• 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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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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Balsamic Glazed Spaghetti with Mushrooms and Spinach

This was a fifteen minute dinner from start to finish – the perfect kind. I love the addition of balsamic vinegar to pasta, it’s sweet and thick and makes an almost instant “sauce”. I added mushrooms for earthiness and spinach to make it hearty, but you could easily add other vegetables, or some kind of meat (bacon would be awesome!).

Cornbread

A super-cold weekend made me want to make a big pot of chili. And since I couldn’t just make chili (I’m a classic over-achiever and can’t resist surprising Matt with something extra), I made this very easy cornbread. No mixer required, and only 8 ingredients needed. It has a very light flavor (a little sweet, with a good texture) that makes it the perfect accompaniment to chili.

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.

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.

My Favorite Simple Snack

This weekend was my last (tear) visit to my local farmer’s market. I grabbed a whole bunch of amazing stuff which made for an amazing afternoon of eating and drinking, but of all the things I saw, the radishes were some of the loveliest I’d seen in a long time. It got me thinking about something my mom made once as a quick appetizer for a party.

Good, really fresh radishes are smashingly peppery, and the perfect match for that natural peppery flavor is a rich spread (butter or cheese), and a sprinkling of good sea salt. It’s like the perfect salt and pepper bite, and I could eat it all the time. And I got to thinking that while it’s certainly not fancy, it would be a great quick canape option for upcoming Thanksgiving festivities. Super simple, and everyone’s bound to love it. But you don’t have to believe me…just come over to my house and check out the empty plate.

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