Archive | April, 2009

Small Kitchen Ideas

23 Apr

Many of  you know, or have read, that we’re moving on Saturday. While I’m more than thrilled, I’m a little sad to be leaving our relatively big kitchen for a very small, not-much-counterspace, one-person-at-a-time kitchen.

I’m looking for a little help in figuring out how to best make this kitchen work for us. I’ve tried looking at articles about small kitchens, but they either lament the terrible layout of a U-shaped kitchen (umm, how about a line-shaped kitchen, and a short line at that?) or suggest keeping most of your stuff in the pantry (pantry? Hello, this is Manhattan).

So I come to you. How do you manage with a small kitchen and a small everything else? We have a few cabinets, a little counter space, and no other storage areas. Can’t really put up shelves. What appliances do you find you use or don’t use? Love your microwave but find few uses for a toaster? Cuisinart/bread machine/fill in the blank back at your parents?

Any and all tips and suggestions are welcome, and I’ll try to post pictures once we’ve actually moved. Many thanks!

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Warm Butternut Squash & Chickpea Salad

22 Apr

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Shhh…if you’re reading this, don’t tell the Filthy Fowl. I’m supposed to be packing.

Yes, we are 4 days away from The Move. We are leaving our balcony, our full-size, brand new stainless steel appliances, my 30 minute commute, and one of the prettiest neighborhoods in New York City. We’re getting no outdoor space, 3/4 size stove & oven, half the counter space, and a longer commute for me. And we couldn’t be happier.

Turns out I’m just not a Brooklyn girl. Maybe I’m not hip enough. Maybe I have an unnatural affinity for Fairway or running around the Central Park Reservoir. I don’t know, but I’m okay with it.

What I’m not okay with is the massive undertaking that is packing. The Filthy Fowl and I are trying to empty out our cabinets as much as possible so we don’t have to lug a butternut squash or half a container of tahini from Brooklyn to the Upper West Side. When thinking of things to make, I remembered this incredible salad from Smitten Kitchen that I’ve made before. I actually have ALL of the ingredients!

I was a little skeptical the first time I made this, but it’s delicious. I was SURE the Filthy Fowl wouldn’t like it…and he didn’t…he loved it. So I’m making it tonight, if I can find my kitchen counter under the mess we’ve created while packing. Enjoy!

Warm Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad
from Smitten Kitchen (who adapted it from Orangette and Casa Moro)

For salad:
1 medium butternut squash (about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoons ground allspice (I skip this)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt
One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (1 1/2 cups)
1/4 of a medium red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

For tahini dressing:
1 medium garlic clove, finely minced with a pinch of salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons well-stirred tahini
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to taste

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

In a large bowl, combine the butternut squash, garlic, allspice, olive oil, and a few pinches of salt.  Toss the squash pieces until evenly coated. (I do this on the baking sheet – why get another bowl dirty?) Roast them on a baking sheet for 25 minutes, or until soft. Remove from the oven and cool.

Meanwhile, make the tahini dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic and lemon juice. Add the tahini, and whisk to blend. Add the water and olive oil, whisk well, and taste for seasoning. The sauce should have plenty of nutty tahini flavor, but also a little kick of lemon. You will probably need to add more water to thin it out.

To assemble the salad, combine the squash, chickpeas, onion, and cilantro or parsley in a mixing bowl. Either add the tahini dressing to taste, and toss carefully, or you could serve the salad with the dressing on the side. Serve immediately.