College-Friendly Microwave Chocolate Chip Cookie

Chocolate chip cookies are one of the best desserts known to man, even more so for how easy they are to make. This recipe is perfect for making in college, as it has few ingredients and is single serving for those times that you just want a small dessert and don’t feel like buying one. Chocolate chip cookies are my ultimate feel-good food because they are soft and sweet with just the right amount of chocolate. Whenever I get in the mood for a nice, warm dessert, this is the first thing I make.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 40-60 seconds

Yield: One perfect cookie

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Ingredients:

2 tbsp of melted butter

2 tbsp of brown sugar

1/8 tsp of vanilla

¼ cup of flour

1/8 tsp of baking powder

Dash of salt

Chocolate Chips or M&Ms (as many as you want)

Instructions:

  1. Start by melting the butter in a microwave-safe dish. If you have a ramekin, that’s great, but a mug will do fine too.

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2. Stir in the sugar and vanilla. Using only brown sugar allows for a softer, chewier cookie, which is my favorite.

3. Next add the baking powder, salt, and flour and stir until combined. The dough should have thickened at this point, but should still be somewhat liquid. Using the baking powder is an added bonus because this way the cookie will rise how it should without the help of raw ingredients, like an egg.

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4. Add whatever chocolate you prefer (I like milk chocolate chips) and microwave for 40-60 seconds. How long you microwave it depends on how gooey you prefer desserts to be.

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For people who have food allergies, this is also a great dessert because it is nut-free and egg-free. Using gluten-free flour, this cookie could easily become a gluten-free dessert. Personally, I am most worried about desserts containing an allergen so it is great to have a go-to that is both easy and delicious. I hope you enjoy this easy, microwave cookie as much as I do. Bon appétit!

 

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Why Misrepresentation of Food Allergies on Television is Harmful

As an avid TV watcher, it is disheartening to sometimes be watching a show and see a joke that trivializes food allergies. A character will be made fun of because they can’t eat a certain food or someone will have a reaction that is overdramatized for laughs. Food allergies are just as serious as any other medical condition, such as cancer or diabetes which are rarely the brunt of jokes. I have noticed this most often with children’s shows, where a character will have an allergic reaction for laughs. This is especially dangerous because children will see this and assume that it would be funny if someone they know were to have a reaction, instead of life-threatening. This not only impedes teaching people at a young age how to respond if they do see a reaction but teaches them that allergies are a joke and not something to be taken seriously. Though they cannot be readily seen, food allergies are still very dangerous. Someone potentially losing their life is not a joke, but sadly many people see it as such.

Even further, this representation perpetuates the idea that it’s OK to disparage someone because they need to live their lives differently than you do. Instead of showing how “funny” an allergic reaction can be on television, shows should start explaining food allergies in an educated way and show acceptance of those characters. A major problem with how people react to others with food allergies is a lack of education. In my experience, even many adults do not realize the gravity of an allergic reaction. This is most likely due to the fact that they were not properly educated as children. Positive representation on television would be a step forward in closing that gap of knowledge. Television shows can be a major tool in education and empathy because of its wide audience and relate to the characters, whether or not they realize it. Not only would it be heartwarming personally to see a character on my screen who has allergies and is treated respectfully, it would also teach others who are not effected to be more receptive to those who are. If people with food allergies are going to be taken seriously, positive visibility on television is key.

Fancy French Crepes

Living with food allergies, it is always exciting finding foods that are both delicious and safe for you to eat. One of these foods for me are crepes. On football game mornings during the Fall, my dining hall would always serve crepes with many tasty fruit toppings. They were so delicious and cooked to order just for you! This quickly became my favorite brunch item. So, coming home for the fall break, I decided to make them myself. After some trial and error, I’ve perfected the recipe. Though they look like they take a lot of work, they’re a lot easier to make than you would think.

Fancy French Crepes:

Prep time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

2 cups milk

1 and 1/3 cup flour

1 egg

1 tbsp melted butter

½ tsp baking powder

2 tbsp of sugar

1 and ½ tsp. of vanilla extract

 

Cream Cheese Filling:

½ cup cream cheese

1/8 cup of white sugar

1 tsp of vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Mix all the wet ingredients together in a large bowl and then add the dry ingredients one by one to the mixture. Stir well.
  2. Heat frying pan on high and spray with nonstick spray.
  3. Pour 1-2 ladles of crepe mixture into the frying pan and swirl in a circle until the mixture is spread out thin.
  4. Let cook until small bubbles start to form on the top and then flip, cooking for 30 seconds on the other side.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you run out of crepe mixture, spraying the pan with nonstick spray for every crepe.
  6. Garnish with whatever you may like, including my cream cheese filling.
  7. Bon appétit!

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Though these crepes are delicious with just the cream cheese filling, you can try mixing it up with some chocolate sauce, like the picture above, or dusting them with sugar and lemon juice. They would also be scrumptious á la carte with some ice cream.

 

I tested this recipe on my family and now this is my sister’s favorite brunch too. She continues to demand that I make them every time I come home. Enjoy and imagine that you’re sitting outside at a café in Paris.

Guide to Going Out to Eat When You Have Food Allergies

I’m sure all of us have been there. A group of friends decide they want to go out to eat on a Friday night, but no one can decide where. Internally, you’re worrying, wondering if they will magically decide to go somewhere you already know is safe to eat. At the same time though, you don’t want to rude by demanding that you eat at one of the three places you want or embarrass yourself by explaining to a whole group of people why. Hopefully by following these steps, you can avoid this awkward situation and enjoy some great food.

  1. Be Prepared: Presumably you already have a list of places in your head that you know are safe to eat at, whether you are gluten-free or nut-free and trying to avoid cross-contamination.
  2. Speak up!: Offer a few of the options from your above mentioned list.
  3. Plan B: Hopefully your friends will pick one of those options, but if not no problem. If none of these options are exactly what the rest of the group would like to eat, try to convince them to eat somewhere where you at least know you can find safer options.
  4. Use the Internet: If you end up going somewhere you have not eaten before, look up the menu online and scout out the options that would work for you.
  5. Be Careful: Remember any medications that you should take with you, just to be safe. This includes an Epi-Pen if you carry one or Benedryl.
  6. When You’re There: Ask if there is an allergy-friendly menu that you can look at and ask questions concerning cross-contamination. While it can be embarrassing doing this, know that your safety is the most important.
  7. Bon Appétit!: Enjoy your allergy-friendly meal with your friends!

Though this situation can be daunting at times, you can now navigate it and still have a great time.

Welcome to Allergies á la Carte!

My entire life I’ve lived with food and seasonal allergies. My family discovered that I was allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, and blue dye when I was three years old. Being in college now, I have had to learn to navigate the food and social aspects of having food allergies by myself. Many people are not aware that I have these allergies, unless I need to tell them. Therefore, I rarely connect with others who have similar allergies and live their lives with the same cautions and restrictions that I do. I believe that it is important to not feel alone in living with allergies, which is why I began Allergies á la Carte. People often do not realize the difficulties that accompany having allergies, especially food allergies. It effects your life more than just not being able to eat x food. Though I have lived with these adjustments, without my allergies I would not have found so many interesting and delicious recipes or have a cause that I feel passionately about.

On this blog, you will find nut-free recipes and relatable stories about living with allergies. Writing about my life will hopefully make many lives better by encouraging people to try a new restaurant or letting them know I have been through the same situations they have.