Midweek Celebration Feast

Sometimes events worth celebrating occur when you don’t have time or energy to create a celebration-worthy meal. Last week, my husband and I celebrated our two year wedding anniversary. Our road trip to Maine, which you can read about in previous posts (here, scroll to the bottom for day one), was our gift to each other, and we were still getting our feet back on the ground in our daily routine, so we didn’t want to do anything too elaborate on the day itself. However, we still wanted to share a special meal together. The SteelStacks Farmer’s Market was that day, so we kept our eyes peeled for something easy yet a little special for dinner.

We ended up with a feast that was ready in less than 30 minutes but felt like we had been working all day! We purchased a smoked chicken breast, which just needed heating up (and provided enough meat for a whole extra meal!). On the side, I microwave roasted some acorn squash. I rarely ever use the microwave for anything aside from defrosting or reheating, but when you are short on time, it can be quite handy! We popped the acorn squash seeds in the oven with the chicken while it heated up to use as a crunch topping on a whole wheat pasta side dish. Served with a green salad, we felt like we were at a restaurant!

Our Easy Anniversary Meal

Ingredients

These ingredients combined to form a full restaurant quality meal!

Entrée Ingredient:

Microwave Roasted Acorn Squash Ingredients:

  • 1 acorn squash (Heritage Farms CSA)
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 2 large sage leaves
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Sage & White Wine Pasta Ingredients:

  • 2 portions whole wheat pasta (homemade from the freezer)
  • 12 sage leaves
  • seeds from acorn squash
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 c. white wine (we used Autumn Gold from Vyncrest Vineyards)
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • salt & pepper,  to taste
  • Romano cheese, to taste (Klein Farms)

Green Salad:

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and cook pasta.
  2. Cut acorn squash in half, parallel to the ridges. Scoop out seeds and reserve.
  3. Put smoked chicken breast in baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes or until hot.
  4. Meanwhile, clean the pulp off the squash seeds. Toss seeds with 1 T. olive oil and some chili powder, salt and pepper.
  5. Spread seeds on cookie sheet and add to oven for final 10 minutes of chicken heating time.
  6. Brush each acorn squash half with olive oil and sprinkle with chili powder, salt & pepper. Put 1 T. brown sugar in the scooped center of each squash half. Tear 2 sage leaves and place on top of brown sugar.

    Acorn Squash, ready to microwave

    Acorn Squash, ready to microwave

  7. Set squash halves, cut side up, in a deep microwave-safe dish with about 1.5 inches of water in the bottom. Cover with a lid or vented plastic wrap and microwave for 10 minutes or until tender.
  8. Heat 2 T. olive oil in a large skillet. Chop garlic and sage leaves. Cook garlic and sage over medium heat until garlic is beginning to soften.
  9. Add white wine to skillet, scraping off any browned bits. Bring to a boil, then simmer until reduced by half.
  10. Add cooked pasta to skillet and toss with wine sauce.
  11. Rinse and tear lettuce. Toss with creamy garlic dressing.
  12. Just before serving, sprinkle pasta with toasted squash seeds and Romano cheese.
  13. Slice and plate chicken. Carefully remove squash from microwave dish (I used tongs) and add to plate. Serve pasta and top with toasted squash seeds and grated Romano cheese.
  14. Serve with wine and share with good company.

    Anniversary Dinner

    Anniversary Dinner. After we finished our Wild Blueberry Meade from Maine, we paired this meal with Vyncrest Autumn Gold.


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