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Serves One: Simple Meals to Savor When You're on Your Own Paperback – October 24, 2005


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Serves One: Simple Meals to Savor When You're on Your Own + Going Solo in the Kitchen + The Pleasures of Cooking for One
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Isle Press; 2nd Edition edition (October 24, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891105140
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891105142
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #236,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Anyone facing an occasional dinner for one, making solo brown-bag lunches, or living alone will find Toni Lydecker's Serves One invaluable. She shows you how to make tabbouleh and ratatouille in modest amounts so you don't have to eat them for days. She even gives a recipe for pizza dough you can turn into perfect, single-size pies. Who needs soggy take-out when you can make your own potato and pesto pizza, or luxuriate on Sunday with a creamy Smoked Salmon Pizza? (You bake the dough, then add the topping; it's much better than a bagel!)

Lydecker tells how to make Mini Meatloaf and Oven-Barbecued Pork Ribs, just the right amount of Chicken Fingers, even your very own Shellfish Steamer, a kind of clambake. Many recipes cook in 5 to 20 minutes. When stews and soups take longer, they don't need tending. If any cookbook will ever wean you off frozen entrees and instant mixes so you eat as well on your own as with family or friends, Serves One can do it. --Dana Jacobi --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Lydecker, a food writer and editor, teaches classes on cooking for one, but her cookbook is directed at anyone who eats alone at least sometime, not just "full-time" solo cooks like recent college grads, the newly divorced, and others suddenly on their own. However, much of the information she includes will be most helpful to novices in the kitchen. The recipes are fine but somewhat ordinary. Jane Doerfer's excellent Going Solo in the Kitchen (LJ 4/15/95), with almost twice as many recipes and a readable text filled with kitchen strategies and useful suggestions, is the first choice here; larger collections should consider adding Lydecker's book as well.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Just saying the recipe title to a dinner guest will be impressive.
Michael
Even though the recipes are sized for one I still find it difficult to find and cook just one piece of meat to make the dishes in the book.
Suzanne Mcclary
These recipes are inventive, delicious, easy and just right for me.
fan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

118 of 119 people found the following review helpful By Michael on January 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
Serves One is the model follow-up to anyone's first cookbook or introductory cooking experience. Besides the helpful first few pages about an appropriately stocked pantry and the necessary equipment, the rest of Toni Lydecker's book assumes that you know the working end of a frying pan from the other. Taking off from there, she supplements her recipes with personal notes about how to add an expert touch to the meal or how to vary it specifically to your liking. I'm a guy, so I'm not going to use words like 'yummy' or 'scrumptious,' but I will say that everything I have made from Serves One has been awesome.

Even so, Toni's recipes are never intimidating, and their relative simplicity is surprising because the food still turns out delicious. Although Serves One isn't a health/dieting book, Toni keeps to the lighter side of food. I find that tendency is a nice alternative to the otherwise grease-laden diet of people eating on their own, who choose to order instead of cook. My single problem is with a few of the ingredients. Most people aren't going to keep Japanese sweet rice wine or Swiss chard around, but then again, this book is about treating yourself to something special.

And it can certainly be about treating others as well. So, even though I'm a fairly busy med school student, I don't keep to the title of Serves One but often double or quadruple the recipes for company. Some personal favorites: the grilled tuna with mango sauce, the one-pot bean and corn dinner, and the spaghetti alla carbonara. And even though some planning is required for making the homemade pizza dough, definitely try the grilled pizza with brie and arugula as well. Just saying the recipe title to a dinner guest will be impressive. But regardless of whether you have company or not, get yourself Serves One and get to treating yourself right.
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47 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Mark on February 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
I was given Serves One (the "Simple Meals to Savor When You're on Your Own" edition, though) for Christmas and I've been using it all of the time. The choices are really appitizing and easy to shop for/prepare, so it's better than take-out. Definately try the spinach/orzo/pistachio/onion salad, which I've made pretty much every week since I got the book, and actually looks like it does in the picture.
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87 of 96 people found the following review helpful By Lemon Magic on July 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
Even with my limited experience, (but I've dated and lived with some very good, experienced cooks), I can tell that about half the recipes in this book are uninspired, workaday fare. They are there to fill out the pages and create a thicker book that the average cookbook shopper will think gives more "bang" for the buck.

But even with that caveat, I feel that this book deserves an extra star for its attempt to focus on the needs of an underserved American market : beginning and intermediate cooks who need (or want) to start cooking for themselves. For this audience, "Serves One" is a great choice, especially if they need to get started right away and can't wait to score a copy of "Going Solo In the Kitchen".

I am OK with the "averageness" of many of these recipes. I don't need gourmet cooking, I don't need bistro fare, I don't need Mario Batali cuisine. I can go to my local bistros for that. At this stage in my cooking career, I need simple, foolproof recipes that deliver decent results with a minimum of fancy ingredients, and I need them scaled for 1 or 2 servings so I don't waste time doing algebra in my head while I'm trying to master the basics of braising or sauteing...or else stuffing my refrigerator with more wasted leftovers than I'll ever be able to finish. I also want some variety, so I don't get bored with making the same 5 or 6 dishes again and again. It's OK if some of the food I produce is unexciting - whatever I cook and make for myself with 'Serves One" is bound to be cheaper, fresher, tastier and better for me than any pizza, takeout or drive through food around.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Randy Hill on September 28, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Looking through amazon.com for cookbooks tailored to cooking meals for one is an interesting experience. They either of the "men can't cook" variety around how to boil water or use soup as the base for life. Or a famous chef's idea of "tossing a few things together" for a gourmet feast for one. Neither of which helps me figure out what I can plan on having for dinner when I get home at 6:30 -- and like tonight forgot to pull anything out from the freezer.

One book that had good reviews was Serves One: Super Meals for Solo Cooks by Toni Lydecker. Available used for $4.00 including shipping (and 2 day amazon prime shipping at that!)

Leafing through it tonight I'm struck that there's no pictures and that there's a lot of filler. I mean really, a section on salads? I think we can figure out how to make a basic salad or a Caesar salad. Soups? From scratch..got plenty of those in all my "regular" cookbooks. On to the pasta dishes....First recipe is... spaghetti with butter and cheese...Hope this gets better.

Stove top cooking, first two of three are: Cooking a steak with pepper in it (seriously) and chicken fingers. OK so we're off to a very slow start and there's a lot of fillers in here.

But maybe there are some recipe's that I might actually try? Shellfish Steamer for one is promising, a Belgian beef stew that uses two bottles of dark beer? interesting....a mini-meatloaf or a single Cornish Hen ok so there's a few in here.

Things were looking up until I got to the section of sandwiches and then even found a recipe for french toast :(

My recommendation: You can skip this one (although at $4.00 I don't regret buying it)

I'll post a review on that belgian beer stew as soon as the weather gets a little cooler on my blog meals4one.
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