Monday, December 16, 2013

Our annual dinner with Maria (Nonna) # 3

Our yearly traditional Christmas get together (Italian dinner)  is spent at Maria's.  You ask who Maria is?  She is a wonderful, happy ,friendly, Italian woman who is a phenomenal cook and host to this wonderful feast.  She has become our friend and not only do we plan ahead for this feast yearly (Christmas especially) but visit her store when we are in the area.  It is so amazing!  It's a must see if you happen to be in Pittsburgh, PA and travel to a little primary Italian neighborhood called Bloomfield.  A must see!

Me and the lovely Maria

  Every October there is an Italian Festival and Columbus Day parade that knocks your socks off with food, music, games and authentic Italian people from all regions of Italy.  We don't miss it!!

One of the many gifts to purchase at Maria's.

I like to bake and cook as you all are aware of by now but I can say Maria is one of the best in her field and I am pleased to be a fan of hers. (She even has cooking classes)  I honestly don't know where this woman gets her energy?   Confident, super knowledgeable in many Italian regions and their culinary customs you can ask her any question and she answers with ease.

 She also has an Italian store in the same building as where she prepares every dish and every Italian pastry you can ever imagine.  Also her store is packed with every item from Italy. No made in China items at her store!   From tablecloths to pasta bowls and so much more.  I want to give you her web address so you can check out this fabulous woman Maria and her Italian gift store.

Link to Maria's:Mercante Gifts

  She also makes a variety of Italian cookies which you can buy everyday.... Biscotti are at your fingertips whenever you want some as well as Italian knots too! 

It has been a yearly treat. We, meaning my hubby and I and 6 of our closest friends go to Maria's and she cooks dinner for us.  A gracious person who loves to cook delights in this tradition.  Her kitchen is modest, well equipped and immaculate.   She runs it in a way with ease.  One lovely woman (Linda) is her helper.  A sweet young woman who helps Maria in all the preparation and she also helps serves the meal.. 

Please enjoy a few of our delicious, mouth watering or so perfect dishes we enjoyed that day.  Bon Appettite!

Butternut Squash with red grapes and pecans is a lightly sweetened glaze.
Tenderloin with mushrooms.

Apple, walnut crustada

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