You may remember from my previous post that Carl had been promising to cook dinner on Friday night (for the first time ever in 10 years! WOOHOO!). Because of this, I spent all of Friday looking forward to walking in the house where dinner would be sitting, piping hot and ready to be eaten. Since moving out from Mom and Dad's house I have yet to experience this (I'm the foodie in our relationship so I'm the primary chef, ya see) so having dinner cooked for me by Carl was something very special. I didn't get home from school until nearly 6pm (which is a long day considering I got there at 8am and spent the entire time running around after 60 four-year-old-tiny-terrors) so I was absolutely starving and on the verge of gnawing away at my own arm. I'd saved up my WW points all day in preparation for his 'secret' dinner, and the anticipation was killing me. As soon as I unlocked the front door, the waft of fragrant garlic and spicy chicken tickled my nose and I began to drool. No seriously, I did. As I walked into the kitchen the first thing I saw was Carl sporting pot-holders as he pulled his garlic and thyme roast potatoes out of the oven. Ha! Now folks, trust me. This is a drastic change. Previous to this, I'd only ever seen him pop bread in the toaster, flip bacon in a frying pan or stir canned soup on the stove. Of course he's my right hand man, my little sous chef, on holidays for big meals or if I need some help time and time again, but up until now Carl's never made an entire home-made meal, single handedly, from start to finish. I nearly fell backwards at the sight of him looking so...'cheffy.'
In preparation for his big meal, he researched on the internet for recipes which he felt were 'manageable' and tasty for his first attempt. He was bound determined to do something that I had never made us before (probably so that I couldn't sit there and say 'what did you put in here? This tastes a bit different!' haha) and he refused to let me know the recipe beforehand as he wanted to do it all himself. It was adorable, and I'm so unbelievably proud to say that his dinner was absolutely delicious. I've got a Gordon Ramsay on my hands! Snap!
His dinner was grilled chicken that had been marinated in a spicy tandoori type rub. It had a bit of a kick, but wasn't too hot and had a lovely sweetness to it. In addition to that, he made garlic and thyme oven roasted potatoes (you may be wondering where the veggies are, but keep in mind that this is my fussy boy who despises anything 'healthy' and only just started liking pineapple, so go easy on him. Those nutritious colorful things are still foreign...give me a bit more time, I'm still workin' on it...) Not only was his dinner super yummy, but it was healthy as well and fit right into our Weight Watchers routine. I was so impressed and grateful for a delicious meal made lovingly for me by my honey-bunches-of-oats.. The only downside to all of this is that now I'm aware he can actually cook...he's gonna wish he'd never shown his cards. Ha! Poor bugger! ;)
After dinner, we continued our 'date night' and headed to the movie theatre to see the new award winning film staring George Clooney (hottie alert!) called 'The Descendants.' To be perfectly blunt, Carl and I were slightly disappointed/annoyed with the way the film had been portrayed via the trailer. Going in, we thought it was a romantic comedy of some sort, but in actuality it's a very dark/deep film. Slightly depressing, if I'm being honest. I think I cried about 9 times throughout the film (however, this could be because I'm an emotional nuisance these days) and although it's undoubtedly a brilliant movie with amazing acting, it's definitely not a 'feel good' kind of film. I'm not trying to deter anyone from watching it, because it's one of the best movies I've seen in a while in terms of the quality, it's just not one that you'd want to see if you're looking for a pick-me-up. Obnoxious film critic rant ending now...
On Saturday morning we woke up late and lazed around the house. While Carl was absorbed in the FA Cup, I cuddled in bed with a cuppa tea reading teaching blogs. I found three new awesome ones that I'll pass along for my fellow teachers now. Cara aka 'Mrs. Carroll', Teacher Tom and Kara all have wonderful education blogs filled to the brim with boatloads of FANTASTIC resources/ideas. I spent a good 3 hours scrolling through their posts
borrowing stealing their amazing ideas. Definitely check them out! :) After our lounge-around session, we ventured through town in the freezing cold to Cuthberts Bakehouse (click here to read about my Cuthbert's obsession) and I FINALLY got to eat my long-awaited piece of red velvet cake. (Long story short, twice now since Christmas, Carl and I have trekked all through town - trust me it's quite the haul - to this bloody bakery to find that it was unexpectedly closed. And both times I nearly cried as I'd been full on drooling in anticipation for a piece of their A-MA-ZING cake). I'm ashamed, however, to admit that yesterday, Saturday January 28th, I failed miserably to finish my entire piece. Weight Watchers must truly be doing its job of shrinking my stomach. Even with a good heaping 3 mouthfuls of pure red heaven left on my plate, I basically rolled out of that bakery. I was just too full to finish it and had to admit defeat. But don't worry, I'll save up my points again and, after calling to check opening times, I'll embark in the red velvet adventure once more. Be sure to stayed tuned for that.
These are just a couple of pictures from our cake-fuelled adventure through Liverpool.
Today was another relaxing day. I enjoyed a nice long-distance chat with my Momma while Carl played his beloved acoustic guitar and video games. After that I planned my Continuous Provision for the little kiddies next week. They're going to be learning about "growth and decay" so I've put together a simple photo slide show depicting the life cycle of daffodils. It will play continuously via my digital photo frame Mom and Dad got as Christmas present 3 years ago (Go Mom and Dad!) I bought fresh beautiful daffodils that we'll put in a vase and take pictures of daily to record/show their 'decay' over time. The kids have daffodil coloring pages to 'beautify' (this works on their pincer-grip, hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills) and I'll be bringing in The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle (one of my FAVORITE children's authors) and How a Seed Grows by Helene J Jordan to read with them. As another fun little activity, I've also put a piece of bread in a zip-lock baggie for us to watch as mold develops. Ha!
After I finished my planning, I ventured into the kitchen to experiment with two new recipe's I found via Pinterest (whoda guessed, right?!) The first experiment was Garlic Hassleback Potatoes. Overall I was really pleased with them and I think Carl and I will have them again. They were SO easy and only 6 WW ProPoints! I'm not entirely sure if I liked them any more than I like a good baked potato, but they were a yummy change.
After that, I made the Weight Watchers Apple Cider Crisp that I've been dying to try. I tweeked the recipe slightly by adding apple juice instead of apple cider (I've yet to see proper apple cider from an orchard here in England. BOO!) and I added 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries as I only had 5 apples hangin' around. It turned out FANTASTIC and I think in the future I'll make it exactly the same way, regardless of my abundance of apples. I'll be dishing this out into Tupperware containers shortly to bring with me to school. Can't wait to eat those bad boys throughout the week! Ha!
While this weekend has gone ridiculously fast (how come I find myself saying this EVERY Sunday?) the peacefulness of it has given me the opportunity to recharge and I am excited to get into school tomorrow and spend the day with the kiddies. I hope that you too enjoyed a stress-free weekend and were presented with the opportunity to enjoy the company of your loved ones, sleep in past 8am, eat good food, and recharge. Here's to another week, may this one be filled with lots of optimism and kick-ass Blueberry Apple Crisp!