So….moving is expensive.
Especially when a certain person keeps staring down beautifully outfitted kitchens on pinterest and convincing herself that (a) is price really an object when we’re talking about the living space of your dreams and (b) she can totally fit an island with a marble countertop into her 2xnothing kitchen.
In case you couldn’t tell….yes. A certain person is delusional.
The.Boy and I went to IKEA this weekend and after we came close to killing each other within the first ten minutes of being there (let’s just say we have very different artistic visions for what we want our apartment to look like), we kind of took a step back and reset.
And after that, aside from the fact that everything we REALLY liked was so far outside our budget it’s probably in another time zone, it all went pretty well. Between IKEA, Home Depot, Amazon, oodles of mason jars and a whole lot of chalkboard paint (oh yes…there is going to be so.much chalkboard paint (!!!!!))…I think we’re kind of done.
(Although if you guys have any really awesome pantry/kitchen organizing ideas for saving space I am all.over.it. So far, we’re planning on making those magnetic spice containers to put on the fridge, putting a magnetic strip on the wall for my knives, hanging pots and pans from the ceiling, and shoving every dried pantry item (beans, nuts, flours, grains, etc) into pretty jars. But we are SO open to more suggestions.)
Another thing I learned during this expedition is that if one is going to spend an afternoon walking around what is essentially a warehouse crowded with annoying consumers…then one really needs to have a hearty lunch. Otherwise one might get cranky by about the first hour in…and that is totally sub-optimal.
This vindaloo is one such hearty lunch. It is filled with two kinds of potatoes, bell peppers and some seriously bold spices which leave your belly and your taste buds feeling totally satisfied for hours.
This is my contribution to this week’s I Heart Cooking Clubs, the theme for which is Loving the Leaf…and yes, I somehow managed to flip this week’s and next week’s themes in my mind (I blame IKEA) so this week I’ll make a root veggie recipe and next week I’ll make something with leaves…and it will all even out in the end.
Speaking of lunch, I had the most AMAZING one on Friday at the Bowery Whole Foods. As I’ve mentioned before, they have an upstairs dining area that has been featuring a new vendor from Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg every month or so. This month the vendor is YUJI Ramen!
YUJI Ramen is unlike your typical ramen because they utilize a Mazemen style of ramen preparation which has less broth and thicker chewier AWESOME-R noodles. The idea behind this is that in Japan, ramen is eaten as a street food so it is consumed very quickly (within about 5 minutes), whereas in the US, it is eaten as a sit-down meal so it takes about 20 minutes to eat. However, in those 20 minutes, the noodles get soggy and mushy from all the broth! Enter Mazemen, which has less broth so that the noodles retain their awesome texture.
We got the pickled market veggies (so.yum) and I got the miso roasted vegetable mazemen which was not only aesthetically pleasing with all of it’s vibrant colors, but also majorly delicious! Definitely worth checking out if you’re in the Bowery area (or even if you’re not).
Another cool thing going on at the Bowery Whole Foods location is that they’ve just opened up a snack bar filled with all kinds of amazing treats! They have a wide array of donuts, magpies (kind of like…grown-up, good-tasting pop tarts), hull-less popcorn (so it doesnt get stuck in your teeth!), cupcakes, and smoothies. We tasted a mango passionfruit donut, a cafe au lait donut, and a strawberry magpie. All of which were to-die-for. The mango passionfruit donut has the most intensely mango-flavored glaze you could imagine and was so delicious whereas the cafe au lait donut had an awesome crumb topping with riffs of cappuccino and espresso. And then there was the magpie. You could actually taste the fruit and the butter in it, in a good way. Definitely quality stuff.
One year ago…Meyer Lemon Cupcakes with Meyer Lemon Curd
Two years ago…Lentil Mango Picadillo, Pecan Pie Bars
Three years ago…Italian Easter Bread
Four years ago…Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchilada Casserole, BBQ Chicken Burgers with Texas Home Fries
Serves 4-6, adapted from Plenty
- 8 cardamom pods
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 12 shallots, chopped
- 1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 25 curry leaves
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
- 1 red chili pepper, finely chopped
- 3 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1 3/4 cups water
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 1/2 cups yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch dice
- 2 small red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch dice
- 2 1/2 cups peeled sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch dice
- cilantro leaves to serve
- In a small heavy-bottomed skillet, dry-roast the cardamom pods, cumin seeds, and coriander seeds over medium heat until they start to pop. Remove the cardamom pods and transfer to a spice grinder. Break open the pods to release the seeds inside and then put the seeds into the spice grinder. Grind until it is a fine powder. Add the turmeric, paprika, and cinnamon and mix to combine. Set aside.
- In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil. Add the shallots, mustard seeds, and fenugreek seeds and saute on medium-low heat for 8 minutes or until the shallots start to brown. Add in the spice blend, curry leaves, ginger, and chili pepper. Cook for another 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, vinegar, water, sugar and some salt. Boil then simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
- Add the potatoes and bell peppers. Simmer for another 20-30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Remove the lid and allow to bubble until sauce thickens. Season to taste with salt. Serve hot, garnished with cilantro.