• 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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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.

This Month’s Packed Lunch

One of the fabulous suggestions I’ve received for the blog was from my brother’s girlfriend, Brenda. She said she hates taking boring lunches to work but can’t think of new and exciting things to take. Also, she doesn’t want to spend too much time doing it. The solution? A new monthly segment called “This Month’s Packed Lunch”! Each month, I’ll give you new ideas of things to liven up your lunch, whether you take it to work, school, or are planning a picnic and need something tasty.

The first lunch couldn’t be simpler, but seems sort of out of the ordinary. This sandwich tastes really good cold, making it ideal for just tossing together and taking with you in the morning. It’s made with sausage, which sure beats you average turkey or ham sandwich. The relish I made yesterday is the perfect complement, and I added some pepperoncinis (one of my favorites) to add some acidity and a slight kick. I always say the best sandwiches are simple, and this one has it all: amazing texture from the bread, a great spread (which keeps the bread from becoming overly soggy while it sits), and just a little bit of spice. If you don’t like spicy foods, a good, garlicky pickle would be a good replacement.

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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Stovetop Braised Shortribs

Chilly? Try a stovetop braise. Matt and I made this on a Sunday afternoon. Get it started, and then just let it simmer until it’s done the way you like it. We drank beer and watched movies while it bubbled away on the stove. You can see in the photograph that it was literally fall off the bone – I couldn’t keep it together from the pot to the bowl in time to take a photo! This is a basic recipe, so it has room for plenty of changes, or it’s just plain good on it’s own.

Avocado Salad with Arepas

I had been craving avocados. They’re so versatile, but I always find this simple salad really lets them shine. You can add other ingredients if you like: roasted chiles, black beans, queso fresco, and so on. I don’t have ingredient amounts for the arepas – just add water until the mixture forms a dough. Top the arepas with a bit of the salad, and any avocado craving is satisfied.