Quarantine Kitchen: Recipes from the Straz Marketing Staff

When the Straz staff was sent home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we started looking for ways to stay connected to each other while apart. We’re a group that loves gathering – and one that loves gathering with food. When we’re in the building, we celebrate special occasions or large staff meetings with food, and we’ve learned there are some great chefs and bakers in our ranks. During this long intermission we started sharing staff recipes in our internal newsletter, and now we want to share some of them with you. So if you’re still stuck at home and tired of the same old dinners or want to try a new tasty treat, turn on your favorite showtunes and get cookin’ with these recipes from some our Straz marketing team.

BARBECUE MEATBALLS – Graphics Manager Dona Haag

Dona’s Barbecue Meatballs are a huge hit at every office gathering – and this recipe is so good, staffers were thrilled when she finally shared it.

“This Barbecue Meatball recipe came from my mother-in-law,” says Dona. “She made them for us when we visited years ago, and we have been making them ever since. They make a great dish to bring to family gatherings, for work potluck lunches or to make for home. They freeze well, so make a big batch and save for another day.”

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NATILLA – Digital Marketing Director LeeAnn Douglas

Who doesn’t love a special family recipe passed down through the generations? LeeAnn shared her grandmother’s recipe for Natilla, which is a Spanish custard dish made with milk and eggs, similar to pudding.

“My grandfather used to make this recipe all the time,” says LeeAnn. “We used to go over to his house for dinner every Sunday night where we would usually have a traditional Latin meal like ropa vieja or picadillo. We weren’t allowed to have soda except at Papa’s house so we always could look forward to Coke with dinner and Natilla for dessert. I usually only make this for special occasions like Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) or on request.”

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FALL-APART CARMELIZED CABBAGE – Marketing Director Sarah Ateek

When we were in the office, Sarah always seemed to have unique and healthy homemade lunches. It’s no surprise she submitted this creative cabbage recipe, explaining that cabbage is a staple in her fridge because “it’s one of my favorite veggies and it lasts forever.”

“If I was trapped on a desert island and could only bring one vegetable, the winner might very well be cabbage,” says Sarah. “It is filling, cheap and lasts forever. Perfect for the not-so-off-chance that I forgot I bought a head of it and rediscover it a week later in the back of the fridge.

This dish by Andy Baraghani at Bon Appetit utilizes an entire head of cabbage, making me feel healthy and not wasteful. Char the living daylights out of it, make a tomato paste-based sauce with aromatics (including coriander which is 100% guaranteed to make any dish you cook feel fancy), pop that skillet of deliciousness in the oven for 45-ish minutes and BOOM, done.

We eat this with hunks of bread to sop up all the tomatoey goodness.  Added bonus? It tastes even better the next morning. Pro tip: add a jammy 8-minute egg on top for an early morning shakshuka breakfast.”

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OREO CHEESECAKE BARS – Social Media Manager Caitlin Potter

Our office quickly learned that Caitlin has some mad baking skills. She often brings tasty treats to potlucks and office celebrations and occasionally tests her skills in just-for-fun contests with friends. This recipe for Oreo Cheesecake Bars won her first place in a friendly baking contest, and our mouths are watering just thinking about these babies.

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Spencer is known in our office for his cakes and cornbread, so we were thrilled when he offered up his recipe for this Southeastern style version. If you like Publix chicken tenders, you are sure to love his take on this classic dish. 

“I received this recipe from a former coworker, and it is based off an older Paula Dean recipe with some alterations made by me,” says Spencer. “It’s the one recipe that I always bring to potlucks and has always been a favorite of the marketing department. Trust me, you’ll get a lot of attention for this at a family function. I consider this Southeastern style since there is one specific ingredient only available from Publix Supermarkets.”

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