dinner 9-17-15


A rather nice dinner for one: a chicken thigh dusted with Moroccan seven spice and baked, shredded and piled onto Israeli couscous cooked with broth and vegetables (garlic, zucchini and Swiss chard), on a bed of fresh mizuna from the garden. I really enjoyed the bite of the mizuna with the sweet/spicy chicken. I poured myself a glass of New Zealand Sauv Blanc.

salmon curry for one



I was on my own for dinner tonight, a situation that often leads to macaroni and cheese and/or tuna. Trying to be a bit more original, I tried something from 660 Curries that didn’t sound too difficult – a defrosted piece of salmon, braised in a sauce of coconut milk, curry leaves and balchao masala (a fiery, vinegary flavor paste that we made up some time ago and now keep in the freezer in tablespoon-size portions). I added some peas for greenery and dumped it over jasmine rice. Not thrilling, but not bad, and with a glass of wine and Netflix it did the job.

cheesy pasta for one

macaroni and cheese

This is going to sound kind of pathetic, but I cooked and ate dinner by myself on my birthday. Sad, I know, but before you feel too sorry for me, take another look at the paella party we had with my family last weekend. I can’t exactly say that I haven’t had a proper birthday party.

For my actual birthday, though, I was on my own. My personal tradition is that this is the one day a year that I can have macaroni and cheese for dinner – gooey, plain, totally without redeeming nutritional value, and without guilt. And since Jon doesn’t really like just macaroni and cheese for dinner, maybe it was just as well that he had to work all evening.

The stumbling block I ran into this time, though, was that I had allowed myself rather a lot of mac and cheese back in January when I had oral surgery, and kind of overdosed on the stuff. So I decided to make this batch slightly different with vegetable pasta, the kind that’s made with beets and spinach and whatever, so there are different colors and tastes. The co-op, inexplicably, didn’t have multicolor macaroni, but they did have shells, so that’s what I went with. And they had their house-packaged raw sharp cheddar, one of my favorite cheeses for this sort of thing. Continue reading

a bowl of soba


The other night J was supposed to get pizza at work, so I put together a quick dinner for myself – a bowl of buckwheat soba with egg, scallions and broth. It’s very easy to throw together for one person or ten, and can be flavored however you want.

When I got home from work, I got a container of chicken broth out of the freezer and put it in a pan to melt. I put on another pan full of water for the noodles, and another to boil the egg (you can add the raw egg directly to the hot broth, but I prefer the texture of a soft boiled egg). My method is to put the egg in with the cold water and heat it all up together, then after the water has been at a boil for two minutes I fish the egg out and rinse it under cold water, then shell it and chop it. The noodles (which come in a charming individual serving portion) take around 9 minutes to cook – I just go by feel.
buckwheat soba

 I put the noodles, egg and scallions in the bowl, top it all up with boiling hot broth, and add tamari and Sriracha sauce to taste. The cooked yolk all falls out of the egg bits and gets mashed up in the broth – that’s the best part, slurping up all the little bits that fell to the bottom. Yum. Try not to fling drops of hot sauce and chicken broth all over your library book.

soba noodles

Oh – and of course, the pizza J was supposed to have for dinner got misdelivered, so I had to take him out for dinner and drink beer to keep him company. Oh, the hardship.

An omelet and a glass of wine (and bread and salad)

I was on my own for dinner last night, a rather unusual event. I like cooking for myself, although I tend to gravitate towards things like noodles or sandwiches, or interestingly reconstituted leftovers. This time I decided to purposely keep things simple and cook myself an omelet for dinner, something I almost never do when we’re both home.

On the way home from work I talked myself into stopping at the co-op to get a small piece of cheese and a baguette to flesh things out, and when I got home I opened a bottle of white wine, a verdejo from the Spanish wine tasting last week. It was lovely with the faint sourdough taste of the bread.
bread and cheese Continue reading