As much as I try to to ignore such inconvenient truths, I guess it’s time to face facts: finals are approaching. My second round of being so burnt out that I can’t construct sentences, remember facts or tie my shoes is just around the corner. One of the things I hope to become exert more control over this finals season is my dietary routine.
This is the part where I turn into a walking corpse-waif-lady after four days of subsisting on minimal sleep, maximum coffee, and junky snacks. Instead of floating of floating into the Retreat, bug-eyed and pale, for a brief 1 p.m. get-a-third-cup-of-coffee break, I aim to wake up and head to the Deece for a more substantial breakfast. You were wondering when I’d get to the food part, huh?
I am not one of those people who can skip breakfast.
If you don’t believe me, just ask anyone who’s had a morning class with me on one of those rare days when I haven’t eaten anything—they’ll attest to my stomach grumbling and post-class speed-walking to the express line lunch, desperate for sustenance.
But enough about me—think of yourself.
Maintaining some kind of routine can make all the difference during busy weeks and especially the weeks of final exams.
I think the best place to start is eating three meals a day. Even if you’re normally not a breakfast person, do it for your poor, overworked brain. The extra energy from a filling and tasty breakfast will help you stay focused throughout the day, and allowing yourself a little extra time to find some Deece-cooking zen will also reduce your stress level.
I find it especially important to eat enough when I’ll be drinking lots of coffee—too much acidity and caffeine on an empty stomach leaves me feeling sick and jumpy.
I’m not a nutritionist, but I find that the key to a filling breakfast is protein: eggs, peanut butter, and so on, and I try to keep breakfast just as balanced as any other meal by including at least some fruit or vegetable element and staying away from excessive grease.
These are good guidelines to maintain even if you’re too pressed for time to make the recipes below.
Eat food, get sleep, take showers, do work, and remember, it’ll all be over soon.
Ashley’s French Toast
I really wish I could tell you that I thought of this obvious but brilliant idea, but all the credit goes to the always adventuresome Ashley Pecorelli ’16 . The Deece may already offer French toast, but if you want it to be extra delicious, line-free and ready at any time of day , making it yourself is the way to go.
Use a fork to whisk together 2 eggs, a small amount of milk and cinnamon to taste.
Take two pieces of bread and soak it in the egg mixture, making sure the whole piece is coated, although I know the little Deece bowls make this tricky. If you prefer the thin, pre-sliced bread, you don’t need to leave it in for more than 20 seconds on each side. For thicker pieces, 30-40 seconds on each side.
Heat up a pat or two of butter plus a little bit of vegetable oil in your pan—make sure it is bubbling hot, otherwise the toast won’t be crispy. Fry bread for about 2 minutes on each side, or until it looks done!
I don’t want to be critical, but sometimes I find the Deece’s breakfast potatoes a little lackluster. I’m not sure what it is—perhaps they’re too dry, or just a little bland. In any case, giving them another fry with some extra onions and other veggies does the trick. This is definitely one of the best things I’ve ever made at the stir fry station!
Heat up several tablespoons vegetable or olive oil in your pan. Add your desired amount of mushrooms and onions and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, for three or four minutes. Make sure the onions are translucent and that any liquid the mushrooms have released has evaporated before you move on.
Add some potatoes and eggs from the breakfast bar and stir until heated through. Add salt and pepper. Put all of this onto a plate, scraping the pan as clean as possible.
If your pan is relatively clean, add some a pat of butter and a little oil, otherwise get a fresh pan to fry your eggs. Once the butter and oil are hot and the bottom of the pan is coated, crack your eggs into the pan. I like mine over-easy, but flipping eggs at the stir fry station has represented a significant roadblock in the past due to the lack of any utensil other than spoons . I’ve been noticing a few spatulas lately. I like to think it’s due to my friendly but persistent requests left on the suggestion board., so hopefully you’ll get lucky. Otherwise, make sure your egg is white and firm on the bottom and hope for the best by flipping and/or removing with a big spoon or by using two forks. Top your hash with fried eggs and cheddar cheese if it’s going to be a particularly long day and enjoy!
Sam’s Yogurt Combo
This recipe owes its name to Sam Rebelein ’16. Rebelein eats this mush any hour of the Deece day, but I find it especially delicious and super filling as a breakfast dish! Beauty is not one of this meal’s many outstanding qualities, but I finally tasted it and I haven’t looked back since. Mix together a few scoops of vanilla yogurt (if you prefer plain, try adding honey. The sweetness factor is key!) a big dollop of peanut butter, and a bunch of granola. Don’t look at it, just eat it.
Fancy Scrambled Eggs
A few weeks after I made this for the first time, an almost identical recipe appeared in Bon Appetit Magazine. Great minds think alike, but seriously, they could have at least mentioned my name.!
Beat three eggs together in a bowl with salt, pepper, and a little milk. Heat some oil and/or butter in a pan and then add eggs and start to scramble. Once eggs have begun to set, add a large helping of spinach and some parmesan. Top with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Best enjoyed on a piece of whole wheat toast!