On My Own: Yes, We Really Can Cook

Cooking Outside the Pizza Box: Easy Recipes for Today’s College Student

by Jean Patterson and Danae Campbell

College kids living on their own for the first time are startled to realize that now they have to cook for themselves. Included are nutritious, appetizing, more healthful and less expensive recipes to try without relying on the local pizza parlor or the burger joint every time hunger pangs strike.

Cooking Up a Storm: The Teen Survival Cookbook

by Sam Stern and Susan Stern

A kid’s gotta eat! What better way to make sure that the food on your plate hits the spot than to make it yourself? From omelets to mouth-watering desserts and addictive but healthy snacks, try these suggestions to help keep your brain awake during that dreaded exam time.

The Healthy College Cookbook: Quick, Cheap, Easy

by Alexandra  Nimetz

In less time and for less money than it takes to order pizza, you can make it yourself! Three harried but health-conscious college students compiled and tested this collection of more than 200 tasty, hearty, inexpensive recipes anyone can cook — yes, anyone!

Help! My Apartment Has a Kitchen Cookbook: 100 + Great Recipes with Foolproof Instructions.

By Nancy Mills

Compiled by a college guy and his Mom, this cookbook grades recipes on a “Very Easy,  Easy, and Not So Easy” scale. Also included are some of  Mom’s tips and warnings. A number of the recipes are vegetarian in honor of his vegetarian girlfriend.

How to Boil Water: Life Beyond Takeout.

By Food Network Kitchens

This book really does tell how to boil water, along with plenty of other tips and recipes just right for the beginning cook.

I Love Trader Joe’s College Cookbook

by Andrea Lynn

Looking for some relief from microwave mash-ups, fast food fiascos, and cardboard crust pizza delivery?  Whip up late-for-class breakfasts, backpack-friendly lunches, and as-hearty-as-mom-made dinners.  All the ingredients come from Trader Joe’s so they are both inexpensive and scrumptious.

Look, Dude, I Can Cook!: Four Years of College Cooking Made Easy

by Amy Madden

These recipes start from the basics, then move on up to more complex recipes. Included are tips, suggestions and techniques that will provide a solid foundation for future cooking skills.

A Man, a Can, a Microwave: 50 Tasty Meals  You Can Nuke in No Time

by David Joachim

Fifty guy-friendly, nuke-able meals using packaged ingredients that are fun to make and great to eat. Check out such tasty dishes as “Italian One-Dish Fish,” “Teriyaki Beef with Broccoli,” and “Painless Paella.”

$5 a Meal College Cookbook: Good Cheap Food for When You Need to Eat

by Rhonda  Lauret Parkinson

Need a break from the monotony of your meal plan? Can’t afford to waste money on lukewarm takeout? Well, now you can ditch the dining hall’s soggy excuse for the Monday-night special thanks to this appetite-saving book packed with cheap, easy, and delicious recipes.

The (Reluctant, Nervous, Lazy, Broke, Busy, Confused) College Student’s  Cookbook

by Joshua N. Lambert

An everything guide to a college students need to know about food, cooking, and taking care of a kitchen. From using an oven to preparing a cream sauce, included are step-by-step instructions for every situation involving food — from the all-night study session to the first date.

Starving  Students’ Cookbook

by Dede Hall

Just learning to cook?  Check out these appealing cooking how-to tips, health, nutrition information, vegetarian recipes and more.

The Teen’s Vegetarian Cookbook

by Judy Krizmanic

Recipes for all types of vegetarian dishes are accompanied by information and advice on vegetarian diet and quotes from teenage vegetarians.


Teen Cooking: Microwaves and Mugs

Teens love food.  Yes, we all know that but, did you also know that they are quite capable of cooking for themselves…either did their parents.  Cooking programs for teens can be wildly popular as long as you promise them samples at the end.  The problem with cooking programs is the cooking, unless you have a huge staff lounge that doubles as a meeting room (in which case carry on Rick Bayless Public Library).

In a previous post,Teen Programming with Food, we provided fun desserts to make that require no cooking.  This time we’ll explore some awesome options for cooking with that jack-of-all-trades, the microwave.  If your library’s microwave (and I know you have one) cannot be moved into your meeting space, then ask around and I’m willing to bet that someone has one collecting dust in their garage.  Below you’ll find some great microwave recipes that you can make with/for your teens.

Mexi-licious Egg Mug (from Hungry Girl)


  • 2 tbsp. chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
  • 1/4 cup fat-free refried beans
  • 2 tbsp. canned diced green chilies (not drained)
  • One 6-inch corn tortilla, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 wedge The Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss cheese
  • Optional topping: fat-free sour cream


  • Spray a large microwave-safe mug with nonstick spray. Add onion and microwave for 1 minute, until slightly softened and warm.
  • Pat dry to remove excess moisture. Add egg substitute and gently stir. Microwave for 1 minute.
  • Gently stir. Microwave for 30 seconds, until scramble is mostly set.
  • Gently stir in beans, chilies, tortilla, and cheese wedge, breaking cheese into pieces as you add it.
  • Microwave for about 45 seconds, until hot. Gently stir and, if you like, top with sour cream. Enjoy!



Microwave Cake in a Mug


  • 1 large coffee mug
  • 4 tablespoons plain flour (do not use self-rising)
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
  • Small splash of vanilla
  • chocolate syrup (optional)
  • whipped topping (optional)


  • Add dry ingredients to mug, & mix well .
  • Add egg & mix thoroughly.
  • Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.
  • Add chocolate chips (if using), vanilla, mix again.
  • Set mug in the microwave & cook for 2½ to 3 min (1,000 watts microwave). Cake will rise over the top of the mug.
  • Remove from microwave and allow cake to cool a little, then tip out onto a plate, or leave in mug.
  • Drizzle with chocolate syrup and top with whipped topping, if desired!