Sunday, January 13, 2013

Dinner with Friends

Last night we had a wonderful couple over for dinner. They are great people and I wanted to wow them with the meal, but I was stressed because my daughter had a major sports event that same day. I knew I would only have about 2 hours after getting home from the meet before company arrived, so I decided on a menu I could mostly prepare ahead. The dinner I came up with was focused on my 100 layer lasagna - the one with home made pasta. Once I decided on that, I built up the meal around it. So I made:
homemade ricotta crostini, a veggie platter with roasted red pepper dip, the lasagna, garlic bread, a simple salad and Italian cheesecake with a blueberry sauce for dessert - which I paired with high quality store bought cookies.

The cooking went like this - two days before the dinner I made the meat sauce for the lasagna, one day before I made the white sauce, the pasta and assembled the lasagna. The night before I made the cheesecake. The morning of the dinner I made the blueberry sauce, the ricotta cheese and the crostini. After my daughters meet I took the lasagna our of the fridge so it wouldn't take so long to cook and preheated the oven, I cut up veggies and used a store bought dip and made a pretty platter, plated up the crostini, spread on the cheese and drizzled with some olive oil. I preheated the oven - took a shower and got ready, set the table - popped the pasta in the oven and greeted my guests. We enjoyed drinks and appetizers and I made a simple salad. When the lasagna was done I took it out to rest a bit and popped the garlic bread in the oven. Got everything on the table, ate made coffee - enjoyed their company and then served dessert - it was awesome and very little work on the actual day of the meal!

All of the recipes mentioned are here in this blog and also on my youtube channel.

Happy Cooking - now its time to plan a kid friendly but good Valentines day meal

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