Showing posts with label religion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label religion. Show all posts

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Traditional Sicilian Easter Cookies - Cuddura

Happy Easter!!! I would like to wish you and all your loved ones a Blessed and Peaceful Easter. Yesterday we made these Sicilian Easter Cookies which originated in Sicily but are made all throughout the south of Italy and are called Cuddura even though the name changes slightly with the different dialects of the southern regions.  

In the olden days, no meat, eggs or dairy were consumed during lent therefore when Easter came around all of the traditional desserts and dishes were very rich.  These cookies were made on the Saturday before Easter and brought to church to be blessed before giving them away to loved ones as an Easter offering.  Young ladies typically gifted their sweetheart with a cuddura in the shape of a heart as a sign of affection. How cute is that? I feel like everything is so different now a days and so much more complicated.  I guess I'm just too old fashioned... Now it's like you never know what to buy someone because everything is so accessible through online shopping and malls etc. Back in the day all it took was a cookie made with love to  let your sweetheart know that you were interested in him or her. 

Ingredients for the dough:

 - 600 grams of all purpose flour
 - 200 grams of butter
 - zest from one fresh lemon
 - 4 large eggs
 - 200 grams of sugar
 - 1 teaspoon of baking powder
 - pinch of vanilla extract

Mix all of the ingredients,  cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Prepare your hard boiled eggs ahead of time and let them cool. You can color them if you want or leave them as they are. I colored mine but since they were brown eggs the colors weren't as bright as I wanted them but they turned out fine all the same. 

The technique is pretty self explanatory so I'll leave you with the pictures so you can see what I did. 

After you roll your braid in a circle to place the egg on, you proceed to make a cross on top of the egg to hold it in place. 

Now brush a little egg white on top and add your favorite topping, sprinkles, chocolate chips, confetti, whatever you like. 

Now you're ready to bake in a preheated oven at 200°c for 35 - 40 minutes. 

This is my Easter offering to You :-)

Happy Easter my friends!

When our faith 

stands at the grave,
for a stone that's rolled away,
forgive us.

When our faith
is short of
though the truth is there to see,
forgive us.

When our faith,
beset by doubt, sees
no further
than an empty tomb today,
forgive us.

Bring to mind 
the cry of Mary,
‘I have seen the Lord!'
and grant us faith to believe!

God Bless, 


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Quick Malm Dresser Makeover & Sunday Thoughts

Hello dear ones, it's been a while since I've written because until recently I haven't had much inspiration honestly.  I've been keeping myself busy with work and have had lots on my mind.  The Holidays are VERY QUICKLY (like wayyyy too quickly) approaching and it's a stressful time of year for me as I'm sure it is for many. Christmas is my favorite Holiday by far but unfortunately it's been a while since I had a pleasant Christmas holiday. Sure, there's Christmas cheer everywhere and I'm never not in the mood to decorate even before Thanksgiving comes around (I know...) but there is always some sadness in the background that lingers. I pray that this year will be different than the past and that the good Lord will bless all those in need of Him and answer the prayers of  those that are in need of His Grace. I went to Mass this morning and today's Gospel was very deep:

Luke 21:5-19
"Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be powerful 
earthquakes,famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty 
signs will come from the sky. Before all this happens, however, they will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led 
before kings and governors because of my name.  It will lead to your giving testimony.  
Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a 
wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.  You will 
even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends,they will put some of you to death.You will be hated by all because of my name,but not a hair on your head will be 
destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives."

So since there were many children attending the mass, it was a hard Gospel to explain but I think the priest did an excellent job. During the homily he asked the children, where were you before you were born? And the children shouted "In mommy's belly!" and the priest explained that mommy's belly was a comfortable place and that you didn't have to brush your teeth, or get dressed for school, you could just sleep all the time and be safe because mother did everything for you. But then there came the day where you had to leave mommy's belly and now that you are on earth, you feel safe and secure here because you have your routine, your friends, etc. and you know that Mother Earth will protect you, therefore you shouldn't be afraid of what the Gospel said today because when you're in Heaven you will be protected there as well by God and His Mother. It was such a simple explanation for a difficult topic that is life and death.  A lot is going on in the world right now and as scary as it all is, I think that with Faith in our hearts we can overcome even the biggest obstacles if only we could learn to treat others with respect and help those that are in need even with the smallest of gestures.  I think you can never love too much and you can never give too much.  

Ok, ok I'm done...Moving on!

I've been on the hunt for a new dresser for a while now but I haven't found anything that I really liked. The dresser I currently have in the Master Bedroom was in bad condition...I mean BAD people! It's a malm dresser that we've had for 5 years now and although it's very spacious it's not of the best quality as we all know and also.....saggy drawers.....

So the drawers were really I couldn't get them open anymore because they kept getting stuck. I really just wanted to throw the piece of S&%$£ out the window and never see it again... 

But I couldn't find what I was looking for.  All the dressers I found that I kind of liked were smaller, fewer drawers , etc so I just didn't want to compromise. I also didn't want to buy something just because...I want to be sure I love it. 

Come in DIY...

The first thing to fix was the saggy drawer situation... Bad, huh? I know..

I went to the hardware store and found these little guys. Do not ask me what they're called, I have no idea...

Screwed them in and voila! Saggy drawers no more!

I added these to all six drawers and it really didn't take long at all. Next I got rid of the ugly hardware and decided to spruce up the front of the drawers a bit.  I had some textured wallpaper that I had bought a while ago but never used so I watched some tutorials and decided to give it a try.  It was so easy!

I bought some permanent adhesive spray. This stuff....make sure it's the permanent kind. 

I laid the drawers on the paper and cut around leaving some space along the sides. 

Now take that sucker outside and spray the top of the drawer making sure to get the sides and cover the whole area with adhesive. Next place the wallpaper on top.  You really don't have time to move the paper  around once its on there because the stuff dries like super quick. 

Now flip the drawer over and cut the extra paper off with a paper cutter. 

Next you want to take a nail or something similar to poke through the back of the drawer where your hardware is going to go. Obviously drill the holes before putting the wallpaper on. 

It was such an easy project and it took me seriously half a day to do between fixing the saggy drawers and adding the wallpaper. It was one of those "why didn't I think of this sooner" moments lol. 

Here's how it turned out.

I ordered the hardware online and I love them. I think they go well with the wallpaper. 

It has sort of a shimmer to it which I really like.  

I did the bedside tables while I was at it as well....I wanted to wallpaper ALL THE THINGS... hahaha

And then OF COURSE I had to change bedding, curtains, wall art, throw pillows etc.....  so since I was at it I figured I would go with the blue and white theme because I love it so much 

I found this beautiful bedding set with matching curtains here. 

Isn't this little turquoise tray cute? I thought it would be a nice place to put my perfumes. 

I'm very happy with the end result and this will last at least until I find the dresser of my dreams. The thing I'm happiest about is that I don' have saggy drawers any more!!

Have a wonderful week ahead everyone and God Bless. 


Friday, March 4, 2016

❤ Thank You for Your Prayers ❤

My dearest Internet friends... I haven't been reading or commenting much on your blogs because I really haven't had much time. But I promise to visit all of you soon. 

I just wanted to give you an update on my sister's condition because I know that God heard all who prayed for us. 

She left the hospital last night and is back home. My sister suffers from cerebral palsy and lately has been having stronger seizures than normal. 

She was rushed to the hospital last week because of a seizure that lasted way too long and had a million and one tests done to figure out why all of a sudden this was occurring. Fortunately she has a wonderful team of neurologists that follow her case and were able to adjust her medication to calm the seizures. Hopefully things stay this way and she doesn't have another relapse....

I had a rough week and unfortunately this is not the first time something like this has happened. My phone was by my side continuously and even during the night hours I would wake up and check my phone for any new messages that my mom would send me to keep me updated. It was a very stressful week to say the least...

But I am overjoyed to see my sister smiling again and so reassured to know that she is safe in her own bed and surrounded by people that love and care for her. 

So again I wanted to just say thank you for your prayers because I know that He listened to each and every one.

I'll be over to visit you all soon. I can't wait to see what you've been up to!

I changed up my kitchen a bit. I hung a beautiful Tiffany Style Chandelier that I am in love with and switched up the curtains, added some new art work and just moved some things around. I need to take some better pictures so here is the chandy for now. 

I haven't really been cooking anything that interesting lately... 

I did however make a creamy chicken and mushroom oven baked scaloppini with bacon bits which was pretty amazing but that's pretty much it. 

So I'll close here for now and hopefully next week I'll be a better blogger :-) 

Have a wonderful weekend and remember...

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Winter Wonderland

Hello my friends! I haven't posted in a while just because I've been a busy bee. I've had a lot going on and I just haven't been in the right mind set to post or even cook for that matter. I've been making quick meals in the evenings after work and I've also been "dieting". I hate using that word ... I guess I've just been cutting out the bad stuff :-) You know, the usual, bread, pasta, sweets, PIZZA! Ugh... so therefore I haven't made anything that interesting to write about. 

My mother who lives in eastern PA got hit with a crap ton of snow these past few days and she sent me pictures. I was amazed at just how much snow she got. When I look at these pictures it really makes me miss those winters. I wish we got some snow around here. 

I was so worried because the news in Italy documented the snow storm and said that it was going to cause damage and you never know whether or not they exaggerate or if in fact it was going to be as bad as they said it would be. 

So on Saturday we texted and face timed and she sent pictures and videos and kept me updated. It wasn't looking too good. 

It just kept snowing and snowing and snowing...

The sky was grey and everything was white. As she sent me pictures I kept thinking about when I was a little girl and would wake up on a week day to find everything covered in snow. 

I would jump out of bed and rush into the kitchen, turn on the TV to the local station that listed the schools that had delays or days off because of the weather, and I watched and hoped and prayed for a snow day.

When I finally saw my school listed as a snow day I was ecstatic and immediately went back to bed LOL...then of course I would go outside and play in the snow! I got pretty sentimental seeing these pictures because that is the house I grew up in. The hill I slid down on with our slay and the backyard where our dog Pongo would run around in.  It sure did bring back some memories.

And then on Sunday the sun came out and the snow sparkled like diamonds under the sun. 

The sky turned bright blue again. 

And the streets were plowed. 

What a wonderful world we live in. God made it so we never get tired or bored with our world. That's how I picture the seasons. Change can be scary but sometimes it's necessary for growth. Where there is no change, there is no life. 

My father is coming to visit me in a week. I was a little down in the dumps a few days ago and he immediately bought a ticket to come see me. I can't wait to see him. 

What have you been up to? 

Hope all of you are doing well. 


Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

Luke 2:15-16 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby lying in a manger. 

I hope you all are enjoying this Christmas Day with joy and peace in your hearts. 

Merry Christmas my good friends! 

xoxo Silvana

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Nativity Street in Naples - Via San Gregorio Armeno

There is a street in Naples that sells beautiful statues and decorations for Nativity scenes all year round. This street is called Via San Gregorio Armeno.  The first time I visited I was marveled by all of the hand crafted detail that goes into these pieces of art. 

via Wikipedia
The Nativity Scenes in Naples are like none other in the world. When I first came to live here I had no idea just how big of a deal this was. Some families choose only to make a detailed Nativity Scene instead of a Christmas Tree. Seeing a Neapolitan artist put together a Nativity scene is amazing. Some of them are so elaborate that they figure an entire town.  

This is the street pictured above. It is a very narrow street packed with these little shops. Below is an example of the detail that goes into a Neapolitan Nativity Scene. 

Some of them even have waterfalls and rivers in them. There is a system with tubes running in the back that circulate water. Kind of like in a fish tank. 

This below for example is a 40 meter Nativity Scene that was donated to a Church. 40 meters is approximately 130 feet. 

Here is another version of a nativity scene in the home. You can see Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus in the top right corner. 

Needless to say during the Holidays Via San Gregorio Armeno is packed with tourists that come visit from all over the world. 

Here is another shop in the street. As I said before these are all hand made and some of the pieces are very expensive. 

Obviously during the Holidays the street is especially busy with more than half a million visitors from all over the world that come to see the shops. 

I think the Nativities are beautiful and I have never made an elaborate one like the ones pictured above but one day I would like to try. 

However, the true meaning of Christmas is not about Trees or elaborate Nativity Scenes. These material things are beautiful to look at and I love decking the halls but the real meaning is this and only this...

The Birth of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

Unfortunately I woke up to hear about another tragedy this morning. The San Bernardino Shooting. I have no words.... May God bring Peace on Earth.

Luke 2:14
And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased." When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, "Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us."…