Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Tasty Tuesdays-The Times They Are Changin'

I'm going to admit that my idea of sharing how I was going to start writing consistently pretty much fell on its' face as soon as I left the starting block. I have no excuses but lots of reasons~ oh yeah, lots of reasons~ with photos even!
If you follow me on social media, you'll see I'm much more likely to be posting things. Why is that, you may ask (as if I think you may actually care)? Well, I'm happy to tell you anyway. It's a whole lot quicker to pop in a pithy quote or quick update or photo than it is to sit and do a blog post. Yep, that's about it. No huge revelation or new theory. Just easier and quicker is all. 
And why is this significant? Because I have been busy with the Quiltopia Quilt Show, my Etsy shop plus my new job at Whitlock's Vac & Sew, that's why as well as trying to spend time with Brian plus do my various projects here at home. And, while I am absolutely loving all this, it doesn't leave a whole lot of time- or at least not a whole lot of time to sit down and blog. 
So there you have it- my excuse reason for not keeping up writing at Mangia Mamma. The only problem is, I have a habit of posting things on social media with the promise that a recipe, craft project, idea or some other thing that a few people may actually want to know. Not wanting to lose any friends- as that's usually who says things like, "Sounds yummy. Want to share the recipe?", I am now feeling a bit convicted about keeping up with the blog.
Okay, it's time for me to stop beating around the bush and share what's really been going on!!

1) Quiltopia was a great success! It's a three-day show at the Willamette Heritage Center the first weekend of October. I had the opportunity to be the social media coordinator for the event plus I was able to demonstrate the HandiQuilter the whole weekend on behalf of Whitlock's- which is a great segue to 

Can you tell I love my new job (and Janome sewing machines!!!)?
2) My new job!!!! I've been hired at Whitlock's which is a terrific sewing/quilting shop that also sells vacuums. I had been planning on teaching kids' classes, but they've decided they'd also like me to work on the floor helping customers find the sewing machine of their dreams as well as all the notions and extras to make their sewing dreams come true! I love working there and being part of the team!!

3)Part of my sewing dream to come true is my shop, Piccolo Di Luce. I have been so excited about getting to make pocket oratories and rosary cases for so many wonderful customers since I started. This week I was actually asked to be part of the Zelie & Co. Auction as one of their guest artisans! 

Check out my shop page on my blog as I'm going to be adding a few new items in the next month.

4)With the busyness, I was so grateful to be able to get away with a group of old and new friends this past weekend. The "Cabin Girls" have been meeting at a cabin in lovely Rhododendron, Oregon for 24 years now, and this year was just as fun as when those of us who first starting coming were all a lot younger!!

5)Recipes. Yes, I had promised recipes on the blog then didn't come through. I know there are a bazillion blogs on the internet, but sometimes I still like to post recipes that I think are fun, or quirky or just really yummy. Today's is no exception. With all of the pumpkin spice craziness, I thought I'd weigh in my take on pumpkin spice creamer. It's totally delicious and simple to make. So, with friends Lynsi and Annette first and foremost in my mind, here is the recipe plus a few variations!


2 cups half & half
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice mix

Whisk everything in a small bowl. Once well blended, pour into decorative bottle and store in refrigerator.

PUMPKIN SPICE CREAMER #2 (doesn't use real pumpkin, but has a great pumpkin flavor!!)

2 cups half & half
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup pumpkin spice syrup (like Torani)
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice mix

Whisk everything in a small bowl. Once well blended, pour into decorative bottle and store in refrigerator.

~For Pumpkin Maple Creamer add 1/4 cup maple syrup to recipe #1
~ For Vanilla Cinnamon Creamer, use 2 1/2 cups half & half, no pumpkin, and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon instead of pumpkin pie spice

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Tasty Tuesday- A Sunday Supper Pie

When most people in the U.S. think of pies, flavors like strawberry, chocolate and coconut come to mind. In other places in the world, pies are more often filled with savory things like steak and kidneys, lamb, and even fish. With that in mind, I decided to make a Sunday Supper Pie for our evening meal this past weekend. It was really fun to make and super simple. For the crust, I adapted a recipe I had found in my Paul Hollywood British Baking book. I had taken some time a few months ago to render some suet and pop it into a jar kept in the back of the fridge. This is what helped to make a wonderful crust- flaky and tender while staying strong enough to keep the filling ingredients inside. The filling ended up being what we had at home- some ground beef, frozen mixed veggies, potatoes and onions along with a good dose of spices and a bit of salt. You can use whatever you have on hand as well. I'm thinking next time trying it with either some Italian flavorings like sausage, peppers and tomatoes or even a Middle Eastern flair with lamb, pine nuts and zaatar. Let me know what kind of flavors you'd like to try!!

Sunday Supper Pie

non-stick cooking spray 
10 oz. flour
4 1/2 oz. suet, grated
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried tarragon
8 oz. water

1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. tarragon

Egg Wash:
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp. water

Preheat oven to 400º

For crust: 
Spray 10" springform pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients together; add suet and mix well. Start adding a bit of water at a time, mixing with spoon. When you've used about half of the water, start mixing with your hand. Add as much water as needed to bind everything together. Dump everything out onto lightly floured counter and knead until smooth (about 5-7 minutes). Roll dough out until 1/4" thick. Put into prepared pan, pressing dough up the sides. Cut off remaining dough; make into a ball and roll out to 1/4" to be used for the lid once the filling is made.

For filling: 
In a medium bowl, mix everything together. If it feels too dry, add 1-2 tbsp. water. 

To assemble pie: 
Pour filling into prepared crust, Top with "lid" and crimp around the edges until well sealed. Brush with egg wash.

To bake: 
Bake, uncovered for 20 minutes at 400º.  Reduce heat to 350º and bake for another 35 minutes. Cover loosely with foil and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack.

To serve:
Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Remove from pan, using knife to help release pie from pan if necessary. Let sit for another 15-20 minutes. 

Delicious served with a good dry Riesling wine or Belgian White beer.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - or - "What I Did This Summer"

I know everyone says it, but I am totally trying to figure out where summer 2016 has gone. You know how when you were little, your teachers would make you write a paper about "What I Did This Summer". Back in those days, it was usually a paper filled with the fun we had on our family vacations, books I read and maybe even a fun activity or two I got to participate in. I guess times haven't changed to much, so here are a few Thursday thoughts on "What I Did This Summer".

We started out in June with an Aziz Family Reunion here in Oregon. It was especially nice getting to see cousins that live on the other side of the county. From berry-picking & jam-making to a BBQ down at my Uncle Paul's in Lebanon to a Father's Day Picnic at a park here in Salem, the weekend was packed full of family!

I've been pleasantly busy making pocket oratories and rosary cases for my Etsy Shop as well as selling them on the Peter's Square Marketplace. One of the most fun pocket oratories I made was for a little boy whom I am happy to be praying for. His name is Ambrose. His story is amazing, inspiring and incredible, so be sure to check it out. After hearing his dad share on EWTN radio's The with Barbara Mc one morning, I looked up his Facebook page and immediately added little Ambrose to my prayer list. Whilst making another pocket oratory one day, I thought, "I need to make him an oratory, so he'll have something to hold onto at church or when he wants to see a picture of Jesus and His Blessed Mother. Ambrose's mom graciously gave me their address, and I had the joy of making this little "toddler size" pocket oratory for this precious little boy. Like I said, be sure to check out his page on Facebook, so you can pray for him and his family too!

I got the chance this summer to help a little bit with fixing up my late grandparents' house and learned a lot more about swimming pool tile than I could have imagined. My parents have done the majority of the work which is simply incredible. The house went from looking okay to simply stunning. Be sure to stay tuned as I plan on posting some "after" photos as soon as it's all finished.

We didn't go on any family vacations this year, although Cari, Mary, David and I did attend the annual Knights of Columbus campout. It was super fun getting to meet some new people as well as doing the whole camping thing. We are always in charge of Sunday breakfast and this year was no exception. We made our family favorite, breakfast burritos while standing under a canopy during pouring Sunday morning rain. It wasn't totally fun, but the food was hot and tasty, and everyone seemed to enjoy it!

The last part of August was spent sending everyone off to school again. It seemed like it might be easier than last year, and it actually was (okay, up until this week when I've had a few "kid homesick days" missing them being here). I'm so proud of all of them, especially David as he starts his senior  year at Christendom College. He's worked really hard to get this far, and we are now in continual prayer mode for his thesis, his classes and, of course, where he's planning on attending graduate school when he receives his Bachelors Degree in May. 
So now, even though it's September and technically still summer, I feel like my summer is pretty much over. Thankfully, I've got all kinds of stuff going on as well as lots to pray for, so the transition is seeming to go pretty well. The weather has been going through transitions to, so I'm working on some new food ideas too. I hope you enjoy your Thursday!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Tasty Tuesday- Cookie Time & A Winner

I hope many of you enjoyed Sunday's canonization Mass of St. Teresa of Calcutta. EWTN did such a great job covering it, and I was so happy to be able to watch it all! Normally, I would have had to take the time out of whatever Sunday activity I might be doing after Mass, but I got the privilege of attending a Pontifical High Mass held at St. Mary's in Silverton, Saturday evening. I then awoke with my Meniere's acting up, so it worked out wonderfully to be able to rest, watch and pray all Sunday!

Thanks to those of you who commented on my blog and liked the photo of my pocket oratory. Without any further ado, I'm happy to congratulate Maria Holmes as the winner of a pocket oratory as well as a rosary case!

I did a bit of baking yesterday as I owe some great kids cookies. With Cari, David and Mary attending colleges back east, they generally need rides from their local airports to school. This is where some awesome schoolmates come in- and who I made the cookies for (with, of course, a few for my kiddos as well). I did regular chocolate chip as well as a no-sugar chocolate chip which are easily found recipes. I also did a gluten-free lemon poppy seed cookie that was so delicious and really simple! I've decided to share that recipe with you today.


1 box gluten free cake mix
2 eggs
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 oz. butter, softened
2 tbsp. lemon zest
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. poppy seeds

 Preheat oven to 350º Beat cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silpat. Using small scoop, measure out dough onto baking sheets. These spread, so be sure to leave 2" between cookies. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool for 3-4 minutes before removing from baking sheet and letting completely cool on baking rack. Makes approx. 4 dozen.

Enjoy and have a blessed week!!