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Hi friends! How is your week going so far? I hope all is well.
And today I'm going to give you a little inspiration for the upcoming Valentine's Day dinner or for any other times that you feel like adding some Mediterranean vibes into your day. I'll keep it simple yet elegant.
Today, I'm cooking not just a regular everyday dinner, but an Italian-inspired "Mangia" style dinner. I have to say, it was the first time for me to decorate a table aka Italian way, but I totally loved it.
Let's admit it, life can be hectic. Whether you're working full time or staying at home with the kids, I'm pretty sure, your hands are full on a daily basis. And if you feel like never ending problems start to take a toll on you, it is so important to find some time and disconnect from the outside world.
Italians like to "Mangia" or eat slowly. They take their time to look through the menu, sip their wine, order appetizers and discuss the daily's events with their family or friends. "Mangia" is a special part of life where people connect and create memories.
Now tell me, wouldn't you love for just a brief period of time, to immerse in that Italian dining atmosphere and recreate the "Mangia" style dinner at home? I have to tell you, as a very busy stay-at-home mom, I'd very much like to occasionally switch my regular dinner routine to a more fancy Italian style of eating.
Since we're constantly on the go, I can see, that it might be nearly impossible to disconnect for what it feels like a long period of time. But, here's a good news. If you follow my suggestions outlined below, you'll be able to recreate and enjoy the whole "Mangia" style dinner at home and in no time. Sounds good? Then, keep reading:)
Starting with the easy and delicious appetizers and finishing with a light and sophisticated dessert, I made sure, no details are missing in this Italian-themed dinner.
Table decorations are a special part. I wanted to keep it easy on the eyes, but totally Italian. I started browsing the Internet for some ideas and I found tons of inspirations.
Eventually, I couldn't help it, but make DIY personalized napkins. It was really easy.
I found a small picture of the Italian flag, used PicMonkey program to add a name to the photo and printed it out.
Then I cut a long thin string out of wide golden ribbon and pulled it through a small hole in a printed flag. I took a white napkin and tied the string around it.
As an additional embellishment, I added a sprig of rosemary and voilà! How cute is that?
Being a food blogger, creating a menu is my favorite part. What's cool about this Italian inspired dinner is that if you follow my suggestions, you won't spend much time to make it. Last week I happened to be at our local Kroger store and picked up a fully cooked main dish that greatly simplified the preparation of my Italian inspired dinner. It is Bertolli frozen meal found in the Meal Solutions aisle.
Let's be honest, there are times in every homemaker's life when you absolutely don't feel like cooking. I feel like this very often. That's why freezer meals or how I call it "emergency food" comes in handy. Luckily, Bertolli has such a great variety of quick to pull off freezer meals, easy to satisfy everyone's taste.
For my Italian inspired dinner, I picked up Bertolli Chicken Margherita & Penne, which tastes and look good and so hearty.
Before the main meal was ready, I made some simple and tasty appetizers. I wanted to make an antipasto that would be a nice addition to my Bertolli Chicken Margherita & Penne. A bowl of olives, simple Caprese salad, cheese plate and garlic bread worked beautifully to prepare our taste buds for the main meal.
Bertolli's Chicken Margherita & Penne was super easy to make. Just heat up the pan, pour out the content of the package and cook for 15 or so minutes stirring occasionally. Delicious and hearty Italian meal is ready.
For our Italian-themed dinner, my husband picked out one of the traditional Italian wines, which paired perfectly with the main meal.
And now, for the sweet part. I don't know if I told you, but Italian cuisine is one of my favorite. So, for this hearty and filling meal, I wanted to make a traditional Italian dessert, that would be light but decadent and easy on the eyes.
The name of this sophisticated dessert is Zabaglione. What's cool about Zabaglione recipe is that you can make it in no time. Don't you just love the desserts that are delectable and easy to make? Well, I got you covered. Just follow the simple steps and I'll turn you into an Italian chef in a twinkle of an eye.
Before you start, make sure the egg yolks are at room temperature. That way, it'll be easier to work with them. See my full recipe below.
For the garnish of my Zabaglione, I chose fresh strawberries, chopped caramelized pecans and Savoiardi (Ladyfingers) biscuits. You can use pretty much any garnish that you like. Some of the suggestions are raspberries, mixed berries, sliced toasted almonds, biscotti crumble. The Ladyfinger biscuits are quite easy to find in the most grocery stores.
You can even skip the garnish and enjoy Zabaglione just as it is. The dessert is so silky and rich in flavors that it is absolutely self-sufficient.
- In a large glass bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is thick and creamy. Add vanilla extract and Prosecco or Marsala. Mix well.
- Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan set over high heat. Decrease the heat to medium low and place the bowl with beaten eggs atop the saucepan with boiling water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the boiling water.
- Whisk the mixture until it becomes thick, frothy. It'll take about 10-15 minutes.
- Remove the bowl from the heat and cool the mixture until just warm.
- Quarter fresh strawberries and fill each serving glass with 4 or 8 quarters. Spoon the warm cream on top of the strawberries. Fill each glass ⅔ full and cool in a refrigerator for about 2 hours.
- Serve with more quartered strawberries, chopped caramelised pecans and Savoiardi biscuits.
I hope you enjoyed my Italian inspired dinner and are interested in replicating some of my ideas at home. Thanks to Bertolli frozen meals, you can take the burden out of cooking time-consuming meals and set up your festive table in no time. Find Bertolli items at some of the lowest prices of the year in a Kroger or Kroger banner store near you. Kroger banners include Fred Meyer, Smiths, Frys, Dillions, King Soopers, City Market, and QFC.
Have you tried Bertolli frozen meals before? What are your favorites?