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I know a lot of you have been getting my posts about “Fly for MS” lately and probably been wondering why? good friend and founder of “Fly for MS’, Andrei Floriou happens to be one of the two pilots going on this 29,000 mile journey across the Atlantic in a 6-seater Cessna 340. They won’t be back until Oct. 31st.  “Fly for MS” is going to stop in 30 countries in 60 days hoping to raise global awareness  for Multiple Sclerosis as well as pick up MS patients for treatment. Many of these MS patients cannot afford treatment in their countries. I am so proud to be part of this wonderful cause and organization.

I actually went to meet the crew today at Farmingdale Republic Airport to do my part as a photographer and snapped  some shots from above.  I give these guys a lot of credit.  3 men total on this journey-The 2 pilots, Keith Siilats and Andrei Floriou and volunteer photographer who flew in all the way from Austria on his own dime, Florian Trojer. BTW-these guys will be flying on this small plane with barely any cool air conditioning.  I say “cool” air conditioning because apparently there is air conditioning but its just not cold.  GOD BLESS THEM.

It was wonderful to have had the President & CEO of NMSS Long Island Chapter, Pamela Mastrota and Program Manager,  Michelle Lenox come out and lend us support.  They brought along MS Member, Tom Clyne. Tom was diagnosed with MS in 1994 and he is from Smithtown, Long Island.  Kudos to Tom for being brave enough to come with us and take a test ride.

If you find it in your heart and believe in this cause please donate as little as $3 on

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present you the FLY FOR MS plane.

So excited to be a team member- never had my name on a plane before

MS member, Tom Clyne & President of NMSS Long Island Chapter, Pamela Mastrota

MS member, Tom Clyne getting ready for his flight on Fly for MS

Buckled in and ready to take off.

Now I am buckled in and ready to take some pics.

Fly for MS test ride above Long Island

Robert Moses Causeway

Great view just before Keith did some crazy turn and my stomach dropped.

Putting all my trust in pilot, Keith Siilats at this point

MS Member, Tom Clyne and Pilot, Keith Siilats

If you read this post then you know that I got back to ground level safely. Thanks to everyone who helped spread their wings and word about “Fly for MS”

This post is dedicated to my Zia Angela.  Every time I go back to Calabria, (no matter how many years have passed by) my Zia Angela always invites me to come over to her house and eat her handmade GNOCCHI.

This time I decided to ask her for her recipe and document it with photos.  She makes the best gnocchi from scratch and she keeps it real traditional by using a special basket to create lines on the gnocchi.  In Italian the basket is called “cestino” and in our dialect “criviaddru “.  No forks are used to make lines in this recipe!

A little back story on my Aunt.  She was married to my father’s brother, Celestino.  My Uncle Celestino was stabbed and killed in the ’70s leaving my Aunt to fend for herself and raise 4 young girls. Today all 4 of my cousins have grown to become wonderful, generous, beautiful women. Thanks to Facebook we keep in touch on a regular basis.

I look forward to my next visit and of course Zia Angela’s delicious food.  I’m not the best writer therefore I will let the photos below do the talking.  Andiamo al tavolo!

Begin with Boiled Potatoes with egg in bowl

Add a little flour

Moosh it all Together in Bowl


Knead until its tough

My attempt to knead the dough

Gnocchi Dough

Start to slice gnocchi dough

Roll dough into long skinny snake pieces

Slice roll into little square-like shapes

Gnocchi squares before lines

Place gnocchi squares into basket to make lines on the gnocchi

My turn to flick gnocchi into the lines of basket - Not that easy! My Aunt does it faster and with more precision

I did it! My first handmade gnocchi

Gnocchi ready for boil

The gnocchi is about to boil

Add sauce & some fresh basil

Ready for the hungry tummies