What We're Eating: Another Quarantine Cooking Roundup

Monday, July 6, 2020

Heyyyyy, I'm still makin' food over here! Although restaurants have largely reopened, we're still basically not comfortable going anywhere unless it's outdoors and hella-distanced, so it's either homemade or delivery for us.

Here's a little recap of what I've been making lately, with links to recipes where applicable. Got any recommendations for me? I'm hoping to try making some more new-to-me stuff... but here's what we've been up to for now.

Asian-Inspired Hot Dogs 
OK, OK, I'm definitely not making hot dogs (gross), but we've gotten the hang of a few extra-delicious, Asian-inspired ways of topping them. I'm obsessed with making these Quick & Spicy Asian Pickles (no boiling required!) & also love Kitchen Simmer's Special Sauce; if you make it with dairy-free milk, it lasts forever in the fridge.

Black Bean & Corn Salad 
I first made this recipe while searching for a side I could make using frozen corn, & voila! Also, can I just say that my version looks a lot better than the original recipe posted on Food.com? This salad can be eaten alone as a side dish or used as a dip. I've also been putting it on... you guessed it, hot dogs! It's also good in quesadillas. 

Empanada-Style Wontons with Mango Salsa
I soooort of followed this AllRecipes.com recipe to make empanada-inspired "poppers" using wonton wrapper. I pan-fried the first batch, then baked the second batch, & while the latter were healthier, the former were both tastier and more photographic. I made a chutney of mango, red pepper, red onion, dried cilantro, & Bitten Creamy Avocado Lime Dressing to go with them.

Asian-Style Chicken Wraps
My friend Lindsey has been delivering her homemade Thai peanut sauce (she says she doesn't use a recipe, so use your imagination?), which I've been smearing onto flour tortillas with popcorn chicken, purple cabbage, sesame seeds, Asian pickles, &, not pictured here, crispy lo mein noodles. They're also good with my favorite veggie "chik'n" nuggets."

Baked Potato Pancakes
I can't in good conscience call Chef Savvy's potato pancakes latkes because they are made with absolutely zero oil (except for the oil that slicks the pan before you back them). But they're still really good, & they make for a perfect potato-based side with dinner, especially if, like me, you'r enot into baked or mashed potatoes.

Crunchwrap Supremes
All credit here goes to Mike, as I've never actually made these Taco Bell dupes – but he's started making them every couple of weeks as a quarantine indulgence, & I am very into it. They're so freaking good, & they taste so much like the real thing. Add a side of cheesy rice for that real fast food experience.

Frozen Breakfast Burritos 
I wanted vegetarian breakfast burritos, so I didn't follow the Pioneer Woman's recipe to a tee, but I did make her breakfast potatoes & most of the rest of her recommendations. I made mine with potatoes, black beans, cheese, onions, & red peppers, then wrapped them individually in foil & froze them. They're just as good reheated!

Jam Thumbprint "Cookies" 
These healthy breakfast snacks from Instagrammer @laurens.plate aren't really cookies; the only ingredients are rolled oats, steel-cut oats, chia seeds (optional), & banana, plus whatever jam you  put on top. But they're super easy, pretty tasty, & good for a quick shot of energy in the morning or before a workout. 

The Flattest Breakfast Sandwich
I don't love TikTok (God, it's so much work), but I do love home cook Jeremy Scheck, who has taught me all kinds of tips. I also don't love eggs (because they're kind of disgusting?) but his egg hack has me loving these flat, evenly distributed breakfast sandwiches, which don't taste as eggy as piled-on scrambled eggs do. They're also fast & easy to make, which is perfect for these work-from-home days.

Scallion Pancakes 
My scallion pancakes, made from The Kitchn's recipe & its step-by-step photo instructions, didn't turn out quite as thin & crispy as I would've liked. Still, they were really tasty, with a nice, chewy consistency for dipping into soy sauce & our favorite Sticky Asian Meatball Sauce. They're also kinda fun to make – lots of rolling & smushing.

John Legend's Mac & Cheese
I made this seriously decadent baked macaroni & cheese for a socially distanced backyard picnic, & not only was it a hit, the leftovers were a hit, too... with me. It was honestly even good cold, no reheating necessary. Pro tip: The recipe calls for skim milk (?!?!), but definitely use whole milk instead. Chrissy Tiegen, come claim your man!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
I first made this healthy, cake-style bread as a house-warming gift for friends... but decided I needed to try it for quality assure purposes! It was so delicious & so easy to make that I've since also made it for my aforementioned friends & for my mom. It's going to be my new go-to food gift – but you can only get the recipe in this cookbook, sorryyyyy. (It's worth it, I promise.)

My friends have been doing their fair share of baking, too... which makes me reaaaal happy because it means I get to occasionally indulge in some of the spoils of their labor. Check out these gems from Brittany, Lauren, & Lindsey, respectively. My waistline isn't thrilled, but my taste buds sure are! 

What are you making these days? Any good recommendations for me? I want to branch out! 

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