In other news…Life keeps getting in the way…

Wow, my poor sadly neglected blog.

I honestly don’t know how people regularly keep up with these things. They are so much work…

My life has gotten all of the sudden CRAZY hence why I haven’t been blogging. I’m finally working semi regularly (At least 5 days a week) which has been awesome! But I had forgotten how much working takes out of you…I get home from work and all I want to do is relax…Blogging is usually at the back of my mind. Also I have a HUGE announcement. I have decided after over a year of deliberation…to Transition. For those of you who don’t know what that means. in short form it means to medically change my body, and my social role from Female to Male. Its much more complex than that…but that is the basic definition. That has taken all of my time and energy…just getting everything set up to start the medical aspects (especially for someone who doesn’t have Health insurance…it is really complicated.) and then on top of ALL of this. I had complications with my Snap program benefits, and couldn’t purchase fresh food this month. So I didn’t really have much to blog about. But I FINALLY got that sorted out, so we have fresh produce in the house again! yay!

To celebrate being able to buy food again. I bought some shrimp, potatoes, ginger, and cilantro 2 days ago. and made my infamous Curry.

I usually make it with chicken so I was apprenesive about using shrimp but Beth LOOOOOOVES shrimp so I decided to treat her, and give it a shot.

It turned out AMAZING.

Heres the recipe.

Thai/Indian curry base (add protein…I used shrimp this time, but Chicken is great, and Pork works well also)

4 Portions              Cook time: about 45 mins                  prep time: about 20-30 mins

1/2 Onion Diced
2 Cloves Garlic Crushed
1 small knob (about 1/2 tablespoon) Fresh Ginger Minced
2 or 3 Potatoes
1 Can diced tomatoes
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon (depending on house spicy you like it) Thai Kitchen RED curry paste
1 – 2 teaspoons Yellow Curry powder
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 Can Coconut Milk (NOT the low or reduced fat kind…yuck.)
1/4 cup cilantro (or how ever much or little you like…I like A LOT!)
1 fresh lime

With Chicken: Add 2 small Chicken Breasts

With Shrimp: Add 1/4 Lb Shrimp

1. In a med sauce pan sweat the onions and garlic in 1 teaspoon olive oil

2. add ginger and potatoes sweat the ginger until it becomes fragrent.

3. add the curry paste and spices

4. add the tomatoes and coconut milk

5. Simmer until the potatoes are soft (about 30 mins)

6. Add the cilantro and lime

7. Serve IMMEDIATELY. with Rice and Naan.

 

If you are adding a protein I usually cook about 3/4 of the way separately in a small amount of olive oil and curry powder. When usuing chicken. Cook separately, allow to cool, shred with a fork or your fingers (but I am not very patient and end up burning my fingers) then add to the curry base when you add the lime and cilantro.

If you use shrimp, remove the shells and tails and add RAW when you add the cilantro and lime if they are small to med sized shrimp they should cook in about 1 minute and 30 seconds.

 

Sorry no pictures this time. :/

 

Just fyi this makes FANTASTIC LEFTOVERS!

Tips on Budget friendly dates! and Summer Corn Soup Recipe

Happy friday! I am so excited its finally friday, tonight is DATE night for me and Beth!

Growing up with the parents I had, date night is a very normal concept for me. My parents went out weekly every thursday night come hell or high water they went out to dinner. I grew up thinking every couple does this, its just what you do when your married. Haha little did I know, this is a foreign concept to many people. So I will say my 2 cents on why I believe date night is important, and then get to the list of cheap date ideas!

My two cents on marrital dating. It is probably the single most important weekly thing you can do with your spouse or significant other. I think its ridiculous that couples either with children or especially without don’t go out on dates on at least a weekly basis. We spend all this time “dating” and getting to know our potential mate, and then get married and decide “oh I know everything I need to know about you now, nothing new to learn here” suddenly your interesting spontanious exciting relationship becomes mundane, boring, and ordinary. Why!? because you stopped striving to know each other. Through many talks with my mother I have come to understand one thing, you can live with, be married to, and be in love with the same person for over 25 years and STILL not know everything there is to know about that person or ever fully understand them. So why would you stop trying just because your married and living together, you should be trying even harder now! Yes I know relationships will still ebb and flow, be exciting one season and slightly drab the next, but that doesn’t mean you need to let your interest in your partner cease to exist. So basically all I am saying is for me, in my relationship I view dates as one of the most important parts of our weekly routine. It gives us a chance to catch each other up on anything that was missed in our nightly talks over dinner, and it is an opportunity to get away from the stress of life for a few hours and remember why we are together. It strengthens our bond as friends, and as partners. It lets us laugh together, and come up with funny inside jokes. Its all around just a good idea. So i guess that was more like 2 dollars worth than 2 cents, but you get the idea I hope. I would encourage you couples out there, to keep on dating your significant other, even after marriage, and after children.

Now after I’ve said all this I have to explain a few things about where the inexpensive date push came from. You see we have been having a really difficult time making this a part of our weekly schedule, not for lack of time, but for lack of funds! So after a very long talk about our future together, we have decided to make our friday night dates MANDATORY…lol which means I now have to figure out how we can afford a date every single week, which has actually been super fun. So I have a simple list for you all to check out. Please comment below with your favorite inexpensive date ideas and let me know what you think of ours! Feel free to try them out or make use of any that you think sound fun or interesting. I will include overall date prices for the Sacramento Area, everywhere else is up to you!

I have ours divided into categories

At home:

Game Night        – Free (unless you don’t have any games)
Some great two player games are:
– Scrabble Blink (card game)
– In a Pickle (Card game)
– Zombie Dice (Dice Game)
– Farkle (Dice Game)
– You can also adapt games like apples to apples or cards against humanity into a competition and just               decide between the 2 of you who’s is funnier

Movie and Homemade Pizza                     – Pizza Supplies for us about $5 + $1 redbox movie
This is a great reusable date, not only is it fun to make pizzas with your sig. other but its also fun to do theme movie nights. Make your pizzas to match the place the movie is set, or dress in character or even have a movie marathon. Some movie categories and theme suggestions:
– AFI top 100 Movies (this is a fun ongoing weekly or monthly date, watch 1 or 2 classics until you make it through the list)
– Classic Musicals night  (singin in the rain, Wizard of Oz, Cabaret, Sound of Music, Chicago, All that Jazz and so many more)
– Disney movie night 🙂
– Slasher Movie night (great time of getting closer and closer as you get more and more “freaked out” lol)

Spa Treatment                  – $8 depending on what you buy
sink into a bubble bath for 2 add a glass of wine and finish the night off with a massage for your honey 🙂

Outdoors/Sports:

Hiking:                              – $8 (gas) + $10 (food)
Places to hike in the greater Sacramento Area: The American River (from Sac County all the way up past Placer county there are BEAUTIFUL hiking/walking trails)

Picnic:                              – $10 (food)
In the City of Sacramento we are SPOILED for choices of parks. We usually picnic at Fremont park on P&16th Streets but there are parks EVERYWHERE just pack a few sandwiches and a salad, grab your blanket and your set! This is a fun one to combine with game night, or pack a frisbee or guitar. There is always the option to sit and people watch as well, this is particularly fun in Sacramento because we have A LOT of “interesting” people.

Concerts in the Park        – FREE!!!!
Cesar Chavez Park offers free Concerts in the park every friday for those of you who live in this area.

Silly Tourist Photo Day:      – FREE!!!!
Grab your camera and head out, hit up all those touristy spots that you usually laugh at when you see people taking pictures in front of. Stop and strike a pose, have fun experiencing the city as a tourist and get some AWESOME memories from the day! Added fun, stop in for a coffee at one of the local shops and pretend that your in from out of town and know nothing about coffee or talk in ridiculous accents, BE OBNOXIOUS!

Stores/Shopping:

Thrifting:           – FREE (unless you buy something lol)
Take a camera with you and dress each other up in Obnoxiously ugly clothing.

Garage Saleing      – FREE (Unless you buy something lol)
This is only for you early saturday morning people. Great summer activity, and an excellent way to find quirky little gifts for your love.

Flea Markets      – FREE (Unless you buy something! lol)
Flea markets are fun because you never know what you will find or WHO you will see, seriously every time I go to the flea market I am reminded of the website “People of Wal-mart”.

Restaurants/Places/Day Trips

Sac Comedy Club                   – $16 (2 tickets)
Sacramento Comedy Spot on 20& K Street does an “Up and coming comedian” Show on wednesday nights about once a month plus many other small shows on weeknights. They all average about $8 a ticket

Crocker Art Museum           – FREE (for Bank of America Customers on Eligible dates) $20 (2 tickets)
O & 3rd St Sacto

California State Railroad Museum         – $18 (2 tickets)
I St Old Sacramento
I love the Railroad museum…I just have to say if you haven’t been GO!!!! It is completely worth $9 a ticket!

Drive in Movies
Bradshaw and hwy 50                          – $13 (2 tickets 2 movies)

Library Events                – FREE
I & 9th St. Sacto
check Saclib.org for events!

 

Woooooo ok that list took longer than expected 🙂 So Onto an AWESOME RECIPE!!!

 

Summer Corn Soup

3/4 lb Corn
5 cups Chicken Stock (or veggie stock for vegetarians)
2 stalks Celery
1/2 Onion
1-2 Med Potatoes (I used one small one but that was because thats all I had)
1/2 Cheese (Optional)

Put your stock in a med sauce or soup pan bring to a simmer over med-high heat
here is the brand of stock concentrate that I use

 

Add corn 1/2 lb (about 3/4 of your total for the recipe) (I used frozen), potato, celery and onion. Let them simmer for at least 20 mins until the potato is cooked

SOMEHOW puree the soup I had to get creative for this part. I have 1 SMALL blender so I did it in batches dirtied up another pot but it worked.

Add the rest of the corn and return to a simmer. As soon as it simmers add the cheese and remove from the heat.

Season to taste and serve with a sprinkle of cheese on top. SO GOOD!

Alright So thats it for today! 🙂 Hope you enjoy the recipe and the date ideas! What do you and your significant other like to do on your date nights!?

 

– S.

Well here we are back again.

So its been a long time….I am really bad at blogging…I know.

but heres the deal…I feel inspired to restart this blog…because my lovely wife has started her own blog, and its absolutely fantastic…she is much more faithful than I am, so I’m thinking if she is writing hers it will remind me to write mine. we’ll see how well that goes.

On a side note I have a quick and delicious recipe for you created by me, totally by accident.

Accidental Soup

1-2 pieces Bacon (chopped)
1/2 Onion (diced)
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup White wine (whatever you have left over in your fridge will be fine…I used Pinot gris but thats what I almost always use for cooking)
4 Red Potatoes (diced)
1 can white beans (optional)
5 1/2 cups Chicken Stock
1 cup frozen corn
2 cups Sugar Snap Peas (Cut and “de stringed”)
1/2 cup Green Onion (sliced)
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese (grated)

This seems like a lot of things like bacon and cheese but bear in mind this makes 8-10 portions.

1. Saute the bacon and onions in a large soup pot, I didn’t add oil because there is no need with bacon! 🙂

2. Add crushed garlic clove when the onions begin to soften. DO NOT LET THE GARLIC BURN!!! turn down the heat if you need. Let saute for about 30 seconds to mellow out the garlic

3.  deglaze the pan with the white wine, be sure to scrape all that delicious caramelization off the bottom of the pan. reduce by 1/2

4. add the potatoes and saute for about a minute allowing them to start to soak up the wine mixture. Add the white beans at this time if you want them.

5. Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer.

6. simmer until the potatoes begin to soften and add the frozen corn. bring back up to a simmer.

7. simmer until the potatoes are cooked through. take a potato masher or stiff wisk and mash a few good times. The goal is to thicken the soup slightly NOT to mash all the potatoes.

8. add the sugar snap peas, parmesan cheese, and green onions. Turn off the heat, the soup should be hot enough to cook the peas just slightly.

Serve IMMEDIATELY!

seriously this was one of the most delicious things I’ve made in a long time. I love making things out of random bits and bobs of leftover produce from previous recipes 🙂 hope you enjoy and let me know what you think 🙂