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 !!!

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