This weekend, students from all over the world are coming to campus for Visitas, Harvard’s admitted student weekend. You can see them grouped in front of the John Harvard statue, loitering outside of Canaday, or sitting in on a class at the Science Center. It’s a weekend of firsts for these students: first friends, first time getting lost on the way to Quad, and, most importantly, first time eating at Annenberg.
I remember my first time walking into Annenberg. It was overwhelming and exciting, much like the rest of my Visitas experience. I walked in to the Berg (which I was too scared to call it at the time in case I sounded like a try-hard) and felt like I had truly made it. I had a very basic meal – spaghetti and tomato sauce – because I have this theory that you need to start at the basics to really get the sense of a place. I stayed there for hours, meeting new people and basking in the light of the stained glass windows.
But when I came to school that fall, I slowly began losing that wonder. Instead of looking up at awe, I would groan when they ran out of carnival cookies and run to Expos. I would be there, but never be there, taking it all in.
Yesterday, I spoke with a pre-frosh who had just had her first meal in the Berg. She spoke of it as a thing of beauty, as if it was magical. Her food was amazing, she met so many people, and she even proudly recounted ordering from the grill (something I finally got the nerve to do freshmen fall). It reminded me of the wonder I felt the first time I was there, living those experiences, taking my first bites of HUDS food, and freaking out when I realized I could even have Coke with my breakfast. It’s funny to think about how much has changed in all of our lives since the first time we ate at Annenberg. That’s why I think Visitas is timed perfectly timed. Sitting in between midterms and finals, when we’re really feeling grumpy and tired, it reminds us of that wonder. At least it certainly did for me.
On a night when there was no pizza to be found in the dining hall (a very sad night indeed), I struggled to put food on my plate that seemed appetizing. And then – genius struck. I could make my own pizza! I poached some marinara sauce from the spaghetti station while I waited for my bagels to toast, and asked the grille for two slices of cheese. Just a few minutes later, I was enjoying my pizza bagel while my blockmates drooled in jealousy. Soon, they too made their own pizza bagels, and together we marveled at how delicious they are, yet so easy to make. So the next time you are at a loss for what to eat for lunch or dinner, consider the pizza bagel. It won’t let you down!
A bagel, cut into halves (use either plain or whole grain)
Cheese (either from the sandwich bar or from the grille)
Bacon or other toppings that you think would make your pizza bagel even better (optional)
Toast the bagel until it is well-toasted (a little more than golden brown). You want to ensure that it will not get soggy when you put the marinara sauce on it. Then, add the marinara sauce, about a spoonful for each half, or more depending on your preference. If you are adding toppings, place them on top of the marinara sauce. Place one slice of cheese on each half. Put the prepared pizza bagel into the microwave for 20-30 seconds or until the cheese is sufficiently melted. Wait for the pizza bagel to cool for as long as your self-control will allow you (no more than a few minutes though, thank god) and enjoy!
There are a lot of reasons I wanted to try the new Oatmeal-Coffee craze – it solves the problem of not drinking coffee on an empty stomach, it might add flavour to otherwise dreary oatmeal, it is cheap, easy, and quick to make – but the number one reason why I wanted to try oatmeal-coffee is how absolutely strange it sounds. I am not an adventurous eater, but I am a curious one. I wonder what drew people to try replacing the water in oatmeal with coffee, and what led them to keep doing it. Here are the three D-Hall coffee substitutions of oatmeal.
Seattle’s Best Coffee Signature Blend No 4 Decaf Medium-Dark Rich and Quaker Oats
Bitter from the first time the spoon touched my palate, decaffeinated Oatmeal – Coffee is definitely for people who enjoy the taste of coffee. Not my cup of tea (or coffee) but definitely the perfect oatmeal for a coffee lover.
Personal rating: B-
Seattle’s Best Coffee Signature Blend No 4 Medium-Dark Rich and Quaker Oats
When swallowed quickly, it tastes like normal oatmeal. The longer it sits in my mouth, the more bitter it is. Still, every time I finish a spoonful I want another bite. I do not understand what the draw is, but I cannot stop eating it. I definitely had both more oatmeal and coffee together than I would have of either on their own.
Personal rating: B +
Seattle’s Best Coffee Vanilla and Quaker Oats
Sweet with only slight undertones of coffee flavoring. Vanilla Oatmeal-Coffee tastes almost identical to lightly sweetened oatmeal.
We’ve all been there – you walk into the dining hall, and nothing really piques your appetite. You could settle for a salad, but that’s hardly satisfying. You could splurge and eat out, but you don’t want to spend money. What to do?
Fortunately, there’s a third option that’s ALWAYS available: make your own meal. More specifically, make your own fried rice.
Fried rice is unbelievably easy to make. At home, my family often makes it with whatever ingredients are at hand: rice (of course), steamed vegetables, egg, leftover meat. Here’s my dhall version of fried rice.
(Feel free to add, remove, or change any part or the recipe! Everything is entirely up to you and your tastes.)
It’s Wednesday at 12:10pm. You’re in the servery. Well, it’s not just you, but about 30 other people who decided to eat at 12:10 just like you did. (How inconsiderate of them! #butactually.) First the trays run out, then the forks, and finally, your patience is gone.
Then, from the end of the line, you see a mouthwatering mountain of sweet potato fries…Heaven. It’s finally your turn in line, and everything is right with the world.
This d-hall hack is for the days when you want sweet potato fries, and sweet potato fries only. This fry/nacho hybrid is quite simple, low-commitment, and only involves 2 seconds of your precious, between-class time.
A nice big plate of sweet potato fries
Cheese: feta from the salad bar, cheddar from the chili station, American/Swiss cheese from the sandwich
Scallions from the chili station
If you like it hot… Try some chill powder, hot pepper flakes, anything you can find.
How it’s done:
Get some sweet potato fries. Pile on any cheese you’d like, some scallions, and anything you can think of that tastes good with cheese and potatoes.
Throw it in the microwave. 45 seconds will do it.
Dipping Sauce Ideas:
Sour cream mixed with dill (you know, those spices you always think about using but never do?)
Veritaffles are a staple of the Harvard student diet – there’s nothing like a warm, carbohydrate – infused start to another long day of problem sets, and club meetings, and all of the other delightful things an overbooked undergraduate has to look forward to.
But sometimes, you need to spice up your Veritaffle. A plain waffle is just not enough. That’s where the amazing oatmeal peanut butter Veritaffle comes in. It’s a quick and easy d-hall hack to make your breakfast and brunches heartier than ever.
1 medium size bowl of the waffle mix
2-3 scoops of oatmeal
2-3 spoonfuls of peanut butter
These are very straightforward: all you need to do is throw in a couple extra ingredients into the pre-made waffle batter!
1. Obtain the bowl of waffle batter. (If anyone who looks at you strangely while you’re pouring the waffle mix into a bowl, just tell them that you eat your waffles nice and raw.)
2. Add the oatmeal, and mix thoroughly so there are no clumps of batter or oatmeal.
3. Add the peanut butter, and mix thoroughly once more so the peanut butter is evenly mixed into the batter.
4. Pour into waffle maker, wait those anxious 2.5 minutes, and enjoy!
Optional Waffle Toppings:
Sliced banana and honey
The tried-and-true whipped cream and syrup combination
by Emily Brother ’19
Elvis Presley was famous for many reasons including his odd affinity for Fool’s Gold Sandwiches. This sandwich was originally made from a piece of French bread that is coated in butter, baked, and hollowed out. It was then filled with a jar of peanut butter and a jar of jelly in addition to slices of bacon and pieces of banana. Here is how you can make your own slightly smaller version of the meal that was fit for The King:
5 Strips of Bacon
1/2c Peanut butter
Toast the bagel.
Smear the peanut butter on one half of the bagel.
Smear jelly on the other half of the bagel.
Lay the strips of bacon on the half of the bagel with peanut butter.
Slice ½ banana into thin, half-inch pieces and place them on the half of the bagel with jelly.
Below are our best submissions to the second annual dining hall hack competition. Until Friday, November 20th, vote here for your favorite entry! The winner will get to pick a recipe off the blog to be made and delivered to their dorm after Thanksgiving break.
Chicken, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Burrito (by Nolan Hellickson):
1 chicken breast
2 fried over easy eggs
2 slices of swiss cheese
blue cheese dressing
veggie of choice (onions and mushrooms)
1. Order a chicken breast and 2 fried over easy eggs from the grill with swiss cheese
2. Slice the chicken into small pieces, put in the wrap with the eggs and cheese
3. Add veggies and drizzle with blue cheese dressing
4. Add oregano and pepper
5. Wrap the burrito and place in the sandwich press
6. Enjoy a perfect burrito
Chicken Teriyaki Bowl (by Amanda Heffernan):
1 grilled chicken breast
Order some grilled chicken, dice it up, and add it to a bowl of rice with edamame and sliced carrots from the salad bar.
For sauce, mix three parts soy sauce, one part honey, one part sesame oil, and one part sriracha. Stir well with a fork and combine with the chicken, rice, and veggies.
Blueberry Waffle (by Katelyn McEvoy):
Get a plastic cup 2/3 full of batter and add one big spoonful of blueberries (without much liquid), then mix it up well with a spoon. Spray the waffle iron and pour in the batter, starting in the center and then making sure it spreads to the edges. Cook for about 15 seconds longer than called for, then top with whip cream and enjoy
Step 3: Add ice cream. (The ice cream can be added directly to the mug, but it’s probably safer to put the ice cream in a bowl first, and then slowly add in spoonfuls of ice cream. Otherwise the hot chocolate may overflow.)
Step 4: For an extra kick, add some coffee to the mix.
While Annenberg’s exquisite stained-glass windows never fail to impress, the dining hall breakfast can get old very quickly – especially for those looking for healthier options. After all, how many days can one eat oatmeal before it gets boring?
A lot, actually. It just takes a little creative mixing and matching. Here are a few oatmeal-based confections to dazzle up your morning:
Peary Delicious: pear, Greek yogurt, and honey
Bowl of Sunshine: banana, raisins, peanut butter
The Classic:apple, peanut butter
The Adventure: peanut butter, cinnamon, yogurt, Sriracha sauce (courtesy of Jennifer Tu ’16)
You’re probably making a face right now. But wait – if you like Thai food, give this one a try! The ingredients mingle together and create a savory, sweet sensation with just the right amount of kick. (Author’s note: be wary of adding too much cinnamon or Sriracha sauce.)