Favorite Quarantine Meals, 6 Months In

Has it seriously been six months since COVID-19 hit the U.S. and #StayHome became a thing?

It’s wild to think how normal the Olympic Marathon Trials weekend felt, even with Trump’s interruption of the broadcast to announce the first positive case in the U.S. I remember seeing a few face masks on my flight back to Boulder on March 1, and thinking they seemed a bit overkill.

That next week, which I spent with family in Dallas, things escalated quickly: Elbow taps replaced handshakes. Mass events were cancelled. Foreign travel was discouraged. Workplaces went virtual. And those masked-up travelers from one week earlier started to look pretty wise. When I flew back to Boulder on March 10, I figured, like many, that the virus would wash over in a few months max, and it would all just be a weird blip on the radar.

Yet here we are six months later, with vaccinations in the works but no real end in sight. In some respects, it seems like March was a lifetime–not a half year–ago. Most of us have spent more time in our homes and less time with other humans than any other stretch of our lives so far. But in other respects, without the typical signifiers of passed time–major races, birthday parties, family gatherings, and such–it also feels like time has halted and I’m waiting to pick up where we all left off.

Besides our local trails, one of the few places I’ve felt “normal” through all of this is our kitchen. I’ve always enjoyed cooking and loved eating, but never before has food been such a vital bridge to the world beyond our walls. I may not come out of 2020 with many wins, but a stronger, more expansive cooking game is one I’ll gladly take.

Here are some of our favorite creations from the first six months of quarantine (not including Will’s birthday week meals, which you can find here):

I didn’t follow recipes for everything above, and when I did, I often diverted based on what we had and were feeling. But if you want to recreate any of these meals, here’s some inspiration to get you going:

  1. Chicken Potstickers // loved these!
  2. Everything Bagel Sandwiches // 5-ingredient bagels + scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, and cheddar
  3. Coconut Shrimp & Carrot Slaw // riffed on this shrimp + this slaw
  4. Shredded Chicken, Blue Cheese, & Caramelized Onion Pizza // Tartine sourdough pizza (a TJ’s batch works too) + baked and shredded chicken + crumbled blue cheese + caramelized onions
  5. Chicken Sausage // Kenji López-Alt-style (not a quick project, but a fun one!)
  6. Za’atar Bagel Dogs // inspired by Molly Yeh, using Will’s sausage
  7. Ethiopian Shiro & Yogurt Flatbread // Marcus Samuelsson’s shiro (this one looks good too) + layered yogurt flatbread
  8. Vanilla & Strawberry Scones // this base, with strawberries folded in half and the other half topped with coarse sugar
  9. Backyard Charcuterie Board // stay tuned for a whole post on this one 😉
  10. Shakshuka & Sourdough // this shakshuka + Tartine sourdough (it’s the only way)
  11. Chocolate Chip Banana Bread // my sis hooked me on Ambitious Kitchen BB
  12. Coconut Carrot Cake // doubled this carrot cake recipe and added coconut
  13. Goat Cheese Souffle // NYT version is great

I hate to say it, but you’ll probably see a Months 6-12 version of this in March… at which point I PRAY the world looks much brighter and stabler than it does right now.

Stay safe, stay nourished, and stay connected, friends!

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