• erin

    Dumplings with my family
    A recent graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, I found myself with no money, no kitchen equipment, and an exceptionally huge appetite. Ideas, improvisations, and yummy meal solutions were discovered in the kitchen of my very first apartment.
  • what sounds good?

    I've been getting a lot of requests and suggestions for the apartment kitchen. I LOVE these suggestions, keep them coming!

    If you have anything you'd like me to consider (recipes to develop, shortcuts for recipes, great ingredients, or even blog formatting), shoot me an email and let me know!

    em570039@mycia.net

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    Check out my food journeys at An Appetite for Adventure!
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Caramelized Onion Soup

I am a major onion eater. I don’t care about the consequences, I could eat them like apples – even if it meant driving everyone around me far, far away. I love this onion soup because it’s easy and I always have everything I need for it right on hand. I don’t call it “French Onion Soup” because I don’t top it with the cheesy crouton garnish (which is delicious, of course). Instead, this is merely an enriched broth that can be made quickly and enjoyed for days.

Vegetarians – don’t just substitute vegetable broth for the beef broth, you won’t get the rich flavor that’s typical for this soup. Instead, use mushroom broth – it has a rich, meaty flavor that’s the ideal substitute.

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Pasta with Leeks, Peas, Parmesan, and an Egg

This dish almost tasted like carbonara, because of the egg on top. I love dishes like this because they are simple, delicious, and cooked all in one pot. Pasta is also great, of course, for just cooking for one person.

You may have noticed that I usually use whole wheat pasta or pasta made from farro or quinoa (that’s why it always looks sort of darker than your average pasta in my photographs). That’s a personal preference, but of course any and all of these dishes would be just as delicious (if not more so) with regular or flavored pastas.

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Sweet Potato, Poblano, and Chicken Enchiladas

I found the Sweet Potato and Poblano Enchiladas over at Budget Bytes to sound absolutely delectable so I figured I’d give my own version a whirl. Matt and I love enchiladas, but I had never thought of incorporating sweet potatoes into them – it was a match made in heaven. Their natural sweetness balanced the hint of spice, and their creaminess made for a great contrasting texture in the filling. Proof that combining your cravings with what you have in the house can turn into a delicious dinner!

Spicy Green Pizza

I stumbled across the idea for this pizza in Cooking Light – it sounded like the ideal pizza for a snack, side dish (with soup), or light lunch (with a salad). I love using spicy greens, and now is a good time to find them in my area, so I gathered up a mix – arugula, baby mustard greens, and more – but added a pinch of red pepper flakes to give it a little more spice. It’s a sauceless pizza, which makes it great for dipping (in my opinion). I ate it with soup, but I could see serving it with marinara or a garlicky white sauce.

Roasted Tomato Soup

A bit of a bug put me in the mood for soup. I immediately thought of tomato soup – I love it and generally only make it in the summer when the tomatoes are the ripest. But it sounded so good, I thought I would try it with good quality canned tomatoes and roast them to boost their flavor. I used olive oil for richness and balsamic to bring out their sweetness and acidity, and was really happy with the results. After I made, I ran around my house with a spoon forcing everyone to taste. What did I discover? No one (no one) in my house likes tomato soup, leaving me with the whole pot to myself! (Oh yea)

Panfried Pork Chops with Tomato-Mushroom Sauce

What? You think I’m using way too many mushrooms? Well, you’re right. I even hid the mushrooms from you in the meatball sub (I put mine on as a last minute addition after I’d assembled and photographed Matt’s sandwich). I admit it, I am a mushroom addict. There is reason to my madness – they were massively on sale at my market last week. And, I’m totally in love with them.

So yes, I made a mushroom sauce for some pork chops over the weekend. But this sauce has tomatoes stirred in, which gives it acidity and a really nice body (i.e. you add tomatoes and you’ve got insta-sauce). So I figure this could be a tomato-onion sauce, a tomato-corn sauce, a tomato-cauliflower sauce, a tomato-sausage sauce…you pick. Or, if you’re a mushroom obsessed diner like me, you can leave them in.

Either way, don’t worry. I’m out of mushrooms. For now, anyway…

Meatball Sub

After a long day (ok, ok – roller skating and running errands), I just wanted something simple and comforting. Cheese is my biggest weakness, and this sandwich totally hit the spot for me. I used some meatballs and sauce I had already made for pasta, and sandwiched them with some cheese on a leftover baguette. It used up a lot of leftover food, but none of my roommates noticed that as they gobbled it down.

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