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Sebastian Maniscalco Brings His Hilarious “Aren’t You Embarrassed?” National Tour to Pittsburgh

Levity_Sebastian_Blue Back ground photo credit Anders KrusbergOn Saturday, April 30th, the Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall in Munhall, PA, presents the hilarious Sebastian Maniscalco. Sebastian’s specialty is saying what we’re all thinking, but when he says it, it’s a whole lot funnier. Fans across North America show up in droves to see Sebastian’s dead-on social commentary on marriage, family and his Italian upbringing. From the moment Sebastian takes the stage, his hilarious facial expressions and animated delivery has his audience totally captivated, in the moment and hysterically laughing.

Maniscalco is now hard at work on his first memoir expected in 2016, titled “Where You Wanna Eat?” combining his two favorite things: comedy and food.  The memoir by Maniscalco and co-author Alan Eisenstock will explore Maniscalco’s dining experiences and dos and don’ts from a lifetime as a diner, waiter and keen observer of human nature through a series of his most memorable meals (Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster).

The first glimpse at the table-side humor audiences can expect from Maniscalco in his memoir was seen when he joined Jerry Seinfeld for “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee.” 

Sebastian recently landed a new pilot on NBC in which he is set to Executive Produce and star in. The new pilot is inspired by his life and comedy along with writer Austen Earl and Greg Garcia (Amigos De Garcia Productions).

After nearly a dozen sold-out performances in New York City’s comedy circuit in the last year alone, the Chicago-born-and-bred turned Los Angeles native has tapped Manhattan as the backdrop for his newest comedy special, to be filmed in May of 2016 at the historic Beacon Theatre. This highly-anticipated new hour of skepticism follows up Sebastian’s 2015 Showtime standup special and DVD “Aren’t You Embarrassed?” in which millions tuned in to see his witheringly sarcastic and exasperated take on modern behavior and etiquette. [Read more…]

The Truth about Hot Peppers

Golden cayenne peppers_photocredit_BonniePlants

Golden cayenne peppers are hot with a Scoville heat level of 30,000 to 50,000. Photo courtesy of Bonnie Plants

By Melinda Myers

Don’t be afraid to add a little spicy heat to your meals this season by growing a few hot peppers in the garden or containers.  It’s easier than you think and many of the hot pepper myths floating around the garden are simply not true.

Don’t worry about your hot peppers heating up your sweet peppers. Peppers are normally self-pollinated. If an insect happens to move the pollen from a hot to sweet pepper, it will not affect the flavor or heat of this year’s harvest. If you save the seeds from a cross-pollinated pepper and plant them in next year’s garden, the plants they produce may have hot or sweet fruit (or a little of both), but only time will tell.

And don’t assume all green peppers are sweet or you will be in for a surprise. Jalapenos are typically harvested when green and others, like habanero, Anaheim and Poblano are hot, whether harvested when green or red.  You’ll also find that hot peppers can be yellow, orange, brown and of course red.

You can turn down the heat when preparing your favorite recipes, too. Contrary to popular belief, all the heat in hot peppers does not come from the seeds. While partially true, the majority of the capsaicin that gives hot peppers their heat is in the white membrane that houses the seeds. When the seeds are growing they may also be coated with extra capsaicin from the membrane. So remove the white membrane and the seeds, just to be safe, if you want to turn down the heat. [Read more…]

Ciao Aroma Stuffed Chicken



  • 4 large chicken breasts
  • 5 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 12 pieces of prosciutto
  • Aroma as desired
  • 2 cups of seasoned bread crumbs
  • 5 large basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup of sharp provolone
  • Clove of garlic


  1. Marinate sun-dried tomatoes with olive oil, minced garlic and Aroma seasoning.
  2. Butterfly chicken—place two pieces of prosciutto inside of chicken, covering chicken.
  3. Add sun-dried tomatoes, cheese and basil to each one.
  4. Sprinkle Aroma seasoning on each.
  5. Place one piece of prosciutto on top covering ingredients.
  6. Fold and either use string or toothpicks to hold ingredients inside of breast.
  7. In a plate, add breadcrumbs and coat both sides of each breast in a pan.
  8. Add EVO and 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic.
  9. Place breast in a pan and take out after each side is golden brown.
  10. Preheat oven at 400° and place chicken on cookie sheet. Coat with EVO.
  11. Cook for 25 minutes—depending on thickness of breast, it maybe sooner or longer.


Remembering The Italian Campaign—World War II’s Longest and Bloodiest Battles

Valerie Vacula with her dad, Albert DeFazio

Valerie Vacula with her dad, Albert DeFazio

By Daniel Casciato

The Battles of Monte Cassino, or the Italian Campaign, marked one of the longest and bloodiest engagements of the Italian campaign during World War II. At the beginning of 1944, the Allies were struggling to capture the western anchor of the Gustav Line—formed by the Rapido-Gari, Liri, and Garigliano valleys and some of the surrounding peaks and ridges—and the Roman Catholic abbey of Monte Cassino which was occupied by the Germans.

Between January 17 and May 18, 1944, Monte Cassino and the Gustav line were attacked four times by the Allies and ultimately, the German troops were driven from their positions. The four battles during the Italian campaign involved some of the hardest fighting in the war and cost the Allies over 114,000 casualties.

The multi-faceted battles of the Italian Campaign played an important part in determining the eventual outcome of the war. But today, you never hear much about Monte Cassino and the Italian Campaign—it’s as if it has been forgotten.

Albert DeFazio after boot camp

Albert DeFazio after boot camp

Valerie Vacula, author of “The Italian Campaign: One Soldier’s Story of a Forgotten War,” hopes to change that. Her father, Albert DeFazio, was one of the heroes who fought in the Italian Campaign. She brings her father’s memoirs of his WWII battles to life in the book she co-wrote with him.

“World War II wasn’t just about Normandy, fighting in the Pacific or the Battle of the Bulge,” says Vacula. “The Italian Campaign was every bit as important and every bit as bloody if not more.”

Vacula began attending veterans’ breakfasts with her father after moving back to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. At each breakfast, certain veterans are asked to stand and tell their stories. [Read more…]