Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Traditions - Italian Style

I can't believe it's been almost a full week since I've posted! I took a little break to enjoy the holidays but now I'm back and I've got a bunch of posts planned out for my lovely readers. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. We spent Christmas Eve with my H's side of the family and had the traditional seafood dinner (I don't eat seafood, so I ate pasta), opened our Pollyanna presents, and enjoyed an assortment of desserts, and lots of wine. We spent Christmas Day with my family feasting on Chicken Marsala, Rice Balls, Pasta, tons of different cookies, and Cannoli Cupcakes.
My great grandmother always made strouffles and I looked forward to having them every Christmas for as long as I can remember. My mom and I have kept the tradition alive since she passed away. It took us a few tries but we finally perfected the recpie and they taste just like my great grandma's. For those of you who are not familiar with strouffles (aka Italian Honey Balls), they are little deep fried dough balls that are covered in (cooked) honey and sprinkled with nonpareils. 
Baci Perugina
Another Christmas tradition for our family (again, for as long as I can remember) is Baci's. They are so delicious and they come with little love messages or quotes inside each Baci.

Italian / Sicilian Rice Balls (photo via)
This recipe was handed down to our family from very close friends of the family who were (right off the boat) from Sicily. The traditional Sicilian way of making riceballs is the fill the center with meat but you can also fill the middle with mozzarella cheese. We usually have the cheese rice balls on Christmas Eve (because you can't eat meat) and save the meat rice balls for Christmas Day. I learned how to make them this year with my grandma, we spent an entire day in the kitchen making several batches.

As you can all imagine, I have been feasting all week and I will definitely need to make a New Year's resolution to hit the gym. hard.
What kind of traditions do you have in your family?


  1. Okay, please forgive my ignorance, but why can't you eat meat on Christmas Eve? I love that you shared your traditions! How fun, and that food looks AMAZING!

    One of our Christmas traditions is pretty common; opening new pajamas on Christmas Eve and watching Elf or other Christmas movies before the kiddos go to bed. When my boys want to open one gift on Christmas Eve, I don't think they are hoping for pajamas, but they will have to deal with it for many years to come. :)

  2. I love hearing others Christmas traditions - yours sounds so lovely!

    We don't really have many traditions - just a big meal on Christmas day, usually Chicken or turkey, though we had Pork for the first time this year. There's always some alcohol, naps and chocolate in the mix somewhere in the day too! Xxx

  3. You're making me hungry!! :P

    I had those rice balls for the first time (with mozza) at my girls' holiday party a couple weekends ago!! One of the girls' bf is Italian and she made them. They were soooooo good.

    What is a pollyanna present?

    Traditions for us include stockings in the morning, then breakfast (cinnamon buns and croissants, always) and then presents. It's an orchestrated affair ;)


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