Photo by Julia Sklar

They say the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. While there may not be an equivalent maxim for the ladies, there is no better way to impress a girl than to cook for her. In other words, no matter who you are, you love food, and living on a college campus shouldn’t impede your ability to satisfy that desire. While not every on-campus dorm room is equipped with a personal kitchen, there is a kitchen facility — or several — in every residential building. So you’ve got your love of food and you’ve got a kitchen -— the only thing missing is the ingredients.

Don’t complain about how the buses only go to Wegmans two days a week, because there is a myriad of options for obtaining ingredients in our own resident markets and dining centers. The Campus Times set out on a quest to make delicious and varied dishes comprised only of ingredients found on campus, and the results were overwhelmingly successful. By the way, these “delicious and varied” foods do not include a bowl of Annie’s Mac & Cheese with a side of Chef Boyardee Ravioli — though this is arguably the perfect dinner when you’re in a study frenzy.

Seriously, anyone with a meal plan can do this. It just takes 2 tablespoons of initiative, 1 cup of resourcefulness, a dash of zeal and you’ve got yourself a meal (and a weird rhyme).

French Toast Stuffed with Cream Cheese and Fruit Confit

This recipe is incredibly fast to make, essentially foolproof and also serves as a great way to start the day. What’s more is that it’s convenient to make just enough for one person if you want a lazy morning breakfast all to yourself.

2 slices of your favorite bread (heartier breads like multigrain, challah or whole wheat work best as they won’t get overly soggy)

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons of milk

2 or 3 tablespoons of cream cheese (depending on how much stuffing you want)

A handful of berries (blueberries and raspberries were used because of their availability at Hillside — strawberries would also work really well)

2 tablespoons of sugar

Butter for the pan

First, roughly cut up the berries and combine them in a bowl with the sugar. Cover the bowl, and let it sit as you complete the rest of the recipe. The sugar will bring out natural juices in the berries and will create a sweet, thick syrup. This is referred to as a confit. Heat a frying pan under medium heat. While it’s heating, whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract and milk in a medium bowl.

Lightly dip the bread into the egg mixture for a couple of seconds until it has absorbed a bit of the mixture but isn’t falling apart — set it aside on a separate plate. Add a little butter to the pan and then place the bread in the pan. Keep an eye on the bread so it doesn’t burn but becomes a golden brown. While the first side is cooking, combine the cream cheese and the confit in a small bowl. Flip the bread to cook the other side and then spoon the cream cheese and confit mixture onto the done side of one of the slices of bread. When the second side of the bread is done, remove it from the pan and put the whole thing together like a sandwich. You can eat this with maple syrup, but it doesn’t really need any to complete it.

Southside Market/Hillside Market: eggs, milk, fruit, cream cheese, butter, bread

Hillside Market: vanilla extract, sugar

Salad Bar Stir Fry

This is a really informal recipe that is largely dependent on whatever appeals to you and also whatever is available, but it will taste good no matter what, and that’s because of a secret ingredient: Tabasco sauce.

1/3 box of spaghetti (feel free to put in more pasta than that if you want)

1/2 a red pepper, cut into thin strips

1 clove of garlic

1/4 of a yellow sweet Spanish onion, sliced into thin strips

A handful of sliced crimini mushrooms, broccoli, baby corn and tofu

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons of oil

1/2  to 1 teaspoon of Tabasco sauce (depending on your spice preference)

Boil water in a sauce pan and add the spaghetti, draining it when it’s done. Heat a frying pan under medium heat with oil and place the tofu in the pan. Cook on all sides until golden brown, at which point you should move them off the pan and onto a paper towel, which will absorb the excess oil.

Mince a clove of garlic and sauté it in the same pan. (You might need to add more oil depending on how much is left over from frying the tofu.) Add the mushrooms, broccoli, baby corn, onion and red pepper to the frying pan. I would suggest that if you use broccoli, steam it before sautéing it with the other vegetables — broccoli is a tougher vegetable and will otherwise take longer to cook than the rest. Once the onions have a glassy quality, the vegetables are done cooking.

Mix the soy sauce, oil and Tabasco sauce together in a bowl. Run the spaghetti under some hot water to loosen it, and then add it to the pan with the vegetables. Add the tofu and then pour the soy sauce mixture over everything. The pan will be pretty full by now, but try to move everything around so that the sauce evenly covers the spaghetti, tofu, and vegetables. Let this all sit in the pan over heat for a couple minutes to essentially reheat the spaghetti and tofu.

The Commons salad bar: crimini mushrooms, broccoli, baby corn, tofu

Hillside Market: Tabasco sauce, soy sauce, garlic, yellow sweet Spanish onion, red pepper, spaghetti, oil

Great Aunt Dorothy’s Sweet Potato “Pie”

This sweet potato treat is a Thanksgiving favorite and is not a complicated recipe at all, but it is nonetheless so naturally sweet and flavorful that you wouldn’t believe there isn’t a pound of sugar involved. Caveat: the title of the dish is one of those weird family inaccuracies — it is called a sweet potato pie, but it in no way resembles a pie. Instead it could be classified as a casserole. It makes for a very colorful and perfectly seasonal addition to any holiday dinner. The best part is that it’s completely ambiguous as to whether this is a dessert or a side dish to the main course. While it can be eaten right alongside the turkey, it could just as easily function as a dessert. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it is exciting to see the sweet potato pie outside of its natural habitat of the dinner table, making its way to campus kitchens.

6 sweet potatoes

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup oil

4 Dole cups of pineapples

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 bag of marshmallows

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Luckily, the sweet potatoes we sell on campus come prepared for microwaving, so just pop them in the microwave for nine minutes and you’re ready to move on — no need to wait for them to bake in the oven. Peel and then mash up the sweet potatoes in a large bowl, add brown sugar, oil, pineapples and salt and stir to combine.  Pour the ingredients into an oven-safe casserole dish and push the marshmallows down into the top until the casserole is completely covered in them— the more the better. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the marshmallows are toasted.

Hillside: All ingredients

Exclusive online recipes:

Quinoa Risotto

Firstly, I need to just make this very clear. Probably one of the biggest shocks of my college career thus far is that Hillside Market sells quinoa. And not just any quinoa, but organic quinoa. The more important thing to focus on, however, is what one can do with this quinoa, and making it into rich, creamy risotto is a pretty good option — it might even be the best option.

1 cup quinoa

About 1 cup of sliced mushrooms

1/2 yellow sweet Spanish onion

1 clove of chopped garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon of salt

Dash of black pepper

2 cups water

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 a cup of shredded mozzarella cheese

To cook quinoa, add 1 cup of quinoa to every 1 and 1/4 cups of boiling water. In a frying pan, sauté the onions, garlic and mushrooms in oil until the onions are translucent. Add quinoa, milk and water and season with salt and pepper. Stir these ingredients together and cook slowly until the liquid is absorbed. Make sure to keep stirring every few minutes. Stir in the cheese just before serving hot.

The Commons: sliced mushrooms, whole milk

Hillside Market: Spanish onion, olive oil, salt, pepper, shredded mozzarella cheese, garlic

Savory crepes with ham and three cheeses

Crepes seem like a really daunting thing to make because they have their origins in French cooking and French cooking tends to be lofty and complicated. But crepes are actually incredibly simple to make, yet people will be impressed by them. While the ham you can buy on campus isn’t comparable to the ham I would choose to buy at a grocery store, it’s still edible.

1 cup  flour

3 eggs

1 and 1/2 cups of whole milk, divided use

1/4 teaspoon of sea salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 pack of shredded mozzarella cheese

1 pack of cheddar cheese, cut into strips

1 pack of provolone, cut into strips

1 pack of ham, cut into small squares

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus whole butter for cooking crepes

Whisk together the flour, eggs, 1/2 cup of milk, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Continue whisking until you have a smooth batter. Add the remaining cup of milk and stir well to combine. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator to chill the batter for at least 30 minutes or up to several hours.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Just before you are ready to make the crepes, whisk in the melted butter. The batter should be the consistency of heavy cream — if it is too thick, add milk slowly while whisking constantly until it is the right texture.

Heat the frying pan over medium heat. Melt a teaspoon of butter in the pan and pour in about 1/4 cup of batter into the pan. Swirl the pan around so the batter covers the whole bottom of the pan. The first crepe almost always comes out badly, so don’t worry about it, just move on.  Cook for a couple seconds on each side and then remove to a plate. When you’ve made as many crepes as you want, wipe out the frying pan and sauté the ham in a little bit of butter. Sprinkle cheese onto open-faced crepes and microwave for one minute to melt cheese. Sprinkle with ham and fold in half.

(Adapted from

Hillside Market: All ingredients

Apple Crumb Pie

Apple pie is inarguably the quintessential fall dessert, and luckily it’s also really easy to make.  This recipe (with the exception of the crust) is a Sklar family secret, so treat it well.


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/2 cup butter

3 tablespoon ice water

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Whisk the flour and salt together in a medium size bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the ice water over the flour. Toss the mixture with a fork to moisten, adding more water a few drops at a time until the dough comes together. Gently gather the dough particles together into a ball. Wrap this in plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before rolling. Roll out the dough, and mold into a pie plate.

(Adapted from


6 cups thinly sliced apples

1/2 lemon’s juice (or 1 table-

spoon orange juice if you don’t

want to buy a lemon)

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoon of flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Place the apples in a large bowl with lemon juice. In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar, flour and cinnamon. Pour the mixture over the apples and toss it until all the apple slices are evenly coated. Layer the apples into the pie crust. Layering them, as opposed to just pouring them, will help to keep the height of the pie down and make it easier for the crumb topping to stay on the apples.


1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

4 tablespoons of butter

In a small bowl mix together the flour and brown sugar, then cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Gently spoon the mixture over the apple filling — if you do this too quickly, the crumbs will just roll off the top and go all over the floor. Cover the pie loosely with aluminum foil, then bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 25 minutes to make the top golden brown. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. Microwave individual slices for 35 seconds to reheat them at a later date.

Hillside Market: All ingredients

I hope these recipes made your on-campus cooking dreams come true and inspired you to be a little inventive with the ingredients you can find around here. You can definitely eat more than just microwaveable soup without making the trek to Wegmans.

Sklar is a member of the class of 2014.

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