Week 4: Wookie Legs in Venezuela

Ok ok, I know I’m a day late.  It’s been a crazy week….ok that’s not true….it’s been a lazy week.  You know, you have those weeks where as soon as the kids go to bed you just lay your head down and bam, out till the next day.  That was mostly my week.  Thank God for Home Date Night though.  Something to break up the norm.  New food, New Fun, and you get to hang out with the greatest person on earth…your spouse.  Join us as we take a trip to Venezuela.

Date night started off kind of normal. Got home and the kids and mommy were upstairs.  Now most of the time they have no idea that I’ve slipped into the house.  So I make it my goal to scare the crud out of them if I can. It’s better if I get it on video.

Well, after I freaked them out I slipped into the bedroom where my wife was relaxing and watching some TV.  I jumped on the bed and layed my head on her legs.  Then I made this sound:

That’s the sound I make when my wife hasn’t shaved her legs in like….a month.  Ok, to be fair, it probably hadn’t been a month…maybe 29 days.

Wife: “Oh whatever, it’s not that bad”

Me: “Not that bad if we live in France”

Wife: “You love it”

You know, something happens about a year after you are married, it’s like all of the sudden your wife realizes that shaving her legs once every couple of days kind of sucks.  Somehow woman rationalize this by convincing themselves nobody is going to see it if they just wear jeans.  Then, you find out that the only time they are shaving their legs is when they know they are going to have to wear shorts.  If you are still a young couple you probably haven’t noticed this phenomena yet.  Just giving you a little warning guys….just rub your hands through your own legs and get used to the feeling…learn to love it.

Ok, after that we did the norms of getting the kids into bed and time for Date night to commence.  Since we were visiting Venezuela we decided to mix things up a bit.  We were going to make an appetizer/main dish and a dessert.

For our appetizer/main dish my wife wanted to make Reina Pepiada : Arepas with Chicken and Avocado.  I won’t blame you if you stop reading the blog now and go down to the recipe, run to the store and make this dish.  It was amazing.  I made it later in the week again because it was so good.

 

The Arepas dish was going to be more than enough food to fill us up so I wanted to use my new Kitchen Aid Mixer and make a dessert. AAAAAAHHHHHHHH !!!!!!! *Little girl squeal* .  If you have been following the blog for any amount of time you know how much I’ve wanted a Kitchen Aid Mixer.  I now am the proud owner of one.  My wife finally bought it for me for Christmas and I absolutely love it.

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Now you might be saying, “Damn, this dude needs his man card taken away”.  To that I say, “I gave that up the day I said I do….so mine as well embrace the baker inside of me.”

To restore your faith in my manhood she did get me a bunch of fishing stuff.  Anyways, back to manly baking machine that is the Kitchen Aid Mixer. *pause in writing the blog while I go hug the Kitchen Aid Mixer*.

Ok, for dessert I made Venezuelan Polvorosas.  These cookies were mouthwatering.  I couldn’t stop eating them and they were super easy to make.  My mom makes a similar cookie during Christmas time that it reminded me of.  I’ll have to get her recipe and see how similar they are.  It’s a crunchy cookie but great with a cup of milk or hot coffee.  I ate them the next 4 days for breakfast.  Plus they are good for people that want to gain weight.  You know about 1% of the population.

My wife turned on Alexa and asked her to play some latin music.  I think Venezuelan music is similar to all type of Hispanic music.  Most of it was Salsa which always makes my wife happy and dancing all over.  I could tell she was in a fantastic mood and this was going to be a great date night.

Since my meal was towards the end I decided to help her out with hers.  She was glad to let me help….so now I know she is in a really good mood…..until….

Wife: These avocados are as hard as a rock !

Me: ummmmm will they still work?

Wife: yeah sure they will work – in about 4 more days when they are ripe

Me: sooooooo what I hear is you need a man to come mash them because of your woman muscles?

*Avacodo thrown past my head*

Me: Sorry, when I hear Shakira singing she just inspires me to be manlier.

Wife: Don’t worry, I’ll run to the store quick while the chicken is cooking and see if they have some ripe ones.

It is nice that we live close to a supermarket.  It was good that she went too because I would probably just buy more not ripe avocados.

While she was gone I went ahead and chopped up all the ingredients for the avocado chicken mix.  I kind of like chopping up vegetables.  Its good practice for when I’m on Master Chef.  Gordon Ramsay will be so impressed with my knife skills and good looks he will probably just give me my own restaurant

While I’m daydreaming of my future career as a world renowned chef, my wife returns home.

Wife: Hey, Ramsay, these are ripe avocados.

Me: *as I feel them I can’t really tell the difference but I say*  aaaaahhhh babe, you are right…these are much different and will work better.  

You gotta know when it’s worth it to fight for your rights….avocados are not worth it.

Now my wife takes a butter knife in her hand and holds the avocado in the other and proceeds to hold it and cut it at the same time.

Me: Probably not the best idea, just cut it on the table.

Wife: I’ve been doing it this ways since I was 5….see  OOOOOOWWWWWWEEEEEEE!!!!!

*wife slices into the palm of her hand*

Now, this is usually a good time to feel proud and belt out the “I told you so”.  But to say that to a Rican woman, holding a knife while she just cut herself and is in some pain…..no….I choose life.

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Well, we got her patched up and I helped finish up the rest of the meal.   While the Arepas were cooking in the oven I went ahead and made the cookies.  She helped me roll them out and press the fork in.

By this time we were both starving.  The Arepas finished and we filled them with the chicken avocado mix of heaven and they were absolutely wonderful.  We were both able to eat about 2 each.  They are pretty filling.  While we ate I shoved in the cookies to bake and we started on our activity.

The activity was nothing crazy.  Since we are still in January we decided to make one of those Mason Jars that you keep through the year and add little pieces of paper with positive things that happen to you throughout the year, or things you are thankful for.  What we plan on doing is close to the end of the year we would go live on Facebook on one of our home date nights and read through them…..well, the PG-13 ones.

So we dug into our Martha Stewart side, got some ideas from Pinterest and decorated a mason jar.  I bought some colored sticky notes.  We just grabbed some items from my wife’s crafting stuff and decorated together….ok, she decorated, I watched and critiqued.  She is really crafty so she makes it looks simple but awesome.  We set it up on the window sill and my wife grabs the first note and writes something down and adds it to the jar.

Me: really already, what did you write?

*Wife grabs my hand and gives me the look*

Wife: Wookies need love too !!

Well, I hope you have enjoyed our At Home Date Night.  Please share and leave comments.  We love to also hear stories of other’s at home date nights.  You can join our facebook group.  Just search At Home Date Night in FB. This way, you will get a notice when we post.  It’s usually every Friday, but this week I failed.  I do have to say that next week will be tough for us to do an At Home Date night. We are going to try. I have to travel to California next week for business and might not be able to write the blog.  So the next one might be posted two weeks from now.  I’ll do my best though.  Thanks for reading and remember, Your Marriage is Worth It !!!

Main Dish:  Reina Pepiada, Arepas with Chicken and Avocado

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ITEM QTY Cost Notes
Boneless Chicken 1lb $4.00  
Small Yellow Onion ½ $0.99 Sliced
Bay leaf 1 $0.00 I had a little jar of these dried out, I used one of them
Peppercorns 5 $2.39 I didn’t have peppercorns
Salt ½ tsp $0.00  
Haas avocados 2 $3.00  
Mayonnaise 2 TBS $1.59 I bought a small jar
Lime juice 1 TBS $0.50 I bought a real lime and squeezed it, gave me roughly 1 TBS
Red Bell Pepper ½ $2.00 Finely chopped
White Onion 3 TBS $0.99 Finely chopped
Cilantro 3 TBS $0.99 Finely chopped
Jalapeno pepper ½ $1.29 Finely chopped
Garlic 2 tsp $1.59 Finely chopped
Ground black pepper ¼ tsp $0.00  
       

 

ITEM QTY Cost Notes
White corn flour 3 cups $3.50 P.A.N or Masarepa
Warm water 3 ¼ cups $0.00 Sliced
Salt 1 tsp $0.00  
Cooking oil 1 TBS $0.00 You may need more
       

 

Total Cost: $23.00  Wow, that was expensive, but it makes enough to have two full meals.  Plus there is enough white corn, and if you have all the seasonings it’s much cheaper.

Enjoyment Ratings:

Husband: 10

Wife: 10

Directions:

This is an easy dish you will be making for the rest of your life now.  It was sooooooooooo good and it makes enough to eat for dinner and then lunch the next day.  Now, will your kids enjoy it? Probably not because it doesn’t come in a little sealed pack with “gummies” written across it or a bag with an orange fish on the front.  Ok here’s how to make this masterpiece.

First you want to poach the chicken.  This takes the longest to cook so get it started. In a big pot place two pieces of boneless chicken breast (approx. 1lb) and fill the pot with cold water and cover the chicken by an inch or two.

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Add in the 5 peppercorns, ½ slicked yellow onion, 1 bay leaf, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Bring the pot to a boil and as soon as it’s boiling turn it down to simmer and let it cook for about 15-20 minutes.  You need the chicken to be cooked through.  Ok, while that is cooking move on to the Arepas

Preheat the oven to 350F.  In a large bowl add in the warm water.  Then add in the salt and stir it in so it dissolves. Pour the corn flour in and start kneading it.  Make sure to there are no lumps.  After this is done let it sit for about 3-5 minutes.  You don’t need to use the mixer for this. It doesn’t take that long to knead.

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This much dough will make you about 8 Arepas.  So just divide your mix into 8 equal parts.  Then form the arepas by making them into a ball, then flatten them to about ½ inch.  Rub your thumbs around the edges to make a nice seal.  They should be about 4” in diameter and ½ inch thick.

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In a non-stick pan or skillet add a little bit of oil and get it hot.  Medium high should be enough, but you want it hot because you are going to sear the arepas now.   You should be able to get 3 or 4 in the pan. Let them cook for about 4 minutes on each side.  They should look like the pictures

Once you are done searing them off place them straight on the oven wire rack.  Let them cook for about 15-20 minutes.  Once they are done pull them out and let them cool.  While they are cooking, time to make the Avocado Chicken mix……pure heaven.

Ok, this is going to take some serious knife skills.  Plus, don’t let your wife cut the avocado if she is a Rican. She will do it like they taught her on the island and end up slicing her hand.  Cut it like a normal safe person on a cutting board.

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Ok, while the Arepas and Chicken or cooking, finely chop up the red bell pepper (get rid of the seeds and ribs), finely chop the jalapeno pepper( again get rid of the seeds). Finely chop up the garlic, the cilantro, the white onion.  Add in the tablespoon of lime juice, the 2 tablespoons of mayo, and the two avacodos.  Now mash them all up till they are thoroughly mixed.   Add in salt and pepper to taste.  Once mixed in go ahead and cover it and set it in the fridge.

By this time the chicken might be done.  Pull the chicken out and let it set for about 2 minutes. Then start to shred it.  I use 2 forks and just dig them in and pull the chicken apart. This usually works pretty well.

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Once it’s nice and shredded, pull the avocado mix from the fridge and add the shredded chicken to it.  Mix it really good and add more salt or pepper if it needs some.

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At this point you are going to taste it one time and be like, “ WOW THIS IS AMAZING”  you are going to ask your wife to taste it again and she will slap your hand away…..don’t worry, it will soon be yours.

Ok, place the chicken avocado mixture back in the fridge.  The arepas should be done by now. Pull them from the oven and let them cool for about 5 min.  Once they are cool enough to handle, slice them and add the avocado chicken mixture to them.

As you are chowing down on this think to yourself, “I have the greatest wife in the entire world”

Dessert: Venezuelan Polvorosas

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 ITEM QTY Cost Notes
All purpose Flour 2 cups $0.00 you have almost all these items probably
Cinnamon ½ tsp $0.00  
Powdered sugar ½ cup $0.00  
Salt 1 pinch $0.00  
Sugar 1 cup $0.00  
Vanilla Extract 1 tsp $2.39  
Vegetable shortening 1 cup $3.59  
       

Total Cost: ~$ 6.00  !!!! well worth it.  and now that I have the vanilla extract and vegetable shortening I can make a bunch more batches and gain about 10 lbs…can’t wait !!!

Enjoyment Ratings:

Husband: 10

Wife: 9

Directions:

These might be my new favorite cookie.  I don’t know what it is about them, I just loved them. Probably because I made them and I was feeling pretty proud.  Anyways, these cookies are ridiculously easy to make….of course if you have a Kitchen Aid mixer like this guy it is now extremely easy.

Pre-heat the oven to 350F.  It’s probably already at 350F because you needed it at this temp to make the Arepas. Find and cookie sheet or flat sheet and put some parchment paper on it. Set this to the side.

In a large bowl or the bowl that comes with your brand new Kitchen Aid Mixer, add the 1 cup of Vegetable shortening and turn the mixer on low for 30 seconds to cream it.

Then add 1 cup sugar and the pinch of salt and continue to mix for about 30 more seconds or until it looks incorporated.  Then add the vanilla extract and cinnamon.

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Turn off the mixer and scrap the sides

Turn it back on and just make sure it’s at the lowest setting.  Then start to slowly add in the flour.  You will be tempted as you add in more sugar to put the mixer on a higher setting.  Don’t be an idiot like me and try to speed this up.  Just mix it on slow until it’s just starting to completely combine.  I’m new to baking, don’t judge me.  One day , when I’m standing in front of Gordon Ramsey and he hands me the Master Chef trophy I’ll be thinking, “wow, from no named blogger who didn’t even know to keep the mixer on low when mixing in flour to greatest home cook in the world”.  You gotta dream big folks

Ok, now rolls little balls about 1 tablespoon size.  Place them on the cookie sheet about ½ inch apart from each other.  You should be able to get them all on one cookie sheet.

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Get a fork and slightly mash them down.  They might start to crumbled right there, that means you put the mixer on high like me.  It’s ok, they will still taste wonderful.  Just push them back together and very lightly mash them down with the fork until they don’t crumble.

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Bake them on the middle rack for 20-25 min.  Pull them out and place them on a wire rack to cool.  After about 5 minutes of cooling go ahead and transfer them to a large place and dust them with the powdered sugar.  Then shove as many down your gullet as you can because you won’t want to stop eating them.  Plus they are healthy…..ok…that’s not true, but I tell myself that.  These are also awesome with milk.

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Activity: Thankful Mason Jar

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ITEM QTY Cost Notes
Mason Jar 1 $0.00 You usually have to buy these in packs, so you can save an old spaghetti jar, clean it and use this.
Notepad 1 $2.00 I like the colored pads.  They make the jar look cook as they start to add up.
Craft Items as much as you want $2.00 You shouldn’t spend more than 5 bucks on supplies, just find some crafty stuff around the house or your wife probably has some. My wife bought a few things at the store.

 Total Cost: $ 4.00

Directions:  

I don’t even really have to explain this.  Decorate a Jar, and leave it in a place that both of you see a lot. We put it over our kitchen sink on the window sill.  We always see it there and it reminds us to fill out the notes and drop them in.  Leave a pen there too.  That way you aren’t looking for a pen to write something down.  You will probably put it off till later if you don’t have everything ready right there….and we know what happens when a guy puts something off till later…….yeah…it never gets done.

But if you needed an idea here you go. My wife bought some little thank you cards. She took off the lid of the mason jar and cut out the “Thank You” symbol of the card with in the shape of the lid

 

She then bought these little things to hang around the jar to decorate it.  Add the colorful cute notepads and there you go.

img_0337Done !!!  I’m thankful for my wife. She is crafty….in more than one way.

Total At Home Date Night Cost: $33.00   Not bad !!!!!

Thanks again for joining us.  We hope you enjoy the blog and continue to follow us.  Have a great day!!!

Christmas Savings 2017 Shadow Box deposits

Option 1: $49.00 Total saved: $202.00

Option 2: $26.00   Total saved: $98.00

Option 3: $10.00   Total saved: $40.00

UNTIL NEXT WEEK…….Because your marriage is worth it !!!

 

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