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A Brllnt Cookbook

A delightful list of recipes from our team to keep your mind occupied and your stomach full during quarantine.

With great boredom comes great creativity. It seems like everyone is picking up a new hobby these days, one commonality amongst our family, friends, and team seems to be cooking. Whether you’ve always had a passion for food or you’ve just been getting started, it can be fun to test out different recipes and bring them into your routines. Spending time in the kitchen is an amazing way to experiment with different flavors and cultures, and especially now, it is a great way to keep busy.

Below is a list of different apps, meals, and cocktails that our team has put together for your enjoyment. Happy cooking!

TJ’s “Aviation” Cocktail:

3 mixed alcohol drinks sit on top of a table

1½ oz. gin
¾ oz. lemon juice
2 dashes maraschino liqueur
2 dashes crème de violette

Courtney’s “Mr 404” Cocktail:

An orange cocktail sits atop a bar

1 ½ oz vodka
¾ oz lemon juice
¾ oz St. Germain elderflower liqueur
½ oz Aperol
½ oz simple syrup
Orange or lemon twist for garnish

Shake all ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker until cold and serve in a cocktail glass.

Galen’s Go-to Negroni:

An alcoholic beverage sits on a wooden table

An easy-to-remember recipe that will invite respect from your bartender and admiration from your happy-hour associates.

1 part gin
1 part Campari
1 part sweet vermouth

Replace the gin with sparkling wine for a “bungled Negroni”, or with bourbon for a Boulevardier. Or use Aperol instead of Campari and sub in dry vermouth for a Contessa. Fun fact: supposedly invented at Caffe Casoni in Florence, Italy in 1919, Count Camillo Negroni asked the bartender, to strengthen his favorite cocktail – the Americano – by replacing the soda water with gin.

Ilana’s Heavenly Hummus:

A plate of hummus sits among other dishes on a table

2 15oz cans of chickpeas (drain, reserving the liquid – you will use this to adjust the consistency later)
1/2 cup of tahini (sesame paste)
1/3 cup of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 lemon
(Salt, cumin, paprika, and any other spices you like, to taste)

In a food processor or blender, combine the tahini, oil, and garlic until smooth. Then, add all the chickpeas and combine until smooth. Add some of the reserved chickpea liquid if the hummus gets too chunky, and continue adding liquid to get to your ideal consistency. From here on forward, you get to play mad scientist and add lemon, salt, and any other flavors you like to make the hummus just the way you like it. I tend to like mine on the lemon-y side. Makes about 4 cups of hummus.

Level Up: If you have some fresh herbs lying around, like parsley, mint, chives, or cilantro, you can throw a handful of those in with the tahini, oil, and garlic at the beginning.

Julie’s “Bomb-Ass” Queso Dip:

Tortilla chips dipped into melted cheese

Tostitos jar of queso
Ground turkey
Sour cream
Salsa

Cook up the turkey.
Add in the queso.
Add in salsa.
Take off heat and add in sour cream.

Voila!

Mike’s Warm Spinach Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette and Goat Cheese:

A quarter-sliced tomato lays among a bed of spinach leaves with balsamic vinaigrette

2 T. olive oil
2 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 T. balsamic vinegar
2 T. Dijon mustard
½ cup olive oil
Sugar
Salt
Pepper
Basil
Oregano
2 bunches of spinach (washed, stemmed and dried)
6 oz. log of goat cheese

In a small saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and sauté shallots and garlic until tender. Add balsamic vinegar and mustard. Slowly whisk in ½ cup olive oil, pinch of sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and keep warm. Preheat broiler.

Tear spinach into bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Cut goat cheese into 6 rounds. Place the rounds in a shallow baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with oregano, basil and salt and pepper. Broil about 2-3 minutes until lightly brown.

Toss spinach with warm vinaigrette, top with 1-2 goat cheese rounds.

Makes 4 servings.

Damelia’s Jamaican Soup:

A soup broth soaks chicken and vegetables inside of a ceramic bowl

Full recipe from Gourmetcentric can be found online here.

Quarantine Medley a la Cameron:

A vegetable medley of avocado, tomato, spinach, brussels sprouts sits on a plate topped with feta cheese and sriracha

1 chicken sausage
1/4 onion
1/2 green pepper
Handful of sliced mushrooms
Spinach leaves
Handful of brussels sprouts
Small avocado
1/2 tomato
2 eggs
Feta cheese
Pepper
Salt
Paprika
Garlic powder
Olive oil
Sriracha

Cut up the onion, green pepper, brussels sprouts, tomato, and the chicken sausage however you like.

Heat up olive oil on medium heat in a pan and throw one singular brussels sprout on there to act as your timer. When you hear it crack-a-lackin’ it’s time to throw the rest of them foul smelling sprouts in the pan.

Note: be sure to stir this concoction over time. You don’t want this sticking to the pan and burning. Just feel it out. That’s all cooking is anyways. Much like life, no one really knows what they’re doing.

Throw the green peppers and chicken sausages in there. Then a few seconds later, throw those dang cry lords we call onions in. Honestly. Who cares? It’s all going down that gullet anyways.

While that’s cooking up real good, put some pepper, salt, garlic powder, and paprika on it. Just feel out how much you think should be there. A dash? A pinch? An imperial duck ton? It doesn’t matter; we’re going to cover the taste in sriracha at the end anyways.

I guess it’s time to toss that cut up tomato in there. So hulk smash that weak mutant food into the pan.

Prepare your plate by laying out a nice bed of spinach leaves that even baby Jesus himself wouldn’t turn down for the night.

Crack those two egg boys in the pan and just mix it all together. That’s right. I said mix it all together. We’re almost there.

Once the eggs are looking pretty good, dump everything on top of the spinach leaves.

Top off this lazy bed of healthy goodness with feta cheese and sriracha.

Enjoy!

Alexa’s Crunchy Curried Chickpea Bowl:

Crunchy Curried Chickpea Bowl

Full recipe from Hello Fresh can be found online here.

Mel’s Quarantine Breakfast Sammies:

A breakfast sandwich consisting of egg, sausage, and cheese

1 Mason Dixie biscuit (DC brand, found in frozen aisle at Giant)
1 applewood smoked turkey sausage patty
Pepper jack cheese (or whatever you have in the fridge)
Fried egg, topped with salt, pepper to taste
Hot honey

Bake biscuit(s) for 20 minutes, as directed on the package. Split in half and top one half with heated sausage patty (if you split one in half, they fit pretty perfectly on each half of the biscuit). Top sausage with cheese. Cook egg to desired doneness (runny eggs were the thing I missed MOST during pregnancy, so each one of these is still a treat!) I typically fry mine for 2-3 minutes on one side, then about 1 min on the other over medium high heat with a little olive oil. Place egg on top of cheese and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top everything with a drizzle of hot honey. It’s worth adding to your next grocery delivery, if you can find some!

Fork and knife required! It’s a messy, gooey delightful open sandwich that is super easy to make and alter to your desired specs / whatever you happen to have in the fridge.

For faster prep, you can bake the full package of biscuits and sausage, then just heat in a toaster oven or regular oven for a few minutes while prepping the egg, and you have a delicious, hot sandwich in the time it takes between setting your baby down and them realizing it (yes, i’m talking like 3 minute eggs).

Julie’s Quick Kimchi Jigae:

Kimchi jigae inside a small bowl

1 small jar kimchi
Turkey kielbasa sausage
1 small jalapeno
1/2 onion
Mushrooms
Tofu
Scallions
Soy sauce
Sesame oil
Cayenne pepper
Garlic
Chicken broth
Water

Chop up the sausage and fry up in about 2 tbs sesame oil.
Cook for about 5 minutes.
Add in small jar of kimchi (the kind you get from Whole Foods – not the giant jars from the Korean store) – about 2 cups.
Cook for 5 minutes.
Add 2-4 cloves of chopped garlic.
Add chopped half onion.
Add chopped jalapeno (can exclude if want less spicy).
Add mushrooms (of your choice, maybe a half to 1 cup).
Add additional 1 tbs of sesame oil + 1 tbs of soy sauce.
Add 2 cups water.
Add 2 cups chicken broth.
Add 1 tps of cayenne pepper (or to taste depending on spice tolerance).
Bring to boil.
Lower to simmer for 20 minutes.
Add in chopped tofu (about a half cup to a cup or to preference).
Cook for 10 more minutes.
Add in scallion.
Serve it up with some rice.