Janet's Notebook
Big on Taste, Smaller in Size

Hearty Lasagna for Two

While I love the holiday season - looking at the lights, visiting with friends, eating all the yummy, indulgent food - I am secretly happy when they are over. Once my last guest left on New Year's Day, I felt like I could sleep for the week.

Since my hubby and I are on a house guest break for a while, I'm scaling back on the quantities of food I make. With only the two of us, I've been looking for recipes that don't serve a small army.

"[After] years of dabbling with recipes and having TONS of leftovers that ended up going to waste, I finally had a moment of clarity - cook what you need!" says Barbara Oseland. Her Hearty Lasagna for Two is a very filling recipe, just made into a smaller size. And with the leftover sauce, you can use it to make a pizza or put it on some pasta. Gotta love a two-for-one recipe!

Sue Lally's Baked Mac & Cheese for One is a perfect dinner when I have a night to myself. But, it can also be doubled if I need it to be. "[This] is so much better than the boxed stuff," says Sue. This mac & cheese is a wonderful way to indulge yourself in comfort food ... while still maintaining portion control.

Meatloaf and Mashed Potato Cupcakes? Now that's definitely portion controlled comfort food. While not necessarily for two people, Cara Roe's recipe would freeze well. Or, you can turn the leftover cupcakes into a nice meatloaf sandwich the next day. "My sons love to eat these 'cupcakes' for dinner," says Cara. I think my husband will enjoy these too. They are just cute as a button ... and very tasty.

"This is a meal," says Ellen Bales about her Fried Egg Sandwich with Style, Part 2. I love doing breakfast for dinner occasionally. This sandwich has so many different flavors and textures it makes one really good egg sandwich (and dinner in my mind!).

Soups are wonderful to make when cooking for two. Typically, they make more than you need, but freeze wonderfully. I love making a batch of Jessica Mills' Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup. It's perfectly salty, satisfying and just like grandma used to make! "You can't just eat one bowl full," says Jessica. "It always has you coming back for seconds." On a cold winter night, this is the perfect recipe to warm you up.

Leftovers are great - don't get me wrong. But, after eating something for five days in a row I'm a little tired of it (and I'm sure you all feel the same way too). I love that these recipes are easy to make, and can be portion controlled. Cooking for two can be a hard thing. Do you have any recipes you turn to when not cookin' for a crowd? I'd love to know!

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Ellen Bales - Jan 31, 2014
Thanks so much for featuring my Fried egg sandwich with style, part 2. I love this sandwich--will never go back to plain old fried eggs and bread!
Bob Cooney - Jan 13, 2014
Hello Erica,

This video from Chef Andy Anderson may help You as well..... Take a look!

How to Post a Recipe on Just-a-Pinch (video)

Fireman Bob :)
Kitchen Crew - Jan 13, 2014
Hi Erica ... please email help@justapinch.com and someone from the Crew will be more than happy to help you out.
Ericka Jacobsen - Jan 11, 2014
Hello Janet,
I've been on the site a short time. I pinched a few recipes from other sites to this site and I'd like to know how to edit what I submitted. There seems to be no HELP area. Can you either direct me to there or just tell me how to edit? I know other members are able to do that. Sorry to bother you with this question - thanks for your help!
Gerri Frank - Jan 7, 2014
I love the challenge of making one main meal Ex: Beef Roast and then turn it into a "retake" and make it into a totally different meal= Beef Stroganoff. Broccoli Casserole into Broccoli Soup, Turkey left-overs= a ton of recipes. Use the turkey as Chicken and make Turkey Cacciatore, Turkey Fried Rice, Turkey Noodle Soup...recipes are endless and nobody gets sick of eating "flaming turkey wings"! Left-over Sloppy Joes=Chili. I am addicted to finding new and interested recipes to try for my family and daycare children. This also helps because my husband refuses to eat left-overs more than one time. Love your site!
Mary Cullen - Jan 7, 2014
When I make a casserole or other dish that tends to "grow," I share it with my two single sisters. We all live alone but quite close to each other so sharing is easy. They do the same. The variety you get this way is great.