• 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!


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Rosemary Onion Foccacia

I have a hard time posting recipes when I’m home, because I often don’t get a chance to photograph them! The smell of freshly baked bread wafting through the air, or of cinnamon baking in the oven, or gobs of melted chocolate send everyone in the house to the kitchen to see what’s cooking. Which is why I was delighted to get some prep done before we headed to my grandma’s for a Christmas celebration earlier this week…I made several loaves of this onion-rosemary foccacia and was able to snap photos to my hearts content before it was devoured with cheese, meats, spreads, and three kinds of soup at my grandma’s that afternoon.

I’m sure most of you are already prepared for your Christmas feasts, but if you’re snowed in (like I am today), maybe a loaf of fresh bread is just what you need to make it through the day. Well, that, and all of your new presents. Merry Christmas everyone!

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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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Tuscan Fries

Matt and I had a bit of a decadent meal last week. Well, decadent for us. We try to sneak whole grains in wherever possible, use healthier fats, and stay away from excess (which, naturally, is loosely defined) calories and fat. So last week’s steak (wonderfully rare), corn with butter, and Tuscan fries with aioli were an incredible treat. These fries are amazing because of their simplicity: good olive oil, fresh rosemary, kosher salt, and garlicky aioli for dipping. But they can be made in a variety of different ways depending on time restraints, texture preferences, or ease of preperation. I’ve made a list of a few possible methods so you can choose for yourself…

Paprika and Rosemary Crusted Pork Tenderloin and Pea Soup with Spring Garlic Pesto

This post is all about eating healthy without giving up taste and flavor. I love a crispy crust that gives way to a moist, tender interior. This pork dish achieves that without frying or even panfrying. The combination of this thick, flavorful crust and roasting infuses this pork with flavor. And the pea and pesto soup is creamy and delicious without any cream or butter. The pesto and fresh peas are the perfect spring side dish – warm and satisfying on a chilly spring night. It made for a delicious meal that you’d have no idea was healthy.

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Spicy Glazed Meatloaf with Roasted Rosemary Sweet Potatoes and Sauteed Brussels Sprouts

Tonight as I left work I was back to thinking about comfort food. As I said yesterday in my post about lasagna, there’s just something about that familiar, warm food that brings you back to life. Or in my case, health. As Matt and I roamed the grocery store aisles, we suddenly settled on the idea of meatloaf. A familiar comfort food, but one I intended to shake up a little bit.

I ate meatloaf as a kid, and I wanted so badly not to like it. There was something about the name that turned me off. I don’t really like the word loaf in reference to anything except bread. But meatloaf is delicious: moist and tender and easy to prepare, and even my dislike of it’s namesake could not deny that. A recipe from Cook’s Illustrated caught my attention once with the addition of a glaze to the meatloaf, and I love the idea. It makes a flavorful crust that eliminates the need to dip the finished slices in ketchup or mustard or anything else.

I’ve also added a few unique spices and flavors to my meatloaf – a little soy sauce, some sriracha hot sauce, and some dried spices to give it a greater depth of flavor. And, to make Matt happy, I added two of his favorite foods (comfort or otherwise): sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts. Best of all, tomorrow I can have a meatloaf sandwich!

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