29 Years of Wedded Bliss

flowers and sapphire ring
Such a sweet husband I have…

28 years of anniversaries were typically celebrated with travel, getaways, dinner out and of course, being a military family, deployments requiring delayed celebrations. Regardless, the day does not go without notice. This year, given the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be remembered in its own way. Since there was no option for a luxurious dinner out, where we would be served glistening glasses of wine, scrumptious meals or divine desserts, I settled on my own way of honoring our lives together – with beef, of course! I grew up on a farm, and beef is in my DNA. There is no other, ok, better meat in my opinion. When I suggested to my husband I could make Beef Wellington, he responded with, “but, that sounds really complicated.” Well, that sounded like a challenge to me, so I was committed and off to the store I went to buy the one and only beef tenderloin on the shelf.

After watching the Gordon Ramsey ‘how to’ YouTube video, I felt confident I could do this! I selected a recipe from Delish.com and added the necessary ingredients to my shopping list: mushrooms, shallots, prosciutto, and frozen puff pastry dough.

The end result? A fabulously tasty beef that we get to enjoy for leftovers as well. Isn’t it beautiful??

I served the Beef Wellington with Miriam’s Mashed Potatoes and fresh mixed vegetables, and concluded the evening with a tuxedo black and white cake courtesy of my mom and dad.

Miriam’s Mashed Potatoes

An impressive mashed potato dish!
Servings: 6
Author: Darlene Glatnz Skees


  • 6 large baking potatoes
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 4 tbls grated American cheese
  • paprika


  • Peel potatoes and cook until done.
  • Drain and mash, adding the butter and milk. Beat until fluffy.
  • Spoon into a greased casserole, beat the whipping cream until stiff and spread over the potatoes.
  • Scatter the grated cheese on top and dash a bit of paprike over the whipped cream.
  • Bake at 350° until topping is golden.


Instead of whipping the cream by hand or with a mixer, I have a beautiful, stainless steel whipped cream dispenser with nitrous oxide chargers that makes perfect whipped cream in less than a minute making this chore simple.
I use whatever grated cheese I have on hand. Colby Jack will work just as well as American, or try Gruyere or another hard European cheese.
I am currently trying to use oat milk instead of dairy 2% and the results were just as good.
Dinner is served…

A few things I learned…

  1. The ham I used had too much fat in it, causing the bottom of the pastry to get too soft and soggy. Use very lean ham/prosciutto
  2. I neglected to use enough egg wash to seal the pastry super tight. You can see the slight gap along the bottom where the shell became loose
  3. I could have wrapped the cellophane even tighter before chilling
  4. It is possible that making 2-3 smaller Beef Wellington’s might have been easier than this 2 1/2-3 lb baby. I might try that next time….
  5. If you use foil on your baking pan, spray it with non-stick spray first. I had a terrible time serving because the pastry was stuck to the foil and you don’t want your loved ones to get foil caught in their teeth and fillings! That does not make for a romantic evening
  6. You need 2 1/2 hours to prepare this fabulous meal. I highly recommend you set aside 3 hours to give yourself plenty of time and avoid shortcuts, as well as to be sure your beef is cooked to your preferred temperature

While there were no servers, dishwashers, or sous chefs involved in this anniversary dinner, it was a very special meal and absolutely perfect. Happy Anniversary to my dear husband and I hope this meal provides for you a perfect evening with those you love.


Copyright © 2020 Montana Mountain Maven / Tina R. Cusker. All rights reserved.

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