Anniversary Night In: Better than a Restaurant

Last Wednesday, April 25th, officially marked our 3rd wedding anniversary. We will take any excuse to indulge in a good meal, and our anniversary is no exception! Because we were going to be busy getting ready to leave town for JazzFest on the actual day of our anniversary, we decided to celebrate it the weekend prior with a Surf’n’Turf meal at home so that we could focus on what matters (spending quality time together).

We would typically go out for a celebratory meal like this, but with our upcoming trip to New Orleans we knew we’d be dining out plenty, so we picked out what we wanted to eat at our local Whole Foods and prepared the meal ourselves. Cooking is something we’ve enjoyed doing together since we started dating in college, so it made the night all the more meaningful.

While at the store, we literally just bought whatever spoke to us. That included scallops, gulf shrimp, a beef filet, fresh corn, brussels sprouts, a mini raspberry chocolate cake, and a bottle of blush wine. All together the meal was about $65 in ingredients, and took about 45 minutes to prep & cook. Not bad, considering that the same meal would have easily been double or more the cost at a nice restaurant, plus we didn’t have to worry about dealing with anyone other than ourselves.

The seafood was marinated for about 20 minutes (while we prepped the veggies and beef) in olive oil, white wine, melted butter, sea salt, garlic powder, and black pepper, and it really made a difference in keeping everything buttery and not dried-out after cooking. The beef was heavily dry-rubbed on one side with a basic rub of equal parts sea salt, black pepper, and garlic powder, a stock technique Robby uses on most of the beef we cook that is simple but so, so delicious.

The corn was prepped by smashing cubes of butter inside the husk (fun to do!), and then cooked over the coals on the grill. The brussels sprouts were halved, tossed with olive oil and the same spices used for the beef, then roasted on a cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Our brussels sprouts were on the smaller side, so you might increase the cooking time by 5 or 10 minutes if you are cooking average to larger sized sprouts.

Picking a wine to match this meal was tricky, as we’d normally pair a red with beef and a white with seafood, so we had to compromise and go with a Rose. I have always been wary of blush wines because “the pink stuff” comes across to me as cheap and sub-par. We ended up picking out a French Rose (which we were too busy drinking to photograph the bottle!) that was a popular bottle of its varietal. Because a French wine always seems more legit, right? It turned out to be a very nice wine indeed, the dry fruitiness playing off the food very well, including dessert (also devoured before its photo op). I would pick this wine again to serve with tapas or a similar meal, if I can ever remember the name…

Beyond the meal, we also picked out gifts for one another that coincided with the standard list of traditional anniversary gifts, the third year’s gift being leather. I had a few ideas for Robby’s gift, but settled on what I thought would last in the long run: a classic field bag from J. Crew. He can use this bag for work or light travel, and the styling is simple enough that it should stay “fashionable” forever. While the entire bag is not leather (um, have you shopped for an all-leather bag like this lately?… holy dollar signs!), the leather elements allow it to slide in under the leather category in my eyes.

On every occasion that we have to exchange gifts, Robby really messes with my head. He had me thinking that my gift was a pair of riding boots (even as I opened it, the box was just the right size). I had pinned a few pairs that I liked on Pinterest, and we had a few brief discussions about what features the perfect pair entailed. I was completely surprised to open a taupe leather Kate Spade bag, my first and only fancy bag! He did a marvelous job picking out my gift; it fit exactly what we both believe a gift of this kind should be: something that you want and love but can’t seem to bring yourself to buy just for you. I’m really not a materialistic person (thus, this is my first fancy bag at age 28), but I treasure this bag so much that I almost didn’t take it to the grocery store for fear of damaging it!

Our third anniversary as a married couple was a great success in our eyes, and we’re already looking forward to celebrating number four. Stay tuned for a post on our favorite things from the New Orleans trip.

Cheers, bon apetit, and thanks for reading!  -Christy

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One Response to Anniversary Night In: Better than a Restaurant

  1. Pingback: Make a Chalkboard Menu for Your Freezer – DIY – Organize Your Life | Old House Crazy

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