New Website

September 2, 2009

Please come visit the new Solitary Refinement Website at There is so much more to do!

This old site will stay up as an archive. If you post a comment I will do my best to respond, but most of my attention will be focused on the new site.

I’m Nick Ryan, and I hope this helps!


Solitary Refinement now has merchandise for sale from!!! Please check it out!

Here is one of the T Shirts…

I Love My Spin Dryer shirt
I Love My Spin Dryer by solitaryrefinement
Buy t-shirts at

Or how about a coffee mug…

Team Wonder Wash mug
Team Wonder Wash by solitaryrefinement
View more Wonder Mugs

Sausage Shepherds Pie

August 1, 2009

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE Shepherds Pie! I came across this recipe on All I gave it a try and think it really is great. It meets all my criteria; cheep, easy, makes a lot. I was going to add some shredded cheese to it but forgot as I was making it.

  • 1 pound Ground Sausage
  • 1 (12 ounce) jar prepared beef gravy
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (24 ounce) package Mashed Potatoes
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In skillet, crumble and cook sausage over medium heat until browned. Drain on paper towels. In bowl, combine sausage, gravy, vegetables and Worcestershire sauce.
  2. Pour into a greased 2-quart casserole dish. Spoon mashed potatoes into even layer on top. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until hot.

On piece of advice, do not add any salt. Between the gravy and Worcestershire sauce there is plenty of it! There is really not much to say about this recipe. You really can’t mess it up! I used “loaded” mashed potatoes, but you can use anything you want. Here are some photos of preparing the dish…

Browning the sausage…

At the same time I was preparing the mashed potatoes. Just follow the directions on the pack…

Next I just put everything into the meat mixture and spread it evenly on the bottom of my baking dish. The veggies go in still frozen if you were wondering…

The I smoothly covered the mixture with the mashed potatoes and it was ready for the oven…

Here it is fresh out of the oven…

And a bad shot of it on my plate…

Like I said, very cheep! Here is the price breakdown…

Sausage $2.50

Potatoes $0.99

Veggies $1.39

Gravy $1.19

TOTAL $6.07

Lots of fun for a little over $6.00! I already had the Worcestershire sauce, if you don’t just add a couple dollars to the total. You will find that Worcestershire sauce lasts a long time so get a small bottle. I hope you like this!

PS – The new website is taking a lot longer to get up and running! Sorry!

New Website?

July 10, 2009

I know you all have been wondering…where did Solitary Refinement go?

Kungur? (Russia) hi Есфирь

Sorsele? (Sweden) hi Sofia (ummm…wow!)

Boston? (USA) hi Tom

The rumors are true. We are moving!!

I am sorry this is taking so long, but it is a big change. Our new home will be

Safe and sound in good old Savannah GA! (hi ya’ll)

Go ahead and bookmark now!

Please give me some time to make this transition. It is really big for me! Somethings that I think you will like about this are…

  • The Blog will still be there!
  • A recipe search engine (more than one search engine will be available)
  • Product review (stuff I have tried)
  • Your opinion on products (voting)
  • How to (that bow tie is a b*tch)
  • Guest authors (I have had a big demand for this! I think you will like it. Some experts willing to help the cause. )

BUT the biggest thing is, what would you like to see? This is a website/blog about being a single guy and being refined. Is it just a simple dish that you can cook that lasts you all week, or is it how to tie that bow tie to impress your date for a night on the town? I have been both, hamburger helper one night then escorting a fine lady to the opera the next. I really want this new site to be about you, the single yet refined man.

Please send any recommendations to


Nick Ryan

Cheese Burger In A Can

June 17, 2009

In continuing the theme of strange food in a can, here is a Cheese Burger in a can…

I saw this a while ago and kind of forgot about it. I can’t imagine this coming out very good. The website has some videos that you might want to watch. Has anyone tried this? I can’t seem to find a place to order any. I would assume that buying some frozen beef patties would probably be cheaper and taste better.

At first I thought this might be a good idea. Then I saw the rest of the photos on Gizmodo! It really does not look too good. Has anyone tried it yet? It is kind of a neat idea. Just think about not having to worry about thawing out a frozen chicken or running to the store to get a fresh one. Now you can just open up your cupboard and pull out a can. Do you think I should order one to give it a try? You can get 6 cans for $49.99 on Amazon.

Circling back around to my frozen sandwich project, I decided to give frozen breakfast burritos a try. The best part of this is it is very cheap and makes a large quantity to freeze. If you purchase a breakfast burrito in a restaurant in the morning it will cost you around 2 to 3 dollars. This recipe brings the price down to 59 cents per burrito. I went to the store and got the following ingredients…

Ground sausage $2.50
Two cans black beans .78 per can total $1.56
Salsa $2.49
Shredded cheddar cheese $2.50
Onion $1.30
Two dozen eggs $2.44
Flour tortillas 3 packs of 10 $1.59 each total $4.77

Grand total $17.56

Per burrito .59

This recipe will make 30 breakfast burritos. You can easily substitute or add anything you would like. My first step was to brown the ground sausage.

While this was going on I chopped up the onion. I used a large yellow onion, but you can use any kind you would like…

I also washed the black beans under cold water and set aside. I then cracked all the eggs into a bowl and beat them.

After the ground sausage was browned I added the onion to cook a little bit…

Cooking such a large quantity of eggs takes a little longer than normal. Just make sure to stir them a lot to avoid burning. After this is all done I set up a little assembily line to make the burritos.

Take a few large spoon fulls of the egg and place it in the middle of the burrito a little near the bottom. I then added a few spoon fulls of the sausage mixture and a few spoon fulls of black beans. Top it off with some salsa and cheese.

Now it is time to fold the burrito. This takes a little practice, but you will soon get and hang of it. First fold two edges towards the middle…

Then all you have to do is roll it up. Once the burrito is rolled up I wrapped each individual burrito in plastic wrap. This process made 30 burritos which I then froze.

To heat up the burrito just remove the plastic wrap and wrap a paper towel loosely around the burrito. Place it in the microwave for about two minutes. Each microwave is different so you might have to play around with this. The whole process took me about an hour and a half. Time well spent to save so much money!

Recipe Puppy

April 29, 2009

This is the ultimate recipe search engine! It is called Recipe Puppy. Sometimes I am looking for a recipe based on what ingredients I have on hand. All you do is type them in and the search engine finds them on a bunch of different recipe sites. You can also search by keywords. I think I will use this a lot! Thanks Mrs. P for finding this.

As I grew older, I discovered the need for vegetables in my diet. At first they were just an inconvenience next to the meat. Now I enjoy a nice side of veggies with my meal. As a single guy, sometimes it is hard to prepare just the right amount. They do sell “individual” portions of veggies at the grocery store, but they are so over priced. I found a very nice alternative.

You can easily buy a large size of frozen veggies for around $1.00. I then take my favorite spice and divide them into individual portions. When you are ready for some veggies, you just take them out of the freezer, add a little water and microwave them. I am sure some of you have already discovered this, but if not it is worth a try.

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

April 8, 2009

So, I was wondering what to cook for dinner the other night. I looked into my cupboard and saw two half used packs of different pasta. I decided I should use that up! What else do I have around? Well, I also had half a rotisserie chicken. All I needed now was something to make a nice chicken pasta salad. A quick trip to the Kroger and I was home with some sun dried tomatoes, zucchini, and store brand salad dressing (sun dried tomato flavor). What a dish I can make with this!

I first boiled the assortment of pasta based on the recommended time on the pack. I cut up the zucchini and sun dried tomatoes to any size you like. After the pasta was done, I put it in a big pan and tossed in everything else. After about 15 minutes it was nice and tender. I served it that way, and LOVED it! Fast, easy, and cheap.