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My husband goes on 10-day trips every few months, leaving me at home with the cats and plenty of my own work to do. For a few days I wallow in the things he won't eat (for some reason he thinks herring in cream sauce is an abomination -- how could that be?!) but then I am ready for a _real dinner_ again. I learned the hard way that the definition of Forever is "one serves-6 corned beef, eaten solo," so when I came across _Cooking for One: A Seasonal Guide to the Pleasure of Preparing Delicious Meals for Yourself_ at the library, I thought, "That's for me!" And oh boy am I glad I did.

In many ways, this is just another collection of good recipes emphasizing the advantages of eating what's in season: asparagus in the spring, summer corn, etc. What makes it special is that everything is sized for one portion, rarely encouraging you to make leftovers (unless they appear in another form). That includes the grocery shopping list. Many of the recipes use cherry tomatoes, for instance, so you don't use half a tomato in one recipe and have the other half to use up (or watch it rot).

And the recipes are *excellent*. I made three dinners for myself. Ratatouille and polenta was awesome; I had a little ratatouille left over, which made a good omelet filling. I loved the simplicity of the oven roasted snapper with potatoes, tomatoes, and olives (though I used halibut, and substituted capers for the olives); basically it's a "shove it in the oven and go watch the baseball game until the timer goes off" meal. Poached salmon "au printemps" -- with green peas, chives, a hard-boiled egg, and beurre blanc -- was "only" very good. There's plenty more to explore, too, such as blackberry barbecued pork tenderloin with sweet potato salad, and desserts-for-one such as a peach-and-raspberry galette. Though I'm happy to postpone that, as my husband comes home today. (Yay!)

The book doesn't promise that these are all super-fast recipes, but they are easy and most did come together quickly. They certainly have a good payout. I ate far better (and cheaper) than if I had bought a bunch of frozen dinners to stick in the microwave.

This cookbook is a winner. Highly recommended.
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on February 25, 2013
Note I said chefs or at least enterprising home cooks. This book assumes you have a well stocked pantry, an enterprising palate and some cooking skills. If gourmet for you is Kraft Mac and cheese and you are good with that this book is not for you. I have made several of the recipes, several I would modify slightly for my taste, but overall this is a great little primer for eating well when you are eating alone. If you feel somewhat adventurous and you have some disposable income, it's recommended.
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on January 29, 2012
I've been looking forever for a book that breaks recipes down for one person. Yes, you can cut a recipe in half, or in quarters. But it's typically not practical or easy.

I stumbled on this book at a local bookstore and put it on my Christmas wish list. Since getting it I've made 8 recipes from it -- the most I've ever made from one book. And so far I've loved 7 of the ones I've made. They're easy. They're tasty. The tips are good ones.

Best yet, what I didn't realize is that the book is broken down by season. Everything I've cooked has been in the "winter" section, making all the ingredients easy to find.

I also have not spent a fortune on ingredients, nor have I needed ingredients that really out there.

Highly recommend this book and about to look for others by these authors.

You can tell they've really made these recipes because they are practical and tasty.
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on May 11, 2011
I have prepared several recipes in this book and love it!! It is so nice to be able to easily cook and enjoy a fresh, seasonal meal after a long day at work. I actually look forward to the dinner routine. The format and organizational tips are very useful and so far everything I have prepared has been delicious. The recipes can easily be increased to accomodate for a guest. I think single cooks and couples who enjoy good food would love this book.
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on December 31, 2011
I love this cookbook! Every recipe I've made so far has turned out beautifully. I feel like I'm spoiling myself eating such wonderful food, but its all very healthy and nutritious. The flavour combinations are interesting yet well-balanced. I especially appreciate the comments and suggestions from the authors included with each recipe.

My favourites include:
* Stracciatella
* Grilled Pancetta-wrapped Shrimp with Meyer Lemon Relish
* Middle Eastern Carrots
* Chicken with Apples and Prunes
* Buffalo Salisbury Steak
* Fried Shallots
* Baked Apple with Oatmeal Crunch.

I feel like this cookbook has really helped to make me a better cook. I bought it hoping to find some great recipes for one, without having to eat leftovers for a week, or get out a calculator and try to figure out how to decrease a recipe so that it only makes one or two servings. It's a little ironic that I am still doing the math, only now I'm doubling recipes so that I can serve these fabulous meals to family and friends.

I hope these two are already working on their next cookbook!

Laura G.
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on March 24, 2012
I bought this cookbook for my 82 year old mother who recently purchased a 1.5 qt crockpot. She was agonizing over converting standard recipes for her "little pot". This cookbook fits the bill with easy recipes including everything from appetizers to desserts! The recipes are easily understood and contain minimal ingredients.
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on May 16, 2011
I love this book and the comments added by each of the Ericksons. I not only use this book when cooking for myself but also when entertaining a few people. The recipes are fresh and easy to follow. I particularly love the recipes for the raw vegetable salds. I never knew raw asparagus were wonderful!
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on February 1, 2016
Don't waste your money - I thought this book would contain tips on shopping for one, planning, preserving ingredients etc. It is a bunch of mediocre hum drum recipes most of which are portioned for two!
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on December 24, 2014
I like it but I don't love it. It occurs to me that I could just as well cook for two and have the leftovers the next day as long as I am trying to cook well. At this point, I am just reading parts of it and haven't used many of the recipes. But as I go further, it may be one of my favorites.
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on October 19, 2015
Excellent book that is used all the time. I have a large picky family that's really don't like the foods I like so I often just cook a different meal for myself. Some of the recipes are more time consuming than I hoped but everything I have tried has been delicious. Its divided up by season which makes it convenient as well.
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