I think everyone came because they were curious about the surprise guest: Nonna! She made a tray of ziti, and if you read how my family ruined easter, a tray of ziti from Nonna is a funny inside joke, which my parents almost got divorced over. Nonna loved hanging out with all the younger peeps. I don't think she wanted to leave. Did you know Nonna is a gangster? Look at that pose, rocking her animal print pimp cane! What?
"Jane, I made-uh the meat bawls. Jane, try-uh one meat bawl." She is a meat ball pusher, but I didn't even get one meat bawl!
Nonna wasn't the only guest who made goodies. Markus made some delicious deviled eggs. And we learned the hard way. When making deviled eggs, use old eggs. Since we are such Farmer's Market snobs, we get really fresh hatched eggs, which means the membrane (that transparent film between the white and the shell) isn't fully formed, so when you try to peel the hard boiled eggs, its a major disaster. Use eggs at least 5 days old. I hate to say it but super market eggs make the perfect deviled eggs. Either way, they tasted perfect, and really ended up looking awesome on Grandma Isabelle's old fashioned deviled egg tray.
Cousin Francesca made what I am calling Salami Criossants and really delicious Rosemary Foccaccia and Marcy made the Eggplant Caponata, what is her signature dish.
Sadly, Rocco couldn't make it; he was stuck in Italy because of the volcanic ash cloud (poor baby!).
For our cocktail, Tim the bartender served "Dirty Sicilians" which is a take on the White Russian, but with almond milk instead of cow milk. A vegan cocktail. Delicious.
Check out this spread! For appetizers I served: olives, fresh mozzarella, roasted red pepper salad, the deviled eggs, foccaccia, salami croissants and the caponata. The show stealers: RICE BALLS! This was my first try and I nailed it. I made two types: grass-fed meat sauce filled and fresh mozzarella filled. The cheese filled were the crowd faves. I can't wait to make these again. Its a lot of prep and steps but so worth it.
For the second wave I served: market Sweet Italian Sausage with Peppers, Onions and Potatoes, Nonna's Baked Ziti, Penne with Tomato Basil Sauce, Roasted Artichokes and Broccoli Rabe.
Dessert: Red Velvet Cupcakes (not Sicilian, but I'm not all Sicilian (thank God!) and prefer Good Old American Bakes Goods), Rainbow Cookies, and Pignoli Cookies from Catalano's Bakery.
This is what life is all about: good company and good food. Thanks to everyone who made it to Queens; I know that M train is a hassle but you all made it a spectacular party!