Saturday, April 30, 2011

Reap the Benefits - Next-Day Cottage Pie

Yesterday's Spatchcocked Game Hen was so satisfying that 
even after thoroughly noshing-out - as well as sharing with
Misty, my Akita/Shepherd - I still had 1/2 chicken breast left 
over. That, together with the leftover Combie and gravy, made 
this  wonderful dish:

Next-Day Cottage Pie (serves 1)

1/2 cooked Game Hen  breast, skinned, boned & cut into bite-sized 

1 medium potato, parboiled then peeled and diced

1/2 cup gravy

1/4 cup frozen peas

1 cup Combie

1 tsp butter

salt & pepper 

Lightly oil a 10-oz casserole.  Assemble the meat, potato, 
peas & gravy; season lightly with salt & pepper. 

Top with the Combie, smooth out, and score lightly with 
a fork.  Dot with the butter and bake on a small baking 
sheet at 375 for 1/2 hour.

Nice to have along with steamed broccoli & cauliflower
topped with lemon-zested sour cream or Greek Yogurt.

Bacon Butties - Less is More

I was delighted when I heard that Prince Harry was 
serving Bacon Butties for the next-day breakfast after
yesterday's wedding of Prince William and Catherine
"Kate" Middleton, now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. 

This was my family's traditional early-morning
breakfast prior to leaving on a big road trip. -Try to 
explain to someone used to BLTs that your sandwich
is nothing but Bacon & Bread!

There are many ways of serving this "less-is-more" sandwich
-some much posher and involving rolls, back bacon, butter 
and/or mayonnaise - but this is how they do it in the part of 
Lancashire that I'm from.  Salty, sweet, toothsome and 
mouthwatering, this simple sandwich proves that sometimes 
less is definitely more!

The Essential 
North Country Workingman's 
Bacon Sandwich.

Makes 1 serving:

2 slices white bread (not toasted), crusts removed
3-4 rashers of side bacon 

Cook the *bacon on medium heat, turning every few
minutes, until just beginning to crisp up.  Reduce heat
and allow to cook until most of the fat has been rendered

Arrange the bacon horizontally on 1 of the bread slices - 

do not pat the bacon dry first; leave some of the hot bacon
fat on the bacon. 

Top with the other slice of bread, press down gently; cut sandwich in
half and devour.

*Here's a good tip for cooking bacon:
Cut the slices in half before cooking.  The slices will 
perform better - retaining their shape and cooking 
more evenly.  

Bacon cooked from frozen in 10-12 minutes:

Bacon freezes well in half-slices; freeze
in single-serving portions, laying flat till frozen.  
To defrost, put in pre-warmed stainless steel pan 
on very low heat; cover, and every 2 minutes remove 
lid and separate the slices with a knife & fork as they 
become soft. This whole process only takes about 6 
minutes. Then lay the bacon out in the pan and cook 
on medium till done (another 4 - 6 minutes).

Friday, April 29, 2011

Happy Friday: A Regal Repast

All the Best to Wills & Kate!

Tonight, I, for one, will be watching playbacks of the
Royal Wedding while eating this British-themed feast:

Spatchcocked Cornish Game Hen with Gravy

Combie (Lancashire Root Vegetable Mash-up)

Steamed Asparagus Spears w/Lemon Butter

Victoria Sponge Trifles


Spatchcocked Cornish Game Hen:

1 cornish game hen, *defrosted
olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp dried rosemary (not ground)
1 tbsp Chicken Bisto gravy powder (Bisto is verrry British)

Spatchcock the hen by cutting up the side of the backbone then
removing it. Press down on the breastbone to flatten the bird. 
Some cooks remove the keel bone, but I just leave it in.

In a lightly oiled roasting pan, place the bird breast-side up.
Rub with about 1 tbsp olive oil, then sprinkle with salt, pepper
and dried rosemary.

Roast uncovered in a preheated 400 oven for 45-55 minutes
(it takes 55 minutes in my oven).  Let stand on a platter for 10 minutes,
partially covered, before serving.

In the meantime, boil the backbone with 2 1/2 cups water for
1/2 hour, then reserve for the gravy.

After the bird has been cooking for 1/2 hour, put on the root vegetables
for the Combie so everything will be ready at the same time.


Strain out pan juices from roasting pan into a mug and remove
most of the fat from the top with a spoon.

Add 1 cup of broth (reserve the rest for another use - freeze in
ice cube tray) to the roasting pan, put on medium heat, and
deglaze the drippings in the bottom of the pan by stirring around 
with a spoon to loosen them.  Return the pan juices, bring to the
boil, then reduce heat and add Bisto slurry, stirring till
thickened and bubbling.

Bisto slurry:

1 tbsp Chicken Bisto gravy powder mixed to thin slurry with 2 tsp

*Defrosting the hen: I defrosted mine in an 8-cup bowl of cool
brine (7 1/2 cups water, 1/4 cup salt), covered tightly and the hen
weighted down by a small glass bowl, on the counter for 8 hours,
making sure that no part of the hen was above the water level.

You can heat up the brine first along with some peppercorns,
then thoroughly cool it overnight before adding the hen. The
brining makes the hen extremely tender and moist.

Note: In warmer months you need to first defrost the bird in the
fridge all night, then brine it in the fridge all day.

You can also skip the brining process entirely, and defrost the
bird in either the fridge or microwave.


2 whole medium potatoes, peeled
10-15 baby carrots, whole
1/2 turnip, peeled and chunked
1 parsnip, peeled and quartered
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp butter, salt & pepper

In a saucepan, add all the vegetables, and cover with water; add the
salt & sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for
30 minutes, or until all the vegetables are fork-tender.

Drain and let stand for 5 minutes.  Mash with the butter, adding
salt and pepper to taste.  This makes 2 servings because it's great
to have the next day!  If you want to freeze it, add 1 tsp sour cream first.

Steamed Asparagus:

Wash 6-8 stalks of asparagus, break off the thick ends, and place in
a steamer in a pan over 1 inch of water.  bring to a boil, cover, reduce
heat, and steam for 5 minutes or so until the stalks are fork-tender. 
Remove from steamer and toss with 1 tsp butter and a tiny bit of lemon zest.

Victoria Sponge Trifles (makes 2)

1 ½ *spongecake layers
4 tbsp Sherry or Brandy
1 cup *Bird's custard or tinned custard
4 tbsp Raspberry of Strawberry preserves
Fresh fruit for garnish
Whipped cream

*The remainder can be frozen for another use.

*Custard made according to instructions on tin.

Cut spongecake slice in half;  sandwich together with
fruit preserves. Repeat for the remaining half-slice.

Cut 2 circles of the sandwiched cake to fit the bottoms 
of 2 parfait dishes. Trim the rest of the spongecake into 
slices and fit around the inside of the dishes just above 
each centre  piece.

Sprinkle each trifle with 2 tbsp of the liqueur.  Top with 
1/2 cup custard per dish, then decorate with fruit and 
whipped cream.  Cover and let stand for at least 3 hours, 
preferably overnight.

As far as I'm concerned, when trifle's the issue, why make
1 when you can make 2? Plus, it's even better the second day!


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Foodie Word Search: Culinary Herbs

Hello, foodies!
Here is the first of my month-end
Word Search Puzzles!

Culinary Herbs




Freezer Fare: Didimae's Borscht

After experimenting for several years I developed this wonderful
borscht, which is now one of my mainstays.
The cooking method “gathers flavours”, and each sip gives you a wealth
of tasting experience. 

Delicious and fortifying, it’s great for lunch, and also makes a satisfying
dinner accompanied with either biscuits, potato pancakes or perogies
(and of course sour cream!).

This recipe makes a large batch (10-12 cups).  Freeze in individual bowl-sized
servings.  To heat up, just add frozen to a saucepan with a splash of water,
cover, and simmer on medium-low for 5 minutes.  Break up the soup with a
fork into chunks, re-cover the pan, and simmer for 3-5 more minutes (or of
course you can reheat in the microwave on high for 3-5 minutes).

Didimae’s Borscht

1 tsp olive oil
2 medium red beets, whole
1 medium yellow beet, whole
2 stalks celery, halved and sliced
1 leek, white with some green, sliced
1 red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely sliced
½ small red cabbage, chopped
15 baby carrots, whole
3 small red potatoes, chunked
2 x 28-oz cartons organic chicken broth
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1-2 cups water
1 14-oz can tomato sauce
1 tsp dried dill
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper, or to taste
Sour cream (I use lite sour cream)

Saute the onion, leek and celery in 1 tsp olive oil in a stockpot or
Dutch Oven on medium heat till softened and beginning to turn golden,
covering the pan half-way through. Uncover, add the garlic, and sauté
for 2 minutes.  Add the broth, 1 cup water, and the bouillon cubes.

Scrub the beets, then trim all around the root ends and top ends with a paring
knife, leaving the rest of the peel on.  Add to the pot along with the cabbage
and carrots.

Cover the pot, cook down for at least 1 hour; remove the beets and carrots.

Add the potatoes, dried dill, salt & pepper, and tomato sauce to the soup pot.

Peel the cooked beets; dice or grate them and add back to the pot.  Chop
the cooked carrots and add to the pot. 

Cook down for another hour or so, adding a cup more water if mixture is too
thick. Partially (coarsely) mash some of the vegetables right in the pot.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of fresh or dried dill.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Back on Track: Cooking With Bursitis

Hi, everyone!  After an unexpected hiatus I am so very glad to be
Back on Track!  Aside from the joys of pursuing one's interests, even
the most normal daily routine is something one dreams of when one is
unable to perform basic tasks.

While without the use of my right arm I discovered a very important
thing to remember if one ever finds oneself in a similar predicament: 

You can never have too many casserole dishes or warming dishes,
depending on whether you prefer to reheat meals in the oven or microwave
 – especially if, like me, you have no dishwasher!

There I was, with a fridge full of delicious meals and soups, and after the first
few days of being unable to do dishes I didn't have enough casserole dishes to
warm them in.  Warming meals is one thing, but washing/scrubbing casserole
dishes is quite another when one has only one arm to do everything with.  Not
wanting to rely on takeout or convenience foods, I came up with a plan of action:

Short-term plan:

  • Get more casserole dishes
  • Purchase *paper plates for the interim
  • Buy some *disposable recyclable cutlery for emergencies
  • Stock up on baking soda and vinegar for cleaning
  • Get long-handled brush for cleaning dishes
*I certainly don’t want my ailments to cause me to contribute more than necessary to the  landfill situation, and nowadays the price difference between biodegradable and non-biodegradable is quite minimal. 

Long-term plan:

  • Buy a dishwasher!  LOL!

In the meantime, having baking soda in the kitchen is like having another pair of hands!

Soak casserole/warming dishes overnight in hot water, a squirt of dish soap, and several tablespoons of baking soda. In the morning, using your working arm, just lightly go around the dishes with your long-handled brush.  The baking soda will have done the work so you don’t have to scrub & scrub.  It also works on cutlery:  soak the utensils overnight as above; also add a splash of vinegar.  It will foam up and help with the scrubbing action of the soda.  In the morning, just scrub lightly with the long-handled brush and rinse.  Your sink will also thank you!

If you don't have meals already prepared and frozen, you can get a slow cooker and prepare soups/stews quite easily (or make them on your stovetop or hot plate in a stockpot).  Whole Foods offers pre-chopped mixtures of vegetables specifically for soup-making - all you need to do is add some broth (and meat if you like) -  or you can always throw cleaned vegetables into the stock then strain them out & cut them up later, when they are softened from cooking. There are also meals that you can throw into the oven with minimal preparation - in future posts I will include some recipes to get you started.

Hopefully this post will help those of you in similar predicaments.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Happy Friday Treat! Betties (Apple Betty Tarts)

Happy Friday!

Our weather can change dramatically in Vancouver, and yesterday’s
surprise snow flurries were certainly no exception!

After donning my woolies, I took advantage of the cooler weather and
baked this warming treat.  I had 1 apple and 1  4-oz container of applesauce,
and came up with these little grated-apple tarts, topped with a cinnamony
oatmeal crumb topping – they turned out like little Apple Betties in a tart shell.

Betties (Apple Betty Tarts)


4 oz of sweetened applesauce (or 1 individual 4-oz serving cup)
1 medium apple, grated (Granny Smith or Newton is best)
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/8 tsp cinnamon
4 – 3” tart shells


2 tbsp quick-cooking or instant oats
1 tsp butter or margarine
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp flour
1/8 tsp cinnamon
tiny pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 400.  Fill tart shells full and place on a
baking sheet or in a heatproof pie dish.  Bake for 15 minutes
while assembling the topping.

Combine the topping ingredients and rub in the butter.
Top the tarts with the oatmeal mixture (approximately 1 tbsp per tart),
press gently down to secure the topping, and put back in the oven for
30 – 40 more minutes.  Makes 4 -  3" tarts. 

Cool on a rack if you can wait that long!  I did have one almost straight
out of the oven, all hot and crumbly!  -Well, by that time it was midnight - LOL!

-A very happy weekend to all!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Freezer Fare: Spicy Succotash and Callaloo

Last night I had a delicious dinner that was produced in very little time with maximum results:

Maple-Drizzled Ham Steak with Spicy Succotash and Callaloo.

First I made Spicy Succotash, and now have enough left over to accompany 3 more dinners. 

Next, I also brought out some of my Callaloo from the freezer and heated it up in a few minutes while I cooked my Maple-Drizzled Ham Steak.

Succotash is a traditional North American dish based on corn and lima beans.  It is an appetizingly colorful dish. 

Here is my take on it, which I have been preparing this way for many years:

Spicy Succotash

2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
½ red onion, chopped
1 leek, white part with a bit of the green, sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped, with some of the leaves, chopped
1 clove garlic, sliced
2 cups corn, frozen or fresh*
1 ½ cups lima beans, frozen or fresh*
½ cup peas, frozen or fresh*
½ orange pepper, diced
¼ tsp dried cumin
¼ tsp paprika (Spanish paprika is best) or Cajun spice
1 cube chicken or vegetable bouillon
1 cup water
½ cup apple cider or juice
¼ tsp salt
2 grinds or shakes of black pepper
Dash of Louisiana hot sauce (optional)

(*If any of the vegetables are fresh, cook them first, then add after the spices. 
For fresh corn, also scrape some of the corn "milk" into the dish when adding the liquid.)

Saute onion and leek in 1 tsp olive oil on medium heat for 5 minutes. 
Reduce heat, add celery & garlic, then stir and saute gently for 8 minutes.
Add the remaining olive oil and orange pepper, stir, and add the spices,
cooking a few minutes till fragrant. 
Add the remaining vegetables, stir through to incorporate the spices,
and cook on medium heat for 8 minutes.
Add water, cider or juice, and bouillon, and bring to boil.
Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.

That’s it!  If you like, add a dash of hot sauce to taste

Makes 4-6 servings as a side dish.  Freezes well.

Callaloo is a traditional Caribbean dish, originally made from amaranth leaves.

My version of Callaloo was adapted from a recipe in Vegetarian Times (June 2008) which used Collard Greens and Spinach, water instead of broth, and made 8 servings.  My version of Spicy Vinegar was also adapted from the same recipe.  I added lime juice and diced red onion, substituted a cherry pepper for their Scotch Bonnet chile pepper, and seasoned it with allspice, which complemented the Caribbean flavor.


1 tsp olive oil
1 bunch Collards, stems removed, rolled then sliced, then the slices halved.
1 bunch Rainbow Chard or Green Chard, chopped, some stem reserved & chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
½ large yellow onion, chopped
1 cup broth

Cook onion in olive oil on medium heat 5-8 minutes till beginning to soften. 
Add garlic, collards and chard, stir, reduce heat, and cook 5-8 minutes until greens are wilted.
Add the broth, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 40-50 minutes, or until greens are tender.  Serve with Spicy Vinegar as a garnish

This makes a very attractive side dish, with colourful flecks of the
onions & peppers from the spicy vinegar nestling atop the dark greens.

Makes 3-4  servings as a side dish.  Freezes well.

Spicy Vinegar

1/3 red onion, diced
1/3 red pepper, diced
1 whole cherry pepper, diced
Juice of 3 limes
¼ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup water
½ tsp sugar
3 dashes allspice (about 1/8 tsp)
¼ tsp salt

Put onions & peppers in heatproof mug or bowl.
Heat lime juice, vinegar & water along with sugar, allspice and salt, and bring to a boil.
Simmer liquid for 5 minutes; pour over onions & peppers. 
Cover & marinate while the callaloo cooks. 
Serve 1 tsp-1tbsp of the marinated vegetables over the callaloo, along with some of the liquid.

Maple-Drizzled Ham Steak

½ ham steak
1 tsp maple syrup (I prefer organic for the taste)

Cook ham steak on medium heat 4 minutes in a frypan which has been wiped with olive oil.  Turn; drizzle top with maple syrup.  Reduce heat and turn again after 4 minutes; turn back after 2 minutes. 

Serves 1. 

About The Solitary Gourmet

"We Dine Solo But We Are Not Alone"

The above motto exemplifies the mandate of this blog:

To provide & share recipes for Lone Foodies who love to cook,
as well as those who would like to enjoy cooking for themselves
more than they already do.

There will be several recurring features, which will include:

  • Quick-Fix (easy preparation and minimum wait time)
  • Default Dinners (standbys we can rely on)
  • Freezer Fare (meals & sides - cook once, freeze more for later)
  • Breakfast for Dinner (indulge your inner child)
  • Winging It (recipes for Chicken Wings)
  • Treat Time

Once a month I will also feature a Word Search Puzzle for Foodies.

Please feel free to contact me at:

Your comments are also welcome!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday Quick-Fix: Speedy Carrot Soup

Today is a good day to let oneself off the hook! 

My Monday tradition is to promise myself an easy evening with a low-maintenance meal, such as either one of my home-cooked frozen dinners or a quick-fix such as this soup:

Speedy Carrot Soup

1 lb bag of baby carrots (leave whole)
1 28-oz carton chicken broth
1 cup water
1/2 onion (no chopping)
1/8 tsp ginger or small knob of fresh ginger, sliced
1/4 tsp powdered dill or 3/4 tsp fresh dill, chopped or torn
2 chicken bouillon cubes
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup half-and-half
sour cream for garnish
sprig of fresh dill for garnish or a pinch of dried dill

In a deep medium-sized saucepan combine all ingredients, adding powdered dill at beginning if using, or reserving fresh dill to add at the end of the cooking time.

Bring to the boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 1/2 hour.  Put all into a blender or food processor to puree, or use an immersion blender.  Otherwise, strain out the solids and mash them, then whisk back into the soup.  Add the half-and-half and fresh dill, if using.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of fresh dill or a sprinkle of dried dill.

That's all there is to it!  Great with a salad & warm roll or biscuits. 

This makes enough to save some for another day - freezes well, and is easy to defrost right in the pan - just add a splash of milk & whisk it till smooth.

I recommend using organic baby carrots and organic chicken broth, as well as organic "chicken" bouillon cubes.  The taste is superior, and the soup is preservative-free.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday!!!

Today is brighter, warmer & fresher than recent days, with blooms budding and birds singing - all full of the promise of summer.

It sets me to thinking about fun warm-weather meals with lots of colourful local produce. 

-Picnics, both indoor & outdoor, here we come! 

In winter months I generally want to eat mid-european dishes – goulashes, potpies, bean dishes, perogies, spatzle and the like; soups such as lentil, borscht, golden squash, and split pea; as well as lots of warming side dishes involving chard, collards, leeks, beets, and roasted root vegetables. 

Now that it’s spring I’m returning to more of a Mediterranean food experience – many vegetables, wonderful, vivid green salads, bean salads, pasta dishes, falafels, hummus, veggie dips, and refreshing summer drinks – slushies, coolers, shandies, iced coffees and iced teas – as well as fresh fruit salads, granitas, and of course ice creams.  

These are early days for my blog, and in upcoming months I’ll be featuring more of these warm-weather dishes as well as segments devoted to: weekly menus, a vegetarian challenge, default dinners, and delicious healthy lunches.  Pictures will be posted, and reader input will be welcome.  Stay tuned!

Friday Nite Treat:

I call this The Swackertator for obvious reasons!

2 oz. Carolans liqueur (or Bailey’s)
1 oz. Brandy
4 oz. milk
1-2 ice cubes (optional)

Stir together and drink – does the job and tastes great!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Mushroom Potpie

Mushroom Potpie (serves 2)

This little potpie is delicious & comforting - great for a chilly rainy day! 

It comes together quite quickly, and freezes & reheats beautifully - I like to keep one in the freezer for a super-busy day where I need to just flake out & let the meal fend for itself in the oven.  It's fortifying & restorative. Great served with a simple salad of baby greens & sliced green apple or steamed broccoli & sliced golden peppers.


  • 25 largish mushrooms, cut in half crosswise then sliced (no stems)
  • 1 leek, white part & some of the green, halved lengthwise then sliced thinly
  • 1 onion, cut into half then sliced and halved again
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • 2/3 can 2% evaporated milk (reserve the rest for the topping)
  • 1 cube chicken-style bouillon

Saute onion & leek in a little olive oil till a bit browned, add a bit more oil and the mushrooms, then sauté again till almost done.  Season with salt & pepper, turn heat down, cover, and cook gently to bring flavors out, stirring occasionally (takes about 15 min. altogether). 

Add butter; add flour when butter has melted, and stir throughout the mushroom mixture, cooking gently for a few minutes (2-3 min.).  Add half of the milk, let warm up for 30 seconds, then stir into the mushroom mixture.  Add remainder of milk, crumble in the bouillon cube, and continue to stir until thickened (2-3 minutes), adding more milk if necessary to make a thick gravy-like consistency.  Cover, remove from heat, and let stand a few minutes.


  • 3 medium potatoes
  • ½ medium turnip
  • 3 carrots or 1/2 cup baby carrots
  • 1 medium parsnip
  • Reserved 1/3 can 2% evaporated milk
  • 1 tbsp. lite sour cream
  • ½ cup grated cheese

Cut all vegetables into chunks (except baby carrots, if using).  Boil then simmer until soft (about 20-30 minutes).  Drain & mash with a bit of the remaining milk and the sour cream, add the cheese, season with salt & pepper, and add more of the milk if necessary.

Put mushroom mixture into lightly oiled 2 mini-loaf pans or individual casserole dishes, top with the root vegetable mixture, put a bit of butter on top with a fork, and bake at 375 for ½ hour.

To reheat from frozen: put directly into 375 oven and cook covered, for 40 minutes.  Uncover and cook a further 15 minutes.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My Crab Cakes

Here is my first recipe, and one of my favourites:

My Crab Cakes: - serves 1 - 2

Bake: 400 – 30 -38 min. in oiled steel baking pan
Makes 4 cakes

½ lb crabmeat (or 2 x 120g tins – rinse then squeeze the moisture out first)
1/3 cup breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs for crab cake mixture, plus
1/3 cup breadcrumbs for breading (panko or half-panko works well)
1 egg
2 tbsp mayonnaise
3 minced green onions or 1 tbsp minced red onion
¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp all purpose seasoning or seafood seasoning
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp mustard powder (or 1 tsp Dijon, ½ tsp hot mustard or 1 tsp horseradish)
¼ tsp salt  & ¼ tsp pepper or Spanish paprika
1 tbsp minced orange pepper

Beat egg, add mayo & Worcestershire sauce.
Add crumbs, mustard powder, baking powder, onion & pepper, seasonings & crabmeat.
Shape into patties, coat w/crumbs.
Bake & serve.  (you can freeze half for another meal)

Roasted root vegetables* over baby greens w/Tuscan dressing
Chili mayo (mayo mixed w/chiracha hot sauce & lite sour cream)
Seafood cocktail sauce

*Parboil 5 fingerling potatoes, 1 baby organic turnip (peeled & sliced thickly), 5-6
 baby carrots, and 2 parsnips (peeled & sliced thickly).  Strain, cool, slice
 fingerlings in half.  Toss all w/olive oil, salt, rosemary & Spanish paprika or
 black pepper.  Put in preheated, oiled pan.  Bake for 40 minutes at 400.  

After the veggies have been in the oven for 10 minutes, put the crab cakes
in the oven in a preheated, oiled pan & continue baking for 30 more minutes,
turning the crab cakes & vegetables after 15 minutes.  The whole thing may
need another 8-10 minutes after the recommended time.

This was excellent and provides another meal (2 crab cakes and half the roasted
root vegetables).

To freeze & reheat:

Freeze uncooked breaded crab cakes and half the root vegetables.  Cook directly from the freezer:

Preheat oven to 400°.  Put 2 lightly oiled metal pans in oven for 8 minutes. 
Add crab cakes to 1 pan; turn over so that both sides are lightly oiled, or lightly spray with oil.
Add root vegetables to other pan, cover.
Bake for 30 minutes, turning once after 20 minutes and uncovering the root vegetables at the same time. 
Bake for an additional 5-8 minutes if needed.

Welcome to My World!

One of the reasons I enjoy cooking at home so much is that I'm spoiled by my own cooking.  As a solitary gourmet, I get to pick my own ingredients and control the method, and ultimately the delicious outcome, of everything I eat.  My nutritional needs are met with careful planning, and the results are both visually appealing and mouthwateringly appetizing.

Of course, dining with Family & Friends is a wonderful thing, but, hey, when you live alone, you eat alone a great deal, and my goal is to make that as enjoyable and delicious an experience as possible!

I've been cooking since I was 12, love good food, and am always looking for new recipes and fun ways to turn out old favourites.  I innovate as well adapting recipes to cook for 1 or 2, and also cook ahead and freeze many meals. 

When my daughters were growing up I catered to their varied tastes, instilling in them a love of preparing meals from scratch.  Now as I cook primarily for myself, and endeavour to make every meal an occasion, my table is set with a colourful placemat and I always take the time to "savour the flavour".

Usually I dine by myself with my patient dog, Misty, sitting at my feet, wide-eyed and wishing for scraps to fall. 

This blog is my way of sharing and connecting with other "Solitary Foodies" out there.  We dine by ourselves, but we are not alone!