Cooking at Home during Quarantine–Week #3

This is my 3rd edition of “Cooking at Home”, but definitely not “week 3”. Time is starting to become irrelevant to me, and apparently one week equals 7.26 million years now. Don’t you agree?

But, I am back today to give you another run down of what we’ve been preparing for meals around here. Since we’ve been cooking at home 95% of the time, that requires a lot of planning, and frankly, I’m starting to run out of ideas. I’ve had to do a lot of prowling around on the internet at recipe sites and other blogs to be able to come up with menu plans. I don’t necessarily look for recipes, but more for inspiration. Then, I adapt things to use the ingredients we have available to us, so we don’t have to make unnecessary trips to the store while we are staying at home.

Here’s What We’ve Had Recently

BBQ Chicken Burgers with Roasted Veggies

We liked these BBQ Chicken Burgers so much, we made them again, also on on the homemade hamburger buns that I stored in my freezer from the batch of 12 I made. This time we had roasted veggies as a side. I looked through the veggies in the fridge that needed using, chopped them into large-ish pieces, drizzled with olive oil, seasoned with salt/pepper, and roasted at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes. Delicious and healthy. This is the way I most frequently make veggies around here. So easy, and so good.

Homemade Pizza on the Grill

Homemade pizza is on regular rotation around here. This one is sausage pepper.

Spaghetti Bake with Meatballs & Homemade French Bread

Have you tried these meatballs that you mix with a Stovetop Stuffing? So easy. I made up a batch of these, used a few on top of the spaghetti bake, and froze the rest for later use.

I made homemade french bread for the first time to go with it.

Easy Taco Casserole

I shared the recipe for this Easy Taco Casserole earlier this week. When in quarantine, Taco Tuesday can be any night you want it to be!

Leftover Pizza….and Beer

Easy night in front of the TV.

Leftover Spaghetti Bake and Salad with Homemade Ranch Dressing

This week we picked up some produce boxes from a local warehouse that usually supplies produce to restaurants. Right now, they are offering either a box of veggies or a box of fruit for $25 each. It was a great deal! We had plenty for ourselves, as well as enough to share with other family members.

We used some of it to make a salad to serve as a side for the leftover spaghetti bake. The only problem? No salad dressing.

I looked up a recipe online for homemade ranch dressing and made my own! I used this one from The Pioneer Woman. Oh my wow. I’d like to say I’m never buying bottled dressing again, but let’s be honest….once we get back to “real life” again (someday….right?) I’ll probably revert to the store-bought kind again for convenience. But, the homemade kind is much better.

Popcorn & (wine) Smoothie

On this night, I just didn’t have it in me to cook and clean up. So we went super simple with popcorn and a smoothie using up some frozen fruit from our freezer, and some of the fresh fruit from our produce box. Oh, and wine. Have you ever added red wine to your smoothies before? You definitely should try it.

Easter Dinner = Texas Roadhouse Takeout

My husband had to work on Easter, and we couldn’t have our traditional big family dinner. I was feeling kinda sad. Much of this was really getting to me on this day…missing people, worrying…

When Mark got home, we watched Easter church service online, and then picked up Texas Roadhouse for dinner. It was good, but I’m looking forward to family dinners with all my people again. 💔

Can you tell which steak is mine, and which is my husband’s? 😂

Cheesy Smoked Sausage Soup

Thank the Lord in Heaven, the weather seems to be finally warming up again! Amen and Hallelujah! Because being trapped in the house during quarantine just makes it so. much. harder.

In the last week or so, we had SNOW two times. In April. This delicious and simple Cheesy Smoked Sausage Soup was my coping mechanism.

Oven Baked Crispy Chicken with Creamy Parmesan Sauce & Roasted Veggies

I coated some chicken breasts in flour, egg, and then panko and baked them until they were crispy. A quick sauce of half & half, butter, garlic, pepper, and parm cheese added a little something to dress it up. My go-to roasted veggies made an appearance on the side again.

Charcuterie Board

I needed a break from cooking and this evening was a tiny bit nicer than some of the others last week, so we took a walk, and then came home and had a super simple dinner of charcuterie and wine on the screen porch. Still required the heated lap blanket though. 🙃

Bacon Cheeseburgers on the Grill with Maple Bourbon Brussels and Tomato Basil & Balsamic Salad

We made a trip to Costco this week to restock some of our dwindling supplies. We wore our face masks, and got in and out as fast as possible. We came home with fresh hamburger meat though, so we portioned out the Costco-sized package into smaller freezer bags, and kept out just enough to put two burgers on the grill for dinner.

I made our favorite Maple Bourbon Glazed Brussels Sprouts as a side, and an easy tomato salad with balsamic, fresh basil, olive oil and parmesan cheese. So fresh and good.

I got my fresh herbs planted a couple of weeks ago on a warm day. I had to bring them in the kitchen this past week, since it turned cold again, but it was nice to clip off a couple of basil leaves for the tomato salad. Having fresh herbs at my fingertips is one of my favorite things about summer cooking.

Breakfast/Brunch

Oatmeal is one of my favorite late breakfast meals. The idea of food too early in the morning doesn’t sit well with me, so when I make something like this, it can serve as breakfast and lunch both.

This Blueberry Cream Cheese French Toast bake is a recipe my daughter gave me. She’s made it multiple times after getting it from a long-time family friend of her husband’s. It did not disappoint. I will share this recipe with you soon.

Yesterday, I made a batch of this Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti to have with my morning (or afternoon) coffee. So much better than the hard-as-a-rock kind you can buy at the store.

Cocktails

Our cocktail game remains strong around here. When we went to Costco this week, we made sure to restock our supplies for “happy hour”, too. 😃Because… pandemic.

You guys. I need more meal ideas! We have to help each other out. I’d love it if you drop me a comment with what y’all have been making for meals!

Wishing you peace, health, and endurance,

9 thoughts on “Cooking at Home during Quarantine–Week #3

    1. We actually have TWO restaurant supply produce companies that are doing this near me. I wonder if any in your area are also? You might check around. Loffredo and Capitol Fruits are the names of the companies here. It is a great deal!

  1. I so enjoyed looking at your lovely meals. My SO is a diet controlled diabetic; he was on coumadin (history of pulmonary blood clots), but is now on Elaquis so he can eat more cabbage/ greens, etc. NOW he has symptoms of celiac disease; today’s grocery store visit netted us a bunch of gluten free stuff. SO, now mixing summer/zucchini squash zoodles with gf penne for him and angel hair for me for spaghetti, gf pizza crust for him Boboli for me…I’ll be running the dishwasher much more often! Good thing we’re retired and I have the time, huh?!? I especially enjoyed your taco bake; that is the way I cook! I hate recipes that require me to buy $12 in spices that I may never use again!

    1. Kathy, it sounds like you have your work cut out for you preparing meals to suit you both. I’m glad you found some inspiration from my meal ideas. 💜. Thanks for stopping by and for your sweet comments.
      -Niky

  2. Oh my goodness, I would be happy to be quarantined at your house, your meals are amazing! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday and please come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  3. Wow, you did well Niky. I think we are all feeling a little challenged at this stage of ISO, no matter where in the world we live.
    Thanks for sharing at Create, Bake, Grow & Gathered this week.
    Hugs,
    Kerryanne

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