Sunday, September 14, 2014

Campus Cuisine: Getting Crafty in the Dorm Room

Hello all!
Now that we're a couple weeks in, I've decided it's time to put my Industrious Hat on. But before I reveal my culinary insight, here are a few shots from my week:

 I've been going crazy with the moon shots lately. But I can't get enough!

The stone arch is complete! It was started this summer by donation; such a gorgeous addition to the Teaching Garden.

A trip to Spencer's is never a trip wasted.

A rainy Saturday jaunt to Kountry Kart Deli in Burlington. It was a breakfast sandwich type of afternoon. (These are THE best sandwiches, and cheap to boot.)

First stop of the year at the Champlain waterfront. Even on a cold, drizzly day, it's still my favorite part of a Burlington trip.

Signs of Fall! So much for any hope of a beach day.

NOW let's get to it!
If you're anything like me...or, quite honestly, most college'll get sick of even the most impressive dining hall food after some time. Now don't get me wrong, Alliot (the main campus dining hall) is chock full of options and tasty treats. But sometimes, on a cozy night in with a movie or maybe just a rainy day, it can be fun to get creative and shake things up. Trust me, there is so much more out there than just Easy-Mac (thank god). So without further ado, here are some of my favorite dorm room recipes to be crafted quickly and simply in the microwave!

1.) Single Serving Chocolate Chip Cookie

Missing homemade baked goods? Yeah, me too. And if you ask me, it's pretty hard to beat the classic chocolate chip cookie. 
Around the middle of freshman year, my mom forwarded me an email she'd received from a friend with a microwaveable chocolate chip cookie recipe. Naturally, I wanted to try it ASAP.
It came out AMAZING, so soft and gooey, and just small enough so that we didn't feel guilty after. 

Find the recipe here!
(I didn't use this exact one, but it was pretty much the same thing.)

 2.) Nachos

Obviously, right?! Well, maybe not, because it just happened to slip my mind all through freshman year that I could make nachos in the microwave.
But the important thing here is to excuse yourself from the lazy chips, cheese, and salsa recipe. Come on. I know you can do better than that. 
Lately, I've been throwing a few extras into the mix...some tasty suggestions are black olives, and best of all, single-serving packets of guacamole found in the grocery store!

Just squeeze one of these bad boys on there, and you'll wonder why you don't have this for dinner every night. (Just kidding, definitely don't do that.)

Also never forget that cheddar cheese isn't the only option out personal favorite is pepper jack. Yum!

3.) A Crafty Man's Ramen Noodles

Oh, my good friend Ramen.
Chances are you'll find yourself knee-deep in this stuff more than anything else when it comes to dorm room cuisine. But fear not, there's no need to keep it simple! 
A couple of different ways that I get crafty with this freshman-fifteen-staple involve Tabasco sauce and, don't freak out...WINGS.

Throwing three or four splashes of Tabasco on there after microwaving gives Ramen a nice kick that veers your palate from the overwhelming salt, salt, and salt. 

In addition to that, we also often find ourselves with some Wings Over Burlington (HIGHLY recommended) leftovers. Our go-to order is a pound of boneless Jamaican Jerk wings. (I'd never heard of Jamaican Jerk before Wings Over, but I'm telling you right now that it's worth trying. Maybe a few thousand times.) So, long story short, break those leftovers into bite-size pieces, toss them right on top of the noodles, and all of a sudden you're at an elevated state of Ramen. A serious upgrade, believe me. 

**NOTE: Minus the heavy chicken additive, this makes a great sick day remedy when there's no homemade soup around. Add a few extra drops of Tabasco for supercharged sinus-clearing power!

Once the weather gets colder, I plan on experimenting with a few more mug-dessert recipes. There are about a billion out there, surprisingly. I will be sure to post pictures and recipes once that happens! 
In the meantime, stay tuned next Sunday the 21st for more!

*FUN FIND OF THE DAY* (I'll have to try some of these!)

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