i recently moved fairly close to a friend who loves going out for dinner or to each other's houses for dinner almost as much as i do. it's been so great! and getting better–on sunday we got together and had dinner in my backyard for the first time this year. the thing i love most about dining in with friends is having them make the same dish i might have, but do it totally differently than i would. this particular friend's channa masala is delicious but tastes totally different than my version, and the simple salad he brought on sunday was an even better example. i mean it was just a salad he threw together in minutes but i never put red peppers in my salad and the dressing he made was full of herbs from his garden–including rosemary, which again, i just never use in dressings. i always think that herb is too powerful and i sort of avoid it, but the dressing was delicious. the whole salad was, and it made me realize how much i enjoy experiencing someone else's style of cooking.
this particular friend has taught me a lot about how to whip up a meal for company in minutes without anyone really noticing how or when it came together–but more on his kitchen skills in another post. he may deserve one dedicated just to his efficient and laid back entertaining approach.