Friday, June 13, 2008

Cooking For Two

My Recipe Box - a gift from my MIL

I love to cook. DH and I love to eat. However, cooking for two, or often only one, can be challenging. While I was still working we worked together so we rode to work together and came home together. Meals were often uninspiring and were pretty basic. Occasionally I would try a new recipe or make a special meal on the weekends. Often we were so tired after a day in the office we would go out to eat. Let me tell you, we ate out so often, that eating out became boring.

Since I've stopped working I've found the joy in cooking again. Of course that means I get to spend time perusing cookbooks and on-line recipe sources. I have two cookbooks I use frequently. The first one is Light Cooking for Two. DH's aunt had this one on her bookshelf and I loved it the minute I read it. I haven't found a recipe in there we don't like. If you can get it cheap from Amazon, I recommend it.

The other cookbook I use is The Empty Nesters Cookbook. This is a small cookbook with good recipes (that's where I found the Marmalade Pork Roast for dinner on Monday night). The recipes are written with "He Does", "She Does" directions which are cute, but not necessary if only one of you cook. This is a fun book, but I don't how easy it is to buy it. I found mine at a quilt shop in CT, of all places.

The on-line site I recently found is I like this site because you can choose how many servings you want to make. I've only made a couple recipes so far from this site and both were good.

I do have two guideline when I'm choosing recipes. The first is if I need a special gadget, pan or specialty spice or ingredient, then I don't bother with the recipe. I operate under the KISS method: Keep It Simple S*****. I don't need to fill my cupboards and drawers with something I'm only going to use once, or maybe twice. The second one is I prefer to use fresh ingredients. I'm not of fan of packaged meals. For us packaged meals usually mean leftovers and that often leads to waste.

I do my meal planning and shopping on Wednesdays. Why Wednesday? Because everyone does it on the weekends or Mondays and I like to be different. I will admit to being a food shopping snob. There is a family butcher shop/small market in downtown Dover, Janetos. This is the kind of butcher where you can walk up to the counter, ask for a side of beef and they will ask you how you want it cut and packaged. Their service is excellent and the meat is fantastic. I will never shop for meat at grocery store again. Nothing beats a freshly cut filet or two pounds of freshly ground beef cooked on the grill and served as burgers.

I also have the pleasure of having America's oldest family farm close to me. Tuttle's Red Barn is where I get our fresh produce. If I could have a garden, I'd buy my plants there as well. If you're ever near Dover, NH you should make sure to take a trip to Tuttle's.

For all my other grocery shopping I go to the local grocery store. This store is less than a year old and is not the normal large grocery store. The best part of it is you get a nickel credit for every reusable bag you bring in to carry your groceries. That works for me since I only use cloth grocery bags.

I hope everyone has a great weekend and a nice Father's Day! Tomorrow we have a graduation party in the afternoon and then an Engaged Encounter meeting in the evening; along with more US Open Golf, Red Sox and Celtics!


Nancy said...

Another good recipe source is My sister loves to cook and adores this site.

Lori said...

Good morning, I enjoyed this post very much. I'm attaching a link to a magazine called Tase of Home, Cooking for 2.

I enjoy this magazine very much. As my children are off most evenings for work, high school social stuff with friends...I end up with a lot of leftovers. Funny thing is, my kids won't eat leftovers. I'm trying to learn how to cook less - to prevent waste. Your post is very informative. I have posted your blog on my blog for others to be able to view your blog(s). I'm a quilter and enjoy both of your blogs.
Thanks, Lori in TN

Bren said...

I never like shopping on the weekend and always shop during the week.

Candace said...

I wanted to comment on the picture. I'll bet your MIL loves that you use her gift of the recipe box. I'm probably the minority in our family when it comes to liking to cook, and I have made up recipe boxes for at least 5 people in our family, with tried and true recipes from parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents, and I don't think a one of them was very impressed. You probably will have made her day if she reads your blog.