• 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

  • equipment spotlight

  • ingredient spotlight

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    Check out my food journeys at An Appetite for Adventure!
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  • author portrait: matt needham
  • © erin mcdowell and the apartment kitchen, 2009-10. all photography and content, unless otherwise indicated, is property of the author. unauthorized reproduction or use is prohibited. please ask before using.
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Ways to Follow All the Delicious Action

Hey everyone,

I have more recipe posts coming shortly, but I’ve been enjoying a leisurely (and very snowy) time with my family in Kansas for the holidays. Over the past few weeks, I’ve set up various social networking accounts. So for those of you out there who’d like to, you can follow me HERE (Facebook) and HERE (Twitter), to get updates on posts, recipes, giveaways, and more.

I’ll also keep both these links on my sidebar in case you’re in need of them!

Happy New Year!

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Bacon and Tomato Mac and Cheese

Driving in the car yesterday, trying to decide what to make for dinner, an interesting question was posed by my mother. In an effort to use up some leftovers, she suggested a sort of taco bowl for dinner, and I had suggested mac and cheese. Since we couldn’t decide, we just had to make both. Yes, both. Yes…I am sort of ashamed. But not so ashamed that I won’t share the recipe for this very successful mac and cheese with you.

My apologies for such a horrible picture, it certainly does not do it justice. But I pumped up the flavor of this mac and cheese with bacon and some canned tomatoes (we used my mom’s canned tomatoes from her garden so it was extra delicious). Onions, garlic, and lots of cheese were the finishing touch on this, dare I say, jaMAZING dinner.

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Rosemary Onion Foccacia

I have a hard time posting recipes when I’m home, because I often don’t get a chance to photograph them! The smell of freshly baked bread wafting through the air, or of cinnamon baking in the oven, or gobs of melted chocolate send everyone in the house to the kitchen to see what’s cooking. Which is why I was delighted to get some prep done before we headed to my grandma’s for a Christmas celebration earlier this week…I made several loaves of this onion-rosemary foccacia and was able to snap photos to my hearts content before it was devoured with cheese, meats, spreads, and three kinds of soup at my grandma’s that afternoon.

I’m sure most of you are already prepared for your Christmas feasts, but if you’re snowed in (like I am today), maybe a loaf of fresh bread is just what you need to make it through the day. Well, that, and all of your new presents. Merry Christmas everyone!

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Equipment Spotlight: Scale

Alright, so this is a tad self serving, but I truly believe this is one of my most important kitchen tools. If you like baking at all, it’s worth having one of these in your cabinet (look how tiny it is, and thin – takes up almost no space!) Weight is the most effective way to measure out ingredients like flour, baking powder, sugar, and even water. For under $30 (mine was $22), you can find a variety of scales that are easy to use. Look for scales that will work in ounces, pounds, and grams, and have an easy-to-clean surface.

Now, I still recognize that for a lot of people, this is not a kitchen tool they are eager to invest in, and most of the time, I post my recipes in volume measurements. If you’re ever operating with another recipe that’s in weight, try using this site, which is pretty thorough.

Black Pepper Grits with Roasted Tomatoes, Caramelized Onions, Steak, and Over Easy Eggs

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a major egg fan. Poached, over-easy…ok, I admit it, anything with a rich, runny yolk has my heart all a-flutter. But since Matt is not much of a breakfast fan, I don’t often indulge my cravings to have breakfast for dinner. Which is a shame, because it’s easy and super fast, and it’s the perfect way to use whatever sounds good.

This dish certainly had several items that were cooked different ways, but I optimized space and still managed very little cleanup (and some leftovers). You could always use sauteed tomatoes (I just love the flavor and juiciness of the roasted), bacon, sausage, or any leftovers you had in the fridge (grits are a pretty delicious delivery system for almost anything). In the end, it may not be the prettiest thing to look at, but that doesn’t matter, because first chance I got, I smashed it all up into one, big, delicious bowl of breakfasty goodness.

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Matt’s Birthday Cheesecake

I offered to take Matt to a variety of restaurants for his birthday, but he asked for a homemade meal of his favorite foods instead. One of his favorite desserts is cheesecake, so while he was at work I made a very simple one – the cheesecake itself it only lightly flavored, making it the perfect pairing with a super thick strawberry topping. The result was tasty, and made a lovely end to a birthday meal.

Crispy Cauliflower with Mustard Dipping Sauce

I’ve gotten a tad fry-happy this week. This is not something I would normally admit but if you were to walk into my kitchen right now, you could smell it. And it’s a delicious smell. After pan frying some chicken earlier this week, I had gotten the taste for more frying. As I stared into my refrigerator, I realized I was exhibiting typical fry-addict behavior. Almost everything I saw in the fridge looked totally fryable. Cheese, meat, yogurt (ok, maybe not). I grabbed a bunch of cauliflower, and got to work. It was delicious – crisp, but creamy in the center.