Africa / Jungle Date Night

Jungle / Africa Date Night

 

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Do you want to spice things up with your honey? Try this date idea!

Part of the Traveling the world Date Series! I give you Africa. Now Africa is a huge continent obviously! So you may want to choose a specific place say South Africa for example.

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I even wore a cheetah print dress, and we played jungle music while we ate. I hung fun balloons from the ceiling. I use to be able to find animal print stuff everywhere, but I really had to search. I think this was a really popular children’s birthday party theme when I was a kid, maybe its not as popular now?

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I decided to just use the entire continent as inspiration because it was easier to plan food around that.

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Menu

-tomato and cucumber salad

-Shrimp kabobs

-veggie platter with homemade hummus

-rice

-chips and guacamole

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It was a huge hit! We had a lot of fun. I recently read the book called Dead Aid. It is written by a woman who grew up in Africa and it goes into the foreign aid dependence and the future of Africa.So interesting! It facilitated a fascinating discussion with my man.

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We also talked about Jungle animals because I got him little party favors, which he loves. So we talked about what it would be like to be in the jungle! Fun times!

Let me know if you do a Jungle date?

Russian Date Night

With the Olympics gearing up, I thought it would be cute to have a Russian date night! This is apart of my “traveling the world” with you series. Basically you “travel” in your living room with your honey. My boyfriend is a full time law student, and I have two jobs and I am working on my masters, so its hard to find time to date (or the money). So with the Traveling the World in our living room dates, we pretend to be in another country together. This is a great way to spice up your dating at home life, and if you have kids, they can easily be incorporated into the date. Its really educational. Usually I will print out the countries flag and some facts about the country.

Photo: The colorful onion domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral

I like to surprise my boyfriend with these date nights, I will usually have them in the middle of the week, and I will come home early and decorate. He loves surprises, but if you honey doesn’t you can plan the dates together.

Spas na krovi, Saint Petersburg, Russia http://www.travelbrochures.org/208/europa/tour-to-russia

First you need to learn about the country your visiting. I started with Pinterest. I simply searched for “Russian Party” and surprisingly there are a ton of party ideas with the Matryoshka Russian Nesting Dolls. Its actually a really popular little girl birthday party theme. Who knew?! It’s adorable! You can purchase all sorts of printables. I just used google image search.

Russia

Second you need to make a menu. I went to Cost Plus and purchased whatever Russian food they had. Here is some examples: pickles, mustard, & wine. I found myself not knowing much about Russian food, so I did a little research online. mustardpickles

There is this popular dish in Russia with Mushrooms, I followed the following Websites instructions, it was delicious, its called Mushrooms and Sour Cream

Mushrooms Sour Cream by Yelena Strokin, via Flickr

I also made this.

Russian Cucumber & Radish Salad | The Cook Who Knew Nothing

Honestly I kind of threw this date together last minuet so my decorations were lack luster. I used a tassel decoration I had used for a birthday party (the how to here) and simply taped pictures of the nesting dolls onto it. But I also included a basket of Russian things. A disclaimer though, don’t go over board with the Russian food. I bought a jar of green tomato salad and pickled squash. And now I have a lot of it in my fridge. It’s an interesting taste. It is a little to different for me.   image(12)

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I picked Russia because of the Olympics, but be on the look out for upcoming date nights apart of the Traveling the World in our living room, others I have planned include Ireland, Greece, Italy and Brazil.

How to feed two adults for 33$ a week

(Source: google images)
I am in the middle of completing my master degree, I am in between jobs and I am up to my eyeballs in student debt. This makes me appreciate being frugal. One way to really save money is to eat at home! Are you looking to save money on dinner without losing taste? I have complied a weeks worth of dinners for only $33 for 2 people.

  •  Wednesday – Enchaladas
    Ingredients: corn tortillas, cheese, onion, green chili
    Side: beans
    Prep time: 25 min
  • Thursday – Corn Bread Salad
    Ingredients: corn bread, corn, tomato, green beans
    Side: salad
    Prep time: 30 min
  • Friday – Fajitas
    Ingredients: tortillas, bell pepper, onion, sour cream
    Side: beans
    Prep time: 20 min
  • Saturday – Salmon
    Ingredients: salmon, lime
    Side: rice & veggie
    Prep time: 30 min
  • Sunday – Tacos
    Ingredients: taco shells, cheese, onion, beans
    Prep time: 20 min
  • Monday – Boca Burgers
    Ingredients: Veggie burger, Buns, lettuce
    Side: home made potato fries
    Prep time: 30 min
  • Tuesday – Pasta
    Ingredients: pasta, red sauce, garlic,
    Side: salad
    Prep time: 20 min


source: eatingwell.com

Shopping list:

  1. block of cheese ($4)
  2. Beans (four cans ($3)
  3. potato ($1)
  4. Boca Burgers ($3)
  5. Buns ($1)
  6. onions ($3)
  7. bell pepper ($2)
  8. corn in a can ($1)
  9. corn bread ($1)
  10. tomato ($1)
  11. grean beans ($1)
  12. pasta ($1)
  13. red sauce ($1)
  14. taco shells ($1)
  15. Salmon ($4)
  16. Rice ($1)
  17. Veggie ($1)
  18. Romain lettuce ($3)

Total: $33

A Pros tip to saving money===

What we have been doing is eating dinner earlier on weekends then going out for a beer and an appetizer after! When we eat dinner at before 6:30 and then go to a restaurant, we are full and our wallets are not as empty.

and when we split the bill its only about 7 bucks a person, for 2 beers and an appetizer and it feels like we ate out!

stretch that quality time together, its like 2 dates! one at home with a home cooked meal, and another at a restaurant!

Do you guys have an other dinner saving tips?

Fridge Chopped Pasta

I call this recipe Fridge Chopped Pasta. Have you seen the show Chopped? Basically contestants compete to be the best chef and win money, but they have to cook what is in the “mystery basket” sometimes they get really random stuff, the worst I have seen is the got those marshmallow peeps in the appetizer round.

So with this recipe I go to the fridge and pantry and see what is there. and I make a pasta dish with it. Last nights dinner was pene pasta, with red chilli peppers, peas and carrots, Parmesan cheese, a sliced Boca burger and I added some honey, milk and sour cream to temper the spice. I also made a side salad because we had Romain and I cut up some carrots in it. It sounds a little weird but its a great way to squeeze dinner out of your pantry without having to go to the store. I feel like we always have pasta noodles of some sort.