Salty & sweet: Revamping breakfast and dessert

California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) and the Basic Needs Initiative program partnered up for their weekly virtual cooking demonstration “Cooking with CSUMB,” showcasing recipes from faculty, staff and students. The virtual event took place on Nov. 5 and featured Dean of Students Dr. Leslie Williams’ adaptations of Breakfast Pizza and No-Bake Cookies.

Williams started the demonstration by guiding viewers through the essential steps of making Breakfast Pizza. Using an already prepared or packaged crust, Williams preheated the oven to 475 degrees and began listing the process for assembling the yummy jumpstart to the morning. Once the oven is preheated, begin baking the dough for five to seven minutes. As the dough bakes, you can start gathering and preparing the other ingredients.

Scrambling together ½ pound of breakfast sausage in a frying pan, Williams noted the consistency to look for is similar to fried bacon. “You want to scramble the sausage like you would hamburger,” Williams said. “Since it’s going over the pizza, you want it to be slightly crisper.” It’s okay if the sausage burns a little, as it adds extra flavor to the pizza. Make sure to drain off excess grease before adding sausage to the dough.

Whisking together four eggs, Williams commented on her preference to save the salt and pepper towards the end and skip adding milk to her egg mixture. After the eggs are properly whisked together, heat 1 tablespoon of butter or spray non-stick cooking spray in a skillet. The eggs will start to set in the pan, use a spatula to gently separate and push them across the skillet, allowing them to “scramble.”

“All you have to do with the egg is make sure they aren’t wet,” Williams said.

Once the pizza dough has baked slightly, remove it from the oven. Spread one packet of Velveeta cheese sauce over the crust, followed by the sausage and scrambled eggs, completing the layers with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, ¼ cup of monterey jack cheese and ½ cup of cheddar cheese. Bake for about an additional 15 minutes or until the crust has browned to your desire.

While the pizza was baking, Williams moved on to creating No-Bake Cookies for a healthy, appetizing dessert Otters can recreate with items often already found in one’s home . The recipe Williams used yields approximately 36 cookies.

Mixing together three cups of sugar and three tablespoons of cocoa in a bowl, add one full stick of butter and ½ cup of milk. After those ingredients have been added to the same saucepan, place on the stove over medium heat stirring constantly. Timing yourself, boil the mixture for one minute.

“You don’t want to do this too quickly,” Williams said. “That would scorch your cookies and make them gross.” 

Removing from heat, add in ½ cup of peanut butter until fully melted, a pinch of salt and one teaspoon of vanilla extract. The amount of oatmeal used for the cookies will depend on achieving the desired consistency. Approximately 3 to 4 cups will suffice but more may or less may be needed, as long as the batter is not runny and can hold shape once dropped onto parchment paper. 

Dropping tablespoons of the cookie batter onto parchment paper, the cookies will take no more than 10 minutes to cool and devour. Williams advised viewers to try and consume cookies within four days for best results, however they can last up to a week before going stale.

Cooking with CSUMB is hosting a virtual “International Cuisine Contest,” where Otters can submit videos of their culinary skills. Three winning contenders will receive $25-$75 Amazon gift cards. Videos must be submitted by Nov. 12. Resuming normal cooking demonstrations on Nov. 19, Robyn DoCanto from student housing and residential life will instruct viewers on how to master Fried Rice in the convenience of home, as well as announce the winners from the contest.

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