• 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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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.

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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Caramelized Onion Gnocchi with Spring Veggies and a Simple White Wine Sauce

I love gnocchi – not just eating it, but making it. There’s something so satisfying about gently rolling out the ropes, cutting them, watching them fall into the water, and rise again – letting you know (just in time) that they’re ready for eating. One of my favorite versions of gnocchi is ricotta gnocchi, a super easy, apartment kitchen friendly recipe that replaces the relatively tedious potato cooking/mashing with ricotta cheese. It got me to thinking what else you could use to make these lovely pasta dumplings.

After a little research I discovered that I’d been crazy to limit my gnocchi-making self to just potatoes or cheese. Recipe writers and food bloggers everywhere had made gnocchi using spinach, carrots, and much more. So I ran home to make gnocchi with one of my favorite things: caramelized onions. The result was delicious. The onion flavor in the gnocchi was actually a little mild, but with more caramelized onion in the pasta it was delish!

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.

Curried Pasta with Shrimp, Snap Peas, and Shiitake Mushrooms

I love the cling of a good sauce. The way it just perfectly, but lightly coats a noodle or provides a soft, smooth base for a piece of protein. And, of course, the flavor. A good sauce has built layers of flavor that accentuate everything else on the plate. That’s a lot of responsibility for something that is often forgotten in the background of a dish.

This simple, but incredibly tasty curry sauce has great cling – thick, but smooth in texture. It has amazing flavor – a little spicy, a little creamy, a little tart. And it’s just pretty damn good. Especially when tossed with tender rice noodles and hot shrimp. Mmm…dinner is served!

 

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