Quarantine Cooking

March of this year seems like a lifetime ago. And like everyone else, our world got turned sideways with the global pandemic. All that we hold so near and dear to us was suddenly put on pause. From travel, to attending live events, to eating at our favorite local restaurants. Nothing was the same after mid-March. And most importantly, we haven’t been able to open up our home to friends and family like we normally would.  

Like so many of you, we’ve had to adapt over these last four months and find creative ways to stay happy and healthy...I focus on the happy, Dalena focuses more on the healthy...One way that we’ve maintained sanity in what feels like an insane chapter of history, is by putting on the chef hat and cooking up some next level food! 

When things became clear to Dalena and I that we were going to be spending A LOT of time at home, I decided to purchase a classic charcoal grill. This way I wouldn’t need to keep refilling my propane tanks and making unnecessary trips outside. And even though I miss my normal outdoor cooking station, this new grill and I have bonded really quickly in a short amount of time. 

One of the first meals I made on my new best friend, was an Easter ham. Not sure who I thought I was cooking for since it was only Dalena and I, but this ham was awesome on the grill and even better on top of the cast iron! A little BBQ sauce topped it off and we had ham for the rest of the month....There still might be some left overs in the fridge now. 

If there's one thing I get asked to make often, its my burgers. But in the spirit of being "healthy", I decided to give turkey burgers a shot. Holy "Turkey" were they amazing! I've made these a couple times since and each time they are better than the last. Moooo-ve over cow, I think I've been converted. 

Cinco De Mayo is usually a big weekend in our household. But this year we had a two person party and made some "Surf N Turf" tacos. The turf was your traditional carne asada, and the surf was a wild Alaskan salmon. If you haven't made salmon tacos before, you are missing out and they are super simple to make!

On the fancier side of things, Dalena put together a cheese and charcuterie for our one year anniversary. The fig spread along with manchengo is our favorite! She even got me to drink a couple glasses of wine with it. Rare occasion for sure...

Of course, no anniversary dinner was complete without steak and potatoes...Here's my cowboy ribeye with melted potatoes getting nice and happy in the back. Did I say I converted from beef???

But the most fun I've had cooking during these last four months has been when making paella for the first time. For years I've wanted to give it a shot, and only recently did my sister gift me the perfect size skillet and several ingredients for the dish...Ever gotten saffron as a Christmas gift? 

The final result was something to remember and along with the potatas bravas, turned into a pretty special meal. The white sangria Dalena made was also the perfect drink that made us feel like we were in Barcelona in our backyard! 

Are you hungry yet? There are plenty of other memorable meals that we've made during the "stay at home", and as I look back on these memories I know we'll cherish them for a lifetime. I guess despite what often feels like incredibly challenging times, we can still make some pretty good lemonade.

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