Dorm Cooking 101: Everything Meatballs

I’ve been wanting to buy ground chicken for a while (I call it minced chicken, but I’ve been told that ‘minced’ chicken is chopped up chicken), but I always forget and every time I do remember, I’m too lazy to go to the store. Now that I live near three 24 hour groceries, I can buy it whenever I remember, and that’s what I did. I initially planned to make burgers, but Ikea’s website inspired me to make meatballs instead. It was something I’d never tried before and really, how hard could it be?

I call them everything meatballs because I literally put everything in my fridge door in them, except for milk and orange juice. They were delicious. Except for the ground chicken, eggs and flour, all the ingredients are optional. I know, don’t I make cooking seem easy?

– 450 gram package of ground chicken (I used half of this to make six meatballs)
– 1 egg
– 2 tablespoons of flour or breadcrumbs (I used flour– made it stickier)
– 1 spring onion (optional)
– Some feta, mozarella or cheddar cheese (I’m a boss & a fatty so I used all)
– Jack Daniels’ Barbeque sauce
– Franks Hot Sauce
– Franks Buffalo Wing Sauce
– Salt & Pepper
– Couple of cloves of garlic

Finely chop (I say finely because I hate biting into a large piece of garlic or onion) the garlic and spring onion. Grate the cheese. Add the chopped/grated ingredients, sauces and a beaten egg to the chicken and mix well. I suggest using your hands because even though it feels gross, it is the best way to incorporate all the ingredients into the chicken. Add the flour or breadcrumbs to hold it all together. I rolled the meatballs in flour when I was done. I’m not sure why I did this, I’m not sure if it made a difference. I made them around lunch time and ate them for dinner.
When you’re cooking them, you can either fry them or bake them, I browned them on a pan and then put the pan in the oven so they could cook on the inside. If your pan has a plastic handle I wouldn’t suggest this.
They were juicy and delicious and the tiny pieces of feta and the slight barbecue flavour was dynamite. They got my picky room mate’s approval too, so I think I did a pretty good job!
Meatball mission: Use as many items from the fridge door as possible!

I kind of burnt a couple of them, I was a little distracted when I was ‘browning’ them–


Best Pizza IMHO

Hoops is a little sports’ bar right by my university campus where students go to drink, watch sports and partake in their Tuesday & Thursday night half-off wings’ special. It’s a good deal, really, about $7 in total for a pound of wings, fries and a coke.

They have this item on their menu, a “Mediterranean” pizza. Best pizza I’ve tasted in all my time in North America. Thin, crispy crust, topped with onions, red peppers, large green sheets of thinner-than-paper spinach and dotted with creamy, salty feta cheese. There is also a good possibility that it would fall under the category of “healthy pizza”.


Dorm Cooking 101: Breakfast for Two

University dorm food is supposed to  be Mr. Noodles, eggs and cereal. I like to do things differently– especially because I have a tendency to get bored easily. I also detest fast food in North America (hence the need to cook rather than eat at readily available Wendy’s and Popeye’s). Having a mini-kitchen in my suite (a word used to refer to smaller dorms that include about 2-4 single rooms, a kitchen and a bathroom) definitely helps. It has allowed me to experiment with food and although I’m not quite sure whether I like cooking, I’ve come up with some pretty darn delicious dishes– a lot of which are not as visually appealing as this one.

Summer has begun and I now have more time for each of my meals than I did during the school year. No longer do I have to run out in the mornings with a toaster strudel dripping painfully hot filling on my fingers and no longer do I have to grab Jamaican patties on the go. I can actually cook. Too bad I’m moody with cooking. There are times when I abhor it and times when I adore it. I guess the morning I made french toast was an ‘adore’ day.

French toast as always been “slumber party breakfast”, a meal that us giggling girls would make, huddled around the stove, the morning after a night of make up, movies and boy-talk. The ‘many’ steps involved in making french toast, made it feel like a cooking adventure.

I’ve always made french toast with only milk and eggs. I don’t know where I got that recipe from, but that’s how I made it and I guess, that’s why I was never a fan. I read somewhere that making french toast involves vanilla and sugar. The last time I made it, about a week ago, this is what I did. One egg, about half a cup of milk, a tablespoon of sugar, a few drops of vanilla. Dip, fry, dip, fry and repeat. It’s so quick and easy, I think it should be considered “dorm food”. The only extra ingredient you would have to buy is vanilla essence. French toast made like this tastes almost like a cake or pancake. It’s soft, fluffy and has a slight crunch from the sugar caramelizing. I topped it with whipped cream and strawberries, but I’ve since discovered that whipped cream cheese, honey and almonds are an exotic, delicious topping.

You can even modify it to make it healthy– use skimmed milk, go easy on the sugar (or use Splenda), use whole grain or brown bread and top with honey or light whipped cream cheese.
Watch this space for more food– and my attempts at food photography.