June 20, 2012

Entertaining This Summer!

Summertime is the best time to get together with friends outdoors. Make time to relax and unwind with friends this season with a dinner party on your patio or deck!

Patio Decorating Ideas
Candles in the evening
Tiki torches
Decorated gourds from your garden
Freshly potted plants and flowers
A few Container gardens
Center pieces made out of fresh flowers and herbs

Create a simple dinner menu that is scrumptious but that won’t break the bank. Depending on the dietary needs and size of your group you can come up with a very tasty menu that is bound to please everyone in the group. 

Cannelloni Filling
8 ounces chicken breasts, cooked
1 ounce fresh spinach, chopped
1 ounce sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
16 ounces ricotta cheese
3 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
12 sheets lasagna noodles

Cannelloni Sauce
16 ounces alfredo sauce
16 ounces marinara sauce
3 ounces parmesan cheese, grated

Dice the chicken breast into 1/2-inch pieces and place into a large mixing bowl. Add spinach, tomatoes, ricotta, mozzarella, pepper and salt, and mix thoroughly.

Arrange precooked pasta sheets on a cutting board and place two or three rounded tablespoons of filling mixture down the center of each pasta sheet and carefully roll pasta around filling in a cigar fashion.

Place the rolled cannelloni, side by side, into an ovenproof shallow baking dish. Place Alfredo sauce and tomato sauce in bowl and mix until well incorporated. Pour sauce over cannelloni covering completely.

Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over top of sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350°F for approximately 20 minutes.

Remove foil and continue to bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until an internal temperature of 165°F is reached. Remove from oven and serve family style or on individual plates garnished with fresh diced tomatoes, and basil or Italian parsley.

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