• 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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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)

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.

White Beans with Sausage, Tomato, and Mushrooms

I saw a recipe once on Epicurious for a dish with white beans and sausage. I loved the idea, because white beans (you may have heard me gush about them before) are so creamy and delicious. Combining my favorite beans with sausage (turkey or chicken sausage for a healthier option) and some homemade tomato sauce and I had the perfect substitute for pasta. At the same time, the beans added a heartiness that really filled me up – a wonderful warm, chunky stew of sorts that was tossed together in no time, especially if you have tomato sauce on hand. Even if you don’t, this meal takes less than a half hour.

Pork Cutlets with Leeks, Lemon, and Parsley

It was a long day. The kind of day where I was still thinking about work long after I’d left my office (I’m normally good about leaving work at work). After two market trips (for cakes I’ll discuss in a future post), I was exhausted. I grabbed pork cutlets solely because they were small and thin – would take almost no time to cook.

I love leeks for their subtle onion flavor, and I brightened the dish with a little bit of lemon and fresh herbs. The dish had only 7 ingredients (if you don’t count salt and pepper) and was done in less than 15 minutes. It felt especially good eating it – my feet up and the warmth and aromas coming up towards me. Delish.

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Pretty Freakin Awesome Pasta Carbonara

The weather is giving me a taste of my favorite season – fall. Cooler temperatures are one thing, but I love the way the air is crisp in the fall. When you breathe in, you can feel the air glide down your throat. The air smells like biting into an apple, and faintly like wood stoves being lit somewhere far away.

To celebrate, I whipped up a batch of pasta carbonara. I heaped it into a huge mug and sat on the porch eating it and watching it steam. Pasta. Eggs. Bacon. Really, how could you go wrong? But with some parsley from my garden, it still seemed fresh – like a last taste of summer.