25 February 2011

RIP nonno d

December 20, 1920 - February 24, 2011

Mario D'Auria, 90, "The Singing Barber" lost his battle with lung cancer and passed away on 24 February 2011. Mario was born in Naples Italy and, at age 15, came to the United States through Ellis Island in 1936 on the Conte DiSavoia ultimately residing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he worked in his father’s barber shop. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1944 serving in World War II, the Korean War and the Bay of Pigs Invasion on several ships including the USS Floyds Bay, the USS Pocono and the USS Enterprise. On the USS Enterprise, Mario ran the ship’s store. He retired from the Navy, after 20 years of service, and settled with his family in Norfolk, Virginia where he spent the remainder of his life as a barber. He owned Mario's Barber shop at Southern Shopping Center through the 1970s and then worked at the 15 Barbers shop in Ward's Corner until his retirement in 2008 at age 87.

Mario had many friends through his kindness of always giving of himself. He would go to the local hospitals every Sunday until he retired and give free haircuts to anyone who needed one. He was a member of St Pius X Catholic Church, where he was head usher, The Knights of Columbus, the American Legion, the VFW, the DAV and the Roma Lodge.

Mario loved singing and would sing you a Frank Sinatra tune while also giving you a haircut. He had a special song, the Ave Maria, that brought out his beautiful voice and tears to your eyes. He was asked to sing this countless times at weddings and funerals and always did it with an open heart. While stationed in Newport, Rhode Island, Mario represented the United States Navy as singer/host on the Navy radio station. He also sang at some of the local clubs in Norfolk and Virginia Beach with the Joe Cubillo band. You can still hear him singing from his CD at the Reginella's Italian restaurant in Virginia Beach.

As he had done during the boxing days of his youth, Mario fought his cancer in every way possible for almost three years for one person, his cherished wife of 70 years, Domenica (Mae) D'Auria. Though he hadn't spoken in days, on one of his last, he called her name, grabbed her hand and the last words he spoke were “Mae, I love you”.

Strangelove by Bat for Lashes

23 February 2011

Wye Oak

100 Lovers

18 February 2011

09 February 2011

Southwestern Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Mashers

I thought this would be a nice spin on the traditional shepherd’s pie. The sweet mashers are a wonderful contrast to the spicy beef and veggie filling. Another added benefit is that the spicy filling hides turnips very well. That comes in handy if you have plenty of turnips to use and your family is less-than-enamored with them.
* 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* Kosher salt and black pepper
* 3 tablespoons earth balance
* Honey
* 1 lb ground beef
* 1 medium onion, diced
* 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
* 3 large turnips, peeled and diced
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* ¼ cup water
* 1 can chopped tomatoes, drained
* 3 tablespoons GF flour
* 1 can beef broth
* ½ cup frozen peas
* 1 tablespoon earth balance
* Cilantro, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the sweet potatoes with the olive oil and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Place in a large roasting pan and bake, stirring occasionally, until tender and cooked through, about 20-30 minutes. Transfer the cooked sweet potatoes to a large bowl with the butter. Mash until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, and honey.
Meanwhile, brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and turnips and cook, stirring, until the carrots are cooked through. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Add water, and tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir in. Cook for about 3 minutes then add in the beef broth. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened. Add the peas, season to taste, and remove from the heat.
Transfer the beef mixture into a large casserole dish. Top evenly with the sweet potatoes. Dot the top with the remaining tablespoon of butter. Bake until bubbly and hot. Serve warm with cilantro sprinkled over the mashers.

Beet Deviled Eggs

Pureed beets give these deviled eggs their pretty pink color.
They also add a nice earthy sweetness. Just in time for Valentines!
* 4-5 small beets, tops and roots removed, scrubbed
* 12 eggs, hard boiled and peeled
* ½ cup mayo
* 4 tablespoons dijon mustard
* 2 teaspoons lemon juice
* 1-2 teaspoons garlic powder
* 1-2 teaspoons onion powder
* Pinch cayenne
* Kosher salt and black pepper
* Green onions or chives, sliced very thin

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Place the beets in a baking dish and add about of a cup of water. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Allow to cool until they can be handled.
Cut the eggs in half and carefully remove the yolks to a bowl. Reserve the whites.
Wearing gloves, carefully rub the peel off the beets. Place the beets in a food processor and puree until smooth. Add the egg yolks, mayo, dijon, lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne. Season well with salt and black pepper and mix well until yolks are broken up and ingredients are evenly incorporated and smooth.
Pipe or spoon yolk mixture into reserved egg white halves. Sprinkle with the green onions and serve chilled.

04 February 2011

we moved into our new home. and it is perfect.
youre the one for me, fatty