Cooking Column, Homemade On The Heights

Homemade on the Heights: Dorm Living Recipes

Whether you’re a freshman without a kitchen, someone who has been shipped off to Pine Manor and left to fend for yourself, or just can’t be bothered to turn on your oven, these easy dorm room recipes are sure to save the day or at least provide you with a satisfactory midnight snack. 

With only a microwave, I’ve tested and compiled these recipes using simple ingredients easily found on or near campus or already in your fridge. Each recipe is highly customizable and easy to make in a larger batch. So, let’s get cooking!

DISH #1: 

S’mores Banana Boat


1 banana 

2–3 marshmallows, ¼ cup mini marshmallows, or approximately 3 tablespoons marshmallow fluff

1–2 tablespoons chocolate chips, chunks, or pieces 

Optional toppings:

Graham crackers

Granola or cereal

Nut butter


Ice cream

Whipped cream


  1. Place the banana on a microwave-safe dish, center side up. Do not peel the banana. 
  2. Using a serrated knife, carefully cut the banana down the center vertically. Make sure to cut it all the way through, but do not puncture the bottom skin. Separate the two halves to make room in the center, but do not pull the banana entirely apart.
  3. Stuff the center of the banana with marshmallows. If you are using regular or large marshmallows, I suggest cutting them in half before stuffing. 
  4. Distribute the chocolate chips or chunks inside and on top of the banana—in my opinion, the more the better. 
  5. Place the dish in the microwave. Microwave on medium-high in 30-second intervals for approximately two minutes in total. Microwave intensities vary, so keep an eye on the banana and remove when the marshmallows become fully expanded and the chocolate is melted.
  6. When sufficiently melted, carefully take the dish out of the microwave and let stand for at least one minute. 
  7. Top with nut butter, granola, or any other toppings of your choosing. Add ice cream to make a s’mores banana split or berries and whipped cream for a lighter take. Dig in with a spoon or graham crackers and enjoy!


DISH #2: 

(Accidentally Vegan!) Apple* Crumble in a Mug

*can be substituted for pear, peach, berry, or any fruit of your choice!


For Filling:

1 apple

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon sweetener (sugar, maple syrup, honey, stevia, etc.)

Optional: Splash of orange or apple juice

For Topping: 

2 tablespoons rolled oats

¼ teaspoon cinnamon 

Pinch of salt (optional)

2 teaspoons nut butter

1–2 teaspoons of liquid (almond milk, fruit juice, oil, or butter)

½ tablespoon sweetener (if using liquid sweetener, which I recommend, you can use slightly less)


For the Topping 

  1. In a small bowl, combine oats, cinnamon, and salt. 
  2. Once mixed, add nut butter, sweetener, and around half of your liquid, and mix to combine. The mixture should be a similar texture to a cookie dough, but any additional liquid, sweetener, or oats may be necessary to fit the taste and texture to your preference.

For the Filling 

  1. Chop the apple into small pieces. The smaller the pieces are cut, the softer they will be. A good estimate is about one centimeter, but this is up to your preference. 
  2. In a microwave safe mug or bowl, add the chopped apples, cinnamon, and other half of the liquid of your choice, and stir to combine, ensuring all the apples are coated. Microwave for 30 to 60 seconds and stir. 
  1. Add about half of the crumble mixture to the mug or bowl, and break up the dough to distribute throughout the filling. I do not recommend stirring the topping too much because the juice from the apples will make it soggy. 
  2. Add the remaining topping on top of the apples to create a sort of crust. 
  3. Microwave on high in 30-second intervals for around two minutes. Once apples are cooked all the way through, remove from the microwave and let stand for at least two minutes. 
  4. Optionally, top with whipped cream, vanilla yogurt, granola, berries, or more nut butter. Dig in!


DISH #3: 

Five-Minute Ramen “al Limone”


1 package instant ramen (chicken or vegetable flavored)

1 teaspoon lemon juice (preferably fresh, available at Richdale or the Market)

¼ to ½ tablespoon butter (equal to a half-full pat of butter from the dining hall)

1 packet salt

1 packet pepper



Italian seasoning

Garlic salt or powder

Parmesan cheese

Chicken, vegetables, or any other add-ins of your choice


  1. Open the ramen package and remove the flavor packet, but do not discard. Before unwrapping the package of ramen noodles, I prefer to break them apart a bit to ease cooking. Place noodles in a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Cover the noodles entirely with water but do not fill the bowl all the way to the top to prevent boiling over. Optionally, cover with a paper towel.
  3. Microwave the noodle for two to three minutes, stopping at 30 to 60 second intervals to stir and break apart noodles. This step is crucial since you are not stirring as you would on the stove!
  4. Once the noodles are fully cooked, but not mushy, remove from the microwave and drain. 
  5. Add butter to the bowl and stir, coating all noodles evenly. Add the flavor packet (the more you add, the more it will have the “traditional ramen” flavor), salt, pepper, and any other seasonings of your choice to taste. 
  6. Lastly, add lemon juice (and zest if you want to get fancy) and stir. Optionally, add protein or vegetables to bulk up the dish, or top with parmesan cheese. Voila!

Featured Graphic by Annie Corrigan / Heights Editor 


February 22, 2022