Dish it: Delicious Mug Dessert Recipes in the Microwave!

Have you ever spent time watching the Food Network and suddenly become inspired to whip up your own delicious desserts? Then reality sets in…you don’t have an actual kitchen in your dorm (#collegeproblems)! These sweet mug desserts from number-2-pencil only need a few ingredients, a mug, and a microwave. You might not be able to build a 3-layer fudge cake, but your fudge cake-in-a-mug will taste just as good.

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 firmly packed tablespoon of light brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 4 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of semi sweet chocolate chunks

What You’ll Do:

  • Melt butter in microwave safe mug or ramekin. Butter should be melted, not boiling.
  • Stir together butter, sugars, vanilla and salt.
  • Stir in egg yolk. Do not use egg white! Save for a different recipe or discard.
  • Add flour and cocoa powder and stir again until well combined.
  • Finally, add chocolate chunks.

Cook for about 45 seconds in microwave. Do not over cook. Microwave times may vary.

Check out more delightful dessert mug recipes here !

Written by Guest Blogger, Myles Marcus

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Instantly Become More Productive

Forcing yourself to be productive is a tricky business for most. Sometimes our brains just don’t want to cooperate! Since you probably don’t want to end up spending St. Patrick’s Day catching up on homework, here are six strategies to reclaim focus right now and get stuff done today.


Use the 5 minute rule – Stick a note on your laptop or desk that says “5 minute rule.” If it takes 5 minutes or less to accomplish a task, always just do it right away! Pretty simple stuff, but you’d be surprised how much less you will procrastinate.

Don’t underestimate the power of coffee and some fruit, like a banana and some strawberries. Caffeine will definitely help you focus and regain some ambition, in addition to being a rich source of antioxidants. Consuming fruit or a light starch with coffee helps to keep you from becoming edgy or over caffeinated. Don’t like coffee? Make it a Macchiato, Chai tea, or herbal alternatives to coffee like Yerba Mate.

Play new or unfamiliar music to trick your brain’s cycle of productivity. Listening to ambient strains of music can double or triple the amount of time you can focus before needing a break. According to music technology service Focus@will, “Most people can only concentrate for a maximum of about 20 or 30 continuous minutes before needing to take a quick break,” but listening to new or unfamiliar music can help break this cycle by “subtly soothing the part of your brain, the limbic system, that is always on the lookout for danger, food, or shiny things.” These distractions can be overcome by listening to music at low volume, slightly louder than ambient noise.

Take a 20 minute nap, it’s like hitting the restart button on your brain. The ideal nap time is between 1:00 and 3:00 PM in the afternoon, according to Lifehacker.com, and should be 15-20 minutes long.

Get out of your room and go work in the library, coffee shop, or a quiet cafeteria. Surprisingly, the bustle of a public place can actually help you focus. According to the Wallstreet Journal, research suggests, “small doses of distraction—including hard-to-read fonts—prompt the mind to work at a more abstract level, which is also a more creative level.” Take into account some coffee shops are louder and more crowded than others. If you still prefer to stay in and study, you can synthesize ambient noise by turning on the TV the volume low or opening the windows.

Look at Pictures of Baby Animals. It’s scientific fact that looking at infant animals can awaken paternal instincts, making you more alert and observant. I recommend kittens, but bunnies, pandas, seals, otters, chicks, ducklings, or puppies will also do.

When and where are you most productive? Let us know in the comments or tweet @bncollege #beingproductive. Stay Focused my Friends!

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Dish it: Eggs McMuggin’

If you have 3 minutes in the morning, plus a mug and a microwave, you can whip up this easy egg dish and skip the breakfast lines in the dining hall. Hungry Girl has a variety of egg in a mug recipes but we like the McMuggin’ special. It’s pretty low-fat and is a good source of protein, so it’s the perfect breakfast for those spring-getting-ready-for-bikini-season mornings.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup liquid egg substitute (or egg whites)
  • One wedge The Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss cheese, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 oz. (about 3 slices) lean ham, chopped
  • One-half slice bread
  • 1 tbsp. shredded fat-free cheddar cheese

Directions:
Toast bread and slice into little squares (think crouton size). Spray a large microwave-safe mug lightly with nonstick spray. Add bread cubes, egg substitute, cheese wedge pieces, and ham, and stir. Microwave for about a minute. Stir gently, and then top with shredded cheese. Microwave for another 30 – 45 seconds. Enjoy! For more easy recipes, check out our Pinterest :)

Photo and recipe courtesy of Hungry Girl.com
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Monday Motivation

-Thomas Edison

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A Handy Chart: The Shelf Life of Food

I sometimes wonder whether things are truly OK to eat after they’ve been left out on the counter or in the back of my freezer for 6 months. Here’s the deal on how long you can leave stuff out, when leftovers need to go, and what “expiration date” or “best by” really translate to. Seriously important stuff! No one wants to get sick right before Spring Break (yuck!). See the full (downloadable) list here.

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Download Worthy: Pocket

We’ve all been there… the awkward moment when you say to your friend, “I saw the most hilarious thing online yesterday! Hold on, I’ll show you!” You search for what feel like forever for the video of Grumpy Cat doing the Harlem Shake, at which point it’s really not as funny anymore. Pocket, an iOS and Android app,  allows you to save online articles, videos, and more to any device to which you download the app. Not only is it available for iPhone, Android, and iPad, but also Safari and Chrome, making it easier to have your own media library anywhere you are. My favorite things about this app are it’s usefulness as a replacement to Chrome and Safari’s “bookmark this page” and the ability to tag saved items.

The app for Google Chrome and Safari has a Pocket button, similar to the Pinterest “Pin It” button, making it easy to save a webpage and in nano-seconds. It also prompts you to add tags to make it even easier to find the page in your Pocket Queue later. The smartphone app allows you to Pocket via the Mail Link to this Page option, from which you send the link to Pocket (the app prompts you to save this to your contacts when you install it), and the link goes right to your List. As the New York Times aptly called it, it is “DVR for the web.” Nifty, huh?

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A little wisdom…

Need I say more? What have you done lately that’s great? Feel free to brag about it in the comments!

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Phenomenal Summer Jobs and Where to Find Them

Not all summer jobs are created equal! Singing for tips at the local ice cream shop may be an easy way to put money in your pocket this summer, but if you want to delve into a new experience or just do something different, you may want to check out some of your more exotic options. It’s still early in the game, but many internship programs expect their applications to be completed by March. Get an early start by taking a study break to research some of these awesome opportunities:


Under the Sun or on the Beach
Love being the outdoors, up in the mountains, and playing in the sand? There are job boards out there, like Cool Works, which connect you with employers in amazing locations. The site offers jobs at U.S. National Parks, resorts, ranches and elsewhere.

Employers everywhere from Alaska to Maine are looking for seasonal staff. Many offer free or very inexpensive housing. In addition, many of these jobs offer perks:  free golf passes, fitness classes, and horseback riding lessons could be just another part of the package. Add in working with other students from all over the country, making new friends, and make some cash? Deal!

Poolside Positions
Many hotel and resort operations offer have programs where they hire teens and college students for their busy summer season and will pay for lodging, meals, and even travel expenses. These positions are not generally high-paying, but can be great customer service experience. Also you will have all the perks of a luxury resort in your free time!

Some of these resorts look to hire front desk representatives with some experience in customer service, so if you’ve held a retail or restaurant job part time you may be qualified. Some resorts have a preference for multilingual speakers, but many will hire English speakers who can pick up a few words in the host country’s language.  Season Workers is a good place to start your search or at least get some ideas. They’ve got great options to narrow down your search to find the perfect position!

College is the time to experiment, try new things, and get a feel for the world. It’s the time to realize what type of places you may want to work and live, what kind of real-world skills you possess, and what type of skills you… don’t. What are your plans for this summer and where will you end up?

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Monday Morning Motivation

Strive to do well in all things, but don’t get discouraged if certain subjects do not come easily to you. This week take some time to figure out what your strengths are and build on them!

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8 Steps to Ace That Interview

It’s a scary fact that many employers decide within 10 minutes whether a candidate is right for the position. You may be prepared for the interview in the sense that you’ve researched the company, memorized your strengths, and thought of good questions to ask the interviewer but, the point of an interview is for the hiring mangers to see if they like you in person. Don’t fret my friends, there is a formula for walking out of every interview thinking, “Nailed it.”

Step 1. Dress sharp. Unless you’re interviewing for a position as a yoga teacher, any type of stretchy pants are out. That goes for dark, light, or any other shade of jeans. The safest way to go is a two piece suit, or a dress and blazer, in dark colors. Business casual is not merely a suggestion.

Step 2. Complete your look with a classic watch, a belt (if appropriate), presentable outerwear if the weather calls for it, and very subtle jewelry for girls. Stud earrings and/or a small chain necklace will make you look pulled together without causing a distraction. Pay attention to details! Knowing you are flawless from head to toe will help instill confidence.

Step 3.Be 15-30 minutes early. Your arrival may be the hiring manager’s first impression of you, so make it count. This will not only make you punctual, but give you extra time to fill out paperwork. Some people like to go over their resume and notes one last time as well. The earlier you are, the more calm and collected you will feel by the time the actual interview takes place.

Step 4. Take a few sips of water and breath while you wait. Reviewing your notes before an interview is good practice, but remember you’re not crunching for an exam. Take the time to assert to yourself that you are prepared, you are qualified, and you are confident. Sit up a little straight, put on a smile, and be relaxed.

Step 5. If you’re kept waiting for a while, be careful not to show any agitation. Be aware of your body language and facial expressions. Try to avoid checking your phone once you’re in the building. 60% of CareerBuilder surveyed employers say they view checking texts and phone calls negatively.

Step 6. Smile and shake hands like you mean it, because you are self-assured and happy to be there. It’s cliche, but clammy, limp hands make you seem timid. If you tend to get damp palms when you’re nervous, carry tissues to the interview and dry your hands inconspicuously before you see the interviewer.

Step 7. When you answer questions, talk slowly. Many people talk quickly when they are nervous. Be assertive in answering, ask them thoughtful and intelligent questions, and at the conclusion of the interview thank the person for their time and say you enjoyed meeting with them.

Step 8. Get a business card, or at the very least the email address, of your interviewer. Send them a thank-you email within 24 hours. This is will reinforce that you’re professional and set you apart from other candidates who may have neglected this step.

Ready for the thank-you email? Follow up next week and we’ll tell you all you need to know about sending a thank you email to employers.

You may also like:
The IT List: Interview Attire
Preparing For An Interview
Networking Your Way to the Top

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