Monday, November 26, 2007

Winter Dinner

While grandma and aunt Jan were in town from CA for Thanksgiving, we thought we'd invite them over for dinner since they wanted to see our newly remodeled kitchen. I was feeling quite adventurous and decided to make an Italian dinner instead of the lettuce wraps that I had planned to make (because that's hard to screw up).

While I was at lunch with my mom-in-law, Maggie, grandma Nancy, and aunt Jan, I decided to pick their brains for homemade recipes of spaghetti, meatballs, and vinaigrette dressing. I had never made these from scratch and knew I could trust a fool-proof recipe from these ladies. The recipe was surprisingly simple to make (and passed the fool test) but the effort paid off in flavor by tenfolds!

Dinner was certainly a success: Caprese salad with vinaigrette dressing and zesty spaghetti and fluffy meatballs with a side of garlic bread. The wine and company was just icing on the cake--especially aunt Jan's coconut lemon cake that was brought over. Yum, yum, yum!

[Caprese salad and meatballs before going into the broiler]
After coffee and dessert, we drove around the neighborhood in search of some Christmas light displays and soon ended up at Ethel M Chocolate Factory.
Click to play Light Display at Ethel M
The cactus garden must have had thousands and thousands of lights strung all over their trees and cactus! Lights forming shapes and in clusters. It was just beautiful!
We enjoyed seeing everyone and had just a wonderful night! While I am back at work, aunt Jan and grandma will be off to Kauai tomorrow and then my two-year old niece, oldest sister, and her husband will be visiting in just a few short days! (My older sister from MN is also in town with her husband--they just called me.) I am just indulging in all the precious family time that the fall/winter holidays are bringing.

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