Saturday, July 17, 2010

Italian Themed Dinner Night

Tonight we had over friends and I did the Italian themed dinner night that I had been planning. It went off without a hitch and was fabulous! I am so pleased with the results...the food was great and the company was awesome!

Here is the menu:
Stuffed Mushrooms
Fried Raviolis
1st Course
Tossed Salad
Main Course
Spaghetti and meatballs and garlic bread

Chocolate Trifle
Strawberry Lemonade
Sweet Tea

I will spread the different recipes out over this week so as to not overwhelm my readers with recipes!

I'm going to go backwards and start with dessert and strawberry lemonade!

Chocolate Trifle
1 package brownie mix
1 large package instant chocolate pudding
1 cup heavy cream
1 large container of cool-whip
toffee chips, chocolate chips, chocolate shavings, etc. for garnish (optional)

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions, cool completely. Prepare pudding according to package directions. Whip heavy cream until peaks form. Fold cream into pudding. Start layering the trifle by putting crumbled brownies on bottom of dish, top with pudding mixture, then cool-whip. Repeat layers 2-4 times, depending on how big your trifle dish is. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours. Top with toffee chips (or another garnish) before serving.

(recipe adapted from

Hubby's Rating:
Love it! I'm making this again for a birthday party next week. I hope to get some good feedback!

My Take:
Really easy, but looks complicated. Tastes delicious! Everyone loved it, which makes me happy!

Strawberry Lemonade
1-12 ounce package of frozen strawberries, no sugar added, thawed
1-12 ounce package frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 Cup vanilla simple syrup (recipe follows)
2 liters seltzer water

Vanilla Simple Syrup
1/2 Cup white sugar
1 Cup water
2 tsp vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, over medium heat combine the sugar, water, and vanilla. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool, about 20 minutes.

In a blender, combine the berries, lemonade concentrate and syrup. Blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into a large pitcher. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Before serving, add seltzer water and ice. Garnish with a fresh strawberry or lime wedge if desired.

(Recipe Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis)

Hubby's Rating:
Like it. My man drinks coke exclusively. I can hardly get him to drink water, let alone lemonade or iced tea. Once in a blue moon he'll drink gatorade. So getting him to drink a pink girly drink and admitting that he likes it is a big feat! I think he even had seconds!

My Take:
This was gone real fast, which is a great sign! The original recipe called for only 3 cups of water, but it was too sweet. My friend helped prepare it and she ended up adding all 2 liters of seltzer water--I think it was perfect that way! I am going to try this again but with raspberries!


  1. Wow, this all looks really good!! Thanks for posting recipes and being a part of my swap :)