• 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!

    em570039@mycia.net

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    Check out my food journeys at An Appetite for Adventure!
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Chicken and Brown Rice Casserole with Poblanos, Bell Peppers, Tomatoes, Corn, and Red Onions

This dish doesn’t sound like much. I say that because when Matt said this afternoon “Let’s make something simple for dinner” and I suggested this dish, he didn’t exactly jump up and down. It sounds basic, and maybe even dull. But what pushes something like this over the top (and always does) is really good ingredients and really good flavor. This seemingly simple casserole was bursting with flavor: poblano and bell peppers, sweet corn, moist chicken, and really good cheddar cheese. If you want to take something to the next level, insert flavor whenever possible in a dish like this, even if it means and extra step: roast the corn and the peppers, season the chicken with herbs and spices, or cook the rice in broth instead of water (which makes for an incredibly flavorful base). The end result was as satisfying as it was quick – and could easily be altered with all sorts of different ingredients to suit your taste.

Mediterranean Vegetable Sandwich with Sundried Tomato Pesto and Fresh Mozzarella

One of my favorite pastimes is roaming the produce aisle at Adams Fairacre Farms. I know I’ve waxed poetic about well-stocked groceries and farmer’s markets before, but every time I go to Adams, I’m reminded why I love to cook. It’s like a dream – all of the produce is gleaming and primarily local, the cheese section is a mile long, and the butcher and fish counters are after my own heart with fresh daily cuts and catches.

Over the weekend, it was a tiny Italian eggplant that caught my eye. Even though they’re overpriced because of their cuteness, I couldn’t resist a 2 inch beauty. The idea struck to make a Mediterranean veggie sandwich. I supplemented my eggplant with bell pepper, squash, mushrooms, and red onions. I bought a loaf of crusty bread, a round of freshly pulled mozzarella, and went home – giddier than usual. The resulting lunch kept me smiling all day!

Creamy Coconut Stir Fry

div>Matt and I rarely argue about food. We rarely argue at all, but he certainly (and most faithfully) eats whatever I plan to make. But yesterday he was in the mood for steak, and I was craving a Thai-inspired dish. So we did something we don’t normally do, we entered the store and later, the kitchen, divided. He made his steak, and I made a stir fry with crisp veggies and creamy coconut rice. Coconut water is something I love to use – it adds incredible coconut flavor without any fat, unlike coconut milk (another favorite ingredient). In the end, he cut me off a piece of his steak, and helped himself to a heaping spoonful of the rice. Because even when we do argue about food, it doesn’t change the fact that we’re hungry for more.


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Lamb Kofta

I am always keeping my eye out for new and varied proteins. When I saw fresh, grass-fed ground lamb at my farmer’s market this weekend – I was sold. I don’t cook lamb often because what’s available in my regular grocery store leaves a lot to be desired. As I searched my recipe “to do” list for what to make, I found it: Kofta. Kofta is a delicious combination of meat, onions, and lots of spices. This Indian version on Kofta (variations of which can be found throughout the Middle East and South Asia) also has paneer mixed in, which makes it very tender. I love to make my own paneer – it’s quick and easy and when you make it at home, you can flavor or season it however you like. It makes a good weekend project – I made my paneer on Sunday night, and my kofta Monday night for dinner. I finished it with a tomato-curry sauce.