My dad and I were buying paper towels at the grocery store when we saw Ziplock Zip’n Steam Microwave Cooking Bags. I had no idea these existed, and my dad and I were very excited to try it. I was … Continue reading
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
As I mentioned in my Creamy Bow Tie Pasta post, I just recently realized that making pasta in a dorm is completely possible. For some reason, although pasta is my favorite food to eat, it never occurred to me in my 1.5 years in the dorms to just try boiling pasta in the microwave. So I finally tried it today.
I measured out the water for two servings in my Pasta Boat and found that for one cup of pasta, you need five cups of water. I poured the water and the pasta in a microwave safe bowl and microwaved it on high for 18 minutes.
The pasta came out just as well as it does in the pasta boat. However, the bowl got so hot I had to use a thick sweatshirt of mine as a makeshift pot holder. It was also very hard to drain the pasta without a strainer. I ended up putting my pasta into my Pasta Boat just so I could put the lid on and easily strain it.
From now on, I will continue to use my Pasta Boat. But it is nice to know my recipes can still be made in a dorm for those who don’t have a pasta cooking container.
This time I added Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Buffalo Style Chicken Breast. For some reason, I cannot find a link to this anywhere on the Oscar Mayer website. Maybe this is like Oscar Mayer’s weird cousin that they’re ashamed of? I’m not sure. I just know that I love anything buffalo chicken, so I decided to try it. The chicken strips are 110 calories for 3 oz and are precooked. I am back to not having a working camera, or else I would show you what they look like. Walmart’s picture looks different than what I am seeing in front of me right now– the edges on mine are bright orange, but the shape of the chicken is the same.
I added the chicken to my cooked mostaccioli and then poured four cheese Alfredo sauce over it. I stirred in some pepper and Cheddar Jack cheese and microwaved for 45 seconds.
The buffalo chicken doesn’t add a huge kick to the pasta unless you have a full piece in every bite. Otherwise, I would say it is worth trying. Is it as good as normal buffalo chicken pasta? No. But does it satisfy a craving for it with little effort? Yup.
For those lucky enough to have a kitchen, here is the recipe that inspired me to pick up buffalo chicken strips in the first place. It is from How Sweet It Is. When I get to visit my boyfriend and use his kitchen, that recipe is almost always what we make. It is the best buffalo chicken pasta we’ve tried so far, and one of the recipes with the least ingredients that I’ve seen, which is always nice for people on a budget.
I have used my pasta boat six times since my last post about it. Five of the six times were within one week. Having pasta so readily available to me is probably not the most healthy thing. I had opened a jar of Alfredo sauce and just could not bring myself to throw it out. My mom has always been very strict about expiration dates–that sauce should stay in my fridge three to four days, tops. My dad on the other hand has used Miracle Whip months past the best if used by date because he just can’t eat a sandwich without it. I followed my dad’s example and ate it on the fifth day. Not quite as worrisome as months old mayonnaise, but my mom still would not approve. And I’m alive to tell the tale (while on that subject, nothing seems to have come from my possibly toxic bowl either).
Anyway, I thought I’d share how I eat my pasta in my dorm. My dad insisted that I didn’t need dry spices because 1. the jars of sauce are already seasoned and 2. I don’t have a stove, therefore they won’t have time to simmer. I said that I wanted them anyway because my palate is not sophisticated enough to notice the difference pre-simmer and post-simmer. I won.
The process is so simple that pictures really aren’t necessary. I just got a camera back though and I really wanted to take pictures. So here they are!
Pasta Boat Bow Tie with Creamy Tomato Sauce
(makes one generous serving)
What you need:
I cup farfalle (bow tie) pasta
1/3 cup red sauce (I use Ragu because it is smooth and what I ate growing up)
1/2 cup Alfredo sauce (I LOVE Classico Four Cheese Alfredo. You can use whatever brand you’d like though)
1/8 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon italian seasoning
1/4-1/2 teaspoon garlic power
handful of shredded mozzarella cheese (this was a last-minute decision and I forgot to take a picture of it)
*I realized recently (read: right now) that I could probably boil pasta without the boat, i would just have a harder time straining it. I haven’t tested this because my bowls are not microwave safe, but I am going to try to get new ones over break to see. It takes 18 minutes for 1 cup of bow tie pasta to cook in the pasta boat, so I would assume it would be the same in any other bowl with the proper amount of water.
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)
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
I ended up going home this weekend to watch the Super Bowl and I was so glad I did. What a game! I think my family and I were having a collective heart attack for the last five minutes of it. I have no idea how four people managed to be so loud, but the noise we made after the Giants won was unbelievable. And, in case anyone was wondering, my dad did wear his magic green polo. It worked again!
Not only did I get to watch my favorite team win with my family, but I also had a rare luxury: I got to cook in a kitchen. I managed to make chicken nuggets, stove top macaroni and cheese (not the Kraft kind), hashbrown casserole, buffalo chicken dip, taco dip, and pancakes in the two days I was home. It was amazing. I wish I had thought to take pictures of all of the food.
For those with a kitchen, or those who torture themselves by reading recipe after recipe of things they can’t make while sitting in their dorm, I thought I’d include the results for the chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese.
This recipe has you begin with the pasta, water, butter, milk, and seasonings all mixed together. You have to stir the pasta constantly once the mixture begins to boil. The whole process took me about fifteen minutes. For about nine minutes it was just me standing in front of the stove and stirring my macaroni. I didn’t mind it, because my boyfriend was working on the chicken nuggets next to me and I just talked to him. If I were making it alone, I might have gotten a little tired of stirring.
Instead of making a roux, this recipe has you cook the pasta with the milk and then leave it unstrained. You just pour the cheese on top afterwards, and it all melts together to be extremely cheesy and creamy. I wasn’t completely sold on this method. I think the texture of the finished product was a little off–maybe it was just the way my cheese melted, but it was a little grainy. Regardless, I ate my whole serving and my boyfriend enjoyed it, so it is definitely worth a try! I may try this recipe again with a higher quality cheese.
We found the recipe for chicken nuggets from 100 Days of Real Food. It was so simple to follow the directions and the end results were delightful. The part that took the longest was simply cutting up the chicken into bite sized pieces. The macaroni and chicken nuggets ended up being done at about the same time.
Unfortunately, as nice as this weekend was, I’m back to cooking without a kitchen. Check back later in the week for a recipe for a quick study break snack!
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