Homestyle food in a dorm room microwave
Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 19:10
Inspired by the limitations of dorms and the cold weather, I’ve decided to share a meal-in-a-mug, a cake-in-a-cup and a soothing concoction for anybody else suffering from a sore throat. These aren’t mind-blowing recipes, but every now and then we need to be reminded of simple and cheap meals that we can cozy up to.
For as little as $10, you can have one or more meals that can be as lean or as filling as you want. Rotisserie chicken costs between $5-$6, which makes it a good value. Pick up a bag of Ore-Ida’s Steam n’ Mash potatoes in the frozen food section for about $2.50. Smooth mashed potatoes calls for some milk and butter; so be sure to pick those up too. Then quickly grab some canned veggies such as peas or sweet corn for less than a dollar. Put a layer of mashed potatoes in a large mug or bowl and you can either top it off with the chicken and veggies or mix it all up. Like I said, it’s not mind-blowing, but it’s a quick and cozy comfort.
Replace the chicken with steamed veggies for a vegetarian option. Put chopped zucchini and yellow squash in a microwaveable bowl and pour about a tablespoon of water. Press a paper towel onto the veggies so that it’s wet and heat up for about a minute or two, checking tenderness throughout. After draining excess water, I like to add a dash of garlic powder and Tony Chachere’s, but seasoning is up to you.
Want a little sweetness? Why not make a small cake? I found the recipe for a cake-in-a-mug off of The Hidden Pantry blog and it’s a little piece of joy! Simply mix together 1 box of Angel Food cake mix and a box of any flavor cake mix; I chose a yellow cake mix. Depending on the size of the cup, combine 3 tablespoons of the cake mix with 2 tablespoons of water and stir lightly. Stir enough so that the dry ingredients are incorporated with the water, but no more than that. Over-stirring causes the cake to come out like a sponge. Microwave for about a minute and voila: an individual dessert at any time you want. You can even add a sprinkle of cinnamon or a tablespoon of hot chocolate mix to kick it up. When the cake cools off, I smear a layer of raspberry preserves and put a dollop of fresh whipped cream on top
A warm drink to go with your cake is a special concoction I make for when I have a sore throat. I peel and cut up ginger, putting about 2-4 small chunks at the bottom of a mug. I drizzle a healthy helping of honey (about 1 tablespoon), add dashes of cinnamon (maybe about 1 tsp.) and warm up the base for about 30 seconds. Then I add the juice of half of a freshly squeezed lemon and cut some wedges to put in the base. Fill up the mug with water and heat up again for a minute. Now you can have a soothing drink to go with your cake and feel good about your “dorm-cooked” meal.