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Friday, March 12, 2010

Coffee Break, New Jersey Style

If you should ever find yourself in northern New Jersey, in the County of Morris, in the Borough of Lincoln Park . . . head for Main Street. Straight for A&A Fine Foods.

We raised our girls in this small town, which for its size has remarkably good eateries and take-out and food markets, and I take every opportunity to go back and shop. But shopping barely describes the experience of A&A -- it's a whole body immersion in Italian and other delights.

Cheeses, breads, bakery, butcher, prepared foods, imported everything -- if they bottled the aroma in that store and sold it as cologne, I'd wear it and be the most seductive woman on the planet.

Not that I'm not already . . . .

This is a long 'way round to my Friday post,
linking to Michael's Foodie Friday blog party at her Designs by Gollum blog.

Go visit for all sorts of food stories!

It's been a long, long couple of weeks. My father was seriously ill and in the hospital, but began to improve last weekend, and now has been transferred to a rehab facility to regain his strength, and hopefully be weaned off the constant need for oxygen.

I know he's getting stronger, as yesterday he began complaining.

Today, a cloudy day with spits of drizzle now and then, and just a few small patches of snow clinging to shady spots,
is a good day to sit down at the old oak table in the conservatory
with a big cup of hot coffee, and some cookies from A&A.

The stomach-eye view of the scene:

Black Colombian coffee, strong, to balance the sweet.
I am too lazy to fuss with espresso.

The cookies are on a small Italian hand painted plate.

If you have never had a hand-made, hand-rolled crisp cannoli shell, filled with chocolate-studded pastry cream -- filled fresh while you wait -- by a charming Italian gentleman who puts your order in a big pink bakery box, and then in a green cloth shopping bag . . .

. . . then you need to come to Jersey, sister.

You could join me for cookies and coffee here at That Old House today.
There's enough to go around.

But don't take that cookie, that one's mine.
Also, that one.
And the one over there . . .
Hey, get your hands off my cannoli!

Poor Mr. Dion DiPoochy. All those cookies . . . so near, yet so far.

And did you ever see such a dingy doggy? Look at his feet. Ugh.
It's March Mudness here at That Old House!
Dion's heading for the bath tub on the first dry day. Please don't tip him off. -- Cass


  1. Sister! I need to come to Jersey for sure!

  2. Those look so yummy and I will be right over after I book a plane ticket!

  3. Cass, you are KILLING me! Good Lord! The South has some wonderful cooks and great restaurants, but the one thing we have NOT found is a good Italian bakery. I have to make anything my family is craving. What I wouldn't give for a good cannoli or sfogliatella. And I want them in your conservatory. Not too much to ask for, right??
    xoxo Pattie

  4. WOW! I don't think B'ham has any where like that!

    Good thing it is lunch time -- I am suddenly ravenous.

    So glad your Dad is on the mend.

    The pooch is just too cute!


  5. oooooooooo Mamma Mia !
    That looks soooooooooooo *good* !!
    I started working out at the gym this week, and getting up at 5am is KILLING ME.
    I need this COFFE BREAK/SUGAR THING for sure !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Hi Cass - Thanks SO much for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. I love your blog and can't wait to do some exploring. I'm going to Chicago to visit my daughter in a couple of weeks and am looking forward to going to the big Italian deli closeby. Now you've done it...I'm craving one of those cannoli.

  7. Your plate of Italian goodies is beautiful! I wish I could try all of them!!!

  8. That looks and sounds wonderful - just a bit far from TX. I love following your blog, and have finally learned how to add my comments.

  9. Oh, that is a plateful of heaven!! And a nice cup of strong coffee. It's 1:30 pm and my pick me up is calling.

    Dion looks so adorable, even before the bath! It's all mud here too and mine are ready.


  10. I think I just gained 5 pounds looking at it...course it would have been 10 but I drooled off the other 5.

  11. Wow, Ms. Cass! You sure know how to make a guy (and a doggie) salivate, don't you??? Dion has just about the sweetest face I've ever seen ... I didn't even notice the "off white" paws!

    Glad your dad's feeling better!

    Hope you have a pleasant weekend!

  12. Yummy! I will have one please. Like I really need it, since I have gained a few lbs. dealing with the leg & back issue. Hope to take it off this Spring. Hey Dion - I will share mine with you - ok. :-D I just love that little face.
    Have a great weekend.

  13. Wow! Such indulgence. Now I am hungry, again. Dion is so adorable and my dog's feet are much worse as we are just back from our daily park visit. I posted a pic of my pooch today if you would like to take a peek. We plan to do the deed (bath) tomorrow too. You are a very funny lady, Cass and I really enjoy your posts. Deb

  14. Well, I was hungry when I started reading and NOW I'm REALLY hungry!
    Everything looks so yummy.
    Glad that your Dad is on the good road--sometimes complaints are good to hear. :)

    Have a good weekend.


  15. Hi Cass....thanks for a little bit of Jersey today....I even showed the picture of the cookies to the Boss as he adores NJ Italian cookies....When we come up for a visit the first thing we do is go to Vaccaro's Bakery in Clark for the cookies and the cannoli....Oh how I miss that!! Glad to hear your Dad is back in fighting spirit...Hope he continues to improve....Sue.

  16. Love the colors in that orchid!..and pass the cannoli, please.

  17. Pass the cannoli please. I knew you should have bought more. There won't be enough.
    I will break down one day and make some. First I need a mold.
    I will invite you to share when I make them.

  18. Yum! That picture of Mr. Dion is just the cutest thing! How could anyone resist that face? laurie

  19. Thank you Cass! You sound just like my hubs. No more house shopping, go and buy clothes he says. He!

    The pastries looks so good and Dion is my favorite sweet doggie in blog land. Too cute!

    Have a wonderful weekend. ~Melissa :)

  20. Oh Cass, those pastries look delish! I am trying to be good and not eat goodies. It is a battle, let me tell you. Hope your dad continues to improve... It is true, when they feel better they start griping and complaining.... GRIN

    :-) Sue

  21. Oh my..that all looks so good...and here I am watching every calorie! At least I can it all looks delicious!
    Have a great weekend!


  22. Hi Cass,
    Hope your dad is doing better.
    Last Sat. we had dinner in Jamesport Country Kitchen. Met 4 of my HS friends there. Delicious..

    My friend who reads my blog, and then goes to the blogs I have on my sidebar told me she read yours.
    Her parents live near you, and she knew the bakery..:)

    We nearly blew away last night, what a wicked storm..whitecaps all over the place..

    Take care..

  23. Did I mention I just sarted Weight Watchers a month ago? What are you doing posting those pictures? Trying to test my will power? It's okay, becuase I truly believe the only really good Italian bakeries are on the east coast. All the good French bakeries are on the west coast. But they do make some good cinnamon rolls out here in the midwest. Okay, I'm starved now...let me go find my box of Fiber One cereal. Thanks Cass, Happy Sunday to you too!


  24. That is just a plate full of happy! I think I groaned out loud when I saw that! Where in NJ are you - north? South? I'm in the southern part - I guess I could just as easily hit up South Philly for treats like that, but if there's anything closer I'm all for it! Thanks for sharing!

  25. Hey Cass, I know you have my address, just send some until I can get there. Happy Pop's doing better, hope he gains his strength. Take care! And leave me some cookies! Ms. Piggy

  26. Wow, that food is beautiful and I am sure it is so tasty too. Oh, that's just plain wrong!


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