Every year in November families plan their meals for Thanksgiving, but some individual may not have the time or the money to make it to family for Thanksgiving this year. If you find that you are spending Thanksgiving solo this year here is an idea for an individual Thanksgiving meal. Instead of buying a TV dinner or going out to eat this Thanksgiving, how about making a Thanksgiving dinner for one for this holiday season?
I decided that since I will be spending this Thanksgiving solo this year I wanted to find away to still enjoy the Thanksgiving feast, but I did not want to cook a whole turkey for just myself. One day I was doing some grocery shopping and I was thinking about what I was planning on doing for this Thanksgiving this year. Every year I would always prepare a Thanksgiving meal but this year I only will prepare a meal for only myself which is new for me. As I was walking around the store all of sudden I came up with this brilliant idea for Thanksgiving this year. I decided that I would cook a Cornish hen. Thanksgiving is mostly all about the Turkey even though the Cornish hen is not exactly a turkey, but it is close enough. It is small and a great size to feed one person or two people.
The great part about a Cornish hen is that it takes less time to cook compared to a Turkey. When cooking a turkey it takes hours for it to cook. A turkey that is bought frozen at the supermarket it takes a few days depending on its size for it to thaw out. Also the other down size to preparing a turkey you must start the cooking the turkey early in order for it to be ready by a certain time. Plus there is no point to make a whole turkey for just one person unless of course you like leftovers and are willing to create several dishes that would last you a month or two. The Cornish hen takes about an hour to cook and you do not have to get up early to get it prepared to cook. There are different ways to prepare Cornish hens which you can find several different recipes on www.foodnetwork.com. Another great website that you can find great recipes for Cornish hens is on www.allrecipes.com which this website contains a video and the recipes are rated by people that have tried the recipe. The great thing about the food network website is the recipes have levels based upon individual’s cooking levels. If individuals that have are just beginning on the path of learning how to cook can find a recipes that are at his or her skill level.
Now that it has been decided to cook a Cornish hen this Thanksgiving it’s deciding what else you would like to make with the Cornish hen. I notice one day as I was walking down the can vegetable item at the grocery store that they have small cans that is perfect for one individual. It is up to you what kind of vegetable that you like for your own small Thanksgiving meal. Now you do not have to have canned vegetables and just make a salad as your vegetable. The thing about canned vegetables it does not take long to cook and you do not have to do anything fancy with them. All I am going to use is butter, salt, and pepper when cooking some canned green beans.
The next on the list to prepare this Thanksgiving is deciding on what kind of starch you want. In most traditional Thanksgiving meals mashed potatoes is always served as an item. Mashed potatoes can easily be prepared for one individual person. To make homemade potatoes for one person all you would need is two or three small potatoes or you can decided if you do not want to make homemade there is always instant mashed potatoes that are individually packaged. With homemade mashed potatoes all you need is a few ingredients which are: milk or heavy whipping cream, butter, salt and pepper, and sour cream (optional). To make the mashed potatoes you start out by boiling some water while waiting for the water to boil you need to peel the potatoes unless you like the peel in your potatoes. After peeling the potatoes, to make sure that the potatoes are going to get really soft and tender when cooking them is to cut them into thin slices. Once the potatoes are finished the best method that I found that make great creamy mashed potatoes is to use beaters to mash the potatoes. The one thing that you have to be careful with homemade mash potatoes is not to add to much milk or heavy whip because it will cause your potatoes to be runny. The way that I make sure not to make my potatoes to runny is by adding a little bit of milk or heavy whipping creamy at a time. To make sure that the meal is prepared at the same time is to wait until the Cornish hen is half way cooked that way it gives time for the rest of the items that you want to prepare to finish at the same time.
A Thanksgiving meal is not complete without the dessert. The good thing is that you do not have to prepare a whole pie. Most stores have individual pies that you can choose from. If you want to make a whole pie that would be up to you. You can also make a single serving homemade pie which you can Google single serving pies to find a recipe. I found that most single serving recipes makes tiny pies that you will have about 10 to 12 of them. If you just want one individual slice of pie the best thing would to buy a single slice of pie at the grocery store.
As you can see there is a way to prepare a Thanksgiving feast for one. With a little bit of an imagination and doing some shopping around you can find items to put together for your own individual meal without having to go out a buy a TV dinner or go out to eat somewhere for Thanksgiving.
When it comes to cooking for just yourself it may be easy to grab something quick or buy microwavable meals. In the end, it may be cost more than making home cooked meals at home. Just how does someone who is cooking for him or herself save money and finds the time to prepare home cooked meals?
It may be simple has preparing meals in advance. At first it may seem overwhelming, but it would be the way to have home cooked meals that are already prepared and all you have to do is heat and serve. The first thing that needs to happen is to find sometime were you can sit down and figure out what time is the best for you to dedicate a full day just preparing different dishes. Beverly Robinson, who is a financial advisor that prepares meals for one, says, “That it takes discipline for someone to take the time to prepare meals for a whole month in advance.” What she first suggests is go to a place like Big Lots and buy microwavable containers that have lids. She explains, “If you shop around you can find those types of microwavable containers that are inexpensive and are reusable and dishwasher safe.”
Finding containers is just one of steps but you also need to create a menu. Make a list of different types of recipes that you would like to try. Most recipes make about six servings or more depending on the meal that you plan to prepare. If you are trying to eat a well balance diet there are recipes that include most of the food groups in one dish. Also recipes that have call for white rice can be substituted for whole grain rice. One thing that is great about planning a menu for a month is that each month you can try something new. Even if you do not want to make a whole month of food, you can also try starting off by making a week worth of meals. That way it does not seem overwhelming.
After getting the menu planned on what you want to make, it is time to shop for the items that you need. “When it comes to shopping for the items that you need, you need to figure out where you can get the best bargains,” stated Beverly. The best way to do that is to look online or local store advertisement at various stores to find out the best deals. One place that could be the best place to shop is places where you can get items in bulk. Some items might be better to buy at other places. Beverly mentions that she gets her spices at Big Lots. “The spices at Big Lots are cheaper compared to other places,” Beverly stated. She also mentions that if you want to save money it is best to get all you’re shopping done all at once. She says, “It will cost you more money if you shop multiple times throughout the month.”
The final thing that comes with preparing meals for a month or week for you is dedicating a time to prepare the meals. This requires you to figure out a day that you are not busy and can spend the day cooking. Depending on what meals you plan is going to determine how long you are going to spend your day cooking over a hot stove. This is the part that will definitely require disciple. It may not be fun at first but once the meals are done you will have more time the rest of the month to do other things.
Though this method might not be for everyone it does have it benefits. If you have meals already prepare you are going to save money and time. It will save you money by preventing you from spending money on fast food places and on frozen entrées that run about two to three dollars. Most of us have busy schedule and one time a month preparing meals for ourselves can be beneficial. When we are in a hurry and need something for lunch, lunch is already prepared we can grad it and go.
When it comes to cooking not all of us are chefs and know what the different terms and tools that are used in cooking. Here is a glossary of a few terms and tools that may or may not be familiar.
Julienne-This cooking term is referring to items mainly vegetables that are cut into long thin strips. The recipe may indicate how thin the strips will be.
Pare-Is to peel the outer layer of a fruit or vegetable. When it comes to using food as a decorative item, paring is the technique used to make flowers from tomatoes’ skin.
Roux- This is a thickening agent that consist of flour and water. It is use to make gravy, thicken soups, and stews.
Egg Wash- This term refers to adding light water to beaten eggs. The egg wash is used on pie crust to give it that golden brown color.
Cook’s Knife- this is also called the Chef Knife. This is the thickest and the heaviest knife and used to chop, slice, and dice food items.
Bread Knife- Is the longest knife in the knife set. The name explains the purpose of this knife, which is to slice bread.
Paring Knife- This is a small knife that is used to trim fat off of meats. It is also used to peel the outer layer of fruits and vegetables.
Dutch Oven- This may sound like it a type of oven but it is not. A Dutch oven is a type of cooking pot. Most Dutch oven are made out of cast iron.
At some point in our lives we might find ourselves having to cook a meal just for ourselves. That is what exactly happened to me; I had to start preparing meals just for myself because I had just got out of a six year relationship. It was something I was not use to; I was use to making meals for two or more people. I had worked in food serves since I was eighteen until a few years ago. One day, I was at the grocery store getting some microwavable meals for dinner. I thought that it would be better to pick up real simple items that I could throw in the microwave because there was no point to go through all that trouble to prepare a home cooked meal for myself. Other days, I would pick up something from a fast food restaurant but after awhile it gets boring eating the same old food, and I would carve a good home cooked meal. I decided to look at some magazines, mainly cooking magazines, to get some ideas for dinner and I notice that most cooking magazines tend to focus on how to prepare meals for two or more people, but what about the single individual. It had me thinking that it would be nice if I could find tips or recipes that would help individuals like me who are just cooking for one. Another thing that I also notice is that there are hardly any recipes that also for a single serving; so far I have not come across recipes that say this is a single serving dish unless it was a small frozen pizza that would be found in the frozen section of the grocery store. I know that when I am looking at recipes for a dish that is made to feed a family of six, I hate having to do the math to reduce the serving size which would be much more convenient if there was already a recipe for that same dish that was only made one single serving. That is the whole purpose of this blog is to make up for the lack of articles on cooking for one and recipes that would benefit anyone that might find him or herself cooking a meal for themselves. It would include recipes that I will prepare from cookbooks but the serving size will be for one serving or close to one serving without have too much leftovers. I could go on and on about what the purpose of this blog but its main idea is to focus on cooking for one.