In the understatement of the century, this was a new kind of year for all of us. We’ll be happy if we never see the words “out of the abundance of caution” again; how about you? While life got more chaotic this year, the IN Food team retreated into the safety and satisfaction of our home kitchens. We asked our staff how the way they cook changed during 2020.
Do you feel like 2020 has permanently changed the way you think of home cooking?
Maggie said her strategies for food waste and food prep have been sharpened over this past year, and Dustin says cooking came to play a more central role in his life. Now he is “more likely to consider cooking as a first option,” and with so much time at home he found the incentive he needed to “explore different types of dishes.”
What new dishes did you try to conquer?
Dustin tried Charcoal Grilled Nachos. “We piled layers of nachos, cheese, black/pinto beans, ground beef, chicken and jalapeños in a cast iron pan and threw it on the grill until it was melty.” Ciara, with ingredients courtesy of Lori, made drunken noodles. “It was delicious!”
What foods did you rely on for comfort?
Our staff went hardcore into carbs during these stressful months, but spice and flavor weren’t shoved to the sidelines!
Maggie explored “a really tasty and easy crock-pot chicken that inspired quite a few homemade Chipotle-inspired burrito bowls.” Abby echoed these Latin-American vibes and said Fajita chicken was her go-to. “I’d use it for fajitas, quesadillas and burrito bowls. Versatility is KEY when eating so many meals at home.”
For some of us, it was all about the equipment. Betsy gave her home some restaurant-quality flair by installing a pizza oven, while Dustin pulled out the old Dutch oven and made pot roast his signature classic.
Anita sought comfort in the familiar with one of her favorite dishes, spaghetti squash au gratin, as well as a stew composed of white beans, kale and Italian sausage. Ciara relied on “up north” take-out for her nourishment. “When I had a short-lived stint living in Duluth, I got these things called Dough Dogs every week” What’s a Dough Dog you ask? They are a deep-fried dough sprinkled in garlic salt and served with a side of marinara, and they can be found at Bulldog Pizza & Grill. It’s suspected the bulldog on their logo isn’t actually the owner and chef of the establishment, but anything is possible in Duluth.
We hope some of you have been inspired to get a bit more familiar with your kitchens. Keep up the momentum in the new year, and we’d love to hear how 2020 has changed how you’ve cooked at home.