Thursday, November 21, 2013

Dining Hall Hacks

Get ready. Thanksgiving is coming!

I'm sure your feeds are packed with stuffing, pies, brussels sprouts, turkey tips, tablescapes, and more. This is not that.

This is a collection of my dining hall creations, ways to make meals special and your own with just the microwave and toaster available. Obviously I'm doing this from the perspective of my dining hall, so you probably have different food and equipment available, but if you live in a house and have a kitchen and stuff, these are still great hacks!

I've spared you the experiments that didn't work, like olive oil on vanilla ice cream...just, don't do that.

On to the list...


  • Warm (cold) cereal: Heat up milk before putting it on your cereal. Great for mornings when it's chilly but you still want the taste of your favorite cold cereal. Be warned, the cereal gets soggy faster this way! (Granola this way is like the sweetest, crunchiest, yummiest oatmeal you ever had).
  • Apple dip: peanut butter, honey, and cinnamon heated in the microwave, dip sliced apples in this!
  • Makeshift apple pie: "dice" up an apple as well as you can with the knives available. Mix with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon and microwave for 3 minutes, stirring halfway through. Add granola on top for crust if you want! (Thanks to Emma for showing me the beauty of this!)
  • Custard sauce: (I haven't actually tried this one, but I imagine it would be wonderful) Heat up a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, then add a slice of cake on top. Boom, instant custard sauce.
  • Toast: This is important. Toast it to your liking, even if that means putting it through the toaster twice. It is worth it
  • Butter and Jam. I forget how dang good this is. Or just butter and salt!
  • Tartine: Cut a big hunk of any bread that isn't presliced, and cut it in half lengthwise as if to make a sub sandwich if it's baguette style. Toast, add whatever toppings you like
  • Yogurt dip: Mix the plain yogurt with the fruity/vanilla yogurt for a less sweet flavor, use as a dip for fruit (melon is great)
  • Tropical Oatmeal: Oatmeal with brown sugar, pineapple, and coconut shreds
  • Coffee S'mores Dessert: Coffee ice cream with chocolate syrup drizzle and golden grahams. Best dessert ever!
  • Soup as a sauce: ladle it on rice/potatoes/pasta, meat, or veggies as a sauce
  • Soup with your own extras: Add in rice/potatoes/pasta, meat, or veggies. I want to try wilting spinach from the salad bar into soup at some point...  (the only difference between these last two is proportions)
  • Vinaigrette: combine about 1 tablespoon oil, about 1 teaspoon vinegar, and a squeeze of mustard with a fork in a to-go cup. Make twice as much and share with a friend!
  • No-Mayo Coleslaw: cabbage, shredded carrots, and any other veggies you like, with vinaigrette (or homemade vinaigrette, see above!)
  • Carrot Raisin Salad: shredded carrots, raisins, pineapple, yogurt, and cinnamon. My dad makes this so it tastes like home...a sweet way to get some veggies and pretty healthy, all things considered! Make in a mug or cup, this is pretty dang dense.
  • Chopped Salad: Get two bowls, make a salad in one of them. Go at it with fork and knife, then put the extra bowl over the first one to make a spherical shaking vessel. Shake shake shake!
  • Cream cheese on any sandwich instead of mayo
  • Egg sandwich: toast, eggs, and cream cheese. Toast can be a bagel. This is a really great brunch to get from 11am to 5pm studying on a Sunday.
  • Trashy waffle: Peanut butter, jam, and/or nutella on a waffle.
  • Mocha: Half coffee, half hot chocolate
  • Virgin Mimosa: Soda water and OJ

Yes, I have dedicated a whole section to the toaster. I feel strongly that waiting for your favorite done-ness of toast is always worth it. It's one of the ways, as a college student, that you can have control over your food.

Happy Thanksgiving! More recipes to come as I am home and baking again next week!

No comments:

Post a Comment