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family friendly recipes

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Vinci Sauce and Italian Meatballs

Tomato sauce prepared with DaVinci Chianti over Italian Meatballs/Karista's Ktichen

When I serve a Chianti wine, it has always been a DaVinci Chianti.  My absolute favorite Chianti for years, long before I so proudly became the 2013 DaVinci Wine Culinary Arts Storyteller.  And, might I add, DaVinci Chianti has always been an important ingredient in my tomato gravy, or as my family calls it, my Sunday sauce.

I mentioned this to Jenna, one of our lovely DaVinci Reps, during a conversation about the Chianti – when Jenna quickly said “it’s Vinci sauce!”.  And that was that.  My family’s favorite Sunday sauce is now Vinci Sauce.

Vinci Sauce is magnificent all on its own – smothering fresh pastas, gnocchi or polenta.   However, I also adore this sauce paired with Italian meatballs that simmer in the Vinci Sauce before serving.

Vinci tomato sauce and meatballs collage

Because I created these recipes for DaVinci Wine they can be found on the DaVinci Wine Facebook page.  Click here to download the recipes for Vinci Sauce and Italian Meatballs.

Buon Appetito!

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,


Contact Kid Friendly Sweets

Breakfast Cookies with Oatmeal, Cinnamon and Raisins

I wish my house could smell like fresh-baked oatmeal raisin cookies all the time.   The sweet smells of  cinnamon and brown sugar remind me of  my childhood, when I’d come home from school and my Mom had made her famous oatmeal cherry chocolate chip and everything but the kitchen sink cookies.  That was always a happy day.

I still bake those cookies for my family, but I’ve come up with a version that’s perfect for breakfast, and my morning coffee. 

Morning coffee in my favorite mug from Spruce Goose Cafe in Port Townsend, WA

Whole grain flour, rolled oats, raisins and cinnamon baked just a little crispy outside and soft and chewy inside.  Mmmm… these are pure heaven in a cookie.  Especially at 5am in the morning when I’m summoned out of bed by my wooly mammoth pretending to be an old sweet Airedale.

My wooly mammoth giving me a grin

Makes about 24 Cookies


1 Cup organic coconut oil, or ½ cup butter and ½ cup organic coconut oil

3/4 Cup dark brown sugar (sometimes I use only ½ cup and they still taste great)

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 ½ cups organic whole wheat pastry flour (King Arthur)

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 cups uncooked oats (quick cook or rolled oats)

1 cup organic raisins


Preheat the oven to 350F.  In a large bowl, beat together coconut oil and brown sugar until light and creamy.  Next, add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. 

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Add the flour mixture to the oil brown sugar mixture and mix well.  Mix in the oats and raisins until thoroughly combined. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment.  Using a small ice cream scoop, drop cookies onto the baking sheet two inches apart.  Bake 12 – 14 minutes or until the cookies are a golden brown.  Cool for one minute on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack.  Store tightly covered.