Sans Meal Plan: Brunch-tastic

Spring Week has come and gone (goodbye, collection of fratty tanks…), and reality has begun to sink in; the end of the semester is fast approaching.  As much fun as I had over Spring Weekend, I was more than ready to start using my kitchen again to create some delicious (and healthy) homemade meals after a week of Sno-Cones, popcorn, tater tots and an (over?)abundance of Baja’s. After buying all of the fruits and vegetables Eastside Marketplace had to offer, I set aside an entire afternoon for cooking, during which I made enough food to feed me for the week.  Of these dishes, my favorite was the one that gave me an excuse to eat my favorite meal — breakfast — three times a day.

Brunch is a glorious thing: it both facilitates and deems socially acceptable the simultaneous consumption of eggs, bacon, french fries, pastries, sandwiches, coffee and alcohol. Brunch is one of those meals that people usually eat at restaurants, because they (like myself) are much too lazy to actually prepare such a cornucopia on a lazy Sunday.  However, after a week of barely even opening the refrigerator, I was feeling inspired, and thought I would put in the effort to make a deliciously brunch-tastic tart. Continue Reading

Sans Meal Plan: Spring Week(end) Shopping

Gimme some of your tots!

Some of my fondest memories of Spring Week(end) consist of me and my friends eating all sorts of unmentionables at Jo’s post-concert and late night. Somehow, Butterfinger ice cream bars and Spicy Withs taste a million times better than normal when consumed in baggy Spring Weekend tanks. But now that most of my friends and I are off meal plan, it’s time to reevaluate our approach to Spring Week eats. It goes without saying that we’re all going to want our fair share of mozzarella sticks, cookies, and plates of onion rings, but how can we when flex points are a far-away dream?

My recommendation for you: do your Spring Week food shopping now when you have the time and energy to leave your apartment/dorm. Believe me, it’s better to walk to Eastside Marketplace this weekend before you have all sorts of social engagements than to find yourself with serious hunger pangs come Saturday afternoon. Here is my suggested grocery list for the upcoming week based on three years of personal experience. Continue Reading

Sans Meal Plan: No money? No problem!

After a lovely week of sunshine, fried fish, and endless mudslides (the yummy kind, not the scary kind), we all find ourselves back on College Hill greeted by midterms and 40-degree temperatures. As the end of the semester fast approaches (#SeniorSpring #whatclasses), students who are either on or off meal plan are probably finding themselves in similar rock-and-a-hard-place situations. For those reliant on the Sharpe Refectory for nutrition and Jo’s for naughty food unmentionables, that special time of the semester when meal credits are starting to dwindle and flex points are virtually nonexistent has now arrived. For those of us off meal plan, the funds that were allocated for grocery shopping, whether from one’s own bank account or from the Rentals’, are somehow frighteningly tiny. But, luckily for myself and for starving college students everywhere (#firstworldproblems), there are ways to make the dollar stretch without eating from a fast food value menu all of the time. Continue Reading

Sans Meal Plan: Cheesecake (with alcohol) for St. Paddy’s

Chocolate Bailey's Cheesecake? Yes, please!

This Saturday, March 17, is a momentous occasion in Ireland and America alike (though in few other places): the day we celebrate the Christianization of Ireland by Saint Patrick with copious amounts of green-dyed beer. Huzzah!

Lately, I’ve really wanted to make a cheesecake. Cheesecake is one of those desserts that seems really difficult to make, but is actually quite easy once you have a foundational recipe. But remember, not all cheesecakes are created equal. It seemed only fitting that this week I should test out my brand spankin’ new spring-form cake pans with a cheesecake. And due to the 100-year anniversary of Oreos, I wanted to incorporate the iconic cookie into my creation. To make this cheesecake even better, I threw in some cocoa powder (because chocolate only serves to make things better), made a dark chocolate ganache to pour on top, and added a whole lot of Bailey’s — after all, it is Saint Patrick’s Day! Continue Reading

Sans Meal Plan: Lessons We Can Learn from Sandra Lee

Let me set up a completely not true at all but just go with it hypothetical situation: You’re an 18-23 year-old college student living in a dorm or an apartment close to a college campus. You are off meal plan, but many of your friends still eat dining hall food regularly. You enjoy food. You enjoy cooking. Sometimes, you don’t feel like cooking intricate and in-depth recipes for every meal because you’re usually cooking for one. You don’t want to buy food every day, but also don’t want to subsist on instant oatmeal and Easy Mac. What to do? Luckily for you this completely anonymous and hypothetical person with no connection to you at all, one woman has your back, through thick and thin, through cocktails and more cocktails: Sandra Lee.

Ms. Lee has made a career drinking vodka on television helping you make “Semi-Homemade Cooking” and “Money Saving Meals” on the Food Network by using a 70/30 attitude when it comes to cooking; 70% ready-made products and 30% fresh ingredients. In other words, you’ll learn how to trick others into thinking you slaved over a hot stove for hours!

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I haven’t really ever taken too much an interest in Sandra Lee, nor have I watched her show for more than a few minutes. Despite the fact that I have never made one of her Frankenstein concoctions before, I find her methodology to cooking very college-friendly. There are a ton of things you can do to improve upon ready-to-make foods. The Internet is swarming with “recipes,” or you can just figure stuff out with food you already have. So, in honor of this approach to gastronomy in college sans meal plan, I present you with some great ideas for cheating your way to homemade. Continue Reading

In Case You Missed It: Dee-1

Though we hardly need another reason to think that Professor Tricia Rose is cool, she has once again reinforced the notion that actually showing up for lecture will reap rewards. Instead of lecturing this morning, she surprised class attendees of her Hip Hop Culture(s) class with up-and-coming rap artist and role model from New Orleans Dee-1. The first half of class consisted of an interview with the young LSU graduate from New Orleans East, followed by an exclusive performance of some of his more well-known songs. Continue Reading