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 1:51 PM
Updated: Apr 21, 2020 1:51 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.

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