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May 16, 2011 04:58 PM

Small Recipes for 1-2 people? ARGH!

Is this just me, or do you get so TIRED of recipes that are for 4 or more people? Not everyone is a couple with 2.5 children.

Two years ago, I almost went insane trying to find a recipe for a little 5" cheesecake for two. I NEVER found one and had to make up one using a serves 6 recipe and cutting it down.

And I know, you can always freeze leftovers, but my freezer is already so packed with leftovers that I don't have room for ice cube trays. Is this just me?

What do you single people do?

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  1. We are a family of two and we either cut the recipes in half/thirds or we make it up as we go. We know 2 cups of raw pasta gives us enough for a meal and leftovers so we work around that. All meats can easily be for one, the same for potatoes and veggies. I think it's always good to learn techniques and flavor combinations so you can make a great meal without a recipe. It can also help to look at the appetizer or small plate cook books for ideas for smaller portions.

    1. I cook for two every day. I either cut the recipe in half or cook once and plan on eating twice. I wonder why your freezer is so full? Why not eat the leftovers for dinner once or twice a week? Or you could make soup?

      I found several sites via Google that have recipes for two.

      I like the leftovers for lunch. I seldom freeze them, because I like to eat them the next day.

      3 Replies
      1. re: sueatmo

        I rarely freeze leftovers either. A few days later I'm ready to eat it again and consider it a "free" meal - from both a time and money standpoint. The other night I fixed four fish filets for two of us. We ate two and had the other two the following day in fish sandwiches. If I like something well enough to cook it, then I like it well enough to eat it again pretty soon. And as someone mentioned, if frozen, it doesn't stay there long.

        1. re: c oliver

          It's always been the two of us and we do the same. The exception I make is, if a recipe takes a long time or is a bit more complicated than usual, I make more on purpose, vacuum freeze it and enjoy it all over again.

          1. re: bayoucook

            Yep. I just took my last two containers of Hazan's Bolognese sauce out of the freezer for a big lasagne. VERY time consuming so I make 4X and 5X at a time.

      2. I recently (as in last week) purchased "Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One" by Joe Yonan. I've only had the opportunity to look through the cookbook but a lot of the recipes are things I'd really want to eat. Check it out at a bookstore or library near you and take a look at the book and see if it resonnates with you or not. At worst you might get a few ideas to build on.

        I have a lot of different condiments in small sizes, I buy the smallest quantities of fresh herbs that I can. I shop locally and at farmers markets where I can get onesies and twosies on things. I shop bulk bins so I can buy small quantities. If I buy a package of meat, I'll unitize it and then freeze it. And, like you, I have a bunch of small packets of things in my freezer. I don't make large batches of anything unless it's something I really, really like and/or have room in the freezer for the end of the batch. I don't shop at Costco, I don't buy in bulk (as in stock up, not bulk bins) and when I read recipes I pay attention to how easy it would be to cut it in halves, thirds or quarters.

        Cooking for 1 or 2 is an artform and some days I've better at it than others :-)

        3 Replies
        1. re: DiningDiva

          Sueatmo, I just am not a leftovers person. After tasting something several times while cooking, the smell of it all over me and the house, I like to eat my serving, then stash it. I don't want to eat on it for a few days. Weird, I suppose. My ex never liked leftovers either unless it was cold meatloaf or pizza.

          Thanks, so much Dining Diva. I'll check that out.

          1. re: natewrites

            Then I'd check out DD's rec for a cookbook for one, and that's the approach I'd take. But I have made soup many times from leftovers. If you did this on a Saturday, you could eat some good soup over the weekend.

            If I didn't like leftovers, I wouldn't cook more than just enough for me. Or enough for me and a friend.

          2. re: DiningDiva

            There are a number of other cookbooks for the single person. Judith Jones, Deborah Madison, and Joyce Goldstein all have cookbooks for the single person (although Ms. Madison's is a bit quirky), and both Eating Well and Cook's Illustrated have published cookbooks for 2 people.

          3. I think it's a waste to cook for just two. There's usually just my husband and me at dinner, but I make a full recipe because we both love leftovers for lunch. I'll even braise a largish cut of meat, as the leftovers freeze well. (And I don't let them languish in the freezer.)

            1. This isn't a problem. Rather, it's a very cool opportunity.