On Saturday night, I had a dinner party that Ina Garten (a.k.a. The Barefoot Contessa) definitely wouldn’t have approved of.

In fact, I violated several of her back to basics rules of entertaining…and no, that doesn’t mean that I skipped the good vanilla.

But these were doozies in her book nonetheless…

Not only did I not make anything in advance (everything was made only mere hours before), but I actually served dishes that I (gasp!) never made before (but always wanted to).

And everything actually turned out great.

I debuted lasagna rolls (a recipe by Giada with a few new touches of my own), homemade garlic bread and mini orange ricotta chocolate cheesecakes for dessert.

I’ll admit that I was a little nervous about the cheesecakes since a water bath was required so they wouldn’t crack in the middle. Not only have I never cooked anything that required a water bath, but I’d never used a silicon muffin tin before. Fortunately, the silicon made everything easy breezy, so count me a new fan. The cheesecakes came out of the pan perfectly and looked really cute arranged on my cupcake pedestal.

Other than wasting a lot of money on ricotta cheese, prosciutto and a special muffin tin, really, what was the worst that could happen? If dinner turned out bad, I still could’ve ordered pizza, which I’m guessing with wine, still would’ve been a crowdpleaser.

But I do have to say, making this dinner was a lot more fun and maybe, just maybe, I’ll break Barefoot’s rules again sometime soon, who knows? Hmmm, what to try next?