Robert and I love to entertain, especially during the holidays. While the Christmas season is super fun, it’s also super hectic – addressing work demands, decorating the house, present shopping, present wrapping, making Christmas candy, etc. I’ve also found that while I love pull out my sparkly, fun dresses and get all fancied up, it’s also nice to have a cozy dinner at home with friends every once in awhile. That sort of evening is what I created this menu for – which features a hearty, scrumptious Italian Sausage, Spinach and Orzo Soup as the main dish. The good news is that the entire menu can be made ahead of time (some dishes can even be frozen!), allowing you to fit the prep into your busy schedule without stressing. I even provide a time-saving alternative way to prepare the goat cheese, pesto and tomato appetizer. Enjoy!

Goat Cheese, Pesto and Tomato Crostini (in Fresh Tastes, p. 17)
Italian Sausage, Spinach and Orzo Soup ( in Fresh Tastes, p. 66)
Parmesan-Buttermilk Cornbread (in A Well-Seasoned Kitchen®, p. 219)
Caesar Salad (dressing in Fresh Tastes, p. 87)
Peppermint Ice Cream and Chocolate Squares

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About the author

Hi, I'm Lee.

I am inspired by my mother, Sally’s, love of cooking and entertaining to gather friends and family together over great meals and conversation. In fact, I held my first dinner party at the age of 16. Throughout the years, I’ve provided recipes, menu advice and cooking tips to friends seeking uncomplicated and delicious ideas for home entertaining.

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