With midterms (mostly) over and finals yet to start, I took on my biggest Cooking With Bwog challenge yet. (Previously, I have Eaten My Way Through the Core.) Follow along as I recount four perilous days of surviving on nothing but Bwog.

I closed my laptop after last Sunday’s Bwog staff meeting and, without pause, scribbled out a quick chart of what Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday Cooking With Bwog (CWB) recipes I would make, the groceries I would need to buy, and the groceries I already had. I knew that if I hesitated, if only for a second, I would never take on the challenge that lay before me. Alas, I persisted, and here, you can follow the account of my endeavors. Along the way, I discovered some new all-time favorites and some new go-to recipes. I hope you might, too :)

Groceries I Already Have
Instant Coffee
Almond Milk
Cow Butter
Almond Butter
Various Autumnal Spices (Ginger, Cinnamon, TJ’s Pumpkin Pie Spice, etc.)
Trader Joe’s Everything But The Bagel Seasoning
Maple Syrup
Sweet Potato
Fancy Grainy Mustard
Salt & Pepper
Parsley, Thyme, Rosemary
Orange Juice
Lemon Juice
Vanilla Extract

Groceries I Dropped $30 On Just For This Post
Loaf of Bread
Frozen Meatballs
Apple Cider

Groceries I Solicited From My Roommates
Trader Joe’s Creamy Tomato Soup (thank you!!)

Monday, November 16, 2020

Morning Beverage: Dalgona (TikTok) Coffee (April ’20)

I haven’t had Dalgona Coffee since it stormed onto the early-Covid-quarantine scene. This morning, as I watched the sweet, caramel-y froth begin to foam, I had vivid flashbacks to a time where I still thought “at least things will definitely be normal by this summer.” Regardless of any past trauma the whipped, creamy coffee stirred up in me, it was as delicious as ever.

Breakfast: Stovetop Oats (April ’18)

It’s hard to go wrong with Stovetop Oats, and I thoroughly enjoyed this Bwogger’s recipe. It’s a throwback post, and I found myself nostalgic as it dawned on me that this CWB was published when I was a mere prospie attending Days on Campus. Oh, to be so young and untroubled.

The original post recommends a list of toppings, and I opted for maple syrup, almond butter, and a dash of Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pie Spice.

Lunch: Sweet Potato (Nov ’19)

After a massive stovetop oat breakfast, I was still stuffed at lunchtime. But if I wanted to make 16 recipes in 4 days, I realized quickly, there was no room for weakness on my plate.

I didn’t have any full sweet potatoes, but I had a 1 lb container of cubed sweet potatoes. Instead of microwaving them, I roasted them with some truffle olive oil and salt and pepper at 375º for about 25 minutes. To stay true to the original recipe, I topped them with whole grain dijon mustard and maple syrup! Honestly? A game-changer.

Dinner: Pizza Eggs (Oct ’19)

Bought myself my first Koronet’s of the semester for this! Not their big slice, just a regular-sized (albeit still obscene) slice of margarita pizza. This CWB might look like a mush of greasy, gooey, eggy, saucy, cheese and chewy pizza crust, and I can assure you that it is–in the best way.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Morning Beverage: Dalgona… Tea? (Sept ’20)

Definitely an über-sweet knock-off of Dalgona Coffee for those of us who are far too timid to be coffee-drinkers. Was it foamy, fluffy, and frothy like its beloved namesake? Mmmm… almost. Was it refreshing and delicious nonetheless? Absolutely.

Breakfast: Banana (Oct ’19)

Yes, I did, as instructed, peel upside-down. This did nothing to change the fact that this banana was not ripe. It did not smush delightfully on the roof of my mouth. I had to actually take bites and chew them–slimy, chunky, hard masses of banana. I love bananas so much, but unripe bananas remain one of the top ten worst things I have ever experienced. Only finished 2/3 of the banana before I simply had to stop.

Disclaimer: This Bwogger’s bad banana experience has nothing to do with the original Cooking With Bwog recipe itself.

Lunch: Grilled Cheese (Sept ’20)

I did this recipe an aesthetic disservice with the mild burn, but I think we can all agree that a toasty grilled cheese is the best sort of grilled cheese. I hate mayo, and yet, the additional smears of the condiment onto each side of each slice of toast truly elevated my grilled cheese game. I felt enlightened with every bite.

Dinner: Roasted Salmon (March ’18)

I had had salmon sitting in my freezer for over a month, and when I started this challenge, I decided it was finally time to confront it. After a microwave defrosting, and with the help of Bwog, I simply took charge. I started by following the Cooking With Bwog recipe, although I grew distraught upon realizing I somehow didn’t actually have an onion. And then I didn’t have thyme, parsley, or rosemary, either, so I supplemented with hefty doses of a seafood spice called “Fishermen’s Wharf” that my mom sent in the mail back in August because I, a mere student, didn’t own any fancy spices. In the end, it was pretty good, and I had leftovers. Yum.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Beverage: Russian Tea (Jan ’20)

Delicious! Outstanding! Comforting! So sweet and citrusy! This is one of my favorite CWBs, and I make it more often than I’d like to admit. I’ve learned that I like it best when I cut the sugar content to about an eighth of a cup rather than a quarter cup.

Breakfast: Not Ferris’ Avocado Toast (April ’20)

A filling and flavorful breakfast. I couldn’t have asked for more. (Also, I thoroughly appreciated the recipe’s detailed steps for replicating Ferris’ avocado green goo, replicating their toast, and assembling.)

Lunch: Zoodles (March ’20)

This recipe only takes three ingredients, and I thought it tasted simultaneously refreshing and filling! Unfortunately, my meagerly stocked apartment kitchen doesn’t have a “spiralizer,” so I simply sliced my zucchini into skinny little strips, which worked out surprisingly well!

Dinner: Apple Potato Fries Ft. A Fried Egg (Oct ’19)

So my Apple Potato Fries Ft. a Fried Egg didn’t actually feature any apple. (I accidentally ate it as a snack.) I still used cider in the recipe, though, and enjoyed at least some sweet, apple-y flavor! I burned my mouth terribly with my first couple bites, but despite my slow-forming, roof-of-the-mouth blisters, I loved the sticky, hearty taste of this CWB. Will be making again when I have all the ingredients and remember to blow gently on each forkful of food before it enters my mouth.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Beverage: Milstein Maple Chai Smoothie (April ’20)

This smoothie changed my life. That is all.

Breakfast: A Millennial’s Avocado Toast (Oct ’18)

I still had half an avocado from yesterday’s avocado toast, and the CWB archives included a second avocado toast recipe, so, I thought, what was stopping me? I appreciated this recipe’s list of six recommended topping combos (feta cheese, red chili flakes, honey?? strawberries + balsamic vinegar???), but the only combo I had on hand was yesterday’s: Everything But the Bagel Seasoning and sriracha. Again, it was a delight.

Lunch: The CWB Secret To Easy But Delicious Pasta Sauce (Nov ’19)

I am bLoWn AwAy by this pasta sauce hack. I’m not even going to explain what it is–click the link above and read the recipe for yourself. Brilliant. Delicious. So easy. I will be making this pasta far into my future, if not for the rest of my adult life. The recipe suggests combos of sausage and broccoli, ham and broccoli, sausage and spinach, or zucchini and salmon, but I chose to add sausage and zucchini to my pasta and loved it.

Dinner: Viral TikTok Potatoes (Oct ’20)

Upon making it to the finish line of my CWB challenge, I chose to celebrate by making one of my most recent favorites, Viral TikTok Potatoes. There is nothing crispier or crunchier, nothing more well-seasoned or delectable than these potatoes. I’m lamenting the fact that I forgot to take a picture (I just spent five minutes desperately scrolling through my photo app), but I can assure you that these taters look as hot and sexy as they taste, which is to say, very hot and sexy. Ten out of ten.

~images via Bwog Staff