Monthly Archives: March 2017

Updated Recipe Index

blank-recipe-card-22413056- DREAMSTIME

Hi Everyone, 

Just wanted to let you know that the recipe index has been updated.

Recipe Index at the top of the page…

Now all recipes are in categories to help you find a recipe faster.

Enjoy cooking!


Easter Pie – Pizza Dolce

Hi Everyone,

I have received quite a few emails the past few days to re-post the recipes for my Easter pies from last year’s DishingwithDiane’s Easter post (Pizza Rustica and Pizza Dolce).

One savory and one sweet; so here they are. Have fun baking!

I already re-posted Pizza Rustica and here is

The second pie; the sweet pie Pizza Dolce.

This is a very easy pie to bake.

(Click PHOTO to enlarge and then back arrow to return to original size).

2016-03-14 16.41.40- pizza dolce

It is an Italian cheesecake made with ricotta, eggs, milk, sugar and extracts. It is definitely not a low-calorie pie.


24 eggs

3 lbs. Whole milk ricotta cheese (large container)  

1 qt. Whole milk 

1 oz. lemon extract 

1 oz. almond extract 

1 oz. vanilla extract 

1 oz. anise extract

Zest of ½ a medium lemon 

3 ½ cups sugar 

Colored confetti sprinkles (aka: rainbow nonpareil)


 Add eggs, milk and ricotta in a blender until smooth (I divide this to 1/3 at a time), transfer to a large bowl.

When completed, add extracts, sugar, lemon zest and mix well.

Spray two 9 ½ X 11 inch GLASS pans with Pam. Fill each pan ¾ of the way full—add rainbow confetti on top of mixture.

Place in a 350-degree oven for approx. 1 ½ hours. (More sprinkles can be added during the cooking time).

 (1 fluid oz. = 6 tsp or 2 TBSP)            This recipe makes 2 pans


Until my next post, make every day a celebration!


Please ask your family and friends to “follow”, “like” and “share”  .

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

Easter Pie – Pizza Rustica

Hi Everyone,

I have received quite a few emails the past few days to re-post the recipes for my Easter pies from last year’s DishingwithDiane’s Easter post (Pizza Rustica and Pizza Dolce).

One savory and one sweet; so here they are. Have fun baking!

Let’s start off with savory Pizza Rustica!

A little time consuming but worth every bite. 

(Click PHOTO to enlarge and then back arrow to return to original size)

Pizza Rustica

2016-03-15 22.21.40- pizza rustica 2016

2016-03-16 02.28.44- pizza rustica close

 Pizza Rustica is my absolute favorite.

It is a classic Italian Easter pie made with cured Italian meats, Italian cheeses and bound together with eggs. We usually eat thin slices of Pizza Rustica as an antipasto on Easter before a traditional lamb dinner, and it can be served either warm or cold .

This pie is also a main part of “Easter Monday” or “La Pasquetta” which means little Easter.

Easter Monday is a national holiday in Italy. Italians leave the city and head to the country, the beach or the mountains for a family picnic. Pizza Rustica, frittata, Easter bread, wine and chocolate biscotti are all on the menu.

The whole point is to celebrate the return of Spring.

We always celebrated Easter Monday when I was a child.

Depending on what region of Italy you are from, the name of this recipe may vary. It is also called Torta Pasqualina, Pizza Gaina and Pizza Piena .  

However, Easter is called Pasqua and Buona Pasqua means Happy Easter in Italy… no matter what region you are from!

2016-03-15 13.24.37 - pizza rustica ingred..use this


¼ lb prosciutto

1 stick soppressata (or mix half sweet and half hot)

1 stick pepperoni salami

¼ lb hot capicola

6-8 slices of genoa salami

1 basket fresh cheese…….NOT Mozzarella –– usually sold in a 2 lb baskets at the Italian market. Let it drain in a colander overnight and when ready to use squeeze out any excess liquid. (Use a wooden spoon or fingers to crumble)


13 large eggs

¼ cup half and half

¼ cup grated provolone

½ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese

8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

Nutmeg (approx 2 shakes)

½ Cup fresh Italian parsley

Black pepper

Salt – can be omitted because the cold cuts are salty

2 egg yolks & a tsp of sugar for the glaze

Two 1 lb balls of pizza dough ( either homemade, or from a pizzeria)


Preheat oven to 350.

  1. Cut first six ingredients (meat and cheese) into small bite size pieces & mix together in a large bowl (This prep work can be done on one day and assemble the pie the next day).
  2. When ready to assemble, add Romano cheese, Mozzarella cheese, provolone, nutmeg, parsley, salt and pepper to prior meat and cheese mixture
  3. Prepare small roasting pan or spring-form pan, with olive oil to coat the bottom and sides. Cut pizza dough and shape to form a bottom layer WITH SIDES and a top layer of dough. (If you don’t want a full top layer, cut the dough in strips and criss cross on top with no venting)
  4. After shaping the bottom layer of dough in the pan–add the meat and cheese mixture. Separately, beat the 13 eggs and half and half, and pour over dry mixture in pan and MIX WELL. Add top layer of dough (or strips)
  5. Roll top & bottom layers of dough together around the sides to seal. Vent the top of the pie with a fork or paring knife several times.
  6. Add sugar to the EGG YOLKS and brush the top of the pie to prepare a glaze when cooking.
  7. Bake at 350 for 1 hr to 1 hr /15 minutes….
  8. For the first 30 minutes cover the pie with aluminum foil.For the remaining 45 minutes bake uncovered. If using a spring-form pan-let pie stand 15 minutes –then release pan sides and transfer to plate. Can be served warm or cold.


Until my next post, make every day a celebration!


Spaghetti Pie

  Photo Mar 15, 7 21 36 PM - FULL SPAGHETTI PIE

(Click PHOTO to enlarge and then back arrow to return to original size)

Hi everyone,

Today I wanted to share with you a little tip for leftover spaghetti.

This is a great addition to a Lenten meal if you need a new idea.

When I was a child, my mother followed all the European formal traditions when it came to the structure of our meals.

We always had…

First course (primo) – usually a small portion of soup, macaroni or risotto.

Second course (secondo) – either fish, beef, chicken, veal, or lamb.

Lots of vegetables (contorno)- broccoli rabe, escarole, artichokes, etc.

Salad (insalata) and yes, served AFTER the entree.

Fruit (frutta) to end the meal.

Beverages (bevande) were usually wine or soda for adults and water or juice for the children.

If we had company, some items were added…

 Before the meal appetizers – (antipasto) Assorted cheeses, cured meats and pickled vegetables. (Another favorite of mine – sharp provolone and sopressata).

Cheese (formaggio) was added to the fruit course along with roasted nuts.

Dessert (dolce) – pastries and cookies.

Caffe (coffee) both “American” and espresso with anisette and lemon peel.

After dinner drink (digestivo) – I remember my parents serving Fernet and Limoncello. 


This is how I thought everyone ate until the ripe old age of seven, when my mother finally let me eat over someones house that wasn’t a relative who followed the same rules she did. I remember I was quite surprised when my friends mother made meatloaf, no first course or sides, except a salad and she served the salad with the main course. I was disappointed and missed my mother’s courses…

So back home to mom … 

I don’t think I asked to eat over anyone’s house after that for a very long time. My friends came to our house….

The course I loved the best was always the first course. This course consisted of either a bowl of soup (I love soup), some type of risotto, polenta or macaroni.

One of my favorite primo piatto, was spaghetti pie.

My mother could re-purpose leftovers and you thought you were having a gourmet meal. If we had spaghetti for lunch one day, I knew that spaghetti pie was going to be our first course the next night.

Basically, you take your leftover spaghetti, add eggs, half and half or milk, grated cheese, salt and pepper, fresh parsley or basil (optional) and fry it stove top in a skillet until it’s nice and crispy on both sides.

If we had any meatballs or sausage left from a homemade meat sauce, my mom would break a few pieces into the mix as well.

Diced mozzarella and some ricotta could be added too.

There are so many varieties of spaghetti pie.

It was a spaghetti “frittata” and I wanted to share the basic recipe with you.

The spaghetti pie below was made from leftover tri- color spaghetti that I made with ricotta, mozzarella, lots of onions and fresh basil.

Photo Mar 15, 7 30 46 PM PIE WITH SLICE

Here is a basic recipe for…

Spaghetti Pie

2 – 3 large eggs (depends on egg size and amount of spaghetti)
1/4 cup whole milk or half and half
1/2 cup grated cheese (Parmesan or locatelli)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Leftover spaghetti (with tomato sauce or ricotta and onions, or oil and garlic)
2-3 tbsp. olive oil

Optional additions: parsley, basil, ricotta, mozzarella, onions…anything goes.

In a large bowl, beat eggs, milk or half & half, grated cheese, salt and pepper. Any “optional’ additions.

Add leftover spaghetti and combine well.

In a large skillet, (I use a 10 inch ceramic coated frittata frying pan) heat olive oil over medium heat.

Add spaghetti and egg mixture, spreading evenly and pressing down in the pan with a spatula.

Cook until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Lift to check on the color underneath. When completely satisfied, shake the skillet a little to loosen the pie and “Carefully” invert the pie onto a plate.

Add a little more oil to the pan, and slide mixture back into skillet and cook the other side for 6 minutes. Serve warm or room temperature cut into wedges


COOKS NOTE:  After all these years, I decided to treat myself to a frittata pan to make flipping the pie much easier since I make so many frittatas and spaghetti pies.

I bought this pan from Williams Sonoma in 10 inch. (also comes in 8 inch). The skillets can be used separately but are a blessing when it comes to frittata.

 The two nonstick pans interlock so you do not have to worry about “your skills and the plate” flipping in perfect harmony.

Back in the day, I have had many frittatas and spaghetti pies slip off the plate and onto the stove top when I couldn’t invert the plate correctly.

Don’t be discouraged if you have trouble flipping the pie at first, it takes a little practice.

But spaghetti pies are great!

Go make one for your family.



Well, I hope I gave you a new idea for lunch or dinner.

Give this recipe a try for something different to serve from your leftover spaghetti and surprise your family.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,


Please ask your family and friends to “follow”, “like” and “share”  .

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

St. Joseph’s Day 2017

photo courtesy of zazzlefeast_day_of_st_joseph_card_march_19-r5ffbc83794be45c1a16d208c74e4073e_xvuat_8byvr_400 HAPPY FEAST OF ST JOSEPH

Hi Everyone,

 Every year on March 19th we pay special tribute to St. Joseph.

I am posting this a day early, just in case you want to look over and include one of the traditional recipes for your St. Joseph’s Day dinner.

There really is no tablescape to set for St. Joseph Day, so I am re-posting about the history of this holiday and all the traditional delicious food on the St. Joseph’s Day menu.

Especially the sfinge di San Giuseppe and zeppole pastries many people are familiar with. Enjoy !

All recipes are at the end of the post…


(Click PHOTOS to enlarge and then back arrow to return to original size)


Saint Joseph is the patron saint for my family, so instead of a tablescape, I decided to share with you some of my family traditions and customary foods for this special holiday.

Before we start, a little background for Saint Joseph or San Giuseppe that might help you understand the holiday a little better. Saint Joseph was the husband of Mary. It is in Sicily where Saint Joseph is regarded as their patron saint for preventing a famine during the Middle Ages. There was a severe drought and the people prayed to Saint Joseph for rain. They promised that if he answered their prayers and the rain came they would prepare a feast in his honor.

Well, the rain came and the people prepared a large banquet. Legend has it that the fava bean was the crop which saved the population from starvation and that is always part of the Saint Joseph day dinner.

Some people keep painted fava beans as a good luck charm.


When I was younger (much younger), on Saint Joseph’s Day my Grandmother would take me to bring food to the Saint Joseph’s Day altar of her local church after Mass. Many of the older generations set up altars in their homes, but we did not. We always wore red to honor Saint Joseph, in the same way that green is worn on Saint Patrick’s Day.

The altars are quite a sight to see and they have 3 tiers to represent the Holy Trinity. The top tier holds the statue of Saint Joseph surrounded by flowers (especially lilies). The reason is that – “The lily is associated with Saint Joseph, spouse of Mary, through an ancient legend that he was chosen from among other men by the blossoming of his staff like a lily”. 

 The other tiers hold candles, figurines, special breads, pastries, lemons for luck, fava beans, pineapple for hospitality and wine. There is also a basket on the bottom tier where you can place prayer petitions.

 Here is a picture I found of of a Saint Joseph’s Day altar just to give you a better idea. Definitely wouldn’t work in my dining room.

5547597178_9560e0b681_z- st joseph altar USE


 In my family, my Grandmother (even though we are not Sicilian) believed deeply that praying to Saint Joseph would protect her family and she bought all her grandchildren, at a very young age, a statue of Saint Joseph.

This is a photo of mine that I proudly display in my bedroom today. It is over 50 years old. In fact, my son’s middle name is Joseph to honor Saint Joseph.

st joseph statue

In addition to the celebration of Saint Joseph’s Day, I have always enjoyed the FOOD for Saint Joseph’s Day.

Many of you know this day only by the pastry (zeppole or sfinge di San Giuseppe) but we had a fantastic meal before the pastry.

(There were no words to describe how fantastic these pastries are).

2015-03-07 23.40.39 - St joseph pastry for blog

Purchased at Alpine Bakery- Smithtown, NY

My family (especially my dad) would make the pilgrimage each year to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx because we wouldn’t run the risk of buying ingredients at a local grocery store and be disappointed. No, ingredients had to be Italian and imported. No questions asked.

If you ever have the chance to visit Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, NY you will be thrilled. The food is so fresh and it is like stepping back in time with the mom and pop shops. But Arthur Avenue isn’t just shops, it’s restaurants as well and the food is fabulous.

A real Little Italy.

Different regions celebrate Saint Joseph’s Day differently but all involve meatless foods (because this holiday always falls during Lent), minestrone soup and pasta with breadcrumbs (The breadcrumbs represent saw dust since Saint Joseph was a carpenter), seafood, and fava beans for luck and for dessert, the star of the show, zeppole and sfinge di San Giuseppe.

Here is a picture of my minestrone soup.

Photo Mar 20, 9 44 10 PM.jpg MINSTRONE FOR ST. JOSEPH.jpg WITH BLOG NAME

In my family, we made minestrone soup followed by bucatini with anchovies and breadcrumbs. (For those of you who are not familiar, bucatini is basically a larger spaghetti with a hole inside. Another pasta that is traditional is mafaldine; this looks like thin strips of lasagna noodles). Sicilians usually make the dish with sardines (Pasta con Sarde) instead of the anchovies.

Here is a picture of my bucatini with breadcrumbs.


The Saint Joseph’s Day bread was another special part of the meal and my Dad would buy the bread and have it blessed before he brought it home.

It is a round crusty loaf scored with a cross and flavored with anise.

joebreadsm2- ST JOSEPH BREAD


And now back to the pastries. They are called zeppole or sfinge di San Guiseppe and I am sure you have all seen them. It’s a sweet dough like a big cream puff split and filled. They can be filled two ways. One with cannoli cream with tiny chocolate chips and candied fruit and also with custard cream; both topped with powdered sugar and a cherry and both delicious. Every year I always have to have one with each filling.

A fine tradition I passed along to my son.

st joseph's pastries 2


A lot of the old traditions unfortunately are not practiced as much today. Grandparents and parents have passed on and lives have become much busier, but I try to keep as many traditions going in my family as I can. I do make the bucatini with anchovies and the minestrone soup, but I buy my pastries because baking is just not my thing. (I have included the recipe at the bottom of the post, in case you want to take the baking challenge). I personally don’t make the fava beans for this holiday either, but I wanted to mention it again because it stands for “good luck” in case you wanted to include them on your menu.

All in all this holiday brings back great memories for me when I was younger and my family was still here with me, enjoying each others company and a great meal together.

Here is a picture of me (I am the toddler) with my parents, grandmother and two older sisters. All of my family have passed on now and all are missed every day. I keep the traditions alive to honor them; and thank them for all they have taught me about traditions and being proud of my heritage. 

Squeglia Family

I don’t have many photos for this holiday but at the bottom of this post, I will leave you with some traditional recipes if you want to celebrate St Joseph’s Day with your family.

It has been my pleasure to share my traditions with you for this special day. I hope this post gave a few of you some inspiration to try some new Saint Joseph’s Day holiday recipes.

Until my next post, stay well and make every day a celebration!


Saint Joseph’s Day is also the birthday of my dear friend Sue Tetonic.

Happy Birthday Sue!


Toasted Fresh Bread Crumbs

Warm 2 tablespoon olive oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat.  Add 3/4 cup of fresh breadcrumbs and stir to coat with oil.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the crumbs are golden brown and crunchy, about 5 minutes. I add a little grated cheese to the breadcrumbs as well. You can never have to much cheese.


Bucatini with Anchovies and Breadcrumbs



12 anchovy fillets in olive oil, finely chopped with the oil from the can (small can- 2 oz.)….for a stronger anchovy flavor add two cans.

Salt and pepper to taste

1 pound bucatini

1/2 cup olive oil + 3 TBSP

4-6 large garlic cloves, sliced and divided

Large pinch of red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Grated cheese

1 and 1/3 cup toasted fresh breadcrumbs (1 cup for sauce * 1/3 cup for garnish)


Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve pasta water.

In a small skillet, add 3 TBSP of olive oil and approximately 3 cloves of sliced garlic and warm on a very low temperature (you want to flavor the oil)

While the pasta is cooking, heat ½ Cup of the olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat

Add 3 cloves of sliced garlic, red pepper flakes, and the finely chopped anchovies. 

Cook, stirring until the anchovies dissolve. (Be careful of splatters)

Remove from the heat. 

Add 1 cup toasted breadcrumbs and stir for 1 minute to combine the oil and breadcrumbs

Add 3 ladles of pasta water to make a sauce 

Return to the heat on low and stir in the parsley

Add the drained cooked pasta to the pot with the anchovy sauce. Toss until the strands are well coated

Slowly add the warm garlic oil with sliced garlic and mix well.

Season with salt & pepper

Transfer the pasta to individual serving bowls.

Top each serving with a sprinkling of the reserved breadcrumbs and grated cheese.  


Minestrone Soup


¼ cup olive oil

1 cup onion, finely chopped

½ cup celery, with leaves, chopped

1 carrot, sliced thin

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

1 (28 oz.) can of whole tomatoes, with juice

1 large can of cannellini beans

5 cups of beef or vegetable stock

½ cup flat parsley, finely chopped

1- 2 cups finely sliced, then roughly chopped spinach

2 zucchini, unpeeled and cut into little cubes

½ cup small pasta (like ditalini)

Freshly grated Parmesan or Locatelli cheese

1 tsp. dried basil (optional)

1 tsp. dried oregano (optional)

pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)


Sauté the onion, carrot and celery in the olive oil until soft. Toss in the garlic and stir for another minute.

Cut up the tomatoes and add them to the pot and cook down for 15 minutes.

Stir in the beef or vegetable stock and the bay leaf and beans and bring to a boil. Add half the parsley, dried oregano, dried basil, pinch of red pepper and lower the heat and cook for about 30 minutes

Add the spinach, zucchini and pasta and cook at a gentle boil until the pasta is tender. * If you are not serving the soup immediately, make the pasta separately and add to the soup when serving otherwise the pasta will absorb all the soup if left in the pot to sit.

When ready to serve, stir in the rest of the parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and serve with the crusty bread and topped with grated cheese


Fava Beans
(I do not remember who gave me this recipe).


1 lb. dried fava beans
1 bunch green onions
1 medium onion
4 cloves garlic
3 bay leaves
chopped parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste


Cook dried fava beans in boiling water until tender, adding more water as needed. Sauté seasonings in olive oil ’til tender, then add to beans. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve in soup bowls.


Zeppole di San Giuseppe


(Makes about 12 (2-1/2-inch) zeppoles



1 cup water

3 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Pinch of salt

1 cup flour

4 eggs


1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup whole milk

2 egg yolks

1/2 tablespoon dark rum

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup heavy cream, whipped

 Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Maraschino cherries


 To make the pastry:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

 In a medium saucepan, combine water, butter, sugar, and salt. Bring to a

boil.  Remove from heat.  With a wooden spoon, beat in flour all at once.

Return to low heat.  Continue beating until mixture forms a ball and leaves

side of pan.  Remove from heat.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating hard

after each addition until smooth.  Continue beating until dough is satiny and

breaks in strands.  Allow the mixture to cool.

 Transfer the dough to a pastry bag with a large star tip.  For each pastry,

pipe a 2-1/2 -inch spiral with a raised outer wall on the baking sheet.  Bake

for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.  Remove and allow to cool before


 To make the filling:

Combine sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan.  In a bowl, whisk together

milk and egg yolks  Whisk milk mixture into sugar mixture.  Place the

saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking

constantly.  Boil for 1 minute; remove from heat.  Stir in rum, orange zest,

and vanilla.  Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl. Place a piece of plastic

wrap directly on the surface. Allow to cool for 30 minutes and then

refrigerate until cold.  Fold in the whipped cream.

 To assemble the zeppole:

Cut the pastries in half horizontally.  Transfer the filling mixture to a pastry

bag with a star tip.  Pipe some of the filling onto the cut side of the bottom

half of each pastry.  Place the top half of the pastry on the filling.

Pipe a small amount of the filling into the hole in the center of each pastry.

Place a maraschino cherry in the middle.  Dust the pastries with

confectioners’ sugar.


Fig Cookies (Cuccidate)

Courtesy of Paula Carbone Gati from facebook page- Born Again Italian


4 cups of flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups of butter, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 cup of Crisco, cold and broken into small pieces
2 eggs
1/2 cup of milk
2 tsp vanilla


One 12 oz pkg of dried figs, I use either mission or calimyrna
1/2 cup almonds… chopped,,,not to fine,,,more on the course side
1/2 cup of dates -no pits
1/2 cup of raisins
1/3 cup of honey
1/4 cup of orange marmalade
1/4 cup whiskey
1 tsp of good cinnamon


4 cups confectionary sugar
a few table spoons of milk


In stand mixer…mix all dry ingredients, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt set aside….to this add butter pieces little at a time, then cold Crisco, then have all wet ingredients mixed and slowly add this to the flour until a nice smooth dough forms…after the dough comes together..put on table and knead a few minutes till the dough is smooth, add more flour if necessary… make a smooth ball and cover in saran and refrigerate …while you prepare filling

I double this recipe..because I make a big batch and for the amount of work that goes into this its best to do it at once…it makes approx 5 doz cookies for this recipe…. which is a good amount..but you can freeze these cookies..I usually pack 6 at a time in a Ziploc then put in glad ware container and take out as needed..they freeze really good.

I remove the dried stems from the figs, and put all the dried fruits through the meat grinder
when all the fruit is ground up I add the rest of ingredients,,, and mix really well…I usually let this sit over night for all the flavors to really marry.

Start the assembly…taking a piece of dough at a time roll out to make approx a 3 inch by 12 inch rectangle..cut with knife to square off…then take the fig filling and make a log approx 12 inches long….place this log onto the rectangle of dough and roll and have seam side down….cut approx 1 1/2 inch pieces and place on parchment lined cookie sheets…..350 degree oven for approx 15 minutes, till bottoms are slightly golden…
Make icing and after cookies are cool….spread a little icing onto each little bundle and sprinkle with some nonpareils…

Please ask your family and friends to “follow”, “like” and “share”  .

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

St. Patrick’s Day 2017

St_Pats_2017-jpg - ST PATS 2017 -2

photo courtesy of Mr. Odd

(Click PHOTO to enlarge and then back arrow to return to original size)

Hi everyone,

I hope you are all well.

I can’t believe that it is St. Patrick’s Day already and we are right around the corner from Spring; although here in the northeast, it feels like winter won’t go away with frigid temperatures and snow. 

Hopefully the weather will get warmer for the St. Patrick’s Day parade down Fifth Avenue in NYC.

For St. Patrick’s Day, I am becoming “a little bit Irish” and making the traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage with carrots and potatoes.

This year instead of boiling the cabbage with the corned beef, I made fried cabbage with bacon, onions and garlic. We liked it much better than boiled.

The non baker in me, even made an Irish Soda bread.

(All recipes at the end of the blog).

Photo Mar 16, 11 54 52 PM BYUFFET

I set my tablescape and celebrated a little early this year because St. Patrick’s Day falls on Friday; and if you are like me and follow Lent, there is no meat on Friday so I celebrated on Thursday night to enjoy the corned beef.

I know there is dispensation to eat meat on Friday this year, specifically for this holiday, but I just can’t do it. I have to follow my Lenten rules that I have been following since I was a child.


It is very hard to make a completely different tablescape for “annual holidays” so you might see some familiar items on my table from past years along with some new purchases.

So let’s get started.

I love my juniper green lace shamrock tablecloth overlay so I am using that again. This year, instead of a white tablecloth underneath, I am using gold.

Photo Mar 16, 11 43 40 PM - OVERLAY

My placemat is woven in various shades of green around the border and a solid kelly green center.

To compliment the gold accent from the tablecloth, I am using a gold charger.

Photo Mar 16, 11 43 25 PM CHARGERS

The dishes are my annual St. Patrick’s Day choice. Moss green dinner plates and a darker pine green salad plate.

I’ve added another layer of dishes and it is a paper dessert plate with a rainbow, shamrocks and a pot of gold. The shades of green on the paper dish match the placemat border.

Photo Mar 16, 11 45 08 PM DISHES

For napkins, I am using pine green bandannas with kelly green and white shamrocks; and lime green woven napkin rings.

(You can use items for more than it’s original purpose.)

Photo Mar 16, 10 52 25 PM (1) NAPKIN 2

The glasses are my Marshalls find back in the day. Clear glass with shamrocks and this year I added some white and green shamrock straws.

Photo Mar 16, 9 45 18 PM GLASS

 The flatware is pearl white.

Photo Mar 16, 11 41 56 PM FLATWARE

Now for the centerpiece. The main focus of the centerpiece is my Leprechaun.

The little”unfriendly” Irish fairy that hides his pot of gold; but this leprechaun looks friendly enough for the table.

Photo Mar 16, 9 46 01 PM - LEPRECHAUN

Next to him are two emerald green garland shamrocks that came on stands.

(Usually they are a front window decoration).

Photo Mar 16, 9 46 57 PM - GLITTER SHAMROCK

And next to the shamrocks are small potted four leaf clovers, for some “good luck”.

(Of course they are artificial because I kill all live plants)

Photo Mar 17, 1 07 22 AM - POTTED CLOVER

All together I think they make the cutest centerpiece.

There is a lot of GREEN on this table in all shades, with Leprechauns popping out all over the place.

Photo Mar 16, 11 50 36 PM CENTERPIECE

For some table accents, I scattered kelly and pine green glass and gold nugget table confetti along with some glittered shamrocks.

Photo Mar 16, 11 47 40 PM CONFETTI

Each guest receives their own pot of gold at the top of their place setting…

(You could use gold chocolate coins in the cauldrons too.)

Photo Mar 16, 9 49 50 PM (1) POT OF GOLD

I saw these fans in the Oriental Trading catalog this year and I just had to make the purchase.

 Kelly green paper shamrock personal fans.

Photo Mar 16, 11 38 07 PM PAPER FAN 2

Dangling from the chandelier are three darling Leprechauns.

Photo Mar 17, 1 08 06 AM DANGLERS

With the table set, I am now ready for my corned beef and cabbage dinner. As I said, this year was fried cabbage with bacon instead of boiled. Good choice.

Photo Mar 16, 8 33 01 PM - DINNER PLATE

I am happy to say that I did find a recipe in the New York Times for Irish soda bread and gave it a try. It came out a little flatter than I expected but I think that my pan was just a little too wide. All in all not bad for a first try. I’ll get a different pan next year.

Photo Mar 16, 9 32 18 PM SODA 2

Photo Mar 16, 9 35 08 PM SLICE SODA

The suggestion in the recipe was to serve the bread with apples and Irish cheese. I bought apples and some Irish Dubliner cheese and went one step further and purchased Kerrygold Irish butter.

Photo Mar 16, 9 42 20 PM CHEESE AND APPLES

Photo Mar 16, 11 53 47 PM INTRO

And that finishes my St. Patrick’s Day tablescape for 2017.

I hope you have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day !

Have a green bagel, wear green clothing, watch a parade and have a great day!


photo courtesy of Virginia is for lovers

(Remember, ALL recipes at the end of the post)

Until my next post, make everyday a celebration!


Place Setting

Photo Mar 17, 1 08 50 AM PLACE SETTING

Table Details

Gold tablecloth from Party City

Juniper green lace shamrock tablecloth overlay from Amazon

Green placemats from Homegoods

Gold charger from Pier 1

Moss green dinner plate from from Amazon (by Gibson- pattern: Green Aruba)

Dark pine green salad plate from a long time ago…Had them too long to remember the pattern or where I purchased them

Pearl white flatware from Amazon

Pine green shamrock bandannas from Oriental Trading

Leprechaun danglers from Oriental Trading

Lime green woven napkin rings from Bed, Bath & Beyond

Shamrock glasses from Marshalls

Shamrock straws & St. Patrick’s dessert plate from Oriental Trading

Kelly green paper Shamrock fans from Oriental Trading

Kelly & pine green glass and golden nugget table confetti from Pier 1

Glitter shamrock paper table scatter from Party City

Mini black cauldrons with pots of gold coins from Party City

Emerald green glittered shamrocks on stands from Michael’s Arts and Crafts

Four Leaf Clover plants from Michael’s Arts and Crafts



Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

Serves 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 8 1/2 hours

Optional cooking time: 2 hours LOW – then 2 hrs HIGH – then 1 hr LOW)


6 red potatoes or fingerling potatoes, halved

4 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

1 (4 to 5-pound) corned beef, rinsed

3 large bay leaves

1 tsp ground thyme (or 1 sprig of fresh thyme)

1 teaspoon black pepper corns

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard or dark mustard with horseradish

8 ounces beer (any unflavored kind will do; you can substitute water here, as well)

2 cups low sodium chicken stock or water

1 medium head of cabbage, cut into 2-inch wedges


  1. Place potatoes, carrots, and onion in the bottom of a large slow cooker pot.
  2. Rinse the corned beef and lay it over the vegetables. Add in bay leaves, pepper corns, and Dijon mustard.
  3. Pour beer and stock over everything. Make sure liquid covers most of the corned beef; if not, add more water or stock. Cover and cook on low setting for 8 hours.
  4. Add the cabbage to the slow cooker and cook until cabbage is just tender (about 30 minutes).
  5. Remove the meat to a cutting board, cover with foil and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing.
  6. Slice on the diagonal against the grain
  7. Serve with the veggies and extra mustard


Fried Cabbage with Bacon, Onion and Garlic

Recipe By: Kathi Richards Smith…. from 2017 All


    • 6 slices bacon, chopped
    • 1 large onion, diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 large head cabbage, cored and sliced
    • 1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
    • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/8 teaspoon paprika


    1. Place the bacon in a large stockpot and cook over medium-high heat until crispy, about 10 minutes. Add the onion and garlic; cook and stir until the onion caramelizes; about 10 minutes. Immediately stir in the cabbage and continue to cook and stir another 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes more.


Irish Soda Bread

Recipe by: Melissa Clark…The New York Times


  • Butter for greasing pan plus 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 ½teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ¾ cups buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 ½ cups raisins or currants
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • Good aged Cheddar cheese, for serving
  • Tart apples, cut into slices, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-inch oven-proof skillet and line with parchment or waxed paper.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just combined. Do not overmix. Stir in the raisins or currants and caraway seeds.
  3. Pour batter into skillet. Brush top with remaining butter. Bake until golden and firm to touch, about 1 hour. Cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving with Cheddar and apples.

f07cb28127c0f7cb16c8e374ae00535c END OF BLOG - ST PATS

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