I'd like to introduce you to my good friend, Klancy Miller, who just published her first cookbook--"Cooking Solo: The Joy of Cooking for Yourself." Klancy and I met several years ago, standing in the back of Barnes & Noble in Union Square, listening to Junot Diaz read from his recently published novel "This is How You Lose Her." Kindred spirits, we soon discovered a shared passion for food, travel and books.
On that evening four years ago, Klancy talked of her dream to write a cookbook. With her recent book launch, I could not be more proud of my friend's hard work, dedication and vision. Because we both believe in supporting one another's dreams, she has graciously offered to give away 3 cookbooks to participants who enroll in my live courses. My course offerings (and information on how to register) can be accessed by clicking the links below:
If you haven't signed up yet, now is the time!
Below, a little Q & A with my dear friend:
1. What inspired you to write this book?
First, I am single and have been cooking for myself for a long time. Second, there have never been as many single people as there are now in the U.S. (According to statistics, there are more than 100 million single adults. Single people now outnumber married people!) It's a global trend. I always wanted to write a cookbook and thought this would be an interesting and useful focus.
2. You're quite an accomplished home cook. What is your best tip to convert cereal-eaters into people who prepare meals at home--even when cooking solo?
There are 3 things I'd say to anyone who wants to be convinced to try cooking a meal for themselves:
(1) There's no pressure for the meal to be perfect--it's okay to mess up.
(2) Cooking for yourself means you don't have to compromise at all--you don't have to put up with someone else's preferences.
(3) Because there is no pressure, cooking solo is actually relaxing. Put on some music. Pour yourself a drink. Cooking can help you to be in the moment and it leads to immediate gratification--something to eat.
Only cook for yourself (or for that matter other people) when you have energy to do it. Don't cook if you've had a really horribly exhausting day. Cook when you're up for a culinary adventure in your kitchen.
3. How may days a week do you cook for yourself? What is your go-to recipe that is simple, easy and satisfying?
I cook for myself a lot because I work from home. Every recipe in my cookbook is a go-to of sorts, but the ones on super frequent rotation are: Lemony Pancakes (A Love Story); Grilled Blue Cheese with Curried Red Onions; all the taco recipes; Skillet Sardines; Lamb I Love You: Chops; Shiitake Risotto; Frittata for All; and Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies--oh and all of the waffle recipes.
4. Food is a great aphrodisiac. Which of these recipes would make for an inspired date night (and could be easily doubled) if you were entertaining a special someone?
I actually wrote a chapter called Entertaining Friends and there's a recipe I wrote specifically for a special date night at home. It's called Pappardelle and Beef Ragu (You're In Love Pasta). If you're entertaining a vegetarian, I would recommend the Lemony Kale Risotto and the Jalapeno-Watermelon Salad.
5. What is the most challenging misconception about single people and food?
I have to say it makes me a little sad when I hear someone say, "Why should I make a nice meal if it's just me?" I think we all deserve a nice experience--whether we're in the company of someone we like or if we're alone. Being single (or in the house and hungry without company) should not hold you back from enjoying or making a great meal. I'd like to encourage people to see cooking a meal as an opportunity to get creative, relax and nurture themselves.
For more information about Klancy or my live course offerings (that are accessible no matter your location in the world), email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, here's to love, life and food!