Paladini Potpie

Adventures within The Crust!

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What’s a Stromboli?

What is Stromboli?

  1. The villain from Pinocchio.
  2. An Island off the coast of Sicily.
  3. A movie starring Ingrid Bergman.
  4. An Italian stuffed sandwich.
  5. All of the above.

And the answer, please…..drumroll….

All of the above!

Lighthouse of the  MediterraneanThe island of Stromboli has a population of about 600 people, and an active volcano which has erupted many times. In fact it has been nicknamed “the lighthouse of the Mediterranean” because the frequent eruptions cause the peak of the volcano to glow 3,000 feet above sea level.

In 1950 Roberto Rossellini directed, Strombolia movie about Karen, a young Lithuanian woman who married an Italian fisherman and went to live with him in the shadow of the volcano on Stromboli.

And after seeing the movie, the owner of Romano’s Italian Restaurant, in Essington PA, (near Philadelphia) came up with a unique new idea for an Italian sandwich, and named it after the movie.

Over the last 60 years since the Stromboli first appeared at Romano’s, it has become a classic Italian-American favorite. Since the Romano family vows that they will never share their original recipe, the sandwich has taken on all kinds of shapes and flavors.  Here’s the Paladini version of Stromboli with chicken and pesto.

1 chicken breast, cut in small cubes

1 small onion, diced

1 bell pepper, diced

6-8 mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup sliced black olives

2 tbsp olive oil

4 ounces Paladini Pesto (see recipe)

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 batch of Paladini Pizza dough (see recipe)

Prepare bread dough, and cut it into 8 sections. Set it aside to rest.

Saute the chicken till it’s lightly browned. Add onion, bell pepper and mushrooms. Saute until they are just tender.

Add olives.

Add the pesto and mix well.

Allow the filling to cool to a little warmer than room temperature.


Roll out first section of dough on a floured surface.

roll dough

It should be about 8″ in diameter.

the stromboli stuffer

Place 1/8 of the filling in the center of dough, and top with 1/8 of the mozzarella cheese.

layer ingrdients

Fold, edges over, tucking in and pressing to seal.

fold (2)

Do the same with the remaining 7  sections of dough, then place them on two parchment paper lined baking sheets.


Let them rest for 30 minutes, so the dough will begin to rise. Meanwhile preheat oven to 400°

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until browned.

(*You can also make these stromboli to freeze for later.  Bake them at a lower temperature – about 350°  – and do not let them brown. Allow them to cool completely, and then wrap them well.  The frozen stromboli can be placed in 400° oven and baked till well browned.)


And you thought Stromboli was just the villain from Pinocchio!



Three Score and More

Dr SchollsI was standing in front of the student center at Modesto Junior College with some friends, and I happened to look down at my feet.  I was wearing those Dr Scholls shoes with the wooden soles and the leather uppers (remember them?) I wore them all the time. In fact, I had three pairs in different colors. And on this particular day I was mortified to realize that I was wearing one blue shoe and one brown.

I mumbled an inarticulate something to my friends and practically ran to the parking lot to go home and change my shoes.  I knew I was giving up my premium parking place, and that I would be late for my next class, but I couldn’t imagine going through the rest of the day wearing odd shoes.

That was 30 years ago. Back then, at age 31, I considered myself to be fairly self-assured. I had come a long way from the awkward high school girl who lived in books and ate lunch alone. But I was still insecure enough to go into a desperate tizzy because I was wearing odd shoes.

My friend, Emily had a similar shoe experience just recently. She was in line at the grocery store and a little girl in the shopping cart ahead of her kept looking at her feet. She would look down at Emily’s feet and then look up at her face, and then back down at her feet. Finally Emily looked down and realized that she was wearing odd shoes. She grinned at the little girl and made some silly comment and they both had a laugh.

Prime of SenilityI would do the same thing today. What a difference three decades make! As Benjamin Franklin says, “I am in the prime of senility.”

I kept seeing a little ad on the edge of my Facebook page that says something like “60 is the new 30”. Finally I bit. I checked it out, and was dismayed to find a story about a beauty contest for glamorous grandmas.


I’m here to tell you 60 is not the new 30.

In my teens and through my twenties I always thought I was fat, and certainly not much to look at. Now I look at old pictures of myself and think I was actually pretty hot.

In those days I always felt like I talked too much, or talked too little, or put my foot in my mouth.

Why did I do so much lamenting and self-criticizing?  Why didn’t I relax more?

Can you relate?

Even my sassy outspoken friend Peggy, who passed away at 92 told me she didn’t know who she was, or what she thought about anything, until she was about 40.  I believe it.

What a shame to spend our youth in fretting insecurity, trying to be something we’re not, and being afraid to be who we really are.

And then to spend our older years trying to get the youth back.

My mother-in-law always says “Enjoy the moment!” And from everything I know of this wonderful woman, she has “enjoyed the moment” her entire life, and she has brought joy to others in the process.

I want to be like that.

Proverbs 16:31 says, “The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, If it is found in the way of righteousness.”

So here I am looking at another birthday. Now I’m going to be 3 score and more. I’m finally getting comfortable with who I am – who the Lord made me to be. I can finally relax and not beat myself up when I mess up – which I do all the time!  I can laugh at “bad hair days” or “odd shoe days” and I’m not afraid to strike up a conversation with a stranger. I’m even learning to laugh when I can’t think of a certain word… or what I came into the room for.

I think the secret lies in 2 Corinthians 4:16 – So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.

I believe that.  And while my inner self is being renewed by the Lord, I’ll do what I can do to help that outer self stay healthy.

Psalm 103 promises that the Lord will satisfy me with good things so that my youth is renewed like the eagles’.”

I don’t know exactly how or when he plans to do the youth-renewing, but he always satisfies me with good things. And the birthday blessings for this year have already begun to pour in!  – a free car wash coupon, and $10.00 gift cards from Office Max and Victoria’s Secret!  Plus I get senior discounts for the rest of my life! And I’m pretty sure there will be tiramisu in my near future. Woo Hoo!