Happy Thursday to you!
Wow..it's hard to believe how FAST this month is really going!
I mean, next week is Christmas...seems like only yesterday it was Halloween. Cie la vie...just means we need to enjoy the holiday season while we can. Speaking of which...
Last night, my family and I were able to attend an AWESOME holiday concert put on by the Silver Wings Band. They had all the old favorites celebrating the various holidays going on this time of year...and they also featured their new rock-ish group Crossfire. Let's just say that as much fun as the traditional music was, this group brought out another side to those in attendance. It was FANTASTIC, a definite tribute to the spirit of the season reminding us of the important things...friends, family and all those we hold dear. A night to remember for certain and a perfect segway to the book I am featuring today.
I know what you may be thinking...how could that possibly segway to a book review? Well, it's not in the obvious way with a holiday title or anything...it's in the reminder of the importance of family and a life well lived. The everyday ordinary turned extraordinary with a smile and a nod. It's a book that echos a bit of my own family's past while introducing you to someone relatively well known as well as the people that help to make him who he is today. Today's book of choice is....
Stories and Recipes from Mia Famiglia
This is the story of one man's journey to achieve a better life for his family...but it actually began generations before the man you know today. Buddy Valastro is the face of the TLC show, Cake Boss, and although he is the "Cake Boss" of this generation, he was not the first per se; that honor and title goes to his father, Bartolo. Picture it...Sicily 1939 (sorry for the Golden Girls flashback style, just couldn't resist). Antonio Valastro, is a man on a mission. He seeks to go to America and one day bring his wife and children to the land of opportunity. He leaves them with hearts full of love and hope...only to deliver utter disappointment. Eventually through the years, his daughters appeals to his kinder side brought the invitation they were originally promised and America was to be their new home...but a home is only made by the love that inhabits it and after the tearful trails of dishonesty and lies, Grace (their mother) could not bear the site of Antonio any longer. The family was broken beyond repair. Taking her children with her, they embarked on new lives of their own in the land of the free.
Recommended reading for all ages as there is a something to be taken away from this book for one and all. For the little ones, the truth in the saying, "you can achieve whatever you put your mind to" echoes clearly from every page; for teens, the value and honesty in a days work and the importance of family. For adults, all of the above and more...plus if you are the least bit adept at cooking, the chance to try out a few of the recipes that made Carlo's famous is right in your grasp. I know I'll be trying out a few of them very soon...now how to decide which one!
Review copy courtesy of Caitlin at Free Press (an imprint of Simon & Schuster). For more information on this title or to peruse to their full catalog, visit them online or follow along on Twitter. Now let us get to the creme de la creme, the whole canolli, the icing on the cake....it's time for a contest courtesy of Free Press! Here's all the cream filling...I mean details...you need to know....
(courtesy of Free Press)
How to enter...
Fill out THIS FORM.
(Though there will be a few others listed on the entry form, this extra tasty one I simply HAD to share now...)
Everyone loves a good pastry. Whether it be for dessert, a snack, or a special occasion, there's something special that tops each of our lists of favorites. The holidays...well, they bring them out in full force!
For your bonus entry, it's time to make everyone hungry and tell us...
...what's YOUR favorite baked good?
Be it a certain type of cake, cookie, pie, etc...all is fair game.
Who knows, you may even provide some inspiration for someone elses next baking endeavor!
*Open to US/Canada mailing addresses only! No P. O. Boxes please.
* Entries will be accepted from Thursday, December 16th, 2010 through Thursday, December 30th, 2010 at midnight CST. The entries will be tallied and entered into the random.org randomizer, after which a random number will be picked by their number generator. (This way all the entries are mixed up nicely.)
* All entries must be submitted using the form accessible through this post. You MUST include your email address in order to be counted as well as contacted should you be chosen as the winner!
*The winner will be announced and contacted via email by Monday, January 3rd, 2011 and will have 48 hours to respond with their mailing address. Should they fail to respond in the given time frame, a new winner will be chosen. If you choose to include your full name and mailing address in your contest entry, no worries....the time frame issue is erased.
*The winner's name and address will be forwarded to Caitlin at Free Press for prize send out only and then discarded.
Let the contest BEGIN!
Time to get those taste buds going and think of your favorite pastry type treat!
...Chocolate Chip Raisin Walnut Cookies...
...Mom's Cherry Pie...
...and now I have a serious sweet tooth craving.
Good luck everyone.
Until next time....happy holidays....and happy reading!