Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Healing Power of Chips and Queso

It's amazing what Mexican food can do for your soul.

Last night, I had a girls' night dinner with some friends at El Tiempo. El Tiempo is a fantastic Mexican restaurant here in Houston that has excellent queso, excellent fajitas, and excellent margaritas. And, as I learned last night, excellent tamales. IT JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER.

Side Note: It has come to my attention that there are places in the world that don't get to experience the glory that is chips and queso. A few things you should know:

1. Queso is my love language
2. Queso is more than just melted cheese
3. Queso can be served with or without meat
4. Queso is a gift from God

I'm showing you a few photos of the different kinds of queso you might find at various restaurants across Texas:

Shout out to Google Images for providing these beautiful photographs.

As far as chain restaurants are concerned, Chili's actually has really good queso. So does Willie's Icehouse. A few years ago, I went to Chili's and ordered the queso and the waitress brought out something that was sooooo not what I was expecting. I questioned her about it and she explained that they were trying a new queso recipe. I asked her if they could still make the old one. She graciously obliged my request. (I mean, it's the whole reason I go there. I wanted my queso. The right queso.) A few weeks later I went back to Chili's and ordered the queso again, but made sure to specify to the waiter "I'd like the original queso, not the new one" to which he replied "OH, no, we quit doing that after a few days. People were getting really angry."

As they should be.

Anyways, back to last night!

I felt a little bad because when we planned the date for this dinner, I didn't know that my husband would be having a minor procedure done on his back the same day. Last night I kept asking him "are you sure you're okay to watch her? Are you in pain? Can you pick her up?" He seemed iffy about it but he said "I think I should be okay" so I took him at his word and ran out the door. I'm such a thoughtful and considerate wife.

Dinner with the girls was awesome. We covered a VERY WIDE RANGE of conversation topics. Some silly. Some serious. Some ridiculous. But it was awesome and I love them and I'm so glad for our little monthly get togethers.

The thing is... I've noticed a pattern. When I have these dinners with my girlfriends, the next day something happens to me. Every time I have girl time, the next day I am incredibly motivated and productive. It's bizarre... all day yesterday I was just looking around my house and thinking "I CAN'T do the laundry... I CAN'T unload the dishwasher... I CAN'T do anything but lay here under this blanket and eat Skinny Cow chocolates and popcorn."

That was an actual thought I had yesterday.

Today I woke up and was fully in gear. Four wheel drive. Full speed ahead. Unloaded the dishwasher, put away laundry, straightened up the kitchen, read books to Ellie, came up with a fun activity for her, making to do lists, kicking butt and taking names.

And I remember the last time I had dinner with my girlfriends, this same thing happened the next day.

I don't think it's a coincidence. I think it's a direct result of having a little break, laughing with my friends, eating delicious food and not having to experience the drama that is dinner, bath, and bed time with a toddler. Just one night off and I was operating on a full tank of gas again. I guess you can say it filled my cup.

I say this to say, if you can't seem to function... try to have some time with your friends. And try to eat chips and queso. It has healing powers.

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