Easy Dorm Tacos

By Audrey Thorne ’19



1 pound of ground beef

1 taco seasoning mix

Soft or hard shells



Sour cream

Mexican cheese


Cooking Supplies:

1 pan

1 spatula or fork


Step 1: Place the ground beef in the pan and turn the heat on high. Use the spatula or fork to break the meat into smaller pieces, as small as possible. After about ten minutes, all the meat should be brown.

Optional Step 1.5: If you want low fat tacos, you can remove the excess fat using a paper towel and replenish the moisture with approximately 1 cup of water. Let most of this water absorb into the meat before moving on to step 2.

Step 2: Lower the temperature to medium. Add taco seasoning mix and stir it into the meat.

Step 3: Warm your shell of choice for 30 seconds in the microwave.

Step 4: Take your shell of choice, fill it with your seasoned meat, and add your toppings of choice.

Step 5: Enjoy!


The Ultimate Dining Hall Hack: A Review of Mange App

by Richa Chaturvedi ’18


At long last, Mange App is a dining hall hack that everyone on campus will enjoy.  Currently beta testing in Cabot, this app allows for HUDS grill orders to go paperless.  The app displays the daily menu, takes grill orders from anywhere on campus, and texts students when their orders are ready.  Finally, no more of that awkward circling around the grill during the chaos that is lunch hour!

Mange App currently lives exclusively online – the iPhone and Android app should be rolling out in the next month – and, while there are some areas for improvement, it definitely has this starving student’s stamp of approval.  The first time I used Mange App I was a bit annoyed.  I was running to office hours, wanted something from the grill, and had to register as a user and figure out a new interface just to get a piece of chicken.  I soon realized that my aversion to adapt to something new got in the way of me understanding the coolness of the entire set-up.  Now, if I need something quickly, I can order from my room and get a text telling me to go pick my food up.  I’ll probably start getting more texts from Mange App than I will from my roommates, to be honest.

Like I mentioned, no rollout is without its drawbacks.  Currently, lunch time on the app is set to begin at noon.  That means for you early lunchers that you literally cannot order food until 12:00, even if lunch technically begins at 11:30.  This, and other small issues, are already being worked on and will be resolved before the school-wide release of the app.  HUDS has even been kind enough to set up an iPad on the counter so that students without smart phones can use the service.

I am sure that the school-wide release of Mange App will turn out to be successful.  Already, Cabot grill (which is definitely the best) is more efficient, while using less paper.  Mange App is the ultimate dining hall hack: it increases productivity without sacrificing taste.  You may ask yourself, now what?  I have my grilled chicken in no time and now have no idea what to do with it.  For some great ideas on how to spruce up your dining hall meals, check out more Crimson Crave dining hall hacks!




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.
2 cups of Basil
1 cup of Olive Oil
1/4 cup of Pine nuts
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
Will also need:
A food processor or aggressive blender
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


Mug Meals

by Audrey Thorne ’19


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.
1. Put water in cup
2. Hydrate while cooking more complex mug meals
Hot coco mix
Optional: Marshmallows
1. Add milk and water
2. Microwave for 2 minutes
3. Add coco mix
4. Mix
5. Add marshmallows
2 eggs
1 tablespoon of milk
1 slice of American cheese
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
One mugs worth of water
Amount of microwavable ramen to taste
Ramen mix
1. Fill mug with water
2. Microwave for 3 minutes
3. Add ramen seasoning
4. Mix
5. Add ramen noodles
One pack of Kraft easy mac
Optional: little bit of milk or butter
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
1/3 box of brownie mix
1/5 cup oil
1 tablespoon of water
Optional: chocolate chips, 1 egg
1. Add brownie mix, oil, water, an egg, and chocolate chips
2. Mix
3. Microwave for 3 minutes

Dorm Chicken Parm in 15 Minutes or Less

by Audrey Thorne ’19

Back home my family makes pasta pomodoro with chicken nuggets for dinner probably four times a week. It is much too difficult and expensive to get all the materials together to make a full pasta dinner any time I miss home, but chicken parmesan wraps are a much easier cure for my hunger and homesickness.


  • Frozen chicken nuggets
  • Mozzarella
  • Jar of tomato sauce
  • A tortilla

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  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F
  2. Add a thin layer of sauce on top of each chicken nuggets
  3. Cut small strips/dollops of mozzarella
  4. Add the strips/dollops on top of the chicken
  5. Bake for 10 minutes
  6. Put the chicken nuggets on a tortilla
  7. Add more sauce and mozzarella to the tortilla
  8. Bake for 2 minutes
  9. Wrap up the tortilla
  10. Enjoy


The Struggles of Being a Foodie Who Can’t Cook

by Angela Yi ’19

I’m supposed to be working on my paper due tomorrow, but I turn on my phone and go on Facebook. As I scroll through my feed, the first thing I see is: 5 Make-Ahead Dinners That Will Make You A Champion At Life. Like all other freshmen, eating Annenberg food every day has become more than a little tiring. A small hope burgeons in my chest – maybe I’ll finally be able to eat something else? – and I click on the link.

But I read the first line of the recipe – “Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or skillet” – and the sensation of crushing disappointment hits. Heat? As in fire? As in one-of-my-biggest-phobias-in-the-world?

Picture 1
Ramen, AKA my final attempt at cooking

I love food. And I especially love good food. Alas, I can’t cook because 1. I’m deathly afraid of knives and fire, and 2. I gave up on the culinary arts after I caused a small fire while trying to make instant ramen. So recipes like 20 Fast Dinner Recipes or 27 Healthy Recipes You Can Make in Your Dorm Room are a bit…beyond my capabilities.

Picture 2
Tonight’s dinner at the Berg, featuring Beef Meatballs in Marinara Sauce, Spinach Ricotta Casserole, Steamed Green beans, Toasted Farro and Barley, and Pepper Pot Soup

Herein lies the problem: I love good food, but I can’t cook to save my life, and Annenberg food isn’t always fulfilling. Thankfully, my mom makes amazing food, so I survived my first 19 years of life. But unfortunately, sending over food from California even once a week, let alone every day, is a bit unrealistic. And eating takeout everyday is very tempting – if only I had a bottomless wallet.

Picture 3
A closeup of the Pepper Pot Soup

I thought about this long and hard before college started, and after hours of pondering, I finally came up with a solution: Join a food blog! Getting subsidized to eat awesome restaurant food as long as I write a review is an offer I absolutely cannot refuse.

Picture 4Picture 5

Possible future meals?

Thank you, Uncle Harvard.

5 Ingredient Key Lime Pie

by Emily Brother ’19

Made with only five ingredients and taking less than twenty minutes to prepare, this recipe is easy to conceive but never fails to impress! The filling’s acidity pairs wonderfully with its smooth, velvety texture and the crumbles of graham cracker crust to make a pie that you’ll never want to stop eating. As my first attempt at baking here at Harvard (in the basement of Wigg B), a little improv, some effort, and a big mess were a part of the process of making this pie. But all said and done, the recipe turned out truly delicious! Just follow the steps below and you’ll have the most irresistible treat to share with your suitemates (or just eat by yourself)!





  • 1 9-inch prepared graham cracker crust
  • 3 cups sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup key lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated lime zest



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the condensed milk, sour cream, limejuice, and lime zest. Mix well and pour into the graham cracker crust.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 5 to 8 minutes or until tiny pinhole bubbles burst on the surface of the pie. Do not brown!
  4. Chill pie thoroughly (I suggest overnight) before serving.
  5. Garnish with lime slices and whipped cream or a dollop of ice cream.


Much thanks to:

  • Annrichardson from AllRecipes.com for the recipe.
  • Sue Brother (a.k.a. my amazing Mom) for finding this recipe online, making it all of these years, and sending me the ingredients from Portland, Oregon!

A Dorm-Friendly Super Bowl Snack: Chex Mix Treats

by Caroline Gentile ’17

I don’t know about you, but for me, the Super Bowl is about much more than just football. If my beloved Packers had made it this year, perhaps I would care more about the football aspect, but still, commercials, puppies, and of course, food, always play a major role in my Super Bowl Sunday experience.

Perhaps one of my favorite snacks while watching the game (or, let’s be honest, the tear-jerkingly adorable Budweiser puppy commercials) is Chex Mix. Deliciously salty and crunchy, there isn’t much more that one could want out of a snack. But wait! What if Chex Mix could be sweet, too? It seems too good to be true, but such a snack exists in the form of Chex Mix treats, an improved version of the classic Rice Krispie treats!




A harmonious trilogy of flavors—sweet, salty, and crunchy—is what makes these Chex Mix treats so dangerously addicting. Seriously. I made these at home over break, and the whole pan was gone in a day. But you don’t have to have access to a real kitchen like you would at home in order to make Chex Mix treats. All you really need in terms of cooking equipment is a microwave, a large heatproof bowl, and a 9X13 inch pan.

Now, for the recipe, courtesy of the Food Network magazine.

You’ll need:

4 TB unsalted butter

1 bag (usually 10 oz) of mini marshmallows

1 15 oz. bag of Chex Mix


If you are using a stove, melt the butter and marshmallows in a small saucepan, stirring constantly. If using a microwave, melt the butter and marshmallows in a large heatproof bowl at high heat for 1 minute. Stir, then continue microwaving in 30-second increments, stirring between each increment, until everything has melted.

Once the marshmallows and butter are melted together, pour the Chex Mix into the bowl and combine, either with a wooden spoon, spatula, or even your bare (clean!) hands. Make sure that all of the Chex Mix gets coated in melted marshmallows and butter. Once combined, press the mixture into a 9X13 pan. Allow it to set for one hour at room temperature before cutting the treats into squares. Enjoy!


Dorm-Friendly Popcorn Hacks

by Caroline Gentile ’17

Growing up, my dad was obsessed with popcorn. Every time my family got together to watch a movie, he made an obscene amount of it, but only made it plain. As a result, I love popcorn, but I always thought that plain popcorn was well, plain. Even buttered popcorn can get pretty boring, too.

On my most recent visit home, my younger sister had her friends over for a slumber party, and they all wanted popcorn. This was the perfect opportunity to test some more flavorful popcorn recipes!

The girls and I decided we wanted to do two sweet recipes and one salty. After looking at what we had in our pantry, we were inspired to make cinnamon toast crunch, nacho, and Oreo-flavored popcorn. Even though we ultimately made all of these popcorn recipes in my home kitchen, a kitchen isn’t necessary at all. As long as you have a microwave, these popcorn recipes are completely dorm-friendly!

Cinnamon Toast Crunch

1 bag of popped, plain popcorn

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

2 T granulated sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

Pour butter over the popped popcorn, either in a bag or a bowl. Toss.  Add sugar and cinnamon, and toss again.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Popcorn


1 bag of plain, popped popcorn

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 tsp chili powder

1 cup Fritos

Pour butter over popcorn, in a microwave safe bowl.  Toss.  Add chili powder and Fritos, and toss again.  Sprinkle the cheese over the popcorn.  Put bowl of cheesy popcorn back into the microwave for a minute, or until the cheese is melted to your liking.

Nacho Popcorn
Nacho Popcorn


1 bag of popped, plain popcorn

4 oz. sweetened condensed milk

14 Oreos, crushed (you can use any kind of Oreo you’d like!)

Pour sweetened condensed milk over the popcorn, either in a bag or a bowl. Toss. Sprinkle the crushed Oreos over the popcorn and toss again to make sure the popcorn is evenly coated in Oreo deliciousness.

Oreo Popcorn
Oreo Popcorn



Overnight Oats

By Eliza Hale

I like making overnight oats because they are delicious and healthy, and they are one of the only meals I can make myself in my dorm room.  The only appliance you need to make them is a fridge, and some of the ingredients are available in the dining hall. Hence, perfect dorm-room food.  They are easy to prepare, and you can get creative with the quantities and types of ingredients.  No matter how creative you get, they will still *almost* always turn out edible.


My boyfriend calls overnight oats ‘baby-food’ and my sister calls them ‘mush’.  I’ll admit that overnight oats don’t look especially appealing, but even the boyfriend and sister agree that they are awesome.

So what the heck are overnight oats?

They’re just like oatmeal, but instead of cooking the oatmeal in hot water or milk, you soak the oats in cold water or milk.  They need to soak for at least a couple of hours; I usually make them the night before and let them sit overnight.

You could make overnight oats with just rolled oats and milk, but I like to add a few more ingredients to up the deliciousness factor.  One of these ingredients is chia seeds.  They’re not strictly necessary, but I always use chia seeds because they add so much.  They make the overnight oats seem creamy.  Chia seeds are the same seeds you might have used to grow a chia pet when you were little; you can buy them from most grocery stores (probably in the health food section).  They soak up about four times their volume in liquid.  They don’t add much flavor, but they add to the texture of the oats.

I also always add banana.  I usually mash half a banana per serving.  The banana and chia seeds work really well together to give the oats a nice consistency.


So here’s the darn recipe already:

  • banana(1/2 banana mashed) – eat the other half, nom nom
  • cinnamon(a pinch)
  • rolledoats (1/3 cup) – rolled oats work better than instant-oats
  • chiaseeds (1 tablespoon)
  • almondmilk (1 cup) – any milk will work! You can also substitute yogurt for part of the milk
  • nuts, seeds and dried fruit – my favorite combination is walnuts and dates
  1.     I use a mason jar to combine the ingredients because I like how it looks, and it comes with a lid; but any cup or bowl will work, just put saran-wrap on top when you soak the oats.
  2.     Mash ½ banana in mason jar, cup, or bowl.
  3.     Stir cinnamon into banana.
  4.     Add remaining ingredients (oats, chia seeds, almond milk, nuts, and dried fruit), stir, and refrigerate for anywhere between 2 hours and 2 days.
  5.     Enjoy!

Ways to get fancy:

  • Try adding other spices.  I like nutmeg and cardamom.
  • Add honey, nut butters, or Nutella.  Best to stir these in with the banana and spices before adding other ingredients.
  • Add fresh fruit to the oats right before eating.  I find that fresh fruit loses its flavor if you add it before refrigerating.
  • Microwave the oats before eating if it’s chilly outside.
I made two variations this time around: cinnamon cranberry walnut (left), and cranberry chocolate macadamia nut (right).  Both tasty, but the taste-testers and I agreed that the cinnamon cranberry walnut was better.
I made two variations this time around: cinnamon cranberry walnut (left), and cranberry chocolate macadamia nut (right). Both tasty, but the taste-testers and I agreed that the cinnamon cranberry walnut was better.