Dorm Delicacies: Three recipes using Paws and Go ingredients 

| Contributing Writer

After a full day of classes and activities and with another midterm approaching rapidly, I grab my ID and trudge to Paws and Go for the third time this week. It’s a Thursday evening, and I’m too tired to scrounge something from my practically empty mini-fridge (as if I had the ingredients to make something anyway), so naturally, I give up on trying to cook. Whether you’re like me, an aspiring home-taught cook, or have never set foot in a kitchen before, I doubt cooking in your dorm is something you do on a daily basis.

I love to cook, but despite having a kitchen right down the hall, last semester I found myself swapping my passion for cooking for the convenience of Paws and Go ready-made items. Even when I could make the mile-long trek to Shnucks to get ingredients, I barely cooked in my dorm. 

Going home for winter break made me realize how much I miss cooking, yet the barrier to getting ingredients has remained a challenge. This is something I seek to change. Lately, I’ve begun to compile and test ideas for recipes I could make without having to take the south campus shuttle — that is, with ingredients I can find in Paws and Go or in the dining halls. 

Now, sometimes instead of grabbing a croissant from Cherry Tree, I use some pre-made dough from Paws and Go and bake treats for myself and my friends. I’ve compiled some of my favorites here to share with you. I encourage you to do a little experimenting; yes, dorm cooking is rustic, but that’s part of what makes it fun. My hope is that regardless of your cooking experience or the equipment you have in your dorm, you can find a recipe to try here. 

Molten chocolate mug cake from boxed cake mix

Ingredients: 1 boxed cake mix, a few tablespoons of cooking oil, 1 chocolate bar, water.

Equipment: Microwave-safe mug, microwave.

Yields: 1 serving

Directions: Fill your mug about 1/3 of the way full with the cake mix. Stir in equal parts of cooking oil and water (you should use around a few tablespoons of each) until the mixture forms a thick batter. The ratio of cake mix to liquid should be around 2:1. Microwave for 30 seconds, then remove and put a few squares of chocolate into the center of the batter. Microwave for another minute and 25 seconds, then let cool before serving. 

Illustration by Sophie Leong

Chocolate bark study snack

Ingredients: 2 chocolate bars, toppings (I used sunflower seeds and dried cherries from the salad bar in Paws and Go, but you can use any type of nuts, seeds, or dried fruit you like)

Equipment: Flat dish (like a plate, tray, or container), microwave, microwave-safe cup or bowl, parchment paper (I got some for around six dollars from Amazon). 

Yields: 2 servings

Directions: Line your flat dish with parchment paper. Melt your chocolate in the microwave, then pour on your parchment-lined dish. Spread out until smooth, then add your desired toppings. Let sit until the chocolate is fully hardened, then break into pieces to serve. 

Illustration by Sophie Leong

Berry-filled croissants

Ingredients: Pillsbury crescent roll dough, fresh berries of your choice (both are in the back refrigerator section next to the drinks), sugar (I took a few sugar packets from Cherry Tree). 

Equipment: Oven-safe baking dish or tray, fork, oven. 

Yield: 8 croissants (4 servings)

Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Open and unroll the crescent rolls, and separate them along the perforated lines into 8 triangles of dough. On the short edge of the triangle, place one or two berries, and mash them up using a fork. Sprinkle on a bit of sugar, then roll up the crescent roll and shape it according to the instructions on the package. Evenly space out the croissants on your baking dish, then bake for around 9-12 minutes or until the croissants are golden brown. Let cool before serving. 

Illustration by Sophie Leong

Sign up for the email edition

Stay up to date with everything happening at Washington University and beyond.