Article on Microwave Food

The UMass newspaper, The Collegian, put a blog post up with 3 great recipes that are super easy and you only need a microwave to cook. I wish there had been an article like this when I lived in the dorms.

Click here to view it.

Another reason why I haven't been blogging as much is because I'm a part of the Collegian writing staff now. I've haven't published a ton of articles yet because I'm so busy, but I'm doing the best I can. Here's a link to what I've done in case any of you are interested. I was blessed with the opportunity to see a concert for free for my very first article. Grace Potter & the Nocturnals are amazing! (Someday I'll figure out how to embed YouTube videos.)

Sautéed Butternut Squash

Rather than writing the essay I should be, I'm going to share with everyone my creation of the weekend. Butternut squash is in season, which means it's nice and cheap (79 cents a lb for local grown!) and also best-quality. 

I originally began searching for butternut squash soup recipes, but all of them were encouraging use of a blender which I do not have. Instead I used some of the ingredients from a recipe I could barely recall and couldn't find and basically just created my own recipe. This is what I did:

1/2 large butternut squash
1/3 cup diced carrots (I used baby carrots, yum!)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup butter
dash of cinnamon 

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the squash, carrots and onion to the pan. Add oil as necessary. Stir occasionally. Add brown sugar and cinnamon (I used more than a dash and regret that mistake). Simmer in covered skillet on medium-low heat until the squash is soft (about 20 minutes). 

Great on a chilly fall day!

Something Has Changed

Some of you may wonder where my eye-catching blog title went. Due to a lot of consideration and tips from others, I've decided to take out the profanity. I know, I know, this is college, right?! You're supposed to swear and do all those other things your parents won't let you do. But this blog is viewed by other people too. I don't want to prevent moms with small children from looking at my blog because they don't want to have to deal with, "Mommy, what does THAT word mean?" (And for any newcomers who may be stumbling upon this blog, the word I'm talking about rhymes with quit.)

My dad has seen my blog but told me what prevented him from sending it to all of his co-workers was the profanity. I don't want one word in the title causing me to lose a huge possible audience. Maybe I'm a little vain, but it would be nice to get a little blogger fame someday. I also learned that future employers may not enjoy it, and if I'm getting employed for being a writer someday then what better to show them than this blog! It got me the gig at the UMass newspaper, after all.

I know, it's a sad day. I'm sure you couldn't help but smile a little every time you thought of my blog title, I know that's how I felt. Plus, I'm the blogger, I'm rather attached at this point. But, all things must change. This may be only temporary. If anyone has a suggestion for a more catchy title, please let me know! I'm open to suggestions. Also, hate mail about the title change is welcomed as well.

Microwave Breakfast

This weekend my dad showed me something that is of extreme value to all who live in dorms and only have a Microfridge to serve their hungry stomachs. I've gotten some requests for dorm-ready recipes, but in my two years in a dorm I fell back on the dining commons because I was under the impression that there's nothing of substance that can be made in a microwave.

Maybe I'm just naive. But I had no idea you could cook eggs in a microwave.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you can build yourself a breakfast sandwich better than from the drive-thru with merely a microwave.

1 english muffin, croissant or bagel
1 egg
1 slice of cheese (preferably American)
1 slice of deli ham
1 dab of butter

Microwave the butter in a bowl until it has melted completely. Coat the entire inside of the bowl with the butter (this keeps the eggs from sticking and makes them taste better). Crack the egg in the bowl (making sure not to leave any shell pieces behind) and scramble with a fork. Microwave the eggs for about 1 minute, until they appear cooked. Then assemble your sandwich and you have a tasty breakfast!

When my dad told me he'd be making this for me, I was a little hesitant. Eggs in the microwave? It sounded disgusting. But really, they don't taste much different than eggs cooked on the stove. The butter that he heated the eggs in made them even more yummy than eggs cooked on the stove with Pam. If you still don't believe me, I dare you to try it. You will be surprised at how non-microwaved this meal tastes.

Cinnamon Sugar Popcorn

There never seems to be food in Tom's house that isn't frozen or expired. This is the time when you have to get creative. The only problem is, sometimes I'm not in the mood to be creative. I just want food now. Well, I took a little time to scrounge up edible snack food in his cabinet and found popcorn. Now, I don't know about you, but I don't like popcorn unless it's made at the movie theaters. I just don't eat it in my day to day life. I did a little research on the nutrition of popcorn, and discovered that it's actually a relatively healthy snack!
Of course, in this recipe I make it more unhealthy. But who cares. I'm in college. My body hasn't yet reached the point of slow metabolic rates and wrinkles. But even if you do want to watch what you eat, it seems that 1/3 of a bag of typical buttered microwave popcorn is only about 30 calories. I'm not going to say that I'm a genius when it comes to nutrition, so maybe the fat/calorie content is not optimal or whatever. Anyway, I think its a pretty damn good snack.

1 bag of microwaveable popcorn
2 tbsp white sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 cup butter

Pop the popcorn. In a small bowl, mix the dry ingredients together. Melt the butter in the microwave. You can vary the amount of butter you use, depending on whether or not you have white popcorn, lightly buttered, etc. Pour the butter over the popcorn and mix together. While the popcorn is still wet from the butter, sprinkle on the dry mixture and mix together as best you can. I have a little trouble with this part because all of my yummy stuff seems to sink to the bottom of the bowl. I usually just end up scraping the bowl with my pieces of popcorn. If you try this and find a way of successfully mixing it all together evenly, please let me know.

Ants on a Banana

Here is a snack from my childhood. I totally invented it myself. Now looking back on my life I have come to realize that this must have been my calling. I must have been in middle school when I came up with this one. Either I've always been a foodie genius, or my taste buds are in regression due to the stresses of being in college and working 20+ hours a week. (Yes, I realize that this is my second time mentioning regression. I just really like my Abnormal Psych class this year, gimmie a break. For once I actually want to learn.)

This recipe is great because it can be made in a dorm and is super quick for when it's midnight and you are hungry but not hungry enough to flip on the oven. And depending on what you actually put in this banana, it can be quite healthy. Good source of potassium (banana) and protein (peanut butter).

1 whole banana
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp marshmallow fluff (optional)
drizzle of honey
handful of raisins
handful of chocolate chips (I didn't have any on hand so I used chocolate sprinkles)

Slice the banana in half, lengthwise. Cover one side with the peanut butter, fluff, honey, raisins and chocolate, then place the other side on top like you are making a sandwich. Eat whole with fingers or cut into slices and use a fork.

I feel like this could just as easily but turned into something gourmet and served in a restaurant. Instead they'd drizzle the honey on top instead of inside and maybe put little spurts of whipped cream on top drizzled with homemade chocolate sauce. Oh good lord, my stomach is growling enough as it is.