Friday, October 8, 2010

Inspiration Friday Party No. 7! Date Night & A Dedication!

This Inspiration Friday party is dedicated to the one I Groom...the one I married 12 years ago on Sunday!
Lest you think I am the only one in this house with a warped sense of humor, I must tell you that my Beloved proposed to me by standing on a street corner looking like a Homeless Man, holding up a sign that read...
Can you read it? "Wifeless, will work for Marriage!"

Let me just say, that when you are riding along in your roommate's car late at night and you see a guy standing there with a hood over his head holding up a cardboard sign, and she pulls her car over and says, "let's talk to this guy and see what he needs" the last thing on your mind is a Marriage Proposal!
You're fearing for your life at that point!
Thankfully, though, a Proposal it was!

Here we are on our wedding day...
We were married at the Pepperdine University Chapel in Malibu, California, on that beautiful day in October. Little did we know the twists and turns our lives would take, but having this man as a partner along the way has made the journey that much sweeter!
Seeing him as a Daddy inspires me to be a better Mommy

and he has overwhelmingly exceeded my hopes and dreams as a Husband for me and a Father to our children!

(Gotta love a guy who will carry the zebra print lunch bag with confidence!)

And, when the love of your life makes a special request for one of his favorite Fall Meals, you gladly oblige!
You see, we have this little tradition...something we started doing years ago, and something that has helped keep our marriage strong in a season of life where these little people will try to pull you apart, eat you up, and spit you out!!!!
 Slight exaggeration, I know, but it IS hard to find time for each other and we don't get to have Date Nights out very often. So, we came up with a weekly
We make special meals for each other (or order Take-out!) and we feed the kids at their normal dinner-time and then wait until they are in bed and have a late dinner together. We usually eat in the Family Room at the coffee table and watch a movie. Or sometimes, we eat in the Dining Room with candles lit and we get to talk in full sentences with no interruptions.
It is pure HEAVEN!
With Fall in full swing, the request was made for one of our all-time favorites...
Penne with Butternut Squash and Italian Sausage
(Recipe from Traditional Home)
Here's what you will need...

And, you know, if you are going to be cooking with wine, you might as well pour yourself a glass!

Nobody gets you in the mood for Date Night more than the lovely Miss Ella Fitzgerald, so she was crooning at me in the background while I cooked.

I always use my heavy cast-iron skillet for this recipe. The extra flavor it infuses is just perfect.
I know that most of you probably already know this technique, but I wanted to show you how I like to chop my sage (or basil).

I layer them one on top of the other in a little pile...

Then I roll the leaves up...

And then make thin slices with my favorite "Wusthof" which normally runs for well over $100 but I found at TJ's for $29.99!

When you're done, you will have this wonderful little pile of ribbon-y sage to add to this delicious meal!

Top off your glass of wine and Enjoy!

3 tablespoons olive oil            1 1/2 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 1/4 pounds bulk sweet Italian Sausage, crumbled         2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 12 cloves)
Pinch crushed red pepper (optional)                                 1/4 dry white wine
1 1/4 cups chicken broth                                                    3 tablespoons finely chopped sage

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil; swirl to coat pan. Add squash and cook 4-5 minutes until browned, stirring occasionally. Transfer to bowl. Return pan to medium-high heat; add sausage. Cook until well browned. Drain. Stir in garlic and crushed red pepper, if desired, and cook 1 minute. Add white wine and simmer, uncovered, 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly and scraping pan to lossen any browned bits. Return squash to pan; add chicken broth and sage. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until squash is very tender. Cook pasta according to directions. When al dente, drain well. Gently combine pasta-and-squash mixture. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

And, there you have it! A wonderful Date Night Dinner! This is also my go-to "Company's comin" meal. We won't be eating this on our Anniversary though, because we actually get to go out! That is if I can shake this horrible cold I just came down with. Nothing says romantic Anniversary dinner like a dripping nose and uncontrollable sneezing.  
Happy Anniversary Honey!

I'm linking this post up to Foodie Friday!

*Oh, and would you believe that we share the same Anniversary Date with my sister and her husband? It's #18 for them, so Happy Anniversary too, you guys! *

And now, it's time for the Party! What has inspired you this week? Did you post something that you hope will inspire someone else? Anything and Everything is welcome here so don't hesitate to join in the fun! Can't wait to see what you all have been up to!

Here is how to link up...
1. Add your Permalink to your entry but not your General Blog Address. To get your Permalink, click on the title of the blog post you are wanting to submit and copy and paste the address into the URL box. You will also have to add your address but it will not be visible to anyone else.
2. Do not try and Link up until you have actually published that particular post on your blog.
3. Please link back to the host blog, Southern In My Heart, so that those who visit your blog will be able to find some wonderful Inspiration from everyone else!

Thank you from the bottom of my Southern Lovin' Heart,



Gypsy Heart said...

Hi, I just found your blog via Melissa's and I'm very happy I did. This meal looks delish ~ I will definitely be trying it! Your home is absolutely beautiful. Love the colors you use.

I hope you have a very happy anniversary and feel much better too!


Melanie said...

Well Happy Anniversary to you two! I see that Pat (Gypsy Heart) found your blog and believe me, she will be a loyal friend! She is a sweetie.

Hope you feel better so you can enjoy your anniversary.

By the way, the church is beautiful! (and yes, you gotta love a man that will carry a zebra bag:)

Melanie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

What a sweet, sweet post!! Your husband sounds so sweet, just like mine. I hope you find that after all your years together that you remain best friends and love each other year after year. I'm lucky, blessed, that my hubby still adores me after all our years together.

I'm so glad Melanie posted that bedroom. It's beautiful.

Great party, as always and thank you I will join you in a glass of wine.

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Oh Happy Anniversary a little early. A precious and loving post. Dinner sounds wonderful, I would love some. Enjoy. Hugs, Marty

Unknown said...

Happy Anniversary - great milestone, and great proposal story! I love your date night dinner -- it looks delicious.

Ashley said...

Happy Anniversary! What an adorable way to propose. And the dinner looks fabulous! Thank you so much for the kind comments. I would be honored to be on your blogroll!

Sue said...

Vanessa, That is one of the coolest proposals I've ever heard of! Congratulations on your anniversary. I really enjoyed talking to you today. As you said, putting a voice to a picture was so fun! I think your date nite in is a wonderful way to connect. You're still together, but in the comfort of your own home. Looks like a wonderfully easy meal to prepare. I'm always looking for new recipes and ideas. Cooking for a diabetic is getting much easier now that we can add more carbs and foods to Mr. S's diet. Almost norma- just very little salt for him. I, on the other hand, have to add a sprinkle of salt. Or, a little splenda for sweetness. And wine is perfectly accepable! I like my reds...
Take care of your sniffles, my friend, and thank you once again for everything! :-)
hugs, Sue

Heather@Gourmet Meals for Less said...

So do you think everyone will believe it if they know we SHARE the same anniversary?? Can you believe it's been 12 years since that beautiful day at Pepperdine and 18 years since ours? Sure do love sharing such a special day with you two, and the dinner looks delish!

Love you, Happy Anniversary to my favorite couple in the whole wide world and GET BETTER before Sunday!

your sister!

Vicki said...

Vanessa - I hope you have a very Happy Anniversary! Great post. Love the proposal and will definitely make this meal for a date night in soon. Looks delicious (great photos). I've joined the party again this week. Have your button on my blog and will go add the link to my last post. Take care and feel better!

Sonya@Beyond the Screen Door said...

This is such a lovely post! And that recipe...Looks DELISH! I love Pasta dishes. Thanks so much for sharing with us. Happy Anniversary!

Anonymous said...

What a fun wedding Proposal.
Happy Anniversary! Hope you feel better. The last picture of the
pasta dish, made me hungry. :)

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Vanessa, that is sooo sweet! My goodness! What a fantastic creative proposal! So so sweet! Hope you feel better soon so you can enjoy a romantic date with your sweetheart! :)

Lindsey @ FRESH AIR + FRESH FOOD said...

I love the recipe Vanessa! I have a squash pasta recipe too that I love. Very different from your though, so I'm gonna have to give yours a try! Thanks!.

Unknown said...

Happy Anniversary!
What a glorious wedding picture...
I LOVE your date night. My husband and I would do that very same thing when our kids were young. My favorite was when he would surprise me with a dessert that he stopped to get on his way home from work!
Keep up the good work!

The Decorative Dreamer said...

Yum! I copied that recipe for sure! I love almost any type of pasta dish! The Mr. loves squash so this should be a hit. So funny about the homeless marriage proposal and the zebra bag, he's a keeper allright! LOL! Also want to say what a beautiful wedding photo! Happy Anniversary, I do hope you get to feeling better before your big night out. Take care!

Unknown said...

What a fantastic post - your hubby's proposal was so creative! I can hear your love for him in the tone of your writing. Many blessings to you both!!!


michelle said...

Happy Anniversary my friend!! What a wonderful story and a great way to propose!! :) You knew he was a keeper at that point!! :) I hope you have a wonderful weekend with you family and wonderful date night with you hubby!! Here is to many more!!

Melissa Miller said...

Happy Anniversary Vanessa! You two are so sweet and I adore the idea of date night. My hubs and I eat sometimes at our table in the family room and watch movies too. He! The recipe sounds really delish. I will try it soon.

Thanks for hosting sweet friend!
Warmly, ~Melissa :)

Anita Diaz said...

Happy Anniversary and what a sweet tribute to your hubby!!! I hope you are feeling better too! That recipe looks so great. Your wedding photo is just beautiful!!

Debbie said...

Oh where oh where do I begin??

I guess with Happy Anniversary! I love how that man proposed to you. It made me smile as I was reading. Seriously... what a fun idea.

I also love the wedding picture. AWESOME against that window. Oh my!!

I love your date night idea, and I wish I could say that we did that too. We didn't. We're trying to make up for it now with the empty nest.

And here's a little something I should be ashamed to admit. I have never... ever... either eaten or cooked butternut squash.

So you, dear bloggy friend, have INSPIRED me to try it. Yep. I am buying some this coming week.

I was planning an inspiration post for today. I even took a field trip with the shiny red kodak recently for a picture. Unfortunately, this past busy week has me all turned around. I'm having enough trouble catching up on favorite blogs let alone writing a post. UGH.

Traci said...

We went to Malibu once & Pepperdine was soooo pretty. The view from their baseball field was fantastic! Happy Anniversary! Oct. is a pretty popular month.Our anniv. was Monday & I have 2 friends that were also married in Oct. Have a great weekend!

Elaine said...

Vanessa, that is by far one of the neatest wedding proposals I have ever heard of! Happy Anniversary....also loved your penne recipe and can't wait to try it! :)

Unknown said...

Happy Anniversary! I love how your husband proposed. Your date night at home is a great idea. Dinner without interruptions - what's that?! : )

The pasta looks so good - I'm gonna have to try your recipe.

Thrifty Decor Mom

Christie said...

I did'nt have anything to link up, but wanted to visit my friend! I just love my visits over here! That proposal could not be any more awesome AND hilarious!! Love the recipe and will try it! My poor family has been eating spaghettio's lately, while I finish some projects! So, this looks so yummy to me, after all the quick meals we have been eating! Have a wonderful weekend! See other comments below, too! Christie

Richella Parham said...

Hi Vanessa--I found you from Marla's blog. Happy anniversary! Your wedding photo is beautiful--I love the Pepperdine chapel. Did you go to school there? I have some friends who teach there, but I'd never visited until this past spring--what a beautiful place!

Hope you and your husband have a wonderful weekend and here's to many more happy years together!

Tatum @ Tatum's Take said...

Hey Vanessa,

Thanks for introducing me to the linky parties! I never knew what they were and was a bit intimidated when it came to linking to yours. Thanks for the opportunity and I will be back!

High Street Cottage said...

Hi Vanessa, what a lovely, lovely post. I actually got a bit teary reading it. In a couple of months I'll celebrate my 27th anniversary. And thinking ahead to what I'll either make, or where we'll go. Thank you for joining my blog, and for the kind words you posted there. Looking forward to participating in your link party, tami from the high street cottage

Karen said...

Yummy pasta dish! I love the flavors...butternut squash and sage are a match made in heaven! Great date-night dish.

Carol said...

We celebrate with you on your
12th anniversary. We do very well remember that beautiful day! Congratulation.
Your marriage brings us joy!

We love you,

Mom and Dad

Unknown said...

Happy Anniversary! That recipe sounds delish and I can't wait to make it-I'll let you know how it turned out! Thanks!

KimMalk said...

Oh, how fun. I love your husband's idea of proposing. I also think your date night in, is a good idea. Let's face it sometimes hanging out in your own home is a treat.

Unknown said...

Vanessa, thank you for joining this week's potluck! I love this story so much and am glad to be re-reading!

Lisa said...

What a gorgeous plate of pasta. I'd go back for seconds on that one.

Kristi said...

This looks delicious!! Can't wait to try it!!! :)