January 13, 2011 at 9:00 a.m.

Cooking for one, two or three

Cooking for one, two or three
Cooking for one, two or three

Are you a single person or couple whose children have "left the nest"? Well, today's recipes are cooking for one, two or three people. I know that some of you had larger family's or are a part of a larger family and cooking was done in large quantities. Downsizing was a little challenging. We went from seven in our family to where we are now...the two of us. At first it was a bit difficult going from using larger pans to 1 or 2 qt. size and adjusting recipes for even the two of us. Bud and I did well eating leftovers!

So readers, it's one, two, three go!

CHILI MACARONI

1/3 c. elbow macaroni, cooked according to pkg. directions

1/3 lb. lean ground beef

Scant 1/4 c. diced onion

1 c. canned, diced tomatoes

3/4 c. tomato juice

3/4 c. canned red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 small garlic clove, minced or scant 1/4 t. garlic powder

3/4 t. chili powder

1/4 t. oregano leaves

1/8 pepper

Parmesan cheese - optional

In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add next 8 ingredients to the beef and onion. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Add macaroni to beef mixture; heat over medium heat until hot, stirring gently a couple times. Sprinkle with cheese if you wish.

Makes 2 servings.

Note: This recipe is easily doubled. You can either freeze half or just keep in the fridge up to 4 days.

+++++

PORK IN TOMATO JUICE AND RICE

2 small pork steaks, or 1 large steak cut in half

2 t. butter

1 medium green pepper, cut into 1/2-inch strips

1/2 medium onion, cut in chunks

1-15 oz. can tomato sauce

Hot cooked rice

In a skillet, over medium-high heat, saute steaks in oil or butter on both sides. Drain slightly. Remove from heat. Put green pepper and onions on top of pork. Pour tomato saute over top, spooning a little around sides and under pork to prevent sticking. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat; lower temperature to simmer. Simmer 50-60 minutes. Serve over rice.

Makes 2 servings.

Note: One-third cup of uncooked rice equals 1 c. cooked.

+++++

EASY CHUNKY CHICKEN SOUP

1/2 c. thinly sliced carrots

1/2 c. celery

1/4 c. diced onion

2 t. butter or margarine

5 c. chicken broth, or 3-14 1/2 oz. cans chicken broth, or 5 c. hot water mixed with 5 chicken bouillon cubes

1-1/2 c. diced cooked chicken*

1/2 t. thyme leaves

1 T. snipped, fresh parsley, or 1 t. dried parsley flakes

1 c. uncooked medium egg noodles

1 T. minced fresh parsley or 1 t. dried parsley flake

In a large saucepan, saute first 3 ingredients in butter until tender. Stir in broth, chicken, thyme and parsley. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Add noodles; cook 12 minutes or until noodles are tender.

Makes 4 servings....2 servings now and 2 servings later or invite someone over for lunch!

* For chicken, cook a large chicken breast for 10 minutes, cool completely and cut into pieces.

+++++

Just another recipe I found for gravy mix, like the kind in a jar or packet to make when a recipe calls for beef or chicken gravy.

GRAVY MIX

3 T. beef or chicken bouillon granules

3/4 c. plus 1 T. flour

1/4 t. pepper

Additional ingredients - for each batch (which makes 3/4 c. gravy)

4-1/2 t. butter

3/4 c. cold water

In a small bowl, combine bouillon, flour and pepper. Store in airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.

Makes 8 batches (1 c. total)

To prepare gravy: In a small saucepan, melt butter. Add 2 T. gravy mix. Over medium heat, cook and stir until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Whisk in water until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Makes 3/4 c. gravy.

TFD: Last night I decided to count my blessings. I didn't think it would take long. But I certainly showed poor guessing, for today I'm still going strong.

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