Date Night

by Cate on May 27, 2005

We ended up going to our favorite Indian restaurant for take-out tonight. We’ve been going there for about 9 years now, and the owner knows us well, particularly by what we order – BECAUSE IT’S ALWAYS THE SAME! :)

I love Indian food and really got a great education in the Indian food and culture by our old neighbors. They’re Indian and every time they’d have family over (pretty much weekly), they’d give us their leftovers and explain what everything was. Because of that, we really learned to love Indian food. I detest when people say “I don’t like Indian food because I don’t like curry.” Very stereotypical. Indian food is so much more than that.

The Husband’s favorite dish is Chicken Makhani (also called Butter Chicken). If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know I’m on an endless quest to recreate the restaurant’s version of this, and I’m still very patiently (!) waiting for the owner to cough up the recipe he keeps promising me. I always order Pani Puri, Bhel Puri and Assorted Snacks (which consists of Aloo Tikki, a Vegetable Samosa and Vegetable Fritters). Onion Naan bread on the side and Kheer for dessert round out our feast nicely. A perfect meal.

Like when I order Chinese, I always have more fun getting a bunch of different appetizers, instead of a main course; Mom’s the same way. And better still, I have about half of everything left over, so I can have it for lunch again tomorrow. I love how healthy Indian food is … so much about the vegetables and grains. You can’t go wrong there.

We have decided to renovate our house, instead of selling it, and there are some major projects planned for the summer. One of them will include enlarging our dining room considerably, which I’m really excited about. I love to entertain, so the more space I have to do it, the better. Recently I’ve been perusing paint colors, trying to decide what color to use in the dining room, as I’m going to take this opportunity to change everything. I bought a Peter Lik print from here a few weeks ago. A New Zealand photographer I found on a tip from a friend (Thanks, Julie!).  I really love his stuff. I bought the Rainforest one and decided the dining room would be a great place for it. Very soothing and calming. To that end, the new color scheme in the dining room will be seaglass and sand, taking cues from light to dark wet sand, seafoam, aquamarine, offwhite, etc. A couple of reasons I landed on this color scheme: We live in a lake community and can see the water from our house, so I thought it would be a perfect cue from that. It’s also a very tranquil color palate, and in our crazy-hectic life, we need all the tranquil we can get. And lastly, the colors will be a lot easier to mix and match than my current color: red. So that said, I’m getting rid of all my red stuff: platters, bowls, dishes, etc., and replacing them with my new colors. Pretty excited about it myself — it’s the little things, you know?

I recently discovered Z Gallerie, and found some things from there that will work nicely as well. Also, a friend reminded me about Fishs Eddy, in NYC, and I picked up a great platter there. And lastly, I made another platter purchase at Crate & Barrel. Planning a trip to Marshalls and TJ Maxx this weekend to see what else I can find, and also plan to check out Pottery Barn. They have the dining room table and chairs that I want. Next week’s mission will be to see if I can find something similar elsewhere that’s a bit cheaper. I love the look of Pottery Barn, but they tend to be a little pricey.

What are your favorite online places to buy dining room and entertaining stuff? What is your color scheme? In the meantime, if you know anyone who wants to buy red dinnerware, glasses and assorted pieces, e-mail me.

All for now … tune in tomorrow to find out what we’re up to for the weekend.

P.S. If you haven’t set your Tivo yet, don’t forget Gordon Ramsey’s new show, Hell’s Kitchen premieres Monday, May 30, on the Fox Network. I’m looking forward to this one, given Gordon’s hellion reputation. Get more info here.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie May 27, 2005 at 5:02 am

Let me try this again…grr.

Love Indian food. I often get the same thing, even though Indian cuisine affords me so many choices.

How exciting for you, renovating. I could never do that, because of all our trees. And I’m not willing to sacrifice them!

Our dining room is a deep forrest green, with dark wood trim everywhere (all the rooms downstairs are ten feet high).
When we bought this place, the dining room was wallpapered (so was the kitchen). When we finally got to the original walls (seven layers later, and nine in the kitchen!), they were almost the exact shade of green we’d already picked out.

My kitchen, however, is authentically 50’s red, white and black…so I’m at least midly curious about your red wares!

and here’s hoping this one actually posts.

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linda May 27, 2005 at 5:11 am

I am curious about the reds. i started on a red collection, but it got cost prohibitive. what shade of red do you have? What sort of dishes?

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JoAnna May 27, 2005 at 5:52 am

beware… I love Indian food, too, but there is a lot of full-fat yogurt, and yogurt cheeses, and ghee (which is clarified butter, which means lots of saturated fat!)

It might not be as healthy as you think, but it sure tastes great!

My favorite Indian place is one block from my house, and I’ve ordered every single thing on the menu at least once. You’ve GOT to expand your culinary horizons and try something new once in a while, you don’t know what you’re missing!

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Emilie May 27, 2005 at 12:10 pm

I have a wedding coming up with a Hindu bride and Jewish groom – they were going to avoid Indian food altogether (much to my chagrin) and go with Middle Eastern. However, they got so many notes and comments about how everyone is so excited for the Indian food, we are doing an Indian and Greek buffet. I can’t wait, two of my favorite types of food!

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Cate May 27, 2005 at 2:16 pm

Stephanie — yup, Indian food is great for vegetarians. In fact, our neighbors were vegetarian. Your dining room colors sound gorgeous, especially if you’re surrounded by trees. A 1950s kitchen sounds great. One of the houses we looked at when we were househunting for our first house had a 1950s retro style kitchen that I loved. I’ll put up pictures of my red stuff tonight, so check it out.

ChefJoanna – definitely there are some Indian choices that are not low fat. The Chicken Makhani that The Husband likes has butter in it. I usually just have a bite because a) I can’t afford the extra butter like he can and b) he doesn’t want to share. ;) The Pani Puri that I get are shells that you pop the top and stuff with potatoes, chick peas and green peas and top with a little spicy water. SO good!

Linda – I’ll put up pictures tonight. The reds go from medium to dark and the pieces are dinner plates, salad plates, small serving bowls, platters, big bowls, etc.

Emilie – a Greek and Indian buffet for a wedding sounds like such a fun idea!

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Anonymous May 31, 2005 at 2:36 pm

yea DEF. try this!

http://www.indian-recipe.net

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