Tips and Tricks to Make Cooking for Two Easy
Cooking for Two can try your patience. Most recipes serve at least 4 people and finding small amounts of perishable ingredients can be difficult. Cooking and eating at home is cheaper and healthier than going out, but no one wants to eat a pot roast 5 nights in a row. The Tips and Tricks to Make Cooking for Two Easy will have you in and out of the grocery store with just the right amount of food and help you reduce your favorite recipes to more manageable amounts. Great for Empty Nest Cooking for Two!
For some recipe ideas for Cooking for Two see:
Empty Nest Cooking for Two
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How to Find Small Amounts of Ingredients:
- Check the salad bar for small amounts of fruits and vegetables. (An added bonus: they are already chopped).
- Purchase individual-sized servings of things like cottage cheese, yogurt, soup, fruit, etc.
- Check the bulk bins and measure out the amount you need of the ingredient.
- Buy frozen produce. Frozen produce is just as healthy as fresh produce and may be “fresher” because it was frozen right after harvest. It is easy to measure out the amount needed and place the bag back in the freezer.
- Buy your meat at the meat counter. Only need two chicken breasts, then you only have to buy two chicken breasts.
- Get over calculating the unit price for your purchases. It does not save money to buy a larger quantity if much of it will be thrown out.
- If a recipe calls for fresh herbs, use what you need, then dry the remainder. Fresh sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, mint, and marjoram may be dried for future use. Lay the herbs in a single layer between 2 paper towels. Microwave 1-3 minutes until dry and brittle. Crumble, discard any tough stems, and store in an airtight container for 3 months. Use 1/3 of the amount called for in a recipe using fresh herbs.
How to Freeze Ingredients and Leftovers:
- Purchase and use freezer quality containers to avoid freezer burn. I have never liked bread stored in the freezer. It gets freezer burn and has hard spots, but it is challenging for two people to consume an entire loaf of bread in a week. In my research I have learned that bread can be frozen without these side effects in heavy duty aluminum foil.
- Label everything with what it is and the date you placed it in the freezer.
- Many ingredients will freeze without issue. You can freeze chopped onions. Butter will safely freeze for 4 months.
How to Divide Recipes:
- To divide a recipe with 3 eggs, use 2 eggs, but remove 2-4T of other liquid from the recipe.
- Add seasonings gradually. Half of the amount of seasoning from the original recipe may be too much.
- A 9″x2″x13″ pan holds 14-15 cups. For a half recipe, use an 8″x8″ square pan or a 9″x2″ round pan.
- When using a different pan size, try to keep the depth the same.
- Check for doneness 5-10 minutes earlier than the original recipe.
Do you have any Tips or Tricks to Make Cooking for Two Easy? I learned quite a bit when I was researching empty nest cooking for two and would love to learn some more. Looking for a great cookbook? Try America's Test Kitchen's: The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook: 650 Recipes for Everything You'll Ever Want to Make