Celebrating 17 Years

Happy times after our dinner at home!
This year, we are celebrating 17 years.  Its amazing how fast that time flies and how things change over time.  And it really doesn't seem like 17 years have gone by.  I think that is a good thing.

For the past few years, we have celebrated with a quiet dinner at home.  It is something I enjoy planning and getting ready for, and is something that we both enjoy.  This year, our anniversary dinner included the following menu:

Blue Cheese Crusted Filets
Roasted Banana Fingerling Potatoes with Sea Salt
Fresh Greens Salad
Almond Cake

First, let me start with dessert.  I'm a big fan of sweets, simple and make ahead.  This recipe fit each of these.  Plus, it is a small dessert.  BIG plus.  This is a simple recipe that I learned about from The Splendid Table.  You start with blanched almonds, sugar, salt and almond extract.  After these have been pulsed in a food processor, you add butter and eggs.  Finally, a small amount of flour and baking powder are added at the end.  It is baked in an 8 inch cake pan.  Done.  It is recommended to bake ahead of time.  One less thing to do the day of!  Score, me!
Our fancy dinner:  blue cheese crusted filets, roasted fingerling
potatoes and a simple salad.  Finally our almond cake!

The recipe that I use for the Blue Cheese Crusted Filets is something that I have used multiple times.  It turns out perfect every time and will not disappoint.  My husband and I both love this recipe.  Who wouldn't?  Steak and cheese.  Clearly, this dinner is going to be great!

And finally, no need for fussy sides.  I found some banana fingerlings last week and decided that these would make a nice simple addition to this menu.  Given the blue cheese and steak, roasted potatoes with sea salt won't compete with the other parts of the menu.

To finish it off, an arugala salad with tomatoes and a balsamic vinaigrette.

The best part about this dinner at home was that we made it real date.  We put down King Diaper and then had dinner.  I pulled out the china and the crystal.  We had some music and a real conversation about something other than bills, planning meals and schedules.

If I could recommend one thing to couples, it would be to plan date nights.  These don't have to all be at home or going out.  But planning that time makes a huge difference.  Before King Diaper, things weren't so scheduled.  We probably went out once or twice a week.  Now, it is much more planned.  But it can still be done.  And we both look forward to it.

Plus, I think it is super important for couples to realize that a date night can be staying home.  And it can be just as good as going out.  Putting in the effort to plan something nice or fun gives us both something to look forward to.

Now for the gifts.  Etsy is a favorite of mine.  I can shop for gifts straight from their app.  The choices are endless, and I've always had good luck.

Craig is not the easiest one to shop for unless I'm picking up yet another Led Zepplin or Rush CD or DVD.  He really doesn't collect anything or ask for anything.

I found this great shop that does wall plaques with old license plates.  You can order them with your last name and wedding date or wedding year.  I picked the last name and year option.  This would make a great wedding gift for a couple in your life as wedding season approaches.  Or - if this happens to be a ten year anniversary coming up, tin is the traditional gift!

And yes, Craig did a great job with a gift too.  I had asked for a necklace from a local jewelry maker. Caroline Taylor makes bar necklaces that can be customized for anyone.  We had one made for my mother that says "Bushel and a Peck" because she loves to sing this song to my sister and I and now to my little boy.  Her mother sang it to her.  Its become something very special to us.

Craig had the bar necklace customized to read "We Became One" on one side and our anniversary date in Roman Numerals on the back.  You can follow her on Instagram to see more of her designs.  Her jewelry is truly special as is she.  And this was the perfect gift that has become a new favorite for me.

So, our 17 year celebration was a success.  And no it isn't about the gifts and the dinner.  Its about celebrating how we have changed and grown together over the years.  And that is a gift in itself.  All the rest of it is just bow on the total package.