Now that fall is starting to hit the campus with a chilly breeze and rainy evenings, it means that you might find yourself suddenly wanting to snuggle in a warm blanket and watch your favorite movies on a cold Saturday night with a nice hot chocolate cup in your hand instead of going off to a party. Especially on the coldest days, Dewick and Carm may seem 100 miles away, although they are actually right outside your door. During those times, there’s only one place in the dorm that doesn’t require you to go outside the building and put on your long-discarded jacket. Of course, we’re talking about the beloved common kitchen with a fully functioning microwave, stove, fridge, and oven. We’re not lazy; we’re just using all the university’s resources to their full extent. So what types of dishes can you make within 5 minutes so you can go back quickly to your room and rejoin your beloved Netflix? (You know you want to.)
Hot, freshly-popped popcorn is all time favorite because it might be the easiest food you can make with a microwave. Simply buy a pack of microwavable popcorn, throw it into microwave for 3 minutes, and the explosions of delicious smell will fill up the kitchen and even up to the 3rd floor.
- Instant Ramen is your best friend for a late night snack
Almost every college student owns at least one ramen package. If not, ask your roommate or hallmates. There’s a 99.9% chance they will have some. Why is ramen so popular? It’s simply cheap and can replace a full meal when you’re hungry. There are even two ways to eat the instant ramen. The first way is dry, crispy ramen that tastes like chips. Season the ramen with a bit of soup base powder that comes with the package, crack the ramen into separate pieces, and enjoy a unique snack. A more traditional way is to pour boiling water over your ramen and wait for a couple of minutes. But what if you don’t have a kettle? No worries, you simply have to put all the ingredients in a bowl, pour tap water in and set it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. It will be ready in no time. Two different methods of preparing hot ramen soup, yet they produce the same result. Microwaves create wonders, don’t they?
- Craving for some grilled cheese?
Dewick or Carm don’t always offer grilled cheese when you want one, but they always have the ingredients you need to make a perfect grilled cheese. Not to mention, you can choose from a variety of cheese in the sandwich-making section, and different types of bread too. Once you’ve customized your grilled cheese sandwich, store them in Tupperware in your room for next day’s breakfast or lunch. Here’s a twist: Instead of microwaving it, you can toast the bread by putting the sandwich directly on the stove. That way, you can flip the grilled cheese when needed, and observe how the cheese melts into a yummy bundle of happiness.
4. Add some Japanese flavor with instant miso soup
H-Mart is now open in Central Square, which is only 3 T stops away from campus. The supermarket sells everything you could possible need for when you want a bit of Asian flare in your dishes, from green tea pocky to kimchi. A perfect dish for a chilly weather is the instant miso soup, to which you simply need to add hot water. Now you’re basically ready to open a Japanese restaurant!
- The good old Mac n’ Cheese
It’s a classic. College students thrive upon it. It’s sold everywhere. Buy a pack from CVS and microwave it and it will be ready in 2-3 minutes.
- 1-minute quiche
Although this dish takes only 1 minute to make, you would need to work a little bit to get all the ingredients. Here is the list of ingredients: 1 egg, milk, 1 slice of bread, cherry tomatoes sliced, cut up scallion, melted butter, salt and pepper, and some grated cheddar cheese. In a mug, beat the egg with milk and melted butter. Season it with salt and pepper and add all other ingredients into the mixture. Microwave the mug for 1 minute and there you go: a delicious, simple gourmet quiche.
- Healthy breakfast with yogurt and fresh fruits
Bring some tupperware to the dining halls and grab all kinds of fruits you can find. Cut them up and mix them with fresh Greek yogurt for a healthy, filling breakfast.
- Tofu and vegetable stir-fry
This might sound a bit daunting, but it’s very simple to make. Make a sauce out of ginger, some lemon juice and soy sauce. Get all sorts of vegetables, including steamed tofu, from the dining hall’s salad section and marinade the tofu in the sauce before tossing it in the sauté pan with other veggies. Your creation will rival Carm’s stir fry night, without the hassle of waiting in line. Get all your friends or hall-mates together and have your own stir fry night!
- Dessert time! 1-minute microwave brownie
Stir water, butter, and vanilla in a mug. Then, add flour, salt, sugar and cocoa powder. After mixing everything together, microwave the mug for 1 minute and enjoy the mug brownie with a spoon. If you have a pint of vanilla ice cream to dollop on top, that’s even better.
10. Another dessert! 1-minute Cheesecake
Mix cream cheese, a bit of sour cream (you can substitute this with greek yogurt), egg, vanilla, lemon juice, and sugar all together in a cup. Microwave it for 1 minute and 30 seconds, continuously stirring it every 30 seconds. You can decorate the cheesecake with freshly whipped cream or fruits. Bon appetit!