A Little Bit Of This & A Little Bit Of That

My cooking style can be defined as all of the following: experimental, untrained, and in the moment. I don’t follow recipes often, and when I do, I take liberty with measurements and instructions. When it’s time to cook, I don’t make lists or plans ahead of time, and instead walk the aisles of the grocery store searching for inspiration. Lately I’ve been on a mission to cook at home more and eat out less, and last week I threw together a little bit of this and a little bit of that to make what I’m calling pumpkin alfredo pasta.

October is informally known as pumpkin spice season which, in conjunction with an Instagram post by @rachlmansfield, and the pumpkin filled aisles of Trader Joe’s, sparked the inspiration for a weeknight cooking spree.

Like I mentioned earlier, I take a lot of liberty when it comes to recipes aka I glance at them once and then do whatever I so please. This often gets me into trouble, but I like the challenge so I continue to wing it. After I posted videos of my creation on Instagram Stories, I received a number of messages asking for the recipe, but since I didn’t really follow one, this is the closest I can get:


  • Trader Joe’s Sundried Tomato-Basil Chicken Sausage
  • White Mushrooms
  • Farfalle Pasta
  • Coconut Cream
  • Pumpkin Puree
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Arugula

Step 1: Remove sausage casing to create crumbles. Brown sausage and mushrooms in a pan

Step 2: Boil water and cook pasta until slightly underdone. Save about 2 cups of pasta water for your pumpkin sauce.

Step 3: Add underdone pasta, sausage and mushrooms to the same pot. Add pumpkin puree, pasta water, and about a cup of coconut cream (yes I know, exact measurements would be nice, but like I said, I was winging it)

Step 4: Turn on the burner to medium heat and bring your sauce to a simmer. This will help it thicken and finish the cook on your pasta. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pro tip: If you find that your sauce is coming out a bit too thin, stir in a bit of flour to help thicken it.

Step 5: Serve on a bed of arugula and enjoy!

If you take a stab at this Fall dish, let me know! I’d love to hear what variations you tried as well, and as always, don’t forget to follow along on Instagram!


A New Albany Restaurant Worth The Visit

When I was a little kid I wanted to open my own restaurant, it would be called “Just Chicken”. Why? Because who doesn’t like chicken! Of course now I realize there are many people who don’t like it, but if you do, I highly, seriously, completely, and 100% absolutely, recommend getting a fried chicken sandwich at the new Albany restaurant The Cuckoo’s Nest.

Continue reading “A New Albany Restaurant Worth The Visit”

Homemade Adventures: Bringing The Garbage Plate To Albany

If you’ve ever been to Rochester, or even within 100 miles of the central New York city, you’ve without a doubt heard of the famous Garbage Plate. Although initially hesitant to trying the mish-mash of greasy cheeseburgers, spicy meat sauce, macaroni salad, and french fries, today I find myself craving a plate quite often.


The problem is, I don’t live in Rochester any more and getting a plate is not as simple as a drive down the street to the closest diner. Since buying a plate was not an option when my most recent cravings kicked in I decided to attempt at bringing the garbage plate to life in my very own kitchen.

img_8095The first step in bringing the garbage plate to Albany was to find the perfect meat sauce recipe. Lucky for me, Nick Tahou’s, the restaurant who put the garbage plate on the map, had a website floating around on the internet (check out the recipe here) which turned out to be pretty close, although not nearly as perfect as the real thing.

While the meat sauce was simmering I started making the home fries from scratch. I took a couple potatoes and cut them into small pieces, seasoned them up with a bit of salt, pepper, and cajun seasoning for added spice. I heated up the oil and cooked the potatoes until brown. While traditional garbage plates often have two cheese burger patties, one was enough for the my own plate. Although I made the sauce, burgers, and home fries from scratch, I ended up cheating just a little bit on the macaroni salad, buying a pre-made container from my local Whole Foodsimg_8097

Overall, my homemade fries were way too salty and the meat sauce came out a little bit too thick, but my first attempt at making a garbage plate was a success. Have you ever made a garbage plate yourself? Was it a success? Let me know in the comments!

As always, stay up to date on my food adventures on Instagram @erin.eats.upstate