Facelift + Pandemic Cooking: Month 3

June 29, 2020

I've given the blog a much needed facelift. It was stuck in the world of 2013 for too long and with the help of Etsy, I was able to update it to this clean, modern look for the present. 

While stay-at-home orders have been lifted here in Kansas City, I'm still limiting the frequency of my grocery store visits. I'm grateful that I don't feel the need to overfill my shopping cart like I did in Month 1 since I've gotten the hang of what I need and don't need for about a two week span.

Chicago-Style Hot Dogs in bao buns
I got creative when I was using up things that have been in my fridge/freezer for a while. Bao buns as a substitute for hot dog buns were enjoyable and cornichons fit so well inside each mini hot dog bun. Here are the basic toppings on a Chicago dog but I played around with it and put on everything bagel seasoning but didn't skimp out on celery salt---which is the most important part of the Chicago dog. 

This dish is in regular rotation for me but to switch things up, I used chickpea and red lentil risoni (which is shaped similarly to orzo) from Trader Joe's (and also their Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage). An easy, healthy and tasty meal that's ready in almost no time. 

Falafel with Toum from Molly Yeh and NY Times

Inspired by a friend who has been making falafel in her quarantine, I made my first successful falafel (and used fresh spinach instead of fresh herbs since I didn't have any and it totally was fine). Toum (garlic whip), which is popular in Michigan Mediterranean restaurants, was a delightful addition but next time I will remove the middle stems from the garlic, which will help take the bite out of the fresh garlic flavor. 

Margarita Dessert Bars from Take Two Tapas

These bars, reminiscent of lemon bars, have all the fixings of a margarita--complete with a 1/2 cup of tequila. Although the booze is cooked off, the tequila flavor comes through and makes for a tasty citrusy dessert.

Chicken with Mixed Mushrooms and Cream from NY Times Cooking

This is a beautiful chicken dish that made quite a large portion for just one but even eating this days later, I was still enjoying it.

Herby Cheddar Swirl Buns from Half Baked Harvest

I'm one of the few people needing to USE UP yeast instead of searching for it during these times at home. These herby buns are like savory cinnamon rolls and are cheesy, herby and delicious. 

Check out another episode of my Pretend Cooking Show featuring these buns: