Food + Fellowship: Another Sunday Gathering

If there is one thing I want to be remembered by, it is for having an open and loving household. My mom recently shared how every Sunday at their house growing up included having people over for meals. She said my grandma cooked the best food and that my grandpa was always inviting people in. It was sweet to hear that piece of her childhood, and I am excited that my children will have similar memories of their Sundays at home. 

You can always find Elsa curled up under the table when we are in the dining room. She's done that since she was a puppy and I love that goofy trait of hers. This dinner was my husband's homemade manicotti, fresh salad and warm bread--aka, pretty much ALL my favorite foods. If you didn't know, my husband has his own website where he shares recipes, and you can check that out here. Our friends Tim and Stephanie joined us, and it was an amazing afternoon of food, fellowship, and lots of full bellies. 

I always like to have fresh flowers in the dining room (thanks, sweet husband!) and you can always find Humphrey, our Lab, begging at our seats. We have a full house, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Five pets, two kids, friends here often, and us: a husband and wife who have been married almost NINE years! (How did that happen?!) 

When we finished eating, the kids got to coloring. I'm obsessed with their artwork, and love watching how their drawings develop over the years. 

What do you love about Sundays? Anything cooking in your house this afternoon that you want to share?! Leave a comment below with your favorite dishes, and some of you have asked for recipes from past posts; feel free to e-mail me anytime or let me know of a specific dish to post for you. Happy weekend, friends. May it be as yummy as ever! 

Valentine's Day with Bertolli®: More than Just Dinner

The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and ConAgra Brands. All opinions are mine alone. #MangiaTonight #CollectiveBias

Valentine's Day was yesterday and guys, I think you'll be proud of me. I surprised my sweet husband (who usually does ALL the cooking) with such a great dish. And the best part? Bertolli® Frozen Meals at Kroger created more than just dinner for us; it was the memory and moment we had together that I am now cherishing! Using one of his very own own signature appetizers, I had so much fun bringing the Italian lifestyle to the table with the help of Bertolli®.

Now that we have two kiddos, Valentine's Day looks fairly different from our earlier years of marriage. We usually try to have them eat with us every night, but both of us were looking for a little extra quiet yesterday. I knew that making this meal 'for two,' instead of the four of us, would be just fine in my husband's book. While he helped with their baths, I prepped the appetizer: a caprese baguette with a divine balsamic reduction. This pairs SO well with Italian food and served with Bertolli® Chicken Alfredo & Penne, it did NOT disappoint.

Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is while writing this and I just had this meal! Let me share with you how to create this yummy dish:

1. Slice the baguette on a diagonal in about 1-inch slices.

2.Mix together 2-Tbsp of olive oil, 1-tsp garlic powder, and 1-tsp red pepper flakes with 1-tsp salt. Brush each piece of bread with the olive oil and herb mix. Broil under high heat until golden brown.

3. Slice plum tomatoes and fresh mozzerella into thin slices.

4. Top each piece of bread with a slice of mozzarella and a plum tomato slice. In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 a cup of balsamic vinegar to a boil. Continue boiling, stirring occasionally, until the vinegar has reduced by half. Remove the vinegar from the heat and cool COMPLETELY.

5. Top the baguette, cheese, and tomato with a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Five easy steps, y'all, for SUCH a great appetizer that paired perfectly with our Bertolli Chicken + Penne Alfredo dish. And the best part? My husband was SO proud that I handled this all on my own. It's not that I *can't* cook (obviously!), it's just that this is HIS calling; but man did it bless his heart for a night off!

We sat and made a toast--to eight years of marriage, nine of celebrating Valentine's Day, and for a quiet night in, JUST the two of us. I am so thankful to Bertolli for bringing excitement to an everyday meal such as this one. (Fun fact: Bertolli's 'Mangia" motto means 'to eat' in Italian!) And as much as this couple loves to eat, (can I get an amen?) we also love creating simple yet intimate moments and memories such as this.

Here are some helpful photos so that you can easily find this Bertolli dish at YOUR local Kroger store:

And here for the baguette we used:

What's your favorite way to spend a date night at home? If you want to try out these Bertolli Meals for Two, be sure to pick them up at your local Kroger Banner store in February to get them at the lowest price possible! You can't beat this deal and you will not be disappointed after cooking this dish. Give the caprese baguette a try too; you can never go wrong with bread and pasta! 

 

Bertolli® is a registered trademark of R&B Foods, Inc., used under license.