Mardi Gras Gluttony | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

Mardi Gras, French for Fat Tuesday is the fattest day of the year that closes all the debauchery of Carnevale and precedes Lent, a time of reflection and repentance. Well, at least is good to know that after Carnevale’s excess eating, we have a second chance to return to normality and ask for forgiveness.

Panzerotti(Photo above: Cristina Cirasola)

What’s boiling in the caldron of gluttony? In the South of Italy, a much sought-after food for Mardi Gras is “Panzerotti” a type of pocket dough filled with anything caloric. Making panzerotti is not that difficult, the dough is the same as pizza, the filling varies. The traditional collection of panzerotti is composed of:

• Ground beef, tomatoes and mozzarella
• Four cheeses and basil leaves
• Anchovies, olives, capers and tomatoes
• Spinach, boil eggs and cheese
• Mushrooms, tomatoes and mozzarella
•Mixed cold cuts, mozzarella and tomatoes
• Mixed vegetables and ricotta
• And many more.

Get creative, but stay within the savory flavors. This is not a sweet pocket for dessert.

Panzerotti must be served hot out of the fryer, it must scald the roof of the mouth and the hands. Only then the cheeses will fuse the ingredients together and the mozzarella will string out a yard away from the mouth, transporting you in the paradise of flavors. Now, I am really talking like a glutton and yes I do enjoy being sinful.


StuffedFilonciniThe same thing can be done with bread dough like the picture above. In fact these two loafs of bread are stuffed with mixed cubed cold cuts, hard-boiled eggs, spinach  and various cheeses.

queenmask(Photo Pacific Art League)

 

March 4th is the last day to indulge on fatty food and a lot of meat. On Ash Wednesday, I will start Lent, as I do every year. For forty days until Easter, I will not eat meat and this year I decided to stay away from bread as well for the entire time. This is my promise to my Supreme Being to embrace some difficulties, not eating bread for me is very hard and to be thankful for my life. This is one promise I will never break.
Are you doing something special for Mardi Gras? Dressing up in costume is appropriate. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2014 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Dux CoquorumValentina Cirasola has been in business as an interior designer since 1990 improving people’s life by changing their spaces. Most often she designs kitchens and wine grottos; outdoor kitchens and outdoor rooms; great rooms and entertainment rooms. Her deep interest in food led her as an autodidact in the studies of food in history, natural remedies, nutrition and well-being. Finally she wrote two books on Italian regional cuisine and one book on color theory. Get your copy of Valentina’s books on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

Christmas Markets Under The Stars | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

Today December 8th the Catholic world celebrates the Virgin Mary Immaculate Conception marking the official opening of the Christmas holidays. The Catholic dogma believes the name Immaculate (pure, the purest of the angels, innocent) was given to Mary when the angels announced to her that she to had been chosen to become the mother of Jesus through the Holy Spirit without any human contact. Up to that moment, Mary lived a life without any original sin, nor mortal or venial sins, thus she had that special privilege to become the mother of Jesus.
The celebration of Mary Immaculate Conception was introduced in the Roman calendar in 1476  and since then Christmas holidays start with this celebration in anticipation of the birth of Jesus. On this day Catholics are expected to fasten for the entire day until the evening. Around 7:00 pm they can sit down and have a really scrumptious meal with different kinds of meats, panzerotti, some stuffed pasta like tortellini or ravioli, fried or cooked vegetables, but mostly rich filling food, good wines and typical Christmas sweets.

On this day, most of all the cities in Italy and Catholic Europe will have an area of the city designated to Christmas street markets. The market will be open for business all day and all night until midnight or 1:00 am, every day until Christmas Eve and in some cities the market will reopen after the first of January for a few days until the Epiphany. Giving Christmas gift to kids is a fairly new custom. Up until twenty years ago, more or less, kids received their gifts the night of Epiphany, January sixth. For Christmas they would get some new clothes and special home-made sweets. The adults celebrated with special food, special wines consumed with family and friends. Christmas was for kids only.

At the street markets, especially at night with all the flickering lights, the atmosphere is very Christmassy and sweet. It is December after all, the air is fizzy and cold, perfect for hot cocoa or warm brandy. Women are bundled up in fur coats and boots, kids are wrapped in woolly scarves, hats and heavy clothes looking like petit Michelin men. Some vendors’ kiosks are filled with curious arts and craft, some have specialties food and some sell Christmas delicacy or sweets. There are music and street musicians playing their favorite instrument, but what will catch your eyes is the willingness of people to leave computers and TV’s at home and come out in the streets to enjoy the evening with their kids, kids’ friends, families, to  meet people they have never seen before and to shop at small artisans, where they can find unique gifts. I also noticed the gentleness of people in this time of the year. It is kind of puzzling to me why some people are only nice at Christmas time.

Here in the States, I have seen and experienced many different kinds of Christmas celebrations, but I have never seen a nighttime Christmas market. The closest I got to this idea last week was the market organized in the courtyard of the International German School in my area. I was the only author in a kiosk with books for sale, all others kiosks displayed hand-made art and craft items, jewelry, pottery, ceramics and German food. It was an enjoyable evening, despite of the cold wing and my frozen feet. Kids gathered on stage to sing so graciously Christmas carols in German language, the adults instead played modern rock and roll music.

Both of my books sold well that evening, my easy and healthy recipes from Puglia, my home land of Italy, will delight people’s tables this holiday season and will make a nice addition to their Christmas specialties. Both books are available here in this site on the Books page and on Amazon.
Just in case you are in a bind and need my help in decorating your holiday table, just leave your name in the box, I will answer in 24 hours time and I will be delighted to help you. Ciao,
Valentina

www.Valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2011 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Red Fascinator copyValentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer with a passion for kitchens and cooking. She especially loves to design all those rooms with a “make me feel good” tag attached, such as kitchens and wine grottos, outdoor kitchens and outdoor rooms, great rooms and entertainment rooms. She is a public speaker and a mentor. She is also the author of two Italian regional cuisine books and she the author of the forthcoming book ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors on the subject of Colors, due to be published very soon. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lnq8baaAq0M

Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

Graffiti Lux Art & More

Luxuriating in the Arts

It's all about Inspiration

Inspiration is our vision as it is the key to success. We assist in Life Improvement, Motivation, Personality Development, SEO, Marketing tactics, blogging ideas, and photography.

Electric Eclectic's Blog

All Things Bookish and more...

Before Sundown

remember what made you smile

James J. Cudney

Author of contemporary & mystery fiction: where family drama meets suspense

Robbie's inspiration

Ideas on writing and baking

The Write Stuff

"Writers Helping Writers" with Marcia Meara & Friends

Electric Press

Literary Insights magazine

Jacquie Biggar-USA Today Best-selling author

Read. Write. Love. 💕💕💕

Banter Republic

It's just banter

No Facilities

Random thoughts, life lessons, hopes and dreams

Watching the Daisies

Life Lessons on the Importance of Slow

Stevie Turner

Realist, writer, reader and reviewer, and rocker.

This Is My Truth Now

Author, Inspirational Blogger, Book Reviewer & Promoter (James J. Cudney)

Warning:Curves Ahead

reasonably photogenic and relatively stylish

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Echoes of Life, Love and Laughter

London Life With Liz

A lifestyle blog with a little bit of everything.

Inspired Motivation

Get your daily motivation fix right here!

Janaline's world journey

My sometimes Strange, but usually Wonderful Experiences and Adventures as I Travel through this amazing World we live in.

From my guardaviñas

Sharing ideas. Photos, travels, music, History, stories, feelings...

Dancer Attitude

"Shoot for the top"

Modern Tropical

Art + Decor by Kristian Gallagher

Loleta Abi Romance Author

Love, Family, and the Journey Home

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Blog magazine for lovers of health, food, books, music, humour and life in general

Jean's Writing

Jean M. Cogdell, Author-Writing something worth reading, one word at a time in easy to swallow bite size portions.

valentina design universe

Entertainment, TV Shows, Design Shows, Public TV,

%d bloggers like this: