The Italian Wonders of Utica, NY

Standard

For those of you who did not grow up or ever visit central NY, there are a few delicacies that came out of the Italian aspects of Utica. Reasons that Utica is known for it’s many Italian assets is due to the Mafia. The Italian Mafia ran the greater portion for a long time and all their old, rich familial traditions stuck with the area.

Here are my favorite Italian Utican delicacies. I hope you all enjoy!

1. Chicken Riggies – I made my own Riggies yesterday. They were so freaking delicious. Cream and red sauce, peppers and onions, lots of spices and slow roasted chicken, all poured over a bed of Rigatoni. SO AMAZING!

DSC_4423

2. Half Moons – The infamous black and white cookie. The only truy good kind can be found in Utica.

3. Italian Wedding Soup – Became very big in Utica when the ‘Wedding Soup’ was introduced. Originally came from a Spanish nation, they definitely knew what they were doing. Italian wedding soup contains meat and greens in a clear broth; the meats either sausage or small meatballs, the greens escarole, chard, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, rabe, chicory, endive, lettuce, or kale.

4. Utica Greens – My favorite dish. The way some restaurants cook these greens, there is no explanation of the delicious flavors. It is just that good. Buttery and spicy, this appetizer NEEDS to be eaten with every meal. ESCAROLE WITH PROSCUITTO, HOT PEPPERS, GRATED CHEESE, AND BREADCRUMBS.

Utica-Greens-3

5. Tomato Pie – A cold, pizza like baked good. Tomato sauce and a lot of Italian spices, with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. Certain bakeries in Utica make some so delicious, you want to eat the whole sheet.

holland-farms-tomato-pie

 

Vino

Standard

image

I am going to start posting more and more wines, because we all know that being a wino is everything and a way of life. I drink a lot of wine, and am quite knowledgeable about it, especially those who are chemically inclined enough to understand the process.

Reds are just the best. Red wine will always make you happy and feel lime you have a velvety blanket around you. These four reds are a Cabernet Heavy Red Blend, two Cabernet Sauvignons, and a Pinot Noir.

  • Franciscan Estate – Magnificat – 2011 – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Verdote, Malbec Blend
  • Seven Oaks – J. Lohr – 2012 – Cabernet Sauvignon
  • [Noble Vines] – 337 – 2012 – Cabernet Sauvignon
  • La Crema – 2012 – Pinot Noir

The bottles all average around $12-$14 dollars and the Magnificat is around $40. The Magnificat was one of the best red blends I have ever tasted. It was smooth velvety and filled with smooth flavors. One thing you will learn is that I do not like sweet wines. I love wine filled with tannin and  delicious velvety flavors. The second bottle was a very delicious Cab, it was not as smooth as the first. The flavors were a little more harsh and acidic. The third bottle is bottled from one of my favorite wineries, [Noble Vines]. The have many different bottled wines that will most likely be seen throughout my posts. It is always smooth, medium body and delicious for a Cab. The last bottle is the La Crema. This Pinot Noir was very lightly bodied and smooth. It is always a good red for during the day, for dessert, pr for just a lighter wine in general.

Cheers Bitches!

 

SPICY SPICY SPICY

Standard

There are a lot of benefits to eating spicy foods. I myself love spicy everything, perhaps even carry around Hot Sauce packets in my school bag in case of a low HEAT emergency. All International Food is my favorite. Some of the best food is the little random markets and diners that you find in the middle of cities, ‘hidden gems’ you could say.

This is the chemistry behind spice and its ‘capsicum’ levels and how as you approach 100% capsaicin, how the heat becomes a poison:

Capsaicin is present in large quantities in the placental tissue (seed location), the internal membranes and, to a lesser extent, the other fleshy parts of the fruits of plants in the genus Capsicum. The seeds themselves do not produce any capsaicin, although the highest concentration of capsaicin can be found in the white pith of the inner wall, where the seeds are attached.

CAPSAICIN

200px-Kapsaicyna.svg

The burning sensation caused by capsaicin when it comes in contact with mucous membranes is commonly used in food products to give them added spice (piquancy). In high concentrations, capsaicin will also cause a burning effect on other sensitive areas of skin. The degree of heat found within a food is often measured on the Scoville scale.

Bell peppers are structured so that they eliminate capsaicin, hence why they do not have any spice.

640px-Peppermix

Certain wines use ‘capsicum’ to add flavor and certain heats to wines. It gives certain wines that peppery taste. Look on the descriptions of the bottles or ask a sales associate!

Here are a few of my favorite recipes:

Peppers: ALL PEPPERS – There are so many amazing peppers to cook with out there. 

Indian Food/Curry: Indian Green Bell Pepper And Chicken Curry

https://en.cookpad.com/recipe/1100519

Cumin: Southwestern Roasted Cauliflower Recipe with Cumin & Paprika

http://www.cookincanuck.com/2013/10/southwestern-roasted-cauliflower-recipe-with-cumin-paprika/

Mexican/Spanish Heat: Grilled Mexican Corn Salad

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/grilled-mexican-corn-salad-50400000135558/

Stuffed Peppers: Spicy Quinoa Poblano Stuffed Peppers

http://www.colleens-kitchen.com/2013/06/spicy-quinoa-stuffed-poblano-peppers.html

Everyone should start adding spice to everything in their life. Give all your food a little kick. It boosts your metabolism and makes everything taste so much better. Sriracha is my personal favorite hot sauce. It’s got a very complex flavor that goes well with many things (eggs, sandwiches, asian spiced foods).

SPICE up your life my people. 😉

Tea Tree Oil

Standard

Tea Tree Oil is one of my favorite all natural cure alls. It is good for your health, skin and all natural. It is taken from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia, which is native to Southeast Queensland and the Northeast coast of New South Wales, Australia. It has this calming and soothing smell about it.

tea-tree-oil_l

My favorite body wash is made with tea tree oil and it keeps my skin so nice and smooth. The brand is called Body Essence and you can get it basically at everywhere Wal-Mart, etc.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Body-Essence-Tea-Tree-Oil-Ultra-Moisturizing-Body-Wash-24-Oz/10324103

Buying the actual Tea Tree Oil, you can find it at The Vitamin Shoppe (in various brands and forms) but my personal favorite is The Body Shop, it treats blemishes really well.

http://www.thebodyshop-usa.com/men-product/mens-view-all/tea-tree-oil.aspx

I recommend that everyone start using this natural cure all and seeing what uses you can find for it. Google it, there are many different ways to use Tea Tree Oil! If you love your skin as much as I do… you WILL want this product.

TRUST

Standard

There are a few things I’ve learned, but one of them is to trust no one. If you do this, then you have nothing to lose, because you expect nothing less. No one to fight for you, no one to truly try to understand and want to help you, nothing. But when you have yourself, who cares, because you get so much more out of life, when you truly love yourself.

Certain people and events start to matter less, become irrelevant and seem like they never even were, and to me, that is an amazing trait of human nature. The allowance to remove emotion from yourself.

Remember that you can always be bigger and better than everyone. You can walk with your head held so high above the sky, no one even questions your actions. You can let people ruin themselves on their own. You can take all negativity, and use it to make yourself even more powerful and strong. More clear and concise, and only LOGICAL.

This is not to say don’t have friends, don’t have fun, I mean come one, that’s what life is about…. but always be on your guard. Even the people that should fight for you, will not sometimes.

So I leave you with this. Keep your head held high, because no matter what, there is always something more and better for you.