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

IMG_7014

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?

IMG_7005

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.

IMG_7009

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.

IMG_7011

Chicken Tikka Masala

IMG_7023

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:

IMG_7015

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.

IMG_7017

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.

IMG_7019

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.

IMG_7021

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.

IMG_7022

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.

IMG_7024

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!!!

Christmas Savings 2015 Shadow Box deposits

Option 1: $41.00 Total saved: $560.00

Option 2: $18.00   Total saved: $258.00

Option 3: $10.00   Total saved: $120.00

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

Advertisements

Week Five : Riding a Gondola in Venice

Riding through the lagoons of Venice on a romantic gondola is something I think everyone should experience just once.  I’d say twice, but unless you are rolling in dat phat cash, one ride is probably all you can afford.  I will say though, it was worth every penny.  While we were on our dream trip through Europe we stopped in the breathtaking city of Venice.  We stayed at some little camp ground right outside of the city and would take the train in to see the sites.   I remember all my wife wanted to do was ride in a gondola, and all I wanted to do was hold on to those Euros and watch from afar.  You know guys, sometimes we forget what it’s like to have dreams or aspire to something great because the mundane things of this world kind of get us into a rut. Not women though, I think they always have those dreams lingering in their minds. That’s why it’s good to throw away your boring self and live a little.  Fulfill those dreams or romantic fantasies of your wife and you will experience joy and life like never before.  I sure am glad we took that gondola ride because it was a memory that will burn in my heart forever.  Our gondolier took us through some quiet back waterways and pointed out historic places and such, but I just couldn’t keep my eyes off of my wife’s face. She was gleaming with joy and excitement.  The gondolier started to serenade us and took us out on the Grand Canal.  Of course like the guy I am, romance = smooching , but she was to into the ride and didn’t want to be all kissy kissy with me while the gondolier was watching.  I think she was just overwhelmed by something she has always wanted to do coming to reality.  I mean, it’s me, how could she resist? But alas…smooches had to wait till later.

We stayed at this little campsite and we finally had a room to ourselves unlike the hostels we stayed at.  We had to walk to the shower facility but they were so nice because most places we stayed at the showers had so much pressure in them you’d think your flesh would blast right off.  Only bad part was there was a ton of mosquitos outside.  Mosquitos in Italy?? What the heck !!!  I thought Mosquitos only lived in Florida.  No matter though.  I know that one day we will make it back and drift down the lagoons of Venice once again.  Until then, we will drift down the slippery stairs of our house and into our romantic little kitchen where I will grace my wife with the sweet serenades of Italy with my own voice. Ok, we didn’t do that because I sound like a dying cat, so Pandora it is and off to Venice !!

I have to say though guys, I was kind of a slacker preparing. We were hanging out with friends all weekend and I didn’t make it out on Monday to prepare.  Lucky though, I was able to get off work early and pick up everything we needed for the night on the way home.  Quick tip, if you didn’t do this on Monday at least make sure you have a very detailed list of everything you need. This way you are in and out of the store in 15 min or so.  So I knocked out my list and got home with time to spare.

We did our normal routine with the kids and got them into bed around 8pm.  I will say though our oldest knows that once a week is mommy and daddy’s special day but for some reason he wanted to be included.  He said that it needs to start being mommy, daddy, and his special day.  It kind of melted my heart but I brushed those cute little thoughts out of my head and crushed the little guy’s dreams. Sorry bud, 6 days out of the week is your guys special days, mom and dad need this time.  Off too bed he went…..maybe with a little treat because of his sweetness.

So for Venice my wife decided to make Roasted Garlic & Tomato Bruschetta (I’m ready to stop writing this right now and go buy the ingredients to make more of these because they were so good). I decided to make Roasted Red Pepper, Mozzarella and Basil stuffed Chicken (I am getting really hungry right now.)  For the activity I wanted us to do something I think is lost in this generation.  We wrote handwritten love letters to each other and mailed them out.  We will open them up on Valentine’s Day.  When was the last time you received a hand written letter?  I truly can’t remember.  I remember when I was in the military and getting a letter in boot camp was the best possible thing you could hope for every day.  I still have letters from my grandmother who would faithfully write me every week.  I cherish those letters.  So I want to have that between my wife and me.  We have cards and such from Birthdays and Anniversaries but maybe one day our great grandchildren will find these letters and realize that true love does exist.  As always you can skip down to the recipes if you want and I’ll explain what you need to write in the love letters.  Oh yeah, reminder alert guys, If you haven’t started making plans for V-day you better get moving.  You too ladies, V-day isn’t just about you!!

Ok where were we, ah yes, Venice.  With the kids in bed early and thoughts of our trip to Venice on our minds the night was starting off great.  My wife started to make the Bruschetta and I started in on the chicken dish.  We popped on the “traditional Italian” station to get us in the mood and started to chop away and get the food going.  My dish was pretty easy to prep, but my wife didn’t realize she had to roast a head of garlic for an hour.  We only have one oven and my chicken needed to back at a higher temp for about 40 min also so we kind of realized dinner was quite a ways away.  Lucky enough, Frank Sinatra came on Pandora and that song “You make me feel so young” came on.  Now, what does every super romantic guy do when an awesome song like that comes on the radio? Forget the cooking and grab your girl and start to dance.  I had never heard that song before but it is awesome.

Go to YouTube right now and listen to it and I guarantee within 15 seconds you will be looking for your spouse and of course they will think you’re crazy, but who cares because you will both be laughing at the words and having a great time dancing.  One of the lines in the song says, “The moment that you speak, I want to go play hide and seek”.   My eyes just kind of got big and I looked at my wife and said, “I definitely want to go play hide and seek,”   Yes, hide and seek as adults its way more fun than it was when you were a kid…..pica boo too….that’s a fun game.

So we finished dancing and as we were done we noticed out of the corner of our eyes our neighbors were walking away from their window.  Not sure if they were watching us dancing to good old Frank.  My wife said, “Well, hopefully they saw me being happy since I’m pretty sure they think I’m killing the kids every day with how much I yell at them.”   I’m sure some of you ladies can relate.  Kind of makes you wonder how our parents didn’t destroy us.  Mom, if you are reading this….thank you for not killing me.

Once her garlic was done roasting she had to bake the Bruschetta for a little bit.  I wanted to eat my arm I was so hungry, but the wait was well worth it.  Only problem with the Bruschetta is I could have eaten about 20 more of them.  I think she made 15 or 16 total and we ate them like it was our last meal.

IMG_6601

The oldest one has had a bad cough lately and he started in on one of those coughing fits.  That distracted us for about 15 minutes while she gave him some medicine but it made some time go by while my chicken dish was baking.

Since we had about 30 more minutes before the main dish we decided to get to writing the love letters.  So the Date Night Duo won’t leave you hanging here.  Sometimes in writing you have no idea where to start. Starting is the hard part but once you get going it’s easy.  So in the love letters you have to write 5 things you physically love about your spouse, 5 character traits you love about them, and 5 things you want to try to fulfill within the next 5 years.  That should keep you writing for a good 30 minutes.  Funny part was, while we were writing both of us kept stopping to stretch our hands.  Since all we ever do is type now, writing can be a little painful.  So make sure to stretch those hands a little bit before you get to writing.

You could also take a little break and dance some more.  This one song came on with a nice swing feel and I got up and showed off my 20’s dance moves freshness.  My wife just kind of shook her head and said, “you would have been so white.” …….”What do you mean???  I am white!!”  I guess I would have danced like a white guy from the 1920’s and 2000’s.  There is no hope for me.

We finished up our letters and it was time to eat.  I will say though, we were looking at each other much different after those letters.  I think when you sit down and write out your feelings it can bring to the surface all those wonderful things you know to be true about your spouse but get blocked by the everyday garbage life throws at you.  Sometimes we forget how amazing they are.  We forget to tell them how amazing they are.  Make sure to tell your spouse everyday one thing you love about them.  You will see your attitudes towards each other will change rapidly.

The chicken smelled so good when it came out of the oven.  We of course couldn’t wait for it too cool off and probably burned our mouths a little, but we didn’t care because we were pretty hungry.  We didn’t have a side dish tonight with the chicken but that’s ok.  If you are the kind of person that always needs a side dish go ahead and make the garlic roasted broccoli from week 1 again.  It would go well with this dish.

IMG_6603

Well, with our stomach’s full and love letters written and addressed we cleaned up a little and floated on our imaginary gondola down the lagoons of Venice back to bed with another successful at home date night under our belts.  Maybe we also played a game of hide and seek.  I highly recommend this.

Thanks again for joining us!  I can’t thank you all enough for the wonderful comments you have left us and your encouraging words.  I hope we are giving you guys some ideas and we really hope to hear about your at home date nights.  Someone suggested we make an “At Home Date Night Duo” Facebook page so it might be easier to see when we post or people can follow us there.  So we are going to work on that.  I will remind you that we always post the Blog sometime during the day on Friday. It will be that way for the next 47 weeks.  Don’t forget you can post pictures of your at home date nights using #Homedatenightduo.  As always, below will be a walkthrough of the recipes with costs.  Don’t hesitate to ask us questions.  We love feedback and are so happy you guys are enjoying this.  We know we are!!

Roasted Garlic & Tomato Bruschetta

IMG_6602

  • Crusty White Baguette $ 1.49 cut around 15 slices ½ in thick
  • 2 medium Tomatoes $ 1.62 diced
  • 4oz of Cream Cheese $ 1.79 for 8oz block
  • ¼ cup of fresh Basil $ 1.99…I needed this for my dish too and once little baggie was enough for both.
  • ½ Cup of Shredded Parmesan $ We had a block but I think it’s around 3 bucks
  • 1 Garlic Head $ 1.69….this was for a pack of 3…my wife is a Rican….can never have enough garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste $ We had
  • 3 teaspoons Olive Oil $ We had
  • Foil $ We had

Total Cost: $ 8.58 or $11.58 if you need to buy Parmesan

Enjoyment Ratings:

Husband: 10 …….I want this so bad right now

Wife: 10…..She wants me to run out to the store to get these items right now……..done.

Directions:

Ok, tip numero uno, before your husband even gets home put that garlic head in the oven to roast so it’s ready by the time the kids are in bed.  Preheat the oven to 350F.  Cut 1/3 off the top of the garlic head so you can see the cloves.  Place on a sheet of foil and drizzle with 1 teaspoon of olive oil over the head of garlic.  Then put a pinch of salt and pepper onto it.  Wrap the foil around it and place it in the oven for 1 hour too bake.

While it’s baking go ahead and dice up the tomatoes and Chiffonade the basil leaves…..say what?? Kool-Aid what??  Now is a good time to copy and paste that word into google and find out what it means.  It’s a French word.  Something about rolling up the leaves and slicing them up a certain way.  I’m not sure if my wife did it this way, but I feel educated now.  Even a master chef like me can learn a thing or two.

Ok, get a bowl and mix in the tomatoes, chiffonaded basil leaves, 2 teaspoons of olive oil, salt and pepper and set aside.

IMG_6592

So around this time I was done shredding the parmesan cheese because my meal needed it too and every 2 seconds I see my wife nibbling on the stuff.  Now I am a cheese freak, but I’m not too into eating parmesan cheese by itself.  One of my sisters, when she was little, used to eat the grated parmesan cheese by itself in a bowl.  You know, the powdery stuff made from Kraft.  That stuff probably comes from an assembly line of third world country 5 year olds all scratching their heads to fill those bottles.  Yeah, I know that’s gross, but you will never eat that stuff again.

So after chastising your wife for eating the parmesan cheese ( I didn’t do this….she’s Rican….I choose life) go ahead and squeeze the roasted garlic out of the skins into a separate bowl and add the cream cheese and ¼ cup of non-dandruff parmesan cheese.  Mix that baby up really good so it’s like a spread.

IMG_6594

Now place the bread slices on a cookie sheet and spread the garlic cream cheese mix onto the bread.   Pop those future slices of deliciousness into the oven and bake for 12 min or until the tops are golden brown.

After 12 minutes pull them out and scoop the tomato mix onto the tops of each slice.  With the remaining  parmesan cheese, if your wife hasn’t eaten it all, sprinkle it onto the bread slices.  Sit back and admire your handiwork, say a quick prayer and thank the Lord for creating such amazing ingredients, then commence stuffing your face………..heaven.

Roasted Red Pepper, Mozzarella and Basil stuffed Chicken

IMG_6604

  • 2 Boneless skinless chicken breasts $0.00 we kind of always have this, but 2 lbs. at 2.99 a lb… So 6 bucks
  • 8 oz. fresh Mozzarella $ 3.00 for a 16oz block….you can use a lot of this for homemade pizza later
  • 1 12 oz. jar of roasted red peppers $ 1.99 this took me forever to find. It’s by the pickles.
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil $ 0.00 we had enough for both meals.
  • 1/4 cup of fresh grated parmesan $ 0.00 We had enough for both meals
  • 1 Tablespoon of Italian seasoning $ 0.00 surprisingly we had….awesome!!!
  • Salt and pepper $0.00 We had

Total Cost: $ 10.99

Enjoyment Ratings:

Husband: 8

Wife: 8

Leftovers: 10

Directions:

Ok, this meal is so easy to make.  Only problem was guarding the parmesan cheese from my wife’s mouth.  Make sure your chicken is defrosted before doing this.  Heat the oven to 400F and pull out a little casserole dish.

Cut 4 thick slices of Mozzarella cheese, and grab a bunch of basil leaves and pull off the little stems.  You just want the leafy part. Open up the jar of roasted red peppers and cut a hand full of 1 inch pieces.  Butterfly the chicken and use a fillet knife to cut along the fat side and make a kind of pocket.  Leave about a ¼ inch on the small side.  Then open up the chicken and season it with salt, pepper, and half a tablespoon of the Italian seasoning (you can use less if you don’t want it too salty).

Tell wife to stop eating the parmesan because you need it for your meal too.

Then place a fat piece of mozzarella on one half of the chicken.  Place some roasted red peppers and about 10 basil leaves.

IMG_6595

Fold the other side of the chicken over and now you have a stuffed chicken filled with wonderful tastes of Venice.  Season the top with the other ½ tablespoon of Italian Seasoning.  Do the same for the next piece of chicken and then place them both in the casserole dish.

IMG_6598

Put them in the oven at 400F and bake for 40 minutes.  Yeah, I know, these are some long cooking recipes but they are well worth the wait.  Now if we had a double oven this would be ez pz.  So if anyone knows if Kitchen aid or GE wants to sponsor our blog and buy us a sweet double oven we would be eternally grateful.  Ok, once it’s done in the oven for 40 minutes pull it out and place the other fat pieces of mozzarella on top and sprinkle both pieces with the parmesan cheese (if there is any left).  Then put the oven on Broil (Hi) and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until you start to see the mozzarella turning brown and boiling.  Then you know it’s ready to eat.   Let it cool once you pull it out of the oven though.

Love Letters

IMG_6605

  • 2 Stamps $ .49 cents
  • 2 Envelopes $ 0.00 we have
  • Paper/Pen $ 0.00 we have
  • Hide and seek $ costs may vary

Total Cost: $ 1.00 ….I rounded

Directions:

This can be super simple or very long. It just depends on how smooth you are or how tired you are.  Make sure to start off writing about 5 things you physically love about your spouse.  Guys this should be easy because most of us are visual.  Ladies this might be a little tough unless you are married to Chris Hemsworth (I had to look this up but it’s the dude from Thor guys.) Luckily my body looks just like his so my wife finished that part rather quickly.  Next, go ahead and write down 5 character traits you love about them.  This should be super easy because you married that person for a reason.  If you are struggling to find 5 I would suggest marriage counselling.  I had a hard time keeping it to 5(My wife is pretty awesome.)  Last but no least write down 5 things you want to try and do within the next 5 years.  This can be anything, but it would be interesting to see what you both want.

Lastly, slide those letters into and envelope and fill them out.  If you were born before the internet you will know how to do this.  If you have always had the internet and email then ask someone older than you to show you how to fill out an envelope properly.   We did an exercise once with our youth group and they had to fill out letters to themselves and I would say 70% of them didn’t know how to properly fill out an envelope let alone knew what their home address was.  So don’t be shy, just ask.  Put a stamp on each letter and put in the mail box.  You can wait till Valentine’s Day or open them on your next At Home Date Night.  Either way it will be something you always will cherish.

Total At Home Date Night Cost: $23.57

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: $48.00 Total saved: $250.00

Option 2: $22.00   Total saved: $120.00

Option 3: $10.00   Total saved: $50.00

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