Cooking For One

Hey Cats!

Happy Wednesday! It came quickly this week, since we had Monday off. I loved having an extra day to sleep in and lay by the pool, but it’s kind of gotten me thrown off a bit! I kept thinking Monday was Sunday and Tuesday was Monday, and I’m always wishing it was Friday. I digress.

I love to cook. I remember being so excited to escape the greasy campus food when I moved out of the dorm and into a house with a kitchen in college. I was going to cook every day and love life! But that proved to be a challenge. I was used to helping my mom cook dinner for our family of four, so when I started making dinner for just myself, I wasn’t sure where to begin! Over the past few years, I’ve perfected the art of cooking for one, and it’s actually not as difficult as you’d think! Here are some of my favorite tips for those of you just moving into your first kitchen!

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1. The freezer is your friend! 

Every two weeks or so, I buy a package of chicken tenders from the meat section of the grocery store, take it home and wrap each one individually in foil and pop it in the freezer. In the past, I bought the huge bag of IQF frozen chicken breasts, but then they started to get really gross (think blood and bones-ick.). This may be slightly more expensive and doesn’t last as long, but they’re definitely better quality! Plus, it’s super easy to just move one from the freezer to the fridge in the morning to thaw for dinner that night!

In addition to chicken, I will occasionally buy a big piece of salmon and cut it into thirds or quarters, depending on the size, and freeze that as well. However, I would recommend eating the salmon within the week!

I also like to keep a bag of frozen corn and a bag of frozen peas on hand in my freezer. If I don’t feel like cooking a vegetable I’ll just heat up a small bowl of one of those, or if I’m making stir fry I’ll just toss in a handful! These last forever and they’re super cheap!

2. Try to repurpose your leftovers in creative ways. 

I’m usually okay with leftovers, but when you live alone, leftovers can last a while longer than you want them to. I don’t know about you, but eating something every day for dinner (and sometimes lunch also) makes me never want to eat it again. Typically, I try to avoid leftovers, but sometimes it can’t be helped! Let’s say you made a pound of hamburger meat for stuffed bell peppers one night, and you still have a lot left. Well, you could make tacos the next day, or you could make a small pot of chili!

3. Buy perishables in small quantities.

Sometimes it’s super tempting to buy both asparagus AND Brussels sprouts, but don’t. You will regret it and it will be a waste of money, because one will definitely go bad before you can eat it. You might think that you’ll get tired of the same vegetable every night, but if you prepare it a little differently, that will shake things up a bit! I like to roast Brussels sprouts, but sometimes I sprinkle them with red pepper, or toss them in sriracha, or sprinkle them with goat cheese!

4. If you want something big, invite friends over! 

I love lasagna and enchiladas, but if I made them for just myself, I could never eat it all! If I’m dying to have something different, I will whip it up and invite a few friends over to help me eat it. And depending on how many people you have/what you make, you may still have some leftover for lunch!

5. Don’t be afraid to experiment

I will often find recipes on Pinterest that look delicious, but they typically feed a small country. If I want to try it, I’ll peruse the ingredients and come up with a smaller version for myself! Or, I will add the ingredients on top of a pizza or mix them into pasta for something easy and different. Just make sure you scale everything down evenly, or else the flavors will be off and it will not be delicious.

Cooking for one can seem boring, but it doesn’t have to be! Hopefully you learned something new today. If you have any tips or yummy recipes for just one person, let me know! Also, be sure to check out all of my recipes– most of them have a serving size of one person!

That’s all for meow!

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Friday’s Five

Hey Cats!

Yay for Friday! I’m super excited for this weekend, because I get to see my sister and the rest of my family! I only got to see my sister a couple of times the week I was at home before I moved, so I can’t wait to see her and show her my new apartment! She and her husband have a wedding in Houston, so I will see them before, and then I’m riding with them to my dad’s side of the family’s family reunion, where I will see my parents!

It’s been a great first full week of work! Here’s what else I’ve been loving this week:

1. The Pioneer Woman’s Crunchy French Toast

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Well, she’s done it again. Ree Drummond, my culinary hero and fellow Aggie basketball lover posted a picture of this DIVINE-looking French Toast on her Instagram page last week, and I had to know what made it crunchy. GUYS. She breaded her French Toast in Panko bread crumbs and then cooked it in butter. I’m dead. I need it. I don’t know when I’ll use the rest of a loaf of bread, but I have to try it. Maybe Saturday morning? Yes.

2. Monogrammed Wrapping Paper

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Just when I thought we had run out of objects to monogram, they found another one. This monogrammed gift wrap from Ann Page is the only way I will accept gifts from this day forward. Just kidding, I accept gifts in any form. Always. But really, how adorable is this? Just so Southern. Except I do have one question…do you get it with your monogram, or the monogram of the person you’re giving the gift to? If you have any clarification, please share.

3. JCrew Chino Shorts

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Since it’s warm now, I will inevitably buy a new color of JCrew chino shorts. They’re just the best, and they’re always such a good deal during the summer! This year, I have my eye on this vibrant flame pair. How cute would these be with a white eyelet tank? Too cute.

4. What’s Gaby Cooking Instagram

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One of my favorite ways to waste time is by scrolling through the Discover page of Instagram. Mine is typically filled with pictures of food, and I’m not even sorry about it, because this has led to my discovery of multiple delicious Instagram accounts, and blogs too! My latest unearthed treasure? What’s Gaby Cooking. Just look at those delicious burgers, fresh produce, and yummy desserts! She also has a pretty cool blog where she tells you how to make all of these treats. Check it out!

5. Weekend Inspiration

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Eat more tacos. Duh.

I hope you all have a great weekend! That’s all for meow!

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Friday’s Five

Hey Cats!

Happy Friday! I hope all of you are staying warm! I personally am not, because it’s always freezing but never actually snowing here, so the roads are “safe” and we have to go to school. Well, we’re supposed to anyways. I may or may not have opted to conduct an independent Marketing 409 test review from the comfort of my own home yesterday. It’s fine.

Anyways, here’s what I’m loving this week:

1. Lipstick Tricks from Cupcakes & Cashmere

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For the past year or so, I have been sporadically incorporating lipstick into my makeup routine. I’m definitely not the type of girl to wear a bright red lip every day, but occasionally I like to play around with some color. However, makeup techniques are something I’ve never really mastered. But I’ve always wondered how other girls get their lipstick to stay on all day and just generally look great, because sometimes I feel like I look like a five-year old who found her mom’s makeup bag. I stumbled upon these great lipstick tricks from Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere, and I decided to try my hand at them. It’s a bit of a process, but it definitely made my lipstick look 10x better. I’ll be keeping this in mind the next time I feel like getting all dressed up!

2. Home Decor

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As I’ve mentioned, home decor is one of my latest obsessions. I’m constantly finding things that catch my eye on Pinterest, and they all seem to have the same theme: clean white or neutral walls and furniture with gold and colorful accents. This particular photo, originally from The Pink Pagoda is a great combination of modern and traditional elements. I love the bold patterns on the rug, pillows, and lamp, and the combination of bright blue and hot pink is so happy and girly. But I think my favorite element of this set-up is the Oriental pottery. (I don’t know the proper term for it- I tried to find it on the Google, but found contradictory results) My mom has a few pieces of this, and I’ve always really loved it. I think it adds a vibrant yet timeless touch to any room, but I think it’s showcased especially well in this room. I’m already planning on adding some of this to my design once I have an apartment of my own!

3. The Whisking Kitchen

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I love discovering new blogs to read, and I especially love discovering new recipes, so when I found The Whisking Kitchen I was beside myself. I stumbled upon this piece of the internet through Elizabeth the author’s Instagram. I was scrolling through my “Discover” page and found a photo of a delightful-looking omelette and fresh fruit breakfast in bed, and was instantly captured. She just recently launched her blog, and I’m so excited to try some of the recipes! First on my list? This edamame salad, this Havarti-cheddar-bacon-rosemary grilled cheese (DEAD), and these blueberry muffins. Hop over to Elizabeth’s blog and find a few recipes you love, and then meet me back here for WorkIt Wednesday so we don’t all get fat.

4. Kate Spade for Kids

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I know I don’t have children, and considering the fact that I’m supposed to be in class as I’m writing this, it’s going to be quite a while before that happens. But, Kate Spade has released a line of childrenswear and it’s beyond adorable. Lots of pink, glitter, and floral prints, all of which are absolutely perfect for a haute tot. I want to wear it myself, and to be honest, my sister and I have already talked about how we’re going to try.

5. A Dose of Sass

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If there’s one thing I love, it’s a good sassy face, and through her recent appearances at fashion shows, my girl North West is proving to be quite the little sass queen. I look for great things from this one.

That’s all for meow! Have a wonderful weekend and stay warm!

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