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 !!!

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