Stuck inside with no plans? Take the opportunity to cook something tasty. Several of these recipes are pantry-friendly, while others, depending on the level of your pantry, may require advance planning. Use this as a guide and inspiration. After all, the year has just begun — there are sure to be plenty more days when leaving the house is unnecessary.
Another note: If your power goes out (or is in danger of doing so), be sure to brush up on these tips for cooking and saving your edibles.
Sweet Potato Dumplings and Spinach Gratin, above. Sounds a little fancy, but it’s a simple affair. (You could also serve this as a main dish if you’re just feeding a few people; leftovers keep well, too.) If you’re up for more of a commitment, time-wise, make some lasagna — real, from-scratch lasagna.
Bread, Cheese and Chive Puddings. These are custardy and a little oozy (they’ll also use all those eggs, loaves of bread and cartons of milk that we notice you buy whenever there’s a storm brewing). For a sweeter dish, Deluxe Cinnamon French Toast is always a winner.
Tomato and Chorizo Stew. This pantry-friendly stew is ready in about 35 minutes (meaning you have more time to catch up on your shows or reading). If slow is more your speed, make this Red Lentil Chili — just toss all the ingredients into a slow cooker and then slurp away three hours later.
Kimchi-Braised Chicken. Speaking of slow cookers, this is a killer chicken recipe. Leftovers taste even better the next day, so if we were you, we’d make this in the afternoon (it needs four hours in a slow cooker) and eat it for lunch the next day. For something with a loooooong cooking time, go for these Slow-Cooker Greek Beans With Peppers and Yogurt: The beans need to soak overnight before spending about nine hours in the cooker.
Best-of Bagels. Bread is another good project — and this bagel recipe, we humbly submit, is an excellent one. The shaped rings of dough need to rest in the refrigerator for 12 to 18 hours, so it’s a good recipe to start the night before your day in. Other breads to try: No-Knead Focaccia (great for beginners!), Country Loaf (Pain de Campagne) or Dill Bread (savory and pull-apart).
Vanilla-Glazed Brioche Doughnuts. These are the best doughnuts we’ve eaten — because the fried dough is best consumed fresh. The dough also freezes well, so you could always make that now and be well-stocked for future frying adventures. If frying isn’t your thing but delicious sweets are, we like the ease of this Cardamom and Currant Snickerdoodle Skillet Cookie. It eats like a cake, sure, but it’s got all the flavorings of the beloved spiced cookie. Slices also toast well in the oven (they turn almost biscotti-like). Not a baker? There’s always crispy puffed cereal treats: Hippie Crispy Treats, Neapolitan Nice Crispy Bars or Chewy Cranberry, Millet and Pistachio Bars should do the trick.
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