• 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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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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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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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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A Most Wonderful (and Delicious) Gift

An amazing thing happened on Friday night. A man came to our door and delivered and gigantic box of cheese. The cheese, a gift from my wonderful roommate’s wonderful mom, was from Murray’s in New York City – an amazing shop. The box contained 13 different kinds of cheese, ranging from a sharp craft cheddar, to a delicious Camembert, to a melt in your mouth triple cream goat cheese, to a super stinky (and delicious) Muenster, to multiple varieties of blue cheese, and many, many more.

Luckily, my roommate felt like sharing (though I suppose most people couldn’t eat 15 pounds of cheese all alone), and while I did no cooking, this was one of the best dinners I’ve had in ages. Cheese, fresh bread, salami, and some great wine, and we were set for an amazing night.

Thanks again, Carol – this is, so far, the best gift to arrive on our doorstep!

Green Chile Mac and Cheese

This year, I did something I have not done in four years. I went home for Thanksgiving. And in three weeks, I’ll be home again for Christmas. While this makes me happier than I can truly express, it also made me a little nervous. When I go home, I tend to treat it like a big, delicious, vacation. So I attempted to prepare myself by eating healthier in the weeks up to heading home for the first time.

Key word, attempted.

Normally, I don’t have too much trouble eating well the majority of the time, allowing for the occasional ridiculous extravaganza of eating. This was just that – an incredibly ridiculous, outrageous, definitely not good for you (but so, so, so, SO good) dish: green chile mac and cheese. The only thing I’d change next time is reduce the cream and increase the cheese. I think this will boost the green chile flavor and make this totally out of this world. Now, the recipe list may seem long, but it’s not complicated. If it still stresses you, make the green chile cream ahead of time. It will hold, refrigerated for a couple days.

My Favorite Simple Snack

This weekend was my last (tear) visit to my local farmer’s market. I grabbed a whole bunch of amazing stuff which made for an amazing afternoon of eating and drinking, but of all the things I saw, the radishes were some of the loveliest I’d seen in a long time. It got me thinking about something my mom made once as a quick appetizer for a party.

Good, really fresh radishes are smashingly peppery, and the perfect match for that natural peppery flavor is a rich spread (butter or cheese), and a sprinkling of good sea salt. It’s like the perfect salt and pepper bite, and I could eat it all the time. And I got to thinking that while it’s certainly not fancy, it would be a great quick canape option for upcoming Thanksgiving festivities. Super simple, and everyone’s bound to love it. But you don’t have to believe me…just come over to my house and check out the empty plate.

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Spicy Buffalo Chicken Burgers with Pepperjack and Caramelized Onions

There’s something so wonderful about cooking a meal using things you commonly have on hand. Now that I’ve built a relatively stocked pantry, there are certain things I know I have, and can use to toss together dinner in no time. If I have a busy week ahead, I’ll also usually buy some kind of ground meat – because there are so many quick, easy meals I can make with it (depending on my mood). This burger came out of a need to eat – and fast.

As the burgers cooked, my roommate was drawn into the kitchen. We ended up enjoying these sandwiches together before moving on to our separate activities. That’s what I loved about this dinner: it was made using only what was at hand, and it brought people together around the dinner table – if only for a few moments.