Quarantine cooking: my top 10 recipes to try at home

Alice Scott '21, Staff Writer

I love to cook. I always have, but now, like many people, I am overwhelmed by the sudden and large amount of free time I have on my hands during quarantine. Cooking during the school year was always challenging, because with homework every night and busy weekends, there isn’t a lot of time left to spend in the kitchen. Now that grocery trips are pretty limited, I don’t always have every snack on hand that I’m craving. I decided now would be the perfect opportunity to learn how to make some of my favorite things. Because I grew up in a big family that does a lot of cooking, I would say I’m at an intermediate level, but all of these recipes are fairly simple and easy for even a beginner chef to follow. In my house, we almost always have a stock of fruits, veggies, meats and other common cooking and baking ingredients. If something isn’t in the pantry, try Googling a substitute! Chances are it’ll still work and be delicious. There are thousands of recipes online and in books, so anyone can find something that works for them. Happy cooking!

Sophisticated Gourmet New York-Style Bagel
The first thing I made was bagels. My mom wouldn’t let me go to Einstein, so I found a recipe and got baking. They weren’t challenging to make, but they were a bit time-consuming. Mine didn’t turn out perfect (they weren’t as big as expected) but I learned for the next time. Make sure to follow the directions (making anything with dough/yeast isn’t usually very forgiving if something goes wrong) and these are sure to be a delicious quarantine breakfast!

Sally’s Baking Addiction 30 Minute Homemade Soft Pretzels
One evening I was craving some soft pretzels, and after getting more familiar with making dough, I decided that was my next project to tackle. These were much easier and quicker than the bagels (the 30 minute title is pretty accurate), and they came out perfectly. Salted and paired with some honey-mustard, they were a delicious late-night snack!

Allrecipes Hot Artichoke and Spinach II Dip
Spinach and artichoke dip is one of my absolute favorite snacks. I love the kind from Village Market, and I usually heat a little up in a bowl, top it with parmesan, and it is amazing. But, like many of my cravings, we didn’t have any at home. We did, however, have frozen spinach and a whole lot of cheese, so I whipped together this delicious dip in less than 20 minutes. Even after quarantine, I don’t think I’m going to go back to the store-bought kind!

Allrecipes Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
Because I have a major sweet tooth, chocolate chip cookies are one of my favorite easy things to make on the fly. I’ve made these about a thousand times, so they weren’t something I had to teach myself, but out of all the recipes I’ve tested, this is my favorite and the simplest. Make sure to make enough for the whole family because if they’re anything like mine, these cookies will be gone in no time.

Minimalist Baker Cauliflower Rice Stuffed Peppers
After what felt like days of baking desserts and carb-loaded snacks, I decided to go the healthier route. I used cauliflower rice, but as long as the recipe is adjusted accordingly, normal long-grain rice can be used too! The recipe only makes 4 peppers, so I multiplied everything by 1.5 and made 6. These were really easy to make and my family loved them.

Tasty Whipped Coffee
I tried whipped coffee one morning because everyone on social media has been going crazy over it for weeks. I finally gave in, and it was wayyyy easier and wayyyy tastier than I thought it would be! Make sure to use instant coffee, not regular coffee grounds, because those won’t dissolve. I actually used Sweet’N Low instead of sugar, because I saw a lot of people saying that granulated sugar didn’t blend. I can’t go to Starbucks right now, so this was an awesome replacement!

Ereka Vertini’s Italian Wedding Soup
I love Italian Wedding Soup; it’s an annual Christmas dish in my family. My aunts always make it, but I decided it was time to learn! I don’t know who else relates to this, but I LOVE recipe TikToks! I have a few favorite accounts that have super simple, easy and delicious recipes, and this was one of them. It’s by TikToker Ereka Vetrini (@erekasfood), who has a ton of recipes on her page and website. I recommend jotting down the recipe beforehand, because the one-minute video is veeeery fast-paced. This is my new favorite soup!






A Classic Twist Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes
Sweet tooth came back! I love all things salted caramel, so I found a delicious recipe for salted caramel chocolate cupcakes. Because I have so much free time, I made it from scratch instead of a box! I love all things chocolate, so I used a chocolate buttercream frosting (just added cocoa powder!). The caramel recipe wasn’t included, so I used one from one of my favorite sites and it turned out perfectly. I think after those I’m going to have a hard time making cake from a box again! Sally’s Baking Addiction Homemade Salted Caramel


Bigger Bolder Baking Raspberry Sorbet
After finishing off a whole gallon of ice cream in a few weeks (okay, days) I was in the mood for something different. My go-to in the frozen aisle is always Talenti Roman Raspberry Sorbetto, so I decided to make my own at home. No need for an ice cream maker or anything, just a blender or food processor. I did not have condensed milk, which the recipe calls for, but luckily it’s really easy to make. BTW- any kind of frozen fruit will work, but frozen is key because fresh fruit doesn’t form a sorbet properly. In the end, this was a super refreshing dessert and I am so happy with how it turned out!
Bigger Bolder Baking How to Make Condensed Milk


Delish Lemon Butter Chicken Pasta
I am a firm believer that nothing can go wrong when garlic, lemon and pasta are mixed! Throw in a little chicken and maybe some spinach, and boom: perfect dinner. Not only was this lemon butter chicken easy to make, but it was restaurant-level tasty. The recipe calls for spinach, which I added, but it’s not vital. This is a delicious recipe sure to satisfy the whole family, and easy enough that a beginner chef could make it without a problem. Bon appétit!