I love stopping in to visit Maria and Nina at Caffe Sicilia anytime of the year, but especially during the holidays. The bakery was humming today, with their regular customers as well as regional and international travelers, and their refrigerator brimming over with special Easter orders. Folks are still purchasing raffle tickets for Caffe Sicilia’s giant chocolate egg to benefit children with autism. What a gorgeous day for shopping downtown Gloucester. Happy Easter and Happy Spring! 


Saturday afternoon and Haley is working like mad to fill everyone’s Easter basket. She has so much finesse and makes it all look so easy. I’m a messy cook and would after only a few minutes be covered in chocolate. Not such a bad thing, though.

White Chocolate Turtles

Caramel Choclate Nonpareils


Caffe Sicilia is raffling tickets for an enormous Easter egg. The funds raised are going towards autism. Did I mention the egg is DARK chocolate 🙂

Tendercrop Again

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…. if you haven’t pulled into Tendercrop Farm while driving down Route 1A in Wenham…you’re missing out.  I go in once each week to get some cheese, pears, blueberries, soup, and the absolute best pita chips you’ve ever had!  I’ll often grab a sweet treat for the boys and maybe grab some steak tips or eggs.

Head over now and also check out their adorable Easter decorations and flowers!




Get Crackin’…Egg Hunt Throw Back

Happy, Happy Easter!

I know that I have totally used these photos in another post here on GMG, but they are my all-time favorite Easter photos ever.  This kid kills me.  Finn turned the lovely and charming Rockport Egg Hunt into some crazy rugby inspired grudge match.  When the leader of the egg hunt said, “Ready, set, go” he took off all Ninja Warrior from one end of the field, clear down to the other, and back again.  He slowed down long enough to grab just one little egg.  I have absolutely no idea what was going through his head, but I laugh and laugh every time I see these pics.


Saturday at Virgilios and the shop is packed!

Virgilios beautiful cookie selection for your Easter table ~ Nanci Lee Virgilio Photo

FullSizeRender (49)

The Easter Egg Basket Cookies are going fast!

View this post on Instagram

Virgilios beautiful array of cookies for your Easter table!

A post shared by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

IMG_2658Nanci Lee Virgilio Photo




Jon Hardy Alexandra Rhinelander Alexandras Bread Kim Smith 2016 copy

I love stopping and shopping at Alexandra’s Bread because of these two! As everyone in the community knows, their bread, scones, and cookies are beyond delicious, but it is Jon and Alexandra’s friendly smiles and congenial chatting that always make the trip a joy.

Happy Easter! Happy Spring!

FullSizeRender (46)Charming kitchen towels

FullSizeRender (45)

Children’s aprons

FullSizeRender (43)I have a thing for aprons, and Alexandra has the best!

FullSizeRender (42)Oil cloth apron


Turtle Alley Kim Smith 2016Turtle Alley -4 Kim Smith 2016.JPGWe’re so fortunate in Gloucester to have not one, but two, F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S chocolatiers. Yesterday I visited Haley Baker at Turtle Alley where they are in full Easter mode. Tomorrow, I’ll be at Nichols Candy House. Shop local for your Easter baskets!

View this post on Instagram

Turtle making with Haley Baker at Turtle Alley

A post shared by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

View this post on Instagram

Turtle making part two

A post shared by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

View this post on Instagram

Special orders for Easter being filled at Turtle Alley!

A post shared by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

View this post on Instagram

Rivulets of chocolate –

A post shared by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Turtle Alley  -3Kim Smith 2016.JPG

Turtle Alley -2 Kim Smith 2016.JPG

Buona Pasqua from Caffe Sicilia!

The beautiful, beautiful Easter desserts and confections are all hand made by Maria Cracchiolo, including the marzipan lambs! The refrigerator was bursting with special orders and it was a treat to see Maria’s lovely (and wonderfully delicious) Cassata Siciliana in a range of sizes.

Maria’s family is oftentimes there, hard at work alongside her, and especially during the holidays. Pictured with Maria is her husband, Giuseppe Cracchiolo. 

*     *     *


See a quick glimpse of Maria making the Groppo’s Cassata Siciliana, posted around the time of the Feast of Saint Joseph.

Order Your Beautiful Caffe Sicilia Cassata Siciliana

Caffe Sicilia Maria Cracchiolo Cassata Siciliana Gloucester ©Kim Smith 2015




Filling Easter Baskets with Mariposa at Harbor Loop Gifts!



Spring has Sprung in Sista’s Mariposa!


I decided to shop “Harbor Loop Gifts,” located at the Building Center on Harbor Loop here in Gloucester for useful items to fill a nontraditional Easter Basket filled with my beloved Mariposa tableware! Harbor Loop Gifts has a wonderful assortment of collectable pieces from the Local “Mariposa” company’s product line, and is my go to store to purchase gifts of Mariposa for friends and family throughout the year!  One of the great things about gifting Mariposa aside from the fact it always makes a perfect gift for any occasion, is that it’s sold at many different price points. I fell in love with the Starfish Salt & Pepper Set, Butter Dish and Trivet on display at the store. Below are a few photos of the Starfish pieces arranged in baskets that I prepared and brought with me to the store, to use as props to highlight a few gift basket ideas for last minute Easter shoppers!



If you’re still looking for a special gift basket idea, or special something to add to a loved one’s Easter Basket, or in need of a hostess gift for the chef preparing your Easter feast, stop by and check out the selection of Mariposa gifts available at Harbor Loop Gifts!  


Mariposa will make a great addition to any Easter basket!  





Click read more for complete photo gallery

Continue reading “Filling Easter Baskets with Mariposa at Harbor Loop Gifts!”

Order Your Beautiful Caffe Sicilia Cassata Siciliana for Easter Today!

During this year’s round of filming for Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Community Film Project, I had the wonderful good fortune to stop at Caffe Sicilia just as Maria Cracchiolo was about to decorate her signature Cassata Siciliana.

It was the morning of Saint Joseph Day and as you can imagine, Caffe Sicilia was bustling to fill the day’s special orders of delicious Sicilian pastries and altar breads. Nevertheless, I asked Maria if she would mind if I filmed her while she decorated the cake. No, not all, she graciously allowed. Maria is so deft at cake making that it took her only minutes to create this masterpiece. It’s all been captured for our film project! The Vine below gives a tiny glimpse of Maria’s artistry.

Cassata Siciliana is also traditionally served at Easter time. What a gorgeous gift Caffe Sicilia’s cassata would make to share at your family’s Easter celebration, which as you may know is coming up very soon, in less than two weeks, on Sunday, April 5th. Believe me when I write, Maria’s Cassata Siciliaina tastes as good as it looks–divine, actually! A partial list of the ingredients includes sponge cake, ricotta, liquor, marzipan, royal icing, and candied fruit.

Special orders may be placed by calling Caffe Sicilia at 978-283-7345.

Caffe Sicilia Maria Cracchiolo Cassata Siciliana Gloucester ©Kim Smith 2015


RD & Homie Wishing You a Happy Easter

Have you ever noticed what a weird name daffodil is? I had to look it up to make sure I spelled it right. It was affodil but the etymological merging from the Dutch article “de”, as in “De affodil”, and voila, a goofy name for the harbinger of summer.

Marshmallow Peeps Fruity Flavored Edible Play Dough!




Did you know Marshmallow Peeps make the best edible play dough ever?  Last week while researching Marshmallow Peeps, I  found a recipe for “Marshmallow Peeps Edible Play Dough”on line.  As a lover of peeps, I decided to try the recipe out and quickly realized after batch #1 that the recipe I was using needed a few adjustments, to improve the texture and taste of the Peeps Play Dough.   After making a few changes, I found myself playing like a child  rolling out fruity flavored Peeps Play dough at my kitchen island, wishing I had some kids along side of me, to play with!  Call and invite the grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and neighborhood children over this weekend, to  whip up a few batches and have some fun together in the kitchen!


 Click see more for Marshmallow Peeps Fruity Flavored Edible Play Dough recipe and photo gallery!


Marshmallow Peeps Fruity Flavored Edible Play Dough


6-8 fresh marshmallow peeps

2/3 cup cornstarch

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/4 teaspoon extract flavoring (I used Grape -w/ Purple Peeps, Raspberry – w/ Blue Peeps,  and Strawberry – w/ Pink Peeps)…any flavor can be substituted, and if you’re lucky enough to find a package of flavored Peeps you can omit extract from the recipe!


1  place  peeps in microwave safe bowl; microwave at full power 30 seconds; remove from microwave

2  place oil and  cornstarch in bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook attachment; add melted peeps; mix on medium speed 30 seconds until cornstarch becomes incorporated

3   turn loose dough onto clean work surface and knead until dough ball forms; using hand form into Easter Egg shape

3 wrap in clear plastic wrap or airtight plastic bag/container; will keep 2-3 days

* Note~ I found this adorable 7 piece Kid’s Baking Set for $1.97 at Walmart to gift with the Marshmallow Peeps Fruity Flavored Edible Play Dough




* To rejuvenate dough’s elasticity ~ I recommend Adults Only, heat Peeps play dough in microwave safe bowl 15 seconds; remove stir; when cool enough to touch, knead 30 seconds before children roll out dough and cut fun shapes ! 

Throwback Thursday Sista Felicia’s Annual Palm Sunday Easter Egg Hunt/Brunch




Thursday is TBT~ Throwback Thursday on Facebook.  Every week I look forward to the dozens of old photos posted.  Today while working on a Sweet Sixteen Surprise for our twins latter this summer I came across some priceless old photos of friends and family at a few of our past Annual Palm Sunday Easter Egg Hunts/Brunch’s, that I just had to share!  A few children in the photos have already graduated from college, others are graduating from college this year, many from high school, and dozens are currently completing their sophomore year of high school now…to all our friends and family…I hope you enjoy this journey back in time!




Shout Out To All GMG Peeps!


Printgmg marshmello peeps

Years ago Marshmallow Peeps were only sold during the springtime months surrounding the Easter holiday. Today they are manufactured into dozens of  holiday shapes and marketed in retail stores year round. Even though they are now regularly available, I think many would agree that spring time, and Easter wouldn’t be complete without enjoying a brightly colored sugary traditional bunny or chick shaped marshmallow Peeps!   With thousands of people across the country annually  flocking to the store  to buy a package, I thought It would be fun to give GMG FOB’s  an opportunity to share their favorite way to incorporate a marshmallow Peep into an Easter/Spring Time sweet treat! …Send us your creative ideas including a photo and I will personally post them for all to see here on Sista’s Dish!

Stained Glass from St. Ann’s Church (Holy Family Parish)

This window shows Mary Magdalen meeting Jesus after his resurrection. An appropriate theme for today’s post, as many Christians are still celebrating Easter.  For Catholics, the Easter season lasts until Pentecost, 50 days after Easter Sunday; the Greek Orthodox haven’t celebrated Easter at all yet – apparently it’s on May 5 for them this year.

Fr. Matthew Green