Zoe McKinnell

Zoe McKinnell

Zoe McKinnell is a junior at Brown University where she lives in Buxton, the international house, and studies Biology and Literary Arts.  She’s an avid runner, cupcake consumer, Grey’s Anatomy viewer and lab geek.  Her favorite things to bake are cranberry, walnut biscotti and baked zucchini with bread crumbs (consumed separately of course).  She believes almost any problem can be solved with: 1. A sense of humor 2. Tea and cookies and if all else fails, 3. Wine.

Favorite Dining Hall Food: Strawberry yogurt with Cracklin’ Bran cereal and a banana

Best Party Theme: Beach Party in February

Favorite Healthful Food: Green grapes

Late-Night Indulgence: Domino’s cheesy bread

Signature Cocktail: Dark and Stormy (Ginger beer, rum and lime) or Cosmopolitans

Review: Veggies for Carnivores

Lora Krulak is a vegetable expert and nutritional muse who embraces a veggie-centric lifestyle. She gathered her recipes while traveling around the world and her professional background includes training at the ICE Culinary Cooking School. I was lucky enough to review Lora about her awesome new cookbook, Veggies for Carnivores. I was also able to ask her more questions specifically directed at college students and recent grads.

Zoe McKinnell recently graduated from Brown University and moved to Cambridge, Mass. to work at a hospital in the area.  She is getting used to living in a studio apartment and trying to


Best Foods to Freeze and Thaw


Whenever I leave a restaurant with my plate half eaten, I always question whether or not it’s worth it to take home the leftovers.  Am I really going to eat the rest of mypizza or fried rice tomorrow for lunch?  After much deliberation, I have decided that unless you are super gung-ho about repeating your dinner the next day, you should only take it home if it’s freezable.

I consulted my mother, a freezing aficionado, about the best leftover foods to freeze and thaw.  Here are her tips:

1. Chicken and salmon freeze well.
2. Be careful with breads


Nutrition and Health: Healthy Pancakes

buttermilk oatcakes

Pancakes are too often doused in maple syrup and powdered sugar, and coated with butter.  They are an unarguably tasty brunch food, but usually not the healthiest choice.  I mean, they are called pancakes. Having said that, I was recently introduced to a new and improved healthy pancake recipe.  Buttermilk oatcakes with fruitcompote are high-fiber, butter-free and just as tasty as a syrup-soaked flapjack.  They’re quite simple to make and especially yummy when topped with fresh, seasonal fruit.


Buttermilk Oatcakes with Fruit Compote
Serves 4
Adapted from EatingWell

2 cups buttermilk
1 large egg
1 …


How To: Use Fondant to Decorate Cakes

Did you always dream of becoming the next Cake Boss? Or glare at the TV wondering how on earth these chefs make their cakes look so good? The answer is fondant.  And by following a few simple steps, your dream could become a reality.  My sister, Virge, who has recently become a cake-decorating enthusiast, taught me how to decorate a fabulous fondant cake.

The first step is to bake a cake.  Virge decided to bake a series of miniature banana chocolate chip loafs. Then, basically, you go nuts decorating with fondant, following the advice below. Ready? Here goes!


Owning the Omelet in 6 Easy Steps

omelet done

Mastering the omelet is a skill that takes some practice but is essential to any college cook’s repertoire.  Omelets are a great meal at any time of day, they’re easy and take less than 10 minutes to prepare.  The issue: so many of us end up with a scrambled mess that may taste good, but doesn’t look all that appetizing. Follow these 6 basic steps to make the perfect omelet.

**How to Make the Perfect Omelet**

1. Select the right type of pan. I suggest a 7-10’’ non-stick frying pan.

2. Pick your ingredients. A common mistake is adding too …


Review: Never Cook Sober Cookbook

nevercook sober cookbook pic

Fusion food keeps increasing in popularity, as korean tacos and sushi pizza pop up on more and more restaurant menus. But Stacy Labbs and Sherri Field put a new twist on fusion food.  Both Labbs and Field are wine and liquor connoisseurs who fused (ha!) their interest with food and booze to produce Never Cook Sober.

Stacy Labbs took a bartending class when she was twenty-one and, from there, began inventing recipes.  Field is a homebrewer and wine maker who has a long-time appreciation for great spicy food.  Unarguably, an interesting compilation of booze infused dishes, Never Cook Sober, includes …


Eat Under $10: Baked Rice


Dish: Baked rice infused with vegetable or chicken broth
Good for: a healthy side dish that can serve a lot of people
Shopping list: 1 cup chicken broth ($2.00) or 1 cube vegetable bouillon ($1.49); 1 cup rice ($1.00); 1 tablespoon butter ($0.50)
Pantry Items: herb and salt mix
Total Cost: $5.50

Rice is the most important staple food for much of the world’s population.  Everyone eats it.  Brown rice, sticky rice, wild rice…there are so many different varieties.  Yet, college students rarely think to cook it.  Probably because we’ve eaten rice all our lives as a side or a …


Study Break Snacks: Chili Chocolate Popcorn

chili choc popcorn in bowl

Stovetop popcorn is an easily prepared, healthy and inexpensive snack that can be seasoned in a variety of ways. It’s so much tastier than microwave popcorn and perfect to prepare while studying for a test or for friends coming over to watch a movie. Chili powder and sea salt chocolate is my favorite seasoning combination and is a great blend of sweet, salty and spicy flavors.


Healthy Snacks: Kale Chips

kale chips

There seems to be a void of edible options to quench 4pm hunger besides for junk food: cookies, chips or candy. I find myself constantly on the lookout for healthy and tasty snack options, since vacuum-sealed apple slices and hemp bars just don’t cut it. Fortunately, I was recently introduced to kale chips. While originally a popular snack amongst vegans, kale chips really ought to go mainstream. Kale is very healthy: it is said to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-cancer properties, and in chip form, kale is crispy, salty and satisfying.  The best part? These chips are easily made in 20 minutes.


Eat Under $10: Four Cheese Ravioli With Shrimp and Vegetable Stir-fry

vegetables BBSK

Cheap, quick, easy and healthy…not much more you can ask for in a meal. I never knew making ravioli was so easy until I pulled a package out of my freezer a few weeks ago and realized it’s just as easy as cooking boxed spaghetti. With a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and topped with some grated cheese, you’re halfway to a complete meal in 5 minutes (and under $3.00). Frozen shrimp is also a great go-to stir-fry ingredient. It’s healthy and easily prepared: just run them under hot water for a few minutes, pull off their tails and pop them in a frying pan. Chop and dice some stir-fry appropriate vegetables and add them to the pan, and you’ve got a great dinner …possibly while watching Gossip Girl or Grey’s Anatomy.