Small Recipes...Baking and Cooking Less

Here are some more ideas for baking and cooking for one or to reduce recipes, mixes and cook smaller amounts to cut down on leftovers.  
Reducing Recipes:
One of the hardest parts of cutting down a baking recipe is using less than one egg.  I used to only reduce them down to one egg, and then the recipe still made too much.  
Here are a couple of ways to do it.
Use a medium egg for half egg – buy medium eggs, use one for half an egg in most baking recipes.  I save the small farm eggs I get for this purpose.  A half egg is also 2 tablespoons of beaten egg.  
I also substitute an egg yolk for half an egg for some recipes...I can use the white in another recipe.  This works in yellow cakes, most muffins and cookie doughs.
Split mixes like cake mixes, muffin mixes, pudding mixes - weigh the mix or measure the whole thing, divide in half and add half of the remaining ingredients.  You’ll only have to get this measurement once; then add it to a list so you’ll remember it.  For example, ½ of a 2 layer cake mix is about 1 ¾ cups, you need 2/3 cup water, ¼ cup oil and 1 egg to make a single layer or 6 cupcakes.
You can check the weight of the mix on the box…weigh out half and save the rest for next time.
Buy single layer cake mixes like Jiffy.
Use the same method with pudding or gelatin mixes like Jello.  Weigh out half or a third, then reduce your liquid the same way.
Smaller Recipes:
Bake cupcakes instead of cake...easier to freeze for single portions later...frost them when you serve them. 
Try fruit desserts like crisps and Betties instead of pies.  Easier to reduce the recipe.  Remember canned pie fillings freeze well…save the rest for next time.  Pie crust also freezes well; in patty or rolled out form.
Microwave frozen corn muffins or regular muffins 15-20 seconds and then toast them in your toaster oven until crisp...just like fresh baked! 
Toast leftover biscuits (top with butter, sugar and cinnamon), toast and butter cornbread leftovers – use your toaster oven.  
Home can in small jars – meat, poultry, soups, soup vegetables, any vegetables, fruits in pints, 12 ounce or ½ pint jars. 
Make fresh salad bottles languishing in the fridge.  Try Vinaigrette dressings or Creamy Dressings; they last several days.
Use thick white sauce– no need to have leftover cream soup.  Cream soups do freeze well too…you can weigh out half the can, and freeze the rest.
Microwave a single potato and then toast it in your toaster oven to crisp up the skin. 
Make patties and meatballs instead of loaves – they cook more quickly too.  Put extras in the freezer for another day, or try small loaves.
Brown up a whole pound of ground beef, freeze it in meal-size portions…less mess next time.


  1. I've been cooking for myself for years now and just guesstimating half of an egg... Thanks, I'll pick up medium eggs on my next shopping trip:@)

  2. These are such good tips, thanks for sharing them.

  3. Love the cute little pies in the glass ramekins--what a great idea! Really helps control portions, too.

    1. You can freeze the rolled out pie crust circles, separate with double waxed paper and freeze them.


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