Valentine’s Day Greek Date-Night

We came up with a themed date night for our Valentine’s Day by a sort of happy accident. We started off by saying how much we wanted to make this or that. Then we realized that all those things went together in a way.
All of the photos belong to the original bloggers. Please click the hyper-linked text to find their amazing recipes they shared with the world.

The important stuff—What are we eating!?

We have had gyros before and my Sister in Law (SiL) swears that if I can make naan then I can make my own pita bread. I’m not going to use the more traditional lamb because of the cost. Instead we are going to use some beef steaks I found on sale.

Our appetizer will be relatively simple. I’m planning on doing hummus and sweet bell peppers for dipping. Maybe some carrots if we have them on hand too, but I don’t want to overeat before we get to the main event. There will be plenty of food. If you’ve never made hummus before then don’t worry. It is much like guacamole. There are some essentials and after you get them dumped in the bowl you fix it to your taste. A can of chick peas, lemon juice, salt, garlic and pepper. You’re pretty much in business if you have those things.

To alleviate crunch time stress I am going to make the pita bread the pita day before. Allow them to cool, cut them into halves to create the pockets and put them in zipper bags until our supper the next night.
Here is the recipe for pita bread that I will be following. Looks simple, right?

I will also likely make the tzatziki sauce the day before. As with most

tzatziki infographic

sauces, I feel like it will be more tasty after sitting over night anyway. Tzatziki sauce is basically cucumbers pureed, yogurt and some herbs/spices. It is awesome! Of course if you hate yogurt and cucumber then stay away. Here is the recipe I will be following for Tzatziki sauce. I will however point out that I will not be allowing the yogurt to drain for 2 hours. 30 minutes will suffice.  Check out this cute little infographic on how-to make tzatziki or click the link above for word directions.

gyro

The gyro recipe will more or less follow the one found on Tide and Thyme (again). I figure as long as I add some lemon and thyme and other Greek-ish spices that the meat will be just fine. For veggie stuffing in my gyros I am planning: Olives, spinach, tomatoes, and feta cheese.

Sidedishes: The sides will be relatively simple since they are not the main and delectable main stage player that the gyros will be. We are going to make up a box of Suddenly Salad. Yeah, I realize that is silly with all the homemade things surrounding it, but I really enjoy those pasta salads and the lack of work they entail. The second side dish is going to be homemade sweet potato fries. I haven’t completely nailed down a favorite recipe but I’ve been scrounging on Pinterest for one that speaks to me. I kinda want to do an olive oil, salt and rosemary topping for them and I definitely want to cut this fairly thin so I get a good crispy fry. Oh, I should clarify that by “fries” I mean that I bake them on a cookie sheet.

The final thing on our menu for the evening is less Greek, but much more realistic and easy. I decided the most important thing was the gyros

lemon brownies

and I don’t want to spend hours slaving over the dessert too. I have been wanting to make these Lemon Brownies for ages! I love lemon desserts, chocolate desserts or chocolate and fruit desserts. Yeah…I kinda have a sweet tooth. This recipe is of the mix and dump persuasion so I think it will fit our evening the best.

My mom suggested this last part and I figured, why not dive in?!
Mom owns a copy of My Big Fat Greek Wedding  so we’re going to greekweddingwatch that as we eat our gyros, salad and fries. I hope that we’ll be full as ticks by the end of the evening. Seeing as the hubbster doesn’t drink wine or champagne I’m not sure what specialty drinks we might have. He will probably stick with his sweet tea or diet coke. I might get a small bottle of something special just for me. And you know that once you remove the cork is spoils if you don’t finish it in one night. 

Questions for my Readers:

Is a themed Valentine’s date too cheesy for you?
I’ve got a lot riding on if all these recipes turn out right. Would you try a new recipe on a special night?
Are you
, like us, trying to avoid going out on the 14th at all costs? I gave up trying to battle the crowds years ago. Staying in are where it is at!

12 Months of Pre-Planned Dates

I have been dying to share this!! Just dying! 12 months of pre-planned and pre-paid dates was my main Christmas gift to Kit in 2013. Our first date kinda flopped because there was some idiotic things I couldn’t control. However, we are back on schedule.

12datesimagepinI found this idea of 12 Pre-Planned Dates on Pinterest. There are tons of them all over the internet. The blogger I linked had some great tips but the blog was a touch sparse when it came to actual ideas. I believe that was on purpose. The original blogger didn’t want you to do an exact copy because she wanted her readers to get creative and make it their very own. I am will toats share all of mine, never fear. I do stand behind her in saying: Make this your own! Don’t just copy the dates, sit down and put some serious thought into things that the two of you would like to do together.

For example, some couples may hate to cook together, but that is a great togetherness time that my husband and I have. I also wanted to keep these 12 dates on a very serious low budget. I think all together I spent less than $50. Those are some legit dates if you ask me.

20140126_090115

What is this all about?

Come up with 12 date ideas. Write 12 letters, grab and label 12 envelopes and make sure to include anything needed to complete the date. Especially items like, printed off directions, brochures of destination, recipe cards, gift cards, or other specific things (like food coloring to go with a cookie recipe).

About a week before the new month open the envelope and pick a day to have your pre-planned date! So you would open the February date envelope sometime during the last week of January.

January

My plan for January was to get a $5 gift card for this local theatre that mostly does live performances. They promised to have several $2 movies they would show during January and the schedule of shows would be available–to include in my envelope–by mid December. Sadly, the show schedule didn’t come out until January and the shows are all scheduled for February.
To make matters worse the gift card to the theatre got lost in the mail somewhere. It might be in my PO box…silly mail. We hope to hold three dates in February, the Jan-date, Feb-date and something special for Valentine’s Date. March will feel uneventful after our crazy February ends.

February

I want each month to have its own blog post after we have the date, but since Kit has opened the February envelope I can summarize it here. 20140126_090222February’s envelope includes: A bandana, a small tub of Wilton’s rose pink coloring, a recipe for super pink chocolate chip cookies, and a letter with instructions. The instructions essentially say that our challenge is to make chocolate chip cookies will taking turns being blindfolded.
I suppose if you wanted to analyze what this does for the relationship it can be noted that this is a trust building exercise. The blindfolded person must depend on the unimpaired partner to help make measurements.
My mom has asked about 15 times already….So yes, if you’re wondering it will probably be a naked cooking date. We’re adults and we can be naked. Hahaha, it also may be more amusing this way.
One of the best parts, in addition to nudity, is that we will have awesome super bright pink cookies to nosh when we finish the date. Milk and cookies is what’s up!

March

This one is a surprise! You’ll have to wait a month!! But I promise to continually add to this list so you know what we’re up to throughout the year.

Happy Dating!

~Kat~

Pinterest Discoveries of the Week

I have been debating writing a blog like this for some time. I have come to the conclusion that since no one is paying me to write blogs I should utilize that freedom and write about things I enjoy. So, as a dutiful reader, if this blogs is boring to you then just skip over it. No one is paying you to read my blog either. However, I make a piercing internal squeal every time I get a comment on like on my blogs.

I hope to make this type of post a weekly thing. Maybe some recipes, some inographics, pretty pictures or Farm-esque how-tos that I find on Pinterest. I won’t pick more than 10 because I feel like that this post will be entirely too long if I do so.

Sweet pins from Pinterest

Homemade Siracha Sauce
I mean doesn’t that picture just beg you to make it? I don’t know when I will get a chance to make this deliciousness. The recipe is

siracha pic

pretty darn easy too. I’m sure you would dice everything tiny and strain it if you didn’t have a food processor.  I think if I made it myself I would use it more often in my recipes at home. I would definitely use homemade Siracha in my Spicy Thai noodles. Yummo! As soon as I read the blog title out loud Kit started searching for Fresno pepper seeds. Looks like we’ll e ordering them from Sustainable Seed Co.

 Adorable Blue Heeler Puppypuppypix
I think I pinned this one twice by accident. My eyes just keep dancing back and forth between his little fat tummy and his round puppy face. Although Kit prefers red heelers, this is the same type of working dog that he wants on the farm. Kit’s last heeler passed away before I met him. I don’t know how I will feel having a dog that is smarter than me on the farm, but they sure are sweet looking dogs.

creamersAfter finding some CoffeeMate seasonal creamers on sale at Kroger I got inspired to make my own. I knew Pinterest would have a copycat recipe so I went on the hunt. Yes, Pinterest is my Google-search for recipes. Don’t worry, Google, you’re still my go-to for stupid meme images that I want to share. Pinterest did not disappoint. After I gather a few ingredients I hope to be refilling my legit Coffeemate bottle with my own creamer. Here’s the link to my favorite Creamer Copycat Recipes pin.

warmupIt should come as no surprise that I have been pinnning some fitness/exercise stuff and going through some of the pins I already have. I have had to delete or repin some to make then link to the correct site. So hopefully if you go through my Fitness pinboard you will have an easier time of things. I accidentally ended up at a Pilates class the other night at the Y and my core/stomach muscles are still sore. Yes, two days later. Obviously, this is something I should do. So as to not bombard you with a armsivilliagethousand fitness pins I will just share one about Great Warmup Exercises and another that has several Arm Exercises with dumbbells.

Next up is a pin I just had to have after tasting it. It seems I do this a lot after just having visited my SiL’s house. We pick something online and I bug the crap out of her until she shares greekdressingthe recipe with me. This Greek Salad dressing is divine! I am hoping to switch over to all homemade dressing as soon as we run out of our store bought ones. Kit hasn’t tried this and is skeptical of many vinaigrettes, but I could also make him some ranch or blue cheese sometime.

Another pin I added to my Beautiful Things board was a pendant with a Shakespeare Quote on it. It comes from one of my favorite

littlefierce

plays–Much Ado About Nothing. Sadly, this pin links to a website where you have to be a member to view the products. Ain’t NOBODY got time for dat!! Perhaps instead this could be an embroidery project. I would love, love, love to have this in a pendant though. sigh.

carrrots roasted

Another thing Beffers made for me during our last visit were carrots roasted in amazing. I believe it was honey and balsamic vinegar? I love carrots and generally cooked carrots scare me. People tend to want to overcook them and drown the in purse sweet stuff. Not how I like my carrots. These were cooked just right and the honey wasn’t the main player. Delish!

The final recipe was one Beffers and I decided would be our next trial drink when we get together. We love Angry Orchard cider and mojitos. This might just blend those two things together nicely. Theangry mojito  The Angry Crisp Mojito. During my last visit we made Angry Aliens for my brother’s Alien Invasion themed birthday party. They went quite well with our screening of Mars Attacks. Oh yeah….I forgot to tell you all about my brother’s Alien Birthday. I should really work on that.

What cool pins have you discovered recently?

Would you like me to share more pins in the future??
About Cooking
Farm Stuff
Cute Pictures
Embroidery                       ?? Tell me, tell me.

**All photos belong to the original bloggers that I have linked.**

Movie: Robot and Frank

robot&frankposterRobot and Frank (2012)

IMDB does a great job with their super simplified plot, so why re-write it?
“Set in the near future, an ex-jewel thief receives a gift from his son: a robot butler programmed to look after him. But soon the two companions try their luck as a heist team.”IMDB

Let’s meet the main players:

Frank–A retired codger that wants to keep living in his old house. He tries to keep in touch with his two grown children who are off and away. He loves walking to the library for outdated printed material and to flirt with the local librarian. He hates the idea of needing any caretakers, either robots or nursing homes, but he is starting to forget things….

Hunter & Madison–I think someone tried to write these two characters as vastly different people, but they are siblings and children of Frank. They live busy lives and can’t take care of their aging father. Hunter buys dad a butler/in-home nursing robot as an alternative to committing him to an old folks home. Madison is played by the cherubic Liv Tyler and her character hates robots with AI.

Robot–I was disappointed he never got a name, but the title of the movie kinda tells you that. Robot is programmed to track Frank’s health and help him set up a routine to help him remember. He is not programmed to understand the immorality of theft.

Robot_And_Frankwoods

Jennifer–Okay, I really had no clue that this character had a name. I love Susan Sarandon and she doesn’t disappoint. The librarian is trying to come to terms with the fact that her job, print materials,
and libraries as homes of quiet research are being phased out.

Her library is becoming a community center. She likes Frank.

Snarky or Insight of Some Sort

  • The genre is a Comedy/Drama. I must say that the story was extremely well balanced. I warn you that there are some sad bits because apparently I am a sadness weenie.
  • Please, please, please, give this movie a watch. The run-time is something like an hour and a half. It can be found on Netflix Instant.
  • The acting was good but I found the two children not so lovable. Perhaps there had to be tension so they could explain some back story. Makes me worry how I will treat my parents if/when I must make decisions for them.

Lessons I learned from the movie: 

  • I want a robot as a care-taker. Screw nursing homes and communities.
  • Dementia runs in my family and still freaks me out.
  • Story telling is an art. Witnessed.
  • Liv Tyler always tricks me. She looks beautiful and casual all at the same time.

Would I recommend it to others?
YES, yes, yes, yes!!
What’s so great about it?
The character relationships. I never doubted that Frank was actually conversing with Robot. I completely got sucked into the story. Because the characters have such a pull I was cracking up laughing or on the edge of my seat whenever a twist in the story took place. There are also beautiful woodland scenes throughout.

I would blog more about this movie, but I don’t want to give all the fun parts away and I don’t want to waste your time. Go look it up or check it out and pop some popcorn!
I hope to find a copy of this to add to my collection.

~Kat~

Spicy Thai Noodles with Chicken {Recipe Revealed!!}

spicythaiprogressMy SiL made this for me when I went to visit her down in Illinoise and I finally got brave enough to try it myself. I will link to my pin of the original recipe and below is my version of the recipe.

Spicy Thai Noodles with Chicken

Ingredients:

2-4 chicken breasts (depending on size)
Salt, garlic powder and curry powder to taste
1/2 box of angel hair or linguine
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 Tablespoon of dried red pepper flakes
1 Tablespoon of sesame seeds
1 whole sweet onion, diced
1 medium sized green pepper, diced
4 carrots peeled and grated
6 Tablespoons honey
6 Tablespoons soy sauce

Directions:

Grill or cook chicken with desired spices (I sprinkled mine with salt, garlic and curry powder). Allow to cool and chop up the chicken. Add to pot last along with the noodles.
Start boiling pasta, follow box directions for cooking and drain to prevent overcooking.
In a medium sized pot, cook oil, red pepper, sesame seeds. Once you chop up the onion and peppers throw those in as well. Continue to cook on medium heat ntil desired tenderness is reached.
Peel and grate carrots and add to pot once veggies are cooked.
Whisk together honey and soy sauce then add to pot and allow to simmer together for a few minutes.
Add drained pasta & cooked chicken to pot of sauce and veggies. Combine well until all the noodles are covered in sauce. thaispicenoodlesThe best thing you can do is let it sit overnight. You might even consider making a whole box of pasta just so you have the delectable leftovers the next day. spicy thai noodlesThis is the darling recipe card that the original blogger made for her readers. You will notice that I omitted several things. I didn’t feel a need for the toppings so I left them out. I also reduced the amount of oil and added sesame seeds to olive oil because I didn’t have any sesame oil. You might even consider playing with this recipe some more and add even more veggies or add tofu instead of chicken if you fancy that.

I love, love, love this recipe.
Hubbster got one bite of the leftovers, because I refused to share more.

~Kat~