thomas sweet

via Honey, Whats Cooking?

Last night on my walk home I decided to stop by Thomas Sweet to pick up a little post dinner dessert. Our neighbors raved about their frozen yogurt so I snagged two containers (Snickers and Mint Chocolate Chip).
As a child, when I used to visit Pakistan my grandpa would give all the kids one Rupee notes to take to the market. Not fully understanding currency discrepancies, I felt so rich. My cousins and I would walk to the row of shops down the road to spend our loot. There was no question that our money was going to sweets- it was just a matter of picking the right ones. When you are little, those lined up jars of candy seem endless. I would be memorized by their colors and all the possibilities that lay within each wrapped treat. The ice cream bar elicits that same feeling as an adult.
via Honey, Whats Cooking?
With my treats in my hand, I walked the last stretch home. Somewhere in the distance I could see the six year old me making the same journey. And I was reminded that she is still inside me, along with the two year old me and the seventeen year old me and the twenty-one year old me and in that moment, that thought filled me with an incredible sense of peace.

And to think that people say sweets aren’t good for you.

family dinners

Ever since I started a normal job, Feraz and I have been trying to have family dinner together every night. It is so nice to sit down at our table and catch up on our day and to enjoy the delicious foods we’ve made for each other. Except something we want to watch will be on. Or one of us will have something we want to do on the computer. Or we get home at different times becuase of various commitments or errands.

Wouldn’t you want to have dinner with this guy every night?

Despite the little bit of extra effort we have to make, we are both trying to stay committed to family dinners. Sitting down for dinner is not only good for relationships but I also think it helps us enjoy our food more. I hate eating a meal in front of the TV and ten minutes later having an empty plate and not having any recollection of having eaten. We still get through a meal pretty fast but we always end up talking about what we are eating, what we enjoy the most and what we are looking forward to making.

Tuesday Dinner

I have also been reading about family breakfasts. Since people’s schedules are more varied as the day goes on, sometimes families find it easier to come together in the morning. When I used to work crazy hours, Feraz would wake up at five or six in the morning just so we could have a cup of tea together and have a little time to chat. I think moving the quality meal time to the morning is a great solution for people with crazy schedules. Although, I also think you should step back and think about your lifestyle if your schedule is consistently too crazy to have dinner with your family.

Wednesday Dinner

From a preparation perspective, making dinner each night doesn’t have to be too time consuming. Both our Tuesday and Wednesday dinners took less than 20 minutes to prepare. For the Tuesday dinner, we ate food that we had prepared during the weekend for the week. Feraz made the chicken and okra and I made the kidney beans and peppers. For last night’s meal, I wanted something cozy since it had been raining all day. I whipped up some daal, baked potato and salad in about 15 minutes.

Fake-Bake Potato:

  • Take two large potatoes and put two knife cuts in them so they don’t explode in the microwave.
  • Put in microwave for nine minutes eighteen seconds.
  • Take them out and allow to cool for a minute or two. 
  • Peel and serve with seasoned salt.

Fast and Dirty Daal:

  • Bring 3 cups of water to a boil.
  • Rinse one cup of lentils and add to boiling water.
  • Leave heat on high. Stir occasionally.
  • Fry one large chopped onion, (I cut a huge bag of onions on the weekend so I have it ready to go for fast meal prep.) one chopped green chili, 1/2 tablespoon garlic ginger paste, 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin, 1/2 tablespoon turmeric, 1/2 tablespoon chili powder, 1/2 tablespoon salt. (Adjust spices to taste, as necessary.) 
  • Once well cooked, stir into the lentils.
Salad
  • Slice one persian cucumber for each plate. 

Do you have family dinners? How do you make it work? Do you feel like it makes your family closer to have them?