Desserts, Snacks

seventy seven

(Toaster Oven) Granola Apple Crisp

One of the biggest challenges I face keeping up a food blog whilst living in a dorm with no kitchen is, quite obviously, being able to make food consistently. Of course, I could whip up a bunch of no-heat recipes and call it a day, but I also don’t have a freezer, so ice cream pies and the like are mostly impossible. I do have a (communal) microwave in the “kitchenette” (read: a sticky counter top, sink, and three ironing boards that have probably resided there since 1957 when the dorm was built), but how badly does anyone really want to make a microwave cake? Like, it’s fun and it’s done in three minutes, but there’s no process. And the process is the part I like. Baking is my emotional homework, guys! Basically my point here is food blog at college = hard.

However, as I’ve mentioned before, I do have a toaster oven that I occasionally have the energy to lug out of it’s place under my bed, place on the aforementioned-sticky-counter, and create some (slightly small) oven magic. So, recently my friend and I actually managed to make mini apple crisps using ingredients that -aside from the flour- were entirely pilfered from our dining hall! Let me tell you, it’s no small feat measuring half a stick of butter in tiny 1/2 tablespoon foil-wrapped packages. But boy, was it worth it. My favorite part of this endeavor was definitely using granola instead of oatmeal in the crumble topping. It added a really great texture and flavor to the crisp, I very much recommend trying that out, even if you aren’t ransacking a dining hall and are perfectly capable of obtaining oats. Also the whole floor smelled like cinnamon and happiness so basically I had a lot of friends that night.

Fun tip: if you’re terrible at making friends in college like I am, just get yourself a toaster oven and start baking things. You’ll have more buddies than you’ll know what to do with!! Of course, there’s an 87% chance they’ll leave once all the cookies you’ve made are gone. It’s a high-risk, high-reward move, I’d say.

Just kidding everyone I have lots of friends don’t worry about me!!!!!

Apple Crisp (adapted from and Smitten Kitchen)

I created this recipe being mindful of the fact that my toaster oven is pretty small and that I needed to fit them in four tiny baking dishes, but if you make it all in one big dish it’ll still work, you’ll just need to bake it 10-15 minutes longer!


– 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

– pinch of salt

– 1 tsp. cinnamon

– 1/2 cup oat-based granola

– 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

– 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add all ingredients in a bowl and work into a crumbly topping with your fingers or a pastry cutter. The butter may start to soften a little, but that’s okay. Set aside.


– 5 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into smaller-than-bite-sized pieces

– 2 or 3 tbsp. granulated sugar

– 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

– 1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice

– pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients and toss well. Butter your glass/metal baking dish (or dishes) and spoon the apples into the bottom, then cover with the granola topping. Bake 25-30 minutes if using small dishes or 40-50 minutes if using one large dish (glass dishes make take even longer, but heat distributes more evenly; it’s really a toss-up in my opinion). Note: apple crisp is delicious by itself, but gets out-of-this-world-incredible if you add a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream on top…just a suggestion.

(I do apologize for the poor quality of these images. Someday I’ll live in a space with non-florescent lighting, but right now kitchenette + cooking props is really the best I can do..)

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twenty three

Toaster Ovens are Magic, Apparently
I have recently found the most delicious sounding recipes. Among them: caramelized banana bread pudding, samosas with curried vegetables, grilled salmon with lemon garlic butter, honey lavender custard. These are not foods from the Joy of Cooking, nor are they the Barefoot Contessa’s, nor Julia Child’s, or any other gourmet or popular chef. They are soon to be my takes on fantastic recipes from The Gourmet Toaster Oven, aka my hopes and dreams in the name of keeping up this blog while at school. I had no idea that such culinary treasures could be created in these gadgets! So now the challenge: 1) modifying retro recipes into toaster oven treats (hi I like alliteration)  and 2) finding blocks of time to actually COOK. Can I do it??! I better, ’cause otherwise by the time I’m back in my real kitchen I’ll have lost all* my readers!

* there are 7, possibly 12 of you out there.

Let’s now look at my toaster oven modeling on my very spacious and roomy and not at all lumpy college bed!

So shiny!

It broils!