PEI! WEI! For at least the past 5 years of our marriage, this has been our regular place to go out on Tuesday nights (which is our official date night). We are open to new places to eat and have tried out new restaurants and other foods, but we always end up back here….for quite a few reasons. First of all, Aaron and I are HUGE fans of Asian food, especially Thai. Second of all, we have a very tight budget and when we dine here, we can eat for around $18 for both of us, and we always have leftovers to take home. And thirdly, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE their food, in particular the Caramel Chicken. I know it has processed sugar in the sauce (I have learned over the past year of attempting a non-processed sugar diet that EVERY sauce has some sort of sweetener), but this is the one time I make an exception to my no-processed sugars rule. Some of our other fave dishes, are the Mandarin Kung Pao (especially with stock-velvet chicken) and the Thai Coconut Curry (also, with the stock-velvet chicken). I love that their veggies are just barely steamed or completely raw. After reading about food prep and the amount of nutrients that are lost with cooking and baking, this just makes me feel good (and sort of counter-acts the processed sugars….right?).
Some may criticize us for spending money on going out to eat. I know I used to worry about it. But I once had a neighbor, who seemed to have the ideal marriage. I asked her what their secret was. She shared with me that they NEVER missed a date night. Even if they had no money, they still hired a sitter and just went out for the evening, sometimes not eating out and other times just ordering an appetizer to share. This advice always stuck with me. We have had times when we were so broke, we chose not to have that time away from the kids and our stresses…..and it soon began to show. I am not saying that everyone needs date nights. I don’t want to hear back from those of you who get along just fine without having a date in years….I get it. But, for us, it is cheaper than therapy. 😉
I believe that marriage is like any other relationship. It requires a little work and a lot of communication. If you take time to talk, without the constant interruptions of children who want your attention, the communication seems to be easier and stronger. When you are sharing the enjoyment of the indulgence of good food, without having to worry about the cleanup, you breathe easier and focus on each other instead of what needs to be taken care of. When you make an appointment to relax and enjoy your time together, it has a HUGE effect on every other aspect of your life. Trust me on this one. From a homeschooling mama, who is also attempting a new biz this year, our date nights have been the difference between me running off and joining the circus or deciding to stick around and see how this crazy adventure we call LIFE is going to turn out!
If you decide to go into Pei Wei, for yourselves, here is our favorite dish:
Caramel Chicken with the stock-velvet chicken (or tofu, if you are a veggie) and noodles (unless you are GF or health-conscious, then go with the brown rice).