7/30/08

Cobbler The IB Way

When I first started this blog one of the things Katie and I talked about was recipes and cooking for college students. We tossed this idea around, I flirted with it but I could never find a good time to start. Then Katie and her friends got together and started a blog about IB and how to cope with all of the demands of high school and before long... MOM got involved. I'm not writing for their blog but I told them I will start posting recipes once a week that will feature easy and cheap recipes that hopefully will be healthy. Then I decided to do cobbler. Oops.

For full disclosure: I have never been to college but I have to feed 6 people on a limited budget so I think I can help. Also, I am assuming a couple of things...

1. There will be a communal dorm kitchen or apartment kitchen or maybe just a hot plate. There will be some recipes that you might not be able to do. I know you guys are scary smart but DO NOT think about doing something stupid. Use your common sense. Also... DO NOT rig/make/or even think about making an indoor grill like this guy did (he's a grad student at Berkeley! Make sure if you see him you point and say, 'Ha ha' like Nelson from The Simpsons.)

2. That you will have a few staples on hand. Butter, eggs, flour, sugar, oil (olive and vegetable), salt, pepper and water. Have your parents buy them or better yet, buy your own!

*Guys, want to impress that girl of your dreams? Cook for her! Even if it turns out bad she'll be thankful and happy you tried. She'll think it's cute. I hope.

Homework Assignment because you IB'ers live for homework!: When you get to college... take a day, an hour even and find the local farmers market or a good but cheap grocery store. Yes, you'll be busy... going to freshman orientation, eating pizza, doing homework, missing your parents but just go. (Hey! I hear you snickering. Stop it. Let's just pretend you'll miss your parents.)

One last thing, repeat after me....

"Cooking is fun. I can experiment and I can change a recipe to suite my tastes, no matter what someone tells me."

Blackberry Cobbler: (Adapted from several recipes)

2 tablespoons of cornstarch (flour will work)
1/4 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice, a couple good squirts
4 cups blackberries, rinsed and drained... make sure to get any little leaves or debris out.
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into pieces
1/4 cup hot or boiling water

In a good sized bowl, stir together cornstarch and 1/4 cold water and stir until cornstarch is dissolved. This will thicken the juices that the blackberries will release turing baking and will create that yummy syrup you see in the picture.

Add 1 cup of sugar, lemon juice, and blackberries: mix gently.

In a bowl, combine the flour, remaining sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in the butter until the mixture is like a coarse meal. Add water and stir the mixture just until a soft dough is formed.

Place the blackberry mixture in a 8x8 baking dish. If you don't have a baking dish a skillet will do, so would a smaller type oven proof bowl. Be MacGuyver, just don't make a homemade indoor grill! Drop spoonfuls of the dough on top of the blackberry mixture. It will not cover all of the berries. Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until the topping is golden brown. Want to get fancy? Put some whip cream on top or better yet, vanilla ice cream. Shhhh, don't tell your parents I told you this, but it's really good for breakfast.

Also, if you want more cheap eats go to Thursday Night Smackdown. Every Monday, Michelle does Cheap Ass Monday. C.A.M. features dishes that are under 5 dollars that feed two hungry adults.

*Adults that read my blog... help me out here. If you have any ideas, recipes, suggestions, or tales of college life... let's hear them!

23 comments:

chefectomy said...

I'll just concur that if a guy can cook for girl in college, he can go places. We'll leave it at that.

Not that I like using this language but I am a total cobbler whore. Yours looks fantastic. Glad you gave credit to "Several sources"...

--Marc

noble pig said...

This is nice. Love the college advice. Where were you when I was in college. I ate white rice and peanut butter and cans of tuna. Oh how I miss those days.

Sharon said...

When my friends & I were in college, we took turns cooking dinner for everyone Sunday nights. Even the guys got involved and it was cute to see what they came up with.

ntsc said...

I was in college long enough ago that all the students lived in dorms, with no cooking facilities, and ate all meals in the dining room.

They also locked the girls up at 11 PM on week nights.

Of course Euclid, Dean of Faculty, said things would change in the future.

I started cooking because my first wife was no better at it than I was, so we took turns. At some point I started baking bread which was a lot better than we could buy.

Cheryl said...

That looks good. Nope I have not been to college, just supported hubby while he went. Back then I could not cook one thing!

Neen said...

Alright, so Do really wanted to comment on this post when we read it together this morning over coffee, but we're currently sitting in a coffeeshop together, and he's plugged in to his earphones doing higher level mathematics that just look like squiggly lines to me (no actual numbers, like 5 or 3, but letters and squiggly lines), buuuuuuut...

This morning he said: "Hmm, maybe I could help about and post some of the dishes I made when we lived in dorms. Like call the pizza place. If they're closed, call the other pizza place. If they're closed, then go out to eat, or make ramen. Then count the days till Thanksgiving when you can go home for a real meal." :)

When we lived in the dorms with a communal kitchen, I used to make myself breakfast and lunch (oatmeal, cereal, sandwiches, and really easy soups, mostly) and eat in the cafeteria for dinner. I remember it being important that a dish involve minimal ingredients and minimal tools (because you have minimum storage space and minimum $$ to buy ingredients).

That, and "The Healthy College Cookbook" was a life saver. Best birthday present I received in college. Check it out online.

Finally, Berkeley's farmer's market is Saturday, from 9am-3pm, right near campus at the MLK Jr. Park

Krysta said...

*neen... good girl, you did your homework but you guys are grad students. i need to find harder homework. i'm going to go find that cookbook. i also knew that the cobbler was stretching it a bit... but i figured if you have an apartment this ones pretty do-able. the only thing you should have to buy is fruit and a lemon. next weeks is easy-peasy.

*ntsc... wow... you went to school when Euclid was around... ummm that's pretty old... what's your secret to a long and happy life?

*sharon... that's kind of was what i was hinting at... maybe some of these kids will share the cost and labor and eat something good. guys are cute that way, aren't they?

*miss piggy... peanut butter is going to play a role in this little thing of mine. so is rice.

*mr. chefy... i can't say anything;) this cobbler was so good. the berries were from placerville and they were perfect... sweet and a hint of tart. this was actually the best cobbler i have ever made.

*cheryl... i hope one day hubby returns the favor for you.

Kristin said...

Well, let's see if I can remember ALL THE WAY BACK to college (all of six years ago). . . Sweet potatoes are cheap, healthy, keep forever, and can be cooked in ten minutes in the microwave. Just make sure to pierce them with a fork first so they don't blow up.

Also, I had a rice cooker with a steamer part at the top. That way, you can make rice and steam vegetables at the same time. I suppose it would also be possible to steam chicken? The idea sounds gross to me though--I would just go by a rotisserie chicken at the supermarket to go with the rice and veg.

asthmagirl said...

I have never lived in a dorm, almost all of my college has been night school. But if I were thinking cheap and easy, my "ho" values would kick in and I'd think potatoes for sure!

Maybe mac and cheese. Egg salad? Peanut Butter (a personal favorite)?

melissa said...

"Cooking is fun. I can experiment and I can change a recipe to suite my tastes, no matter what someone tells me."

Fuck yeah you can! Hahahahaha.

No suggestions for dorm cooking. I'd have to actually be creative and just think of stuff now because back then I didn't know how to cook ANYTHING. I mean, seriously, ANYTHING.

I was only at college for a year anyway. I'm a proud dropout. ;)

Grace said...

nothing as good-looking as your cobbler ever came out of my dorm's kitchen. i would've gained the "freshman fifteen" times five if it had. :)

me again said...

Krysta, please check my blog! You are -- deservedly! -- an award winner! Congrats! :-)
--Lennie

jack's utter lack of surprise said...

i never went away to college either, thank god, but i did discover the joy of cobbler just this year. yummmmm.

Alexa said...

I loooove your title banner. I just discovered your blog (probably obvious now). Your cobbler looks beautiful as well.

Mayberry Magpie said...

Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum! Your cobbler looks delish.

When I was in college a million years ago, we couldn't have a microwave or a hot plate in the dorm, but we could have a popcorn popper. It offered a large heating surface and worked just like a hot plate, so my roommate and I cooked most everything on it -- lots of grilled sandwiches, but other stuff too. I was really happy to move into an apartment and have a real kitchen my sophomore year.

Psychgrad said...

Have you heard of gastrosexuals?

jennyonthespot said...

Pardon me if this is too forward, but... I have just fallen more deeply in love with you... I have so. many. blackberries coming in, and I do not have a recipe I like! I can't wait to try it!

mindy said...

Hmmm... I live in the south and was a cobbler junkie in college (same goes for Captain Crunch, toaster strudels, and late-night pancake feasts) -- Haven't had it in years! I must try some.

As for recommendations for college and dorm food:
1. Ladies, EAT! Tums are not a meal. Nor is a bowl of puffed rice cereal. That grumbling in your stomach when you go to bed is more likely HUNGER than chronic indigestion.

2. Do not, I repeat, do NOT make one of your very first cooking attempts a whole roasted chicken. Despite what your mother or grandmother--who spent decades cooking roasts--says, it's not that easy. And a partially defrosted chicken sort of resembles a cold, headless baby. I tell ya, it's not for the faint of heart.
P.S. - One chicken does not feed 6 hungry people.

Other than these, I have little to offer. Perhaps just PASTA, PASTA, PASTA. It's so darn easy. And it doesn't go bad or attract roaches just sitting uncooked in your cabinet.

I think the only thing I cooked in college was Ramen, brownies, and tuna helper. Excepting the brownies, I wouldn't recommend my college diet. :)

mindy said...

P.P.S. Uh, sorry about the long post! :P

Oh, here's one: Grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato and maybe basil if you've got it.

Familia said...

Can I add one note to the instructions? Not trying to adapt the recipe for my own or anything like that. You might want to specify that they shouldn't put whipped cream or ice cream on top of the cobbler until *after* it comes out of the oven.

Beth said...

maybe i'm missing something... but i don't see sugar in the ingredients list. so when you tell me to add the remaining sugar i have no idea how much you mean.

Krysta said...

@beth... i did forget the sugar, thank you for pointing that out. ugh. how can i make such a stupid mistake... it's 1 1/2 cups of sugar. please feel free to slap me upside the head a few times for punishment!

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