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Phoebe Lapine and Cara Eisenpress

Big Girls Small Kitchen is a food website for twenty-something cooks looking for user-friendly, affordable ways to navigate their kitchens. The Quarter-Life Cooks, Phoebe Lapine and Cara Eisenpress, offer accessible recipes, entertaining tips, and kitchen strategies to help all home cooks of limited resources—whether time, space, money, or skill—make the most of the tools available. Their upcoming cookbook, Big Girls Small Kitchen: 100 Recipes From Our Year of Cooking in the Real World, will be published by William Morrow in May, 2011.

Awesome Food for an NYC Wecding

@dashofginger Budget not crazy but not strictly limited. Thoughts on venue/caterer?

@MMinNYC thank you for the thoughts! will check out Bx Bot Gardens & Bubby's - hadn't been sure about either. And glad to hear you like the book!

@kristin yep, a restaurant would absolutely work.

thanks guys!

Whole Foods is sneaking up the prices

My most recent purchase at Whole Foods was a loaf of Bread Alone wholegrain bread and a box of creal.

Total: $11.38

Nuts.

Eat For Eight Bucks: Leek Soup with Lemon and Dill

hmm. i never cook with non-alch wine. One option would be to use just a slash of white vinegar to deglaze the pan and omit the wine altogether. It's really for flavoring.

Eat For Eight Bucks: Crunchy Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Bacon

Yep, you add the scallions to the other ingredients. Soaking them in vinegar just gets rid of the super onion taste, which I hate.

Eat for Eight Bucks: Coconut-Vegetable Rice Pilaf with Peppercorns

@kris10 Whole Foods. How much does coconut milk cost in your area?

@Gator Pam Never tried coconut milk from the carton! I'd compare fat content...if it's similar, I bet it'll work.

Eat for Eight Bucks: Coconut-Vegetable Rice Pilaf with Peppercorns

@RobynB I'd definitely try it with brown basmati--I'm happen to prefer white. And the rice actually does get sauteed for a moment with the veggies before you add the liquid.

@Will Gordon Ha!

Eat for Eight Bucks: Maple-Mustard Baked Chicken Thighs with Potato Wedges

@ell.victor You're right--roasting a chicken can be economical. Those organic ones do get kind of pricey, and I can't always resist them.

@PoliSciGal You can use chicken breasts, you just have to be more careful about drying them out--I'd probably skip the browning, and start checking for doneness at about 15 minutes.

Eat For Eight Bucks: Butternut Squash and Scallion Risotto

@Marty Moon Love the idea of adding walnuts--sounds like such a delicious flavor combo

Eat for Eight Bucks: Roasted Tomato Quesadillas with Cilantro Cream

Roasting em takes tomatoes that kinda suck and make them suck a whole lot less.

Eat for Eight Bucks: Roasted Tomato Quesadillas with Cilantro Cream

Roasting em takes tomatoes that kinda suck and make them suck a whole lot less.

Outer Borough Feast

Thank you for the suggestions--glad to know Brighton Beach will live up to my expectation.

This Week in America's Test Kitchen: Which Premium Butters Are Worth the Premium Price Tag?

I have started to live for VBC's cultured, salted butter. It's pretty wonderful.

Eat for Eight Bucks: Easy Slow-Cooker Pork Tacos with Red Cabbage Crunch and Avocado

However...take a look at Fresh Direct's site. I consider their meat reliable, and it costs $1.99/lb there.

Eat for Eight Bucks: Easy Slow-Cooker Pork Tacos with Red Cabbage Crunch and Avocado

You're actually right--$2 is a typo. Pork butt cost me $3 a pound. It always seems more expensive cause it's rare that you actually buy merely 1 pound. But if you have your butcher hack off a small piece, it truly is cheap.

Ana Sortun's book, Spice - has any one here cooked from it?

I love the book--though I have to admit that it is sometimes more fun to read than to cook from. I love the Cambridge recipe, so it brings back memory. One dish that I can recommend heartily is the carrot dip (a version of this one, I think?)--I believe I've modified it, using simpler spices etc., and it's delicious every time.

Good luck!

Dinner Tonight: Farro Salad with Roasted Kale and Beets

Sounds delicious. Only, I hate dealing with beets. Tips for getting the red dye off my skin?

Risotto with Southern Greens and Bacon

@Ro B Glad you liked the risotto! Dutch ovens are nice for when you need to cover food, and I like my Le Creuset ones because they distribute heat so nice and evenly.

Risotto with Southern Greens and Bacon

If you make the greens in advance and then simply reheat them in the microwave or in a small pot, you definitely don't need two Dutch ovens. This is just the most streamlined version. Of course, if you wanted two Dutch ovens, Christmas is coming...

Cook the Book: 'In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite'

Mine would be about throwing dinner parties at which at least half the guests have some kind of dietary restriction--so what menu emerges when I account for non-dairy, kosher, kids, vegetarians, etc.

Dinner Tonight: Slow Cooked Salmon with Ginger and Scallion

This sounds good because it'll satisfy both me and my boyfriend--I like my salmon way rare and he likes it overcooked (in my opinion).

Dinner Tonight: Arepa Sandwiches with Chorizo and Black Beans

you should follow one of peter berley's recipes for arepas. he puts shredded cheese in the arepa dough and it melts as the arepas cook. just delicious.

Where to Buy Thai Ingredients in New York City

This is great...I always feel like I'm cutting corners ingredient-wise when I cook Thai. Thanks!

Simple Matzo Meal Latkes

I have to say, humble as these sound, they also sound quite delicious.

Dinner Tonight: Almond Tofu with Buckwheat Noodles and Snow Peas

That sounds great. I've been so lazy recently about making simple, healthful, veggie meals, but this is inspiring me to put away the bacon and take out the tofu.

What Are Your Favorite Matzo Recipes for Passover?

Awesome Food for an NYC Wecding

I'm starting to plan my wedding for 2012, and my motto is: simple, simple, simple. Tons of dancing. And good food.

Basically, if at all possible, I want to have it at a space like a hotel or restaurant where the deal is all in one--bringing in rentals, decorating a whole space from scratch, etc., doesn't sound like fun.

But the food must be good. So if no hotel works, I can deal with using a blank space and having a caterer, so long as the caterer's food will knock my socks off.

Any ideas for NYC or Brooklyn venues that have good food or are conducive to bringing in good caterers? It's for 120-140 people.

Thanks much!
-cara

Outer Borough Feast

I'm looking for a memorable place to celebrate a 30th birthday (not mine...phew). Right now I'm thinking a crazy night of Russian food, drink, and dancing in Brighton Beach (but which place?) or a many-course Chinese Banquet in Flushing. Looking for out of the ordinary, extremely fun, and not too pricy. Group size would be anywhere from 2 to 10.

Ideas? Please! Thank you!

Fish and Chips

I just got back from London and had the most delicious beer-battered fish and chips at a stand in Borough Market. I want to recreate the experience here in NYC. Anyone have recommendations for the best fish and chips around? I do prefer battered to breaded.

Eat for Eight Bucks: Lemon Shrimp with Mustard-Herb Roasted Onions

This method for shrimp is inspired by Mark Bittman: cooking the shrimp fast in a hot oven. The flavor is inspired by Amanda Hesser, who zests citrus to flavor the quick-cooking shrimp. The onions are all mine: they're the cheapest accompaniment I could think of, and by flavoring them with pantry basics (mustard, dried herbs, and red pepper), you roast them into the perfect foil for the juicy, lemony shrimp. More

Eat for Eight Bucks: Maple-Mustard Baked Chicken Thighs with Potato Wedges

One of my favorite meals these days is a whole chicken roasted on top of potatoes. The chicken is flavorful with garlic, olive oil, and herbs. The potatoes are perhaps even better: they get seasoned with the chicken's juices, plus more olive oil and more herbs. But easy as it may be, roasting a whole chicken isn't that cheap, and it takes a while. So I've been experimenting with roasting chicken thighs and legs, and adding flavor even during a shorter cooking time. More

Eat for Eight Bucks: Roasted Tomato Quesadillas with Cilantro Cream

Cheese is the obvious answer to what goes inside a quesadilla. Freshly roasted tomatoes are a little more counterintuitive, when we're talking cheap and when the season is winter. But pints of cherry tomatoes are relatively flavorful, even in January, and roasting them brings out all their sweet fruity tones—so much so that a bite into one of these quesadillas could almost transport you to summertime. A dollop of herbed sour cream on top brings all the flavors together and makes the presentation plenty attractive to serve to a guest. More

Eat for Eight Bucks: Olive Oil Crepes with Leeks and Eggs

When I lived in France, my host mother used to heat up purchased buckwheat crepes with ham and eggs as a dinner last resort, when she was short on time and ingredients. Though she was a good cook, I liked that simple meal as much as anything else she made. You can in fact buy pre-made crepes over here, too, but frying the crepes yourself adds only a little in the way of time and really nothing in the way of ingredients. If your appetite is hardy, you can also crack two eggs over each crepe without straying from the eight-buck budget. More

Eat for Eight Bucks: Easy Slow-Cooker Pork Tacos with Red Cabbage Crunch and Avocado

I love soft tacos, at home and at restaurants. Since a taco's filling is infinitely variable, the choice lies in your hands to make them cheap or expensive. You could buy fresh fish, for example, but that would up the price a bit. You could also consider a wide range of potential garnishes, everything from salsa to shredded cheese to cilantro to black beans. On the other hand, if you're looking to save money, the trick is to minimize. Use a filling that's hearty but cheap, and practice rigid discipline with respect to your garnishes. More

Turkey Piccata

Those adhering to the eight buck budget can't necessarily afford the inflated air fare that turkey day travelers must endure in order to enjoy a table filled with family, and topped with a very big, very expensive bird. For these fellow quarter-lifers, or for those too lazy to brine and bake a whole bird, here is an everyday poultry solution: turkey piccata. More

Eat for Eight Bucks: Farro and Cauliflower Salad with Currants

When I'm trying to pinch pennies, I often turn to random grains from the bulk bin of my grocery store. One cup goes a long way, and you're hard pressed to find any accoutrements that push a grain dish into the land of the lavish. But humble as grains may be, there's still something a little surprising about serving barley in place of rice, or bulgur instead of standard pasta. More