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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Photos from Today's Carbone Family Reunion

Here are photos from today's reunion. 


We had lots of dishes, amongst them this Chicken Alfredo...
and this Salsa, made by David Lepore.  I could have happily sat down with the whole container and a margarita or a beer and eaten the whole thing myself!
Of course, we have to have desserts too (although I think most of them were on the auction table).


Rose, Janet, David & Alex are checking out the auction items...

John & Donna Lepore hosted the event this year and Jennifer Nerio and Butch Trail agreed to host in 2014.  To those who didn't make it, we missed you.  To those who did, thanks for coming and making it such a great day! 

Finally, thanks to John & Donna for doing such a great job hosting.  See you next year! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Scalile 2012

For Carbone family members, Scalile making day is a major family event and the holiday season just wouldn't be complete without these wonderfully crisp cookies drenched in honey! 

This year, I hosted Scalile making at my house.  So Gary & Suzanne Carbone and Andrea & Mike Enos (Andrea is Gary & Suzanne's eldest grandchild and my niece) as well as my husband, Steven Johnson and I gathered to make these tasty treats.

I had everything laid out and ready to go so we were ready to hit the kitchen running when everyone finally arrived. 

For anyone who has never had the opportunity to take part in this process, be sure to have plenty of extra hands as it would be a very daunting process to make these single-handedly.  In our house Mom made the dough, Dad rolled them out and cut them, and the 3 of us kids (Cathy, Mike and Chris) would twist them.  While we were busy cutting and twisting, mom would transition to heating the oil and doing all the frying.  Very often they would get "honeyed" another day. 

This was the first time I made the dough along with Andrea while Dad supervised. We made our batch using just 1 dozen eggs (the number of eggs you use determines the size of the batch and how much flour will be needed - this would be considered a half-batch) and we realized later than although we used only 12 eggs, we used the full amount of Bourbon, oil and salt - maybe that's why they came out so good! 

Dad, Andrea, Mike & Steven did the rolling, cutting and twisting...


 and we all took turns frying...

The bowl Mike has in his hand is filled with half of the batch of fried Scalile...

  Andrea and I did most of the honeying and we completed our (half) batch in record time.

We estimated that each of these containers is holding about 5 dozen cookies:

To those of you who were invited to join us an unable to make it, we missed you!  I hope you will all get to enjoy some Scalile this holiday season - Buon Natale!

Scalile (full batch)

2 dozen fresh eggs - room temperature
1 jigger whiskey (or bourbon, optional)
1 tsp salt
1 cup oil
14 cups flour, approx.

Beat eggs until creamy.  Mix in whiskey, salt and oil.  Add flour slowly, 1 cup at a time.  If using a mixer, start with a paddle attachment, switching to the dough hook attachment when the dough gets too thick for the paddle.  When the dough starts to climb the hook, remove from the mixer and add the remaining flour by hand, kneading in until the dough is a smooth, shiny consistency.  If you are making Scalile on a particularly humid day you may have trouble getting the dough to the correct consistency, allow the dough to rest 5-10 minutes and see if it is still sticky. 

Cover bowl with a damp towel to keep dough from drying out.  Cut a small piece of dough (a ball sized portion that will fit in the palm of your hand) and roll it out on a lightly floured board until you can see the grain of the wood through the dough.  Cut into strips about the size of your fingers and cut a slit in the center of each strip.  Carefully work one end of the dough through the slit and then gently pull it straight - it should come out with a twist in the center section.  Place on cookie sheets and cover with a damp towel.

Preheat cooking oil to 350 degrees.  The oil is the right temperature when you can drop a cookie in and it sinks to the bottom of the pan, then immediately floats to the top.  Fry until golden brown on all sides - turning as needed.  Place cookies on a wire rack suspended over a rimmed cookie sheet to drain (or on paper towels) and set aside to cool. 

Heat honey to 300 degrees, adding a bit of simmering water to thin it slightly.  The honey will start to boil and foam, at that point, you are ready to start coating your cookies.  Add several cookies to the hot honey and turn them to coat completely.  Remove to another wire rack placed over a rimmed cookie sheet to drain any excess honey and to allow the honey to set. 

Tools you will need:

  • a large, wooden cutting board is ideal
  • a sharp knife for cutting off pieces of dough
  • Rolling Pin
  • a pizza cutter works really well for cutting the strips
  • a small paring knife for cutting slits 
  • Cookie Sheets
  • Damp Towels (I dampened several when we were at that stage and kept them handy in a small bowl)
  • Wire Racks
  • Electric Skillet (our favorite for the honey process)
  • Deep Fryer or Dutch Oven
  • Candy Thermometer (for the frying and honeying)
  • Spider or slotted spoon
  • Containers to store/take home your cookies

Friday, October 12, 2012

3rd Place Winner - Joel's Steak and Black Bean Chili

My Uncle Joel really surprised me with this one - I had no idea he could cook!  And cook he did, this chili is definitely a keeper.  The steak is tender, the chili is just the right balance of soupy and thick - you get a load of tasty ingredients with every bite, and it has a nice smokiness that I really loved.

The picture just doesn't do the chili justice!
Serve this fabulous chili with some home made cornbread, some good ale and maybe a light salad and you have the perfect meal for a crisp autumn night!
Joel's Steak and Black Bean Chili
2 lbs beef cubes for stew, well marbled (sauteed, optional)
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 large onion (for 1 cup chopped)
1 large green pepper (for 1 1/2 cups chopped)
2 cans (15 oz each) black beans
2 cans (14 1/2 oz each) chili-styled chopped tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
Salt and black pepper to taste
Sour cream, optional garnish
Shredded cheddar cheese, optional garnish
Cut the beef into 1-inch cubes.  Place the beef cubes into a slow cooker and turn it on low.  Sprinkle the chili powder, garlic powder and cumin over the meat.  Peel and chop the onion, adding it to the crock as you chop.  Seed and chop the green pepper, adding it to the crock as you chop.
Drain and rinse the cans of beans and add them to the slow cooker.  Add the tomatoes and sugar.  Cover and cook on low (200 degrees) for 8 to 10 hours.
Uncover and stir [in] the tomato paste.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and stir well.  Serve at once, garnishing as desired with sour cream and cheese.
Yield:  Serves 8 light eaters or 6 hearty appetites.