Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Date Night--March 25, 2015

I know it's late.  I know I didn't post last week.  I will say about last week that we had a very nice date night...filet mignon, potatoes, green beans and chocolate chip cheesecake bars.  It was delicious.  I couldn't post picture or recipes because some were being tested for an upcoming anniversary dinner that I'm planning.  I couldn't give away any of my secret plans, now could I.

This week, at the end of a very busy day, I've prepared what I hope is an excellent meal.  I took lots (I mean LOTS) of pics during prep.

Here goes...

Cocktails

Manhattans.  You might think we'd get tired of them, but it hasn't happened yet.

Appetizers

Bruschetta Pull Apart Bread

I totally mad the up but it sounds real doesn't it.

Check out the pics and then I'll try to explain.

This is what it looks like before it gets wrapped in foil and baked.
You can see from this angle that the bread is sliced on a diagonal in both directions.  The cuts don't go all the way through, the "pull apart" aspect.

 I made a version of this last week and Josh called it the best bruschetta he'd ever had.  Mostly, I think, because the tomatoes didn't fall all over him.  I changed this up a little.  I hope it passes muster.

Dinner

Sausage, Pepper, Onion, Spinach, Pasta bake

I made this one up too.  Inspired by many recipes, but based on what I had and desired.  I will show you the pictures and confess that I built this entirely backwards. Classically you saute the aromatics (onion, garlic, seasoning first) then add the other vegetables, then the meat.

Hot Turkey Sausage. 

Red and Green Bell Peppers

2 onions 

Ronzoni Smart Taste Penne.  Cooked 3 minutes shy of al-dente because it will cook more as it bakes.

Frozen, chopped spinach cooked and well drained (squeezed all the water out)

Veggies all mixed in.  The colors or the Italian flag.

Stir in the cooked pasta

Add 4 cups of homemade tomato sauce and tiny balls of mozzarella.  YUM!

Transferred to a baking dish and topped with more cheese.

With this ooey gooey cheese pasta, I am serving a cool and crisp Cucumber salad.

To these thinly sliced cucumbers I added a large shallot sliced and a simple vinaigrette.