Today is my second wedding anniversary. On October 24, 2008 Steve and I were married in Millcreek Canyon near our home in Salt Lake City. The weather was perfect, the fall colors were at their peak, and it was the most beautiful day.

And it’s been two wonderful years.

For this next round of Project Food Blog we were challenged to take a meal on the road. Since it happened to coincide with our anniversary, we decided it would be fun to take a picnic up Millcreek Canyon and celebrate the occasion.

Of course, the weather two years ago was extraordinary. This year, we weren’t so lucky. The forecast called for a weekend full of rain and cold temperatures, even snow in the mountains. So we packed up some extra blankets and a big umbrella with our meal, waited for a break in the weather, and made the most of it.


It had rained all morning, but for the moment it was lovely. Overcast and chilly, but nice enough weather for a fall picnic.


We set out a blanket on a bed of fallen leaves, opened a bottle of champagne, and enjoyed a casual lunch together.







We had mini quiches with spinach and bacon, roasted cream of tomato soup, pears, and raspberries from our backyard. The meal was light, delicious, and perfect for a picnic.

I baked something special for dessert. When we were in Venice last month we were given cookies at the end of dinner while dining out one evening. They were in the shape of an “S”, soft, and buttery with a hint of lemon. I thought they were amazing.

As far as I can tell they’re called Venetian Butter Cookies and they’re sort of like a cross between a sugar cookie and shortbread. But don’t let their simplicity fool you, they are very addictive. The one recipe I was able to find turned out remarkably close to the cookies we enjoyed in Venice, and they were a nice end to our casual picnic. For fun I baked the cookies in both A’s and S’s, for Annalise and Steve. It was our anniversary, after all.


Almost on cue, while we were finishing our cookies the heavens opened up and the rain came pouring down. We quickly gathered up our picnic and rushed to the shelter of the car.


The picnic was short, but successful nonetheless. It reminded me of our wedding day two years ago in that very place, and made me appreciate the life Steve and I share together, rain or shine.

Venetian Butter Cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Makes 2 dozen cookies

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 egg yolks
3 cups all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla, lemon zest, and salt and beat for a minute to combine. Add the egg yolks one at a time, mixing after each. Add the flour 1 cup at a time, mixing until just combined after each addition.

Take a walnut sized piece of dough and roll into a ball, then use your hands or a flat surface to roll the dough into a rope about 5 inches long and 1/2 inch thick. Shape the dough into an “S” and place on the parchment lined sheet pan.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until they just start to turn golden. Cool on a wire rack.

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41 Responses to Project Food Blog Challenge #6: Anniversary Picnic + a Recipe

  1. Alicia says:

    I absolutely love this post. I LOVE your pictures, especially the one of you together. Food sounds delicious. Great job!

  2. FOODalogue says:

    As a reader, this has been my favorite challenge. I'm loving the photography and the landscapes…and, of course, the menus. Good luck.

  3. cookeatlove says:

    What a beautiful setting. Good luck!

  4. Sippity Sup says:

    I love all the fall color I am seeing in so many of these PFB2010 posts. It's not something we have in LA so it's a treat. I also know for a fact those butter cookies are a treat because I have made them. GREG

  5. Amelia PS says:

    So sweet, Annalise.

  6. The Comfort of Cooking says:

    Oh, Annalise, this is so precious! What a lovely way to spend your anniversary, and a nice meal to enjoy it in such a pretty setting. Thanks for sharing. Happy anniversary!

  7. ~Lisa~ says:

    Congratulations on your anniversary! Your picnic lunch, beautiful location and photos are stunning.

  8. tspegar says:

    this is darling! congratulations and happy 2 years of marriage to you! beautiful colors, idea, food and drink.

  9. Maria says:

    Happy Anniversary! I love your photos! We went up Millcreek on Saturday. It is a beautiful time of year in Utah. I just wish we would of packed a fabulous picnic like yours:)

    We still need to meet up:) Hopefully soon!

  10. Asha @ FSK says:

    Happy Anniversary!!!! :))) The first photo is simply breataking!!! and a lovely post..

  11. Ravenous Rowie says:

    Beautiful post! Your meal looks so easy and delicious! What a gorgeous place for a picnic. Happy anniversary, and good luck with the contest!

  12. Libby says:

    Darn! I was hoping for a recipe for that cream of tomato soup, getting ready to make some myself :D Happy Anniversary!

  13. Mindy says:

    Congratulations on your anniverary- and a beautiful picnic to celebrate it. I love the fairytale component to it.

  14. Tiny Urban Kitchen says:

    Wow, such breathtaking scenery! I love the little cookies – absolutely adorable.

  15. Heena @ Tiffin Tales says:

    You liked my fall photos?! Yours are absolutely divine. The last one is my favorite. Congratulations on your anniversary and wish you many more happy years filled with joyful picnics.

  16. Taylor says:

    Happy Anniversary! I loved your post/entry for Project Food Blog…it was sweet, personal, and creative!

  17. riceandwheat says:

    Happy anniversary to my fellow anniversary-picnickers! My husband and I trail you guys by a year though and also, no way would we have gotten such gorgeous fall colors out here for the wedding or picnic – jealous! :) Good luck this round!

  18. Lucia from Madison says:

    Congratulations on you Anniverary. Love your blog. I am a new visitor. Good luck in the contest.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Perfect surrounding! Thank for your sharing…. :_)

  20. Artistta says:

    What a beautiful fall day and a lovely post. You certainly have my vote!

  21. Jacob's Kitchen says:

    What a beautiful setting for a picnic. All the food sounds incredible, and your photos are really lovely, as always. Nicely done. I voted for you!

    Good luck! Hope to see us both in round 7!!! =)

    Happy anniversary!

  22. We Are Not Martha says:

    Happy anniversary!! The food looks fantastic.. Especially the cute little cookies :) Good luck!!


  23. Julie @ Willow Bird Baking says:

    What a GORGEOUS setting for a picnic! Sorry about the rain, but you definitely made the best of it! Happy anniversary!!

  24. Daydreamer Desserts says:

    Despite the rain looks like you had a very cozy and yummy anniversary picnic. Congrats on the 2 years! :)

  25. Alissa @ Not Just Apples says:

    what a beautiful post! happy anniversary, and good luck :)

  26. salt lake city catering says:

    Very interesting post……..really good one….I like it very much…..beautiful…….
    Thanks for sharing…..

  27. Damaris says:

    how could i not vote for you? i do love romance!

  28. Mr. & Mrs. P says:

    Loved your post!!!!!! We were just up in NC and saw beautiful color just lke in your pics!

  29. Mr. & Mrs. P says:

    Loved your post!!!!!! We were just up in NC and saw beautiful color just lke in your pics!

  30. Mr. & Mrs. P says:

    Loved your post!!!!!! We were just up in NC and saw beautiful color just lke in your pics!

  31. Mr. & Mrs. P says:

    Loved your post!!!!!! We were just up in NC and saw beautiful color just lke in your pics!

  32. Mr. & Mrs. P says:

    Loved your post!!!!!! We were just up in NC and saw beautiful color just lke in your pics!

  33. Frieda says:

    Happy Anniversary! Just found you on the Hive. I love your blog and your photos…so beautiful! I'm adding you to my reader and catching up~

  34. jen cheung says:

    Congratulation for making to challenge #6!!! You've got my vote again this round! Congrats & Best wishes to making to next round :)

    Have a great week
    jen @

  35. The Cilantropist says:

    Just love the photo of you eating the soup, it looks like you couldn't be happier! :) Just voted!

  36. Wheels and Lollipops says:

    Congratulations and what better way to celebrate. Your post made me remember those cookies that I had in Venice a few years ago, will bookmark. Good Luck !

  37. Winnie says:

    What a sweet and beautiful post. Happy anniversary, and I'm voting for you :)

  38. jennaseverythingblog says:

    Great pictures and delicious-looking meal! I'm voting for you now. =) Happy anniversary.

  39. Liren says:

    Aw, what a lovely way to celebrate your anniversary! Congratulations on two years of marriage, and a wonderful celebration!

  40. Dale ~ Julie says:

    ah Venice … that was the best dinner … guess what I'm making tonight …

  41. Very nice post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have truly loved browsing your weblog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your feed and I am hoping you write again very soon!

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