Juni VanDyke ~ Shout Out to a Beautiful Lady!

Juni VanDyke ©Kim Smith 2013Juni VanDyke and Her Son Sean ~ a beautiful lady, in every sense of the word!

The very talented, yet never self-aggrandizing, Juni VanDyke sent a hand written thank you note for a brief recent little post that we did about the Rose Bake Senior Center’s quilt project-in-progress, “Gloucester: A Community of Neighborhoods.” I don’t ever want readers to think that we expect thank you notes, ever, it is just always very sweet and much appreciated when it does happen. Thank you Juni!

To find out more about “Gloucester: A Community of Neighborhoods,” read here:

Simply Stunning Work in Progress

Gloucester: A Community of Neighborhoods Quilt Project Featured at Inauguration 2014

A few highlights from last night’s Golden Globe Awards 2014

Hosts Amy and Tina Crushed It!

tumblr_mzbe26G58R1s31ttxo1_500Margot Robbie in Gucci

NBC's "71st Annual Golden Globe Awards" - ArrivalsCate Blanchett in Armani Couture 

Daughter Liv and I watched together the Golden Globes Red Carpet last night–via texting–she in Brooklyn and me in Gloucester. Cate Blanchett, winner of best actress in a motion picture drama, and Margot Robbie won hands hands down for best dressed!

Cate’s Armani dress was made from the most exquisitely delicate black lace you could possibly imagine, with subtle shimmer sprinkled throughout. From the front view, I loved the dramatic contrast of the high neck and then softly flowing lower skirt; the sparkles caught the light when she walked–and the back was equally as stunning!



U2’s Tribute to Nelson Mandela wins Best Song Golden Globe!


To hear the song, click the above photo, which will take you to the U2 website.


In Seine Field


Untitled1 copy


She’s in Seine Field, east of a nearby gate,

with her arms aiming at the fearsome sky,

as if proclaiming to all the trees, and

all the birds,  all the humans, and all the

creeping beings, all the grasses, all the flowers,

all the elements of earth and sky and

all the spirits of those that came before

and the force of  those who will come after:

I am here and I am perfect!


I absorb your bright sun, and rejoice in

your stormy clouds. I shake away your salt

winds that have taken many good men down ,

and I withstand your blasts of cold and your

furious summer fires; my roots are deep

and suck the nourishment of this dear land;

my limbs, long and limber , protect my core;

my elegant needles are dense and lush.

I am here and I am perfect!


And even when that day comes when branches

drop and my limbs crack and my trunk decays;

when my glorious needles curl , yellow

and fall, when even light breezes threaten

my ability to stand straight and tall  –

even when that end day comes and I fear

I can’t provide shade to the wanderer

and home to the joyous souls of Seine Field, still

I am here and I am perfect!


Marty Luster

Encore, first posted January 1, 2012 in memory of Barbara’s mom.





Johnny Winter Ticket giveaway!

Monday Ticket Contest! M.E. Productions loves giving away tix…so, here’s a little contest to win a 4-pack to the Johnny Winter show on 1/31.  See details on Facebook here  https://www.facebook.com/larcomtheatre
FB Johnny contest

Johnny Winter review in Boston Blues Society:  Before the set, I asked him what was on his list for the night? “Chuck. The Stones. Muddy and Robert Johnson?” and he nodded and said “Yep. That pretty much takes care of it” and he proved to be a man of his word. Opening with “Johnny B. Good” the hour long performance kept building momentum song after song. “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “It’s All Over Now”, “Boney Maroney”, “Got My Mojo Working”;  “Highway 61″ and “Dust My Broom” on slide were all done to perfection; and the packed house loved it.  see full story here.

Get tickets to Johnny Winter:

Callie’s Mac & Cheese


Last week a childhood friend Mary, unexpectedly lost one of her beloved dogs Callie. A beautiful chocolate lab everyone in our close knit circle of friends, had the pleasure to know. All our children adored Mary’s dogs Callie and Muggian both Labs who loved to play fetch at Good Harbor Beach.  Last week after hearing about Callie’s passing we all felt Marys heartache and reached out to comfort her, each in our own special way. There is never a right time for death, and there are endless ways to reach out to those who are dealing with it. For some, it is customary to reach out with fresh flowers, sympathy cards, and thoughtful notes. But for me growing up in a  Sicilian family,  I learned at a very young age, that our custom  in the wakes of death, was to nourish broken hearts with homemade food. Sicilians head straight to the kitchen to prepare a meal or dessert to nourish grieving families. My grandmother Felicia always preached, that the fastest way to someone heart was through their stomach. After a quick trip to the Cave Cheese Shop, I made and delivered a special comfort food dinner  to my grieving  friend Mary and her puppy Mulligan.

In honor of  Callie this old family comfort food recipe has been renamed ~ Callie’s Mac & Cheese

muffin dog 3

muffin dog

Callie’s Mac & Cheese


1 stick salted butter; plus 1 tablespoon (used to butter baking dish)

¼ cup freshly chopped parsley

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons flour

1 ½ cup whole milk

2 heaping cups shredded Rat Cheddar Cheese~ The Cave’s House Cheddar

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

1 lb. large elbows pasta

3 cups Cracker Crumb Topping( see recipe below)


1 cook elbows Pasta al dente; strain water in large colander; reserve pasta

2 in medium sauce pan ; melt 1 stick salted butter over medium/low heat; add parsley, pepper, and flour; stir; increase heat to high;stir 2-3 minutes (do not brown butter)



2 add milk; stir 1 minute; add shredded cheese in small batches (I like to add ½ cup at a time, and allow cheese to completely melt before adding next batch of cheese); stir vigorously to prevent mixture from sticking to bottom of pan; stir until creamy thick cheese sauce is formed; remove from heat




3 add garlic powder and onion powder; mix well; add  reserved pasta; mix well; add cheese sauce to reserved pasta; mix well



4 butter one 13×11 baking dish or two 8×8  baking dishes


5 transfer and evenly spread cheese mixture into baking dish; top with Cracker Crumb Topping( see recipe below)



6 cover with foil; in preheated 350 degree oven bake 10 minutes; remove foil; bake 10 additional minutes until crumb topping is golden and cheese sauce is bubbling, serve warm


Cracker Crumb Topping Ingredients & Step-by-Step Directions

4 stacks of original Ritz crackers, finely crushed in a large food processor

1 large onion, pureed in a mini chopper

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder

1 pound salted butter, melted

1 heaping large soup spoon of Cains Mayonnaise

2 tablespoon olive oil

1 package Good Seasons dry Italian Dressing mix

¾ cup Sicilian Breadcrumbs “Muddica Cunsata”, recipe in my cookbook (Gifts of Gold In A Sicilian Kitchen With Sista Felicia,Harvest Pg. 201) or click link for Sista Felicia’s Video tutorial



1 Combine and mix all ingredients in large mixing bowl

Note~ will keep in airtight container refrigerated 7 days or  2 months in freezer… excellent topping for baked fish

Wicked Tuna and the Paint Factory

Wicked Tuna and the Paint Factory


The Paint Factory home to Ocean Alliance


Spin off news from NATGEO:

“National Geographic Channel has announced a spinoff program for its popular
fishing program “Wicked Tuna.”
The working title is “Wicked Tuna: North vs. South” and will begin filming off
the coast of North Carolina this winter, with a premiere scheduled for this

Producer Craig Piligian tells the 2014 TCA press tour that
the spinoff will be a competition between the guys of “Wicked Tuna” and the
fishermen of the Outer Banks in the Carolinas — but those Southerns ain’t got
nothin’ on the “Wicked” captains.

“There will be a lot of tensions and a
lot of guys saying some funny stuff,” says Piligian. “They’re decent fishermen,
but not as good as these guys.”

The cast for the spinoff includes “Wicked
Tuna” fan-faves Hard Merchandise captain Dave Marciano and Hot Tuna
captain T.J. Ott, who will battle the local Outer Banks fishermen for
bluefin tuna.

NatGeo has also announced a premiere date for “Wicked
Tuna,” which returns on Sunday, Feb. 16.”

Sefathia invites Local Italians To Caffe Sicilia Today At 1

Dear Godmother Romeo,
I received your name and contact information from my friend, Italian-American painter Nella Lush.
I teach art and direct the Lehman Gallery at Brooks School in North Andover. We have this cool course in January called Winter term during which we work with about a dozen students for 3 weeks studying one thing. Our course this year is called “All things Italian.”
We are cooking, watching movies, practicing language with Rosetta Stone, visiting the north end, attending the opera in Cambridge, etc.
Tomorrow (Monday 1/13) we are headed to Gloucester. I know this is last-minute and a little unconventional, but I wonder if you might happen to have an half hour free and be willing to talk to the students in a coffee shop somewhere about the Italian culture in Gloucester.
Would you please reply to this email if this might be possible?
Many thanks for considering.


Joey received this email naturally accepted to meet them where else Caffe Sicilia if any of your Italian readers want to join us Monday 1/13 @1 thanks