The Best Recipes, Apps And Other Hacks We Tried This Week (April 6-10)

Our editors share what's keeping them calm, productive and entertained during coronavirus social distancing.

There’s no “right” way to navigate this coronavirus pandemic; everyone lives and copes differently. That being said, fostering a sense of community may make getting through this time a little bit easier.

Enter this weekly guide. Every Sunday, we’ll bring you a short list of products, routines, workouts, recipes, apps and other things we tried the previous week that are making life easier during this universally stressful time. Take a look at this week’s suggestions below:

Activity Recommendations

Kristen Aiken, senior editor of Food & Style, started making colorful friendship bracelets this week.
Kristen Aiken
Kristen Aiken, senior editor of Food & Style, started making colorful friendship bracelets this week.

Craft for your friends

I’m trying to keep busy with the limited resources I have at my mom’s house, and I found an old bag of embroidery floss for making friendship bracelets. I found a great online tutorial, dusted off my knot-making skills and asked my friends on Instagram who wants a bracelet. I got so many responses that I’ll be busy for a while ― it’s great mindless work to do while watching TV, and it’s fun to pick colors and designs your friends will like. The thought of knowing I can give friends this small gift with their next mail delivery brings a little light into my life. ―Kristen Aiken, Senior Editor, Food & Style

Try new businesses and stock up your home at the same time

This week I spent a lot of time checking out our local businesses, many of whom have shifted to home delivery and pickup. It feels awesome to be supporting my community in this way. ―Jamie Feldman, Lifestyle & Personal Reporter

Dive into childhood home movies or memorabilia

Recently we pulled out my fiancé’s old toys, artwork and home videos, and it was a JOURNEY. It was a hilarious and sentimental way to spend the afternoon. It also sparked new conversations between us and gave us an opportunity to learn more about each other. Of course, this is contingent on having access to childhood memorabilia. If that isn’t the case for you, it might be worth asking your family to dig up some items and send pictures. Or you can even scroll back to the first few photos on your phone or on Facebook for a dose of nostalgia. It’s an entertaining way to pass the time. ―Lindsay Holmes, Senior Wellness Editor

Workout Recommendations

An online barre class that helps you sweat and decompress

I just treated myself to an online subscription to Barre3. Honestly, I noticed that I was heading to a kind of dark place emotionally (I’m working and parenting two young kids in a teeny space and my husband and I are going through some financial stuff) and these workouts have helped me feel a little less overwhelmed. The video library is huge and the classes feel tough, but restorative. (Also key if you have kids at home: 10-minute options abound.) HIGHLY recommend. ―Catherine Pearson, Senior Reporter, Culture & Parenting

App Recommendations

A mood journal that benefits your mental health

I’ve been using this app called Moodpath to help me track my mental and emotional health. The app asks you a series of questions three times a day about your health — including your sleep patterns, decision-making and self-confidence. Then, you record how you feel by picking various emotions and specific descriptors such as “overwhelmed,” “imposter syndrome,” “jittery” and “proud.” There’s a journaling space for you to go into detail about your day, your thoughts and feelings, anything you want to write about. The app is meant to recognize symptoms of depression, which is super helpful, but I mainly just use it as my mood diary. I also love that this app includes therapy options, plus several meditation recordings, breathing exercises and courses, including one about dealing with the coronavirus. It’s so useful! ―Wendy Lu, News Editor & Producer

Recipe Recommendations

Work/Life reporter Monica Torres made a dutch baby pancake this week, which brightened her mornings.
Monica Torres
Work/Life reporter Monica Torres made a dutch baby pancake this week, which brightened her mornings.

A morning breakfast that makes you look forward to waking up

I’ve been making the New York Times’ dutch baby pancake recipe to brighten up my mornings. Prior to this pandemic, I had never made one, and I am impressed by how much rise you get with just three eggs and a half-cup of flour. My one big tip: you must make sure the ingredients are room temperature. For me, that means heating up my milk until it’s lukewarm and warming up my fridge-cold eggs in my hands. The one time I didn’t warm up the eggs between my fingers, my pancake came out flat like a crepe. Never again! ―Monica Torres, Work/Life Reporter

An inexpensive curry recipe that tastes like takeout

I love this recipe for “cheap chicken curry” posted on Food52. I don’t know how authentic it is, but I do know it’s like eating the feeling you get from wrapping up in a warm blanket ― and it goes a long way. We’re all trying to stretch our trips to the grocery store, and this is an easy way to turn a little bit of chicken (or another protein, like shrimp) into a lot with mostly items from the pantry. The recipe’s author estimates it comes out to about $2.50 a serving, which is pretty great if you’re trying to stretch your dollars, too. You’ll need chicken, spices, tomato paste, an onion, garlic, coconut milk and rice. ―Janie Campbell, Senior Editor, Life

A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus