Connecticut Lifestyles Connecticut Lifestyles is your source for things to do in Connecticut, New England and beyond. Sun, 14 Jan 2018 20:49:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Connecticut Lifestyles 32 32 Disney On Ice Presents Frozen Coming to the XL Center in January Fri, 05 Jan 2018 07:52:01 +0000 Disney On Ice presents Frozen at the XL Center in January!

Discover the full story of Disney’s Frozen like never before at Disney On Ice presents Frozen! Join Anna as Olaf, Kristoff and Sven help her find Elsa and bring back summer. Hosted by Mickey and Minnie, delight in unforgettable music and special appearances by favorite Disney stars. Create memories to last a lifetime at the show worth melting for!

Get tickets and full information

The review are in and fans are raving for Disney Magic On Ice “Once again, Disney does a wonderful job of creating magic for the whole family. It was an amazing show, we would go see it again!”

Disney On Ice Presents Frozen Coming to the XL Center in January

Olaf, Kristoff and Sven will delight and amazes the kids as well as the adults who bring them.

The complete adventure of the Academy Award® winning tale will be told live for the first time in this production, capturing the dynamic of two royal sisters, Anna and Elsa. Anna, a girl with an extraordinary heart, embarks on an epic journey to find her sister, the magical Elsa, who is determined to remain secluded as she finally feels free to test the limits of her powers. Rugged mountain man Kristoff, his loyal reindeer Sven, the lovable and hilarious snowman Olaf and the mystical trolls help Anna along the way in this story about love conquering fear. Audiences will get to sing along with such musical masterpieces as “Let it Go,” “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” and “Fixer Upper.”

“In our more than 30 years of producing Disney On Ice shows, Feld Entertainment has been waiting for a film like this,” says producer Nicole Feld. “While it might seem obvious that Frozen is well suited for the ice, this Disney On Ice production will touch audiences emotionally through innovative show elements and world-class skating.”

Fisney On Ice presents Frozen in Hartford

Fisney On Ice presents Frozen in Hartford

Fisney On Ice presents Frozen in Hartford

Read our interview with Julianne DiMura who portrays Else in Disney on Ice Frozen.

Fisney On Ice presents Frozen in Hartford

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Meet Julianne DiMura (Elsa) Star of Disney on Ice Frozen Thu, 04 Jan 2018 22:54:52 +0000 Julianne DiMura portrays Elsa in Disney on Ice FrozenJulianne DiMura will portray Elsa in Disney on Ice Frozen coming to the XL Center in Hartford. Let’s learn more about this amazing ice skater and star of Disney on Ice Frozen.

Julianne DiMura, fondly called Jules by her friends, grew up in East Greenbush, New York. Her friends and family describes her as kind, empathetic, hard working, patient, and friendly. Julianne began staking at the young age of 6 years old. Her parents are very loving and supportive parents and worked tirelessly to help her and her sister (Nicolette) accomplish their goals and make the most of opportunities that came their way.

What do you enjoy about performing?

I love having the opportunity to tell a story for an audience and express myself through interpreting different characters/themes/styles of skating. It is such a rewarding feeling seeing audience members, especially young children, excited about a performance and reacting to what they are seeing on the ice. How lucky I am to be able to entertain families for a living! Seeing the happy reactions on people’s faces is a constant reminder of why I love to perform and do what I do everyday at work.

Julianne DiMura will portray Elsa in Disney on Ice Frozen

What do you want the audience to get from your performance?

I want the audience to really believe in my performance and be moved by my interpretation of Elsa and the story of Frozen on the ice. My job as an entertainer is to make a connection with the audience and draw members from the crowd into the performance. This is certainly something I strive to do and improve upon every show.

What advice would you give to kids who want to be performers?

The best advice I ever received was to always remember to find the joy in performing. I would also tell children to work hard, persevere, ask questions about the world of ice shows/being a professional figure skater, and learn to be comfortable on the ice and confident in their skating abilities/what skills they have to offer. Show skating is a wonderful outlet for skaters with various skill sets – it’s important for kids to know that this could be a great option for them in the future if they enjoy performing and traveling!

What is your favorite memory on or off the ice?

My favorite memories are from my family vacations to Ocean City, NJ. My immediate family and up to 50 of my extended relatives and family friends all travel to Ocean City, NJ every summer for two weeks. It has been a family tradition for decades now and something that I hope to do with my own children in the future. Ocean City, NJ is definitely a “happy place”.

Julianne DiMura will portray Elsa in Disney on Ice Frozen

What is the best and worst thing about living on the road?

What I love most about life on tour is the unique opportunity to meet and work with people from all over the world. It is so exciting to constantly be exposed to different languages, cultures, and ways of life. Another exciting component of tour life is the constant traveling – you can be in a different city, or even a different country, on a weekly basis! I am so grateful to be in a profession that has enabled me to travel all over the world to perform.

The worst, or perhaps most difficult, aspect of being on the road is being away from family and close friends for long periods of time. The constant traveling makes it challenging to see those closest to you outside of work on a regular basis, but it is all part of the job and tour experience.

I have learned the importance of staying in touch with friends and family while touring. I have also learned to be a lot more self-sufficient and independent through my international traveling experiences. I am very lucky to have had the opportunity to spend a lot of time working and living in Europe, Asia, the United States. It has opened up my eyes to different lifestyles and values as well as helped me become a more cosmopolitan and worldly individual. While on the road, one is always being exposed to new things, new places, new people.

What are some of your ice skating achievements?

I am a USFS Gold Medalist in Partnered Ice Dance, Solo Ice Dance, and Moves in the Field. I have completed through my Junior test in freestyle and through my Third test in Figures. Prior to attending the University of Delaware, I was the 2008 Empire State Games Bronze Medalist, the 2008 Lake Placid Championships Junior Ladies Gold Medalist, and a Finalist in the Junior Ladies Division at the 2009. Competing on and serving on the Executive Board (President, Secretary) of the University of Delaware Collegiate Figure Skating Team was definitely a highlight of my skating career. The intercollegiate circuit provides skaters with the unique experience of competing in individual events while simultaneously earning points collectively toward their teams. UDCFST has won multiple intercollegiate national titles, so it was certainly an honor and extremely rewarding experience to be a 4-year starter (competitor) on the team and find both team and individual success at the national level. I also competed in the Solo Dance Series for two seasons, qualifying for the Solo Dance National Championships both years.

What does the future hold for you?

Hopefully great things! With this touring lifestyle, I try to take life one day at a time and be present. I hope to continue working as a Professional Figure Skater for at least the next few years – accepting new challenges, creating/coming across new opportunities, and setting/achieving more goals.

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Get a Snow Broom for Safe Car Snow Removal Wed, 03 Jan 2018 02:08:33 +0000 Each year we have a lot of snow in Connecticut and since we had problems removing snow and ice from your car can be tedious with a standard ice scraper and you can also scratch your paint job if you aren’t careful. Car dealers use something called a Snow Broom to safe and fast snow and ice removal from cars, trucks and SUVs.

A “snow broom” is a tool you can use to easy and safely remove some from your car or other vehicles. It’s the best tool to us to remove snow and not scratch your car’s paint job. It also makes snow and ice removal must faster. The Sno Brum costs around $24.99 and another option is the Snow Joe for around $12.99

The Snow Brum (or Snow Joe) has a head made of hard plastic that has polyethylene foam covering all of the edges. This is the part that protects your car’s finish and doesn’t scratch the glass. The head is wide and covers a lot of area. The adjustable telescoping handle extends from 27-inches to 46-inches for plenty of reach. It has an extra cover over the end of the handle with an opening so you can hang it on the wall in the garage or wherever you store you broom, if you want.

Snow Broom, Sno Brum, car safe snow removal

The Snow Broom removes both snow and ice and solves our problem to protect your car’s paint and finish. You have to use the edges to get the ice off but it works fine. The handle is long enough that it goes all of the way across the windshield and also on the top of the car or SUV.

snow broom for easy snow removal on a car, truck or suv

This Snow broom is designed to remove snow and ice from your car and is not a snow and ice remover for your house. Many “snow broom” buyers think this is for snow removal from a roof. It is not. It is not sturdy enough snow and ice removal from a roof. If you are looking to remove snow off of your roof you should look for a Snow Roof Rake.

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Spicy Sunshine Orange Smoothie Recipe Tue, 02 Jan 2018 18:39:54 +0000 In October, orange is king, so you’ll have an easy time finding lots of orange produce to enjoy. Orange radiates newness and fresh starts. It’s the color of sunshine, of orange juice, of egg yolks, and our focus today as we eat our way through the rainbow. Simply looking at the color orange can spark creativity, conjure joy, encourage friendliness and whet the appetite, and eating orange produce gets you ready to do all of that! Orange coloration indicates the presence of antioxidants such as beta-carotene and lycopene, which can help support a healthy inflammatory response, increase immunity and boost eye and skin health.

Spicy Sunshine Orange Smoothie

Spicy Sunshine Smoothie Ingredients:

Makes two servings.

2 bananas
5 blood or navel oranges, peeled and seeded (or about 1 1/2 cups orange juice)
1/2 of a fresh papaya, seeds removed
1 inch knob of fresh turmeric, peeled
1/2 inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled


Place all of the ingredients in a blender. Blend on high until smooth. Pour into your favorite glasses and serve immediately. Enjoy

Recipe Source:

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Add Italian Flair to Your Meals with These 8 Steps Tue, 02 Jan 2018 16:18:16 +0000 Add Italian flair to your meals with these 8 steps and keep reading for a delicious recipe from Balducci’s chefs. Balducci’s, with two locations in Connecticut (Westport and Riverside), is the premiere destination for gourmet food, specializing in prepared foods, meats, cheeses, baked goods, custom catering & gift baskets.

1. Choose the right oils: Extra virgin olive oil makes the perfect base for Italian salad dressings, sauces and marinades. Remember to stick to lighter colored olive oils for roasting and pan frying.

2. Use aromatics wisely: Garlic, capers, onions and olives can be used to easily release extra flavor into oils.

3. Add a splash of balsamic: Adding a small amount of balsamic vinegar to your cooking instantly creates a more refined dish.

4. Spice up your dish: Fresh parsley, basil, rosemary and sage will add Italian flair to any dish. Use these herbs to bring out the natural flavors of each ingredient in your recipe.

5. Fruits & Veggies: Italian food incorporates plenty of fresh, seasonal produce. We recommend asparagus, grapes, lemons and oranges in the early spring, and eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, and cherries during the summer months.

6. Enjoy pasta and risotto as the main dish: It’s common among Italians to enjoy pasta as the main dish. Toss with some of the above spices and sauces and enjoy on its own!

7. Add meat to your Italian dishes: Meat is more frequently used in Italian dishes than chicken. We recommend our Chef Prepared Marinara Meatballs or fresh Italian-style sausage, made in-store.

8. Properly pair your pasta and sauces: As a good rule of thumb, always pair light sauces and oil with long, thin noodles like angel hair; thicker sauces with wider, long noodles like fettuccine; and chunky sauces with meats and vegetables with short pasta like rotini or penne.

Seared Swordfish with Roasted Tomatoes and Olives

Seared Swordfish with Roasted Tomatoes and Olives

Indulge in delicious Italian cuisine with Balducci’s recipes for Seared Swordfish with Olives and Roasted Tomatoes.


  • 4 -1” thick swordfish fillets, approximately 6 oz. each
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Balducci’s Organic Olive Oil
  • 8 oz. cherry tomatoes
  • 6 oz. green and black olives, pitted
  • 4 fresh garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 400°. In a large bowl, toss together the tomatoes, ¼ cup of olive oil, garlic, shallots and sugar.

Pour out onto a baking sheet, and roast for 20 minutes until the tomatoes have slightly browned and blistered.

Turn the oven off and add the olives, lemon slices, salt and pepper to the baking sheet with the cooked tomatoes. Toss to combine and place back in the still-warm oven while preparing the swordfish.

In a large sauté pan, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then sprinkle each side of the swordfish fillets with salt and pepper.

Sear one side of the fish until golden brown, about 4 minutes, then turn and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes until golden brown.

Plate each swordfish fillet and top with the roasted tomatoes and olive mixture.

Garnish with fresh parsley.

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4 Unique Winter Sports To Try this Winter Mon, 01 Jan 2018 22:56:46 +0000 Do you always end up in the ski lodge, hot chocolate in hand, during the winter? While curling up with a book and getting some R&R is often well deserved, there’s no reason you need to sit on the sidelines this winter. Maybe traditional winter sports, like skiing and snowboarding, aren’t your thing, that’s okay. You may be surprised at how many unusual winter activities exist! Rethink your winter exercise with these unique and inspiring winter sport ideas, and how to make them happen in your own backyard.

unique winter sports, snow tubing connecticut, ice climbing, dog sledding, polar bear plunge

1. Take a Polar Bear Plunge

On New Year’s Day, thrill-seeking locals from the US, Canada, the UK, the Netherlands, South Korea and other countries get wet and cold as they run across the sand, leap into the icy water, and swim toward the finish line as part of Polar Bear Swim competitions. Polar Bear plunges, sometimes called Penguin Plunges, are popular. The tradition is said to be more about spreading good cheer and welcoming good health in the New Year than the actual race, and the proceeds are often donated to charities.

Connecticut has lots of Polar Bear Plunge opportunities not only on New Year’s Day but throughout the winter.

Do It Today: This tradition might sound familiar, and it’s most popularly known as the polar bear plunge in America. So welcome in the New Year — or jazz up the doldrums of winter — by participating in one near you.

2. Dog Sledding (or Skijorin!)

“Mush!” Dog sledding, (also called mushing) Alaska’s official sport, involves a team of super cute huskies pulling you along for either a short sprint or a long journey. (Sled rides can range anywhere from a few minutes to multiple days.) For those heading to the most northern part of the USA, many organizations offer 11-day backpacking expeditions that combine mushing, trekking and rafting.

While Connecticut doesn’t offer any dog sledding opportunities, neighboring states like Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont do offer dog sledding and it’s makes a great day trip.

Do It Today: Not planning a trip to Alaska this year? For a snowy adventure with your own dogs, check out “skijoring” — it’s a combination of cross country skiing and dog sledding where you are pulled along on skis by your pup(s). If you’re looking for more pup playtime than competitive sport, take your pooch to a local golf course and sled down hills with him in tow (or running alongside you). We promise he’ll love you for it!

3. Ice Climbing

Besides being a diverse and beautiful country, Chile’s El Morado Glacier makes for a thrilling ice climbing trip. Yes, you read that right! Climb the hanging glacier and snap some photos while you experience breathtaking views.

Local Connecticut companies do offer guided ice climbing excursions in Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.

Do It Today: This is certainly one for the bucket list. In the meantime, try snowshoeing. It’s not quite as daredevil-esque, but definitely a fun time. While they may make you feel silly, snowshoes — made specifically for walking in the show — distribute weight over a larger area so that you don’t sink completely into the snow “flotation.” Challenge yourself to show shoe on difficult trails and routes in a snowy place nearby.

4. Snow Tubing

So you’d rather pass on skiing or snowboarding — we hear you. How about tubing? Like sledding for the over 10 crowd, snow tubing is easy, cheap and incredibly fun. While it’s done all over the world, it’s particularly popular with our Canadian neighbors, who head to places like Rock Ridge Recreation Park in Ontario, dedicated to the sport with six tubing runs.

Looking for snow tubing in Connecticut? Check out the Woodbury Ski Area with 15 snow tubing runs offering almost a mile of tubing trails, three parks, and four lifts. Woodbury is the largest snow tubing destination in Connecticut, and the closest to New York City. Trails are lighted for night use. Tubing sessions are sold in blocks of one hour, three hours, and all day

Do It Today: Good news: The best places to go sledding are usually also the best places to tube. Purchase your tube and try using it at your local sledding hill (safely, of course!) or conduct a search online to see if there are any dedicated slopes near you (when serviced by lifts, tubes can get much more momentum).

This article was written by Vanessa Voltolina for Discover and Play and used by permission. Connecticut information provided by Connecticut Lifestyles Magazine

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Hearty Cabbage Soup Recipe Mon, 01 Jan 2018 21:30:58 +0000 Cabbage soup isn’t just for St. Patrick’s day. Cabbage soup should be added to your recipe list and made throughout the year. Cabbage soup is a hearty and nourishing, “comfort food” soup that is also perfect on a cold winter’s night. Made with cabbage, chicken stock, onions, carrots and tomatoes, it’s a rather simple recipe to follow. We top ours with bacon and it is just that little touch that gives it extra flavor.

Hearty Cabbage Soup Recipe

This is our original recipe for a Hearty Cabbage Soup.

Hearty Cabbage Soup Recipe

Kitchen Supplies Needed:

Cabbage Soup Cooking Kitchen Utensils Supplies

Cabbage Soup Ingredients:

  • 1/2 head cabbage, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 4 to 5 slices of bacon, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 14 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons basil
  • 2 whole Bay leaves
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Cabbage Soup Cooking Instructions:

1. Gather the ingredients and prepare the vegetables.

2. In a large Dutch oven, cook bacon until crispy, then remove bacon. Add onions to bacon fat and cook until almost tender. Add garlic to onions and cook for one minute. Add celery and carrots, saute for 10 minutes.

3. Add broth and Bay leaves and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Add oregano and basil and simmer for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and cabbage. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and cook until the cabbage is tender. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

5. Serve in soup bowl and add bacon bits as garnish.

6. Enjoy!

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Muffins for Meals in Minutes Recipes Mon, 01 Jan 2018 20:22:46 +0000 Looking for something quick and easy to make for brunch, dinner or even an afternoon snack? Whip out that muffin pan and make mini muffin meals in just minutes.

You may have seen mini meals in the shape of muffins on your favorite Pinterest boards and food bloggers’ sites. We love the idea of these portion-sized meals that will keep you full. Not only that, but they’re great to have on hand for lunches, dinners, and snacks throughout the week. Here, international fitness model, foodie, and mom of three, Tiffany Lee Gaston, shares three of her favorite muffin recipes that are the base of delicious, healthy meals. Cook them up on the weekend and reheat them all week long!

Muffins Meals Recipe

Turkey Cranberry Mini Meatloaves Recipe

Tip: Try Hunt’s version of a Mini Meatloaf Recipe!

This recipe will remind you of a smaller version of Thanksgiving dinner!

Servings: 12 mini loaves


  • 1-1/2 lbs. ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 medium onion minced
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup canned whole cranberries
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. Herbes De Provence


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Place onion and garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
3. Add all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
4. Using an ice cream scoop or a large spoon, spoon into greased muffin tins filling nearly to the top.
5. Press down firmly to pack and bake for 32-35 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160°F.
6. Let cool 5 minutes before removing from muffin tin.

Mini Veggie Frittatas on Ham Crust Muffin Recipe

These frittatas are great for an easy breakfast when you’re short on time, or an appetizer!

Servings: 12 mini loaves


  • 12 eggs
  • 12 slices of ham
  • 1/4 cup jalapeno (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup diced cooked potatoes or hash browns (can purchase pre-cooked in bag)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Whisk eggs.  Place a slice of ham in each section of a greased muffin tin.
3. Fill with egg mixture, no more than ½ to ¾ full depending on how much of the veggie mixture you prefer.
4. In another bowl, combine all veggies; season to taste with salt and pepper.
5.  Spoon veggie mixture evenly into each frittata cup giving a little stir to incorporate ingredients.
6. Bake for 28-30 minutes.

Steak and Smashed Potato Mini Meatloaves Recipe

Have your steak and eat it, too (with spuds), in these tasty mini meals.

Servings: 12 mini loaves


  • 1-1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup diced cooked potatoes smashed (try packaged diced potatoes for convenience)
  • 1/4 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. rosemary


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a large bowl, season ground beef with sea salt, pepper and rosemary and add in onion, garlic, and potatoes.
3. Combine well and use an ice cream scoop or a large spoon to drop mixture into greased muffin tins filling nearly to the top.
4. Press down firmly to pack and bake for 32-35 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160°F.
5. Let cool 5 minutes before removing.

These recipes were created by Diana Kelly for What’s Cooking and used by permissions.

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How to Make the Perfect Cheeseboard + Recipes Mon, 01 Jan 2018 16:45:24 +0000 January 20th is National Cheese Lovers Day an Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market has a way to make the Perfect Cheeseboard. The cheese mongers at Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market are passionate about their jobs, and it shows in our incredible selection of hand-cut gourmet cheeses from around the world. With unique varieties, cheesy recipes and decadent wine pairings, Balducci’s is THE place to help you celebrate properly.

Suggested Cheeses for your Cheeseboard

Alp Blossom: Produced and aged at Sennerei Huban in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg, this cow’s milk pasteurized cheese ages for six months, then completes its delectable adventure in the caves at Kaeskuche in Bavaria, where the cheese is covered in a combination of dried edible flowers and herbs pulled from the surrounding Alpine meadows. Needs a pair with…. You can use dried fruits or roasted nuts.

Grana Padano: Produced by Farm 359 in the province of Placenza, the name “grana” means “grainy,” which describes the texture of this cheese, originally created by monks in the 12th century. Pair with peppered salami.

3-Year Aged Canadian Cheddar: Aged to perfection, this Cheddar is extra rich, sharp and creamy. It’s delicious on savory crackers. Pair with fresh fruit, raw vegetables and oil-cured olives.

Make the Perfect Cheeseboard for National Cheese Lovers Day

Cheesy Recipe Ideas:

Marinated Seared Halloumi Bites


  • Halloumi 35.25 oz (4 each)
  • Lemon Juice 3 oz
  • Olive Oil 2 oz
  • Garlic, peeled, rough chopped .2 oz (1 clove)
  • Mint, rough chopped .2 oz
  • Basil, rough chopped .2 oz
  • Black Pepper, ground .025 oz


1. Combine garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, mint, basil and black pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined.

2. Drain the liquid from the packages of halloumi.

3. Slice each piece of halloumi in half (width-wise), then cut each slice in half into 2 triangles.

4. Mix the halloumi with the marinade mixture, making sure to coat each piece well.

5. Wrap and place in the refrigerator, labeled and dated.

6. Marinate the halloumi cheese overnight (keeping in cold holding under 40F).

7. Remove the cheese from the marinade.

8. Heat a medium non-stick sauce pan over medium-high heat (a flat top can also be used). Once heated, pour approx. 1 oz of canola oil in the pan. Spray the pan with cooking spray.

9. Pat dry each piece of halloumi cheese before placing it in the pan. Place the halloumi in the heated pan.

10. To prevent the cheese from sticking, move the pan around intermittently.

11. Once the cheese is golden brown on one side, flip to sear on the other side.

12. Remove the cheese from the pan once it’s seared and golden brown on both sides.. Place in the refrigerator on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper until cooled below 40F.

13. Garnish with sprigs of mint and basil and serve.

Baked Apple Brie with Caramelized Onions, and Bacon


  • One 14 Ounce Round Brie or 2 or 3 Small Whole Brie
  • 3 Delicious Apples
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Chopped Toasted Pecans
  • 1/2 Stick Butter Plus 2 Tablespoons
  • 4 Slices Cooked Bacon, Crumbled
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cardamom
  • 1 French Bread Baguette, Sliced
  • 1/2 Stick of Butter, Melted, for the Crostini


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

1. Melt the 1/2 stick of butter in a saute pan. Add the cardamom. Slice apples into thin slices and saute until the apples caramelize, around 10 minutes. Remove apples from the pan and set aside.

2. Add the remaining butter and melt it. Turn off the heat and add the brown sugar, toasted pecans and crumbled bacon.

3. Place the brie(s) on an ovenproof serving platter. Pour the butter/brown sugar mixture over the top of the brie. Place in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove and top with the caramelized apples.

4. Serve with French bread crostini


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

1. Place sliced French bread on a large cookie sheet. Brush each piece with melted butter.

2. Place in the oven for 8-10 minutes.

3. Remove and store in a zip lock bag. May be made the day before serving.

Truffle Macaroni and Cheese

Serves: 6-8, Cook Time: 40 minutes


  • 1 Pound of penne pasta
  • 1/4 Pound of imported Parma Ham, sliced 1/4 inch thick (The Balducci’s Deli associate will be happy to do this for you.)
  • 1 Teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 2 Sticks sweet butter
  • 1 Cup Japanese Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 Cup all purpose flour
  • 1 Quart milk (whole milk preferred, but you can substitute with a 2% fat milk), heated
  • 1 Cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 Cup shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1-2 Teaspoon Drops of Truffles Truffle oil
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped thyme
  • Salt
  • Pepper


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F

1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil; add in 4 tbs of salt. Cook Penne pasta al dente following manufacturer’s instructions. Drain in a colander and refresh cooked pasta with cold water. Drain well.

2. Cut the 1/4 inch thick sliced Parma ham into 1/4 inch dice.

3. Heat a 1 quart sauce pan with vegetable oil and add in diced Parma ham, sauté slowly over medium heat until you have rendered the Parma ham fat out, remove caramelized dice Parma ham with a slotted spoon and reserve for later.

4. Add 1 stick of butter to the Parma ham fat and when melted stir in Panko breadcrumbs, mix well to incorporate all flavors. Set aside for later.

5. In a 1 gallon sauce pan add in remaining butter and melt; add in flour to form a roux. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the roux start to turn a light golden brown color.

6. Slowly whisk in the heated milk and continue whisking for 10 minutes until a smooth sauce is formed and all of the flour taste is gone.

7. Lower the heat to low and start whisking in the shredded cheeses a little at a time to form a cheese sauce. Add in thyme and 1 tsp of Truffle oil (feel free to add more Truffle oil in to get to your taste preference). Add in cooked Parma ham and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

8. Fold in the cooked penne and mix gently to incorporate all ingredients.

9. Grease a 9 inch x13 inch oven safe dish with cooking spray, add prepared Penne pasta into dish and top with prepared Japanese breadcrumbs.

10. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. To finish the dish drizzle the breadcrumb topping with a little more Truffle oil.

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Learn How to Make Homemade Pasta and Ravioli Mon, 01 Jan 2018 04:39:26 +0000 We recently attending a pasta making class at the Coventry Winter Market, with the father and son duo from DiFiore’s Ravioli Shop in Hartford, Connecticut. DiFiore’s is family-owned and has been in business for 32 years. We were going on an adventure to learn how to create raviolis and pasta the right way and also make a traditional Italian dish called Fettuccine Paglia e Fieno. Paglia e Fieno has traditionally be eaten in celebration of Spring.

DiFiore’s Pasta and Ravioli Shop is located at 556 Franklin Ave, Hartford, CT 06114.

Check them out on their website, Facebook, and Instagram to see what they’re making now.

Difiore Traviol Pasta Shop, Hartford, Connecticut

All of the ingredients were ready when we arrived. Several types of ravioli cutters and presses were available. We found out that using a depression tray is the easiest way to create perfect raviolis. You will learn how to use a ravioli depression tray below so keep reading.

how to make homemade pasta

To make fresh pasta dough, just follow some basic steps. First, use the best flour. DiFiore says that Durum flour is great for making pasta dough. Second, spread your flour on a work surface, make a mound with a large indention in the center and crack your eggs into the middle. You can mix up the eggs right inside of the flour and continue to work it into a dough ball. When your dough ball is ready, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it sit.

During our class, we made both regular pasta dough and Arugula pasta dough. Recipes are included for both below.

how to make homemade pasta dough

Pasta Dough Recipe

Arugula Pasta Dough Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Durum flour
  • 1/4 pound fresh baby arugula
  • 3 large eggs
  • touch of water as needed

Regular Pasta Dough Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Durum flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • touch of water as needed


1. If making arugula pasta, thoroughly blend arugula and eggs in a blender or food processor.

Argula Ravilio Pasta Filling

2. For either type of pasta, form a volcano mound with the flour. For arugula pasta, pour the egg and arugula in the middle of the mound of flour. For plain pasta, crack open the eggs in a small bowl, remove any egg shell pieces and then pour the eggs into the middle of the mound of flour.

3. With a fork, slowing swirl the eggs to start drawing the flour into the eggs. Continue until a ball of pasta starts to form, then start kneading the pasta until a smooth ball forms. Add water as needed to keep pasta moist.

4. Once pasta dough is made, wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.

5. When your pasta has rested, form it into ravioli or cut into Linguini or other shapes as desired. For ravioli filling, use the instructions below.

How to Fill Raviolis

We also learned how to fill raviolis, the easy way. Using this method also insures they will come out near perfect. You could use a ravioli stamp, but the DiFiore’s suggest you use a ravioli depression tray because it is so much easier.

ravioli press depression tray

First, you need to cut your dough ball into four pieces and then run those pieces, one at a time through a pasta cutter. You can get a pasta cutter that will cut a variety of thicknesses and widths. We used the Atlas pasta cutter in our class and it was very easy to use. We were told to run our dough through about 4 or 5 times until it is very thin. If you run it through too many times, though, it will be tough and rubbery.

Atlas Pasta Cutter, how to make fresh pasta

1. Cover the tray with flour to help the raviolis come out easier.

2. Once your dough is rolled out, place a strip of dough that is the width of the tray and double the length over the base of the tray. Press the dough lightly into the depressions in the mold.

3. Fill a piping or pastry bag with the ravioli filling, cut open the end, and then press filling into the center of each depression.

4. Fold the extra over-top the tray and use a rolling pin to press the two sides together. The edges will crimp the two sides together.

5. Turn the tray over and let the sheet of raviolis fall out onto your work surface. Cut the raviolis apart if necessary.

how to fill raviolis, how to make fresh raviolis

how to fill raviolis, how to make fresh raviolis

Ravioli Filling


  • 1-1/2 pounds cooked sausage
  • 1-1/4 pounds fresh spinach
  • 1 pound ricotta cheese
  • 2 pounds goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Italian Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 12 eggs
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste


1. Wilt spinach in sauce pan, drain, squeeze to remove excess water, save the water.

2. Thoroughly mix all ingredients in large mixing bowl. Add spinach water, as needed, to soften mixture.

Argula Ravilio Pasta Filling

When you are ready to cook the raviolis, add them to salted boiling water and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.

Ravioli Sauce Recipe


  • 1 large onion, quartered and sliced
  • 3 roasted red bell peppers, sliced into 1/8 inch strips
  • 1/4 stick butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup white wine


1. In large sauté pan, melt butter, add onions and cook until onions are tender.

2. Add garlic and peppers and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Deglaze pan with white wine and simmer for 8 minutes.

4. Add cooked ravioli to sauce and toss to coat.

Fettuccine Paglia e Fieno Recipe

A traditional Italian dish for the celebration of Spring harvest


  • 1/2 pound fresh plain egg fettuccine
  • 1/2 pound fresh arugula fettuccine
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup fresh peas
  • 4 to 6 ounces prosciutto, sliced into ribbons
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh parsley, chopped

Paglia e Fieno Recipe


1. Boil large pot of salted water.

2. In large sauté pan, heat butter and oil on medium-high heat. Once butter and oil is hot, add onions and sauté until onions start to brown, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and prosciutto and cook for one minute. Add heavy cream and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes until slightly reduced.

3. Add pasta and peas to boiling water and cook under tender.

4. Strain pasta and peas before pasta becomes al dente.

5. Add pasta and peas to sauté pan, stir to combine all ingredients. Remove from heat and portion mixture on serving plates. Garnish with grated cheese and parsley.

Paglia e Fieno Recipe

During the class we tried Paglia e Fieno with Argula pasta and also raviolis.

homemade ravioli recipe

At home we made our own version using regular raviolis and kept out the peas and added mushrooms. Either way, it is a scrumptiously good dish.

homemade ravioli recipe

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