• 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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Bacon and Tomato Mac and Cheese

Driving in the car yesterday, trying to decide what to make for dinner, an interesting question was posed by my mother. In an effort to use up some leftovers, she suggested a sort of taco bowl for dinner, and I had suggested mac and cheese. Since we couldn’t decide, we just had to make both. Yes, both. Yes…I am sort of ashamed. But not so ashamed that I won’t share the recipe for this very successful mac and cheese with you.

My apologies for such a horrible picture, it certainly does not do it justice. But I pumped up the flavor of this mac and cheese with bacon and some canned tomatoes (we used my mom’s canned tomatoes from her garden so it was extra delicious). Onions, garlic, and lots of cheese were the finishing touch on this, dare I say, jaMAZING dinner.

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Roasted Portobello Sandwiches with Corn-Tomato Puree and Cilantro

After making some of my mom’s salsa, I decided to try to use it in some new ways. I generally eat it plain – not even as a garnish. Generally, tortilla chips, cucumbers, and so on are merely delivery vehicles for the salsa. So I figured I’d shake it up a bit. I hollowed out the center of a meaty portobello mushroom and filled it with a smooth mixture of corn and salsa. It was delicious: I loved the way the starches from corn formed an almost creamy spread. It felt decadent while still tasting fresh and healthy.

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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.

Yukon Gold and Chicken Apple Sausage Hash with Fried Eggs and Spicy Tomato Coulis

Breakfast for dinner? Yes. But with chunks of hearty chicken sausage, and crispy yukon gold potatoes, and a spicy tomato coulis this dinner was delicious and satisfying in a completely different way from breakfast. And on the first snow of the year (yes…in OCTOBER) we were happy to be full, satisfied, and back under our blankets in no time.

Hungarian Meatballs

There’s another great week of recipes and voting going on at Food52. My mouth was watering as I read the recipe up for “Best Recipe with Paprika”. These Hungarian meatballs are delicious – an incredible combo of beef, pork, and pancetta in a delicious paprika-spiced sauce. I’d post the recipe here, but I copied it to a T, and it was delicious. So head over to Food52 and check out this recipe HERE. Bon appetit!

How to Make an Awesome BLT (an Ode to Mama)

Instead of asking “How are you?” when we answer the phone, my mother and I ask each other “What did you have for dinner?”. The response from either side is usually: “Ooooh, that sounds good.” This was my response when she gushed about the BLTs she was going to make last week with veggies from her garden. I began to long for a BLT, and it made me ponder all the great ways to do up this amazing summer sandwich. ¬†Read on for great tips for fantastic BLTs…

Caramelized Onion Polenta with Sausage and Cauliflower Ragu

I used to think it was strange that I read cookbooks feverishly as though they were page-turning novels. Now I know it is – but the amazing world of food magazines and online recipes have deepened my love for the written food word. And no matter how crazy it is, I can’t help it. It’s more than the glossy pages and mouth-watering pictures. For me, it’s the format the amounts and ingredients take on the page. The way they sit is so incredibly inviting as though begging me to try it myself.

But I’ve also finally got some cook’s blood in me (I am a trained baker) and I use recipes as ideas and rarely follow them exactly. This idea came from a couple different places to the point that it’s my own recipe – though I proudly admit it is inspired by all of those glossy pages that I love so much.