My book club quickly turned into a group that gets together and drinks wine, which I am perfectly happy with! It’s a forum to share articles and catch up with new and old friends. I have always wanted to do a wine and canvas night, but not the kind where you go to a restaurant, sit in a row and follow whatever the instructor tells you to paint. I don’t want to compare my version of Starry Night to twenty other people’s canvases. I used to paint canvases when I was in high school, so I thought, why not host my own version? Wine and good food would be supplied and there would be no rules. Let the wine inspire you and paint whatever you want. I bought two packs of canvases (seven in each) from Amazon and a ten pack of various paints and paint brushes. It also helps that one of my friends from IU is now a calligrapher and all around crafty badass, so she contributed a few supplies as well.
I decided to make lasagna since it can easily be made ahead of time and all you need to do is throw it in the oven before your guests arrive. I went with Ina Garten’s roasted vegetable lasagna since you never know who doesn’t eat meat and roasting the vegetables first really brings out the flavors. Add a whole lot of cheese and you cannot go wrong.
For dessert, my friend Petersen suggested s’mores in a cast iron skillet and who can say no to that? She brought the fixings and I had the perfect excuse to finally buy a cast iron skillet (yay for perfectly browned brussel sprouts in my future!). Today is also National S’mores Day, so we couldn’t not have s’mores!
My dining room had a serious lighting problem and I couldn’t install a chandelier or light fixture because of the water sprinklers directly above my dining room table. I found this lamp on Wayfair and it is perfect!
A remote controlled lantern. Leave it to my mom to send me this.
One of my favorite finds from the Nordstrom sale: wine glasses with the State of Indiana engraved on the glass (set of four). They are not still on sale, but you can find them here. I let you down, my friends!
Paint, brushes (in a mason jar of course), and canvases all from Amazon!
Kim’s Etsy worthy piece. Yep, we had a professional.
Someone likes polka dots and Kate Spade….
Tonight we mastered the timer feature on my iphone 6
INA’S ROASTED VEGETABLE LASAGNA
Recipe via the Kitchn
- 1 1/2 pounds eggplant, unpeeled, sliced lengthwise 1/4-inch thick
- 3/4 pound zucchini, unpeeled, sliced lengthwise 1/4-inch thick
- 2/3 cup good olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
- 10 ounces lasagna noodles
- 16 ounces fresh whole-milk ricotta
- 8 ounces creamy garlic-and-herb goat cheese, at room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 4 1/2 cups good bottled marinara sauce (Don’t get Prego, but also keep it under $5 a bottle <– Libby thoughts)
- 1 pound mozzarella, very thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Arrange the eggplant and zucchini in single layers on 3 sheet pans lined with parchment paper or Silpat. Brush them with olive oil on both sides. Sprinkle with oregano, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Roast for 25 minutes, sprinkle the garlic evenly on the vegetables, and roast for another 5 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through. Remove from the oven and lower the temperature to 350°F. (if you plan to bake the lasagna right away)
Fill a very large bowl with warm tap water and bring to a boil. One at a time, place the noodles in the water and soak them for 15 minutes, swirling occasionally so they don’t stick together. Drain the noodles.
Combine the ricotta, goat cheese (I substituted cream cheese because my goat cheese was shoved at the back of the cheese drawer and was questionable), eggs, basil, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed.
Spread 1 cup of the marinara in a baking dish. Arrange a third of the vegetables on top, then a layer of the noodles (cut to fit), a third of the mozzarella, and a third of the ricotta mixture in large dollops between the mozzarella. Repeat twice, starting with the marinara. Spread the last 1 1/2 cups of marinara on top and sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of Parmesan.
Place the dish on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 60 to 70 minutes, until the lasagna is browned and bubbly. Allow to rest for 10 minutes and serve hot.
You can also refrigerate this overnight, which is what I did, or freeze for a few months before baking.
I found the CUTEST eggplant at the farmer’s market across from Nora, at the Habig’s. I always try to buy my fruits and vegetables local and then buy what they didn’t have at the grocery store.
SKILLET S’MORES DIP
Recipe via the Thrillist
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 15 jumbo marshmallows, cut in half crosswise
- 8-10 graham crackers
Preheat the oven to 450°F
Place butter in an cast-iron skillet and put it in the oven while it preheats.
Once the butter melts, remove the skillet from the oven. Swirl to coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Add chocolate chips in an even layer on the bottom of the skillet. Arrange marshmallow halves over the surface of the chocolate chips, covering the chocolate completely. Return to oven and bake for 5-7 minutes or until marshmallows are toasted.
Remove from oven and let it rest for 5 minutes. Serve with graham crackers.
they made the mistake of leaving the leftovers with me….rut roh