One of the bright spots in this terrifying new world of Coronavirus has been seeing all the truly creative ways people are lifting everyone’s spirits.

Some of you are absolutely killing it with elaborate singalongs and unforgettable musical performances that can’t help but deliver the smiles (and in my case, happy tears). Others are rocking your puzzle game, something I’ve never had the patience for beyond, say, 50 pieces, and sharing your gorgeous 500 and 1,000-piece successes.

Meanwhile, John Krasinski is delivering a welcome antidote with decidedly positive news headlines (thank goodness), and I’ve also loved seeing everyone’s journal pages, art projects, dazzling cakes, super organized closets, fun board game nights with your families and the ingenious ways you’re schooling your kids at home.

As a writer, I’m still trying to find my sweet spot with my usual creative outlet. Whenever I’ve seen the frequently shared post on how good ol’ William Shakespeare penned King Lear in quarantine, I’ve aspired for equally prolific output with my own novel’s revisions only to come up many, many words short. So when I can’t possibly look at my screen any longer, I’ve found my groove for an audience of two with cooking and baking.

Cooking in the time of Coronavirus is basically one step closer to my dream of being a Chopped contestant. Every day I walk to the pantry I half-expect Ted Allen to say, “Christa, what can you make with a can of pinto beans, the pumpkin puree you didn’t use at Thanksgiving, coconut milk and apple cinnamon oatmeal? You’ve got 30 minutes to make a dynamite main course.”

One of those Chopped-esque meals was this salmon dish for Will that’s pictured. As much as I wish I loved salmon, I just don’t like the taste of it. But Will absolutely loves it, and it’s so easy to roast, so it’s a go-to. I had some fresh spinach about a day away from expiring, so I wilted that with lots of garlic and fresh tomatoes seasoned with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. To add the much-needed crunch the Chopped judges would demand, I crisped up some chickpeas in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper — and voila! I made this dish with one minute to spare, and Will declared it a “triumph.”

Now it’s your turn: How have you gotten creative now that we’re all cooking a whole lot more? In the meantime, I’ll definitely keep you posted on what’s happening here.