Recipes & Reviews: V-day Dinner & a Movie

Hey Lovees,

I know that some of you sweet souls had your fingers crossed as I slaved away in the kitchen for my beau. I’ll be honest, I was nervous!! I consider myself to be a good cook, but we all have our off  days ( I definitely have some stories to tell haha). Thankfully, Valentine’s Day 2014 was not an off day. I accepted the challenge and the food was not only delicious but beautiful. Most importantly, he was happy and well-fed.

Food!Recipes: 

Pad Woon Sen 

The most difficult part of creating Pad Woon Sen (also referred to as yum woon sen)  is mastering the sauce. I started experimenting with the sauces two weeks prior to our vday dinner. Taking the time to perfect the sauce is important because the recipes will differ based on your palate and where you originally had the dish in the first place.  My goal was to create the dish similar to how it was prepared at our local Thai restaurant, which is very different than how it is traditionally prepared in Thailand (based on my limited research).

I used a modified version of this recipe strictly for the sauce:

http://rasamalaysia.com/yum-woon-sen-thai-noodles-salad-with-shrimp/2/

This is what I actually used, per serving:

1 tablespoon of minced garlic
1  tablespoon of  fish sauce
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of  brown  sugar
1 tablespoon of chili oil
2 tablespoons warm water
1 tablespoon lime juice

The vegetables that I used were celery, bell pepper, carrots, onion, and mushroom. I was recently introduced to this really cool concept of “blanching.” I boiled a pot of water and added the vegetables for 1-2 minutes then sat the vegetables in cold water (to stop the cooking process). This helped the vegetables maintain their color and have a softer texture once they were ready to be added to the stir-fry.

The noodles are mung bean noodles, which are extremely easy to cook. They can be found at an Oriental Market. They soak in water for 15 minutes, are drained, then stir fried with the vegetables, egg, and meat.

The other interesting part of my cooking adventure was stir frying the chicken. I am vegetarian/pescetarian, he is not. I had to Youtube how to stir fry chicken! I’m so happy that I did that. Did you know you should actually chop the chicken differently for stir fry meals to allow for more even cooking and better absorption of the sauce?

Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lb7jOCVEUec 

Hmmmm….the chocolate covered strawberries and the heart-shaped brownies were delicious. Very easy to prepare as well. If you want the recipes for either of those leave a comment and I’ll get it to ya.

Oh! The wine! Okay….so a friend suggested chocolate wine.  She did not warn me but I will warn you, that wine is strong! He and I both ended up opting for milk. Apparently, chocolate wine should be served on ice…you live and you learn.

The Movie

About Last Night

I realized that I can’t say too much because “About Last Night” is still in theaters and I don’t want to be “that person” that spoils the movie. What I can say is that the movie is a good date movie filled with tons of opportunities for laughter. I enjoyed the cast,  there were a few times when I noticed that Micheal Ealy wasn’t the only person on screen. Why is he so beautiful? The best part of the movie for me was how the emotions that some guys experience during relationships was captured through Micheal Ealy’s character.

Many of my Facebook friends characterized the movie as a “Must See.” I don’t agree with that. It is definitely a funny date movie, but if you didn’t see it you wouldn’t be missing out on a classic or anything like that. What’s missing? I can’t quite put my finger on it… I think that given that the movie was released on Vday, I believe that they were intentionally trying to keep the story light. There was a particular scene with Joy Bryant’s character and Micheal Ealy’s character where I thought some complexity was going to be added to the plot and I was wrong, flat out wrong.

As a love story I’d rate it a 3 out of 5. As a comedy I’d rate it a 5 out of 5. Overall rating a 4 out of 5. Hey, those are just my thoughts! What did you think about the movie?

It’s Valentine’s Day :) :(

hearts

Today is one of those days where I sometimes feel like I have to walk on eggshells around certain people. For those that are somewhere in between  blossoming a new relationship and celebrating 40 strong years of marriage, today is a good day! It’s a Hallmark holiday…I get it, I get it. Though, in the midst of all of the candy and cards, today still serves as a great opportunity to remind people to appreciate the special people in their lives, to remember why they fell in love in the first place, and at the very least to have a fantastic night and create a new memory.

However, on the other side of the spectrum there are many people hurting today. For those that struggle with not having companionship, of all the 365 days, this one is the absolute worst. Some of you have never experienced the joys of sharing this day with someone and others are dealing with the memories of celebrating this day with a love that is now estranged. That hurts and the pain is real. Being a little unenthusiastic about the day doesn’t make you lonely, or godless; it makes you human. Your time is coming lovee, #waitonit. In the meantime practice living a life that will allow you to be the best mate that you can be. Practice being patient, kind, selfless, caring and supportive to your friends, co-workers, family members and strangers. This could very well be your season of preparation. Be anxious for nothing…

Another reason not to fret is because….Right here, right now, I am sharing 8 (last-minute) ideas on how you can celebrate this day, whether you are in a relationship OR not.

4 Ways to Celebrate

1) Do something that you’ve been saying that you’ve wanted to do. This could include checking out that new restaurant that opened up in town, treating yourself to a professional massage, take a walk near the lake, get your haircut, or….(fill in the blank).

2) Have dinner with your other single friends. Share with one another what you “love” about each other.

3) Send someone you love (like your siblings, parents, or friends) an e-card. The act of doing something nice for another person usually makes one feel better about themselves. You might also consider wishing a  “Happy Valentine’s Day” to the married couple whose relationship inspires you.  Reflect on their relationship and what behaviors and traits they’ve modeled. Ideally this should remind you of why settling is not an option and make you thankful that you have this time to develop in some areas. :)

4) (I bet you didn’t see this coming). Review your bucket list and life goals. If you don’t have a list, make one TODAY. People who write down there goals are far more successful than people who don’t…Marriage is on my list, but trust me there are so many others on there too! Valentine’s Day is one day out of the year. What dream have you neglected? What to-do item is still pending? Today is just as good as a day as any to get started. Also, how rewarding is it to spend Valentine’s day pursuing one of your dreams, one of your passions, or one of your desires?

4 Ways to Celebrate with your mate 

1) Exchange hand-written love letters and read them to each other aloud.

2) Reveal your inner child. Fight the urge to be cliche. Go to the park, play tag, play hide-n-seek or  shoot some hoops. Make it a competition…loser cooks dinner.

3)  Create a boyfriend tag/husband tag video. This will be a nice stroll down memory lane for you two.  Make sure you share it with me, I’d love to see it!  (If you don’t know what that is, go to Youtube and search “boyfriend tag.” There are tons of videos. You can also search google “boyfriend tag” to locate the questions.

4) Carve both your first initials in a tree. However, this might be illegal. If it is, I encourage you to NOT do it, but instead try going to a place with a great view of you city. Take pictures and soak in the moment.

That’s all I got! Let me know what ideas you have planned or even what haven’t you done but would like to?

Peace Lovee. Enjoy your day.