At the beginning of the year, Grace Ubben was living her best life. She traveled to New York City for an achievement in a promising multicultural students program. She traveled to Los Angeles to vacation during spring break.
Then in March, the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
“Everything just got flipped upside down,” Ubben said.
The 22-year-old UF advertising alumna watched her graduation ceremony and a summer internship get canceled.As she and her family hunkered down in self-isolation, she didn’t want the time to be wasted.
After seeing a food photo on her friend Isabel Sanchez’s Instagram account, Ubben set out with the idea of creating a cookbook. Now, the two are celebrating the launch of their passion project, “Quarantine Quisine.”
“I may have lost out on other opportunities, but I want to just do something really great and make something good out of this situation,” Ubben said.
The cookbook includes 35 recipes across five different categories: breakfast, smoothies and snacks, meals, salads and sides, and sweets.
Ubben wrote and designed the cookbook, and Sanchez photographed the food. Together, they created the one-of-a-kind virtually made and 2020-themed cookbook.
Ubben said she wanted the cookbook to be a time capsule from 2020.
“We really wanted it to be about quarantine and about easy, simple recipes that anyone can make,” she said.
Ubben has always enjoyed cooking, especially for her friends and family. This cookbook is a collection of her personal recipes and ones that have been passed down from family.
“It's a way that we show love to each other and we show that we care about each other,” Ubben said. “It’s a great way to connect with people.”
Both Ubben and Sanchez said this cookbook was also designed to help people who deal with disorderly eating or have trouble with food.
“I think there are a lot of people out there who are especially around our age who deal with gut problems,” Sanchez, a 23-year-old UF alumna said.
With college students feeling like there is pressure to eat a certain way, Sanchez said that the cookbook is designed to help people see they can still eat everything, and enjoy food in a healthy way.
“I think the biggest takeaway I've learned from quarantine is just to be in the present moment and to not be so, so worried about the past or the future,” Ubben said.
“Quarantine Quisine” is self-published and is sold on Amazon for $9.99 as an ebook and $19.99 as a physical copy.