• 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!

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    em570039@mycia.net

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Shortcut Tortellini Filled with Ricotta, Roasted Peppers, and Leeks

I saw this idea a few years ago in the blogosphere, and I sort of snubbed it. But I had a craving for fresh pasta (meaning, more than anything, I wanted to make a tasty filling), and I had some wonton wrappers (I usually find them in the refrigerated section at my store) around for making dumplings earlier in the week, so I gave it a shot. It was tasty and easy. It’s no replacement for fresh, homemade egg pasta BUT it’s a lot easier and a great solution for those without a pasta machine. Best of all, you can get creative with your fillings and get amazing results – fast.

And since this filling was delightfully pink, I wanted to take this opportunity to ask anyone and everyone out there to take some time to donate to a great cause. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it’s a great time to support a great cause that’s very close to my heart. Even if all you do is make this delicious ravioli for someone you love in your life!

 

Calzones with Ricotta, Spinach, Mushrooms, and Caramelized Onions

A meal like this calzone is a great excuse to use what you’ve got in the fridge. In my case, that’s usually the things I love most: veggies, cheese, herbs…all of which made their way into this calzone. You could mix up the filling anyway you like (shredded meat doused in a little sauce makes a delicious dinner…think the filling for these tacos).

It takes an understanding of your oven to best understand how to bake these, particularly because they are on the larger side. Feel free to use a pizza stone if you have one. If you find that the bottom is browning too quickly, double up on your baking sheets. If the top needs help browning, use the broiler. Since the filling is cooked before hand, it’s most important to make sure that the crust is baked and crispy!

Creamy Mushroom Spread

My mom is always a good source for new ideas. She often cooks things that are so simple that I’m jealous I didn’t think of them. One of those things is a creamy mushroom spread she makes for a quick appetizer at parties. It’s a delicious combination of creamy Boursin cheese and sauteed mushrooms. I amped mine up a little bit using a combination of ricotta and parmesan cheeses and fresh herbs.

Shredded Kale Salad

My parents are here visiting and we spent a lovely afternoon in Millbrook, New York. After a long hike around Innisfree Gardens, we had a tasty lunch at Aurelia in downtown Millbrook. They featured a really tasty salad made with shredded kale, pine nuts, and currants. It was delicious – very lightly dressed with a little bit of sweetness and pepperiness. So when we saw some beautiful kale at the farmer’s market this morning, we just had to recreate it.

Pulled Pork Pizza with Ricotta and Caramelized Onion

We all face the all-too-often problem of too many leftovers in the fridge. We stare into the fridge wondering what to do…often it just isn’t appealing to eat the same meal again – but what to do? Well, in my experience, you can make a pizza/flatbread/sandwich out of just about anything (and call it whatever you want). So when I had an array of leftover barbeque this week – I knew I would be able to eat it all without getting a little bored. But add some herbs, caramelized onions, and some cheese, and it’s a whole new meal. And everything tastes better on a homemade crust…it’s really a win/win.

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