It’s the most wonderful time of the year, my friends.
Yes, it is the holiday season. But it’s also finals season. Which actually isn’t so wonderful. I’ve noticed that students people choose to spend their finals season locked away in the library at all hours of the day and night, eyes glued to shiny MacBooks, gripping a red Venti Starbucks cup in one hand and propping their head up with the other. During finals season, instances of public napping increase tremendously, as do sightings of zombies in all academic buildings and in the mile-long line at Starbucks.
Thankfully, my course load this first semester isn’t as daunting as, say, the girl sitting next to me in the library yesterday–as I reviewed the differences between cakes and cookies, she seemed to be struggling with some sort of convoluted accounting formula. Oh, the joys of being a freshman Nutrition & Food Studies student.
This past weekend, I was struck by an illness called procrasti-baking. It’s caused by a combination of dread, stress, monotony and an excess supply of eggs, butter and flour. While some of my fellow students decided to study overnight, I instead chose to bake at all hours of the day.
Last week, I spent two days baking chocolate gingerbread cookies. On day one, I prepared the batter, but there was a final paper looming over my head, so I didn’t cut and bake the cookies until the next day. So I found myself, in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, rolling, cookie-cuttering, baking and sampling chocolate gingerbread cookies. Protip: If you don’t have a rolling pin, a great way to roll out dough is to press it between two sheets of parchment paper and roll a round cup over it. On Sunday I baked a giant browned-butter skillet cookie for my wonderful floormates. It was quickly devoured. I didn’t end up getting a picture, but feel free to imagine the grandeur of a giant, warm cookie. Mmmmmm.
And then, last night, I decided to make some banana crumb muffins, with the addition of chocolate chips, cinnamon and nutmeg and chopped-up pecans in the crumb topping. I knew I had overdone the baking when one of my roommates, drawn to the kitchen by the scent of fresh-baked muffins, exclaimed, “Caty, you’re baking something again?!” Thankfully, nobody’s (seriously) complained yet about the amount of baked goodies I have been producing. I just like to think I’m making up for the five and a half weeks that we’ll be apart during winter break.
Georgia and I made these same muffins a couple months ago, and I still can’t believe how delicious they are. I also can’t believe that I just ate one and a half while typing this. Please, somebody, take my baked goods away from me.
This morning (yes, the procasti-baking continues!) I whipped up a batch of mini veggie frittatas. They’re a fantastic breakfast to make if you find yourself with excess eggs, meal swipes, and limited funds. I figured that I should probably take a sweets break and use the remainder of my eggs for something savory. Instead of buying vegetables, I used a meal swipe for a simple spinach salad topped with roasted asparagus, red peppers and caramelized onions. To be honest, I’m getting pretty tired of dining hall food. And one cannot survive solely on salads, right? I recommend eating these mini frittatas with a slice of buttered whole-grain toast and a side of fruit. It makes for a wonderfully balanced and delicious breakfast–or dinner, if you’re into that sort of thing. (Sidenote: I fully support breakfast for dinner.)
This will probably be my last college post before next semester. Georgia has finally returned and I can’t wait to start cooking with her again over winter break.
Happy holidays, everybody! And remember: procrasti-baking is completely normal.
Mini Veggie Frittatas
Makes about 9
1/4 cup milk or cream
1/2 cup chopped veggies
Salt & pepper, to taste
1/4 cup shredded cheese
- Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, whisk together whole eggs and milk. Stir in chopped veggies and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Butter or oil 9 regular-sized muffin tins and fill about 2/3 with the egg mixture. Top each with shredded cheese.
- Bake about 15-20 minutes, or until centers are set.
Note: for my frittatas, I used skim milk, roasted asparagus, peppers and caramelized onions and shredded Mexican blend cheese. Feel free to experiment with whatever veggies/protein/cheese you like! I also love making these with spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese. The frittatas are also a great make-ahead breakfast; you can refrigerate and re-heat these babies in a microwave or oven.