Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Soft Snickerdoodle Cookies

Snickerdoodle is such a funny word. I just love saying it! If you know me very well, you know that I like to make cookies, but until a few weeks ago I had never made snickerdoodles. I love cinnamon so I really liked them, but I knew they were really good when my husband enthusiastically approved. He is my number one food critic, and I can always trust him to give an honest opinion. If he doesn't like a recipe it most likely will not end up on my blog.  I hope you enjoy these snickerdoodles as much as we did!

Soft Snickerdoodle Cookies

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Mix butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar and eggs thoroughly in a large bowl.
Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.
Blend dry ingredients into butter mixture.
Chill dough, and chill an ungreased cookie sheet for about 10-15 minutes in the fridge.

Meanwhile, mix 3 tablespoons sugar, and 3 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl.
Scoop 1 inch globs of dough into the sugar/ cinnamon mixture.
Coat by gently rolling balls of dough in the sugar mixture.
Place on chilled ungreased cookie sheet, and bake 10 minutes.
Remove from pan immediately.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Timballo di Riso/Rice Timbale

This recipe comes from the Italian cooking school that I attended in the spring. When we arrived at the school each day we would go to a classroom where the head chef would brief us on the dishes that we were going to prepare. Sometimes between the briefing and walking to the kitchen the recipes would change, and we would make a totally different dish than we were told about. After "graduation" the school gave us a cd with all the recipes in Italian. This recipe was on the cd, but we never actually made it in class.

This was probably the most challenging Italian recipe I have cooked so far. It wasn't that the actual dish was difficult, but trying to translate the recipe was challenging. Since my Italian is not good, I rely on Google Translate to translate the recipes. It was also confusing since the recipe is for four rice timbales (english for timballo), but it has you prepare enough meatballs for about 20 timbales! But as the Italians say, "va bene" which loosely translates "all is well". My kids loved the meatballs (which are inside the rice) so they definitely were eaten. 

I had to do some research on timbale recipes since I had never heard of them and didn't have a clue what I was cooking. Then after making this dish a friend mentioned to me that her Italian neighbor had recently taught her how to make it, and I read about it in a book on Sicily.

Timballo is an Italian dish that consists of  baked pasta, rice, or potatoes stuffed with meat or vegetables. One popular Sicilan way to make it, is to line a bundt pan with fried eggplant and then layer with rice and vegetables. After baking, dump out the pan and you have a nicely molded eggplant timbale.

A timbale is a kettledrum and looks like this:

You can purchase molds in the shape of a kettledrum, so I assume that is why it is called Rice Timbale. I didn't have any timbale molds so I just used some ramekins that I already had.

I have not perfected this recipe. I just want you to see how this recipe translates and why it was so difficult for me. This dish was quite delicious so perhaps one day I will try it again, rewrite the recipe, and share it with you.

Rice Timbale
with Heart and Smooth Tomato Mozzarella

Carnaroli rice 200 gr
onion 80 gr
vegetable broth 50 gr
olive oil 50 cl
minced beef 200 gr.
eggs 2
grated parmesan 150 gr.
parsley bunch
bread-crumbs 150 gr.
peanut oil .300 lt
tomatoes .200 kg
mozzarella 100 gr.
garlic 1
aluminum cups 4

Chop half the onion fry it in a saucepan over low edge, add the rice, toast, sprinkle with white wine to evaporate off and let stand. Take the remaining clove of garlic, add onion and brown in a saucepan combine the tomatoes, salt and pepper and cook. Apart from taking the chopped beef put in a bowl combine eggs, bread-crumbs, parsley, grated Parmesan, salt, pepper, and knead, form small patties and fry in a pan. In a saucepan, prepare the vegetable broth. Turn the pan with wet rice with vegetable broth and bring to cooking the meatballs and add a ladle of tomato sauce with grated cheese mix into the molds lay at the center include a diced mozzarella, sprinkle with grated cheese and grill in the oven at 180 degrees for 5 minutes.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Award Winning Chili Recipe

I am pleased to share this awesome award winning chili recipe! My husband won first place at a Sunday School party chili cook off with this recipe! The best part is that it is super simple.  

Now that the weather is cooler or freezing, depending where you live, this is the perfect time of year to enjoy some yummy chili!


1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 tsp. minced onion
1/4 tsp. minced garlic
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
1 (8 oz.) can water
1 can dark red kidney beans
1 can red beans (ranch style)
1 pkg. chili season
1 small can green chilis
1-2 can refried beans to thicken (optional)

Brown meat. Drain well. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer for about one hour.