Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas Eve Seafood Recipes!

As most of you know (and if you don't that makes me sad) I'm a full blooded,  hot headed (my husband would say that haha) stubborn as anything (my dad would definitely say that) sweet as can be (my nonna would say that) Italian, and the Holidays are what I look forward to all year long. This has become somewhat of a problem considering I want to start decorating for Christmas on the 1st of September but what can I say, I love everything about this magical time of year. I love wearing cute comfy clothes, making the house smell and look all cozy and bright with lights everywhere, and most of all (wait for it) the awesome food!! Something we, as Italians are very passionate about and yes I speak for all Italians, is our feast of the fishes that we prepare on Christmas Eve. Some dishes might be different year after year but there are some dishes that are always on the table and it simply would't be Christmas Eve without them. If you haven't checked any of them out yet from last year or the year before, (in my head i'm screaming, whyyyyyy!?!?!) here are some of my all time favorites!

First up is my octopus salad, and I know that most people are probably sticking their tongue out and saying "I am so not making that!" but trust me when I tell you that this is one of the most delicious, non fishy seafood dishes in the world and Christmas Eve just wouldn't be the same without a big bowl of it on the table. 

Next we have mussels in spicy broth, delicate mussels soaked in the most flavorful, spicy broth that's perfect for dunking in ridiculously large chunks of crispy Italian bread, oh I must stop typing now and go get myself something to wipe the drool off my chin. But seriously guys, this is truly good, more than good, it's out of this world good (that means really really really, really times 1000 times good) a total must! 

And the last one I will leave you with today is my grilled seafood salad. What a beaut of a salad this is, tender juicy pieces of grilled shrimp, calamari and scallops tossed in a simple lemon vinaigrette and served on peppery arugula, so simple but absolutely divine! I make this salad very often all year long, in fact, I make all these  recipes all year long and why would't I, I don't have to wait another year to make something as delicious as this but they are an absolute must on my Christmas Eve table, along with some other dishes of course. Stay tuned to see what I have coming up for this Holiday season, I think you're going to love all the recipes I'll be sharing with all of you. And as always, Happy Cooking! 

Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for all of my new Christmas episodes this year!
As always all of my recipes are on my website!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mrs Vitale's Mni mince Pies

So from the title you can pretty much tell what this post is going to be about (and you can also probably tell that I have an obsession with Johnny Depp movies, but seriously can you blame me?!)  So let's talk about mince pies.. I love them, I love them, I love them, oh, have I mentioned yet that I love them? These little beauties are good, not just like "oh yea these are good" I'm talking your eyes rolling in the back of your head and makes you want to slap someone kind of good. The filling is sweet, tangy, spicy, citrusy, warm, sticky, and all things delicious. The crust is buttery, tender, flaky, and oh so buttery (i know i mentioned buttery already but it's good enough to be mentioned twice) the two combined make for a pretty awesome little morsel and I tell you what, once you make a batch of these, you are seriously going to be angry at yourself for only making one batch. I made some the other night and I quickly realized why I only make them around the holidays, my husband and I ate a dozen of these without even realizing it!! That's terrible I know, but the kind of terrible you sit back rubbing your stomach with a smile on your face and think to your self "that was so good, I wish I had more". So if you haven't made these yet.. what are you waiting for? Run to the kitchen, (but first go to my website to get the recipe), then run to the kitchen and get working on these, and pack some up and send them to me, please and thank you! Happy cooking!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

In Love With Kale!

Kale is one of those things that once I started cooking with it, I could not get enough. So I try to use it in as many ways as possible. My Kale and Chickpea soup is one of my standbys for all fall and winter, but recently it has been my sauteed kale with cranberries and balsamic that has been something I have been making a few times a week and will definitely be on my Holiday table this year. It's such a nice change from the heavy veggie casseroles that are always on the table, It's seriously a good side dish to anything or a great main course tossed with some pasta and a little Parmiggiano (note to self, must make that immediately!)
Give this one a try, you know I wont let you down, you will be the bomb diggity bringing this dish to someone's house for the Holidays. :)

DIY Ornament Tree!!!

I was at a department store recently and spotted a really beautiful ornament tree that would have been perfect to place on my hutch for this Holiday season, I then went closer and looked at the price.. $49.99!!!! It blew me away and there was no way I was going to buy it because I knew that with a little creativity and some inexpensive items, I could make one myself and that's exactly what I did (I actually made two, one to practice on and one to share with all of you) I am so happy with the way it turned out and it was super simple and easy to do. Let me show you how i did it. 
These are the things you are going to need to create this little beauty:
A foam Cone
Ornaments of your choice
A pair of scissors
Hot glue gun
Glue sticks
Random pieces of fake holly or anything like that
A pair of wire cutters
A piece of decorative wrapping paper, I used sparkly red because most of the tree would be red so choose a color that will match your ornaments so it all blends easily. 

First thing you need to do is plug in your hot glue gun of course, once ready you can get started. 
Cut a piece of the Wrapping paper to fit your cone,

Glue the paper onto the cone. I thought I could do this with tape but it would not hold well so i just used the hot glue and it held up great! 
It should look something like this,
         Next, take off all the tops off your ornaments,

And using your hot glue gun, start gluing each ornament to the tree however you like. As you can see, i did a big row on the bottom and then just played around with the rest of it. 

What I discovered as I kept adding more ornaments, is that it was easier to glue them slightly on the side instead of the pointy tpo because they would hold better on top of the other ones (i hope that made sense haha)
 I continued gluing away until the tree was covered in ornaments
 I then cut up all the fake little holly and berries into small pieces
                       And randomly glued them in places where I felt like there were little holes that I wanted to  cover up.And this is what it looked like when I was all done! How cute!!!! 
And now it's placed on the hutch. It's exactly what i wanted and i'm thrilled that was able to make it myself at a fraction of the cost. Happy Holidays!! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Love Christmas Decorations!

I love everything about Christmas and when the house is decorated and the tree is lit, i can't help but feel happy and festive. Happy Holidays!