Tag Archives: aunt sal

lasagne recipe timed just right!

27 Oct

this blog is by kirsten hoover

cousin of the appreciator (daughter of aunt sal)

entertaining is an art that my mom masters. she famously has 70+ people over for chili the night before thanksgiving and even more than that on christmas day for brunch. everyone always asks how she does it and honestly i don’t know. i truly think she does have superpowers but she has also taught me the art to a good dinner party…timing.  she says she learned this from her mother who also a great entertainer.  according to mom the key to a great party is getting everything timed right. now i’ve been to a party where the host is whipping up the dish at the last minute, casually drinking a glass of wine and able to carry on a conversation with the guests all at the same time. i am just NOT this kind of cook. when my mom has these massive parties she is also able to sit and talk to her guests ….because she has done everything ahead of time.  some people think that in order to have a dinner party  you need to be a great cook and this is not so. people just want to spend time with you and have fun.

so take this recipe, make it ahead of time (even the day before) with a caesar salad (lettuce, croutons, dressing, done) and sit and enjoy the people you love.



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes in tomato puree
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound lasagna noodles
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 3 to 4 ounces creamy goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
  • 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a large (10 to 12-inch) skillet. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the sausage and cook over medium-low heat, breaking it up with a fork, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until no longer pink. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, the basil, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat, for 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened.

Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with the hottest tap water. Add the noodles and allow them to sit in the water for 20 minutes. Drain.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, goat cheese, 1 cup of Parmesan, the egg, the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.

Ladle 1/3 of the sauce into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch rectangular baking dish, spreading the sauce over the bottom of the dish. Then add the layers as follows: half the pasta, half the mozzarella, half the ricotta, and one 1/3 of the sauce. Add the rest of the pasta, mozzarella, ricotta, and finally, sauce. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling.

holiday noodles & rasberry whip recipe and my cousin britt

13 Oct

today’s special guest recipe is from my wonderfully fun cousin, britt snyder in San Marcos, California

hi appreciator!

below are 2 recipes from torin’s nana.  they used to eat the “noodles” (they call them “noodles” but it is kind of like chicken noodle soup) on christmas day.  since we already have a christmas tradition we make these on Christmas Eve:

nana’s christmas chicken noodles

2 6-7 pound old stewing chickens, washed, discard heart and gizzard
12 eggs, beaten
3 teaspoons salt ( or more to taste)
8 cups flour
1 large can chicken broth (we use more to make it a little more soupy)
4 carrots unpeeled
2 large onions
1 head of celery
2 bay leafs

put hens in a big pot with a big can of chicken broth and 1 big can of water so chicken is covered.

add carrots, onions, celery, and bay leaves.  i cut onions in half and clean carrots and celery.

cook chicken for approximately 2 hours until you can pull a leg off.

cool, then strain after you remove chicken.  discard vegetables and reserve broth in a big pot.

take meat off the chickens and set aside to be added at the end.

mix eggs, salt, and flour by hand adding flour slowly – make into a big ball.  ( you need a very large mixing bowl for this)

take a hand full of dough and roll our as thin as possible.

lay rolled dough on a sheet to dry until you can roll them up to slice.  (several hours- but watch that they don’t get too dry)

bring broth to a boil, add noodles slowly and stir.

cover and cook for 20 minutes ( no peaking or you’ll ruin it) over medium heat – do not burn.

add chicken before serving.

i have found a turkey fryer to work the best for cooking the noodles.  you have to do it outside.  over the years we found the average kitchen cook tops to be really inadequate for cooking such large quantities.  if you need to cook on a cook top you may want to divide into two smaller pots.  still no peeking as nana would have said.  i also made the noodles ahead of time one year ( by a day or so) and it seemed to cut the work and mess in half without any sacrifice in taste.

baby tailyn's first christmans rolling noodles!

nana snyder’s raspberry whip

1 bag frozen raspberries in heavy syrup, drained overnight
2 large packages raspberry Jell-O
1 cup whipping cream, whipped.

make Jell-O as directed only replace as much water with raspberry juice as possible while still following Jell-O directions.

place in refrigerator and let sit till it coats a spoon (approximately 1-2 hours)

fold raspberries in.

fold in whipped cream.


it is hard to find raspberries in heavy syrup, i use frozen raspberries and reserve any juice while thawing in a strainer.  i add 2 teaspoons of vanilla to the whipping cream for added flavor.

serve on iceberg lettuce with whipped cream and a green and red cherry on top


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