Welcome to my BlogSpot. I have created this blog in hopes of inspiring everyone to cook. I have found my inspiration from living in both Southern and Northern California. My influences in flavors have come from family recipes and meals with emphasis on healthy foods, marrying into an Italian family and the ethnic flavors throughout California. There are so many wonderful memories connected to our family dishes as well as new memories in the dishes that have been recently created. My husband, Randy who is recently retired, has been my biggest supporter and inspiration in our kitchen. He is my taster, my sous chef, and has created some really great dishes himself, which will be added to this blog. It is my hope that you too will be inspired to cook and create your own dishes for your loved ones and enjoy the craft of cooking.

One thing I ask of you is if you print out, email and pass out my recipes, please include my name and link.

Be sure to check out my Sweaty Equities blog about the ups and downs of crafty projects and our DIY remodels.
You can find it at http://sweatyequities.blogspot.com/

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Ultimate Snickerdoodle

This recipe has been in our family for years. It is a family favorite and once you make these you won’t be getting your Snickerdoodles anywhere else. Recently I have been baking with organic coconut oil in place of butter or shortening. I didn't think these cookies could get any better but coconut oil made did make it better.

The Ultimate Snickerdoodle

Preheat Oven to 375 degrees F.
1-1/2 cups shortening (or Organic Coconut Oil)
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3-3/4 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

¼1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon.
Combine the sugar and cinnamon into a shallow bowl for rolling the dough into.

If you choose to use coconut oil, it is best to melt it. Combine the shortening (or coconut oil) and sugar and cream together. Beat in the eggs and cream together, then add the vanilla and mix well. Slowly add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Blend well. Using a melon ball scooper, scoop out even size scoops and form into balls, then roll into the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Place them on a greased baking sheet about 3 inches apart and bake for about 11 minutes.

Granddaughter McKenna gives her seal of approval.

Susie Tronti

Easy Lasagna (No Pre-Cooking the noodles)

The trick to cooking your noodles in the pan is to water down your marinara sauce. The noodles absorb the sauce as they cook and the sauce will thicken. This recipe makes calls for a very large roasting pan and will easily serve at least 12 people. Make sure your pan is about 5 inches high for all the layers. You can make ahead of time when you’re going to have a large gathering, then pop in the oven.

Easy Lasagna (No Pre-Cooking the noodles)

Preheat Oven to 300 degrees
¼ cup olive oil
1 bell pepper, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 lbs of ground beef, turkey or chicken
1 lb ground Italian sausage
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups Ricotta
2-3 cups shredded mozzarella
1 lb lasagna noodles, uncooked
In a large pan, sauté the bell pepper and onion until soft. -Salt and Pepper. Add the garlic, ground meat and sausage, then the crushed red pepper, basil, oregano and salt and pepper and cook until the meat is thoroughly cooked. (I choose to drain off the fat in a colander at this point) Return the meat mixture back to the pan.
Now add your marinara (spaghetti sauce) to the meat mixture, but leave 2 cups out for the last layer over the noodles. Thin the sauce with about ¾-1 cup water and simmer for about 30 minutes. To keep it simple there are a lot of great tasting sauces at the grocery store. I grow tomatoes so I always have jars on hand of the homemade stuff.
Now it’s time to layer the lasagna. Start with putting a little of the thinned out sauce at the bottom, then layer with your uncooked lasagna noodles next. Leave some space in-between because the noodles will expand as they cook. Next comes half the meat and sauce mixture. Spread evenly over the noodles. Now add your Ricotta in dollops onto the meat mixture, then half the mozzarella evenly. Now it’s time for your second layer of noodles, then rest of meat sauce, ricotta and mozzarella. Add the third layer of noodles. Add the remaining 2 cups of marinara, thinned with some water, to the top of the noodles. Cover with foil and seal it tightly. The steam from the sauce will cook the noodles.
Cook for 2 hours in a 300 degree oven. I actually cooked it for 90 minutes then turn it to "keep warm" Until we were ready to sit down for dinner.


Susie Tronti