• 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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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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Butternut Squash Wheatberry Risotto

I’ve always loved whole grains. Don’t get me wrong, I love my fluffy white rice and all varieties of baked goods made with regular flour, but I’ve always had a thing for the nutty, chewy, hearty flavor of whole grains like farro, barley, and wheatberries. So a few years ago I started making “risotto style” dishes with other grains. For fall, nothing could be a better fit. Add other veggies or herbs to suit your whim, and this would be even better with a sprinkling of toasted pecans or almonds. Yum!

Pizza with White Bean-Rosemary Puree, Bacon, Broccoli Rabe, Tomatoes, Onions, and Parmesan

I love making pizza for a quick meal. Now, normally, some people think of “pizza as a quick meal” as picking up the phone, ordering, and waiting with $20 by the front door. But since I love making bread doughs and freezing them in individual portions until I need them, pizza is a great thing to make when I need a fast dinner. I just take the dough out of the freezer (put it into the fridge) on my way into work, and when I come home, I have dough ready to go. I can fish through the fridge and use whatever meat, veggies, and herbs I have on hand. For this version I made a quick puree of white beans and herbs from the garden (I just love the white beans – so rich and creamy, makes a great sauce substitution for this pizza).

Best of all, the warm, bubbly, cheesy result is incredibly satisfying – like I’d spent hours waiting for it to come to fruition (or to the front door). But the whole thing is done in minutes. All in all – the ideal meal: portioned for one (especially convenient as Matt hates pizza), uses up leftovers, and is done super fast. Hmm. Maybe I’ll go make another one.

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Whole Wheat Pasta with Spicy Sundried Tomato and Basil Pesto and Shaved Parmesan

I have been super busy this week – baking things to send in a care package home and a very exciting interview (more on both of these later)! At any rate, last night I came home and had about 1/2 hour to squeeze in cooking and eating my dinner. A simple pasta with pesto from the garden and good parmesan was just the ticket – light, fresh, and super quick. And on to the next task!

Creamy Sausage, Mushroom, and Pea Risotto with Poached Egg, Parmesan and Baby Basil Leaves

I started vacation this week. If you know me, you can note that simply from the recent appearance of pasta and baked goods on my blog. I love food – a little too much. On a day to day basis, I try to keep myself in check – eating healthier foods and smaller portions. But you can’t take the foodie out of the girl, so after two days of being “on vacation” I was in the kitchen making risotto. I love making risotto – the whole process of it. I’m also of the school of adding an egg to just about anything makes it better, so I ended up with this rich, creamy risotto for dinner last night. No matter what any recipe tells you – risotto is easy (this one has butter, sausage, and lots of cheese – how could it ever go wrong?) – just taste it a lot along the way, and you’ll end up with an awesome meal.

Steak with Mustard and Red Wine Sauce, Roasted Parmesan Potatoes, and Zucchini and Portobello Saute

As I’ve said many times before, I love a good steak. One of the reasons I love it is because of the simplicity of it. With a good steak, all you have to do is cook it and you’re done. You don’t need anything extra or fancy. It’s just that good.

Nevertheless, when my friend Terri said she’d been craving a steak, we both thought it might be fun to step it up a notch. We thought of the warm flavors we appreciate so much in the winter, and since it’s nearly gone (YES!) we thought we’d pay it one last tribute before switching over to crisper, sunnier sauces and sidedishes.

A warm, smooth mustard sauce was just the ticket. We deepened its flavor with herbs and red wine, and it was perfect – just enough to compliment the steak without drowning out the meat’s own natural flavor. With some piping hot potatoes and a zucchini-mushroom sauté, we were in food heaven.


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