Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Kitchen prescription for a quickie company dinner...Cheat!

I hang up the telephone...company's coming and what will I serve?

Good friends, the kind who accept you as you are...
no worries if the house is a bit under dusted no matter....
they have come to see you!
They are the best kind of friends.
long time friends,
friends who have seen you in illness, in health...
friends that come to converse and share...

We are relaxed and at ease...

When time is of the essence...
I serve an easy peasy uncomplicated dinner...
one that is quick to assemble and allows me time to visit.

How to do this?

I employ some speedy and convenient helpers
a jar of good quality sauce, Italian sausages,  a package of prewashed spinach, a package of grated mozzarella cheese, and sheets of fresh lasagne, garlic bread, and a bakery made pie.

Serve a plate of fresh veggies with dip and a glass of wine and casually sip while the dinner is in the oven cooking.

Tossed mixed greens salad with cherry tomatoes
Simple vinagrette made in jam jar...see post.
Spicy Italian Sausage Lasagne
Garlic bread
Lemon Meringue Pie

Spicy Italian sausages are sauteed with onions, mushrooms until cooked.

Add a quality jar of tomato based sauce and add spices.
(I use basil, worchestershire sauce, salt,  pepper, and oregano)
Simmer until mixture is hot.
Coat the bottom of the lasagne pan with sauce layer pasta sheet

top with spinach leaves add a bit of sauce...
another sheet of pasta... more sauce
pasta and last bit of sauce to completely cover sheet of lasagne
top with grated cheese...
cover with foil and put in fridge.

Remove and let sit 30 minutes then heat oven to 350 degrees and bake 45 minutes...
the garlic bread takes about 15 minutes so just before the lasagne is finished cooking pop the bread into the oven the remove the lasagne and uncover let it sit for 10 minutes and serve...how easy is that?

Meanwhile you've sipped a glass of wine, munched on some raw veggies and chatted and laughed and caught up on all their news and shared yours...showed photos of grandbaby Isla and with their help have set the table and now there's time to sip more wine and enjoy a simple repast.

After the dishes were cleared the cards came out
and the bridge score was, well...
let's just say that the men won!

Cheating a little bit in the kitchen when last minute plans are made, make for a calm Hostess!

What quickie meals do you make for company?
Do you ever use pre washed salad greens, spinach or grated cheeses for convenience?


  1. How wonderful that you are so prepared and so adaptable! And the dinner sounds delicious.(-:

  2. Dear Hostess, Well, as far as I am concerned this is a gourmet production. As I consider buttering bread to be cooking, this 'quickie supper' I regard as advanced catering in the extreme. I totally share your view that with some of one's closest and dearest friends, the food is almost irrelevant and so, in these cases, I let the wine do the talking....and perhaps the odd olive!!

  3. hi leslie,

    i'll be by at 6pm!!!!!!!!!!!!
    everything looks wonderful.


  4. I'm hungry now! What lucky guests you have.

    I like to pull out a bag of Trader Joe's microwave brown rice, pick up an organic roasted chicken at Whole Foods and some steamed fresh vegetables as a quick but healthy dinner.

  5. I'm am a Pepper fan...but now, that glove! More Pepper, more glove!

  6. Oh my god that glove makes me laugh! Does it garden too?

  7. I love The Glove!

    Great dinner idea, Hostess. May I borrow it? Will give you full credit.

    SSG xxx

    Sydney Shop Girl blog

  8. That glove is a star Hostess!
    Yor dinner sounds delicious and I know I would have enjoyed eating everything you served up.
    My go to dinner if people are dropping in unexpectedly is either spaghetti bolognase with green salad, a BBQ using whatever is in the freezer or a roast with tons of vegetables and gravy. These are my life-savers and never fall. Oh and wine of course!

  9. Tee Hee, I've got a glove at home who does exactly the same thing as yours. Glove twins, it's yellow too.

  10. La Vie Quotidienne- I try to have some emergency food ready just un case.

    Edith Hope- Edith you have a great sense of humour...I am sure that eating bread with you would be sheer delight! I also adore olives

    the gardener's cottage- Janet I'd be honored to have you dine in the Bungalow! Maybe you could bring Jack!

    Adrienne- I like your quickie menu...we don't have Trader Joes in Canada but our local market does sell BBQ'd chickens.

    J.W. The glove might need to be a regular and Pepper too!

    LPC- The glove doesn't do much...it needs to be motivated...another glove does the gardening...I'll try and snap an image of that one :)

    SSG- Borrow away, I 'd be honoured.

    Anne-Marie- I'll bet that your guests are impressed and sated...roast beef YUM!

    fromnorthqld- Oh do have your twin wave... maybe they were separated at birth one resides in Canada and another resides in Queensland :)

  11. We never ever have company. After 15 years together we have no mutual friends - crazy isn't it?

  12. Tabitha- Tabitha maybe the two of you prefer not to share each other with anyone else...sounds kind of romantic...dinner for two!