Sep 22, 2018

Book Review: The Student Cookbook

As a perennial college student who inhales ramen like a true addict, I was delighted to discover “The Student Cookbook: 200 Cheap and Easy Recipes for Food, Drinks and Snacks” on the clearance table at Urban Outfitters.

Finally, a cookbook for cheap-ass penny-pinchers like me.

Its recipes range from no-brainers like grilled cheese and “Hungover Pizza” (all you need is a phone and the number of your local pizza haven) to more ambitious fare, including Swedish meatballs, Mexican lasagna and very difficult muffins.

But food is only the half of it. “The Student Cookbook” is packed with quotes from the likes of Family Guy (“I’m going to microwave a bagel and have sex with it”) and The Godfather (“In Sicily, women are more dangerous than shotguns”), as well as oodles of unusual trivia (did you know that a shrimp’s heart is in its head, or that linguine is Italian for “little tongues?”).

Luckily for the veggie set, there are plenty of vegetarian staples such as black beans and rice, couscous salad, and Greek lasagna, although I prefer those dishes that do homage to ramen, especially Ramen noodle stir-fry, Asian peanut noodles, and sesame noodles.

And when it comes to desserts, “The Student Cookbook” pays ample tribute to chocoholics everywhere. Brownies for dummies, Snickers pie, and M & M cheesecake squares, however, are rounded out by healthier treats like fruit smoothies and shakes.
And what kind of cookbook for students would be complete without a section on alcoholic beverages?

Nightclub mainstays like cosmopolitians, mai tais, and margaritas are presented alongside mixed drinks that sport much odder titles (A piece of ass, alien secretion, popped cherry, and scooby snack, to name just a few).

The book is divided up pretty simply into three sections, food, snacks & desserts, and drinks, with further breakdowns depending on the kind of mood you’re in (no money, hungover, the munchies, and really hungry, of course).

I am also happy to announce that there is a whole little section devoted specifically to ramen trivia (instant noodles were invented in Tokyo in 1958), as well quotes from Sesame Street, South Park and Magnum, P.I.

But it is perhaps the quote from The Muppet Show that best sums up how I feel about “The Student Cookbook.”

“Holy Guacamole! This looks like a job for Wonder Pig.”

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