• 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.
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    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!


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Thai Chicken Burgers with Peanut Sauce and Pickled Veggies (and an Awesome Salad to Make with the Leftovers!)

Sometimes the reaction when I announce dinner plans isn’t too enthusiastic. “Ok” or even “That sounds good” are nothing compaired to the “Yesssssssss!” or “Mmmmmm” I often get when making some of the household favorites. So let me just say it’s difficult to overstate how big of a hit these Thai-inspired chicken burgers were. They were moist and juicy with lots of cilantro and mild chile flavor in the meat, topped with a deliciously creamy peanut sauce, and an amazing Asian veggie pickle mixture.

Crisp, delicious, easy, and cheap! Look at that picture. It’s seriously making me hungry again. Ignore the fact that there is almost no bun on the bottom (they’re homemade – but who really needs a lot of bun anyway?). It’s a great way to liven up burgers at your house – and healthy too!

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Baked Sweet Potatoes with Mushrooms and Grilled Corn

Matt loves sweet potatoes. In college when we’d go to the local diner for a greasy meal of burgers and fries, he’d special-order their sweet potato fries that come with a zesty mustard dipping sauce. And if, on the rare occasion, I declare that I’m not cooking dinner and he’s on his own, his solution is always grilled steak with roasted sweet potatoes (I think it says something wonderful about him that as a trained chef he still just loves steak and potatoes).
Probably much to my mother’s dismay, I do not love sweet potatoes. I like them just fine, but never find myself gravitating towards them at the market. Except, perhaps to make pie or quick breads. But for one of Matt’s favorite dinners this week, sweet potatoes were the only option. I livened them up with roasted mushrooms, lots of garlic, and grilled corn. The veggie stuffing made the potatoes seem especially sweet and creamy – it’s a new favorite (even for me)!

Giant Burritos with All the Fixins!

There are two parts to this story.

1. I don’t generally love chain restaurants. Sure, I am the occasional patron, but you’d be hard-pressed to find me frequenting the fast food or family-style restaurants that crowd every town’s restaurant landscape. But as with everything, there is one (huge) exception. Chipotle. Oh, how I miss Chipotle. In my hometown, there was one very near my house, and another one on the edge of town – both working to satisfy my gigantic burrito needs. But there is no Chipotle in Hyde Park or it’s surrounding cities. It was a devastating blow to my college years.

2. Funny things happen when you’re jetlagged. Usually, I am dead tired upon returning from a trip of some magnitude and I lounge in bed and struggle to get through the first week as I readjust to reality and my new time zone. But I think I was so used to operating on very little sleep on my European trip, that normal sleeping hours in bed have confounded me. The first night we were home, Matt and I slept at about midnight and found ourselves wide awake at 5:30 a.m. The next day, it was 6:00, and so on. As we strolled the aisles of the grocery store (the only thing to do anywhere at 6:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning), we realized that by shopping for a meal this early, we could do something I hardly ever do on the apartment kitchen – slow cooking techniques. This defies one of the rules I try to abide by – it is not QUICK. But, it’s so incredibly easy that I believe it cancels it out.

It’s the perfect kind of thing to do on a Sunday. Dry rub some ribs, and stick them in the oven at a low temperature, and leave them alone. Then shred the meat, layer it with toppings, and you have one very happy reproduction.

Caramelized Onion Polenta with Sausage and Cauliflower Ragu

I used to think it was strange that I read cookbooks feverishly as though they were page-turning novels. Now I know it is – but the amazing world of food magazines and online recipes have deepened my love for the written food word. And no matter how crazy it is, I can’t help it. It’s more than the glossy pages and mouth-watering pictures. For me, it’s the format the amounts and ingredients take on the page. The way they sit is so incredibly inviting as though begging me to try it myself.

But I’ve also finally got some cook’s blood in me (I am a trained baker) and I use recipes as ideas and rarely follow them exactly. This idea came from a couple different places to the point that it’s my own recipe – though I proudly admit it is inspired by all of those glossy pages that I love so much.

Off to Europe!

It may have seemed to you regular visitors of The Apartment Kitchen that I have just submitted a barrage of posts.  Well, you are correct.  I have posted everything I’ve made recently all at once in the hopes that it will satisfy everyone’s cravings while I am on my 2 1/2 week trip across Eastern Europe.

What’s that, you say? You want to know all about my trip through Venice, Vienna, Budapest, Krakow, Prague, Berlin, Amsterdam, Bruges, and London?  Well, you’re in luck!

Just head on over to my food/travel blog: An Appetite for Adventure and follow me on my journey!  And there will be plenty more edible adventures to follow from great places like New York City, the Hudson Valley, and more!

Creamy Sausage, Mushroom, and Pea Risotto with Poached Egg, Parmesan and Baby Basil Leaves

I started vacation this week. If you know me, you can note that simply from the recent appearance of pasta and baked goods on my blog. I love food – a little too much. On a day to day basis, I try to keep myself in check – eating healthier foods and smaller portions. But you can’t take the foodie out of the girl, so after two days of being “on vacation” I was in the kitchen making risotto. I love making risotto – the whole process of it. I’m also of the school of adding an egg to just about anything makes it better, so I ended up with this rich, creamy risotto for dinner last night. No matter what any recipe tells you – risotto is easy (this one has butter, sausage, and lots of cheese – how could it ever go wrong?) – just taste it a lot along the way, and you’ll end up with an awesome meal.

Classic Cinnamon Sugar Yeast Doughnuts

When I first started doing research for my senior thesis last year – it started with a recipe. A recipe hand written on an old, old recipe card for yeast doughnuts. Proof that I have descended from a long line of people who love fried foods. The doughnuts are simple, rustic, and homey – just as they should be. Here’s a combination of that recipe with my version.