In America, we’re used to cooking for crowds.

We prepare meals for extended families, potlucks, church suppers, workplace gatherings and parties with our friends. If anything, we are used to scaling things up. We double and triple recipes, and after that look for specialized cookbooks that can help us make a humongous amount of food that will still taste good.

But what happens when you find you have an empty nest, or you are suddenly single, and cooking an entire roast just for yourself seems like a big waste?

Last year, Judith Jones gave us “The Pleasures of Cooking for One.” Now the editors at America’s Test Kitchen have come out with “Cooking for Two” ($35), in which they take their best recipes of the year and cut them down to size.

They switched out cuts of beef for a pot pie, and cooked it right in the skillet after topping it with a crust. They figured out the exact ratio of dry to liquid ingredients needed for a lemon pudding cake so it would still be custardy on the bottom and cakey on top, even though it only serves two.

There’s more than just recipes in this useful new book. There’s a guide to scaled-down bakeware and cookware that will show you the one-cup Bundt pan you need to make two gingerbread cakes and the two-cup tube pan that’s just right to make two small angel food cakes.

Sprinkled throughout the book are clever “Use It Up” recipes, which are basically suggestions for what to do with that leftover half a can of coconut milk.

 

– Meredith Goad, Staff Writer