web analytics

Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!



The City Girl & Shoofly Pie

Yours truly recently traveled through Pennsylvania Dutch Country, passing horse-drawn carts and horse-tethered plows turning up the rich spring earth. It had been a long time since I actually smelled freshly-plowed soil… accompanied by the ripe smell of livestock. Growing up riding horses made it an enjoyable trip down memory lane. Benedetto, my partner in…


Monday Mottoes – #182

Our family hails from Italian and Russian backgrounds, Benedetto from the former, myself and the kids from the latter. We are not Russian Orthodox, however, the week of Mas’lenitsa, which was recently celebrated, is not worth missing. Depending on your frame of mind, it can be a pagan custom celebrating the arrival of spring with…


The Art of Weekly Menus

From cruise ships to school cafeterias, many are the institutions organizing their weekly menus. Our family, as well. The two of us sit and spend maybe ten minutes, once a week, figuring out and writing down what we will be eating.  It saves time and never leaves us hanging with nothing to eat. Considering that…


Creating Creamy Cannoli

Most everyone, even if they’re not of an Italian background, has visited a bakery selling that delightful dessert called “cannoli”. You know the ones— deep-fried pastry tubes the size of a knockwurst, filled with a sweet, cheesy filling similar to cheesecake on steroids. Benedetto, of course, grew up in a family where his mother created…


Do Only Crazy People Hear Birds Sing?

To make a long story short, the family traveled to a lovely fish restaurant in an historic location. We were entertaining the new girlfriend and wanted to show her a good time. So here we were with salmon, cod, coleslaw and hush puppies. My husband visited the restroom in order to wash his hands. Bemused,…


I Could Have Had Sauce???

The other day I picked up a frozen meal from the grocery store. Now, keep in mind that 99% of the food in our family is home cooked. It might be past midnight and I don’t go to bed until I get up and turn off the pot of whatever is simmering on the stove….


Monday Mottoes – #173

Right now, I’m living with some half-hatched, larvae-like kids and I’m sure they’d say the same about me. Happily, things started turning around on Friday when they decided to get with the program and have a nice holiday dinner on the eve of Russian Christmas. Girls helped with the mushroom and onion piroshki, slicing, dicing,…


Holiday Chocolate Overdose

We were once at the vet’s when a pooch was rushed in who had found some holiday chocolates, gobbled down the box on a low table, and then had to have his stomach pumped lest he die. I am that dog. Well, not really, only mentally. You see, every year people purchase tons of chocolates…


S’more-like Dreidl Desserts

I was perusing an issue of Woman’s Day magazine and came across the most amazing recipe, perfect for a Hanukkah dessert or snack. They looked like small dreidls, or the spinning tops, generally played with during the holiday. The ingredients made me think: S’mores on a stick! Here’s what you need to gather: thin pretzel…


Daughter-in-Law-to-Be Gifts?

This is a category I have not yet explored. Our 20-year-old son seems fairly serious about a certain young lady. Now that the holidays are here, I hear that her family has a symbolic Chrismukkah stocking hanging for him in their home. She is coming to visit us soon and I consider what we might…