Recipes for Disaster

By Sara Wilcox

If you look on Pinterest or Google, you can find recipes made for college students on a budget. Many of these recipes have been altered to be made in a microwave for college students living in dorm rooms without access to a kitchen. At first glance, these recipes look simple and convenient, but they’re not as easy as they seem. Maybe I am just a terrible cook, but these so-called simple recipes have turned out to be recipes for disaster.

My freshman year of college, I was tired of the food at Heritage Center and only had a microwave, so my meal choices were restricted. I found a recipe on Pinterest to make macaroni and cheese in a mug. It only required pasta, shredded cheese and water. All you had to do was mix water and macaroni, microwave for three minutes and stir periodically. Then, add some cheese and stir. It seemed simple enough. Except, when I tried to microwave the macaroni and water, the water kept overflowing and spilling out of the cup every 10 seconds. The recipe said the water shouldn’t overflow until the second minute of microwaving, but if it did to just add water to the macaroni at the end. I’ve tried this recipe at least three times, and each time I’ve had the issue of my macaroni always coming out hard and dry, the water overflows and the cheese gets clumpy and doesn’t mix well. Despite many attempts at this recipe, I have yet to master it and do not recommend it.

The next recipe for disaster is making brownies using the Rapid Brownie Maker. I saw this handy cookware at Walmart. It advertised that you could make brownies in four minutes in the microwave. I love brownies, so I thought this was perfect. The Rapid Brownie Maker comes with the microwavable safe brownie pan along with a separate piece of cookware that contains the right dimensions needed for the brownie batter, oil, water and eggs. According to the product, all you had to do was mix the four ingredients, pour the mixture into the pan, put it in the microwave for three and a half minutes and you would get perfect, oven-like brownies. This was not the case. Despite many attempts and following directions, my brownies come out in liquid form — the brownies don’t rise or look like normal brownies. I tried putting them back in the microwave until they looked like brownies, but I never got the result I was looking for. If I put the brownies in the microwave for more time, the top would burn and harden, yet underneath was still batter. I followed the directions exactly, but did not get perfect brownies. I do not recommend this product. Use an oven.

[/media-credit] what brownies should look like

My last recipe was another baking failure. In high school, one of my church leaders gave me her recipe for pumpkin bread. She helped me make it and gave me the recipe to try on my own, so I made it for Thanksgiving. It worked out fine when I made it with my leader, but I could not get it right on my own. I followed the instructions word for word, but when I put it in the oven I couldn’t get it to bake all the way. The top looked like it was getting burnt so I took it out, but the middle was still dough, so I put it back in the oven. The top burned and the middle still wasn’t be cooked. I tried the recipe again and even had my mom help me, but I could not figure it out.

Maybe I’m a terrible cook or maybe these recipes are simply not user-friendly. Regardless, I don’t recommend any of them and therefore deem them recipes for disaster.

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