I had a pretty great night, last Sunday night.
Mark and I had an impromptu dinner party with our friends Claire and Matthew.
What was the occasion for said dinner party?
Well, as a part of Foodbuzz’s Tastemakers program, I was sent some Newman’s Own products, with which I was to make a recipe and film a video, which was shot on a flip cam – also sent to me by Foodbuzz!
Pretty cool, huh? I love getting to do stuff like this because I’m a blogger!
In the package:
- Newman’s Own Light Caesar dressing
- Newman’s Own Light Raspberry & Walnut dressing
- Newman’s Own Family Recipe Italian dressing
- Newman’s Own Roasted Garlic sauce
- Newman’s Own Tomato & Basil Bombolina sauce
- Newman’s Own Cabernet Marinara sauce
- certificates for 2 Newman’s Own All Natural Thin & Crispy pizzas (excited to redeem these!)
- and, of course, the ultra HD Flip Video! (so cool!!)
Before I get to the video (I’m stalling) or the recipe (that’s pretty great, though), I’ll share our little dinner party.
We started with a lovely spread of cheese and crackers.
We had multi-grain “entertainment crackers,” goat gouda, bleu cheese, and NZ (for Sam) sharp cheddar. The cheddar was my favorite, but Mark showed Claire and Matthew how to drizzle honey on top of the bleu, and I think he converted everyone else.
We also, of course, had wine – both white and red. I somehow managed to forget to photograph those… probably because I was too busy drinking them.
With the stew, we also served fresh French bread with butter.
When we sat down, the spread looked like this.
After dinner, we entertained ourselves by
drinking more wine playing Taboo. I am super competitive with Taboo, as you may remember, so this was a very exciting time for me.
This was also, clearly, an exciting time for Mark.
Mark and I decided it wouldn’t be fair if we were on a team together (we are amazing on a team together, FYI), so I paired with Claire and he paired with Matthew.
When we weren’t playing our intense game of Taboo, Claire and I entertained ourselves by cracking up (I don’t remember what it was about).
Finally (sort of) got one…
Someone take the wine away from me.
Oh, and Mark introduced Matthew to my blog.
Riveting, I know.
We also had cake! Mark made us an amazing lemon cake with lemon buttercream frosting. One of the better cakes I’ve ever had, seriously.
That boy is always showing me up.
I didn’t mind so much when I was eating it, though.
Alright, enough stalling. I guess I should get to the recipe (which was pretty great, if I do say so myself) and… dun dun dun… the video!
So, having gone to film school, I sort of have the hookup with lots of people who know the ins and outs of making movies. That helped. It also should have helped that I know all about filmmaking, but you’d be surprised how much all of that know-how flew out of the window as Claire filmed me.
Anyway, filming was fun, but totally scary. I was so awkward! You probably shouldn’t watch it (I want to keep my readers), but, well, here it is.
What a dork.
The recipe is written out below and has a couple of adjustments (I added more garlic powder, sauce, and salt & pepper, but those adjustments were edited out of the video for
awkwardness time purposes).
- 1 cup (dry) orzo
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 2 28-oz cans diced tomatoes in tomato juice
- 1/2 to one bottle of Newman’s Own Tomato & Basil Bombolina sauce (I used about 2/3, which is more than the original 1/2 bottle I used in the video)
- ~ 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 white onion, diced
- 2 cups chopped mushrooms
- 3 zucchini, chopped
- 3 yellow squash, chopped
- 2 1/2 tsp garlic powder (or about 5 cloves, chopped… which I won’t do) (and yes, I added more after I added the 1 1/2 tsp in the video)
- 2 tbs chopped fresh basil
- 2 15-oz cans cooked cannellini beans
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 cups (one container) small mozzarella balls
- parmesan, romano and/ or asiago to garnish
Boil water in a small pot and cook the orzo to about al dente. Set aside and let it sit, soaking up the water.
Dice the half onion and chop mushrooms, zucchini and yellow squash.
In a large pan, saute the onions in about one tablespoon of olive oil. Add the mushrooms, zucchini and squash, in a few installments. Add the rest of the olive oil and stir everything together. Let this cook, covered, over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes. Stir every so often.
While the vegetables are cooking, pour the diced tomatoes in a large pot and bring to a boil.
Add the Newman’s Own Tomato & Basil Bombolina sauce and bring to a boil again.
Turn the pot down to a simmer.
Add the vegetables, basil, garlic powder, salt & pepper. Let simmer for a few minutes.
Add cooked orzo and cooked cannellini beans. Let simmer until you’re ready to serve.
When you are just about to serve it, drop in the mozzarella balls and stir to evenly distribute.
Serve and topped with parmesan, romano, and/ or asiago.
And that’s it!
I’d like to send out the BIGGEST THANK YOU EVER to my amazing friend Claire, who single-handedly shot, edited, and magicified (it’s a word) that video. I can’t wait to show you the bloopers so you know what I mean.
I LOVE YOU, CLAIRE!
Alright, be honest. Am I a total dork? Did I lose any readers from that video?