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The Art of Running in the Rain

"To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift." -Prefontaine

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dinner

Christmas 2015

I love Sundays!  Even though the work week is looming and that means I’ll get less time chillin’ with the husband, it also means a day of decompressing guilt free.  I’ve also been trying to use my Sundays to do meal planning so there’s less frantic assembling during the work week.  Today I’m prepping a polenta lasagna and cutting up vegetables for a home style salad bar.

I wanted to recap on some of the holiday happenings from this Christmas.  I get more and more excited about these recap posts ever since taking that happiness course.  One of the exercises proven to increase happiness and decrease stress is to reflect on photos of happy moments, and after I’ve completed these posts I do feel great!   I think there may be a correlation with posting happy photos on social media as well, I’d love to see research on that.

We started our trip with an early morning flight, Dave and I headed back up to my homeland to visit my family.  We had such a good time, but man did that week fly by.  We flew with the animals, and although I felt like Oliver should have been so happy to be with us in the cabin he was pretty much freaked out the entire time.

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Charlie was in cargo, I just had to not think about him because I know that old man was nervous the whole time.  All in all I would fly with them again, especially if the trip is over a week and dog friendly.  It ends up being less than a sitter and I LOVE having my little dudes with me whenever I can.

We were very excited to see nonna!

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The gentleman in the background is my zio Antonio, he’s my nonno’s brother.  It’s so nice to visit him and his wife; Dave loves the glimpse into my background and I love seeing someone who reminds me a lot of my nonno.

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You can’t get away from their house without feeling full and a little drunk.  I hope that’s how people feel about my place 🙂  *oh, Daniel*

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Zio makes his own wine, and this year it was out of this world.  I can’t even describe the flavor it had, unreal.

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He was very excited about this bottle, you pretty much grab it by the butt and boobs (censored terminology for the interwebs).

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“Ma, whatayagonnado?”

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Following the delicious wine, zio wanted Dave to experience some Italian beer.  Dave said it was crisp and refreshing, but more than anything it was fun to try beer from Italy.

After visiting with zio and zia we headed to my auntie Lauren’s house for dinner.

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We all got the grey memo 🙂

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My cousin’s daughter is so incredibly adorable!!  I just kept wondering if they made that outfit in my size.

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So many Christmas day memories in this house.  Also, did you catch nonna downing the wine?

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Proud parents with chez Lauren!  Her meal was fantastic!!!!

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I had the most adorable view during my dinner!

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My grandpa’s birthday is Christmas day, so we always have christmas/birthday combo celebration.  The gift he was opening was from a family friend, Rocco.

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It was a coffee mug with pictures of all of my grandparent’s six children (two of which are no longer with us anymore).  Everyone was pretty happy about the memories.  There was one for all of the aunts/uncles and my grandparents, very thoughtful!

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After dessert it was photo time and then we played heads up.  What a fun Christmas!!  Hope yours was filled with family and laughter too!

Be well!

 

 

Strascinati Pugliesi ai Broccoletti

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I was really excited when I found this pasta at Marshall’s, I love trying new-to-me types of pasta.  I especially loved that the label indicated which region this type is typically found in.  This type is from the Apulia region, which is just south of Abruzzo the region my family is from.  I have yet to visit Italy; however, I find that learning about my family history, attempting recipes (like Dave’s Uovo en raviolo), and teaching my dog commands in Italian makes me feel like I’m in my own little Italy.

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Have I told you all about nonna’s peppers?  “Nonna” is Italian for Grandma, and let me tell you, mine is an amazing chef!  If you like spicy then you would love her hot pepper sauce (aka ‘nonna’s peppers’).  I’ll have to ask her if she minds me sharing the recipe 🙂 until then, I’ll just have to tease you with this delicious image.

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This recipe was adapted from serious eats

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Strascinati Pugliesi ai broccoletti

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 16 oz bag Strascinati Pugliesi
  • 12 oz Trader Joe’s pre-cut broccoli
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 7 fillet anchovy
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of butter (I used Earth Balance)
  • 1-2 tbsp Nonna’s peppers

Directions

  1. Begin by boiling 1 qt of salted water.  While water is coming to a boil cut the excess stalk off of the broccoli pieces, cut off rough parts, and cube.
  2. In a skillet heat olive oil and add broccoli stalk, onion, garlic, nonna’s peppers, and anchovy.  Saute on medium-low heat until onions are translucent.  Place to the side.
  3. Once water has come to a boil add your pasta, cooking for 17 minutes.  4 minutes before your pasta is done add the broccoli florets to the boiling water.
  4. Drain the broccoli & pasta and add to the skillet.  Add butter and half the parmesan and gently stir to coat.
  5. Plate and add a sprinkle of parmesan.

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