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: 500286

Reported Deaths: 9968
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34281537
DeSoto32039402
Hinds31911626
Jackson24466379
Rankin21971390
Lee15501235
Madison14566279
Jones13825242
Forrest13438250
Lauderdale11984316
Lowndes11003188
Lamar10510135
Pearl River9494237
Lafayette8542139
Hancock7727126
Washington7418157
Oktibbeha7139131
Monroe6765176
Warren6679176
Pontotoc6655102
Neshoba6625206
Panola6511131
Marshall6460134
Bolivar6302148
Union601294
Pike5815152
Alcorn5662101
Lincoln5431134
George496579
Scott472198
Tippah468381
Prentiss466581
Leflore4654144
Itawamba4628105
Adams4584119
Tate4579109
Copiah447792
Simpson4440116
Yazoo443687
Wayne439172
Covington428694
Sunflower4235105
Marion4225107
Coahoma4154104
Leake408088
Newton381679
Grenada3703108
Stone359764
Tishomingo359492
Attala331089
Jasper329565
Winston314091
Clay307676
Chickasaw299467
Clarke292194
Calhoun278945
Holmes267887
Smith263350
Yalobusha233347
Tallahatchie226851
Walthall218763
Greene218248
Lawrence212440
Perry205256
Amite204755
Webster202646
Noxubee186440
Montgomery179456
Jefferson Davis171442
Carroll168738
Tunica159439
Benton148438
Kemper141941
Choctaw133326
Claiborne132237
Humphreys129238
Franklin119428
Quitman106428
Wilkinson104839
Jefferson94434
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 815989

Reported Deaths: 15311
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1144621915
Mobile723961330
Madison52114694
Shelby37488348
Baldwin37167547
Tuscaloosa35013606
Montgomery34031734
Lee23177245
Calhoun22190476
Morgan20719376
Etowah19774497
Marshall18277302
Houston17333411
St. Clair15967339
Cullman15365292
Limestone15270198
Elmore15126284
Lauderdale14205294
Talladega13783276
DeKalb12598260
Walker11142369
Blount10132175
Autauga9910146
Jackson9819182
Coffee9190191
Dale8874185
Colbert8803201
Tallapoosa7063198
Escambia6755130
Covington6695184
Chilton6608161
Russell626659
Franklin5947105
Chambers5563142
Marion4966126
Dallas4902200
Clarke474083
Pike4722105
Geneva4567126
Winston4493103
Lawrence4286117
Bibb423686
Barbour356576
Marengo337489
Monroe330863
Randolph328263
Butler325396
Pickens314182
Henry311865
Hale310688
Cherokee301660
Fayette291379
Washington251151
Cleburne247160
Crenshaw244075
Clay241268
Macon231763
Lamar219547
Conecuh185753
Coosa179439
Lowndes174464
Wilcox167839
Bullock151644
Perry138440
Sumter132038
Greene126244
Choctaw87827
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