This is a recipe that we’ve been meaning to try for quite some time. It is a perfect dorm room recipe, because it only needs a mini-fridge and two ingredients: whipped cream and chocolate wafer cookies.        The cookies are layered with whipped cream to form a roll, which is then covered with more whipped cream. The log is placed in a fridge overnight, and when it comes out, it has become a delicious chocolate and vanilla cake. The wafer cookies absorb moisture from the whipped cream and puff up into thick, cake-like layers. This is seriously something that you have to see to believe.
Next time you are out buying snacks, you should grab a box of ‘Famous Chocolate Wafers’, some whipping cream, and try this recipe out for yourself. It will blow your mind and your taste buds!
10 wafer cookies
1 cup whipped cream (we made our own using 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, 1 tbsp powdered sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla extract)

1.     Spread about 1 tbsp whipped cream over each chocolate cookie
2.     Assemble cookies into a stack
3.     Turn stack on its side and completely cover with whipped cream
4.     Refrigerate overnight
5.     Cut diagonally into slices to show off chocolate layers 

Today was very exciting for us. Dorm Room Delights was featured in  this article in The Amherst Student, our student run newspaper here at Amherst! To celebrate, we've done some serious planning and have thought up some great new recipes for you.
We also took a look through our past recipes,  and realized that there are quite a few variations of a simple concept: pasta with vegetables. Believe it or not , there is a very logical reason for this repetition. Noodles and vegetables can be combined in many versatile ways to create filling and healthy meals that don't require meat (which we cannot feasibly cook using our kettle.) 
To demonstrate the potential of these pasta dishes, we made satisfying noodle stir fry with a light lemon sauce. After experimenting with many different types of noodles (macaroni, pasta, and ramen), we decided to use ramen noodels as the best base for this recipe. The noodles perfectly soaked up the lemon sauce, while freshly steamed veggies (which we foraged from our salad bar) provided a great textural contrast. All in all, this dish is a winner, and is a prime example of a wonderful meal that can be made in your dorm. 
For lemon sauce:
1 chicken bullion cube*
2/3 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
For stir fry:
1 package ramen noodles
1/2 cup raw broccoli (f)
1/4 cup sliced carrots (f)
1/4 cup snow peas (f)

1. Boil a large amount of water in kettle. Use some of the water to cook ramen noodles using our ramen method, and save some water for sauce. 
While ramen is cooking:
1. Dissolve bullion in 2/3 cup boiling water
2. When cube is dissolved, pour off half of chicken broth
3. Add lemon juice, sugar, and soy sauce to the broth. Stir over double boiler to heat sauce.
4. Remove sauce from heat, and mix with drained ramen noodles (they should be done cooking by this point)
5. Steam veggies and add to noodles

*We have many bullion cubes because they are a great base for chicken soup. If you don't want to buy a box of bullion, you can use the chicken flavor packet that comes with chicken ramen noodles. 
Ice cream pie is an incredible creation. Delicious ice cream combined with a sweet, crunchy crumb crust- what is not to love? Especially when you top it with hot fudge sauce :)
If your mouth is watering, don't waste a second. Grab some oreos and go forage a cup of soft serve from the dining hall. This is so easy to make that you have no excuse.
If you want to add a toch of excitement to the pie, serve it with this incredible fudge sauce. We whipped it up with some condensed milk and chocolate chips that were left over from our cookie-dough truffles.
Sure to impress, and sure to please, this pie is a winner. Enjoy!
Ice cream pie:
6 oreos/ chocolate sandwich cookies
1 cup soft serve from dining hall (f)
Fudge Sauce:
1 tsp butter
1/4 cup condensed milk
handful semisweet chocolate chips
Directions Ice Cream Pie:
1. Using a spoon or the back of a fork, crush oreos into small bits
2. Let ice cream warm a little, and spoon into crust
3. Freeze immediately and wait a few hours before serving
For the Fudge Sauce:
1. Combine chocolate chips, condensed milk, and butter in bowl of double boiler
2. Stir until melted, and pour over ice cream pie
The idea to make couscous on this blog came from a reader, and we owe her a huge 'thank you'. She said that she cooks couscous for her family all the time, and encouraged us to do some research. For those of you who don't know, couscous is a middle eastern dish made of tiny circular pieces of pasta. As it turns out, regular couscous is cooked by pouring boiling water over dry couscous and letting the mixture sit for just 5 minutes in a pot!
Not only is couscous easy to make, but it pairs well with many vegetables, meats, and sauces. In this case, we chose to serve couscous with a few ingredients that we foraged from the salad bar: cherry tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, and chickpeas. 
Quite simply, this turned out fabulously. We have no doubt that couscous will become a regular food staple for our dorm-mates. 
1/3 C plain couscous
10 cherry tomatoes (f)
a sprinkle of raisins(f)
sliced up red onion (f)
handful raw mushrooms (f)
handful chickpeas (cooked) (f)
1. Bring kettle to a boil
2. Add water to couscous and let sit in thermos for 5 minutes
3. While the couscous is cooking, chop vegetables (or various additions)
4. Spoon cooked couscous onto plate, add vegetables, admire, then dig in!
We are so excited about this recipe for a few reasons. Not only do these bars taste like mini apple pies, but we were able to forage every single ingredient from our dining hall!
These bars have an oatmeal crust that is layered with apple sauce, and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar (or an optional walnut streusel topping which requires a few more ingredients.) The cinnamon, brown sugar, apple, and oatmeal flavors combine perfectly to create a truly sublime desert!
For the bars:

  2 packets instant oatmeal (f)
  2 tbsps brown sugar (f)
  1 tablespoon butter (f)
  2/3 cup apple sauce (f)
  1 tsp cinnamon (f)
  1 tbsp sugar (f)
For the walnut streusel topping:
  1 tbsp flour
  2 tbsp sugar (f)
  1 1/2 tsp cinnamon (f)
  1 tbsp butter (f)
  Handful chopped walnuts
1. Pour 1/2 cup boiling water over oatmeal, and stir until oats are cooked
2. Melt butter in double boiler, stir in 1 tablespoon brown sugar
3. Pour butter mixture over oats and stir until just combined
4. Press oats into base of aluminum foil pan
5. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tbsp brown sugar
6. Spread apple sauce over oatmeal and refrigerate for 1.5 hrs
We've finally done it!
We have found a way to cook pasta with an electric kettle. Not ramen, not mac'n'cheese noodles. We can cook good, old fashioned, penne pasta!
After discovering this new method, we wanted to come up with a wonderful, hearty recipe that features this penne. So, we created a simple cream sauce for this cheesy penne with freshly steamed broccoli. This is perfect if you need to make dinner in your room, or if you are just starving at 4:00 in the afternoon :)
1 serving cooked penne
1/2 cup steamed broccoli (f)

For the cream sauce:
1 tbsp butter (f)
1/4 cup shredded cheese (parmesan, mozzarella, or cheddar) (f)
1/4 cup cream
salt and pepper to taste
Directions for sauce:
1. In a double boiler, melt butter
2. Add cream and stir over steam for 3 minutes
3. Add cheese and stir until cheese melts and sauce thickens
4. Add pepper and salt to taste
While sauce rests, make pasta using the pasta method and either steam or heat up some broccoli. 

When pasta is done, assemble dish: place drained broccoli on pasta, then cover with cream sauce. 
Eat while pasta is hot. 
The genius who created oreos should be given a medal. Honestly, do you know anyone who genuinely dislikes those chocolate, creamy sandwich cookies? Especially since there are so many varieties: vanilla oreos, inside-out oreos, double-stuffed oreos, not to mention all of the knock-off versions (like our preferred brand: JoJo's from Trader Joe's.)
Oreos are not only delicious, but quite useful for baking. They can be blended in a food processor and used to make a chocolate cheesecake crust (check it out with our ice cream pie), dipped in peanut butter like the movie Parent Trap, or mashed up with cream cheese to make oreo truffles!
Oreo truffles are tiny bites of perfection. Just imagine the tang of cream cheese frosting mixed with sweet chocolate flavors, combined with the crunchy texture of the oreo crumbs...
Actually, don't imagine anything. Make your own! These truffles are super easy, fast, and simple. Go for it!
12 oreo cookies (any brand of sandwich cookies will work)
5 tablespoons cream cheese (f)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Mash oreos in large bowl
2. Mix in cream cheese until combined
3. Form into 8 balls, refrigerate 15 mins
4. Melt chocolate over double boiler
5. Dip balls in chocolate, refrigerate 30 mins or until chocolate coating has hardened
A simple bean and cheese quesadilla is a fantastic go-to snack when you get a craving for melted cheese deleciousness. 
We've been thinking of ways to make quesadillas in our dorm, and have thought through a variety of techniques: from mixing melted cheese with beans and pouring them over a tortilla, to wrapping a pre-assembled quesadilla in aluminum foil and holding it against the side of the kettle. Sadly, none of these techniques were able to successfully melt the cheese and heat up the entire tortilla. 
However, when we added the steamer method to our repertoire of kettle tricks, we realized that we finally could make perfect dorm room quesadillas! We assembled small quesadillas and wrapped them tightly with aluminum foil, then placed the packets in our steamer and used the hot steam to warm the quesadillas all at once. 
These quesadillas are perfect: bite sized, with a gooey center. They are best eaten when hot, fresh from the steamer! 
1/4 cup shredded cheese* (f)
1/4 cup cooked beans* (f)
1 tortilla (f)
1. Cut tortilla in half
2. Sprinkle with beans and cheese
3. Fold over to make triangle. 
4. Wrap quesadilla with aluminum foil: press foi, down from edges, fold over half of center piece, fold again and press onto center, fold edges up and press onto center.
5. Place in steamer and cover top of steamer with aluminum foil
6. Put steamer over boiling water for 5 minutes
 7. Remove quesadilla from steamer, take out of foil and munch. 
8. Repeat steps 2-7 for second half of tortilla.
Lemon bars are a treat that instantly evoke feelings of spring and happiness. Traditional lemon bars are made by baking a pastry crust and then pouring on a layer of lemon filling, which is baked again for  about 15 minutes. Obviously, we cannot make 'real' lemon bars using just our electric kettle, but we do have a method that comes quite close. 
This recipe uses store-bought shortbread cookies (the same ones that we used for our chocolate mousse cake and our Pudding Parfait) as a base for a lemon curd. Lemon curd is made by mixing sugar, egg yolks, butter, and lemon juice over a double boiler, so we easily adapted a standard recipe. After pouring the lemon curd over the shortbread, we refrigerated the combination to make fantastic dorm room lemon bars. 
Light and refreshing they will bring a touch of sunshine to any winter's day. Have fun!
1/4 cup sugar
5 teaspoons butter (<2 tablespoons) (f)
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup lemon juice (we squeezed it from lemon slices that we foraged from the drink bar)
4 shortbread cookies
1. Wrap shortbread cookies with aluminum foil, leaving about 1/2 an inch on all edges to keep lemon curd on cookie
2. Squeeze juice from lemons
3. Combine yolk, lemon juice, and sugar in bowl of double boiler. Stir frequently until mixture thickens, and coats the back of a spoon (about 8 min)
4. Move liquid into larger bowl. Add butter, 1 tsp at a time and whisk until melted completely. 
5. Let cool and refrigerate until curd is thick
6. Pour curd over shortbread and refrigerate bars for at least a day. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy