• Matt Lummus

Recipes for Your Quarantine

Well, it's certainly been a while, my friends! After a week of social distancing, I'm sure a lot of you are going a little stir crazy. The most frequent question I keep asking Eric is, "What's for dinner!?" We have cooked at home more this week than a loooonnngggg time, so I thought I would share some of my favorite recipes (remember that Quinoa Bowl?) in case y'all are getting bored with your go-tos and needed a little inspiration.

Note that none of these are original recipes, and I'm not claiming to have invented them or be any pro chef. Most are recipes my mom has sent me over the years from family, or various cookbooks, etc, which is why this is mostly just linked out to the professionals. The few that are typed out here are likely from a cookbook that my middle school made where families submitted their favorite recipes. For typing lessons, they made us all type out the hand-written recipes in the computer lab. Fun times.

Hope you all are staying sane and practicing social distancing so we can all get back to life as usual ASAP! Let me know if you have any favorite recipes you think I'd like!

If You're Feeling Ambitious: PASTA

On our honeymoon to Italy, we took an incredible cooking class in the Chianti Hills with Luca and Lorenzo of LovexFood, where they welcomed us into their home and taught us recipes from their grandmothers. I tried making pasta once before and it was a disaster. After learning from the pros, I fell in love with making pasta. It's a lot of work and takes some learning, but it's the most satisfying feeling to make a gorgeous bowl of pasta for your loved ones. Practice now with whoever you are self-isolating with so you will be ready for that first big dinner party once we can get out and socialize!

From Luca and Lorenzo's YouTube Channel

Be sure to check out their channel for some other fun recipes and follow them on Instagram for updates on how they are living in Italy at this tough time. As soon as it's okay to travel, it's my absolute favorite thing we did in Italy and you can book through their website or Airbnb.

In addition to Luca and Lorenzo's cooking class, I also took a great pasta making class at Taste Buds Kitchen here in NYC. They share their recipes on their website, and they are also delish.

The tricky part is kneading and rolling out the pasta. Luckily, we have a KitchenAid attachment and I found a good tutorial from Williams Sonoma's YouTube for reference, but I would also check out the directions for whatever pasta maker you have. The one time I tried rolling it out by hand it was torture, so I would definitely recommend some sort of pasta maker!

Slowcooker/Pressure Cooker

I've been a Crock-Pot advocate foreverrrr but recently we got on the Instant-Pot train and it's been a game-changer. I would always decide too late in the day I wanted a slow-cooker dinner and would never have enough time to let it sit for 6 hours. Being able to make pot roast or chili in a matter of minutes instead of hours blew my mind. So, here are a few of my favorite slow cooker/pressure cooker recipes. Most can be done either way.

Friday Night Chili (I believe this one is from that middle school cookbook I told you about)

  • 2 lbs ground chuck

  • 1 large onion chopped

  • 1 ½ tsp minced garlic

  • 2 16 oz cans light kidney beans, do not drain

  • 2 16 oz can chopped tomatoes, drained

  • 1 8oz can tomato sauce

  • 2 cups water

  • 2 tbsp chili powder

  • 2 tsp garlic salt

  • 1 ½ tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 1 tsp black pepper

  • ½ ground red pepper (cayenne)

-Cook meat, chopped onion, and garlic over medium-high heat until meat is brown and crumbles. Drain. Stir in beans and remaining ingredients (except tomato paste). Bring toa boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered 1 hour. Stir occasionally. Add tomato paste at the end to thicken.

*We usually brown the meat onion garlic on the stove and then put in the Crock-Pot or Instant Pot and add paste before serving.

This is a great one for leftovers! It also freezes great, so if you are just cooking for one or two you can really stretch it out.

Fruits de Mer (SEAFOOD!)

Yes, we are basic and do a lot of salmon because it is affordable and easy and delicious! It's especially great to get a giant piece from Costco (if you are willing to brave the lines) and have some for leftovers the next day.

Sweet Soy Sauce Salmon Marinade

  • ⅓ cup soy sauce

  • ⅓ cup brown sugar

  • ⅓ cup water

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil

-Mix it all together and let salmon marinade in a big plastic bag for a few hours and bake as usual. A+

Southern Decadence

And because I'm from the south we love all things cheese, potatoes, and butter. Here are a few of my favorite recipes from growing up that I am not claiming are healthy, but are good for the soul.

Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Creamy DOUBLE Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Poppyseed Chicken Casserole (Easy, great for leftovers, and great to serve with rice to stretch it out!)

Hash Brown Casserole (This one makes an appearance and every single family gathering and it is an all-time fave)

  • 1 bag Ore-Ida frozen hash browns

  • 1 stick butter

  • 1 can cream of chicken soup

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

  • 16 oz sour cream

  • 2 tbsp melted butter

  • 1 ½ cups crushed corn flakes (not frosted)

-Heat oven to 350

-Combine butter and soup in small pan. Heat until melted.

-In large bowl, combine potatoes, salt, cheese, and sour cream.

-Gently add in soup mixture.

-Mix and pour into 3 quart greased casserole and bake 45 minutes.

-Combine 2 tbsp melted butter and crushed flakes. Sprinkle over potatoes and bake another 15 minutes.

Oven-Fried Chicken Strips

  • ¼ cup fat-free mayo

  • 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard

  • 1 tsp dried parsley flakes

  • ¼ tsp garlic powder

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • ¼ tsp pepper

  • 1 cup multigrain cracker crumbs (Panko bread crumbs are even better!)

  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated

  • 1 ¼ chicken breast strips

-Stir together first 6 ingredients in medium bowl

-Combine crackers and cheese in shallow bowl

-Brush chicken with mayo and drudge in crumbs

-Place chicken on foil

-Bake at 400 degrees for 15 mins or until golden brown

and to go with chicken strips Honey Mustard! I just tried this recipe for the first time and it was super easy and delicious!

Easy Meat Loaf

  • 2 lbs ground chuck

  • 1 can evaporated milk

  • 1 pkg Lipton’s onion soup mix

  • 1 pkg Italian salad dressing mix

  • Ketchup

  • Brown Sugar

-Preheat oven to 350

-Mix meat, milk, soup mix, salad dressing mix in large bowl

-Form into a large loaf

-Bake 1 ½ hours

-Near end of cooking mix some ketchup and brown sugar together to make glaze and pour over meatloaf

Cheese Grits Casserole

  • 3 cups hot water

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 cup Grits (not instant)

  • 2 tbsp Butter

  • 1-2 cups Cheddar Cheese

  • 1 Cup Milk

  • 2 Eggs

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees

-Bring water, salt, and grits to a boil

-Turn off heat, cover, and let sit 30 minutes

-Add butter, cheese, milk, and eggs

-Bake 1 hour

Dessert Time

We are trying to limit the desserts and not stress eat, but this banana pudding and lemon blueberry layer cake are always the biggest hits!

That's it, my friends. A few little favorites that I hope you will enjoy. Let me know if you try any of them, and stay safe and sane during these crazy times 💞

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