Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 7th – 13th June 2020 – FREE Book Marketing -ABBA – Kippers – Tomato Salad and a feast of authors, books and laughter


Welcome to the Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up with posts that you might have missed during the week.

I hope everyone is doing well and is looking forward to a more lifting of restrictions in the coming week. Still some confusion about where, with whom, why and when you can do things but hopefully that will be clarified! First, something that can do something about…..

Ongoing book marketing opportunities.

Delighted to say that the Meet the Authors series every weekend is going well, and I will have featured every author in the Cafe and Bookstore by the end of July. As an author in the cafe, you don’t need to do a thing although it would be great if you could share the post to boost for your own books and the other two authors featured with you.

Share an Extract from your most recent book.

Stop me if you are currently selling too many books or are receiving too many reviews…

I wish I was in that position. But, in case like me you could always use a little more visibility, and you are an author in the Cafe and Bookstore, then why not spend five minutes of your time and send me 500 words from your most recent release, or if you are poet… a poem… so that I can put together a promotion for you, such as the one I have featured for today: Extract from Silent Heroes by Patricial Furstenberg

Here is the post that tells you how you can participate with an example of how it looks with one of my books… it is FREE Book promotion… don’t miss out: Share an Extract from your latest book

If you need any more convincing.. the average views of posts in the previous series was over 100… hopefully resulting in one or two sales and more reviews.

Anyway.. I will be waiting to hear from you.. and you are very welcome, even if you have been recently featured. The list is growing daily so please get in touch soon.

Time to move onto the posts from the week you might have missed.

Thanks as always to the contributors and guests who bring such amazing posts to the blog, and to you for all your support.

William Price King ABBA Part Five – The Finale

Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food – ‘K’ for Kale, Ketchup, Kippers and Kanom Moo Krob (Crispy Pork and Kale)

#Italian Cookery with Silvia Todesco – Simply Delicious Tomato and Basil Salad

 

Wake Robin Ridge Book One by Marcia Meara

May 1985 – Las Vegas Razzle Dazzle Part One Sally Cronin

The Colour of Life – The Price Of A Habit – 1937

Tales from the Garden Chapter Five – Trouble in Paradise – Part one

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie – Powerscourt Ireland

Chesebro’s Poetry Challenge – #SynonymsOnly -#GarlandCinquain – Garden Birds

Acidity/Alkalinity pH Balance for Health Part One and Music Therapy

New Book on the Shelves – #Sci-fi Promise Me (Dave Travise Book 3) by Richard Dee

#Contemporary -You’re Never Too Old to be A Prom Queen by Olga Nunez Miret

#Historical -The Last Pilgrim by Noelle Granger

#GraphicNovel Sue Vincent and Stuart France, #Historical #1950s Bette A. Stevens, #Poetry Balroop Singh

#Memoir Ann Patras, #Poetry Frank Prem, #Mystery Barbara Silkstone

#Memoir D.G. Kaye, #Childrens Pamela S. Wight, #Memoir Pete Springer

#Childrens Nicholas C. Rossis, #Fantasy Vashti Quiroz Vega, #Writing Harmony Kent

#Blogging Anne R. Allen, #Thriller Mark Bierman, #Childrens #YA Robbie and Michael Cheadle

#Thriller Carol Balawyder, #Flashfiction Sarah Brentyn, #SciFi Richard Dee

#Thriller Jaye Marie, #Thriller J.P. McClean, #Contemporary Jessica Norrie

Food Therapy – #Honey -#Propolis – Thousands of Years of History and Health

Laughter Lines – June 9th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

Laughter Lines – June 11th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

More Humour from the Senior Team

Thank you very much for dropping and for your generous support, I hope that you will join me again next week..thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – #Italian Cookery with Silvia Todesco – Simply Delicious Tomato and Basil Salad


Welcome to the Italian Cookery column with Silvia Todesco, and this month a wonderfully vibrant fresh tomato salad.

Simply Delicious Tomato and Basil Salad

Hi everyone! Yes! It’s summer and many of you have some very sunny weather. Oh Lord, it seems impossible that even your appetite can be jeopardize by the extremely high temperatures!

Of course Italians have their ways to make you hungry even if you are hot 😉 and this salad is the perfect example of a light meal full of taste and vitamins and at the same time very refreshing: in other words, perfect as a light lunch or side dish. Not to mention that it’s so colorful and bright that it will light up your table and be perfect also as appetizer or side dish during a cook out! Grab some tomatoes, capers, green olives, red onions, fresh basil and Italian dressing, and your colorful salad is ready! For this recipe you don’t need quantities… just fill your plate with sliced tomatoes (better if the heirloom kind) as much as you want and decorate it with the other ingredients… I hope you will like it as much as I do!

Ingredients

  • ripe heirloom tomatoes
  • green olives (deprived of their water)
  • capers (deprived of their water)
  • fresh basil
  • sea salt to taste
  • olive oil to taste
  • a sprinkle of red wine vinegar
  • finely sliced red onion
  • optional: black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Wash the tomatoes, take away the stem and slice them 1/4″ thick.
  2. Arrange the tomatoes nicely in a dish, and spread on top the red onions first, then the capers, green olives, and basil.
  3. Dust with a pinch of sea salt (and black pepper if you’d like), sprinkle with red wine vinegar, “give it a round” of extravergin olive oil and serve it!

It’s impressive how such a simple dish it’s so delicious!

LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVE IT!

TIPS:

  • If you don’t like the idea of a vegetarian salad, you can pair this dish with hard boiled eggs or tuna in olive oil… it would turn even better!
  • This salad can be prepared all year long but of course it’s better if made during the tomatoes season… seasonal produce always have a better taste!

How about you? Do you have a favorite summer salad that you like to enjoy in the most hot days? Please, feel free to let me know you thoughts by leaving a comment… I really enjoy learning others tastes and recipes!

If you live in the QUAD CITIES AREA (Iowa, USA) you can order desserts from Silivia from her Italian Home Bakery

My thanks to Silvia for another delicious recipe, and it would be great if you would share your feedback and the post for others to enjoy and subscribe to Italian Goodness if you would like to receive a new recipe each week for free.

About Silvia Todesco

I’m Silvia, I come from Veneto Region (from Bassano del Grappa precisely, one hour by car far from Venice), and I moved to Iowa in 2011, because of my husband’s job necessities.

I’ve grown up watching my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my mother cooking for my family every day, searching carefully for ingredients and preparing fresh food. That was their way to show us how much they cared (and care) about us, and to carry on a tradition. I cannot recall a festivity without relatives everywhere and tons of delicious food to eat!

But my way was different I graduated with honors at the University of Law of Padua, and (obviously) I became a lawyer. As a professional, I used to work 14 hours a day, and, of course, the time I could dedicate to my family (and cooking) was almost none.

Then fate brought us here, and finally I’ve found myself. All my background came up, and I realized that taking care of my family is the most satisfying job I could do, especially because it entails cooking healthy and good food!

So I started to practice what I learned when I was young, and surprised myself in making all those meals that characterized my youth.

Integration in a new society is not easy, but it was nice for us to discover how much Italians are loved abroad! And since every new person we have met asked me if I was a good cook, and told me that they love Italian food, well, I decided to share my Italian cooking culture and recipes with you!

Of course, you won’t need to be an expert to follow my recipes! What I’m writing about is our daily menus- recipes made with simple and few ingredients, most of the time cheap and healthy (because the food is not processed).

Plus, considering my passion for cooking, I will also share with you new recipe I discovered in magazines, websites, or shared by friends, and in this case I will always describe you the origin of my posts objects.

In addition, I promise not only to write about Italian food, but especially to give suggestions related to where and how to find the right ingredients and tools you will need. I really hope that you will enjoy my tips!

Connect to Silvia

Website: Italian Goodness
Facebook: Italian Goodness Facebook
Instagram: Beauty and Four Kids
Twitter: @silviatodesco81
Pinterest: Silvia Todesco

You can find all the recipes for a four course Italian meal in this file and also Silvia’s monthly posts. Italian Cookery with Silvia Todesco

Thanks for dropping in and I hope you will enjoy making this simple but delicious summer recipe.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 10th – 16th May 2020 – Relationships, ABBA, Ink Fish, Italian Tomato Sauce, Books and Laughter


Welcome to the Smorgasbord Weekly round up with posts you might have missed during the week..

It has been a full house this week with our regular contributors D.G.Kaye, William Price King, Carol Taylor and Silvia Todesco making sure that we have plenty of food for thought about relationships, music to dance to, recipes using ingredients beginning with the letter ‘I’ and the way you should be making the classic Italian tomato sauce.

We are seeing a lifting of some of the restrictions from Monday here in Ireland with bubbles of four people allowed to mingle, DIY and Garden Centres opened (I will wait a week until they get over their first rush of customers) and an extended exercise range of 5k. The Irish government are taking a very cautious approach and making adjustments every two weeks so that they can monitor the impact of lifting restrictions piecemeal.

Our tourist industry that welcomes 9 million visitors a year will be taking a hit of around 5 billion Euro as they face a two week guarantine period when they arrive. Restaurants, cafes and pubs are going to be the last to be opened which also means local communities will be struggling, and some businesses may never open again.

I am sure that countries will recover, but the world as we knew it is going to be changed dramatically, especially in regard to working environments and world travel.

I hope that wherever you are, and whatever your particular government is doing with regard to restrictions, that you will continue to take care when out.

Just a reminder that the new series of the Health Column – Project 101 – Resilience starts on Tuesday. I will be looking at the small changes we who are over 65 can make in both diet and lifestyle to improve our resilience to opportunistic pathogens that cross our paths. This includes addressing the key issues that have been identified at putting us at greater risk of not surviving being infected. Being 67 has made me conscious of the areas that I need to address and I have been working on these over the last nine weeks and I hope you will find them helpful.  I promise there will be some fun involved…

Now time for posts from the week.. and thank you for all your support, it is much appreciated.

D. G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships – Forming Healthy Relationships – What’s Inside the Box?

William Price King – ABBA – Part Three – Mid-1970s

Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food – ‘I’ is for Icing, Ink Fish, Indian Black Salt, Infusing Immortalittea and Irish Stew…

Italian tomatoes sauce: the truth about “Marinara”

Part Six – Malta and the Far East 1946

How the Stable was Built 1936

Adventures in the USA – 1985 – Easter in New Orleans

Tales from the Garden – The Guardians

Etheree – Advancing Years

Drought Spain

UFOs at Sunset

Apricot, Fruit, Power, Apricot, Apricot

Apricots – no honeymoon should be without Them!

#Scifi Richard Dee, #Romance Ritu Bhathal, #Thriller Carol Balawyder

#Childrens Deanie Humphrys Dunne, #Vietnam Chuck Jackson, #Dystopian Sandra J. Jackson

#Thriller S. Burke, #Mystery Lizzie Chantree, #Shortstories Anne Goodwin

#WWII – While the Bombs Fell by Robbie Cheadle and Elsie Hancy Eaton

#Memoir – My Ideal Partner by Abbie Johnson Taylor

#Memoir- My Gentle War by Joy Lennick

#SciFi – The Godsend: Innerscape: Book Two by A.C. Flory

#YAFantasy – The Curse of Time : Book One – Bloodstone by M.J. Mallon

Afghanistan – No More Mulberries by Mary Smith.. on offer this weekend 99p/99c

May 12th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

May 14th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

More seclusion humour from the senior team

Thank you very much for dropping by today and I hope you will join us again next week.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Italian Cookery with Silvia Todesco – Italian tomatoes sauce: the truth about “Marinara”


Welcome to the Italian Cookery column with Silvia Todesco, and this month one of the classic Italian sauces that always tastes so much better when cooked from scratch instead of out of a jar.

Italian tomatoes sauce: the truth about “Marinara”

Tomatoes sauce is one of the main popular Italian’s “food” all around the world. And I believe the reason of that is because you can use the “Italian Tomatoes sauce” as important ingredients to make many Italian recipes, as for Italian Spaghetti, Italian Cannelloni, Italian Parmigiana, Tomatoes and Salsiccia sauce pasta, Amatriciana , Italian Meatballs, pasta alla pizzaiola, and so on.

The curious thing about Italian tomatoes sauce is that it is not a simple tomatoes puree, but there is a precise method to make it, that of course can slightly change from family to family (for example some Italians use sugar in their tomatoes sauce), but that most of the time requires, besides canned tomatoes, also garlic, onion, rosemary, nutmeg, pepper (or red pepper) and basil. At this point I should precise that in the past it was very common (also for my mom) to prepare the “tomatoes puree” at home, at the end of the summer, with home harvested tomatoes. I remember all the countless hours that took to my mom for cleaning the tomatoes, depriving from the skin and seed, cooking, pureeing and then canning. Nowadays even in Italy it is less common to find homemade canned tomatoes, but the one you buy already canned, still allows to get a decent sauce.

When I moved here in Midwest I got a bit confused from some American friends that insisted to have my secret “Marinara sauce”, which honestly at the time I had no idea what it was, and only after I found out that Americans call “Marinara” what for Italians is just regular “tomatoes sauce”. And be aware that if you take a trip to Italy and order a “pasta with Marinara Sauce” (Marinara means “related to the sea”) you will likely get a Sea Food pasta!

But going back to this basic Italian recipe, learning how to make it is very easy and once you’ll mastered it, you’ll be able to prepare a lot of other delicious meals!

Ingredients for 6-8 servings

  • 2 cans plain tomatoes sauce (please, free of any dressing)
  • 5 tbs. virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium sized white onion (or 1 small sized white onion)
  • 2 big cloves or garlic (deprived of the stem)
  • 1 rosemary spring (or 2 tsp. dried rosemary)
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 basil leaf (or 1 tsp. dried basil)
  • 1 pinch black pepper (or crushed red pepper)

Directions

In a sauce pan, heat at medium heat about 3 tbs. virgin olive oil, the garlic cloves cut in four, the rosemary spring and the finely chopped onion.

Sauté the onion until changes color and becomes “translucent” stirring time to time. It may take 5-8 minutes. Never leave the stove during this phase because you don’t want to burn the onion. When the onion looks ready, add the canned tomatoes sauce, the pepper, the basil, the nut meg and let the tomatoes sauce reach the boil.

Once the sauce is boiling, switch at low heat, cover the pot with a lid and let it cook for about 30 minutes. The sauce should never loose the boiling point, but cook slowly without getting a burned bottom. Finally, add 2 more tbs. of olive oil, stir gently, and use the sauce to dress your spaghetti or to complete any other recipe you could have in mind. Sounds incredible but spaghetti dressed with this easy tomatoes sauce, tastes just amazing!

I shall admit that I LOVE eat the tomatoes sauce just like that in a warm slice of fresh baked baguette

or as a scrummy deep for Italian meatballs.. YUM!

As simple as it is, as extraordinary good as it is!

LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

TIPS: – When it’s time to buy the canned tomatoes sauce, please avoid those that pretend to be somehow “Italian” and are already flavored. Buy the regular plain tomatoes sauce;

– If you don’t mind the idea of a hint of spicy in your sauce, substitute the black pepper with a couple of tsp. of crushed red peppers;

– It’s very important to cook the sauce patiently at low heat, otherwise it will get too dry (if not burnt) and would keep a taste of “row tomatoes” and for sure we don’t want that!

– Once cooked you can freeze the sauce and thaw right before using it!

If you live in the QUAD CITIES AREA (Iowa, USA) you can order desserts from Silivia from her Italian Home Bakery

My thanks to Silvia for another delicious recipe, and it would be great if you would share your feedback and the post for others to enjoy and subscribe to Italian Goodness if you would like to receive a new recipe each week for free.

About Silvia Todesco

I’m Silvia, I come from Veneto Region (from Bassano del Grappa precisely, one hour by car far from Venice), and I moved to Iowa in 2011, because of my husband’s job necessities.

I’ve grown up watching my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my mother cooking for my family every day, searching carefully for ingredients and preparing fresh food. That was their way to show us how much they cared (and care) about us, and to carry on a tradition. I cannot recall a festivity without relatives everywhere and tons of delicious food to eat!

But my way was different I graduated with honors at the University of Law of Padua, and (obviously) I became a lawyer. As a professional, I used to work 14 hours a day, and, of course, the time I could dedicate to my family (and cooking) was almost none.

Then fate brought us here, and finally I’ve found myself. All my background came up, and I realized that taking care of my family is the most satisfying job I could do, especially because it entails cooking healthy and good food!

So I started to practice what I learned when I was young, and surprised myself in making all those meals that characterized my youth.

Integration in a new society is not easy, but it was nice for us to discover how much Italians are loved abroad! And since every new person we have met asked me if I was a good cook, and told me that they love Italian food, well, I decided to share my Italian cooking culture and recipes with you!

Of course, you won’t need to be an expert to follow my recipes! What I’m writing about is our daily menus- recipes made with simple and few ingredients, most of the time cheap and healthy (because the food is not processed).

Plus, considering my passion for cooking, I will also share with you new recipe I discovered in magazines, websites, or shared by friends, and in this case I will always describe you the origin of my posts objects.

In addition, I promise not only to write about Italian food, but especially to give suggestions related to where and how to find the right ingredients and tools you will need. I really hope that you will enjoy my tips!

Connect to Silvia

Website: Italian Goodness
Facebook: Italian Goodness Facebook
Instagram: Beauty and Four Kids
Twitter: @silviatodesco81
Pinterest: Silvia Todesco

You can find all the recipes for a four course Italian meal in this file and also Silvia’s monthly posts. Italian Cookery with Silvia Todesco

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – April 12th -18th – Relationships, ABBA, Guacamole, Pasta, Guests, Poetry and Funnies.


Welcome to the Smorgasbord weekly round up with posts that you might have missed.

I hope you are all doing okay and that family and friends are doing well also. It has reached that critical mass in the pandemic, that it  is more likely you will know someone who has been infected with Covid-19, and it the case with us with friends in America and Spain. Thankfully recovered, but still very concerning, when all you can do is offer platitudes rather than practical help.

Being over 65 here in Ireland as far as the supermarkets is concerned, puts you in the elderly and vulnerable category, and it is certainly less stressful shopping in the designated time slots. It is tough though to accept that is how you are perceived, despite being active and in good health.  I know it is for our own benefit, but I have to make sure that fear does not drift into the rest of my activities.

Despite physical changes to our bodies, how we feel inside is unlikely to have changed dramatically since our mid-20s. Our thoughts and emotions may have matured to achieve balance, but that does not change our fundamental personality. If we did not look in the mirror, our perception of ourselves is largely based on how we feel and think, and it is important that the label that has been given us during this crisis, does not take away our independence or freedom to undertake new  adventures in the future.

I will admit that right now going through an airport, getting on a plane and mingling with thousands of strangers is not top of my wish list, but I hope that over time, I will still spread my own wings and live as I have always lived, seeking new places, people to meet and stimulating experiences.

In the meantime we have a lot to be grateful for with the Internet, so that even from my office chair, I can reach out around the world and touch base with you from the safety of my own comfort zone. I realised the importance of the world wide web before this pandemic, but now treasure it beyond belief, as I am sure you all do.

Anyway, around here things are operating as usual, and my thanks as always to the contributors for keeping their wonderful posts coming and to you for your continued support.

And despite the lock down…a little bit of a celebration as the blog passed 1 million views since October 2013 this week.

Here are the posts from the week that you might have missed.

Part two of the Easter Parade with flashback photos and music from D.G. Kaye, Robbie Cheadle, John Howell, Miriam Hurdle and Mary Smith

D. G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships – Know when it’s time to go – When giving becomes one-sided

The Music Column with William Price King – ABBA – Part One -Meet the Group. Posted on April 14, 2020 by Smorgasbord – Variety is the Spice of Life.

Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food -‘G’ for Ginger, Garlic, Guacamole, Goosefat and Gribige…

Butternut squash and porcini pasta

Italian Cookery with Silvia Todesco – Butternut squash and porcini mushrooms noodles. Different. Fast. Easy. Delicious

Memoir – Life on the Ocean Wave – Chapter Two – Royal Navy Training -1936 and two encounters with the King and HMS Nelson by Eric Coleman

#Memoir #Waterford #Ireland 1920s – The Colour of Life – My Grandfather’s Story 1930 by Geoff Cronin

Letters from America 1985-1987 – Adventures in the USA – Homesickness, First Dinner Party, Huntsville State Park

Western Romance Thundertree by Sandra Cox

Double Etheree – Sunflower Seeds

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore Special – #Non-Fiction – #Anthology – #Pre-Order May 1st – Deep Down & Dirty Writing Secrets: : A Treasure Trove of Writing Tips

#Thriller Paulette Mahurin, #Memoir Marian Longenecker Beaman, #Fantasy #Western Jean Lee

#Mystery Judy Penz Sheluk, #Dystopian Teri Polen, #Writing Denise O’Hagan

-#Thriller Mark Bierman, #PsychologicalThriller Lucinda E. Clarke, #Dystopian Alex Craigie

How a novel is born: “Love of a Stonemason” by Christa Polkinhorn

Friendships – Online and Otherwise by D.G. Kaye

Adding Real Life Issues In Our Novels #DiabetesSucks by Jacquie Biggar

Remembering my Frugal Mother by Sharon Marchisello

#Convents: the Religious Life of Medieval Women by Patricia Furstenberg

Food Therapy – Green Tea – One small leaf with terrific health benefits

More funnies from D.G. Kaye and a joke or two from Sally.

More funnies from D.G. Kaye and a joke or two from Sally.

Thank you for visiting and your support.. stay safe and look forward to seeing you again next week.. Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Italian Cookery with Silvia Todesco – Butternut squash and porcini mushrooms noodles. Different. Fast. Easy. Delicious


Welcome to the Italian Cookery column with Silvia Todesco, and this month an easy and delicious pasta dish which I am sure all the family will enjoy.

Butternut squash and porcini mushrooms noodles. Different. Fast. Easy. Delicious

Butternut squash and porcini pasta

Today I would like to share with you the recipe of a super easy and fast pasta recipe, that my family enjoys very much and that is typical in fall and winter in the Alps area where porcini mushrooms are very popular and appreciated. Here in Mid-west porcini are impossible to be found fresh, but the dried ones, if soaked in warm water for a little time, can substitute the fresh ones quite fine.

Porcini mushrooms and pumpkin are two ingredients that get along very well together, and that I like to use also to prepare my favorite soup and favorite risotto. So if you’d like to try a vegetarian noodles recipe that can be prepared in 30 minutes and tastes delicious, follow the directions below!

4 servings ingredients

  • 1 pack or 60 gr. dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1/2 medium sized butternut squash peeled and chopped in small cubes
  • 1/2 medium sized white onion
  • 4 tsp. rosmary (better if fresh)
  • 1 cloves garlic
  • about 2+3 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. sage
  • pepper to taste
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 package or 1 lb. noodles or tagliatelle

Directions

First, soak the dried porcini in a cup of warm water for at least 15 minutes, or follow the packaging directions if different. Take away the butternut squash skin and seeds and chop in very thin cubes. Cut the onion very thin. Peel the garlic and take away its “stem”.

Drain the mushrooms, but keep some of the water used to soak them. Strain it through a fine mesh sieve or even coffee filter to avoid sand. If some mushrooms looks too big in size, feel free to cut them in two with a kitchen scissors. Heat a big pot of salted water where you will cook the noodles (or the other kind of pasta you picked) as soon as the water will start boiling, rigorously the Italian way ;-).

In a skillet heat 2 tbs. of olive oil, then add garlic, rosemary and the chopped onion and cook them until the onion becomes translucent (be careful not to burn). At this point, add the porcini, a pinch of sea salt and 1 tsp. nutmeg. Let the mushrooms cook for about ten minutes at medium heat, being careful not to burn them, stirring once in a while. You’ll know they are cooked once they become tender.


In the meanwhile, in a pan, add 3 tbs. olive oil and when the oil gets hot, add the chopped butternut squash, 2 tsp. rosemary, 1 tbs. sage, and a pinch of sea salt and cook until becomes brownish and tender. It would take about ten to fifteen minutes at medium heat, stirring occasionally, and always be careful not to burn.


Now that mushrooms and squash are cooked, move the mushrooms into the squash skillet. Probably the noodles will be cooked, so dry those very well in a colander, then toss it into the mushrooms and squash dressing, mix it very well and serve still warm.

LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

TIPS: – usually noodles are very fast to get cooked, so if you feel a little nervous with this recipe, I would suggest to prepare first the two “dressings”, and then the noodles.

If you live in the QUAD CITIES AREA (Iowa, USA) you can order desserts from Silivia from her Italian Home Bakery

My thanks to Silvia for another delicious recipe, and it would be great if you would share your feedback and the post for others to enjoy and subscribe to Italian Goodness if you would like to receive a new recipe each week for free.

About Silvia Todesco

I’m Silvia, I come from Veneto Region (from Bassano del Grappa precisely, one hour by car far from Venice), and I moved to Iowa in 2011, because of my husband’s job necessities.

I’ve grown up watching my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my mother cooking for my family every day, searching carefully for ingredients and preparing fresh food. That was their way to show us how much they cared (and care) about us, and to carry on a tradition. I cannot recall a festivity without relatives everywhere and tons of delicious food to eat!

But my way was different I graduated with honors at the University of Law of Padua, and (obviously) I became a lawyer. As a professional, I used to work 14 hours a day, and, of course, the time I could dedicate to my family (and cooking) was almost none.

Then fate brought us here, and finally I’ve found myself. All my background came up, and I realized that taking care of my family is the most satisfying job I could do, especially because it entails cooking healthy and good food!

So I started to practice what I learned when I was young, and surprised myself in making all those meals that characterized my youth.

Integration in a new society is not easy, but it was nice for us to discover how much Italians are loved abroad! And since every new person we have met asked me if I was a good cook, and told me that they love Italian food, well, I decided to share my Italian cooking culture and recipes with you!

Of course, you won’t need to be an expert to follow my recipes! What I’m writing about is our daily menus- recipes made with simple and few ingredients, most of the time cheap and healthy (because the food is not processed).

Plus, considering my passion for cooking, I will also share with you new recipe I discovered in magazines, websites, or shared by friends, and in this case I will always describe you the origin of my posts objects.

In addition, I promise not only to write about Italian food, but especially to give suggestions related to where and how to find the right ingredients and tools you will need. I really hope that you will enjoy my tips!

Connect to Silvia

Website: Italian Goodness
Facebook: Italian Goodness Facebook
Instagram: Beauty and Four Kids
Twitter: @silviatodesco81
Pinterest: Silvia Todesco

You can find all the recipes for a four course Italian meal in this file and also Silvia’s monthly posts. Italian Cookery with Silvia Todesco

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – March 8th – 14th 2020 – Elephant Ears, Crispy Chicken, Funny Girl, Music, Guests, Books and Humour


Welcome to the Smorgasbord weekly round up with posts that you might have missed.

A tough week for everyone and even more difficult if you have family and friends who might be in the middle of the worst infection rates of the Coronavirus pandemic. Whilst we have been used to being in an isolated environment and with only two of us to worry about, my heart goes out to young families coping with not only making sure they have food to put on the table and other essentials, but with the childcare dilemma that they have to manage.

I also think that the healthcare staff who are exposed to the virus on a daily basis and who are working extra shifts to care for those infected should be recognised as being angels. Many of them are being infected themselves, and being overworked and probably not taking care of themselves as much as they should, they are at far greater risk than we are.

Also the staff in the supermarkets and pharmacies that are open and serving thousands of customers going through the checkouts. They have recommended that people use contactless cards, but they have a limit which is not sufficient for most weekly shops.

The keypads of ATMs and card machines are potential contagion sites and I have been using a sticking plaster on my index finger that I use to type in my PIN number and then carefully disposing of it in the nearest bin.

When I do the one shop a week now I am wearing latex gloves and peeling them off after shopping. Obviously there is a great deal of hand washing following any kind of outside contact.

We are slightly behind the rest of Europe here in Ireland, with new cases everyday but most associated with travel, or close contact with others on their return. All the schools, colleges and nurseries are shut until March 29th, and large gatherings, such as the renowned St. Patrick Day parades have been cancelled.

I hope that wherever you are that you are safe, supported and if you are on your own or worried and need to chat then please reach out and email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com… I may not physically be able to help, but very happy to support in anyway I can.

A note with regard to the Cafe and Bookstore…If you have a new book out in the next four weeks either on pre-order or available then please let me know. I am working a week ahead at the moment as I get on with my own projects, but I don’t want to miss helping launch your books.  All I need is the title of the book and the link on Amazon.

If you are new to the Cafe and Bookstore you will find all the details on how to get your FREE book promotion up and running: Cafe and Bookstore Free Author Promotion

Time to get on with the posts from the week…. I hope you enjoy.

Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food – ‘E’ for Egg Plant, Escargot, Elephant Ears and many more Eezee recipes and foods

Italian Cookery with Silvia Todesco – How to make crunchy Chicken Drumsticks

Romance – Marriage Unarranged by Ritu Bhathal

Another two stories from this collection

Sonia – In Search of Prince Charming

Theresa – The Checkout

Colleen Chesebro Tanka Tuesday Poetry No 168 – Shadorma – Memories

Butterfly Cinquain – Creatures of the Night – Sally Cronin

Don’t Rain on My Parade – Funny Girl

My Name is Danny – Tales from Danny the Dog – Andrew Joyce

Pre-Order for March 18th – Frozen Stiff Drink: A Kellan Ayrwick Cozy Mystery (Braxton Campus Mysteries Book 6) by James J. Cudney

Thriller Yigal Zur, War Romance Marina Osipova, Mystery Amy M. Reade

Family Christa Polkinhorn, Contemporary Jessica Norrie, Memoir J.E. Pinto

Paranormal Mae Clair, YA Darlene Foster, #Supernatural Don Massenzio

child-3147809__340

Poetry Borrow My Place by Miriam Ivarson

Promoting Literacy – Pete Springer

Poetry – Earth and Sky by Balroop Singh

Chinese Style Tea Pot

A tale of Two Tea Pots by Tasker Dunham

Memoir – Another chapter from my life book: Dodgy Guests, Ms. Groves & ‘Dr. Strangeglove’ by Joy Lennick

Food Therapy – The Exotic Carrot

Book recommendation Claire Fullerton, Freelance Nicholas Rossis, Flash Fiction Charli Mills

IWD Willow Willers, Retirement Jim Borden, Colcannon New Vintage Kitchen

More funnies from D. G. Kaye and some new material from Sally

Comedian in Residence D.G. Kaye and some new material from Sally

On Friday due to a senior moment you got two videos for the price of one…..

Thank you so much for dropping in today.. stay safe and I hope you will pop in again next week. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Italian Cookery with Silvia Todesco – How to make baked crunchy chicken drumsticks.


This month Silvia Todesco shares an easy to follow crowd pleaser that will have your family delighted.

How to make baked crunchy chicken drumsticks.

Some time ago a friend of mine confessed that she has given up trying to make baked chicken drumsticks because every single time they turned out disgustingly tender and kinda steamed. Yet, I told her: “Baking crunchy drumstick is possible“! Yes, I mean, without frying the chicken and by following few simples rules you can prepare a healthy, low fat, easy and appealing meal which basically bakes itself without too much of your involvement. And honesty, especially at the beginning of the year, with all the good resolutions about eating clean, it doesn’t waste to find a new ” favorite healthy family recipe” to be added to the food plan of the week.

This chicken drum sticks recipe is based on a few constants:

  • Make sure the drumsticks are completely thawed: it happens often that even if you bought them from the store refrigerator, the drumsticks are still frozen (or have a lot of ice around). If you don’t thaw the drumsticks before baking, you will obtain steamed chicken.
    the oven temperature has to be very high. I mean 440 F.
  • Bake in “convection” mode.
  • You don’t have to be in a rush. You can reach the crunchiness only if you bake for at least one hour.
  • Coarse salt is the secret ingredient to get that crunchy and tasty layer around the drumstick.
  • Use a very big glass oven pan: the drumsticks don’t have to touch each other, otherwise the meat will stay soft right were they touched one another.

Ingredients

(I eyeball the ingredients according to the number of drumsticks I’m making)

  • chicken drumsticks
  • virgin olive oil
  • sage leaves
  • garlic
  • rosemary leaves
  • coarse salt

Directions

In a bowl rub lightly each chicken drumstick with virgin olive oil and then sprinkle with chopped sage and rosemary, and few garlic cloves very finely cut.

Arrange the drumsticks in a glass baking pan making sure each drumstick doesn’t touch one another, and dust both sides with coarse salt.

Bake at 440 F. for 30 minutes. Then, take the pan out of the oven, flip the drumsticks upside down, and let cook for another 30 minutes. See the crunchy layer all around I was talking about?

Your family members, children in particular, will looooooove this recipe!

LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

Tips: – Of course my daughters prefer to side the chicken with chips or fries (so it gets no healthy no more), but this meal can be totally lean, healthy, high protein and good for you. Just remember to side it with some veggie and fruit.

If you live in the QUAD CITIES AREA (Iowa, USA) you can order desserts from Silivia from her Italian Home Bakery

My thanks to Silvia for another delicious recipe, and it would be great if you would share your feedback and the post for others to enjoy and subscribe to Italian Goodness if you would like to receive a new recipe each week for free.

About Silvia Todesco

I’m Silvia, I come from Veneto Region (from Bassano del Grappa precisely, one hour by car far from Venice), and I moved to Iowa in 2011, because of my husband’s job necessities.

I’ve grown up watching my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my mother cooking for my family every day, searching carefully for ingredients and preparing fresh food. That was their way to show us how much they cared (and care) about us, and to carry on a tradition. I cannot recall a festivity without relatives everywhere and tons of delicious food to eat!

But my way was different I graduated with honors at the University of Law of Padua, and (obviously) I became a lawyer. As a professional, I used to work 14 hours a day, and, of course, the time I could dedicate to my family (and cooking) was almost none.

Then fate brought us here, and finally I’ve found myself. All my background came up, and I realized that taking care of my family is the most satisfying job I could do, especially because it entails cooking healthy and good food!

So I started to practice what I learned when I was young, and surprised myself in making all those meals that characterized my youth.

Integration in a new society is not easy, but it was nice for us to discover how much Italians are loved abroad! And since every new person we have met asked me if I was a good cook, and told me that they love Italian food, well, I decided to share my Italian cooking culture and recipes with you!

Of course, you won’t need to be an expert to follow my recipes! What I’m writing about is our daily menus- recipes made with simple and few ingredients, most of the time cheap and healthy (because the food is not processed).

Plus, considering my passion for cooking, I will also share with you new recipe I discovered in magazines, websites, or shared by friends, and in this case I will always describe you the origin of my posts objects.

In addition, I promise not only to write about Italian food, but especially to give suggestions related to where and how to find the right ingredients and tools you will need. I really hope that you will enjoy my tips!

Connect to Silvia

Website: Italian Goodness
Facebook: Italian Goodness Facebook
Instagram: Beauty and Four Kids
Twitter: @silviatodesco81
Pinterest: Silvia Todesco

You can find all the recipes for a four course Italian meal in this file and also Silvia’s monthly posts. Italian Cookery with Silvia Todesco

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 2nd – 8th February 2020 – Jazz, Italian Valentines appetizer, Guests, Books, Reviews and Funnies


Welcome to a round up of posts from the week on Smorgasbord that you might have missed.

I hope you have had a good week. Weather wise some sunny days with a promise of spring, but this weekend we are expecting storm Ciara to hit by lunchtime but we have got used to gale force winds this winter and fingers crossed they have passed through without too much damage. The same cannot be said of the west coast which gets the brunt of the weather when it hits from the Atlantic. We don’t plan to go anywhere and will be breaking out the movies.

Anyway hopefully these posts will brighten your day….

As always my gratitude for the wonderful posts written by the regular contributors and guests and to you for dropping by and supporting the blog.

William Price King with Grammy Winning Ramsey Lewis

This month a mouth watering appetizer perfect for Valentines Day created by Silvia Todesco.

Puff Pastry and Bacon hearts

Heart shaped puff pastry stuffed with bacon – Appetizer for Valentines Day

Robbie Cheadle shares the condition OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), her observations in those that suffer from OCD and how it has influenced her writing.

How interacting with OCD sufferers has influence Robbie Cheadles Writing

This week it is the turn of Amino Acids and how to ensure that you are eating the foods that promote a healthy balance in the body. This is a little less straightforward than the other nutrients, as most of the amino acids we need are manufactured in the liver. So this requires a shopping list to include the foods this organ needs to be healthy.

Part Five of the Shopping List by Nutrient – Amino Acids

Two more stories from the collection.

Isobel – Hiding in Plain Sight

Jack a VIP Visitor

This week for Colleen Chesebro Tanka Tuesday Poetry No 163 – Poet’s Choice we can decide our own format and theme. I have written a Butterfly Cinquain

Colleen Chesebro Tanka Tuesday Poetry No 163 – Poet’s Choice

Witch Way and Other Ambiguous Stories by Cathy Cade

Secrets of the Galapagos by Sharon Marchisello

Be My Valencrime (The Juniper Junction Holiday Mystery Series Book 3 by Amy M. Reade

The Player (Men of Warhawks Book 2) by Jacquie Biggar

Dumfries Mary Smith, Gardens Cynthia S. Reyes, Contemporary Jessica Norrie

Memoir Joy Lennick, Memoir Marian Longenecker Beaman, YA fantasy Jean Lee

Paranormal Marcia Meara, Thriller J.P. Mclean, Romance Ruth Larrea

This is the first post by author P.C. Zick and it is one that is both emotive and thought provoking. Patricia shares her own experience of PTSD, and that of a couple who she met who wanted their story told about their own traumatic experience.

PTSD its a real and present danger by P.C. Zick

This is the second post by Elizabeth Gauffreau and shares the trip she made to Vermont to share her book Telling Sonny with the P.E.O International Organisation, and to reconnect to the very special ties she has to the P.E.O through her grandmother.

Trip to Vermont connecting with the PEO Sisterhood by Elizabeth Gauffreau

Haiku Hound – Climate Change

When Stars Will Shine Anthology by Jane Risdon

Can we be replaced by AI.. by Jan Sikes

Poetry Colleen M. Chesebro, Mexico & Travel Insurance D.G. Kaye, profile photos Scott McCormick

Lifestyle Toni Pike, Blogging Pete Springer, Phone Safety ACFlory, Language Sue Vincent

Blogging Brigid Gallagher, Art Emma Cownie, Thailand Deventuretime

Swearing Alison Williams, Bread Irene Arita, Kookaburras Cindy Knoke

Hugh W. Roberts

Photos Hugh Roberts, Olive Oil Cake Eat Dessert First, Millennials Nicholas Rossis

Comedian in Residence and some jokes from Sally

More funnies from D. G. Kaye and some new material from Sally

Thanks for visiting this week and I hope you have enjoyed…have a great weekend and see you again I hope.. Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Italian Cookery with Silvia Todesco – Hearts shaped Puff pastry stuffed with bacon: be ready for Valentine’s Day appetizer!


This month, and just in time for Valentine’s Day, Silvia Todesco shares a wonderful appetizer that should make your special dinner sizzle.

Hearts shaped Puff pastry stuffed with bacon

Puff Pastry and Bacon hearts

Just over a week until VALENTINE’S DAY! Although many of us who have found our “other half” also have kids (and may not be able to go out for dinner on Valentine’s Day), we should not give up on celebrating!

This month I would like to propose to you a recipe for a very tasty and elegant appetizer, ideal for celebrating the “day of love” at home with our family! But before I go ahead, let me just inform you that VALENTINE’S DAY is a celebration followed also in Italy, exactly the same day as yours: February 14th. And I would like to add that, in Italy, perhaps just to find the way to make more money (for restaurateurs and other businesses who cater to such holidays) they introduced another festivity, on February 15th, where they celebrate “SINGLES”! So each “free” person goes out to parties organized just to celebrate their being alone, or maybe to find their soul-mate… Do you celebrate Singles too? Well whether you are single or in a relationship, you will fall in LOVE with this recipe!!!

Ingredients for 4 servings (about 15 hearts)

  • 1 thawed puff pastry sheet (1 foglio di pasta sfoglia)
  • 2-3 tbs rosemary (dry or fresh) (2-3 cucchiai di rosmarino)
  • 2-3 tbs parmesan cheese (2-3 cucchiai di grana
  • 1 beaten egg (uovo sbattuto)
  • 8-10 slices of bacon (8-10 fette di pancetta affumicata)

Directions

Pre-heat your oven to 400 F. (250 C.). Lay the puff pastry sheet on a baking paper, and brush on some of the beaten egg (you will need more of it in the next steps). Then sprinkle the rosemary, and then the parmesan.

Arrange the slides of bacon on the top, as regularly as you can.

IMG_1604

Fold one side of the puff pastry toward the middle, and then do the same for the other side creating 2 equal halves.

Apply to the top some more beaten egg, and then fold the two sides together, as shown in the picture.

Brush the rest of the beaten egg on the outside of your loaf, and then cut it in slices about 1/2 inch wide.(Since the pastry will be very sticky at this point, I usually use a kitchen scissors, or a very sharp knife to cut it).

IMG_1606

Arrange the obtained hearts on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.  Bake for about 20 minutes on the middle rack of your oven.

Enjoy your appetizer while still warm!

IMG_1611

LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

Tips: – This appetizer is absolutely delicious, fancy, and simple to prepare, so I would make it any time I have some guests to impress!

– If you know that you will not have time enough for preparing the hearts at dinner time, you can also make them during the day, and keep them refrigerated, and bake them at the very last minute.

– Since they are made with puff pastry, these appetizer have to be eaten immediately, and are not ideal as leftovers.

– According to my experience, kids love this food (who doesn’t love bacon?!?) so don’t hesitate to make them happy with this fun Valentine treat!

If you live in the QUAD CITIES AREA (Iowa, USA) you can order desserts from Silivia from her Italian Home Bakery

My thanks to Silvia for another delicious recipe, and it would be great if you would share your feedback and the post for others to enjoy and subscribe to Italian Goodness if you would like to receive a new recipe each week for free.

About Silvia Todesco

I’m Silvia, I come from Veneto Region (from Bassano del Grappa precisely, one hour by car far from Venice), and I moved to Iowa in 2011, because of my husband’s job necessities.

I’ve grown up watching my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my mother cooking for my family every day, searching carefully for ingredients and preparing fresh food. That was their way to show us how much they cared (and care) about us, and to carry on a tradition. I cannot recall a festivity without relatives everywhere and tons of delicious food to eat!

But my way was different I graduated with honors at the University of Law of Padua, and (obviously) I became a lawyer. As a professional, I used to work 14 hours a day, and, of course, the time I could dedicate to my family (and cooking) was almost none.

Then fate brought us here, and finally I’ve found myself. All my background came up, and I realized that taking care of my family is the most satisfying job I could do, especially because it entails cooking healthy and good food!

So I started to practice what I learned when I was young, and surprised myself in making all those meals that characterized my youth.

Integration in a new society is not easy, but it was nice for us to discover how much Italians are loved abroad! And since every new person we have met asked me if I was a good cook, and told me that they love Italian food, well, I decided to share my Italian cooking culture and recipes with you!

Of course, you won’t need to be an expert to follow my recipes! What I’m writing about is our daily menus- recipes made with simple and few ingredients, most of the time cheap and healthy (because the food is not processed).

Plus, considering my passion for cooking, I will also share with you new recipe I discovered in magazines, websites, or shared by friends, and in this case I will always describe you the origin of my posts objects.

In addition, I promise not only to write about Italian food, but especially to give suggestions related to where and how to find the right ingredients and tools you will need. I really hope that you will enjoy my tips!

Connect to Silvia

Website: Italian Goodness
Facebook: Italian Goodness Facebook
Instagram: Beauty and Four Kids
Twitter: @silviatodesco81
Pinterest: Silvia Todesco

You can find all the recipes for a four course Italian meal in this file and also Silvia’s monthly posts. https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/italian-cookery-with-silvia-todesco/

Thanks again for dropping by and as always your feedback and sharing of the post is very appreciated. Sally and Silvia