Easy Italian Themed Dinner

Because of a last-minute change of plans, we invited the gang over for an easy Italian themed dinner this week.  Here’s what we did and how it turned out.

Guess who visited Arizona this week?  Old Man Winter, that’s who!  So our patio reservation for Italian Night at the club with our favorite group of friends was cancelled.  We punted with a last-minute cozy evening at our house.  But we still wanted to retain the Italian theme.

Costco to the Rescue!

When it was decided it was too cold and rainy to enjoy dinner al fresco, I remembered we had a Costco Lasagna in the freezer.  Dear friends were cool with having that so hub went to Costco’s bakery and got his favorite baguettes to make garlic bread.

Voila! A meal was born!

You may recall he has Celiac and is not supposed to eat gluten.  Let me say this was a BIG CHEAT night for him.  And he loved every minute of it.

Homemade lasagna is something you would never find at my house, but the Costco version is very, very good and I would recommend.

Barb made a gorgeous salad with every vegetable known to man and some yummy dressing options.

Evon baked lemon bars and chocolate toffee cookies.  I could actually be incorrect on those chocolate cookies because I ate mine so fast I didn’t bother to taste it properly.  So good!


I kept the bar simple and we didn’t have appetizers.  A few bowls of nuts and we treated ourselves to our favorite chardonnay. 

Costco had a version of San Pellegrino sparkling Italian water in small bottles.  We had that with slices of lemon and lime.  I don’t see they are currently carrying that so I can’t link.

Sister Susie sent me a Leaning Tower of Pisa wine stopper several years ago from one of her many trips so it was fun using that too.

Who knew I had so many Italian things?


Several years ago I bought online a few yards of black buffalo check fabric.  For a few bucks.  It’s polyester so minimal wrinkling, no staining and right into the washer and dryer.

That was one of the best purchases I have ever made.  I have used that fabric for so many things.

Tonight it served as a table cloth. 

Three empty bottles were salvaged and used as candle holders.  Adding to the soft light were a few tea light candles and short battery candles.

Colorful faux flowers in short vases were left over from a previous get together.


I made a craft project.  Yep, I did.  I even texted DF Terry in Oklahoma to let her know I was channeling her amazing talent but had burnt the heck out of my hand with the glue gun.

Craft projects tend to be challenging for me.

Wine Cork Grape Clusters

Of course, Pinterest has a lot of inspiration. I thought these grape clusters would be fun to add to the table and a good way to use some old corks.

Hub helped me saw the corks in half.  I glued them together with the glue gun and affixed a couple of grape leaves to the top which I cut off a plant I had in storage.

I ended up making four and placed them around the table.


Pandora has a pretty good Italian Cooking Music station.  Dean Martin, Perry Como and Bobby Darin were crooning through my favorite Ion Bluetooth with the candlelight feature. You can see the speaker on the back of the bar in the pic above.


Umbrellas are not a common sight in our living room.  We left one in the entryway to dry and Roxy had more fun with it as a new toy.  That cat!


So even though it was spontaneous with no time for big plans, we all pulled together and had what turned out to be a delicious meal.

Sometimes last-minute is more fun and more creative and certainly less stressful.

Wrap Up

I hope your week was good and you have big weekend plans. 

So many of my friends are still digging out of snow or dodging tornados.  Warm spring wishes are coming from me to you.

4 Comment

  1. Loved our Italian night! I doubt the club could do as nice a night!
    Thanks for such a nice evening!!

  2. Corine, coming from an Italian you did a Buon Lavoro, “good job”. I loved this post and your great ideas. Simple but elegant at the same time. Most of all I love that picture of you. Yes, we still have a lot of snow snd it is snowing again as I am typing this. 🙄

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