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Creative Cooking During Quarantine


Article by Avery Haberman

Photography by Avery Haberman

Being trapped inside for the past few months has forced individuals across the country to invent new ways to entertain themselves. For many, this has meant turning to the kitchen. As the boredom hit, so did the pressure to make those challenging, time consuming dishes that we have always wanted to try but never had the time. It also allowed us to indulge a little. I mean, calories don’t count during a pandemic, right? The abundance of time pushed us to get creative with food. I for one have been turning to the kitchen for entertainment. Being quarantined has brought out my creative side which has led me to experiment with new recipes.

One of my two favorite dishes that I have made is a rendition of the Chicken Cutlet Taco Shell stuffed with pasta that I first spotted on the Mt. Kisco Diner's Instagram account but unfortunately, never got the chance to try.  The second is a Rainbow Layer Cake, currently trending on social media. This colorful cake made my brother’s birthday in quarantine a little more exciting. These photogenic dishes were both hits. Not only did they taste delicious, but their creative aspects made cooking and eating them exciting for the whole family. Recipes below:

Chicken Cutlet Taco Shell

Recipe for 4 Tacos

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Total Time: 30 Minutes


  • 4 thin sliced chicken breasts
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 quarts vegetable oil to fill deep fryer


  1. Heat a deep fryer to 350 degrees.
  2. Pound chicken breasts until very thin.
  3. In 3 separate shallow dishes, place flour, breadcrumbs and whisked eggs. 
  4. Dip chicken breasts into the flour, then the egg and then the breadcrumbs.
  5. Repeat coating chicken in the egg and breadcrumbs. 
  6. Form the chicken into the shape of a taco shell. Use toothpicks to hold shape. 
  7. Place the chicken breasts into the deep fryer. Cook for 2 minutes on each side until golden brown.
  8. Remove the chicken from the deep fryer and remove toothpicks.
  9. Finally, stuff the chicken shaped taco shells with your favorite pasta & enjoy! 
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Rainbow Layer Cake

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Total Time: 1 Hour & 30 Minutes


  • 4 cans vanilla frosting 
  • 2 boxes of vanilla cake mix (or equivalent ingredients if making from scratch)
  • Food coloring 


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Line round cake pans with parchment paper.
  3. Prepare the batter for two vanilla cakes.
  4. Measure and divide 1 cup of batter into 8 separate small bowls.
  5. Stir food coloring into each bowl of batter to achieve desired color.
  6. Pour batter into cake pan and smooth evenly.
  7. Cook each color for 8-10 minutes. 
  8. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing cake from pan.
  9. Stack each color on top of one another with a thin layer of icing in between each layer.
  10. Coat the entire cake with icing, decorate & enjoy!

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