Long about 11am, Nicole and the girls, Monkey and I--after waking up in the same house at the outset of our sleepover weekend--got a move on and headed out on foot/in stroller for the San Jose State campus. I mentioned The Fountain last week...the place where Nicole often takes the girls for leisurely days spend in the sun and the shade, where she can relax and do her art while the girls play on the grass and in the fountain. That's where we were headed, but first: food.
I decided to just get our whole breakfast/lunch at Philz Coffee, where they have breakfast burritos (which they were out of), pastries, and a whole lot of whatnot. First, I ordered a new coffee called Soooo Good. By that I mean it was new to me. Philz has a extensive selection of roasts, all of which are available to order in their one-cup-at-a-time brewing style. Soooo Good lived up to its name.
After we ate we let the kids run around forever while Nika and I talked and Raul did whatever it is Raul does on his computer (right now something likely having to do with the already twice-funded startup he and some friends launched just a few months ago...go Raul!).
This was the scene when they finally began to wind down, watching videos on Nicole's phone.
In the early evening we went to our favorite place (Target) and then to Trader Joe's to pick up dinner. Nicole's meal plans became
Today's New Activity: Trader Joe's Does Indian (Surprisingly Well)
I'm very, very leery of any kind of Indian food that comes out of a box. Even Indian brands that sell the vacuum-sealed, off-the-shelf versions of Indian meals do it horribly. How are you gonna sell paneer (a tofu-like textured cheese) off a grocery shelf? I had my doubts about tonight's dinner.
But after Nicole had warmed a few trays each of Chicken Tikka Masala and Paneer Tikka Masala in the microwave, the whole house smelled like an authentic Indian restaurant. You can trust me on this one. After that she tossed some frozen garlic naan (also from Trader Joe's) into the oven for exactly two minutes and the meal was ready to go.
The Paneer meals came with a cilantro rice, and all of it was delicious. I've tasted Paneer Tikka Masala ranging from the bland and too tomato-ey to the incredibly complex-in-spice, creamy delicious. And this was definitely on the latter end of that spectrum. I was shocked. The garlic naan wasn't the best I've tasted, but it was by far the best among store-bought and way better than some I've eaten in restaurants.
I have to say that Trader Joe's has recently fallen a bit out of my favor. I just haven't been as thrilled with their food of late as I was when Joe and I first met. But tonight's meal gives me new cause to go there and see what other frozen stuff I can explore.