Faithful Recipe

I have a few recipes that are old standbys. You know, the recipes you pull out when you need something quick? I am going to share this one with you today. It is my recipe for brownies.

Photo Credit: QuintanaRoo via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: QuintanaRoo via Compfight cc

½ c melted butter

1 c sugar

½ c cocoa

2 eggs

½ c flour

1 tsp vanilla

Melt butter on low heat. Stir in sugar and cocoa. (My brownies tend to come out better if you melt the butter then turn off the heat.) Remove from heat. Stir in eggs one at a time and then add flour and vanilla. Grease bottom of 8×8 or 6×10 pan (you can also flour it. doing so makes the brownie removal much easier.) Pour brownie mixture into pan and put in an oven heated to 350°F or 175°C. Bake for 20 minutes or until the middle is cooked through.Cool and enjoy!

These tasty treats are my go to dessert when I need something fast or when that sweet tooth strikes. Of course, you can improve on this recipe by adding chocolate chips, nuts, peanut butter, etc. I hope you can use this recipe and enjoy it as I have.

On a more serious note, if you are a single person and you have a recipe or blog idea you would like to share, please contact me at servingsingle(at)gmail(dot)com or comment below. I would love to hear what is important to you as a single.

Blow Out The Candles!

Photo Credit: Theresa Thompson via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Theresa Thompson via Compfight cc

In honor of my birthday I am sharing my favorite Chocolate Cake. I found this recipe several years ago and have loved it ever since. It is a very easy cake to make. The texture is very moist and the taste is dark chocolate. Here is the website link and recipe.


2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups white sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup milk

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup hot, strong coffee


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×13 inch pan.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the oil, milk, eggs, and vanilla, mix until smooth. Stir in the hot coffee last. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

This is very good with my sister’s recipe for Chocolate Mousse Frosting. The only thing this recipe is not good for is cupcakes. The batter comes out very soupy and it is difficult to portion it out into the cupcake pan. The secret to eating cake as a single is to invite friends over to share it (or take it to church to share, which is what I do). If you love chocolate, you will love this cake. I have made it several times to rave reviews. My mother even asked me for the recipe (she is such a good cook that this shocked me!) Try out my gift to you and tell me if you liked the cake as much as I did. Enjoy!

Planning a Menu for One or Two

Menu planning has long been held as one way to be frugal with your dollars and eat healthy. Just a quick search on the internet will bring you dozens of ideas and tips to utilize this tool. However, most of the menu planners are geared toward families. What happens when you are a family of one or you suddenly have an empty nest with only you and your spouse? Many women experience this when their children have all left the house and now, instead of cooking for x number of people, they are cooking for two. Does this mean we, the few, cannot use this tool to frugality? No. It does mean we will have to adapt the practice though.

Photo Credit: jazzijava via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: jazzijava via Compfight cc

Tips to Menu Planning for One or Two People

Used to making a meal for a large family? One way to utilize this habit is to make meals in bulk and freeze them for later. Many meals can be frozen and then heated later for a meal. A little research on the internet can net you thousands of recipes that can be made ahead then frozen. My favorite is lasagna. I can make a large pan of lasagna, cut it up into pieces and freeze the pieces separately. Later when I need a meal, I take it out pop it in the microwave and a few minutes later I have a hot meal.

Many people do not like to eat the same foods two days in a row. This is why menu planning for a single person is so complicated when most recipes make at least 4 servings of food. What can a single person do to mitigate the waste? Again freezing is an option. Making two such meals and alternating days in which they are eaten is another option. Sharing cooking duties with a single friend is another option (with this option you cut expenses and the cooking time).

If I am like most single people, the one thing that bugs me the most about menu planning is fresh fruits and veggies. I find myself many times throwing out rotten fruit and vegetables because I could not consume them before they went bad. This is where a freezer can also come into play. If you live in a country where frozen vegetables are available, use them. If you do not, this idea may take a bit more work, but will be so worth it in the end. Freeze your own vegetables and fruit. A little research in cookbooks or on the internet can provide you with ways in which you can preserve your own frozen fruits and vegetables. (They end up being healthier in the long run because you know what is being put into your freezer.) The only exception to this is lettuce. I have yet to find a practical way in which I can preserve lettuce for salads. When I do I will be sure to post about it.

Menu planning for singles requires thinking outside the box. With a little imagination and planning, a single person or a couple can use this handy tip.

Tools that are Handy for Making Meal Planning for One or Two a Success

The first tool I have already mentioned, a freezer. This does not have to be a large freezer, but a freezer is a very helpful tool to have when planning meals for one or two people. While many people know that a freezer is useful for a large family, many do not realize its usefulness for single people. As I mentioned earlier, a large meal can be prepared then frozen into smaller portions for later consumption. I use this tool all the time for my own meal planning. Lasagna, soup, muffins, pancakes, waffles, baked goods, fruit, some veggies, meat in individual portions, and much more can be stored in the freezer. Just be aware that some items only last a few months in the freezer while others last almost a year.

The second tool that has made menu planning easier for me, has been my microwave. I can make meals ahead and pop them in the microwave when I need them. This useful tool is used mostly in conjunction with my freezer. (One thing I do not put in the microwave though is bread. It will dry out and be hard as a rock if you do. Just a friendly warning.) What if I do not have a microwave or they are not available where I live? Most things can be heated on the stove or in the oven. How do you think your ancestors heated food? A microwave just makes it easier.

The third tool I find useful is a small crock pot. When I first came to the field, I had a crock pot that my mother had left me. It was huge. Way too large for a single person. I was able to obtain a small crock pot from England and I have used that tool almost every week since I received it. It cuts my cooking time by cooking while I am busy doing other things. I can make a meal for just myself or for more with just that one tool. In fact, it makes the chicken pot pie filling much easier to make.

I hope these tips have been helpful to you as you plan your meals. Please, let me know if you have any other tips that have proven useful over the years. Maybe you have found a way to keep lettuce longer!

Serving Up Food Cravings

When you live in a country not your own, you tend to miss certain things about your home country. Of course, this works in reverse as well. When you are in your home country, you miss things about the country in which you serve.

Photo Credit: jeffreyw via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: jeffreyw via Compfight cc

The last couple of weeks, I have been missing Greek food. In particular, gyros. So what do you do when you crave a certain food item and you can’t just go out and buy it? You start searching recipes sites for recipes to make what you are craving.

Since I was craving Greek, I will be sharing some of the recipes I found for Greek food. These are only the ones I have tried with any variations I used.

Tzatziki Sauce – recipe from – link

The only thing I changed on this recipe was to add a pinch of salt. Without it the sauce is a bit bland even with the garlic.

Souvlaki Chicken – recipe from – link

This recipe requires balsamic vinaigrette. This is not something that is available in my country but I can get balsamic vinegar. So I made my own vinaigrette and continued with the recipe. I have to say it is one of the best things I have put in my mouth. (No brag just factJ)

Pita Bread – recipe from – link

This is a yummy addition to my cooking lineup. I did notice that the thinner you roll the bread the better it worked.

The one spice I cannot get here, I brought with me from the States. That spice is dill weed. All the other ingredients I was able to find here or find an acceptable substitute.

The best thing is I got the craving out of my system and found some new recipes to add to my cooking repertoire.

What are some of the foods you miss? Let me know!

Serving Up a Favorite



Thank you for allowing me to take a week off for recovery. The surgery went well and the week of recovery allowed me to get back to normal. I have material for a blog post out of that experience but I will be saving it for a later date. Today I want to share with you one of my favorite recipes. As with all good recipes, I have modified it and made it my own. So here it is, Chicken Pot Pie.

This is the link to the original recipe.


1 pound skinless, boneless chickenbreast halves – cubed

1 cup sliced carrots

1 cup frozen green peas

1/2 cup sliced celery

1/3 cup butter

1/3 cup chopped onion

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon celery seed

1 3/4 cups chicken broth

2/3 cup milk


2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)
2. In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
3. In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.



Printed from 2/17/2014

This recipe can be cooked in a slow cooker or on the stove top. It makes about 4-6 servings for me. In other words, I have meals for about a week out of this one recipe. It also freezes well. I usually do not make it as a pie but rather bake it in a deep dish with drop biscuits on top. I have modified it to use beef and turkey instead of chicken, but I imagine the possibilities are endless with a recipe like this one. Just imagine what kinds of veggies you like that will go with chicken, pork, beef, turkey, or ham. Maybe you don’t want meat in it, then load it up with all sorts of good vegetables and let it cook.

My variations are as follows:

Use beef instead of chicken with green beans instead of peas.

Use turkey instead of chicken.

I have a friend who is gluten intolerant and instead of flour you could use corn starch to thicken the gravy. Watch out for the Chicken stock though. Read the ingredients as it may contain gluten. Then instead of pie crust or biscuits, enjoy a hearty chicken stew.

The recipe itself takes a bit of work, but the rewards are well worth it. Please let me know if you come up with any other variations. I love to experiment and as I said this recipe is a favorite.

Serving up Mexican

This week’s post is on the lighter side. I want to share with you a new recipe I discovered. It came about by accident.

Because I don’t live in a larger town, I am not connected to the gas main. I buy my gas from an older gentleman who very kindly delivers a bottle when I need one. This is usually every two months or so. A few weeks ago, I ran out of cooking gas in the house. I ran out on Saturday night too late to call. It happened after I finished cooking dinner thankfully. I did not want to make the gas man come out to my house on Sunday so I had decided to wait until Monday to call. That left me with a bit of a problem, Sunday dinner. I had planned to make enchiladas for dinner but they need to be baked and I had no gas for the oven. What to do? I decided to use the Slow Cooker.

If you as a single person do not own a Slow Cooker or small Crock Pot, go buy one! It has been a great investment since the moment I bought it. This appliance allows you to cook a delicious meal without having to stand over a stove or even be in the house. It is especially useful if you work all day and then have to fix dinner when you come home. It also comes in handy when you have no gas for cooking.

Photo Credit: I Believe I Can Fry via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: I Believe I Can Fry via Compfight cc

Here is my simple recipe for stacked enchiladas in the Slow Cooker. (Side note: I had already boiled the chicken to use in the enchiladas. So if you find yourself with no gas, you may want to go with other fillings besides chicken.)

Slow Cooker Enchiladas – 2l size

One package of 10 flour tortillas – 6” rounds or size to fit in crock of Slow Cooker

One 200g/8 oz package of cheese – cheddar is best but if you live in a country that does not sell cheddar, experiment a little. I used a three cheese mix that included cheddar.

One chicken breast cooked and shredded

400 ml/2 c of tomato paste

½ t cumin

2 t Chile Powder

2 t Garlic Powder

(I also added a bit of a Mexican spice blend that I can only find here, but the other spices will make a delicious sauce as well)

First take the tomato paste and add the spices to it with ¼ c of water. If your tomato paste is very thin then only add a little of the water. If it is thicker add more water. You want to end up with a paste that is the consistency of tomato soup.

In the Slow Cooker place a small amount of enchilada sauce. Just enough to coat the bottom of the Slow Cooker crock. Then place one flour tortilla, some cheese and chicken (or other fillings) layer one more flour tortilla, more cheese and chicken, and finally one more tortilla. It is like layering lasagna. Pour some enchilada sauce onto the stack and repeat the layering process. Continue in this fashion until you have run out of tortillas or have no more room in the crock. On top of your stack pour the rest of your enchilada sauce and top with a handful of cheese. Put the lid on top and cook on high for about 3-4 hours. What comes out are delicious layered enchiladas.

I put these on Sunday morning before I went to church and when I came back they were ready to eat. I made these enchiladas with chicken and cheese but you can use whatever fillings you can imagine. If you come up with something you like, let me know. I am always looking for variations on my favorite recipes.