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How To... There are plenty of mysteries in cooking! See if you know the answers to some...

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Old 03-01-2007, 11:10 AM
KariRyan's Avatar
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Question Looking Cooking Tips for 2

I am a newlywed (one month today!) and am a complete dunce in the kitchen! Luckily, my new hubby knew this going into our marriage.
I would still like to cook for him, but each time I experiment with recipes in the couple of cook books I have, there are always left overs that we dont eat as we dont want to eat the same thing 2, 3, 4, nights in a row.

Any tips for cooking for 2?

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Old 03-01-2007, 12:03 PM
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Kari, there is a new magazine out that is published by Taste of Home. It's called Cooking for 2. They have a lot of good ideas on how to "downsize" regular recipes.

Another thing you can do is freeze the leftover and make another dinner. With some recipes you can freeze the sauces, so you could cook the meat fresh each time and use the same sauce. This way it wouldn't seem like you are having leftovers all the time.

When you buy meat, you can package it up into meal-size portions and freeze.

If you have a grill you might try looking into some recipes for "packet cooking." These are made up by individual portion so it would be easy to work with the quantities.
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Old 03-01-2007, 03:01 PM
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Great idea to freeze some meals! That may just work! I hate to see food uneaten, I always feel so guilty when so many others in the world have no food.

I have heard of Taste of Home and perhaps I will get myself a subscription to this cooking for 2 edition they now have.

Thanks for the tips Barbzy!
Happy Cooking!!
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Old 03-01-2007, 03:59 PM
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Kari, another thing you may want to try is learning to use "planned leftovers."

For example, if I make rice, I might make double what we need for a meal. Later in the week I can use the leftover to make fried rice.

With a beef roast, you can use the leftover to make enchiladas, French dip sandwiches, or goulash.

You can use cooked chicken to make pot pie, or enchiladas, or any number of casseroles.

Cooked grilled meat of any kind (chicken or steak) makes great fajitas. Stir-fry the vegetables, and mix up a little soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar and a cup of salsa. Warm that sauce with the meat and fold into tortillas.

If you haven't already found it, stop by our What's for Dinner thread. There are a lot of great ideas shared on that thread, and great cooks who are generous with advice!
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Old 03-01-2007, 04:41 PM
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Hi Kari, welcome.

Taste of Home has a wonderful cookbook called Taste of Home's Cooking for One or Two. I've made several recipes from the book, and they've been excellent.

Although I've been cooking for many years, with my son now away at college, I find I have needed to relearn some of my cooking habits as I used to always cook with the possibility in mind of one or two extra teenage boys. Quite a difference!

I just purchased a 1 1/2 quart slow cooker as I've seen some recipes lately for the smaller slow cooker. As soon as I try any of them, I'll post the good ones.

Liz
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Old 03-04-2007, 07:47 PM
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Thanks Lizzie and Barbzy!

I am going to buy more ground beef and chicken breasts than I normally do in hopes of creating different meals and freezing leftovers.

Actually am attempting to plan out meals this week so will let you know how I fair out! Also planning on cooking with red sauces so I can use them for various meals.....

Lizzie, let me know how the slow cooker meals work out and what you make

Happy Cooking ladies!
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Old 03-05-2007, 04:50 AM
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When making big dish items divide it up before cooking and freeze into meal sizes.

For example if you are mixing up a meatloaf instead of making a big pan form into individual servings (use cupcake pan or form into small hand size loafs) freeze raw and pull out how many servings needed when you want meatloaf. Making lasagna, divide the recipe into several smaller pans and freeze.

Leftover roasts, chicken, etc. can be shredded and frozen for other meals. Think creatively roasted chicken one night can become chicken stir fry a second night, boil the carcass for broth and using any leftover chicken make chicken & noodles for a third night (or just freeze the broth with chicken for later).

I've found that just about everything can be frozen with good results. And will often double a recipe so I have enough left to freeze for another meal.

Roberta
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Old 03-05-2007, 05:14 AM
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Most recipes cut down easily. Watch the spices though. But mostly that is for doubling a recipe.

Happily there are small cans of beans and veggies in the groceries so if you don't want a huge amount use them. Watch for sales on them because it used to be they were more expensive but I don't think so much anymore?

You might see if anyone close to you or at work wants to do a cooking exchange. So you would go ahead and make up the dinner for 4 the night before, divide it in half, bring it to the person next day andthey would exchange with you. That's two dinners for the cooking of one.
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Old 03-05-2007, 05:57 AM
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Another idea is to make "dump chicken" recipes. Basically you mix up the batch of marinade, put as many pieces of chicken in a freezer bag as you plan to eat in one meal, and then divide up the marinade among the bags. Grill or bake the chicken as you usually would.
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Old 03-06-2007, 07:43 PM
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Today was the maiden voyage of my new baby-sized crockpot (1 1/2 quarts). I made a sorta kinda Swiss Steak recipe by blending my favorite recipe with one from the crockpot booklet and then tweaking by what I had on hand. Here's what I made:

Swiss Steak

1 small onion, sliced
1 heaping cup baby carrots (with the thicker ones sliced lengthwise)
1/2 lb. stew beef (the recipe called for round steak, but I didn't have any)
black pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
8 oz. can tomato sauce

Layer ingredients in crockpot in the order given. Cook on low (the baby crockpot only has low) for 8 to 10 hours.

This was pretty good, although I would have liked it a little spicier. The meat was quite tender and there was enough sauce for a good consistency.

It made two good sized servings. I served it with mashed potatoes.

Liz
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