On this day in 2009, Patrick proposed at Simon Pearce Restaurant in Quechee, Vermont. We were on our way to the Mad River Valley for a long weekend when he suggested we stop at one of my favorite restaurants for lunch. I was thrilled! After a leisurely meal of rich, cheddar soup, airy scones, and Vermont draught beer, Patrick suggested we visit the restaurant’s deck where you can see the adjacent waterfall. Despite what sounds like a total set-up, I had no idea what was coming. No sooner had we walked onto the deck that I turned around to see him down on one knee. Well, the rest is history –  and these days, that day feels like ancient history…

Minutes after I said yes!

Minutes after I said yes!

Five years later, we are driving to Vermont again for the long weekend, but with a toddler in tow. However, we were fortunate to celebrate the holiday, albeit a bit early, last weekend with another delicious meal, this time in Williamsburg, Brooklyn at St. Anselm. Sitting at the bar, we split a duck rillette appetizer, a plate of roasted shoshito peppers, a side of spinach gratin and I had a juicy, hanger steak with garlic butter while Patrick dug into a bourbon-soaked pork chop. Divine. It smelled so good at the restaurant that I told our waiter I wanted to live there. I think Patrick was bit embarrassed.

As you can tell, the way to this lady’s heart is through her stomach and in honor of this day of hugs and kisses I have prepared several meals for you that bring together ingredients that I love: artichokes, macaroni and cheese, shallots, olives, kielbasa, etc. Hope you enjoy them!

xoxo, Kelly

(Meals should feed four adults and take about 30-40 minutes to prepare, or the time it takes Patrick to give Eliza a bottle and put her to bed.)

Meal #1: Kale, White Bean, and Kielbasa Stew + Bread
Meal #2: Roasted Wild Striped Bass with Lemon, Olives, and Rosemary + Roasted Fennel with Artichoke Hearts
Meal #3: Macaroni and Cheese with Prosciutto + Green Salad
Meal #4: Roasted Chicken Thighs with Tomatoes, Olives, and Feta + Sauteed Green Beans with Shallots

Your Grocery List, excluding the usual pantry items:
kale – 1 large bunch
lemon – 3
fennel – 2
lettuce or mixed greens – 1 head or bag
grape or cherry tomatoes – 1 pint or container
shallots – 7
rosemary – 1 bunch
green beans – 1 ½ lb.
kalamata olives – ¼ cup
Spanish olives – ½ cup (or just buy more of the kalamata olives and use those instead)
artichoke hearts – 2 cans
chicken broth – 1 small can
white beans (cannellini or navy) – 2 small cans
small elbow macaroni – 1 box
Gruyere cheese – approx. ½ lb.
whipping or heavy cream – 1 small container or 8 oz.
whole milk – 1 small container or 8 oz.
feta cheese – ¼ lb.
baguette or Italian bread
Parmesan cheese (if you don’t already have it)
ground nutmeg (if you don’t already have it)
thinly sliced prosciutto – 3 oz.
wild striped bass – 1 ½ lb. fillet
bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs – 8 or approx. 2 ½ lbs.
kielbasa – ½ lb.