Monday, October 12, 2009

pineapple adventures and my IKEA kitchen

I didn't get a chance to post anything last night due to the completely hands-on experience that was dinner...and dessert! By the way, they were both positively luscious.

For dinner, I decided to make Potato Leek Soup (because I can't get enough thick, creamy potato soups!) accompanied by Sauteed Baby Broccoli with Olives and Pine Nuts, both from The Vegan Table.
My mouth is watering just looking at it! I went a little crazy with my immersion blender - most people enjoy the velvety texture of a thick, blended soup. Not my husband - he needs chunkiness. I think there were about a dozen chunks of potatoes left in the whole pot...I forget how quickly that little bugger does its job! Anyway, the leftover soup will be my lunch tomorrow, but I will not have any broccolini to munch alongside, as we finished it all up. The presentation of the whole broccolini stem is grand, but unless you want to bring your paring knife to the dinner table, I would recommend cutting the broccolini into bite sized bits before you saute it. It made for an entertaining dinner, though!

Around 11 PM, I found myself standing in the middle of my kitchen with Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World in my hands, fumbling through the pages and looking back and forth between the time apparatus and the book. Finally, Mister took it upon himself to explain to me that it is never too late for cupcakes. Our conversation ended like this:

Me: So, you want cupcakes?
Mister: Yes.

So I strapped on the apron, preheated the oven, and got all my ingredients together and whipped up a batch of these tropical sweeties:
I love pineapple upside-down cake to begin with, so the Pineapple Right-Side-Up Cupcakes did not disappoint. There is a cup of crushed pineapple in the batter itself and then you take another cup to make into this wonderful gooey topping that actually stays put once you allow the cupcakes to set in the refrigerator for a half hour.
We each had two.

Today was incredible. Well, actually, it starts in yesterday, which was the only day off my husband and I share. We got to brainstorming and scheming a little late in the day, but the end result of our toils is that I have a semi-IKEA kitchen! There's more work to do, but it will have to wait until the weekend again. By the time we're finished (hopefully by the end of this month, if not sooner), our home will look nothing like it did when we started. I would love to say I wish I had "Before" pictures to post a before/after makeover kind of thing, but honestly, there is no part of me that ever wants to remember the chaos and disaster that existed before IKEA made everything right. I'm still impressed that we fit the following things into the backseat of my Chevy Prizm:
2 decorative shelving units (for my baking stuff)
1 industrial-strength wire shelving unit (from Lowe's, for all of Mister's miscellaneous crap)
1 kitchen trolley/island
1 TV stand
1 magnetic notice board

I'm even more impressed with how much of that I was able to assemble without Mister's help (about half). Anyway, we were hungry little hippos after putting everything together, cleaning things, restocking shelves. Oh, and did I mention that my husband is Superman? Here is another list, this time of all the pieces of furniture he has removed from our second floor apartment without anyone else's assistance (he only keeps me around because I cook):
our couch
an oversized chair (Angst's, by the way, and he didn't appreciate its disappearance)
an old, solid wood drysink (think buffet/cabinets)
an old round dining table

I'm most impressed by the couch, personally. I think the people at the thrift store are, too.

Anyway, back to the hungry, hungry hippos. Mister made lunch earlier: SmartDogs on whole wheat rolls. We assembled them, with fixin's, on my new kitchen trolley, to my great delight. After all the work was done and the sun was long set, I suggested we eat dinner and since he was such a great help today, I let Mister choose from the newly posted menu on the freezer door. He chose Pasta Della California from Veganomicon.
I had never cooked with avocado before. Actually, I had never purchased, cut open, pitted, and/or diced an avocado before. That is part of the reason I chose this recipe for this week's menu - a nagging little veggie voice in the back of my head, saying, "Try it; you might like it!" What I learned from this experience is this: No matter how busy the people stocking the bins at Whole Foods look, ask them to help you find a ripe avocado. I had no idea what I was looking for, so I'm pretty sure what I came home with was NOT a ripe avocado. First, it was nearly impossible to pit. My impression was that you just cut around the pit and gently twist the two sides so they pull away. Second, I got the impression from the way Isa wrote the recipe that the flesh of the avocado was supposed to be mushy. I have heard others refer to how delightfully creamy avocados are. My avocado was neither mushy nor creamy. Live and learn!

I can hear the pineapple cupcakes calling my name...gotta run!

1 comment:

  1. The Vegan Table is my favourite cookbook at the moment! And I LOVE the look of those pineapple cupcakes!!! YUM!! MUST GET BOOK