Campus Cooking: the Advanced Course Article -
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Campus Cooking: the Advanced Course

Get the inside scoop on how to cook in the (questionable) comfort of your own dorm room.

Prerequisite for this course: Campus Cooking 101.

Rise and Shine

Mom was right: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A carton of yogurt topped with a handful of cereal and dried fruit makes a great breakfast on the go, but for something a little more filling, consider a breakfast burrito made with scrambled eggs, cheese and precooked bacon or sausage. The fillings can be changed to suit any taste, and by using the microwave, a breakfast burrito can be assembled and ready to eat in less than 5 minutes.

How to cook scrambled eggs in the microwave:

  • Crack eggs into a microwave-safe bowl. Add milk or water and beat well with a fork.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and microwave at 70 percent power for 1 1/2 minutes. If eggs are not cooked to desired doneness, continue cooking in 20 second intervals, until done.
  • Season with salt and pepper.

Late for class? You still have to eat, so make a smoothie! (Hint: rinse out the blender before you run out the door so you don't come home to a cleanup nightmare.)

Iron Works

The college student's real secret weapon when it comes to dorm room dining is the clothes iron. Yes, it's true: this commonplace household appliance can turn out splendid grilled cheese sandwiches and quesadillas, often in less time than it takes to heat a skillet or griddle. (For extra credit, rent "Benny and Joon.") Caution: keep a layer of heavy duty aluminum foil between the iron, the food, and the surface you're ironing on. Ever try to pick melted cheese out of an iron? It's not pretty.

  • Heat iron to cotton or linen setting. Turn off steam.
  • On your work surface, place a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil large enough to accommodate bread or tortilla. Place bread or tortilla on foil and top with desired filling. Cover with remaining slice of bread or tortilla. Cover sandwich or quesadilla with another sheet of aluminum foil. Fold foil to seal edges and make a packet.
  • Press iron on surface of foil-covered packet, passing iron over entire area for about 30 seconds. Carefully turn entire packet over and iron again for about 30 seconds, taking care not to tear the foil. Unwrap an edge and check for doneness. If contents are not hot or cheese is not melted, rewrap the foil and repeat the ironing step.

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Slow cooker soups to warm you up on a cold day. (Hint: use the scaling tool on the recipes if you need to cut down the number of servings.)

Microwaved Sweets

Don't indulge too often or you'll pack on the "Freshman 15!"

Oct. 27, 2009 1:53 pm
loved this page!!! i used it to give a speech in my college class on dorm cooking :) very helpful..and quesadillas made with an iron are so delicious and fun to make!!!
Kim Sibert 
Aug. 13, 2011 7:01 am
I would love to find a recipe for a dry cake mix that will only require water and can be cooked in small portions in the microwave that I can make for my daughter who is in college. Any ideas please let me know.
Oct. 10, 2011 12:00 pm
Kim--a lot of dry cake mixes work really well with plain yogurt: just put 2 parts of cake mix for one part yogurt, mix and put in the microwave for a minute or until desired doneness
Al & Jill Weber 
Dec. 30, 2011 1:55 pm
Cake in a cup works great when you want something sweet in a hurry and only have water. Pre make in a zip lock bag 1 box cake mix 1 box angel food cake mix (one only requiring water) 1 bag of mini chocolate chips. When you want a cake Take 1/3 cup mix, 3 TBS water, mix and heat in microwave for 1 min 15 seconds.
Jul. 29, 2012 2:43 pm
Thanks for the tips, atay423 and Al&Jill Weber, I have to try this cake in the microwave sometime soon
Katelyn Brisco 
Jul. 15, 2013 8:42 pm
I can even use these tips at home for when I have a class at noon. A few simple steps and I have a delicious and filling meal. I also bought a microwaveable crock so that I can cook with those. My sister also uses these tricks.
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