Delicious dishes that make you feel like you’re dining out

By Patti Pietschmann Travel Diva

DIY dinners during coronavirus shutin

If anytime that food is comforting to the soul, it’s now. With most of us are ‘sheltered in place’ some top US chefs are sharing delicious recipes you can make at home for the family or a special date night between you and mate.

If you are missing those romantic dinners at your favorite restaurant, these dishes will help.

Tip: light candles. Sip an aperitif. Open your best bottle of wine. And feast. Then elevate the mood with  a scenic virtual backdrop, like this live cam from the iconic 18th hole at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

Libation suggestion: a heavy-handed gin and tonic from KANU at Whiteface Lodge in Lake Placid, New York


3 oz. barreled aged gin

½ oz. honey liquor

½ oz. lime juice

Splash hand-crafted tonic

Prep work

Shake all ingredients with ice and double strain.

Top off with hand-crafted tonic.

Garnish with lime wheel (and consider adding an edible flower

from your home garden, like a lavender bud).

DIY dinner recipes from top chefs

Cucumber and zucchini salad courtesy of Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona


One cucumber, peeled and diced

A  ripe heirloom tomato, diced

 One medium green zucchini, peeled and diced

4 stems parsley

A yellow onion

1 tsp cumin

An ounce of  extra virgin olive oil

1 oz. yuzu juice (substitute any citrus juice – lemon, lime, orange)

4 oz. small end of fresh hearts of palm, sliced into rings

(substitute canned or jarred if necessary)

½ oz. paprika

Prep work–combine all ingredients in a bowl and let sit overnight before eating.

Key Lime tart courtesy of 3800 Ocean at Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa in Riviera Beach, Florida

DYI dinners



1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs

¼ cup brown sugar

6 tablespoons butter, melted, hot

Prep work

Combine graham cracker crumbs and brown sugar with whisk.

Add in melted butter. Portion into desired mold. Bake for 10 mins at 350 degrees.

The custard ingredients

14 oz. condensed milk

3 egg yolks

4 oz. lime juice

2 tablespoons lime zest

Prep work

Combine all ingredients together in bowl. Pour into baked graham shell. Bake at 350 degrees until the pie jiggles just slightly and doesn’t stick to your finger when touched. About 10-12 minutes.

Add the meringue

What you need

4 egg whites

1 ½ cups sugar

Combine sugar and egg whites in a bowl over a pot of boiling water. Whisk constantly till the egg whites reach 160 degrees F. Take off heat and immediately transfer to a mixer with a whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed until cool and the meringue is stiff and glossy. Pipe as desired on top of the pie. Torch with blow torch or put under broiler until desired color.


DIY in home dinners

Courtesy of The Tap Room at Pebble Beach Resorts in Pebble Beach, California

22-oz. bone-in, center cut rib-eye steak

Salt and pepper to taste

The best-tasting steak starts with the best beef. The Tap Room culinary team uses prime grade beef, which represents less than 1% of the beef produced in the U.S. It is hand-selected for Pebble Beach Company and typically sourced from Omaha, Nebraska.

The team recommends that guests enjoy this dish medium rare to rare, as that temperature really showcases the product and retains some of the integrity of the marbling, keeping the beef moist and flavorful.

Season with salt and pepper before searing or grilling. This will impart a more intense natural flavor and, in the end, will require less seasoning.

Let the chop rest after grilling. This loosens up the muscle of the beef and makes it more tender. The difference of 5-10 minutes of rest can transform the muscle into a very tender, delectable Delmonico.

Most guests can, in fact, finish the 22 oz. piece of meat. But sharing is a great choice—particularly for those who want to leave room for dessert!

Potato broccoli gratin with garlic courtesy of Gaby Brasserie Française at Sofitel New York in New York City

What you need

lb. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced thin

1 head broccoli, cut into small pieces

1 qt. heavy cream

Salt – to taste

Pepper – to taste

Nutmeg – to taste

5 cloves garlic, minced

3 oz. Gruyere cheese, shredded

1 oz. Parmesan, shredded

Melted butter


Mix the salt, pepper, nutmeg and crushed garlic with the heavy cream. Add sliced potatoes into the mix, then add shredded Parmesan and Gruyere cheese. Stir well.

Use an individual or one large baking dish. Place some melted butter and spread all around to avoid anything sticking. In the bottom of the dish, place a layer of potatoes, about one inch, then add  pieces of broccoli, and cover with more potatoes.

Pour the liquid mix on the top of the potatoes. Cover the dish(es) and bake in the oven at 325 degrees for 35 – 45 minutes, depending on the size of the dish. To check doneness, insert the blade of a knife. It will slide in easily once the dish is sufficiently cooked.

For optimal quality, let it rest, then reheat, adding more cheese on top and browning in the oven.

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