Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Date 15 - Gobble Gobble!

Day: Thursday, 11/24/11 - Sunday 11/27/11
Type: Family-Oriented
Cost: $$
Planned By: Both
Date night was a little different this week. Because of Thanksgiving we ended up spending the whole weekend with our families and having many "mini dates". So I'll just briefly talk about them all.

We spent Thanksgiving day with my family. We watched the dog show, set up the table at my grandma's, and made a salad. Because we're married I decided I should help out with dinner this year and a salad was the easiest way to go. The salad consisted of lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, tangerines and strawberries. I wanted it to be a healthy and pretty salad and it was. I had planned to put the salad on individual salad plates, but we didn't have enough plates. So it went in a bowl, and didn't really get eaten. Oh well... I tried.

Dinner was good. We sat at the kid table with my sisters and their boyfriends. We tried to play a game to keep the dinner lively, but it didn't work out so well. I think I won anyway.
Date night continued on Friday morning with Black Friday shopping in Erie, PA and a buffet breakfast at Old Country Buffet with my sisters. This was the first year Adam and I actually bought something on Black Friday.Our main purchase was a LG 47" 3D LED TV with a 3D blu-ray player. It should be arriving next week!

We went on a double date with Tasha and Bobby. We got lunch at Perkins. It was nice catching up with them since we live in different cities and were all home for the weekend.

Sunday was our second and final Thanksgiving dinner. This dinner was with Adam's dad's side of the family. It was our first year making a dish for this dinner, too. I got a great idea off of pinterest to make a fruit tray. This was not a regular fruit tray.. it was a Fruit Turkey! We made the fruit turkey together and it was a lot of fun. We got cantaloupe, watermelon, grapes, blueberries, pineapple, strawberries, a pear and apples. The body of the turkey was a cantaloupe and the head was the pear. For the eyes we used blueberries and the feet were apple halves. The tail was the exciting part. We bought bamboo skewers from giant eagle and made fruit kabobs. Adam started the tail by putting a layer of apple kabobs. These kabobs only had red and green apple slices and a marshmellow on top. We used the rest of the fruit for the remaining layers of the tail. We put a peice of cantaloupe, watermelon, pineapple, a grape, a blueberry, a strawberry and a marshmallow on each kabob. Adam did most of the sticking the kabobs in the cantaloupe body. For the eyes we used a skewer and a blueberry which also kept the head on the cantaloupe. We finished off the dish with a container of cream cheese fruit dip and surrounding the turkey with extra fruit. When it was finished we were very proud of ourselves because it was adorable! I'm pretty sure everyone liked it at the dinner most of the kabobs were gone by the end. :)
Overall, our first Thanksgiving as a married couple was fun and enjoyable.

Salad: 5/10 - no one really ate it
Black Friday Shopping: 9/10 - we bought most of our Christmas gifts, but getting up at 3:30AM is hard.
Old Country Buffet: 10/10 - the tradition I look forward to every year!
Perkins: 7/10 - good food, a little pricey for the quality
Fruit Turkey: 9/10 - yummy and cute!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Date 14 - Bloody Hell!

Day: Saturday, 11/20/11
Type: Fun/Creative/Casual
Cost: $$
Planned By: Adam

For this week's date night Adam had a brilliant idea. He also got very excited for this date night unlike any other date he has planned. The final Harry Potter movie came out on DVD last Friday so Adam decided to have a Harry Potter themed date night. I was super excited about this since I love Harry Potter and Adam never lets me watch the movies.

We decided to go all out for this date. We found some great ideas for Harry Potter themed snacks. We pretty much robbed Honeydukes for this date night. It took us a long time to prepare and find all of the snacks but it we had fun.

We made 9 different Harry Potter type snacks; acid pops, cauldron cakes, licorice wands, cockroach clusters, peppermint toads, chocolate frogs, Bertie Bott's every flavor beans, chocolate galleons, and extra chocolate (in case dementors show up). And what would Harry Potter night be without Butterbeer!
If you ever want to have a Harry Potter party here is how we made them:
Acid Pops - Blow Pops + Nerds
Licorice Wands - Black or Red Licorice dipped in chocolate (for the handle)
Peppermint Toads - White Chocolate Melts + Peppermint Flavor
Chocolate Frogs - Milk Chocolate Melts
Cauldron Cakes - Chocolate Lava Cakes with a Twizzler for the handle
Cockroach Clusters - Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans - Jelly Belly jelly beans
Chocolate Galleons - gold chocolate coins
Butterbeer - 7 cups cream soda to 1 cup butterscotch schnapps
The hardest things to make were the peppermint toads and chocolate frogs because we had to use a chocolate mold to make them. We went to at least 5 different stores to find this frog mold, but it was worth it. It would have been so much easier if we could have robbed Honeydukes of all its treats instead.

So after everything was made we set up the living room. We decided to watch both parts of Harry Potter 7 back to back. It was very exciting since we hadn't seen the last movie since it came out in theaters. Here is the finished product.
The food was delicious. The butterbeer was very sweet, but still pretty tasty! The movies were great, and I almost cried again even though I've seen the movie and read the book. The story of Harry Potter is so touching and amazing... I can't remember a life without Harry Potter. Haha OK not true, but you get my point! :)

everything was bloody brilliant!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Date 13 - Hearty Home-Cooking!

Day: Monday, 11/14/11
Type: Surprise/Romantic
Cost: $$
Planned By: Dani

I planned a surprise 3 course dinner for Adam for our wedding 6 monthaversary! I haven't been very "wifey" when it comes to the kitchen in the past 6th months since Adam cooks every night so I though this would be a good opportunity to show Adam that I can be a good wife. I had Monday off for Veteran's day so I spent the majority of the day planning this date.

I went to the grocery store to pick up all the ingredients, and the rest of the groceries for the week. When I got home I started getting the meal ready.

I made two things for the appetizer. One recipe I found on Pinterest and I thought it would be perfect. The other I just found in a box. Anyway, I made Pepperoni Roll Ups and the Any-Tizer Honey BBQ Chicken Bites. The roll ups could have used a few more pieces of pepperoni, but they were good!

For the main course I made roast beef, green beans and mashed potatoes. I picked this meal because its close to what we had at the wedding. I've never made a real roast beef and I would have to say it turned out pretty good! I found a low temperature recipe, and had a hard time figuring out how long it needed to be in there, but it turned out fine.

I was most proud of the dessert. I did not make it from a box!! I chose to make Reese's Fudge Pie! Adam loves peanut butter, and I can only stand peanut butter when its matched with chocolate so this recipe seemed perfect. It was a little difficult to make, but it turned out great.

We toasted to a bottle of Barefoot Pinot Grigio Champagne.

Adam was surprised to find a nice dinner planned for him when he got home from work. It was nice eating my well-prepared meal together. Having a nice home cooked meal is always a great idea for a date night.
the fudge layer

the graham cracker crust

ingredients for the peanut butter mousse topping
the top

the pretty centerpieces I made from an idea on pinterest!
the whole dinner! :)
my beautiful pie!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Date 12 - Oh Christmas Beer!

Day: Saturday, 11/5/11
Type: Casual
Cost: $$$
Planned By: Adam

So everyone in Ohio and probably most people around the country knows about Great Lakes Brewing Company. Well, people it's in Cleveland. They don't only ship beer around the country they also have a restaurant. One of Adam's favorite Great Lakes beer is their Christmas Ale, but its only a seasonal beer. They just started selling so instead of buying it in the store Adam planned to have dinner and drinks at the Great Lakes Brewing Company restaurant. 
We had a little trouble finding the restaurant. While looking for the street I almost hit the person in front of me. Oops. Anyway we got lost, but eventually found it. We had to wait about a half hour to get seated so we took a walk around the block. We saw some locals and some other bars and restaurants. We also went in the gift shop and thought about buying something for ourselves or gifts for other people, but we didn't. We got seated, and gave our drink orders. I am not much of a beer drinker, but I figured I might as well have a beer since I was at the brewery. We both got a Christmas Ale. Adam thinks it tastes like Christmas, I think it tastes like beer. It wasn't too bad though.
We ordered our food. Then we had a great time chatting and drinking our beer. A Great Lakes Christmas Ale is 7.5% alcohol, which is quite a lot for a beer. So chatting was a lot of fun. So fun that we didn't realize that we hadn't gotten our food yet. Our waitress was very nice and kept asking if we were OK and then the unthinkable happened. She brought each of us a free Christmas Ale and fry appetizer!!
It's always better to be nice and friendly to the waitress rather than be a jerk because you get free stuff if you have to wait (this is our second free thing since we've started date night!)
free stuff!!

OK so don't worry we finally got our food. Adam got a burger and fries and I got the pulled pork sandwich with the hand made potato chips. A very American meal, and it tasted pretty normal. The chips came with cheese sauce that was kind of strange, but the chips themselves were good!
After we finished eating we went and bought a 24 pack of Christmas Ale to split with Adam's parents. We put it in the car and went to the downstairs bar part of the restaurant. Adam got another beer and I stopped drinking since I had to drive. We stood around and people watched then attempted to make friends. Little did we know our new friends were apparently having a family reunion. The girl's sister joined them with her boyfriend. Then the guy's sister joined them with her friend. They still hung out with us and listened to Adam's craziness for a couple hours. We are supposed to meet them back at Great Lakes in 2 weeks. We'll see if they show up.

Overall, the date was better than I had expected. The beer was actually tolerable and the food was good. The environment was great. The decor was perfect for a brewery and the bar was underground which was a nice touch. We had a lot of fun together, and it was great to go downtown since we hardly ever do.

Christmas Ale: 6/10 - better than other beers, but its still beer. (Adam gives it a 10)
Food: 7/10 - good but nothing special
Service: 9/10 - our waitress was great, it wasn't her fault the cooks were slow and they were busy!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Date 11 - Hunting Season

Day: Sunday, 10/30/11
Type: Casual
Cost: $
Planned By: Dani

This date wasn't very complicated. Adam and I have thought about what we are going to do about our housing situation when our lease is up. So I thought it would be fun to go house hunting!  Our leasing office informed us that rent will increase every year, and we weren't very happy to hear that.

I started looking for houses online awhile ago. I found a few that had most of the things we wanted so I contacted a realtor and asked if we could go see them. She set up an appointment for us. We had three in mind we wanted to see, but the Friday before the date the one we liked the most got sold. :(

So anyway we started the date out with a nice out-to-eat breakfast at Bob Evans. We don't normally eat a formal breakfast together so I thought this would be great since our appointment was at 11:15AM. We both drank water like normal. I got the Farmer's Market Omelet with Banana Nut Bread. It was delicious. I really like omelets, but I'm too lazy to ever make myself breakfast so I really enjoyed my meal. Adam had the Homestead Breakfast. He liked the sausage gravy over biscuits the best, but everything was good.
After breakfast we made our way to Lyndhurst to check out the houses. I didn't take any pictures because I thought it would be awkward to take pictures of other people's houses. We didn't really like the first house that much. It was a nice house, but kind of small. The ceilings were low so Adam didn't feel comfortable in it. The yard was pretty big, and it had a nice patio. The finished basement was pretty small. It was a nice house, but didn't really have much of what we were looking for. The second house was nice, but still didn't have everything we want. It was just flipped by an investor so it was practically brand new. The basement wasn't finished and there wasn't a back door to the chain link fenced in back yard. It is a very cute house, but we will still be looking.

Here is our wishlist for anyone that cares --
3 bedrooms
1.5 bathrooms
most appliances included
1,000+ sq ft 
fenced backyard
good neighborhood
full basement
central air
1 car garage
move in ready

2 full bathrooms
1,200+ sq ft
all appliances included (refrigerator, garbage disposal, range, dish washer, washer & dryer)
full finished basement
master bedroom with master bathroom
wood fenced in backyard
2 car garage
some hardwood floors
bar in basement

Bob Evans - 8/10, good food and reasonably priced