Romantic Dinner Recipes – Anniversary Edition

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Romantic dinner recipes really depend on the memories and experiences associated with them. Good, wholesome food can be special without being complicated or expensive. Check out this line up of romantic dinner recipes.

Romantic Dinner Recipes - Anniversary Edition | Good Cheap Eats

This weekend is my 22nd wedding anniversary, so allow me to go all sappy on you. It was the best day of my life — next to having all the babies. It was a beautiful, budget wedding. Not too much, not too little. Just right.

One of the best things — besides my new hubby, of course — was the food!

You knew I would say that, right? Check out how serious I am at the buffet table. Of course, that’s nothing compared to the zeal on the face of our groomsmen. It was, indeed, a fabulous meal.

We wanted folks to be relaxed. No Martha garden party for us. Instead, the tables were graced with red checked tablecloths, mason jars filled with wildflowers, and utensils wrapped in white linen and tied with raffia.

Because raffia was really, really cool in 1994. Trust me.

My aunts have finally recovered from tying 200 raffia bundles. Though I’m not sure they’ve forgiven me. It was payback for my Aunt Cass making me polish brass curtain rings for her wedding.

Romantic Dinner Recipes - Anniversary Edition | Good Cheap Eats

Back to the Romantic Dinner Recipes….

Because we went for that casual, backyard BBQ theme, we had typical BBQ fare, very similar to these recipes. I had worked for our caterers in college, so I know all their secrets!

Romantic Dinner Recipes - Anniversary Edition | Good Cheap Eats

Grilled Tri-tip

Romantic Dinner Recipes - Anniversary Edition | Good Cheap Eats

Grilled Marinated Chicken

Romantic Dinner Recipes - Anniversary Edition | Good Cheap Eats

An array of salads: Classic Potato

Romantic Dinner Recipes - Anniversary Edition | Good Cheap Eats

Italian Chicken Pasta Salad

Romantic Dinner Recipes - Anniversary Edition | Good Cheap Eats

Fresh Fruit

Romantic Dinner Recipes - Anniversary Edition | Good Cheap Eats

Caesar Salad

Romantic Dinner Recipes - Anniversary Edition | Good Cheap Eats

Italian Rolls with butter

A college roommate had a boyfriend who was a pastry chef, so they gifted us the cake. It was chocolate brownie filled with raspberries and topped with a cream cheese frosting. I’m going to need to experiment….

Romantic Dinner Recipes - Anniversary Edition | Good Cheap Eats

In a word: the menu was perfect. Of course, neither of us got to eat very much at the reception. There was just too much going on. And we had to dance the Hokey Pokey.

Yes, really. A friend of my dad’s served as our DJ, something he did as a side job anyway. Unfortunately, he helped himself a little too much to the self-serve bar. Thus, the Hokey Pokey.

And there was a party crasher jazz singer. (True story.)

So the entertainment was just at its height, of course, to distract us from eating. Thanks to my little pack of high school friends, however, we didn’t starve.

Later that night, when I forgot my wallet and all our money for the first days of our honeymoon, we dug into the picnic basket that the girls had packed for us. It was full of leftovers from the wedding feast. Perfect! We picnicked on that meal all over again.

A romantic meal doesn’t have to be fancy. It just needs to be shared with the one you love. Well, wild flowers and linens tied in raffia don’t hurt, of course.

What are your favorite romantic dinner recipes?

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Stephanie M. says

    Hi Jessica: First let me say happy anniversary to you and hubby. You make a beautiful couple. I’m so happy for you and I know you will have an awesome anniversary! Beautiful pictures. They bring back such wonderful memories and your reception looks so sweet and inviting. Love it. And, of course, you were a beautiful bride!

    You will probably laugh but my favorite romantic dinner has always been and will always be chicken parmesan, spaghetti or penne pasta, stuffed clams and garlic bread with crème brulee for dessert. I don’t really know why; it’s just always been that way. There isn’t much in the way of food that I don’t like. I’m not fussy at all but this particular dinner is just my favorite thing to make when I want a nice quiet romantic date night dinner with hubby. Of, course, being a romantic myself, I really believe you can make ANY dinner romantic with the right atmosphere; dim lights, candles, nice music and maybe a tablecloth. Meatloaf can make a romantic dinner if that’s what you’re in the mood for. I have been known to order Chinese take out and set up nice dishes on our dining room table with candles. I love anything to do with a romantic date night or day. But at the end of the day, chicken parmesan is usually what I make when I want a romantic date night. Last summer, I made chicken parmesan and spaghetti and stuffed clams and I sliced some fresh basil and grated some nice romano cheese packed it all up in my wicker picnic basket which is always preloaded with napkins, paper plates, utensils, salt and pepper, a tablecloth and wet hand wipes, and waited for hubby to come from work. Right before we left, I heated everything up and we headed off the a local park by a lake only about 10 minutes away and ate our dinner there. It was really nice but again, chicken parmesan was it. LOL Date day breakfasts are nice too. One time, I packed that picnic basket with eggs benedict, hash brown potatoes, fruit and a pitcher of mimosas and we went to a different lake very close to our home. I set up the tablecloth and everything and we sat there eating this breakfast. At first, I think hubby was slightly embarrassed because the lake sits next to a busy road and people were looking, especially with the tablecloth but I didn’t care at all and after a while, he stood up and looked at the cars going by and declared “It’s good to be the king”. What a goofball !

    • Reading all your meal plans makes me hungry! Love it that Paul can enjoy being a king. 😉

      • Stephanie M. says

        LOL I let him enjoy being the king alright but the queen is the one with the power!!!! Ha Ha.

  2. Happy anniversary!

    I’m definitely making the Italian Sandwich rolls…they look great and my husband has finally admitted that the rolls I make (because of my dairy allergy) from King Arthur Flour’s Hearth Bread recipe are a little too dry for his taste. Yours have a higher percentage of liquid to flour, so I’m curious!

    In our house romantic food = lamb. My husband would always choose steak, but both of us love lamb. I was searching for prices for a whole lamb from local farmers, but it all came to the crazy price of about $10/lb. Thankfully, our Sprouts has a lamb sale this week, so I will be stocking up!

  3. Sandi says

    Happy anniversary!

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