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One of the great and terrible things about college is that you’re at school all. the. time.

Terrible because you can’t escape the looming academic buildings that remind you that you should be studying right now. You can’t escape that person from that one class who always, without fail, asks you about the homework. And you see professors outside of class, which is always awkward for both parties (my professor relatives agree).

But it’s wonderful because you’re always near your friends. So you can study together, go to the dining hall together, or just hang out. Any time.

And as long as you don’t have too much to do, that means that you can be social and have a good time even on weeknights. And do spontaneous cooking projects.

Our friend D of Culinary Gradventures has a kitchen in her suite, so we all got together to make pumpkin white chocolate muffins one Tuesday night. While we waited for them to bake, we drank peppermint hot cocoa and studied. Best Tuesday night I’ve had in a long time.

The next night (a Wednesday), because of a canceled club event, Bathilda and I made Toasts with Ricotta and Warm Balsamic-Caramel Apples… just for ourselves.

They were definitely weeknight-friendly (simple and not too time consuming). All you have to do is:

Slice up some bread and apples. Spread butter on the bread and melt some more in a skillet, then add the apples to the skillet and cook until soft.

Add sugar, water, and balsamic vinegar to the skillet. Cook until caramelized. You may have to pour off some of the liquid if it’s too soupy.

Toast the bread in an oven set to broil for 1 minute or less (we slightly burned some of them, so be careful!)

Spread your soft cheese on each slice of bread (the recipe calls for ricotta, but we think that goat cheese would be better to add complexity and contrast to the sweetness)…

…then top with your apples and any caramel left on the bottom of the pan.


Recommended with a cup of coffee to cut the sweetness. But maybe go for decaf and get some sleep, because it’s a weeknight.

Happy cooking, college muggles!