I don’t know know about y'all, but our kitchen sees more activity during the holidays than any other space in our home. April and Nina, our daughter, are already busy prepping, baking, simmering and tasting. As family and friends arrive to visit or stay a few nights, there’s a rotation of loved ones sharing around our dining room table.
In our family, the kids cook and clean!
Our Nina joins in the kitchen chores to stay on Santa’s nice list!
As you can imagine, we love IKEA during the holidays because of all the ways it helps us host our loved ones well. Here are a few ways we optimize our kitchen to take care of our friends coming for Christmas!
This kitchen cart from our showroom adds counter AND storage space to a kitchen full of cooks!
Extra dining chairs for unexpected guests are essential for the holidays, especially ones that store easily, wipe clean, and are stylish enough to fit just about any decor!
While gadgets and serving thingies are awesome for the holidays, let’s be honest: the best part of the season is GREAT FOOD! In our house, that means lasagna. Yep, April is Sicilian, and her family recipe is serious, y'all. So serious that part of it remains a secret to anyone outside the family. Here’s what she has to say about it:
“My family is Italian, so lasagna has been a part of our Christmas for as far back as I can remember. This recipe has been passed down through the generations, and although I haven’t perfected it as well as my mom, my kids don’t know the difference! The sauce is a family secret — and the Sicilian side of the family wouldn’t be too happy with me if I shared it — but I’m happy to tell you how to make the mouth-watering lasagna using your own favorite sauce. Three generations of us (my mom, myself, and my kids) will be in the kitchen together this Christmas, making this special meal while singing along to Jingle Bell Rock ... because everyone knows a spoon makes a great microphone!”
April’s Sicilian Holiday Lasagna
(April's apologies that the recipe is not detailed: Italians are notorious for cooking without exact measurements)
You will need: one 13 x 9” pan, 1 lb (at least) lasagna noodles, 16-24 oz mozzarella, sliced, 1 lb ricotta, fresh parmesan, salt, and your favorite tomato pasta sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil lasagna noodles until tender; drain. Coat a thin layer of pasta sauce on bottom of 13X9 pan. Cover with lasagna noodles. Spread a layer of ricotta, then mozzarella, then parmesan, evenly over noodles. Salt to taste. Repeat, beginning with a new layer of sauce, for three complete layers, total. Cover and bake (with cookie sheet underneath pan to catch spills) for 1 hr. Uncover and bake for 10-15 minutes more.