If you are looking for warmer weather, I think you may have to travel to Italy. Spring in Italy comes early to the cities and towns from Rome and further south. As early as February you can see the almond blossoms on the tress in bloom in the island of Sicily, as the first sign of spring; once the pretty pink/white blossoms begin to appear, we know that winter is over. Spring in Italy is a fantastic time to visit. You can beat the crowds and the heat of the summer season.
Agrigento is located along the southern coastline of Sicily and is a popular tourist site even when the almond blossoms are not in bloom because of the area's exceptional archaeological heritage. Guests who arrive in Agrigento for the Almond Blossom Festival typically enjoy a traditional walk along the Valley of the Temples. This route takes them past some of the town's archaeological wonders. Highlights during the 10 day festival include concerts and dances featuring traditional music and regional folk costumes. Some of the other events at the festival include a fireworks show and a children’s procession where the participants wear colorful and ornate costumes.
How many of you have gone to weddings and have received a remembrance gift bag filled with candy coated almonds or better known as Confetti? These almonds are grown in Agrigento and are also called Jordan almonds. These candies represent the bittersweet life of a married couple. The sugar coating is added to the bitter almonds in the hope that the newlyweds will have more sweet times than bitter during their lifetime together. When confetti comes in boxes or bags they are called Bomboniere and serve as place settings or favors.
|My dad and myself 1960?|
February 9th is my fathers Birthday and we are having a family dinner to celebrate. He will be 87, but you would never know it. He is as active as ever. He and my mom are always out either visiting friends or family. My dad has a lot of compassion, love, and strength. He is sensitive and will do anything he can for you. Commitment has always and still will be very important in his life. If he commits to anything, come hell or high water he will be there which is a great tribute to his character. I always admired his dedication to his family and his faith in God. He can be funny, warm, honest, fair, organized, and shares his wisdom to others. One of his commitments is to St. Thomas More Church where he is a member of the choir and is also the president of “The Young At Heart Senior Club.” My dad has a passion for puzzles, music, sports, reading, food, and most of all spending time with his family.
My dad and I are the only ones in my family that love Brussel Sprouts. So being that it is my dad’s Birthday, I am honoring him with one of his favorite dishes.
This one is for you pop….Happy Birthday!! Enjoy!
Brussel Sprouts are members of the cabbage family and they are not the most popular vegetable to choose. I think it is because many people do not know how to cook them and they get intimidated. Roasting and grilling them, brings out the sweetness of the vegetable, and this recipe is just the one you want to try. I guarantee that once you try them you will see how versatile they can be.
“Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Almonds, and Cheese”
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound Brussel sprouts washed and cut in half lengthwise
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/3 cup sliced almonds
Heat oven to 350° F. Pour the olive oil into a medium size baking dish. Toss the Brussels sprouts in the oil and add salt/pepper. Bake them uncovered for about 20-30 minutes, turning them occasionally as they brown. They are cooked when a knife is easily inserted into the middle. Lastly sprinkle with cheese and sliced almonds then toss. Serve hot. If you choose you can also add some lemon juice which is optional. Serves: 4
Till Next Time………………………………........
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