Meet the mother and son duo who wrote a 'Quarantine Cookbook' for people stuck at home

Dylan Smith, a seventh grader in El Dorado Hills, California, has found a delicious way to pass the time during the coronavirus pandemic by writing and publishing a family-friendly cookbook with his mother.

Posted: Apr 21, 2020 12:51 PM
Updated: Apr 21, 2020 12:51 PM

For some, the downtime during self-quarantining has been daunting.

But for Michele Smith, and her 12-year-old son Dylan, the stay-at-home order has become an opportunity.

The two, who share a love of cooking together, decided they wanted to create a cookbook for others stuck at home, and aptly titled it "The Quarantine Cookbook."

Michele Smith, who owns a small publishing company called M Com Publishing, said she and Dylan, who is in seventh grade, have been cooking together since he was five.

"We started seeing all these posts on Facebook from parents asking what they should be doing with their kids and how they're all going stir crazy," Michele Smith told CNN. "Then my aunt in Florida was like, 'Why don't you guys make a cookbook together?' And we thought it was an amazing idea."

In four days, the duo -- who are from El Dorado Hills, California -- cooked 38 different recipes, taking photos of each meal after it was prepared. Within a day of posting the e-book on on Amazon and M Com Publishing's website, more than 100 copies were sold, Smith said.

The project has been the perfect way for Dylan to get through quarantine, he said, adding that collaborating with his mom was the best part.

"Of course I do want to go back to school and it was a struggle to find things to do, but this is a really fun thing we can do together," Dylan Smith told CNN. "It was finally something besides sitting on the couch all day long."

Although the process was fun and delicious, the two did face some challenges. The coronavirus pandemic sparked waves of panic buying among shoppers, leaving many necessary ingredients out of stock.

So, Dylan and his mom wrote their recipes using ingredients that are still easy to find on grocery store shelves. They also offered vegetarian substitutions for meat-based recipes.

The cookbook is based on a scale system that labels each recipe as easy, medium or hard for parents cooking with kids.

Together, families can choose from a range of mouthwatering recipes, including chicken nachos, spiral potato fries, barbeque burgers and Asian-style wings. For dessert lovers, there's rocky road bars, pastry apples, cake pops and chocolate oat bars.

Dylan said his favorite recipe is the Bad Monkey Garlic Bread.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 515504

Reported Deaths: 10296
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34999558
DeSoto33360432
Hinds32743643
Jackson24906392
Rankin22565405
Lee16455245
Madison14954283
Jones14158248
Forrest13834260
Lauderdale12311323
Lowndes11357193
Lamar10693140
Pearl River9748244
Lafayette8868143
Hancock7849132
Washington7559169
Oktibbeha7229138
Monroe7068179
Pontotoc7033110
Warren6885178
Panola6791135
Neshoba6744210
Marshall6707142
Bolivar6468151
Union643598
Pike5942157
Alcorn5921107
Lincoln5540136
George510680
Prentiss508285
Tippah495683
Itawamba4884107
Scott478999
Tate4777117
Adams4776125
Leflore4749144
Copiah458195
Yazoo458092
Simpson4566117
Wayne443472
Covington434895
Sunflower4319106
Marion4295112
Coahoma4244110
Leake414191
Newton396182
Tishomingo386894
Grenada3789109
Stone366166
Jasper341266
Attala340490
Chickasaw318367
Winston318392
Clay312978
Clarke301695
Calhoun286850
Holmes272889
Smith270552
Yalobusha244947
Tallahatchie232353
Greene225149
Walthall222166
Lawrence220242
Perry214556
Amite210357
Webster206548
Noxubee188843
Montgomery182157
Carroll175441
Jefferson Davis174343
Tunica163539
Benton153139
Kemper145441
Choctaw137027
Claiborne134839
Humphreys132239
Franklin126530
Quitman107828
Wilkinson106139
Jefferson97134
Sharkey65321
Issaquena1957
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 847659

Reported Deaths: 16172
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1163752005
Mobile743371381
Madison53434738
Shelby38413371
Baldwin38171589
Tuscaloosa36131643
Montgomery34571782
Lee25664264
Calhoun22622519
Morgan22527408
Etowah20059520
Marshall18821318
Houston17769426
St. Clair16946359
Limestone16192220
Cullman16140305
Elmore15948295
Lauderdale15055307
Talladega14244302
DeKalb13061271
Walker12138380
Blount10765193
Autauga10545157
Jackson10204195
Coffee9435192
Colbert9363210
Dale9038192
Tallapoosa7283202
Russell710165
Chilton7078170
Covington6967197
Escambia6962144
Franklin6364108
Chambers5795142
Marion5435130
Dallas5302210
Pike5128109
Clarke485686
Lawrence4845130
Winston4785110
Geneva4650136
Bibb435495
Barbour370180
Butler3444101
Marengo342793
Monroe338366
Randolph337767
Pickens334790
Fayette331485
Henry321066
Cherokee319964
Hale318889
Crenshaw261678
Washington256852
Cleburne255460
Lamar253555
Clay252069
Macon245767
Conecuh193562
Coosa185847
Wilcox178338
Lowndes178268
Bullock152745
Perry141840
Sumter139741
Greene130345
Choctaw94328
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