versatile addition to many dessert dishes. … Auntie Diane’s special recipe is for easy to make rhubarb pie that is delicious and takes only a few minutes to prepare.  Bake for approximately one hour.

*If you are not a rhubarb solo fan, you can also add a few blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and/or strawberries if you want to crank this up.

What You Need To Make Nonno’s Favorite Quick & Easy Rhubarb Delight.

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Almost everyone makes spaghetti sauce. This is the authentic and easy to make (in about 45 minutes), southern rich flavored Italian version. This recipe uses ground pork and Italian sausage, which seems to really make a rich and flavorful sauce typical in southern Italy. It can be used on any pasta dish, ravioli, gnocchi, lasagna, etc.. The northerners of Italy seem to prefer more plain tomato-centric sauces.

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brussels sprouts with peanuts and chestnuts

In my opinion, Brussels sprouts have a bad rap that is unwarranted.

Brussels sprouts are a great green vegetable – An ideal source of protein with a single serving delivering the daily vitamin C and vitamin K requirement.
They are a cruciferous vegetable which provides a rich variety of nutrients and are only a few calories.  Some other vegetables in this group are cauliflower, cabbage, garden cress, bok choy, and broccoli.  Brussels Sprouts are a very versatile vegetable that can be tasty when combined with the right things. Brussels sprouts can be cooked, steamed, boiled and even fried. (of course, Italians fry everything).
Nonno thinks they are best when they are cooked with other ingredients.  Nonno`s favorite Brussels Sprout dish is boiled and then fried in virgin olive oil, with pancetta, peanuts, and chestnuts.
(This tasty vegetable dish takes only about 20 minutes to prepare).

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delicious cacciatore rabbit or chick

Cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian.  In the kitchen, an alla cacciatore is a meal that is prepared “hunter-style”.

This recipe is from the perspective of a Southern Italian.  We all like to use simple ingredients.  This recipe requires simple ingredients such as your choice of Meat (either rabbit or chicken), Garlic, Onion, Rosemary, Bay leaves, Tomatoes, Red Pepper, and a good dry Red Wine.  In other regions of Italy,  they may use white wine, they also may add mushrooms and sometimes other vegetables.  The two most popular types of meat done “alla cacciatore” are generally rabbit and chicken.  Some Italians also make a “salamino” from pork, which is a small salami that is seasoned simply with just garlic and pepper.

This will feed approximately 6 and take about an hour and a half to prepare.  If you can use precooked whole tomatoes and do it in 45 minutes or less.

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Butter Coolies

Nanna makes these tasty and buttery Christmas cookie treats for Christmas. They make a very nice gift pack for your friends and family and are certainly a great Christmas party treat.

You can make different Christmas shapes with cookie cutters, even add your favorite Christmas coloring to the dough mix and then top them with holiday colored icing and sprinkles. wishes everyone a Very Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year!

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Ginger bread house making sisters

Wow, time flies. The Christmas baking season is now in full swing.  Time to really enjoy the Holiday baking and the fruits of the labor of love that result from your baking efforts.

Who doesn’t like Gingerbread at Christmas time?  Nanna loves to do up a gingerbread house with the grandbabies and also Loves to bake Gingerbread Cookies.  Lots of Gingerbread House kits are available to buy, or you can do it yourself.

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cookies made with apple and sugar

Apples are a great fruit to eat and they are ideal to use for baking to make delicious desserts.

In Canada, we have a whole lot of different Apple varieties available to us.  Almost any choice of cooking apples can be used for this recipe.  Some like the sweeter varieties, some the more tart.  Nonno prefers either Cortland or Fuji apples.

These simple to make cookies required just a handful of ingredients, 7 easy steps and can be made in less than 30 minutes.  They are a great addition to the variety of cookies to have available over the Holiday’s or for that matter, at any time of the year.

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