Saturday, March 5, 2011

Happily Ever After

Romance Challenge #2

How would you grade your relationship right now?

A = Passionate, exciting, loving, fulfilling; not perfect- but clearly excellent.
B = Very good, solid, better-than-most, consistent, improving.
C = Average, acceptable, status quo, okay- but static, ho-hum, sometimes boring.
D = Below average, unhappy, dismal; bad not hopeless.
F = Hopeless, depressing, dangerous; tried everything, it didn't work.

Now, I'm no relationship expert, I've had my ups and downs, and I know what works for me. I won't say what I'm grading my own relationship as, but I am striving for an A, which is why I have taken on this challenge for myself. Hopefully no one reading this feels their own relationship is at an F, but there is always hope. So here's to baby-steps toward a grade A relationship!

Today's ideas are:
1. Give your lover a dozen roses - and do it with a creative twist. Give eleven red roses and one white rose. Attach a note that reads:
"In every bunch there's one who stands out-
and you are that one."

2. Sending a birthday card isn't just a good idea, it's an obligatory romantic gesture. But how about doing something different this year? On your lover's birthday, send a "thank you" card to his or her mother.

3. Gallantry never really goes out of style. So every once in a while kiss her hand with a flourish. Note: The proper way to kiss a woman's hand is to lower you lips to her hand. You don't raise her hand to your lips.

4. Thoughtfulness is merely the beginning! True romantics know how to go above and beyond the call of duty: Following a bubble bath you've prepared for her, wrap her in a towel that you've warmed up in the dryer.

"These are the secrets of turning your relationship into a love affair"

What I did:
This topic was pretty tough. Rob's birthday was a few months ago, so that one was out, and he may look at me a little strangely if I started trying to kiss his hand. He definitely wouldn't appreciate the flowers, so that left me with the only idea left that you actually have to think about it and be creative. (I read into it as be creative with something like a bubble bath, since rob doesn't actually take baths, so that one was out too.) TMI WARNING! So on Robs day off yesterday, I sent him a few thoughtful text messages when I was at work. Then right before I came home for lunch, I told him to pick out his favorite sexy outfit of mine and lay it out. Needless to say, he was very excited to see me home for lunch! I don't think he's ever greeted me at the door before! lol. Then that night, before we went to bed, I snuck into our room and I turned down his side of the bed...

Did you see the chocolate on his pillow? He loved that part!

*Ok, so now its your turn! Pick one of the four, and get creative! This isn't meant to be super easy, but it shouldn't be hard either. Look for ways to pleasantly surprise your loved one. I can't wait to hear the results of what you chose!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Romance Challenge

So how many times do us women complain about how much we wish our husbands/significant others were more romantic? In the beginning we were all aflutter, and just head over heels (and hopefully still are) but we must admit, that the excitement does fade with time. I found this great book at the Borders clearance sale called "1001 ways to be more romantic", so I thought it would be a really great challenge for myself. No matter how many hints I drop, lets face it, my husband may never be as romantic as I may want, but what if I took the initiative instead? What if I changed my attitude and started to try all the cute little suggestions? Would my husband follow my lead over time? Do we get what we give?

So here is my challenge. I will go through the topics in the book, and list them in the blog. I will try out one of the challenges and write out how it went at the end. Hopefully I'll have some pictures to post as well. Anyone who would like to follow along, also pick one of the ideas out, and then let me know how it went! I'd love to hear! I'll try to post 2 or 3 a week, but I promise to post at least one per week!

Romance Challenge #1
Once Upon a Time
...two people fell in love. Just like you. They did all the classic romantic things. But the passion faded after a few months. Is this inevitable???

In the beginning things like this happened...

A. He gave her a dozen roses and a box of chocolates on Valentines Day.
B. She wrote him long romatic love letters. He sent her greeting cards.
C. They talked and cooed on the phone. During work. And late at night.
D. He took her to see every romantic movie that year.
E. He gave her pufume. She gave him cologne.
F. They celebrated special occasions with a bottle of champagne.
G. She served dinner by candlelight. He served breakfast in bed.

So here is this weeks challenge. Think of the romantic little things you used to do when you and your significant other were first dating. Feel free to share. I remember Rob and I used to go in the hot tub all the time. He used to make all sorts of cute remarks about how beautiful he thought I was in a bathing suit, and I used to tease him about how I could wash clothes on his washboard abs. It was very flirty and fun! hmmm...Maybe we can fit in a visit to the hot tub tonight... ;)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Apple Crostada

This is by far my FAVORITE dessert EVER!!! Seriously, if you make it right, you will be celebrated as the best cook ever, and its really easy! The key is to make sure you don't substitute any ingredients for something else! Especially delish served with ice cream!

Apple Crostada

10 tablespoons butter, cut up
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 4 tablespoons sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup creme fraiche ( I have only found this at Trader Joes so far)
4 to 5 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored and sliced into eighths
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons cream
In a mixer with the paddle attachment, mix 8 tablespoons of the butter, flour, salt, and 2 tablespoons of the sugar until sandy. In a separate bowl, blend the egg yolk and the creme fraiche. Add the blended egg yolk and crème fraiche to the flour mixture and mix until barely combined. Form into a disk and chill. Meanwhile toss the sliced apples with 1/2 cup of the sugar and cinnamon.
Roll out the dough to a 1/8-inch thickness on a floured surface and cut out 8-inch disks or 1 large round disk and place on a parchment lined sheet pan.
Place the apples in the center of the dough, leaving a 2-inch flap of dough around the edge. Fold over the flap onto the apples, forming a rustic, uneven rim around the crostada. (The apples should NOT be completely covered with the dough.) Dot with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Brush the edge with the cream and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.
Bake in a preheated oven 350 for 25 to 35 minutes, until light golden brown and apples are tender. Let cool.
Yield: 1 large crostada or 4 to 6 individual servings
My own crostada!  Huge hit!