I’m not sure we should let the little dears in our lives in on this trick… But if you’re ever stuck in a hotel room with no cooking facilities and limited cash for eating out, you can get by with an iron!
I’m not kidding. It’s simple! Go to the nearest store and pick up the basics – whole-grain bread, lo-fat cheese slices, natural peanut butter, dark chocolate chips, and some canola-based cooking oil in a spray can… Pam, for instance. And, oh yes, get a roll of tinfoil. You’ll also need plastic utensils and paper plates, for dining in.
You now have all you need to make a tasty grilled cheese sandwich and a chocolate dessert or breakfast treat.
Let’s get cooking!
- Protect the surface you’ll be “cooking” on with a towel. You don’t want to cause any damage to the furnishings. The hotel charges big money to replace them.
- Find the iron. Plug it in. Set it on high. Turn off the steam.
- Tear off a piece of foil, large enough to wrap the sandwich on all sides.
- Slap a cheese slice between two pieces of bread.
- Put the sandwich in the center of the foil and spray it lightly with the oil. Turn the sandwich over and spray the other side.
- Wrap the sandwich and seal the edges by folding the two sides of the foil over one another and pinching them together, several times.
- Put the wrapped sandwich on a paper plate on the towel.
- Put the iron on top of the foil package and rest the weight of it on the sandwich.
- Timing depends on just how hot the iron gets… but I say let the iron heat the foil for 3 minutes, then turn the package and toast the second side for three minutes. Have a look. If the bread is brown, you’re done.
- The foil package doesn’t stay hot for long, but use care in opening it. Steam can burn.
Make some tea or hot chocolate in the coffee pot that most rooms come equipped with. I bring a supply of stevia with me to sweeten the uninspiring beverage packages often left for guests.
Dessert? That’s what the peanut butter and chocolate chips are for. Or, you can save this idea for breakfast. Instead of grilled cheese, fill your sandwich with peanut butter, generously sprinkled with the chocolate chips. Toast with the iron as before and enjoy!
What? You don’t want to eat so much bread in such a short space of time? I don’t blame you. I like to keep starchy carbs on a short leash too. So, guess what? You can use your iron to fry some eggs!
This is a little trickier. Make a nest from your towel to support your iron with hot plate facing up. Important: Test to make sure it doesn’t fall over when you touch it. Make a tray out of tinfoil, with the sides turned up. Spray it with Pam. Break an egg into it. And cook until done, 7-10 minutes. Once the iron is hot be especially careful turning it right side up when you’re finished.
If I was pining for eggs, I think I’d prefer to hard-boil them in the hotel’s coffee pot or kettle.
Have I given you a few ideas? Just be careful.
- Watch your food while it’s cooking. Don’t leave it for a second.
- Don’t put any food you’re going to eat on an unclean surface – like the edge of the sink. Germs!
- Clean up any spills as soon as they happen.
- Clean the iron and the coffee pot thoroughly when you’re done.
Hotel owners won’t be too happy with you if they find out what you’re up to. So leave no trace. Otherwise, you might find yourself out on the sidewalk sooner than you bargained for.
I myself got kicked out of a boarding house once, for cooking onions on my hot plate. They failed to tell me it was only for cooking foods with no smell. Onions have a way of announcing themselves throughout the premises.
There are always rules of one kind or another. Hotels, in particular, are governed by health codes. If you get caught, there could be fines. So do take care.
I take no responsibility for any damages or injuries incurred from testing out the ideas in this crazy post :). You’re on your own!
Have you ever improvised when cooking up a meal? We’d love to hear about it!
For the nutrition value of this post, check out the links under “Related”.
- Avast! It’s a Pita Pan Bread Platter Get to the heart of the matter on whole grain versus processed white flour. Try out a great flat bread recipe any kid can whip up.
- Miss Macadamia takes the crown – Why lo-fat cheese? Vinny explains the ins and outs of fat nutrition and gives you a delicious recipe for healthy cake.
- A cake cup for Krista – Make a yummy chocolate cake in a cup chalk full of good nutrition… in minutes! Learn all about chocolate.
- Where’s Walnuts? Peanut butter, almond butter walnut butter… any nut butter gives your nutrition a boost. Or use whole nuts in Vinny’s recipes. Check the related links at the end of this post, too, for even more nutty goodness.