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 !!!

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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 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!!!

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 !!!

Week 11: Up and Down the Coast of Portugal

Mountain ranges and beautiful beaches sound like paradise to me.  My wife and I have had a busy week and wouldn’t it be wonderful to get in a car and drive up and down the coast of Portugal and forget about it all.  We’ve never been to Portugal but after reading a little bit about it I knew one day we would have to experience it.  We could hike up into the mountains in the north and hit the beautiful beaches in the south.  We could offend the locals by pretending that the Portuguese language is just like Spanish so they should understand us.  Ok we won’t do that……much.  Well, that will have to wait for a future date, but for now we can imagine that is what we are going to do.  So come join us as we experience the culture of Portugal by having some great Portuguese food and getting to know each other better.

Like I said before, this week was busy.  By busy I mean rough, by rough I mean not nice attitudes in the At Home Date Night Duo’s household, by that I mean….downright grouchiness all around.  Lucky that we didn’t give up this week and decided that At Home Date Night is just what we needed, even if we both were tired and grouchy.  Ok, so maybe my wife wasn’t that grouchy, it was mainly me.  You know, there is going to be those weeks when both of you are in a funk and really just want to be left alone to do something mind numbing.  You must resist this because it’s hard to break out of that routine. It becomes the norm rather than the exception.  Thankfully, my wife is awesome and refused to let me stay in my pity party.  So At Home Date Night was definitely happening.  We got the kids in bed and she said, “Let’s get in that car (imaginary) and head to Portugal !!”

I had to look up what style of Portuguese music is played because I typed Portuguese music into Pandora and the peeps were singing in English so I thought, better get on WIKI and find out some famous Portuguese classical musicians.  I found this station called Dulce Pontes and it was exactly what we were looking for.  Music just has this way of setting the mood.  I highly recommend always eating with a little background music.  For our appetizer my wife was making Bread Stuffed of Aunt Lurdes…..this was RIDICULOUS !!!!  My dish was hard to follow up with because hers was so good.  I made Bifes De Cebolada, for English only people that means Portuguese Beef and Onions.  For the activity we did something simple, but it brought with it a ton of laughs.  We played this little game called, getting to know me better.  I’ll talk about that in a little bit.

We kind of cheated on the Bread stuffed of Aunt Lurdes.  We were supposed to make our own bread bowls and even had a recipe but something went terribly wrong in the process of making the dough.  I’m not sure if my wife is getting the directions wrong or the recipe is just wrong.  She says, “I’m done trying to make my own dough, not until I get one of those fancy KitchenAids!”   So needless to say we probably will be buying bread from now on when recipes call for it.  I found a nice sour dough bread bowl at publix on the fly so that is what we used.  The recipes really didn’t take too much time at all so we were both just chatting about the week and various things.  When her dish was finishes it looked unbelievable. I couldn’t wait to try it.  It had chorizo and cheese and it was baked in with the bread and and and……IT WAS AMAZING.  I would highly recommend making this appetizer because it was simple and tasted so wonderful in my mouth.  I can’t stop thinking about it.  Only bad part is you can’t eat this as left overs.  The bread would just get all soggy and nobody likes soggy bread.

We were so full by the time my dish was ready that we just tried a little bit of it and decided we would eat it the next night.  It was pretty good too, but man I couldn’t stop eating the Aunt Lurdes (I have no idea who Aunt Lurdes is but she tastes amazing.)

The game was really easy.  It was basically 50 questions from a print out that I found online asking questions about yourself.  You answer them about yourself and then you answer them about your partner.  You then share your answers with each other to see who got the most right.  You not only learn something new about each other but you have a lot of memories to bring up and laugh about.  It also makes you feel good when you get ones right about the other person and they had no idea you remembered.  That happened quite a bit. I was surprised that my wife remembered certain things that I haven’t talked about or mentioned in years.  One of them was, “My Celebrity Crush”.  I thought hers was Chase from the show House, but turns out it’s the guy from Arrow.  He is now on my hit list.   So I lifted up my shirt to show her my V cut abs and said, “Arrow guy has nothing on me”.  Ok, so it’s not quite cut nor V shaped…..more like O shaped and just one large muscle instead of 6, but he still has nothing on me!!!   I picked Shakira, but she thought it was the girl from Suits (the one who isn’t a lawyer yet).  OH MAN was she right.  I totally forgot about her.  It’s funny though because there were 4 or 5 ones that immediately after she said them I thought, “that is right, you know me better than I know myself.”  Isn’t that true ladies?  You do know your man better than he knows himself.   Funny one was, “My favorite place to relax” She answered for me, “the bathroom! “.  Ok, let’s be real guys, it the only place we get a little peace and quiet.  Nobody is coming into that nightmare to bother us.   I learned her least favorite food was Cow Tongue…..Cow Tongue???  Really???  Man, I thought my parents sucked for making me eat lima beans, but Cow Tongue definitely tops that.   Another good one is if you were stranded on a deserted island and could only bring 3 things what would they be?  I picked, the bible, flint, and her.  You know practical things.  She picked me, the kids, and a phone…….dead face……really??? The kids !!!  Having an at home date night is hard enough in a nice house, just think about how tough it would be on a deserted island.   The one that got me was the phone.  Her idea was to call for help or something but I’m not sure we would get the best reception, but at least we could post about our deserted island adventures on Instagram !!

We had a lot of laughs and learned a lot about each other and that’s what at home date nights are all about.   By the end of the night my grouchiness was way gone and I was more in love with my deserted island partner than ever before.   So, while driving down the coast of Portugal would have been amazing to experience, it’s all about whom you experience it with.  We cleaned up and headed off to bed and she says, “Want to watch an episode of Arrow with me?” my reply, “right after I watch an episode of Suits”.

Thanks for joining us this week and I apologize for getting this out one day late.  I do want to share something really quick about the Facebook group.  Two of the members posted pictures of recent at home date nights they shared with their spouses and it was such an encouragement to see. I hope you will check out the Facebook group and start to post your own pictures. It’s so encouraging to other couples.  Thanks again Sarah and Cheryl.  Your kind words meant a lot to us. Here are their pictures!!

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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 all that jazz.  If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.

Bread Stuffed of Aunt Lurdes

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ITEM QTY Cost Notes
Parmesan Cheese 7 oz $1.79 You can use Mozzarella too. We used a combination of both
Chorizo 2 pkg $4.80 There are two in a package. You can buy them where the pepperoni is
Garlic gloves crushed 2 $0.00 We had
Mayonnaise 10 TBS $2.65 You’ll have mayo left over and you might already have
Oregano 1 tsp $0.00 We had, but my wife also said she eyeballed this but it’s probably around 1 teaspoon
Sourdough Bread Bowl 1 $3.69 We got this at Publix bakery.  Click the link for the recipe if you want to make your own. It was a large piece of bread.

 

Total Cost: $ 12.93  WORTH EVERY PENNY !!!

Enjoyment Ratings:

Husband: 10

Wife: 9   ß I have no idea why she gave it a nine, I mean, she likes the guy from Arrow so what does she know.

Directions:

Get out a cookie sheet and heat the oven to 350F.  Cut up the chorizo into pieces and place in a blender along with the crushed garlic, oregano, and mayo.  Don’t blend it like a smoothie, just kind of pulse it a little.  Not too much.  It will look kind of gross.  There is just something about putting meat in a blender that doesn’t sit well with me.  It reminds me of Hannibal Lecter.

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After the blending is complete go ahead and cut a hole in the top of the bread and start to pull out some of the soft parts of the bread from the top piece that you cut off and the bowl.  Place everything on a cookie sheet like the picture below.

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Put the filling in the bread bowl and shove it all in the oven and bake it for about 25 minutes.  Once the 25 minutes is up pull it out and enjoy some of Aunt Lurdes.  You’ll need some spoons to get the filling onto the little pieces of bread that you pulled apart.  They will be kind of crunchy.  It is so good. Don’t forget to put some of the filling on the top lid piece you cut off in the beginning. That is the best part I thought.

When you are done go ahead and get on the Facebook group page and thank my wife for making this because you have experienced a taste of heaven.

Bifes De Cebolada (Portuguese Beef and Onions)

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ITEM QTY Cost Notes
Sirloin or Round Steak 1 lb $6.67 I got Eye Round…cut it into thin slices
Yellow Onion 1 large one $1.84
Garlic cloves crushed 2 $0.00
Tomato 2 or 1lb $2.99 I guess I bought premium ones
Parsley freshly chopped 1 TBS $.99
Bay Leaf 1 $0.00 We had
Salt and Pepper ??? $0.00 Another one of those to taste things
Olive Oil 1 TBS $0.00 We had

 

Total Cost: $ 12.49

Enjoyment Ratings:

Husband: 8

Wife:7

Leftovers: 10….only because I love left overs

Directions:

Cut up the onions into really thing slices.  Then chop up the small amount parsley so it will be ready to put in.  Chop up the tomatoes as well.

Get out a large frying pan and put it on the stove top and place the olive oil in the pan and heat it up to about a 7.  Once its ready put in the steak slices and cook them for about 3 minutes.

After the steak has been cooking for 3 minutes, go ahead and put in the onions, crushed garlic, tomatoes, salt, pepper, parsley, and bay leaf.  Mix it up really well and wait for everything to be sizzling.  When it’s really hot make sure to move it all around really quick then put the stove down to a 1 (simmer) and place a lit on top of it.  Let it cook for 20 minutes.

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After the 20 minutes there will be a lot of water in the frying pan.  So you will want to turn the heat back up to a boil and let it boil until almost all of the water is gone.  I didn’t make a side with this but for left overs I made some mash potatoes, but I think it would go well with rice too.  It was pretty good and had a good flavor to it.  I just think when I buy steak I like eating it by itself.  I would eat it again though because the leftovers were wonderful.

Get to Know Me game

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ITEM QTY Cost Notes
Print Outs 2 $0.00 Click on the link to get the printout.

 Total Cost: $ 0.00

Directions:

This was a relaxing game with a lot of laughs.  There is two ways to do the game.  We played the 2nd way because the first way kind of involves way more work than we had time for.  So in the print out we just printed the last 3 pages and made two sets of them.  On a separate piece of paper we answered the questions for ourselves and then on the main print out pages we tried to answer them for each other.  You then go through and see how many each one of you got right.  Luckily ours was about even (actually I had about 3 more right than her because I’m awesome.)  I do have to say though she probably would have won if I would have remembered the things she said were my favorite which once she said them I wanted to change my answer because she was so dead right and deserved the point. She wouldn’t allow it though.  The website we got it off of was a website called Date Night Divas.  It’s a great site for ideas which when I started at home dates with my wife almost a year ago it was very useful.  So I just wanted to say thank you to them.

Total At Home Date Night Cost: $25.42

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: $42.00 Total saved: $519.00

Option 2: $19.00   Total saved: $240.00

Option 3: $10.00   Total saved: $110.00

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

Week 10: Today is the greatest day…..in Chicago

While I’m sure there are many great things to come out of Chicago, the one that strikes me the most is the greatest band to ever make music originated there.  If you guessed the Smashing Pumpkins then you would be correct.  What better thing to do on At Home Date Night than to share some great Chicago style food with the person you love most while listening to the musical and lyrical genius that is Billy Corgan.  So go ahead and put on Spotify or Pandora or dig into your garage, like I did, and pull out that Smashing Pumpkins CD that reminds you of the angst of your youth and join us on our trip to Chicago.

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I used to live in Great Lakes, IL.  I just remember the winters were cold and the summers were so hot.  I went into the city a couple times and always had a great time.  The food was great and the city was overwhelming.  I want to go back there one day with my love.  So I wanted to make something traditional from Chicago and my first thought was….deep dish pizza.  Then I thought, “No, everyone is expecting that.”  So I looked and looked and found a dish called Chicken Vesuvio.  My wife found this appetizer called Old Chicago Italian Nachos and man was it awesome.

The night started off pretty normal but as most of you couples with kids know recently we had daylight saving time thingy happen.  So getting kids to adjust to the bedtimes shifts is a little difficult. Especially when you have your kids on a sleep schedule it really messes with them and takes a couple of weeks to get used to the new schedule.  I’m just happy there is more daylight out now. So needless to say the kids didn’t go to bed at the normal time of 8pm.  It wasn’t too much later that they went to bed so it didn’t affect us that much.  I got home and had promised the day before to make cupcakes with the kids. So I knew that would keep them busy and lead right into a bath because if you have ever watched a 2 year old try to put icing on cupcakes you know you have two options after they are done….hose them off outside or take them immediately to the tub.  I chose the latter.  He did pretty well and so did the 5 year old. Who knew they would get so excited about icing cupcakes.  So after that was done and they were washed up we were able to start our night in Chicago.

I went into the garage and pulled out my old CD collection, yeah, I’m old.  Of course the first page is all my pumpkins CD’s.  I was tempted to pull out Siamese Dream, but opted for a greatest hits album so I could get a little taste of it all.  My wife came down the stairs shortly after and was like, “Really, we have to listen to his whiny voice?”  She really knows how to stab me in the heart.  She isn’t the biggest pumpkins fan but she knows I love them so she tolerates it.  She has been crazy busy with her business lately so we had a lot to talk about. She started in on the Chicago Style Nachos and I started singing every line of every song that came on.  She asked, “Are we going to talk or are you going to sing?”  I was like, “that’s easy…..SING !!!”  Probably not the best answer.  She is a closet pumpkins fan though; she just isn’t ready to admit it.  I caught her a couple times mouthing the words but she would never admit it.  About halfway through me belting out Rhinoceros she says, “Where are the pepperoncini’s?”  Yeah, I didn’t pick those up because I thought she didn’t like them. Come to find out she loves them and she always gets them on an Italian sub sandwich but for some reason I had one of those guy moments where we become moronic and thought she hated them.  It was no big deal though. I ran to the grocery store 5 min away and picked up some…and milk…and juice for the kids…and dishwashing liquid…..you know how it goes guys.  You think you are going to pick up one thing and then you get 5 text messages telling you to pick up other things.  I know I’m talking smack but I’m glad for the texts because I didn’t want to be going out after date night to get that stuff.

I got home and she was done with her appetizer and ready to pop it in the oven.  I finished up preparing my stuff which took a little bit of time and we just talked about our days and things going on in our lives.  It’s really what At Home Date Nights are all about.  We get so busy that we forget to talk about things in our lives because most of the time we are getting interrupted a bazillion times by the kids or other things.  That is why it is so important to set aside that time once a week.  You need that one on one time to really talk, without distractions, to joke around and be young lovers again.  Of course with Billy Corgan singing in the background you can’t help but feel like young lovers again, ready to rebel against the world.

My wife likes to look up these question forms online and we just go through them and you learn a lot about the other person that you might have not known.  I didn’t know my wife’s favorite song, probably because she doesn’t have one.  It felt good that she knew my favorite song though….Soma…by none other than the Pumpkins.  We came across this one question that made us both laugh pretty hard. She asks me, “Describe yourself with one word.”  I sat kind of silent thinking………,”Man, one word huh babe, that’s pretty hard.”  She blurts out, “I got one for you since it’s taking you so long….CONCEITED!”  I just busted out laughing because it was perfect timing.  I mean I wanted to say something like humble or laid back (2 words actually) but really, why did I take some long.  She was joking of course but it was funny.  Then I asked her the same and she immediately said, “feisty, although lately I’ve been a little grouchy.”  I said, “I was going to say aggressive.”  That warranted a punch in the arm.  She’s Puerto Rican so you must expect physical retaliation. Words hurt…..physically.   So we had some laughs about all of it and her nachos were ready

The nachos were amazing and we will definitely be having more of those again.  My dish had to bake in the oven for an hour and fifteen minutes so we started our activity next.  We weren’t that hungry after the nachos anyways.  We decided to play a game that we both love. It’s called Ticket to Ride.  It’s a board game where you try to build train railways from different destinations on a map of the U.S.  You get these cards that tell you what cities you have to try and connect. If you connect them you get extra points.  You also get points for building the longest railway.  So we were heavy into the game and it looked like my wife was crushing me.  Secretly I had completed all of my destination railways so I knew I was getting major bonus points, but of course I couldn’t let her know.  The game was pretty close and she was the first to get rid of all her trains so I had one more play.  So I was about to put down my last set of trains when I forgot that the person with the longest single track gets 10 bonus points at the end of the game.  I decided to count up all her longest paths and mine and noticed I could get those bonus points by adding to one of my tracks. I wasn’t originally going to do this.  This did not make her happy.  When we counted up the final points I had beaten her by 8 points.  If I wouldn’t have counted her trains she would have won….you can see where this is going.  She says, “Want to know what other one word describes you?……CHEATER !!!!!!!!”

Let me give you a little advice guys.  If you plan on having a game night for At Home Date Night make sure you lose at that game.  I mean, make it look like you are trying but lose and allow her to talk trash the rest of the night…..much better than sleeping on the couch….unless your couch is super comfy like mine.

Well, after the game the main dish was ready and we weren’t really that hungry but we wanted to try it because it smelled really really good.  She liked it, but I didn’t like it all that much.  I think I made it wrong but I’ll talk about that in the recipe section.  We only ate a couple of bites, then cleaned up and went off to bed.  Well, another At Home Date Night on the books and we’ve reached double digits!!!

If you like what we are doing I hope you would participate and share with others.  Remember to post pictures of your at home date nights using #Homedatenightduo. You can also become a part of our Facebook group Homedatenightduo.  If you do you will always be notified when the new blog goes up on Friday.  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.  I’ll also be working on the website this coming week.  If you can give any suggestions for the website we would be all ears.  We are going to try and make a section with all the recipes so you don’t have to scroll through all the old blog posts trying to remember which week had that appetizer or main dish you were hoping to try.

Old Chicago Italian Nachos

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ITEM QTY Cost Notes
Won-Ton Wrappers 1 pkg $2.99 I only found this at Publix in the health food veggie section
Veggie Oil 2 cups $0.00 You can use any oil really and I don’t think we used 2 cups.  We always have oil in the house.
Shredded Mozzarella 2 cups $2.24 Just buy the bag already shredded
Pepperoni 1pgk $3.99 Dang, I didn’t know it cost that much. You won’t use the whole package though. So you can make a pizza the following night or something.
Pepperocinis 1 can $2.89 Don’t forget these because it is definitely needed

 

Marinara Sauce

ITEM QTY Cost Notes
Tomato Paste 1 can $0.80 It can be a small one
Tomato Sauce 15oz $2.75 Any regular spaghetti sauce will work
Dried Basil 2 tsp $1.79
Dried Oregano 1 tsp $0.00 We had
Onion Powder ½ tsp $0.00 We had
Sugar ½ tsp $0.00 You have or you could be smooth and ask your wife for some.
Garlic 2 cloves $0.00 Always have

 

Total Cost: $ 17.45   Wow, that was a little pricey…sorry.

Enjoyment Ratings:

Husband: 10

Wife: 10

Directions:

When I saw the picture for this on Pinterest I knew it was going to be a hit.  I love chips with just about anything and when I saw that the chips were semi-homemade I knew it was going to be awesome.

You also don’t have to make the marinara sauce. You could just buy some but I’m glad we didn’t because it tasted really good and went well with the dish.  We had enough left over that we are going to make a pizza with it and the pepperoni this weekend.

First cut the Won-Ton wrappers in half to make little triangles.  Then heat ½ inch of oil in a small frying pan (this probably won’t take two cups so just do your best.)  I would put the heat around a 5. You don’t want it too hot because it will burn the Won-Ton wrappers.  Once the oil seems ready drop 1-3 Won-Ton wrappers in for about 15-20 seconds on each side.  Place them on a napkin or paper towel to let the oil drip off.

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When you are done frying all the chips go line the bottom of a baking dish with half of them. Then cover them with cheese. Add the rest of the chips and cheese and place pepperoni and sliced up pepperoncini’s all over the top.  Cook in the oven at 375F until the cheese if fully melted.  This should take about 10-15 minutes.

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To make the Marinara just put all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix really good. It goes so well with the nachos.  You are going to love this dish so much!!

Chicken Vesuvio Chicago Style

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ITEM QTY Cost Notes
Chicken 3 lbs $8.00 We had chicken but it will probably cost this much.  We also used boneless but the recipe called for bone in.
Salt and Pepper To taste $0.00 I put about 1 tsp salt and half tsp pepper
Dried Oregano 2 tsp $0.00 We had…and I’m guessing 2 tsp…I put a lot I remember
Garlic Salt ½ tsp $0.00 We had
Potato Wedges 6 $2.99 I bought red potatoes and only used 1/3 of the package
White Wine 1 ½ cup $6.71 I bought cheap white wine.
Chicken Broth 1 ½ cups $1.19 1 can should do
whole garlic cloves 10-12 $0.00 We had
frozen peas 1 cup $1.69 Ok we didn’t use peas we used carrots that I bought fresh because I’d rather shove needles under my finger nails than eat peas.

Total Cost: $ 20.58

Enjoyment Ratings:

Husband: 6

Wife: 8

Leftovers: 6

Directions:

So I didn’t score this so high but I think the recipe was garbage.  It talks about how good the sauce is but there wasn’t any sauce.  I must have did something wrong.  You’ll see from the pictures. It had something to do with the white wine and chicken broth.  I definitely did something wrong but the recipe really doesn’t say how to do everything.

Go ahead and put the chicken in a mixing bowl and add the salt, pepper, dried oregano, and garlic salt and mix around the coat the chicken really well.  I would also recommend using the bone in chicken. I think it will taste much better than using chicken breasts.

Once that is done cut up the red potatoes into wedges.  I didn’t peel them because my wife said they taste better with the skin on.  I was cool with that.  Get a heavy frying pan and put about 2 tbs of olive oil in the dish or use butter.   Use medium to high heat and brown the chicken and potato wedges. I would cook the chicken on each side for about 5 minutes.  Remove the potato and chicken to a roasting pan.

Throw in the garlic to the frying pan and cook them until they are brown as well.  I just browned the entire cloves but I think you should use that garlic crushing thingy and fry them up that way. I think the chicken would have a better taste if you did this.  Once the garlic is done browning remove it into the roasting pan with the chicken and potatoes.  Next, deglaze the pan with the white wine.  This is what I did wrong I believe.  I just went ahead and dumped the white wine with the chicken broth all at once.  I think you have  to deglaze the frying pan with the white wine and then when it’s all pretty much burned up you add the chicken broth and cook it for a while to get it a little thick.

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After the chicken broth has cooked for a little bit dump it all over the chicken and potatoes.  Bake in the oven at 375F for 1 hour and 15 minutes.   It will smell amazing but I wasn’t too crazy about the taste of everything. It just didn’t have a strong taste to it.  My wife liked it a lot though and said she would want to try it again.  Maybe next time I can get the sauce right or I’ll look up the name for this recipe and maybe someone else has a better version.

Ticket To Ride Board Game

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ITEM QTY Cost Notes
Ticket To Ride 1 $0.00 It’s on Amazon for $36.99
Comfy Couch 1 $varies See Advice in directions
Pride n/a $varies Check yours at the door…let her win but make it look good.

 

Total Cost: $ 0.00 

Directions:

This game has paid for itself in laughs and memorable moments.  It’s a great game to play with friends but it’s also good for 2 player spousal battles.  It’s a strategy type game. I kind of already explained the way it’s played.  Trust me, just ask around and anyone who is into board games knows about this game and loves it.

Advice for guys:

This is something you really need to think about when shopping for new furniture.  My wife is the best person in the whole world at taking care of anything.  So we’ve had the same furniture for our living room set that we had when we first got married. It still looks pretty new even though it’s 11 years old now.  Now, when you shop for a couch, you want to make sure it is something you wouldn’t mind spending a few nights on.  I can guarantee you that at some point in your marriage you are going to be sleeping on the couch because you’ve done something dumb.  We are guys, it’s in our nature.  It’s not so bad when your couch is awesome and super comfy.  So next time you buy a couch…remember…you are dumb and do stupid things for no reason….so make sure that couch is comfy

I slept soundly…….on my comfy couch……feeling proud of my victory in train land.

Total At Home Date Night Cost: $36.34

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: $43.00 Total saved: $476.00

Option 2: $20.00   Total saved: $221.00

Option 3: $10.00   Total saved: $100.00

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

Week 8: I’ll Always Own Iceland

Growing up with two older brothers teaches you a lot of valuable lessons.  One in particular is how to lose at everything….a lot.  My brother’s and I are very competitive.  I kind of blame this on my dad because he never let us win at anything.  I’m not saying that was a bad thing.  Actually, I believe it was a good thing because it taught us to work hard if you want to achieve.  My brother’s and I were competitive about everything and one game we loved to play was the board game RISK.   In summer time, when you are a kid, after the first month you start to get really bored. We didn’t have IPads, online gaming, or buzzfeed.  You had your brother’s and sister’s to play with.  Now as time progressed throughout the day we would all start bugging our mother and complaining about how bored we were and there was nothing to do (first world problems).  My mom was pretty smart so she of course would tell us to play a board game and what better skills to imbed in young minds than the prospect of world domination.  I say she was smart because if you know how long Risk takes to play you know she was just hoping we would get tied up with it for a couple hours so she could have a little peace.  Well, in RISK, you have to take over the whole world.  I don’t remember winning too many times at that game but I do remember one thing…..Iceland.

My sole purpose in that game was to maintain control over Iceland.  I didn’t care how many men had to die, I would hold the line.  Iceland was the prize jewel between my brother’s and I and whoever held it was classified as the greatest (Ok, maybe just to me, I bet my brothers didn’t even care about Iceland, I was like 10 and that’s the way I remember it).  So since it was such a hard fought battle in my youth I thought, “Maybe I should visit there one day to see what Iceland is all about”.  I don’t know why but I’ve always loved the idea of summer, and sun, and all things hot……..So come join us on our trip to Iceland.

While my wife and I were searching out recipes during the week she happened upon an interesting recipe which is a traditional dish in Iceland…..Sheep Head.  She went above and beyond and sent me a picture of it (she truly loves me). It was actually on Pinterest and it’s called Svio.  I won’t post a picture of it because….let’s just say…..that is messed up. It’s just a straight up full sheep’s head sitting on a plate….teeth and all.   Now in all of my many years of education (K-12) I never pictured Icelandic people chowing down on sheep heads.  It said that you burn it and boil it….like burning it wasn’t enough?  Where do you even buy something like that?  Strolls up to Publix Deli in Iceland….”excuse me sir, got any sheep heads? ……(Publix deli employee) “yes sir we do, just got a new shipment in and I’m getting ready to light them on fire and behead the little guys.” (me), “Perfect, I’ll take two !!!”

Don’t worry, Sheep Head was definitely not on the menu.  We opted for something more civilized and toothless.  For an appetizer/dessert my wife made Bolludagur Buns (Icelandic Cream-Filled Buns).  I searched and searched and all I could find were delicious looking fish dishes, but alas, my wife doesn’t eat seafood (small price to pay for being married to the coolest chick alive.)  So I finally found a dish called Nautahakksrulla (beef roll with cheese and broccoli) and lucky me the recipe was in Icelandic.  Didn’t matter to me, I was just happy it looked like something my wife would eat.

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At Home Date Night started off well…..so I thought.  I was able to get off work early and came home to my wife already working on the Bolludagur buns.  I asked her what she was doing and she said, “They take awhile to make so I wanted to make sure we weren’t eating at 10pm.” And I was like, “ok that’s cool….oh look you already have the buns in the oven”…..At that point I put my hand on the oven and opened the oven door, “ NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO !!!!!!!” my wife screamed at me , “YOU AREN”T SUPPOSED TO OPEN THE DOOR !!!!!”.   Now, like every guy when your wife freaks out you kind of shrug it off like everything is just going to be ok and you start to explain why what you did, really didn’t matter and….. and…. and…..just be quiet and take your punishment like a man.   Really, I’m not sure why I even opened the oven.  Why would I?  For some strange reason my brain told my hand to open that oven and peak inside.  I can’t explain it; guys do dumb things for no reason.  We never grow out of it ladies.  Anyways, she said now the buns weren’t going to rise properly and that we would have flat buns……trying not to laugh when she told me, I said with a smirk, “Nobody likes flat buns”…..she was not amused.  Funny thing is the recipe she got it from said a similar thing about flat buns!!.

I quickly removed myself from the heat of the kitchen and took the kids upstairs to play.  We did our normal routine and got them into bed around 8ish.  I headed down and she was somewhat cooled off.  She tried to find an Icelandic music channel to listen to but as I started to make my meal I noticed the lady was singing in Spanish……what?  When did the Spaniards take over Iceland? So we switched to good old reliable Frank Sinatra.   It had been some time now since the flat buns debacle that she started to converse with me.  I told her about how earlier at work today a friend of mine called and she sounded super excited over the phone and she had to tell me something.  I thought she was getting a promotion or won the lottery because she sounded so excited and urgent to tell me what was on her mind….well…the exciting news was something she had recently bought that she thought my wife and I would want because we “may” start trying to do healthier food options for At Home Date Night (don’t hold your breath). It was a Spiralizer.  Now I will admit, the item looks cool and I’m probably going to buy it but why do women do that?  Why do they sound so excited or freak out and you think something major is going to happen and then it’s …..not so exciting.  My wife did this the other day when I was sitting at the computer and she was at her computer she practically jumps out of her chair gasping for air and I’m freaked out thinking a relative died or something and she says, “Come here quick !!!!!”.  You know what it was….shoes she found painted with Disney Characters……dead face…….really…….I guess that’s just how the world works, guys do dumb things, women freak out regardless of importance.

I was getting ready to finish preparing my meal and shove it in the oven and she was done with those creamy buns…..(not a word).  They looked so good I couldn’t wait to try them.  Now they really aren’t an appetizer, more of a dessert, but who cares that it was right before the main dish we were both hungry.  I took the first bite and it was heaven in my mouth.  Whip cream, Hot Buns, and Rasberry Sauce…it doesn’t get much better…..(head out of gutter).   Now my wife on the other hand took one bite and practically spit it out all over the floor (Totally opposite of the reaction I was expecting.)  She said, “oh my gosh, this is disgusting, I can taste the eggs from the buns…I don’t think they are cooked right..probably got messed up from you opening the door.” (I deserved that).  My wife hates eggs (is she even human?) so I kind of got her reaction.  I couldn’t really taste the faint egg taste because I was in raspberry whip cream heaven.  She says maybe she needed to cook them longer and not open the oven. I’m not sure she will ever make them again but I hope that she does.

By the time she had rinsed her mouth I had already downed two more cream buns (what can I say, I can’t get enough of hot buns.)  I went ahead and got the activity going because my meal still needed about 30 minutes to cook.   For the activity we played a board game called Rummikub.  If you’ve never played this game you are missing out.  It’s a battle of the minds.  Now it isn’t my wife’s favorite game but it’s a good two player game.  So I set up the game and we started to play.  All I have to say is I mopped the floor with that Rummikub scrub. (I like playing games I crush her at because they are so few and far.)   About halfway through the game my meal was done and oh….my….word….it smelled so good when I opened the oven.  She said it smelled great too and since she has super hero smell I knew this was going to be awesome.  Now, my wife isn’t really into eating ground meat but she sure did love the way this was cooked.  It was so tasty and Low Carb (see, we eat healthy).  We both downed our food and I finished the smack down at Rummikub.  She was getting the hang of the game towards the end and I’m pretty sure after 3-4 more games of it I won’t be able to beat her.

Well, we were both tired and full so we headed off to bed.  As we were heading up the stairs she says, “I forgive you for ruining my buns, maybe they just need a little more handling and love”……..goodnight!

Thanks for Joining us again and remember to post pictures of your at home date nights using #Homedatenightduo. You can also join our Homedatenightduo group on Facebook.  We decided to start a Facebook “Group” instead of a “Page” because “liking” the page will not let you know when new blogs are posted. It only lets 10% or so of the people who like the page to see updates in their feed.  So join the group instead. Sometime next week we will shut down the Facebook “Page” so only the “Group” is available.  Sorry for the confusion.  Of course, always be on the lookout Friday because that is when we always post the blog, but it posts at different times.  I’ll work on getting it out at a specific time.  Joining the Facebook group you will always get a notice when the blog goes up with a link.  Thanks for your patience. Following below will be a walkthrough, as always, of the recipes with costs.  If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.

Appetizer: Bolludagur Buns (Icelandic Cream Filled Buns)

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ITEM QTY Cost Notes
Eggs 3 large $2.39 We were out but you get a dozen
Raspberry Jam ¼ cup $0.00 We actually had this for some Christmas cookies my wife never made for me. Wife’s sister, if you are reading this please call her and tell her to make my cookies.
Flour 1 cup $0.00 We had
Microwavable Dipping Chocolate 7 oz $2.59
Salt ½ tsp $0.00 We had
sugar ¼ cup $0.00 We had
Butter ½ cup $0.00 We had
Heavy Whipping Cream 1 cup $1.99 We make a lot of creamy tomato soup so we always have this but I believe it’s around 1.99
Water 1 cup $0.00
Vanilla Extract 2 tsp $0.00 Your wife has this
Powdered Sugar 2 Tbsp $0.00 She probably has this too, but check.

Total Cost: $ 8.96

Enjoyment Ratings:

Husband: 8.5

Wife:  2

Directions:

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Before you do anything ladies you need to prepare the kitchen.   As I see it, you have two options.  You can barricade off the kitchen so your husband has no way of opening the stove, or you can play it off like nothing is really cooking in the oven.  Make sure the light is off inside the oven. Men are like flies drawn to the light and it magically draws them in and they won’t be able to control the urge to open the oven door.

Ok now that you have decided how to handle the oven door you can get out a large saucepan and heat it up over medium-high.  Stir in the water, butter, salt, sugar until the butter is all melted.  Add flour and beat it quick until it thickens and pulls away from the sides of the pan.  Then remove it from the heat.

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Put in each egg one at a time and whisk them in with a fury until it seems to get like thick pudding.  Go ahead and get out a lightly greased baking sheet and put large tablespoons of the batter on it.  Bake at 375F for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.

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***WARNING**** Don’t open the oven….keep husband away !!!

Once it’s done baking pull them out and let them cool off.  In a mixing bowl whip the heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract, powdered sugar until it looks like whip cream.

When the buns are done cooling off (My wife’s buns never really cool off), slice each one in half and spread the bottom part with raspberry jam.  Then take a spoon full of the whip cream and plop it on the jam. Put the top on and then drizzle some of the melted chocolate on top.  Enjoy !

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Note:  My wife thinks the buns should cook longer, I thought they were fine.   Oh and since she didn’t eat but a bite I’ve been eating three for breakfast the last 2 days and they rock.  Just cover them and put them in the fridge.  You won’t be disappointed.

Main Course: Nautahakksrulla (Beef Roll with Cheese and Broccoli)

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ITEM QTY Cost Notes
Ground Beef 1 lb $4.00
Broccolli 1 big head $2.50
Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese 8 oz block $3.00 Get the sharpest brand block
Garlic 6 cloves $0.00 You know by now
Salt ½ tsp $0.00
Pepper ¼ tsp $0.00
White Vinager 2 Tbs $0.00 We have a big bottle of this
Olive oil 3 Tbs $0.00 Always buy it when it’s on sale at Publix BOGO
Bread Crumbs ½ cup $1.79 We had but I think it’s around 1.79
Egg 1 $0.00 You bought for the appetizer
Worcestershire sauce 2 Tbs $0.00 Any meal you cook with ground beef should have this.
Yellow Onion 1 small $1.00 We had but they are around a buck

Total Cost: $ 12.29

Enjoyment Ratings:

Husband: 9

Wife: 9

Leftovers: 10

Directions:

What is better than a big hunk of meat filled with cheese and veggies??? If you answered raspberry cream filled buns then you are a part of the male race.   No but really, this meal was really really good.

I have to admit. I winged this meal and just looked at the pictures on the website and made up my own amounts.  Just realized now while I’m linking the page you can use google translate to get the real recipe.  I like mine though, but you can use that one too.

First, get out cutting board and chop up the onion into tiny itty bitty pieces. Get a frying pan and put 1 Tbs of Olive oil in it and set the stove top to medium high heat (about a 6).  When it’s hot go ahead and stir in the onions and let them cook till they turn a little brownish.

While the onions are cooking go ahead and chop up the broccoli.  Try to leave just the florets.  You can buy the frozen broccoli bag too but I didn’t because I like fresh broccoli.  Put the chopped florets in a mixing bowl.  You are pretty much going to make the broccoli the same way as if you were going to use the recipe from week 1.  I’ll tell you again though so don’t worry.   Get out your fancy garlic crushing thingy and crush up all 6 garlic cloves and put them in the bowl with the broccoli.  Dump the Vinegar and 2 Tbs olive oil in next and mix it up really well.  Make sure to wash your hands before doing this.

Stuff a creamy raspberry bun in your mouth.  Make remark to wife about Hot Buns.

In another mixing bowl go ahead and put in the ground beef, egg, Worcestershire sauce, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper and mix it up really really good.  Then get some wax paper or aluminum foil and put a sheet of it about 12 inches long on the counter.  Now place the ground beef on top of the paper and start to flatten the ground beef out as much as you can but make sure not to leave little holes anywhere. You want it nice and flat.  Kind of like a pizza.  You can place another piece of wax paper on the top and use a rolling pin if you want to flatten it out.  I didn’t do this I just used my hands.

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Ok, wash your hands and then get the cheese block out and shred it.  You could buy a bag of sharp cheddar but I like using extra extra sharp cheddar and I’ve never seen it shredded in a bag before.

At around this time my wife came by and started to eat a lot of the cheese because she is a cheese fiend.  So you have to act fast.  One way to get her to stop is to put an entire creamy bun in your mouth and then with a full mouth make a hot buns comment.  That is sure to get her grossed out and away from your cheese and makes you happy because you just got another shot of sugar.  Drastic times cause for drastic measures.

Make sure to not burn the onions.  So check on them a lot and stir them often.  By the time you have completed cooking the onions and done everything else it’s time to take the onions out of the frying pan and spread them across the slab of meat.  Then spread the broccoli mix on the meat. Finally add the cheese and you are ready to roll that baby up.

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I thought this was going to be hard to roll up but it wasn’t.  Just lift up the wax paper along with the meat when you roll it and roll it as tight as possible.  When you are finished rolling tuck both ends in so it seals it up.

Put the oven on 350 F and place the roll of meat into a baking dish of some sort.  Bake it for 45 minutes.  You are allowed to open the oven door to check on it and smell it. You won’t get in trouble.  When it’s done pull it out and just let the smell totally take over all of your senses.

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We cut into it right away because we were hungry but I recommend giving it about 5 minutes to cool off and the cheese will start to harden a little and it won’t run out so much when you cut it.  Cut off a couple pieces for each of you and enjoy the goodness.

Activity: Rummikub

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ITEM QTY Cost Notes
Rummikub 1 $10.39 Amazon Prime….we had it already but I’ll include it in the cost.
Tissues Depends Depends Depends on how many tears the loser will have to wipe away.

 Total Cost: $ 10.39

Directions:

Ok the directions are in the box and they are a little long so I’m not going to type them out.  I would say if you like strategy , puzzles, numbers, and talking smack then this is a game you will want to play.  You gotta be thinking 3 or 4 moves ahead of your turn and the game board at the end gets kind of crazy with how you can manipulate it to what you need.  Guys are like, “YEAH “ , girls are like “when are we doing that pedicure again?”

Total At Home Date Night Cost: $31.64

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: $45.00 Total saved: $388.00

Option 2: $22.00   Total saved: $180.00

Option 3: $10.00   Total saved: $80.00

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

Week Six: A Pedi in S. Korea

A couple years back I had to take a business trip to Cambodia.  I had to book with “Korean Air” and I think that experience ruined my expectation forever in dealing with any flight taken in America. I felt like a king on Korean Airlines.  Everything was just so perfect. The stewardesses’ uniforms were perfectly pressed and they had to be the most polite people I’d ever met. Customer service like that isn’t found on any flight I’ve ever taken in the U.S.  They took such pride in their job and I think that has a lot to do with their culture.  On the way to Cambodia we had to stop in S. Korea and I would have loved to have had a day to go and explore, but my layover was only about an hour so no fun for me, but that flight was simply amazing.  It made me want to go and experience the S. Korean Culture and I wanted nothing more than to share it with the woman I love.  I want to also go to S. Korea for selfish reasons. It is the Mecca of competitive video games !!  NERD CHILLS !!!  S. Koreans actually watch video game competitions on local TV like we in America watch sports.  Yeah, I know, I’m a nerd, but it would be awesome to go to one of their live events and dress up like one of the characters from the games..and..and…(ok my wife is giving me one of those looks…you know…the look of, “did I really marry this dude”).  Anyways, come join us on our trip to S. Korea this week for At Home Date Night!

Couples, you are going to love this meal because you may actually get to eat before 9pm.  Hey, it’s one of the sacrifices we make for At Home Date Night, but this week, I made a dish called Dakjjim and my wife made Korean Eggrolls.  What’s great about Dakjjim is you practically make it the night before and pop it in a slow cooker 4 hours prior to when you want to eat.  So date night eating can start a little earlier because you can time the main dish to be ready slightly after the kids are in bed and if you are off on the time a little bit, it’s ok, because you can turn the slow cooker off and just leave it covered and everything should stay warm.   The Korean Eggrolls take a little bit of time but they are super simple to make and OH MY WORD!!!!  You will never buy eggrolls from a store again because these things are so much better.  For our activity I decided to give my wife a pedicure, yeah that’s right, you read that correctly.  “A dude giving a pedicure?? I’m not so sure about this” you might say, but with YouTube, anything is possible.  So that’s what I do whenever I don’t know how to do something, YouTube it. Sure enough there were a lot of videos on how to give a pedicure at home.  So I got educated and put my new skills to the test.

I also wanted to do this because of something I learned during pre-marital counseling many moons ago.  We were sitting down with our Pastor and we were going over the verses about the roles of men and women in marriage and we got to Ephesians Chapter 5 and it talks about the role of a man and it says something of the sort that a Husband is supposed to Love his wife like Christ loves His church and gave himself up for it.  That kind of impacted my life pretty heavy because how could I ever do this? Well, I remembered how Christ washed the feet of His disciples and in that day those feet were probably pretty stank.  But He did it anyway to show that even though He has all the power and all the authority he chooses to use it by serving others.  In marriage this is how a Husband should be and even though I fail miserably at it on most days, I wasn’t going to fail this date night !!!

The night started off a little rough though, I won’t lie.  I did something I shouldn’t have done. I got off work late.  I had a project due that day, and there was traffic, and blah blah blah….excuses mean nothing.  Excuses are like butt holes, everybody has one and they usually stink.  So if you come home on date night late try not to make an excuse. It just makes things worse.  My wife as always was super prepared. She took the hit and had the kids fed and ready for bed (this is not looking good for me guys).  So the first part of date night was rather quiet.  I wish the music we put on could have helped but I would say when tensions are high, K pop (Korean Pop Music) is probably not the melody to tame the beast.  So I kind of let her get the appetizer ready while I prepared all of the stuff for the pedicure.  The night before I had already cut up and put everything into a plastic bag so all my wife had to do was drop my dish into the Crock Pot around 4pm.  When I got home the house smelled so good and I couldn’t wait to try my dish.  My wife finished up the Egg Rolls and we sat down and ate. They were unbelievable and I finally saw her start to crack a little smile (My amazing eyes were starting to break her down I could feel it…..ok it was the egg rolls.)

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I was praying for a life line from anywhere, praying that Gangnam Style would come on Pandora so I could break out into dance or something to make myself look foolish to make her laugh.  I mean, if a fat Asian dude can bring in the honey’s than everyone on the planet has a chance.  Alas though, no Gangnam Style.  We didn’t eat all the egg rolls because we wanted to try the main dish.  My dish was ready to be served and it tasted really good.  It had a nice little bite to it and the potatoes in the dish were awesome.  When I told her I was giving her a pedicure she looked at me a little funny then got really excited.

This was the best part of the night because nothing makes a woman happier than being pampered and no amount of anger will stay within her once you start to massage those feet.  It’s like the magic button to break down those walls (ok there are more “magic buttons” but this is just one of them.)  How can someone be upset with you when they are getting a foot massage?  So I started in on the pedicure and I could feel everything start to be better (Yeah, that’s right, who is da Man!).  After about ten minutes I realized, “Holy cow this is hard”.  Next time you go to a place to get a pedicure ladies give the girl a little extra tip because scrubbing somebody’s feet is no joke.  I was using this tool that looked like a cheese grater.  I thought it was going to rip the flesh right off of her, but it didn’t.  Once I put her feet in the big bowl of hot water she says, “I think I have to go pee now”, I said,”Ma’am please don’t urinate in my chair.”  She started busting out laughing. I’m not sure why she thought that was funny but she did (Yep, I’m winning, taking back ground).

It was time to dry her feet and get to the part I knew I was going to have a hard time with. That was the cuticle work and painting of the nails.  Guys, no amount of YouTubing will prepare you for this.  Painting another person’s toe nails is hard. I’m not sure how women do this.  After I got done it kind of looked like one of my 5 year old’s paintings.  You know, they bring home something from school and let’s be honest, it just looks terrible and you wonder if they will ever amount to anything, but you think it’s the greatest thing ever because they made it.  I think that is what my wife did to me.  She said they looked great and most of the mistakes would wash off in the shower.  I tried to clean some of it off around the skin with acetone but it still didn’t look Salon Style Pedi.

Once her nails dried it was pretty late. I spent quite a bit of time cheese grating the bottom of her feet earlier and we just lost track of time.  It was worth it though because she told me the next day that the bottom of her feet never felt so good, not even when she goes and gets it done professionally (Probably going to open my own business now.)  She told me she hoped this would become a once a month thing…..I think that is something we may be able to do.

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Well, another amazing At Home Date Night in the books.  Below you will find all the recipes with costs, links, and directions on how we made them below.  I won’t link the YouTube video for the pedicures because there are a lot of them.  Just watch a bunch and take some notes.  I’ll walk you through what we did and all the supplies you will need.  I won’t lie, this date night was a little more on the pricey side because we didn’t have a lot of what was needed, but with the pedicure stuff there is enough to probably supply you with a once a month pedicure for the whole year.

Korean Egg Rolls

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  • 1 pack of fresh egg rolls $2.99 only found these at Publix
  • 1 head napa cabbage $1.49 there is a lot left over so I hope you like cabbage
  • 2 Garlic cloves minced $0.00 we had
  • 3 scallions diced $1.00
  • 1 package of fresh bean sprouts. $1.99, these are right by the egg roll wraps
  • 1 lb Ground beef $ I bought 80/20 $4.00
  • Salt, pepper, and soy sauce to taste $ 0.00 we had

Total Cost: $11.47 …worth every penny

Enjoyment Score:

Husband : 10

Wife: 10

Leftovers : 10 there will be a lot of extras which means you will be very happy the next day

Directions:

This will be an appetizer you will start making once a week because it is just so simple and the taste is amazing.  You can actually just make a bunch of these and freeze them and make them for a snack as well.

First off go ahead and start cooking the ground beef in a big deep pot (like the one you would cook pasta in.)  Cook on medium-high heat until it is grey-ish and make sure to chop it down into tiny itty bitty pieces.  When you think you have it just right slap yourself, you didn’t chop enough.  Get back to chopping because you want it finely chopped.

Rinse the bean sprouts and add about a cup full to the meat while it’s cooking. Grab about 6 leaves off the cabbage and chiffonade them (if you don’t know what that means read week 5).

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Add them to the pot of meat as well.  Let it cook for about 5 min.  Then season it with Salt, Pepper, and Soy sauce to your liking.  The recipe we used didn’t tell us but my wife is kind of a master of all things tasty so she seasoned it perfect.

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Taste the veggies and meat to make sure you have a good taste and then transfer everything to a strainer, otherwise your egg rolls will be pretty soggy.  Go ahead and pour some oil into a frying pan. I would say about enough that if you put the egg roll into the pot it would be under the oil about ¾ of the way.  Turn the stove top on medium-high (about a 7) and let the oil get hot while the meat is straining.

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Grab a small cup of water and break out the egg roll wrappers.  Place them in front of you on the counter top in a diamond shape.  Put about 2 tablespoons of meat mix in the center of the egg roll wrapper.  Then take two fingers and dip it into the water and put it on all the points of the diamond. Fold the bottom and two sides of the diamond to the center of the egg roll and pinch them together. Then just roll those babies up.   Do this until all the wraps are gone or all the meat is gone.

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Grab a big chip bowl of some sorts and line it with paper towels or napkins. You just need something to soak up the oil.  Then put a small coffee mug in the middle.

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The oil should be ready.  Place the egg rolls with the seam face down and let them cook until they are golden brown. Flip them over really quick to make sure the other side gets cooked too.  This doesn’t take too long to do so make sure you don’t burn them.

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Once they are done cooking pull them out and place them vertically in the bowl with the paper towels. This way any oil that got inside the egg roll can drain out.  Let them cool and see if you can fit the entire thing into your mouth with one bite guys….the ladies find this attractive and impressive (I will not be held responsible if you get smacked for being an idiot.)

Don’t cook all of them.  I would say cook about 5 each and then put some in the fridge for the next day. If you cook extra you can save them and microwave the next day but they won’t be crunchy. They will still taste awesome though.

Dakjjim (Korean Braised Chicken)

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  • 2 Chicken Breasts $4.00
  • 2 Medium Potatoes $ 2.00
  • 1 Carrot $ 1.60 I bought a bag of big carrots because I couldn’t buy just one
  • ½ Large Onion $ .99
  • 4-5 Mushroom Caps $1.99
  • 4-5 Garlic Cloves $0.00 we had
  • 1 Tablespoon of Ground Ginger $ 0.00 we had
  • 2 Jalepeno Peppers $ 2.28
  • 2 Scallions $ 0.00 we had enough from the egg rolls to use with this meal too
  • 1/3 Cup Soy Sauce $ 0.00 we had
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar $0.00 we had
  • 2 Tablespoons of Oyster Sauce (we just used more Soy) $0.00 we used soy sauce again
  • 3 Tablespoons of Mirin (Rice Wine) $ 4.49 yeah…this hurt but we have enough to make this meal like 20 times
  • 2 Tablespoons of Honey $0.00 we had
  • ¼ Teaspoon of Pepper $0.00 we had
  • 2 Teaspoons of sesame oil $ 4.83 …ouch again
  • 1 Teaspoon sesame seeds $ 3.19….how can little seeds cost so much ?
  • Gallon freezer bag or zip lock bag of some sort $ we had

Total Cost: $…..drum roll please….$25.37  So I usually try to keep the total of Date Night around 30 bucks.  This wasn’t so this week, but there is enough food here for two dinners and next time you make this (which you will) it won’t cost nearly as much because you will have most everything you need that is expensive.

Enjoyment Score:

Husband : 8

Wife: 8.5

Leftovers : 10

Co-Worker: Pissed I didn’t bring him some

Directions:

Ok, this is the easiest meal to make even though there are a metric butt ton of ingredients.   I’m actually surprised I made this because when I’m looking for a recipe I know I scroll through the ingredients and if there are more than 6 I’m like, “Peace Out”.  This time though I took a chance and was gladly rewarded and surprised at how easy it was.  So don’t let the ingredient list scare you.  Be brave like the ancient Korean people. (I’m not sure they were brave but it sounds good.)

Ok, onto what you need to do.  You need to prepare this dish the day before At Home Date Night, so no slacking in the picking up things department.  Go ahead and lay out all the ingredients.

Cut up into large cubes the Chicken, Potatoes, Carrots, and Onions.  Take the stems off of the mushrooms and just cut the caps in half.  Now shove all that into your gallon zip lock bag.  Next, get your handy dandy garlic crusher thingy and crush the 5 garlic cloves into the bag.  Next, cut the Jalapeno long ways into 4 parts and add to bag.  Put the tablespoon of ground ginger, 1/3 cup and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 3 tablespoons of Mirin, 2 tablespoons of Honey and the ¼ teaspoon of pepper into the bag.  Zip that baggie up and move all the stuff around so it’s nice and mixed.  Put in your fridge (not freezer) and relish the fact that you have somehow figured out a way to put the responsibility of your cooking portion of At Home Date Night onto your wife.

Now on the actual day of At Home Date Night, make sure to call your wife around 4-5pm to put the ingredients in the bag into a Crock Pot and set on High for 4 hours.

When you get home (hopefully not late like me) your house will be smelling like a Korean Kitchen. If you were late like me you might be hearing the voice of an angry Korean lady.  Which if you know anybody who is Asian you can’t really tell if they are mad when they are talking in their native tongue or not. Now if you are married to a Rican, you know exactly when she is mad because it is normally followed by some kind of physical attack.

When the 4 hours is up you should be chowing down on those Egg Rolls.  Get out a big frying pan and put it on the stove on high heat (about an 8 on my stove).  Then dump the stuff from the crock pot into the frying pan.

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Now cut up the scallions into large slices and add into the frying pan along with the sesame oil.  Let it boil like crazy for about 8-10 minutes until the water is pretty much dissolved. Stir everything quite frequently so things don’t start sticking to the bottom.  Remove everything off the stove and dump it all into a nice dish and decorate the top with the sesame seeds.

During the prayer for food make sure to tell God what an idiot you are for being late and how thankful you are for Him giving you such a wonderful and understanding spouse. This sometimes can ease tensions.

At Home Pedicure

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  • Healing Foot Cream Lotion $4.19 Neutrogena kind
  • Exfoliating cream $3.99
  • Cuticle Pusher tool $4.49
  • Nail buffer “file” $2.99
  • Foot cheese grater thingy $2.89 Target has this thing and it has the cheese grater, sand paper side, brush, and foamy hard rock thingy all in one.
  • Acetone $ 0.00 your wife has
  • 2 Big Towels, 1 Small Towel $0.00 you have
  • Nail base clear coat $3.79
  • Nail polish $0.00 we had but this might cost you around 5-10 bucks. Pick your wife’s favorite or be a man like me and get red.
  • Big bowl to soak feet in $ 0.00 we had
  • Epson Salt $0.00 we actually had

Total Cost: $22.34…again this was a little pricey but you will have almost all the tools needed to do this at least once a month for a year. So I think it was worth it and my wife definitely thinks it is worth it. Heck, this is way cheaper than her going to the spa to get it done. So take the hit my friend.

First, watch some YouTube videos so you know what you are getting yourself into. Next tap into your feminine side……what’s that?? don’t have one?? Watch The Notebook, and then proceed to watch some more YouTube videos on how to give a pedicure.

Once you are schooled in the fine art of pedicures go ahead and have your spouse sit down in a comfy chair.  Get out two large towels and lay them underneath her feet. Then take the small towel and put it in the dryer (you’ll need this later and you want it to be warm.)  Ok now take the cheese grater looking tool and start to work the heel and rough part right behind the piglets.  Make sure to use a white towel, if you use a black towel you may get a little grossed out from all the dead skin.  I didn’t think about any of those things because my sole mission was to be the best damn pedicurist she’d ever come in contact with.  So I worked each foot for about 5-10 minutes.  Then I flipped the cheese grater thing over to the sand paper side and tried my best to smooth out the heel and part right behind her piglets.

After about 20 minutes, I won’t lie, my back was hurting.  How do these ladies do this all day long and what about people with Hobbit feet?  I mean, my wife’s feet are gorgeous so no biggie, but what if you had to give a pedi on a Frodo look alike? That would just not sit well.  Anyways, after things seemed pretty smooth I went ahead and filled up the bucket with some really warm water.   Dump about 2 cups of Epson salt into the water and stir it around.  Have her slip her feet into the bucket heel first to make sure the water is to her liking.

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Let her feet soak in the warm water for about 10 minutes.  Then get the exfoliating cream out and grab a little bit and start to scrub and wash each beautiful foot.  Around this time my wife said, “You bought exfoliating cream?? Your sister made some for me awhile back and I still have it.”  (That would have been good knowledge when I was at the store looking for the stuff.)  It was ok though because I wanted the Pedi to be a surprise.  Scrub those feet really good and then use the other part of the cheese grater attachment that looks kind of like a hard piece of foam rock.  Scrub the bottom of her feet some more with that and if you have a brush attachment as well go back and forth between brush and hard foamy rock thingy on the bottom of the foot.  Spend a lot of time focusing on the bottom of the feet because that is what really needs all the work.

Once you are done with this go ahead and rinse her feet and pull the bucket away and use the top big towel to place her feet on.  Then run to the dryer and pull out the warm little towel and start to dry her feet.  She is pretty much in heaven right now and will have forgotten all about you being late. (If you believe that statement you are either dead or an idiot….women never forget anything.)

The feet should be dry now.  Clip the toe nails so they are nice and straight (my wife did this part a day or so ago so I didn’t have to clip anything.)  The rest of the pedicure I thought was rather difficult to do. Don’t get discouraged by this. Just try your best and like I said before, she is so happy now that the bottoms of her feet feel like a baby’s bottom that she won’t care about the rest.

Break out the cuticle tool and use the larger part that kind of conforms to the shape of her toe nails and push back the cuticles.  You can apply a little bit of cuticle oil or I used olive oil.  I would recommend cuticle oil because the olive oil didn’t seem to be doing anything.  I made a mistake with the tool I bought. I thought it had a cutting part on the other end of the cuticle tool but it didn’t. You need some kind of cuticle cutter to really do this right. So pick one of those up if you are brave.

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Once the cuticles are pushed back and removed you need to buff the top of the nail with the nail file you bought. I got one of those nail files that have a bunch of different grains on it and tell you what each one does.  I used the buffer side and ran it over the top of her nails. I then used the shaping side to make sure all the nails were even on the edges and shaped well.  I did notice that her middle piggy on both her feet was kind of jacked up.  She said, “The kids dropped toys on those toes and the nails are just starting to grow back so be careful.”  Restrain yourself from wanting to gather up all the toys in the house and throw them in the garbage.  Kids are kids and sometimes you are going to lose a nail.

Once that is done go ahead and grab a tissue or napkin and roll it up and inter weave it through her toes to separate them.  Now open up the clear base coat and brush a light thin layer onto the big toe first starting with a stripe right down the middle, then repeat but move slightly to the left and right each time. Now for the little piggies you should give one quick swipe left to right, not up and down.  I thought this worked a little better for the little piggies.  You are feeling pretty good right now because her nails are starting to shine and they are looking awesome.  Around this time your wife will say, “Hey that looks great, maybe we should just leave them clear.” Good try my devious wife, you know the perils which lay in wait for me next, but I’m not falling for your trickery.

Let the base coat dry for about 5-10 minutes. Breath in deep, breath out deep, breath in deep, breath out deep and in your best Mr Miyagi voice, stand up and say, “Now, Daniel Son, Paint the Fence!”.  Sit back down and break out whatever color you bought. I chose red for my first time because all other colors are for sissies.  If I do something, I go all out, no looking back now. Ok, so you are probably going to screw this up because painting piggies is difficult.  Paint them the same way you put on the base coat. Now you are going to get paint in places you shouldn’t, just do your best and have fun.  Once you have them all painted let them dry for 5 minutes then add another coat.  Let dry for 10 minutes then finally apply one more clear coat.

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As you look at them you will begin to learn how immensely terrible you are at painting toes. This is ok because it’s all about new experiences and having fun.  I was actually able to clean off a lot of the mistakes with the q-tips and acetone.

While the nails are drying, husbands go ahead and clean the kitchen and put away all the pedicure stuff. When they are completely dry pull out the tissue paper and toss in the trash.  For the last part you have to wait till your wife is in bed.  Take the foot cream and put a small amount on the top and bottom and rub it in.  Your masterpiece is complete.  Don’t be surprised if your wife asks you to do this again in about 2 weeks, because her feet are going to feel amazing the next day.

Total At Home Date Night Cost: $59.18….but definitely worth it.

Thanks again for joining us.  We hope you enjoy the blog and continue to follow us.  Remember to check out our new facebook page called HomeDateNightDuo and post your pictures using the #homedatenightduo.  Thanks again and have a great weekend !!!

Christmas Savings 2015 Shadow Box deposits

Option 1: $47.00 Total saved: $297.00

Option 2: $21.00   Total saved: $141.00

Option 3: $10.00   Total saved: $60.00

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