a coronavirus meal plan – and other recipes I’ve recently discovered and loved

Spaghetti with bolognese sauce is my favorite meal. I could eat it several times a week and not get sick of it. My go-to recipe for it at the moment is Martha Stewart’s. I’ve made this with all ground beef and also with ground turkey (because you gotta be flexible when the store’s just randomly out of one of those things…) and all versions of it have been delicious. I’ve also liked doing the America’s Test Kitchen recipe which takes 4+ hours… but it’s also delicious and kind of fun to have a pot on the stove you get to taste all day while you clean your apartment. I must have done that before I had my 2nd kid… anyway… 


The Martha Stewart recipe makes a big pot and enough for another meal’s worth of leftovers (after feeding a family of 3.5) which you can easily freeze and/or use for another recipe like these awesome lasagna-stuffed peppers. The stuffed pepper recipe is great for anybody who’s not doing carbs or has other issues with pasta- but it’s also heavenly with pasta. It cooks the peppers perfectly and, bonus, it also looks fancy. I’ll make it for you when you come over after coronavirus is gone in like 2-10 years. What month is it? 


Another thing I might serve you is shrimp over broccoli (or pasta if you do that) with this Keto alfredo sauce. Holy crap it’s delicious… I stumbled upon this recipe when I had planned to buy ready-made alfredo sauce and the grocery store was out of EVERY SINGLE BRAND of it. Where are the alfredo-hoarders at? 


The menu plan this week doesn’t include alfredo, bolognese or lasagna peppers, but I’m going to share it anyway because that’s what I feel like doing! 


Here’s my current menu plan:  


Thursday: Thyme Garlic Pork Chops  (grocery store was out of rosemary like the recipe calls for)+ Greek Salad (halved cherry tomatoes, chopped cucumber, feta cheese, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt + pepper). We had this last night with a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and it was ridiculously good. This was so easy and will probably be my go-to method of cooking pork chops from now on. 


Friday: Salsa Chicken (Chicken in the instant pot with broth, taco seasoning and salsa then shredded, served over sliced avocados with sour cream and lime juice) + frozen brussel sprouts dressed with butter, garlic salt and red wine vinegar 


Saturday: Balsamic Pot Roast + mashed potatoes / froz mashed cauliflower + roasted asparagus- This instant pot recipe is very easy and very yummy


Sunday: Shredded Chicken Tacos / Taco Salad (using leftovers from Friday dinner)


Monday: Marinated thin-sliced chicken over spinach salad – I will most likely use the Italian Herbs marinade from this website


Have you discovered any new recipes or kitchen hacks while on lockdown? 



Scrolling through Instagram for the thousandth time today, I see that the New Yorker posted this article from 2019 titled “CAN BULLET JOURNALING SAVE YOU?” If you needed an example of how things have changed since September 2019 and the problems you might have had then that could be SAVED BY BULLET JOURNALING- here you go. I don’t know why they posted this today when people are asking, oh I don’t know “What can save me from a global pandemic?” BULLET JOURNALING “What can save me from an evil dictator in the White House flushing the country down the crapper?” BULLET JOURNALING “What can save me from institutional racism?” BULLET JOURNALING. “What can save my child from regressing academically and socially while schools are closed?” BULLET JOURNALING. 

These were the thoughts in my head when I decided to go ahead and make hummingbird food again. The feeders have been sticky and moldy for probably at least a month now- the hummingbirds still come around to check whether I’ve gotten my shit together yet and are disappointed every day. So I go to turn on the microwave to heat up the water and turn it off immediately- because Michael has his air conditioning on and running both at the same time MAKES THE POWER GO OUT. I put a kettle on. As I’m waiting for the water to heat up, I see that there’s a packet of hot chocolate mix left on the counter from yesterday when the 6 year old asked to make ice pops because Sid the Science Kid’s parents had time to do that with him and all we had to make ice pops was hot chocolate. I pick up the packet and it’s all wet. I don’t know why. I smell it… doesn’t smell like anything so I’m assuming it’s only water. I go to throw it away and stop because HEY I PUT THE KETTLE ON. I read the directions on the packet and see that it instructs me to add 6 oz of hot water which is ONLY ⅔ of a CUP and that is EXACTLY WHY YOU GREW UP WITH FLAVORLESS HOT CHOCOLATE. Because your mom thought there was enough hot chocolate mix to fill up a regular mug. Who drinks ⅔ of a cup of hot chocolate? NO ONE. Maybe babies. But they won’t because IT WILL FOREVER BE TOO HOT so why bother. 

 My husband walks into the room and as I was explaining all of these things to him, he asked me if I needed to go to the hospital. Because I was laughing and crying at the same time I guess. 

I am taking my car to get an oil change today which will mean that I might also get to pick up coffee at the nearby coffee shop where I remember typing out my musings onto my Chromebook to post on my blog which I haven’t posted anything on in a year. Why? Because this is the kind of stuff my head is producing. And I think maybe it’s not the greatest idea to throw up whatever my thoughts are onto the internet- even though I think I also believed that that’s actually how my favorite writers write. David Sedaris made this video about how you should consider keeping a diary but also “not sharing” so I kept a diary for a while on my Chromebook and didn’t share it and I gave that up too… I think the audience (even if it’s an imagined audience or a very remote potential audience) is motivating to me. Or it’s not. Writing about not writing is the most boring subject ever so I digress from this post that is nothing but a digression. 

ANYWAYZ: My husband has also started a blog about the random quarantine road trips we’ve been doing and has just been spending hours on his computer WRITING ON HIS BLOG. THE NERVE. HE’S JUST WRITING A BLOG. Which I proofread. WTH? I’M THE BLOG LADY! Maybe bullet journaling can save me.