Not long after Thanksgiving in 2008, my co-founder and old friend Phoebe Lapine and I took stock of our surroundings. We were living in New York City, working entry-level jobs, and making time to hang out with college and high school friends almost every night of the week. In spite of a new career and a decent social life, all we wanted to do was cook. My terrible and tiny kitchen, which I shared with two roommates, was making this hard. I spilled bags of lentils almost daily, found myself clueless at how to entertain friends in such a limited space, and wasted money by buying ingredients at the grocery store that later went bad in the fridge.
There had to be a better way, not just to cook in a small kitchen but to embark on a twenty-something city adventure that also embraced homemade food. And, as I experimented with ingredients, recipes, and techniques, I began to discover how healthful breakfasts could co-exist with raucous dinners out and how great dinner parties could transpire from small budgets. I made and ate a gazillion grilled cheeses. I threw dinners for friends. I catered. I brought in sweets to work. And since the fall of 2008, I documented the meals and the lessons right here on Big Girls Small Kitchen.
Because here’s the thing I found out: to make really good food you don’t need a lot of space. You don’t need a lot of contraptions, and you don’t need a vast marble countertop. You need some pots and some pans, a couple cutting boards, two sharp knives, a decent amount of patience, and the desire to eat well of your own accord.
I hope that that guides, recipes, menus, and newsletter you’ll find here will show you how to make the most of your small kitchen, your grocery store, and your culinary imagination, because you really should cook! Maybe even start right now with theses 11 easy dinners.
The Book, In the Small Kitchen: 100 Recipes from Our Year of Cooking in the Real World distills the BGSK worldview into a beautiful, bright pink book published by William Morrow in May 2011. Grab a copy!
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