Single Serving Puppy Chow

Last semester, I tweeted “Puppy chow and How I Met Your Mother on Netflix are the only things getting me through dead week right now. #Ihaveaproblem #somuchpuppychow.” My cousin from New Jersey read that tweet and thought I was legitimately eating food … Continue reading

Substitute Sandwich

The dining center at my school seems to just give up on the weekends. Saturday lunch and dinner is mediocre at best and the dining center only serves food until 2:00 pm on Sunday. My boyfriend was visiting and we didn’t want to go out to lunch, but I also didn’t want to subject him to the weekend food at the dining center. I was browsing Food Gawker and found a Turkey Focaccia Club recipe and decided that was exactly what I wanted for lunch. He agreed that it sounded good, so we left my dorm to go buy groceries.

Continue reading

Microwave Granola Bars

In high school I think I made friends in some of my classes based solely off the fact that I had a seemingly constant supply of granola bars and Fruit by the Foot in my bag.

My parents frequented Costco, so we had boxes of the Fruit by the Foot and granola bars so big we had to keep them on top of our fridge instead of in the pantry. Each day I grabbed two granola bars and two Fruit by the Foot. I didn’t always need both, so I would let them accumulate in my purse until I was put into a group and I offered the treats to my classmates. Or sometimes someone would mention that they couldn’t wait for lunch, and I pulled out my supply of Fruit by the Foot and asked whether they wanted Strawberry or Color By The Foot.

I could pretend the reason they approached me was because I was charming or interesting or funny, but I think they mostly started talking to me because I was willing to share my snacks. And that is okay with me.

I let that habit die once I went to college, but lately I’ve been eating a lot of granola bars again. Every Tuesday I have class from 9:30 in the morning until 2:30 in the afternoon with no time to eat lunch. I value sleep too much to get up to eat a healthy breakfast before class, so I have become reliant on granola bars. They are relatively cheap, easy to grab and bring to class with me, and I enjoy eating them. They don’t have a distinct smell that would make everyone around me hate me. They aren’t particularly loud. They are perfect to eat in a lecture.

And, apparently, they are easy enough to make in a dorm. This recipe from Bakerita requires more equipment (read: basic items such as bowls, spoons, and measuring cups) than most students have in their dorm, but it is entirely doable. Even if you still only have non-microwaveable bowls. I honestly have no idea what those bowls could be doing to me. Every time I use them I expect to open the microwave to a bowl that has cracked in half. Since that hasn’t happened yet, I’m going to continue to use them until I can sneak one of my parent’s old bowls back to school with me.

Homemade Granola Bars
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup crispy rice cereal
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 tablespoons mini chocolate chips

Stir the cereal and cooking oats together in a bowl

In a microwave safe dish, stir together butter, honey, and brown sugar. Microwave for 3 minutes. The bowl will be HOT and the mixture should be bubbling.

Add the vanilla–this will cause the mixture to bubble up again. This worried me at first, but it ended up fine. Stir in the peanut butter until the mixture is smooth and fully combined.

Mix the dry ingredients and the peanut butter mixture together. Pour it onto whatever plate or pan you have and pat down until it is one even sheet– I put mine in a disposable serving tray I had leftover from when I made taco dip.

Finish by refrigerating for half an hour or let sit at room temperature for about two hours.

I really enjoyed this recipe. To be honest, I really did not want to deal with cleaning out a honey or peanut butter filled measuring cup in my tiny dorm sink, so I just guessed how much to put in. I am not a huge fan of honey, so I put more peanut butter than I did honey. The results are absolutely delicious.

The Hy Vee brand granola bars (right) I have are easier to take to class and they are much more solid. The homemade granola bars fall apart relatively easily, but I much prefer the taste. They are chewier than the other bars. I will definitely be making this recipe again.

A Lesson in Patience

I’m not the most patient person. If I get to lunch craving pasta and the line in front of the pasta station is too long, I just find something else to eat. When I’m waiting for friends to arrive, I pace back and forth and check the door every two minutes. And sometimes, when it comes to cooking, I try to take shortcuts. This sandwich needs homemade cranberry mustard? I’ll just buy it, and that will mean I get to eat my sandwich five minutes sooner!

When I found this pizza crackers recipe on pinterest, I thought it was perfect. I love every single ingredient involved. It looked as easy as could be. If you can follow directions, and are patient, your pizza crackers should come out looking like this:

(Photo courtesy of Picky Palate)

Instead, because I was impatient, mine came out looking like this:

I didn’t want to wait for my cream cheese to soften, so I stuck it in the microwave. What came out was closer to the consistency to sour cream than it was to cream cheese. When I added the shredded cheese to my warm cream cheese, the mozzarella melted.

I thought it wouldn’t make much of a difference, but it did. The cracker sandwiches still tasted good, but the consistency was off. And there was something strange about eating a warm cream cheese pizza sandwich.

Learn from my mistakes. Just let the sour cream soften by taking it out of the fridge ten or fifteen minutes before you start assembling your crackers.

Pepperoni “Pizza-wiches”

I didn’t want to make a whole batch, so I used half the amount of cream cheese and just guessed how much sauce, pepperoni, and cheese to put in. The official recipe from Picky Palate is as follows:

8 ounces softened cream cheese
20 pepperonis, quartered
20-30 whole pepperonis
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup pizza or pasta sauce
1 box Town House Crackers (Target only had Ritz when I went, so I used those instead and they worked well)

My cream cheese, post-microwave

Pour the pizza sauce into the cream cheese. This step made my mixture even runnier, but if you follow the recipe your mixture should look more solid.

Add in the pepperonis

And the cheese

Spread mixture onto a cracker, top with a pepperoni (and cheese, if you like cheese as much as me) and enjoy!


Easy Study Break Snack

I’ve been studying all week for the first two tests of my semester. They both fell on the same day and I spent my time alternating between reading about journalism ethics and environmental science. I don’t know what it is teachers like about this week, but all my friends have had tests too. I’ve been getting texts from my friends every few hours about how much they hate studying or trying to convince me to drop out of school and work on a cruise ship with them. It was almost tempting until we remembered how annoying we must have been to the workers on our ship when we went on a cruise for our senior spring break.

We all survived the week, of course. I credit my success partially to this study break snack I’ve been doing. It is not at all healthy. It is the complete opposite of healthy. You probably shouldn’t eat too many of these in a week. I’ve had far too many. Don’t follow my example.

It is unhealthy, but it is simple, quick, and completely delicious. Exactly what you need to get your mind off of studying.

S’mores Nachos 

All you need is graham crackers, chocolate, mini marshmallows, a microwave, and a plate.

Put down a layer of graham crackers, and then top with chocolate pieces and marshmallows. Put your plate in the microwave and heat for 30 seconds. Check if it is melted enough (mine wasn’t) and if it isn’t to your liking, put it in for another 15-20 seconds. It is that simple.

The result:

Absolutely delicious.

This camera has a funky lens on for this one, but I like it because you can see my little side table. I got it from Target at the beginning of the school year. I used to just keep my lamp on it, but it has become my makeshift counter during this process. Very useful.

There you have it. The snack that has kept me going this week. Maybe my next favorite study snack will be a little bit healthier. It probably won’t be though.

Homesick Sunday and a Superbowl Recipe

I’m not a huge football fan. I cheer for the Giants if they are playing. I smack talk friends whose team plays against my team. I wear Giants pajama pants and t-shirts. But I really couldn’t tell you anything technical … Continue reading