So yesterday we had all of our children and grandchildren over for Sunday lunch. I wanted to have a feast; yet a simple feast so that I would not be in the kitchen the entire time that they were here. (Thanks Ina Garten for entertaining tips…keep it simple!)
It was another rainy day in Sunny Florida, so I wanted it to be comfort food. Thanks to Pier 1, I had recently purchased two sets of beautiful, colorful, Pasta serving dishes and dinnerware. That was my inspiration.
I made a traditional bolognese meat sauce with penne pasta and another penne pasta dish starring spicy sausage and vegetables in a warm broth.
My family loves me dearly and would never hurt my feelings, so I judge the success of the meal by how many servings they have and general comments, not directed at me. It was a huge success!
Because I had kept it simple for myself and enlisted all of the generous help that was offered, the atmosphere was festive and exciting.
I cooked the sausage in the Crockpot the night before.
Morning of, I made both sauses and let them simmer in their own Crockpot.
I also assembled two salads (looks complicated,…not) I opened two bags of butter lettuce, sliced and added tomatoes and cucumbers. ( I have recently made salads on platters instead of bowls, layering each item…looks elegant)
I then sliced buffalo mozzarella,sliced tomato and added basil for a classic caprese salad ( I put the balsamic glaze on the table in a beautiful dispenser)
I had bought Italain bread the day before so that it would be fresh and need no toasting, to dip into the beautiful dipping bowls (thanks again Pier 1) with choice of Bread Dip Seasonings from FOODS, INC
My grandaughter ,with supervision from her mother, made pumpkin cookies so with a little vanilla ice cream made a festive fall finish!
I hope that this inspires you to have family and friends over for a festive home cooked meal. (Just keep it simple and enjoy!)