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 !!!

 

Week 3: Dodging Axes, In Norway

I must apologize in advance for this blog.  This blog was actually written quite a bit ago when I thought I would start the blog back up.  I never posted it and saved it for when I thought something might happen and we couldn’t do date night one week.  I didn’t want to have to skip a week in this process, because as soon as I skip one, it’s much easier to skip another and then BAM !!! I give up.  So I have some of these gems in my pocket to pull out in certain circumstances.  My wife and kids were sick pretty much all week and it was difficult to do our planned Venezuelan date night. I was really looking forward to it and I know my wife was too.  So, I’ll leave you with our trip to Norway. I do have to say, this was a fun date night we had, the best part was I utterly slaughtered my wife at our activity.

The night started off pretty normal.  I got home from work and was handed over the keys of parental life.  You know what I mean guys, you get home, and you can just tell, It’s been a long day for your wife and she needs about an hour away from crazy town to get her wits back again.  It’s perfectly normal for this to happen and it happens to all of us. Women are a little unstable as it is, throw in kids and 5-6 hours of Hobby Kids mom on Youtube and it would drive about any person to the brink.  So give her that time. Let her decompress a little and you’ll see that the person you married many moons ago has returned, smiling, revitalized, and ready for a wonderful date with her knight in shining armor.  Sure the armor doesn’t fit as well anymore….but it’s still shiny.  Trust me, she appreciates it, even if it doesn’t show all the time I guarantee you she appreciates it.

So my wife headed upstairs and it was time for me to put on my big boy dad pants and tire these kids out.  My little one has been into pretending a lot. You know, acting like a dinosaur and of course, I’m the daddy dinosaur and we have to talk like dinosaurs and pretend to catch other dinosaurs and eat them…..yeah…..kill me.   You know, I’m not 21 anymore so crawling on my knees for an hour can do some damage…physically and mentally.  It’s ok though, he likes it and I know this phase will only last for about a year….yeah…kill me.   The older one rescues me though.  He likes to act like a crazed lunatic and jump on top of my back and act like another attacking dinosaur…this usually turns into an argument with the little one and then an all-out brawl takes place….this is my time to slip away and hide somewhere.  Usually crying happens shortly after, but at least I got a little break. I’m not quite sure how my dad did it. I had two older brothers and a younger sister and I can remember wrestling with my dad quite often.  Man, we would pound on him so hard.  Now I know why his body is so messed up and he walks like a bent piece of bread.  Thanks dad for letting us beat you up, it made us closer and I appreciate you way more now that my kids pound on me.

Well, I got them tired out and my back couldn’t take much more so I got them cleaned up and in bed.  My wife didn’t seem ready to come out of her cave so I headed downstairs to start date night.  I looked up her recipe and as I’m going through it I was like, “ Wow, I wonder if she read this, it looks like this is going to take 2-3 hours to make”.

Just then I hear this Viking music playing loudly and my wife comes down and she has made a viking helmet out of tin foil and is wearing it on her head and has covered one of her bras in tin foil and wearing it on the outside of her shirt.

Wife:  I’m ready for date night in Norway babe.

Me:  You are the absolute greatest wife that has ever lived !!!!

She never ceases to amaze me.  I wish she would let me post a picture of what she looked like. I just couldn’t stop laughing.  She is such a jokester and I love it.  This is why Date Night is so important. It reminds you that you are more than just a mom or just a dad, you are husband and wife, best friends who love being idiots together.

She kept the get up on for the rest of the night.

We started to make her dish.  She decided to make Norsk Kanelboller (Norwegian Cinnamon Twists). This is no walk in the park my friends.  I was like:

Me: did you read this?

Wife: yeah why?

Me: are you sure, because this is going to take like 2 hours?

Wife: WHAT ????

Me: well, good thing I don’t work tomorrow, we got this

Wife: Ok let’s do this !!!

I could tell the costume was making her feel like she could conquer the world.  Let’s just roll with it.  Well, we started to get into her dish and oh boy, we wished we hadn’t. This was a ton of work. Without a Kitchen Aid mixer this dish is extremely hard to make.   About halfway through the kneading process she was like

Wife: I think we should just throw this away and do something else.

Me: No way, we started it we are going to finish it.

Wife: no really, I don’t even think this recipe is accurate, the dough looks so weird and we’ve been doing this for 40 minutes now.

Me: We’ve come so far to give up now……ok let’s give up.

Wife: No ….we must endure.

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So we endured and 2 hours later we had the most amazing hot cinnamon buns.

While the dough was rising I made the Norwegian Meatballs.  They were super easy to make and really good.  She and I both loved them.  It doesn’t take too long to make and you need something to do while the dough is rising.  I will probably make meatballs this way for the rest of my life.  They were so tasty.

Ok, after eating it was time for our activity.  Since we were visiting Norway all I could think about was Vikings.  So we decided to have an axe throwing competition……..yeah…..no…….

Having axes in the same house with a Rican woman is probably not a good idea.  So I did the next best thing. We got a dart board and we were going to play a modified version to the game called cricket.

I got the dart board off of Amazon for like 20 bucks.  I’m not big into darts and she said she had never played (I knew this….it’s why I bought the thing).   I’ve been losing at competitive games since doing the home date night so I needed some kind of advantage. If you want to read about me getting humiliated in a game I should have destroyed her at…read this

I explained the rules and set up the board.  The way we were going to play was just try to hit 20, 19,18,17,16,15 three times each and in descending order.  The first person to close out all numbers won the game.

On my first shot….WAMO….double 20’s.  Her first shot…..nada.

Wife: This isn’t fair, the board is too high and I’m short, plus you are making me throw from so far away.

Me: I don’t care that’s the rules

Wife: *look of, I’m going to stab you with one of these darts*

Me: *trying to hide how fearful of her I truly am*

We continued to play and after 6-7 rounds I was on number 17 and she was still on 20….yeah…I’m destroying her.

Wife: This is so unfair.  This is physics you know…pure physics is not allowing me to win because my trajectory is harder to accomplish than yours

Me: *blank stare*…….Ok, you can move a little closer.

Wife moves closer and hits all her 20’s and moves onto 19.  At this point I’m a little scared….but of course I’m talking smack and looking like I have total confidence in myself.

After my next turn I nail all my 17’s and 1 16.

Wife:  Get on your knees and try to throw so you can see what I’m talking about.

Me: *gets on knees, throws first two darts and misses 16*

Wife:  See what I mean…see how much more difficult it is

Me: *throws third dart and hits triple 16*…….so I guess I’m better than physics…right?

Wife: *punches husband in the arm*

Me: yep…I deserved that.

Well, everyone, you will be happy for me.  I took her down and closed out the game shortly after.  Finally, I get one in the win column for Home Date Nights.

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She was a good sport about it.  She said good job and gave me a nice long congratulatory hug….no kiss though.

Well, we she headed upstairs for bed and I went in to clean up the kitchen.  I hear her call down and she says:

Wife: Hey, didn’t the Vikings like to explore and go raiding for villages for treasure?

Me: I’m not sure, I think a lot of that is myth and made up for dramatic TV shows.

Wife: *tosses down tin foil bra*  Well, maybe there are some lands up here that need exploring and still some hidden treasures to be found.

Me: *Makes Viking war call sound and runs upstairs as fast as possible*

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed our home date night and you are doing your own Home date nights. Please share your experience or share any ideas or thoughts on how we could improve the blog. We love to read comments or answer any questions you may have about the recipe’s.  Have a great week and we will see you next Friday.  Remember….Your Marriage is worth it !!!!

Appetizer : Norsk Kanelboller (Norwegian Cinnamon Twists)

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ITEM QTY Cost Notes
flour 8 cups $3.99
dry yeast 1 pkg $0.99
salt 1 tsp $0.00
ground cardemon 2 tsp $0.00
sugar 2/3 cup $0.00
egg 1 $0.00
whole milk 2 1/2 cups $0.00
Unsalted butter 2/3 cup $0.00
Cinnamon Paste QTY Cost Notes
Unsalted butter 1/2 cup $0.00
cinnamon 6 tsp $0.00
sugar 1/3 cup $0.00
egg 1 $0.00

Total Cost: $5.00  (honestly, you probably have most of these items)

Husband Rating: 9

Wife Rating: 9

The only reason these get a 9 is because they definitely need some kind of glaze….oh and it takes A FREAKEN LONG TIME TO MAKE !!!!   but it was worth it.

Directions:

Prepare yourself physically and mentally.  If you do not have a KitchenAid mixer you may curse…not once, but a lot….in a loving way though.  We do not have a KitchenAid mixer….so there may have been a few choice words said.

Ok, once you are prepared dump all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl (flour, dry yeast, salt, ground cardamom, sugar)

Add 1 egg to the dry mix and incorporate. This is where you start to wish you had a nice electric mixer.

Heat up the milk for like 30 seconds in the microwave. You don’t want it burning hot, just warm.  Now start to add the milk into the dry mixture and attach the imaginary dough hook (your hands) to the imaginary mixer (you) and start to mix everything together aaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnddddddddd…..let cursing commence as you knead the bajesus out of it.  When you think you are done kneading…knead a little more.  It should take you about 30 min….yeah….30 minutes.  If you read this recipe before you started than you have probably decided not to make it.  If not, then you are wishing you didn’t start it and are debating whether or not you want to throw all this flour away.  It’s a tough decision. We almost threw it all away, but we pushed through.

Ok, once kneaded (slightly sticky)…or so you think once kneaded,  melt the butter and add it to the dough ball in 1/3’s at a time.  This gets really messy without a mixer. Butter everywhere and it takes a long time to incorporate.  Probably another 15-20 minutes.

Once done, place the slimy dough ball into a bowl and cover with some plastic stuff, let the dough sit for about 45 min or until it has doubled in size….you see now why we were up so late.

While the dough is rising, in a mixing bowl mix ½ cup butter, 6 tbs cinnamon, 1/3 cup sugar, and 1 whisked egg and mix everything together to make a paste.  Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Ok, the dough has now risen, guess what? Time for more kneading.  On your counter top go ahead and lightly dust it with flour. The dough should be oily from all the butter you added.  Knead for about 5-7 more minutes

Once done with the kneading roll out the dough into a large flat circular form.

On half of it add the paste that you made and then fold over the other half onto the top of the paste.  Now cut long strips about an inch thick.

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Twist the buns as shown in the pictures below.

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Line a baking sheet with Parchment paper. Place the buns on the parchment paper and then put into the oven and bake for about 15 minutes.  Pull them out and admire your handy work.  Even without any glaze or topping these things are still good.  This makes a lot of buns. We were eating them for days.  They are great for breakfast.  I love buns

Main Dish : Norwegian Meatballs w/ Brown Gravy

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ITEM QTY Cost Notes
Ground beef 1 lb $3.99
unsalted butter 2 tbs $0.00
olive oil 1tbs $0.00
Onion 3/4 cup $0.99 grated
half and half 1/4 cup $2.49 you probably have this
egg 1 $0.00
kosher salt 1 1/2 tsp $0.00
ground nutmeg 1/4 tsp $0.00
ground allspice 1/4 tsp $0.00 just use whatever multi spice you have
black pepper 1/4 tsp $0.00
beef broth 4 cups $2.99
beef base 1 tbs $0.00 I had some beef boulon cubes..you probably have these too.  They are cheap either way
Kitchen Bouquet 1 tsp $2.99 I had to look this up to see what it was…its just some liquid flavoring
salt and pepper to taste $0.00

Total Cost: $13.45

Husband Rating: 10

Wife Rating: 10

Directions:

First you have to grate the onion.  I’ve never grated an onion before.  I figured you should just chop it up fine but I’m following the recipe so grating it is.  I think you can do it either way.  So grate ¾ of a cup and put it into a large mixing bowl.

Add ¼ cup of half and half, 2 tbs cornstarch, 1 egg, 1 ½ tsp kosher salt, ¼ tsp ground nutmeg, ¼ tsp ground allspice, and ¼ tsp ground black pepper.

Whisk all this together in the bowl.

Now comes the fun part, making the meatballs.  So dump in the pound of ground beef and mix everything together really well.

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Now make the meatballs.  Make them whatever size you want.

In a large frying pan on medium high heat 2 tbs unsalted butter and 1 tbs of olive oil.  Then add in the meatballs.  Just brown them, do not cook them all the way through. Seal in that flavor.

Once you are done with the meatballs put them off to the side. Then deglaze the frying pan with 3 1/2 cups of broth. Don’t throw away the little brown bits from browning the meatballs.

Stir in the beef base and bring the broth up to a boil.

In another bowl whisk together the flour and kitchen bouquet and the remaining ½ cup of beef broth.  Then add this mixture to the main broth in the frying pan.

Reduce down to a simmer and let it cook for 5 minutes.

Heat the oven to 400F.  In a roasting pot or something you can put in the oven go ahead and put all the meatballs in and pour over the broth.  Cover the pot and shove it in the oven and let it braise for 35-40 minutes.  Yeah, that’s a long time.

In the meantime you can make some mashed potatoes or some noodles.  You don’t need a side at all. These meatballs are fantastic by themselves and are full of flavor. Enjoy !!

Activity: Darts “A game of Cricket”

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Total Cost: $ 20.00

Enjoyment:

Husband: 10….of course…I WON

Wife: 1   just kidding, she had fun, she just doesn’t like to lose

Ok, this is really simple.  If you don’t have a dart board you can buy one off of amazon for like 20 bucks here. That’s pretty awesome. Yes, it’s not the nicest of dart boards but it will work.  This was a quick game which was good because we took so long on the buns…not the fun kind.

So the way we played Cricket was really a variation. It’s how I remember playing it.  Basically you make two columns and are trying to hit numbers 20,19,18,17,16, and 15.  We played where you had to hit them in order.  You have to hit 20 3 times before you could move on to 19.  The first person to close out each number won the game.  Now I bet if I went back through all the home date nights I would find that my wife has crushed me at most games that we play. Well, tonight was not that night.   I stand victorious…as I sleep on my lonely couch…but it’s ok….because I’m a champion.

TOTAL HOME DATE NIGHT COST : ~ $38.00

Christmas Savings 2017 Shadow Box deposits

Option 1: $50.00 Total saved: $153.00

Option 2: $24.00   Total saved: $75.00

Option 3: $10.00   Total saved: $30.00

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

 

Week 2: Diffusing a Bomb !!!! In Japan

Japan is definitely on my list of places I want to visit before I meet an untimely death.  I guess maybe it’s the culture I want to experience.  They just seem like they have much more nationalism than we do here in Murica and hold traditions in high esteem.  I have a lot of respect for that. Oh I forgot, read this blog with a Japanese accent for better authenticity.

The night started off as normal….get important things done first. Like getting the kids to bed.

We did manage to get the kids to bed early but the youngest kept getting out of bed for just about any reason he could think of.  “I need juice, I need my night night put on right, can you read me one more book, what are you guys doing, bacon? I need to go pee, I need to go poo”.

Yeah, so that was constant throughout the beginning but eventually the little guy fell asleep and it was time for the magic to begin.  Why do little kids always have to go poo right before bed?  It’s programmed within them or something.  Anyways, off to Japan we go.

My wife put on the traditional Japanese station on her Amazon Echo (which actually worked this time) so our moods would be set.  I have to say, the music was cool but man was it super slow. I wanted some crazy Japanese pop music or something…but no…it wasn’t happening.

This at home date night meal took a little more prep work since the meal I was making was YakiUdon and my wife’s appetizer was Cheese Korokke.  I had two items on our grocery list that could not be found.  I actually had to go to an Asian market to find them.  The cool thing is…I found a new little grocery shop that I will be using in the future.  The lady running the place was so nice and kind.  They serve food there too so next time maybe I can get something authentic.  So make sure if you are going to copy the recipe you have an Asian market nearby because you won’t find two of the ingredients in murica’s publix and one of them is essential to the dish. The other one you can probably go without if you want too.

My dish wasn’t going to take that long to prepare so I started to help my wife with hers and she jumps back and makes karate fighting sounds at me.

“Waaaa, Chaaaa, Waaaa”

She waves her hands around like she is going to fight me.  Now imagine a little Rican woman with a slight Rican accent making karate fighting sounds…..yeah…that’s my life.

She said in Japanese accent, “You no touch my dish white devil.”

I’m not sure where she gets this stuff but I couldn’t help but laugh.  It was a sight to behold.  She didn’t want me to be able to take credit for anything she made. Sound familiar fella’s?  Although when it came time to chop up the yellow onion she let me know she wanted me to do it.  Now I wasn’t offering help, just being told what to do and responding correctly.  There is a difference….in a woman’s mind that is.

After about 30 minutes her dish was ready to sit in the fridge for a little bit.  We cleaned up the dishes together (awwwww) and then sat down to talk a little.  She looked up some things they do in Japan and a couple of them were pretty funny and some were downright deadly.  By deadly I mean…slurping.

Nothing says, “I want to get stabbed directly in the eyeball with a spoon” like slurping your food near a Rican woman.

Probably most woman I would say hate to hear the sound of people eating, but in Japan slurping your food loudly is a sign that the food is good and it’s a compliment to the chef.  I did not attempt this later when we ate my dish, I ate it normal, White Devil normal.

The other one was that KFC is the busiest place to eat on Christmas Day.  They say it’s because foreigners to the country couldn’t find a place to get a turkey so they settled for KFC, and the Japanese people started following suit because they thought it was how you celebrated Christmas.

If I ever eat at a KFC on Christmas I will have failed somewhere horribly at one point in my life.

The best one I thought was that it is normal to stick your finger into another person’s butt.  Yep, you read that right.  It’s called “Kan-CHO!”

So apparently kids on the playground will clasp their hands together and point their fingers as if to make a gun and when people walk by they jab their “gun” into the passerby’s butt and yell “Kan-CHO!”.

Let me make something perfectly clear, that is not acceptable in murica.

While my wife and I were contemplating whether or not we were going to visit Japan now, the Amazon Echo timer went off which meant it was time to fry my wife’s appetizer.  The Cheese Korokke is a mashed potato patty stuffed with Gouda Cheese and breaded with Panko and deep fried.

Yeah, can you say…. “Kan-CHO!”

It was simply amazing.  The only thing different we would do would be to add more Gouda Cheese to it, but the flavoring of the potato was awesome and the dip is the other item you have to pick up in the Asian Market. It’s a type of Japanese BBQ sauce.  It tastes a little like Caribbean Jerk sauce.  It was really good.  I think she ate one and I ate two.  You can see from the pics they are pretty big.  So now it was time to cook my dish.

What I made was called YakiUdon.  It’s basically a Japanese style stir-fry.  The Yaki part comes from the sauce you use called Yakisoba.  You have to get this at the Asian Market.  The Udon comes from the type of noodles you use (No slurping though).  Then it’s just chicken, broccoli, peppers and some other things all put together.

It really was a delicious dish but I overcooked the noodles which made it not so great.  The flavor was spot on though.  We both enjoyed it.  I actually made it later in the week and gave it to the kids and they really hated it, but their diet consists of Gogurts and Cheezit’s (Parental Winning !!!) ….so they are not the most reliable judges.  Now I made the noodles correctly and it was really really good.

Well, we were pretty full so that meant one thing, it’s time to do something super stressful that could possibly cause and all out fight but is supposed to be fun.

For our activity we decided to play a game called “Keep talking and nobody explodes”.  It’s a game on the PC where one person has a bomb with little puzzles on it and a timer and another person who cannot see what the bomb looks like has the bomb manual in front of them and they have to talk to each other to diffuse the bomb before the timer goes off or they do something wrong 3 times.

Nothing says, “Future Marriage Counselling Needed” like trying to work with your spouse to diffuse a bomb.

So we decided that I should be the one using the bomb manual because my profession is very detail oriented and interpreting instructions is part of what I do for a living and she should be the bomb diffuser because she is good at following directions…..wait…that’s not right….this is going to be rough.

I had played this game briefly before but my wife hadn’t so I walked her through the tutorial and she felt comfortable with what she had to do.

I do have to compliment my wife really quick in one area.  She is a superfast learner.  I am not.  You just have to explain something to her once or have her perform something one time and she will be an expert.

So, time to diffuse our first bomb and save the Japanese people.

She hits go and the dialogue goes like this:

Me: “Ok – what do you see?”

Wife: “I got a Bomb”

SMH, we aren’t going to make it I thought.

Me: “No what do you see, any wires?“

Wife: “Yes there are wires.”

So I go to the section on wires and start rattling off instruction on how many wires, how many colors..bla bla bla.  I tell her to cut the yellow wire, she does and that section turns green which means onto the next module.

Wife: “I have a big red button that says HOLD”

Me:  “what color is it?”

Now it’s a good thing we can’t see each other’s faces because if there is one thing my wife hates is having to answer stupid questions, which I am the king of.

Wife: “RED I SAID….come on we have 1 min left !!!!”

I frantically look for the section on buttons and start asking her questions.

Me: “Does the button say anything?”

Wife: “HOLD” , she must be boiling by this point.

Me: “Ok, hold…hold…hold..I don’t see anything about it saying hold….ok wait, it says to hold the button- and what color does the meter to the right of the button turn?”

Wife: “BLUE! “

Me: “Ok let the button go when the timer has a …..”

*eerrrrrnnnt*

Me: “Ummm what just happened?”

Wife: “I let it go like you said.”

Back and forth we go on who made the mistake or whatever all the while the timer is still going.

Me: “Ok if the button is blue now push the button in and hold …..”

Wife: “I’m already holding it in !” 

(We are sooooo dead) I’m thinking in my head.

Me:“Ok – this time – let it go when the number 2 is in any position on the timer”

* BLING *

We diffused our first bomb with 27 seconds to spare.  We are pretty much geniuses.

Now you think we would both be happy we solved our first bomb but like most married couples we kind of blamed each other for not listening.  We did close to 8 other bombs without killing each other.

I could tell my wife really was enjoying herself because we stayed up till almost 1 am playing together.  It was a lot of fun and some of the puzzles are really hard so we watched some you tube video’s on how to even understand what we were supposed to do.  Even with the video’s it got really hard, but we worked together, blew up a lot together, blamed each other a lot together, but now we feel like if we were in that situation in real life we probably have a 15% chance of actually surviving.  I guess that’s better than 0%.

So we shut down the PC’s and I headed upstairs. She was behind me walking upstairs and says, “Hey, want to play another game?“

I’m thinking…..JACKPOT!! , “Of course I do babe “, I say……and then I feel it…..”Kan-CHO!!!“

So I hope you enjoyed sharing this experience with us and I hope you will start to put and importance on your marriage and spending time once a week falling in love again because as we say here at the At Home Date Night Duo blog…..let’s make marriages great again….wait no that’s not it….Feel the Bern of Marriage again…..wait that’s not right..what was it, oh yes, Marriage for America….nope that is just stupid and feels like something a complete and utter criminal would say.  I got it, Because your marriage is worth it !!!!  See you next Friday for another installment as we take a trip too Venezuela !!!!

 

Appetizer:

Cheese Korokke

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ITEM QTY Cost Notes
potatoes 2lbs $2.00
butter 1tbsp $0.00
oil 2tbsp $0.00
onion yellow 1 lg $1.00
Gouda 7oz $3.98 I once ate a whole one of these on my way home from work.
salt and pepper to taste $0.00 I recommend 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper
eggs 3 $2.67
panko 2 cups $1.68
flour 1/2 cup $0.00 you have
tonkatsu Sauce dipping $5.65 you could possibly skip this
deep frying oil 2 cups $2.28 you might have this too, but I put the price in there anyways

Total Cost: ~ $20.00

Husband Rating : 9

Wife Rating: 9

Directions:

Chop up the potatoes in little cubes and place them in a big pot of boiling water.  Cook them until they are soft.  Drain out the water and Mash the potatoes while adding salt, pepper, and butter.

 

In and frying pan saute the finely chopped onions with the olive oil.  Once the onions have a good color mix them into the mash potatoe mix.

Hopefully the mashed potatoes are still hot. This helps with making the patties.  Fort the patties just like you would hamburgers.  Then in the middle cut up some Gouda and stick it in your mouth.  C’mon people !! You really think I could go through a whole recipe that involves cheese without stuffing some down my gullet before adding it to the food?  Think again !!

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Ok, now that you are satisfied by the Gouda cheese, add some to the middle of the patties. I would recommend adding a lot.  Then put another patty on top of the cheese and make sure to close in all around the cheese with the potatoe.  Place the finished patties on some parchment paper and then stick it in the fridge and let it sit for about 15-30 minutes.  It really all depends on how hungry you are.

So you can fry them two ways.  The easy way is with a deep fat fryer (which is what I have) or you have to add about 2 cups of Canola or Veggie oil to a pan and fry them that way.  Either will work. The later just takes longer.

Get the oil hot while the patties are in the fridge. Then get your breading station going.  Pull out two plates and one bowl.  In the bowl whisk the eggs and add a little bit of milk.  If you don’t have milk then don’t worry, just use the eggs.  Then on the first plate put the ½ cup of flour and on the other plate put the 2 cups of Panko.

Now dip the patties in the flour, then the egg, then the panko, then into the burning hot oil.

Let it cook until it’s pretty brown.  I would even let it cook a little longer since Gouda takes a little longer to melt for some reason.

Let it sit for a couple of minutes and then dip it into the Tonkatsu Sauce and into your mouth.  Congrats…you just ate a Cheese Korokke.

Main Dish:  

YakiUdon

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Sauce:

ITEM QTY Cost Notes
Soy Sauce 2 Tbs $2.28 You may have some..
Mirin 3 Tbs $3.99 you have to buy whole bottle..but you will use it for other things
Yakisoba Sauce 2 Tbs $4.99 these sauces are breaking the bank
Garlic 2 cloves $0.00 minced
Ginger 1/2 tsp $1.49 minced

Meal:

ITEM QTY Cost Notes
Chicken Breast 1lb $5.00
Frozen Udon Noodles 2 8oz $2.88 frozen, usually comes with 2 8oz or 7.1 oz packs
Olive Oil 2tbs $0.00
Yellow Onion 1/2 med $1.00
Red Bell Pepper 1 $1.68
Broccoli Florets 2 cups $1.84 partially cooked
Green Onions 2 $1.18 sliced

Total Cost:  ~$26.00

Husband Rating : 8

Wife Rating: 8

Directions:

This meal is super simple and you will probably start moving it into your normal rotation of bi-weekly meals.  I would recommend that you use or get a Wok to cook it in.  I don’t have one, which sucks, but hopefully my wife will read this, feel bad for me, and buy me one.   Of course that will probably involve me having to buy something for her as well, second thought….don’t buy me that Wok.

Cut the chicken up into little thin strips and put them in a mixing bowl.

 

To make the sauce just whisk the soy sauce, mirin, yakisoba, ginger, and garlic in a small bowl.

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Add about 1 Tbs of the sauce to the chicken and mix it in with the chicken. You have to do this guys because your wife probably doesn’t like touching raw chicken.

Add some salt and pepper to the chicken

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Heat up the Wok or large frying pan.  Medium High heat should be good.  Once it’s hot add the olive oil to the pan and coat the pan. Then add the chicken and the finely chopped onions. Let that cook until you can’t see any pink on the chicken anymore.

While that is cooking go ahead and chop up the broccoli if you bought it fresh. If you bought it frozen then cook it however the instructions tell you minus a minute.  You don’t want it completely cooked.

Once the chicken is brown throw in the broccoli florets and red bell peppers.  Let that cook until the peppers are a little soft.

While that is cooking, boil 10 cups of water and place the Frozen Udon noodles into the boiling water for about 1.5 minutes.

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Drain and let the noodles sit.  This is really easy to screw up. Don’t break apart the frozen noodles, you want them to be long and stringy. If you leave the noodles in to long your meal is going to suck.  I think they are already partially cooked when they are frozen.  I overcooked them the first time. Every other time I put them in for only 1.5 minutes.

Ok, once the chicken, broccoli, and peppers look like they are cooked go ahead and add the noodles. Mix it all together.  Then mix in the rest of the sauce.

Serve it in a bowl and garnish with green onions.  Enjoy !!

Activity:

“Keep Talking and nobody Explodes”

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ITEM QTY Cost Notes
“Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes” 1 $14.99 Download off of Steam

Total Cost: $14.99  Sometimes Steam has sales on games. I think I picked this up for like 10 bucks.

Enjoyment Ratings:

Me: 10

Wife: 10

Probability of Marriage Counselling afterwards: 97%

Ok, this is your chance guys !!!  You get to play a video game with your wife !!!!!  I know it’s not League of Legends or Call of Duty, but hey, I’m trying to ease them in slowly.  Give it some time and soon they will be head shotting those snot noise kids that get 15 hours a day to practice their aim while you get a couple hours a week before you can say “Kan-CHO”.  Ok, back on topic.

You have to download Steam onto your computer. If you don’t know what Steam is then you fail.  Actually, it’s really easy. Just make a Steam account. Search for “ Keep talking and nobody Explodes”. Purchase it. Then play it.  Go through the tutorial with your wife.  You do need two computers to play because you aren’t supposed to be looking at each other’s screen while you play.  One person diffuses the bomb while the other one looks through the manual on what to do.  YouTube is your friend as some of the puzzles you may not understand exactly what you are supposed to do.

Shoot us a message if you can get passed some of the Morris Code parts.  Those were fun. By fun I mean it went something like this:

Me: Ok, I need you to repeat the sequence by saying bleep bleep for the short tones and blooooop bloooop for long tones.  They should just keep repeating the same sequence. You know you are at the beginning of the sequence when there is a long pause.  There is a short pause between letters.

Wife: Ok….Bleep Bleep Bleep BLOOOOOP….uh uh ….BLOOOOOP BLOOOOP

Me: did you hear the long pause first? (in my head I’m thinking…..what the hell is she doing)

Wife: What long pause?

Me: the long pause that starts the sequence?

Wife: I never heard a long pause…OH WAIT….Bleep BLOOOOOP ….BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP……oK  long pause….BLOOP BLOOOOOOP

Me: *confused look*

Me: Stop, please stop for a second.

Wife: BLOOOOP BLOOOP BLOOOP…WE ARE GOING TO DIE !!!  HURRY UP WHAT IS THE CODE????

Me: we died as soon as you told me there was a Morris Code module.

Wife: BLEEP BLEEP BLOOOOOP BLEEE…oh no that was a BLOOOP…WE CAN STILL DO IT.

Me: God….just kill me now…kill me now please.

Wife: I Believe in you babe….BLEEP BLOOOOP BLOOOOP.

*Explosion*

Wife: You gotta listen babe…I’m doing the bloops and bleeps

Me: *head pounding on computer desk*

You guys are going to have a ton of fun playing this game.  It was challenging and fun to work through all the problems.  If any of you get the Morris code on the first try leave a comment.  We’d love to hear about your experiences with it.

Total At Home Date Night Cost:  ~ $60.00 .  

A little pricey but lots of repeat value. A lot of the sauces we can use for other things and the game you can play a bunch. Well worth the investment. If you have those things the date night is more around 30 bones I believe.

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

If you don’t know what this is then check out the blog post here.  Even though we weren’t doing the home date night blog we have kept up this tradition and it always helps out during the Christmas Holidays.

Option 1: $51.00 Total saved: $103.00

Option 2: $25.00   Total saved: $51.00

Option 3: $10.00   Total saved: $20.00

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

Week 1: Home Date Night Duo Rebooted, In Sicily

So I bet you thought we were abducted by Aliens, and probed for all of our amazing home date night ideas, but we weren’t.  Like all men, we set out with the best intentions to start a project only to find that it is much more difficult than we thought it would be and we fail and just give up.  So that’s where I’ve been since the last blog post, wallowing in self misery.  Ok that’s a lie, I felt bad for a couple weeks that I wasn’t writing the blog anymore but then I got over it.  Well, my wife has been asking me now for the past couple months if we were going to start it up again because she really enjoyed it (and frankly, I have missed it too).  So here I am, making that attempt again.   I set out on a journey to produce 52 at home date nights and that is exactly what I’m going to do.  Now is failure possible again…..absolutely, but eventually I will get to 52 at home date nights.

If you are curious as to why my wife and I started this blog you can go back to my original post by clicking the link HERE.  There are some tips that I highly recommend working in if you want your at home date nights to be successful.  I didn’t follow a lot of my own advice and that is why I think I failed last time.  So on that brief self-reflection; let’s kick this baby off with a trip to Sicily!!!

Ok, one more thing.  In the first blog tips section I talk about putting the kids to bed by 7:30pm.  That worked great until the time changed and it no longer was dark by 7:30pm.  It got dark around 8:30-9pm and this made at home date nights way more difficult.  What I found that worked a little was getting them completely ready for bed, but for this night, letting them stay in their rooms to watch some TV while my wife and I did a lot of the cooking prep work. Then one of us would take a break and put the kids to bed @ 8:30pm sharp and the other could try to finish up the appetizer.  So it’s a compromise, but it’s better than not doing anything.  Ok, for real, ON TO SICILY!!!

When my wife and I were backpacking through Europe we did not make it down to Sicily. I was kind of bummed about this because I was hoping to possibly get some better food than what we had in Rome, Venice, and Florence.  Yeah Yeah, Italian food is the best, but our experience was anything but amazing when it came to food.  We did hear though from a lot of people that the food in Sicily was way better, but alas, we never got to experience it….except for now!!!!

Now I must admit, while looking for recipe’s from the Sicilian Island we found so many dishes that looked amazing……buuuuuut…the ingredient’s list was so long and took over an hour to cook most meals.  This really isn’t conducive to at home date nights.  If it takes over an hour to make a dish during at home date night this can be really stressful.  We did find two dishes that looked fairly easy to make and the ingredient’s list wasn’t too long.  For the appetizer we decided to make Sicilian Fried Mozzarella sandwiches and for the Main dish we made Spaghetti Sicilian.   The activity was super simple and a lot of fun.  It didn’t take too long to finish either.  We figured we would start off easy the first week.   I’ll talk about that later on.

It felt weird at first to be starting the at Home Date Night’s again, but we knew we needed them and it felt good to start making our relationship a priority again.  I got home from work and I could tell my wife was pretty exhausted. She is homeschooling now which means I’ll probably be checking her into a loony bin when my kid turns 18.  Anyways, the kids were pretty excited to see me and my wife needed to run out and get some things.  So we had a nerf gun battle and of course I won, but my kids thought it would be funny to shoot me point blank in the head while I took a video in slow motion…yeah…they are pretty demented.  I posted the video for your enjoyment.  For some reason the slow motion doesn’t work when I uploaded, it’s still demented.

While she was gone and we cleaned up the nerf darts I sent them upstairs to watch some TV while I started as much prep as I could.  My wife got home and we started to prep together.  Now I told her to put on some Italian music (I know we are in Sicily, but I like Traditional Italian music) but for some reason our Amazon Echo Alexa hasn’t been cooperating lately.  She would start to respond asking my wife if “TALIAN MUSIC” was what she wanted…..” NO YOU STUPID MACHINE….PLAY ITIALIAN TRADITIONAL FROM MY PANDORA STATION”……Echo responds again, “TALIAN MUSIC FROM SWAHILI’s PANDORA STATION???”  My wife’s name is not Swahili…but it always calls her that…kind of funny…..except to my wife.   My wife is pretty upset right now and if Alexa was a human being it probably would have gotten a Puerto Rican Woman slap.  You know what I’m talking about if you have a Puerto Rican woman in your life.  They are pretty physically abusive….to all men.  It’s how they show tenderness and care.  Now I know where my kids get their dementedness.  Anyways, Alexa almost got thrown through a wall, but I was able to protect her…for now.   My wife decided to put some music on from her phone….Traditional Italian….nope…..club music.  At least that is what I call it. Dance music…something like that. Guy sounded like Pit Bull and girl sounded like all of the industry slave girl singers out there.  I really can’t tell them apart.   Whatever it was it made her happy and she was dancing around the kitchen.  Happy wife….Happy life.

She was pretty much done prepping the Appetizer but it needed me to make something, Béchamel sauce.   I’d never made this before but this is the part that makes the Fried Mozzarella sandwich the Sicilian version.  So I found a great You Tube video on how to make it.  You can watch it by clicking HERE

Now while I’m watching it my wife comes over and starts asking me questions. I don’t even remember what they were all I remember is what transpired. You see, guys can’t really do two things at once. Women can’t either; they just think they can….but I will say they do two things at once better than most men do.  So she asked me something and I’m watching the video and also trying to answer her and I’m doing the man thing, “ Uh…and…yeah…you need….ummmm…yeah….ok…this is what I’m trying to say……ummmm….give me a….”   and I can tell on her face that all of her patience was used up around 9 am earlier when she was doing homeschool and trying to get my kid to read better….so then she blurts out with eye’s really big “ TA TA TA TA TODAY JUNIOR !!!!  BLA BLU BLI BA BA BA  SPIT IT OUT ALREADY !!!!!“.   Yeah, I know….us guys suck.  I don’t know why I can’t just talk anymore. I think that part of me to form coherent sentences quickly died years and years ago.   Anyways, I don’t remember if I answered or not, she headed back to the kitchen and I finished watching the video.

She said, “Let me put the kids to bed while you finish that sauce since that is all we are waiting on.”   So she put the kids to bed and I finished up the sauce and actually started cooking the appetizer…well frying it that is.  The kids went down pretty quick and she came down and we talked about our days and how we were sad the Christmas vacation was over.   I was privileged to get pretty much 3 weeks off from work so going back was kind of rough. I considered buying a lotto ticket because I enjoyed being home so much.  Anyways, the Fried mozzarella was done and we were both eager to try it.  It looked like a gigantic Mozzarella cheese stick if you ask me.  We grabbed some marinara and dug into it.  It was pretty good but not amazing.  It actually makes quite a mess to make it so I’m not sure we would make that exact version again. I would make a different one.

“You always make a mess when you cook babe, why don’t you clean up while you cook” My wife says.  Now to her point, I do use quite a few dishes while I cook, but all masters of their craft are messy, but I do clean up while I cook, I just happened to be sitting down while she started cleaning up dishes.  Now I had already put a bunch of dishes in the dishwasher and cleaned up the counters where we did all the breading for the Fried Mozzarella sandwiches, but I’ll clue you in to a little secret guys.  If a woman is doing something (work wise I mean) and you are sitting down relaxing, you have about 2 seconds to realize that she is working and you are doing nothing so you better get up and start doing something.  Now you may think this works both ways but this is not the 1950’s guys. This is 2017.

If she is working …you better be working regardless of how much you may have already done.  Anyways, don’t fight it guys. Just nod your head and die to yourself and clean those dishes…all of them.

Well, after helping clean up a little more the Spaghetti dish was almost done.  That was super easy to make but I was a little worried it was going to lack flavor.  We both sat down to eat and after the first bite I think our faces almost looked identical. In that magic moment, both of our wavelengths were aligned and at the same time we said, “This is pretty bad”.

Now, we continued to eat it because we don’t like to waste food, but after a little added salt and a couple more bites I said, “ I don’t know, this is starting to grow on me a little “. She said, “Wow I was thinking the same thing, but it’s too greasy and I don’t’ think this is worth the calories.”  I couldn’t have agreed more.  We were both full anyway from the appetizer so I put the rest in some Tupperware and then did something amazing.  “I think if I mix some of the Béchamel sauce in this it will taste way better. “ I said.  “You shouldn’t do that, it might make it worse”, she said.  Well, you’ll have to go down to the recipe section where I tell you if it worked out or not.

It actually wasn’t too late and I broke out our activity.  It was a really simple printout of “Things I will do in 2017”. I got it off of a friends FB post.   I thought it would be a good idea, you know, set some goals for 2017.  I’m not usually a big New Year’s resolutions type person but this year I wanted to set some goals and do my best to accomplish them.   So basically it’s just a list with one word in to start off each item.  For example : In 2017 I will “BE” fill in the blank….in 2017 I will “MAKE” fill in the blank……etc.  So my wife says, “Oh man, this is going to be easy…..in 2017 I will “MAKE” more money !!! in 2017 I will “be” more snooty, in 2017 I will “QUIT” losing money, in 2017 I will “Accept” more money from people…..in 2017 I will “LEARN” to make more Money, in 2017 I will “HAVE” more money….”  I don’t know why but I couldn’t stop laughing.  It pretty much brought me to tears.

Well, after we had a good laugh at it we started getting a little serious and filling it out.  I do have to say, the longer we worked on it the more it look like a “Things I will fail at in 2017”.   Now, this may be true but after we were done we read each one to each other and it really opened my eyes to see what she valued and what was important to her.  You see, we aren’t alone in this journey called marriage and life. We are lucky enough to have a partner who wants to live it with us.  Who wants to struggle through it with us. Who wants to see us succeed in our endeavors.   I loved this little activity because while it brought some laughs it reminded me that my wife has dreams, goals, and struggles and she wants me to be a part of them and she wants to be a part of mine.  We smiled at each other, hugged, and then headed upstairs to watch some Golden Girls.

Well, that’s it.  Our At Home Date Night was pretty simple.  I hope you will stay with us on our Journey and pick out one night a week to do your own date night.  As always I will post the recipe, costs, and how to make them below….well my spin on how to make them. I will link where I got them from as well and I encourage you to visit those pages.  Don’t be afraid to share this blog with friends. You never know if there is a marriage on the brink of being lost and all they need is a little reminder of the joy that comes from making your relationship a priority.  Join our Facebook Group.  We deleted the FB “page” because only about 10% of the people that like the page will see posts from it. If you are a part of the FB “Group” page then you will get notices of all the post.  Just ask to be a part of the FB “Group” page and we will let you in.  I’m tempted to start Twitter…but I might be too old for that.  Tinder maybe? J  Alright, See you guys next Friday, We travel too……..JAPAN !!!!!

Appetizer:  Fried Mozzarella Sandwich

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ITEM QTY Cost Notes
Fresh Mozzarella 8 oz $2.99
Bread Slices 4 $0.00 You probably have bread
Flour ½ cup $0.00
Eggs 2 $0.00 It’s the new year…you know you are doing low carb dieting so you have this.
Bread Crumbs 1 cup $1.50 You can use Panko too….or make your own. That is what we did.
Vegi Oil 2 cups $1.99 You might have this
Marinara Sauce 1 cup $2.39
ITEM QTY Cost Notes
Béchamel Sauce
Butter, unsalted ¼ cup $1.99
Milk, Whole 2 cups $0.00 You have this
Flour ½ cup $0.00
Salt ½ tsp $0.00
White Pepper 1/8 tsp $0.00 You may not have this…I used regular pepper
Nutmeg Pinch $1.00 I used a little bit more than a pinch because I like Nutmeg

Total Cost: $ 11.88

Enjoyment Ratings:

Husband: 7

Wife: 6

Directions:

First, watch the video on how to make the Béchamel sauce.  I did exactly what he said and it worked out amazing. I am going to use this easy sauce recipe in a lot of other dishes. It was super easy and tasted pretty good. I might add stuff in to give it a little more punch.

Ok, after the Béchamel sauce is done go ahead and grab the 4 slices of bread and cut off the crust carefully, you know, like mom used to do for you when you were a kid but then you got older and realized the crust was where all the nutrients are….um….yeah….

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Cut the Mozzarella into some nice thick slices and place them on the bread.  On the other piece of bread go ahead and spread some of the Béchamel sauce on it and then close it up like a sandwich on top of the Mozzarella.

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Put the 2 cups of Vegi Oil into a big pan and bring up the heat to frying temps.  Usually around 375F.  Ok, on three separate plates get your breading station ready.  This is the station that I cleaned up but was told I didn’t clean while I cook.

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Anyways, I’ve let that go…..on plate dump your all-purpose flour. On plate two whisk 2 eggs and add a little bit of milk into that whisk. On plate 3 add your breadcrumbs.  Now you can buy breadcrumbs but we decided to make it.  I just toasted 4 pieces of bread, cut them into squares and blasted them in a blender…..instant breadcrumbs and I felt good about it too.

Now before you put the sandwiches into the flour go ahead and start lightly coating the whole thing in Béchamel sauce.  This will help the flour to adhere to the bread.  Once you have it spread all over the top, bottom, and sides you want to dip it in the egg wash.  Get it everywhere.  Then dip it into the breadcrumbs.  Make sure it’s completely covered.

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Now throw it in the oil and let it cook on both sides for about 2-3 minutes or until it’s looking nice and brown.   When it’s done pull it out and it should look something like this:

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Ours is a little darker because we aren’t using fresh oil.  Let it sit for about 5 min and then pick it up and shove it in your mouth man pig style or use some forks to get little pieces and dip it in the Marinara sauce (probably be more attractive to your wife this way).  Whichever way you do it, it will be pretty good.

So the thing I didn’t like about this dish was the bread slices. I mean, I just didn’t see the point.  I could have just covered the fresh mozzarella with Béchamel sauce, breaded it and fried it and I think it would have been better.   I might try it.  Not sure I will make this again since it does make quite the mess, but I am definitely going to make Béchamel sauce again.

Main Course: Spaghetti Sicilian

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ITEM QTY Cost Notes
Spaghetti Pasta 1 box $1.39 You probably don’t need the whole box
Sun Dried Tomatoes 4 TBSP $3.89 Most expensive part
Flat leaf parsley ½ bunch $0.99
Salt To taste $0.00
Garlic 3 cloves minced $0.00 You should have this all the time
Olive Oil 2 TBSP $0.00 See above
Red Pepper Flakes 1-2 TSP $1.99 I had to buy some

Total Cost: $ 8.26

Enjoyment Ratings:

Husband: 5

Wife: 4

Leftovers:  Ok, so I know you were waiting on pins and needles to find out if the Béchamel sauce helped and let me tell you something……IT DID!!!!  This dish was amazing the next day.  I will make this again and include the Béchamel sauce and I bet my wife would love it.  I give it a 9 for leftover value

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water up to a boil and add some salt to it.  Make sure the pot is at a rolling boil before adding in the pasta.  Once it’s at a rolling boil go ahead and add in the spaghetti pasta and let it cook till al dente.  If you don’t know what that means just look on the box and it will tell you how long to get it to al dente. For spaghetti it’s usually around 9-10 min.

While the spaghetti is cooking bring a large pan or whatever you normally cook in to medium high heat. Once it’s hot add 2 tablespoons to it and add in the minced garlic, 4 tablespoons of sun dried tomatoes, and 1-2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes.  Move it around with a wood spoon for about a minute. Then add in half of the bunch of parsley and begin to let it cook and mix around for about 2 min.  Pull it off the heat and let it sit.

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The pasta should be getting close to being done.  Test the pasta, if it has a nice al dente bite to it then pull it out and drain the water.  Toss in the spaghetti to the pan with the garlic, olive oil, parsley etc and toss all the ingredients around. Add in the rest of the parsley and mix for about 30 seconds.  Then plate the dish for 2 and add some Parmesan cheese to it.

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One last note, try it without the béchamel sauce first. You will need to add some salt to taste.  It is a little spicy because of the red pepper flakes, but the sun dried tomatoes will either make it or break it. So don’t go cheap on that part.  Then, try it with the béchamel sauce….then write to me one which way you liked it better.  Enjoy !!

Activity:  2017 Goals sheet

ITEM QTY Cost Notes
2017 Goals Sheet Print Out 1 $0.00 I provide it for you

Total Cost: $ 0.00

Directions:  

I pretty much explained this in the Blog.  Basically just print this out and fill in the blanks then read it to each other. Make it fun, serious, whatever.  No Rules !!!  After you fill it put it in a safe place.  If I’m still writing the blog in July I will mention to pull it out and read it again, see how those goals/failures are coming along.

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Total At Home Date Night Cost: ~ $20 bucks

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

If you don’t know what this is then check out the blog post HERE.  Even though we weren’t doing the home date night blog we have kept up this tradition and it always helps out during the Christmas Holidays.

Option 1: $52.00 Total saved: $52.00

Option 2: $26.00   Total saved: $26.00

Option 3: $10.00   Total saved: $10.00

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

Week 17: Guns…BBQ…and uh Guns…we arrived in Texas !!

So last week we took a road trip to Texas and this week we pretended that we actually arrived there and wanted to try out some good old BBQ.  I mean, what would Texas be without some kind of meat involved?  I’ve only driven through Texas once and we got stuck in an airport in Dallas on our way back from our honeymoon.  So I really don’t know that much about it, but I know they have great hunting and awesome BBQ…..oh yeah….and lots of GUNS !!!  Every man’s dream !!!  Ok, unless you are a dude who wears skinny jeans then maybe Texas doesn’t get you that excited.  My brother recently moved to Texas so hopefully we will be out to stay with him soon and get the real deal Texas feel.  For now, we are going to have to settle for some imagination.  So come join us as we visit the “Lone Star” state.

First we had to decide what the heck we were going to eat.  Ok, let’s face it, that was easy. We chose to make some crockpot BBQ pulled pork.  For an appetizer we decided to make Texas Sushi.  Now you might think this involves fish, but it doesn’t.  It involves a mouth full of awesomeness.  We wanted to go a little easier for the dinner because we’ve been struggling to get the kids into bed early.  Since the time change the kids are going to bed around 8:30pm and then we start dinner. Some of the dinners have been taking us into 9 or 10 before we eat.  So crock pot BBQ was the way to go and the Texas Sushi, as you will see, is super easy to make and I guarantee you at your next get together you are going to make these for an appetizer.  The activity was the best part of the night.  Since we were in Texas we had to do something with guns.  So we took out the shotgun and sat outside and shot squirrels as they ran along the fence……ok…..we didn’t do that. I would be in jail if we did that.  So since I live in a densely populated area and I choose not to spend a couple of years of my life with bubba in the Big House we decided to play a game with super soakers.  It was AWESOME !!…..except that I lost to a girl.  That sucked and I’ll probably have to give up my man card…..(ok really, who are we kidding guys, we gave up that man card the day we said, “I do”).  We will talk about the game later and I’ll explain all the rules.

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The night started off normal. Kids cleaned up and into bed around 8:30pm.  The pulled pork was already finished and we had given some of it to the kids for dinner (they love BBQ).  So we were ready to chow down.  I quickly made the Texas Sushi (This involved bacon, and you know my kids and bacon, so of course the oldest wondered down with his sniffing nose and grubby hands wanting some bacon….of course…we gave him some.)  The Texas Sushi is pretty much cream cheese, some chipolte Tabasco, bacon pieces, and green onions, put into a little tortilla and rolled and sliced.  It’s super easy and delicious.  Once we were done we piled up our plate with some BBQ pulled pork and Texas Sushi and sat down in the living room to eat, laugh, and chat.

So my wife brings up this article she read earlier in the day how Puerto Rican women, science says, has been classified as the perfect Human Specimen.  The article went on to say how Rican women are the closest thing to perfection in the Human DNA and all that.  My wife says, “I could have saved them a ton of research time and money if they just came and talked to me, they would have found out within hours that Rican woman are perfect.” ……She’s a pretty humble gal.  Come to find out there are numerous articles written about this topic and it comes down to how the Rican women are the perfect mix of a bunch of different descendants.  Anyways, this topic pretty much owned the conversation for most of the night.  Well, it was time to find out how well the perfect specimen performed in a friendly game with super soakers.

So the game was pretty simple.  I saved a bunch of recyclable bottles over a couple of weeks.  I set up two bases and put tables about 25 feet apart with around 10 empty bottles on each table.  It was hot outside and dark so it was going to be perfect.  I couldn’t wait to own this gal with perfect DNA.  I was a dude and this involved gun fire, no way I am losing.  So the goal of the game was to knock off all of your opponents bottles before they knocked off yours.  You had to spray them to knock them off.

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I thought to myself, “I feel so bad for her; she is going to get owned.”……the bible says, “Pride goes before destruction.”   I really need to start believing that.   So I decided to make the game best 2 out of 3….figured I would give her a chance.   So we started with full super soakers and I ran a hose and turned it on in case we needed to re-fill.  We put our backs together in the middle of the yard and took 10 paces toward our own base each and then it was game on.   I took a rapid fire approach….by that I mean, rapidly pulverizing her in the face with water….I was feeling awesome.  Next thing I know she bum rushes me like something out of the Matrix and even though I’m soaking her everywhere possible she is up on my table blowing off all of my bottles.  I’m thinking, “ this girl is insane, I know that water is hurting….OH CRAP MY BOTTLES !!!!”  I quickly gave up pelting her in the face and ran to her side and tried my best to get the bottles off but before I knew it, it was too late…….in slow motion, everything went silent as I could hear the wings of a bird beating and the sound of the last bottle hitting the ground with a thump like brick hitting pavement.  She had won round one…., “I let you win round 1 babe, I just wanted to soak you.”  She said nothing, just filled up her super soaker and starting setting up the 4 bottles I had barely knocked down.

I wasn’t too nervous. I knew her game plan now.  Well, we started round 2 and just as we turned around she bum rushes me again and this time I’m blocking her shots with my body and point blank shooting her anywhere I can.  She wasn’t backing off and I just kept running back and forth trying to prevent her water from hitting the bottles, just hoping she would run out of water.  I didn’t know how I was going to get her to back off.  She darted to the right and I swung around to shoot her in the face and accidentally nailed her in the mouth with the tip of my soaker…….To be honest I felt absolutely terrible.  She said it was ok, but her lip was bleeding, but she didn’t care she wanted to continue playing.  She is a pretty tough girl so I knew she wouldn’t give up (it’s not in her perfect DNA to give up).  We filled back up and got into the same position with me pinned against my bottles and her, now with blood in her mouth….literally, about to devour me.  I shouted go and within milliseconds she was darting back and forth doing everything she could to avoid my shots and get my bottles off.  I knew I needed to do something so I shot her in the eyes good and made a run for it.  I didn’t even have a prayer.  Within seconds my bottles fell and she was victorious.  She didn’t say anything as we walked towards the porch….but as we got there she started singing…..”de nah naaaaahhh…..de nah naaaahhhh……….de naaaahhh  naaaaaaahhhh….de nah naaaaaahhh….getting strong now……trying hard now……”   Yeah….that really happened.  She just looks back at me after she dries her face and says, “You are the Russian, I am the perfect specimen.”   Needless to say, I did not break her.

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I hope you liked reading this and have enjoyed our At Home Date Night Blog.  I have been super slacking on writing the blog and I’m going to try to catch up this week.  I know I’ve said that before so take it for what it is.  We are still doing our At Home Date nights every week.  I hope you will continue to follow the blog and put it into practice in your own marriage.

If you like what we are doing I hope you would participate and share with others, you never know if a marriage is hurting and a weekly date night is all they need to get it kick started and back on track.  Remember to post pictures of your at home date nights using #Homedatenightduo. You can also join our Facebook group Homedatenightduo.  Following below will be a walkthrough, as always, of the recipes with costs and explanations.  If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.

Texas Sushi:

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ITEM QTY Cost Notes
Cream Cheese 8oz block $1.99
Chipotle Tabasco Sauce 1 Tbs $2.24
Bacon, Cooked Crispy 3 slices $3.48 Make more for the kids
Green Onions, chopped 3 stems $1.39
Black Olives 1 Tbs $0.00 I hate these…so I didn’t use them…and I didn’t want to spend $3.50 of a can when I was only going to use a tablespoon.
Black Pepper To taste $0.00 We had, I used about ¼ teaspoon
Flour Tortillas 4 $2.24

 

Total Cost: $ 11.34  (makes enough for probably six torillas)

Enjoyment Ratings:

Husband: 9

Wife: 9

Directions:

Get the bacon started early.  Make sure to get it nice and crispy.  I bought really thick bacon.  Don’t buy Turkey bacon either….it’s Texas for Pete’s sake.

While the bacon is cooking get out a large mixing bowl and put in the cream cheese and start to mash it up until it gets soft.  Add in the Tabasco Sauce and stir it up again.   Once the bacon is finished, crumble it up and put it in the mixing bowl.  Then add in the chopped green onions and olives (if you bought them) into the mix as well.  Mix everything up really well and then add in the black pepper and mix again.

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Break out a tortilla and spread 3 tablespoons of the mix onto the tortilla.  Roll it up really tight and then take a serrated knife, that’s the long sharp one you probably never use or have been using it for the wrong things your whole life, and cut about every inch or so. (I had this girl I knew who worked at Panera breads show me this…she is a genius, even though she isn’t Rican.)

Next, ingest them before giving any to your spouse…..because they are too good to share.

Slow Cooker Texas BBQ Pulled Pork

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ITEM QTY Cost Notes
Crock Pot 1 $0.00 You got 3 of them when you got married
Pork Roast 2 lbs $6.98
Chicken Broth ¼ cup $1.99
Apple Cider Vinegar ¼ cup $1.49
Worcestershire sauce ½ Tbs $0.00 I hate typing that word
Dark Brown Sugar 2 Tbs $0.00 You probably have
Vegi oil 1 Tbs $0.00
Chili Powder ½ Tbs $0.00
Favorite BBQ Sauce 1 bottle $2.49 I think I had a 16 oz bottle…and We picked some Texas style brand with a little kick. It was awesome

Total Cost: $ 12.95

Enjoyment Ratings:

Husband: 10

Wife:9.5

Leftovers: 10

Directions:

This meal should immediately attract you because of how simple it is.  Crock Pot meals are so awesome before they are so little work.  Sometimes the meat can get dried out, but most of the time the meals turn out great. If you don’t have one of these I highly recommend getting one.  They are great to use for At Home Date Nights if you can’t get your kids into bed to early.  Anyways, here is how to make it.

Pour all ingredients into crock pot….rub all over the pork…set on high….cook for 5 hours….shred pork…eat.

It is really that simple.  But if you want something a little more detailed here you go.

Pour in the vegi oil and then put in the pork roast.  Then pour the broth, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and BBQ sauce over the top of the pork.  Take your “Clean” hands and rub in the chili powder and brown sugar all over the roast.   Set the crock pot and “High” and cook for 5-6 hours.

When you are ready to eat you should be able to take some forks and shred the pork and mix everything together.  You can eat it with bread or you can just eat it straight up.  We chose straight up.

Super Soaker Battle Royal:

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ITEM QTY Cost Notes
Super Soaker Guns 2 $18.00 They were cheap at Wal-Mart. Not the real brand name, but they worked fine.  Make sure to get the ones that have a big reservoir and a pump and trigger.
Recycled Bottles 20 $0.00 Just save them.

Total Cost: $ 18.00

Directions:

I pretty much explained the game in the blog.  But the point is to just have fun.  You can run around and spray each other, but I think a friendly competition is better.  Just begin saving up your soda bottles, juice bottles, or anything plastic.  At the end of the game before we went inside she thought since I busted her lip and still lost she should be able to shoot me point blank in the face.  I was pretty defeated and didn’t want to be humiliated anymore so of course I let her do it.  It hurt like hell and I’m not quite sure how she was able to take so much of that while we were playing.  Then I remembered, she is Rican…she feels no pain, it’s part of her perfect DNA.

Total At Home Date Night Cost: $42.29

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

Christmas Savings 2015 Shadow Box deposits

Option 1: $36.00 Total saved: $748.00

Option 2: $10.00   Total saved: $306.00

Option 3: $10.00   Total saved: $170.00

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

Week 16: On the road, heading to Texas

Sometimes we forget that some of the most memorable parts of travelling can be the travel itself.  My wife and I spent the night in Zurich International Airport on our last day of backpacking through Europe.  We slept on some benches with some other backpackers just praying we could actually get some shut eye and hoping none of our stuff was going to get stolen.  We really didn’t sleep at all.  We did have some good laughs and some sad looks since our trip was coming to an end. We made the best of it though.  So tonight we pretended we were on our way to Texas.  Some come join us on our roadtrip.

When I was around 19 I took a road trip from San Diego to Orlando with my then 16 year old sister.  It was the middle of summer and driving through the desert with no A/C and temps around 114 degrees didn’t make for the safest trip, but we still had a blast.  We joked about my dad telling us to beware of something called “White Line Fever”.  I guess truckers get it where they just keep staring at the white line and all of the sudden get tunnel vision and end up not seeing themselves move into another lane and crash into something or someone.  Thanks Dad, you always know how make me feel good.   Anyways, the point is that road trips suck and are awesome all at the same time.

So At Home Date Night started off a little rough.  We were pretty late getting the kids in bed and actually the oldest was still up when we started to eat.  He had a lot of homework to do and I had taken them fishing a little earlier and their dinner took longer than expected.  Oh well, what can you do sometimes?  He was pretty quiet though because he knew it was Mommy and Daddy’s special night.  He was off to bed a little late but we were just getting into the meal so it was no big deal.  Since we were on a road trip to Texas we decided to make something easy.  We made a nacho cheese dip with a texmex style and some fried pickles.   I love fried pickles and I’ve never tried to make them myself at home. So it was going to be either a complete failure or a super win……you have to read on, but if you know us you can probably predict what happened.

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Oh wait, before I move on….when I put my oldest to bed he couldn’t decide what he wanted to watch on Netflix because I’m pretty sure he has seen everything now.  So I found……..NEVER ENDING STORY !!!!!!  Floods of childhood memories overtook me as I dreamed of gripping onto Falcor and flying through the cloud to save a princess! (not sure why I would want to save a princess…wasn’t she all tears and junk???  I’m on a flipping flying oversized dog……no way I’m getting a crying girl involved)   Well, anyways, after about 15 minutes he comes down to ask for some juice and I ask him how he is liking it.  He told me, “Dad, I turned the TV off….i’d rather watch nothing”………Yeah………That’s kids today……no appreciation for the classics.

I ran that little uncultured rugrat back to bed and headed back downstairs.  The cheese dip was pretty much done so we chowed down.   The fried pickles were breaded and in the deep fryer……but they weren’t looking too good.  I pulled them out and they looked awful, like the breading didn’t stick to them.  I then changed up the recipe and coated them in egg yolk and dipped them in some more batter and re-fried them.  They looked a little better and we tried them……they were horrible.  Actually my wife had never tried fried pickles before and she liked them, but I hated them.  So it was a total fail.  I know you were expecting better from a master chef like me but alas…..You can’t be perfect at everything.

For the activity we dove into our Puerto Rican roots and pulled out our domino set.  It’s a great game to play while you’re in the car on a long driving trip if you both are in the back seat.  Well, it had been about a year since we played and neither one of us really knew the rules.  I’m thinking to myself, “ Isn’t this chick a real Puerto Rican, born and raised on the island till she was 16, never lived in NY…..how can she not know how to play?”  I know her father right night is shaking his head in shame.  Well, good thing there is the google.  So we googled like pros and found some rules.  We couldn’t figure out though if the blanks were wild or not.  We played them wild for the first couple of games but then changed it.  I think the version the Ricans play is called Chicken Foot.  I have no idea what that is, we just played a version of the normal version (there are 3 variations of normal…….I know….that doesn’t make sense).

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Last time we played this she crushed me but I was determined to make her pay and I wanted her to remember how I also crushed her back when we played Ticket To Ride in At Home Date Night Week 10.   You can go read about my glorious Victory there.

She was just up for a short game because it was late and we were both tired.  So we played to 50.  To start off the game I guess you draw a domino and reveal it and whoever has the highest domino goes first.  Well I drew a total score of 3….only beats snake eyes….what does she draw next….SNAKE EYES !!!  I could feel deep in my bones it was going to be a glorious night.

The first couple games we only were gaining a couple points each.  After about 4 rounds I was losing 17 to 13 but still talking major smack because I knew I could take her.  The next game she had to draw more and more dominos because she couldn’t put out any dominos.  I kept telling her in my gangsta voice, “Draw from the Boneyard baby !!!”  She just kept silent….like a little wolf in sheep’s clothing.  Well, I got stuck with a couple blank dominos and then I had to start drawing from the boneyard.  I was starting to get nervous because all the dominos I was now picking up were really high numbers and she was starting to make matches on all her stuff.  Then I heard a still small voice in my ear say, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble”……….not cool.

Next thing I know this happens:

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BOOM !!!  just like that, it’s all lost and I’m their lying in a pool of massive boneyard dominos wondering what just happened (the top is what I had left in my hand).  My wife gets up and says, “It’s in the blood”…..kisses me on the head while I’m still dumbstruck and then she strolls off to bed.

Thanks for joining us again for another At Home Date Night.  I know I’m about 1 week behind now and hoping to catch up this week.  I won’t make any promises this time. Remember to post pictures of your at home date nights using #Homedatenightduo. You can also ask to join our Facebook group Homedatenightduo so you won’t miss any of the blogs once they go up.  Following below will be a walkthrough, as always, of the recipes with costs and all that jazz.  If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.

Texas Style Cheese and Chips (my own recipe)

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ITEM QTY Cost Notes
Jar Of Salsa 8 oz $2.39 Buy whatever brand you like….make sure it’s chunky though
Ground Beef 1 lb $4.00 80/20 or better
Taco Seasoning 1 pkg $0.69 Whichever flavor you like..I think I got Ortega
Velveeta Cheese 16 oz $4.99 You find this by all the spaghetti sauces I think

 

Total Cost: $ 12.07

Enjoyment Ratings:

Husband: 10 (it’s my own recipe…of course I’m giving it a 10)

Wife:  10 (It’s my own recipe…she better give it a 10)

Directions:

This is not only a great appetizer for At Home Date Night, but for any get together you may have. People are going to freaken love this stuff.  I know my family over the years has loved this as well.  Be careful though because it’s super filling and you won’t have room for a main dish if you make this.  Hence the reason we made two appetizers instead of having a main dish too…plus we are in the car on a road trip….little hard to cook in the car (don’t mind you we used a deep fryer for the pickles)

First cut up the cheese into little cubes and place them in a microwave safe container.  You know, one of those ceramic white dishes someone gave you a set of when you got married and you thought, “Damn, I wish they would of gave us cash.”  But now that 10 years has gone by you are like, “Wow, those peeps were awesome to give me this!!”

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Next, go ahead and cook the ground meat till it’s cooked pretty much through.  Drain the grease and then add in the Taco Seasoning.  Mix it up really well.  The Taco Seasoning is going to tell you to add like 1/3 cup or 2/3 cups of water.  I usually do half of this, but make sure the mix in the seasoning before you add the water.  Otherwise you are just going to get a bunch of clumps in the seasoning….and let’s face it….clumps suck.

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While the meat is cooking go ahead and dump 3/4 ‘s of the salsa into the bowl with the cheese and then throw it in the microwave for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes go ahead and stir it up really well.  Then pop it back in the microwave for another 3 minutes.  After it’s done it should be really easy to mix around and nice and smooth.

Check the meat to make sure that it doesn’t have to much liquid left.  If it has a lot of liquid just turn up the heat and it should boil out.  If you don’t want to wait just dump the water or grease out.  When the meat is completely cooked through, dump it into the cheese and mix everything up.  Throw some chips on a plate and leave me a message on Facebook thanking me for introducing you to awesomeness.

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Texas Roadhouse Style Fried Pickles (or what I like to call….Nothing like Texas Roadhouse Style Fried Pickles.)

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ITEM QTY Cost Notes
Jar Of whole Pickles 1 jar $3.19 I bought the whole pickles but you can buy the sliced ones….I think I should of went with the sliced ones
Frying Oil Enough $0.00 We had
Salt 1 tsp $0.00
Pepper 1 tsp $0.00
Sugar 1 tsp $0.00
Cayenne Pepper ¼ tsp $0.00
Ranch Dressing $0.00 If you are from murica….you have this. You can also use horseradish sauce…probably much better.
Flour 2 cups $0.00

Total Cost: $ 3.19

Enjoyment Ratings:

Husband: 1

Wife: 4

Leftovers:  in the trash

Directions:

Most of the time, Pinterest is awesome.  If you follow the recipe’s you almost always get a great tasting meal.  Beware though of recipe’s that say they taste just like the restaurant….usually that is a big warning sign that they taste nothing like the restaurant.   Anyways, here’s what I did

We have a deep fryer so I got that going.  You can also just use a frying pan with some oil.  No biggie if you don’t have a deep fryer.  I cut up the pickles into ¼ inch slices.  Dumped all the other ingredients into a bowl and mixed everything up really well.

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I dried the pickles a little and then put them to the side.  Once the oil was ready I put all the flour mix into a plastic bag and then dumped all the sliced pickles into the bag and shook it up to coat everything.  I then dumped them all out in a big wire strainer test get off all the excess flour and through about half of them into the fryer to cook for 3-5 minutes……well what happened was when I pulled them up the breading part kind of just slid right off the pickle.  The breading wouldn’t stay on the pickle.  So either I did something wrong (not likely) or this recipe was bogus.

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I decided since I’m a master chef that I should dip these things in some egg batter and re-bread them and then fry them.  This worked but I think I had already cooked the pickles too long because they just tasted funny.  Maybe it was the pickles…I don’t know it just wasn’t good.  I will link the recipe as always, but I would follow something different.  If any has one they have actually made and it’s turned out good please let me know.  I LOVE FRIED PICKLES !!!

Friendly Game of Dominos (yeah right)

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ITEM QTY Cost Notes
Set of Dominos 1 $0.00 You can buy some on amazon for $6.98 or call up one of your Rican friends and ask to borrow theirs. If they tell you they don’t have a set they must give you their official Rican card because they are imposters.
Pride 1 head full $not much up front
Humbleness 1 body full $ pays over time
Trash Talking skills 1 Rican $You don’t have enough

 

Total Cost: $ 6.98 if you don’t have a set already

Directions:

Ok this is how we played, you draw 7 dominos each. Then you draw one more and turn it face up. Whoever has the highest number goes first.  Usually the first person puts down any doubles the have and of course you want to get rid of the highest numbers first.  We played you could put down any number first, which was always whichever was the highest number you had in your hand.

Then each player takes a turn connecting on either side of the first domino.  There can only be two sides open for connections throughout the whole game.  If you can’t make a connection you pull from the “Boneyard” and end your turn.  You do this until you can make a connection.

The way to make a connection is you have to have a number that matches at least one side of the Domino in your hand to the domino on the board.  Blanks are not wilds.   Person to get rid of all their dominos first wins the round and the person which still has dominos left in their hands has to add up the total score.  Once one of the players reaches whatever score you deem to be the end of the game that person loses (like me…in one giant swoop).

We were probably playing wrong but oh well.  My wife crushed me and I’m man enough to take it…..ok…I watched some domino strategy video’s on You tube for like an hour after because next time that Rican is going down.

Total At Home Date Night Cost: $22.24 if you don’t have the game…$15.26 if you do.

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

Christmas Savings 2015 Shadow Box deposits

Option 1: $37.00 Total saved: $714.00

Option 2: $14.00   Total saved: $320.00

Option 3: $10.00   Total saved: $160.00

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

Week 15: Painting a Bird House….in Sweden

The first thing to come to mind when you think about Sweden is…..Swedish Meatballs !!! (if you are American).  Ok actually that isn’t true….if you are a dude you think….Swedish Super Model.  You start to ponder the thought if there are any ugly ladies in Sweden or if they are all bombshells?  Hold on…let me ask my wife….*Punch in the face*.   For real though, Sweden would be awesome to visit.  It’s got gorgeous people and Swedish Meatballs !!!  What could be better?  Ok, probably a lot of things could be better, but I love Swedish Meatballs so that is what I decided to make.  So come join us as we explore what Sweden has to offer.

Well, I bet you are tired of me apologizing for the blog being so late the last two weeks.  So I apologize once again.  April is a busy month for us and the actual At Home Date Night with my wife is what I’ve been making sure I focus on and get ready for.  We are on schedule for doing our Date Nights…but I’m off on the Blog being issued each Friday.  I’ll work on fixing that.  We did have a blast this At Home Date Night.  This was definitely one I can’t wait to do again next year.  We not only cooked some great food, but we painted a little bird house !!  As always you can skip to the recipes and activity section if you like.

We had to move At Home Date Night to Thursday this last week because of some scheduling conflicts.  No biggie.  Again, I emphasize always doing it the same night every week, but life happens and sometimes you gotta switch it around.  Just make sure you don’t neglect having the date night. That would be bad.  It’s easier to put something off again, if you miss it one time.  So don’t neglect it. Just switch the day and make sure it happens.  Your marriage will be thankful you did.

The night started off pretty normal. Kids were in bed at a reasonable time and I started cooking. If you noticed the “I” in the last sentence it wasn’t a mistake.  I thought I would give my wife off this date night from cooking.  I found a nice little side to make with the Swedish Meatballs so we thought it would be enough food and just went with one dish.   The side is called…Hasselbackspotatis…  It’s basically a baked potato.  I wasn’t too impressed with it but the Swedish Meatballs were awesome.

So as I’m getting everything ready to start cooking my wife starts watching this video her sister sent her of the KitchenAid mixer we got her for Christmas.  She wanted us to know that it was getting put to good use.  She was making a dirt cake and all I kept thinking about while I was watching the video was, “I love Dirt Cake….but I’m not getting any because she lives in PR…..I want to stop watching this video now.”  I was happy for her….sad for me.  I think people with KitchenAid’s are in their own little cult.  I believe she had a name for hers.   Guys name their guns; girls name their cooking gear…..yeah…that’s not sexist at all.   Anyways, after the video was done I went back to cooking like a well-trained domesticated husband.

We had our normal chatting about our day and did anything new happen or was it the same old same old.  At my work our department got an email telling us that two $100 bills were hidden in our new lab area and finders keepers losers weepers.  I knew something was up but a lot of people went looking for it.  I thought to myself, there is no chance I’m finding them Benjamin’s so why bother.  Come to find out it was just monopoly money which earned you a prize or something. They just wanted people to see the new lab and all it had to offer……Do you want to know what the prize was for finding the fake money???….of course you do…..lolipops……yeah…..lolipops.   Of course while I’m telling this story to my wife she kind of looks at me with that look of, “seriously….that is what you do all day at work….scavenger hunt???”   ……yep….it’s pretty awesome.  I said, “ you kind of get to do scavenger hunts while watching the kids…..like you have to find his cuppy….and ooooppppsssss surprise…dirty diaper”……..*punch in the arm*

It was getting close to the time I get to smash my fingers into the ground beef and mix all the goodness together.  I started  telling my wife how this was my favorite part because when I was a kid my mom would always let me make meat balls with her and it was a special time I remember spending with her.  She probably just wanted to get the stupid things made and sit down for a bit, but she never did, she always took the time to show me how to make them and place them in the pot.  Mom, if you are reading this, thanks for not being a sucky mom and letting me help make the meat balls even though it probably took 20 more minutes than it would have it you had just done it yourself.  My wife says, “ha, I hated cooking as a kid because it was expected as a Puerto Rican girl to learn to cook…..not fun.”  I silently said under my breath, “Tru Dat”.

We just talked about some random things while we waited for the food to finish.  Once it was done we raved about how good it was.  Yeah, I’m the master at Swedish Meatballs now.  I just have to figure out how to not get them to stick to the bottom of the pot when you initially put them in and then I will graduate to Swedish Meatball Grand Master.

We broke out the little Bird House.  I was really excited because we always have so much fun when we do a craft for date night.  Now the paints were really limited and my wife got up to go over to her office desk where she has a bunch of paints.  I said, “Hey, maybe we should use your paints?”  She was already getting them when I said that.  She replies, “You’re the type of person who says something like, “Hey maybe we should invent a car?…..oh wait somebody already did that….no original ideas.” …..I cried.  Of course she was just joking…..I think.

Now, there really weren’t any instructions on how to paint the bird house.  We decided to just paint one half of the roof each, and one side each.   Now, since I’m not to creative I decided to paint the only thing I’ve ever painted.  My wife and I went to one of those painting classes once and had a blast. So I wanted to paint something similar.  My wife decided to paint some clouds and trees, and hearts.  After she was done she says, “it looked like a care bear pooped on it.”   After the comment about me not being original I fully agreed with her statement.  Actually, I thought her side looked pretty awesome.  She really liked mine too.  I was happy with both my pictures.

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We sat back and admired our handiwork.  I said, ”Maybe the bird house will bring two love birds together?”  She said, “Well, it kind of already has” ………Yeah….she’s awesome.

Again I apologize for the lateness of this post.  The next blog is supposed to be up tomorrow, but it will probably be up Saturday or most likely Sunday and then the following one should be back on track for posting on Fridays.   Thanks again for joining us.  We have such a wonderful time together and we hope we’ve given you all some good ideas to share with the person you love.  Don’t neglect each other. Strive to make your marriage stronger.  Trust us, It’s worth it.  We hope to see more of your pictures on the Facebook group or Instagram.  Remember to post pictures of your at home date nights using #Homedatenightduo. You can also ask to join our Facebook group Homedatenightduo so you won’t miss any of the blogs once they go up.  Following below will be a walkthrough, as always, of the recipes with costs and all that jazz.  If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.

Hasselbackspotatis

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ITEM QTY Cost Notes
Medium Potatoes 2 $1.50 We had from week before but I put the cost of two
Butter or Margarine 3 Tbs $0.00 We had
Cheddar Cheese Grated Handful $2.54 I had to buy a bag…lots left over
Dry Bread Crumbs 2 Tbs $0.00 We had
Salt To taste $0.00 You have

 Total Cost: $ 4.04

Enjoyment Ratings:

Husband: 6

Wife: 6

Directions:

I thought this was going to be better than it actually was.  I actually shouldn’t of made any side at all because we also had noodles with the Swedish meatballs.  It wasn’t too bad though. We would probably make them like this again but they need some sour cream or something else. Maybe some Rosemary on top of it for the last 10 minutes of baking or so might help the flavor out a little.

Anyways, go ahead and peel both potatoes and get the oven heated to 440F.  Yeah, I said that right…440F.  Take a large wooden spoon and cut little slits about 1/8 inch apart down the length of the potatoe.  The spoon is to prevent the knife from cutting all the way through, but seriously, you don’t need the spoon.  Just be careful when cutting and try to only go a little more than halfway. I did good on one of them, but the other …..not so good…..I ate that one.

After you are done cutting go ahead and put them in a glass baking pan thingy.  You know, the kind of pan you make brownies in or something.  Melt the butter in the microwave and pour it over the potatoes.  Add some salt and bake that baby for 30 minutes.  During that 30 minutes open the oven and baste the potatoes with the molten butter.  I like that word….molten.

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After 30 minutes, sprinkle the bread crumbs and grated cheese and bake for another 15 minutes.  After it’s done pull it out and kind of feel a little disappointed because the picture on pinterst looked so good, but it just tastes kind of ……bleh.  It’s ok, they can’t all be winners.

Swedish “Super Sexy” Meatballs

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ITEM QTY Cost Notes
Ground Beef 1 lb $6.99 It’s the cheapest they had at publix…you can usually get this for 4 bucks at any reasonable store
Panko Bread Crumbs ¼ cup $1.79 We had…but I put the price down
Milk ¼ cup $0.00 You have
Yellow Onion ½ $0.80
Garlic Clove minced 1 clove $0.00
Oregano Dry 1 tsp $0.00 They ask for fresh oregano too, but I forgot to buy it.  It’s 1.99 and you need 1 tbsp
Egg 1 $0.00 I’m the only one in my house who eats eggs….what is wrong with my family?
Olive Oil 1 tbs $0.00
Butter 5 tbs $0.00
Flour 3 tbs $0.00
Beef Broth 2 cups $2.00
Heavy Cream 1 cup $2.99
Worcestershire sauce ½ tbs $0.00 I love this stuff
Dijon Mustard 1 tsp $1.99 I had to buy some…glad I have it now
Kosher Salt ½ tsp $0.00 You may have…you should have both kinds of salt
Pepper ½ tsp $0.00

Total Cost: $ 16.56

Enjoyment Ratings:

Husband: 9.5

Wife: 9.5

Leftovers: 10  (we had it for dinner the next night too and it rocked…and my wife doesn’t eat leftovers but she loved it.)

Directions:

Wash your hands.

In a mixing bowl combine the panko bread crumbs and milk. Let it sit for about 10 minutes and the bread crumbs should soak up all the milk.

In a large pot heat the olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter on medium heat.  Chop up the onions really small and sauté them in the pot for about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and oregano after this and sauté for about 3 more minutes.

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In a large mixing bowl combine the ground beef with the sautéed onions, garlic, and oregano. Mix in the salt, pepper, and egg and start mushing it all around. Once the eggs is completely mushed in go ahead and add the bread crumbs from the other bowl and mix it up some more.

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Now grab little chunks of meat and make meatballs. If you don’t know how to do this call someone. They will laugh at you and call you an idiot and probably hang up on you, but you might get lucky and someone will have mercy and walk you through how to make a little ball out of meat.  It should make about 20 meatballs.

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Reheat the pot on medium, which you sautéed the onions in, adding a little more olive oil and butter if needed.  Carefully place the meatballs in the pot.  I would put about half of them in and brown them. Be careful when moving them around because they break up really easy.  Transfer the meatballs to a plate or something once they are done browning.  Once you have all of them done add 4 tbsp of butter to the pot.  When the butter is melted add in the flour and whisk until it’s golden brown.  Slowly stir in the beef broth and keep the pot hot enough so the sauce is at a slow boil.  Don’t put all the beef broth in at once or the sauce will be to thin.

Once you have all the beef broth in add in the heavy cream, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, and simmer until the sauce thickens.  This should take about 5-10 minutes.  When it looks like it’s getting thick go ahead and add back the meatballs and cover the top of the pot and let it simmer with the meatballs in it for about 10 minutes.

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After that it’s ready to serve.  You don’t need to add noodles if you make the hasselbackspotatis, but I wanted to make noodles because that’s how my mom always made it.  Just buy some egg noodles and boil them like you would spaghetti.  I’m pretty sure I don’t have to explain how to do that.

Paint a Bird House

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ITEM QTY Cost Notes
Paint a Birdfeeder Kit for Kids 1 $15.99 I bought this from Bass Pro Shop.  If you don’t have one near you, follow the link to buy it online.

Total Cost: $ 15.99

Directions:

So they only give you one brush and a couple of paints with this thing.  I’m glad my wife had more paints and another brush because it made it a lot more fun.  Just jump into your inner child and make something up.  Paint whatever you want.  Just make swirls or stick figures.  It really doesn’t matter.  You can write the date and a heart with both your names.   What my wife did was painted a scene.  I went ahead and painted a mix of night and day and a little branch that stretched forth and had two love birds on it.  You guys should post whose side you think turned out better….care bear poop….or love birds.  I actually liked hers a lot.  It had a lot on it, but it looked amazing.  I wanted to add more to mine but she thought it was perfect….or she wanted to go to bed…I’m thinking it was the first.  You could also look up youtube videos to get ideas on what or how to paint it.  I watched a couple a few minutes ago and they weren’t too bad.  Really though, just have fun and laugh with each other…or at each other.  Whatever works best for you.

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Total At Home Date Night Cost: $36.59

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

Christmas Savings 2015 Shadow Box deposits

Option 1: $38.00 Total saved: $677.00  (plane ticket for sister, Christmas Tree, and Stockings paid for)

Option 2: $15.00   Total saved: $306.00 (Christmas tree, Stockings, and some little gifts paid for)

Option 3: $10.00   Total saved: $150.00 (Christmas tree and stockings paid for)

It’s not too late to start your shadow box so get a move on and post your picture !!!!

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

Week 14: All you need is love….in London

This week we thought we would take a trip to London.  London seems like a place that everyone would want to go to sometime in their life.  History, beauty, great food, and Austin Powers….YEAH BABY YEAH !!!  We’ve never been but always love seeing pictures of our friends who have been to London.  So come take a trip with us as we explore British food and take a little ride on the crazy train.

When you think about London you think….Big looking clock building.  You also think, rock music.  I asked my wife what she thought about London and she said, “ The only good thing to come out of Britain was the Spice Girls” …….dead face……..” PSYCHE !!! “ she says…” I’m putting the Beatles on Pandora.”  Yeah, she got me. I thought she was for real, then I was like, “Psyche….really? hello 1987”…….Punch in the arm (it’s going to be a good night….I can feel it.)   Good thing the song that first came on was all you need is love.  It set the mood just right.

Our week started off crazy because we had some family birthdays and events.  We weren’t even sure we could do an at home date night this week, but even in the midst of it all we knew we had too. It was Friday,(usually the day I post this blog), that we ended up doing it.  So we both apologize for the blog getting out so late, but we are glad we didn’t skip a week.  We knew we needed it too.  Our son had soccer practice in the evening so we got home late, but we were both so motivated for at home date night that we got the kids fed and in bed by around 8:30pm (Micky D’s helped…don’t judge us).  My wife immediately started cooking her meal.  She was going to make something called Poutine.  It was one of the easiest dishes she said she ever made and it was so good.  It’s French fries with brown gravy and cheese……plate of heart attack??……yes please !!!   I decided to make something called Bangers and Mash.  Bangers and Mash…where do they come up with these things??   It was awesome though.  It’s basically sausage and mashed potatoes with an awesome onion brown gravy.  If you are on some kind of Low Carb diet this meal will be the death of you.  London was a carb overload…..and I loved every second of it.  We needed the carbs though because for the activity we planned on getting the band back together for a reunion tour.  We were breaking out Rock Band for PS3 !!  Now if you are like us your PS3 is pretty much a Netflix/BD player.  I can’t even remember the last time I actually played a real video game on it.  We used to play Rock Band a lot, years and years ago, so we were looking forward to shaking off the dust and surprising our fans.

A Rolling Stones song came on and my wife starts trying to booty dance with me.  I’m not sure what inspired her to booty dance with me to Rolling Stones, but I wasn’t going to stop her….carry on.  Her meal was finished rather quickly and we both grabbed some forks and devoured it.  It was sooooooooooo good.  The only thing I would have changed was maybe the cheese. I think it needed a stronger tasting cheese. My meal took a little bit longer to make so we started getting Rock Band ready.  Come to find out some of the little wireless connections weren’t with all the video game stuff.  I couldn’t remember for the life of me where I had packed it when we moved.  So the search began.  We looked through every drawer, shelf, and closet but came up empty.  The food was almost ready so we took a break looking and decided to try the Bangers and Mash….OMG….it was awesome.  I have to say, even though it was so good we couldn’t eat that much, but we sure did try.  You know that feeling when your tummy says you are full but you ignore it because the food tastes so good in your mouth that you can’t stop, but later on you wish you wouldn’t have ate so much because you feel like Fat B. from Austin Powers.  Yeah, we felt that way, but kept on eating…..YOLO !!!!

After our tummies were about to burst my wife wanted to take a shower so I continued the hunt.  I was tearing apart every box in the garage, swearing under my breadth…..and above my breadth.  I needed to find these things…it was my new life’s mission.  You know how it is right, If your husband is relaxing and you ask him to do something there is probably a 99.9999% chance his first response will be, “yeah babe, I’ll get to that later.”  But if your husband has gotten over the hump of actually “starting” something, come hell or high water (not sure where that came from or even means), he is going to complete that task.  That was me.  My wife came down from the shower and I was still tearing apart the garage and double checking every space in the house.  I was looking for the dang things in the kitchen even (because I’m an idiot).  She says, “Hun, why don’t we just do the puzzle tonight?”…….”No…I’m finding these things, I don’t care if it takes me all night.”  It’s futile ladies.  Just let him work out his issues, and try to figure out how you can get him to apply this motivation to cleaning the house.  There’s only one thing that can get a man to stop his mission once he’s started.  I’m pretty sure you know what that one thing is ladies, but be ready to deliver if you use your special tactics.  No one likes a tease……most of the time.

My wife did not use special tactics, she just let me keep going.  Earlier when we started looking she said, “Hey babe, did you check those boxes on the top shelf of the garage?”…..normal guy response “It’s not in those, I know what’s in those and it’s not what I’m looking for.”  Now we truly do believe it when we say it, but the real reason we haven’t looked in there is because it would require the ladder, and that is outside, and I’m 100% sure it isn’t in those boxes.  When your husband tells you he’s 100% sure it means he is 0% sure.  Well, when I finally had enough I decided to look in those boxes…….I really hate when she is right.   Now ladies, you could really rub this in or you could sit in silence, knowing that you are the superior gender.

We got everything hooked up and I was on drums and my wife took the guitar. The band was back together.  We put in the Rock Band 3 disc first and started scrolling through all the songs.  Now if you have ever played the game it keeps track of how well you scored each time.  I didn’t even recognize most of the songs but it said we had played them.  We tried out a couple of songs and did terrible.  We were rusty, but not too long we were jamming out and hitting our stride.  We laughed at our band name….Purple Vein.  What were we even thinking?

I remember when we got Rock Band 3 we really didn’t play it that much so we put in Rock Band 2 and now we were talking.  Our band member names made us laugh pretty hard. She had named her character “Pink”.  Mine was “Pink’s Slave”……true inside Rock Band and out.  I remembered all the songs and even worked up the courage to play on HARD (yeah, I’m a boss).  I look over at my wife while we are playing Drain You by Nirvana and I keep seeing her yank the guitar neck up in the air like she is some virtuoso.   I forgot that is how you activate some kind of super mode or something.  It was still pretty cool though.

We played through almost all the songs on Rock Band 2 and forgot we also had Lego Rock Band.  We popped that in and rocked out some more.  I can’t remember after which song it was but we got into this conversation about coordination and I made the comment about how most men are more coordinated than women……..bad move.  The discussion was about how this girl on my son’s soccer team was way better than the boys.  I agreed that she naturally moved well and you could see that she was pretty coordinated but that wasn’t the norm.  Needless to say, this broke out into a pretty heated discussion and my wife tried to convince me that woman were more coordinated then men……..let’s face it….I won that battle before it even started.

Ok ok, don’t hate on the home date night duo guy.  I will concede that there are many exceptions to the rules of gender strengths and weaknesses, but there are definitely strong points in mass quantities for each gender.  Like most women can multi task way better than a man ever could. We can multi task but not at the accuracy level or efficiency of a woman.

So there, men have better hand eye coordination…..woman can multi task….i’ll stop now before I dig my own grave.   So after our dispute on coordination we played a few more songs and my wife says, “What time is it?”……..I look at the clock in the kitchen…..2am !!!   I couldn’t believe we had been playing that long.  We were just having so much fun and joking around that we lost track of the time.  When was the last time you did this with your spouse?  This is what At Home Date Nights are all about…reconnecting…sharing moments…laughing till 2am.

Even though the week was extremely busy and we had a big weekend planned we found that little sliver of time to fit in our marriage.  If you wait for the perfect circumstances to come your way or for the stars to align, or for you both to be in the mood of hanging out at the same time…..ten years may go by and you will wonder what happened.  Make your marriage a priority

Well, it was definitely way passed bed time.  I said to my wife, “Hey, can I be one of your groupies???”…..she replies in her best Austin Powers voice “Yeah, baby….Yeah!”

I hope you enjoyed sharing this At Home Date Night with us.  We hope to see more of your pictures on the Facebook group or Instagram.  Remember to post pictures of your at home date nights using #Homedatenightduo. You can also like our Facebook page Homedatenightduo.  Following below will be a walkthrough, as always, of the recipes with costs and all that jazz.  If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.

Poutine:

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ITEM QTY Cost Notes
Frozen Fries 1 bag $3.59 I think we used half the bag
Brown Gravy Mix 2 pkgs $1.00 They were on sale…buy 2 for a buck
Water 1 ½ cups $0.00
Worcestershire sauce ½ tsp $0.00 We had
Fresh Cheese Curds 2 cups $2.69 I bought Mozzarella block because I don’t know what cheese curds are

 

Total Cost: $ 7.28

Enjoyment Ratings:

Husband: 9

Wife: 9

Directions:

This was an awesome appetizer and so easy to make.  Although, I just went back to the website to verify the ingredients and it says this is a Canadian dish…….wife fail (in her defense she found it on buzzfeed…..and we all know buzzfeed is 100% accurate).  WHO CARES THOUGH !!  I did wiki it really quick and it states that it may have come from the English word pudding….but for French Fries….i’m getting even more excited.  Ok onto the recipe.

Follow the directions on baking the French fries in the oven from the bag you bought. While they are baking go ahead and get out a saucepan and dump the gravy mix packages, water, and Worcestershire sauce and heat it to a boil. Once it is boiling, continue to whisk it for just a bit and then reduce the heat all the way to a simmer and whisk it slowly until it starts to thicken.

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Once it is thick just let it sit there for about a minute while you cut up the mozzarella block into tiny squares.  When the fries are done put it all on a serving plate of some sort and spread out the mozzarella onto the fries.

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Grab the gravy and pour it over all the fries and cheese and begin stuffing your beautiful face with wondrous Poutine.  You will begin to feel tightness in your chest after the 4th bite, but keep going and repeat the words, “Get in my Belly !!!!”

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Bangers and Mash with Onion Brown Gravy

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ITEM QTY Cost Notes
Sweet Italian Sausage 4 pack $4.99 I couldn’t find Italian sausage so I bought smoked sausage and got a BOGO. It was still good.
Olive oil 1 tbs $0.00 We have
Potatoes 2.5 lbs $3.99 I bought a 5 lb bag…we will make this meal twice
Butter 6 Tbs $0.00 We have
Milk ½ cup $0.00 We have
Heavy Whipping Cream ¼ cup $0.00 We usually have because we like to make different soups….but I think it’s usually around $1.99
Salt and pepper To taste $0.00 You have
Large Yellow Onions 2 $1.59
Flour 2 tbs $0.00 We have
Beef Broth 3 cups $2.69 Next time I’m only going to use 2 cups
Fresh Thyme 1 tsp $1.99  I hate that I have to buy a whole bag for just a tsp.
Gravy Browning mix 2 tsp $0.50

Total Cost: $ 15.75  (when you buy this it makes enough for 4 servings…so you will have lunch or dinner the next day already made….win win)

Enjoyment Ratings:

Husband: 9

Wife: 9

Leftovers: 10

Directions:

This took a little more effort than the Poutine, but I’m pretty sure this is authentic British food. Someone can correct me if I’m wrong.

First thing you need to do is wash, peel, and wash half the bag of potatoes if you bought a 5 lb bag.  Cut up the potatoes into cubes and put in a large pan and fill the pan with water and boil the potatoes for 20 min or until tender.

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While the potatoes are boiling go ahead and get out a frying pan and put in the tablespoon of olive oil and heat to about a 6 on your stove.  Wait for the pan to get hot then put in 4 sausages.  Make sure while they are frying you are constantly flipping then over.  I would do this every 2 minutes and I let them cook for about 15 minutes or so.

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While the bangers are cooking, cut up the onions and chop up the thyme.  When the bangers are done remove them and put them on a plate.  Dump the grease in the pan and then add 3 tbs of butter, watch it melt, then add in the onions.  Cook the onions till they are nice and soft and move them around often.  I would say this took about 10 minutes.

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While the onions are cooking the potatoes should be ready. Drain the potatoes with a strainer and dump them back into the pot you were cooking them in.  Add in 3 tbs of butter, ½ cup of milk, and ¼ cup of heavy whipping cream.  Mash away until they are nice and smooth.  I like my mash like I like my old ladies legs….smooth……punch in the arm….right after she read this.

Add salt and pepper to the mash and mix it, then taste it.  Keep doing that until it tastes the way you both like it.

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Check back on the onions and they should be nice and sautéed.  Add the 2 tbs of flour, 3 cups of beef broth, fresh thyme, and 2 tsp of brown gravy mix.  Bring it to a boil and mix it really good, then reduce the heat to a simmer and mix it until the gravy starts to thicken.  It says it takes 2 minutes but I believe it took me around 5 minutes.  Then add in the sausage to the onion gravy mix and let it simmer for another 2 mintutes.

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Get out two plates and put a healthy portion of mash in the middle. Then add a sausage from the mix on top of each mash and top it off with the onion gravy.

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Next time I make this I probably won’t use 3 cups of beef broth. I like my gravy kind of thick and the gravy in this recipe was really watery.  It was still awesome and we have enough to stuff to make this again next week for a regular meal.  Maybe we will make the kids eat it……no…I think we’ll save it for ourselves.

The leftovers were awesome too.  I love when I don’t have to make a lunch.

Couples Video Game night

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ITEM QTY Cost Notes
PS3 1 $0.00 We had
Rock Band Kit 1 $0.00 We had

 

Total Cost: $ 0.00

Directions:

Ok, maybe you don’t have a gaming console…….but I’m thinking you do.  If you live in America you do or know somebody who does.  I bet you know somebody that has a console they never even use anymore and would be willing to let you borrow it for a week.  I bet you even know somebody who has a rock band or guitar hero kit and would let you borrow everything for a week, so no excuses.

My wife and I like to play video games….ok I love to play video games and my wife sort of likes them. Before we had kids she loved playing Disney games for the Game Cube.  She only liked games she could beat in a matter of days.  If I got her a new game I pretty much knew I would not see her for 3 or 4 days until she beat it.  If the game took longer than that she had no interest.  I would come home and be like, “Hey babe, how you doing?….what do you want to eat?”…..controller smashes into the ground….she says, “I can’t beat this stupid level, I have to jump on this little block and I keep falling off.” I say, “Well, I can help you with that babe….i’ve got pretty good hand eye coordination.”   You can probably fill in the blanks to what happened next.

Anyways, if you can’t get a Rock Band or Guitar Hero game then just rent an adventure or puzzle game from Redbox.  Sometimes we would rent a scary game for a couple days and just go through it together.  It was kind of like watching a movie, but you control the main actor.  We haven’t done that in a while.  I have a feeling we might be breaking out the Rock band more often now though.

Total At Home Date Night Cost: $23.03

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

Christmas Savings 2015 Shadow Box deposits  (see link if you don’t know what this is)

Option 1: $39.00 Total saved: $639.00

Option 2: $16.00   Total saved: $291.00

Option 3: $10.00   Total saved: $140.00

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

Week 13 : Take Out??? Yes Please !!!!

This week when I was telling my wife where we were going to visit she says, “I’m still recovering from cooking that Indian food from last week, why don’t we take a break from cooking this week and have some take out” ……..let me think about that……2 seconds later…..SOLD !!!!   I was still recovering from the Indian Food cook off from last week also so take out sounded perfect.   It made planning much easier for this week and since relaxation sounded like the goal I decided to give my wife a candle light sponge bath.   While we love travelling and trying new foods and new activities it’s always nice to not have to be the one cooking on a date.  At Home Date Nights don’t have to be stressful.  That is not what they are about and this week’s is another soft ball for most couples….especially the women because you don’t really have to do anything.  I told my wife, “I think I’m going to plan an At Home Date Night where you have to do everything for me….what do you think about that?”  her reply, “ It shouldn’t be that hard, I already do that 6 days out of the week.” ………not cool.  So come join us for a night of take out and relaxation.

The night started of pretty normal.  I was positive we were getting food from a restaurant called Chilis, but my wife was in the wings kind of mood.  It was cool, take out is flexible and that’s exactly what tonight was going to be about. No pressure, just having fun, relaxing, and good company.  The kids were in bed at a decent time and I asked her what flavor wings she wanted.  She says, “I want all drums, grilled, Hot Teriyaki and Caribbean Jerk from Gators Dockside (best wings).”  I said, “Ok cool, I like Caribbean Jerk.”  Now my wife looks at me and explains to me that those orders are just for her and that I should get my own wings because she is super hungry (each order is 10 wings).  Does your wife ever do that guys?  You know, make you go out and get food you know beyond a shadow of a doubt she will come nowhere close to finishing.  Yeah, I know they do, I feel your pain.   I just kind of sigh and say, “Babe, you know you aren’t going to eat that much, you can’t even finish 1 order of wings when I get them for you.”  Her reply, “I know I know, but I’m really really really hungry”.  She then proceeds to bat her eyes and make the face of “If you love me you will get me what I want”.  Yeah, I know, you know that look too and since tonight is At Home Date Night there is no point in resisting. Just get the woman her wings.

The wing place isn’t too far and they were ready by the time I got there.  So we weren’t eating too late.  We decided to sit upstairs in the bed and eat and since we had talked a lot beforehand about our day we found a new show to watch together on Netflix.  It’s actually kind of rare that my wife and I watch a show together.  So it was nice.  We started this series called Turn or something like that.  It’s a show about spies during the revolutionary war.  The first episode was ok.  We might watch it together again sometime.  We kept talking while watching it though because we couldn’t imagine living back in those times.  I think we take for granted how easy our lives are and all the luxuries we have.  I think those luxuries should be put to good use.  Take laundry machines for instance.  They save us so much time and we never even realize it I think.  During the show we were watching like 5 people doing all the laundry outside in a big bucket then hanging it, taking it back down, folding it.  That’s an all day event, but one thing I noticed was it forces you to interact with people.  I would encourage you, as a married couple, to do the chores of the home together.  This isn’t just one person’s job. You guys are a team and for a team to be successful both parties have to give 100% each.  So next time the Laundry needs to be done do it together, fold together, hang up together, put it away together.   You’ll start to see more conversations spark, more goofing around begin, more love shared between you both.  Ok, soap box done.

Where were we?  Ah yes, wings.  So I finished my wings and look over at how many she had left……16.  She had eaten 4 wings……..dead face……face into pillow……. “ Don’t say a word” she says.  I stole a couple of her wings and we put the rest away for later.  I think in the end she had like 8 wings or something but I already knew that was going to happen.  She says, “I know I know, you were right I should have just got one order.”  My reply, “You don’t have to tell me anything, I knew I was right as soon as you told me you were really hungry.”   PUNCH IN THE ARM…….do I ever really learn my lesson? No.

So while the show was finishing up I got the tub ready.  Now I was going to do a bubble bath but we have a Jacuzzi tub and if you have a Jacuzzi tub you probably already know what happens when you try to be cool and do a bubble bath in it……bubbles……a freakish amount of bubbles……  So instead I just went with some bath lotions I had so the water smelled nice and refreshing.  I lit some candles and got a little towel for a pillow and put on some Sinatra and let her know it was ready for her whenever she was ready……no answer……”Babe, the bath is ready !!” I called out…….no answer, “You ok babe, the bath is ready !!”…..no answer.   If you have been married awhile you know where this is going….yeah….she fell asleep.   Now your first inclination might be, “Don’t wake the sleeping beast” but it’s Home Date Night and by hell or high water I’m going to be romantic!!

I slowly got close to her and was about to nudge her when she opens her eyes and screams at me like a howler monkey.  Now, I’m a pretty jumpy guy.  It’s not hard to startle me and my wife knows this.  So after I jumped about 5 feet back, freaked out, she just busts up laughing, “I’m not asleep you fool, who passes up a sponge bath?” ………..not cool.

She jumped into the tub and hit the jets and floated off to never never land.  Now I had some secret motives for the sponge bath (not the kind you are thinking folks although if it lead to that…go me.)   I don’t know what it is about winter time and woman.  Something happens to them where they go into this “I’m wearing jeans all the time so my legs can look like Chewbacca for a couple months” kind of attitude.  Let me tell you ladies…….not cool.   If your stubble is more than 1/8 inch long it’s time to put a razor to it.  I know I know, I don’t know what it’s like because I’m not a woman, but please, I’m begging you, it’s traumatizing to us guys.  Shave your legs.   So with that I say, “Hey babe, maybe it’s time to shave your legs??”  I then make the Chewbacca sound ,“they are looking pretty wookie “.  You guessed it, PUNCH IN THE ARM.   After I recovered I suggested she let me shave her legs.  My wife is pretty much up for anything so she let me and now I know why you ladies go into shaving hibernation.  It takes forever and I was so scared of cutting her, but I did a good job.  Still though, no excuses ladies, shave them legs.

She relaxed in there for a good 20 minutes and we just talked about our day and really just how lucky our lives are.   Now at this point I’ll end the night with two scenarios.  Scenario “A” involves me jumping into the tub and floating off to never never land along with her….minus shaving my legs.  Scenario “B” involves her being ready to just pass out in bed and me cleaning up the food and joining her to pass out as well.   Regardless of whether you think scenario “A” or “B” happened we had another wonderful At Home Date Night that involved little to no planning, a lot of relaxation, laughs, and us being more in love with each other than ever before.

Sorry so little pictures this time but let’s face it.  I’m not putting pictures of my bathroom up.  No recipes, but I will include a total cost for take out. .  Thank you again for joining us on our 52 week journey of At Home Date Nights.  Don’t forget to share your photo’s also on our instagram using #Homedatenigthduo.  Thanks again and we will see you next week !!!

Total At Home Date Night Cost: $34.04

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

Christmas Savings 2015 Shadow Box deposits

Option 1: $40.00 Total saved: $600.00

Option 2: $17.00   Total saved: $275.00

Option 3: $10.00   Total saved: $130.00

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

Week 12: Too Many Spices in India

After this week’s date night I’m pretty positive we will not be visiting India in our future.  Don’t get me wrong, the food we cooked was amazing but boy did it take forever to prepare.  When I told my wife we were going to do India for date night this week she really didn’t seem that interested.  I have to say, neither was I, but never the less I do like Indian food.  I used to work with this vegetarian guy so we would go to the vegetarian Indian place down the street from my job sometimes and I was always surprised at how good the food was and it didn’t have MEAT!!  I’m definitely a meat eater and have it with almost every meal….first world mentality here.   The idea of not having some meat to go along with whatever I’m eating never sounds like a good idea, but the Indian place we went to was wonderful so I knew it was possible to have a great vegetarian meal…..wait….did I just say that.  Your probably thinking that will all this talk about a vegetarian Indian place I used to go to at work that we would eat vegetarian for date night while we travelled to India…….YOU WERE WRONG.   I found a great looking chicken dish and my wife’s dish contained ground meat.   So join us on our long and painful adventure into travelling to India and cooking Indian style.

The night started off pretty normal….ok that is a lie….I walked in the door and the first thing my wife says is, “Why did you pick India??  I’ve been @&$^#% preparing since 4:30pm !!!”  So good to see you love……how was your day?……  Were people nice to you at work?…..  It’s so good to see you……  So happy it’s date night……thanks for being so awesome…….So glad you are home so I can lust after your muscular body……….These are phrases I normally hear when I walk in the door, but did not here that day (ok the last two I might be imagining).   I pretty much didn’t say a word and took the kids in the back yard.  It’s best to leave a Puerto Rican woman alone when they have a knife in their hand and they are possibly upset at you.  Note to self, do not pick India for at home date night again.

I stayed outside with the kids until it was time for showers and bed.  They were pretty good too because I think they know not to mess with a Puerto Rican woman either.   After the kids were in bed I went downstairs and my wife headed upstairs for a quick shower (thank God, I didn’t want to be left alone and I didn’t have the kids to shield me from whatever might be thrown.)   The sink was already half full with dishes so I knew her dish must have been pretty tough.  I knew it wasn’t going to be easy because both of our meals had a ton of ingredients.  It took me 20 minutes just to gather up all of the spices I needed and to cut up and prep all the food.

I put on some classical Indian music just as my wife got downstairs.  She looked….radiant.  Do you still feel that way about your wife?  You should because they are the best thing that ever happened to you.  Make sure to tell them that because most of the time I don’t think they feel so radiant.  Wives, do you believe your husband when he tells you you’re radiant?  You should, because you are the best thing that ever happened to him and he knows it.  He isn’t saying it to make you feel better. He is saying it because he loves you and thinks it.  So take the compliment and start believing you are the best thing in the whole world.

She asks me, “Did you watch that documentary about India called Blood Brother that I asked you to watch so we could talk about it tonight?”   I thought in the back of my head, “I am for sure getting stabbed tonight.”  My answer, “ ummmm, no, there was a problem with Netflix…….ummmm I couldn’t find it…….ummmmm  I forgot the name……ummmmm please don’t kill me.”   Actually it was ok.  She wasn’t upset at all and just wanted me to watch it because it impacted her a lot and she wanted to share it with me.  She told me all about it and after hearing her talk about it I knew I wanted to check it out.  It’s about this dude who travels to India on a self discovery journey and ends up falling in love with these little kids from an orphanage and they all have aids.  He ends up not wanting to go back to the US but just wants to stay with these kids and love them.  It was quite the touching story as my wife describes it and one of those shows that makes you wonder why you ever complain about anything in your life.  I’m not saying we don’t have problems here in our lives, but I think 99% of them could be solved if we just took a step back and started to look at all that God has given us.

She mostly talked while we were cooking.  Telling me about all the things this guy did for the kids and how he just gave up the American Dream and felt like his life had purpose now.  His parents were pretty upset at him and didn’t understand why he didn’t want to come back to the U.S.  Anyways, if you get a chance please check it out.  I think I’m going to try and watch it this weekend because if it means something to my wife it should mean something to me.

My wife made these things called Beef Samosa’s and I was making Chicken Tikka Masala.  I would highly recommend not making these on a weeknight, but making them on the weekend when you know you are going to be in the kitchen awhile.  I think it would go by much faster next time, but it might be awhile before I make my dish again and the same goes for my wife.  My wife finished cooking up her Samosa’s and it was already around 9pm.  My dish took me almost until 10:30pm to finish up.  It was just a lot of little things to do.  We sat and enjoyed both dishes and then I told her we were going to finish up that puzzle we started forever ago on a previous date night.  She was down for it, but after we finished eating and just chatting with each other we were both exhausted and wanted to go to bed.  The puzzle would have to wait for another time, but the time we got to spend together just talking about how lucky we are to have each other and how fortunate of lives we live was more than enough for a successful at Home date night.

Below you will find the recipe’s for the food we cooked.  Thank you again for joining us on our 52 week journey of At Home Date Nights.  Last week we had some people share their photos of some at home date nights they have had and we would love to see more.  You can post them on the group Facebook Homedatenightduo.  Don’t forget to share your photo’s also on our instagram using #Homedatenigthduo.  Thanks again and we will see you next week !!!

Beef Samosas

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Item QTY Price Comments
Large Potato peeled 2 $2.00 We used the Russet
Frozen Peas thawed 1 cup $1.29 Yeah I know…gross
Vegetable Oil 2 TBS $0.00 We had
Cummin Seeds ½ Tsp $.79
Bay Leaf crushed 1 $.79
Large Yellow Onions 2 $2.00 Finely Chopped
Ground Beef 80/20 1 lb $4.04
Garlic Cloves Crushed 4 $0.00 We had
Fresh Ginger Root 1 TBS $0.36 I finally found this..very small piece
Ground black pepper ½ Tsp $0.00 We had
Salt 1 ½ Tsp $0.00 We had
Ground Cumin 1 Tsp $0.00 We had
Ground Coriander 1 Tsp $0.00 We had
Ground Tumeric 1 Tsp $0.00 Can’t believe we had
Chili Powder 1 Tsp $0.00 We had
Ground Cinnamon ½ Tsp $0.00 Really, is this actually doing anything
Ground Cardamon ½ Tsp $0.00 This was free because I didn’t buy it. When you see the price you won’t either.
Fresh Cilantro 2 TBS $0.00 Chopped up
Green Chili Peppers 2 TBS $ I bought a can of this…she chopped them up
Frying Oil 1 quart $2.39 I bought Veggie oil since I knew we needed some anyways.  We only used I think about 2 cups instead of 4.
Package of Phyllo dough 1 16oz $2.99

Total Cost: $ 16.65

Enjoyment Ratings:

Husband: 9

Wife: 7

Directions:

Ok, I now realize why it took so long for my wife to make these things……two kids aged 2 and 5 on spring break.   The recipe also states to let something chill in the fridge for 1 hour.  I think that is why she started so early.

Pull out the phyllo dough a couple of hours before to make sure it’s all thawed out.

Chop up the onions and peel and cut up the potatoes. My wife said she was balling too from the onions and because she missed me (ok she didn’t say that). She had to cut up two of them so I’m sure that wasn’t pleasant.  In a large cooking pot heat up some water and a ¼ tsp of salt and bring to a boil.  Then toss in the potatoes and peas and cook for about 15 minutes.  After this drain them and mash them up really well.

In a frying pan over medium to high heat, heat the oil.  Throw in the brown cumin seeds and bay leaf.  Mix in the onions and ground beef and cook until the meat is brown and the onions are starting to get soft.  This should take about 5 minutes.

Mix in the Garlic, fresh ginger, black pepper, salt, cumin, coriander, turmeric, chili powder, cinnamon and cardamom(if you bought it) and your first born.   Next, add in the potatoes mixture and mix everything up really well and place the pot in the fridge for about an hour (I believe this step is bull honky).  Somebody who is Indian confirm?

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After the hour is up, get another large frying pan and fill it up with the Vegi oil.  Heat it up to about a 7 on the stove.

Pull out the potatoes and beef mixture and mix in the cilantro and green chile pepper.  Place about 1 tablespoon of the mixture onto each phyllo sheet.  Fold the sheets into triangles, pressing the edges together with a little bit of water on your finger.

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With about 3 at a time go ahead and fry these delicious little Samosas in the oil for about 3 minutes and drain all the excess oil off on a plate with some paper towels.  Wait about 5 minutes and start to ingest them.  Tell your wife that she should cook meals like this every night….then sleep on the couch with a fat lip.

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Chicken Tikka Masala

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For the Chicken

Item QTY Price Comments
Salt 1 tsp $0.00 We Had
Ground Cumin ½ tsp $0.00 We Had
Ground Coriander ½ tsp $0.00 We Had
Cayenne Pepper ¼ tsp $0.00 We Had
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast 2 lb $6.00
Plain Whole milk yogurt 1 cup $2.00 I had to buy two and I just bought plain greek yogurt
Vegetable Oil 2 TBS $0.00 We Had
Ground Ginger 2 tsp $0.00 We Had
Ground Garlic 1 TBS $0.00 I used Garlic powder….Hope that was ok.

 

For the Sauce:

Item QTY Price Comments
Vegetable Oil 3 TBS $0.00
Yellow Onion 1 large $2.00 Finely Chopped..like a ninja
Garlic Cloves Crushed 6 $0.00 Man do I hate peeling garlic
Grated Fresh Ginger 2 tsp $0.00 I just chopped it up really small
Chili Powder ¼ tsp $0.00 We had
Garam Masala 2 Tbs $4.89 I found this in the gourmet spice section
Ground Cumin 1 tsp $0.00 We had
Ground Tumeric ½ tsp $0.00 We had
Tomato Paste 1 Tbs $0.98 I wish I had something else to use the rest in the can with
Crushed Can Tomatoes 28 oz $1.79 Do not drain
Sugar 2 tsp $0.00
Heavy Whipping Cream 2/3 cup $0.00 I think I used more than that, maybe 1 cup
Fresh Cilantro chopped ¼ cup $0.99 You don’t need this much, maybe half of it.
Aluminum Foil 1ft x 1ft sheet $0.00 We had

Total Cost: $ 18.65

Enjoyment Ratings:

Husband: 8

Wife: 8

Directions:

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Ok, get ready to work because this junk isn’t easy to make.  The best thing to do is to set everything out and get a bunch of little bowls and mix everything previously before starting to cook the sauce and chicken.  That way, you aren’t measuring out everything while the items are cooking.

Ok so break out 1 big mixing bowl, 1 small mixing bowl, and about 5 other little bowls.  Take out the aluminum foil and line one of the oven racks with a piece that goes from front to back. You don’t have to line the whole oven rack.  Then, before you put the oven on, make sure you know which level is around 6 inches from the top burners (broil burners I think they are called….ok I made that up).

You will need a cutting board and an awesome knife.  My wife bought this knife from IKEA and I was like, “why did you buy a crappy cutting knife from IKEA??”  her reply, “I got it for like 3 bucks, just see how it works”   Best knife ever !!!   So make sure you have a good knife because I said so.  Ok, cut up the onion into tiny bitty pieces.  I cut it up and then said, “Screw this” and put it in the Ninja, only because I was sobbing like a baby. When you are done put it in a bowl. Next, cut up a ¼ cup of cilantro and put in small little bowl.  Cut up the fresh ginger and put it in a small bowl.

Now, in the first small mixing bowl put 1tsp salt, ½ tsp ground cumin, ½ tsp cayenne pepper.  Mix it together and set aside.  In a large mixing bowl put the cup of yogurt, 2 TBS of Vegi oil, 2 tsp ground ginger and 1 TBS of ground garlic (I used garlic powder) and whisk it all together.  Getting tired yet?  You will.

Get out another small bowl and add the Tomato Paste, 6 crushed garlic cloves, and fresh cut up ginger you have in another small bowl….ummmm…I guess you could have just put the Tomato Paste and garlic into the fresh cut ginger bowl you already have…..yes….that’s what I meant to say.  Ok, but for real, in another separate bowl put the ¼ tsp chili powder, 2 TBS of garam masala, 1 tsp ground cumin, ½ tsp turmeric, and 2 tsp of sugar and mix it up.

Ok, now we are ready to start cooking.  Wait…no ….we are not…  Break out the two breasts of chicken and beat those babies like they were talking back to you.  Make sure they are nice and flat and even.  Then with some napkins or paper towels dry the chicken as much as possible.  This is to make sure that the spices stay on the chicken.  Once the chicken is dry go ahead and start to sprinkle on the salt, cumin, cayenne pepper mixture you made from the first small bowl.  Make sure to get both sides and massage the spices in like you were massaging……..ok I’ll stop there.   Massage it good, that’s all I’m saying.

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Now get out a big deep cooking pot and put 3 TBS of Veggie oil in it and heat it up to medium-high heat (about a 6 or 7).  Once it’s hot go ahead and dump in the onions and cook them for about 8 minutes letting them get nice and golden brown.  Then add in the Garlic, Tomato paste, and fresh ginger mixture and mix it around and let it cook for another 3 minutes.  Then add in the big can of crushed tomatoes (undrained) and the mixture of spices that contained the chili powder.  Bring all of it to a boil and then reduce the heat to about a 2 or 3 and put a top on the pot and let it cook for 15 minutes, mixing it up every 5 minutes.

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I’m exhausted just typing this out.  Back to the Chicken……

Dip the chicken into the yogurt mix bowl you made and coat each side pretty heavily.  Then place the chicken on the aluminum foil of the oven rack.  Do this for both pieces of chicken.  You shouldn’t have that much yogurt mix left. Make sure to try and use it all on the chicken.

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Set the oven to Broil and put the chicken about 6 inches away from top burner.  Cook for 9 minutes and then flip the chicken over and cook for 9 more minutes.

I told you this recipe was cray cray.

Once the chicken is done pull it out and let it sit for about 5 minutes.  While it’s sitting stir in the 2/3 cup of heavy whipping cream to the sauce and mix it around.  Put the top back on and let it cook for 5 more minutes while you cut up the chicken into tiny little bites.  I was tired so I cut them up into man size bites.

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Get out two bowls and fill each bowl up about 2/3 of the way with the sauce. Then place put some chicken in the sauce and mix it up.  Sprinkle the top with the fresh cilantro and vow never to attempt to cook anything that contains this many different ingredients.   The chicken was amazing and the sauce was pretty good too.  I will definitely make the chicken again.  I’m not so sure about the sauce.  My wife liked the whole meal and wouldn’t mind it again.

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I almost forgot.  I cooked rice with this too.  I would just cook rice however you like to cook rice.   We used white rice.  I’ll explain really quick how I cooked it.  In a large pot I put 3 TBS of oil into the pot, then 1 cup of white long grained rice and 2 cups of water.  I then put the stove top on high and added some salt tasting the water after each amount I put in until the water tasted slightly salty.  It wasn’t that much, maybe a ½ teaspoon. I let it boil until all the water was almost gone mixing it ever so often.  Once the water was gone I moved the stove top burner down to about a 2 and covered the rice.  I would mix it up about every 5 minutes. I think it sat there with the top on it for about 30 minutes.  Rice was good.

If you read all that I commend you.  There is probably a bunch of errors because I don’t want to read it again to check it.  It’s brings back to many memories.

We had planned to do a puzzle together this week, but with the cooking we did, it was rather late and we were both exhausted so we are going to do the puzzle for another At Home Date Night.  Sorry there was not really an activity tonight.

Total At Home Date Night Cost: $35.30

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

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