Crazy Cake in a Mug

by Danielle Leavitt ’17

Hot chocolate is always my “go-to” drink in winter when I want to warm up. Just tasting that warm, soothing liquid somehow makes the snow outside disappear.  Recently, I was introduced to another cup of winter wonderland: a moist and chocolaty rich cake that is made entirely in a cup. Taking only minutes to prepare, this easy recipe is cooked in your microwave and will have you satisfied and wanting more! Best of all, it can be made gluten-free!

Dry Ingredients:

  • 5 tbsp flour (gluten free)
  • 4 ½ tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cocoa (unsweetened, most brands are gluten free except Ghirdeli)
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • ½ tsp white vinegar
  • ¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 4 1/2 tbsp water

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  • Spray the inside of a microwave safe mug with non-stick cooking spray
  • Mix the first 5 dry ingredients
  • After mixing, make 3 depressions in the dry ingredients.
  • Pour vinegar in one depression, vanilla in the other and the vegetable oil in the third
  • Pour the water on top
  • Mix well until smooth
  • Microwave for 2 minutes

To make your Crazy Mug Cake taste even better you can add mini marshmallows, chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand are gluten free), M&Ms, sprinkles, shredded coconut, etc. This easy mug cake will not only taste great on a wintery day, but you could even have a cup of hot chocolate along with it!

Recipe from:

https://sites.google.com/site/sweetlittebluebird/crazy-cake-in-a-mug-single-serving-microwave-recipe

 

 

Frozen Yogurt Pie

by Danielle Leavitt ’17

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Sometimes traditional Thanksgiving desserts need a pick me up. Move over pumpkin pie, apple pie, and pecan pie for this amazing frozen dessert that takes two minutes to make and can be just the thing missing from your Thanksgiving table. Fresh, natural, low calorie, and even sugar free if desired, this pie will leave your family and guests wanting you to make it all year long.

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Ingredients:

1 8oz tub Cool Whip (any flavor or variety! Comes in regular, lite, sugar free, chocolate)

2 small containers of gluten free yogurt (Chobani, Dannon, Yoplait). Best if mixed with berries or other flavors to compliment the Cool Whip

1 Mi-Del brand gluten free graham cracker crust with lid. This can be found at Whole Foods, other specialty natural foods store, or purchased online.

Optional: add a cup each of extra berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries etc). Fresh or frozen both work.

Directions

1. In a medium size bowl mix together Cool Whip, both containers of yogurt and berries (if added) to a smooth consistency.

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2. Pour entire mixture into the pre-made graham cracker crust. Cover with lid and place into the freezer for several hours or until frozen.

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3. Slice and eat!

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So simple, this delicious and creamy frozen treat has been at our Thanksgiving table for many years. A gluten free Thanksgiving cannot only be tasty, but a surprising welcome to some of the more traditional desserts!

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Hershey Kiss Acorn Treats

by Danielle Leavitt ’17

As always it’s a busy time in Harvard Yard. Tourists travel worldwide to see the infamous John Harvard statue, students study between classes in preparation for midterms, and photographers take pictures of the beautiful landscape and buildings at Harvard. But, mostly unnoticed, the busiest of all is the scampering squirrel who is gathering acorns and food for the upcoming winter. Especially now that winter looms and the bright colored chairs in Harvard Yard have been removed, the squirrel is even more noticeable as he stocks up on his impending feast for the next several months. The gluten free Hershey Kiss Acorn Treat is made in honor of the squirrel, in hopes that this winter, unlike the last, will be short and that the squirrel will have plenty of food to keep him satisfied. This recipe is very simple, but it is the perfect one-bite party snack that has an incredible chocolate peanut butter flavor.

Ingredients:

  1. Gluten free instant icing
  2. Gluten free mini vanilla wafers
  3. Hershey’s Kisses any flavor
  4. Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips

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Directions:

  1. Place mini vanilla wafers on a tray with the flat side of the cookie toward the top.

acorn22. Squeeze a small amount of icing onto the bottom of an unwrapped Hershey Kiss and place it onto the center of the cookie. Let sit for a few minutes to allow the icing to harden.

3. Place a small amount of icing onto the bottom of a Reese’s Piece and place onto center and top of the cookie.

acorn1This amazing acorn treat is a simple and tasty way to honor the squirrel and enjoy a great gluten free bite at the same time.
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Killer Carrot Cake

by Caroline Gentile ’17

I’ll be the first to admit it: I usually hate carrot cake.  When one is eating on cake, why in the world would they pick the one with the vegetable in it? That defeats the purpose of eating cake, right?!

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Well, this recipe for carrot cake proved me wrong.  Call me converted! Every time I’ve made this recipe, not only do I, the self-proclaimed-carrot-cake hater, have at least two helpings, but so does everyone else. And as I stuff my face with as much carrot cake as I possibly can, I justify that it’s healthy because it has vegetables in it.

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Ingredients

1 1/2 cup canola oil

2 cups of sugar

3 eggs

2 1/2 cups of flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups shredded carrot

2 cups shredded coconut

1 cup chopped walnuts

18 0z. can of pineapple

For Frosting:

3 oz. cream cheese

1/4 cup butter

2 teaspoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups of powdered sugar

Directions:

For the cake, combine ingredients in the order given.  Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

For the frosting, combine ingredients in the order given.  Make as much as you feel is necessary (read: make a lot because its delicious).

Usually, I let the cake cool completely, and then frost the cake, because the cake ends up looking prettier. But in terms of taste, it is much better to let the cake cool for 20 minutes, frost it, and dig in ASAP.

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Gluten Free Peanut Butter Balls

   Picture4by Danielle Leavitt ’17

It’s that time of year again when the crisp air and clear blue skies invite you to participate in their splendor. Winter will be coming soon, and the return to fluorescent bulbs and forced heat can dampen anyone’s spirits. This is a great time of year to enjoy being outside, whether it’s to take a walk or run along the river, canoe, or even hike. Fall leaves, apple picking, and spiced cider are traditional treats that we eat this time of year. In my family, we make simple Peanut Butter Balls that are not only delicious, but very healthy and can be used as a seasonal post work out snack or used as an on-the-go snack. Each ball has 100 calories and 5 grams of protein, are gluten-free, and easy to make!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Natural Creamy Peanut Butter

1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder

1 tsp Honey

1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Chips

1/2 tsp Coconut Oil

*all ingredients are Gluten free

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Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix the peanut butter, protein powder, and honey together until it forms a dough (you may need. to add a little more protein powder if the dough is not thick enough)
  2. Cover a plate with parchment paper. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place onto the paper. Place the plate with the peanut butter balls into the freezer to chill. The time will vary depending on the freezer.
  3. After the balls are frozen in place the chocolate chips and coconut oil into a small bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring and repeating until the chocolate is melted.
  4. Remove the peanut butter balls from the freezer and dip them halfway into the melted chocolate. Enjoy!The final product can be frozen for future outings or eaten right away. The combination of peanut butter and chocolate creates a creamy, nutty, and delectable bite. Fall treats can be easy to make, gluten free, and taste amazing!

Picture2The final product can be frozen for future outings or eaten right away. The combination of peanut butter and chocolate creates a creamy, nutty, and delectable bite. Fall treats can be easy to make, gluten free, and taste amazing!

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Fresh Dorm Pesto as Easy as 1, 2, 3

by Audrey Thorne ’19
image3I love Italian food to the point that when I was younger I sometimes wished I was Italian. My family regularly had pasta three times a week, sometimes four, because of our shared love of it. To keep things interesting my mother tried to diverge from the standard spaghetti with red sauce by letting my brother and I pick the pasta shapes (I have my top five pasta shapes and rankings memorized, and a grudge against penne), adding different vegetables, and, when we finally conceded to trying something really new, different sauces. I never liked the store bought pestos so we always made our own at home. It is super easy and perfect not only on pasta, but on sandwiches. The recipe below gives the numbers for a cup of pesto.
image5Ingredients:
2 cups of Basil
1 cup of Olive Oil
1/4 cup of Pine nuts
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
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Will also need:
A food processor or aggressive blender
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Directions:
1. Add ingredients to the blender or food processor
2. Puree until you like the texture
3. Add more olive oil if the pesto is too dense, or add more pureed basil if it is too liquid-y

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Pumpkin Muffins with a Spice

by Richa Chaturvedi ’18

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In an effort to test how yummy Buzzfeed suggestions really are, I spent my Friday afternoon making these pumpkin muffins!  Spoiler alert: never shall I doubt Buzzfeed again.

Pumpkin is always a tricky ingredient – it has an interesting consistency and tends to overpower everything else in the dish.  A basic rule of thumb for cooking with pumpkin is to enhance the flavor with the correct spice, but to make sure to incorporate more dynamic elements into the recipe so that pumpkin isn’t the only flavor. This is why I added chocolate chips to these muffins. Chocolate and pumpkin is actually an underrated combination, plus they look amazing together!

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The recipe also calls for pumpkin spice, which is just a combination of basic fall flavors: cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ginger. Since I’m a normal college student, I didn’t just have those lying around so I was very generous with cinnamon and vanilla extract. It still tasted great! The big takeaway from this is that recipes aren’t set in stone. As long as you have the basic chemistry down, you can take liberties to personalize and experiment with the dishes you create. After all, you’re the one eating them so it’s really up to you.

Above all else, don’t be scared to try new recipes and ingredients. I’m basically inept – there was a period of time in high school when I was banned from using the microwave due to an unfortunate aluminum foil incident – but I was committed to making myself something nice and pumpkin-y and, I’m not going to lie, I crushed it.  It’s helpful to remember that if you don’t make yourself chocolate chip and pumpkin muffins, then you won’t be able to eat chocolate chip and pumpkin muffins. With that inspiration, go forth! And happy fall from Crimson Crave.

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Make it yourself!

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin spice
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 (16 ounce) can pure pumpkin
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 24 pumpkin-shaped candies

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper or silicone liners and coat with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a whisk, combine eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin. Add the flour mixture in two batches, mixing after each addition until uniformly combined.
  4. Using a large cookie scoop, fill the muffin cups nearly to the top with batter. Bake about 25 minutes, rotating the muffin tins halfway through baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean with a few crumbs attached. Cool completely.
  5. While the muffins are cooling, in a large bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth. Frost muffins using a spatula or a pastry bag and piping tip of your choice. Top with pumpkin candies.

*Recipe courtesy of CulinaryHill.com.

Apple Cinnamon Bread

by Michelle Chiang ’19

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There’s something fundamentally satisfying about baking – the textures under your fingertips, the aromas caressing your nose, the flavors cartwheeling over your tongue. In the hectic, intellectually taxing routines of college life, it’s immensely therapeutic to create something tangible with your hands.

While many recipes require fancy equipment, expensive ingredients, or labor-intensive techniques, there are just as many – if not more – recipes that are cheap, easy, and relatively quick. There’s really no excuse not to bake, especially when you can get ingredients free of charge from the dining halls.

Here’s a simple recipe for a sweet time with friends!

Apple Cinnamon Bread (recipe adapted from Apple Cinnamon Bread from Two Peas and Their Pod)

This recipe will be featured on Well-Being Secrets, read about the health benefits of apples and make this awesome recipe: Link.

Serving Size: one 8×8 pan

Cook Time: 40-55 minutes

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Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

2 large eggs

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup applesauce

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup sugar

3 medium-sized apples, peeled and diced

1/2 cup pecans (optional)

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Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Mix the ingredients very, very well.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, applesauce, and vanilla until smooth. Add in the sugar and mix until well combined.
  4. Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix until well combined. Gently fold in the apple chunks. 5
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan. (Optional: Arrange pecans on the batter. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over the top.)4
  6. Bake in 8×8 pan for 40-55 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean. (Start occasionally checking it after 30 minutes.)

  Enjoy!3     

Mug Meals

by Audrey Thorne ’19

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I have an excessive amount of mugs. I can’t help it. I love mugs. But it kind of seems like a waste to keep six mugs in my dorm room and only use one at a time for beverages, so I decided to challenge myself to make the most of my mugs by having a mug day. Four meals. Six mugs. A great alternative to real cooking.
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#1
Ingredients:
Water
Directions:
1. Put water in cup
2. Hydrate while cooking more complex mug meals
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Ingredients:
Milk
Water
Hot coco mix
Optional: Marshmallows
Directions:
1. Add milk and water
2. Microwave for 2 minutes
3. Add coco mix
4. Mix
5. Add marshmallows
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#3
Ingredients:
2 eggs
1 tablespoon of milk
1 slice of American cheese
Directions:
1. Crack two eggs in a mug
2. Scramble eggs with fork
3. Add milk
4. Tear up slice of American cheese and add
5. Mix eggs, cheese, and milk
6. Microwave for 2 minutes
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#4
Ingredients:
One mugs worth of water
Amount of microwavable ramen to taste
Ramen mix
Directions:
1. Fill mug with water
2. Microwave for 3 minutes
3. Add ramen seasoning
4. Mix
5. Add ramen noodles
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#5
Ingredients:
One pack of Kraft easy mac
Water
Optional: little bit of milk or butter
Directions:
1. Add macaroni to mug
2. Add water
3. Microwave for 3.5 minutes
4. Add cheese powder
5. Mix
6. Add milk or butter
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#6
Ingredients:
1/3 box of brownie mix
1/5 cup oil
1 tablespoon of water
Optional: chocolate chips, 1 egg
Directions:
1. Add brownie mix, oil, water, an egg, and chocolate chips
2. Mix
3. Microwave for 3 minutes
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Punch Season

by Richa Chaturvedi ’18

Sophomore fall means one thing at Harvard: it’s punch season! But worry not; I’m here with a survival guide to this incredibly stressful time. It’s not a letter under your door, but it will have to do.

Introducing Crimson Crave’s foolproof guide to punch season!

Round 1: You’re nervous. You’re still unclear about the dress code. You’re out of data because you had to use Google maps to get here. If the prospect of smiling and making small talk to the next 45 minutes to an hour freaks you out, then you need to chill out with this wonderfully refreshing Mint Tea punch! It’s the perfect punch to relax with, with its combination of minty freshness and a soothing tea. All your worries will wash away with this liquid strength in your hands.

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Photo courtesy of allrecipes.com

Round 2: Perhaps you’ve made if farther than you expected (it’s a miracle you made it to the next round since you spent the whole last event being antisocial at the snack table). You’re a bit of a pro now. You walk in with your crew, ready to rock this event like the super star you know you are. You need a drink that asserts dominance and exudes confidence. Try this Pink Rhubarb punch because, if Elle Woods taught us anything, pink is definitely the color of confidence. You’ll definitely be strutting your stuff with this drink in hand.

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Photo courtesy of http://www.tasteofhome.com

Round 3: Time for date events, which are clearly everyone’s favorite part of punch. It’s not stressful at all. But it’s cold! You’ll have to wear a heavy-duty jacket over your nice clothes, so why not warm up with this Mexican Pumpkin punch? A close cousin of the classic pumpkin spice latte, this drink is a tribute to all things fall. You won’t even feel Hurricane Joaquin’s winds when equipped with this crowd pleaser.

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Photo courtesy of http://www.foodnetwork.com

Round 4: Okay, wow. You’re almost at the promise land. Whatever happens at this point, it’s important to pat yourself on the back for a job well done. You’ve had countless conversations about concentrations, dining halls, and CS50. You deserve something nice because you’re worth it. Kick back and celebrate with this Red Velvet punch (yes, you read that correctly). It’s like a cake, but it’s punch. It’s delicious and topical. It’s in your belly and you’re very happy about it. Congrats on making it through punch kids, we did it.

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Photo courtesy of http://www.foodnetwork.com