A (Dorm at) Brown Thanksgiving


This year, East Side Marketplace ran a special where, after spending a certain amount of money from late October to early November, customers could turn in their receipts for a free turkey. My roommates and I, as four students off meal plan and with a kitchen, were able to get two after our weekly grocery trips. In other words, I finally had the perfect excuse to want to take on the challenge of cooking Thanksgiving dinner in a dorm room kitchen.

11:00 a.m., Sunday We head to East Side Marketplace, picking up our free turkeys (one of which we gave to another friend for her Thanksgiving dinner). It turns out the free turkeys were frozen, which would never thaw in one day, so we took a voucher to get $20 off of a refrigerated turkey breast (which cooks faster and was cheaper, so win-win there).

11:08 a.m. A very nice woman at the deli counter calls me “papa.” It’s going to be a good Thanksgiving indeed.

11:20 a.m. We pick up the other necessary items: stuffing, potatoes, cranberries.

11:33 a.m. It takes two employees plus myself to find gravy in a jar.

11:35 a.m. Found it.

11:55 a.m. We return and unpack our groceries. One of my roommates is a vegan and has prepared well for dinner later (see below).


Ah, Tofurkey.

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Sans Meal Plan: Grilled cheese egg-in-a-hole

The temperatures have finally dropped, and it’s that point in the semester when everyone’s cooking routine has become increasingly lazy. Thank you, midterms. Here’s what you should make if you’ve found yourself with a near-empty fridge, minimal time, and comfort food cravings.


  • slices soft bread (I used multi-grain but Food52 recommends white or potato)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons mayonnaise (I subbed the mayo for olive oil)
  • 1 to 2 slices sharp white cheddar cheese 
  • egg

Start heating a non-stick pan on medium-low. Brush a thin layer of olive oil on one slice of bread and place the bread oil-side down in the pan.bread1

Place your slices of cheese on the bread, leaving a cheese-less square in the middle.


Brush another thin layer of olive oil on the other slice of bread and place it on top of the cheese, oil-side up. Let the cheese get all melt-y a.k.a. until the sandwich is golden brown.

Flip the sandwich over. Using your BlogDailyHerald shot glass, cut out a hole in the middle of the sandwich. Take a shot. 


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Sans Meal Plan: Zesty lemon bars because I’m already sick of pumpkin spice

I know this headline is pretty controversial, but even if you are a PSL-lover and have tried every pumpkin-spice-flavored treat on Thayer, you might find these lemon bars unseasonably refreshing. To make my lemon bars, I ended up settling on a Food52 variation of the ever-classic desert that makes use of ricotta, and when has cheese not made anything infinitely better?

Recipe for lemon ricotta squares:


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks) 


  • 8oz (1 cup) fresh whole milk Ricotta 
  • 4 large eggs 
  • 1 1/3cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and lightly butter a baking dish and line with one sheet parchment paper. Butter paper, then lay second sheet crosswise over it. I didn’t have parchment paper handy, so I aggressively buttered the pan and hoped for the best. The pan clean-up wasn’t seamless, but nobody complained about the extra butter.

Mix the flour, confectioner’s sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, salt, and softened butter until it looks dough-y. A food processor is ideal, but I just did it the old-fashioned way. lemonbars1

lemon bars2

Sprinkle the dough into lined pan and, press firmly with fingers into even layer over entire pan bottom and about 1/2-inch up sides. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, and then bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown.

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Sans Meal Plan: Pumpkin chocolate chip quinoa pancakes

I know what you’re thinking: There is no way on earth that quinoa can make its way into a pancake. When I saw the recipe for quinoa pancakes, I was genuinely confused — don’t get me wrong, I’m always down to try some weird substitute, but this seemed too weird.

After finding a recipe that looked sufficiently easy for quinoa pancakes, courtesy of The Fitnessista (same), I got to work.

Recipe for four quinoa pancakes: 

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Pinch of sea salt

To make the pancakes pumpkin chocolate chip flavored, add pumpkin pie spice and chocolate chips to the recipe.

First, you’ll have to measure out the 1 1/2 cups of cooked quinoa. I used a blend of red and white that I had leftover in the fridge, but anything should work.

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Amuse-Bouche: north

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Tucked away in Luongo Square, you might find yourself standing in front of a tiny restaurant with soft lights shining through the window. Inside, you can make out a backlit bar with rows of obscure liquor bottles and, almost without a doubt, a crowd of hungry hopefuls waiting for a table. On the bottom right of the facade, you can vaguely make out a neon sign that reads “north” in blue script writing. Then you will know you’re in the right place.

north (sic), an Asian Fusion restaurant located in East Providence, has food that makes up in flavor twofold what the restaurant lacks in space. It offers dishes that are both irreverent and delicious; seemingly strange, yet expectation-shattering in the best way possible. The chef, James Mark, attributes the restaurant’s success to the collaborative forces that drive the culinary team. Starchefs.com calls Mark not a head chef, but the leader of “a collective, a group of cooks who are making great culinary and community strides in Providence.” The restaurant website features bios of every staff member from head chef to dishwasher; Mark emphasizes that a successful restaurant is only the product of its driven and talented staff members.

Chef James Mark of North – Providence, RI

The menu is small, but it changes daily based on seasonality. A slushie machine swirls behind the bar, filled with a daily alcoholic frozen concoction of the bartender’s choosing. A group of six diners sit at the bar, slurping down raw oysters served on a bed of crushed ice right in front of them. The five-or-so table restaurant is dimly lit and warm; the servers are dressed in ripped denim and clogs, undoubtedly with a facial piercing or two. Make sure you show up dressed casually – and with an appetite.

Due to the nature and size of the dishes, I have found that north is best experienced by going with a group of two or more. The plates vary in size, though most are closer to tapas-sized than full plates. That being said, the dishes also tend to be very rich, so a little often goes a long way. It is best to go with an adventurous group that also favors family-style-dining.

My most recent trip to north was no less exciting than the first meal I had there over a year ago. My two friends and I scoured the menu and, as usual, were able to identify only about half of the ingredients in each dish. (What exactly is quince jam and why do I want to eat it? Hoz-what?) Unfamiliarity aside, we had no issue choosing four dishes to share among us. In fact, the greatest challenge proved to be resisting the temptation to order everything.

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Sans Meal Plan: Shakshuka

Shakshuka is a great recipe to have on hand for those sans meal plan. It’s cheap, looks impressive, and is relatively easy — especially if you have a well-stocked spice cabinet. Although it’s traditionally served for breakfast, it can certainly function as one of those eggs-for-dinner dishes. The following is a shakshuka recipe adapted from Food52’s “Eggs in Spicy Minted Tomato Sauce.”


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (I used 1.5 boxes of crushed San Marzano tomatoes)
  • Sriracha or other hot sauce to taste (I used Sriracha and a dallop of Sir Kensington’s ketchup)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3-4 large eggs


In a deep-sided skillet or frying pan, heat the butter and olive oil. When the butter melts, add your diced onions. Sauté for about 5 minutes at medium heat. Add your garlic and jalapeño, and sauté for about 1 more minute.

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