Healthy and Sane

Breaking in the kitchen

February 28th, 2010 · 22 Comments · dessert, Ellie Krieger, pasta, salad, The Best Light Recipe cookbook

Thank you all for being patient with me over the past few days. I really needed to take a little time off to organize the new kitchen and enjoy all the fun activities we had planned for the weekend. I took so many pictures and have so much to share with you. I decided to start with my very first (real) meal in the new kitchen. I think it was a great success! :mrgreen:

I really wanted my first meal to be elaborate. I wanted to spend hours in the kitchen- chopping, mixing, stirring, baking. When my parents in law mentioned they wanted to come visit us this Sunday to see our new kitchen, Adam and I agreed it would be a great idea to cook for them. I browsed through cookbooks to find that “perfect” recipe. Oh, how I missed this!

Since dinner was going to take a while to prepare, I knew I wanted dessert to be quick and easy. Ellie Krieger’s almond/cherry chocolate clusters is definitely one of my go-to desserts. The recipe has only 3 ingredients and comes together incredibly fast. The best part – it’s SO delicious. How can it not be – it’s almonds, cherries and chocolate!! :)


Yes, we started our dinner with dessert. That’s my kind of meal! 😉


While I was making the sauce for the lasagna (oops, did I spoil the surprise? 😆 ), Adam decided to open the champagne my PILs brought.


Real champagne this time. 😀

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The bubbles are so pretty 😀


After hours in the kitchen, dinner was finally ready. I loved that I was able to stay in the kitchen the entire time, yet could 100% participate in all the conversation. The new kitchen is definitely perfect for entertaining!


I used this recipe from The Best Light Recipe cookbook for meat & cheese lasagna. I really trust this cookbook – every single thing I’ve made from it was absolutely perfect (read: tastes like the real thing).

I added some mushrooms to the sauce (when adding the tomatoes) and baby spinach (a few minutes before taking it off the stove and adding the basil) for added nutrients and because I like both (and happened to have them on hand). I think even more veggies would be great – they would bulk up the lasagna and add new flavors and textures.


Some whole wheat toasts, drizzled with EVOO and rubbed with garlic made for easy “garlic bread.”


My plate:


The lasagna was SO good! Seriously, this book never disappoints. My father in law considers himself a lasagna connoisseur and he said this was definitely up there with the best lasagna he’s had. Everyone was shocked that this was a “light recipe.” It was so cheesy and hearty!

On the side, I also served everyone with some escarole with pine nuts (another Ellie Krieger’s recipe). This was great as well. Really flavorful and complemented the creamy lasagna perfectly.


This was a fabulous meal if I do say so myself. 😉 I can’t wait for more delicious and healthy eats coming out of our new kitchen!

What would be the first meal you’d make in a new kitchen?

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22 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Maria

    Yea for the new kitchen. What a great meal! I would probably make an Italian meal too and bake lots of cookies:)

  • #2 - Meghan@traveleatlove

    This is a beautiful meal! I love making Italian dishes or this lemony risotto that I often make for guests. Its yummy!

  • #3 - Katie @ Health for the Whole Self

    What a beautiful, delicious meal! If I were breaking in a new kitchen (which I hope to do someday!) I think I’d do some kind of fancy seafood dish…scallops, perhaps!

  • #4 - Lele

    That is so gorgeous and elegant! I wish I had a serious kitchen like that!

  • #5 - Lara (Thinspired)

    This post makes me smile :) I am bookmarking both recipes–dessert + lasagna. What a beautiful meal! You are such a sophisticated entertainer :)

    I have no idea what I would make in a new kitchen…lasagna was a great idea because once you stick it in the oven, you can clean up and enjoy yourself while it cooks. I’d choose something like that :)

  • #6 - Sara

    that lasagna looks so good…i die!

    you must be ecstatic to finally have your kitchen up and running.


  • #7 - Shannon

    How exciting! That definitely looks like a celebratory meal!

  • #8 - Jenna

    Looks greatttt :)

  • #9 - Cara

    I also can’t wait for more healthy and delicious meals out of your new kitchen! And thank you for sharing that cookie recipe – what a nice quick chocolate fix :)

  • #10 - Mellissa

    We are moving into a new house at the end of the month and I am already thinking about what I might make. So excited!

  • #11 - sister inna

    that lasagna really does look awesome

  • #12 - MelissaNibbles

    Looks yummy! I would make mac & cheese as my first dinner in a new kitchen.

  • #13 - Diana sg

    The lasagna looks so delicious that i’m starting to feel hungry again~~

    Cheers to ur beautiful kitchen.. looking forward to more yummy food!! ^^

  • #14 - Madeline - Greens and Jeans

    What a beautiful “first meal!” I’ll have to look for that cookbook

  • #15 - Jess

    LOVE the new kitchen! And that “first meal” looks amazzzzing, especially the dessert. 😉 I’d probably make my famous pizza with the hubs, crack some prosecco and call it a night :)

  • #16 - Miriam

    This lasagna looks real good :) I love that your kitchen is open and located in the center of the place. I am looking to buy a condo sometime soon and wonder why 90% of the time the kitchen is hidden in a corner or so small I wouldn’t be able to fit half of my stuff… kitchens should always be big, open, inviting and logically located at the center of the house!! :)

  • #17 - One Healthy Apple

    What a beautiful meal! Congrats again! You are such a calm hostess- I still panic when we entertain!

  • #18 - Shannon

    what a fabulous meal to celebrate the new kitchen :) so glad everything’s done!!!

  • #19 - Diana @ frontyardfoodie

    Whoa! That looks so good!

    Congrats on having your kitchen all up and running and working out great.

  • #20 - RunToTheFinish

    yumminess all around that just looks fabu. hmmm first meal, golly that’s a tough one!

  • #21 - Husband Adam

    I’m excited for the leftovers tonight!

  • #22 - Dominique

    Just dropping by to say that I made another batch of those dark chocolate cherry/almond clusters specifically for my dad…after promising them to him since a little after Christmas!

    He absolutely loves them and I hope the batch I made him lasts a while because I don’t think anyone else in my house is a fan of the really bitter, dark chocolate I used. Ah well, more for him. Thanks for introducing me to the recipe!