Special Anniversary Dinner for my Parents

I already mentioned that T-Man and I celebrated one year together on Friday, but what I didn’t mention was that another couple was about to celebrate a much larger achievement:

my parents, 25 years ago

Yesterday, my parents celebrated 25 years together! That’s a big number…

They already took an East Coast vacation earlier in the summer to celebrate, so back when I thought I would be getting my cast off, I offered to make them dinner. Of course, my hand is still broken, but I still took on the challenge Monday night.

In January, T-Man and I brought my parents to Napa, where we all went wine tasting with his mom. My parents bought 2 bottles of wine from Jessup Cellars and decided Monday night would be the night to crack open a bottle of Chardonnay. Their only requests were “saucy chicken”, a grainy side dish, and a salad. From there, I planned my menu:

Chicken with a white wine cream sauce. I used a Giada recipe as the basis for this, but instead of heavy cream I used a little bit of sour cream and milk, and added mushrooms.

I picked up a bag of Harvest Grains Blend at Trader Joe’s and made my new favorite go-to side dish — orzo, israeli couscous, and quinoa packed with fresh herbs and summer veggies. I will definitely be sharing this recipe soon!

The loaf of poppy-seed bread, along with the mouthwatering cake we had (see below) were both from Freeport Bakery, a Sacramento staple. My mom picked them up during the day to make things a little easier on her gimp of a daughter 🙂

Lemon poppy-seed cake! Sooooo good.

For the sake of saving time (it took me nearly an hour just to chop everything up!), my mom made the salad. She made our usual vinaigrette (red wine vinegar, dijon, olive oil, and some s&p) and tossed in mixed greens with pear, cucumber & tomato from the garden.

Some other “guests” at the meal included:

My parent’s wedding candles from their ceremony (they each lit one, then the big one together)

The photo album of wedding pictures:

in this photo, my mom is likely saying, “we’ve been married so long now, lets see who in these photos is dead!”
in the background, my brother is likely saying, “mushrooms are gross!”

And my mom’s wedding dress, (No pictures, d’oh!) accompanied by a conversation of whether I would fit in it. Survey says: 3 sizes too big! So we didn’t even have to go through the pain of trying it on to find out 😛

It wasn’t the most gourmet meal I’ve ever made, and I’d like to blame my broken hand…But it’s nice to remember that meals don’t always have to be gourmet to be appreciated and enjoyed. Often the thought and time that goes into making them are good enough!

What’s the fanciest thing you know how to make?

Weekend in Photos: San Francisco Edition

First of all, I cannot believe how much attention last Wednesdays’ post received (with the help of WordPress’s Freshly Pressed page, of course). Though I took pictures of it, I wasn’t even sure that I’d be sharing my tomato sauce recipe on the blog. But what started off as a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day led to a idea for a post that I hope resonated with a lot of readers.

When I graduated college in the midst of the recession and moved back into my parents home, I found that watching cooking shows and preparing dinner for my parents made me happy and, more importantly, cooking became something that allowed me to be creative — my finished product (dinner) was something I could be proud of. This summer especially has been hard, since I have had a broken hand going on 8 weeks now, but it helps to know that I am still capable of making something delicious from scratch!

Welcome to those of you that liked what you saw! Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming 🙂

I spent the weekend in beautiful San Francisco — T-Man and I took Friday off and celebrated our 1 year anniversary in the city, and the rest I spent reuniting with 3 of my best friends from college!

Breakfast for T-Man (trying to flip an omelet with a splint on my left hand) — Veggie omelets with my tomato sauce on top! — The Bay Bridge

Laughing Sal at the Musée Mécanique — Touristy Pier 39 fish & chips lunch at Neptune’s with great views! (We had dinner at NOPA, which I can’t recommend enough!!)

View from the Saturday morning Farmers Market at the Ferry Building — Breakfast before — Robin & Rach at Tacolicious — Wandering the Farmer’s Market

Stopped at Trader Joe’s in Berkeley and finally tried the famed cookie spread! — Train ride home through the Bay.

What a great weekend. I had a great time doing couply touristy things with T-Man, balanced out with a couple of girl’s nights with my friends. But let me tell you, it was tough waking up for work this morning!

Where did you go on your last weekend trip?