Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Relatives For Lunch

We love having company
whether it's family or friends

Niece Stacy
her daughter Kayleigh
her friend Vera
and her son
came to visit

A visit, of course, that included lunch!

Stacy calls me "Aunt" Martha
a term I adore
or sometimes
"Auntie M"
which is appropriate because we do, after all, live in Kansas

But it's "M" for Martha
Not "Em" (for Emma, Emily) as in the Wizard of Oz

And although it was a nice day, it seemed to be a dining room sort of day

Lace cloth
(and if you've seen them before -- they were the centerpiece last week when the Lunch Bunch came
Flowers, after all, can be used more than once!)
Blue and white transferware
(The Spode Blue Room)
Hotel silver
Damask napkins in silver rings

And birds often find their way to the table
Taken from a shelf in a bookcase or corner cabinet.

Lunch was easy --

a big green salad with Farmer's Market cherry tomatoes
Of all hues - green and a deep red and yellow
With basil vinegar and olive oil

A pasta casserole
(There were kids as guests after all,
and kids adore pasta)

All served family style!

And dessert . . . 

Berries with cannoli cream (and toasted almonds)
for the adults
(although the kids had some too)

And for the kids

Chocolate cake
(although the adults had some too)

If it looks familiar it is --
I did make two cakes for church --
But I snuck 6 pieces from one
(Who missed it?
I'm not sure anyone at church noticed because I piled the pieces
on a platter -- no one saw the pan with cake missing!)

The pasta was easy, leftovers make great lunches and it was a "crowd" pleasing favorite!


1/4 cup plain dried bread crumbs
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 T. milk
3/4 c. grated Romano
1/4 c. chopped flat leaf parsley
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound ground beef
flour for dreding

1 pound ziti
1/4 c. olive oil
5 cups tomato sauce
3 c. whole milk ricotta
2 c. shredded mozzarella
1/2 c. grated Parmesan
6 T. butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, eggs, milk, 1/2 cup of Romano and the parlsey and mix well.   Season with salt and pepper.   Add beef and gently combine, being careful to overwork the meat.   Shape into bite size meatballs   Roll each meatball in flour to coat, shaking off excess.    In a large pot, bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil.     Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.    Drain   pasta in a colander and set aside.    

In a large skillet heat the oil and when almost smoking, add meatballs in batches and without moving or turning the meat, allow it to brown for about 3 minutes.    Turn meatballs and brown other side.    Continue to cook until all sides are golden brown.    Remove meatballs to a plate.   In a large bowl, combine the tomato sauce and ricotta and mix well.    Add the cooked ziti and meatballs and toss gently.    In a large greased baking dish, pour in pasta mixture.    Sprinkle the mozzarella, Parmesan and remaining Romano all over the top.    Dot with the butter.    Place baking dish on top of baking sheet, covered with aluminum foil to collect any drippings from the dish.    Bake until top is golden brown and bubbly, about 30 to 40 minutes.

It is Thursday and I"m joining Susan at Between Naps On the Porch for Tablescape Thursday


Red Couch Recipes said...

Dear Auntie M, your dinner with the relatives looked so yummy. I liked the adult dessert. Your Spode is so beautiful and timeless. Joni

Lulu said...

I can just hear the voices of appreciation from the relatives, not only for the table but for the delicious food. All are very comfortable.

Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

What a nice looking lunch. As for the cake for's all in the presentation!

Entertaining Women said...

Your Spode is always so beautiful whether in your dining room, on the porch, or in the garden....but today, I am totally taken with the blue and white baking dish...absolutely incredible. I've never seen one. Thanks for the recipe and for inviting us for a peak. Cherry Kay