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Dorm Food Challenge: Making a 'snack' for 40 people

Hi everybody,

I live in a college dormitory and I'm faced with making a snack for a meeting of about 40-60 of the people that live in the same building. I'd like to do something slightly more original than a pan of brownies from a box, but nothing so complicated I'll be spending 7 hours in the kitchen.

I'd really appreciate suggestions for a fairly simple but delicous snack/dessert/etc that can feed lots of people. Salty or sweet, it doesn't really matter as long as it's a crowd pleaser.

Here are two possible limitations:

1) Cost. $20 is subsidized, the rest is out of my pockets. I'm willing to throw in a few bucks.

2) Kitchen. It's a shared kitchen with no dishwasher, a refrigerator and a single gas oven. Basic pots, pans, utensils. No electric mixers.

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  1. How about pita chips and hummus? You can buy everything from Costco if you have one nearby. Or you could make your own pita chips. Do a google search and you'll find lots of ways to add extra flavor to these. You could make hummus too, but you would need a blender or processor.

    Instead of hummus you could make a dip. Search on artichoke or sun-dried tomato dips for idea. There are plenty of dips based on frozen spinach, bean purees and/or various cheeses too. Salsas are also easy.

    If that's too plain, how about lemon bars? You can make these fairly easily. A mixer would help, but isn't essential to make the lemon curd. Shortbread cookies are also not too difficult and don't need any equipment beyond a mixing bowl.

    1. What about muddy buddies? the recipe's on the Chex website. it's basically rice chex, butter, peanut butter, chocolate chips, and powdered sugar. all you'd need is something to melt the butter and chocolate chips. i'm sure you could do it stove top if there's no microwave. people cannot stop eating this stuff and it's super easy to make in huge batches.

      1. garlic bread....

        bread (i would buy the cheapy stuff), butter/margarine, garlic powder or chopped garlic, top with parmesan cheese, chopped parsely sprinkled on top if you like....

        1 Reply
        1. re: mabziegurl

          With the garlic bread you could warm up some marinara for dipping. yummy!

        2. Bagels,cut-up fruit,vegetable platter, dips, chips, salsa,rice krispie treats, slice and bake cookies, Chex mix,fried won tons, pre-made frozen then deep fried taquitos with guacamole, those flour tortilla roll ups. I'm trying to think of all the goodies people bring to our monthly get togethers.... buffalo wings, mini burritos, nachos...

          1. Rice Krispy treats are easy, cheap and good. You could make 1 batch plain and one with chocolate chips or peanutbutter (or both!)

            Maybe chocolate truffles. Super easy and should cost about $10 for a big batch.

            1 pound good semisweet chocolate
            1 cup heavy cream
            1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
            2 tablespoons Grand Marnier, optional
            1 tablespoon prepared coffee, optional
            Cocoa powder

            Chop the chocolate finely with a sharp knife. Place in a heat-proof mixing bowl.
            Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it just boils. Turn off the heat and allow the cream to sit for 20 seconds. Pour the cream through a fine-meshed sieve into the bowl with chocolate. With a wire whisk, slowly stir the cream and chocolates together until the chocolate is completely melted. Whisk in the Grand Marnier, if using, coffee, and vanilla. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour.

            With 2 teaspoons, spoon round balls of the chocolate mixture onto a baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, until firm. Roll each dollop of chocolate in your hands to roughly make a round ball. Roll in cocoa powder. These will keep refrigerated for weeks, but serve at room temperature

            1 Reply
            1. re: Main Line Tracey

              Hee. Rice Krispie treats and Truffles. I dig the combination!