I'm resurrecting this thread I started sixteen or so years ago.
One advantage to this pandemic is that we've been forced to cook at home; as empty-nesters, we were eating out 6 nights a week minimum. These days we get takeout maybe twice a week, or twice every ten days. (Yes, I realize the massive privilege I have as I've typed the last two sentences, and DAMN we are saving so much money. Like, duh, I knew that much restaurant food wasn't economical, but it's nice to see the tangible benefits, and not just on the pocketbook.)
The reason we didn't eat at home was because neither of us wanted to think about what to cook, and we have differing nutritional desires and needs. However, once I got over the idea of doing some degree of meal planning and shopping accordingly (i.e. not going every day like we used to be able to do), cooking became fun again. I also rediscovered our basement freezer and its various treasures.
Anyway, my point is, I'm cooking nearly every day and I'm really enjoying it again. I'm also using this extra time (because I'm not working as much) to try new recipes and revisit old ones, so that's been fun.
Here are a few of the dishes I've made in the last couple of months:
Mafé Chicken (the linked recipe calls for beef, but I used chicken thighs. My daughter recommended this to me; she spent three weeks in Senegal last fall and learned to make this. I also just used whatever vegetables I had on hand. The focus of this dish is the sauce.)
Albóndigas (lamb meatballs; we first had these at a tapas restaurant in Chicago 7-8 years ago, and they were served with a romesco sauce)
Oh! And Nom Nom Paleo's Kalua Pig (Instant Pot version). Holy crap, this is so good, and it's given us enough shredded pork for the next six months. Yay, basement freezer!
And now that the weather's nice, I'm grilling a lot. Veggies for sure, and whatever animal protein might be on hand. We're using the Instant Pot to make lots of rice at a time, so we do stir-frys on the regular to serve with the rice.
I dunno, it's nice to cook again without it feeling like a daily slog.
What does your pandemic cooking look like? Do you have any recipe staples you're leaning on? Or new dishes you've tried?