Food and friends

sushi manpuku
Coca-Carlo/Creative Commons

We really love eating and making food here at the Daily Clog. The only thing we might enjoy more than eating and making food is eating and making food with good company. In the summer, there’s plenty of extra time to try new things and spend more time with people. Cooking with your housemates or close friends is a perfect way to both learn and bond at the same time. No matter what your skill level, you’ll either get cooking experience or a good laugh out of it. If you’re so inclined, here are some options we’ve compiled for your next group cooking or baking endeavor.

Personal pizzas

This option has plenty of room for personal preference. Buy enough servings of pizza dough, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and the meat and veggies of your choosing from any local grocery store. Once you start the cooking process, the pizza is your canvas. Take this opportunity to choose thin crust, thick crust, deep dish or cheese stuffed and load on any and all toppings to your heart’s content. Make it a competition to see who can make the most aesthetically pleasing pizza. Pop them in the oven for 10 minutes and your pizzas will be ready to serve.

Sushi

As beautiful and polished as professional chefs make sushi look at Joshu-ya or Manpuku, it’s actually not an impossible skill to master. It’s always a fun experience no matter how ugly your rolls turn out in comparison to your housemates’. It’s an easy recipe but it might require a quick stop at 99 Ranch for the most authentic ingredients. All you have to do is layer your seaweed wrap and rice on top of a bamboo mat, throw on some seafood (most likely fake crab), cucumber, carrots, egg and avocado on top, carefully roll up your wrap and pray that you don’t just end up with a rice avalanche. Cut into elegant slices or eat like a sushi burrito.

Dumplings

While this option has a little less room for creativity, it’s still a fun way to make a simple dinner that everyone can at least feel like they’re contributing to. First throw some marinated pork or beef, green onion (or other greens), soy sauce and other seasonings of your choice in a skillet for the filling. Add to the dumpling wrappers, seal up with some water around the edges, then drop them in boiling water for a few minutes and eat while they’re still warm. These are pretty hard to screw up, so this is perfect for the less culinarily experienced.

Crepes

The recipe is relatively simple, but the techniques require some time to perfect. Most recipes tell you to blend together flour, water, milk, butter and eggs, pour and swirl in a skillet and cook both sides for a minute or two. This can be more difficult than it sounds, so if you can’t get the batter into a perfect circle, you can always use it as an opportunity to create some edible abstract crepe art. There’s also plenty of room for flexibility. You can decide for yourself if you want a sweet crepe with fruits or Nutella, or a savory one with meat and cheese. Again, compete with your housemates to see whose dish looks the most likely to be able to kill the competition on Chopped or MasterChef.

Baked goods

Baking with your housemates is probably one of the best ways to bond. Try a new recipe for homemade peanut butter cookies, warm dark chocolate brownies, banana bread, red velvet cupcakes or go to Tasty for more dessert inspiration. If you make cookies or cupcakes, buy some frosting and other toppings and have everyone decorate their own so there’s now the freedom to personalize it however they choose. Make it a fun activity by trying to draw portraits of each other using only frosting and sprinkles.

Get cooking and get happy, Bears.

Contact Jasmine Tatah at [email protected].