Cooking for One

It has been almost 20 years since I’ve had to cook for just one. The hubby has been gone taking care of family the past two weeks. My kid still living a home is a hit-or-miss of when she will come and go. Which has left me to cook a couple of dinners for just me, hard to do after cooking for six to eight, or more, for such a long time.

I’ve not cooked every night because there were still leftovers. Plus the Papas have been great at taking care of me. There have also been some dinners out thrown in there from time-to-time.

Although I had planned on this for a Sunday dinner, opting for a dinner out with Papa Joe, I went ahead and made it for me the next night. It was very simple dinner of baked pork chop, sautéed mixed veggies, and homemade baked thick cut french fries. The french fries had been tossed with salt and pepper, and a Thailand mango habanero hot sauce, one of nine blend sampler from Costco. There was just the right amount of heat on the potatoes.

Fish was on the menu another evening. For that meal it was just Tilapia fillets and mixed vegetables. I sautéed the veggies in a mix of butter and EVO, plus a few spices. A bourbon hot sauce from the sampler pack was also added for a little extra oomph. For the fish, I made a paste to coat one side made of salt, pepper, and the bourbon hot sauce. It was then fried in the same pan after the veggies came out and set to the side. Had some for lunch the next day too.

My last little “gourmet” meal was a fresh garden salad with a twist. The base salad was the usual mix of lettuce, tomato, and cucumbers with a few other veggies tossed in. I then used the remainder of some bacon leftovers, slicing it into thin slivers to be thrown in with the veggies—everything is better with bacon! The last thing I added was a leftover pork chop. Just as I did with the bacon, I sliced the pork chop into slivers to be added in. After pouring some Olive Garden dressing on, it was ready to eat.

In all of this, I couldn’t forget to bake at least one thing. My one thing was banana bread. It is my go to comfort food, especially when I had three very ripe bananas just this side of rotten, which makes for the best flavors. There was some improvisation with the recipe though.

I was out of plain Greek yogurt, my usual substitute for sour cream, and sour cream. While at the grocery store earlier, I had made an impulse buy of some apple cider. When I bought it, I knew that I wanted to use it to bake something, but wasn’t sure what. With no yogurt or sour cream, I grabbed the apple cider to use as my liquid. Not knowing how much to use, I started with about one-third cup. This gave barely a hint of the cider, so I added a bit more. In the end, I used about a half-cup‘s worth.

Must have been okay as I was told the banana bread was the best one I’d ever made. I’ll have to add this version into my rotation.

Please share what you’ve been making. I’m always looking for new things to try.

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