• 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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    Check out my food journeys at An Appetite for Adventure!
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Spicy Rice and Beans

A few times I like to cook and eat vegetarian. Ok, so more than sometimes. So basically, multiple times a week, I turn to Matt and say “cook whatever meat you want that goes with this.” The man is a major carnivore, but it does not stop me from my tasty plotting. I started craving rice and beans this week – warm and hearty and perfect in cold weather. When I got home from work, I went for a walk with the dog and the roommates, came home, and had dinner on the table in less than half an hour. A perfect night.


Mediterranean Vegetable Sandwich with Sundried Tomato Pesto and Fresh Mozzarella

One of my favorite pastimes is roaming the produce aisle at Adams Fairacre Farms. I know I’ve waxed poetic about well-stocked groceries and farmer’s markets before, but every time I go to Adams, I’m reminded why I love to cook. It’s like a dream – all of the produce is gleaming and primarily local, the cheese section is a mile long, and the butcher and fish counters are after my own heart with fresh daily cuts and catches.

Over the weekend, it was a tiny Italian eggplant that caught my eye. Even though they’re overpriced because of their cuteness, I couldn’t resist a 2 inch beauty. The idea struck to make a Mediterranean veggie sandwich. I supplemented my eggplant with bell pepper, squash, mushrooms, and red onions. I bought a loaf of crusty bread, a round of freshly pulled mozzarella, and went home – giddier than usual. The resulting lunch kept me smiling all day!

Coconut Red Curry Lentils n’ Rice

This blog is about food…but a few people have pointed out to me that the little snippets of text here and there really tie it together. Because it’s not always enough to grab a recipe and run – some of you like a little splash of real life in there too.

We had a fire at my house this week. Yes. It doesn’t get much more real than that. There is minimal damage and everyone and everything is safe (minus my bath mats, shower curtain, toilet seat and the tile in the bathroom). It happened in the middle of the night, which made it extra scary and I spent the next day recovering by ordering Chinese food. Yes…I don’t cook well (for myself) under pressure. But by the next day I had gathered my head and made something simple – a one pot meal that was fast and easy but quite comforting in it’s own right. Lentils and brown rice smothered in creamy coconut red curry. It was delicious and wonderfully spicy (great with a glass of something spritzy). You know what they say, after all, – fight fire with fire…

Vegetarian Ramen

I think I was about 14 when I first saw Tampopo, a Japanese “noodle Western” about a “cowboy” (truck driver) who helps a woman turn around her formerly unsuccessful noodle shop. The truly remarkable thing about this movie is it actually says a lot about the importance of food in Japanese culture. I became fascinated, as well as endlessly amused by it. Still today, I remember the scene where the old man teaches an eager young student the correct way to eat a bowl of ramen. I don’t follow his instruction, but I do love ramen, and today was the kind of rainy day that was just perfect for it.

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Panang Curry

I’m currently working on a vegetarian cookbook at work. I love eating vegetarian foods – I generally have vegetarian meals 3 or 4 times a week. It’s healthy and almost always faster, since I don’t have to wait for the protein to cook or rest. Don’t get me wrong – I am a total carnivore. But I eat meat so often that to break out of the mold occasionally just tastes good.

In another effort to shake things up, I made a new curry. If you’ve read my blog before, it may appear that I am a slave to red curry. What can I say? It’s delicious – my all time favorite. But this panang curry was silky, smooth, and delicious. I used peanut butter as the base, but grinding toasted cashews or almonds would make for an equally delicious curry. Also, you wouldn’t have to make this vegetarian – toss in some cubed pork or chicken if you like. Because I’m a spice fiend, I finished by curry with a little sriracha, but the chili paste makes it nice and warm without any additions.

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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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Black Bean and Corn Tacos with Avocado and Lime Cream

I’m having a busy week at work, so I wanted to make something quick, simple and multi-purpose. So I made something that could be both a taco filling and a salad for my lunch tomorrow. Served on warm tortillas and topped with a cool lime cream made from greek yogurt, it’s an easy and delicious dinner. Plus, I love leftovers that can be turned into a completely different meal the next day!