Finals = Food from a Box

So, it's finals time. I know, I've complained about it enough. But I sat on our couch in our apartment pretty much ALL day today writing a paper. ALL day. And somehow real baking and cooking just don't seem to be happening. Because taking a break to make some involved recipe that requires a lot of brain power just doesn't seem like the best idea somehow. Oh, and you can't forget, I'm trying to eat up all the stuff that can't stay here over break. And trying to not buy new stuff that will need to be eaten up. So, I'm relegated to food from a box. Ugh.

Ok, so it's not really as bad as I make it out to be. The paper is almost done. The rumored "food from a box" is really just boxed brownie mix and bread mix. Oh, and pre-made falafel. None of which (except for the boxed bread mix) are cause for complaining. I'm even eating a salad. And, curiously, for a break from writing a paper, I'm writing about food. Somehow, it works.

So, my food from a box phase started yesterday: the night before finals. I bought a salad from the salad bar at the supermarket, and I got pre-made falafel.
If you have never had falafel, you are missing out. It is only the most amazing food ever. I discovered it after years of fearing it this summer on a trip to visit a grad school. It's basically ground up chickpeas, garlic and herbs, deep fried. It's like hummus (the other best food in the world) in a different form. Then, you eat it with hummus! YUM.
Oh, and you can't forget the sweetest acorn squash I've ever had. Straight from the farm.

Then came the baking from a box. I got this picture yesterday in my email:
Apparently this is real baking. Dad was making pizzelles. I still don't think I've used this much butter all year.

My dad also makes wonderful brownies. He taught me about 9/16 of what I know about baking. Mom taught me the rest. I made the college student's version of the brownies. It wasn't as good. But, it was mint+chocolate. Still good. Not as good. But still good.

I basically took a box of brownie mix, and added 1/2 tsp of peppermint extract to the normal ingredients.
Warning: When they come out of the oven, they will smell wonderful. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT eat them now. They get better. I promise.
Then, I took a can of frosting, added 1/2 tsp of peppermint extract and some green food coloring and stirred. Stir well.
Oh look, I do have a green thumb!
Again, do not eat this alone. It will still get better.
I frosted the cooled brownies and refrigerated them for a while, then took 6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips, 4 Tbsp. butter and melted them in the mircowave for about 30 seconds. Then I added (you guessed it!) 1/2 tsp. of peppermint extract and spread this over the frosting.
They were to give for Christmas presents, so I of course had to add the sprinkles before the chocolate ganache hardened. Refrigerate until hard.
Ok, now, you can eat them. Enjoy!
Then, today, amidst the hours of paper making, I used up some frozen bananas and used chocolate chip muffin mix to make chocolate chip banana bread to give to people at my final tomorrow morning.
I suggest you mash the bananas before putting them in the freezer. For your own sake.
The bread was kind of a fail to cut. Hopefully it tastes ok. It certainly doesn't look pretty.

I'm justifying all this food from a box because in less than a week, it will be Christmas break. And that means making gingerbread houses and gingerbread men and cakes and more cookies and more baking. So it's ok. Baking will come soon.

I just need to survive finals first.

P.S. Look what my Secret Santa got me!!!! :-D Thanks, Secret Santa!


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