Mount Fuji


“Nonna’s Sicilian Kitchen” Completed!

I finally finishedIMG_4645 another oil painting! I decided to dedicate this one to my grandmother Rosemary Crispi, who passed away July 7, 2015.

My grandma as a teenager
My grandma as a teenager

She grew up in Sicily before moving to the U.S. after marrying my grandfather. Similarly her mother had a similar wood-fired oven and I remember all my relatives using it during my trip to Sicily in 2007. I know she would have loved this painting!IMG_4327

New Painting in the Works: La Cucina!

This one takes me back to my roots!

49dcee45a8cb8c7947aa372c35c5dd82While browsing online, I came across this photo of an elderly “Nonna” (Italian grandmother) baking bread in wood fired oven, a very common rustic Italian way of cooking. I couldn’t help but reminisce back to when I visited Sicily 7 years ago before my sophomore year of college. I spent about a week at my great-grandparents home, which still made use of its wood-fired oven. Looking back, I realized if I’m going to complete another oil painting, might as well pay tribute to my heritage. I didn’t want to paint just a copy of the photo I found online, but add character to it, a bit of what my own eyes saw. I realize I can only do that by opening a closed door! If you ever come across modern paintings of rustic Italian farmland you may find yourself peering through an arched window or doorway and into

My great-grandma's wood-fired stove in Sicily
My great-grandma’s sicilian wood-fired stove

the main focal point: a stunningly breathtaking landscape. These paintings give the viewer a perspective, to make them feel as if they are right there peering through their own virtual window. Adding this into my painting may have changed the focal point from the Nonna baking bread to wide open door, but it will definitely make my painting more interesting. For a canvas that’s 18″ by 15″ there is plenty of room for detail. So why not add some pots and pans, chickens, a dog, and maybe some young children at the table helping to prepare a meal or sneaking a orange from the table? This is one of the main reasons I love art, especially painting! Creativity is endless, so add your own personal spin to a painting and like a domino effect it can start by being inspired by just one photo!

So here’s my idea sketched onto the canvas!


The process has only begun!

Below is a gallery of some other paintings and photos that inspired me to create this piece.

Pumpkin Pie with Graham Cracker Crust

What you’ll need:

For Pumpkin Pie Filling:

1.5 cups of sugar

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. groung cloves

4 large eggs

1 can of 100% pumpkin puree

2 cans of evaporated milk

For Graham Cracker Crust

2 cups of graham cracker crumbs

1.5 sticks of melted buter

1/2 cup of walnuts

1 teaspoon cinnamon

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What to do:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.


1.) In a food processor crush 2 cups of graham crackers, 1/2 cup of walnuts, and cinnamon. Add in melted butter and mix.

2.) Pat graham cracker mix into the bottom of the pie pan.


1.) MIX sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves in a small bowl.

2.) In a large bowl, beat eggs and pumpkin puree mixture.

3.) Add in sugar spice mixture.

4.) Gradually mix in evaporated milk.

5.) Pour mixture into pie pan

6.) Bake in preheated 425 degree oven for 15 min, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and make for another 40-50 minutes. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Curry Butternut Squash Soup

Fall into the autumn season with butternut squash soup that has a curry-kick!

Curry Butternut Squash Soup

What you’ll need:

(Makes 3 bowls of soup)

2 tsp olive oil

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp. tyme

2 tsp salt

black pepper

1 tsp curry powder

¼ tsp cumin

½ tsp paprika

2 celery stalks

1/2 onion

1 carrot


What to do:

1. Peel and slice up butternut squash into cubes.

2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add in 1/2 onion, 1 peeled carrot, 2 celery stalks, and butternut squash. Add a sprinkle of salt to taste.

3. After about 10 min, add boiled vegetables into blender and blend.

4. After a good consistency, add olive oil, cumin, curry powder, tyme, salt, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper.

5. Pour soup into bowl and sprinkle with fresh chives and tyme.


Flourless, eggless, sugarfree granola cookies

Simple and Guilt-free Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

Say “GOODBYE” to excess sugar and “HELLO” to health with these simply delicious oatmeal cookies!

What you’ll need: (Makes 24 cookies)

4 cups of oats (2 cups ground in food processor)

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 large ripe bananas, mashed

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1 cup apple sauce

1/2 cup raisins

A dash of walnuts

What to do:

1) Preheat oven to 375F

2) Mix in all dry ingredients together (baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, oats)

3) In a food processor, mix bananas and and applesauce.

4) Pour batter into a large bowl adding raisins and walnuts

5) Place on greased cooking sheet and let cook for about 15-20 mins

Avocado Pesto Pasta with Walnuts

What you’ll need:

1 pound of linguine

2 cups of fresh basil

1 avocado

1/2 cup of walnuts (or pine nuts)

4 cloves of garlic

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup of grated romano cheese


1/2 lemon

a food processor

What to do:

1) Boil 1 pound of linguine in pot.

2) In a pan, add olive oil and roast walnuts (or pine nuts)

3) Peel garlic and avocado and add to food processor with olive oil and squeeze half a lemon into mix (lemon juice will prevent avocado from turning brown).

4) Add 2 cups of basil to processor, grated romano cheese, and salt to taste.

5) Lastly add in walnuts (or pine nuts to food processor)

6) Drain linguine after al dente and place in bowl, slowly adding in pesto sauce. AND MIX!