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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas 2013! Buon Natale!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas 2013!!
Hope you all enjoy a beautiful holiday filled with Love and Joy!
Let the Feast of the 7 Fishes Begin! Buon Natale!!
Love,
Joe
Listening to some Pavarotti while I'm cooking :)
http://youtu.be/-DBMrBTX-yc

My Nonno made this manger by hand in the 1930's...
Setting it up is one of my favorite things about Christmas...

Click photo to enlarge

Please take a look at my other Christmas blog post from 2010 about the Christmas Eve Feast of the 7 Fishes here....

Monday, December 23, 2013

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Homemade Tomato Soup!

Hi everybody!
Hope you all enjoyed a beautiful day! :) 
Made some late night homemade tomato soup...
A dollop of mascarpone, chives, a crust of day old Italian bread & a nice glass of wine...
Oh yeah! :)
Buonanotte a tutti! 
Love, 
Joe



Homemade Tomato Soup
Click photo to enlarge...



Thank you all so much for "Liking" my post about this over on Facebook....and for your kind words...I will have this in my cookbook I'm working on for sure! I never made it before and it came out really good! This soup is pretty easy to make and delicious!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Dug up some pics...Crash Mansion, NYC...

Dug up some pics.... Crash Mansion, NYC...
Yeah...I get into it a little...LOL...

This photo was taken by my friend...Singer/Artist/Illustrator/Painter/Photographer Amy Chace.
You can visit her Facebook page and Etsy shop if you'd like to see more of her awesome work...
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Amy-Chace-aka-Spitfaced/247626405300224http://spitfaced.etsy.com

Wishing you all a beautiful weekend!
Buon Sabato a tutti amici!!
Love,
Joe



Joe Gande, Crash Mansion, NYC by Amy Chace
Click photo to enlarge...

Friday, November 1, 2013

Joe Gande - Winner - ArtistSignal Top Artist, October, 2013! We did it! Thank you so much everyone!


We did it!!!! :)  We really did it!!! :) 
We won the ArtistSignal Top Artist Award for October! 
Thank you so much everybody!!!!
I know it's been a very long, tiring road and I thank you all so very much...each and every one of you.... for standing with me...and for your unwavering diligence, time, love, friendship, loyalty, dedication and support.... and for everything!! :)

And a huge thank you to ArtistSignal for such an awesome website and opportunity!

You have all been so wonderful to me and supportive and I have met so many great people and such talented musical artists on AS along the way...from all walks of life and from all over the world and I am truly grateful and appreciate it so very much!

I also want to thank my little "team" of dedicated friends & fans that gave so much time out of their lives so selflessly and voluntarily...helping support everyone on the site when I was unable...most notably Margaret "Tishy" Parks, Glenda Arnold, Antoinette Lucia Rizzuto, Beth Beers and Deborah Lund...
Much love and my sincere heartfelt gratitude to you all!!!
As I am writing this.....I still can't believe it yet...lol ;)
This will be so life changing for me ...you have no idea....

I will try my best to continue to be on AS to support all of my fellow musical artist friends when I can! :) Please stay in touch! :)

For those of you that would like to continue to vote....
https://artistsignal.com/joegande
I will be continuing to add rewards for voters in the coming months...so check the "Rewards" tab on my AS page...

Believe in your dreams and keep fighting the good fight! :)
"We stand together as One! Strength and Honor!"

Grazie Mille a tutti amici!!!
Love,
Joe
Thank you...and Goodnight... ;)

Oh....and there is a new voter reward song posted...please don't forget to get your free downloads! :)

On another note.....
October 31st is my Nonno's birthday...he would have been 114 years old...He was born and raised in San Sostene, Calabria, Italy...
This makes winning the ArtistSignal Contest on this day even more special.....
Buon Compleanno Papa...I miss you very much and I love you!
mi manchi e ti voglio bene assai...
I know you have been watching over me....and this is for you!!!





Remember....



UPDATE: November 26, 2013

It's Official!!  Received my ArtistSignal Award! 
A huge Thank You again to all of you for your awesome support!! Grazie Mille a tutti! 
Love, Joe








Sunday, September 29, 2013

Vote for Joe Gande on ArtistSignal Now- Just 1 Day to Go - You can make a difference!


Just 1 day, 2hrs to go....44,420 votes & counting & 927 voters on my voters list...
If all of you  just simply took a few minutes to hit the vote button on my AS page 2 or 3 times tonight and again tomorrow...we will win...It is not over...we can overcome...there is plenty of time...
And we will fight till the end! For what is right, true, and just can and will prevail! Won't you join us?
https://artistsignal.com/joegande

I want to thank each and every one of you for all of your help, love, kindness, time and support with this ArtistSignal Contest!! It really blows me away how awesome you are all being and how loyal and hardworking you all have been and continue to be...and you have my eternal heartfelt gratitude...

I also want to welcome all new friends that have joined and  that are participating in this event! 
Thank you!!

There is now just over 1 day to go and we are in 2nd place and so very close to a victory.
I know we are all busy with our lives, families & commitments....
but if I can ask you all to please get your votes in...every hour and/or when you can... or at least commit to vote 3 or 4 times a day for the next two days...We can do this!! :) 
But... it will require everyone's participation and full support and all of you behind me to make this happen!

Of note...
This will not only be a life changing victory for me...but for all of you working so hard to fight the good fight by my side and for my friends of the wonderful and talented Independent artist community from around the world that I am a part of that are all working so hard to survive and that are fighting each day to make their dreams come true ...


So many people  around the world have been working so hard, night and day to help...
And in an unprecedente
d show of solidarity...of the likes I have never seen before...so many of my fellow Indie musical artist friends on the site that are also in the contest...have now joined together on their own and risen up to help me and  back me up to get the win....Our community of friends/musicians across the globe stands as one and are fighting the goodfight to help each other...it is AWESOME!!!
I am blown away by their selflessness and kindness and support...it is truly humbling and renewed my faith in humanity....really...you have no idea....


Rock the Vote!!! :) 
Let us stand together as ONE!

Much Love and my sincere, heartfelt gratitude to you all!
Hope you are all enjoying a beautiful Sunday & weekend!!
Buon Domenica a tutti amici!! Grazie Mille!! baci e abbracci, Love, Joe

Vote here...
https://artistsignal.com/joegande

First time voters-Just go to this link below & login through your Facebook account-follow the prompt-then go to my ArtistSignal page(you will see me in 2nd place) and click the big green vote button on the right side-a timer will appear letting you know the next time you can vote...
https://artistsignal.com/referrer/107778


Get the Iphone App here....just download free and set your phone to alert you every hour...
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/artistsignal/id562459881















 



Sunday, July 28, 2013

ArtistSignal.com Contest-a few days left-Please vote!-And some rambling thoughts/advice

As some of you may know by now, maybe having seen all of my recent posts online everywhere lately...
I currently have a  profile on an awesome, somewhat new, website called ArtistSignal ....
I signed up a bit late in the month..and I am not usually a huge fan of the "Voting" thing and bothering everyone all the time....but I thought we could still make a run at it and give it a shot...seeing as you have all always been so awesome and supportive with this kind of thing in the past...

Please stop by to vote when you get a chance...there's only a few days left for this month...
All you do is click the green vote button...accept through Facebook..click "Vote" again for it to count...it takes a sec...and after the first time voting...then you can simply click the vote button every hour on the hour if you'd like and/or may remember and have the time...

i want to thank you all so much for your votes and for taking the time...and to those of you that have continued to vote, hourly and daily etc.... and for your love, kindness,  loyalty and  support!!! I really appreciate it very much!!!! :)



Here's the deal from the website...
ArtistSignal is a free social music platform allowing listeners to vote for a Top Artist each month. We give the Top Artist at the end of the month $10,000. This allows listeners to propel talented artists to the top of our platform and gives artists an entirely new avenue to grow their fan base.

Another $5,000 is split between all remaining artists based on the amount of votes they receive during the month (excluding the #1 artist). Voters can also earn rewards directly from artists just by voting!
Simple to do...
As opposed to some of the other so called "Contests" all over the place now...which sometimes involve signing up and all kinds of stuff before you are allowed to vote....
This ArtistSignal website "Contest" is  very simple to do as a music fan/supporter...
You just go the artist's page...click the green vote button on the right...accept through your Facebook...and then click the green vote button again to vote and for it to count......that's it...takes a sec...you will see a timed counter then showing your time until the next time you can vote...and there is also a way to tip the artist under that...if you'd like to contribute funds as well...
If you are unsure if it worked or not you can look under and click "Voters" on the page to see if you are listed there...
And you can also leave a comment for the artist as well if you like telling them you stopped by to vote....
And...now there is a phone app to download too!

Voters can cast their votes every hour!!! 
Which I think is very cool....even though I know it's somewhat impossible to do or ask anyone to do really...lol...but at least the option is there....and you can vote as many times as you want throughout a day...and so on...each vote goes towards the final total and winner...but also...importantly...each click to vote goes toward your monthly income generated...so really...everybody wins here...so never give up or quit voting! :) You don't have to take the Top Spot to be a winner....

I've happily come across a few of my longtime musician friends on the site....and I have to say that I also have met some great new people that are very supportive...other artists and their friends, fans and family members...with a "We're all in the same boat" same goal, mentality...helping each other to achieve success....while helping yourself as well...and I've made some great new connections and heard some awesome new music too! :)

For my musician friends...
Up and coming artists...Indie, signed, unsigned, famous, not so famous, once famous, in the garage...it doesn't matter :)

This is really a no brainer...you should definitely sign up....First of all it's free...You get a great page to promote your music and bio etc...add your songs and albums etc...with the option to sell them as well...AND...even if not becoming the Top Artist...or running the contest and promoting it to your following every month at all...you have a chance to still make some much needed income....it's all in how much time you have  and the effort you'd like to put into it on any given month...

And now...for something completely different...LOL
Some musical biz thoughts and advice for my fellow musical artists...

We're all online all the time anyway...lol...or too much anyway...lol....and how many of you have put a zillion hours into promoting yourselves and your other sites... for next to nothing coming back...and although it is much needed and awesome...we can't pay the bills and take care of our loved ones on compliments and "Likes"... lol...but hmmm.... these website can....

Let's take  Reverbnation for example...an excellent website for what it does and offers....I've been a longtime user and promoter/cheerleader for this website...I love it....but,  let's face it...where every month you're lucky to get a few pennies for your time and efforts and spreading their widgets all over the place and for song plays etc....no matter how much you put into it....they just want you to buy their upgraded services and tell you that doing so will help you get somewhere if you do...period...which is BS...are you listening? BS....it doesn't help at all....and makes them tons of money feeding off of the dreams of people...don't do it...lol You can do it all yourself without paying for anything...And watch out for anything they say is FREE...like the phone app...or so called Music biz..."Opportunities" nothing in life is truly FREE.... LOL....read the fine print....
Unless of course you have a certain budget for this kind of thing and want to try it out to see if it helps...or simply have some money to blow....which is great....then don't bother....

Now...Don't get me wrong...All of these music websites are and can be,  great tools, and are necessary and serve a purpose and you should be on all of them....everywhere...mainly to get your music out there...so people can find you...for people to listen....you never know where you might reach someone with your music/message etc....and where your next biggest fan may come from...so don't limit yourself....but..... be careful listening to their promo and marketing and promises....they just want your money...bottom line...and your fans money to... indirectly....by them going there to use the site and clicking on everything....they really do not care about you or your success...they are using us as we are using them..that's it....as the saaying goes....all is fair in love and war...and music! :) LOL

For example....I have achieved pretty good standing on Reverbnation for a long time now...according to their charts and rankings and score anyway....I have  hovered on the New York City charts from anywhere from #1 to about #29 or so for YEARS...I have a very high "Equity score" high play count....and 1000's of Reverbnation "FANS" on my list there...etc, etc....but as soon as I stopped paying my 9.95 a month for their services...I immediately dropped down in the charts! :)LOL 
And...also lost all of my contacts that found me there and became a fan...it's now at 500...LOL....and they hold the others "hostage" so to speak...until you pay monthly to get them back or any one new that happens to join your mailing list! I've seen other musician friends be very angry about this and how things have changed on the site lately...but..really....NEVER depend on anybody else to get your contacts, fans, friends and connections for you....do it yourself....take the time....make your own mailing list....gather your own information... from your own website...and well...let's see...Gmail is free with an unlimited number mailing list!! :) And yahoo is around 5000 I think for their free service....and if you do have the bucks..there are many great mailing list services out there that for very little will give you unlimited contacts and services to stay connected to your fan base/following....

I was recently told that I am currently #66 on the ArtistSignal Chart for this month...which in all things considered is not so bad when you look at the number of artists in the running...but it's not really about "Charts"... is it? They mean nothing really....it's about reaching people with your music...whether it be your hardcore fan base...to get them involved in something fun to support you...or exposing your music to more listeners and potential NEW fans of what you do....meeting fellow artists and networking....and making a few bucks after all the hard work we all do anyway is always a good thing and a huge plus...no matter what amount it may be or what number you are on the charts...isn't it? We 're all trying to survive and make a living doing what we love and what we are supposed to be doing....and with today's music world and listener mindset of everything is free, no one stands a chance of doing that...so websites like these can be a bit of a help...
Excuse my rambling....no sleep can do that sometimes...and I could go on and on about this subject! :) lol 

Back to why I wrote this post :)
Like I mentioned above...before I went off on a tangent...lol...I signed up and got into this ArtistSignal thing a bit late for the month of July...two weeks or so into the month...but thought we could still give it a go.....so again Thank you all for voting and for your ongoing support....and of course for reading this! :)
If you'd like to...please vote here... http://www.artistsignal.com/joegande

Hope you're all enjoying the weekend!!!
Love,
Joe

Agree? Disagree? Please comment here with your thoughts, and your own experiences and advice pertaining to this topic, ideas, rants and raves...recommendations, etc...etc...

Would you guys like to see more music biz type posts from me here? Please let me know! :)




Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Saturday's Paella...and some family history

The weekend's Saturday night feast! 
I made some Paella...
This meal idea came about from me looking through some old things & I found a photo of my great great grandfather. He was from Naples, Italy, via Florence...
I found out that he had 18 children with the same woman!!! 
I also found out that they moved to Spain where he lived in Valencia and became the Premier Ballet Dancer for the Royal court!! 
Which ties in to why I had the idea to make this meal that night...because it originates in Valencia, Spain! LOL Yeah...I love history a little!! LOL 
Anyway...I hope you all had a great Tuesday & have an awesome night!! 

Buon Martedi a tutti!! 
Love, 
Joe

Click to enlarge photo...




Thursday, June 20, 2013

A classic...Spaghetti and Meatballs-My Mother's are better than yours! :) LOL and Mom's Tony Bennett story

A classic...Spaghetti and Meatballs for lunch today...
This is one of my favorites...and the recipe will be in my upcoming cookbook...

I can eat this anywhere and I like it..even at the worst pizza joint around...lol...you can't go wrong...but...
No one...and I mean No one.... makes meatballs better than my Mom! :)lol
I know....every son or daughter says this...don't we? We all think our Mom's or Grandmother's Meatballs and/or sauce is the best....but I'll tell you...I've eaten all over...from fine 5 star restaurants to friends and family's houses to out of the way dumps and dives and every place in-between ...and it's true....my Mother's are the best! 
Just ask anybody that has had one! :) lol All the women in the family over the years even know and acknowledge this...theirs are good...they are certainly delicious...but my Mom's are better! :) LOL...
They are simply magic I tell you! LOL And objectively..and not as a Son...I have to say...my Mother is one hell of an awesome cook!! :)

A little anecdote...
When my Mom was young...before she met and married my Father...she was at  a Tony Bennett show in Connecticut in the 1950's...a place called Wright's I believe...he was very well known...and considered famous to those in the know and that liked Jazz and big band music...but not yet world famous as one thinks of him later in his career...he was Italian...and Calabrese...like my Mother's family, and had heard about my Mother's cooking through mutual musician friends and the grapevine...and so they were all talking after his performance and he wanted to come over the house to eat with everybody! Of course..my Mother...being very cool...very shy...and a good Italian, Catholic, girl/daughter...said NO! :) LOL 
One of my Mother's closes friends became Tony's bass player after that night...
And Tony later sent my Mother letters and 2 autographed albums!! :) Even though she said no..he still tried! :)lol
I love this story! And all stories like this in general...So romantic...so old fashioned and such a wonderful small slice of history...it must have been an awesome time to be on the scene back in the day...Of course I've always thought I belonged in a different time! :) 
I've heard Mom and other relatives tell this story over the years and it never gets old...and she always says in her words "what a lovely man and a gentleman he was"....

I've been making meatballs for a long time now..and they are very good...or so I have been told...depending on the day and ingredients on hand...but they always fall just slightly short of my Mom's, even though she taught me and I use the exact same ingredients! :)lol 
Why is this!? It is one of the great mysteries of life I suppose....

Please follow/subscribe to my blog to  keep updated on happenings...

Hope you all had a beautiful day! 
Buon Giovedi a tutti! :)
Love,
 Joe


Click photo to enlarge

un buon bicchiere di Chianti questo pomeriggio qualcuno?

un buon bicchiere di Chianti questo pomeriggio qualcuno?  


I took this pic today in honor of my wonderful friend, writer/author SK Waller who loves Chianti...

I had just bought a few bottles the other day and had some with my lunch today- Spaghetti and Meatballs....and I was reminded that it's her favorite wine from seeing a post she had made on Facebook...

I love many types of wine...and different Chianti but,  the one that comes in the straw basket, called a "fiasco" (flask) is always the one I remember seeing in the house growing up...it reminds me of my Grandfather...so I like it's taste and it's rustic look, the best...

I also want to quickly mention the table you see in the photo...it's an antique...an ancient, hand made and hand carved part of an altar tabernacle from a church in Italy...it makes a great end table and book nook for those giant coffee table size books that do not fit in a bookshelf and no one knows what to do with! lol  As some of you know or may have read...I love "OLD"..and retro and vintage things...and history....My parents were into antiques..my Mom being an antique dealer and researcher/appraiser... so I guess have inherited the bug too :)

And yes..to answer some of you that have asked on some social media posts of this photo...it is a basil plant :) Nothin' better than the taste and smell of fresh basil when cooking...though I do not have the greatest "green thumb"...I'm working on it...lol,  I try to always keep one alive! :) lol 

I hope you're all having an awesome day!

Buon Giovedi a tutti!! 
Love, 
Joe






Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Horace Silver Quintet - Song For My Father


This Blog Post is for you Dad...I'm missing you terribly today...
I was goin' through some of your stuff & found & old telegram from 1964 in your Tenor case.
It was from one of your oldest & tightest friends, Horace. He had sent it to you on you and Mom's wedding day...a short time after that I came online and happened upon a video of this song on a friends music page here!
So I guess maybe you must have come to visit!? :) 
Love, 
Joey



Saturday, June 8, 2013

Zucchini Parmesan Recipe

I fried up some Zucchini the other night to make one of my favorites...zucchini parmesan..
Some of you may have seen the photo post on Facebook or Twitter...etc...
I'm just catching up a bit here and working on my website and blogs this weekend so I thought I'd post the recipe today...
This meal with a nice glass of vino & a side of pasta...ahhhh...now that's livin'! :)lol

Most people when they think "parmesan" they think eggplant, chicken..even maybe veal....but one of my favorite "parmesan" dishes is made with Zucchini...

Start by getting your self some nice fresh zucchini...and take your time picking them out...believe me, it makes a difference....not to small....not too big....you want medium to smaller size with a nice shiny skin without blemishes...they have to be just right :) They have to look good...or at least look good to your own personal standards anyway...lol...it matters...really....food and cooking is art...well to me...

Next, wash the zucchini,  cut off the ends and slice it long ways...

Add a little olive oil to a deep frying pan and begin to warm it up...

In a large bowl....crack some eggs....whisk them up a bit...and dip the zucchini...then lightly coat with a mixture of bread crumbs, some grated cheese and a pinch of salt and pepper...I used panko bread crumbs for these...They are excellent and have the perfect crunch...and they do not change the flavor of the zucchini...I often use homemade bread crumbs..or simply some plain or Italian style bread crumbs...use whatever your favorite store bought brand may be if you'd like...or whatever you may have in the house...

After they're set to go...just fry them up....not too long...turning a few times...until they just start to soften up a bit and turn a nice golden brown color here and there...see picture below....

Now...I sometimes just like to do this quick and skip the parmesan/baking part...and mangia!! They are delicious and can be a great meal as is...or also a wonderful appetizer or side dish...


 Click photo to enlarge

But this time I wanted to layer them parmesan style...so, just layer them with some cheese and sauce in a baking dish....a few layers is fine...and bake for about a half hour at 325 or so....see photo below...I prefer to use the leftover sauce from the weekend...whatever sauce I made for Sunday's meal...it's perfect for this...but of course you can improvise and/or make a quick, fresh marinara sauce or use whatever you'd like ...

I also like to combine cheeses...and not make it too thick...I used fresh and grated cheeses for each layer...Parmigiano Reggiano, Asiago and of course some Mozzarella...the combination is perfect! :)

                                                                 Click photo to enlarge


They will come out looking like this....piping hot and all melted in cheesy goodness!


                                                               Click photo to enlarge


This is probably enough for dinner as it is....but I like to sometimes serve it with a side of pasta....I chose a capellini for this meal...perfetto!! :) 


                                                               Click photo to enlarge

All you need is a nice glass of your favorite wine now...and you can add some more grated cheese and peperoncino (dried hot pepper flakes) to your taste... and you have a beautiful light and very healthy meal!

I thank you all  for reading my blog...please leave your comments...your thoughts, ideas and favorite recipes for zucchini here...and feel free to share with your friends and family....

I will definitely have this recipe in more detail and more about zucchini in my cookbook....so stay tuned and subscribe to/follow my blog to stay updated! :)

Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus to stay in touch...

You can also make a donation through the Paypal button at the top left of the blog if you'd like to...any amount...it really helps out..and goes towards the costs of maintaing this blog, the cookbook and also music projects....thanks so much to all of you out there that have done so so far and also that have purchased CDs and merchandise...your support is so very appreciated...

Love,
Joe

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

French Toast - I mean - Roman Toast - History, Recipe...and other ramblings...

Now this was a good way to start off a rainy Monday morning yesterday! :)
I made some French Toast...or should I now say "Roman" Toast....hmmm...

I love history and food facts and origins, so I did some research some time back on the history of this
breakfast favorite...through the many books I have in my collection and then of course a did quick Google search too...and I found out a lot of interesting information about French Toast that I had not known before...

And yes...I know..some of you may be saying to yourselves..."look it up in "books"? "Why waste the time? Just do an online search!" Well I did eventually...just to find out more information if I could and be sure...But, although you can find out anything these days in a second online...I still like to do
research the old fashioned way, and take the time to find it in books...Isn't that more fun anyway? Doesn't taking the easy way out so to speak take some of the mystery out of it? The thrill of the hunt...the search..and then the prize of discovering and finding out the answers? Doesn't it remove the romance from it all? lol Well, to me it just makes life more...well, I don't know...cool...for lack of a better word....some may call me old fashioned! lol but reading and looking through a bunch of old books is like heaven to some people I guess... and well,  I happen to be one of them.... 

I was always at the library as a kid...and I couldn't wait until my Mother and Father's once a week trip to the library...we'd all go and gather up all the books we could and then couldn't wait to get back home and read and explore and research our favorite subjects...it was like an adventure to me....and even exciting...
My parents were both... I guess you could say...student's of life...and it's many mysteries and also very much into antiques...and my Mother was a researcher and antique dealer for many, many years...so I guess it just runs in the blood :)
When going to flea markets and tag sales or maybe I should say yard sales (as I recently learned Tag Sale is perhaps an East Coast , possibly Connecticut term...lol ).... I would always love looking through everything.. but would especially stop and get mesmerized by and lost in the books...
The look...the feel, the smell..the discovery....I was in my glory and could spend hours not even realizing what time it was....and usually having to be coaxed and pulled away...lol....
I was fascinated with so many subject as a child...from all of the ancient cultures...Egypt, Rome and Greece to The Middle Ages and Renaissance and the well known artists, sculptors, scholars and builders of the time like Leonardo Da Vinci....to World War I and II...I could not get enough and would spend hour upon hour immersed in the past....Social Studies, Ancient Civilizations, Anthropology, Archaeology...were some of my favorite subjects and continue to be to this day. I was...and still am...a huge bibliophile...or as we said growing up...simply, a book worm....but I digress...

So now back to the French Toast...
As I was saying..some time back I was making some French Toast one night and decided to look it up....I had enjoyed this savory breakfast classic for years as we all have...but I had a feeling there was more to it...and what I found was somewhat surprising to me..and to what we all have been taught...here in the US anyway...I knew it had its roots in early American history...with the French immigrants that came here popularizing the term...I knew it was a way to make food last and make use of all of the ingredients one had to feed their family of the times...wasting food was never done as it is today...I also knew somewhat, that many cultures make there own version and have their own name for it....a Facebook friend from the UK told me they call it "Poor Knights of Windsor...what I did not know...is that this classic breakfast meal was not French at all...it was made long before France was even a country...originally made in 4th century Rome...so to use the historical idiom..."All Roads Lead to Rome" which is now a common metaphor...it would take it's true literal meaning in this case..or at least somewhat....lol...
The earliest reference to this meal of soaking bread in eggs and milk and frying it in oil and/or butter dates back to an ancient Roman cookbook written by Apicius and it is thought to even predate this by many years...It was called at the time "pan dulcis" and was basically the same dish as we know it today...with sometimes honey being used as a topping instead of the now longtime popular maple syrup....
This cooking practice spread through Europe through the Middle Ages...and became known as "pain perdu" or "Lost Bread" in France and many other places as well...which it is still called today...but before the French called it "pain perdu" they called it "Pain a la Romaine" or.."Roman Bread".

All in all, I found this French Toast historical quest for me to be very interesting...especially now knowing that as far back as the 4th century their were cookbooks! I also love knowing that so many cultures over so many centuries have their own wonderful version...and name for it...and no matter who you were or where you were from...we as people all had the same needs and reasons behind doing the things that we did  to survive and showed so much ingenuity...who would have thought that French Toast came about by using stale or day old bread and combining it with the protein of the eggs and milk had that had such deeper meaning...and necessity....besides just simply being an experiment, or accident and just simply tasting so darn good!! It's awesome really.... knowledge is so great...and I think helps one learn, understand and appreciate so many things in life..and also each other....even with something as trivial as French Toast! :) Or as I now will henceforth refer to it in my house... Roman Toast! :)

On with the recipe...
Here is a pic of my Roman Toast below...I woke up Monday morning... as we all sometimes do...with this on my brain...lol...and I set out to make it right away! I'm sure many of you have made it a million times and probably better than me...and it's delicious...lol...but here's my take on the recipe...

I used Italian bread...left over from the weekend...cut fairly thick...but you may use whatever bread you prefer or have on hand at the time....

The take 3 eggs...crack them in a large bowl...add a splash of milk, a pinch of salt and mix it together.
I prefer to use a fork to beat the eggs...not a whisk or blender...it's just how I was taught as a child...and I think it makes a difference and comes out better this way...lol...but it probably doesn't really matter....
I raise the fork high a number of times during this process to create some air in the mixture....
And then comes a secret ingredient  to be added...which my Mom taught me...and her Mom before that. I have yet to find it in anyone's recipe to date...well not yet anyway...but I am sure there is someone out there that does do this as well...I think it makes all the difference in the world...
But,  I shall refrain from telling it here and  hold on to it and save it's secret for my cookbook :) 

Put a drop of olive oil in a large frying pan...rub it around to coat the bottom...add some butter or margarine if you prefer....

Dip the bread slices in the egg mixture...making sure to saturate it completely...and then, fry it up! 
Make sure it gets a nice delicious golden brown looking color on both sides...

I topped mine with butter and some Maple Syrup...but you can do all sorts of things....fresh fruit is delicious or even a spoonful of Nutella! Whatever trips your trigger...LOL...of course a must for me is also a nice tall glass of icy cold milk...
Next time I want to try the way of the ancients and use some honey....I bet it's good!!! :)


                                                             Click photo to enlarge

I thank you all for stopping by my blog and for taking the time to read this post and for showing such interest and support. Whether it is of me, my music and my food posts and ramblings...it truly is all so encouraging and please...share your own personal thoughts, ideas, stories and family tips and experiences by leaving your comments here...and feel free to pass it on to your friends, family and colleagues if you think they might enjoy...

I know that I may not  be that seasoned a professional when it comes to the blogging world as of yet...lol...with all the bells and whistles...but, it is a work in progress...and I am learning and getting there...and I hope you enjoy reading...and sharing a bit of our lives together along the way...

The cookbook I am working on slowly but surely is still in development and is getting there too...I will keep you posted! :) If any of you,  and especially all of my wonderful author friends...may have any inside knowledge, tips, advice or experience in this area and in publishing a book or downloadable e-book, please get in touch....your help would be greatly appreciated!
Have a beautiful new week everyone!
Don't forget to follow and/or subscribe to my blog here to stay updated...
Love,
Joe

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

In Loving Memory of my Father...Jazz Musician, Joe Gande - May 15, 1929-April 20, 1998

In Loving Memory of my Father...Jazz Musician, Tenor Saxophonist,  Joe Gande - May 15, 1929-April 20, 1998...I love you Dad...and I miss you...
I had a dream about him last night...an awesome dream...so I was looking through some old photograph's this morning when I woke up and came across this one...
I love vintage photos and photography...and thought maybe some of you might too...
Today is the anniversary of his passing...
My Father lived on Great Jones Street in Manhattan...in New York, City's village, for many, many years...and he paid 90 dollars a month for his apartment :)

Off to a gig, NYC, circa 1950's...




Here's an older blog post with a little more about my Dad...
http://joegande.blogspot.com/2012/06/my-father-joe-gande-happy-father-day-to.html

I'm thinking to add a lot of family photos, and share memories and anecdotes in my new cookbook that I have in the works, especially those relating to food & history, Italy...etc...what do you think? Good idea?
Thank you for stopping by and reading...
Love,
Joe

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Joe Gande Winner of Betty Award!

I am very surprised, humbled and honored to be the proud recipient of an Official BETTY Award from the wonderful Author/Reviewer/Celebrity Interviewer/Blogger/Journalist Betty Dravis!
Please visit Betty's website and check out her work, her books and all of the awards and awesome winners & leave your comments & share!
Read more about award winning, best selling author Betty Dravis here....
Thank you,
Love,
Joe

From Betty....
"Hi, dear Joe, Congratulations! YOU won a BETTY AWARD in the musical section. Check it out on my website and then share with all your friends. I will appreciate your Tweeting it from the site and leaving a comment, if you have time. Several of your fave entertainers received Bettys also. Best always, hon! Hugs - Betty"
"Joe, I don't know you in person, but our personalities meshed and I have a great fondness for you. In addition to having fantastic stage presence you are musically gifted, my friend. You should hit the heights and soar... Hugs - Betty" 

The Award...

Favorite Musician/Singer
JOE GANDE

 photo Betty_Awards_Badge_  zps6d1d6a22.jpg






Betty made an awesome video for ACT 2 OF THE BETTY AWARDS and sent it to me yesterday... check it out! 

Visit to leave your comments and share....
http://animoto.com/play/A96WMWGAaofTYElZAmp3IA?utm_source=&utm_medium=player&utm_campaign=player