Friday, August 23, 2013

Dorm Room Cooking

My son is not in a dorm this year, but he is not in an apartment either.  He is in a room- a no kitchen, no closet, bathroom down the hall kind of room.  We had to get creative for his kitchen essentials- microwave, refrigerator, crock-pot, and toaster oven.  This post is for him as well as students in the dorm (or even an apartment) who need cooking ideas for the microwave that goes beyond popcorn and pre-packaged food.

dorm room cooking, dorm cooking essentials
The kitchen, made from garage sale shelves.



small room decorating, closet from a box
The whole room with a 'closet' made from  a box.










 Some staples you will want to have on hand:
Flour tortillas (these keep fresh longer than bread)
Eggs
milk
cheese- chunk or grated
favorite veggies
sugar
variety of spices and herbs
tomato sauce, pizza sauce, and/or picante sauce
chicken broth or bouillon
spaghetti or noodles 
canned chicken and/or tuna
vacuum packed cooked beef (in Mexican section of store)
paper towels

I have tested all of the following recipes.
Remember:  microwaves do vary so the recipes might need to be adjusted (longer or shorter cooking time) for the power of your microwave.


Microwave Omelet or Scrambled Eggs 

1-2 eggs 
1 tablespoon milk or water
couple tablespoons favorite chopped veggies
shredded cheese
chopped meat, if desired

For scrambled eggs, mix eggs in bowl with fork; mix in liquid.  Pour into microwave safe bowl.
 MW on high 30 seconds; stir, cook 30 more seconds or until desired consistency.

For 'omelet', add desired extra ingredients to eggs before cooking.

Eat as is or roll in a tortilla for breakfast on the go.

 Microwave Cinnamon Chips

microwave chips, tortilla chips, dorm room cooking
















 Flour tortillas
water
cinnamon/sugar    (1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon mixed)
paper towels

Rub a little water on flour tortilla (I use my fingers).  Sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mixture.  Cut tortilla into 6-8 triangles.  Place on paper towel in microwave.  MW on high 1 minutes.  If not crispy, add 10 seconds until crispy.  The paper towel absorbs the moisture and makes crispy chips.
For salty chips, use salt instead of cinnamon/sugar.  Or get creative and use other herbs or spices; rub with lemon or lime juice for salty lime chips. 

Microwave Crispy Pizza

tortilla pizza, snack pizza, pizza for one, dorm room cooking
















paper towels
flour tortilla
pizza sauce or tomato sauce sprinkled with italian seasoning
favorite pizza toppings
mozzarella cheese

Poke tortilla all over with fork (this prevents air bubbles).  Place tortilla on paper towel and microwave on high one minute or until crisp.  Top crisp tortilla with pizza sauce, cheese, and pizza toppings.  Microwave 30 seconds more or until cheese melts.  
For variety, use taco sauce instead of pizza sauce.


Microwave Vanilla Pudding

dorm room cooking, pudding for one, cooking for one, two minute homemade pudding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1/4 cup sugar (or 22 sugar packets)
4 teaspoons cornstarch
pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk
1 egg yolk, beaten
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/4 tsp vanilla

To separate egg:  break egg into a bowl, being careful not to break the yolk.  Using 1/2 of the broken egg shell, scoop the yolk out of the bowl and put it into a different bowl.  This is fairly easy because the yolk is 'attracted' to the egg shell.  Save the egg white for your omelet (2 egg whites equal one egg).

In a 2 cup microwave safe container, mix together sugar, cornstarch, salt, and milk.  MW 1 minute.  Stir a little bit (about a tablespoon or so) of the hot sugar/milk mixture onto the egg yolk to temper it.  Stir the egg yolk mix into the hot mixture in the bowl.  Microwave 30 seconds.  Stir in butter and vanilla.  Enjoy!
For a little pie, pour this into a tart size pie shell. 

Microwave Chocolate Pudding

pudding for one, chocolate, dorm rook cooking
















Use the vanilla pudding recipe above and stir in:
2 tablespoons semi-sweet (or favorite) chocolate chips with vanilla

Microwave Lemon Pudding

cooking for one, microwave pudding, lemon, dorm room cooking
















Use the vanilla pudding recipe except omit the vanilla and stir in
1 - 2 tablespoons lemon juice with the butter.

Microwave Brownies  follow this link for the recipe

 

Potato Soup

1 cup milk or water
2 -3 tablespoons instant potato flakes or  baked potato, cubed
1 TBSP cream cheese
salt and pepper to taste
2 TBSP shredded cheddar cheese
Optional ingredients:  cooked crumbled bacon, chopped broccoli, onions, etc

Put milk or water in 2 cup microwave safe container ; MW on high about 1 minute.  Add potato flakes (if using a baked potato, add with the milk), stir. 
Add the remaining ingredients, MW 30 seconds on high or until cheese melts.

 Macaroni and Cheese

 I tried several times to make macaroni and cheese in the microwave, but could not get a good result.  Nominally good results can be achieved with box mac and cheese, but I was trying to make it from scratch.  If you have a crock-pot, I would try using the recipe at this website, which also has other 2 serving recipes made in the crock-pot.
Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese

Pasta 

When cooking pasta in the microwave use a container that is at least twice the capacity of the amount of liquid.  Break spaghetti into smaller pieces.  Cook in enough chicken broth to cover the pasta; cover and mw on high 2-3 minutes.  Stir and cook 2-3 more minutes.  The pasta should absorb most of the liquid and flavor the pasta at the same time.  You can add veggies (broccoli, carrots, onions, etc) to the pot to cook at the same time for a veggie pasta.
Experiment a little bit to see how long it takes in your microwave.

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