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Archive for the ‘Mangia Mangia’ Category


Posted by hrgarippa on 10 March, 2009

I love granola. I’ve been in love with granola for a while now. I think I love the way it is toasted and the way it is lightly sweetened and can be mixed up all kinds of ways. I love that granola is good for you when it is made with good sweeteners and when it has good nuts…it is filled with healthy fats. Things our body needs to get moving.

I don’t like how expensive granola can be. Or for that matter anything that is good for you. If  it is pure and not filled with High Fructose Corn Syrup or fake beef  or lots of other ingredients that you can’t pronounce than you’re going to spend half your fortune for just a serving. Oh, how that angers me.

So I’m boycotting all Granola making companies and doing a little DIY….It is almost the easiest thing I’ve ever made.

3 cups Rolled Oats (not instant)
1 cup roughly chopped almonds
1 cup roughly chopped pecans
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Put dry ingredients, oats and nuts, in a mixing bowl. Place wet ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat until just warm, then pour over dry ingredients and mix together. Then place on greased baking sheet. Bake at 325 for 15 minutes or until golden brown. You’ll want to stir every 5 minutes. Once you take it out of the oven you can add the fruit.

When granola comes out it will not be hardened, but will harden as it cools.

Here is the great thing about granola…there are no hard and fast rules about the ingredients…you can play around. I just bought the following ingredients to try; pistachios, unsweetened coconut, banana chips, agave nectar. The first time I made this I added some spices and I wasn’t a big fan of how that turned out. So experiment and see what happens.

And then pour a little of your homemade granola into a bowl and top it off with some Yogurt made without any added chemicals or some Kefir and little honey and you’re on your way to a very healthy digestive system.


Posted in Mangia Mangia | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Bread Making

Posted by hrgarippa on 5 January, 2009

 I made bread yesterday, something I’ve always enjoyed doing but something I’m not very good at. Cooking is more of an artistic expression, baking on the other hand is more scientific. You must stick to a formula, or at least certain fundamental proportions, in order for goods to turn out. This is where baking and I conflict. I don’t like to stick to formulas….but I’m learning.


Making bread is simple and complex, much like life.


When you get to know the formulas, the basic fundamental proportions it’s a breeze and all sorts of wonderful things happen.


This isn’t to say that formulas shouldn’t be experimented with…thrown completely out the window sometimes. The hard part is knowing when and where and how…that’s when things get complex.


Did you know that if you want a light airy loaf of bread like Ciabatta you’ll want to do as little mixing or kneading as possible so that you don’t disturb the air pockets that form as the yeast works its magic. I didn’t know this until today. I love learning new things.


 Here is one of my favorite recipes, for one of my favorite kinds of bread….






2 ½ cups warm water ( 110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

1 Tablespoon active dry yeast

½ cup honey

4 Tablespoons vegetable oil

3 eggs

1 Tablespoon salt

8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour



  1. In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over barely warm water. Beat in honey, oil, 2 eggs, and salt. Add the flour one cup at a time, beating after each addition, graduating to kneading with hands as dough thickens. Knead until smooth and elastic and no longer sticky, adding flour as needed. Cover with a damp clean cloth and let rise for 1 1/2 hours or until dough has doubled in bulk.
  2. Punch down the risen dough and turn out onto floured board. Divide in half and knead each half for five minutes or so, adding flour as needed to keep from getting sticky. Divide each half into thirds and roll into long snake about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Pinch the ends of the three snakes together firmly and braid from middle. Either leave as braid or form into a round braided loaf by bringing ends together, curving braid into a circle, pinch ends together. Grease two baking trays and place finished braid or round on each. Cover with towel and let rise about one hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  4. Beat the remaining egg and brush a generous amount over each braid.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about 40 minutes. Bread should have a nice hollow sound when thumped on the bottom. Cool on a rack for at least one hour before slicing.


Posted in Happy things, Mangia Mangia | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

A Lavish Banquet

Posted by hrgarippa on 18 November, 2008

Tonight 10 sweet, loud, rambunctious middle school girls are coming over and we will sit around the table and we will eat and we will give thanks. I am so thankful for each one of these girls; Amber, Adrienne, Destiny, Jasmine, Kaylene, Triana, Summer, Mikelia, Gabby, and Octavia. Every Tuesday they come into my house and fill it with laughter, wild stories, impossible questions, hard realities and love. They challenge me and help me to see beyond just me.

As I’ve prepared the meal that we will eat…a Thanksgiving feast, I’ve been reminded of Isaiah 25.6; 

The LORD of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain;
         A banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow,
         And refined, aged wine.

How sweet it is to think about what is being prepared for us. And to think that all of this here, all this sweetness, all that we encounter…is just a small taste of what waits for us at the lavish banquet that He is preparing.

I can’t wait for that party.

I mean, wine is mentioned twice in that verse…The Lord knows what’s up!!!!!

Posted in Another day in the hood, Happy things, Hope, Mangia Mangia | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Cooking Class

Posted by hrgarippa on 17 October, 2008


I love to cook, I’m sure I’ve said that before. Here is how I recently described my passion for cooking to a friend…


“Did you ever see the movie, “Girl’s Just Wanna Have Fun,” at the beginning Sarah Jessica Parker stands at the front of her class as a new student and introduces her self; telling where she is from, the schools she’s been to and then she says “I love to dance.” She says it with such passion and conviction that everyone in the room stops and looks at her they can feel its power. That is how I feel about cooking, I love to cook. It’s my passion, my love, my favorite hobby, the way I share my love with others…I love it, and I do it as often as I can. There is little else in this world that brings me joy like bringing people together around something I’ve made.”


Lately I’ve been wanting to teach the kids in this community to cook. When I hear things like I don’t know how to use a can opener or I don’t know how to peel a potato, well my heart just sinks. These are basic necessities.


So last night Aderika and I had cooking 101. We made Shepherd’s Pie.


Here she is learning to peel Potatoes.

Aderika and the peeler

Aderika and the peeler

 Here she is learning to slice the Potatoes


the secret she learned, keep those fingers back, use a sharp knife, don’t saw let the knife do its job.


She made these mash potatoes mostly by herself, and they were good…and she was so proud.  

She also learned the difference between chopping, dicing and mincing. Aderika’s nickname is Precious, and let me tell you I certainly know why…this girl is absolutely Precious.

Posted in Another day in the hood, Mangia Mangia, WD Kiddos | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Stone Soup – Hannah Style

Posted by hrgarippa on 15 October, 2008

I’ll never forget the day when MaMelissa made this soup and I’d stopped in to say hello… something smelled great on the stove. I took a peek and saw soup and in the soup I saw LIMA BEANS, I put the lid back on and thought she is crazy if she thinks anyone is going to eat that. Who by choice puts lima beans in anything? Gross.

But MaMelissa promised that this soup was a hit, everyone in her family loved it…even Neckbone eatin Corn Pop, Daddio and Gaylen love it. So about a year later with a house full of kids (boys) I called MaMelissa and asked her for the recipe, She was driving with kids screaming…i mean singing nicely in the car and so from memory here is what she gave me:

1 pd ground beef
1 small onion
1 packet taco seasoning
1 packet ranch season
1 can kidney beans
1 can lima beans
1 small can green chilis
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can corn

And a disclaimer that she was pretty sure that wasn’t right, but that it was the basics. So I went to work and here is what I’ve come up with. This will easily feed a family of 6.

1 pound ground turkey, why not it’s healthier and you can’t really tell the difference.
1 medium onion – chopped
1 green pepper – chopped, because I had it but you could leave this out.
1 packet taco seasoning, or 1/4 cup if you buy in bulk
1 packet ranch seasoning, or 1/4 cup
1 1/2 t cumin
1/4 – 1/2 t cayenne pepper
1 t chili pepper
2 28oz cans diced tomatoes
1 can chicken broth
1 can lima beans, drained
1 can red kidney beans, drained
1 can corn, drained
1 small can green chilis, drained
Salt and Pepper to taste

I start by browning the meat, then I add the onions. After about 5 min., you can add the green pepper if you are going to use it. If not then add all the spices and mix it up real good, let it cook for about 1 minute. Then add the cans of goodness. I like to drain all the beans and veggies first because it reduces the sodium level in the soup which makes it healthier and it makes more chili like. Bring it all to boil and then let it simmer uncovered for about an hour or longer if you have the time. Serve with cheese and tortilla chips, and if you live in the hood Louisiana Hot Sauce.

Now here is the great thing about this, you can substitute whatever you have on hand….black beans, Cannellini beans, Pinto Beans…whatever. You can even leave out the LIMA BEANS. But let me tell you, I’ve never had left overs when I make this…the kids eat it up….lima beans and all.

Posted in Mangia Mangia | 5 Comments »

Blondies with highlights

Posted by hrgarippa on 22 April, 2008

One of my Christmas gifts this last year was a subscription to Martha Stewart’s Food Magazine. It is the perfect the gift for me, one because it is the gift that keeps on giving, I get a new, fresh magazine every month. And two, It is full of interesting recipes and it is fun to read.

Last month, the talent that makes Martha look good published a recipe for the Everyday Baking Mix;

Makes 9 cups
6 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon salt

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 months. Whisk before using.

They said this Everyday Baking Mix could be used for all sorts of things, they only gave four recipes but I’m holding out hope that more will follow.

One of the recipes was for Blondies. I’ve heard rave reviews on Blondies but never tried them. So I mixed up the Everyday Baking mix and made a batch of Blondies. They were good. But in my opinion why eat sugar unless you’re consuming chocolate…so I added some brunette highlights to these blondies.

Here is the recipe:

Makes 16
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups, Everyday Baking Mix, spooned and leveled
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
1 cupish mini or regular semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush an 8-inch square baking pan with butter. Line bottom and two sides with a strip of parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on both sides. Butter paper, and set pan aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, and beat until combined. With mixer on low, gradually add Baking Mix; mix just until combined. Mix in 3/4 cup oats and chips. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Using an offset metal spatula or table knife, smooth batter evenly. Sprinkle with remaining oats, pressing gently to adhere. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pan 30 minutes.

Using overhang, transfer blondie (still on paper) to a wire rack to cool completely. Place on a cutting board (peel off paper); using a serrated knife, cut into 16 squares. Store blondies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.


The kids in my community love these Blondies so I just mix up a big batch of that Everyday Baking Mix and keep it on hand and then I can whip up a batch pretty quickly.


Posted in Mangia Mangia | 3 Comments »

Garippa Family Salad Dressing

Posted by hrgarippa on 10 January, 2008

There is nothing I like more than bringing those I love together around food, and I love making that food. I honestly hate a garlic press, because I find it very therapeutic to mince garlic or to chop an onion. It is my form of mental release. I love food that has depth, a stew that has to simmer for a long time, or a sauce that doesn’t taste quite right until that final ingredient is added. I read cookbooks, like most people read fiction and my favorite gift that I got for Christmas is a years subscription to Food Magazine.

I like to try new things, putting recipes together randomly by what I have on hand or blending several recipes to make one. But one thing I’m not good at, is remembering what I’ve tried, what has turned out and what hasn’t. So that said I’m going to start putting my recipes on this blog, so that I know where I can find them but also because a lot of my friends ask for my recipes and I figure it would be good for them to be in one place.

I’ll start with this recipe that is actually hard to pin down. But before I give you the recipe I need to tell you a story about it, some people who have tried it have said, “it is like sweet nectar from god.” My brother Johnny actually drinks it, and one time he had a dream that this it was the cure to AIDS. It is simple and has been in our family for over 30 years, it is the…

Garippa Family Salad Dressing
For a family size bowl of salad, sprinkle on:

Garlic Salt, 1 1/2 tsp
Salt, a pinch
Fresh Ground Pepper, 1/2 tsp
Dried Sweet Basil, 1/2 tsp
Olive Oil, 2 tbls
Red Wine Vinegar and/or Balsamic Vinegar, 1 tbls

Everything is to your taste…which obviously is the reason I say it is hard to pin down. All of the amounts I’ve given are a complete guess. When we make the salad we just throw everything in.

My sister, Christy doesn’t really like Basil so she hardly uses any at all, my dad doesn’t like much vinegar so he uses hardly uses any vinegar.

Please experiment.

Posted in Mangia Mangia | 3 Comments »