• 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!

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    em570039@mycia.net

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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!

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.

Spicy Chicken with Quick Asian Pickled Salad

For a quick dinner before my trip to Kansas, Matt and I made a quick dinner from some easy recipes we’ve made before. A light breading made for some crisp, spicy chicken. And our favorite quick Asian-style refrigerator pickles makes a delicious salad as a base. Just season the chicken (we used thin, tender-like pieces) with salt, pepper, and a little bit of cayenne, and dredge in enough flour to coat. Cook in 3 Tbsp of olive oil until crisp and cooked through, about 6-7 minutes. Serve with the quick pickles and it’s a delicious dinner in no time – even the night before a big flight!


Chicken Enchilada Casserole

First of all, let me apologize for my recent lack of posting. On Saturday, I flew home to Kansas and have spent the last few days doing work (for an exciting upcoming blog project) and, of course, cooking away for the big day tomorrow. But one of the last things I made before I left New York was this tasty casserole which I made to replicate one of my favorite dishes at a Mexican restaurant: green onion chicken enchiladas.

I cook with green onions a lot, but they are usually chopped or minced pretty finely. This dish is has great flavor and texture that’s a little bit different than your typical “taco casserole”. Enchilada sauce ties it all together, but in an easy to assemble, layered casserole that’s easy to make and tasty to eat.

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.

Yukon Gold and Chicken Apple Sausage Hash with Fried Eggs and Spicy Tomato Coulis

Breakfast for dinner? Yes. But with chunks of hearty chicken sausage, and crispy yukon gold potatoes, and a spicy tomato coulis this dinner was delicious and satisfying in a completely different way from breakfast. And on the first snow of the year (yes…in OCTOBER) we were happy to be full, satisfied, and back under our blankets in no time.

Chicken with Mustard Dumplings

I love chicken and dumplings, and it’s something I haven’t made yet in my own kitchen (my mom’s version is delish). I wanted to make it a little different by adding a burst of flavor to the dumplings. Matt is a mustard lover, and I’m a recent mustard convert, so I figured I’d give it a try. The result was great – slightly different but still staying true to the basic flavors in it already.

Using whole grain, spicy brown, and Dijon mustard pumped up the flavor in a warm way that complemented the chicken and the broth. Since we’ve had our first frost here, I was delighted to have something this warm and tasty for dinner (and for lunch the next day)!

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