Micro-wave goodbye to bland caf food

Postscript zaps up some low-maintenance masterpieces for satisfying nights in

Romance in residence can be as simple as a microwave, strawberries and some chocolate chips.
Romance in residence can be as simple as a microwave, strawberries and some chocolate chips.
Photo: 
Photo: 
Photo: 

When I entered my first year of university, I found every facet of residence life equally exciting. My own little room! My own huge lectures! My own meal plan at my own cafeteria!

While I left my own little room with great sadness at the end of the year, and learned a lot from my huge lectures, I bid farewell to my meal plan with greater gusto than I had ever had when tucking into an actual meal at the Queen’s cafeterias.

A few weeks into first year, the novelty of ice cream for breakfast wore off and even the leafy offerings of the salad bar seemed like the same old routine. I fell into a food coma, drowsily entering the caf and filling my stomach with the “safest” foods I could find: pizza, mashed potatoes and sandwiches began to take over my diet. I lived in Carb City.

It’s not that they don’t try their best. I’m sure they do. But cooking unlimited amounts of food several times a day for large groups of students with diverse tastes is hardly an easy task, and not one that lends itself to the epicure.

That being said, not many would expect culinary brilliance to be possible given the limited resources of Queen’s residence kitchens. Though some are equipped with stoves and ovens, most feature little more than the bare essentials.

My floor in Waldron Tower boasted a kitchen consisting of a sink, a toaster, a microwave of questionable zapping power and an electric kettle.

Recently, after some careful—and delicious—experimentation, I discovered a plethora of appetizing options that can be quickly and easily made for a special meal, either because it’s too cold outside to think of walking to the caf, or because you’re taking a well-deserved break from the monotony of Leonard or Ban Righ.

Here are a few of my tried and true recipes, which, though a far cry from your Grandma’s homemade lasagna, can provide a speedy, appetizing option for the lazy scholar.

Bon Appetit!

Snack time

Be the most popular person on your floor, in minutes!

Step One: Whip up a batch of microwave fudge.

Step Two: Leave said fudge in your common room for public consumption.

Step Three: Bask.

Fudge

1 lb. powdered sugar (1 lb. = 3 1/2 c. sifted)

1/2 c. cocoa

1/4 c. milk (4 tbsp.)

1/4 c. butter

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. chopped nuts

• Lightly grease an 8-inch square dish or line with wax paper. Set aside.

• Place powdered sugar and cocoa in a medium-sized, heat-resistant mixing bowl. Stir to mix.

• Add milk and butter to sugar and cocoa mix. DO NOT STIR.

• Heat uncovered on HIGH for 2 minutes. After heating, stir just to combine ingredients.

• Add vanilla and nuts. Stir until blended.

• Pour into prepared dish; refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Cut and serve.

Source: cooks.com

Late-night treat

Whip up a romantic evening for two using only your microwave and some boiling water.

Mint Tea

Put a few sprigs of fresh mint leaves into a glass. Pour hot water over these sprigs. Voila sophisticated take on “tea for two”.

Chocolate covered strawberries

To them: a delicious and fancy-looking treat that you slaved over for hours.

To you: sexy simplicity.

• Melt a few cups of chocolate chips in the microwave for 2 minutes on HIGH.

• Dip strawberries into the melted chocolate, place on greased pan or plate, and allow to harden.

The works

A three course meal for two or more, made in the comfort of your residence, and in less than 30 minutes.

Chicken Dijonaise

4 Skinless chicken breasts

2 tb Onion chopped 1/4 c Dijon mustard 1 Clove crushed garlic 1 tb Honey • In a small bowl, combine mustard, honey, and garlic.

• Place chicken in a lightly greased, 9 inch, square baking dish.

• Spread with mustard sauce. Microwave, covered on full power for 12 minutes.

Spinach and Goat Cheese Salad

½ cup pine nuts
½ cup Craisins
1 bag raw spinach
Soft goat cheese, to taste.

• Mix ingredients in a large bowl.

• Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Chocolate Cake

4 tbsp cake flour
4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cocoa
1 egg
3 tbsp milk
3 tbsp oil
1 mug

• Mix together flour, sugar, and cocoa.

• Spoon in wet ingredients (oil, egg, milk) and mix well.

• Place in microwave for 3 minutes on maximum power.

•When cake stops rising and has set in the mug, tip the contents onto a plate and ice or eat at your own discretion.

Source: cooks.com

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