One of the perks of zoom school for me has been increased time to cook and bake. Each day in my off-campus home, my housemates are cooking complicated stews, delicious scones, and of course banana bread (our favorite quarantine trend). Cooking and baking may seem kind of intimidating at first if you have never tried it before, so I have decided to compile some of my favorites for you to try on your own!

1. Super Bloom’s Blueberry Muffins

One of the things I miss most about in-person classes is the weekly farmer’s market on USC’s campus. My favorite vender at the market was Super Bloom which is a vegan and gluten free bakery. Often gluten free/vegan foods are a far cry from the real deal, but Super Bloom is seriously so delicious. Recently, I have been trying out their recipes online and have fallen in love with these super blue blueberry muffins. The recipe recommends using butterfly pea flowers to dye the batter blue naturally. These butterfly pea flowers are super interesting because they can serve as a pH indicator as well! Normal butterfly tea is a nice blue color, but if you add lemon juice, it turns into a bright red. While it is optional, the interesting bright blue color is so fun and compliments the wonderful muffins as well. Even if you’re not gluten free or vegan, check out this recipe and adapt it to fit your needs!

2. Meal Prep Chicken Fajitas

Literally the most delicious and easy meal prep ever. I often make large amounts of food all at once so I can be set for a busy week. Recently I have been eating these with Trader Joe’s Jicama Wraps. As a USC student, Trader Joe’s has always been one of my favorite places to shop because it is located right next to campus in the USC Village!

3. Perfect Stovetop Popcorn

Okay I don’t know if this really counts as a “recipe,” but this is definitely a little snack hack you should try. Making popcorn on the stove may seem kind of hard, but this blog’s tips and tricks make it super easy. In fact, I have made this popcorn countless times and have never burned it! Additionally, stovetop popcorn is so much better than microwave popcorn not only in taste but also in customizability. Personally, I love making this popcorn with coconut oil and adding rosemary and salt, nutritional yeast, or Trader Joe’s hint of lime seasoning.

4. Carrot Meatballs

I have loved making these little meatballs because they are not only delicious but also do not have any bread in them! Instead, they use shredded carrot to keep it all together. Would definitely recommend these if you are gluten free or just trying to minimize carbs. They’re also so cute which is another plus. You can also make these with Impossible Meat to make them vegetarian friendly!

Let me know if you try any of these recipes and good luck on your cooking adventures!

Emily Powis

Emily Powis

MAJOR: Biomedical Engineering YEAR: Class of 2022 HOMETOWN: Denver, Colorado PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: @emilyspowis Within Viterbi I conduct research in 3D ultrasound development. Outside of engineering, I am co-captain of the SC Climbing Team, guide outdoor trips with SC Outfitters, work as an Emergency Medical Technician, and help provide mentorship for K-12 students as a counselor in Troy Camp.