neighborhood dinner club: italian night!


welcome to pixy’s table!  and dinner party number 956.

just kidding ~ i made up that number.  but i wish i had been counting all these years.  it’s gotta be in the 100’s by now!

my first dinner party was in high school.  i made ham steaks with pineapple/orange glaze, and fettuccine alfredo, which turned out more like mac n cheese.  i don’t remember the dessert but i bet my mom does ~ mom?  do you remember?  she’s got the memory of an elephant.

just to be clear:  i did NOT just compare my mother to an elephant.  just her memory.

anyway, my high school friends loved it, except for one critic in the bunch, who commented snarkily, “you’re serving us ham with mac n cheese?”

well…i was.  what could i say?  it was 1991.

fast forward more than 25 years later, and i’m still slinging the hash and loving every minute of it.

and in 2017 ~ oh man ~ i have won the lottery.  i live in a neighborhood full of couples who love to have dinner parties, and go to them as well.  and eat good food, and moan and groan right at the table!

for your enjoyment ~ here was tuesday night’s menu:



pea and mint bruschette (broo-sket-tay) ~ plural for bruschetta                                                                                   

roasted tomato bruschette                                                                                                          

the hub’s signature cocktail of the night ~ italian sunsets 

(insert picture here, darn it.  and they were so cute)


my favorite caesar salad in the whole wide world



pasta bolognese (made with mushrooms instead of meat!)                                

butternut squash lasagna (made with sliced zucchini instead of lasagna noodles!)



strawberry/balsamic/basil gelato topped with crushed amaretti cookies        

espresso and other various after-dinner drinks that i can’t remember 🙂



i love this picture because you can see my camera in the reflection of the espresso maker, but not my face.  that’s probably a big faux pas but i think it’s kind of artsy far…well you know what i mean.

one thing i need to disclose:  if you are a person who is afraid to have a dinner party because you’re worried things will go wrong or taste bad or whatever ~ you need to understand that something went wrong with EVERY. SINGLE. DISH.

  • i burned the first batch of grilled bread for the bruschette.
  • the caesar salad was too big for any of my bowls, so i had to do two bowls, but i had all the dressing in the bottom of the first bowl.  you get the idea.
  • the bolognese softened the pasta and was drier than i wanted it to be.
  • the lasagna was too saucy (if that’s a thing).
  • and the gelato (my first homemade ice cream ever) was more like a custard.

and it still was so much fun and so delicious, and maybe my most successful food-making.

please, people, please do not be afraid to have people over to your house, make dinner for them, try new dishes, mess them up, run out of the good silverware, etc.  the best thing about these dinners is sitting around the table with your amazing friends who totally love you and want to just hang with you.  even if they’re serious foodies, they’re still into hanging out with you more.  and if they’re not, get new friends!

that being said, i loved everything i made, and will make this exact dinner again in the future.  that’s why i’m posting it ~ so i won’t forget it!

i’ll post these recipes individually.  they’re worth it.  i’ve already posted the caesar but i’ll do it again, just in case.  and that butternut squash lasagna made with zucchini noodles is so amazing!

stay tuned for the recipes! ciao!


2 thoughts on “neighborhood dinner club: italian night!

  1. When we do “Apples of Gold” which is a mentoring program for young women, we talk and show hospitality, as you did in this blog, and hospitality is not optional – it is required. Says so in the Bible! Good job explaining that Sarah!

  2. ahhh…I was just dreaming of hosting a neighborhood italian night! seppin’ I don’t really like any of our neighbors. ha ha!!! Well, that’s it…time to move!

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