My husband goes on 10-day trips every few months, leaving me at home with the cats and plenty of my own work to do. For a few days I wallow in the things he won't eat (for some reason he thinks herring in cream sauce is an abomination -- how could that be?!) but then I am ready for a _real dinner_ again. I learned the hard way that the definition of Forever is "one serves-6 corned beef, eaten solo," so when I came across _Cooking for One: A Seasonal Guide to the Pleasure of Preparing Delicious Meals for Yourself_ at the library, I thought, "That's for me!" And oh boy am I glad I did.
In many ways, this is just another collection of good recipes emphasizing the advantages of eating what's in season: asparagus in the spring, summer corn, etc. What makes it special is that everything is sized for one portion, rarely encouraging you to make leftovers (unless they appear in another form). That includes the grocery shopping list. Many of the recipes use cherry tomatoes, for instance, so you don't use half a tomato in one recipe and have the other half to use up (or watch it rot).
And the recipes are *excellent*. I made three dinners for myself. Ratatouille and polenta was awesome; I had a little ratatouille left over, which made a good omelet filling. I loved the simplicity of the oven roasted snapper with potatoes, tomatoes, and olives (though I used halibut, and substituted capers for the olives); basically it's a "shove it in the oven and go watch the baseball game until the timer goes off" meal. Poached salmon "au printemps" -- with green peas, chives, a hard-boiled egg, and beurre blanc -- was "only" very good. There's plenty more to explore, too, such as blackberry barbecued pork tenderloin with sweet potato salad, and desserts-for-one such as a peach-and-raspberry galette. Though I'm happy to postpone that, as my husband comes home today. (Yay!)
The book doesn't promise that these are all super-fast recipes, but they are easy and most did come together quickly. They certainly have a good payout. I ate far better (and cheaper) than if I had bought a bunch of frozen dinners to stick in the microwave.
This cookbook is a winner. Highly recommended.