Giveaway: Le Creuset Saute Pan [closed]

Many BGSK readers-to be are graduating from college just about now. Cara’s sister Kate (aka the Best Commenter Ever), is taking the leap from college to real life this very Sunday.

In honor of her and the rest of the soon-to-be graduates, who in a matter of weeks will be stocking fridges and cabinets of their brand-new (to them) tiny kitchens, we’re hosting a giveaway over this Memorial Day Weekend. The item up for grabs is this Le Creuset 28cm Large Stainless Steel Saute Pan. It’s an awesome pan–enough surface area for frying, but also great for sauces and sautes that require a lid.
For a chance to win, we want to hear about the best best bare-bones meal you’ve ever made. The kind of dish that requires no kitchen, perhaps not even a microwave. The sort of food you made in a college dorm room, on the final night of a 10-night camping trip, on a hot plate, during a kitchen renovation, when your refrigerator failed you, or while you were sitting on the bench of a foreign city and had to forage for food at the nearest store.
Leave your comments below! We can’t wait to hear your no-kitchen-necessary recipes and anecdotes.
From our kitchens, small but existent, to yours,
Posted in: Giveaway
  • Sara

    My oven at home has been on the fritz since Thanksgiving – sad, right? Anyways, I was in charge of making pizza one night when we weren’t totally sure how long the oven would work before it shut off…I thought it could handle 30 minutes of pizza baking. I managed to bake the crust half way and was in the middle of topping said crust with sauce, cheese, etc. when the oven shut off. Greeeeat. I resorted to cutting the pizza into slices and baking them 3 at a time in a 20 year old toaster oven, which, I might add, is sort of unreliable for anything besides toasting English muffins.

    The pizza turned out great, though, half an hour later…but my mom was so frazzled that the whole dinner atmosphere was kind of ruined.

  • kara

    When I lived in the Czech Republic, I only had a hot plate and a sink in my kitchen. I would boil rice in my one pot, drain it, and then crack an egg right over the top. With a little soy sauce, voila, a one-pot dinner. Even though I have an oven and a range now, sometimes I still miss that meal.

  • sara

    definitely spaghetti on a camp stove while camping!

  • Megan

    Best bare bones meal is…..bacon(pre cooked), lettuce, tomato sandwiches on french bread with mayo and a bag of Tims Cascade potato chips! All you need is a knife, and a cutting board. Delish!

  • Mandi

    In college my boyfriend, now husband, and I found ourselves without reservations for Valentines Day dinner. We microwaved some chicken strips, put them in hot dog buns, topped with jarred pizza sauce and sliced cheese and had a gourmet chicken parm sandwich. We actually still make that meal sometimes, great memories!

  • Rivka

    I eat some version of my best bare-bones meal at least once a week. It’s a panini. Think two slices of the crustiest sourdough bread, some cherry tomatoes and arugula or other spicy greens, a hunk of feta or fresh mozzarella, a squeeze of lemon, and some salt and pepper. I bring it all to work, pop it open-face in the toaster, and wait. By the time it’s done, the amazing smells make my colleagues jealous.

  • shauna-accidental gardener

    cheese and pickle sandwich….all the way

  • Margarita

    What an amazing giveaway, I’m still trying to put my kitchen together so this would definitely help! The best bare bones meal I ever made? It’s actually a fave of mine – pick up a baguette, cheese, cornichons, olives, salami and prosciutto, and bring a knife – instant antipasto. It’s perfect for sunny afternoons watching our daughter play at the park while we eat!

  • Guest

    Girlscout packets! At Girlscout camp when I was a kid, we made what some call ‘hobo packets’– ground beef, carrots, potatos, onions, salt and pepper (and sometimes a pat of butter) wrapped in foil, and shoved in the coals of a hot camp fire. The juices and run together and it turns into a delish stew that can be eaten straight from the packet. It’s still my favorite camping meal, and the BF and I sometimes make it at home, on the grill or in the oven!

  • brooklynite

    originally had this in the wrong post…

    It was a precise affair when I was in college and wanted to dirty up as little dishes as possible. First, I’d boil water in a pot and add my pasta – just enough for one person. Then, I’d take my red bowl, which I ate everything out of, and put just a tiny bit of Annie’s Goddess salad dressing. Then, I put some of that pre-washed salad mix (whatever was on sale that week) straight from the bag into the bowl, and put some more of whatever dressing I was using (it was almost always Annie’s). While the pasta cooked, I ate the first course – my salad. By the time I was finished the pasta was ready. Using tongs (no colander here) I put the pasta directly from the pot of water into my bowl which had some dressing remaining and quickly tossed it to coat. I’d poach an egg in that remaining pasta water, and then put the egg on top the pasta. The egg would break so that all the runny yolk would coat those pasta strands. I’d add some fresh pepper and salt too if needed. The pasta coated with some of that remaining salad dressing, a runny egg and fresh pepper was so satisfying. And I felt like I was having two courses.

    • Frankie

      I love this! Give her the pan!

  • Jennifer Romanchak

    Oh, gosh. Last week it was so darn humid and I didn’t feel like turning on anything to make the house any hotter, so I took a can of corn, a can of black beans, some cherry tomatoes, cilantro, red onion and s&p, mixed it all together, chilled it for a few and went to town with a bag of tortilla chips :)

    • Lainey_Elizabeth

      I love this! Down here we call it “redneck cavier” and for a really zesty salsa drain the corn and beans and add a little zesty Italian dressing.

  • Marissa

    My junior year of college I lived in Paris for a semester. The host family that I stayed with allowed us (My roommate and I) to use their kitchen everyday except for Sunday. We were too poor that week to go out for dinner so we ran to the bakery and then supplemented with what we had in our rooms – a half liter of warm Orangina, Coke Light, peanut butter (9 euro for a teeny tiny bottle), 2 baguettes, a bag of dark chocolate Michokos, and a bar of Cote D’Or. All of this was consumed on the balcony outside (we weren’t allowed to eat in our rooms) while watching the latest episode of The Office. It was delicious.

    • Frankie

      Yeah they don’t really get peanut butter in France. But they make up for that by giving the world Nutella.

  • Juliana

    I’m in college and my go-to meal when time and resources are short is couscous! I usually brown some chicken sausage (I’m particularly fond of the garlic/herb ones), steam broccoli in microwave or on the stove add it to couscous (which cooks soooo quickly that I can assemble this meal in under 10 minutes). Sometimes I’m too cheap to buy the chicken sausage, so I had more veggies. To top it all off I squeeze fresh lemon juice and add some salt&pepper. My favorite part about this meal is that it’s delicious at its barebones state, but can be spruced up with spices or cheese if I’m in the mood to put in the money and effort. Either way , it’s fresh, it’s yummy and so quick and easy to whip up!!

  • Debs

    My parents were too cheap to take vacation when they last moved. So we moved over Christmas. My sister and I were put in charge of dinner while they moved the last boxes over. I had done the shopping and just about thought I could manage, but at that crucial moment I couldn’t get the oven to work. In a panicky haze I somehow remembered that years and years ago, when my Dad was going through his TV shopping craze he’d bought an “infrared oven”. We ripped open the boxes till we found it, covered in cobwebs, dusted it off and plugged it in. It still worked. The only problem was that the turkey was just that little bit too big for it. We greased the turkey up but we still couldn’t get it in, so we greased the oven and between the two of us somehow got the beast in and jammed the lid down. The potatoes we did in the microwave. We were all exhausted by the end of this, but our first meal in our new house was a huge success.

  • Irene

    one time on a road trip, we were all dying for something that didn’t involve chips and grease – we whipped into a small grocery store, found a box of strawberries, a loaf of whole grain bread, a rotisserie chicken, and tomatoes and put together some great sandwiches with some fresh fruit! Delicious!

  • mariah

    I had to buy eggs for a drawing class during my freshman year of college. After the assignment was done I had a half-dozen eggs and nothing but a microwave in my dorm room. I consulted my mom about what to do with the eggs and she told me she used to make scrambled eggs in the microwave for me when I was a toddler. I was a skeptic until I realized how fluffy and good the eggs were in the end per her instructions. I wrapped the scrambled eggs in a tortilla, stole some of my roommate’s hot sauce and voilà – homemade breakfast burrito!

  • Liz

    Thanksgiving is a family ordeal in my home. Mom is not one to slave away over a hot stove very much at all, let alone for several hours by herself. We had just moved into a new house a few months prior, and this was our first Thanksgiving. We were having friends and family over that afternoon for the holiday and all hands were in the kitchen preparing. The turkey was thawed, and just as we went to put it in the oven – that was easily thirty years old – the old girl up and died on us. So there we were, turkey sitting on the counter beside all the other yet to be baked goods, with no way to heat these dishes. That was the day we met our next door neighbors for the first time, traipsing across lawns with food in hand, not as a welcome party but begging use of their oven that was hopefully in working condition. They were kind hearted enough to let us do so, and we were able to serve a Thanksgiving meal in our new home that was properly cooked.

  • gina

    Steamboats while camping! Veggies and cheese wrapped in foil and thrown in the fire for 10 minutes. Delicious with Pita, Bread, or a roasted potato!

  • jen

    What a great giveaway! I love everything by Le Creuset but can never afford it.

    I remember one time several years ago, when I was in undergrad – it was right after I had fasted for 24 hours because of a Jewish holiday, so of course I was starving. I needed food, and I needed it now! I made the strangest, yet oddly satisfying, open-faced sandwich. I mashed a can of blackbeans with a can of tunafish, spread it on two slices of Jewish rye bread, topped with juicy slices of tomato and havarti cheese, then toasted until the cheese was melty and the bread was toasty.

  • Schmidty

    Add cooked ramen noodles to canned white meat chicken (sauteed with a bit of oil and seasonings from ramen), add some canned peas and sprinkle with canned parmesan. Yum!

  • SeattleDee

    One of my favorite simple meals is a salad of mixed greens with crumbled bacon and big toasted croutons, tossed with seasoned rice vinegar, and topped with a barely poached egg. A scattering of shaved Parmesan doesn’t hurt either.

    And some nights only a big bowl of popcorn with butter and Parmesan will suffice.

    Both of the above have occasionally been made on a hotplate and on a grill (ok, the egg required a foil plate on the grill). I’m W-A-Y past graduation age, but enjoy simple cooking when we’re on the boat.

  • Katie O’Mara

    After a hellishly long return flight from Seattle to Chicago, I arrived at my dorm room covered in CTA grime with no stamina left to do anything like look at a menu to order food. My pantry (a cardboard box) was bare. Dinner consisted of Trader Joes’ low-fat 100 calorie popcorn packs (2, cooked in the disgusting dorm microwave) and lemon tea.

  • ryane

    Whenever I’m camping, I make omelettes in a bag and that transfers over to just needing a healthy dinner with no equipment…. i just add eggs, veggies and some pepper into a ziploc bag and place in boiling water and 7-10 minutes later, sprinkle some cheese on top and you have a fully cooked ready to go omelette!

  • Shanna

    In college, we were limited in cooking appliances so we used to make many a meal in our beloved sandwich maker. In addition to the usual grilled cheese sandwich fare, we started getting creative making triangular shaped pancakes, chocolate chip chip cookies and brownies all in that little sandwich maker.

  • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite

    When I was a poor teacher in Paris, I would so often just eat cheese for dinner. I also loved grated carrot salad and céleri remoulade which are cheap premade salads you can find in every French supermarket. With a baguette and a glass of wine, you’re all set! I had neither a microwave or oven and just one burner. I think I ate pretty well tho!

  • Kirrily

    This is a dish I make at work – from all packaged ingredients kept in my drawer and if I’m lucky some tofu I’ve stashed in the fridge.
    All you need is the ingredients, a bowl and boiling water.
    You take some singapore noodles that just need to be rinsed through hot water (do this first separately), a packet of the instant miso soup paste and a couple of sheets of seaweed (tear it up) – put them all in a bowl and add hot water. Stir and leave for a few minutes. Add the cubed tofu at the end (if you have it in the fridge, beautiful without it too).
    Is yummy, filling and not that bad for you either!!!

  • Shea M.

    On my first camping trip, I decided I was going to be the gourmet, making things like potatoes au gratin. Amazingly enough, they totally worked, and were even better for the infusion of campfire smoke they got! :)

  • Alison

    When it is summer here in DC (even now that I have air conditioning) it is just too hot to imagine turning on the stove so I love to go to the market or on the weekends the farmer’s market and pick up some great bread, cheese and some wonderful fresh fruit and call that dinner. Sometimes I add salad ingredients from my fridge if I feel so inclined. It is delicious fresh and so satisfying.

  • zarpandit

    definitely spaghetti bolongese !

  • Claire

    I’m just about to graduate from grad school, so this would be amazing. I’ve eaten too many thrown-together meals to count this year. Recently, the saddest thing I have eaten has been scrambled eggs on crackers. It was delicious, but left a lot to be desired as far as aesthetics and variety of flavors.

  • Jenny

    french’s mustard on ritz crackers at 3am. it always wins.

  • Jaclyn

    In grad school, I lived on a salad of romaine lettuce, black beans, tomato, avocado, and Pace salsa. With canned black beans, all I needed was a can opener, knife, and cutting board to prepare it.

    • Frankie

      Great idea to put salsa in a salad!

  • Molly

    the best thing i’ve made in undergrad and as a law student now is mango salsa: pre-cut chunks of mango cut up, cherry tomatoes, some red onion, lots of cilantro, garlic, and lime juice. then have tortilla chips ready and you’d be surprised how quickly it goes. or not suprised, because it’s delicious.

  • Morgan

    scrambled eggs, avacado and salsa! Delicious and cheap!

  • ShelleyBakes

    I learned that you didn’t need to have milk for mac & cheese when I was in college. I nuked the noodles in my (forbidden) microwave, just left a little bit of the water and put the neon cheese powder in. :-) It was a bit of heaven.

  • Camie

    My favorite to-do kitchenless meal is to make tiny sandwiches of leftover cheese (preferably goat), salami or soppressata, and baguette. I learned it from my little brother, who makes sandwiches out of EVERYTHING. Give him a meal, and he will find a way to stack it together. One of my favorite things to do is to watch him eat.

  • Meghan

    I was in Paris – French baguette, a block of Brie, and orange marmalade. Corked a bottle of white…all for about 5 Euro. Delicious!

  • Anne

    If I ever find myself peering into the refrigerator only to find a vacanus area where food used to exist, I can somehow always still pull together a quesadilla– my favorite go-to meal. They are so versatile: heat up a corn tortilla in a dry pan, then add whatever you have around.. cheese, a smear of avocado, a sprinkle of beans, leftover ground beef or cutup chicken sausages, salsa.. the list goes on and on. If you find yourself without said pan, just wrap the whole shabang in some tinfoil, throw it in the oven or over an open flame and let it get all warm and gooey… think I just figured out what I’m having for lunch.

  • molly

    Mango blackbean stew. Cut up a mango, throw in a can of blackbeans, fresh cilantro, a cubed microwaved sweet potato and a small can of chopped tomatoes into a bowl. I love eating this chilled during the summer with sour cream!

  • Emily

    Every meal when I was backpacking through europe. One purchased meal could provide bread for the next meal. Ahhh yes, fond memories.

  • Kelsey

    When sending me away to college, my mom taught me a valuable life lesson. She told me that although she hoped I would never have to experience this, it is possible to survive on a loaf of bread and block of velveeta when you only have five dollar per week to spend on food.

    I count my blessings every week that I do not have to do this, and admire my mother’s perserverance and attempt to do eveything in her power so I can eat more than just bread and fake cheese each week. However, thanks to my mom, I now have the knowledge of how to survive should it ever come to that: Bread and fake cheese.

  • Grace

    I was doing a study abroad program in France last summer and my friends and I had this lunch pretty much daily: we would go to the supermarket and buy baguettes, sausages, cheese, and wine. Then we would eat them. The end. Best lunches of my life!

  • Anonymous

    I worked at a camp in Muskoka and one night the kids were sleeping and we couldn’t light a fire…so we roasted the marshmellows on the dock over a citronella candle (mmmm lemony toxins). We then threw some chocolate chips on the graham crackers and used the individual peanut butter tins from the camping trip bag lunches to make them gourmet. I’m not sure if it was the sneakiness factor, or the great girl bonding, or the peanut butter that upped the ante on those s’mores – but I’ve never had a better snack!

  • Christine

    I studied abroad in Scotland for a semester and was poor and completely thrown by the lack of peanut butter and my flatmates habit of eating bacon almost raw for dinner. Ugh. Also, my flat only had a tiny oven that literally sat on the counter. When I finally resorted to cooking myself dinner instead of going out for fish and chips, I often pulled out a family recipe: carrots, potatoes, onions, butter, and seasoning salt (which I obtained after pleading with my mom to send it to the UK) in a foil package small enough to fit in that oven! Delicious roasted veggies that even my raw-bacon-loving flatmates enjoyed :)

  • Charles Lee

    Shortly after my wife and I married I promised her if I were fortunate enough to catch a trout while fly fishing I would prepare it for her. I did manage to catch one, which in and of its self was a major feat, only to find when I arrived home, no power. No problem, I gathered some aluminun foil, some butter and lemon juice along with some aspargas. Wraped it all up and placed it on the hot manifold of my car, started it and let it idle for 20 minutes. I was guessing at the 20 minutes, but in the end it was perfect. Several hours later the power was restored, but by then I had already made my points.

  • Frankie

    No electricity. Fridge is out. In the freezer: bag of succotash. Frozen vegetables don’t really need to be cooked, just defrosted. Mayo, mustard, touch of cayenne, lemon juice, and voila: Salad a la Russe. Which I could eat all day. And did.

  • dtr3

    Sausage, cheese, olives and hard rolls on an airplane returning from Spain.

  • Kristie

    In university I lived on peanut butter, banana and chocolate sauce sandwiches. No refrigeration, no stove and no kitchen required!

  • Katie

    While backpacking through Costa Rica we stopped in a fresh produce market and bought some ingredients which resulted in the most delicious sandwiches ever! A fresh loaf of bread, cucumbers, avocado, tomato and “american” (not american like at all!) cream cheese. Layer ingredients on bread and repeat! Do yummy!

  • Ali

    My freshman year eating experience was not pretty. At times I was forced to eat instant maple oatmeal out of the envelope without adding water or microwaving. I cringe now. Sophomore year was better. I would buy a bag of trader joe’s potato mixes with red rose, purple, and white potatoes. I’d chop them up into matchsticks, spray the baking tray of a toaster oven and lay them out. Spray the potatoes a bit then sprinkle with salt and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Junior year I made delicious tofurky sandwiches with spinach and trader joes flatbread to die for!

  • Katherine

    For my first “real vacation” (as in, graduated college, worked and now can pay for my own vacation!) I was planning a trip to Puerto Rico with my long-term, long-distance boyfriend. He called things off and a week before my plane took off, a friend volunteered to come along.

    The best day we spent on a small island on an almost-deserted beach. We had a picnic lunch, supplied by the convenience store. Potato chips, peanuts, cookies, Goya mango juice. We bought pita bread which she ate with cheese and I ate with salami. I couldn’t be upset on that beautiful beach, enjoying the simplest of meals.

  • Robin T.

    Ramen noodles with peanut butter sauce and chopped red peppers. I lived on this in college.

  • puffdaddyj

    Oatmeal with whatever fruit is lying around and hunk of brown sugar on top.
    Good for the digestive tract, too.

  • Suman

    when i was in college, i had a microwave and a one cup rice cooker. i would put brown rice and frozen veggies in the rice cooker. while that cooked, i would poach an egg in the microwave. once the rice was cooked, i topped it with the egg, sprinkled on some sesame seeds, added some generous squirts of Sriracha chili sauce, and was good to go! it’s still my favorite version of “fried rice” :)

  • Kat

    My favorite post-graduation recipe was combining a can of corn, a can of black beans, and a jar of salsa to make chili. I’d heat it all up in a pot and eat it with shredded cheese!

  • rgibralter

    liquid carb special (especially well-suited for graduating college seniors).
    Pick up a six-pack of beer (or case depending on size of your party) on special deal from the local package store.
    add a few friends.
    share memories.
    tell stories.
    “it doesn’t get any better than this.”

  • Emily

    My best friends and I often “resort” to what we affectionately and reverently term “The Dip” – chopped avocado, red onion, tomato, half can of corn, half can of black beans tossed in our special dressing….sorry can’t reveal it here! Eaten over anything or everything – or more often just with a spoon!

  • Molly

    When we were abroad, we randomly showed up in florence to visit friends, pretyt much unannounced. we also hadn’t ANY italian food since we arrived in the country, but our host was able to run downstairs to the tiny italian market and grab raspberry jelly, brie, and some delicious italian bread, not to mention a bottle of italian wine. I think it might bave been the best meal i’ve ever had. so simple!

  • Lisanne

    I was living in England and visiting the city of Bath. I went to a local bakery that boasted the best “buns” around. The bread was from a recipe that dated back to the 1600’s and made in the same brick oven. I bought a bun and then some wonderful mushroom pate to spread on top. I sat myself on a park bench and ate until my hearts content. It was one of the best lunches I had ever had.

  • Anonymous

    In college I managed to wrangle out of the mandatory food program to save money for my wedding, using my food allergies as excuse. I had a mini fridge and a microwave. I ate a lot of sandwiches, tuna salad, and popcorn. But to the popcorn I liked to add things like dried cranberries, cashews or other nut, maybe some chocolate chips. It made for super fast and easy “meal”.
    soluckyducky at {gmail} dot {com}

  • iEatDC

    My college roommate and I went on a trip to Israel together to visit her family and travel the country. We enjoy a lot of the same foods, and sometimes concoct some interesting meals whether on the go or at home. On a beautiful sunny day in January, we went to the market in Tel Aviv and got a half a kilo of strawberries and half a kilo of figs (fresh!). The temperature started climbing, and we ate about 2 lbs of fruit perched on rocks on the beach with in tank tops with our jeans rolled up.

  • Michelle aMarlowe

    It is usually just a salad with avacado, green onion and tomato. Throw on some salsa and anything to add a little crunch!

  • Jessie

    Bagel pizzas in a toaster oven. So delish.

  • Eliza

    When I was in college, I had a craving for something Asian and was too broke to go out for anything. In my room I had nothing but a jar of peanut butter, my roommate’s ramen noodles, some milk, sugar, and curry powder. I cooked the ramen noodles -sans spice mix- in my hotpot, and mixed everything else in a mug warmed in the dorm’s communal microwave. Mix the sauce with the noodles, and I had dinner! By the end of the month, my whole dorm was eating it, and my friends and I still email each other variations that we’ve made in our own tiny kitchens since graduation.

  • belle on heels

    mine actually turned out to be a go-to recipe of mine now! i was moving out of my last college apartment and trying to get rid of everything. i mixed a couple of diced tomatoes, diced red onion, diced cucumber, feta cheese, olive oil, and bottle lime juice with a box of garlic-and-herb couscous and some salt and pepper. lo and behold, my go-to summer dish!

  • shellie

    When i first moved into my home 7 years ago… it was built in 1928 and it was scary…its still a little scary but much better…we didnt have a stove or oven for two years…i got really good at baking on the gas grill…i made a lot of things like when i roasted a pumpkin in it and then scooped out the flesh to make a pumpkin crumble which was also baked in the bbq….we no longer have that bbq and we have a stove/oven now…but looking back i guess it was a lot of fun!

  • Kate

    I have been lucky enough to have my mom’s kitchen to keep me from generally having a bare-bones meal, but when I studied abroad, sans kitchen, I was certainly on a low budget and had a bare-bones meal or two. I think my favorite kitchen-less meal happened to take place on the Mediterranean Sea. Without much money and without any restaurants, my friends and I ate the remainder of our Turkish cheese and pita. Granted we were in the middle of Turkey, but it was a wonderful moment when the surroundings and friends made the meal, despite the lack of actual food we had. I guess it went to show that cheese and bread makes a perfect meal no matter where you are!

  • Lainey_Elizabeth

    Humm…bare bones, I had a microwave in my dorm and I love baked potatoes. I learned that with a small investment (about $5) you can get a roll of saran wrap and a bottle of spray butter. I made the initial investment and then bought 5 baking potatoes each week. Wrapped the potatoes in saran wrap and micrwaved for 6 minutes – instant baked potato. And on a “good week” I might spice it up with shredded cheese or pre-cooked bacon if they were on sale…those were the good ole days…

  • Food = :)

    When I was in college I had the pleasure of studying abroad in Torino, Italy. Being my first time in Europe and no plans of being able to visit again in the near future, I traveled as much as possible on the weekends. One weekend 2 girlfriends and I took a train to Nice. We had to change trains in Ventimiglia, but our first train was running late so we missed the connecting train. The next train to Nice wasn’t until the next morning so it looked like we were stuck. We were all starving and didn’t feel comfortable wandering this unknown city at night alone. We all opened up our backpacks and turned out we were all more prepared than we thought! I had some crackers and an apple, one girl had a stick of salami, and the other girl had a bottle of warm white wine. We had to cut the salami and apple with a credit card and we were astounded to learn that the security guard had a wine opener on his key chain! We had a little picnic and stayed up all night playing cards. One of the best meals I had in Europe and will never forget it :)

  • Jilly

    I remember being about 8 years old and my younger sister and I were starving. Well, okay. We weren’t exactly starving, but we were really really hungry. We opened the fridge only to be dissapointed. Cupboards, same story.

    We knew this required a little creativity. I grabbed the loaf of wheat bread and she grabbed the ketchup. There you have it. Toast with ketchup for two little girls playing in the backyard. We still laugh about how good we thought it was and how inventive we were. Ha!

  • Anonymous

    after a 8 1/2 mile hike in the redwoods, my sister and i crafted the BEST LUNCH i may have ever from the handful of random food items she’d hastily thrown from my fridge to her backpack:

    torn off chunks of perfectly crusty french bread, mustard, brie half melted from the sun (accidental, but somehow, perfect), and a log of salami i cut with a pocket-knife, and a ziplock bag of “pickle things” that was some combination of green olives, peppers, and tiny sour pickles.

    eaten on the ground, in the forest.
    so good that even i (an avowed vegetarian at the time) fell prey to the fatty-meaty -peppery goodness that is a good dried log of salami.

    no cooking, no utensils.
    just some bread, cheese, meat, pickled vegetables, mustard and water.
    i’ve tried to recreate that meal many lunchtime since, but it was never as good as it was then.

  • http://www.vimeo.coom/frooz Frooz

    The best meal I ever created involved camp in Portugal when I was 8 years old. Finding berries. (being stupid and not knowing if they were poisonous or not didn’t really come into play thank god) Using Lemon Grass. And finding left over salami in our bags that our mothers had packed for us.
    We were doing “bird watching” that day at day camp and could not be bothered to sit around for 3 hours until we were allowed to go back to civilization. Instead we sat in tall grass and smushed the berries inbetween two big leaves (again HAD NO IDEA IF THAT WAS GONNA KILL US but 8 years old .. . oh well!) Added the salami slices and began to sew in and around the big leaves (with a sharp twig to make the holes) with the lemon grass. And sat there eating Red Questionable Berry Spicy Salami Lemon Grass Stitched Surprise! When are mothers can to pick us up and saw red all over our mouths they freaked out completely but after an hour or two of stomach pains we jumped in the pool and continued to turn 9 years old.

    ITS FROOZ I WANNA WIN! I’m becoming a cook because of your blogggg! xx

  • Jess

    Peanut butter smeared on whole wheat pita bread. Top with some strawberry jam, if you have some. Honestly, I love to cook, but sometimes I just crave simple, delicious PB&J :)

  • Sarah

    Catching trout and cooking it around the campfire later on!

  • Brad Fowler

    The best bare bones meal that I’ve ever had, and continue to eat at times today was a simple curried lentil soup with some rolls from the bakery. A bit of onions and garlic sauteed then curry added in for a minute (I now also use some coriander and cumin) and then stock, diced potatoes and of course the lentils are added in. (optional some other hard vegetables like carrots, but not in the Uni days). Can’t go wrong with a one-pot meal. Tried tested and true by everyone it seems.

  • Heidi

    I spent Thanksgiving week in Vienna a few years ago and was too timid to go into a restaurant for lunch. So I took advantage of the Christmas markets and had a delicious lunch of hot chestnuts (roasting on an open fire, no less!) and a big mug of mulled wine while standing at a street table!

  • OTA Mom

    Ok, here it is… and I’m a little embarrassed, but hey–I was a broke college student living in a tiny dorm room… improvised tuna noodle casserole! Ingredients: one package of ramen noodles prepared in the coffee maker (no hot plates allowed), add a slice of american cheese and a can of tuna. Certainly not gourmet, but filled the tummy of one starving engineering student! :)

  • Anne

    I’m working as a measly intern this summer and living in Midtown with only a fridge. I’m pretty proud of what I’ve whipped up! My favorite meal has been a whole wheat wrap with guacamole, tomatoes, deli sliced turkey, cilantro and red pepper slices. I can most things from the farmers market and it’s a great budget-friendly option.

  • Bgsk


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