"Go it alone" is a very powerful statement for living; it implies an independence and grit. There's also a distinct pleasure in going it alone — peace in solitude, and no need to share. That same independence and pleasure can also be applied to cooking for one. Maybe you're newly single, maybe you recently moved to a dorm and are seeking the comforts of home, or maybe you're a mom with two wild children and you just want a single cupcake without the hike to your local bakery. Whatever your reason for cooking for one, here are six recipes for going it alone in the kitchen.
Scaling Down Volume, Not Flavor
The internet is littered with single-serve recipes built purely on convenience. We know and love the mug cakes of the world, but these recipes teach a version of going it alone that don't require a sacrifice of quality, texture, or flavor. That being said, these recipes aren't about shortcuts or time savings. The cupcake recipe requires lingering in the kitchen, the pancakes aren't short on ingredients, and the deviled egg uses an egg hard-cooked specifically for that purpose alone.
Using the Microwave and Toaster Oven
One of the challenges of cooking for one is that it is not always prudent to heat a larger oven or even boil a big pot of water. The microwave and toaster oven are both underrated tools in our kitchens. A toaster oven requires less time and energy to preheat. A microwave makes quick work of boiling water. Using these two tools also means you can make some of these recipes without a full kitchen. The Rice Krispies treat is particularly well-suited to dorm life.
Self-rising flour is one of those handy ingredients that once you understand, you'll never want to live without. It is one of the secrets to baking for one. Self-rising flour is a combination of all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt that turns three ingredients into one. Plus, you can find smaller (1-pound) bags of self-rising flour, which is wonderful for a single cook.
A few of the baking recipes call for just a single or even half an egg white. You can save and freeze your own, or you can use cartoned egg whites from the store. Just keep in mind the cartoned egg whites also need to be used or frozen within a week of opening.
The Art of Halving: How To Halve an Egg for Baking
Need Dinner and Lunch Recipes?
While the recipes in this series focus mainly on snack foods, our series of recipes that serve two are great for single cooks, too. Make one for dinner and enjoy the leftovers for lunch.
See Kitchn's Cooking for Two Series: 5 Quick Meals for People Who Loathe Leftovers