~ Gift Guide: Couply gifts: Valentine’s Special!!

This list is for when you find a baby sitter! LOL!! Some of it is doable with the kiddo in tow, and if you are like us, that’s what you’ll end up doing 🙂 Haha!!

For my friends who live with their families or close to their families, its easier to leave the kid at home with grandparents and have a little date night with the hubby – this entire list is your ocean and you are free to swim my friend… Hahah!!

But we enjoy celebrating as a family of 3 and while a cooking class or hot air ballooning may be out of the question, there surely are enough experiences for us to choose from and enjoy together! So for my ideas, read on:

– Brunch/Dinner Cruise

A cruise is always a good idea!!

For my local readers, there are many options from Keemah Boardwalk and Galveston, some fancier than others, but all of them are great.

Most if not all, allow kids, so make sure to do an extensive research. Often, they are also willing to cater to vegetarians or limited meat eaters, so don’t shy away from mentioning your dietary restrictions.

– Couple’s Cooking Class

This ofcourse isn’t child friendly, but if you have someone to watch your kiddo, it’s always fun to learn a new dish to cook while sharing some cozy time with your partner. We did one a couple of years back (read about it here:) and loved the recipes we learned as well as the entire experience.

In fact I cooked up a Greek Affair just last week!

Oh yeah and one thing: Make sure you wear comfortable shoes, coz you do stand ALL THE TIME!

– Go see a movie or theatre performance

This one is a special treat for us parents! I mean, when do you get to go the movies and actually sit and watch the whole movie, when you have a toddler in tow? Never? Yeah, that’s right – NEVER! Haha!!

Don’t blame those poor munchkins, they don’t want to be sitting in one place, they want to be all over the place… and sometimes scream… and shout… and giggle for no reason… and decide to play peekaboo suddenly in the middle of the movie… and maybe after all the running around they will sleep…

Anyways, I digress… Bascially if you can go catch a movie or a theatre performance sans the kiddo, do that. If not, choose an afternoon show over the weekend, where there will be less audience to disturb, and go a week after the movie has already been out.

The last time and the only time, hubby and I went for a movie, just the 2 of us, was on New Year’s Eve. Our workday was light and LilMissK was at daycare, so we sneaked to Alamo Draft House in LaCentera and had lunch while watching Bumblebee and then we picked her up from Daycare 🙂 It was surely a treat, because before that, the last we both saw a movie together was when we took Kritu to see Incredibles 2 at 11 months old in July 2018.

Usually one of us goes alone (yeah, you read that right) and the other one stays home with the kiddo, but when you want to make it a date, going alone isn’t an option 😉

– Weekend Getaway / Staycation

I am all for little getaways! Don’t much understand the concept of staying at a hotel if you are in your own town, instead we staycay at home!! I get that fact that staying at a hotel means no cooking or cleaning, but if you make that your motto for that staycay weekend then at home also won’t really be an issue! But sometimes unplugging is good.

We like to go someplace close – for example Texas Hill Country is gorgeous all year round and sometimes you can snag awesome deals at the luxury resorts like Hyatt or JW Marriott, so just keep looking!

– Couple’s Massage

I am all for massages, all day and everyday! The hubby is ok into it, but I am like I will take his hour too, thank you! LOL!!

On a more serious note, if you can get some baby free time together or even individually, a massage would be a good way to spend that time. It will leave you not only relaxed, rejuvenated and refreshed but also feeling so good about yourself than when you get back to the routine, you’d be glad you did take that time to get a massage.

– Hot Air Ballooning

I have done this ~ Viva Las Vegas!! as a part of my sister’s bachelorrete party, but never done with the hubby and it would be a great thing to experience it again with him!

These are expensive so in my honest opinion, be sure of where you doing it would give you good views – for example: NAPA, Vegas, Cappadocia being some of the world’s best views from up there!! Ofcourse this isn’t baby friendly, so make sure to check the allowed age of kids for hot air balloon rides.

– Extreme Sports

I am not much into this, but the not so scary ones like Paragliding, I do not mind doing. The hubby has done sky diving and wants to do bungee jumping, he cray cray y’all, I tell you!

When we were in San Diego in December for Christmas break, visiting Ash, Chris and their fur baby Mojo, we wanted to go paragliding so bad, that we tried almost everyday, but the wind wasn’t in our favor. So now I am on a look out for paragliding around us here in Houston, and we can’t wait to go try it out!

So what’s on your gifting agenda this V-day?! I’d love to hear…

Until next time… Enjoy the love in the air!!

Comment below on how you plan to celebrate the day of love!

** Image courtesy Google **

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~ Tomato Basil Paneer!!

Tomato Basil is popularly used in Italian dishes – soups, pasta sauce etc. but I decided to try using it in an Indian dish jus to see how it turned out. A few google searches and combining a couple of recipes, I created this magic!

This dish is definitely on the sweeter side, so adding the red chilly flakes helps out balance that.

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium tomatoes blanched and peeled
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 big bay leaf, 1 big cinnamon stick, 1 big cardamom, 1 star anise and 1 big dried red chilly
  • 10-12 fresh basil leaves
  • I pack of Nanak Paneer (cottage cheese) soaked in warm water to soften, and then cubed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 cup canned tomato puree
  • Salt to taste
  • Crushed black peppercorns to taste
  • 2 tablespoons red chilli flakes
  • 1/4 cup fresh cream or for healthier option use milk – full fat or 2%

Method:

1) Dice the onions, chop tomatoes and put in a blender jar. Blend tomatoes into a smooth puree.

2) Heat oil in a non stick pan, add the whole masale and ginger-garlic paste and sauté for ½ minute. Add diced onions and sauté till lightly browned.

3) Add freshly pureed tomatoes and canned tomato puree and mix well.

4) Add salt and crushed black peppercorns and mix well.

5) Add paneer and mix well.

6) Break the basil leaves by hand or cut/chop them. Breaking them keeps the taste intact.

7) Add red chilli flakes, basil leaves and cream. Mix well and cook for 1 minute.

Your dish is now ready, serve hot with Naan / Roti or Rice and Enjoy!!

We had it with Garlic Naan and Rice.

Let me know how it turned it 🙂

Until next time, enjoy yummy food!!