Garden Update: The Peas Are Up!

Garden Update: The Peas Are Up!

I’m so excited that my sugar snap peas have sprouted up!  I am amazed every time a seed begins to grow– even though this has caused a few eye-rolls and some mocking over the years from my brothers (“I come from a magical land where apples grow right on the trees,” etc…)  I feel like it’s one of those fascinating miracles of life on earth that is too easy to take for granted. Seeing these little plants come up makes…

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Just One Egg White? Use It Here!

Just One Egg White? Use It Here!

The great thing about egg whites is that they freeze like a dream. If you have one and you don’t want to use it yet, freeze it in a little cup, well-covered.  Defrost before using. Fluffy Stack of Pancakes for One Pistachio Meringue Cookies for One Strawberry Nutella Hand-Cake for One Small Batch Almond Breakfast Cookies Smallest Batch Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Pistachio Meringue Cookies for One

Pistachio Meringue Cookies for One

It has taken me a while to come around to meringue, particularly because the French macaron is certainly stunning, but so finicky to make.  Also because I don’t like meringue cookies that are all the way dried-out– they just always remind me of chalk.  This one is different, however.  Simple to make, it stays crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside, it’s filled with pistachios(!), and I have modified the recipe to use just one egg white– perfect…

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Silky Alfredo Sauce with Chicken & Broccoli

Silky Alfredo Sauce with Chicken & Broccoli

The beauty, or rather, the luxury of a great small recipe is that you can use judicious amounts of luscious ingredients–precisely because it is small. Eat it; savor it; it’s gone.   Then it’s back to eating mostly healthy food.  You may have heard this referred to as the 80/20 rule:  80% healthy food, 20% indulgence.  It has totally worked for me long-term, which is why I love some good heavy cream and egg yolks when a great recipe is…

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Biggest Surprise: The Tuna Burger

Biggest Surprise: The Tuna Burger

When I was in college, a friend of mine suggested we make tuna burgers for dinner.  I’m a little abashed to say that I actually laughed out loud at the suggestion.   Whoa, what?  That sounded–well, I don’t know–I guess it just sounded like something I didn’t want to have for dinner.  But I am here to tell you, many many tuna burgers later, that this is my total burger thing when I’m not yet ready to pull out my grill…

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The Perfect Hard-Boiled Egg

The Perfect Hard-Boiled Egg

Spring is in full swing here at the Small Table.  Little S is on spring break from school, the daffodils are blooming, and birds have started chirping (yell-chirping!) outside my bedroom window around 4:30 every morning.  All of this calls for some perfect hard-boiled eggs.  We like to color them, then devour them with melted cheese on warm buttered toast for dinner.  Why do we not hide them, you ask? It’s because in the first grade I ‘hid’ a beautiful…

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Small Cake Series: Orange-Ginger Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Small Cake Series: Orange-Ginger Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Each year, Mr. Luxury, Little S, and I celebrate Easter with a special springtime dinner.  We also have friends whose springtime celebrations include Passover*, Nowruz, Whitsunday, and even just a big party for the vernal equinox.  Whatever you are celebrating this spring, I hope you feel the wonder of the earth coming back to life all around you.  This is the small cake I love to make for our Easter dessert, and it’s seriously the very best carrot cake I…

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Small Table Gardening for One

Small Table Gardening for One

Today I was hit with a wild dose of Spring Fever.  Here in Small Table Land we are having our first few sunny, warm days, and all of a sudden I am dying to plant something out on my deck!  I have had only varying degrees of success with gardening in the past, but as hope springs eternal, I think I’m going to try again…  Depending on where you live, it’s not too late for you to run out and…

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Springtime Creamy Tomato Soup for One

Springtime Creamy Tomato Soup for One

For some reason my nostalgic memories of the tomato soup brand I ate when I was growing up do not match the actual taste of it when I eat it now.  How can this be? I think it’s akin to when I finally went back as an adult to see the house where I lived as a child. It had seemed so spacious to me then:  full of nooks and play places, room to crash around, build forts, dress up,…

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Small Lemon-Ginger Custard Pie with Toasted Almond Crust

Small Lemon-Ginger Custard Pie with Toasted Almond Crust

Ah, the elegance of a small, silky pie.  Thank you to Archimedes of Syracuse and to Geometry teachers everywhere for sponsoring today’s deliciousness.  As you will see all over the cooking world, today, March 14 (3.14) is dedicated to all things pi(e).  Similar to the cakes from my Small Cake Series, a small pie can be shared if you wish.  But it certainly doesn’t have to be:  leftover pie for breakfast is a lovely indulgence.

Homemade White Balsamic Honey Vinaigrette

Homemade White Balsamic Honey Vinaigrette

Do you want your salad to sing?  This is possibly my favorite vinaigrette (though there are about 5 others in the running– I’m sort of a vinaigrette-addict ever since I learned to make my own.)  It is simple, quick, always fresh, and I know exactly what’s gone into it.  Though white balsamic vinegar may sound exotic, I find it at my regular supermarket. In any case, it’s well worth the bit of extra looking that your eyeballs may have to…

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Get Ready: Monday, March 14 is Pi(e) Day!

Get Ready: Monday, March 14 is Pi(e) Day!

Remember those exasperating afternoons in math class wondering when you would ever possibly use [insert complicated equation here] in real life?  Well, it turns out that life does use math– to the vindication of my high school Trig teacher…  If you are a lover of pie or a lover of math, you likely know that 3.14 is March 14th, as well as π, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.  Do we need this?  YES!  Any excuse to make…

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Black Bean Soup for One

Black Bean Soup for One

Spring evenings are possibly my favorite times to eat soup.  You can feel the warm weather knocking at your door, but by dinner there’s still a little chill in the air.  Too cold for salad or a burger, there’s nothing better at this dinner-moment than cozying up to a warm bowl of soup.  This Black Bean Soup for One can support all of your favorite Mexican-style toppings– and for that reason alone it has earned my love!  It’s also delicious…

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Small Cake Series: Dense Fudge Cake with Dulce de Leche Icing

Small Cake Series: Dense Fudge Cake with Dulce de Leche Icing

Oh, the glories of a small cake!  It’s perfectly sized for one person with some left over for the rest of the weekend.  Or, if you are feeling very generous, you can share small pieces with up to three of your most deserving friends.  They’d better be deserving, though, because the cakes in this series are only the best.   Today’s cake is a downsized version of one of my best-selling cakes from the Farmers Market:  the Dense Fudge Cake…

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The Personal Puff Pancake

The Personal Puff Pancake

I was introduced to this traditional breakfast treat/science experiment by my brother when we were teenagers.  I have no idea where he got the recipe, but one Saturday morning while the rest of us were watching cartoons (yep, it was those days)  he took a big glass pie plate, poured in some butter and some batter, and amazed us all with his inflatable breakfast.  This is great for a morning when you have a little time for luxury, and is…

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Chana Masala (Indian-Spiced Chickpeas) for One

Chana Masala (Indian-Spiced Chickpeas) for One

This is a “my evening plans got cancelled” meal that will make you glad you stayed home!  I love Indian food, and I love it made fresh.  This meal comes together in just over half an hour, and is just as good as going out.  If you enjoy a no-meat meal every so often, fire up your oven, turn on your stove, and in no time you’ll have your own bit of spicy luxury.

Custom No-Bake Granola Bars for One

Custom No-Bake Granola Bars for One

I’m pretty sure that as a child I never knew some things existed simply because they were not on our family grocery list. One of these things was the turnip.  No argument there, actually.  Another was the chewy granola bar.   When I was in the fifth grade, a friend gave me the extra one from her lunch.  The first bite was such a revelation to me– the soft, luscious, oat-y-ness almost melting in my mouth– that I sometimes crave…

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Small-Batch Pink Lemonade Shortbread Cookies

Small-Batch Pink Lemonade Shortbread Cookies

The other day I needed a small and beautiful treat to say thank you to a friend.  Many people I know feel just like I do:  we love sweets, but also don’t want a big plate of something amazing just hanging around calling our name every time we pass the kitchen.  Enter the Small Plate of Something Amazing.  I love these Pink Lemonade Shortbread Cookies because they are quick, beautiful, customizable, and gone in a few bites.

Your Friend, the Freezer: Buying, Portioning & Freezing Meats

Your Friend, the Freezer: Buying, Portioning & Freezing Meats

A rather large grocery-store obstacle in cooking for one is the fact that meat comes in big packages.  It is very rare to find steaks, pork roasts, sausages, or ground beef in packages of less than one pound.  To avoid wasting what you don’t need, you often end up making a huge pot of chili or pulled pork for 10.  The freezer (and a good little kitchen scale) is the answer to this problem!  If you haven’t been taking advantage…

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Pasta Night Upgrade: The Tortellini-Sausage Skillet

Pasta Night Upgrade: The Tortellini-Sausage Skillet

Pasta and sauce has long been the choice in-a-rush meal here at the Small Table.  There are three long-simmer sauces that I like to make when I have time (recipes to come), but in a pinch a good jar-sauce can be a wonderful thing.  Upgrade your standard pasta-and-sauce dinner with some sausage, parmesan, mozzarella, and tortellini.  This makes enough to have a little for lunch the next day, which can be just what you need when you’re short on time.

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