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  • Writer's pictureTina Radcliffe

The Cowboy Bargain (Recipes)

Updated: Aug 5, 2023

I'm thrilled to welcome Book 2 of the Lazy M Ranch series into the world. With a chef heroine, lots of mouthwatering recipes found their way into The Cowboy Bargain. Pick up your own copy of The Cowboy Bargain here.

If you missed Liv's recipe for Ricotta Cookies with sprinkles on top, also featured in The Baby Inheritance, here's the recipe. Thanks to my cousin Mary-Ellen for the recipe.

Italian Ricotta Cookies

2 sticks butter, softened.

1 3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

15 oz. ricotta cheese (whole milk)

2 Tbsp. vanilla

4 cups flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda


4-5 Tbsp milk

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp. almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, cheese, and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add to the ricotta mixture.

Scoop teaspoon-sized balls and place on a cookie sheet two inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool. Make glaze when cool. After glazing, add sprinkles.

Joe Russo's Famous Spaghetti Sauce

This if my late father's recipe and it is absolutely delicious. The recipe instructions are very brief because the only way I could get him to share the recipe was to follow him around the kitchen while he cooked.

Meatballs (see meatball recipe)

Pork of choice (chops, hocks or sausage)




Olive oil

2 small cans of tomato paste

1 large can of whole tomatoes

Fresh basil and bay

In a large frying pan brown all meat in oil with garlic, salt and pepper. Do not over-cook. Do not cook with lid on. Take meat out of the frying pan and place in a deep saucepan. Set aside. In the frying pan with meat drippings, pour in two small cans of tomato paste. Cook slowly for 1 1/2 hours over low heat. Stir very often to prevent burning. Add a little water every 1/2 hour (1/2 can).

Add one can whole tomatoes mashed to pan with meat. Add sauce from frying pan when it is done. Cook the entire mixture two more hours over low heat, stirring often. Toss in several leaves of fresh basil and bay.

Joe Russo's Famous Meatballs

1 pound hamburger

1 egg (whole) slightly beaten

Breadcrumbs (2-3 slices stale bread)

1 small onion chopped





Grated Parmesan cheese/Romano cheese

Mix ingredients together, including a dash of all spices. Shape into meatball rounds. Use for sauce recipe.

Baked Ziti

1 16 oz box of Ziti pasta

2 cups homemade sauce or 2 jars store bought (no sugar variety)

1 onion chopped

Olive oil

1-pound mild Italian sausage (no casings)

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Salt / Pepper/ Garlic to taste

Mozzarella cheese shredded

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a rolling boil over high heat. Stir in ziti and return to a boil. Cook pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cooked through but still firm. Drain well.

While pasta is cooking, brown onion and garlic in olive oil. Add sausage and cook until brown. Drain any extra oil/grease.

Add sauce to sausage mixture. Salt and pepper to taste. When thoroughly heated, combine sauce mixture with pasta. Sprinkle with parm cheese and mix well.

Pour entire mixture into casserole dish. Cover the top with mozzarella. Bake at 350 degrees until the mozzarella melts nicely (about 15 minutes).

If you are a fan of tiramisu, I highly recommend this recipe from Rosemary at An Italian in My Kitchen. Easy Tiramisu.

Happy Eating!

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