They have always been one of my favorite decorations and I have not put them out on display for a number of years. Now I ask you, are they not just beautiful? They are probably twenty years old and still just in beautiful condition. They are simply majestic and I thought what a beautiful addition they would make to the centerpiece in the formal dining room...wonderful memories of when the children were younger.
I keep asking myself how I did all the holiday decorating and cooking before retirement? Seems impossible now since I just have the luxury of doing it in small increments, but hopefully the end result will be something everyone will delight in.
So far we have Grandmother Grace's lace tablecloth, Grandmother Estelle's Christmas figurines, my Twelve Days of Christmas Valarie Par Hill china, my parent's wedding silverware and the Grandeur Noel family reindeer....it's coming together.....evolving slowly but surely.
The napkins are called
"Bountiful" from Mary-Lake Thompson.
Mae Mo is napping in a sunbeam which is the only reason she is not pictured on the dining table! Now is the perfect time for an easy weeknight skillet lasagna! Ssshhhhh...kitty sleeping!
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pulse the tomatoes in a food processor until coarsely ground and no large pieces remain, about 12 pulses.
Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring often, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the ground beef to the skillet. Cook, stirring often and using a wooden spoon to break up the meat, about 3 to 5 minutes, or until it's no longer pink.
Scatter the pasta in the skillet, then pour the tomatoes over the top. Stir, increase the heat to medium-high, and cover. Cook at a vigorous simmer, stirring often, until the pasta is tender, 20 minutes (if you don't stir it, the pasta will clump together and stick to the bottom and sides of the skillet).
Meanwhile, preheat the broiler.
Remove the skillet from heat, and stir in half the mozzarella and Parmesan, and 1/4 cup of the ricotta. Dot the remaining ricotta over the noodles in tablespoons, then sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. Transfer to the oven and broil until the cheese melts and is starting to brown. Remove from oven, sprinkle with basil, and serve.