Food & Home

kitchen with natural light

Cooking Rituals, Traditions, and Tools Bringing Us Joy in the Kitchen

We’re finding ourselves spending a whole lot of time in the kitchen these days. Which has made us more grateful than ever for the family traditions, sacred lunchtime rituals, tips and tricks from our food director, and new kitchen tools that make our meals feel less like chores and more like an exercise in self-care. We asked goop staffers what’s bringing them joy in the kitchen during quarantine.

Cait Moore

Belt It Out

“My family has big parties for every holiday with lots of music and way too much food. There’s one song in particular, ‘Bamboleo’ by the Gipsy Kings, that has become famous. For years, it’s been on every predinner playlist, but strangely, nobody noticed except the cousins. One day, we pointed it out, and now, the whole family thinks it’s hilarious. Since then, whenever ‘Bamboleo’ comes on during a family party (always), everyone goes nuts—we dance around singing along at the top of our lungs. There is much video evidence. This year, Easter looked very different since we couldn’t be together. But you can be sure, while I made dinner in my kitchen 3,000 miles away, I listened to ‘Bamboleo’ on repeat.” —Cait Moore, senior programming manager

Barbara Ly

Greater Cause

“Three of my good friends run a nonprofit called Eayikes, and since the start of the pandemic, they’ve partnered with the nonprofit Polo’s Pantry—run by another friend of ours—to provide meals for the homeless in LA. Their initiative, Homeymade Meals, has organized a growing community of over 150 volunteers who have cooked and delivered more than 3,300 meals to date. Every other week, I show my support by creating meals from home that are then sent out into the community, feeding those in need. It feels good to take action and give back to a greater cause during these times, and it’s also fostered a love for cooking and sharing recipes with my friends and family. I now look forward to trying something new in the kitchen every day. I’ve even started getting more creative with my coffee—I’ve been making dalgona, the TikTok coffee!” —Barbara Ly, web developer

Nick Geller

Smooth Operator

“Two recent purchases of mine have been game changers in the kitchen. Normally, my fiancé and I would make a good batch of rice probably one out of every ten attempts—not great odds. Since buying the Zojirushi rice cooker, we no longer have to roll the dice with dinner. The rice comes out perfect. Every. Single. Time. So we can focus on steaming the veggies and getting a perfect sear on the ahi tuna, which elevates the entire meal. Our other purchase, a Vitamix blender, has also come in handy. Given the recent heat wave in LA, not much else sounds good for breakfast aside from a cold, refreshing smoothie. And the Vitamix is a beast! It effortlessly blends our morning acai smoothie bowls and, thanks to the self-cleaning function, even reduces the cleanup time.” —Nick Geller, senior manager of retail tech operations

  1. Vitamix Ascent Series 3500 Blender
    Vitamix Ascent Series 3500 Blender goop, $550
    SHOP NOW
  2. Zojirushi 5-Cup Rice Cooker & Warmer
    Zojirushi 5-Cup Rice
    Cooker & Warmer
    goop, $210
    SHOP NOW
Brianna Peters

Go Green

“I’ve spent the last few weeks of quarantine tackling projects that I had been putting off, like switching from conventional household products to cleaner, more sustainable options. I recently reread an article about the potential dangers of cooking with traditional nonstick pans. The very same day, I overhauled my ancient pots and pans with a gorgeous stainless-steel and ceramic ten-piece set from GreenPan. Not only are they eco-friendly and nonstick, but they’re also extremely durable and made without PFAs, PFOA, lead, or cadmium. Not to mention, they outperform my old set by a lot.” —Brianna Peters, assistant beauty editor

  1. GreenPan Venice Pro Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware, 10 Piece Set
    GreenPan Venice Pro Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware, 10 Piece Set goop, $400
    SHOP NOW
loaf of bread Leah Bedrosian

Close to Home

“I’ve been leaning hard on Bon Appétit (Rick Martinez’s chicken and dumplings are insane) and NYT cooking (Claire Saffitz’s guide to sourdough) for recipe inspiration. But sometimes that can seem…rather involved. Luckily, my boyfriend’s family is full of incredible chefs, so we’ve been dabbling in some of their simpler recipes for meals that feel homey and familiar. His mom’s tomatillo salsa (pour it on everything) and his aunt’s Persian lentil soup have both been hits.” —Leah Bedrosian, research scientist

Megan O'Neill

Sweet Treat

“Both of my parents are from Jamaica, so I grew up eating festivals, and I’m so obsessed with them lately. They’re skillet-fried balls of cornmeal, flour, a pinch of sugar, coconut milk, and a few shakes of a fun spice like nutmeg or cinnamon. They have a similar appeal to funnel cake at an amusement park—minus the feeling disgusting after: You briefly crisp them up in a cast-iron skillet, so you’re not deep-frying them and they’re not utterly drenched in oil. I love jumping up from my perch at the kitchen table to take a break and stretch my legs and make them for me and my husband. They’re the perfect amount of sweet; they remind me of Jamaican delights, like sunshine and turquoise waters; and I’m fully loving taking advantage of getting up to cook quick little things throughout the day while I’m working from home. If you haven’t gotten into Jamaican food, god, you’ve got to dig in!” —Megan O’Neill, senior beauty editor

Megan O'Neill
  1. Richard Brendon Diamond Double Old Fashioned
    Richard Brendon Diamond Double Old Fashioned goop, $112
    SHOP NOW
  2. Corkcicle Whiskey Wedge Glass
    Corkcicle Whiskey Wedge Glass goop, $18
    SHOP NOW

Squeeze the Day

Brian James

“I’m fortunate to have a variety of citrus trees in my backyard, and my orange tree has been exploding with fruit since early spring. A good friend of mine is a chef and gave me this incredible recipe for making an orange ghost pepper marmalade. It made use of around five pounds of oranges from my tree, one ghost pepper, and a couple of spices I already had in the pantry: nutmeg and allspice. The resulting sweet and spicy marmalade makes the perfect spread for a piece of sourdough—and just about every type of random bread I’ve managed to get my hands on in grocery stores. I’ve also incorporated it into my signature egg white sour cocktail and my margarita recipe. I can’t get enough.” —Brian James, associate solutions architect

Caitlin O'Malley

Roll with It

“Cooking has been a creative outlet for me as long as I can remember. And right now, it’s definitely been a source of comfort and a welcome distraction. But cooking every single meal can feel monotonous—not to mention the perpetual pile of dishes in the sink. I’m learning that I’m of two minds on this one, so I’m allowing myself to roll with the punches. Sure, when I have the energy, I’ll take on bigger, multiday cooking projects, like making hand-pulled noodles or kimchi or baking bread. But if I find myself dreading cooking, I don’t force it. I’ll let myself off the hook, order in, or honestly, just make a PB&J and call it a night. Those nights really let me recharge, and I’m always so excited to get back to cooking the next day.” —Caitlin O’Malley, food director

Alyssa Nelsen Geiger

Baking Bad

“First of all, I love to bake, but I’m a terrible baker. The intentions are always there, but the ingredients in my kitchen are usually lacking, and I have to resort to whatever substitutions I have on hand when the chocolate craving strikes. But all of this seems like a minor offense when I’ve got Mosser’s mixing bowls ready to be whisked out of my drawers. Look at them: sleek, stackable, begging for a bake-off. They’re made from the kind of perfectly frosted pink glass that’ll have you wishing all your kitchen accoutrements matched them. Bowls that pretty paired with an equally pleasing-to-the-eye cookbook, like Laurel Galucci’s Sweet Laurel glossy, make a great team and instantly lift my spirits, even if the recipe doesn’t turn out exactly as planned.” -Alyssa Nelsen Geiger, senior creative copywriter

  1. Mosser Glass 3 Piece Pink Glass Mixing Bowl Set
    Mosser Glass 3 Piece Pink Glass Mixing Bowl Set goop, $85
    SHOP NOW
Kelly Martin

Stash Away

“I’m always on a mission to use less plastic, and I’ve been wanting to revamp my kitchen into a more sustainable situation for a while now. But during the first weeks of the pandemic, I gave myself a pass—things were scary, and preparing was important. If that meant a couple more disposables (and it did), it was temporary. Now that things are mellowing out at the grocery store, I’m back on track and moving forward in my pursuit of a low-waste lifestyle. I’ve finally invested in Stasher bags of every size. What aren’t these good for? The half-gallon storage bag is great for my flash-frozen veggies that I store in the freezer for easy weekday meal prep. And the stand-up bag is perfect for things you don’t want spilling everywhere in the pantry, like my favorite work-from-home snack: roasted chickpeas, which I could eat by the fistful.” —Kelly Martin, assistant editor

  1. Stasher Stand Up Bag
    Stasher Stand Up Bag goop, $20
    SHOP NOW
  2. Stasher Half Gallon Storage Bag
    Stasher Half Gallon Storage Bag goop, $20
    SHOP NOW
Jenny Westerhoff

Perfect Matcha

“Lately I’ve been missing my morning stops at my local coffee shop, mostly for the routine that signals the start of the workday, so I’ve been perfecting my at-home iced matcha. I whip it up in the kitchen as the sun starts peeking out, then sip it while I walk around my neighborhood for some much-needed sunshine before the heat of the day. It’s helped me create a new routine, and it’s a welcome transition from morning to workday that I look forward to.” —Jenny Westerhoff, photo editor

  1. Matcha Kari Ceremonial Grade Matcha
    Matcha Kari Ceremonial Grade Matcha goop, $61
    SHOP NOW
Thira Burns

In a Pickle

“With extra focus these days on making the most of my pantry staples and fresh produce, I’ve really taken to a new hobby: repurposing veggies—from carrots to onions and even cauliflower—that I’ve let get past their prime into pickles. Using this recipe as my foundation, I’ve been having fun experimenting in the kitchen with different combinations. My current fave: adding jalapeños for some heat. I like to enjoy the tart flavor of the pickles as a snack or bring some color to an omelet or sandwich, layering them on top.” —Thira Burns, director of wellness product development

Make the Most of It

Make the Most of It

“Until recently, the utility of a precooked rotisserie chicken had never been so apparent to me. But now, with all this time at home, it’s all about making what we have work and reducing unnecessary trips to the store. My fiancé and I use the chicken thighs for tacos with all the fixings or for pita pockets with tzatziki, hummus, and herbs, then we shred the breast on top of big salads. And on Sunday afternoons, I put whatever is left of the chicken—including all the bones—into a pot of water with celery, onions, and carrots to make a pot of soup for dinner. We use the leftover broth the following week for pastas and as a base for Korean soups like dduk gook and miyuk gook (rice cake and seaweed soup). One roto chick stretches for two weeks!” —Diana Ryu, chief of staff

  1. Staub x goop 5.5 QT Round Cocotte
    Staub x goop 5.5 QT Round Cocotte goop, $325
    SHOP NOW
table with noodles

Comfort Food

heaven Schydlowsky

“I’ve always used cooking dinner as a way to unwind and take a break from the week, trying tons of new recipes and treating it almost like a challenge. Salt-baked branzino, Pommes Anna, dumplings, you name it, I would make it all. But now that I’m in the kitchen for every meal of the day, I’m counting on tried-and-true recipes that keep things easy, streamlined, and comforting. I’m so thankful to have a cookbook that I started filling out a few years ago with my childhood favorites. I had been missing my grandma’s banana bread and my mom’s fried chicken, so I’ve been re-creating those classics. And I’ve also been writing in my own recipes that my husband and I love. This way, a few years from now, we can look back (at 2020, what a year!) and make the recipes that feel like home.” —Heaven Schydlowsky, product manager

You may also like