Monday, March 8, 2021

Deeeeelicious! A Personal Dining Experience While Quarantined / Mouth Watering Pics

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Dinner – Seared Salmon with poached egg over a Caesar Salad. Photo Courtesy: Shawn V. Branch/Reel Urban Images.

*Many things have changed in the past two months; concerts postponed, tourist destinations have been closed, sporting events are canceled until further notice and schools are now looking to a fall opening. Many are frustrated, bored, lonely and overworked from being quarantined. I know it’s hard, but it is best to stop or slow down the spread of COVID-19.

We Think You Will Enjoy:

Being quarantined during this pandemic is no staycation or a relaxing few days off of work. You soon realized that it is very boring and very restrictive. We can no longer do the things we love to do, when we want to do them and with the people, we love the most. One of the good things about being quarantined is that I have picked up a few new hobbies and started up again on some old ones that I had stopped. One of the things that I have started doing is cooking.

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Brunch – First time preparing – Shrimp Omelette paired with a King’s Ginger Mimosa. Photo Courtesy: Shawn V. Branch/Reel Urban Images

I have five siblings: three sisters and one brother. When I was young, my mother would tell me, “Never depend on a woman to do anything for you” (of course that was before I came out). So, with those marching orders, I took a sewing class and started watching my mother cook. As I got older, I would cook, but nothing fancy or too hard. For me, baking worked better. I could season food, stick in the oven, and go do other things around the house. Yes, I was trying to make use of all my time.

During my first two years in Georgia, I lived with my bestie and his husband. While living with them, I did very little cooking. These two men loved cooking (especially my bestie). My bestie would cook these great meals mostly for dinner. While he was cooking, I was usually in the kitchen talking to him, asking questions and making mental notes.

RELATED: ‘Cooking with Collard Greens and Caviar’ Podcast: Veronica Hendrix Makes Soulful Hummus – LISTEN

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Dinner – First time preparing – Slow Cooked Short Ribs with a sweet potato puree and roasted and garlic bacon brussel sprouts paired with a Merlot. Photo Courtesy: Shawn V. Branch/Reel Urban Images

We Think You Will Enjoy:

When I moved out, I started cooking items that I observed from my bestie. Most of my dishes came out almost perfect on the first attempt. Now with all this time on my hands, I’ve decided to try more new things. I love cooking and it makes me feel good to see and taste the finished products. During this time cooking has become a coping mechanism for me, proving to be very therapeutic.

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Dinner – Lobster Bisque with chunks of lobster. Photo Courtesy: Shawn V. Branch/Reel Urban Images

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Dinner – Main course following Lobster Bisque Soup – Pan Seared Cod with Sauteed shiitake mushrooms. Photo Courtesy: Shawn V. Branch/Reel Urban Images

This is my last favorite dish that I prepared while in quarantine.

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Dinner – First time preparing Oxtails with rice and plantains. Photo Courtesy: Shawn V. Branch/Reel Urban Images

We Think You Will Enjoy:

I know this time is tough for so many of us. I pray that you stay safe and do whatever you need to do to stay physically and mentally strong!

On The Cover: “Lamb Chops, Asparagus, Sauteed Shiitake Mushrooms paired with my favorite red wine, Caymus.” SVB

Shawn V. Branch
Shawn V. Branch

Shawn V. Branch is the Food, Lifestyle & Travel Editor for Shawn is an exceptional entrepreneur with professional imprint ranging from education to executive positioning. Shawn is the curator of the lifestyle blog, SV Branches (, which is based on the vision of inspiring and connecting with people who are searching for positivity and motivation. Originally from Baltimore, Shawn now calls the City of Atlanta, home.

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