Giving Locally

We love filling out this BIG check!!

2017 Festival donations surpassed $5,600 for the Food Bank of Iowa.

Thank you everyone for helping us support this fine organization.

Halloween in Italy

Read how this USA holiday is celebrated in Italy.

2017 Outstanding Citizens

Congratulations!!

Rose Russo and Nancy Danca were presented the Outstanding Citizen Award at this year’s Columbus Day Dinner for their ‘above and beyond’ contributions to the Italian-American community.

Thank you, ladies, for your continued service.

An Evening in Sicily

Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the rich cuisine of Italy prepared by Sicilian chefs at this one-of-a-kind annual dinner on November 9, 2017.

Reserve your seat …

Limoncello Class

Learn how to make this popular Italian liqueur in a hands-on class,

October 25th at the Italian-American Cultural Center of Iowa.

More information.

Read more

Italian-American Heritage Festival of IA

July 28th & 29th 2017

Western Gateway Park

See what’s happening

 

Italian Easter Bread

This traditional Easter bread is topped with colored raw eggs, which cook as the bread bakes. It makes for a pretty centerpiece.

 

 

Ingredients

2-3/4 to 3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast

1 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup 2% milk

3 tablespoons butter, divided

2 eggs

1/2 cup chopped mixed candied fruit

1/4 cup chopped blanched almonds

1/2 teaspoon aniseed

5 uncooked eggs, dyed

GLAZE:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 to 2 tablespoons 2% milk

Decorator candies, optional

Directions

In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a large saucepan, heat milk and 2 tablespoons butter to 120°-130°. Add dry ingredients; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs; mix well. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down; turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in fruit, almonds and aniseed until blended. Let rest for 10 minutes. Divide dough in half. Shape each portion into a 24-in. rope. Loosely twist ropes together; place on a greased baking sheet and form into a ring. Pinch ends together. Melt remaining butter; brush over dough. Gently separate ropes and tuck dyed eggs into openings. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes.

Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. For glaze, in a bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency; drizzle over bread. Sprinkle with candies if desired. Yield: 1 loaf (20 slices).

Springtime in Italy

The Illustrated History of Italian-American Food

Spaghetti and meatballs. Marinara sauce. Chicken parm. Baked ziti. Garlic bread. Pizza (as we conceive of it).

What these foods have in common, besides being universally beloved, is that they are wholly American inventions. Yes, these titans of red-sauce cuisine bear little resemblance to any dish you’d find in Italy.

Read more…. 

Saint Joseph Altar Celebration

The Italian-American Cultural Center of Iowa will hold its 20th annual St. Joseph Altar celebration on March 18th and 19th, 2017.

Doors open at 5:30 PM on Saturday, March 18th with the blessing of the altar at 6:00 PM. Following the blessing, the children will present the “tupa tupa” (knocking) pageant.  A traditional Lenten meal will be served family style after the blessing.

Altar visitations will continue on Sunday, March 19th, the feast of St. Joseph, patron of families and laborers.  Visitation will begin at 9:00 AM. Refreshments will be provided during the day.  This year’s celebration will conclude with the incineration of petitions at 4:00 PM.

Both days are open to the public free of charge.  A free-will offering will be accepted.  All attending either of the celebrations will be given a gift bag containing a St. Joseph prayer card, St. Joseph medal, blessed bread and the traditional “lucky” fava bean.  All proceeds, as well as the fruits, vegetables, breads, pastries and financial contributions will be distributed to the St. Joseph Shelter, the Bidwell Center and the Catholic Worker House.

Family Altar Sponsorship Requests

The St. Joseph Altar Celebration is comprised of a main altar and additional family-sponsored side altars. Families who would like to sponsor an altar provide items which represent their family such as statues, linens, family pictures, etc. They have the option of decorating their altar themselves or providing the items for the committee to decorate their altars for them. The committee provides flowers and other traditional items to each of the altars. to request a family altar or for additional information, please feel free to call the chairperson at 244-4672 or 250-8804.

Baking

DSC01898 (Small)Several days are required for the baking of the traditional St. Joseph cookies and breads. Those who would like to come and learn the preparation of new kinds of sweets are invited to attend one of several baking sessions. There is a wide variety of cookies that are made. Volunteers will also be making several pounds of fresh pasta that will be served at both the dinner and the luncheon.

Baking will run March 8th, 9th, 10th,13th,14th,15th,16th and 17th at 9:00 am each day. 

For more information about baking for the celebration, please call the chairperson at 244-4672 or 250-8804.