grilling · hospitality · salad · Tablescapes · Uncategorized

Do Ahead Italian-Themed Entertaining Menu


Crispy, char-grilled pizza crust, savory sauce, melted  cheese and toppings of choice were part of our menu for Apples of Gold this week! We added an Olive Garden Salad, and we finished with Brown Sugar Glazed Pineapple slices topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It was heavenly. I love this menu because most of it can be done ahead of time, so that dinner can be ready in minutes!!


If you’re saying, “Grilled Pizza?” you’ve missed my former posts about this grilled delight!  It sounds intimidating to grill a pizza, but it’s SO simple!! As I told the ladies at our Apples of Gold meeting, you can have this finished before Pizza Hut could deliver to your door! This recipe makes 8 individual pizzas that are hearty in size!



Since we were having an Italian themed dinner for Apples of Gold, I was inspired to make the table look like an Italian restaurant.  All I spent was $1! That was for the checked vinyl tablecloth! Otherwise, I used what I had on hand.  Take a look ~


My sweet husband had gotten me roses earlier in the week, so that was my lovely centerpiece.  I used a roll of craft paper I keep for art projects as the runner, and added a little flair with an Italian phrase written on the paper.  When I emptied the tomato cans for my pizza sauce, I rinsed them out and filled them with fresh herbs.  I also placed some containers of pasta into the center of the table.  It came together so easily!


These young women have been such great students of both the cooking and Bible lessons.  They’re eager, quick learners, and so much fun to spend time with! They rolled out the dough like pros!  There were only good results in each pizza represented!


You can find the recipe for the dough (that literally mixes up in less than ten minutes) over here on my blog. The Olive Garden Salad recipe is here.


Grilled Pineapple is a simple, but really special dessert.  My tips would be to be sure and get the grill really hot.  You want the pineapple to soften, making it easy to cut with a spoon.  The brown sugar glazed drizzled over the top of the ice cream makes this SOOOO good!


Grilled Pineapple

Fresh Pineapple slices
1/2 C Butter, melted
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 Tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients and pour into oblong dish.  Place pineapple slices in dish and cover with sugar mixture.  Place on a hot grill, about 2-3 minutes on each side until browned slightly..  Place slice in a bowl.  Top with vanilla ice cream.  Pour remaining sugar mixture over top.  If it has thickened, place in the microwave and melt it to make it pour-able.

Good food is only enhanced by the people with whom you share it!  Why not whip up  a batch of pizza dough and then spread out the toppings and invite some folks over to enjoy it with you?  You can make the dough ahead, grill it and then put it in the freezer, ready for the toppings and the final time on the grill.  This is the perfect entertaining menu!

With love from my country kitchen,

denise a

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