Happy Anniversary to Us!

I can’t believe it’s been a year! It seems so recently that Ben and I celebrated our magical, most perfect day together. We’ve certainly faced some challenges but it’s also been such a rewarding first year. I’ve been reminded on many occasions just why we are together; how we make a great team; that our love is unconditional. We look forward to many more!

To celebrate, I decided to make a dinner inspired by some of our favorite pieces of our wedding meal. Of course, we ended with wedding cake, which was almost as delicious from the freezer one year later.

To start, a roasted butternut squash bisque. This was actually served as a passed appetizer at our wedding, in little cups to sip. The version prepared by our venue was extremely sweet and very thick and creamy; I decided to stick with the sweetness but lighten it up a bit by using cottage cheese.

Roasted Butternut & Apple Bisque
About 1lb raw butternut squash (cut in half, seeds removed)
1 granny smith apple, peeled and cut into quarters
1 medium onion, cut into quarters
2 cups chicken broth + additional water as needed
salt, pepper, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves
1-2 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup cottage cheese
1/4 skim milk

Place the squash, apples and onions on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; spray lightly with olive oil and roast at 375F for about an hour or until tender. Cool. This can be done ahead of time; I actually did it the night before.

In a food processor, puree the squash, apples and onions with the chicken broth (this may be done in batches). Transfer to a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat, adding water to reach desired consistency. Season to taste. It’s really up to you how much of the seasonings you’d like to use!

Blend the cottage cheese and milk together in a blender until no lumps remain. When soup is hot and seasoned to your liking, remove from heat and gently stir in the cottage cheese mixture.

Next, we enjoyed a field green salad with berries, goat cheese, pine nuts, and a raspberry vinaigrette.

Finally, grilled lamb chops with pears and red wine reduction. I borrowed this recipe from Emeril, and added sliced pear along with the shallots. Though the cut of meat was different than what was served at our wedding (we had T-bones at the reception), we both agreed my rendition was equally as delicious. The sauce had a wonderful flavor after reducing and concentrating all the flavors together. This is easy and elegant! Simply season the lamb with salt and pepper, grill over high heat for a few minutes on each side (until done to your liking) and serve with the reduction.

Pear & Red Wine Reduction for Lamb Chops
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons minced shallots
1 pear, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 clove minced garlic
3/4 cup dry red wine
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, plus 4 sprigs for garnishing plates
1 1/2 cups beef stock

Place a 1-quart saucepan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil to the pan. Once the oil is hot, add the shallots and pear to the pan; reduce heat to medium and saute for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and saute for 30 seconds. Increase heat to high; deglaze the pan with the red wine and add the chopped rosemary. Cook the red wine until it is nearly evaporated, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the stock to the pan and season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil, and reduce to a gentle boil. Reduce the stock until its volume is 1 cup, about 10 minutes. Set the sauce aside and keep warm while you prepare the lamb.

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9 Responses to “Happy Anniversary to Us!”

  1. 1

    Linds — October 13, 2008 @ 11:03 am Reply

    Happy Anniversary! Your celebratory meal sounds like it was delicious :)

  2. 2

    Patsyk — October 13, 2008 @ 1:19 pm Reply

    Happy Anniversary! What a wonderful way to celebrate!

  3. 3

    Aggie — October 13, 2008 @ 6:40 pm Reply

    Happy Anniversary! Your meal looks delicious!

  4. 4

    Elly — October 13, 2008 @ 10:34 pm Reply

    happy anniversary! everything sounds so great!

  5. 5

    Kayla — October 14, 2008 @ 12:02 am Reply

    Happy anniversary!It seems like it was so recently you were posting about the wedding on WC!

  6. 6

    evil_fizz — October 18, 2008 @ 10:03 pm Reply

    Just made the bisque. I was a little nervous about the cottage cheese, but it’s fabulous. Thanks for an excellent idea.

  7. 7

    Linds — April 5, 2011 @ 1:11 am Reply

    Happy Anniversary! Your celebratory meal sounds like it was delicious :)

  8. 8

    Clhoban — October 16, 2011 @ 6:41 pm Reply

    Does it have to be a granny smith apple?

  9. 9

    Cara — October 16, 2011 @ 10:00 pm Reply

    I used a Granny Smith apple, but any tart apple would be fine.

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