Dorm Cooking: The Art of Preparing Food with Limited Means

For anyone who’s ever wanted to learn how to cook, with somewhat limited means, this January the Campus Activities Board (CAB) is hosting four work shops entitled How to Cook. This program is dedicated to showing culinary challenged Gusties how to add more to their cooking repertoire with some delicious, easy meals.

Although Gustavus boasts a nationally acclaimed cafeteria, sometimes it’s easier just to whip up something in the comfort of your own dorm. If you haven’t gotten a chance to check out the first two events this month, they will be held every Thursday night in the Courtyard Café from 5:30pm to 6:30pm.

“CAB decided to do a How to Cook event because we thought it would be a fun learning experience for the students during J-term. I originally thought it would be nice for students to know cheap and easy things they could make in their own dorm rooms, but it evolved into an awesome event where students can come spend an hour learning how to make great meals, eat, and have fun!” CAB Special Events Committee Member, First-Year Katie Batz said.

This past Thursday, members of CAB showed students how to make easy microwave meals like omelets, chili cheese dip and Mexican roll-ups. “My favorite dish to make is chili cheese dip. I like make it with the girls in my section when we are watching movies,” Batz said. The recipe consists of Velveeta cheese (1 lb.), Hormel chili, and chopped green peppers, which are then mixed in a microwave safe, bowl and microwaved until it is all melted and warm. “It’s delicious and a good change from the usual popcorn!” Batz said.

Most college students have a microwave available to them, so it comes as no surprise that named “Microwaveable Anything” as a “Dorm Food You Cannot Live Without.” Some of the other popular items that made the list were Ramen noodles, macaroni and cheese, popcorn, oatmeal, cereal- even Spam! When asked what her favorite food to eat in the dorm was, First-Year Geology Major Matt Illies admitted to favoring the instant Velveeta macaroni cups, “I have them in my dorm. That’s quality stuff.”

Most students, however, still prefer the diverse range of food that Dining Services has to offer over dorm cuisine, “I always go to the caf. Plus, the food in the caf is so much better than anything I can make in my dorm” First-Year student Sophia Ogren-Dehn said.

However, hopefully with a little help from CAB’s workshops, dorm food can be at least a little more comparable. “The next two weeks we are hoping to bring in special guests for a ‘Chinese Wok Cooking’ night and a ‘Lefse’ night. We are going to end the series with a Desserts night, January 28th, where we will be making no-bake cookies and other fun desserts,” Batz said.

Whether normal dorm snacks are starting to get old or just to learn a couple new dishes to try cooking, definitely check out this event!

12 thoughts on “Dorm Cooking: The Art of Preparing Food with Limited Means

  1. I think a lot of people don’t realize that you don’t have to have a full kitchen to cook a tasty meal, with cooking for yourself usually being more healthy and less expensive than eating out.

    One of my favorite quick snacks is a Coffee Cup Cake, which I read about a few months ago.

    Basically, you mix an egg, some oil, some cocoa, four tablespoons of sugar, four tablespoons flour, and some water/milk.

    Mix it all up and put it in the microwave until it rises well above the top of the coffee mug, usually between 3 and 5 minutes, and you have a quick and tasty snack 🙂

  2. It would be grea to get a follow-up to this article. Did you come up with any healthy recipes that can be cooked in the dorm? No bake cookies don’t need baking but they often need stove top heat.

    This site has some great recipes, if you have a stove top or decent microwave.

  3. You can also make cupcakes and muffins in the microwave. The ingredients are inexpensive and store well and you just need a microwavable muffin pan. There are lots of good microwave cupcake recipes on the Internet.

    You can also find ways to use cupcakes as really inexpensive gifts with great wow factor at:

  4. May I congratulate you on this Fantastic article.You have made my day and gained a new reader. in comparison to many of the articles on the internet this is a masterpiece, I am very glad that I found your post. I will be linking to this on all my blogs.

  5. Is thier going to be another one of these coming up as I missed the first one? Anyone

  6. Lets not forget cupcakes. They should be a staple because they can just go in the microwave for a few minutes and they are done.

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