Category Archives: Cooking for Two

Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

I love spinach artichoke dip and I love grilled cheese sandwiches.  So this recipe instantly got me salivating and ready to go.  It’s a great quick lunch or dinner and is pretty healthy especially if you use low fat cheese and yogurt in place of the sour cream.  It’s also really, really good.  REALLY good.  The key is getting the bread golden brown and crispy while allowing the cheese time to melt so that the inside is a creamy, gooey melty mix.  Could it be any easier to put together a crowd pleasing dinner?  After making this last minute for a couple friends and getting really good feedback, I think the answer is no.  Make this (frequently!) and enjoy.

Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (adapted from A Couple Cooks)

Makes 2 sandwiches (scale up according to how many you need)
Fresh spinach – enough for about 3 cups chopped
Canned artichoke hearts – about 3 (around 6 ounces)
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons sour cream
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup shredded cheese (I used mozarella, use any blend you like)
4 pieces bread (I used a white crusty bread, I think sourdough would work great)
Kosher salt
Butter or more olive oil

1  Dice the 2 cloves garlic. Chop the artichokes. Wash and stem the
spinach, then chop it coarsely.

2  Heat about 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet. Add the garlic and
saute for 30 seconds. Then add the spinach and a pinch of kosher salt,
and saute for a few minutes until just limp. Add the artichokes and
red pepper flakes (if you want a tiny bit of spiciness) and saute for
another minute or so, until heated through. Drain off any liquid from
the pan. Stir in 2 tablespoons sour cream and another pinch of kosher salt.

4  Spread butter (or olive oil) on one side of each of the 4 bread
pieces. Heat a griddle pan to medium high heat. Place 2 pieces of
bread on the griddle, buttered side down. On each piece, spread some
shredded cheese, the spinach artichoke filling, some more cheese (1/2
cup cheese per sandwich), and the other piece of bread. When the
bottom bread is browned, flip the sandwich and cook until the bread is
toasted and the cheese is melted.  Or, if you have a panini maker,
just assemble the sandwiches, butter or oil the maker on both sides
and toast the sandwiches in the maker until golden brown and cheese
looks enticingly melty.

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Filed under Cooking for Two, Healthy, Main Meals, Sandwiches, Vegetarian

Vanilla Cupcakes for Two

I posted a recipe a few days ago, Chocolate Chip Cookies for Two, which proved to be very popular.  Continuing with the idea, I made these cupcakes for my fiancee and I.  Again, the idea was to make a single portion each of a dessert, with minimal time, work, and effort. For those of you who aren’t cookie people (are there really any of you out there?) you can still get your baking for two fix with these cupcakes.  And, as most vanilla cupcakes are, these are super adaptable.  Throw in some chocolate chips, lemon zest and lemon extract, cinnamon and spices, and/or anything else you can think of.  The cake batter itself came out dense, kind of like pound cake consistency.  I might try these again with cake flour to give them a fluffier and lighter feel.  The frosting I used was simply delectable, and is basically my version of a scaled down recipe for Joy the Baker’s best chocolate buttercream frosting.  With all that hard math done for you, you have no excuses to make these immediately-here’s betting you already have all of the ingredients!  And if you are really lazy, just frost these with some nutella. Yum!

Vanilla Cupcakes for Two (Adapted from How Sweet Eats)

1 egg white

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 heaping teaspoon of baking powder

pinch of salt

1 1/2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (175 C). Line a muffin pan with 2 liners.

In a bowl, add egg white and sugar and whisk until combined. Add in vanilla and melted butter and stir until mixed. Add flour, baking powder and salt and stir until smooth. Stir in milk (Don’t overstir!). Divide batter equally between the 2 cupcake liners.

Bake  for 10-12 minutes, or until cake is set. Let cool completely, then frost as desired.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting: (adapted from Brett Bara and Joy the Baker-cookbook link above)

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon  cocoa powder

2 teaspoons ovaltine powder( gives a great malted taste, if you don’t have this sub an extra 2 tsp cocoa powder)

2 1/2 tablespoons confectioners sugar

1 teaspoon milk

dash of salt

Melt the butter in a small bowl. Add all the remaining ingredients to the butter and whisk to combine. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes or until frosting is partially set. Whisk again then allow to rest at room temperature until cupcakes are cool enough to frost. (Start making the frosting as soon as the cupcakes go in the oven, so that it will be set and ready to go once the cupcakes are cool.)

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Filed under Cooking for Two, Cupcakes, Desserts

Chocolate Chip Cookies for two (or one!)

I am a self confessed cookie monster.  The dessert I’d most consistently choose over other desserts is a warm chocolate chip cookie with a chewy gooey center and crispy toffee edges.  In fact, whenever I make cookie dough, I always form the dough and bake only what I’m going to eat at that specific time, so that I always have my cookies warm.  I’ll put the extra dough in the fridge, then bake some more cookies whenever the urge strikes me.  Once a day, twice a day…the worst test of willpower you could ever give me.  Which is why the concept of this recipe is genius to me- the best way to portion control?  Only make a tiny amount of dessert.  This is usually hard to do, and even those who are baking for only one or two need to make an entire batch of cookie dough, a dozen cupcakes, etc.  This recipe combines just enough ingredients to make exactly four cookies.  Genius!  All in one bowl, greatly saving on messy items and time.  It seriously took two minutes for the dough to come together.  My next post will be on cupcakes for two, another life changing.  Enjoy these cookies knowing that you don’t really have the option to binge, and customize them however you want (with m&ms, white chocolate chips,butterscotch chips, nuts, etc.)

Chocolate Chip Cookies for Two (or One) adapted from Bakergirl

1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon flour

1/8 teaspoon baking soda (just eyeball half of a 1/4 teaspoon measure)

A pinch of salt

A pinch of cinnamon

2 tablespoons shortening (feel free to substitute butter)

2 tablespoons brown sugar (I used light brown, but will use dark brown next time for a more pronounced flavor)

1 tablespoon granulated sugar (1/2-3/4 tablespoon would have been sufficient)

1 tablespoon beaten egg

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. (170 C)
Mix together the shortening, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Add the tablespoon of beaten egg and vanilla and mix until combined. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Roll dough into four cookie balls and place them on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Flatten them slightly with your hand.  Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.

How cute is this tiny ball of cookie dough?

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Filed under Cookies, Cooking for Two

Single Lady Pancakes

 

 

 One of my favorite go to recipes for breakfast is Joy the Baker’s single lady pancakes.  On the weekend, when I actually have enough time to make breakfast I always wake up much later than everyone else at home (Easy to do when your parents wake up at 6am on the weekends!)By that time, everyone has already breakfasted except for me which means making a full batter of pancakes is always a waste…which brings me to the convenience of this recipe.  Single lady pancakes are pancakes for one, double them and you get pancakes for two.  You’ll almost always have these ingredients at home and they take next to no time.  Oatmeal haters, you don’t even taste the oatmeal in these- the oatmeal just serves to make the batter super fluffy and moist.  These pancakes are delicious and infinitely adaptable:

Joy the Baker Single Lady Pancakes: (enough for one, double the recipe for two)

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. old-fashioned oats
  • 2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 5 tsp. vegetable or canola oil, plus additional for the griddle
  • Dash of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. buttermilk *

*I’ve never found buttermilk in Bahrain, but there is a quick and easy substitute.  For each 1 cup of buttermilk, put 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar in the bottom of a measuring cup, fill to the top with regular milk and let sit for 5 minutes then stir.  Instant buttermilk!  Another alternative is just using equal amounts of laban drink as the buttermilk called for.

Directions: Combine the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.  Remember to double the ingredients if you are cooking for two!  In another bowl, whisk together the oil, vanilla and buttermilk.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine.  Your mixture will be thick, so don’t worry.  Fold in any additional mix-ins you want.

Heat a skillet with 1-2 teaspoons of oil and pour enough batter to make the size of pancake you want. I make about two pancakes with this recipe, but it just depends on the size of the pancake you want.  Cook over medium heat until bubbles form and edges are starting to solidify.  Flip and cook until golden brown. Plate it, and add any other toppings you want. Sliced bananas and chocolate chips are a combination a lot of people love, but I don’t eat bananas so my favorite combination is toasted pecans, with chocolate chips sprinkled on immediately so that they melt a little.  I sometimes top that with heath toffee bits, and always maple syrup.  Enjoy!!

Some more toppings options:

Nutella and hazelnuts

Jam and butter

Blueberry pie filling

White chocolate and cranberries

Source: Joy the Baker cookbook

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Filed under Breakfast, Cooking for Two