A Long Day and a “Big Night”!

I just love the movie “Big Night”.  It just makes me happy.  I decided to have my own big night with the “kids”.  Olivia had never seen the movie, so we started early, and made “A Long Day, and a Big Night” out of it!

The Menu:

Italian Salad with Homemade Vinaigrette

Homemade Rustic Artisan Bread

Spaghetti with Great Grandma DeFranco’s Meat Sauce

Strawberry Sorbato and Prosecco Floats- made with homemade Strawberry Sorbato

Sfingi ~ Ricotta Puffs– made with homemade ricotta cheese-and dipped in honey sauce

The kids arrived with a bouquet of daffodils!  For me?  Why, yes!


I started with my homemade ricotta cheese.

All you need is a gallon of whole organic milk, and 1/3 cup plus two Tbsp white vinegar


ABOVE: Curds and whey

We invited the kids to take a ride with us up to La Conner to see the Daffodil fields in bloom.  I knew it would give the mixture some time to completely separate out the curds from the whey.

Daffodil Field in Skagit Valley

ABOVE: Last year’s daffodils in La Conner


ABOVE: Sean and Oliva in La Conner


La Conner is a lovely little town.  I blogged it last year too.


ABOVE: Squinting eyes and in mid-sentence.  Yes, I’m usually in mid-sentence.

“Good Lord, what is that big bright thing up there in the sky?”

dsc_03261ABOVE: Mark pointing out the mussels to Sean and Olivia.


Oops! I almost forgot, I made the Strawberry Sorbato for the Prosecco Floats, before we left that morning too.





dsc_0375ABOVE:  This drink is to die for.   I  like to wait until the sorbato (a cross between sorbet and gelato) melts and the drink becomes slushy.


Back home to finish up the ricotta.  Ricotta cheese is incredibly easy to make.

dsc_0352ABOVE:  Ricotta completed and ready to use.


Pork back ribs, homemade meatballs, hot Italian sausage, and hard boiled eggs.


dsc_0368Spaghetti and Meatballs–my favorite meal.

dsc_0257Don’t forget the fresh baked bread!

dsc_0353A little Montepulciano made with organic grapes–thank you Trader Joe’s!

dsc_0370Hmmm, you tell me….


Maybe I should have named him Jack.

Back to our evening…


Kids in the den watching “Big Night” while Mark and I make the Ricotta Puffs (Sfingi)

I really enjoyed making these little doughnut/fritters.  Oh Lordy, these are so good I could eat a whole batch, but I held myself back…a little.


ABOVE:  The ricotta is used in the base of the sfingi mix.

Then, I drop by rounded teaspoons into my deep fryer.



Spoon honey mixture over each little doughnut.

Then sprinkle with powdered sugar.


This is simply Love on a Plate!

Oh, let’s look at that again…


I should also note, I made the meat sauce the night before.  This sauce is always better the next day.

I know this looks like a lot of work, and it is, but I broke it up over a 24 hour period.  Timing was perfect for this one.  Having the sauce cooked, the sorbeto in the freezer, and the ricotta process started before we left, made it a bit easier when I returned from the little mini-trip.

The movie was a lot of fun too!

Mangia, mangia!

RECIPES:  I’ll be creating separate posts with the individual dishes and their recipes, and then I will link from the menu on this blog to each recipe.  Some of these recipes individually are too good to stuff into a huge post like this.


11 thoughts on “A Long Day and a “Big Night”!

  1. OMG I am sooooo hungry now! Jaime is reading with me and he would like the spaghetti and meatballs, please. I want a little of everything and I want two of the prosecco floats. You managed to drink my two fav things, prosecco & montepulciano d’abruzzo, in one sitting. Yay!!! Everything looks fab. And yes, Sean did have more than a passing resemblance to the “Shining” look of Jack. ROFL

  2. Pingback: When Sorbet and Sorbato Marry Prosecco…Oh, That’s Amore! « Angelnina’s Cottage

  3. I must see the movie and I love drinking wine in unconventional glasses- as Sean is. Your home seems so inviting-always.

    I can’t wait to cook tomorrow- Taxes have consumed me -mentally and financially.

    I tried to garden and we have dust devils everywhere.

    It’s a new dawn- it’s a new day- … music notes, music notes…. but I really wanted to be in La Conner with you!

  4. I can’t wait for the recipes. Hurry Please!!!!!
    We run “Riffles and Runs B and B” in Bellefonte,PA
    I going to serve the ricotta puffs for breakfast.

  5. TAMARA: Those bistro glasses are usually what he prefers to use when he visits. Thank you for the kind words about my home. I like people to feel they can make themselves right at home when they’re here. Mark does the taxes here because I’m a high anxiety type of person who freaks out at anything connected to finances.
    Come to Seattle sometime and we’ll go to La Conner. It actually has the Tulip festival and the colorful fields are breathtaking.

    CONNIE: A B&B? I would love to run a B&B! I’ll get those ricotta puffs up as soon as possible. Your guests are lucky!

  6. I just love all the great food. What a lovely way to spend a beautiful day in La Conner. Great pictures just made my mouth water for all of it.

  7. This looks like such a fun evening! You out-did yourself on all the Italian cooking. Dee wondered if you have ever had braccioli in sauce?
    The zeppoli’s look beautiful. Dee thinks they are the best things up in Jersey. You get them down the shore on the boardwalk in a white paper bag, hot out of the fryer. She said, thanks she’s now hungry!! lol
    Sean and Olivia are a beautiful couple.

  8. Thanks! I have not had braccioli in sauce, or I might have as a kid and didn’t know what it was. It looks really good though.
    The thing I like about these fried puffs is that they have that moist filling with the ricotta. Mmmm. I mean, I’ve never met a doughnut I didn’t love 🙂
    Thanks, I just adore Sean and Olivia. They’re a sweet couple.

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