With the threat of COVID-19 and our subsequent quarantine, for the first time in my life I have found myself with time in the kitchen. Skill? Not so much. Patience? Ha. Below are a few favorite recipes I have discovered over the past five months of lockdown.
Life Changing Peas
Peas? Bear with me. Yesterday I was scouring the garage chest freezer for a green side dish to add to our chicken poppyseed casserole dinner. Usually I’ll throw some frozen green beans in the instant pot, but all I could find was a ginormous bag of frozen peas.
I’m still unsure as to when I made that purchase…
A quick Google search led me to Favorite Family Recipes and their amazingly simple yet refreshing spin on frozen peas. Although I don’t despise peas, I generally prefer to eat them in something else less vegetable-y.
Like fried rice.
Or maybe chicken pot pie.
But those days are gone. I have seen the light. These dang peas are so good I actually saved the leftovers (and Jake can tell you – I do NOT do leftovers).
The recipe is simple – throw some frozen peas in a pan and toss with salted butter, sugar, and garlic. And yes, I use my beloved Gourmet Garden Garlic Stir In Paste here as one less thing to prep. Heat them for a few minutes while stirring occasionally, and then you’re done. Also congratulations – you have now leveled up and provided your kids the opportunity to eat a single vegetable.
Homemade Restaurant Salsa
My second favorite snack (first is always queso) has got to be salsa. I’m not super particular, but there are a few local restaurants that make some excellent renditions. I love this quick and easy recipe because it uses pantry and staple ingredients that I generally have on hand.
- food processor
- 15 oz can of tomatoes
- 1/2 large sweet onion roughly chopped
- pickled jalapeno as much or as little as you prefer
- 1 tsp Gourmet Garden Garlic Stir-In Paste
- 1 tsp Gourmet Garden Cilantro Stir-In Paste or more if you prefer
- 1 tbsp lime juice from concentrate (or fresh if you have it)
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- pepper to taste
- Throw all ingredients into food processor or blender; pulse until desired consistency.
Chocolate Lava Cake
Do you have a box of chocolate cake mix sitting sad and lonely in your pantry right now? What about a matching can of chocolate frosting? If you answered yes to both of these, you have what it takes to create the perfect chocolate lava cake.
And the best part? No waiting for an oven to preheat.
Chocolate Lava Cake
- microwavable dish (I like to use the RockCrock from Pampered Chef, but any microwave safe dish that can hold 12 cups is great)
- 1 box chocolate cake mix
- eggs, oil/butter, water whatever your cake mix calls for
- 1 can chocolate frosting
- Prepare chocolate cake mix as instructed; pour mix into greased microwave safe dish.
- Drop spoonfuls of chocolate frosting on top of the cake mix.
- Microwave on high for 8 to 10 minutes.
Be sure to serve this with plenty of ice cream and/or whipped cream. I like to save whatever is left in the refrigerator to heat up late at night when I can pretend I’m childless and carefree.
I know I said I hate leftovers.
Clearly I make exceptions.
For more awesome dinner ideas, head on over to my recipe page!