Quarantine Life Week 40

Wow, just writing the number 40 is shocking. But they say the end is in sight or there’s a light at the end of the tunnel or some other cheesy way of placating the people who are going a little crazy. Honestly, I kind of dread the “return to normal” idea. While I am intrigued to see how many things will be permanently changed, I am still not completely convinced of the safety of everything. But instead of going down that rabbit hole, let’s talk about what we ate this last week.

Thursday (12/31) – We didn’t have the kid for New Year’s eve this year, so we got to act like kids! I made queso fundido, pico de gallo and homemade chorizo. It was totally unhealthy but delicious! Also, I had leftover Chihuahua cheese from a prior recipe.

Friday (1/1) – New Year’s Day! We started the day with mimosas and biscuits and chorizo gravy. I love mimosas, and we normally go to brunch at our local tavern in our pajamas on New Year’s Day, so I had to have a little peace of that. I made a very traditional New Year’s Day dinner which you can read all about in another blog post. Much of it had to be vegetarian, as we did have the kid, but it was still delicious.

Saturday (1/2) – I did some cooking on Saturday. I made mini blueberry cheesecake tarts, a larger blueberry cheesecake tart, and marinara sauce all before dinner. For dinner, I made chicken cordon bleu using thighs instead of breasts and cacio e pepe. I served them with Brussels sprouts and subbed a leftover sautéed portabella for the chicken for the kiddo.

Sunday (1/3) – I made a ham and cheddar quiche for brunch. We gave the kid leftover French toast casserole since she doesn’t eat meat, and we still had some. For dinner, I took some leftover braised pork shanks from New Year’s Day and made a pork and potato hash. I even fried an egg to put on top for the husband. I don’t know if most people deglaze with white wine when making hash, but I’m gonna say they should.

Monday (1/4) – I made wild rice stir fry and sautéed some shrimp for the hubby and I. I messed up and threw both the wild rice and the jasmine rice into the instant pot without even thinking. If you don’t know, the cooking times are very different. I started to try to “sort” them and realized that was just nuts. So I took a chance and cooked them together, meeting the cooking times somewhere in the middle. It turned out great. The jasmine rice was slightly more done than I would normally do, and the wild rice was just right. I then stir fried all of that with some shallots and yellow bell peppers in sesame oil. I added peas, carrots and toasted pine nuts at the end so the peas and carrots wouldn’t overcook. These were the blend you find in the freezer section, so they are already par-cooked. And the shrimp paired well with this blend.

Tuesday (1/5) – I had a bone in pork loin thawed, and I decided I wanted to cook it with taco seasoning and turn it into tamales, so I threw that in the instant pot in the afternoon. I then used my meat claws for the first time to shred it, and that was awesome. However, I was not yet in the mood to do all the work involved in making tamales after we got home from picking up a grocery order. So I made the sauce, tossed it with the meat, and put it in the fridge. For dinner, we had feta and spinach chicken sausages and garlic, basil, parmesan fries. I did make the fry topping, but everything else came from a package.

Wednesday (1/6) – I decided to make those tamales. Since we had the kid, I also made some mushroom tamales and some cheese tamales. I won’t call it an epic fail, but I don’t have the tamale thing down yet. I feel like my meat mixture could have used more sauce. And I feel like I didn’t quite have the process right. Our masa mostly stuck to the corn husks. I’ll try it again after I watch some YouTube videos or something.

So, as always, lots of cooking this week. However, I do have a new friend who lives close by who accepts leftovers. Yes, I made a new friend while totally quarantining. I’ve actually made a few in the past 40 weeks. I don’t know. I think with all the stress surrounding Covid, I, like many others, have been seeking a little more human connection. And if that connection needs to be dead dropping cordon bleu on someone’s porch, well, that is what it will be.

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