Necessity is the mother of invention. While at home during COVID-19 shutdowns, we explored tons of food and drink recipes. At our house it was all about perfecting blueberry pie. For “research,” I ate several slices a day. We also whipped up pasta and homemade mac ’n’ cheese, steak au poivre, sheet-pan compilations, Instant Pot meals, and Dutch oven stews. I stocked the bar and scoured the web for cocktail recipes, shaking up more than my fair share of alcoholic concoctions to get us through cabin fever.
Aside from the expanding waistline, it was fun. But after more than a year of kitchen exploits, we succumbed to cooking fatigue. The enthusiasm dwindled and preparing meals became a chore.
With this, our annual COOKS! issue, we hope to battle the burnout and put the pleasure back into cooking. In our cover package, we offer suggestions for local, healthy meal prep services and private chefs ready to lend a hand; and exquisitely crafted dishes, grocery items, and meal and cocktail kits for curbside pickup or delivery. A passionate local home baker provides suggestions for creating beautiful and tasty pies. With the weather warming up and camping’s skyrocketing popularity, we present a story on campfire cooking. Home cooks have been buying seafood in record amounts. To take the mystery out of preparing and cooking delicacies from the sea, we pass along tips and tricks for fileting fish, cleaning crab, and getting shrimp and scallops ready for the pan. For cocktail and mocktail enthusiasts, we share how to make your own tonics.
More cooking motivation comes from our features on inspirational local home cooks. We highlight Roy Tuscany of High Fives Foundation; off-road auto racer Shelby Hall; power couple Teresa Benitez-Thompson (Nevada State Assembly majority floor leader) and her husband, Jeff (chief meteorologist at KOLO 8 News Now in Reno); AT&T accountant Randy Brown; and engagement outreach coordinator at the University of Nevada, Reno’s Student Engagement Center and co-founder of Shades of Queening Black Women’s Empowerment group KaPreace Young, who loves to cook with her son.
Besides giving you cooking inspiration, this issue also offers great home, health and wellness, and farmers’ market guide. In addition, you’ll find a local gift guide, featuring a few items to put the joy back into the kitchen.
About the cover Lindsay Sanford and Danielle Sanford, who share a surname but aren’t related, are best friends and active contributors to Reno Moms Blog. Weekly, they get together at one of their homes to prepare meals for their families. Photo by Candice Vivien