Tag Archives: Dinner

Finer Diner Dinner 2015

On the evening of Friday, June 19th, guests were welcomed to the Lancer Family Restaurant in St. Catharines to enjoy a gourmet dining experience with a fun 1950s theme, all in support of the YWCA Niagara Region! There were classic records, poodle skirts, beautiful scarves and even an Elvis look alike in attendance!


The idea behind this event was to have a gourmet dinner in a classic diner setting, hence the ‘Finer Diner’ title. Guests were served a delicious 5 course meal, which included tomato basil soup, beer pretzels, salad, delicious roast beef and old fashioned chocolate milkshakes. Each course was paired with a local wine or beer (thank you to Calamus Estate Winery, Brimstone Brewing, Fielding Estate Winery, and Konzelmann Estate Winery for your donations!). A very heartfelt thank you to Maria Donato for preparing and cooking the delicious food for the night. The cherry on top was a scrumptious 1950s themed cake made by Karen Teal. Our special guest, Elvis (Djino LeFrancois) cut the cake for our guests, provided us with amazing entertainment, and sang ‘The King’s’ greatest hits.


But that’s not all! A live auction was held and there were so many amazing prizes — everything from Niagara Falls Getaways to a Father’s Day Fishing & Beer basket! The auction was a huge success as guests kept bidding and bidding, all for a great local cause! Special thanks to Nicki Inch’s son, Nate, for hosting the live auction. Thank you to all of the guests for coming out, bidding on prizes and supporting the YWCA!

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And we can’t forget — a BIG BIG thank you goes out to the amazing planning committee who organized this event: Danielle Murray, Mary Comfort, Margaret Corbett, Sue Forgeron and Rachael Forgeron. These ladies used their creativity and connections to coordinate this one of a kind dinner and raised money for the essential programs and services at the YWCA! Another huge thank you to all the volunteers who came out and helped with the event for the night.  As always, without all the amazing volunteers taking the time to plan and attend events like this,  the YWCA would not be able to provide women with everything they need to reach their full potential.

A Fall Dish with Summer Memories

Fall is about comfort…

fall laneThe fall season is my favourite time of year.  Not only do scarves, baggy sweaters, and boots become acceptable for every day attire, but it also means cooking easy meals that warm you from the inside out.  To go along with my favourite season, I’ve chosen to blog about trying my hand at recreating a cheeseburger casserole recipe that I found online.  Casseroles are one of my favourite meals, not only are they tasty and include everything in your fridge, but they are a dish where the ingredients can be prepared ahead of time – all you have to do is throw the ingredients in a pot and get cooking!

Buzzfeed is one of my favourite websites for everything pop culture and international news.  Once in a while, they will post a blog with seasonal or themed recipes; which is where I stumbled across this yummy idea.  The link on Buzzfeed took me to a Chungah’s cooking blog, appropriately titled Damn Delicious.  Based out of Los Angeles, Chungah offers recipes that are quick and easy to make and yummy to eat!  I chose to prepare and cook the One Pot Cheeseburger Casserole – mostly because of my love for cheese.. and burgers.. but also because the recipe gave me the opportunity to use fresh, local vegetables and meats.

Are you ready to get cookin’?

Here is what you’ll need for Damn Delicious’ One Pot Cheeseburger Casserole:

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 1/2 pounds of ground beef – I’m using ground beef from Viks Meats, our local butcher here in Grimsby.

1 oinion, dicedpic 1

Salt and ground pepper, to taste

1 (28-ounce) can of diced tomatoes, undrained

1 (8-ounce) can of tomato sauce

2 cups of chicken broth

1/4 cup of ketchup

2 teaspoons of dijon mustard

1 box of rotini pasta – I used Catelli penne and it tasted just as good! *Note: Catelli also offers gluten free pasta in all the same shapes and sizes.

2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

1 Roma tomato – I used a tomato from a Sentimental Farms, a local and organic farm in Grimsby.

2 green onions, sliced

What to do:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium high heat.  Add ground beef and onion; cook until the beef has browned (about 3-5 minutes), making sure to crumble the beef as you go along.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and drain the excess fat.
  2. Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, ketchup, mustard, pasta, and add two cups of water.  Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked through (about 13-16 minutes).  Even though the recipe only calls for 2 cups of water, I ended up adding about an extra cup of boiling water – the pasta wasn’t cooking very well.
  3.  Remove from heat and top with cheddar cheese.  Cover   until the cheese has melted.  Serve immediately, garnish with tomato and green onions.

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I really enjoyed this dish.  It really did taste like a cheeseburger, which gave me a chance to hang onto the remaining “summer” weather.  The recipe made enough casserole to feed a small army, so there are lots of left overs in the fridge and I have a feeling this is a dish that will taste better as the days go on.

Click here to check out the 19 other delicious and easy casserole recipes from Buzzfeed.  Enjoy!


Images courtesy of Google Images and Stephanie Fleming