20th Month Anniversary Dinner

Popping in with an extra blog post today! Today Patrick and I celebrate our 21st month anniversary. We haven't been celebrating every month after we passed the one year mark but we are still trying to honor the special day and, if it's not a crazy week, we'll have dinner on our fine china.

Last month we decided it would be appropriate for a fine china dinner, put the kitties in the room with their litter box so they wouldn't break anything, and fixed a delicious salmon dish with a mini carrot cake for dessert. We toasted at our new dining room table with our last bottle of honeymoon wine!

We served a salmon with apple and kale salad that was a Food Network recipe and the mini carrot cake from the Dessert for Two blog. The Viognier wine was from the Veritas Vineyard & Winery outside Charlottesville. I put the recipes into a google document and you can view it here.

Pan-Seared Salmon with Kale Apple Salad from Food Network
2 salmon fillets (about 1” thick)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt
1 bunch kale, ribs removed, leaves very thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
2 tbsp dates
½ of a Honeycrisp apple
2 tbsp finely grated pecorino
2 tbsp toasted slivered almonds
Freshly ground black pepper
Bring the salmon to room temperature 10 minutes before cooking.
Meanwhile, whisk together the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add the kale, toss to coat and let stand 10 minutes.
While the kale stands, cut the dates into thin slivers and the apple into matchsticks. Add the dates, apples, cheese and almonds to the kale. Season with pepper, toss well and set aside.
Sprinkle the salmon all over with 1/2 teaspoon salt and some pepper. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Raise the heat to medium-high. Place the salmon, skin-side up in the pan. Cook until golden brown on one side, about 4 minutes. Turn the fish over with a spatula, and cook until it feels firm to the touch, about 3 minutes more.
Divide the salmon and salad evenly among four plates.

Carrot Cake from Dessert for Two Yields 1 6" cake
IngredientsFor the Cake
¼ cup canola oil
½ cup sugar
1 large egg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup packed grated carrot (from 1 small carrot)
½ cup flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup chopped walnuts

For the Frosting
3 ounce block of cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
6 tablespoons powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla

Grease a 6” round cake pan with shortening or cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350°.
In a medium bowl, beat together with an electric mixer the canola oil and sugar. Beat very well, about 1 minute.
Add the egg, cinnamon and vanilla and beat another 30 seconds. Beat in the carrot for about 15 seconds--you want it to break up a bit so it stains the batter orange. Sprinkle the flour and baking powder on top and beat until just combined. Do not overmix. You may stir in the walnuts at this point or save them for the frosting, your choice.
Pour the batter into the pan, place it on a baking sheet, and bake for 24-26 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick before removing from the oven--moist crumbs clinging to the toothpick is ideal.
Allow the cake to cool completely on a wire rack before attempting to frost it.
To make the frosting, ensure all ingredients are room temperature or you will end up with lumps. Beat together everything with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Tip the cake out of the pan, place it on a serving plate upside down (so that you have a flat surface on top) and spread the frosting on the cake. Garnish with walnuts. This cake tastes even better if allowed to sit one day (in the fridge) before serving.

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