mlle.erica's Profile

Display Name: mlle.erica
Member Since: 9/19/11

Latest Comments...

I *adore* this space.

Bitium's Soft Industrial Office Workspace Tour
6/6/14 12:25 PM

@Threadbndr -- do the potatoes stay nice and fluffy after being stored?

Our Readers' Best Advice for Freezing Dinners for One or Two Reader Intelligence Report
3/21/14 12:04 PM

@kaseylulu -- most ground meats I do in the microwave, which works great.

But in the case of meatloaf muffins or chicken breasts (which I cut up into strips or cubes before freezing), I warm them in the toaster oven for about 10 minutes on 350. Sometimes I'll wrap in foil if I'm worried about them losing moisture or getting overdone.

Our Readers' Best Advice for Freezing Dinners for One or Two Reader Intelligence Report
3/21/14 12:03 PM

You used 2 of my comments! Yay!

A few more things:

1) That hamburger meat trick works for lots of meals -- add taco sauce and mexican spices for a fast plate of nachos or tacos, on a piece of toast with mustard and cheese for an open faced crumble-burger, or with a cup of beef broth and handful of frozen veggies for the fastest veggie-beef soup you've ever made in your life.

Also -- I've made batches of ground turkey, pre-grilled chicken, and pulled pork the same way with similarly awesome results.

2) I also like making a big batch of mini-fritattas/egg muffins and freezing them for the days when I'm looking for a low-carb meal. (just whisk a dozen eggs with a little milk or cream, toss veggies/meats/spices into buttered muffin tins, add cheese, and pour the scrambled eggs over, then bake at 325 for 15-20 min or until the eggs are almost set)

3) You can make awesome freezer-friendly single-serve meatloaf in a muffin tin too, and then just take one out, microwave, and pair with a salad, or baked potato.

Our Readers' Best Advice for Freezing Dinners for One or Two Reader Intelligence Report
3/20/14 02:49 PM

@ronsmom I am an avid reader and writer, spent 4 years working full time in a bookstore, have about 1.5K books, and reference them constantly.

I've had them arranged by color for years. I find it simple to find anything I'm looking for in a flash.

Here's a pic I have of two of my bookshelves. I think it looks pretty that way, and have never had a problem finding a book.

Really, It's Ok to Arrange Books By Color Slate
2/14/14 12:32 PM

Oh! One more thing! A tasty,quick, make-ahead, single person meal is to make burritos (breakfast ones with eggs, and lunch/dinner ones with meat/beans/etc). I have those in my freezer for nights when I don't want to even bother with chopping lettuce for a salad. They're easy, cheap, and reheat beautifully in the microwave, or in a pan with a little oil for a crisp outside.

Best Freezer Meal Tips When Cooking for One or Two? Good Questions
1/14/14 02:37 PM

Oh -- I forgot to mention -- I started doing it this way for the same reason you're asking about. All the make ahead meals I found were for big families, and I was living on my own. That first year out I wasted SO much food! This trick was a life saver for my single-person dining.

Best Freezer Meal Tips When Cooking for One or Two? Good Questions
1/14/14 10:23 AM

A few years ago I figured out one trick that made all the difference for me. Instead of making a bunch of full on freezer meals (lasagna, casseroles, crock pot meals), I started just pre-cooking and pre-portioning out meat, and freezing that.

Now, I'll take hamburger meat cook up a couple pounds crumbled with salt, pepper, onions, and garlic, and then portion it out into single serving snack-sized bags, and freeze the cooked meat.

Then when I get home at night, all I have to do is pull out a serving and heat for a minute in the microwave. Boil some pasta, bust out some sauce and italian spice, and voila! Ten minute spaghetti. Or put it on toast with cheese, lettuce, and mustard for an open-faced crumble-burger. Or heat it in a little beef stock with a handful of frozen veggies for the quickest veggie beef soup you've ever had that's not from a can. It is super versatile, and most meals can be made in 5-10 minutes.

I'll make a batch of taco meat with ground chicken/beef/turkey the same way. Taco salad, burritos, tacos, tostadas, nachos -- all come together in a flash.

You can even do chicken breasts this way, if you tenderize them well, and cube the cooked breasts before freezing. Lemon chicken with fresh asparagus comes together in 8 minutes.

Because it reheats so quickly (I always forget to take freezer meals out in time to defrost), and because I can add easy fresh ingredients, and because there is a ton of variety when I do it this way I find that I skip the take out or frozen pizza, and actually eat the food I've cooked.

Best Freezer Meal Tips When Cooking for One or Two? Good Questions
1/14/14 10:19 AM

LOVE this.

Renovation Inspiration: Cartolina's DIY End-Grain Block Flooring
1/10/14 06:17 PM


I'm Renting...And Okay with That
3/27/13 02:35 PM

I had a tiny apartment kitchen for 3 years, and cooked A LOT -- I bought a Magic Bullet, and a 20 dollar stick blender -- the two of them took up a tiny amount of space, the magic bullet was super easy to clean, powerful, and worked like a champ for all my chopping and blending needs.

I hate blenders -- they never seem to be able to handle tough/thick items, and they are a MESS to clean up.

What's Better for a Small Kitchen — a Blender or a Food Processor?Good Questions
7/12/12 10:34 AM

That's what I want to know @Leah Hope -- where's that recipe?!

10 Quick Tips To Help Make Evening Meals In A Flash
9/29/11 03:27 PM

Best. Color. Ever.

New Le Creuset Color for Fall 2011: Aubergine
9/26/11 02:41 PM

The first, third, and fourth are lovely. The white wrapped... not so much. Where are the titles?

Junper Books: One-of-a-Kind Collections
9/21/11 10:16 AM

For me, all of the oh-so-perfect designed or designer rooms I see make me really appreciate the homes I see that actually have a sense of humor, a sense of place, a sense of reflection. A home should be an extension of who *you* are.

Decorating Image Overload: Good, Bad or Just Different?
9/19/11 05:56 PM

Hi Brande --

I'm a travel agent and a veteren of Amtrak trips so I think your idea to bring your own meals is great!

1) Are you in a sleeping car or in coach? If you're in *any* of the sleeping cars then your meals are included, which greatly reduces the need to bring so much food. (if you're not using an agent that detail sometimes gets lost)

2) When I was a teen my Mom took me and my two brothers on a 3 day train trip -- in coach. She brought a cooler with bagels, sandwiches, string cheese, granola, yogurt, crackers, nuts, precooked bacon, pickles, fruit, etc.

It's better if you get some dry ice, and there are easy-to-tote coolers now, that roll on wheels like a suitcase for about 20$ at Walmart.

Help! I Need Meal Ideas for a 4-Day Train Trip!
Good Questions

9/19/11 03:55 PM