Thursday, April 9, 2020

Quarantine Eats

I think the most important lesson I've learned from this crazy time is that anything with gluten is my go to comfort feel good food. Like everyone else I know we have been baking and cooking a lot, and I'm pretty much always running a list in my head of things I want to make which is dominated by breads, scones, coffee cakes... Brendan and I were used to making and eating most meals at home before this shelter in place situation started, so our meals are mostly unchanged, but now instead of going to the store every 4-6 days we go into town every 10ish days or more, mostly for produce. But the quality of our meals hasn't changed because if we want burritos and have no flour tortillas I just make them from scratch. If we need sandwich bread we just make that too. I think we may be eating better now than before because we have the time and energy to think of fun new meals that we wouldn't normally have the time to make, like empanadas, stuffed with random things from our cupboard.

Here is a little list of all the tabs that have been open on my laptop for the last 3 weeks of foods we have made, and want to make, mostly for my own memory (and so I can close those tabs!).
No Knead Bread - a HUGE success, so easy a great way to make the house smell amazing, and a great way to solve the 'we need bread' problem. I could eat the whole loaf slathered with grass fed butter... it's kinda a problem.

Cheddar Rosemary scones- I made these really early on in the self isolation days and they were amazing. What I REALLY wanted was the cheddar scones from Hidden House Coffee, but when I swung by to get some to go they were closed (this was the beginning of March, like the first day school was cancelled), so I went home and made my own!

Little tortilla babies ready to be rolled out.

Home made tortillas - also SO easy! We use veggie oil as the fat and they are vegan (although we are not vegan). This recipe makes super tasty tortillas that you just want to snack on as they come out of the pan, but are also amazing as leftover burritos when the moisture from the beans soaks into them a little overnight :)


Super green Falaffel- I only picked this recipe because it had ingredients we had on hand (all the others had lots of stuff we didn't have and we weren't about to go to the store just for this one meal) and we added like 4 times as much parsley as the recipe called for. We also choose to make these because there was 6 year old whole wheat pita in the freezer, so we figured falaffel would make it a meal! They were pretty easy and tasty, another meal I could eat straight out of the pan.

Ciabatta bread - I made this bread because we needed buns for Beyond Meat burgers one night, and it was maybe the most time consuming way to acquire said buns. The sponge has to be made the night before, and then there is a 'rest and fold' process you have to repeat every 45 minutes like 27 times that takes babysitting bread to the next level. They were, however, the most incredible hamburger buns I've ever tasted, so maybe worth all the work.
These little guys turned into tasty
naan. No pictures of the finished
product because we devoured them.
Naan - We made a random curry one night because there was a partially used can of coconut creme in the fridge, and random veggies to go along. Naan felt like the right carb to go with the curry. I think I've made this recipe before, and I liked the way it turned out more last time I made it. This time it seemed chewy rather than fluffy and light. I want to redo it because it tasted great, and the butter we brushed on it before cooking made some portions a bit crunchy, which was so freaking good.

Empanadas! - We only used the recipe for the dough and baking directions, and filled them with fried potatoes, scrambled eggs and pesto. The dough was super easy, rolled out well and the finished empanadas were incredible! It helped to have Nikki staying with us because we assembly line tackled the assembly and it was WAY faster than when I made empanadas by myself. We made a few with apples and walnuts for dessert as well and those were mind blowing also!

Blueberry Cardamom Buckle - When I realized school would be out through May and that we would be stuck sheltering in place through Spring Break my heart broke a little. I had been dreaming of going to Northern Calif to visit family, riding my bike in the green hills of Sonoma County, and stopping for coffee and a buckle at Bovine Bakery. Alas I had to just make my own, and I was fortunate to have cardamom on hand! We always have an oversized bag of frozen wild blueberries as well which helped. The coffee cake base has no sugar so the whole buckle isn't too sweet, just soft, buttery and bright from the berries :)

I've made this vegan banana bread like 4 times. It's so easy, all pantry staple ingredients and it comes out of the oven perfectly moist and just a bit doughy in the middle. I add walnuts every time, and chocolate chips once (although Brendan doesn't like it with the chocolate.

And on the first Sunday of quarantine I made lemon ricotta pancakes. Brendan has been on a ricotta buying kick since February, he swears by adding it to scrambled eggs, so we always have some in the fridge. The pancakes were soft and tasty topped with a spoonful of blueberry jam and maple syrup. They rivaled our favorite weekend breakfast of waffles.

That's all I can remember baking so far. There have been plenty of thrown together rando meals that have been equally amazing, but I can't put my finger on them now. I realize we are very lucky to have the ability to work from home, for me to have a job that still provides a paycheck, and to have a house to stay at home in (until May 15). As the rain comes down outside and blueberry lemon scones bake in the oven I am 100% aware of how fortunate we are. Although I don't get to have the spring break I imagined, and all the bike races are cancelled I'm enjoying the time with our little family + Nikki now :) trying to read more and look at technology less, and to enjoy the living daylights out of the kitchen we remodeled and have to walk away from on May 15.

Thanks for everyone who has shared recipes with me! I hope someone somewhere uses one of these recipes to brighten their stay at home day :)