Quarantine tips and tricks from celebs like Florence Pugh to keep busy

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CB gave some great ideas for YouTube workouts on Tuesday. Yesterday Kaiser gave some super suggestions to watch during self-isolation. I thought I would try to help with some activities for you and whoever else is in your home right now. During Rosie O’Donnell Actors Fund fundraiser, tony-winner Laura Benanti joked about checking out all the parents on Instagram who were showing off how creative they’ve been with their kids during quarantine, while she’s been pointing her own three-year-old to the tv and telling her to have at it. I, too, have been humbled by the efforts of those who are inventing multi-platform lesson plans for homeschool or creating perfect replicas of Michelangelo’s David out of elbow pasta. My advice to all parents – don’t blow your wad this early. If thing gets dragged out, you won’t have anything left but origami boulders for week five.

It seems that most celebrities are cooking their way through quarantine. I’ll be charitable and say it’s because they have more time on their hands and not because they just discovered what the kitchen is used for. Most are posting their creations on their IG Live or Stories. It makes for great food and kitchen pr0n, but without recipes, pr0n is all it is. But there are a few we can use for inspiration. I’ll list some of my ideas and encourage you all to do the same.

I’m starting with Florence Pugh because she’s been posting cooking tutorials live and they are things we can all make. In this one, she advocates for everyone to dance once a day and cook all the aging vegetables in your fridge:

Florence is so incredibly watchable, isn’t she? She’s right, a little dance does wonders when you need a pick me up. Depending on the age of your kids, it’s a great way to get them moving, too (hint: teens are less likely to join you, but they will laugh at you, and that helps their mental state.) Pets are also great dance partners. Finding new ways to combine old things in your fridge is exciting and makes you feel like a champ for efficiency. We made garlic bread on Tuesday night and had a big chunk left over. We put it on the grill with an egg and some Tapitio for breakfast the next AM and I swear, it was so good, I might put it into our breakfast rotation.

Martha Stewart posted a sushi roll to her stories, suggesting it as an alternative to pizza or pasta. Here’s her tips for rolling sushi. She also suggests trying something “sushi inspired”

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This quick, clever meal is just right for those nights when you need a pantry-friendly dinner on the table really fast. It's a sushi-inspired spin on tuna salad, simply set your prepped ingredients on the table and let everyone roll their own! Senior food editor @lucullanfoods mixes canned tuna with mayo, lemon juice, and chopped herbs, then serves it with toasted nori sheets, steamed rice, sliced avocados, and vinegary carrot and cucumber matchsticks. “My husband and I love that they’re healthy and convenient and my 6-year-old son gets super-excited to DIY his dinner,” she says. Grab the recipe featured in our March issue at the link in bio. 👆🏼📷: @lennartweibull | recipe by: @lucullanfoods

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My son got a sushi mat for Christmas and he hasn’t learned how to use it yet. Seems like this is the perfect time to perfect his technique. Not only will making sushi at home save you a fortune, it’s a great activity for everyone. Here’s a step by step and here’s one for California Rolls specifically. There are plenty of variations, like candy sushi for parties and PB & J rolls for finicky eaters. Chef José Andrés, who is doing God’s work feeding those the government chooses to ignore, also suggested an easy roll to make at home. He focuses less on technique and more on changing up the flavors:

Baking is always a favorite for kids, and you can start at almost any age. I’m sure you have all seen the Toddler Chef on Twitter. If not, prepared to be cutified:

Obviously, that was for fun, but the point is the same, any child that can stand can help bake. Today’s my son’s birthday and he asked for cinnamon rolls for breakfast. I tried all week to get some delivered but there were no slots available that would get them to me on time. So I was faced with making them from scratch. I panicked and turned it into a project, making my daughter make them. Worked like a charm! Try this no yeast recipe, especially since Hailey Bieber categorized cinnamon buns as an essential:

HaileyBaldwinCooking

Chrissy Teigen has the right idea, to try ideas you’ve always wanted to, like those cakes with stuff in them that spills out:

ChrissyTeigenCooking

We talked last week about January Jones detox bath. Fancy baths are easy to create. You’ll want to pick up some essential oils but Amazon has some variety packs that are pretty reasonably priced. CB made a sugar scrub for herself and said it turned out great. If you are using natural ingredients, the kids can easily get involved.

I got an idea from Twitter to turn this week into Social Distance Spirit Week.

We’ve just been wearing whatever we’re supposed to on that day, but you could go whole hog with planned activities. Plus, don’t be afraid to make up your own Spirit Days.

A couple of us with teens are finding the empty parking lots of the closed shopping centers to be good driving courses for our new learners. Not only do we have an unprecedented amount of open area, it gives them a perfectly unique experience during a unique time. Board and card games are always great options, but now’s the time to have that Murder Mystery dinner you’ve always wanted to. If you’ve played all the charades you can handle, try some simple Improv exercises like these. Teens and kids love them, and they are good tools to work on thinking on your feet. Or, if you are so inclined, you can go the Tik-Tok route like so, so many others. I’m afraid I don’t have the chops for it (and my kids won’t let me).

Lastly, if you were ever inclined to make a vision board or start a gratitude journal this is the perfect excuse to give it a go. If we all need one thing at present, it’s to be reminded of what’s good out there.

My dear Celebitches, I am in need a flavorful chili recipe. If any of you have a fool-proof one, I would be ever so indebted to you. And make sure to check the links in this post for How-Tos.

“I made this out of my shower curtain!”
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32 Responses to “Quarantine tips and tricks from celebs like Florence Pugh to keep busy”

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  1. OriginalLala says:

    I so wish I could stress bake right now – but we can’t find flour anywhere in our town (i’m down to barely 2 cups in my kitchen) and I’m not willing to run around trying to find some because our COVID cases are growing too much each day :(

    • Erinn says:

      I wanted bread mix the other day SO badly. I just wanted a fool proof homemade bread, but there were absolutely 0 of the normal Robin Hood bread and roll bags at the grocery store when we went. I’ve wanted baked stuff SO bad, but I haven’t picked anything up. We did have some cookie dough frozen already though, so I settled for some raisin cookies.

      • OriginalLala says:

        How are things in NS Erinn? My in-laws are in Cape Breton and they are not social distancing at all..I’m worried what will happen when COVID gets up there, it’s an island full of seniors and not great health care resources due to the rurality of the island.

    • MeghanNotMarkle says:

      I found all-purpose flour but no bread flour to make bread. We’ve been eating a lot of pancakes.

  2. Marjorie says:

    Dance tip: Love Shack, B52s. It’s a little old place where we can get together.

    I’m refraining from baking because I don’t want to “grow out” of my clothes…

  3. Babadook says:

    Florence Pugh is delightful. She’s also probably one of the best actresses of her generation, I think?

  4. Steph says:

    Chili:
    One pound dark ground turkey
    Five cans beans varied Goya best
    One can tomato
    One car roasted red peppers – grind them up
    Celery
    Carrots
    Onion
    Garlic
    Salt pepper
    Cumin

    Made this weekly for ten years
    Only thing everyone loves
    Garnish with cilantro scallions onions peppers

    • Esmom says:

      Yum, sounds great. No chili powder, though? I tend to put a ton in mine. Another trick I picked up from a friend, who credits the New Basics cookbook, is adding dill.

      I’m making chili tonight but will probably replace the turkey with zucchini and sweet potatoes.

      • Diplomanatee says:

        So… I’m a native Tex-Mex so I’m VERY particular about chili, but please do not use chili powder, OR taco seasoning powder. It’s always tastier if you add the natural spices yourself and it’s usually the same thing you would add anyway (cumin, pepper, bit of oregano) :)

      • Esmom says:

        Diplomanatee, Good to know, thank you!

    • Hecate says:

      Thank you. I was able to get the few ingredients I was missing on my Instacart order for tonight. I’ll let you know how it goes

  5. Christina says:

    I don’t want tips from celebrities with stocked larders and many resources. I’m 64 had to close my business have no savings, no benefits and no retirement. My emergency money went for melanoma surgery last month. I have crappy yet expensive medical insurance that I won’t be able to pay for now. If your only problem is boredom you’re lucky. I’m afraid of dying alone without benefit of utilities. Thanks for listening.

  6. Becks1 says:

    Our town is out of flour and yeast, lol. I have some, but not enough to do a lot of bread baking etc.

    We’ve been combining homeschooling with full time teleworking and its been…interesting. Starting next week the schools here are rolling out virtual learning, which I think will help bc it will provide more structure and guidance. But it means I haven’t had time for some of these big projects other people are doing and I’m like, I want to learn how to knit!!!! lol

    My kids love Cosmic Kids yoga and Go Noodle, both on youtube. If you have access to soil and seeds, you can start growing plants and have them track the progress. We also made rock candy which was super easy. I also put my kids on the front or back porch with binoculars and have them look for birds.

  7. Jellybean says:

    I am about to turn 11 lb of carrots into roasted carrot soup. Then I am going to prep to make huge numbers of cheese scones to go with it. I m doing this whilst answering questions from students who are doing their online lessons and making phone contact with vulnerable families. This is a very weird Thursday.

  8. Huggy says:

    Lot of fun tips. Thanks for such a great article. And the cooking toddler was the cutest!!

  9. Ali says:

    No bake energy balls are a yummy, easy homemade snack.

    Oats, flax seed, chia seed (optional) peanut or almond butter, honey and chocolate chips. Or whatever else you have that you want to mix in.

    • lucy2 says:

      That sounds good!
      I’m a terrible cook. I envy those who can throw stuff together. I’ve been getting take out to try to support some local restaurants, eating stuff in the fridge that isn’t going to last, and eventually will start using stuff in the freezer.

  10. Esmom says:

    Great post, thank you. My college kids are home and not keen on much family stuff. Bums me out but I am trying to give them space, knowing that they are grieving the sudden, jarring end to life on the campuses they love. I’m hoping I can coax them outside more as it seems to be getting warmer and spring always feels so uplifting to me.

  11. sw says:

    Here’s a delicious, foolproof chili recipe for you, with the added bonus of being vegan (although I personally love topping it with sharp cheddar cheese):

    http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/250222/sweet-potato-black-bean-chili/

    • Hecate says:

      Oh, this is perfect. My husband wants us to go more plant based so he will love this.

      BTW – those cinnamon buns linked above turned out really well. I would lessen the cook time by 5-10 minutes to make them softer but they taste great.

  12. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    The boys here love a quick chili because they put it on everything (ugh). And if I didn’t throw it together, they’d bring home canned (gasp!). Since they ladle over other dishes, I make mine bean chili. If it’s the main meal, I normally add some meat, ground beef, ground chicken, ground turkey, something like that. Brown the meat if using. If not add some oil and saute the veggies. onions, carrots, etc. If I’m using several veggies in with onions, I dice very small (or process). And I go against Texans by not just adding beans, I add at least three different kinds lol. Pinto, kidney, black, you get the idea. Beans beans the magical fruit.

    I chop some peppers, whatever you have. Lots of garlic, and saute everything together until cooked through. Then I add some paprika, cumin, chili powder, ancho chili powder if I have it, tomato paste, can of crushed maters, salt, garlic salt, dried onion flakes, pepper. I don’t like cinnamon or chocolate in my chili, but you might like a cinnamon stick and some Mexican chocolate (which I love in my coffee lol). After simmering a while I like to add a little bit of flour or cornstarch to tighten things up. Then I stir in fresh cilantro, and have some extra sharp cheddar, sour cream, green onions, etc. for topping if anyone wants.

    That toddler chef took me back. So stinking cute.

  13. notasugarhere says:

    Carrie-Anne Moss (Matrix) has put a few free resources on the Annapurna Living site, Peaceful Tools for Panicked Times. Check her IG, carrieannemoss, for the links.