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recipes for 1 or 2

cyalexa's picture

A recently widowed friend of a friend just asked me to recommend a cookbook with recipes that serve 1 or 2. She just bought a new stove (the old one had to be turned off with the breaker!) and would like to learn to cook a few simple recipes for herself. Any suggestions?


 

Gretchen's picture

(post #63016, reply #1 of 26)

I would recommend she cook anything for 4 and freeze leftovers.  ;o)

Gretchen

Gretchen
cyalexa's picture

(post #63016, reply #5 of 26)

Thanks everyone for all your ideas. The person that asked for the recommendation is the sister of a good friend, visiting from Idaho. We had brunch together today. I guess she never particularly enjoyed cooking when her husbad was alive and pretty much gave it up entirely after he died. I think she is looking to get on with her life and make some changes, especially healthy and money-saving ones.


I will recommend The Reluctant Cook and scroll the rest of this folder for others. 

whatscooking's picture

(post #63016, reply #6 of 26)

Eating Well has a cookbook for cooking for two.  Most of the recipes are appealing but I use it for more for proportions of things.  I cook often for two and most things I make can't really be frozen:  pasta, risotto, fresh fish and veg. - I'm not much of a casserole/crock pot girl.

Chicago-style deep-dish:  "Pizza for people who just aren't fat enough"
Anthony Bourdain

http://theoutdatedkitchen.blogspot.com/

Chicago-style deep-dish:  "Pizza for people who just aren't fat enough"
Anthony Bourdain
http://theoutdatedkitchen.blogspot.com/

MEANCHEF's picture

(post #63016, reply #7 of 26)

I don't get it.  Any idiot can divide by 2.  Most every recipe book offers recipes for 4.  It has nothing to do with cooking, but everything to do with stupidity

Jean's picture

(post #63016, reply #8 of 26)

Now there's the OF we know and love!!


What was the best thing before sliced bread?



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cyalexa's picture

(post #63016, reply #13 of 26)

I don't get it


That is apparent.  Your name is appropriate.

MadMom's picture

(post #63016, reply #14 of 26)

You haven't been around long enough to make that judgement.  Mean may be a grumpy old bastard, but he can make some very good suggestions and comments.



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cyalexa's picture

(post #63016, reply #15 of 26)

This is a quote: I don't get it.  Any idiot can divide by 2.  Most every recipe book offers recipes for 4.  It has nothing to do with cooking, but everything to do with stupidity


That is mean and I feel qualified to say so without regard to how long I've been around. My friend's sister is neither stupid nor an idiot. She is sad, lonely, and scared.  A cookbook designed for beginners is more likely to offer encouragement and the type of instructions that posters to this message board do not need. Further, in a different but current thread, several people, including at least two that are non-stupid enough to have earned the title of Doctor admitted to errors when halving a recipe. I can shake off an error in the kitchen (and being called an idiot) and will try again with renewed enthusiasm. Those who cannot, especially if they have asked for help, deserve words of encouragement, not name calling. Saying he is appropriately named (a name I did not bestow, as you know) does not diminish my opinion of his helpful posts, in fact, I made his jicama mango salad a couple nights ago.

assibams's picture

(post #63016, reply #17 of 26)

Of course many recipes can be halved or quartered, but then there are always problems if the recipe for 4 uses one egg. And not everyone is fond enough of leftovers to cook larger recipes for one.


Years ago, before we had kids, I bought a Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook for Two (IIRC it's called Cooking for Two). I still have it and still use it. Wonder if it is still around.



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cyalexa's picture

(post #63016, reply #20 of 26)

I'll look for it for her, thanks.

cyalexa's picture

(post #63016, reply #11 of 26)

Thank you Whatscooking. I'll give her that title.

Gretchen's picture

(post #63016, reply #9 of 26)

Tell her to buy Everyday Food on the newstand, and as MC says, divide and cook and freeze.  ;o)

Gretchen

Gretchen
kathymcmo's picture

(post #63016, reply #2 of 26)

I bought my sister (and then one for me) The Reluctant Cook which is aimed at someone cooking just for themself--really simple recipes but good. Not sure if it's still in print. I bought it about 15 years ago.


The molasses cookies have made me a reputation in my family (a good one).

Adele's picture

(post #63016, reply #3 of 26)

This person is a beginner cook?  I'd suggest a couple of basic cookbooks, scroll down this cookbook folder and you will see headings.


It's hard to cook for one, plus it would be way expensive to buy food for one person, one meal at a time.  Just make a basic recipe, eat it for two days and freeze the leftovers.  After she gets comfortable with the cookbooks, she can try cutting some of the recipes in half.  She can still buy meat/chicken/fish and freeze it in smaller portions uncooked.


I cook for one as do a couple of other people here and I make stew, soups, lasagna, anything I want.   I even shop at Costco. LOL


But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!


Edited 5/10/2009 8:15 pm ET by Adele

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

Gretchen's picture

(post #63016, reply #4 of 26)

Grilled/broiled recipes are good. I cook a lot of soups and stews for us, but I HAVE to have a piece of meat to cut into.


It shouldn't be too difficult for her--I am sort of surprised if she is a beginning cook. Is she really?


Recipes do break down to smaller quantities.  ;o)


Gretchen
Gretchen
ashleyd's picture

(post #63016, reply #10 of 26)

I would recommend One Is Fun from Delia Smith, quite old now but still available on amazon.com. Her recipes are reliable, usually tasty but not exciting, which sounds ideal in this case.


Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

cyalexa's picture

(post #63016, reply #12 of 26)

Thank you Ashleyd. That sounds like something that would not overwhelm her and perhaps give her the encouragement she needs.

msm-s's picture

(post #63016, reply #21 of 26)

A good friend of mine was widdowed a few years ago. She is a good cook, but it was splitting the recipes and cooking for only one instead of 2 that depressed her.

It might be a little bit of work, but you could compile favorite recipes that you have already converted to one serving and email them to her, to save her the painful reminder.

cyalexa's picture

(post #63016, reply #22 of 26)

That is an excellent and thoughtful idea. I will contact her sister (who is a good cook) and suggest we take that on as a project. Thanks so much for the idea. 

msm-s's picture

(post #63016, reply #23 of 26)

:-) I wanted to suggest printing out a booklet, but thought it would be too much work. But if there's a few of you taking this on as a project, it might be nice...

bjb0777's picture

(post #63016, reply #18 of 26)

Good choice! As you said recipes are tasty but not too hard.

Karencooks's picture

(post #63016, reply #16 of 26)

Amazon has this book for $16.49, "The Pleasure is all Mine: Selfish Food for Modern Life. by Suzanne Pirret.


 


All recipes geared for one. Many can be doubled for 2 or quad for 4. The cover may be a bit provacotive for newly widowed tho.

cyalexa's picture

(post #63016, reply #19 of 26)

Thanks for the recommendation and the warning.

butterscotch's picture

(post #63016, reply #24 of 26)

Your friend might be inspired--or at least amused--by some posts on Heidi Swanson's site, 101cookbooks.com.  Heidi, a food writer and stylist who specializes in natural foods and vegetarian cooking, received an e-mail from a newly single 60-year-old Englishman ("the Unwilling Cook") who had never cooked a meal for himself, knew nothing about cooking or grocery shopping, and sought advice about how to learn to feed himself.  Heidi posted his e-mail and asked her readers to comment.  "The Unwilling Cook" received more than 200 highly detailed and pretty practical suggestions. A lot of them included recommendations for cookbooks and web sites with simple beginner-oriented recipes.

cyalexa's picture

(post #63016, reply #25 of 26)

Thanks Butterscotch, I'll send t link to her sister to be pased along.

MEANCHEF's picture

(post #63016, reply #26 of 26)