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Cary Speck wows with “Wafflinis”

Most students tend to go to the dining hall in the Joe Rosenfield Center for the convenience of eating food that has been prepared for them. However, some students like Cary Speck ’12 prefer to break down the barrier between kitchen and dining hall—creating their own dishes that stand out next to a hamburger or pasta with marinara sauce.


“Tonight is probably a relatively normal dinner for me,” Speck said Tuesday night, while loading a medley of vegetables onto his tray. “You know, it always depends on what they serve.”


Regardless, mixing black beans, corn, peppers with lime and Tabasco is not necessarily your standard cafeteria dish. “The lime combines nicely with the beans,” Speck said. “And I just like Tabasco on my food in general. It adds a nice taste.” Speck then complimented this taste with a large amount of spinach, more corn and vegetables and topping it off with a spoonful of strawberries in sauce.


But this is nowhere near the most exceptional dish Speck has made during mealtime in the Marketplace. “Me and my friends decided to make homemade Pad Thai one time,” he said. “We basically put peanut butter, lime juice, pineapples and bell pepper together, stir-fried it with Tofu or meat and then just added random noodles from the Pasta Bar.”


Other creations of Speck’s include oatmeal with coffee, a waffle-cake made of different layers of waffles and toppings and “Wafflinis”, which are essentially Panini sandwiches toasted using the waffle iron.


“Back when they didn’t guard the Waffle-makers as carefully we added a lot of interesting stuff to the batter,” Speck said. “Basically we used the waffle iron as a Panini press and made our own sandwiches.”


Speck demonstrates that with a little innovation, the dining hall doesn’t have to be used exclusively for dining, but can be employed for cooking as well. “I cook a lot when I am at home, so I’m used to fresh produce,” Speck said. “I don’t go to the dining hall to have other people make my food. I come up with my own ideas.”


Speck’s wheat bread, peanut butter, honey and banana wafflini:

 1. Take two slices of wheat bread and put enough margarine on the outside of each so that it will brown in the waffle iron. 

2. Assemble your sandwich, spreading the peanut butter in a thin, even layer over the bread, and putting only a moderate amount of honey on the sandwich, making sure to concentrate it in the middle to prevent it from running over into the waffle iron.  Put the bananas on top of this in an even layer—make sure the sandwich is not overly thick so it will fit in the waffle iron. 

3. Place the sandwich in a very hot waffle iron that you have sprayed with Pam and press down—tight enough to make sure all of the bread is in contact with the iron, but not so much that you smash the sandwich and send the bananas and peanut butter everywhere.  4. Let the sandwich sit for one full cycle (2 minutes), or until golden brown. 

Note: You can tailor this basic sandwich pattern for most about anything—I also recommend making french toast wafflinis stuffed with cream cheese and strawberry jelly, or savory wafflinis made with shredded cheddar, bacon, and tomato.

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