» 1 teaspoon of salt
» 1 teaspoon of pepper
» 6 8-10 oz. Veal Shanks must be 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick
» 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
» 6 tablespoons of olive oil
» 1 cup of white wine {we use Pinot Grigio NEVER use Chardonnay}
» 1 carrot,finely chopped (food processor recommended}
» 1 rib of celery,finely chopped
» 1 large Spanish onion,finely chopped I
» 4 whole cloves of garlic, finely chopped f
» 4 oz. of white button mushrooms
» 2 bay leaves,whole
» 2 cups of tomato sauce (we use our own tomatoes)
» 2 cups of chicken stock
» 1 cup of porcini mushrooms (sliced}

Preheat Oven to 375 degrees

Salt and pepper veal shanks and then dust with flour, remove excess by shaking.
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan until sizzling,add veal shanks and brown on both sides.
Transfer to a 9″ by 13″ casserole dish or Dutch oven.

Deglaze saute pan with 1/2 cup of white wine gathering all brown bits off saute pan,cook untilwine is reduced by half, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Pour mixture over the veal shanks.

Wipe saute pan clean and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil on high heat. When sizzling,then add:
• Carrots
• Onions
• Celery
• Mushrooms (both types}
• Garlic
• Bay leaves
Cook for 2 minutes stirring constantly.

Reduce heat to medium,cook for additional 5 minutes. Raise heat to medium high and add 1/2 cup of the wine. Cook until volume is reduced by half.

Add tomato sauce,chicken stock, then raise heat to bring to a boil,while stirring well and constantly.
Once boiling, pour mixture over meat.

Cover casserole loosely with heavy duty aluminum foil. (Or put lid on if using Dutch oven.}
Place in oven and reduce temperature to 350 degrees and cook for 1 1/2

Remove foil (or lid}, turn over shanks, and cook for 1 hour more, uncovered.
Note: Add an additional 10 minutes if shanks are 2″ thick.
Sauce should be rich and tasty and you can now adjust salt to taste.

Serve with risotto with saffron or smashed garlic potatoes.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 2 cans San Marzano Whole tomatoes with liquid
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (16 ounce) package linguine pasta
  • 2 pounds mussels
  • 12 littlenecks
  • 8 ounces bay scallops
  • 3 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley


  1. In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil with the garlic over medium heat.
  2. When the garlic starts to sizzle, add the hot pepper flakes
  3. Crush the tomatoes with a potato masher and add to the pan
  4. Add 1 cup of white wine
  5. Season with salt and red pepper and bring to a boil.
  6. Lower the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.
  8. In a separate large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 cup white wine over high heat.
  9. When it comes to a boil, add the mussels and littlenecks. Cook until the shellfish is opened and remove
  10. Sear the scallops in the mixture 2 minutes.
    Add the seafood liquid to the tomato sauce and combine.
  11. In the skillet, add the pasta, shellfish and tomato sauce and heat until sauce start to bubble.
  12. Sprinkle with parsley, red pepper flakes,  and fresh grated parmeggiano regianno.

4 Eggs
4 Cups of Milk
Peel of 1 Lemon
6 Tbs Sugar
8 Tbs of Flour or 4 Tbs Cornstarch

Slowly bring the milk to boil Start at low and slowly increase temperature as milk warms up

Beat the eggs well
Add the sugar and mix
Add the flour and mix very well until combined and the flour lumps are gone

When the milk reaches almost boiling, take out 1 cup of the milk and slowly add to the milk mixture, mixing constantly Let sit for two minutes

Reduce heat to medium

Slowly add warmed egg mixture to boiling milk, whisking constantly. The mixture will immediately thicken

If there are consistency issues, add some cold milk and stir

Let cool and serve

6 slices bacon diced
2cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup diced shallots
3 tbs butter
2 tbs balsamic glaze
1/4 cup Italian dressing
1 bag baby spinach

Sautéed mushroom shallots and cranberries over medium heat until softened

Add diced bacon stirring constantly until cooked thru until minutes

Mix balsamic glaze with Italian dressing and add

Too spinach on top, turn off heat and stir until wilted and combined


5 center-cut bacon slices
1 1/2 pounds jumbo sea scallops (about 12)
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 cup chopped onion
6 garlic cloves, sliced
12 ounces fresh baby spinach
balsamic glaze
4 lemon wedges (optional)


1. Cook bacon in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pan; coarsely chop and set bacon aside. Increase heat to high.

2. Pat scallops dry with paper towels. Sprinkle scallops evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

3. Add scallops to drippings in pan; cook 2 1/2 minutes on each side or until done. Transfer to a plate; keep warm. Reduce heat to medium-high.

4. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

5. Add half of spinach; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add remaining half of spinach; cook 2 minutes or just until wilted, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

6. Divide spinach mixture among 4 plates; top each serving evenly with crumbled bacon and 3 scallops.
Drizzle balsamic glaze over arranged scallops Serve immediately with lemon wedges, if desired.


6 small beets, trimmed (about 18 ounces)
6 tablespoons olive oil (preferably extra-virgin)
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 sweet onion sliced
1 large garlic clove, pressed
Pinch of sugar
12 cups mixed baby greens
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)


Preheat oven to 400°F. Wrap beets in foil, enclosing completely. Bake until beets are tender when pierced with fork, about 1 hour. Cool slightly. Peel and slice beets. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Whisk olive oil, rice wine vinegar, garlic and sugar in medium bowl to blend. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
Over high heat, carmelize sweet onions
Lay beets around small plate, onions in the center and arugula and gorgonzola on top. Spoon dressing over arugula and serve.

Well, it has been more than few years since I sat down and sent out a holiday letter. No matter how much you try to hide, we hear about all of the terrible things in the world. We’re caught up in the rush that is our lives, our jobs, our commitments, our projects and too often focus on our frustrations.

I just feel like more than ever, this year I want to focus on what is beautiful in my life and what I am so grateful and happy for:

Dave and DebI am grateful for my wonderful relationship with Deb. We moved in together last summer and it was the best decision I ever made. She is always behind me and has the incredible ability to make me laugh when I feel down. I spent many years looking, but I have finally found the person that I will spend the rest of my life with.

Dave and Mom

I am incredibly thankful for my Mom. She is 80 years old and still can run circles around me. She is the rock around which our entire family is anchored.



Dad and Luch


I’m blessed and thankful for the relationship I have with my daughter Luciana. She is working hard to make her mark on the world and I am so proud of her.



I am so blessed for my family…my brother, sister, niece, godsons, cousins, aunts, step children, and everyone else in our little circle. One of my greatest pleasures is hosting get togethers and getting to spend time with some or all of them.

I am grateful for my music. Every time I climb behind that drum kit and the music starts, I am in the transported to a place of sheer joy and happiness. It is written all over my face.

Harley RideI am so thankful for the peace I feel riding my Harley on a deserted, winding back road in the middle of nowhere, overlooking a beautiful lake or mountain range. The wind in my face and the exhalation of
coming out of a corner puts me in a peaceful, calm place.

I am blessed to be able to stay in touch with my friends from the many roads I have traveled in my life so far: high school, college, work, Rotary, the PMC, theater, music food and wine, and my neighbors and community.

SarnanoI’m grateful for my beautiful homeland…Italia. I had the chance to spend sixteen days there admiring the beauty of the ocean, the mountains and the passing time with my friends and family there.

I took the leap after 33 years of working for myself, went to work for someone else. When Deb and I are sitting on a beach in Jamaica and I am getting paid for that time, all of the worries of going to work for someone melt away. I did make the right decision.

IMG_3351Our annual Toys for Tots Party was a lot of fun. great food, great friends and a karaoke holiday sing along!  Most importantly ,we collected and donated almost 70 toys to make the holidays a little brighter for a needy child.

My challenges this next year are simple….lose 2 pounds a week, get a knee replacement and get back in shape. With all of your help and support, I will make it happen.

Here is hoping that you can find some time, during this holiday season, to reflect on what you are grateful and what brings you peace and joy.



  • 8 chicken thighs (about 2 pounds), trimmed of any excess skin or fat
  • 1 tablespoon Emeril’s Original Essence or Emeril’s Essence Creole Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups thinly sliced yellow onions
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme, tied in a bundle, or 2 sprigs fresh rosemary or 1tbsp thyme and 1tbsp basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups chicken stock or canned, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Steamed white rice, for serving


  1. Season the chicken all over with the Essence and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Place the 1/2 cup flour in a small bowl, and quickly dredge both sides of each thigh in the flour, shaking to remove any excess. Set aside.
  2. Heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil in a 10-to 12-inch flameproof casserole or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter, and when it has melted, place the chicken, skin side down, in the pan. Brown for 2 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter to the pan, and when it has melted, add the onions, garlic, thyme bundle or rosemary sprigs, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the black pepper. Cook, stirring as needed, until the onions are translucent, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle the 1 tablespoon flour over the onions and cook for 2 minutes longer. Then whisk in the chicken stock and increase the heat to high. Return the chicken, skin side down, to the pan, and bring the stock to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan with a heavy, tight-fitting lid, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Uncover the pan, stir the bottom of the pan to prevent scorching, and turn the chicken skin side up. Cover the pan, and simmer for 20 minutes longer.
  5. Stir the bottom of the pan a final time, re-cover, and simmer for 20 more minutes.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and discard the herb bundle or rosemary sprigs. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Add the parsley to the sauce, stir to combine, and then spoon the sauce over the chicken. Serve with steamed white rice.


1 pound dried red beans, rinsed and sorted over or 4 15.5 oz cans of red beans rinsed thoroughly
1/2 pound of bacon diced
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped green bell peppers
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne
3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1/2 pound andouille sausage, split in half lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
10 cups chicken stock, or water
4 cups cooked white rice
1/4 cup chopped green onions, garnish

Place the beans in a large bowl or pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Let soak for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and set aside.

In a large pot, heat the bacon grease over medium-high heat. Add the tasso and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the onions, celery and bell peppers to the grease in the pot. Season with the salt, pepper, and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, about 4 minutes. Add the bay leaves, parsley, thyme, sausage, and ham hocks, and cook, stirring, to brown the sausage and ham hocks, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the beans and stock or water, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender and starting to thicken, about 2 hours. (Should the beans become too thick and dry, add more water, about 1/4 cup at a time.)

Remove from the heat and with the back of a heavy spoon, mash about 1/4 of the beans against the side of the pot. Continue to cook until the beans are tender and creamy, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and remove the bay leaves.

Serve over rice and garnish with green onions.