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Empty nest cooking?

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Well, we're preparing to send our youngest child off to the University. She'll be two hours away. :sigh:


I'm trying to think of how I will cook with only DH and I again. Yes, DS will come over sometimes, but I think that will be less often because little Sis won't be here, too.


So I figured I'd see what others have done. Please feel free to jump in and give me tips. I'm sure someone else out there might benefit, too. :wink (2):


I learned to cook for 7, at home. I adjusted that during dating and then newlywed life, but things like casseroles, soups, and stews tend to just kind of *GROW*... :sEm_blush:


I'm thinking that the things DH likes, like meatloaf and scalloped potatoes, might be good baked in muffin tins and frozen after baking. Or divided up raw and then frozen for easy take-out-and-bake in a muffin tin. I've been freezing soups and stews in small containers, already, for easy quick lunches.


I know of others who have frozen mashed potatoes, casseroles, and other things for elderly relatives to make more healthy and balanced meals. I freeze baked stuffed peppers in halves without any noticeable loss of flavor. :shrug:


Thoughts? Ideas? I'm thinking that if LilDD has access to a freezer at school, I might be able to take some down for her, too. Not sure what her roommate will bring, yet, or what "group" things might be utilized.





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I grew up cooking for my 4 younger brothers, sister and parents. Then, got married and had to re-learn everything I knew about cooking. Also, for over 30 years, I have not had an oven, so I do all my baking in a toaster oven. Small quantities are a must.


98% of the time now, I will divide a recipe down to make smaller portions. When I make a full batch of anything, left overs are frozen for quick meals for DH when I am not around, or when I do not want to cook. Ziplock bags work great for that purpose, IMHO.


Like a pot of beans. After we have had our bean soup, I will strain out the beans, make refries and ziplock, date and freeze for future meals, while the juice is zip locked, dated, frozen in 2 cup amounts, and given to MIL, she loves the juice without all the beans. Most of the time the leftovers are not allowed to stay in the freezer more than a month, maybe two.


I am looking forward to hearing what everyone else does.



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I don't try. In fact, I try to cook for two meals (left-overs) and then freeze for another When I fix a pot of beans I cook a "POT" and then freeze two or three meals and it's the same with chili etc. I enjoy sometimes just reaching in the freezer and having a good, home cooked meal in a few minutes instead of stopping for a burger & fries. It's easier to say "I've got good stuff at home"! I even bake up bags and bags of seasoned hamburger patties and freeze them. I package them 2 to a bag and then stuff a gallon sized bag with them. When we go for an outing all I have to do it grab a bag, warm the patties up, put them on buns w/cheese and mayo...stick them in our picnic cooler and add "whatever". AND...it's always nice that if you have unexpected company, to just crumble up those patties and make some speghetti! :-)

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I am with Phibe on this, since it is just me and hubby, I still make the same amount as I used to but I have the little tin pans that I put half in and freeze. The other half I cook for us and then we have lunch. Look at it as a modified once a month cooking. You cook for one week and have meals for 2 or 3 weeks. :-)


Cooking in the summer when it is so hot makes it difficult. We grill everything on Sat or Sun then eat on it for the week. That or salads.


When hubby worked in the oil field I made meatloaf in the muffin tins, Then I would send a couple with him for lunch. Use the mini muffin tins and you can make meat balls.


Since it is just me and hubby and it is HOT I have introduced more "light" meals like wraps, southwestern stuff avocado, pasta salads.The pasta salads are great I can make a big one and then we can eat off it for several days. I will start a new thread so as not to hijack this one watch for Quick Easy & Light meals for summer

Edited by mommato3boys
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I tried cooking for two and then one. It never worked out for me. I was always hungry and I ended up going out to eat way too much. It was just too much work/mess cooking such a small amount. Plus, I use the same amount of gas cooking a little bit as I do cooking a lot. Now I cook for a crowd and either can or freeze leftovers for later.

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Even when I lived by myself, I still cooked in batches the size I'd made when I was cooking for 4 of us. That way, I had lunches and dinner for later. Just, umm, make sure you label the containers of chili and spaghetti sauce. It's very disappointing to open your container for lunch at work and realize that you just have spag sauce, not the chili you were looking forward to. Not that I would know from personal experience or anything. :bounce:

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... Just, umm, make sure you label the containers of chili and spaghetti sauce. It's very disappointing to open your container for lunch at work and realize that you just have spag sauce, not the chili you were looking forward to. Not that I would know from personal experience or anything. :bounce:



LOL, I've done that, too often to count. DH laughs at me. :pout: I label and date everything now, even if I think I would be able to tell what it is when it is frozen. It is very disappointing to pull out something I thought was new and find out it was frozen a year ago or more.... freezer burn.. :yuk:

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm with you gals. I started out cooking for the family of 8. After I got married, I cooked for the my kids, their friends, sometimes their parents etc. After we moved back to the country, I've had to REALLY cut back to 2, maybe 3 weekly or the whole herd will come over for Sunday dinner..... Hubby will only tolerate 1 day of leftovers and then it goes to the chickens or the dogs. Now, I just cook when I want to.....lol Reb

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