Showing posts with label Italian American. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Italian American. Show all posts

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Upcoming Fall Italian American Events - Columbus Day Parade, Educational, Art & Fundraising Galas

PARADE -- This year's Columbus Day Parade will take place in New York City in October, visit the Columbus Citizens Foundation web page for further details and dates.
The parade is broadcast on the major New York networks such as NBC.

**Photo Credit - http://www.columbuscitizensfd.or

EVENTS --For upcoming events all around New York City, featuring musical events, educational lectures, be sure to visit the i-Italy Digital Project site for the latest updates and features.

GALA -- In October in Washington D.C., The National Italian American Foundation features their Gala, which aims to raise awareness and funds to all programs and education for the Italian American community.  This year's gala will take place on October 25, 2014.

Visit the site here for tickets and further details -


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Keurig K-Cup Coffee Machine and Lavazza Drip Coffee Giveaway

It's that time of year, when we have an exciting giveaway for one lucky Italian American Girl reader.  The team at Lavazza are presenting a fabulous giveaway, which includes this really cool and super chic Keurig K-Cup Mini, which if you haven't had coffee yet from a Keurig you're missing an amazing little coffee machine.   Lavazza is providing one lucky reader a chance to win this machine along with the Lavazza drip coffees for K-Cup version, which is fantastic!    

In order to enter to win this cool little machine and Lavazza k-cups in drip coffee versions, please comment below with your first and last name and tell me why or how Italian coffee has impacted your life.   I know for example coffee is the main component in my life either when I'm entertaining guests, go to a party and wait for that perfect cup of coffee, maybe it's a comfort and gets you through a tough day,  reminds you of your family, a time to get together and share a warm moment with a friend or family,  what does your coffee stand for?  I will choose one person by September 8, 2014 and announce the winner's name on the blog and Italian American Girl Facebook page.  

To learn more about the new Lavazza Drip Coffee line and K-Cup Versions you can shop for it here:
Keurig K-Cup Machine 
Lavazza Drip Coffees - K-Cups

** This is a sponsored post by Lavazza and the giveaway will be provided by Lavazza and mailed direct to the winner, Italian American Girl will only be responsible for the promotion of the giveaway and choosing a lucky IAG reader. ***

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Growing Up First Generation Italian American

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Italian Summer Dinner Recipe - Roasted Italian Chicken, Organic Peas, Followed By Lavazza Coffee

Author - Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar
'Extra Virgin'

Summertime is the best time to experiment with cooking especially since you can use fresh ingredients from your garden or farmers market.  This month I decided to try a Tuscan version of roasted chicken, which myself and mother made. We used a version of the recipe from the new cookbook from Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar called 'Extra Virgin.' 
In the book, they actually grill the chicken with a lemon juice, rosemary, arugula combination. 

My version was a roasted chicken lightly brushed with olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper --really quite simple.  

For a side dish, my mother peeled fresh peas from the garden and fried them with caramelized onions, along with sliced potatoes roasted with the chicken. 

Here's the recipe - Roasted Chicken with Fresh Peas

Wash chicken thoroughly. Put a drop of lemon in water, cut pieces of chicken to liking.  In roasting pan, put 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add your salt, pepper, or chicken spices of your choice. Add onions and potatoes in cubes next to chicken.  Put in oven at 450 degrees for more than 30 minutes.  Turn with wooden spoon about two times to get potatoes and onions roasted evenly. 

For the peas - 
Cut small pieces of medium onions, cook for about one minute.  Add peas, cook for about 10 minutes more, gently move in pan about two times till peas are cooked.  Cover the pan while you wait to serve peas.

To end our perfect meal, we have coffee once we've digested, we've been trying the new Lavazza drip coffees, our version to try was the Perfetto blend, which you can find here 

The coffee is our end to our perfect meal, if you want a great coffee to try and know that Lavazza is great in espresso, get the new drip coffee, my favorite now. 

You can follow Lavazza on Twitter as well for some delicious ways to accompany new drip coffees and traditional Lavazza products.  

***This post was sponsored by Lavazza *** 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Guest Speaking at Rider University on Digital Media and the Italian American Girl Site

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Happy 84th Birthday To My Father

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Italian American Coffee - Lavazza Drip Coffee My New Coffee of Choice!

Easter holidays have past and in any Italian household you know coffee is the most important element to any meal or desert after dish.  This month I was lucky enough to get some new Lavazza drip coffee blends from the Lavazza team.    What better time to start sampling than at a holiday time?

This year, as I posted before my mother made her famous Italian biscotti and Easter pie.  I thought I would debut these newer coffee blends to accompany those deserts.
I started out with the Perfetto blend, which is true to its name, there is an incredible aroma, which almost makes you think it's an espresso aroma, but to everyone's surprise it's drip coffee.  I always think it's so funny, every time I tell someone in my family the coffee is Lavazza they immediately think it's espresso, but then I say no, it's a drip coffee and everyone goes, "OH, I didn't know they make that for American coffee? ' (As we call it )

During Easter Italian holidays, there are always family visits and early morning coffee sit downs.  If you ever travel to Italy, they don't have breakfast the way we do with traditional eggs, pancakes, etc, they usually have cookies and their morning espresso.   The picture below is what our breakfast during the holidays consisted of, Lavazza coffee brewed to perfection and a slice of my mother's Easter pie.  There is nothing better.

If you want to try the new coffee by Lavazza which is drip coffee, you can purchase in store or online at 
You can shop the new line of drip coffees here  and it maybe available at your local grocery stores.  Don't forget to follow on Twitter for coffee inspiration, recipes and more.

**This post was sponsored by Lavazza**

Monday, February 3, 2014

Have You Ever Had Pasta Chips? Italian Version of the American Potato Chip?

Here is the latest food product you have to try and no it's on the grown out of garden type, but it's pretty amazing.  So Superbowl Sunday just passed and we eat tons of party food and including chips.  Well,  about a week ago I received a package from the team over at Pasta Chips and they sent a few bags of their latest creation literally called Pasta Chips.  OK, so to an Italian American, I thought wow, they made pasta into a type of potato chip, but then when I tasted it I was so shocked at how light and crispy they were. 

I entertained with a bag of Alfredo, Marinara, and Garlic-Olive Oil flavors.    I served a side of spinach yogurt dip on the side, which was a-mazing.  The great thing about the chips, as you know I am a bit of a health aficionado, - the chips are actually baked, taking that guilt off right away. 

Pasta Chips are:

-all natural
-low in cholesterol 
-low in saturated fat 
-only 120 calories per serving 
-oven baked 

-60% less fat

Here's a bit of history from the creator of the Pasta Chips -- 

I would like to take you on a journey through Italy with our delicious Pasta Chips, an idea born in the hills of Tuscany at a small, authentic Osteria, where food comes alive with the passion associated with Italy. This Tuscan inspired chip is made with semolina flour and Italian herbs, married with different seasonings based on regional Italian favorites, is steeped in hundreds of years of Italian culture and living. Pasta Chips come in 5 flavor packed varieties: Spicy Tomato Herb, Sea Salt, Marinara, Alfredo and Garlic Olive Oil. 

The thing is it's not about being Italian, or Italian American, but rather the notion that this is a type of chip made from pasta and if you're a foodie, this type of variation on a pasta chip can be an interesting accent to your dishes.  The idea threw me off, but the taste and concept are amazing.  I would recommend and most likely buy these again for my next party.  It really allows for creativity if you want to accompany the chip with a side dish of either dips or antipasto.

Check out their site and you can actually buy Pasta Chips in most grocery stores.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Italian Consulate to Close in Newark, NJ - Italian Americans In New Jersey Get the Short End of Stick Once Again...

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

End of Summer Recipe - Italian Organic Tomato Salad - Basil, Scallions, Olive Oil

Friday, May 31, 2013

What Happened to the American Dream?

You know that saying, you have to write about what you know.  I am very particular about what I post on my Italian American Girl site as you can tell.  I don't write and post just to have anything up here, I am truthful about what I write because I feel the authenticity is what makes this site successful.  I often ask myself about life, 'do other people go through what I am going through?'  We often compare ourselves to others when we are faced with challenges in our lives.  I have been blessed my whole life in many ways and when we work hard, have no time, have family obligations, dealing with other problems, etc. things can  become overwhelming at times.  

In many posts in the past, I always say 'family is everything.'  I believe this is true, who else is there for you or will hand you the truth when you need it? Yes, your family.  So, when I say I am blessed I know I am, regardless of all the challenges.  More recently, my family and I have been faced with having to figure out how to move forward financially with my parents as they are aging.  Thank God, they are both of health and mind, but financially things are becoming increasingly hard as they're both retired.  My father came to this country over 50 years ago and worked two to three jobs, he never stopped.  Granted we were not millionaires and we most definitely lived a modest life, they still do.  After raising four children, my mother went off to work as well, she was not shy of hard work and definitely brought home her half of the bacon.   I grew up in a household where working hard and having a good work ethic were major influences and requirements.  Nothing wrong with that.  Buy your own car, buy your own house, take pride in your hard work -- do and BE the American dream.  

Fast forward to today and now we're working harder than ever, taxes are rising, seniors are living on less than fixed incomes as I know first hand from handling many financial elements for my parents.  My father came to this country when they were telling him back in Calabria that if you come to America, you're set for life -- you have to work hard, but you will be able to retire and your kids will have a better life than in Italy.  He did it, he bought and sold many homes, he never complained, he paid his taxes, he gave to whoever needed help, he gave other people jobs, and now they're faced with how to keep their home, pay debt back, and just live.  Look, this isn't a political piece I'm writing here, I'm talking about the facts, the actions, the history of the American dream, which prompts me to ask, 'What happened to the American dream?'

I am American, I love my country, but I want my parents American Dream supported and not pulled out from under their feet. I'm a child of immigrant parents, they worked hard, I work hard -- Can we get the dream back?  

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Italian American Mother Series - Making Nutella Cupcakes

In honor of Mother's Day, we invited the Italian American Girl readers to submit their favorite story about their Italian -Italian American mother.  Here are a few of the most touching stories. 

By Ann Minard

I love cupcakes and I think this goes back to my childhood and the horrible lack of cupcake goodness throughout most of  it. Growing up in a First Generation Italian home cupcakes were not really my Mom's forte: why make silly old cupcakes when you can make homemade Cannoli, Biscotti, and French Candies? But I always had a deep longing for those oh so simple yet oh so good  All-American cupcakes, and here's why: 1) The size, you get your very own cake! 2) They are portable each having their own carrying case. 3) They are so adorable! 4) Easy to serve, no cutting. 5)Fun to decorate making each and everyone unique if you desire to do so. I guess these All-American treats are a lot like us as Americans: Carefree, Individual, and quite Adorable!

I do have to confess though that my Mom did give in and made me chocolate cupcakes for my 10th birthday, as you can see in the photo below. Although I am sure the very idea of making cupcakes seemed rather silly to such an experienced baker and pastry maker, she could whip out 100 homemade cannoli shells in an afternoon and made 100's of homemade candies and cookies every Christmas, my Mom humbled herself and baked me regular old chocolate cupcakes.

And many years later I finally understood my mother's struggle to give in to such a simple request  when on my daughter's birthday I asked her what "special foods" I could make her for her birthday meal and she all too quickly responded, "Frozen tater-tots and pop-tarts!"

 Nutella Cupcakes Recipe

This recipe is a nod to my Italian American roots: Hershey Cupcakes with Nutella frosting!

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup Hershey's cocoa powder (This is the recipe on the back of the box.)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup oil or 1 stick butter melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
Frosting: 1 small  jar Nutella

Line 2 cupcake trays with cupcake liners and spray each with some vegetable spray.
Heat oven to 350.
Mix all the dry ingredients together, including the sugar.
Add the milk, eggs, vanilla, and butter and mix for 2 minutes on low with a mixer.
Add the boiling water and stir just until combined.
Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup or ice-cream scoop fill each cup 2/3 full with the batter.
Bake for 22-25 minutes. Cool trays on racks for 5 minutes. Run a knife around edges if any seem to be stuck to the pan.
Flip over on to rack, bang bottom and release onto tray, flip each cupcake over and cool completely.
Frost with Nutella!

Note: This recipe make about 30 cupcakes but I find that if you let the batter sit and wait for the first batch to bake and cool they do not bake as well so I usually just make 24 using my 2 (1 dozen) trays at once on the same oven rack and throw out the rest.
Leave these cupcakes out on a counter and covered as they do not refrigerate well.

*Permission to use photos by Ann Minard

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Introducing our New Italian American Girl T-Shirt With Our New Design!

I'm really excited to announce we just updated our site and also redesigned our new Italian American Girl T-Shirts to match our new logo!  I absolutely love the design and could not be happier with the quality! You can purchase the T-Shirts here:

Thank you everyone for your support!

Baci- xoxo 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Italian American Girl Goes To Rider University - All about Media & Writing

It's been almost 4 years since I launched the Italian American Girl site and since then amazing things have come from this labor of love.  I've been asked to participate in national commercials, been invited to celebrity events, asked to guest write for other amazing influential websites and most importantly guest speak at my Alma mater, Rider University.  Of all the events, this is one of my most favorite things to do.  To share what I know about something I love so much, which is producing, writing, social media and mainstream media.  Not to mention, I love my college and any opportunity to go back and actually teach, a serious dream come true.  I connected with Professor Kathy Magrino (a fellow Italian American Girl ) on social media one day when she posted an interactive question on Twitter for her class at Rider; it caught my attention and I wrote her back saying 'whatever I learned at Rider, has been applied to my real life career in so many ways..tell your students to pay will all matter once you get  a job in the work force...."  She immediately responded back and so we began an interactive engaged conversation on Twitter where then Kathy invited me to come speak about the Italian American Girl site and my experiences with my career.   The main focus of my talking points are to discuss the real elements that go into producing this site.  Writing is extremely important and you really have to be in the mood to write from experience and make it compelling enough so your readers don't get turned off.   What I think the students were most surprised about is that SPELLING AND GRAMMAR count.  When I went to college ( oh God I sound old) we were just getting savvy with Spell Check, now if you publish something with a mistake, it's really your own fault.. of which I have made plenty of those, but reading your work out loud will always help and re-reading is also important.
At Rider University
The biggest take away to writing is actually writing about what interests you, your passion.  My site, Italian American Girl is my passion, my goals are combined in the production of the entire site - video, writing, photos, social media these are the elements that help create the success of my site. 

Sometimes when you are caught up in your career, the daily grind, and deadlines you sometimes forget the joys of what make you tick and for me it's the success of this site- the media elements.  Being a guest speaker with such bright students who have such huge dreams recharges me and inspires me to want to do more with my own site and including my career. 

An amazing experience, and I always look forward to sharing my knowledge with such wonderful students and a great professor! Thank you Rider University!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Italian Culture of Coffee - Conversation, Family and Love

Enjoying a cup of Lavazza espresso with my family --made with my new Philips Saeco Espresso Machine

What is it about espresso and Italian families?  The one food element in an Italian family that often brings us together and gives us a sense of comfort at family dinners, occasions and most events.   Since I was little, growing up in our Italian household --I always thought coffee was normal where even kids could drink it.  I remember my father even putting a little bit of coffee in my bottle as a baby. Granted I may have been a hyper baby, but ask any Italian and they say they put a little coffee in the latte.    As I got older,  you realize that having a cup of espresso is really a lifestyle.  There is style, etiquette and a lot of emotion that goes into espresso.  Often when we would visit my family in Italy over the summers, I remember my Uncle Franky taking such pride in boiling the espresso, waiting, stirring the sugar and then serving it right away so it wouldn't lose it's savory taste or heat.    Not only did making espresso at home become such an important element in our family, but it also signified a time for family to gather, talk,  digest and really slow down to enjoy the moment.  You think -- 'Really does espresso do all that? I say, yes... if you go to Italy and someone invites you for an espresso,  you better accept!  If you deny someones invitation for an espresso at home or at an espresso bar you're basically saying 'I don't want to invest in that slow down or in conversation or time with you.' -(Yes --That is the translation--no, not really literally but Italians can get dramatic..)  I laugh as I write this, because to someone who doesn't know or understand the Italian culture you could say, wow Italians take their espresso as serious business.  I confirm that! 

Recently, I received a Philips Saeco Syntia Espresso Machine along with Lavazza coffee beans from the awesome teams at both companies.   I have to be honest with you,  I've never made espresso in a machine like this, espresso was always made in the old school pot called a 'bialetti.' The only time you would see an espresso machine would be if I went to an Italian coffee bar.  

My first time experience with making the espresso in this machine was beyond any appliance experience, the machine is so easy to use, it tells you exactly what to do, what you need and it respects the process of making espresso so much, that you end up respecting the machine.. it sounds silly, but I honestly want to spend a lot of time now really perfecting and make variations on my espresso.  

I was unsure how I was going to make the espresso,  let's be honest, when I make espresso I'm usually in company-- and by company I mean by my loud, overly involved family. So I wanted to wait when I knew I could share my espresso first time experience with my family.  I'm not kidding.   In setting the machine up I had my mother and father in on it too, my mother really loved looking at all the intricate details of the machine and was so impressed with the taste and 'crema' of the espresso. 

The quality and taste of the espresso was beyond my expectations and my family's.  Let's be honest as Italians we are very critical of food and especially the holy espresso. My sister, Maria was so in love with her cup that she asked if she could take my espresso machine home with her.. of which I said no, but she can come over when she wants.  My brother Santo, wanted to try the cappuccino variation and asked me "Marg, what do we need, what kind of milk should we go buy so it comes out perfect?" I mean this Philips Saeco espresso machine turned my family into a competitive bunch of baristas -- of which I have to laugh.. my family is a sit-com in itself.   So, I had to fight everyone off not to take my machine home with them, now they're begging to use it or for example my brother is moving into a new home soon and gently hinted "you know Marg, that would make a nice house-warming gift.."  I told him .."Sure Santo..." --yeah right.. you're not touching my machine." 

So what turned out to be a first time experience using my Philips Saeco Espresso Machine, turned into a night of conversation, family and lottttssss of love.  I love my new machine, the coffee beans from Lavazza were also as my mother says, "speciale"-- the brand Lavazza is something we grew up using our whole lives, so when I told my family I have Lavazza beans to use in the machine, they all immediately nodded with approval, because any Italian knows and uses Lavazza coffee.   Lavazza is also history to me -it's a familiar staple in the Italian family.  Overall, if you're going to invest in a way of etiquette for espresso making the Philips Saeco 'Espresso Perfetto' machine will fulfill your needs and supersede your expectations.  Grazie a Philips Saeco e Lavazza! 

To learn more about the Philips Saeco machine visit:

To learn more about Lavazza:

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Italian Wine Country - Insider's Take From Piedmont, Italy

Guest Writer: Anna Savino
from Saluzzo, Piedmont, Italy--- it's been almost six years in Italy...never thought I'd get married to a Piemontese but I am so happy to share my culinary, geographical and cultural discoveries of this beautiful Italian landscape!

Growing up, I always felt Italian. Proudly raised in an Italian American family and hearing about my parent's one year adventure in Rome was just the start of my serious relationship with Italy. I guess I can call myself lucky that I grew up in Napa Valley surrounded by beautiful vine covered hills, some of the best restaurants in the USA and embracing a standard of refined food and wine from a young age.

This made my transition to Piemonte, Italy, a bit easier. I already knew the proper pronunciation of words like Sangiovese and gnocchi and the differences between pecorino romano e parmigiano reggiano.

I remember when I first got to THIS new wine valley without any knowledge of Piemontese wines I was frustrated, wanting to learn in a hurry. I tried to visit enoteca regionali in towns like Barolo and Barbaresco, and read 500 page books on Italian wine. Nevertheless, I had to let time take its course and truly experience the wines to learn about them.

After 6 years of living in Piemonte, names like Dolcetto, Nebbiolo and Barbera seem like old familiar friends. While I am no expert in wines (when I left home I was barely of drinking age!), I am passionate about them.

One noteworthy Piemontese wine deserves the spotlight: Barbera (bar-bear-ah). Even in Italy, it has suffered scandals in its past, and was taken advantage of for its yielding capabilities. Barbera traveled across the ocean to the New World as so many of our ancestors did, making its way into the American wine world. Initially, it was only partly accepted, used for blends and mass produced wines. As an American expat like myself is starting to fit in here, Barbera is finding its place in America. It is finally being appreciated for what it is, has developed finer wine making techniques and has turned into a “superior” red wine!

What better way to experience and learn about this wine than take part in an event presenting 5 Italian Barberas and 5 American ones. The anxiously awaited #barbera2 event will take place right here on Barbera's originating land of Nizza Monferrato Asti. Where winemakers, wine lovers, journalists and artists can solidify century old bonds through passion and wine. Likewise, on the other side of the ocean, there will be the #barberafestival where you can learn more about this versatile and vivacious red wine in California! Salute with un buon bicchiere di barbera!

Anna blogs from Italy:

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Tribute To The Greatest Italian American Singer & Entertainer - FRANK SINATRA

In honor of Frank Sinatra's 95th birthday today December 12th --we honor him as one of the greatest Italian American singers/performers that ever lived.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Presidential Proclamation--Italian American Heritage and Culture Month

The President of the United States Barack Obama released a press release yesterday declaring October 2010 Italian American Heritage and Culture Month.

As an Italian American I am very pleased to see the White House formally releasing statements acknowledging the great history of the Italian Americans in the United States. Not only that, but if you go on the Whitehouse website you can see how this statement along with the entire press release is available for viewing. This President is all about transparency and social media. That works for me.

Thank you President Obama

Read the Proclamation here:


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Columbus Day Parade - New York City October 11, 2010

Columbus Day Parade in New York City is set to occur on October 11, 2010. The parade is sure to be packed again this year with folk dancers, singers, colorful floats and visitors from Italy who will be in the parade and on the side lines cheering on.

The parade signifies an important day for our family. It will be 54 years on Columbus Day that my father first came to America. I always tell him he's walking history. He's now 80 years old and still talks about coming to America like it was yesterday. Truly amazing. On that note, Happy Columbus Day everyone, enjoy!

Here are details:

66th Annual Columbus Day Parade
October 11, 2010
11:30 AM to 3:00 PM
Parade route:
From 47th St. to 72nd St. on Fifth Ave.

For more details: