From the Kitchen of heygoodcookin

Small Dishes: Why Hey Good Cookin’ is Having a Banner Year!

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Small Houses, Tiny Nations…’little’ seems to be in fashion and we are included.  

Introducing: Small Dishes

Beginning this month, we are pleased to begin displaying recipes defined as 3 servings or less.  We are excited to be promoting a smaller way of cooking for people less interested in a lot of leftovers and more interested in reducing food waste and controlling portioned meals.

Just another recipe site?  No way!  We are uniquely focused on the solo cook with choices that go beyond the typical serves 4-6 recipes.  Because Hey Good Cookin’ members are saving tested recipes, we skip the tools that change recipe quantities and share recipes that REALLY work.

Enjoy cooking in large quantities and freezing single meals?  No problem; we’ve got you covered with batch cooking posts and recipe ideas.

We Make it Simple

Interested in finding a small dish on Hey Good Cookin’?  We have made it easy now to discover 3 servings or less recipes by stamping a banner right on the finished recipe photo.  When members save a ‘small dishes’ recipe on Hey Good Cookin’, we will add a banner to all recipes categorized as Small Dishes.

Not Yet a Member?

It’s easy and free to join our community of other like-minded cooks and begin saving new recipes shared by members. Add your own recipes and keep them all in one virtual place. Looking to connect with other members? We offer tools to find and communicate with others sharing similar food interests or geography.

Looking for a scrumptious Fall dessert?  Check out our latest recipe post: Slow Cooker Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce.  Because this is a small dish, we love to use our mini Crock Pot.  It’s the perfect size for any slow cooker meal under 3 servings. Rate this recipe when you save it to your recipe box!

 

Posted By: heygoodcookin

The Hey Good Cookin' Kitchen has become a place of food inspiration and savory discovery to share with our cookin' singles community. We search out new recipes or sometimes just adapt familiar ones to test, taste, photograph and share in the triumphs and mishaps of creating new dishes.

See heygoodcookin's Latest Posts

From the Kitchen of oregonwingnut

Single Girl in a Big Batch World

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Woman baking cupcakes in kitchen

One day my unintentional mantra changed from deprive to thrive.  I’ll go to movies by myself and delight in it! I’ll go into a restaurant and proudly exclaim, “Table for one, please.” I’ll book a trip and travel because I can, and I will no longer wait for someone to join me. And, I will bake a whole batch of cupcakes because I want them!

For years I deprived myself of food I loved because I didn’t want to eat a big batch of enchiladas, spaghetti, or heaven forbid, cupcakes for days on end.

Then I embraced big batch cooking and my freezer. The key for me was to make sure the batch had lots of variety. Instead of making one type of cupcake, I make the batter then add different goodies to each cupcake and use different small portions of frosting or glazes.

cupcakes with berries and citrus glaze

The secret to these moist cupcakes is to add an orange syrup which soaks into the cake followed by a citrus glaze.  It’s a double burst of flavor.

cupcakes with mixed berries and citrus glaze

It’s fun to create different flavor combinations. How about raspberry and blueberry cupcakes with lemon syrup and glaze?  I took a batch to work and one of my co-workers told me she and her boyfriend don’t eat sweets, but they devoured these cupcakes!

big batch cupcakes

Looking for big batch breakfast ideas?  

Muffin Tin Pancakes just may make getting out of bed early a little easier.

pancake-muffins-groupLR1

It’s the same principle, different meal.  Baking one big batch loaded with variety keeps me from the daily boredom of the same old breakfast.

pancake-muffin-pb-banana-sideLR1

Peanut butter, banana and maple syrup…my all time favorite combo. The best part is I don’t get syrup all over my steering wheel when I eat breakfast in the car.

pancake-muffin-raspberryLR1

Mix and match your ingredients, bake them up, grab ‘n’ go!

 

From the Kitchen of barb0812

Make Your Next Party a Big Batch Bash

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Three Female Friends Making Food

I have always loved the fall…the crisp cool air, the changing colors of the leaves and the smells in the kitchen. For me, that means all the comfort foods I crave…soups, breads and anything pumpkin.  It also happens to be the time of year when I first got turned on to batch cooking, which I only experienced as making a big pot of anything and eating it until tired of leftovers. In reality though, it was often about forgetting about those soup containers at the back of the refrigerator only to discover a layer of white, fuzzy mold floating atop what was once a delicious lentil stew.

I am in awe of people who have the “Martha Stewart touch.”  I worked with a woman like this many years ago and was impressed at how much she cooked and gardened for herself.  She was a big fan of batch cooking and had several favorite meals she would cook up, package and freeze to enjoy for weeks.

One October day, she invited me and a few other co-workers over to her home to spend the day in kitchen mass production of twice baked potatoes.  Looking back, I think she took some pity on us since dinner (for me anyway) was usually whatever could be thrown on a tortilla and microwaved for 30 seconds. 

Twice Baked Potatoes

I actually found batch cooking with friends to be a blast and not at all the chore that had become my mother’s mantra in our house while growing up.  At the end of it all, we had loads of foil-wrapped potatoes to take home and freeze and a renewed inspiration to cook more for ourselves.  

Consider one of these ideas, portioned out and frozen in single servings:

If you haven’t tried hosting a batch cooking party with friends, grab a bottle of wine (or 2), a fun playlist and a couple of great recipes. Here’s how:

  1. Agree upon a couple of recipes everyone enjoys.
  2. Create a list of needed ingredients and divvy the shopping list amongst your friends.
  3. Provide plenty of freezer-friendly containers.
  4. Assign a recipe lead for each dish and divide the prep work.
  5. Assemble and cook or bake.
  6. Divvy the meals into single-sized portions for all to take home and freeze.
  7. Reheat on a night you just don’t feel like cooking.

Posted By: barb0812

My dogs consider me the "greatest chef of all time"...I am lover of all foods vegetarian and advocate for growing your own veggies--no matter the size! I am one of the Co-founders of Hey Good Cookin' and a believer in cooking for yourself because everyone deserves it!

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From the Kitchen of heygoodcookin

Table For One? It’s More Common Than You Think

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Woman taking a working lunch with a sandwich

I picked up a copy of Parade Magazine (What America Eats 8-9-15) recently and read an article on how America eats lunch.  There were a couple of ‘Ah ha’ moments but most of what I read I had already come to know: most American adults eat lunch solo.

We are busy, and taking a lunch break looks more like checking emails and social media or simply working through lunch while nibbling on food from home.  While fast food restaurants and food trucks are pretty popular, people still tend to brown bag leftovers or snacky type foods like fruit, crackers, nuts and veggie sticks. It’s affordable, convenient and it removes the time spent hunting down something to eat away from the office.

Snacky foods for lunch in a container

Snacky foods are a popular choice for something quick at lunch.

Lunch hour has been replaced with eating on the go

Whether it’s the healthiest choice or not, most people just tend to grab something when they are hungry and eat at their desk, in front of a computer or while on a mobile device.  The challenge is finding foods that are healthy choices and quick to grab ‘n’ go out the door. Surprisingly, peanut butter is still a popular food at lunch time. Here are a few of our favorite peanut butter “meals”:

Peanut Butter And Banana Sandwich

Peanut butter and banana on rice cakes or bread.

Organic apples slices with peanut butter

Apples and peanut butter are a favorite quick food for snacking or lunch.

Peanut butter and jelly wrap

Peanut butter and jelly wrap…why not?

Singling out quick and convenient

We don’t just choose to eat solo, we also want to eat better.  We want our food fast and suitably prepared for one. Food trucks and fast food establishments know this, so they have come up with apps for pre-ordering and with food prepped and ready to dish out within a few minutes.  However, eating out can get expensive and isn’t always easy on the calories, so many people will choose to eat leftovers or bring foods that are quickly constructed at work. Here are a few of our favorites:

Chicken Caesar Salad Wrap

A Chicken Caesar Salad Wrap is easily assembled at work: one tortilla wrap + Caesar salad in a bag + chopped rotisserie chicken.

6 Ingredient Pasta Salad served cold

A quick and easy 6 Ingredient Cold Pasta Salad is a great choice for a grab ‘n’ go lunch.

Slow Cooker Lentil Stew

Soups are great choices for a quick meal on the run. This Lentil Stew is prepared in a slow cooker and can be heated and stored in a thermos for a convenient meal any time.

So, whether you are into leftovers or snack foods, there are all kinds of ways to grab ‘n’ go with healthy, tasty meals that are convenient and more cost effective than take out.  We offer many quick and simple recipes for one, or batch-cooked dishes that are fast to prep and provide the convenience of meals now or later.

Posted By: heygoodcookin

The Hey Good Cookin' Kitchen has become a place of food inspiration and savory discovery to share with our cookin' singles community. We search out new recipes or sometimes just adapt familiar ones to test, taste, photograph and share in the triumphs and mishaps of creating new dishes.

See heygoodcookin's Latest Posts

From the Kitchen of oregonwingnut

Treat Yourself Tuesday

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Happy blonde lying and having breakfast in bed at home in the bedroom

For many busy people, breakfast during the work week means juggling a piece of toast in one hand and a cup of coffee and car keys in the other. It’s about finishing the last few bites of the most important meal of the day at a stoplight.

This is what makes the contrast of weekend breakfasts so special. It’s leisure time at its finest. There’s nothing like a slow start to the day. In fact, we encourage you to have breakfast in bed. Next time you have a day free from the hectic morning rush, paddle out to the kitchen in your old, comfortable pajamas, pour yourself a steaming cup of java, grab your favorite Hey Good Cookin’ breakfast foods and head back to bed.

Cinnamon Roll

Cinnamon-Roll-006

Take a handful of napkins to bed with you for these sticky cinnamon rolls!  The best part is this is a small-batch recipe, so you won’t have tempting leftovers around the house.

Microwave French Toast

Microwave-French-Toast-001W

A traditional plate of French toast and syrup is challenging to navigate in bed. This microwave French toast in a mug contains the messiness without giving up on flavor.

Simple Overnight Oatmeal

Simple-Overnight-Oatmeal-001

You had me at simple!  Plan ahead for your breakfast in bed with this simple overnight oatmeal.

Quinoa Squash Oatmeal

Pic 09 Quinoa Squash Oatmeal

Love your morning oatmeal, but craving something a little more exotic?  This quinoa squash oatmeal will hit the spot.

From the Kitchen of heygoodcookin

A Single-Minded Approach to Cooking and Connecting with Others

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Female Solo Cook using following an internet recipe

If you call yourself unmarried, independent or “sorta” single, you join the company of many hungry Americans–around 50 million! Whether you live alone or share your digs, you likely have a kitchen, and at one time or another you probably cook a meal for yourself–even if you don’t know how to cook.  But like many people, you may use excuses for not cooking.

Ask yourself which excuses apply to you:

a.) I don’t cook much if it’s just for me

b.) I dislike all the extra food waste

c.) Recipes I like feed a whole family

d.) I don’t have a lot of space or time to spend cooking and cleaning up

e.) All of the above

If you answered “e,” you are not alone!  Many solo dwellers share similar grumbles. Cooking for one may sound lonely to some but prepping a meal for yourself is moving beyond the days of bringing home takeout or eating from a microwave meal over the sink.

Why cook for yourself?

The easy answer is you are worth the effort! The longer answer is best summed up this way:

  • Cooking is healthier than takeout
  • Cooking gives you more control over ingredients
  • Cooking is cheaper than eating out
  • Cooking is a great way to decompress

It can feel frustrating to attempt cooking when faced with recipe sites that gear their efforts toward families rather than the solo cook.  Using tools on these sites such as “adjust the serving size” doesn’t always work well either for many popular recipes.

Cook with Company!

Our focus is on the solo cook; however, a recipe site made up of a community of solo cooks is the perfect way to share a meal with other like-minded people.  Exchanging cooking tips, quick or easy recipes and ideas for cooking in smaller quantities are our motivation for people that may not cook much–or even at all–to the hobby cook. Engaging with members from your own region or with similar eating styles is made easy and fun with us!

If you haven’t joined yet, consider signing up today and enjoy the benefits of cooking with the company of friends.

New to Cooking?

Try this super quick and easy 5 ingredient Pad Thai for One

Quick Pad Thai for One

Posted By: heygoodcookin

The Hey Good Cookin' Kitchen has become a place of food inspiration and savory discovery to share with our cookin' singles community. We search out new recipes or sometimes just adapt familiar ones to test, taste, photograph and share in the triumphs and mishaps of creating new dishes.

See heygoodcookin's Latest Posts

From the Kitchen of heygoodcookin

Reclaiming Your Kitchen

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Woman with small pot in frig

Getting organized in the kitchen can be an overwhelming and daunting endeavor.  If you have a “one butt kitchen” like I do, the kind that only one person can fit in because it is so small, it is especially challenging. You’ve got your cupboards, cleaning supplies, refrigerator, cooking equipment and various kitchen paraphernalia.  So let’s simplify and break it into manageable chunks by starting with the refrigerator.

Like most self-help programs the first step to change is admitting you have a problem.  If we are truly honest with ourselves, we probably all have some deep, hidden secret buried within our refrigerator.  Let’s take back our power and boldly admit, “It’s been months since my last refrigerator cleaning.”  It’s an unpleasant task, so let’s get it over with.

First, throw away everything that you can’t identify or can’t remember how long it’s been there.  If you have to smell it, it’s most likely been in there too long, so toss it. These are the easy decisions.

Next, let’s tackle those bottles with expiration dates. To toss or not to toss, that is the question.  Can’t we just have one universal code that reads, “I wouldn’t eat this after March 1st, if I were you.”?  But no, you have your “best by”, “product date”, “use by” or merely a date stamp. Clear?  Of course not.  That ketchup from 2012 still looks perfectly good.

No fear, help is here.  Prop your computer up next to the icebox and check out some of these 77 Surprising Expiration Dates from the folks at Real Simple.

Go for it! Purge and reap the rewards!  Leave a comment here with a description of what you discovered hidden in your refrigerator and include its expiration date to be entered to win a $25 Target gift card.  Enter once by March 20th–officially Spring (Cleaning)– and we will randomly draw a winner to be announced here on March 21st! Check out our official contest rules here and good luck!

 

 

Posted By: heygoodcookin

The Hey Good Cookin' Kitchen has become a place of food inspiration and savory discovery to share with our cookin' singles community. We search out new recipes or sometimes just adapt familiar ones to test, taste, photograph and share in the triumphs and mishaps of creating new dishes.

See heygoodcookin's Latest Posts

From the Kitchen of non-gourmet

From the Kitchen of the Non-Gourmet Cook

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Curly Spaghetti

Curly Spaghetti


Dinner for one…

Being a single woman that works long hours and has no interest in cooking, I needed to find simple meals that I can create on the weekend. These meals need to be easy to make, easy to clean up after, and feed me for at least 3 days. I have a few that I would love to share, but I will start with just one.

I call it curly spaghetti. I’m sure there’s a technical name for it out there, but it’s basically pasta that is curly covered in a meat filled sauce. I see no reason to recreate the wheel, so why not use a sauce that has already been prepared for you?

I’m a simple gal with simple tastes. Good ol’ tomato sauce and tomato paste work just fine. Seasoned to your personal liking, of course. My taste buds prefer garlic salt and Lawry’s season salt.

Ingredients for Curly Spaghetti

Ingredients for Curly Spaghetti

In my ‘attempt’ to be a healthy eater, I prefer to use ground turkey. You could easily substitute beef if you prefer. I would assume a fake meat would also be acceptable. Brown it up and season it a little and you’re good to go.

Browned Ground Turkey

Browned Ground Turkey

Next, get your water boiling and add the curly pasta and boil until the consistency is to your liking.

Adding pasta to boiling water

Add pasta to boiling water

Everyone enjoys a bread with their pasta…right? Pillsbury has us covered here. I like crescent rolls with my spaghetti. They have many choices, so pick your poison.

Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

Have the oven preheating and pop them in the oven when you mix the pasta with the meat sauce. While the pasta dinner is simmering, your bread is baking and I guarantee your mouth will be watering.

Pasta and meat sauce are combined

Pasta and meat sauce are combined

These are all re-heatable for the next day’s lunch or dinner. Voila! Dinner for one and meals for the week.

Stay tuned for future non-gourmet ideas such as creamy chicken and noodles! Yummo!!!

Posted By: non-gourmet

Non-gourmet is a solo cook, professional photographer and is owned by one tiny but mighty Chihuahua. While she enjoys simple cuisine, she is a big believer in keeping her meals "real" and easy for anyone who wants to cook with simple ingredients.

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From the Kitchen of heygoodcookin

Hot Doggin’ Summer

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California inpired hot dog with avocado, green chilis,Pico de Gallo, queso fresco, Marie's Chipotle Ranch Dress

We are having unusually high temperatures right now along the West Coast. Summer must be officially here. 

That means lots of BBQs and hangin’ on the patio if you can stand the heat! I was never one for hot dogs, but then they are an American favorite. I found myself doing something on vacation I never do…watching Good Morning America. Rachel Ray was presenting some interesting hot dog recipes and tips for cooking them up. This inspired me to come up with a hot dog of my own, and I fondly call it “Da Bu Dog” or “The Malibu Hot Dog.” It seemed like the right thing to do–come up with a California dog–since I do live in California.

Rachel Ray offered a couple of tips for cooking hot dogs: Boil them first.

  Hotdogs in boiling water

  Then cut them lengthwise so each hot dog will lay mostly flat like a bun .

Cutting hotdog length wise like a hotdog bun

 Next, fry them a couple minutes on each side or throw on the BBQ.

Hot dog cooking a second time on a fry pan or BBQ on each side a couple of minutes

 Place on your bun and add your ingredients.

Hotdog being placed in a bun

If you are adding something like chili, scoop some of the hot dog bread out, so you have a place for your chili to rest.

Scooping bread out of a hot dog bun to create room for fixings

Rachel Ray had some other great ideas such as the Seven Layer Hot Dog (think 7 Layer Mexican Dip).  There are all kinds of great combos. How will you be eating your hot dogs this summer? 

Posted By: heygoodcookin

The Hey Good Cookin' Kitchen has become a place of food inspiration and savory discovery to share with our cookin' singles community. We search out new recipes or sometimes just adapt familiar ones to test, taste, photograph and share in the triumphs and mishaps of creating new dishes.

See heygoodcookin's Latest Posts

From the Kitchen of malibuseadog

The Burger

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Hamburger with cheese, bacon and fixings in honor of National Hamburger Month

There are few foods that are as celebrated as the All-American Hamburger…

Other foods come to mind such as fried chicken, BBQ, and pizza but, the one food that most will jump at the chance to have is the hamburger.

We have even dedicated the month of May as National Burger Month.  Few of us need an excuse for a month-long lunch or dinner food orgy focused on ground beef in a bun.  Is it really that simple though? Go online and surf the different menus of your local favorite restaurants or pubs and look at their offerings to us Burger Fans.  They run the gambit from simple ¼ lb. beef patty on a run-of-the-mill sesame bun to Wagyu Beef with truffle and brioche bun. 

Don’t even get started on the toppings for those offerings. One can find a spectrum from that All-American Classic, with mayo, mustard, ketchup, lettuce, pickles and onion (oh yes, pickles are important) to such delicacies as truffle-oil-infused house-made cheese (thank you, Umami Burger) and shredded, slow-braised short-rib topping with smoked Maui onion.  The sauces also take us on a ride with ethnic or regional styles such as chipotle or habanero aioli for the not-so-faint-of heart, to Japanese ginger sauce.

But for those of us wishing to enjoy a handful of tasty heritage at home, there are a few simple steps to insure that the burger is all it can be. 

 

  • Ideal meat-to-fat ratio is 80/20, period.  Use any mix of beef–a sirloin and chuck mix seems to be a general favorite–with the freshness of the grind being a major consideration. 

 

  • Stay away from the prepackaged logs of ground stuff in the meat section of the local grocery store. This has been ground, processed and shoved into a plastic tube, and any resemblance of freshness and taste (let alone beef…) has been left behind. Go to a grocery store with a real butcher in the meat department.  Ask when the beef was ground.  I like it when it is only a few hours old. More than that, and flavor is leaving the building! 

 

  • If you are feeling adventurous and have a food processor, buy some sirloin and chuck, trim it slightly and throw it in a food processor.  Don’t trim too much fat off; you want it in there. 

 

Alton Brown from Food Network has a good recipe to follow.  I like to have mine a bit on the chunky side, not finely ground. Shape it into the patty you feel is your size. I like about a third-of-a-pound patty.  But if you want, go with your gut and get big! Just press it together enough to hold it together during cooking, as you need those spaces between the bits of meat to hold the juices during cooking. 

Season your beef patty with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper just before cooking. Get your grill fairly hot.  You want to cook it quickly to form that crunchy crust, but don’t burn it. For medium, when the pink juices rise to the top, it’s time to flip. Then in about three minutes you’re ready to go.  Throw cheese on at the last minute to get it melted (closing the lid will help), and put your patty on the bun of choice.  Now I like my toppings just as much as anyone, but if you put too much up there, the patty will slide out from the bun.

Burger for one?  You bet! 

It’s easy to put together, and the reward of sitting down to a grilled pub-style burger with your favorite beverage is the best! No crowd or line to wait in, just chillin’ and grillin’ your mouth-watering, All-American favorite – the Hamburger! 

Hamburger cut in half on a plate

Posted By: malibuseadog

I grew up learning how to cook simple family comfort foods from my Mom and Dad. From fried chicken (or BBQ) to a big pot of beans and everything in between, we cooked it old school style, from scratch. I enjoy using organic, farm-grown local produce and free-range, humanely raised meats. There is no regional cuisine that isn't out of bounds. I'm still learning and growing in the foods that I cook.

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