Community Cookbook


Calling all Orland Park Home Cooks and Chefs!
This is your chance to show off those newly acquired quarantine cooking skills! Submit your best recipes to be a part of Orland Park Public Library’s Quarantine Community Cookbook. The library welcomes all flavors and skill levels, and hopes this cookbook will inspire our community to try something new this Thanksgiving and Holiday Season. The library is accepting submissions now and will begin publishing recipes on this page on Monday, Nov. 2.

Please submit recipes and photos of your family cooking together to Make sure to put “cookbook” in the subject line. Recipes will continue to be added to this page through the holidays.


Cinnamon Sugar Crusted Banana Bread

Recipe by: Kristen Holding

What makes this bread so good is the cinnamon-sugar crusted nut topping. I like to make these in small bread pans instead of one large pan so that you get more topping in each bite. I often will make 2-3 times more topping than the recipe calls for and really load up each loaf.


  • ¼ pound (one stick) cool butter
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 2 1/3 cups (about 4-5 depending on sizes) very ripe bananas
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts or pecans (candied nuts make this even better)
  • 1 tablespoon demerara or turbinado sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a 9 x 5 in loaf pan OR four mini disposable loaf pans. Using an electric mixer, cream butter until smooth and fluffy. Add sugar and cream together 2 minutes more. One at a time, mix in eggs. Mix in bananas until only small lumps remain.
  2. Stir dry ingredients together and mix into banana mixture just until combined. Pour into prepared pan(s).
  3. Make the topping by combining the ingredients together and sprinkle over batter.
  4. Bake 1 large loaf for 65 minutes OR 4 mini loaf pans for 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan(s). Wrap in foil for storage. Plastic wrap makes topping soggy.

Brownie Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe by: Ali Konrath
Makes approx. 48 cookies


  • 1 Box Pillsbury or Duncan Hines Brownie Mix
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Use parchment paper or silicone mat on cookie sheets to prevent sticking.
  3. Combine brownie mix, eggs and oil. Mix with spoon about 50 strokes then stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Drop by teaspoon or small cookie scoop, 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.
  6. Cookies are soft to touch.
  7. Cool slightly before removing from cookie sheets.
  8. Store in airtight container.

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

Recipe by: Minar Shehadah
Servings 4-6


  • 1 lb. Strawberries, washed and cored
  • 1 8 oz, package of Organic Valley Cream Cheese
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • Desired toppings (crushed graham cracker or mini chocolate chips), optional


  1. Wash the strawberries and remove the stems. Gently core the center of the strawberries using a small spoon or corer. Pat the strawberries dry with a paper towel and place them hollow side up and set aside.
  2. Place the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon juice in a small mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, combine the ingredients until smooth, but thick.
    Do not overmix as you do not want a runny mixture.
  3. Transfer the cheesecake filling to a piping bag with a tip. Carefully pipe the filling into the strawberries.
  4. Top each filled strawberry with desired toppings and serve.

Side Dish

Pumpkin Fluff Dip

Recipe by: Mary Adamowski


  • 1-8 oz. container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1-3.4 oz. package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1-15 oz. can solid pack pumpkin
  • 1-teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Cinnamon to taste


  1. In a large bowl, mix together instant vanilla pudding mix, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon.
  2. Fold in the thawed frozen whipped topping. Chill in the refrigerator until serving.
  3. Serve with cinnamon graham crackers or ginger snaps.

Taco Salad

Recipe by: Minar Shehadah
Serves 3-4


  • 1-pound ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup black olives
  • Tortilla chips for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon of thousand island dressing (optional)
  • 3 cups of shredded lettuce
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon Cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon Paprika
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste


  1. Heat a medium saucepan on medium heat.
  2. Add the ground meat, garlic, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper and combine until the meat is completely browned.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cooked meat, avocado, tomato, peppers, black beans, cheddar cheese, black olives and dressing.
  4. Toss the ingredients together and when ready to serve, crush tortilla chips onto the taco salad.

Main Dish

The Ultimate Black Bean Burger

Recipe by: Minar Shehadah


  • 2 cans of organic black beans, drained and rinsed or 1 cup dried black beans, presoaked and drained
  • 1 medium avocado, mashed (binding agent)
  • ½ cup loose corn room temperature
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • ½ Bell Pepper, finely diced
  • ½ Red Onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper as desired


  1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
  2. Drain the beans and spread them onto a lined baking sheet.
  3. Bake the beans for 20 minutes until the beans are dried out.
  4. Transfer the beans to a large, mixing bowl and mash the beans with a fork leaving some larger chunks to enhance the texture of the burgers.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients and combine with a spatula.
  6. Form into patties, using about a 1/3 of a cup per patty.
  7. Place the completed patties in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to hold their shape.
  8. These burgers can be grilled, baked, or pan-seared on the stove-top.
    For grilling, grill the patties for 6-8 minutes on each side.
    For baking, preheat the oven to 375, and bake the patties on an oiled or lined baking sheet. Bake on each side for 10-12 minutes.
    To cook over the stove, add a drizzle of oil and grill for 6 minutes on each side over medium heat.
  9. Serve on a warm, toasted bun with preferred toppings (Lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles, and Cabot cheese slices are recommended).
  10. Remaining uncooked patties can be frozen for later use.

Freekeh Pilaf with Za’atar Chicken

Recipe by: Minar Shehadah
Serves 4-5


  • 1 cup freekeh, washed
  • 1 ¼ water or broth of choice
  • 1 tbsp butter or oil
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • Salt to taste
  • Almonds or pine nuts, optional
  • Chopped parsley, optional
  • 5-6 Boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp Za’atar, reserve some to sprinkle on the tops
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine all the ingredients for the freekeh besides the broth in a small pot and stir to coat with butter or oil and seasonings.
  2. Add water or broth and bring to a gentle boil over medium to high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes until the water is soaked up.
  3. Remove from heat and leave it to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the za’atar chicken. It is best if this mixture can be marinated for a few hours before baking.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper preferably with a rack placed on it for grill- like texture.
  6. Place the marinated chicken on the rack and sprinkle extra za’atar on the tops. Bake for 20-30 minutes depending on the size of your chicken.
  7. Once baked, broil for color and immediately serve with the freekeh pilaf.
  8. Garnish the dish with fried almonds or pine nuts and chopped parsley.
  9. Serve with plain yogurt.

Palestinian Msakhan Rolls
(Shredded chicken, sautéed onions, olive oil and sumac spices rolled in tortillas and baked for crispness.)
Recipe by: Minar Shehadah
Servings 4-6


  • 1 pound halal chicken breast
  • 4-5 cups water or broth
  • 1 package flour tortillas
  • 3-4 large onions
  • ¾ cup olive oil, extra for brushing
  • 2 tablespoons Sumac seasoning
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. In a pot over medium-high heat, add the chicken breast. Pour water or broth over the chicken and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 20-30 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken.
  2. Remove the chicken from the pot and let it rest until slightly cooled. Shred the chicken breast with a fork and set aside.
  3. Peel the onions and slice them (diced or crescent shape). Sauté the onions in a pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil until softened and translucent in color. Add sumac, salt, pepper and the remainder of the olive oil and mix together.
  4. Remove from heat and combine the shredded chicken with the onion mixture.
  5. Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.
  6. On a clean surface, lay a tortilla and add two tablespoons of the onion and chicken mixture. Roll the tortilla and place it on the lined baking sheet. Repeat with remainder of filling and tortillas.
  7. Place the Msakhan Rolls in the oven and bake until the tortillas are slightly brown.
  8. Remove from the oven and brush the tops with olive oil. Serve immediately.