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.

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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~

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Pear Pie–Needs Some Adjustments

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Can you see the hidden shapes on top of the crust? I attempted to cut the vent holes with the same shape, but they stretched and lost their awesome.

I used the fantastic apple pie recipe I found online and it is almost perfect. But instead of apples I used pears from our farm. I forgot that I decreased the temperature of the oven the first time I used this recipe. So…my crust was well done and my fruit was still a little hard.

We’ll see what my coworkers think.of it today. I’m nervous and not entirely thrilled that I made such a silly irrevocable mistake.
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Update
My coworkers made it disappear easily during my eight hour work shift. Everyone agreed the crust and flavor was great.

They made some legit recommendations about a future fix. First, being if I have particularly hard fruits, I could cook them down in a sauce pan with the sugar to help soften them up.
Second, they also agreed that 375°F was high for pie and I should lower the temp.
I also hope to cut up my pear chunks into more even sizes. I think the larger pieces were the undercooked ones.

Coconut Red Velvet Tres Leches Cake {Recipe Revealed!!}

I’m sure you’re probably freaking out a little bit that this exists somewhere. I couldn’t find it on the internet anywhere so I decided to share my recipe here.

This is the least labor intensive version of a tres leches cake and the same recipe I followed for my birthday cake last year.
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This was the first time I toasted coconut. And I followed the recipe I found here. I made mine on the stove top and it was super easy.

Step one: bake your cake, follow box directions.
Step two: toast coconut and allow to cool
Step three: cool cake completely, I always seem to be running out of time and chill mine in the fridge after the pan is cool.

Step four: this is a key difference, whisk together 1 can evaporated milk, 12 ounces coconut milk (if you’re lazy, a whole can is just 14 ounces), and 1 cup half and half.

Step five: poke holes in cake and evenly pour milks into pan.

Step six: cover and chill overnight, ideally. If you don’t have time at least get two hours of soak time.

Step seven: cut a piece, top with coconut shavings and devour.
You can also whip up some heavy whipping cream and sugar if you prefer.

You’re welcome.
~Kat

Kat Deals with Anger

The other day I got really mad. It was the type of mad that quickly leads to frustration because nothing can be done. It was the type of mad that because nothing can be done I wanted to punch things.
After storming around the house like a three year old in a tantrum, I decided to redirect my negative energy to make good things happen.

First, I put on music to reset the mood, same energy, less anger. I avoided the mopey love songs and the angry thrasher rock. You might hit up your favorite work out list.
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Next, I took my makeup bag, dumped it out and organized it by type of makeup. I did not use it all, but I chose at least one of each type.
Mineral foundation, bronzer, eyeliner, two types of mascara for popping lashes, two different eye shadow colors, my deep red lipstick, eyebrow pencil and tiny bit of blush.
It was heavy, but necessary. I wanted it to be extreme (for me) but not leave me looking like an alien.
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After makeup, I brushed out my hair and took several photos until I felt perdy. I realize selfies are silly, but again, I needed this.
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After getting pretty, I made two loaves of pumpkin bread. Not only did I end up with a delicious bread but a yummy blog as well.

I even washed up some dishes.
I kinda wish I could get that angry more often. I would have fresh baked breads and a clean house all the time! Well, maybe I would rather be messy and happy.

How do you deal when you’re so angry you can’t see straight?

Pumpkin Bread

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The final moist and delicious product!
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The other day I got really upset about something that went down and instead of moping and crying I used the negative energy (anger) to create good things.
I fixed my hair, put on makeup, washed up some dishes and made pumpkin bread. Instead of having sore fists or tear streaked cheeks I had an amazing smelling house and pumpkin bread to share with Kit and friends.
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Here is the recipe I found in a book-this is weird for me. Most recipes I find online nowadays. What isn’t weird is how I always tweak a recipe. Below are my adjustments.

I added 2 cups of pumpkin (3/4 cups baked cushaw from farm and 1 1/4 cup canned pumpkin).

I also only added 1/2 cup water instead of a full cup because it wasn’t a very thick batter already.

I baked it for about 1 hour.
On the top I added almond bits and chocolate chips.

Next time I make this recipe, I will substitute 1 cup applesauce instead of oil or at least a half and half substitution. I have done it before with banana bread and I really like it.

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This VIP Cookbook was written in 1979 with the intent that proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society and their research.

I picked this up at a library book sale for less than $2 so don’t think I was being noble. There are some things in there that may be out of date but I figure a good recipe is almost always a good recipe.
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One loaf got devoured by my husband and me. The other loaf I took to a wedding shower and gave to the bride to be, who just happened to love anything pumpkin. Score!

My mouth us watering just looking at the pictures again. Kit found three more huge chushaw from our volunteer plant in the compost pile and I have tons of canned pumpkin too. I know what I’m doing come Monday!

Day 355: Add-In Muffins

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I have been enjoying having Amish friendship bbread starter in the house. The only downside is that I don’t have enough friends that want to deal with the starter.

The fun part about this basic recipe is that it just tastes like sweet bread until you add more flavors. I admit that I had to look up some ideas as to what I could add and get some sort of idea about quantity. Here is the useful link I found. Thank you, Armchair World for blogging and sharing!

To this batch I added the basics, plus 3 mashed bananas, applesauce instead of oil, and milk chocolate chips. I usually use semi-sweet chocolate chips, but I found the milk chocolate were on sale.

Even though I added sugar to the mix, I don’t add pudding mix (substitute 1 cup flour) so it stayed semi-sweet with bombs of chocolate sugary goodness. Honestly, I think 3/4 cup flour substitute would be a wiser choice. My batter ends up a little thicker than it probably should be.

I grabbed a bunch of hot muffins and gave them to my Spain-girlfriend. She came over and we had a gear spray down for bugs and water proofing. Jess snarffed a muffin before she left. Kit and I aren’t sure if any made it home to share with her folks :-) The best compliment is nothing leftover!

Day 348: Final Lamb-Pie

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Here is the final shepherd’s pie. My mashed potatoes were a bit dry which was okay the first time. However, leftovers were super dry.

The insides were good and the lamby grease was all throughout the veggies. My tastebuds are not fine tuned enough to descriminate against ground beef in the shepherd’s pie and our grocery budget would sure appreciate the break.

What I’m trying to say is, even though it was very good, I will stick to using the cheaper ground beef in my future recipes.