Cooking During Quarantine With An Inept and Bumbling “Chef”

What do fire alarms, ruined pans, a butter container with a hole burnt into it and some regurgitated bread have in common? Well, you could find all of them in my kitchen on March 26. So far, I’ve spent my quarantine being unproductive and eating unhealthy desserts that I found at Safeway. But today, I decided to make a change.  I continued to eat unhealthy desserts, but in a safe way: by staying home. I, Aidan Kohn-Murphy, an inept and bumbling chef, would attempt to bake and cook for myself.  Throughout my culinary journey, I failed, struggled and failed again.

Spinach Salmon Pasta

On weeknights when I don’t have a lot of time to cook, I like to go for recipes that don’t require a lot of preparation beforehand. This recipe is very easy; it only requires you to cut up salmon and mince garlic. There is room for customization as well. I prefer using pasta with a shape like penne, but any pasta, including whole wheat, would work great. Other vegetables, like broccoli, can be added in addition. The recipe takes 20-25 minutes from start to finish, so it’s easy to whip up a portion and have leftovers for lunch the next

Simple Blender Pancakes

These pancakes are super easy to make! You can mix them in the blender and then pour them straight into the pan. Although the batter thickens and develops more flavor if you let it sit, you can also cook it right away for a quick, tasty pancake. This simple recipe is my go-to and allows you to play with the amount of batter and size of your pancakes. The topping choices are endless so add what you like! A classic is a squeeze of lemon and some powdered sugar, or maple syrup and whipped cream! You can add whatever fruit

The Best Guacamole

One of my favorite meals to prepare is tacos. It is extremely simple to make all of the components—from the meat inside to the tortillas, salsa and guacamole—from scratch. I am often disappointed by store-bought guacamole. It’s not fresh, and lacks the depth of flavor you get from the many ingredients in this recipe. While many store-bought guacamoles do not include tomatoes or bell peppers, they really pull this recipe together. Freshly squeezed lime juice is essential for a fresh taste and to keep the avocados from browning.  INGREDIENTS 4 avocados 1 cup tomatoes ½ cup bell pepper 1 tbps

Fresh Pesto

Pesto is a super simple spring dish. Basil is really easy to grow, and I gathered the basil used in this recipe from my own garden. Fresh ingredients are the key to a successful pesto. Grate the parmesan from a block, as opposed to buying pre-shredded parmesan, and use the highest quality olive oil available to you. This pesto works best with pasta, so once your pasta finishes cooking, drain the water and let it sit in the pesto. Your dish can be garnished with more fresh basil, parmesan, pine nuts or burrata as seen in the image.  INGREDIENTS ½

Grasshopper Brownies

This is a super easy recipe that you can make at home with only a few ingredients. These grasshopper brownies are festive, tasty, and simple. It is possible to bake the brownies with a mix, but you can also try your favorite recipe. Top them with this bright frosting for the perfect treat. Make them for your family, friends, or even to bring in to advisory…  These brownies are classic and school-spirited! INGREDIENTS For the brownie: 1 package of your favorite brownie mix and the complementary ingredients For the frosting: 4 cups of confectioner’s sugar 1/2 cup of softened, unsalted

Candy Cane Oreo Cheesecake

Candy canes are a cheerful representation of winter and the holidays. The classic flavors will remind everyone of their favorite holiday memories! There is peppermint extract in the cake itself which gives it a classic winter flavor, without ruining the texture as candy canes would. The oreo crust is super simple to prepare and still a tasty classic. There are even crushed candy canes in the crust that give color and flavor. You can also make this cake ahead of time and keep it in your fridge for a few days. For the Crust: 2 cups of Oreos 6 tablespoons

Pumpkin Spiced Muffins

My favorite farmers market always sells a rolled pumpkin cake in the fall. Each year I look forward to the tender spiced cake wrapped around a luscious cream cheese frosting which has become a harbinger of fall in our family. These pumpkin spice muffins have the same components but are much simpler to make at home. Nothing says fall like pumpkin spice! Although you may be opposed to this seemingly basic flavor, perhaps this recipe will change your mind. This version of the fall classic is a little more complex with its sweet spices, including cinnamon and ginger. Cream cheese

Roll Cake

The roll cake, or bolo de bolo, is the most traditional fall dessert in Brazil. Coming from the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco, bolo de rolo is unique because of its numerous fine layers, made of alternating thin sheets of cake and a traditional guava paste filling. In 2008, bolo de rolo was officially considered a cultural legacy of the state of Pernambuco because of its special contribution to the Brazilian cultural gastronomy. The bolo de rolo was originally developed in the seventeenth century as a version of colchão de noiva (bride’s mattress), a Portuguese dessert consisting of a sponge

Frozen Lemon Tart

This frozen lemonade tart is the second best part of summer (summer break being number one, of course). It is everything you want in a summer dessert: cool and refreshing, easy to make, and most importantly, you do not even need to turn on your oven! Golden Oreos make the crust rich and sweet to contrast the frozen lemon cream filling. From barbeques to pool parties, this tart is perfect for every summer event under the sun. It’s so good you will want to sneak some in during the long winter, too! Note: If you do not have a tart

Dessert of the Month: Brazilian Brigadeiros

Brigadeiros are perhaps the most famous Brazilian dessert. There is nothing like them anywhere else. The tasty treat is a cross between caramel, toffee and chocolate truffles. Pronounced bree-gah-day-ro, the traditional dessert is nothing more than cooked condensed milk with chocolate and a touch of butter. The simple ingredients and easy preparation make for a spectacular treat that won’t fail to surprise anyone who tastes it. Decadent and chewy, brigadeiros are enjoyed all over the country. The dessert is commonly served at celebrations, especially at birthday parties. It has sentimental value for most Brazilians as it often represents a bond

Caramel Apple Cupcake Recipe

Nothing makes me think of fall quite as much as going to the apple orchard with my family. Picking apples for hours, driving the long trip home (with a caramel apple for the road, of course), and ending up with enough jars of mom’s cinnamon applesauce to last the winter. I came up with this caramel apple cupcake recipe a few years ago, and it’s been a tradition in my family ever since. The apples in the filling provide bites of tartness and crunch to cut through the sweet syrup. (Put extra on top of pancakes for an easy fall