A Review of Every Recipe I Have Made During Quarantine
I made these a couple days after I got back from spring break because fish tacos were my go-to in Florida the couple of times we went out to eat and I was feeling emo about not being on the beach with my friends. The seasoning mix on these is really good and definitely adds a lot of flavor. My mom made a nice little slaw and I also made the listed fish taco sauce and we had a solid fish taco dinner. The chipotle chilies definitely add a lot of spice to the sauce which can be a bit much with the blackening seasoning so I recommend starting with half the amount that the recipe says and adding more depending on how much spice you like. I recreated my own kind of version a couple days later for the baja fish tacos where I added about a cup and a half of cilantro and plenty of lime juice which balances out the spiciness of the chilies very well if I do say so myself.
6/10 (but 10/10 for what I made with the leftovers)
Fun fact: Pavlovas are named after a Russian ballerina named Anna Pavlova because meringue (the base of the dessert) is light and airy like a ballerina. Honestly I tried this recipe because they looked really really cute. I was a little disappointed because the recipe didn’t include a recipe for lemon curd like I thought it would and suggested to use store bought. Being extra when it comes to cooking I thought “nope” and made some using a recipe from “Sally’s Baking Addiction” which if you need any inspiration or recipes I 10/10 recommend taking a look at her website. Anyways, so I made this Pavlova and while I only used the blackberries instead of blackberries and blueberries, it was supper tasty, but I felt like the curd on top of the really sweet meringue was a little too much sweetness. So I used my creative energy the next night to whip up something that used the same elements, but made it a little less rich of a dessert and even better in my opinion. An eaton mess is an English dessert that consists of berries, crushed up meringue, and whipped cream, and having pretty much all of these aspects leftover from the previous night’s Pavlovas, I decided to make an eaton mess creation of my own. I crushed up the leftover meringues, used the remaining blackberries, and for the whipped cream I whipped some heavy whipping cream until it was fully whipped and then added lemon curd to make it a lemon whipped cream. Honestly I think it is one of my favorite desserts I’ve ever made. The meringue gave it some texture, the whipped cream tasted like a frosted lemonade from Chik-fil-a but elevated, and the blackberries gave it that little bit of freshness. **chef’s kiss**
shrimp foil packets
This was the only really “meh” recipe that I have tried to far. The combo of trying to cook shrimp and broccoli at the same temperature at the same time just doesn’t really work because shrimp cooks really fast and the broccoli likes to take its time to get nice and roasted. The combo has a lot of potential and the seasonings were good, but if you try this I’d suggest either steaming the broccoli ahead of time, or just ditching the foil packet all together and cooking them separately.
These are a little tricky to get the cheese and carrots roasted to a good point where the cheese isn’t burnt but the carrots are nicely roasted. When you get it right they are super good. I love roasted carrots by I honestly hate when they are done with brown sugar or honey because personally I don’t like my veggies to be sweet. That’s why I like these ones. The cheese makes them a little salty and the Italian seasoning gives that little extra flavor. I suggest grating the cheese really fine so that it melts more evenly over the carrots and acts as more of a seasoning that melts over them versus just carrots with some cheese.
This was a recipe I found on pinterest from someone’s Italian grandmother and let me tell you, when I ate it I felt like someone’s nonna had made it especially for me. There is a little Italian restaurant my family likes to go to when we visit Santa Rosa, California called Café Citti (we found it courtesy of diners, drive ins, and dives so shout out my king Guy Fieri). They serve fried polenta there with your choice of sauce but it is definitely best with Bolognese served over it. I decided to make my own vegetarian Bolognese by cooking down tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, carrots, celery, and mushrooms to put over my fried polenta. It was so good and took me right back to the little café in the middle of rural California.
This is Gordon Ramsay’s method for making scrambled eggs and while it is the most labor intensive way to ever make scrambled eggs, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to my previous ways of making them again. It involves constantly stirring them, and I mean constantly. Along with this constant stirring you cook them for 30 seconds off the heat and 30 seconds on until they are done so that they don’t cook too fast. Then it is finished off with a little bit of sour cream which I know might sound weird but it makes them extra creamy and delicious. Serve these up for breakfast and you will never feel like an idiot sandwich again.
street corn nachos
My mom likes to make some sort of nachos for dinner pretty often but since I am pescatarian, it can get boring making them with the same beans and cheese combo. These are next level nachos. You just have to try them to understand but they are super easy, super good, and you will definitely want a second helping.
baja fish tacos
A point was deducted only because as I was frying them my family kept trying to eat the already cooked pieces and I got annoyed. Besides that these fried fish tacos are really good. It takes a little bit extra effort to deep fry them, but they turn out super good and make you feel like you’re back on the lake/beach in summer instead of stuck inside while we wait for it the be steadily warm and humid out.
almond butter stir fry
The sauce is what makes this stir fry. It’s essentially a peanut sauce, but with almond butter instead of peanut, pretty cool right? I don’t know if anyone else actually thinks that’s cool but I do and either way this is a really good and easy recipe for your next family dinner.
I ended up replacing half of the almonds with chopped hazelnuts in this recipe because I wanted some more variety. This granola was super good and a hit with my family, and is a really good base recipe that you can easily add dried fruit, seeds, or more nuts to.
I don’t have much to say about this one but it was a really good, basic spaghetti sauce that was very simple to make. I didn’t have any crushed tomatoes so I did have to crush them myself which was much messier than expected, but the sauce still came out very tasty and we had it with some Trader Joe’s meatless meatballs.
shrimp and grits
If you haven’t had shrimp and grits before, it’s very southern and very good. This was coincidentally the last food I had in a sit down restaurant before this stay at home order started. Immediately after eating it my symptoms of sun poisoning from a day at the beach set in, and due to several other circumstances including me being sick I had to abandon my spring break in Destin after a day and a half, but that’s a different story for a different time. Anyways, shrimp and grits is super good and this was a really good recipe for them, the shrimp especially gets a toasty flavor from the browned butter and the corn gives a little fresh flavor.
I mentioned that Gordon Ramsay’s scrambled eggs were labor intensive, but by far the most labor intensive thing I have made so far this quarantine was these cronuts – and they were so worth it. If you haven’t heard of cronuts, they are a croissant/donut hybrid and they are ~heavenly~. It took a full 24 hours to make these so if you plan on making them know that you won’t be eating them until the following day. This is because croissant dough take a looonngg time to make. There is a meticulous process that consists of folding a block of butter into the dough, rolling, folding, refrigerating for an hour, then rolling, folding, and repeating that process several times in order to make it flaky. The dough ends up with the butter distributed into 54 layers throughout it, and as that butter melts and creates steam while it’s cooking, makes the dough puff up, which is was makes the dough flakey (wow science). I made these as part of Easter brunch and my family still won’t stop begging me to make more, so while they are hard to make, I still highly recommend trying it out if you’re feeling ambitious and adventurous.
This was the main thing I decided to make for Easter brunch with my family and it was so good. If you haven’t ever had romesco sauce, your life is about to be changed. It goes good with everything and this whole board is a party of so many foods that just can be all piled on top of the pieces of bread and devoured in seconds. Another thing that will change your life, burrata cheese. It’s hard to find and unfortunately I couldn’t find any for this board so I used fresh mozzarella instead and melted it over the romesco sauce, but any time that I see burrata anywhere I take the opportunity and get it. The outside is just like mozzarella but then inside it is filled with cheese curd that is most similar to the texture of ricotta cheese that you can spread on bread or anything else and it's just honestly the best cheese in the world. All that being said this is in my opinion, the ultimate brunch board.
turmeric mashed sweet potato bowls
These as a whole are a really nice dish for any time of day honestly. The best part of them though is the mashed sweet potatoes. Instead of being boiled in regular water then mashed they are simmered in veggie broth until it all is absorbed which gives them a ton of extra flavor. Added bonus the turmeric in them is an anti-inflammatory!
This thing was really good. I had to make my own hazelnut flour by putting hazelnuts in the food processor (if you do this make sure you look up a tutorial though so you don’t accidentally make hazelnut butter) but it was definitely worth it. This cake is super chocolaty without being overly sweet. The cardamom in the whipped cream sounds a little strange but it gives it that little extra something that makes it feel a little fancier. Overall, a really solid chocolate cake that I will for sure be making again. PS also since it only uses nut flour it’s gluten free!
I bought some vegan chicken nuggets over this quarantine called “nugg’s” and decided to make some for lunch one day. I didn’t have a good dipping sauce that you need to accompany any chicken nugget, vegan or not, so I whipped up this little thing. It’s tasty, super easy, and I had everything on hand to make it and it tasted like ranch without having to scour my spice cabinet for a hidden valley ranch packet.
chai shortbread cookies
If you’re looking for something to bake but don’t feel like doing something that takes a lot of effort, look no further. These were super easy and turned out really good. They were a hit with the family and the cinnamon glaze on them makes them that much better and brings just a little extra sweetness.