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Jun 16 2010

Buitoni Pasta and Salad Bar Party

Published by at 9:51 am under Friends,Gardening,Parties

Home-cooked meals made from scratch are definitely great, but when you are juggling work, school, and just life in general, it can be quite the challenge to prepare on a regular basis. That’s why there are shortcuts that help ease the frustration of what to eat. All of us have some sort of frozen meal in our freezer for those days we just don’t have the energy and time to cook a satisfying meal. The Buitoni brand now features Frozen Meals for Two that offers great taste and high quality ingredients in a box. Foodbuzz & Buitoni selected The Food Addicts to host a party for our friends featuring the Buitoni Premium Frozen Meals, with an emphasis on pairing these pasta dishes with a salad. We brought on the idea to create a fresh salad bar in our kitchen using some organic ingredients from our garden and letting our friends pair the Buitoni pasta with a salad of their choice. This makes it fun and interactive, and definitely provides a well-balanced meal for everyone – and let’s just say they were beyond stuffed and satisfied!

We received 10 coupons from Buitoni to redeem at the supermarket for the Frozen Meals for Two. We've never seen a coupon with a glittery seal on it before. Fancy!

We received 10 coupons from Buitoni to redeem at the supermarket for the Frozen Meals for Two. We've never seen a coupon with a glittery seal on it before. Fancy!

We only found 4 varieties at Ralphs so we got a mix of all of them - Chicken and Mushroom Ravioli, Meat Lasagna, Shrimp and Lobster Ravioli, and Grilled Chicken and Spinach Cannelloni.

We only found 4 varieties at Ralphs so we got a mix of all of them - Chicken and Mushroom Ravioli, Meat Lasagna, Shrimp and Lobster Ravioli, and Grilled Chicken and Spinach Cannelloni.

From our garden, we harvested the butter lettuce that has been growing for the past few weeks. We rotate the garden with different kinds of lettuce so that we always get a nice variety.

From our garden, we harvested the butter lettuce that has been growing for the past few weeks. We rotate the garden with different kinds of lettuce so that we always get a nice variety.

We are not entirely sure what kind of lettuce this is, but it was part of a Spring Mix blend we bought at the nursery.

We are not entirely sure what kind of lettuce this is, but it was part of a Spring Mix blend we bought at our local nursery.

Our bell peppers were ready for picking, and more than ready to be placed on a hot grill.

Our bell peppers were ready for picking, and more than ready to be placed on a hot grill.

For the salad toppings, we included a variety of grilled vegetables, including the green bell pepper above, this eggplant, and some zucchini.

For the salad toppings, we included a variety of grilled vegetables, including the green bell pepper above, this eggplant, and some zucchini.

We managed to pick some black cherry tomatoes as well, even though it's still early in the season for tomatoes. Black cherry tomatoes are more rare, and definitely a unique plant.

We managed to pick some black cherry tomatoes as well, even though it's still early in the season for tomatoes. Black cherry tomatoes are more rare, and definitely a unique plant.

Back inside, we prepped other ingredients for the salad bar, like home made croutons. We bought ciabatta bread and cut them into cubes. Then we brushed a mixture of butter, garlic, and parsley on top and popped them in the oven at 200 degrees for about 2 hr until it's nice and crunchy.

Back inside, we prepped other ingredients for the salad bar, like home made croutons. We bought ciabatta bread and cut them into cubes. Then we brushed a mixture of butter, pressed garlic, and dried parsley on top and popped them in the oven at 200 degrees for about 2 hrs until it's nice and crunchy.

Our 9-foot island turned into the salad bar, which had a ton of options to choose from. We provided grilled eggplant, grilled bell peppers, grilled zucchini, sautéed mushrooms in butter, soft tofu, grilled corn, boiled egg, beets, black cherry tomatoes, caramelized onion, black olives, fresh mozarella cheese, cucumbers, red onion, and avocados. You can easily create a Greek salad or Asian salad with these options - so it was our guests' desire to be creative.

Our 9-foot island turned into the salad bar, which had a ton of options to choose from. We provided grilled eggplant, grilled bell peppers, grilled zucchini, sautéed mushrooms in butter, soft tofu, grilled corn, boiled egg, beets, black cherry tomatoes, caramelized onion, black olives, fresh mozarella cheese, cucumbers, red onion, and avocados. You can easily create a Greek salad or Asian salad with these options - so it was our guests' desire to be creative.

Of course, we also had 4 different dressings made from scratch: Carrot-Ginger dressing, Ponzu dressing, Roasted Red Pepper dressing, and Caesar dressing.

Of course, we also had 4 different dressings made from scratch: Carrot-Ginger dressing, Ponzu dressing, Roasted Red Pepper dressing, and Caesar dressing.

Prepping the Buitoni Frozen Meals for Two was simple! This is the Cannelloni which comes with the Alfredo Sauce and baked all together in the oven for 50 minutes.

Prepping the Buitoni Frozen Meals for Two was simple! This is the Cannelloni which comes with the Alfredo Sauce and baked all together in the oven for 50 minutes.

This Grilled Chicken and Spinach Cannelloni was Daniel's favorite!

This Grilled Chicken and Spinach Cannelloni was Daniel's favorite!

The Chicken & Mushroom Ravioli with Marsala Wine Sauce is prepared by boiling the pasta and warming the sauce. Quick, easy, and tasty!

The Chicken & Mushroom Ravioli with Marsala Wine Sauce is prepared by boiling the pasta and warming the sauce. Quick, easy, and tasty!

It was hard to cut a perfect piece of this Southern Italian Style Meat Lasagna, so excuse the puddle of meat and cheese in this photo.

It was hard to cut a perfect piece of this Southern Italian Style Meat Lasagna, so excuse the puddle of meat and cheese in this photo.

And lastly, the Shrimp & Lobster Ravioli with Garlic Butter Sauce was practically everyone's favorite! Who can blame them?? It was delicious!

And lastly, the Shrimp & Lobster Ravioli with Garlic Butter Sauce was practically everyone's favorite! Who can blame them?? It was delicious!

Stephanie and Aki are making their first trip around the island to pair their pasta with the salad. So many choices! (Of course, we have to represent the LOS ANGELES LAKERS, right?)

Stephanie and Aki are making their first trip around the island to pair their pasta with the salad. So many choices! (Of course, we have to represent the LOS ANGELES LAKERS, right?)

Sandy and Ben enjoyed their tasty selections, along with their champagne and Bloody Mary.

Sandy and Ben enjoyed their tasty selections, along with their champagne and Bloody Mary.

With all of the different lettuce blends, toppings, and dressings at our salad bar, we had a wonderful time creating zesty salads with the Buitoni pasta meals.

With all of the different lettuce blends, toppings, and dressings at our salad bar, we had a wonderful time creating zesty salads with the Buitoni pasta meals.

What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon with good friends and good food! Although we didn’t do much cooking, it sure took a lot of work to prepare all of the many ingredients to complete the meal. But in the end, it was well worth the effort. Thanks Foodbuzz & Buitoni for selecting us to host this party! This was a great excuse for us to use up some of our produce in our garden, and as the summer moves forward, we will continue to share our abundant harvest with you!

26 responses so far

26 Responses to “Buitoni Pasta and Salad Bar Party”

  1. Nancy Ilandon 16 Jun 2010 at 10:11 am

    Krissy and Daniel,
    Thank You again for celebrating my birthday with me… hope you enjoyed the food!
    and Your photo’s in the blog are amazing!!!

    Cheers,
    Nancy

  2. Cooking with Kaiton 16 Jun 2010 at 10:26 am

    What a wonderful pasta and salad bar party! I love your vegetable garden and hope to have one in my yard soon.
    .-= Cooking with Kait´s last blog ..Vegetable Dumplings =-.

  3. Benon 16 Jun 2010 at 10:36 am

    Thanks for having us over. The Butoni’s and salad bar was excellent. By far my favorites was the shrimp and lobster ravioli. It was hmm hmmm good.

  4. Stephanieon 16 Jun 2010 at 10:40 am

    I enjoyed the Shrimp & Lobster Ravioli with Garlic Butter Sauce the most, and felt the Grilled Chicken and Spinach Cannelloni was a little skimpy on the sauce — it actually was a little dry for me, but this wouldn’t stop me from getting it and adding additional sauce of my own. I also njoyed the salad bar, especially with the fresh-from-the-garden veggies and homemade dressings. A well-balanced meal and great company!

    My favorite “dish” was actually the champagne, haha! I got seconds and thirds on that one…

    Thanks Krissy and Daniel for hosting a fun Sunday afternoon!

  5. Danicaon 16 Jun 2010 at 11:00 am

    Your garden is SO IMPRESSIVE! I have serious garden envy LOL. This is the first year I’ve grown a real garden….still waiting for it look like yours through ;)

    I LOVE the salad bar idea – fun!
    .-= Danica´s last blog ..A Light & Healthy Chef Salad =-.

  6. SarahNhanon 16 Jun 2010 at 11:09 am

    My favorite was the Grilled Chicken and Spinach Cannelloni. Love the cheese, it was just right. I was glad to be the last one to eat because I was free to get a big plate on my second round. Love all the fresh homegrown veggies. My favorite dressing was the roasted pepper. Yum!!! I like how your dressings are all light and tasty and not too rich and fattening. Drooling as I type hehe.

    Thank you again for such a refreshingly delicious lunch. Love the tour of the garden, too!

    Sorry for overusing the word “love” but I insist to leave it on.

    LOve ya!

    sn

  7. Quyen - Kitchen Runwayon 16 Jun 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Wow – looks pretty delish – even for frozen entrees! Yum – and your garden is so amazing!! If only I had a green thumb! Looks like a great party!
    .-= Quyen – Kitchen Runway´s last blog ..Peanut Butter Cookie Brownies =-.

  8. Dawn@CocinaSavanton 16 Jun 2010 at 12:43 pm

    what a fun idea! i love the salad bar approach, and all of the dressings sounds fabulous, looks like everything was tasty and went over well. congrats!
    .-= Dawn@CocinaSavant´s last blog ..When Life Gives You Onions… =-.

  9. Jacobon 16 Jun 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Love the garden photos…as far as pre-fab food, not a fan. The photos though make me wanna try my hand at a homemade version. Once again the garden photos are amazing. I really love the romaine being pulled from the earth shot, genious.

  10. Aaronon 16 Jun 2010 at 2:15 pm

    How sad I wasn’t invited. :(

  11. Andyon 16 Jun 2010 at 2:38 pm

    The garden looks fantastic… it seems to get better every year! The pasta looks good too but that salad bar itself looks like it’s definitely worth the price of admission!

  12. noobcookon 16 Jun 2010 at 10:04 pm

    your garden is really lush!!
    .-= noobcook´s last blog ..Sambal Long Beans =-.

  13. Markon 16 Jun 2010 at 10:32 pm

    The party was so much fun! My favorite was the cannelloni and ponzu dressed salad topped with tofu. Great food, great company, great way to start a Sunday afternoon. Thanks again Daniel and Krissy!

  14. Joslynon 17 Jun 2010 at 9:44 am

    The party was great! We had so much fun. My favorite has to be the lobster Ravioli with Garlic Butter Sauce. It was a perfect alternative for me since I gave up the “land” animals. Del mentioned that the cannelloni were a little dry on the edges. But our favorite paring was the lobster raviolis with salad with the Roasted Red Pepper dressing.

  15. Katie @ Cozydeliciouson 17 Jun 2010 at 12:36 pm

    What an amazing party! How fun! All of those beautiful, colorful pastas and salads. I love it!

  16. IslandEATon 17 Jun 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Hi, Krissy and Daniel. It looks like a fun party you had there! Your garden makes me green with envy, so to speak (it’s still not gotten hot up here in the Gulf Islands, and my tomato plants aren’t pleased with the overcast weather these days).

    I remember Buitoni products being good, but what I really want to know is your recipe for ponzu dressing! I am intrigued….

    Thanks,

    Dan

  17. tigerfishon 17 Jun 2010 at 5:00 pm

    That unknown-lettuce looks very bountiful with big green leaves :) Must be good as lettuce wraps….
    .-= tigerfish´s last blog ..Hot-Shot Sweet Corn =-.

  18. Kung Food Pandaon 18 Jun 2010 at 2:32 am

    Everything looks great….cept the Lakers jersey :P
    .-= Kung Food Panda´s last blog ..Providence – A Full Tasting Experience (Los Angeles) =-.

  19. thefoodaddictson 18 Jun 2010 at 7:28 am

    Here is the link to our Ponzu Dressing recipe. It’s quite easy. Just a 1:1 ratio of ponzu sauce and vegetable oil.
    http://thefoodaddicts.com/soft-tofu-salad-with-ponzu-dressing/

    Enjoy!

  20. IslandEATon 18 Jun 2010 at 10:33 am

    Hi, Daniel. Thanks very much for sending along the link for the ponzu dressing – I should have checked out your website first! I am going to try it tonight. Gotta luv its utter simplicity. Now I know why that bottle of ponzu has been staring at me every time I open my pantry door…..

    Yours,

    Dan

  21. Magic of Spiceon 18 Jun 2010 at 7:10 pm

    Beautiful garden, photos and food…Wow! This would be a party I would be ever so happy to attend:)
    .-= Magic of Spice´s last blog ..What’s on the side? – Passion Fruit Cocktails & New Friend Introductions =-.

  22. Sandyon 20 Jun 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Thanks for hosting this party K&D! And please pardon my late comment as I was out traveling all last week. Otherwise, you know I would have been “first!”. Lol.

    Anyway, I thought the pasta selections were great. My favorite was the Shrimp and Lobster Ravioli. I guess that one was definitely a bit hit at the party! Although it was a little creamier than what I’m normally used to, the seafood went along great with it!

  23. The Duo Disheson 21 Jun 2010 at 10:33 am

    Your garden must be pretty large from all the veggies you picked out. Love the four dressings and croutons. The homemade additions can make all the difference!
    .-= The Duo Dishes´s last blog ..Ride It Upside Down =-.

  24. Jen Cheungon 21 Jun 2010 at 5:29 pm

    hello there :)
    stumble upon your blog! lovely blog you have here. Found you on foodbuzz :) Will be dropping by more often! Feel free to save me on your blogroll :) Happy summer!

    Jen

  25. cathyon 21 Jun 2010 at 11:52 pm

    salad bar spread sounds like a fantastic idea. you guys are full of great ideas! thanks!
    .-= cathy´s last blog ..Kobe B. =-.

  26. Anita Mordueon 17 Jul 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Love your salad bar offering, not only beautiful but healthy. Learning from you, I will present a salad bar at our next family event. Thank you for the inspiration! Sincerely and In Peace, Anita Mordue

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