Dear Mrs. R – An Advice Series for Women of All Ages
I am so excited to bring you another installment of Dear Mrs. R. I truly value all of my readers and your support has been amazing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
In an effort to protect my readers privacy, I will refer to only a First Name and Last Initial when posting to Dear Mrs. R. So, please do not worry about your confidentiality as it will be protected. That’s my promise to you! Also, I will not publish any question without the express permission of my readers.
This week I chose a question from Monique D. Monique asks:
Dear Mrs. R, this year the last of my 4 children went off to college and I’m not liking this whole empty nest thing. This house is too quiet! I’m proud of my children and their choices to attend college but they could have at least chosen colleges closer to home 🙁
Anyway, right now I’m having the toughest time with meals for the two of us. I’m so use to cooking for a family of 6 that I end up having tons of leftovers and my hubby isn’t to keen on eating leftovers all week. So we have adopted this bad habit of ordering take-out throughout the week and I want us to get back on track to eating healthy.
What do you do when it comes to healthy meals for you and your hubby? I hope you can help, I feel sad every time I clean out the refrigerator and throw out perfectly good food when there’s so many people who have nothing to eat at all and I know eating take out all week isn’t very healthy for us especially at our age.
Thanks for all you do! I love reading your blog!
Oy! I think this has been one of my biggest challenges of being an empty nester lol!
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I can certainly relate to your question. It has been quite a challenge for me as well. For years, I cooked meals for a large crowd. We had our two boys at home and we always had friends or family who stayed with us from time to time when they hit on hard times so we pretty much always had a houseful. But, these days it’s just the two of us and I believe I have conquered the empty nest cooking dilemma.
Fall is the best time of year to get use to cooking for two. At least, in my opinion. It’s the time for soups, casseroles and classic comfort food. It’s also the time to break out the slow cooker. If you’re like me I had two slow cookers, one was a 7 quart and the other was a 6 quart which made way to much for us even if I chose to freeze some of it. So, I decided I would purchase a 3 1/2 quart slow cooker hoping it would be the perfect size for us. Mr. R and I aren’t huge eaters. We usually eat a few small meals a day so this slow cooker turned out to be perfect. It is large enough to feed both of us for supper with some leftovers for lunch for me the next day.
I also batch cook every other weekend. So, I’ll make a soup, stew or chili in the smaller slow cooker as well as make a deep dish casserole and/or braise beef, pork or chicken in my cast iron dutch oven. I, then, freeze individual portions for use during the week. This method works out perfectly because you can rotate your meals throughout a two week span and never feel like you’re eating the same thing all week long. It also makes cooking dinner a cinch! Add a side dish, salad, or some warm, crusty bread and dinner is on the table in no time.
In the Winter, Mr. R loves to take a warm, hearty stew or chili with him to work so I’ll use the smaller slow cooker to make his favorites and freeze individual portions. I’ll take out a portion in the evening to defrost and in the morning I just reheat it in the microwave and put it in his lunch thermos. This also works great for casserole portions and pulled pork, beef or chicken.
I also found the Complete Slow Cooking for Two cookbook to be quite helpful in pairing down the quantity of ingredients needed to cook for the two of us. Another favorite cookbook of mine is the Home Skillet: The Essential Cast Iron Cookbook for Easy One-Pan Meals while this cookbook isn’t for the beginner it has taught me quite a few things about cooking in cast iron that I wasn’t aware of.
Monique, I hope I have steered you in a better direction and sparked some creativity as well! xo
If you enjoyed this installment of Dear Mrs. R you may also enjoy Does Midlife Dating Make You Terrified? Actually You’re Not Alone and Dear Mrs. R – 3 Amazing Cold & Flu Tips That Actually Work!
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See you in the comments,