Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Recipes for One: Coffee Cup Egg Scramble, Panini with Fresh Basil Aioli, & One-Minute Chocolate Cake

The foodie blogosphere is a happy place right now.... Lots of Valentine desserts and romantic dinner suggestions for two. Unfortunately in real life, Valentine's Day isn't so happy for many people. Our last Valentine's Day as a family was a very sad one. And I know I'm not alone. I have spent the last year and half on widows' forums reading stories very similar to mine. So I've decided to dedicate today's post to the grieving people out there who are hating Valentine's Day. I've invited my widow-forum friends to stop by here today. I have 3 different "Recipes for One".... though all of them can be doubled or made with kids. If you are grieving this Valentine's Day...  treat yourself today, even if you don't want to. Take care of yourself. One day at a time; sometimes, one hour at a time. And remember you're not alone... 

Scrambled eggs with bacon and cheddar cheese in a cup - done in about a minute with no greasy pans to wash! What's not to like? Recipe adapted from the USDA. Here's what you need:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 1 tbsp. cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbsp. real bacon bits (optional - not shown, but we use Hormel's Real Bacon Bits w/50% less fat.)
  • salt & pepper to taste
Coat the inside of a 12-oz. microwaveable mug with cooking spray. Add the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Beat with a fork until blended:

Microwave on high for 45 seconds. Stir. If you are using bacon bits, stir them in now.

Microwave for another 30 to 45 seconds. The eggs should be just set. Tilt your mug - if you see any runny or liquid egg in there, put it back in and nuke it for another 10 seconds or until the eggs are set. Sprinkle with the cheddar cheese. Make yourself some toast and a nice cup of coffee to go with it. Sit down and ENJOY a nice breakfast - just for you. : )


Make a restaurant-quality panini for yourself at home! My son rated this 5 out of 5 stars. The Fresh Basil Aioli *makes* the sandwich. By the way, a panini is just a grilled, pressed sandwich - but you don't need a panini maker or an indoor grill to make one. You can cook it on the stove top in a skillet and put another skillet on top of it to press it down...or a brick - seriously, wrap a brick in foil and SLAM IT, I mean - place it on top of your sandwich to press it down while it cooks. And aioli is just a fancy word for a garlic-enhanced mayonnaise. I'll give you the recipe for the aioli first. If you're not up for making the aioli or don't have the ingredients, you can just use Dijon mustard or honey-mustard on your panini.

Fresh Basil Aioli (Recipe adapted from 400 Best Sandwich Recipes by Alison Lewis)
You need:

  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise (I used a light version.)
  • 1/2 c. fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp. (just a few drops) lemon juice
  • NOTE: you do NOT need olive oil for this - I accidentally included it in the above photo. Sorry!
Mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl until combined well. Spread on just about any kind of sandwich. Store any leftovers in the fridge - it will keep for up to 3 days. You can see the finished aioli in the photo below.

Here's what you need for the Ham & Cheese Panini:

  • 2 slices of a good-quality (from the bakery department) sourdough bread or preferred choice of an artisan bread. (I used a roasted garlic version.)
  • 4 slices of smoked deli ham, sliced thin
  • 1 slice Provolone cheese
  • 1 slice of a complimentary cheese such as Mozzarella, Cheddar, or a blended cheese (I used a Cheddar-Mozzarella blend.)
  • fresh basil aioli
  • olive oil
Preheat your panini maker or indoor grill according to manufacturer's instructions. If you will be using the stove-top, preheat a skillet to medium low, and have ready a second skillet (heavy duty) to place on top of your sandwich to press it.

Coat the insides of both pieces of bread with the aioli. Be generous. Assemble your sandwich. Brush the outsides of both slices of bread with olive oil. (I made two of these - one for me, and one for my son.)

Cook in your panini maker or indoor grill according to manufacturer's instructions - about 3 to 5 minutes or until golden and crisp. On the stove top, cook 2 to 4 minutes on each side, until golden and crisp.


There are a lot of versions of this on the internet. The most popular one has over 60 grams of fat in it though - and I'm sorry, if I'm going to ingest 60 grams of fat from one dessert, it has to be the most phenomenal dessert ever made and not come out of a microwave. So this one is reasonable. It has about 7 grams of fat, and I think it tastes pretty good. It's not high-end gourmet eating, but it's chocolatey and comforting. The trick is to not overcook it. If you overcook it, it will get rubbery. There are no eggs in the recipe, so undercooking is not a concern. In fact, I think it is better slighly undercooked. I found the recipe on cdkitchen.com and changed it only slightly to add extra moisture to it. Feel free to add some mini-chocolate chips to it. Top it with whipped cream or ice cream and hot fudge sauce...in fact, the more Valentine's Day sucks for you, the more you can pile on this cake - no guilt!

Here's what you need:

  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tbsp. AND 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. oil (canola or vegetable)
Coat the inside of a 12-oz. microwaveable mug with cooking spray.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Add the milk, vanilla, and oil. Mix until well blended. Pour the batter into the mug.

Microwave at full power for 1 minute. If the cake does not appear done, microwave the cake longer in 10 second intervals until set. Here's a close-up so you an see the texture of the cake:

Wishing you a thoughtful Valentine's Day and a blessed year ahead.  -Adele

This post is linked to The Country Cook's "WEEKEND POTLUCK"


  1. My dear friend,
    I am so sorry for your loss. You are such an example of strength to me. Just know that this is not the end for you and your husband. Families can be together forever, for eternity. I know this to be true with all my heart.

    Here is an article that may ease the pain that is in your heart. Read the whole thing, I hope it gives you comfort to know that the Lord's plan of Happiness includes an eternal family.

    -Put the link below in the your web browser-


    @ www.made-famous-by.com

    1. Thank you Heather. That is what keeps me going every day - knowing that I will see him again.

  2. This post touched me deeply. I'm so glad you wrote it. XX00

  3. Hey Mrs Schwartz:) I'm Libby's penpal....I just wanted to tell you that I'm praying for your family:)

    1. Thank you Israel. It is so sweet of you to comment. We appreciate your prayers very much!

  4. Adele, You post touched me deeply. You are not alone. My mother died on mother's day when we were also celebrating my daughter's birthday that day.
    On that day I do something that my mother would have liked and appreciate her being a great mother.

    You must live by good memories which you both have created.

    1. Thank you Balvinder. I appreciate your comment very much. And you're welcome for the award.

  5. I usually reply to my comments and check out the blog of those who comment. When I went to your post at first I didn't know what to expect by your first words. Then I started reading and it really hit me how hard it must be for you and others who are grieving this day. I hope you hold the special good memories of your time spent with your hubby and that the good will out weigh the bad and your heart will heal..Much love and prayers to you.

    1. I don't usually write about my loss. Normally, it's just recipes, but yesterday was a particularly hard day. I know many others who struggle with holidays and felt it was important to post what I did. Thank you for the prayers.

  6. My heart goes out to you and your family and the loss of your husband. I don't know what it feels to loose a husband but I do know what it feels to be alone for many years. I raised my daughter and was single I hated Valentines Day! But after 20 yrs of being single I did remarry a wonderful man. My days are happy again. Keep the faith my friend, and we will all meet again some day.............Andi

  7. I am so sorry for your loss. Sometimes life just isn't fair. My prayers are with you and I hope that you find happiness again.

  8. Memory is a double edged sword. I'm sorry this day holds such painful memories for you. I'll keep you in my thoughts today. Blessings...Mary

  9. I found interesting recipes that put, I try to make the bottom of the letters. successes

  10. Adele, Thank you for this thoughtful post. Many are with you in the same boat. It's hard for anyone who is single and lonely to get through this day...an important thing to remember.

  11. how lovely! i will try out the chocolate cake :-)
    thanks for visiting my blog and following, am following you back


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