Dorm Cooking: The First Step

My own poor attempt at dorm room cooking

Sometimes you just have to get away from the cafeteria and eat something “normal.” On those days when eating out isn’t an option, why not try a simple recipe to cook in the convenience of your dorm room?

How am I to do that you ask? All I’ve got is a mini-fridge, a microwave, and junk food. Well, that may be true, but I’m here to tell you of some sites and books you can check out to improve your college food life.

A great article on general guidelines to use when you’re cooking in a dorm is the article Campus Chow written by Kristin Stewart from Epicurious.com. If you’re a cooking foodie, you’ve felt those pangs of coming from a well-stocked kitchen to a tiny, barely-working dorm microwave. The best advice that is given is that one should use simple and quick recipes so that time isn’t wasted slaving over the microwave trying to create a decent meal. Fudge is easy, microwaveable eggs are easy, grilled cheese sandwich is a no-go (but learn how to make a grilled sandwich in the dorm at the bottom).                                      Rating: 😛 😛 😛 for giving good guidelines on what recipes are best for being foodie.

Apparently, this is fake ramen. 😦

I can’t forget that classic college staple: ramen. After a while, you’re going to get bored having the same boring cup ramen. What do you do but try out new recipes with them? Here is the “official” ramen recipe site that I like to use when I’m bored eating ramen as is. Some of the crazier concoctions I’ve seen are the use of potato chips for crunch and even whipped cream! Yeah, some unique ideas are abound, but have fun trying out some new recipes and being a ramen foodie!                                                                                                                        Rating: 😛 😛 😛 ½ for being THE site I go to for new ramen recipes.

For a fun and unique blog I found check out this site here. A college blog kind of like mine, but with recipes that look quite yummy and very easy to make. Rating: 😛 😛 😛 ½ for really embracing the idea of eating in college and having easy to follow recipes.

In the book department, you can always check out Amazon.com, Borders or Barnes & Noble to see the many cookbooks available for college/dorm cooking. Sometimes they assume you have more than a microwave, but generally they are a good beginner’s guide to how to cook tasty recipes in your very own dorm room. The cookbooks are also branching out to reach underrepresented foodies like the vegetarians and those who want to be healthy.

Definitely one book I would recommend to anyone going off on their own is Where’s Mom Now That I Need Her?: Surviving Away from Home by Betty Rae Frandsen, Kathryn J. Fransen, and Kent P. Fransen. Though I do not personally have the book, it is an amazing book to help with the transition to college or to having to run a household in general. Rating: 😛 😛 😛 😛 ½ for being that voice in your head letting you know how to make things just right.

Maybe one day we can talk about how to make this in a dorm room/tiny kitchen

Finally, I can’t end a college cooking blog without talking about how to make a grilled cheese sandwich with your friendly neighborhood iron. That’s right, an iron. The best way is to look it up on the internet, but I’ll give you the basic rundown.

The Iron Maiden’s Grilled Cheese

1.       Butter outside of bread.

2.       Put cheese and any optional grilling layers inside like ham.

3.       Wrap up whole sandwich in aluminum foil.

4.       Put on surface that will not burn.

5.       Turn off any steam option on iron, and then warm it up.

6.       Put hot iron on top of foil wrapping the sandwich and leave for about 30 seconds. Obviously, if anything like burning smells or smoke comes up, please take off the iron.

7.       After the 30 seconds, check on toastiness of bread and almost-melted quality of cheese. Continue with 20 second intervals until reaches level of toastiness and meltiness as desired.

8.       Flip sandwich with foil over and repeat steps 6-7, but until cheese is fully melted and bread toastiness has reached desired level.

9.       Turn off iron, take sandwich out of foil (careful, both are hot!) and enjoy! Yum! 😛

Hope that gave you some tasty ideas for venturing into cooking in the dorm or wherever you are when you want to use a microwave to make food. Keep Austin Foodie and leave any suggestions you have for cooking in the dorm! 🙂

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