Erik and I hosted a dinner party the other week and it was one of those evenings that are so perfect you wake up ridiculously happy the next morning. The weather was amazing so we had dinner on the deck, the food ended up better than I expected and the company was a lot of fun.
Tomato, basil and mozzarella crostini
Chicken and farmer’s market vegetable pasta
White chocolate tartlets with raspberries and blueberries
Two recipes are posted below the photos, one for the lasagna and one for the white chocolate tartlets. The tarlets were adorable and delicious. The lasagna was cheesy, beefy, tomato-ey goodness.
Get ready for picture overload!
The lasagna ready to go into the oven.
Basil from my favorite herb vendor, Dehn’s Garden.
Don’t these look gorgeous? They were delish. The tomatoes are also from the farmer’s market.
The table set up. The Coors beer can sure adds a special touch, don’t you think? The flowers are from the farmer’s market. I bought two huge bunches for $8.
The lovely guests. My cute hubby Erik on the left, then Jason (Biffer), Libby, Deanna, Nick and Corey. Corey’s girlfriend Debbie couldn’t make it, but Corey made sure to eat enough for the both of them.
Lasagna (Recipe from The Neely’s on Food Network)
1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can stewed tomatoes, chopped
1 (8-ounce) jar tomato sauce
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 (8-ounce) box no-boil lasagna noodles
2 large eggs
2 cups cottage cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons freshly chopped parsley leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
1 (8-ounce) bag shredded mozzarella
1 (8-ounce) bag shredded Cheddar
In a large saute pan, over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon oil and saute meat, onion, and garlic until meat is browned, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon. Drain pan of fat and add stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks, undrained
1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
2 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
For filling, in a small mixing bowl, beat melted chips and cream. Add cream cheese and beat until smooth. Spread over crust. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Drain pineapple, reserving 1/2 cup juice; set juice aside. Arrange the pineapple, strawberries, oranges and kiwi over filling.
For glaze, in a small saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in lemon juice and reserved pineapple juice until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Cool; brush over fruit. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.
Variations – I didn’t bother with the glaze. Also, I only used blueberries and raspberries and instead of a large tart pan I used tartlet pans that I purchased from Cooks of Crocus Hill on Grand Ave in St. Paul. The cooking time was relatively the same, just be sure to check after about 25 minutes.