Everywhere you look on social media these days people seem to be cooking (and baking) up a storm. Social distancing has us stocking up on groceries and finding new ways to entertain ourselves while staying home. 

Whether you’re like me, someone who’s used to dining out more than I cook, or you’re a home chef extraordinaire, all of this time at home has probably left you looking for new recipes to try out in the kitchen. 

At times like these, I turn to the trusty AQUILA Eats cookbook for new ideas and inspiration. AQUILA Eats is a collection of over 160 tried-and-true recipes from the kitchens of our brokers, staff, family and friends. Included you’ll find a range of options from casual Texas favorites to gourmet delicacies. 

Whether you’re looking for a quick dinner because you’re balancing working, homeschooling and parenting, or you’ve got nothing but time and you’re looking for a way to spend a Saturday afternoon, this book has a recipe for every situation.

Tired of cooking? Take a break from the kitchen and support a local restaurant by ordering curbside takeout or delivery.

In this article, I’m sharing 10 recipes for a variety of circumstances, including:

  • When your bananas go bad
  • When you’ve got extra time on your hands
  • When you need a quick meal
  • When you’re planning a date night in
  • When you’re craving take-out


What to make when your bananas go bad.

Did those bananas from your curbside order turn before you had a chance to eat them all? I know mine did. Don’t throw them out! Here are two recipes to put those bananas to good use. 

Pseudo Mom’s Banana Bread

covid recipes

From the kitchen of Suzanne Fain’s “Pseudo Mom”


  • ½ cup butter 
  • 1 cup brown sugar 
  • ½ cup granulated sugar 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 4 small bananas, mashed 
  • ½ cup applesauce 
  • 1½ cup flour (or gluten-free flour) 
  • ½ tsp. baking soda 
  • ½ tsp. salt 
  • ½ cup nuts, optional
  • ½ cup oatmeal 
  • ½ cup granulated sugar 
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon 
  • ¼ cup butter (or coconut oil)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  2. Grease 2 loaf pans. 
  3. Cream butter and sugars until smooth. 
  4. Add eggs, beat 2 minutes. 
  5. Stir in mashed bananas and applesauce. 
  6. In separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
  7. Fold dry ingredients into the banana/sugar/butter mixture until combined and smooth.
  8. Pour into loaf pans, and top with streusel if desired. 
  9. Bake 50 – 60 minutes. 
  10. Cool 1 hour before serving.
  1. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Set aside until ready to use.


Banana Pudding

quarantine recipes

From the kitchen of Jay Lamy


  • 7 oz. instant vanilla pudding
  • 4 cups milk 
  • 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk 
  • 8 oz. Cool Whip 
  • 6 large bananas 
  • 11 oz. vanilla wafers


  1. In mixing bowl, combine pudding, milk, condensed milk and Cool Whip, and mix together until smooth and thick. 
  2. Line 9×12” pan with vanilla wafers, then bananas, and top with the pudding mixture. 
  3. Keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.


What to cook when you’ve got nothing but time on your hands.

As someone who’s lucky enough to be able to work from home during the week, my workdays still feel pretty go, go, go. However, on the weekends I find myself on the hunt for activities to entertain myself while staying home. Whether you’re looking for a baking project to keep yourself busy or an activity for the whole family to enjoy on a lazy Sunday, here are two recipes sure to entertain:

Family Reunion Cinnamon Rolls

covid recipes

From the kitchen of Jon Wheless


  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups hot water (not boiling)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups flour, divided
  • 2 packages dry yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • ½ cup chopped pecans (or raisins if preferred)
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup milk
  • Pinch of salt


  1. In a bowl, combine the butter and hot water. Let the butter soften, but not melt.
  2. In another large bowl, mix together sugar, salt, 3 cups flour and yeast.
  3. Add softened butter and water mixture to dry ingredients, and beat with mixer until smooth.
  4. Add eggs, and beat until smooth.
  5. Add 3 more cups of flour (one cup at a time) to make a soft, sticky dough.
  6. Cover and put in fridge until ready to shape into rolls. This should be left in fridge at least two hours or leave it in the fridge overnight and bake warm rolls for breakfast.
  7. When dough is ready, or the next morning, divide the dough in half. Work with half of it at a time.
  8. Knead the dough on a floured board or counter for about 3 minutes.
  9. Roll with a rolling pin to about ½-inch thick into a rectangle about 8×14” (it may spread to be a bit larger).
  10. Spread softened butter liberally on surface.
  11. Spread about half of filling mix generously over top of rectangle.
  12. Starting at wide edge of rectangle, roll dough into long roll.
  13. Cut rolls in 1-inch spiral pieces. Lay rolls close to each other in a lightly greased baking pan.
  14. Repeat steps 8 – 13 with remaining half of dough and filling.
  15. Cover with a light kitchen towel and let rolls rise for about 30 minutes in a warm place.
  16. While dough rises, heat oven to warm (not hot).
  17. Turn oven off, uncover rolls, and place in warm oven for about 20 – 30 minutes to let rise. Rolls will double in size.
  18. Once rolls have risen, bake at 375°F for about 15 – 20 minutes, until light brown.
  19. Glaze rolls right out of the oven.
  1. Mix all ingredients in bowl. This mixture should be crumbly.
  1. While rolls are rising, begin by mixing softened butter with an electric mixer.
  2. Gradually add powdered sugar, then gradually add milk to get the desired consistency.
  3. Add vanilla and a pinch of salt. Icing should be a little thick because it will melt on the warm rolls.


Grace’s Delicious Sugar Cookies & Royal Icing

quarantine recipes

From the kitchen of Grace Young, Kendall Guinn’s sister-in-law


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 egg 
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder 
  • ½ tsp. salt 
  • 3 Tbsp. milk 
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla extract 
  • 1½ tsp. almond flavoring
Royal Icing
  • 3 oz. egg whites
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • 4 cups powdered sugar 
  • Gel food color, any colors


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. 
  2. Cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg. 
  3. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. 
  4. Add flour mixture slowly, stirring as you add. Add milk, vanilla and almond flavoring. 
  5. Roll out dough onto floured surface and cut into desired shape, then carefully place onto a cookie sheet. To maintain the shape of your cookies, chill the cookie sheet for 10 minutes in the refrigerator before baking. 
  6. Bake for 5 – 8 minutes. 
  7. Cool. Decorate with royal icing as you like. 
Royal Icing
  1. In a large bowl, combine ingredients. Add the powdered sugar while mixing and mix until frothy. 
  2. Separate icing into bowls to mix colors. Using a toothpick, add gel food coloring until you reach your desired shade. 



Download your free copy of the AQUILA Eats cookbook, including these five recipes and over 100 more tasty dishes.

Download the Cookbook


And what to make when you’re short on time because you’re working, parenting, homeschooling, and more.

We’re all wearing multiple, and sometimes new and unfamiliar, hats these days. None more so than parents who are juggling their normal nine to five, while trying to keep their kids entertained and educated all day, every day. Don’t let dinner be another stressor. Try out these two quick and easy recipes:

One-Pot Italian Sausage & Tortellini Soup

quarantine cookbook

From the kitchen of Todd Tebbe


  • 2 lbs. Italian sausage (or turkey sausage) 
  • 1 cup onions, chopped 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 5 cups chicken stock 
  • ½ cup water 
  • ½ cup dry red wine 
  • 1 can Italian-style diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded 
  • Dash Italian seasoning 
  • 8-oz. can tomato sauce 
  • 2 zucchinis, diced 
  • 8 oz. cheese tortellini 
  • Grated parmesan 
  • Hearty bread, for serving


  1. In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, brown sausage over medium-high heat. 
  2. Add all other ingredients (except tortellini).
  3. Bring to a boil and then return to a simmer.
  4. Cook until vegetables are tender. 
  5. Add tortellini and cook until tender.
  6. Serve with grated parmesan and hearty bread.


Quick & Easy Taco Casserole

taco casserole recipe

From the kitchen of Jim Clark


  • 1 lb. ground beef or turkey 
  • 3 tsp. onion powder 
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder 
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes 
  • 1 tsp. cumin 
  • 2 tsp. dark ancho chili powder 
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup 
  • 15-oz. can ranch style beans
  • Tortilla chips, crushed (or corn tortillas) 
  • Shredded cheese 
  • Sour cream, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  2. Season ground meat with onion powder and garlic powder. 
  3. Brown ground meat in skillet and drain. 
  4. In the skillet, combine meat, Rotel, cumin and chili powder. Simmer for 2 – 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  5. Add cream of mushroom soup and beans. Bring to boil, and then reduce heat and simmer for 5 – 7 minutes. 
  6. Line casserole dish with crushed tortilla chips, about ½-inch thick, in casserole dish. Alternatively, line bottom of dish with corn tortillas. 
  7. Pour mixture from skillet into casserole dish and top with cheese. If using corn tortillas pour in half mixture, add another layer of tortillas, then add remaining mixture and top with shredded cheese. 
  8. Place in oven and bake until the cheese is melted. 
  9. Serve with sour cream, if desired.


Recipes to make a date night at home feel like a night out.

Whether you’re celebrating a birthday or anniversary while social distancing, or just want a break from the day-to-day with your significant other, these recipes will elevate your date night from just another homecooked meal to haute cuisine (or at least somewhere in between):

Mussels in White Wine

covid-19 recipes

From the kitchen of Amy Hurst


  • 2 Tbsp. butter 
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil 
  • 1 cup chopped shallots (about 5 – 7 shallots) 
  • 5 – 6 garlic cloves, minced 
  • ½ cup canned plum tomatoes, drained and chopped 
  • ½ tsp. saffron threads • 1 /3 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped 
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves 
  • 1 cup white wine 
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt 
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 
  • 3 lbs. mussels, cleaned


  1. In a large non-aluminum stockpot, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat. 
  2. Add the shallots and cook for 5 minutes; then add the garlic and cook for 3 more minutes, or until the shallots are translucent. 
  3. Add the tomatoes, saffron, parsley, thyme, wine, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. 
  4. Add the mussels, stir well, then cover the pot, and cook over medium heat for 8 – 10 minutes, until all the mussels are opened. Discard any that do not open. 
  5. Pour the mussels and the sauce into a large bowl, garnish with parsley. 
  6. Serve hot.


Butter-Basted Pan-Seared Steak

recipes for covid-19

From the kitchen of Matt Wilhite


  • 1 large T-bone or rib-eye steak 
  • Kosher salt + pepper, to taste 
  • ¼ cup vegetable or canola oil 
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter 
  • 6 sprigs thyme


  1. Pat steak with a paper towel. Season liberally on both sides with salt and pepper. Let the steak rest at room temperature for 45 minutes.
  2. In a 12-inch skillet, heat oil over high heat until it just begins to smoke. Add the steak and cook, flipping frequently, until a pale golden-brown crust starts to develop, about 4 minutes. 
  3. Add butter and herbs and continue to cook, flipping steak occasionally while basting steak with a spoon. Tilt pan slightly so that butter collects near handle then use spoon to distribute butter on top. 
  4. Use a meat thermometer to read the temperature; 120 – 125°F for medium rare, 130°F for medium. It will take about 7 – 10 minutes total. 
  5. Transfer steak to large heatproof plate, and pour juices on top. 
  6. Let the steak rest 5 – 7 minutes before cutting into.


Finally, what to cook when you’re craving take-out.

If you’re starting to crave your go-to takeout meal, you can turn to Favor to see if your favorite local restaurant is offering delivery. Or, you can whip up these two classics in your own kitchen. 

Chicken Pad Thai

Homemade Chicken Pad Thai | recipes for social distancing

From the kitchen of Kathleen Brennan


  • 4 Tbsp. soy sauce 
  • 3 Tbsp. hoisin sauce 
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar 
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar 
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce 
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes 
  • 1 package pad Thai noodles (or zucchini noodles)
  • Avocado or olive oil 
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces 
  • 1 cup onion, sliced 
  • ¾ cup carrots, julienned 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • Cilantro, for garnish 
  • Green onions, for garnish 
  • Lime wedges, for garnish


  1. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sugar, garlic, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and red pepper flakes. Set aside. 
  2. Cook noodles according to package. Set aside. 
  3. In a large wok or skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken and onions together until browned. 
  4. Toss in carrots and cook for 2 minutes. 
  5. Beat eggs and scramble into pan. (Push everything else in the pan to one side and scramble on the other side, or remove everything for the time being, and place in a separate bowl.) 
  6. Add in cooked noodles and sauce, and stir until everything is coated. 
  7. Cook another 2 minutes to let the flavors combine. 
  8. Serve in bowls and top with cilantro, green onions and a squeeze of lime.


Jon’s Fish Tacos

recipes for social distancing

From the kitchen of Jon Wheless


  • Olive oil 
  • Blackened seasoning 
  • 2 mahi-mahi pieces (or white fish of choice) 
  • 6 yellow corn tortillas 
  • 1 cup of pre-packaged slaw 
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar (use 1.5 Tbsp. if you don’t have peach balsamic vinegar) 
  • 1 Tbsp. white peach balsamic vinegar, optional 
  • 1 Tbsp. agave 
  • Cilantro, to taste 
  • 1 avocado, sliced, for garnish 
  • Sriracha, for garnish


  1. Heat olive oil in pan on medium-high heat. Sprinkle blackened seasoning on mahi-mahi and cook in pan. 
  2. Cook on medium-high heat for 4 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Do not overcook. 
  3. Preheat oven to 525°F on broil setting. 
  4. Spray or rub olive oil on tortillas. Place on baking sheet and broil until a light brown crisp. 
  5. Mix slaw in a bowl with red wine vinegar, balsamic, agave and cilantro. Add more agave if you want it sweeter. 
  6. Place flat tortillas on plates. Top with slaw, fish, avocado and additional cilantro.
  7. Sprinkle Sriracha on top if desired.


I hope you’ve found a delicious recipe to try out while staying home over the next few weeks. If you cook something from this list or our cookbook, be sure to share a picture and tag us on Instagram (@AQUILAaustin). 

Want more recipes? Download our free, 160+ recipe AQUILA Eats cookbook to get cooking.

Download the Cookbook

Similar Articles:

Lauren Little | Senior Marketing Coordinator | AQUILA Commercial

Lauren Little

Lauren Little served as AQUILA's Director of Marketing and helped shape and lead AQUILA's marketing efforts from 2013 to 2021.

Recent posts from

Related Content

Want the latest from the AQUILA Learning Center?

We’ll send you one email a month featuring our best content from the month before. You can also manage your subscription preferences.