Real Caramel Sauce for One

Real Caramel Sauce for One

I know there are lots of ways out there to make ‘easy’ caramel– usually involving sweetened condensed milk alone (dulce de leche) or with brown sugar (cooked to just a high-enough temp to taste like caramel.)  I’m not here to knock either of those two methods– they certainly have their places.  I love to use dulce de leche in this icing, and when I lived in South America, we ate it daily on bread for breakfast.  It was heavenly.  Likewise,…

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Speedy Polenta for Breakfast

Speedy Polenta for Breakfast

Since I was little, I have loved pretty much all foods made from corn.  Cornbread, corn on the cob, popcorn, kettlecorn, cornmeal tart crust.  The only exception in all these years has been polenta.  I have seen beautiful photos of lamb ragout over cheesy polenta and creamy polenta with chicken and mushrooms, but somehow these don’t tempt me.  Then a few weeks ago, I had somewhat of a corn-piphany:  I love the sweetness of corn, so a savory application just…

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The Bigger Party: Quick Birthday Cake for 6-8

The Bigger Party: Quick Birthday Cake for 6-8

I suppose that when you are a young teenager, this is the icing-color combination that calls out to you.  Far be it from me to suggest something different–Little S knew exactly what she wanted, and we mapped it out together.  Midnight icing with neon polka dots?  Um, sure!

Quickest Little Birthday Cake

Quickest Little Birthday Cake

Here at the Small Table, I often need a downsized dessert on the fly.  While none of the recipes on this site take a crazy amount of time, this Quickest Little Birthday Cake wins for being fastest, impressive, delicious, and thoughtful.  You may have friends coming over for games, neighbors stopping in, or it’s your turn to host the playdate– on those days, leave off the candle and just serve cake!  The best-case scenario, of course, is that it actually…

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The 6-Inch Quiche: Endless Change-Ups!

The 6-Inch Quiche: Endless Change-Ups!

Today’s post is another favorite use for the 6-inch tart crust.  This time we’re going savory with an easy quiche recipe to which you can add any fillings you like.  The one I made this morning was ham and parmesan, because that’s what I had handy, but you could do any combination of meat/ cheese/ veg that sounds good to you.  My personal favorite is baby spinach and artichoke hearts, followed closely by bacon and caramelized onion– too bad I…

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Small Batch Rosemary Mozzarella Quick Bread

Small Batch Rosemary Mozzarella Quick Bread

It is hot, hot, hot here at the Small Table, and maybe where you live, too!  Are you having salad for dinner tonight?  I admit that I don’t feel like eating much else these past few days, with our temps heading into the 100’s before the weekend.   A good salad can be made great, however, with the right bread-addition.  And so today I offer you one of my favorites:  Rosemary-Mozzarella Quick Bread.  It comes together in a snap with no…

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S’mores Cones: Big, Big Pinterest Win

S’mores Cones: Big, Big Pinterest Win

Little S and I were alone for dinner last night, and so we ate, umm…these.  (OK– we also had carrots, broccoli and hummus.  But still.  We lived wild.)  This was a great idea that I picked up on a stroll through Pinterest, and comes from a post last year by Lina at Hip2Save.  (I could have been making these for a whole year and didn’t know it!)  Such a s’mores upgrade– since it’s in a cone, you can fit in…

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6-Inch Blueberry Cheese Tart

6-Inch Blueberry Cheese Tart

There are so many ways to fill the tart crust from Thursday’s post.  This is one of my favorites for breakfast or dessert during blueberry season (now!)  Delightful at room temperature or cold, it can be made the day-of, or the night before and stored in the fridge.  The blueberry cheese tart makes a wonderful small brunch with ham, fruit and orange juice.  Or use it as a light dessert after a heavier meal.

My Favorite (Quick!) Tart Crust

My Favorite (Quick!) Tart Crust

I admit that I love cute little pans, and I have many of them.  But, oh, what you can do with a 6-inch tart pan!  If you only have a 6-inch cake or pie pan, this will still work, it just won’t have the cute tart shape.  In any case, tart pans are not expensive (Sur La Table), so I would encourage you to get one if you are inclined. This crust is easy, quick, cholesterol free, and can be…

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Secret of Summer Cheese Burger

Secret of Summer Cheese Burger

It’s time.  Maybe past time.  The Secret of Summer Cheeseburger is smoking on my (little) grill, and the fireflies are out here at the Small Table.  Perfect summer nights require perfect summer food, and this burger is #1 on that list.  A few years ago, I was watching my favorite guy-who-wears-a-bowtie, Chris Kimball (formerly of America’s Test Kitchen on PBS).  He was talking about how you may not want to grill a burger that is not all the way cooked…

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Smallest Batch Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Smallest Batch Swiss Meringue Buttercream

OK!  Time to use that egg white left over from Tuesday’s cupcakes.  If you have never tried Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMB), you are in for a delightfully different type of icing.  It is less sweet, and much richer than usual buttercream– it truly melts in your mouth.  To me, this equals a much more sophisticated taste, and I am a huge fan.  Some people think it is hard to make, but if you follow these directions carefully, you will finish…

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Small Batch Luscious Chocolate Cupcakes

Small Batch Luscious Chocolate Cupcakes

Holiday…coming…up…must…celebrate…with…color-coordinated…food!!!  I try not to get TOO crazy about food and holidays, but each one has at least some special food that should go with it:  First and last days of school = crazy ice cream flavors.  Thanksgiving = sugar cones filled with candy to look like cornucopias.  Heart-shaped sugar cookies = Valentine’s Day.  You get the idea.   So anyway, these are this year’s offering for the 4th of July (soon to be upon us!)

Pot de Creme au Chocolat– For One!

Pot de Creme au Chocolat– For One!

Seriously!  The creation of this recipe required three attempts.  Since I am my own taste tester (someone has to do it!) I can tell you that it was pretty fun to eat all three (different days– don’t worry.)  The little French custards that are Pots de Crème have been famous at the Small Table basically forever.  But how do you make just one Pot de Crème?  Allow me to introduce you to a dangerous recipe– and an excellent use for…

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Ice Cream to Keep You Busy

Ice Cream to Keep You Busy

Happy Monday!  Today I’m sharing several links for the ever-popular 2-ingredient no-churn ice cream that is ubiquitous on the internet.  It’s everywhere, frankly, because it’s GOOD!  And EASY!  I know purists are rolling their collective eyeballs at this recipe, but after holding out for a long time (my friend gave me an ice cream maker a few years ago, after all) I have finally embraced it.  To alter these recipes for small batch, use half a can of sweetened condensed…

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Pea Party! + Tomatoes & Beans

Pea Party! + Tomatoes & Beans

I finally had my Pea Party this week: a lovely event that included me and …me.  Because I didn’t get enough peas to share with anyone.  (Sniff.)  Anyway, I was proud enough of myself for just keeping the plants alive until I could harvest something from them.  Next up are tomatoes and (purple!) beans.  I cheated a little on the tomatoes, and bought a plant several weeks ago that already had little green tomato-lets on it.  Aphids keep wanting to…

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Breakfast Frittata in the 8-inch Skillet

Breakfast Frittata in the 8-inch Skillet

I love my 8-inch skillet, and this recipe is one big reason.  Breakfast for breakfast or breakfast for dinner– whatever you fancy, this frittata will fit the bill.  I use a couple of ‘convenience products’ so that it comes together quickly:  evaporated milk and frozen shredded hash browns.  I also switch out the mix-ins to match my mood.  Ham can be bacon or sausage.  Green onion can be red or white onion or artichokes or spinach or mushrooms or peppers. …

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Small Batch Almond Breakfast Cookies

Small Batch Almond Breakfast Cookies

These almond cookies are delicious, portable, and not too sweet– perfect for breakfast on the go.  I have adapted the recipe from cookforyourlife.org, a website dedicated to healthy recipes for those touched by cancer.  They have a wonderful collection that is great for inspiration, and I encourage you to have a look around if you are interested.   I love these cookies, since they are a great use for just one egg white (which I often have in my freezer patiently…

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Small Table Garden: Saving the Peas

Small Table Garden: Saving the Peas

Because we have had so many rainy and cloudy days here at the Small Table, my pea plants survived all the way to June!  I have to celebrate this victory with an exclamation mark, because I have no idea whether they will make it to actual pea-maturity.  The heat which has held off for so long is now coming full-force:  summer is here.  The plant is still alive, and a few pods have even formed.  But the ends of each…

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Marinara #1: Simple & Smooth

Marinara #1: Simple & Smooth

This is my fastest, simplest marinara– and so much better than store-bought.  It is a real treasure, because it is luscious and slow-simmered, but can still be on the table in half an hour.  I know that sounds like a contradiction, but the truth is that “slow” doesn’t have to mean “all day.”  Generally, flavors can meld with a good 20-25 minute simmer after bringing the sauce to a full boil.  I had the chance to test this theory several…

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Potato and Greens with Maple-Pecan Vinaigrette

Potato and Greens with Maple-Pecan Vinaigrette

Throw together this fantastic salad before asparagus season ends.  It has been a favorite at the Small Table for several years; even Little S. will eat it!  The inspiration for this dish came from a photo I once saw in a library book.  I have no idea how that book-salad tasted, but the idea of nuts in a dressing left me with a crazy desire to re-create.  The result is this potato/asparagus/spinach combination topped with my fantasy-version of the dressing…

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