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quick fix  
by Julia Panko
1 2 3

It’s six-thirty, you’re just home from work, and you are ravenous.  Sadly, the kitchen shelves are nearly naked and a peanut butter sandwich just isn’t going to cut it.  You don’t have the energy or the motivation to spend hours cooking a multiple-course meal, and you don’t have the time or the money to pick up a carload of ingredients at the store.   

Now, ideally it’s a good idea to either plan meals ahead or keep a well-stocked kitchen. However, even the most proficient domestic god/dess has the odd bad day, so it’s good to have a few fallback solutions for when dinner emergencies strike. In this article you’ll find four easy yet satisfying recipes to keep on hand for those times when you’re feeling hungry and stuck.

These meal ideas are quick to prepare, and they’re all based on college cooking skills (i.e., throwing things together and heating them).  And because it’s annoying to find a fabulous recipe only to realize that it will cost you fifty dollars just to buy all of the ingredients—most of which will never see the light of day again—each of these recipes uses just five ingredients or less.  If you’re feeling totally stranded, you can run to the convenience store on the corner and back without emptying your wallet.

1 Quesadillas Revisited
If you’re like most college graduates, you’ve spent several days living on nothing but quesadillas.  Just because they’re simple to make doesn’t make them a less legitimate dinner.  To dress up your standard fare, trade in the cheddar for some more exciting ingredients.

flour tortillas (2)
grated mozzarella cheese
basil (broken up into bits if fresh—dried is fine)
cooking oil

Put a pan on the stovetop and turn it to a low-medium heat (two and a half or three on your dial).  When it’s hot enough, pour in a little bit of cooking oil.  On a plate, liberally pile mozzarella onto half of the tortilla (do yourself a favor and buy the pre-grated kind).  Top it off with a sprinkling of basil, and fold the tortilla over. Just pop it into the frying pan and cook it on both sides until the cheese is nicely melted and the tortillas have turned golden. 

I recommend two tortillas per person.  These look great if you slice them into thirds and fan them out in a circle on a plate.  The dish is supremely simple, but with the basil and fancier cheese it tastes like something you might find in a hip little café. 

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