When the students return to campus for winter quarters, some may have a case of post-holiday blues. Unsurprisingly, this widespread anxiety attack is common and relatable. After all, as the vacation time and return to our everyday lives, we lose some of the excitement and energy that the holidays bring us.
It’s no longer the time to enjoy slow-cooked home-style cooking with families united, feel the warmth in front of a burning stove, or watch cinnamon rolls trickle through a small square of glass. But there are a few more ways to carry your way through the desolation of January, one of which is through food.
So here is a list of quick vacation-style recipes to keep the mood high, fill your belly, and turn the microwave on.
Popcorn drizzled with chocolate
- A bag of popcorn (microwaveable preferred)
- Chocolate chips
Place the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on medium heat for 30 seconds. A stir. Repeat at 15 second intervals until the chocolate chips are completely melted and smooth.
Pour the popcorn bag onto a parchment-lined baking sheet or plate. Drizzle over the chocolate and let the popcorn cool down.
The enjoyment can be further enhanced by adding colorful sprinkles.
Apple pie oatmeal
- Half a cup of old-fashioned rolled oats
- One teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- A pinch of salt
- Two teaspoons of pure maple syrup (alternative option: honey)
- Three quarters of a cup of water
- Half an apple, diced
Mix all ingredients together in a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl. Set the microwave on the highest setting for a minute and a half. Stir and then microwave for an additional 30 seconds if necessary.
Topping the oatmeal with milk or walnuts can easily upgrade this simple recipe.
Cranberry cream cheese spread with crackers
- Eight ounces of cream cheese
- Half a cup of dried cranberries
- Half a cup of dried apricots
- Optional: a teaspoon of orange peel
In a large bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, dried fruit and orange peel quickly. Chill until ready to serve.
It’s best to spoon this cheerful, hearty spread on crackers. It’s a great addition to turkey sandwiches and will help curb your hunger for longer.
Hot peppermint chocolate
- A pack of Swiss Miss Peppermint Hot Chocolate Powder
- Eight ounces of water
The difference between hot chocolate on the stove and Swiss Miss is astronomical in my opinion. Although both satisfy cravings equally, Swiss Miss happens to be more efficient.
A cup and spoon are enough to achieve this recipe. Heat the water on high for one minute – or until the desired heating temperature is reached – and stir in the Swiss Miss pack. Be careful when handling hot objects.
- One or two types of cheese
- One or two types of meat
- Sliced bread, crackers or pretzels
- Optional: Various olives, nuts, grapes, etc.
If your budget is limited, try sticking to the basics: cheddar cheese, deli ham, and wonder bread.
A simple plate, cutting board, or napkin will be needed. Just remember: if the items are strategically placed and aesthetically pleasing, others can join in!