Thursday, September 20, 2007

College Food

Last Saturday, I was in Columbia for an alumni meeting and MU Tigers football game. On my way home, I was remembering my college years.
The first fall, I lived in a dorm. Not much cooking goes on in the dorm, except heating up the occasional leftovers or EasyMac. The second fall, the sorority house. Same situation as the dorm. I did help our housemom make strawberry trifle a couple of times, but otherwise did very little cooking. My junior year I lived in a house in East Campus and began to cook a little more. I remember making quiche, butterfinger cookies, and lots of Hamburger Helper-type creations. My senior year, we lived in a great duplex, where I attempted Chicken Cordon Bleu, spinach lasagna, and a variety of new beef recipes. And of course there was the spinach dip . . . lots of spinach dip . . . and a fair amount of "t-time roll-ups," as well. It was great to have roommates and friends who enjoyed eating the things I cooked, but I always looked forward to nights when we had Joannie's pasta and salad.

Joannie's pasta
1 pkg. bowtie pasta
1 stick butter
8 oz. heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to directions on package. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat butter and whipping cream until butter is melted and combined with cream. Add cheese, stir until smooth. Pour over pasta.

Joannie's salad
Dressing: 3/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. minced garlic (fresh or from a jar)
Whisk or shake together ingredients.
Salad: Romaine lettuce, topped with pimentos, red onion, and artichoke hearts.
Top romaine lettuce with desired amount of ingredients, pour dressing over salad, and toss together.

Spinach dip
This recipe is not very precise. The quantities of spinach and cheese may be changed depending on type of bowl or dish you bake it in, the size of package of cheese or spinach you buy, or your taste! Here are my general guidelines:
2 to 3 cartons of creamed spinach, thawed
1 tbsp. minced onion
8 oz. sour cream
3 tbsp. mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
2-3 packages shredded mozzarella cheese (I use 4-cup packages)
Mix all ingredients together, spoon mixture into an oven-safe bowl or casserole dish, and bake at 350 degrees about 30 minutes, or until brown and bubbly.
Tip: If you are in a hurry (which we often were when I made this in college), you can increase the oven temperature to 375, and bake it in a shallow pan/dish.

T-time Roll-Ups
(Adjust quantities to fit the number of people you are serving)
vegetable flavored cream cheese
large tortilla shells (soft)
chopped black olives
deli roast beef
large dill pickles
Spread cream cheese evenly on tortilla, sprinkle with olives, then top with roast beef (cover entire surface area with beef). Place pickle in the middle and roll up tortilla around pickle; secure with toothpicks. Chill at least 2 hours before cutting into 1-inch slices and serving.
Tip: use one toothpick per inch; this will help hold each section together after sliced.