I have seen the concept of cooking and baking in a mug everywhere, from Pinterest to Twitter, but I was never able or courageous enough to try it.

Fast forward to this year, wherein I’ve come to two realizations: one, sometimes I don’t want to change out of pajamas or sweats to head to the Roadrunner café; and two, if I don’t want to even put on suitable pants, I really don’t to get out all of the things needed to actually cook something. This leads to me eating a lot of microwavable soups and meals.

So here’s where the mugs come in. Why not finally try and prepare a meal in a mug, because college=new experience, right?

For this experiment, I decided to try three basic recipes: 1) macaroni and cheese, 2) French toast, and 3) cake (more specifically Nutella cake).

First up, mac’ and cheese from this online recipe.

The concept seems simple enough; “boil” the noodles, then add cheese and milk. Easy.

But wow was I wrong.

I got this weird ball of cheese that looks way too similar to a wad of chewed up gum.

Tasting it wasn’t too great either. The cheese lost its flavor and the noodles were chewy.

My roommate, Jimie Glee, thought that Velveeta cheese or a product like it, might work better, and my other roommate, Alex, suggested that maybe using less water would work.

It’s safe to say that for now I’ll leave the science of microwavable cheese to Kraft and to their pre-packaged ones with powder cheese.

Leaving that mess behind, onto the French toast and adapted from this online recipe.

Now I’m going to be real, I’m not very fond of French toast. I’m more of a pancakes kind of girl, but I can appreciate the taste, and don’t mind it from time to time.

Again the prep was pretty basic: cut the break, make a mixture of egg and cinnamon, and pour over the bread.

My one main concern was that the egg would collect at the bottom and not cook throughout the bread cubes. And I was right. I tried spreading the egg throughout by adding a few bread cubes, pouring some egg mixture, adding a few more cubes, pouring some more egg, and so on, but that didn’t help.

The pieces at the top were decent when syrup was added, but where the eggs gathered at the bottom was just too unappealing. Jimie Glee, suggested that maybe using a flat bowl where the egg would be able to properly soak the bread in a broader range would best.

And last but not least, the Nutella Cake from this online recipe.

At this point, I had very low expectations. The mac was a bust, the French toast was okay, so I didn’t expect the cake to come out much better.

This recipe called for the most ingredients, but I figured that the Nutella – a love of most students – would make it worthwhile.

I shouldn’t have been surprised that the cake would rise because, hello, I did use self-rising flour, but when it was “baking” I pulled it out when it started to rise, what I considered to be too much.

The cake ended up being really good. I would totally make this again, maybe using half or even a quarter of the recipe, because the whole recipe was almost too much for my three roommates and myself. I also suggest cooking it a bit longer as the very bottom didn’t quite cook completely, and whether or not it was batter or some of the Nutella sinking to bottom, I will have to try the recipe again and see.

Side thoughts:

All of these recipes were written about in a positive way, so I really wonder to what I did wrong. It might be the microwaves, or maybe the brands used or it might just be a toss-up that these recipes – and others like it – will work for anyone.

Buying all of these ingredients did cost upwards of $30 but it would be worth it if the recipes could be utilized and multiple meals can be made from the simple ingredients.

A special thanks to my roommates, Jimie Glee, Andrea, and Alex for not only helping me make the dishes, but also being my taste-tester, and my friend Adrianna for helping me find recipes.

Next up: Who determines what is defined as art on campus?

Check out more of The Ten Point Curve here!

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