• 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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Caramelized Onion Soup

I am a major onion eater. I don’t care about the consequences, I could eat them like apples – even if it meant driving everyone around me far, far away. I love this onion soup because it’s easy and I always have everything I need for it right on hand. I don’t call it “French Onion Soup” because I don’t top it with the cheesy crouton garnish (which is delicious, of course). Instead, this is merely an enriched broth that can be made quickly and enjoyed for days.

Vegetarians – don’t just substitute vegetable broth for the beef broth, you won’t get the rich flavor that’s typical for this soup. Instead, use mushroom broth – it has a rich, meaty flavor that’s the ideal substitute.

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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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Roasted Tomato Soup

A bit of a bug put me in the mood for soup. I immediately thought of tomato soup – I love it and generally only make it in the summer when the tomatoes are the ripest. But it sounded so good, I thought I would try it with good quality canned tomatoes and roast them to boost their flavor. I used olive oil for richness and balsamic to bring out their sweetness and acidity, and was really happy with the results. After I made, I ran around my house with a spoon forcing everyone to taste. What did I discover? No one (no one) in my house likes tomato soup, leaving me with the whole pot to myself! (Oh yea)

Onion Relish

For a sandwich I was making (post coming soon), I made this super easy but unbelievably flavorful onion relish. I suppose technically it might be more like a chutney or a compote, but the acidity and texture reminded me of a relish, and it made such an amazing spread on my sandwich. The best part is, you can make a batch and keep it in your fridge for use in all kinds of dishes: sandwiches, burgers, salads, snacks (on top of a cracker with a little bit of cheese), and so on.

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Spicy Rice and Beans

A few times I like to cook and eat vegetarian. Ok, so more than sometimes. So basically, multiple times a week, I turn to Matt and say “cook whatever meat you want that goes with this.” The man is a major carnivore, but it does not stop me from my tasty plotting. I started craving rice and beans this week – warm and hearty and perfect in cold weather. When I got home from work, I went for a walk with the dog and the roommates, came home, and had dinner on the table in less than half an hour. A perfect night.

Ingredient Spotlight: Pasta

Pasta is a great food for the apartment kitchen. Even though Matt doesn’t like it as much (I know, right? Doesn’t seem possible…), I find myself whipping it up in all sorts of situations. Why? Well, there’s the obvious – it’s fast, easy, and cheap. But there’s also the fact that you can do almost anything to it. I like to toss it warm into spinach or arugula salads. Top it with all kinds of sauce. Or finish it with tons of veggies and a fried egg for something different. Spicy, tangy, acidic, salty, meaty, or even just as a component in a totally different dish – pasta is a great thing to have on hand. And on a day like today (Christmas shopping after a snowy day), coming home to a quick dinner of hot pasta was just the ticket.

Roasted Cumin Carrots

The most beautiful carrots I have ever seen were part of my score from my last farmer’s market trip of the season. They were wonderful – a bit on the small side, since it has been getting bitterly cold already, but so flavorful it reminds you what carrots are supposed to taste like. Sweet and almost buttery and rich. This simple roast paired carrot with one it’s favorite spices: cumin. This is good as a simple side, tossed in a salad, or pureed into a silky dip that’s fantastic with pita bread.