• 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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Horseradish Crusted Steak Sandwich with Arugula and Crispy Shallots

My roommate loves horseradish. I know this, but still haven’t given in to any of her requests to do something about it. But when she suggested a horseradish steak sandwich – my mouth was watering. I love me some steak, and combined with a slightly spicy horseradish crust, some fresh, peppery arugula, and some deliciously fried shallots – I knew I had a recipe the whole house was going to love.

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Warm Salad of Arugula, Tomatoes, Fava Beans, Shallots, Sausage, Mozzarella, and Whole Wheat Pasta

Pasta is something I don’t make too often…which is a shame because it is such an ideal dish for the apartment kitchen! Fast, simple, and you can really use whatever you have. On the rare occasions that I do make pasta, I usually plan it out pretty carefully: what flavors I want to use, what ingredients will go together, etc. but you don’t have to! Toss together whatever is in the fridge and eat it warm or cold!

This is one of my favorite things to do with pasta – use it as an element in a leafy green salad. It’s not pasta with arugula, it’s arugula with pasta. This makes it a little healthier but also puts the emphasis on the veggies and other toppings which is really the most exciting part of pasta, isn’t it? My favorite part is how the warm pasta gently wilts the greens making it the ultimate warm, delicious, and slightly unexpected dinner. Dressed with a little red wine vinegar, it couldn’t be simpler.

Soft Shell Crab with Asparagus and Mushroom Salad

A few weeks ago, I had a realization. Every year, I appreciate the change of the seasons more and more. I feel an incredible sense of invigoration as everything turns green and pink and yellow. And as much as anything, my tastebuds feel it. Fresh veggies, ripe fruits, and one of my favorite things in the world: soft shell crabs.

Sauteed in a little bit of oil, this delicious crustacean is amazingly crispy and tastes amazing. You can pair it with anything: my friend Terri pan-fried it and served it over a bed of ricotta dressed pasta with wilted arugula. I suggested Matt pair it with some leftovers for a delicious sandwich. And I sauteed some spring asparagus with mushrooms and shallots for a warm, fresh salad as the base for my soft shell. They were all good – perfect matches using an impeccably fresh product.

Lasagna Rolls with Spinach, Sundried Tomatoes, Mozzarella, and Creamy Shallot Sauce

I’ve been sick since late last week. I haven’t been sick in a long time, and I began to notice certain cravings. The most predominant craving was for buttered wheat toast. Another was for Sprite or ginger ale. These are the things my mother fed me when I was sick as a kid. So I went to the store and bought wheat bread for toast. I didn’t buy any ginger ale, but I drank plenty of juice and water, and ate nothing but toast for four straight days.

The one craving that was not based on my childhood, however, was that of comfort food…a craving that didn’t strike me until I was beginning to feel better.  Something soft, warm, and topped with cheese. That is what I wanted my first meal returned from the land of toast to be, and since I hadn’t eaten much of anything for several days, I figured it was ok to put a little extra cheese on top. Ahhhh…it feels good to be well again.

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Whole Wheat Pasta with Wilted Shallots, Mushrooms, and Fresh Mozzerella

Pasta makes a quick and easy lunch or dinner at the drop of a hat.  In restaurants, pasta dishes can be extremely costly, which is interesting seeing as it is generally one of the cheapest dishes for any kitchen to make.  Making pasta at home gives you the freedom to make it just how you like it.  The addition of a few different ingredients can make any pasta dish more interesting and much tastier.


I always make my own sauce for my pasta, because there’s not much more in the jarred sauces than tomato, salt, pepper, and maybe some herbs.  I can do that myself – cheaper and better.  From start to finish, this dish will take about 15 – 20 minutes.  Also known as dinner in a snap.