A Reason To Celebrate

I hope everyone had a FABULOUS Thanksgiving!  It was so nice to have a break -- but I was so ready to get back in the swing of classes with all of you. As I was telling my students tonight, this "Cozy Italian Menu" would make a simple and delicious Christmas Eve dinner.  Who doesn't love warm Rosemary Focaccia with an Herb Dipping Oil, Pan Fried Provolone Salad (fried cheese -- am I right?!?), Individual Lasagnas, and Affogato (substitute hot chocolate for espresso for the kids).

I almost feel guilty for how easy this Rosemary Focaccia bread is.  You wouldn't believe how quickly this comes together after tasting it!  

My red and bechamel sauces are my secret trick to the individual lasagnas.  I skip the ricotta for my lasagna recipe because in my experience -- it can dry out during baking.  I find my version turns out super creamy and melds together so well.  

A touch of fried cheese to a light salad goes a long way...as well as a candied tomato and homemade vinaigrette.  It's my favorite way to use tomatoes that are out of season.

Homemade lasagna right out of the oven just hits the spot on these chilly winter days! Mmmmm... simply cozy up with your personal dish of creamy pasta goodness.

I can't send my students home without something sweet.  A light dessert -- Affogato is an Italian-inspired dessert of espresso served over gelato.  But, you can make it your own!  I love it over simple vanilla ice cream with all the fixings.  

Thank you ladies for such an enjoyable evening!  I'm sure I'll be bumping into you at Sur La Table and Costco soon...

Cheers! XOXO Paula

P.S. Thank you Chaley for celebrating your birthday in the Crème kitchen!