Tag Archives: a cent’s view

Cooking for One

Cooking is all about sharing; that’s why cooking for one or two people is not as much fun as cooking for larger group. Not having the positive reinforcement of “oohs” and “aahs” around the dinner table is a real bummer.

In these economic times it makes real sense to do your own cooking even if it is just for yourself. First, you can control the ingredients; second, it is just cheaper than eating out or buying convenience foods; and third, you can exercise portion control.

The trick is how you do it without spending all your time in the kitchen. And how do you make enough just for one without a ton of leftovers that will just go to waste.

The food industry has fortunately made it very easy for even a “passing fair” cook to make a well-balanced meal in a short period of time. Between a microwave oven and a counter top grill it is possible to have a protein, starch, and vegetable on the plate within 20 minutes or less.

Boneless pork chops and chicken breasts as well as hamburgers, steaks, and shrimp cook up fast on a counter top grill. Many of the frozen vegetables such as broccoli, corn, sweet peas, and green beans need about 5 minutes to cook in a microwave oven. Sliced fresh potatoes, either sweet or white, also take around 5 minutes in a microwave.

Your food needn’t all taste the same either. There are numerous bottled sauces and marinades available on the market today. One of my favorites is Olive Oil Vinaigrette salad dressing. Sprinkling a serving of this (2 tablespoons) over the vegetables and potatoes before microwaving will brighten the taste with the added benefit that the vinegar will aid in the digestion of the meal.

Comfort foods, such as spaghetti, beef stroganoff, and beans, that aren’t practical to make in small portions can be made in their usual quantity and then separated into single portions for freezing. It is nice to have something quick and easy on hand. Most shaped cookie recipes can be formed into logs and then frozen. When you want a cookie or two just slice them off and bake. Homemade cookies, warm from the oven—yum.

I hope to share some of my recipes and tips in the near future, starting with my special spaghetti sauce.

Published: January 7, 2011


Oak Leaves

Oak Leaves

These few, frail pages

Drifting on the wind contain

Just the “is” that seems.

Published: January 6, 2011


Line of Strawberries

Jeremiah the magpie was jubilant. He loved strawberries.  Jeremiah wasn’t a picky eater.  He would eat just about anything that was lying about—eggs, insects, nuts, or even scraps.  They were all much the same to him.  But there was nothing quite so delicious as that juicy red fruit.

They look like red rubies nestled in their green mat.  And the way they sparkled and glistened after a dew  was a sight worth remembering.

Jeremiah was known to like a bit of dazzle in his life.  His nest was festooned with shiny treasures such as odd pieces of glass, jewelry, and metal that he had found.  Sometimes he could catch is reflection in their surfaces.  He was such a handsome bird.  And didn’t he know it.

Each spring Jeremiah would fly over the secret place in the forest where the strawberries grew waiting for them to ripen.  He would watch as the tiny white flowers changed into baby albino berries and then grow into succulent gems.  Then—and only then—he would swoop in and eat his fill.

Jeremiah was jubilant because today was that day.  He was so agitated as he was preparing for his flight, hopping about and chattering to himself, that the other birds became quite concerned for his well being.  So much so, they decided to follow him.

Jeremiah was usually very careful not to let the other birds see where he was going.  But today, in his excitement, he flew straight to the patch.

He was so focused on his goal that at first he didn’t notice he had company.  But soon, the chirping and rustling of feathers other than his own caught his attention.  Looking around Jeremiah saw that his wonderful patch was filled with birds.

“Oh well,” thought Jeremiah, “nothing to be done about it now,” and he went back to eating.

Line of Strawberries

Moral: Good things are worth waiting for
Magpies can’t keep secrets.

Published: January 5, 2011

New Blog Design

Howdy, hope everyone likes the new blog design.  It is 2010-Weaver with the Mist sub-theme.

I have added a few new whistles and bells. Google Translator is in the sidebars and AddThis bookmarks will now appear at the end of the posts.

I have also put in a mobile theme, Carrington Mobile, that is suppose to kick in if anyone opens the site on a mobile device.

And, of course, I have changed the header images to oaks.

Published: January 4, 2011


A string of kisses


To keep life simple and embrace reality: Always a challenge.

A string of kisses

It has always been a challenge trying to keep things simple.  It is not a conundrum of modern times.  Things have a habit of becoming way too complicated, way too fast. It is all too easy to get caught up in details.  After all, that’s where the devil is.

Society today is driven by details.  Computers are partially responsible for this.  Computers are nothing–if they aren’t about details.  All those zeros and ones must be in the exact right place if you expect the machine to do anything.

When I got my first computer, a Commodore 64, and began to enter my first programs, I realized that I was beginning to think more like the computer than the computer was thinking like me.  Back then, there was a lot of hype about artificial intelligence … I’m still waiting.

With computers, things are always black or white, on or off, zero or one.  There can be no inbetween.  It is possible to make computers talk about gray but it takes a helluva lot of programming. For computers, it must always be either/or.

Computers were supposed to make our lives simple.  Give us the oodles of leisure time.  Free us to do the critical thinking that only humans can do.  Somehow this concept has been lost over the years.

I love computers.  I love the things they add to my life.  I love the easy access to information the Internet provides.

However, I do not love waiting in long checkout lines because the company chooses to use their computer system to check up on their employees instead of ensuring a speedy checkout for its customers.  Not to mention the numerous robot phone calls that never come at a convenient time.

“Keeping it simple is harder than it sounds. Things have a habit of becoming way too complicated way too fast.  Still, we need to take a breath—embrace the forest not just the tree.

Published: January 3, 2011

Toot, Toot

Reaching for the Stars

Reaching for the Stars

Sing out cheers for me!

It is over, done, kaput.

Onward and upward.

Published: December 31, 2010

Home Improvement

Home Improvement

Rewarding weekend:

With hammer, nails, paint and brush

Create a dream home.

Published: December 30, 2010