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I get to be a 20-something again for a week, what to eat?

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I get to be alone for a week, no husband, no kids. I forget what I used to eat...what would you have in the house that was easy and required little or no cooking and was a special treat?

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  1. When my husband travels for work, and I'm not in the mood to cook "real" food., I'll make the kids some mac&cheese from the blue box (big treat in our house LOL) and I'll treat myself to what I call "non-dinners". :)

    Cheese, crackers, grapes, wine
    Hummus, pita, stuffed grape leaves (from Lebanese deli or from a can)
    Cereal (one of my special treats that I don't eat often)
    Baguette with brie and some leftover sautéed/roasted/grilled chicken
    Shrimp cocktail, heavy on the horseradish (this I have to share with the kids)

    2 Replies
    1. re: boogiebaby

      I agree, I love this tapas/appetizer/nibble food approach - composite meals if you will

      1. re: boogiebaby

        Yes to all of boogiebaby's suggestions, plus olives, ice cream, and a delivery pu pu platter.

      2. You're going to have a ball. Bet you miss them something bad by day 3 though, lol.

        Appetizers for dinner; includes selections from: crudites with hummus/bleu cheese dip/salsa, pizza rolls, frozen spanokopitas (Costco!), potato skins w/sour cream and hot sauce, fried mozz cheese sticks.

        Cheeses/pepperoni and ham/good bread/olives.

        Stouffer's Mac-n-Chz. Goes with red wine in this house, wanna fight about it?

        Ramen noodles. But this time add lots of fresh cilantro or parsley, carrot strips, snow or snap peas, green onions, etc. (you'll have veggies left over from the crudites).

        Pigs in blankets. Also goes with red wine. And gives the look-and-feel of "Well, I turned on the toaster oven, so of course I cooked."

        Everything has less guilt if you start with a small simple arugula or romaine salad w/dash of vinaigrette. Get a clamshell of greens and you're set.

        1 Reply
        1. re: DuchessNukem

          M&Ms go with red wine in this house, shall we rumble? LOL. ;)

        2. I love to eat ramen noodles or a simple, spicy tomato & pasta sauce with ***size redacted*** of wine and chop sticks as my utensil. Usually with terribly girly or geeky netflix for company. Being slurp-y and decidedly un-cute while eating spice pasta makes me enjoy my alone time rather than miss the boy!

          1. 1. Bottle of vodka 3. Bottles of champagne. Everything else will take care if itself. (No driving delivery only)

            1. I've been on a little retro kick lately myself: equal parts Velveeta and your favorite salsa, melted in the microwave for a trashtastic treat with tortilla chips! I loved it in college and still do now, lo these many years later.

              1. oh what fun!

                eating on the couch (definitely banned in our house) - WHILE watching sludgy TV shows (or retro Mary Tyler Moore or Rhoda or .....)

                mac & cheese definitely

                cereal for sure

                pretzels with some peanuts mixed in

                broccolini with butter - like broccoli but better

                grilled cheese on white bread!

                BELT - bacon, egg, lettuce, tomato on good white bread with a lick of dijon and some hellmans mayo

                raspberries (or other berries) with cream



                oh - and celery and cheez wiz - i had a notion for that one day and it just doesn't taste like it used to!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Georgia Strait

                  Plus one on the BELT but even better if you add cheese to emit a BELTCH : -)

                2. Frozen chicken pot pies, all kinds of instant packaged noodles, melted cheese on bread, Campbell's chicken noodle soup, and good wine.

                  1. From my single days: Anything that can be cooked in the microwave and eaten out of the same Pyrex measure. Ice cream and nothing else for dinner--eaten out of the carton, with the carton going back in the freezer when you've had enough. Whatever looked good when you strolled by the hot deli counter on the way home. A bag of frozen chopped spinach cooked and tossed with a liberal portion of feta cheese.

                    OK, fine dining it was not!

                    1. Crusty baguette, prosciutto, honeyed goat cheese and fresh greens and basil from the garden. So good I want some now.

                      1. Oooh, nice. I was in that situation last week. This week, spouse is home but kids are at camp. Anyway, while solo I did salads, cheese and crackers, olives, smoked oysters, and chilled white wine. It was a nice break from "real" dinners.

                        1. Ramen with an egg whipped into it.
                          Pasta with butter and parmesan, possibly sauteed vegetables.
                          Whatever food you love that anyone else whines about.

                          Also, don't forget to double-dip, drink from the bottle, and eat with your fingers as much as possible!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: wandajune6

                            "Whatever food you love that anyone else whines about"

                            Ditto. Around these parts, when my other half is out of town for work, that's what's on the menu. Spinach quiche, appetizers for dinner, veggie burgers, simple aglio e olio - just in general, yummy things that *don't* contain meat!

                            Oh, and good wine - but he doesn't complain about that when he's here :)

                            1. re: ItalGreyHound

                              Great definition about anyone else whining. So, I'll add stinky cheeses to my list!

                          2. Oh gosh...I love all sorts of stinky cheeses, fish (including sardines, anchovies, smoked oysters) and stuff that my H doesn't. I think I would sate myself on things that were fishy/salty/spicy. Hot sauce on eggs scrambled with lox. That sorta stuff.

                            Fried chicken on the bone. He hates meat on the bone. Bone-in pork chop I'd pick up and gnaw like a cavewoman.

                            Oh, and vodka. I usually like scotch, but it's summer.

                            1. If you can fit it into your work schedule, I love it when I can have breakfast at 10, no lunch, and dinner at 4...then beers or cocktails with friends in the evening!

                              Don't bake anything, you'll end up eating it all!

                              1. In the minimal-fanfare route:
                                -Stovetop popcorn
                                -Pretzels dipped in neufchatel cheese
                                -Cheese, bread, cured meats and fruit
                                -Poached eggs on garlic-sauteed greens. Parmesan grits of fresh pasta optional.
                                -A great homemade burger- let the butcher grind a nice piece of chuck for you fresh
                                -Ramen with frozen vegetables
                                -Sardines or smoked salmon, and rye toast or Triscuits
                                -Baked potatoes, generously topped with butter and chives
                                -Instant cottage pie: heat up a can of beef stew. Make instant mashed potatoes. Top stew with potatoes. If you feel fancy, use an ovenproof dish, drizzle the top with butter, and broil.
                                -Homemade chicken/fish fingers (to minimize cleanup, marinate in mustard in a plastic bag.....coat in panko on a sheet of wax paper....spray liberally with nonstick spray and bake on a foil-lined tray.) Make cold-oil fries on the side.
                                -Speaking of cold-oil fries.....use them to make homemade chili fries.
                                -Speaking of chili fries.....swap out the fries for Tater tots.
                                -Homemade Chex Mix
                                -Warm homemade corn chips, guacamole and pico de gallo

                                I know you personally want to go easy with little cooking- totally respect it. but I might also be tempted to go very fiddly. Things that are wonderful to make in small quantity, but that I might not want to make for a full crew. Homemade tortellini, ballotine of cornish hen.....you get the picture. :)

                                1. I get to do this every week since my other half travels weekly for work. When he's not here I make a lot of spicy foods and foods with cilantro, because he cannot do cilantro or really spicy. I also take the opportunity to try out "experimental" meals... ie ones that I'm not sure will be good, since I'm happy to eat a PB&J for dinner if the real dinner doesn't turn out, but he gets annoyed by that :)

                                  1. in my 20s I lived on
                                    betty crocker hash browns.
                                    ground hamburger fried up loose (like taco meat)
                                    yellow beans cooked with bread crumbs

                                    1. I have a can of duck confit from Paris that's waiting for the next time DH goes out of town. He took his daughter home from her summer visit a couple of weekends ago and I lived on cheese and wine the whole time he was gone. What I eat when he's away depends on my mood, but I almost always end up eating things that he would consider snacks, not meals. But in meal quantity. LOL.

                                      1. Meat pies, a case of beer and several packs of jaffa cakes.

                                        1. Buy some tortilla chips, favorite canned chili, good salsa, decent grated cheese. Make some nachos. Pretty good out of the microwave, even better under the broiler, but either way its not really cooking. Some tossed greens on the side and its almost as healthy as pizza.

                                          Oh yeah, cold pizza for breakfast. Sometimes on Friday night Ill get a two for one pizza deal and not have to worry about food till monday lunch (depending on how much I go out in between.)

                                          Of course both of these go well with a nice bottle of red or a 6 pack of good beer. Heck, indulge, leave the beer cans sitting on the coffee table for a day or two just to get the right ambiance going.

                                          1. I'm having a 20-something dinner tonight, so thought I'd share. It's an old favorite from when I was even younger...and I like it just as much today:

                                            Barber Chicken Kiev:

                                            Mini tater tots drizzled with truffle oil--because I can and why shouldn't you?

                                            Green peas steamed in the micro.

                                            DINNER IS SERVED with a glass of equally un-fancy wine and it's deliciously trashtastic. Cheers! WHEEE, ball up the foil and rinse the pan--dishes are done. :)

                                            1. Good bread and butter topped with sliced radishes, sprinkled with salt.

                                              Tomato sandwiches

                                              Tuna sandwiches on toast and canned tomato soup

                                              Baked potatoes either with lots of butter or topped with cottage cheese and stouffers spinach soufflé that you've nuked. Trust me.

                                              Nutty buddy ice cream cones

                                              Ruffles and dip.

                                              1. "better" steak, good potatoes, organic fruit, ramen with vegetables and eggs, great potato chips/crisps.
                                                but really, I would eat out for the week... much cheaper for one, than for four!

                                                1. As a 20-something myself, I had chopped up peaches with fresh mozzarella, basil, torn up baguette, with some white vinegar on top, mixed in a huge Tupperware container for dinner tonight.

                                                        1. Not really meals, but snacks that you should sneak in, before the people return..
                                                          --Cereal with ice cream--ideally this would be cereal with froyo, but who has a froyo machine?
                                                          --Bowl of rice crispies cereal (without milk) + marshmallows in the microwave = bowl of fresh RC treats all for you
                                                          --Fresh cookie dough. Enough said.
                                                          --Oatmeal plus Peanut butter (and chocolate chips--if you're feeling like you need it)
                                                          --Popcorn--with toppings, if you want them
                                                          --Puppy chow/muddy buddies--whatever you call it
                                                          --Frozen meals--I know they taste bad, but I love trying them out and finding which ones are edible and which ones are trash
                                                          --Nachos.. from the microwave, with Xochitl chips

                                                          On the cereal note, I like to get the flavored Chex cereal and then pick out the flavor-coated ones. Then I take the rest of the uncoated ones and make them into Puppy Chow. Win-win.

                                                          1. Frosted Flakes for breakfast, Cap'n Crunch for lunch
                                                            Tomato soup (from scratch)

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: wyogal

                                                              frosted flakes should always be served with strawberry sherbet on hot summer mornings.

                                                            2. perfect time to leave the house and go OUT as a "special treat".

                                                              what interests do you have that your husband doesn't share? art films? wine bars? in LA there is a top flight cheese shop that does special grilled-cheese evenings. how about getting a professional massage?

                                                              or, if you want to stay home,
                                                              have your girlfriends over for a wine and cheese and dessert gabfest. if you feel you must have legitimate food, order chinese delivery and eat the food out of the boxes in the living room with chopsticks withyour feet up on the coffee table.

                                                              1. Open Faced Hot Roast Beef Sandwich on an Italian roll with shredded lettuce and Frito's. YUMMMM!!!

                                                                1. Raid the cupboard, look for left overs in the frig and ice cream cartons in the freezer!

                                                                  1. When I was 18 and had my own apartment, (well back in the last century) my favorite after-work meal was a Gortons breaded fish filet with tartar sauce, and vermicelli mixed with sour cream, garlic powder, dried basil and loads of Parmesan.
                                                                    It's still comfort food, but I rarely have it anymore.

                                                                    1. I would splurge on a very expensive steak and liquor of your choice.

                                                                      1. 2 P's: Pork and Pasta (not necessarily together). Mr. P. doesn't eat either, yet I love them both. A panful of pulled pork (could do a whole "p" alliteration here...), a little adobo, corn tortillas, and I'm happy. Next day, pasta with danged near any topping. I'd gain 5 pounds in that one week!

                                                                        1. Definitely take out: sushi, sashimi, KFC, maybe some ramen with spinach & mushrooms, and I might make a pan full of rice balls, a definite comfort food from childhood. Oh the scale & I would not be on talking terms afterwards. Very little hubby doesn't like, so it's just the things I like best,

                                                                          1. So far I've been eating straight pate or gooey cheese with imported sour cherry jam on the side. Glass of pellegrino.

                                                                            I haven't been as hungry as when dh et al are around, I wonder why that is. I guess I'm not lifting any little ones, but still. So actually I'm eating significantly less...sort of to my dissapointment.

                                                                            Brought salad and canned tuna for lunch today...not too exciting really...tonight I made the easiest thing possible. Boiled some penne lisce, grated some parm and added steamed broccoli I had in the fridge. THen I added salt, pepper, and garlic POWDER. I would probably never do that for the famiy and go ahead and fry up real garlic. But less dishes, less work. I got to eat while watching Drop Dead Diva and Orange is the new Black. My biggest indulgences are I guess not having to wait on anyone and being able to watch R-rated TV on a weeknight.

                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                            1. re: fara

                                                                              OMG please look up my pervious post and get started ASAP!!!!

                                                                              1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                I know, so lame right? But I have to work tomorrow.

                                                                                1. re: fara

                                                                                  So do I, ain't stopping me! Live it up!!!!! C'mon let the hair down a bit! You posted this thread your looking for idea's, suggestions, motivation I just happened to give you the best!
                                                                                  (yeah kinda lame I can't lie)

                                                                                  1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                    I will have to think of something, it's only Tuesday.

                                                                                    1. re: fara

                                                                                      You can do it!! I have faith in you!!

                                                                                      1. re: fara

                                                                                        Just so you know, I had a "20 something again" night last night too!!! C'mon join the party!! Toga!! Toga!! Toga!!
                                                                                        (and I"m 43 really old!!)

                                                                              2. Lots of red wine, baguette, goat butter, crunchy salt.

                                                                                If I'm feeling fancy, throw a log of goat cheese into a small baking dish, sprinkle with roasted garlic and douse with evoo, then bake til it just starts breaking down. Serve warm on a baguette with aforementioned wine and soft marinated sun dried tomatoes and fancy green olives.

                                                                                1. peanut butter.
                                                                                  ice cream.
                                                                                  tostitos with shredded cheese and taco seasoning.
                                                                                  fresh baguette & good cheese.
                                                                                  melba toast dipped in vegetable spread or hummus.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: elainegreen

                                                                                    You had me till the "Fresh baguette & good cheese" & "melba toast dipped in vegetable spread or hummus", come on that doesn't sound very 20-ish to me!

                                                                                    Good cheese to me when I was 20 was anything that didn't come in an individual wrapper, and melba toast? Really? If you put a plate in front of me and said, Jr this is melba toast, I would have just assumed some lady named Melba made it! lol