Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fish Baby Date Night Recap

Haha, you put together our date night activities and you get fish babies.

Silly silly, what actually transpired was a dinner and a movie. But the dinner was about fish (read: sushi) and the movie was about babies (read: Friends With Kids)...hence...fishbabies.


Chortlechortlesnortsnort. I crack myself up sometimes.

Dinner: Osaka Sushi in Roseville. Did I mention that Hubby had never had sushi before he met me? We-ell, he'd never had a lot of stuff before he met me. But I introduced him to sushi, and now he's worse than me when it comes to sushi cravings. We ordered a variety of things and shared everything, which is how I like to roll.


Because I like to try a little bit of EVERYTHING, but don't like to eat a lot of anything. I have a love/hate relationship with buffets.

Movie: Friends with Kids, starring Jennifer Westfeldt, Adam Scott, Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph. It was a minor reunion of the cast of Bridesmaids.
So, I really liked it. But I thought (probably because of the actors) that it was going to be a Bridemaids-esque comedy. It was really more serious than I'd expected. But I think it's a really well-made movie, highly recommend.

Note: I liked it because it tells the story of people who are right around where Hubs and I are in life...aka marriedandhipandhappyandourfriendsarestartingtohavebabies.

P.S. Hubby is awesome because...he buys me shoes when he knows I long for them. A man who buys me shoes?!?! I mean really. So wonderful.



Monday, March 19, 2012

Vroom Vroom Date Night!!

I have been slackin' in the bloggin' lately. Whoops. Life gets in the way of my life sometimes, I swear.

Anyhoo, last week the Hubs and I went on a date night of his choo-choo-choosing. My hubbles is a motor-head. Not in a greasy mechanic kind of way, but in the delightful way that manifests as a DIY car repair, admire muscle cars from afar, and research the best models and manufacturers for buying purposes. In short, he is a DREAM to have around for every day car needs. If you need a car recommendation, ask my Hubby. He's helped friends and co-workers buy and fix their cars, and is always willing to go along to the dealerships/auto shops to make sure someone isn't getting scammed.

Isn't he great?

Last week the Twin Cities had their annual auto show. This is basically where all the big car companies like to roll out their newest models of cars at the Convention Center downtown. Mike always likes to go so he can peruse cars that he wants to buy someday and chat up the sales reps. I like to go because I get to sit in cars I'd never be able to afford (read: Audi) and make beepbeepvroomvroom noises, and eat ice cream and sign up in drawings to win things like a new car or Twins tickets.

Place: Minneapolis Convention Center

Event: The 2012 Twin Cities Auto Show, home of many a vrooom vroom maker.

Cuteness: Hubby gets so excited about cars. I do not get excited about cars, but he was like a kid in a candy store. Except I was making the vrooming noises.

I personally wanted to try out the antique cars. But they were behind a bar, and I was informed that I could not just leap over the partition and jump in the buggies.

Vroom vroom. beep beep.

Not-so-skinny broc mac and cheez.

In the spirit of all things cheesy and delicious...and attempting (and failing) to stick to a healthier diet as opposed to my usual thisfoodhereonthecounterlooksgoodnomnomnom, I recreated-sortof-Gina's Skinny Broccoli Mac and Cheese.

See Gina's version here.

I lurv cheese, especially in partnership with mac, and I like that Gina put some veg into her recipe to round it out as a meal.

I, in typical Angie fashion, immediately started making my own substitutions to the recipe. I.e., I used some soy milk, margarine, and frozen broccoli instead of fresh. Mostly because that was what I had on hand and in my opinion that was close enough.

I should also confess that I used about twice the cheese as the recipe said, thus probably nullifying the "skinny" part of the recipe.

Saute up some onions in some buttah. And margarine. Buttah for flavah, margarine to round it out and avoid some calories. Although it was all for naught in the end. Also get your pasta cooking so it's ready to combine later.
Add flour to the pan and stir until flour is cooked a little, about 2 minutes. This makes your roux.
Add chicken stock and stir until thickened. If you wanted to go full vegetarian of course use vegetable stock here. I'm not too picky, and I buy chicken stock en masse at Costco so I always have it on hand.
Add your milk (cow or otherwise) to the pan and bring to a simmer.
In the meantime, in a bowl, combine bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, some thyme, and s & p for flavor. This equals your topping.
I used sharp cheddar, but you can use any cheese you like in your mac recipes. I prefer the sharp cheddar. I bought reduced fat, as Gina instructed, then used much more than was recommended. Stir it in slowly until it's all melty and combined.
After that it's just a bunch o'mixing stuff together. I used one bag of thawed frozen broccoli, I'm sure you could use fresh too but I am lazy. Mix in to cheesy goodness with your cooked pasta.
Transfer to a 9 x 13 in baking pan and spread it out.
Top with your bread crumb topping, and spritz a little cooking spray on top to help the crumbs get all nice and brown and crispy in the oven.
That's it! I didn't even get to take a post-bake picture because hubby and I gobbled it down the second it got out of the oven. Nom nom nom.


Good for leftovers too!!


Ingredients:

  • 12 oz high fiber elbows like Ronzoni Smart Taste
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp margarine
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 2 cups skim milk (I used soy milk)
  • 1 cup fat free chicken broth (vegetarians use vegetable broth)
  • about 4 cups shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 12 oz broccoli florets (I used pre-cut bag)
  • 1/8 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • cooking spray

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Snuggly cuddly date night recap.

Have I mentioned that I heart Groupon yet? Because I do. Thanks to Groupon, I get to try restaurants and stores that I'd usually never be able to afford, and Hubby and I get to go on at least a few grand-ish adventures a couple times a month.

I purchased some movie vouchers recently via the magical Groupon, and I've been itchin' to use them up. Is there anything better than a nice movie night? So for date night I had a man and a plan. I was going to be chef-alicious and economical in the kitchen and put a roast in the slow cooker, then we were going to whisk off for a movie!

Unfortunately the theaters are not cooperating with me. I'm not sure what your taste in movies is, but I can tell you that mine includes....none of the movies currently playing in theaters. Therefore, date night was executed in sweatpants.

Much better that way sometimes.


Place: Chez Brunner

Event: Homestyle dinner and a movie. I've been going crazy pinning recipes on Pinterest, so I thought I needed to take a break and actually try some out. I usually comment on how they turn out on Pinterest too, FYI.

The Menu!:

To-die-for Balsamic Pot Roast, from A Cook's Quest via Kalyn at www.kalynskitchen.com

I couldn't even stop myself to take pictures. Mostly because I overslept then was tearing around the kitchen like a madwoman getting everything into the slow cooker before school. Wherein my hands smelled like onions the rest of the day.

You'll have to make do with the one from the website!
mmmmmmmmmmm.

Roast-alicious. Fab-roast-ulous. The balsamic vinegar cooks away slowly until all the vinegary-ness is gone, and all you're left with is this tangy sweet sauce that's unctious and rich from the beef stock and pumped up from the tomato sauce.

Served up with some mashed potatoes (Instant ones from the box, mildly mortifying to my chef's taste but we only had one sad little wrinkly tater in the cupboard) courtesy of my Hubbles, and roasted asparagus.

The Movie!

It's a bit ironic that we stayed in and watched our latest Netflix contribution instead of going out to the movies because there was "nothing good playing there." Because the movie we ended up watching was a doozy of a terrible movie:

thou hast really outdone yourself this time, McBride.
It was quite possibly the most ridiculous movie I've ever seen. Besides The Expendables. But that's another story. Think of this one as a nice mix of Monty Python and the Holy Grail combined with Pineapple Express, with a healthy dose of pervert. It was SOO BAD that it was hilarious.

Mike and I just laughed the whole way through, in our "comfypants", squished onto the loveseat with a couple of cats and a fleece blanket. With a couple of Thin Mints as dessert (They're out, get your Girl Scout Cookies while you can!).

Bliss.

P.S. Hubbles is amazing because...his chest is where my head fits perfectly.