What we’re cooking and eating during social isolation

We’re a pretty tight-knit group here at Hodges. So, this whole full-time, work-from-home concept is far from what we’re accustomed to. No brainstorm happy hours. No Saturday Night Live debriefs at our Monday morning staff meeting. No group trips to Ironclad for a change of scenery and cup of quality java.

What was once a perk of the job – getting to work from home when you needed to – is now the reality we are living in, day in and day out.

So, to inject some of the culture we’re missing by being apart, Hodger Cameron McPherson started a lunchtime Slack series where each day, someone different shares a fun conversation prompt, and everyone chimes in with their answer. It’s been a fun way to connect from afar about something lighthearted.

If you are one of Hodges biggest fans, you’ve probably gathered that we like food. We’ve somehow connected salad to content marketing. We’ve compared reporting to sandwiches. We do a cookie swap every holiday season. There’s Waffle Wednesdays. Cookbook club. The list goes on and on. So, while our primary expertise does lie in communications and storytelling, I’d say that food is a close second.

So, when it was Hodger Paulyn Ocampo’s turn to choose a lunchtime conversation topic, she asked the group to share something delicious they’ve eaten or made recently. And the floodgates opened. Turns out, Hodgers are doing a lot of quarantine cooking (and take out).

After reading everyone’s responses, we decided we couldn’t keep all the recommendations to ourselves.

Warning: Don’t read if you’re hungry.

The Recipes

Homemade Orange Rolls

“Cannot speak on these yet, but I am going to bake these this weekend, in case anyone is looking for inspo.” – Meg

Greg Dupree; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Caramelized Shallot Pasta

“This was the first recipe I made while staying at home. I love me some Alison Roman.” – Cam

Michael Graydon & Nikole Herriott for The New York Times. Prop Stylist: Kalen Kaminski.

Easy Chicken Shawarma

I made this Sunday, and it was delish. I just baked it, but I imagine it would be even better grilled!” – Meg

Puffed Pancakes aka German Pancakes aka Dutch Babies

This was a brunch staple growing up. Five basic ingredients, but it looks fancy and is absolutely delicious. Serve it with some berries mashed in lemon juice and a ton of powdered sugar.” – Aidan

Chicken Pad Thai Nachos

These nachos are just SO good. Sounds a bit strange, but they are delish. And super easy!” – Hannah

Turmeric-Coconut Curry with Pork

“This was deeeelish. Try not to skip the crunchy cabbage part if possible. It adds good texture and freshness to the dish.” – Paulyn

Salted Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies a la Alison Roman

“I finally made THE cookies. The chocolate I used had expired in 2012, but I wasn’t about to make an extra grocery run for it. They were still amazing, so I can’t imagine how much better they’d be if I had used chocolate from this decade.” – Aidan

Sourdough Starter

“I never thought I’d be feeding a jar of flour and water, but here I am. I think my starter is actually failing, because it’s not doing anything other than a few bubbles on top, but I’ve used the discard for pancakes, which were divine.” – Casey

Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

“I see your Chinese takeout and raise you homemade beef and broccoli. I cannot describe how yummy this was.” – Aidan

20-Minute Butter Chicken

My favorite at-home butter chicken! So easy. – Lindsay

The Takeout


“We did curbside Chuy’s over the weekend. Bless the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.” – Casey

Savory Grain

“The Savory Grain gnocchi we got last weekend was DELISH!!” – Cam

Yellow Umbrella

“We made brown butter scallops from Yellow Umbrella which were suuuuuuuuper good.” – Greg


“Got the fried chicken dinner and the chicken was so, so good.” – Amanda

Aidan Newbold

In both her professional and personal life, Aidan is a storyteller and makes it known in her writing, strategic thinking and creativity. Aidan’s experience at Hodges ranges from engaging NASCAR fans through a social media campaign to writing regular content for Swedish Match’s Umgås Magazine, to pitching media for Richmond Region Tourism and planning press and influencer events.

Read more by Aidan

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