Rachel Pagel

Point counterpoint: cooking in the residence halls

May 3, 2023

There is a split on campus between students who enjoy cooking in the new dorms and students who are prone to setting off fire alarms. Staff writers Mary and Jake discuss which route students should take: to cook or not to cook?

The secret to conquering the kitchen while on a budget

Cooking in college is not for the faint of heart. For most, it takes some serious trial and error, perhaps a few explosions or two, and a whole lot of creativity. What people need is something simple, something easy, something cheap, especially if cooking is paired with an intense study schedule, athletics, and a job.

That’s why when something works, it sticks. So, look no further for the greatest college cooking hack(on a budget) known to man: mugs.

Now, yes, mugs are not a meal, nor are they even a food. But, a mug in a kitchen is a game changer.

A mug can literally be the start of somebody’s day. Crack an egg inside, stir it up with some cheese, peppers, and some bacon bits, and a mini-omelet will pop out of the microwave a minute later.

An overripe banana rotting on the counter? Turn it into an afternoon study snack by mashing it up into a mug, sprinkling in a little bit of vanilla extract, flour, and baking powder(and of course come chocolate chips), and 90 seconds later, the sweet smell of banana bread will replace the rotting scent on the counter.

Is Kraft just not cutting it? A mug can fix that. Throw some elbow noodles and water together for about four minutes. Add a splash of milk and some shredded cheese, let it spin in the microwave just a tad longer, and some homemade mac ‘n cheese is in order.

There, three simple recipes, minimal ingredients, inexpensive, and so easy it’s nearly impossible to mess up. Cooking just got a whole lot simpler. Mugs are the key to successful experience in the kitchen, and these three recipes are only the cusp of what could be. Perhaps the secret to cooking as a college student is not about food. It’s about how the food is made.


Omelet in a Mug

-One or two eggs

-Dash of milk

-Toppings of choice

Crack an egg into a mug and mix in the other ingredients. Cook in the microwave in intervals of 30 seconds until the egg is fully cooked. 

Banana Bread in a Mug

-½ ripe banana

-¼ tsp vanilla extract

-2 tbsp flour

-¼ tsp baking powder

chocolate chips(the more the better)

Mash the banana and combine it with the vanilla extract. Add this mixture to a dry mixture of the flour and baking powder. Don’t forget to add in the chocolate chips. Microwave for about 90 seconds or until the bread is cooked through. 

Mac ‘n Cheese in a Mug

-⅓ cup small macaroni noodles

-½ cup of water

-¼ cup of milk

-½ cup shredded cheese

Put the macaroni and water into a mug and microwave for two minutes, stir, then microwave in intervals of one minute with stirring until all the water is absorbed. Stir in the milk and cheese, then microwave for another 30-60 seconds. 

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A fire alarm fiasco or future chefs in the making?

Over the course of the past year, students in Grosshuesch and Muehlmeier have found that the fire alarms have a bit of a sensitive temperament. Simple dishes like scrambled eggs and microwave popcorn have caused mass fire alarms. Furthermore, many students are, to be blunt, terrible cooks. The amount of fire alarms caused by microwavable mac and cheese that has no water is extremely high.

Because of these reasons, students should reconsider cooking in the dorms unless necessary. The inconvenience caused by the alarm system is unfair to all students whose lives are interrupted every time someone decides they want to try to become Gordon Ramsey.

Students should reconsider all cooking and refrain from cooking at inconvenient hours. For example, making pork chops at 3:00 am on a Tuesday morning can be a bit annoying when the fire alarms go off. So please, if you are reading this and you cook in the new buildings, reconsider your decisions.


Potential recipes for cooking in the new dorms:

Go to the cafeteria or download Door Dash.

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