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Talia Talk: Dorm Gourmet — The Student, the Baker, and the Sandwich Maker

A proper liberal arts education goes far beyond our Hebrew 1106 classes. A bachelor of the arts says so much more than even the blank diploma that we receive upon commencement can express. Even at a place like Sy Syms, one ideally hopes to contribute to the campus community, learn about the culture of the surrounding areas, soak up the social life and indulge in the cultural arts. Unfortunately, the culinary experience at most universities is often less than an art form. College students are infamous for gorging themselves with caf fro yo, coffee, pizza and all sorts of the preservative-packed treats that top the food pyramid. Because this food is often not nearly as satisfactory as our mother's homemade meals that we grew up on, we turn to quantity not quality to satisfy our cravings. But who can blame a student with only overdue chemistry homework and a few Caf Dollars to their name? It seems that the only place one has to turn is the Caf Store, the TJ Maxx of grocery shopping. Sure, you can find hidden treasures like chocolate-chip multigrain bars but, honestly, those reject-assortment black jellybeans are just insulting. It seems that all there is left to do at meal times is whine.

In fact a great deal of our time in university is often spent complaining about the food in dorm life. The other half is spent stuffing out faces with stale Entenmann's doughnuts. Word to you Softee Assortment lovers: if you attempt to bite into a stale Entenmann's, please find another use for it, like a coaster, a bangle, or an inner tube for your action figures. Every single one of the company's goodies is incredibly preservative-laden, meaning that the Entenmann's apple pie will likely outlive Yeshiva's chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi. In fact, their 110 calories from fat make the doughnuts a staple in the diet that leads to the infamous freshman fifteen. Just because most of us have never officially been freshmen, doesn't mean that we are immune to this expansion. Many of us have far surpassed that during our year of physical and spiritual growth in the holy land. In fact, Cornell University researchers found that first-year-on-campus students gain an average of a half a pound per week. That's about 11 times more weight than the average 17- and 18-year-old will gain, and nearly 20 times more than the average weight gain among adults. This gain is largely attributed to lack of choice in diet, and students' being without the time and resources to prepare their own meals. And so we need to look to taking our dining experience into our own hands, or dorm rooms. We need to look around and become re-acquainted with our old friend whose semester-old burnt mozzarella residue has been growing penicillin and rust.

According to the sandwich maker experts who contributed its official Wikipedia page, "Sandwich toasters are notorious for being used relatively little, because of their specialized nature. A survey carried out in 2005 suggested that 45% of British adults owned but did not use sandwich toasters." Well this is America. We invented this great appliance and we will use it more and better than any foreign friends.

We know that there is so much more to a sandwich maker than grilling cheese. On Glee, Finn uses his panini maker to find god. During the episode "Grilled Cheesus," Cory Monteith's character sees the alleged son of god in his burnt sandwich. Perhaps we Jews will find a religious figure as well, or simply an alternative to the meat loaf in the caf. We Hebrews are known to be a pretty resourceful people; we have found many uses for matzo meal, the word "shalom," and rumor has it, the sinks in Morg. In the Dorm Gourmet columns, we will find more uses for dorm-room appliances than we ever even wanted to know. That's right, The Scene is expanding to enhance and make snarky comments about all aspects of your lifestyle. In this issue my little sister, Chef Elaina Kaufman and I provide you with original, do it yourself dorm -friendly versions of your favorite recipes. Each recipe featured will be simple, affordable, and will not require much precise measuring or culinary skill. In this installment, we will explore the sandwich maker, the mini kitchen that does so much more than grilling cheese.*

Btei'avon!* Many complain that YU housing does not provide an authentic college experience, prohibiting alcohol, co-ed interaction, and sandwich makers. But this is The Scene, the most scandalicious section in the most scandalous of the official YU papers. So go ahead, have some fun.




Sandwich Maker Tips


a. Always, Always spray generously with a non-stick spray before using. 

b. Always preheat sandwich maker and never leave your never leave it plugged in after use

c. Each recipe and machine takes a different amount of time to cook. So please check your food constantly. 

d. That's really it. It's a pretty simple machine.

Choco-Cinna-Fluffer-Nutter-Cruncher Pie Pocket



1 Spoon of butter

Small bowl of sugar)

Two spoons of peanut butter

Handful or crushed cornflakes

Handful or chocolate chips

Spoon or marshmallow fluff

Sprinkle of Cinnamon


1. Butter both sides of tortilla

2. Dip each side in sugar bowl

3. Spread one half of tortilla with fluff

3. Mix remainder of ingredients in a small bowl

4. Spread peanut butter mixture on other half of tortilla

5. Fold and place in sandwich maker

6. Cook until tortilla begins to firm

7. One cooled garnish with chocolate chips (optional)



Inside Out Cupcake 

Dairy/ Parve

This is the perfect birthday celebration recipe. The directions make one individual cupcake but the entire recipe cnm feed an entire floor wide birthday party or one truly hungry birthday boy or girl. This calls recipe for more precise measuring than the rest, because who are we to mess with a Dunkan Hines classic? This recipe can be made with any cake mix. Feel free to mix and match, red velvet and cream cheese, chocolate on chocolate, or vanilla with whipped cream and strawberries. The possibilities are deliciousness!


1 Box Duncan Heinz Moist Deluxe Cake Mix

Cake Mix

1 1/4 Cups Water (You may substitute milk or soy milk for a denser cake)

1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil

3 Large Eggs

1 Container of Vanilla Frosting

Small bowl of Sprinkles


1. Mix cake mix, water, oil and eggs in a large bowl

2. Beat with a fork until clumps are broken

3. Scoop two spoonfuls of batter into each side of the sandwich maker

4. Cook until browned (stick fork in to make sure middle is fully cooked)

5. Remove cake from sandwich maker

6. When cake is cooled, frost one cake and place second cake on top, sandwiching frosted side

7. Dip each exposed side of frosting in sprinkle bowl

8. Stick candle in top and grow older!


Grilled Cheesecake


This dish may look identical to the sandwich maker's signature dish. But it is actually its sweeter, cooler cousin. This is the quickest cooking and simplest recipe featured in this issue of Dorm Gourmet. dapted from the ace of all baking blogs


Two slices of pound cake (store-bought works fine)

Pat of butter

One eighth of a cream cheese packet

Two spoonfuls of sugar

Two spoonfuls of flour

One drop of vanilla


1. Butter one side of each cake slice

2. Mix remainder of ingredients in a small bowl

3. Spread cheesecake mixture onto one slice of pound cake (unbuttered side)

4. Sandwich second slice of cake on top, again keeping butter sides exposed

5.  Place cake into sandwich maker

6. Because the cake is pre-cooked, it will cook very quickly; watch until it is slightly browned.

Local Omelet 


This is a spicy way to start your day. It help you to carry out the local Dominical flavor from the lullaby beats that bump you to sleep you year at night to your pre-seder breakfast.


2 eggs

Half a red pepper, sliced thinly

Spoonful of salsa

Spoonful of chedder cheese

Salt and Pepper to taste


1. Mix salsa, Eggs, cheese and spices in a small bow, beat with a fork

2. Put peppers on sandwich maker let cook for about a minute.

3. Add egg mixture let cook for 3 min

Pizza Pocket


Delivery pizza is an infamously cliché college late night waste of calories. Sure Grandma's sells pizza with pasta, onion rings, and if rodents were parve they're probably by on a slice as well. But you can stuff just about anything into a Pizza Picket. So why not cork your arteries without picking up the phone? 


1 Tortilla

2 Spoonfuls of pizza sauce

1 Spoonful of shredded mozzarella cheese

½  Morning star sausage patty, crumbled

3 Fresh spinach leaves


Evenly coat tortilla with pizza sauce.

Sprinkle oregano and garlic powder

Sprinkle cheese, sausage crumbles, spinach leaves on half

Fold over and cook

Hello Tali's 


This recipe is an adaptation from the cookbook Simply Southern, the cookbook that benefits the Margolin Hebrew Academy in Memphis Tennessee (My alma matter). This phenomenal cookbook features the old southern recipes of our community, and features the writing of yours truly. In the cookbook I call what is widely known as the Hello Dolly Bar Howdy Dolly's. Whatever you call them, they are delicious!


Four Graham Crackers crushed into fine crumbs

Two spoonfuls of melted butter

Sprinkle of Coconut Flakes

Handful of pecans

Handful of Milk Chocolate Chips

Drizzle of Sweetened Condensed Milk


Mix graham cracker crumbs and butter in a small bowl

Condense half of crumb mixture onto sandwich maker

Sprinkle, Coconut, chocolate, pecans onto crumbs

Top with drizzle of sweetened condensed milk

Cover with rest of graham cracker mixture condensed

Make sure Tali's are hardened before you remove from sandwich maker

Talia Taco


This recipe is totally worth investing in a meat sandwich maker for. Not only is it named for your favorite Commie column, but it's the perfect way to spice up those late night study sessions. Ay Carumba!


About 1/3 Cup ground beef

Spoonful of taco sauce




Garlic powder

Salt and Peppet to Taste


Spice meat to taste

Plate meat on sandwich maker until fully cooked and sauté, stirring with a fork

Remove meat from sandwich maker and place inside tortilla

Add taco sauce and fold over

Place back into sandwich maker, cook until tortilla is slightly browned

Add salsa and guacamole if desired



Deli Un-rolled


What is the missing element in dorm life? Homemade Shabbat food. Now you and your friends can have a holy Shabbath in the dorms with every family's favorite Shabbat day appetizer. But please keep it in moderation and save this treat for your neshama yesaira. Or your stomach might grow a couple of deli rolls itself. 


1/3 of a puff pastry sheet (Cut horizontally)

3 to five slices of deli of your choice (We recommend smocked turkey and corned beef)

1 spoonful of honey mustard

Sprinkle of sesame seeds for garnish


Cut puff pastry sheet into three even pieces evenly

Coat 2 pieces with honey mustard

Place deli on top of mustard pieces

Stack one pieces plain one in the middle, making sure that mustard sides are sandwiched inside

Garnish top with a sprinkle of sesame seeds

Cook until slightly browned