The Joys of Cooking For Two (Empty Nest Blessed, Indeed!)

Empty Nest Blessed by Suzy Mighell
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cooking for two, empty nester cooking, cooking in the empty nest, recipes for two, crock pot cooking for two, slow cooker cooking for twoCooking for two has been a joy for me in the empty nest season of life! We eat lighter, healthier and simpler now. Do you? In fact, without all of the chaos of having teenagers rushing in and out and trying to adjust mealtimes to their crazy schedules, I actually find it cooking kind of relaxing! I can remember when I headed to the grocery store for the first time after our nest emptied, I was amazed at not only how low my total bill was at check out, but also at how quickly I got out of there! Even in the midst of those first (sometimes emotional) days of adjustment, it was one of the very first blessings of the empty nest that I truly relished.

With just the two of us eating, I have been more adventurous. Most surprisingly, perhaps, I’ve rediscovered my slow cooker. ( I know, “adventurous” and “slow cooker” are not necessarily always associated together, but still!) That’s right, the good old crock pot. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I used my enormous one when the kids were all here – for big stews, pot roasts, and chili on a cold night, but a 2-quart size is perfect for two people. Right after our nest emptied, I bought a 2-quart Rival Slow Cooker (pictured above), and I have used it and used it. Recently, Rival spun off all of their slow cookers into a separate brand, called “Crock Pot,” (Imagine that!) and the new products, sold under the “Crock Pot” brand are nearly identical to mine. I recently found this Crock Pot 2-Quart Slow Cooker that is virtually identical to mine. It’s under $15! My two favorite things about mine (and this one) are the removable stoneware pot that can go right into the dishwasher for cleanup, and the option of a “warm” setting that can keep our meal ready-to-eat if one of us needs to work a little late. Oh, and it is the perfect size for queso when everyone is here! Our family has an annual “Dip Day” tradition on New Year’s Day, where we watch football and eat nothing but dip! (You can click on the link above or the image below for more information.)

Along the way, I discovered a couple of great cookbooks I want to share with you as well. (Um, I have a little cookbook addiction problem that I’ve never confessed to you all before…YEAH.) All of these are designed for slow cooker cooking for two. They are all good, but the first one is my very favorite!

By the way, the 2-quart slow cooker, along with one of the cookbooks has become my go-to wedding gift this year!

Have you enjoyed cooking for two in the empty nest? I’d love to know some of your go-to favorites! Please leave me a comment below and give me the scoop. In the meantime, happy slow cooking from me! Here’s to quick and cheap grocery runs and kitchens that smell delish at the end of the day. Empty nest blessed, indeed!

Blessings,

 

P. S.  (Do you love it that you can see a big ole’ bra line on the front of my shirt in this photo? Ugh!) ????

Photo by Megan Weaver.

 

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Suzy Mighell

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11 Comments

    1. Hi cute Dianna! Thank you so much for your kind words! I know exactly what you mean! One of my kids is allergic to (you won’t believe this): poultry and white fish. Yep, that’s chicken and turkey, tilapia, etc. It was a challenge to cook for him and I am happy to report that it is his precious wife’s problem now! (She makes a lot of pork!). Yes, you will miss him, but I know you will enjoy cooking exactly what you want! I was afraid we would go out to eat too much in the empty nest, so having a plan, the right tools, and some fun cookbooks has inspired me to cook at home! Thanks so much for commenting. xoxo Suzy

  1. Not quite empty nesters but getting close. Love my crock pot too! I love looking at the pics in cook books. ?

    1. Celia, Thanks for your comment! Isn’t the crock pot just the best? I love looking at the pictures in cookbooks too, but somehow my dishes never turn out as pretty! I have a great recipe for crock pot chicken and rice that I want to share on the blog, but when I made it, it did not look appetizing at all! (It was delish, BTW.) Not sure I will ever get to post it! Hugs to you! xoxo Suzy

  2. Well at least your wearing one lol?(a bra )I love leftovers to reheat for lunches .Do your recipes for two allow for any leftovers ?

    1. June, your comment made me laugh! I am so flat-chested that if I didn’t wear a bra it would be super sad! Usually I can squeeze some leftovers out of the meals for two if I make a big salad and we don’t eat big portions of the actual entree. My husband loves leftovers like you!!! Thanks for your comment and for reading! xoxo Suzy

  3. It must be a right of passage, I bought a slow cooker last year and am wondering why it took me so long to discover how handy and easy it is to plan meals! Thanks for all you thoughtful suggestions Suzy, by the way love your yellow shirt and necklace!

    Have a great day!

    1. Nancy, thank you for your sweet comment! That shirt is from last year so I couldn’t link it for y’all. (I do LOVE yellow!) I actually made the necklace at a girls night event we had at this cool place in Dallas called Beading Dreams. You sit around a big table and they help you create a piece of jewelry. (BTW, I needed A LOT of help because I am so not crafty!) I actually used that photo originally for a long-ago post I did on the importance of your gal pals in the empty nest season of life. I need to run it again, I’m thinking! Isn’t the crock pot just the best? I think my fave thing to do is just to throw chicken breasts in there with our favorite BBQ sauce and cook it on low for 4-6 hours. The chicken comes out juicy and my husband thinks I slaved away! Thank you so much for commenting and for reading Empty Nest Blessed. I hope you have a great week! xoxo Suzy

  4. We’ve been empty nesters almost 2 years now. Our grocery bill plummeted and we even lost weight! Without the boys throwing junk food in the buggy, I just don’t buy any. While I don’t have the smaller slow cooker, I do use my electric pressure cooker often. My husband and I started meal prepping a few months ago and that is awesome! Love your blog. Just started my own and hope one day to look as professional as you!

    1. Amy, I love it that you all lost weight without your kids around! That is fantastic!!! Yes, it IS cheaper without those kiddos around. I don’t have an electric pressure cooker, but would love to know what you make with yours. That would be something fun to try. Thank you for your kind words about my blog! I would love to visit yours. Would you leave me your website info so I can do that? xoxo Suzy

  5. Hi Dianna! Thank you so much One of my kids is allergic to this dish. Yep, that’s chicken and turkey, tilapia, etc. It was a challenge to cook for him and I am happy to report that it is his precious wife’s problem now! . Yes, you will miss him, but I know you will enjoy cooking exactly what you want! I was afraid we would go out to eat too much in the empty nest, so having a plan, the right tools, and some fun cookbooks has inspired me to cook at home!

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