My name is John Ottensmann. I am now living in southern California, having recently moved here after retiring as a college professor.
I like to cook and have since I was very young. Fun in the kitchen for me can mean anything from spending hours following a long, elaborate recipe (thank you, Julia Child) to playing around trying to create something new and different.
I am now often cooking dinners for myself, which leads to the subject of this blog. I certainly make a variety of cooked entrees, but I find this is somewhat limiting when cooking for one. Some things by their very nature cannot be made for one person without days and days of leftovers. Other meals can require long periods of preparation. While I am willing to do this once in a while for something very special, when cooking just for myself I often do not want to spend that much time.
This brings us to main-course salads and frittatas. Both can make a satisfying dinner, the large salad by itself and the frittata with a small, simple side salad. Salads and frittatas can be prepared quite quickly and easily. And they offer endless opportunities for creativity. I have been having great fun coming up with new ideas and trying them out. For each, I have a list of ideas for new combinations that I haven’t had the chance to try. The lists never seem to get shorter, because as I make new things and remove them from the lists, I am always coming up with additional ideas to add to the lists.
Creating new salads and frittatas has become a regular, ongoing activity for me. I have decided to start this blog to share the recipes I am developing. All of the recipes are salads and frittatas I have cooked for me. So they are for one person. But please don’t go away if you are cooking for more than one. Salad and frittata recipes are some of the easiest to scale up (or down) to accommodate any number. There are some hints on the Quantities page under Cooking notes.
I will also include an occasional pasta salad recipe. My interest in making these developed earlier, for a very different reason. Before I retired, I was often teaching night classes that could go until 8:30 or later. On those days, I would have my customary sandwich for lunch, but I needed to eat something before the evening class. I didn’t really want another sandwich and I wanted something more substantial. I could make something that I would heat up in the microwave, but food reheated in the microwave seemed too much like left-overs. I have nothing against left-overs heated in the microwave, but the idea of deliberately making “left-overs” did not appeal me. I finally hit upon the idea of making pasta salads that included meat or seafood. Once in a while I will still make one of my favorite pasta salads for my main meal.
On the Cooking notes menu, you will find pages with some general suggestions that are applicable to many of the recipes. These range from a description of how I cook frittatas to my basic vinaigrette recipe.