Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Cooking in the Dorm

My first semester at college is nearly over. I can't believe it. Overall, I think I've adjusted well, but I miss home-cooked food. Oddly, I've developed a bit of an obsession for cooking now. Since I'm only allowed a refrigerator and a 600-watt microwave, I can't do much, but it forces me to become inventive. My family actually did not have a microwave for most of my childhood, so I'm still not completely comfortable with the do's and don't's of microwaving. However, endless Google searches and Pinterest-browing sessions have given me ideas with the limited ingredients I can buy with my meal plan, and I have yet to cause a mess. Yay!

(Side note: I just discovered Pinterest a couple of weeks ago. It is addicting.)

Anyway, I thought I'd share some things I've done with the microwave.

Fruits--Chop an apple or banana into a bowl, or just throw some berries in there and microwave. Add raisins if you can find them. Goes great with plain yogurt (though some may prefer added sweetness). If you microwave them for a bit longer, berries become jam-like when they cool. Careful: blueberries pop and splatter, so cover your bowl (I use damp paper towels).

Eggs--Scramble 'em up and pop them in on medium-high heat for about 2 minutes. Add some milk for added fluff. You can add any combination of vegetables (I get mine from the salad bar)--mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, spinach, onions, etc. and make an omelette!

Salad--I like my vegetables cooked. Microwave a salad with a little water. Make sure to prick vegetables such as cherry tomatoes with a fork.

1 egg + 1 mashed banana--It's good. Just try it. Make sure to mash the banana very well. Microwave on medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add some oats (about 1/4 cup) if desired. Or other fruits. Or some chocolate chips. Whatever you want!

This brownie made from hot chocolate mix. She has so many variations, if you have hot cocoa packets, you're bound to have the other ingredients on hand!

French toast--Scramble an egg, add some milk (optional), and add a couple slices of bread torn into chunks. Stir it around and make sure the bread soaks up the egg. Microwave on medium-high heat for about two minutes. Before tearing up the bread, you can make a sandwich (jelly, Nutella, peanut butter, etc.) to add some sweetness and flavor. You can also add fruits to the bowl before you microwave. I've also tried soaking a PB&J sandwich in milk, then microwaving it on the plate, which works, too! (But the plate's a pain to clean... grease liberally with vegetable oil.)

Here are some more time-consuming treats. That doesn't mean difficult, though--they're made with only a few ingredients--and they're well worth the wait!
Cookie truffles: cream cheese, cookie crumbs, chocolate candies (optional)
Marshmallow treats: marshmallows, vegetable oil, crunchy pieces
Slutty Brownie: Betty Crocker Warm Delights Hot Fudge Brownie, Chips Ahoy!, Oreos
Banana pudding sandwiches: banana, vanilla pudding, Nilla wafers (or Lorna Doone cookies)
Graham cracker cakes: graham crackers, pudding/cream cheese/Cool Whip/jelly/etc.

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