A few weeks ago my husband and I celebrated our 12th year anniversary. Sometimes, with the day-to-day craziness that goes on in our house with our three kids, we feel like coworkers – handling mini-crisis after crisis, passing a crying child to the other, going through the motions of dinner, homework, brush, floss, bedtime. And you look back and say, “Hey, we’ve been married 12 years?”
This year we reminded ourselves that we were a couple, not just partners. We forgot that it had been months since we had time to ourselves and we welcomed a night out to eat anywhere kid-unfriendly.
We drove up the coast not knowing where we would end up for dinner, enjoying the lapis-blue ocean view as the sun slowly set. We unwound a bit. No kids crying in the car. No kids fighting. Just a bit of adult conversation mixed in with precious silence.
We found ourselves in Carlsbad, about 30 minutes north of downtown San Diego. We remembered a great south-west bar and grill and wondered if they were still there.
Yup, Coyote Bar & Grill was still there. They still had great live music outside next to their 4-5 fire strategically placed fire pits.
We stationed ourselves at one empty spot and ordered up margaritas and appetizers.
We listened to live blues and smiled, laughed and talked. No kids to interrupt us. No kids menus. No crayons for coloring.
We had these amazing Chile-Lime Roasted Artichokes and smiled at each other, reading each other’s minds.
“Oh yes, we must recreate this at home!”
We spent the next two weeks doing just that. And I think we perfected it. After steaming the artichokes first, we let them cool down and cut them in half. Drizzled everything with olive oil and rubbed these babies up with our own spice mix – a combination of paprika, chile pepper, garlic salt, lemon pepper and citric acid.
Then, popped them on the grill to crunchify. Yes, I believe that’s a culinary term. And if it’s not, it should be.
I mixed a little of the spice mix in with mayo and a splash of lemon juice and I was back at Coyote Bar & Grill, sitting by the fire pit, chilin’ to some live music.
Some foods just take you to another world. And now, I can enjoy these fabulous artichokes in the comfort of my own home, amongst my three favorite short people.
Because you all know what you end up talking about when you are away from your kids.
Yup, you talk about your kids.